Radical means many things to me. It can mean new, it can mean innovative, but it also means moving away from what is the norm. It is a radical idea that we could look at mothers as doing radical work. In 2010, Amoke Kubat founded Yo Mama’s House, a cooperative for women who are artists, mothers, activists, and healers that emphasizes the Mother Wit rooted in the culture and lived experience within the rich multicultural community of North Minneapolis.…
Artist-in-residence Amoke Kubat and artist Jennifer Johnson will present their original play, “ANGRY BLACK WOMAN and Well-Intentioned White Girl,” with a public conversation and group art activity to follow. The reading is part of a larger project taking place during February and March, when Amoke will curate a series of movie screenings and a pop-up exhibition featuring Northside artists. Entitled, Yo Mama’s House Northside Black History Month Pop-Up Museum, the exhibition and its related activities invite visitors to experience Northside Minneapolis’ own Afrofuturism—reimagining a future through the lens of the African diaspora.
ABOUT THE PLAY (Words from Amoke Kubat)
“What BLACK WOMAN AIN’T ANGRY? We live in America! We live in Minnesota—the NICEST RACIST Place on the planet! We are overworked, underpaid, and under-resourced. We take care of everything and everybody; the living, the dying, the crazies, the hopeless … at home, at work, in relationships. All around the world some black woman is bending and stretching to make it work for everybody else.” —ANGRY BLACK WOMAN
“Sometimes, I feel this deep sadness. I don’t know why. I feel naive and stupid and NOT wanting to be white because, I mean ME, gets lost in all this WHITENESS. I hear White Supremacy. White Christian Superiority. White Patriarchy. I wonder how I fit into all of this. What part do I play to keep the status quo and keep all of this in place? How does what I DON’T SAY or DO matters?” —Well Intentioned White Girl/Ghost of Wonder Bread Good Old Days
“You certainly sent me on a path of raw awareness”! — A white woman who attended a public reading of “ABW&WIWG”
“Minnesota Nice is White People’s illusion of not being racist” — A black woman who attended the performance.
This is what happened … two friends who hadn’t seen each other in a long minute had this exchange. One said, “I am so tired of being called ANGRY when I’m not. My frustration, annoyance, boredom, not giving any more @%#!s are all perceived as ANGER. I have many other emotions! I am so tired of being called an ANGRY BLACK WOMAN!”
The other friend, who had listened intently, replied, “Like the well-intentioned white girl?” The recognition of the intersectionality of shared dehumanizing and hurtful stereotypes stunned both women into silence. And that set into motion the exploration for understanding and dismantling the Angry Black Woman and Well-Intentioned White Girl stereotypes. RIP. Radical in Possibilities!
This play, “ANGRY BLACK WOMAN and Well-Intentioned White Girl,” “GOES THERE!” by expressing the daily “unsaids” between black and white women. The accusations and silences reflect our miseducation about each other—the superficial and deep conflicts around our womanhood, ethnicities, rights, power, and constant juxtaposition of roles within the politics of white male patriarchy. ANGRY BLACK WOMAN and Well-Intentioned White Girl goes deep into those hidden, dehumanizing narratives, through storytelling and audience participation.
“ANGRY BLACK WOMAN and Well-Intentioned White Girl” began as a public reading at Intermedia Arts in 2015, where it returned in 2016 for two sold out performances. In 2017, a number of public readings—with post-play facilitated discussions and art making activities—took place across Minnesota, from the Water Bar & Public Studio and North High Community Theater in Minneapolis, to readings in Cambridge, Cloquet, Duluth, Grand Rapids, Rochester, Sandstone, and St. Cloud. Amoke is currently preparing to bring the full performance to St. Cloud, Minnesota and Atlanta, Georgia, in 2020.
Co-presented by the WAM Collective with support from Student Service Fees.
Image: A scene from Amoke’s November 2019 Yo Mama’s House pop-up at WAM. Photograph by Boris Oicherman.