(Career expectations and a funeral song)
This work was performed at the Winter Tea Dance at Performance Space New York. The evening included a solo showcase reading with support by YARDY, an event and production company with Caribbean origins forging meaningful stories through food and art.
I read an excerpt of a letter that I wrote to my late grandmother, Faustina, and sang to her “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers which played at her funeral. The audience was welcome to sit on the stage with me or stand at a distance.
I began the performance by reflecting on the year with unscripted candor. I spoke on a recent family reunion which helped me understand our interpersonal dynamics and where I stand as a mixed race, non-binary, queer in the family. I share genealogical stories and how racism affected my immigrant family, pushing my parents to assimilate into a white U.S. American standard.
I concluded my performance by singing “Ain’t No Sunshine”. My dad told me this was one of the few songs Faustina enjoyed listening to and he offered this song by learning how to play it on the guitar and eventually played it at her funeral.