FREE ‘EM ALL: A Black August/Labor Day Podcast
By Body Ecology Performance Ensemble, NYC
"Because all prisoners are political prisoners."
for Assata Shakur
for us all...
Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/ebonygolden/free-em-all-a-black-august
Black August ended just a few days ago and Labor Day is almost over. But in case you haven’t noticed, we the people of these so-called United States must continue to labor for justice, equality and the liberation of political prisoners world-wide. Our positive thoughts are with Syria, the Middle East and right here in our communities that impacted by political and economic unrest.
The associate artists of Body Ecology Performance Ensemble, based in NYC, have put together a podcast of some popular music along with our poems and ideas as a sonic exploration of the barriers to liberation as well as our ideas for liberation. It is our duty to stand up. It is our duty to speak out. It is our duty to make the change the world needs with whatever tools we have in our communities.
We call this podcast FREE EM ALL because it is time to redefine criminality. It is time to redefine punishment. It is time to free those who have been pawned by the United States project and are essentially causalities of political, economic and social warfare. If the United States government isn’t locked up, the millions of people it has chosen to criminalize and block from ever having full access to citizenship should probably not be locked up either.
Honoring Black August should be a life-long process and a year-around celebration of resistance, love and wellness. This year, Body Ecology felt it best to share our honoring just as people begin to get busy with the fall season, school, and work. Come back to this podcast as a reminder that each day should move you and your community closer to freedom. If our world is to be free, that freedom begins with each of us.
Along with the voices of Body Ecology’s associate artists, expect to hear the familiar words and sounds of Assata Shakur, Blitz the Ambassador, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Fela Kuti, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, Oya Candomble, and Wale. Body Ecology is please to also share a performance of Rhinoceros Woman from Assata Shakur’s acclaimed autobiography, “Assata.” Please enjoy our offering.
Conceived in 2009, Body Ecology Performance Ensemble works for the collective liberation, wellness and creative empowerment of black women and girls globally through performance art, educational experiences and cultural arts direct action campaigns. Body Ecology’s current campaign, RingShout for Reproductive Justice (#rs4rj) utilizes the cultural and spiritual practice of the ring shout, a method of praise in worship in the African tradition, to raise awareness, create solutions and broaden the conversation about reproductive health to include creative freedom and expression. The motto of the campaign is “our bodies and our creations are our own”.
Current Body Ecologists include: Jasmine Coles, Katrina De Wees, Audrey Hailes, Sydette Harry, Ebony Noelle Golden (Artistic Director), Heather Lee, Taja Lindley, Kelly Thomas (Assistant Artistic Director) and Jessica Valoris. For more information visit www.bettysdaughterarts.com
Our next public art performance will happen on the streets of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, NY. The performance of RED TIDE RISING is the second theatre piece in our current campaign. The performance will be on September 27 at 6 pm. It is free! Look for information on our facebook page
or at www.bettysdaughterarts.com.