JUSTICE FOR GIRLS Black Friday
THE LOOP — “See my body, hear my tongue; Ebony Girl secret, you better run, ” chant the spoken-word poets of this Goodman Youth Poetry Ensemble in unison, closing their overall performance with a bang. The group provides a standing ovation once the four performers confidently exit the phase without lacking a beat.
The Goodman Youth Poetry Ensemble is a poetry slam group consists of teenagers Ariya Hawkins, Tina Calhoun, Aisha June and Joss Green. Lots of the downline joined the team through Goodman Theatre’s PlayBuild Youth Intensive, a program that started in 2007 as a six-week-long summer time curriculum providing you with free expert theater education for Chicago young ones.
Their performance of “Black woman Magic, ” the subject which describes a favorite term that celebrates accomplishments of black colored ladies in the facial skin of discrimination and adversity, led the troupe to start when it comes to finals with this year’s Louder Than A-bomb, an annual childhood poetry slam competition held in Chicago.
Aisha Summer (off left), Tina Calhoun, Joss Green, Ariya Hawkins associated with the Goodman Youth Poetry Ensemble. [DNAinfo/Dong Jin Oh]
It took the band of young poets virtually annually to master their initial work. The topics addressed within the socially conscious piece may be hefty — racism, sexuality, beauty requirements — nevertheless the team’s lively overall performance that features performing and dance creates a strong, lively work.
“It’s an event piece, ” stated Ariya, 17. “It’s a bit that, i assume, demonstrates the power and energy that black ladies have throughout sorts of various outlets.”
To tackle every concept of becoming a black colored female, girls each individually had written private poems on various subjects related to black empowerment before editing and combinin the four narratives into a single cohesive work.
Although the process had been grueling, the wealth of tips and private experiences aided contour the poem into a powerful number of many facets of African- American identity.
“I think we-all originated from yet another position with it, ” stated Calhoun, 18. “We are typical different black colored figures with various narratives and what that means to united states.”
As though to showcase that selection of narrative diversity, the four people in the ensemble are from various neighborhoods, including East Garfield Park, Bronzeville plus south suburban Flossmoor.
Because each component of the poem is “very truthful” and “perfectly thought-out to-be every one of [the members], ” the team was able to produce a socially and racially representative performance that audience could easily hook up to, Calhoun said.
Girls stated they see poetry slams as perfect cars for bringing attention to dilemmas including personal justice and social modification, as well as the Goodman as a great system for operating the discussion forward.
“It’s a really good place to fairly share your stories and then hear other individuals and have all of them hear you simply as loudly, ” said Joss, 17.
The young poets credit their particular creative development to the Goodman Theatre and its particular staff for providing the room and sources to allow them to experiment and produce.
“Life-changing” is a word they often times use in explaining their experience during the Goodman, someplace that has been synonymous with addition and tolerance.
“To have actually this space and contain it be an intersection between poetry and activism, it’s a one-in-a-million thing, ” Calhoun stated. “It’s an extremely outstanding place to be as a youth in Chicago.”
The Goodman Poetry Ensemble will do Friday at the 5th annual Scene Soirée, a fundraising celebration managed because of the Goodman Theatre’s Scenemakers Board that is designed to help programs like PlayBuild to continue promoting training and imagination for Chicago childhood.