Excavating my roots: this is the core of why i began creating work through D UNDERBELLY. i sought to understand culturally who i was. my blackness, my queerness. my ability. i recognize that these “roots” are rich and fertile. they are also massive and weighted. with tenderness, i will cultivate them. allow each one of them to grow deeper into the earth. through time, effort and sustenance – like the tree roots vividly captured by photographer Paul Cannon – they will intertwine, reach out, and form a strong foundation. in union with others, they will ascend and thrive.
sista, thank you for your rousing words…u are right. we need to be outraged by all black deaths. black on black truly. i have relocated to chicago from new york recently and been in those areas of recent killings. films like The Interrupters reminded me that i need to tune into these neighborhoods and look at what i can do a black male, active being… u have inspired me beyond simply being conscious to proactivity (by creative means) in order to address this alarming homicide statistic. it brings to mind a performance ritual created in 1996 in minneapolis with a black male collective Sirius B entitled Monday Morning Body Count. i believe it’s time to remount, reconstruct or build anew a ritual of awakening that permeates these ‘death zones” in chicago. the current toll of 100 homicides (as of March 25th, 2012) in which i count 70 black men so far propels me into concretizing this performative plan of action. will keep u informed on what comes out of this. best to you B