Presidential Election 2016: Overcoming Hate, Finding Hope In Unlikely Places With My Mother and Kendrick

14 Nov

me-and-rosa-parksIt’s been five mornings of waking up to what feels like a nightmare of a reality with the new President-elect of the United States. I won’t say his name, just as I avoided the social media postings displaying his racist, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic pot stirring over the course of the campaign. I didn’t want to promote his image or his message, and I didn’t want to internalize that negative energy myself. To be honest, I didn’t click Like and Share on Hillary articles either.  I admit to not being fully knowledgable of the complexity of, or the mechanics of the political machine. But I know I didn’t think Hillary was a perfect candidate either. Bright, strong and accomplished, yet also seemingly “bought” by the corporate powers that be. It was under the Clinton presidency that the era of mass incarceration of young, Black men persisted, thanks to legislation that Bill Clinton passed. It was the same era in which Hillary Clinton used the term “super predators”  to refer to young, Black men of color said to be predisposed to committing horrific violent crimes, like the wrongly accused Central Park Five. Still, I believed that she would make the better leader, and that those of us concerned, could [Read more…]

AS220 Panel: FutureWorlds: Call To Action

7 Nov

AS220 Panel: Future Worlds: Call To Action

AS220 Panel: Call To Action: Marco McWilliams, Anjel Newman, Je-Shawna Wholley, Shey Rivera

AS220 Call To Action Panel. L to R: Marco McWilliams, Anjel Newman, Je-Shawna Wholley, Shey Rivera

On Thursday, September 8th, 2016, I attended the panel talk, Future Worlds: Call To Action, which was hosted by the non-profit art organization, AS220, at 115 Empire Street in Providence, Rhode Island.

The thriving, multi-facility, and internationally recognized arts organization held the panel in one of its earlier spaces–the intimate gallery/performance area adjacent to the organization’s restaurant. Shey Rivera, AS220’s Artistic Director, who served as moderator of the panel, welcomed the audience and shared the mission of AS220 as an artist-run organization committed to providing an unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts. AS220 also offers artists opportunities to live, work, exhibit and perform, and envisions a just world where all people can realize their full creative potential, and see the role of the arts as a catalyst for social change.

FutureWorlds: Call To Action panel discussion, was one of a series of events , along with [Read more…]

Sadly, A Still Timely Encore: The Every 28 Hours Plays and Community Response Plays at Trinity Repertory Company

20 Oct

Every 28 Hours PlaysIt didn’t matter to me that I had already seen The Every 28 Hours Plays at Trinity Repertory Company last October.  I wanted to see them again.

Trinity Rep actor, Joe Wilson, Jr., was one of a group of fifty actors, playwrights, artists and activists invited to be part of the non-profit organization, The One-Minute Play Festival’s, Every 28 Hours Plays project. All fifty went to Ferguson, Missouri a year after the young, unarmed, black teen, Mike Brown was killed by a white police officer , and met with [Read more…]

What Are You Gonna Stand For: Donuts or Freedom?

13 Oct

gourmet-donutsI knew it wasn’t cool to, in my texting conversation with my friend Marco, to right after I asked him if he saw Birth Of A Nation the night before, ask if he wanted to meet me in line outside the new gourmet donut shop in our neighborhood. From slave rebellion film to over-priced trendy sweets in one text bubble to the next? [Read more…]

Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: Don’t Touch My Hair by Solange

9 Oct

solange-knowlesHonoring Black women who speak their truth to power.  Here is Solange’s, no longer needing to be known as Beyonce’s little sister, Don’t Touch My Hair.

Also having checked out Cranes In The Sky, I look forward to listening to more of her album, A Seat At The Table.

Take a listen, and soak in the visuals, of this important piece of work.

 

 

I also wanted to share Just Latasha’s review of A Seat Of The Table, where she breaks down Solange’s work song by song of what this creative output means to her as a Black women.

 

 

 

SOURCES:  www.youtube.com, Solange, Don’t Touch My Hair, posted by Solangeknowlesmusic

www.youtube.com, JustLatasha

www.justlatasha.com

Latasha, is a NYC based artist with a background in Communications whose passion for Black art & activism led her to create JustLatasha, a site where you can find her comedic vlogs about social issues which reaches over 8,000 subscribers twice a week. She is also the creator and lead actress of the comedy web series, Sit Black & Relax, which debuted March 14th, 2016.

 

 

 

 

What Can I Even Say?

27 Jul

wendys back writing-2I haven’t written here–not since my post on Prince’s passing.While I still lament the loss of our Purple genius, my mourning is not what has kept me from writing. Instead its been my decision over the past four or five months really, to instead of writing about it, just live my experiences with race–the thing I most think about in my day-to-day existence. (Yes, white folks, we have a race, too–well, we’re all one human race, but, shout out to Debby Irving,  to say race, that made up construct, is not just something other people have, and we don’t.) I’ve spent so much time going to this talk, that play, reading that book, having that conversation, all the while, feverishly taking notes so that I could write about my experience afterward.

Only thing is, when you are at a play called Every 28 Hours, a compilation of fifty one-minute plays on race, the [Read more…]

Nothing Compares 2 Prince

29 Apr

PrinceNaked on a white Pegasus horse with Afrosheen relaxed hair, or maybe, press and curl. Mouth rimmed with feathery moustache befitting a new prince.

He played every instrument. Every instrument.  Wrote every song. Recorded and produced the entire album.  I had never heard of such a thing.  I was 17. Prince was 21. This was not my crushing on Off The Wall Michael Jackson.  This was a bit dangerous. Like how [Read more…]

Seeing The Unseen: Reflecting On The New Works At The Wilbury Theatre Play, Invisible Upsouth by Christopher Johnson in collaboration with Vatic Kuumba

9 Mar

Invisible UpSouth, Wilbury Theatre GroupThis past Saturday I attended a full day of cultural events around the city, all related in some way to race and social justice on both a national, and local to Providence, level. I started out visiting the [Read more…]

Get Your Culture On! Must-See’s And Do’s This Weekend In Providence!

3 Mar

I think it’s always good to go beyond the cultural spaces you continually find yourself in.  Cross over to another part of town.  Explore a new artist’s work. That’s how I expand on my experience of the world, how my life becomes more full, more rich.

So much going on here in Providence this weekend culturally, and white folks, if you keep thinking you need to get out beyond the white bubble you’re living in, here are some opportunities to enter new spaces, explore new artists’ work, and ponder current matters of art, race and racism.

Invisible Upsouth, Thursday, March 3 – Sunday, March 6, 2016, with Christopher Johnson and Vatic Kuumba, Wilbury Theatre, 393 Broad Street, Providence (Tickets: $10 – $15)

Wilbury Theater Group

Invisible Upsouth, The Wilbury Theater Group

I was excited when local, yet nationally-acclaimed poet and arts educator, Christopher Johnson, told me he was selected to write, direct and act in his first play. You wont’ want to miss (I’m going this weekend)  Christopher’s play, Invisible UpSouth a New Works Program play commissioned by  The Wilbury Theatre Group

Christopher wrote and produced the play along with poet, Vatic Kuumba.  The play, inspired by the important classic, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, is described as..“part reflection, part conversation, and part examination on living in [what we’re told is] a post-racial society. But what does “post-racial” mean to the people who suffer under conditions of “everyday” racism? What does modern-day poverty look like in our community? Who holds the power in the power structure? What is considered a riot? How is an act, a verb, a word, changed depending the culture associated with it – with the race engaging in it?  [Read more…]

Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: Corinee Bailey Rae – Been To The Moon

28 Feb

Corinne Bailey Rae

Corinne Bailey Rae – photo credit: thisisrealmusic.com

Corinne Bailey Rae. Yes, you remember her 2006 Put Your Records On and Like A Star, and then she seemed to drop out of sight, right?  It’s said the British singer took a hiatus after [Read more…]