When I sang jazz, I focused on telling a story. Eyes closed until I hit that first note and the nerves fell away. Then I was home.
At the end of one Black History Month performance, a woman came up to me and said "how that big sound come out of that little body?"
That was ten plus years ago, but I still smile when I think about it. I stopped performing when I became disabled, afraid of falling in public (which has happened one time too many).
I still tell myself that I'm content to lift the voices of others with KWELI, sharing the lyric in their lines, the power of their songs on the page & stage. But if I'm honest, I have to say that I often think about going back onstage, especially on days like this when I am reminded of the many ways you can tell a story and change a life.
Until then, I’m in 24/7 service to Kweli, my literary baby. I have donated my time for over ten years to help BIPOC writers SING THE TRUTH. Writers like CELESTE MOHAMMED. We published her story, ENDANGERED SPECIES in June 2017.
Her novel-in-stories, PLEASANTVILLE, includes the story we published & will be out in Spring 2021.
Won’t you support our 10 years of lifting up multicultural literary voices on #GivingTuesday?
Photo: Guadalajara International Book Fair, after hours, on a dare