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Life & Work with Lekethia Dalcoe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lekethia Dalcoe.

Hi Lekethia, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My involvement in the arts started as a really young child through theatre performance. I fell in love with acting and storytelling. I knew very early on that there was an acute power in that medium. The arts have the power to change lives; it truly changed my life. Since I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to story and character and how we are all connected and have the ability to affect each other’s lives. Encyclopedias were my playground. For hours I would get lost in the pages of the encyclopedia, and connect how people were connected to each other through lineage and time. Looking back now, I think this was a first example for my being drawn to storytelling through character-driven storylines. I’ve been drawn to writing as a means to deal with the traumas that are being afflicted on black bodies in America. In my work I often explore an allegory that both physically or mentally the whole country is stuck, in some “holding space” unable to move forward because there has been no accounting for the crimes done against the black body.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I wouldn’t say it’s been a smooth road, I would say that it’s been an ordained road. I truly believe I’m doing what I was put on this earth to do. I feel blessed that I was equipped with the fortitude and natural tenacity to keep striving and pushing towards my life’s work. The journey hasn’t really been a hard one because it’s been a protected one. I’m a spiritual person who believes in God. I truly believe God gives us all the tools that we need along our journey and it’s our task to choose to sharpen them. I made a choice that my dreams and desires matter, and because of that, I simply tapped into what was already given to me as a gift. I remember as a small child attending a church revival, there it was prophesied over myself, that “my words would be heard all over the world.” Of course, I didn’t know what to make of it then, but it all makes sense now! I’m a storyteller who now writes for t.v. and film and my words will truly be heard all over the world. The road that I’m on was the road that I meant to travel. Though everything hasn’t been easy, I’ve learned to look at things as a welcomed challenge that will not destroy me because as I mentioned, I’ve been gifted with the tools to push through and have taken the time to sharpen them.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m a television writer, an award-winning playwright, and an actress. I was selected into the 2019 SUNDANCE EPISODIC LAB for my pilot, “Valley of Bones,” and since then I have been on a beautiful blessed rollercoaster of diving into writing for television. My writing is hardly conventional in its narrative structure and is loaded with fantastical elements, such as portraying a purgatory-esque world. I often deal with big world issues that affect the black community in an intimate character-driven story that’s often infused with a genre being element such as horror. In my work, the souls of black America are often in jagged shards just as they are in real life, I simply want to piece those souls together.

What matters most to you?
What matters most to me is giving a voice to black ancestors who we’re not allowed to fully live out their greatness on a land which devalued them. I wish to give voice to the voiceless. Voices that are endowed with ethereal language, heartbreaking melodies, and the sheer brazen truth. Black folk who are unapologetic in their search for understanding, self-love, and empowerment. In regards to storytelling, this is important to me because I am a reflection of my ancestors. I’m still the child who sits at the foot of her grandmother Ruth as she tells fantastical tales of black folk, loving, living, and dying.

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Image Credits:

Elliott Ashby Forrest Renaissance

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