creator of expressive art,
photographer who writes about the elephant and the room...
birthed in the Midwest,
becoming in the South,
while bursting the veil,
& cultivating roots
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.
When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” — Ansel Adams
Following no rules, Ach-'Sah writes her way. She writes in color, painting the stories that are held between teeth and tongue. She writes truths that rattle bones six feet deep. Her words build thick air, keeping the loudest mouths lock-jawed. She collects reality like travelers collect great souvenirs, then displays it boldly in her work.
"I knew I would have to pick at scabs and open up scars just to stand at the entrance of his dungeon where my past resides. I knew I would have to dissect every skeleton of his and my own to acknowledge the dark. I would have to if I wanted to move to the light, so I began to open my flesh so I could attempt to move from the box he put me in."
- Born to the Elephant Show
She writes with the sole purpose of moving us toward change for the betterment of all; ultimately helping the voiceless.
"We are You. You are We. We are one."
Book & Script Collection
BORN TO THE ELEPHANT SHOW
We all have a story held between teeth and tongue. With the purpose of freeing the ones stuck, this book holds a poetic story about a girl trying to survive pathology.
"When I was twelve years old, I watched a lady set a car on fire in the parking lot of the lounge that sat across the street from my aunt’s beauty shop. Under the hair dryer, with homework in my lap, I could only think about that woman’s hell, and the dungeon she was chained to. She was out there in that parking lot fighting a demon, and it wasn’t the man running out of the lounge pissed off because his ride was up in flames. That woman stood there in years of hurt as she yelled out in rage. I didn’t know her story, like she didn’t know the story of the little girl staring out of the window across the street. One thing was for sure, we were both on Fifth Avenue in pain. . . As I sat there in that busy salon, I watched her and wondered if we shared the same dungeon. I wondered if the demon that hurt her was related to the one who took my ivory; the pieces of my tusks, the fragments of my soul. All I knew in that moment was that the men who did us wrong drove two different cars. . . My stepdad drove an old school Deville."
Meeting demons from her past and the ones that haunt her home may cause Ann to lose it all if she doesn't address the issues that lie beneath.
LITTLE BOY PETE
Fatherless, motherless child raised in the belly of the beast with the boogeyman in the attic of his nana's house.
This is a story about a little boy who grew up with the boogeyman in a house of sticks. In the introduction you'll realize the story doesn't play out the way you may think. The boogeyman dies, but it's the story the boogeyman leaves behind that will blow the house down and change Pete's life forever. You don't know this story because we've been taught to hold our "waters" and not tilt our heads.
THERE'S A WOMAN ON FIRE
This novel is based off Born to the Elephant Show, the collection of poetry and prose about a girl who survives her boogeyman, Pathology. As she fights the only world her mother knew she finds identity and truth. Although, There's a Woman on Fire is fiction, it holds pieces of us all; secrets that are kept between teeth and tongue, truths that can tear down communities and restore them. There's a Woman on Fire was created to give readers much needed details because the entire story matters.
2019: YEAR OF THE WOMAN
Cultivating Our Roots: Shining a light on the strength of women and their stories for our tomorrow.
I come from strong, independent, self- assured, hard working women.
With a fire held behind the eyes and fierceness in her voice, we get to know more about Sankan.
My name is Sankan. I was named by my father who is from Monrovia, Liberia in West Africa. Sankan means ‘joy’.
Sankan, what is your story?
I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. An 80's baby born to a father from Liberia and a mother from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’m the youngest of two children. I was a very quiet, shy child. I spent a lot of time to myself, in my own world, always wrapped up in my own thoughts. I had a few close friends but I was mostly a loner. I was pretty much a nerd, a straight ‘A’ Honor Roll student who won spelling bees, science fairs and made valedictorian in high school. Outside of school, I was an awkward tall black girl who loved to read and loved music. I spent a lot of my early years trying to blend in and please others.
Where does your story leave you standing today?
It took a while, but now in my 30s I’m in a place where I’m now starting to focus on myself. I’m learning to love myself. I’m discovering my own identity. I’m figuring out what makes me tick, so to speak, by learning more about my likes, dislikes, and desires. I’m embracing the things about me that makes me unique and I’m no longer interested in trying to blend in. I’m putting myself first and learning to protect and preserve my peace. I’m still very much a work in progress but it is an exciting and enlightening time for me.
If you could go back to your childhood and have a talk with yourself, what would you say?
I would tell myself that I am the sh* . . . LEARN MORE ABOUT SANKAN IN THE BLOG!
They say if your dreams don't scare you they're not big enough . . . I'm petrified.
The woman inspires me; considering no color, no social class, no beliefs or anything else that covers her. I see the woman under it all. She is powerful behind everything the world tries to veil her with and box her in. The woman sees deeper. She's tested harder. She endures his pain and her own. No man could ever survive the depths of a woman. He's never been in the position of a woman and sacrificed the way the woman has, while she still fights for validation in a world she birthed.
Who can push around a cart full of food, breastfeed a baby, carry a man's burdens, and her own while maintaining a grocery list in her head? And this is after receiving a paycheck that tells her she is worth less than a man. Sounds like a superpower or, as some say, magic. It's not. It's the strength of a woman. Some put titles on our strength to make it sound more appealing, again because we're taught being a woman is not enough.
The woman sacrifices herself for our children, our families, and communities, even when she's told she's not enough or she doesn't matter. The world is nothing without the woman. She is the soil and the water where he plant's his seeds. She inspires me; her weakness is as moving as her strength. The way the woman is capable of giving birth while carrying man when he's weak . . . only a woman can do that in a way only a woman can.
And I'm petrified because I'm obligated to fulfill a dream that highlights The Woman. I do this for our daughters, our sons, our tomorrow. She has entrusted me with her story, pieces of her, I will cherish for a lifetime.
Thank you to the women who stand in strength and to the ones who are still finding self. Your story matters and you are deserving of this light.
MEET INSPIRING WOMEN BELOW and in THE BLOG
If you would like to share your story, let's connect. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
- Nelson Mandela
Atlanta School of Photography
Bachelor's of Science in Business