Ben Rudisin was born in Woodbridge, Virginia and trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts and with Houston Ballet II. Mr. Rudisin joined The National Ballet of Canada as an Apprentice in 2013 and joined the Corps de Ballet in 2014.

Woodbridge, NJ | 2015

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Black Weirdo Of The Week 16: Justin Allen
photo credit Cristobal Guerra

Justin Allen

Northern Virginia. Specifically a suburban town called Woodbridge.

Mini Bio:
I moved from Woodbridge to New York City in 2010 and am currently a senior at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. Outside of school, I recently finished an internship at the Studio Museum in Harlem and am one-third of artist collective BDGRMMR.

What is your craft/career/creative expression?
I’m a writer. I write across genres, though poetry may be my favorite. I have written op-eds and interviewed artists, musicians and activists for AFROPUNK, Saint Heron, CATCH FIRE and The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Studio Blog. My most unique assignment was to write the text for the tags of the AFROPUNK T-shirts sold at last summer’s festival.

As I mentioned, I’m also part of artist collective BDGRMMR (pronounced Bad Grammar) and collaborate with multimedia artist Yulan Grant and sound artist Brandon Owens. We’re best known for our zine of the same name that focuses on the lives and work of queer artists of color. You can find us on Tumblr at bdgrmmr.tumblr.com.

How long have you been working at your craft?

I began filling up spiral notebooks with one-page stories around eight or nine. I continued writing throughout middle school, applied and was accepted to the writing department of a local high school’s fine and performing arts program and am now earning my degree in it.

Why do you consider yourself a Black Weirdo?

Growing up, I had little exposure to other queer people of color, and criticism from peers on my inability to fit their limited notions of sexual and racial identity caused me deep feelings of self-hatred and alienation–feelings that have taken me a long time to overcome. Not until I moved to New York City did I encounter social circles through which I could conceive a confident version of myself. I consider myself a Black Weirdo because of my journey to embrace my intersecting and inseparable queerness and blackness–to love myself for all my beautiful multitudes.

Links/Social Media:
Tumblr: justnalln.tumblr.com
Instagram/Twitter: @justnalln

Upcoming events/projects:
For my senior writing portfolio I’m working on a long poem about the origins of Venus X’s GHE20 G0TH1K parties. The work explores the relationship between URL and IRL within the context of nightlife, specifically how this relationship shapes queer and of color identities.

As for BDGRMMR, we’re collaborating with curatorial platform Q_Raider to layout an exhibition (click here for info) titled KNOW WHO YOU ARE AT EVERY AGE and organized for the Bronx River Art Center. We’re also working on the next issue of the zine that features interviews with artists Nikita Gale, Paul Sepuya, Jennifer Packer and Jacolby Satterwhite.

Woodbridge Center Mall, NJ | 2015

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Assalaamualaikum, I ask to stay anonymous please. Today I had to watch my friend be laid in a casket. Thursday morning she went to school. For some reasons the students wanted to go to the nearby lake to have a picnic that day. Although, my friend did not know that in the middle of the lake awaited death. Ironically as she tripped, fell and slowly sank, nor she or anyone else there could swim. In the end her whole body was filled with water and there was no way of saving her. Everyone cried, and asked why. She was so young and her marriage was next month. As I lay in my bed, wondering how my friends first night in the grave will be. I am overcome with sabr. It is only now that I realize my friend died in the glorious month of dul Hajj. It is only now I remember my friend died while becoming an Aalim. She spent her days studying as a scholar so tomorrow’s generation would not stumble. This girl’s death did not go in vain, because I know Allah (SWT) makes no mistake. May my friend find peace in her grave, as the window of Jannah overflows her with a sweet scent. May she not miss the comfort of her family and friends because her good deeds accompany her until the day she can reunite with us again. May Allah (SWT) give her all the happiness that she could not find in this dunya. Why do I share a common story with you, a story of a loved one dying. Not because of sympathy, it is so we all can agree, Allah’s plans are the best. He has a reason for everything. And may this reason for taking Mariam away from us be not in vain either. JazakAllah and please keep her in your prayers. #DMV #Virginia #Woodbridge

Morning Errands

Woodbridge, New Jersey | 2014



NEW VIDEO: PHZ-Sicks - The Constant (ft. Rob Regal) 

Woodbridge, VA rap artist PHZ-Sicks (pronounced ‘physics’) presents the Raw Footage Cinema-directed music video for “The Constant”, the Best Kept Secret-produced song featuring DMV rapper Rob Regal from The Moment, his critically-acclaimed 2013 album. “‘The Constant’ was written in early 2013 when Stop and Frisk, Sandy Hook and the news story of Henry Louis Gates false arrest for walking into his own home constantly played in my head,” PHZ-Sicks says. “The song became one of my best-known songs once the project dropped and over time took a life of its own when rampant police shootings of unarmed black men constantly occurred. Due to this, I wanted to create a video that showed how power could be misused when given to those that don’t see themselves as part of the community they’ve sworn to protect.” 

Enjoy the new visuals, y’all! Also be sure to like and reblog! 


Good old Southern BBQ.

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