Growing Beyond White Approval

Well, I’m going to answer in a way that you might not expect, okay. I’ve grown a lot personally since, since Corona virus and particularly since the black lives matter movement protests and the reckoning that resulted from those protests and as this growth is happening and evolving, I don’t have the opportunity to be on stage right now because of chronic virus. So we’re talking about a year from now when hopefully we are back on stage, I will be celebrating. And as a company, we will be celebrating our blackness. We always do. We always have, but I’ve grown to understand where I was contributing to my own oppression and I’m never going to fully understand it. Okay. But I’ve grown to understand some of it. And, and part of it has been to seek approval from white people, from white audiences, from white venues. And my growth has led me to where I don’t see that anymore. Being black is not only enough. It’s everything, it’s everything I need, everything I would ever want. And I will be celebrating our blackness unapologetically when I get back to that state and in a different way than I have before. Um, and I welcome everybody to come see that celebration. Everyone is welcome to come see and, and celebrate with us. You know, I want the white people to come celebrate our blackness with us. Right. Um, but that’s, that’s going to be very special for me. I’m not sure yet how that will affect the industry. [inaudible]

Well, you know, living unapologetically black is an active resistance anyway, right. Being unapologetically black and being a black person who recognizes their contribution to their own oppression and shaking off those shackles one at a time is an act of what is it revolution. And I would say to be part of the revolution,

Right? And to your point about solutions moving forward, that’s part of the point, right? Is that as part of the solution, I need to come to a reckoning with myself as part of before I can talk about other solutions. So that’s kind of the starting point.

Right, right. Ooh. I love it. Yes, girl, you and me together. We’re going to be even more formidable than we are ready. I think we’ve had, I really enjoyed the information that you have shared. Um, not just the aha the, oh my goodness. Look what happened. But also the insight into, um, being unapologetically black. Is there anything, if you were going to step into my shoes, is there anything that you would have asked you that I did not ask?

I don’t know that I would frame something as a question, but I suppose one thing that I wanted to, Nope, I’m not going to say, well, I’m not think through it, but, um, one of the things that I want to be clear about too, is that our company and going to all of these venues, we are told many times by venues. And just to put things into perspective, we probably been to over 60 venues around the country and the last six, eight years, 10 years, 15 years, the company’s 15 years old. I’ve been part of the company for eight plus years. And one thing that we hear every time, regardless of whether they like us is how efficient and how self-sufficient we are because we’ve, we’ve created such an installation with our company where we arrive. We always arrive a good 15, 30 minutes before loading time.

When we get there, we have a system, we do the chairs ourself, get the, get the equipment, ready, get the lights ready. We have a system to the T when I tell you that, what, and this is not to toot our horn. This is to say that when I tell you that the work that we do is excellent and the energy that we always bring to every venue that we enter is always positive and excellent. And I do that. We do that because we believe in excellence, but there’s a part of me that knows that we were doing that because we didn’t want the white people to have something to say, we didn’t want them to have a power over us to where they were being, having aggressions against us, towards us. We don’t want to give them any reason for that. Just that knowledge is it affects me. You know, that we have to constantly live in reaction because any person observed is always changed by the observer, any situation. That’s just how life is. And that’s been part of learning and my growth over these last couple of months. And it, you know, it’s, it’s had a good result, but it makes me sad. Sometimes that the reason for some of our excellence is because of such a dirty idea. Racism. Yes. Yeah, yeah. You know,

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