A recent recipient of the 2020 Jacob's Pillow Award, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence's Come Ye, was inspired by social politics and creative protest of the past that seems oh-so relevant today. This poem is a reflection of that dance, also a reflection of another time.
The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us--the poet--whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free. Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary awareness and demand, the implementation of that freedom.
- Audre Lorde, Poetry Is Not A Luxury
Ian Spencer Bell, poet and dancer, shares a poem on a past performance of Ron Brown's Come Ye in 2018.
Ronald K. Brown/Evidence Performs Come Ye
at Jacob’s Pillow on July 25, 2018
photo by Ayodele Casel
When the projected images ceased—
leather gloves closing the door
to the paddy wagon, Sunday-bested women
and children marching, grainy fists in the air—
and the dancers’ feet, hearts, lungs, and thighs,
insisting on joy from the start, made us
feel love in sorrow and know life
despite hate, well
that’s when we went out for air and to see
the stretched white faces at the dance concert. I mean
at intermission leaning in the shadow
at the Welcome Center with my boyfriend,
looking at the other
gay people, I felt that invisible wall
that Brown and his dancers brought down.