Take 5 w/Lorraine Avila

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Welcome to "Take 5," a series highlighting people we love and the things they love.

Meet Lorraine Avila: an accomplished storyteller, author, educator and tried and true New York morena. Lorraine is the type of woman you want to spend hours chatting with in a corner wine bar. She is a Black Broxinite with Caribbean roots in the Dominican Republic and it shows in the beautiful way she tells stories and is lighting a pathway for other girls and womxn who share a similar lived experience. Her mission is to break free from generational trauma by continuing to rupture the traditions of silence.

Fresh off meeting her fundraising goal for, Celestial Summer, a graphic novel that explores Black love, vulnerability, intimacy and psychedelic revelations, created alongside artists, Zahira Kelly-Cabrera and Antoinette Thomas, Lorraine took 5 to take 5 with Our House.

Full Name: Lorraine Avila Where are you from: The Bronx

1. What's one thing you do in private that you can share with us:

I lay on the floor and do a lot of stuff from there—stretch, eat, read, sleep, or watch The Office for the 1000th time. 2. What's your favorite part of your home and why?

My bedroom. It’s cozy, soft, and where most of my plants live.

3. What inspired you to create Celestial Summer?

Quarantine. It was dark and triggering to watch the world hate Black and Brown bodies. I asked to be held, and for the first time in 29 years, found a safe place with a man. I put the story on paper and let myself name the love I desire, want, and deserve.

4. If you could invite 5 people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be?

  • Zora Neale Hurston

  • Cardi B

  • Audre Lorde

  • Mama Tingo

  • Akwaeke Emezi

5. If your life had a soundtrack, what would play when you:

  1. Wake up : Here Comes the Sun- Nina Simone

  2. Workout (if you do that): No Panties  - Trina

  3. Work: Turiya & Ramakrishna- Alice Coltrane

  4. Hang with friends: La Vida Es Un Carnaval - Celia Cruz

  5. Are alone: Todo Pasa - Carla Morrison

  6. Are going to sleep: Dreams - Solange

6. Bonus Q: What's one piece of advice you'd tell someone who feels lost in the world right now?

My friend always reminds me, “If you die, a white supremacist wins.” So rest, smooth yourself, and take care of the one thing that’s fighting for your survival—your body.

Find Lorraine on Instagram here and support her work, here.

Donate to support Celestial Summer here.

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