It was definitely an honor to get a call from Shaun Neblett, founder and director of Changing Perceptions Theatre Company, asking if I'd write a monologue for the annual birthday party for Lorraine Hansberry and Malcolm X at the Langston Hughes House in Harlem. Both Lorraine and Malcolm have been inspiration, influencing my walk on this road. I keep a portrait of Malcolm in my foyer; my father painted it in 1969. And I have this dope memory of reading his speeches from the By Any Means Necessary collection purchased at DC's Pyramid Book Store when I was 17 years old, staying up late at night before school just to gain deeper understanding of my place in the world through Malcolm's vision. But I selected Lorraine's words for my writing inspiration this time around, because I have often wondered what she would have written, what she would have had to say, what she would advise in these chaotic times. I did not get a speech or letter to work from. Instead, I had her musings from private notes, a list of "likes" and "regrets." I was moved by the intense loneliness, passion, and commitment in her personal thoughts, a woman holding intense love for her craft, community, and self, even through the contradictions. I found a beautiful woman in the midst of becoming ... And, to get to share work at the Langston Hughes House - me, a woman who grew up reading Langston's Jesse B. Simple stories with my dad on Sunday drives through the city? Well, that is just all the goodness. Right on time.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Thursday, March 16, 2017
I got a text message from my dear sister in January, asking me to join a very important call to think about how to sustain our movement against the culture of violence and inhumanity that the current administration wears as its emblem and boots. She felt an urgent need for us to dig deep into our ancestral traditions to harness a force transcending divisions, especially because the current administration is determined to use religion as an incendiary threat, sparking fear, and informing travel, immigration, policing, and foreign policy. We must fight this.
That call became a national #blacklivesmatter interfaith action for #sacredresistance. We've been in deep conversation to hold space and welcome people of all faiths, religions, and spiritual practices, as well as those who do not claim a particular faith but are still deeply rooted in the practice of social justice and human rights rooted in love. Join us on April 1st for #sacredresistance at Malcom X Park/Meridian Hill Park at 11am for drumming, song, meditation, poetry, prayer, dance, and resistance. Satellite actions in your city. And, for those able to begin our vigil through fasting and/or meditation, we will start as early as midnight that day. Location for midnight gathering TBA. More details at www.sacredresist.org See you on the 1st! #chantdownbabylon #sacredresist #blacklivesmatter