This post is part of an ongoing #BlackFuturesMonth18 series in February with the Black Lives Matter Network, exclusively shared on Blavity, that aims to explore what the Black feminist future can and should look like for all of us.
This week we have a pair of artists that come from within our very own Black Lives Matter Global Network! They are both core members of their local chapters, and we are thrilled to present Syrus Marcus Ware from BLM Toronto and Funmilola Fagbamila from BLM LA! Syrus is a Vanier Scholar, a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. Funmilola Fagbamila is a Nigerian American scholar, activist, playwright and artist. Funmilola's artistry is multifaceted, and includes spoken word and hip-hop.
Check out the text of Funmilola's poem, "Black Girl Fly" below, and watch the video to witness Syrus' incredible art, and to experience their collaboration envisioning a Black Feminist Future.
"Black Girl Fly"
Poem by Funmilola Fagbamila
Artwork by Syrus Marcus Ware
Imagine little black girl maybe 9 maybe 10
She solemly swears to herself she will win
She will write her thoughts
She will read them loud
She will speak her mind
She’ll be black and proud
She gonna light up the world with a futuristic vision
About what our world would look like if we fought for abolition
Of the systems that are founded on a mass superstition
That demand that our minds and bodies are imprisoned
Yes – she gonna do all that
But in order to do that she has to dodge the things that hold her back
Like assumptions made about who she is
And what she should do and how she should live
Like be a good girl, and don’t make no noise
And go play wit barbies and these pink ass toys
And your strength is not match for the strength of the boys
And she knows that ignorance given power destroys
But she won’t be held back
No she won’t do that
Yes she will push through
That’s what black girls do
And she has no limit
She exceeds the sky
She is strength and power
That you can’t deny
She will challenge authority
No she won’t comply
She will change the world
Yes she will go high
And I’ll be shading my eyes as I look in the sky
What I see in the clouds? – that young black girl fly.