It’s 11:44pm on February 1st, 2013 which means that today is the first day of Black History Month.
This Black Girl lives Black History every day but it’s still nice to have this month set aside. So I am going to try to post something every day.
Today I will discuss the NAACP Image Awards. I missed the beginning but I was transfixed as soon as I came home from work. I came in just in time to see Diahann Carol present Kerry Washington with the President’s Award. Can you say chills?! I truly respect and admire Kerry Washington professionally and personally. She has mastered the art of being professionally beyond reproach while being a vocal advocate for the causes she believes in. And her work for Americans for the Arts *_* Im just so impressed by her eloquence. Her speech was poised and on point (as usual) and I didn’t think anything could top her.
And then, THEN, they had Sidney Poitier introduce Harry Belafonte!!
(Now let me stop and remind or let you know rather that I have a bachelor’s of fine arts in professional theatre from a HBCU (the best one in my unbiased opinion) and I am a theatre geek. I will tell you more about this in another post)
Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte on the same stage at the same damn time! I respect these men for their artistry but I am humbled to walk in their footsteps as an artist committed to action. Somewhere along the way artists forgot about their responsibility to their communities and thought they could just act. Nawl buddy! You stand on too many shoulders to get on top and get lazy. Harry got that. Kerry gets that. And at the end of the awards Jamie Foxx got emotional because he was getting it.
So we wake up and make our way to breakfast. Duck bought a Groupon for a restaurant called “Back Alley Waffles”. We took a bus and a train and found the spot that was indeed on a back alley. It had exactly 4 items on the menu: Waffles, chai latte, smoothie and coffee. That’s it. But it was a great waffle with fresh churned butter and real maple syrup. We ate and then we made our way to the Supreme Court. The other participants were already out there. The Fast and Vigil is sponsored by the Abolitionist Action Committee which is a collection of organizations that are fighting to abolish the death penalty in America. They were about to have the opening ceremony in the HOT HEAT and though my skin was sizzling like bacon in a frying pan I learned a lot. Then we went and did touristy things like going to the Smithsonian of American history. My favorite exhibit was on Thomas Jefferson and the Hemings family. I am fascinated by the relationship between Sally Hemings and Jefferson and what it means for their ancestors and our history. Melissa Harris-Perry, professor at Tulane, political aficionado, author, mom and one of my she-ros, teaches a class on First Ladies and include Hemings among them. That is so powerful! And I wish I could take that class. Anywho, I also got chills when I saw the Inaugural gowns of the First Ladies and got to the end and saw Michelle’s fierce dress there. Got chills just thinking about it.
We left there and met one of my Twitter friends for Happy Hour. I had never really met anyone of Twitter before but she is always really nice yet snarky and really intelligent. We had a great time as she brought her friend and the four of us talked about everything from politics to television. Duck had to be back at the Supreme Court so we made our way but on the metro I realize that I lost my phone. She calls the restaurant and they had it so she continues on and I make my way back. I try to walk to the Supreme Court from there but it was really hot. Along the way I see a woman with a “Got Drama?” shirt on and the front says DC Black Theatre Festival. She was also with a man and I knew he was an actor but I couldnt place his face. So I walk up and say “Hello My name is_____ I have a degree in theatre from NC A&T and if you need any volunteers I would be happy to help.” She says yes we need volunteers and invites me to an event they were having that night where she would connect me with the volunteer coordinator. I was so excited!
Once I get to the event I end up making fast friends with a guy named Viktor. Great energy, dressed to kill. He told me that he’s a visual artist but his heart was pulling him to theatre. We talked and talked and it was just good conversation. the one act plays started and Lawd Ham Ercee!!!! Some of it was just BAD! But I commend the playwrights for getting their work from page to stage. My linesister met me there and we decided to go to U Street for dinner (thats where all the fine brothers were the night before ;-)) We choose to eat at Alero’s, a Mexican restaurant. Mind you, it was 10:30 at night and it was still 100 degrees! The wait to eat inside was 40 minutes and we were both hungry and couldnt wait that long so we get a table outside. We order our food and margaritas, munch on chips and catch up. Our food and drinks come and my LS was still telling me her story. I ate one taco and just as she took a break to get into her enchilada I look at the street and things start looking really ominous. The sky was dark but it had a pink haze and the wind was blowing the trees so hard. I dont know what it was but something in me told me to grab my stuff and run inside! She had seen enough movies that she followed suite. In fact everyone that was eating outside except for one table ran inside. (They had heels on and were too cute to run…:-/) When I was sitting there I had kicked my shoes off so I had to go back out and get them. When we went back out to the table my LS’s margarita was in her plate and our food was covered in debris. She hadnt even taken one bite. She was tight and hungry! We made our way to the lobby to figure out our next move and the sky opened up. In minutes people were running in looking like they had just gotten out the pool. It was crazy and a little frightening. We waited about 20 minutes before we braved the lightning, rain and wind to get to her car.
Keep in mind that Duck and I are separate as she was eating with a friend also. Luckily I find her even though she refused to pick up her phone. Come to find out she ran out the restaurant just as it started pouring to find her friend, got soaking wet and messed up her phone. Her friend slowly drives us back to where we were staying and we are amazed by all the trees that are down, the police sirens everywhere and the lack of power. I was praying that we had power but of course we didnt. We showered by candlelight, which is not as romantic as it seems, and laid down. It was still so hot but we were so tired that it didnt even matter. We just went to sleep and hoped the power would be back on tomorrow.