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Malika Reese

MERRIGONGX 2020 Artist Profile


Malika Reese was born in California in the 70’s to a white writer and a black writer. Moving to Australia at a young age she travelled between the two countries, also spending time living in Europe and Asia. Malika is a public speaker, comedian, musician, writer and a second-generation songwriter. Her great aunt was Jessie Mae Robinson, who wrote dozens of hit songs covered by the likes of Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley.

Artist Statement

Six Women is a stage play about six strong women in my family who were trailblazers in their own way in the United States, before the family moved to Australia to continue carving out new territory. The show is about celebrating perseverance, creativity, tenacity and above all love.

The inspiration to start writing this story was when I first heard the story of my Great Aunt Jessie Mae and all that she had accomplished, yet learning that she had been forgotten from history. It made me want to share her story and honour her. Also, learning about the almost too incredible to be true story of my Grandmother’s Great Grandmother Winnie and how she helped to found a town. A huge thing to do as a (former) slave.

These are stories that can be learned from and are relatable, yet one of a kind. The fact that these incredible stories all belong in one family, shines a light on the library that each family may possess.

– Malika Reese

Digital Taster

Watch the digital taster here or below.

Coming Up…