Profound words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and it makes me reflect on my own seeming silence. Not only on issues of race but on life in general.
I think the real question to ask is who are friends are and less about how silent they are. I must admit that the very term “friend” is overused today, in a casual Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/ need-to-prevent-Trump-access way.
But why have I been quiet if not totally silent? Frankly, it is a case of cabin fever brought on by Covid-19 and fatigue brought on from years of speaking out and having people not listen.
Bottom line, I am tired the expectation that, because I am a Black woman, I must live the life of an oppressed person. I know who my friends are, white and BIPoC.
Likely you have seen those Masterclass (TM) ads on YouTube. Well I have gone to YouTube and have started to use videos of great entertainers – Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey, Pearl Bailey – to create a Masterclass series for me to follow.
Here is a video of an interview of Eartha Kitt. I must admit that I had a feeling of “Been there, done that” when she talks about her Paris debut.
The only thing I am really craving while in self-isolation is a chocolate chip cookie.
But after two days of goofing off online (there was hard work before that, honestly!) , it is time to think ahead.
I have had friends offering me ideas of what I could do to increase my income. In truth, I have many things on the go but I could use help with the following:
One: Contact information for Parents Groups and Heads of History/Social Studies in Toronto schools. I mean to start pitching The Many Black Histories program (including my new Black Inventors program for STEAM) the minute schools reopen.
Two: A publisher for my upcoming memoir – Spare me: as if being a Black woman wasn’t enough. The publisher needs to be race and queer centered but big enough to provide tour support (in conjunction with arts funding… hey, I can hope)
Three: Spaces and clients for my “Come dancing” classes. I have body positive classes as well as corporate appropriate classes for leadership and management. I’m good for weddings, festivals and conferences as of the fall or whenever the veil clears.
The pandemic, and the state of emergency in Ontario, has shut every venue I work for down – from schools to clubs to conferences. At the moment I am living on my savings and can hold until August.
But there is much to do.
I am creating a history presentation for schools on Black Scientists and Inventors. I am working on an heritage grant to present Black history in Toronto. And, performer that I am, I am looking to do singing and storytelling gigs in the fall/winter.
You are going to see a lot of this artist in my blogs in 2020. I am totally fascinated by Streat’s work, the influence not only of Diego Rivera but also that of the Indigenous peoples of British Columbia on her works.