Chicago as a Galaxy

Probably the most important thing I heard this weekend during the Black Collectivities Conference (which at times was overwhelming in the way that the academy is):

“Like a galaxy giving birth to stars, that’s what Chicago is to black people” – Cauleen Smith, experimental filmmaker, afrofuturist

Whenever I tell folks from my past that I live in Chicago now, there is almost an immediate reference to the city’s problem with violence. I’m not naive; but I know that I’ve had some of the most healthful encounters and relationships with black people since I’ve been here. I also know that my artistry has grown exponentially in the past several months. So as a black woman exploring herself as an artist in a city with black population often denigrated by the media, Cauleen’s statement was perfectly timed and thoroughly felt.

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