Proceed masked; celebrate from time to time

 

Won’t You Celebrate With Me

Lucille Clifton, 1936-2010, (African) American

 

Still photos taken from Daily Mask, 1997-2004, 16mm film transferred to video.

Maren Hassinger,  (African) American born 1947.  Running at the Baltimore Art Museum in 2019.

 

 

Role models and opportunities of many kinds have increased for African American women – the transgendered remain in peril – in the United States in the last forty years. 

 

Nevertheless, I don’t think that any black woman would proceed into her North American life today, as before, except thoroughly masked. 

 

I sometimes go out in an Afghani burqa. Absurdly relishing the contradictory freedom.  

 

 

 

 

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won’t you celebrate with me 

 

 

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what i have shaped into

a kind of life? i had no model.

 

 

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born in babylon

both nonwhite and woman

 

 

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what did i see to be except myself?

 

 

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i made it up

 

here on this bridge between

 

 

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starshine and clay,

 

 

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my one hand holding tight

 

 

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               my one hand; 

 

 

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                                                                                                                                     come celebrate

 

with me that everyday

 

 

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something has tried to kill me

 

 

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and has failed

 

 

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