Quote for Today: Ava DuVernay


I talk a lot about my challenge with permission and the culture of permission in which we live. Women, people of color, and anyone outside of the dominant gaze have been trained to speak, act, and express themselves within the realm of what they’ve been given permission to do. So to untrain ourselves from this idea that women can only say and do this or that black and brown people can only say and do that is quite revolutionary. It’s freeing. It’s critical that we untether ourselves from this permission-based mentality and follow our hearts.

Do you think of yourself as a disrupter?

I do. I think that black people making art, women making art, and certainly black women making art is a disruptive endeavor—and it’s one that I enjoy extremely. Whether you’re a filmmaker or are simply changing your mind-set in your day-to-day life, disrupting what we’ve been told is the norm is what we all need to be doing. The traditional ways of doing things are collapsing. We’re in an age of change, but change will only move forward in a positive direction if we try to disrupt the status quo.

Ava DuVernay, “Why Ava DuVernay Isn’t Listening to What Others Tell Her to Do,” Cosmopolitan, 2015

Photo by Houcine Ncib on Unsplash

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