“An evening of rhythm, rhymes, and reparations”
DiDi Delgado, philanthropist, author, advocate, and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Cambridge, is hosting a poetry slam in honor of Black History Month. The virtual event will be a community celebration and commemoration, held on Feb. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. Eight poets will present, and the competition will hold three rounds, with performers being cut until only a final three prevail. They will have the opportunity to win up to $300.
Delgado is also the force behind a project called 40 Acres and a School, “a radical and urgent vision to build a Black Liberation epicenter on the colonized lands of New England – a working farm and a Freedom School.” The poetry slam will help raise funds for this project. In a media release, Delgado expressed what their works means to them.
“Direct reparations means paying the money we owe NOW straight to the people it’s been stolen from. It’s necessary and urgent because we benefit from the violence of white supremacy and racial capitalism every day,” said Delgado. “We are manifesting a vision for our future guided by the ancestral knowledge that true community is the path to freedom. FOR us, BY us, NOW.”
“We have built a movement of folks who practice reparations NOW, regardless of class or personal wealth. Since 2018 we have raised over half a million dollars and over 700 Black MaGes have received cash support for food, housing, health care, and emergency protection. We build collaborations with other reparations initiatives by Black MaGes including: The Black Fairy Godmother, RISE District, Voix Noire and The Snack Sack. Collectively, we disrupt capitalism and reinvent structures oppressing Black MaGes,” said Delgado.
Delgado commented on their own involvement in the arts and the awareness that they hopes the event will raise.
I’m a longtime Boston-area spoken word artist, and it’s always been important to me that art and activism go hand in hand. I’ve been part of Black History Month Poetry Slams for years now. It’s important to me that during this month when everybody has an interest in Black history, I’m investing in Black futures. I love to see Black poets getting paid for their labor and creative gifts to the community,” said Delgado.
Register at this link.
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.