New documentary I directed for W Magazine on Hiplet, created by Chicago’s Multi-Cultural Dance Center founder, Homer Hans Bryant. Hiplet combines classical ballet technique with modern hip-hop style and it has garnered world wide attention. Fans say that it is fresh, fun, giving new life to the old art, but critics have claimed that it is ruining ballet. In an art that has been historically excluding of women of color, I traveled to Chicago to document these young women, exploring what it means to them to be a dancer, to dance Hiplet, and to be a subject to scrutiny. @wmag Produced by @stephanieporto @huhff @consulatenyc shot by @davidraboy edited by @huhff @consulatenyc music by @tfomusic lighting @romek_rasenas very special thank you to @homerhansbryant and @cmdc_school #Hiplet #hipletballerinas #Cmdc #wmag (at Chicago, Illinois)
I’m 17 and Sometimes I have moments when I feel extremely sad and I can’t tell anyone but post on this blog or write it down. Recently I’ve been feeling so emotional about things about myself and the world around me. I recently found a new genre of music called ‘Afro trap’ and it’s made by young Africans living in France. When I watched the music video I just felt so happy seeing black people just having fun. I know for a fact the conditions for black people in France are far from great due to racism/white supremacy. And it just made me tear up because even in the face of white supremacy and brutality black people still manage to pull through. Whether in the UK, Africa, america, Europe etc black people find a way to be happy. For example African Americans are the pioneers of a hip hop culture that has influence millions of people world wide. How and what influenced early hip hop? The brutality and oppression faced by black Americans. They used that hip hop as a way of expression and their fight against white supremacy and ultimately to be happy. I don’t know if this is making sense but (I feel the tears coming) I’m so proud and happy to be black/african because even in the worst times we still out here in this bitch. I’ve never felt ashamed of my blackness or wanted to be white, but I’ve always wanted to throw away the negative stigmas attached to being black so we can just live out lives. While black people are tryna progress some common becky and David are trying to drag us down, the irony. The longer I think about these things the more I see how pathetic this situation is. I look at my skin colour, my family’s skin colour, my friends skin colour and black people skin colour in general and I don’t see it?. I don’t see what has caused 400 years of slavery and brutality, lynchings, mass murder, torture, police brutality, mass incarceration, sexual abuse etc. I see normality in black skin. #FreeAfricaFrom Collonialism #BlackLivesMatter #FreeBlackPeopleAllArounTheWorld. And if your feeling down about racism remember your working against a system (white supremacy) that will bring you down at any time, and you can’t afford to give in.