Why Black Love?

 

This season Ni Ife which in Yoruba translates to “in Love”, is a declaration of Black love. It is a declaration that all things we at FRESHH will do and produce, will be done in love, for the love of Black women and girls, and as a celebration of Black love as a strategy for revolution. This is a love letter and lesson to all of us. Everyone is invited to the table. All black women and our allies. This love must be as inclusive as possible. It must include every member of the movement not regardless of gender identity, religion, or sexual orientation, age, class, or education; but, because of those parts of your identity. We beg you to bring all those parts of yourself to be loved by us. Because this work must be excited at the agitating work of a building the most diverse representations of our love, not merely a passive acceptance of our differences.   From here and only here,  we can begin to dive into developing more accomplices across and at the tables.

 

The decision to produce a season dedicated to black love was as much a  political decision as it was artistic. Eager to produce and promote the complexity and beauty of Black love on stage drove the decisions around choosing the works and artists to work with. But it was also made to make the world uncomfortable enough to confront the taboos that surround Black love and work to dismantle the threats to Black love. This love is a bountiful resource for the community towards healing, support, and tools to reassure our divine excellence and our progress.

 

This season’s works and conversations must teach love as a strategy; not merely romanticize the success of love done well. This decision to center our work on love was a call to action to our artists, audience, community, and funders to be intentional in the celebration of black life. Black women have been both conduits and carriers of this spirited Black love and through this season they will be the protagonist in the telling of these experiences. The works are all answering questions around familial love, sexual intimacy, friendship, and spiritual love.  This season is an altar call to us, saying “Sister, mama, baby girl, or simply you…I love you…and always will”.