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The Sessions

Come Celebrate With Me That Every Day Something Has Tried to Kill Me and Has Failed (Session One)

June 26 - July 10

To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time. 

-James Baldwin

 

Session One is named for Lucille Clifton's timeless and salient poem "won't you celebrate with me." Revolutionary daughters begin by examining literary gifts of the 1800s and are carried on through to the present, meeting the injustices (how small a word) suffered by Black people in general and Black women in particular all along the way. Perhaps they will need to arm themselves for the violence they'll encounter in the texts, photographs, song, and film, or perhaps it will feel all too familiar. However they come—prepared for heartbreak or not, they will apply it to the production of spoken, written, and digital expressions that illustrate the ideas and emotions earned. The following creations will guide that process.

 

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Harriet Ann Jacobs

 

Conversations with James Baldwin

James Baldwin

 

Captivity

Toi Derricotte 

 

Without Sanctuary 

James Allen and John Lewis

 

"Strange Fruit"

Billie Holiday

 

Lemonade

Beyoncé

 

 

My Name Ain't November; This Ain't Thanksgiving (Session Two)

July 17 - July 31

I swear, lovin' you like fallin' into a hole in the ground. I done come up missin' in my own mirror. 

-Katori Hall

 

Session Two, named for lyrics in The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Can I Get Witcha", examines Black love and its inverse, Black fear. Revolutionary daughters trace the powers through literary texts spanning from the early 1900s to the early 2000s. They challenge themselves to name them, their devices, their examples, and, ultimately, to connect them to their own burgeoning lives. Daughters produce spoken, written, and digital products that illustrate their application of ideas and emotions earned. The following transformational texts guide the process.        

 

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston

 

All About Love

bell hooks

 

Hoodoo Love

Katori Hall

 

"A Pleasing Woman" 

Malene Kai Bell

Like Diamond Chips Flung by Some Profligate Hand (Session Three)

August 7 - August 21

...in this white-man world you got to take yuh mouth and make a gun.

-Paule Marshall

 

A third of the way down page 237 of Brown Girl, Brownstones, Paule Marshall describes a city sky with the words diamonds, flung, and profligate (or recklessly wasteful—Queen Paule Marshall’s vocabulary ain’t to be messed with!). Session Three pays homage to the haphazard scattering of African people during the diaspora, and in addition to celebrating Haitian, Barbadian, and African-American writers, honors a Palestinian voice. It remembers that the Palestinian struggle is the Black struggle and in solidarity, reaches across continents to span decades and generations. Revolutionary daughters will be gifted with the perspective and guidance of the author of A Curious Land, Susan Muaddi Darraj, who will facilitate the rare art study and support their formulation of spoken, written and digital products. The ideas and emotions earned promise to be inspired by the session's complete list of transformational readings:

 

A Curious Land: Stories from Home

Susan Muaddi Darraj

 

Breath, Eyes, Memory

Edwidge Dandicat

 

Brown Girl, Brownstones

Paule Marshall

 

"Men Be Either Or, But Never Enough"

Andria Nacina Cole

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