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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Disruptions, a #BlackLivesMatter Spoken Word Event and Panel Discussion at Red Poppy

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge RED POPPY ART HOUSE
  • Red Poppy Art House

For months now, we’ve heard the call from protestors urging America to recognize that #BlackLivesMatter — and #BrownLivesMatter, and #TransLivesMatter. A movement that looked to be sputtering out in late winter has lately seen renewed vigor, with protests against police violence breaking out across San Francisco and Oakland just this week.

However, even engaged, politically active people can quickly run into a wall when it comes time to sharing stories and discussing what’s next. (A room full of white liberal men agreeing that police brutality is a problem does pose some limitations, shall we say.)

In that vein, the Red Poppy Art House presents disruptions, a two-part program designed to bring the Bay’s various communities together in one room. Part of a year-long series of activist-led performances, exhibits and discussions surrounding the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it’s a free event that includes a spoken word performance component and a moderated panel discussion featuring journalist and media futurist Kwan Booth and writer-editor Dorothy R. Santos.

Red Poppy’s Mark Sabb, one of the co-curators and the third member of the panel, explained the event’s purpose to SF Weekly succinctly.

“It really focuses on not only #BlackLivesMatter, but #BrownLivesMatter,” Sabb said. “Also people who are Asian, white, the gay community — how do we all recognize that all of our lives matter, and how do we support each other? How does a white gay man approach talking to a black person about this subject, which is obviously really sensitive?”

It isn’t easy. The entire internet is strewn with examples of how not to engage people in dialogue across different communities, and doubtless, some of it scares people into passivity out of reluctance to offend. But the labor of dismantling of racism does not fall on black bodies alone, nor the end of transphobia on those with non-standard gender identities, Red Poppy is doing good work. It’s time to break down some walls, together.

Disruptions — MultiMedia + Spoken Word Open, Thursday, April 30, 6-10 p.m., at the Red Poppy Art House, 2698 Folsom, 650-731-5383.
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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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