who raised you?
Who Raised You? Season One - Live Show
On Thursday, July 12th 6-9pm at UrbArts, Who Raised You? Podcast co-hosts Treasure Shields Redmond and Jia Lian Yang created a one-of-a-kind experience celebrating the guests and poets of Season One. Attendees experienced the energy of our ancestors mixed with our imagination for the future, sprinkled with art, sound, ritual, laughter, and cultural transformation accompanied by ASL interpretation from Angela Hernton and Jimmie Handley.
Beginning with a reflective opening by organizer, creative, and healer Brittíni "Ree Belle" Gray, Treasure's father Eugene B. Redmond shared poetry about East St. Louis, followed by an interview between Jia Lian and Frances Yang about the role of artists in social change. Aysia Berlynn and her band brought good vibes and shifted energy in the room before Dr. Koach Baruch Frazier led us in a chant by Assata Shakur and helped us imagine a future where we have already won the fight for liberation. The first segment closed with a live "cooking show" hosted by poet Joss Barton featuring her grandmother Louise Tucker's quick crust peach cobbler followed by a Q&A about relationships, sex, and gender.
During intermission, DJ Boogieman spun tunes while participants nourished themselves with a BBQ spread by Mama Cat of Potbangerz - Feed the Body Mission and cherry hibiscus tea from teatopia. We came prepared with cash and payment apps to support St. Louis artists of color, buying refreshments from poet and UrbArts founder M.K. Stallings, purchasing signed copies of the debut poetry collection Indecency from poet Justin Philip Reed (now a National Book Award and Lammy Award winner!), supporting YourWords STL founded by poet Anna Ojascastro Guzon, and making donations to support Who Raised You? Listening Collective. De Nichols faciliated an interactive Sticky Notes to Self exhibit with the prompt "Lessons from People Who Raised You" while Kristen Trudo engaged attendees in a "Who Raised You?" photo project capturing portraits and hands (see below).
De brought us back together by sharing notes from her interactive Sticky Notes to Self and crowdsourcing ancestral wisdom, starting with wisdom from her grandmother. A poetry showcase featuring Jason Vasser, Justin Philip Reed, and Anna Guzon gave us a taste of the talent and heart that characterizes St. Louis-based artists. Closing out our time, Brittíni invited us to form a circle of linked hands and to share one word illustrating how this night impacted us. Connected by warmth, energy and resolve, we left deepened and changed.
Photo Credit: Kristen Trudo