This emergency episode was made quickly during a time of uprising following the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless other African Americans by police.
Poets, educators, and friends Chet’la Sebree and Margaret Rhee worked with me on two Fake News Poetry workshops on race and the media. The first was in May 2018, with poets of color in Brooklyn; the second, in November at the home of Claudia Rankine and John Lucas, where we translated some of the poems written in Brooklyn into video-poems.
Now, in a new moment of insurrection and distance, they reflect upon poetry, media, race, safety, and beauty. Each shares a poem. Then they speak together. “How do we render humanity?” Chet’la asks Margaret. By co-articulating, gently and powerfully, the relations between place, politics, poetry, and power.
In so doing, my colleagues also enact the #100th, and final, HardTruth from my online primmer, a call to poetry: “speak and spell, teach and tell, count and swell.” These simple rhymes set forth the hard ideas and warm feelings that unroll here, spoken with intimacy and care by two women of color poets and teachers. Speak and spell about love. Teach and tell about friendship. Count and swell our writing and conversation in a time of continuing distance and proximity, all in honor of a very simple truth: Black Lives Matter.
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YouTube: 100 Hard Truths
See the original hardtruth:
See the poetic response to hardtruth #100:
Where are my perspectives?
See hardtruth #44:
#44, black lives matter
To see a poetic response to hardtruth #44:
Black Lives Matter