an Open Dances honoring legendary Women: Nina Simone

Honoring  Women’s History Month, we will be creating dance as part of the Open Dances series; drawing upon the iconic imagery within legendary artist Nina Simone’s  acclaimed song Four Women.

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My skin is black
My arms are long
My hair is woolly
My back is strong
Strong enough to take the pain
inflicted again and again
What do they call me
My name is AUNT SARAH
My name is Aunt Sarah

My skin is yellow
My hair is long
Between two worlds
I do belong
My father was rich and white
He forced my mother late one night
What do they call me
My name is SAFFRONIA
My name is Saffronia

My skin is tan
My hair is fine
My hips invite you
my mouth like wine
Whose little girl am I?
Anyone who has money to buy
What do they call me
My name is SWEET THING
My name is Sweet Thing

My skin is brown
my manner is tough
I’ll kill the first mother I see
my life has been too rough
I’m awfully bitter these days
because my parents were slaves
What do they call me
My name is PEACHES

 

Open Dances will occur on the south side at Rebuild Foundation’s Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative studio

Saturday, March 26th from 1pm – 3pm.

Open Dances is free and open to the public.  This event will be videotaped.

Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative is wheelchair accessible. With respect to other participants, please refrain from wearing scented products. Real time Captioning (CART) will be provided.

This particular Open Dances is supported in part through Bodies of Work, 3Arts  and University of Illinois Chicago’s Department of Disability and Human Development Institute on Disability and Human Development.

 

 

 

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meeting of creative minds.

seated l to r: Arna Bontemps, Paul Robeson, Canada Lee & Langston Hughes, 1946
seated left to right: Arna Bontemps, Paul Robeson, Canada Lee & Langston Hughes, circa 1946

Notes on the image: “Langston Hughes meets with Paul Robeson, Canada Lee, and Arna Bontemps about the Maxine Wood play, “On Whitman Avenue” in 1946. The play was about a Black World War II veteran who encountered racist opposition when he and his family moved into a White neighborhood. Mr. Lee produced and starred in the play which ran for 148 performances. This photo is from the Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the New York Public Library. Their record does not identify the gentleman on the left as Arna Bontemps (it simply says “Unidentified man”) but I am confident that it is indeed Mr. Hughes’s fellow poet and friend, Mr. Bontemps.” – #VintageBlackGlamour

#BlackIsBold #Collaboration #BlackHistoryMonth

if this day | MLK

if this day
you find me
absent-mindedly humming a freedom song or spiritual
lotion-ing my ash in broad daylight
arriving late to see Selma again
wanting to shout every time i see a woman like my motha get struck down
re-tweeting MLK images, quotes and march events non-stop
wondering out-loud if i am brave enough
randomly calling on people to discuss what’s next
creatively and
in the movement

kindly

let. me. be.

‪#‎ReclaimMLKDay‬ ‪#‎BlackIsBold‬ #MLKDay2015

Three of Three For the New Year: #Roots

‪#‎Roots‬ deeper depths, expansive growth.

Tree Roots image by Paul Cannon
Tree Roots image by Paul Cannon

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.

#BlackIsBold  #ThreeWordChallenge