What Is Temple & Riot?

Temple & Riot was born out of a few different things that have happened in my life in the past six months. Some big and some small. One instance was me trying to figure out what to put in my Twitter bio. Sounds silly, right?

I changed my Twitter bio for DAYS, unsatisfied with how I came off, wanting to play up certain parts of myself but not other major parts, wondering how I would sound to others... And then I just stopped. I stopped and thought, "Why am I pulling myself apart?"

It got me thinking about the pieces of ourselves we try to hide. The pieces we pull out for this group of people and the pieces we tuck away for that group of people. It got me thinking,  "What would happen if I publicly recognized and unpacked the duality/multi-facetedness that lives in me?"

Whether we like to admit it or not - duality rests within us. The faithful and the fighter. The free and the bound. The distracted and the diligent. Sometimes it’s just our nature, other times it’s a result of living life. Either way we all are trying to live our best lives on this side, that side, and in between. My prayer is that Temple & Riot will be a collection of musings that will stir up revelations and revolutions, will encourage readers spiritually and intellectually to acknowledge the realities of living this life.

Our lives are not always going to be answered prayers from the pews. Sometimes it’s bullets and broken bottles. And that is ok. Just acknowledging that struggle, that duality... that's what Temple & Riot is about - stopping us at the busiest intersections of our lives and allowing us the space to be transparent about it all.

Our lives are multi-paned like a stained glass window through which light shines on all who enter sacred spaces. Temple & Riot seeks to be a space where we can celebrate that.

This site drills down into the interactions between faith, womanhood, manhood, Blackness, work life, social life and creative nature. Temple & Riot is a mashup of what happens when we decide to hold all of the pieces of our identities at once, and examine how they are impacted by life’s journey and how they in turn impact our lives. The pieces of who we are don’t negate one another even when they seem as opposite as the sun and moon. They work together for good, to create - if we’re transparent - a life worth living, and a story worth lifting. 

I pray that you are lifted by what you find here.  

Peace to you,

Ashley