Artists Claire Jones, Kareena Rivera, Davy Andrek, and Amaranthia Sepia collaborated to create a spoken word poem performance that highlights the traumas Black people experience at the hands of racism in the United States.
Claire Jones (the narrator) speaks over images of enslaved people’s homes and the “Door of no Return” on Gorgee Island, Dakar, Senegal, 1998.

The audience gets a sense of the sad reality that the poem written in the 1990 sstill rings true in 2021. Jones’ curling voice speaks about the pain of living while Black in the United Statesall of the fear, anxiety and exhaustion that comes with trying to survive every day while being Black, and how that pain is only amplified as a Black immigrant.

The Photos that steadily roll while Jones speaks are in black-and-white, and almost feel as though they were parts of a very distant past.

The realization that the pain brought by slavery still affects the Black experience today is both jarring and gut-wrenching.

The second half of the performance is equally as enrapturing as the first. Musician Davy Andrek and dancer Kareena Rivera explore how to embody the tumultuous emotions of the spoken essay into music and dance. The steady drumbeat alongside Rivera’s erratic movements helps the viewers see and feel Jones’ own internal conflict about being a Black woman in the United States. It’s empowering, it’s emotional, and it’s brutally honest to Jones’ experience navigating her identity in a world that does not treat her as an equal.

Caribbean Black” is an excellent addition to the “Discovering a Place for Us” collection. All people can enjoy this piece regardless of hearing or visual impairments, and there are elements to love in every single moment of this experiential masterpiece.


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