October 20, 2011
AN INTERVIEW OF ANONDRA “KAT” WILLIAMS
Sipping On-Ink The Colored Chronicles is a weekly internet radio show that explores everything LGBTQ from activist and writers to actors and filmmakers served with raw intelligence. ” As long as it’s LGBTQ centric then I am interested in you,” said its host and founder Anondra “Kat” Williams. Williams a native of Jacksonville, has been blogging since 2004 and writing since 2005. In 2009 she founded the Shades Retreat: Personal You, an empowerment retreat for lesbian women of color. In 2011 she published ” black girl love” a collection of stories told form a black woman’s point of view about life and love.
PRIDEINDEX: Why did you start SIPPING ON-INK?
KAT WILLIAMS: I started SOI actually after being interviewed on someone else’s show and thinking…I could do this, though I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go. Initially it was going to be strictly about poetry and writing. That lasted for about two shows before I started thinking there’s more out there, more talented people who needed the light shined on them and what they do. I reached out to the LGBTQ community, those who interested me, those who I had admired from afar be it artists, writers, poets and activists or filmmakers. What you see now is the quick yes’s I got back from folks who didn’t know me from a hole in the ground as my grandmother would say. So every Wednesday at 8pm EST I shine the light on someone/something I admire.
PI: You have a lovely voice; does your background include radio, communications or broadcast journalism?
KW: Thank you! I’ve always battled my voice, if that makes sense. When I was kid and even into young adulthood most people thought I was a male when speaking to me over the phone, heck even today I get more sir’s than ma’ams. (LAUGHS) So when people compliment me and say you have a great radio voice the little kid inside of me is jumping up and down inside saying “kick rocks” to all those who mocked my voice. To answer your question, no (LAUGHS); though I do like to talk, is there a degree in that somewhere I can apply for?
PI: Name at least 3 people who have most influenced your artistic style.
KW: Wow, great question. Toni Morrison, not to say that I write like her, but she writes with such freedom. She writes a story as if you should know what she’s talking about and if not, catch up.
Surprisingly my mom who allowed me to possibly read things that a child shouldn’t have. She says it kept me out of trouble and if I could figure out the big words, well then more power to me.
Terry Gross of “Fresh Air,” I like her interview style, breezy but intelligent.
PI: How do you to decide what to put on the show?
KW: I cruise the net and various social media sites for things, people, and events that interest me. I pay attention to what those around me are interested in and then I invite that person, that group on to talk about what they do. Of course there are those that seek me out as well. As long as it’s LGBTQ centric then I’m interested in you and it. I do turn some down, doesn’t happen all that often. But scheduling conflicts or I’m just not a fan of the subject matter. I do believe that I need to be invested somewhat to make the show interesting for my audience.
PI: Are there any other hosts or contributors?
KW: I do it all, hosting and producing, research, writing all the questions, reading all the books, watching all the films, e-blasts and website. What you “see” is 100% me.
PI: My buddy, author and minister, D. Marcel and PrideIndex.com Esteem Award winner Black Lesbian United (BLU) Retreat were on your show, tell us about some of the other guest you have interviewed?
KW: I’ve interviewed everyone and there’s still thousands more to go! I really don’t have favorites but there are some I’ve re-listened to many, many times. I love the shows were the guest really breaks down why they do what they do, be it personal or purely altruistic but it’s them. I’ve interviewed filmmakers, artists, poets, writers, activist, and business owners, again anyone who interests me.
PI: What is the craziest thing that’s ever happened on your show?
KW: I find it really odd when people put me on hold in the middle of an interview. (LAUGHS) It’s almost like they forget that we are live. I had one guest who talked to her little one who was upset about something, I actually enjoyed that moment. A few guest have come out on SOI and that’s always cool. Technical issues happen every now and then of course.
PI: Tell us about Lesbian Memoirs and Shades Retreat, Personal You?
KW: Lesbian Memoirs is actually a site that is on hiatus but it was started with the idea of producing a safe haven for the artistic lesbian be she a poet, writer, painter or creator. I joined and then was asked to become part of the team. We are in the rebuild, dedication status at this time due to all original staff members essentially branching out in so many other directions that we felt the site was suffering from lack of attention and that lack of attention was hindering the growth of the site and the members.
Shades Retreat, Personal You is my baby more so than anything else I do or will possibly do in the future. For many years I’ve wanted to attend a retreat that focused on improving the future by recognizing the past while living in the now. In July of 2009 I decided to stop wanting and just do by creating what I felt women like myself needed. The retreat was designed around the words empowerment, growth and change for women of color, particularly lesbian women of color. It’s held once a year in the mountains of Georgia. We come together to grow within ourselves through interactive workshops in a rural setting. I choose a rural setting so as to enhance the idea of working on self without the distraction of everyday life such as the internet, cell phones, tv or shopping. It’s been a beautiful experience so far.
PI: What’s next for Sipping on Ink?
KW: Well we, mainly me, are on winter break for the next two months or so. Have to refresh and recharge to come back strong in 2012 with a continued great lineup of guests.
PI: What else would you like to tell us?
KW: I do a little scribbling on the side so while listening to Sipping On Ink, please check out my book titled “black girl love”. It can be found online at all major retailers, either paperback or e-book. You can also find a great collection of books from my publishing company LMInc, that I co-own with Teryn Williams, no relation outside of being great friends and even better business partners.
“black girl love” is a collection of well-crafted contemporary stories told from a black girls perspective on life and loving other “grown” black girls. Full of highs, lows and sex thrown in the middle of, “black girl love” contains twenty-five stories covering life, love and sex, featuring characters you will love, hate and want to fuck all at the same time.