Last week I had the honor of participating in the un::fade::able poetry series in memory of the name and life of Sandra Bland. No one could have forecast that two days before the reading another sista would lose her life at the hands of another instrument of white supremacy. My heart was heavy and I was working through a myriad of feelings: trauma, betrayal, fear, anxiety, depression. In the midst of processing my own, I never asked anyone else that evening how they felt, but every greeting felt like an embrace and low-toned conversations communicated to me that we were all coming in from the battlefield for a reprieve.
The ArtShare L.A. space felt like a safe and protective cocoon with its exposed brick walls. I did not mind the lack of windows. That evening, I did not want to look out on a world that has no solution for me. I did not want anyone from the outside to observe me as I released the pain in my soul. It was much more healing than I anticipated, to sit in the audience and listen to sistas sing, speak, reverberate their truths. I was able to experience art that was more about expression and less about performance. I like my art raw and palpable which is exactly how the women delivered it at un::fade::able.
It was also great to know that the evening was in part due to the support and organizing of men who value the voices of women. Douglas Brown and Mike Sonksen were instrumental in bringing me out of my secluded corner of the universe to share with other writers, other sistas. This event was such an appreciated healing space.