2017Existing While Black: Part II – The Road to Liberation
November7:30pm - $Donations
Spoken word is an oral art that focuses on the aesthetics of wordplay and intonation and voice inflection. The show will unapologetically dig deep into the realities of navigating through a white supremacist society while existing in a black body. Attendees should expect to be challenged, as they will not be pacified.
Host: Sheneika Smith (she/her) is a native of Asheville, NC. She left the city in the late 90's to pursue higher education and eventually began to work in the mental health field. After being away from Asheville for over 12 years, she felt a calling to journey back. As soon as she re-rooted, she pulled up her sleeves and began working on the "Date My City" initiative, which is dedicated to the inclusion and empowerment of Black Asheville. Sheneika can often be found mentoring and creating space that allows for leaders of color to develop their skills and talents.
Poet: Nicole Townsend (she/her) is a community organizer and poet currently living in Asheville, NC. She was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri and is a proud Missourian. Nicole is unapologetically Black and Queer. Her people are migrants from Mississippi Her people are sharecroppers, homemakers, cooks, factory workers, nurses, military personnel, d-boys, addicts, and dreamers. Her journey into movement work came many years before she attended her first organized action. At the age of 11, her family suffered a tragic loss which pushed her to learn about social justice. During this time, she became extremely close with her older brother Raheem who was incarcerated in a federal prison. He taught her about some of the most powerful Black radicals, who have all helped shaped her political ideology. Nicole is currently wearing many hats as she collectively fights for the liberation of Black folks, of Undocumented folks, of Queer folks, of Trans folks, and of Poor folks. She is affiliated with SONG, Asheville Writers in Schools, Bountiful Cities, CIMA, and the Grassroots Equity Alliance. When she is not putting in work, she likes to snuggle with her beagle Roscoe and her cat Willow.
Musician: LYRIC (she/her) is a singer-songwriter, musician, and music teacher. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina. After going through the motions of college, she soon realized that it wasn’t the path she should be on, so she took to Youtube and taught herself how to play guitar. Lyric began busking with only two songs, an original titled “Stride”, and “Halo” by Beyonce. Since taking to the streets, Lyric has shared the stage with legends such as Amy Ray (Indigo Girls), Mavis Staples, Fred Wesley, Count M’Butu and Warren Haynes; and she just wrapped her first North East Tour with Lizz Wright. She draws inspiration from India Arie, Tracy Chapman, and Lauryn Hill. Which isn’t surprising once one hears the way she gracefully intertwines Soul, R&B, Funk, and even a little Hip-Hop - the best portrayal of this intertwinement can be heard in “You Can Win”, which is on her “Perspective” EP.