Black Girl Heroism: Why The #Zola Story Got Us All Caught Up

October 29, 2015  |  

I’ve always refused to believe the notion that there just aren’t any Black writers creating engaging and entertaining stories. Despite the Whitewashed industry and the penchant for telling and retelling old stories, I know there is talent yet untapped that could change the game and shake things up.

All assumptions and beliefs were confirmed when Aziah King’s “Zola Story” set Twitter on fire yesterday evening.

King, a stripper, used her Twitter handle @_zolarmoon to tell an elaborate, in depth, suspenseful and entertaining story about an impromptu trip she took to Florida with a virtual stranger.

If you missed it last night, you absolutely must take the time out to read the full thing on the next page. But for those of you who still aren’t convinced, here are a few of the first couple of tweets to get you hooked.

Trust me when I tell you the story only gets better from here. “Zola” was so captivating that people immediately started wondering if she had completely fabricated it. While I could care less, (a good story is a good story), the internet eventually provided some receipts. Hip Hop Wired found Jessica on Instagram. And, as you might imagine, she wasn’t too happy about it.

If this is indeed Jessica, I feel bad for the girl. But if I were her, I’d reach out to Aziah and see if she can get paid, at least partially, for her story.

Anyway, after reading Zola, several celebrities applauded King for her skills. Director Ava DuVernay was excited about it.

Aziah did have to let Ava know she’s not from the hood though.

Keke Palmer even seemed to express interest in the role of Zola.

So, what is it about this story that had the internet going nuts? If you ask me when we hear stories in the mainstream about women who work in the adult entertainment or sex industry, they’re often told from the viewpoint of a man. But here’s “Zola” taking us on an adventure, chronicling her honest thoughts and feelings along the way. It’s different and it’s empowering. So often women who work in fringe industries are silenced or discouraged from speaking openly and honestly about their experiences for fear that they’ll be endangered or publicly shamed. I love that she was comfortable enough in herself to share this story.

And you know what else was new? A White woman being removed from her position on the proverbial pedestal while the Black woman, who is also sexually liberated and expressive, uses her intellect to get herself out of several, very messed up situations. I’m not saying I’m down for the way Jessica was used and abused in this story, I’m saying it’s real. And in real life Black women aren’t always the ones being exploited or taken advantage of or outsmarted by men and White folks. I’m not going to lie or front, it’s good to see. We were rooting for Aziah throughout that entire story and it was damn good to see homegirl win and live to tell about it.

I know the conservative and tight laced, respectability politic upholding, Black folk among us will take issue with Zola’s story and the fact that she’s a stripper, involved in a “nefarious” lifestyle. But in a world where strippers are automatically stereotyped, labeled, discounted and disregarded, I dug the fact that she wasn’t running from the term. One of my favorite lines from the piece was “So we vibing over our hoeism or whatever.”

Do you boo boo!

What if Aziah had never shared her story, scared about the judgment and contempt people would rain down upon her for doing so? We would have all missed out.

God bless Aziah King. I’m so glad she told her story and I sincerely hope it makes it to the big screen.

Check out the full story on the next page.

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