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Monique Liston and Dasha Kelly Hamilton: Virtual #ALT_MKE Lecture and Reading
May 15, 2020 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
This special livestreamed version of Monique Liston’s planned #ALT_MKE plenary talk and a special reading by Dasha Kelly Hamilton was held on Friday, May 15 at 3:30 p.m CDT. We’re so happy to be able to share their wonderful work!
Monique Liston: “Sebayt (Wisdom Instructions): Our Word Work is Sublime”
Sebayt is an ancient Kemetic phrase that means wisdom instructions. Ancestors leave us wisdom instruction in their memories. As we embark on the task of conscious disruption of the status quo through stories, we must look to our past for wisdom concerning our future. As we center stories, we lean on the sebayt of Toni Morrison, one of the greatest storytellers of the last century. Toni Morrison was the first Black woman of any nationality to be awarded the Nobel prize. In her speech she stated, “Word-work is sublime, she thinks, because it is generative; it makes meaning that secures our difference, our human difference – the way in which we are like no other life.” In this conversation, we look at the power and utility of language, especially for those most marginalized through the social construction of the city. If we do not look at our word work with intention and tenacity, we will subject our stories and subsequently our power to continued repression and harm. Here’s to looking at word work as sublime for honesty, vulnerability and transparency that speaks to a future of liberation.
Dasha Kelly Hamilton: “Imagining Forward”
The core of any movement is fueled by will, want and wonder. Will and want are intrinsic to a city’s politics and power systems. In Milwaukee, wonder is tragically deficient, discouraged, even. Without wonder, we are detached from curiosity and our city stays distant from imaginative solutions. Creativity is an authentic process of discovery, and an essential benefit to humans at the mercy of a city’s politics and power structures. Creativity is not about art; it is intrinsic to progress. The invitation to wonder –to consider truths outside of the slanted stories presented — is real “power” to a people.