Today I reflect on the time I was able to emote my sense of gratitude and purpose-alignment with Dr. King’s legacy – through poetry. Like King, I don’t want to lead my people into a burning house. Yet, also like King, I fear a path not soaked in the light of love. I am not naive to the hate; personally, it is just not my best tool.
If you are in the business of caring for Black girls/women/femmes, you might be exhausted. There is the slow tide of justice moving in the Breonna Taylor case. There are all the misogynoiristic bottom-dwellers who emerged to tell Black woman hip hop artist and community activist Noname that she and other intelligent, justice-driven Black women need to be nicer and more accommodating to Black men who’ve never valued intelligent, justice-driven Black women in the first place. And there are the details that have emerged surrounding the tragic last days of activist Toyin Salau. This does not scratch the surface when we think of the continued attacks and murders of our trans sisters, the cultural and physical attacks on our younger sisters who are just trying to graduate high school, and my own biological sister, who is currently suing the ACLU SoCal for racial discrimination. And of course, there are the instances right out of my hometown – like the disrespect, disdain, and downright displays of discrimination recently directed at Providence City Council members Nirva LaFortune and President Sabina Matos. And oh, by the way, there is more.
It is exhausting.
That is why I want to ensure that I make my two most recent multimedia poetry videos and audio links available and easy to access in one place – in case you too are exhausted, and need some poetry and art to help you regroup. The two pieces were inspired by thoughts on community, leadership, joyfulness, Black Love, and resistance, and by the invitation to perform during the June 18, 2020 Campaign Kickoff event for Cynthia Mendes, a woman of Cape Verdean and Puerto Rican heritage who is running for office in the 2020 elections for Senate District 18, East Providence, Riverside, and Pawtucket, RI. rho
I love you/us, and I pledge to continue making art, poetry, and public statements that say so.
This recording is pulled from the June 18, 2020 Campaign
Kickoff event for Cynthia Mendes. Mendes is running for office in the
2020 elections for Senate District 18, East Providence, Riverside, and
I do not endorse political candidates, but I do
support making room for the voices, talents, and leadership of women of
color, and I do believe radical change needs to happen in as many spaces
as possible. I also had some thoughts on community, leadership,
joyfulness, Black Love, and resistance that I wanted to express. Mendes’
event, for me personally, and her campaign, in general, offers space
for people desperately seeking out alternative solutions and next steps
in the wake of continued violence against Black and Brown communities,
and stubborn forms of oppression threatening lives everyday. It was
inspiring to hear her message and to co-present with the other speakers
and community members. #BlackLivesMatter#SayHerName
Welcome to Venus Sings by Reza Rites at www.VenusSings.com
About Venus Sings / Reza Rites / Reza Wreckage
About Reza Rites (Venus Sings/Reza Wreckage/the #AmbitiousBlackFeminist)
Reza Clifton has many nicknames because she is a writer, digital storyteller, and cultural navigator based out of Providence, RI. This means she works and makes her income in several different ways, including but not excluding sending and publishing written work, multimedia stories and interviews with artists and community leaders; DJ'ing at professional, cultural and family events in different cities; giving speeches, workshops and lectures on college campuses and in community sites; and curating and producing community arts events.
This site, VenusSings.com, is about her interests in music, art and culture; her adventures as a DJ; and her collaborations with artists and community members. You can also follow her on Tumblr, www.AmbitiousBlackFeminist.com.