well, if you’ve been keeping pace, we recently performed #Black Lives Matter: The Making of the Myth of Black Dangerousness. with funding support from the ontario arts council and the jackman humanities institute, this performance combined both my poetry from ‘travelogue of the bereaved’ and non-fiction from ‘the dirty war: the making of the myth of black dangerousness’. these two books came out in the fall of 2014 and have combined for me to provide insight into the existence of black bodies in diaspora, particularly in canada.
aside from penning words relevant to contemporary issues, and doing so in a style that draws from the legacy and instruction of black poets and writers, musicians and dancers, i set out in this performance to demonstrate how our lives can be expressed in ways that capture its dissonance and its disruptiveness to how ‘daily life’ happens in our world. i also wanted to show black bodies in word, music, visuals and movement and our protest to ongoing and seemingly unending anti-black racism and social injustice that continues to constrain us and rob us of our lives.
the performance is intense. beginning with a powerful orchestral piece from the jazz composer’s orchestra and a pharoah sander’s solo, our bodies move slowly and then quickly across stage with an image of black bodies fading into the ocean in the background. i read amidst the intensity of fragmented body movements around me seeminlgy protective and restrictive. the entire performance moves along in this way – with words and movement bringing home the feelings of despair, hopelessness and challenge for change that is needed, a challenge we signify at the performance’s close with the upheld black fists of the black power movement.
this is what i seek to capture with my art. my life, our lives, in my words.
now that we move on from this, we’ll soon be working on other projects….