Embracing the voices of our past and present for our future.
Naima begins with song. Her presence, her bluesy tones, and open palms seals us in the moment as she speaks from her soul. Naima prefers to open this way. Song, she reminds us, allows for all voices have space. It reminds us of singing’s place in our history and roots, where it was born out of simple call and response. The interplay of song, though, the ways it garners trust and support, is not unlike our desires for support and leadership. It’s that support through community, Naima sees as worth strengthening. The same way harmony relies on multiple tones (embracing the dissonant at times), our voices and opinions are fundamental to community. By the end of the 1800s, a majority of the world was colonized by European nations. The violence of uprooted existing culture, engendered constructs of belonging and not belonging, others and the other, the haves and have nots. Today the work is on us, Naima challenges. Today community is tasked with understanding where we’ve been (since the beginning of time) as well as well as what we would like to be. Are you at risk by not looking the right way, speaking the right way, dressing, dancing or loving the right way? Our voices sing for America right now. Do you think it’s in harmony?