blm on bhm: patrisse cullors, angela davis & yara shahidi

February 28, 2019

On Sunday evening, author and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors held a very special event at the Public Theater in New York City. A Black History Month gift to those in attendance, she was joined by guests, Ms. Angela Davis and Yara Shahidi. 

Cullors partnered with Public Theater’s Public Forum to perform POWER: From the Mouths of the Occupied, a piece she developed as an Artist-in-Residence at Kalamazoo College in 2015 after the murder of Mike Brown. The concept behind this work is to give light to Black survivors. While media focuses on death, where does this leave the living? Cullors did the work to make sure they are not forgotten, bringing to the stage the violence that the state inflicts on Black people. During her performance last Sunday, she was joined by performers Thandiwe Abdullah, Marcel Baugh, and Donnay Edmund. This is the fifth city that this production has been performed in. 

The beautiful performance was followed by an intergenerational conversation between Patrisse Cullors, activist and legend Angela Davis, and actress and activist Yara Shahidi (Grownish). 

Power: From the Mouths of the Occupied is a performance that honors the reality of state violence by giving those most vulnerable the opportunity to be present for their experiences. Thandiwe, Donnay, and Marcel each share a story from a different part of the country but their pain and resilience are the same,” said Patrisse Cullors. “The conversations with Yara, Angela and I will go down in history books as it offered a very human glance at three Black women grappling with living under this current administration and highlighting the role of Black peoples call for resistance.”