November 17, 2015

Category: Art

Holding Hands With Carrie Mae Weems


This past Sunday at about this exact hour, this happened at The National Museum for Women in the Arts at their #FreshTalk4Change Sunday supper:

I had the last question of the night. By now all the platters of grilled salmon were bare and everyone was munching on their dessert cookies. I had the last question of the night and I wanted to ask Carrie Mae Weems if her radicalism, her ‪#‎BlackGirlMagic‬ if you will, lies in her ability as an activist who uses art to create change or is it her power as an artist who uses resistive politics as a lens to empower. I asked nervously and saw that CMW was sitting sipping wine. I approached her to give her the mic and she said, “Oh that’s a good question.” She asked me to repeat the question louder. The staff at the museum guided me to the center of the room. I turned around and Ms. Weems was right behind me smiling. I asked the last question of the night and gave her the mic. She smiled and took my hand and told me that she considers herself an artist first and how she’s committed to social change, but that she knows too many amazing and committed activists to label herself an activist. I grasp her thumb and hold it tight like a nuzzling baby. I damn near pass out. Between the wine I had consumed and the fantastic air space I was sharing I was HIGH! I know she must’ve felt my hands shaking. I felt like I was on a call with a favorite auntie. I was so nervous, totally in awe, but, oddly, comfortable as heck, so I grabbed the mic and asked her a follow-up question. She laughed and said, “Oooh we’re in dialogue now. I like this.” We’re still holding hands. I’m HIGH. She’s still smiling and still spitting crazy ballistics. One of the best moments EVER! 

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