Here is an excerpt of a performance that I did as part of a cabaret hosted by the incomporable Troy Jackson. MC Jazz, Catherine Hernandez and Dainty Box were among the enormous people who graced the stage that night.
It does get cut off so I included the full transcript below.
What does silence look like.
What does remembering taste like.
What does loving feel like.
Like standing on the edge of a precipice, arms wide, eyes shut
Trusting, knowing that fear gives way into the endlessness of possibility.
My journey with my Blackness.
In the presence of a world that thrives on the absence of ourselves and the desire for to sell selves, I learned as girl that I did not exist
I searched in schoolbooks, encyclopedias, films, tv, my teachers eyes
For some sign that I had been there before
That we had been here before
Girls made of other-worldy browns, tightly wound spirals, thick black plaits with Technicolor bubbles in our hair
Girls who smell of islands, sweetness, blinding brightness lingering on us everywhere we pass
Lost and found girls
My mama is 1/4 Venezualan Arawak and ¼ Dutch and half Indo-Trinidadian.
My granny was stolen at 6 by her father and brought to work for her father’s new family in Trinidad.
My Grandpa was 1 in a long line of indentured workers brought to Trinidad to build bridges away from Blackness. Brought after his family watched India ravaged by the British. Brought up in brashness, halfness, neither white nor blackness, remembering a world that once made space for his burnt sienna brown.
My father is Half Scottish White Plantation owner and half West African slave stock, bred in Dominica. My father’s mother did not have the choice, did not have any, many choices, but to have my father,
as my father’s father,
well everyone called him Massa.
Divided and conquered.
And I name it my Blackness because Blackness is the presence of all light, of all colours. And it was my Blackness that I ran from.
It is my Blackness that I run to
It is what surrounds me, what reconciles me, what makes me whole, whole, whole, full, round, full, deep, full, soft, full,