Month: March 2013

d’bi. tells stories at toronto’s DARE TO WEAR LOVE

rivah mumah dress
Dare to Wear Love is proud to host Jamaican-Canadian dub poet D’bi Young as part of this year’s Gala entertainment.

Known for her groundbreaking dub poetry performances, Young is also an educator, musician and award-winning playwright and actress.

In a word, she is a storyteller. A fierce, passionate storyteller.

Storytelling was integral to Young’s childhood in Jamaica, where she was raised on the tales that her mother and grandmother told her. Her powerful stories focus on themes of gratitude, humility, love and healing and her spirited performances are nothing short of transcendent.

BUY TICKETS to the Dare to Wear Love Gala and show your support for Canadian design and The Stephen Lewis Foundation and its fight to turn the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

d’bi. features on belize national television…

morning show belize

D’.Bi Dubs In Belize
posted (March 15, 2013)
If you’re familiar with the work of Jamaican Reggae artist Mutabaruka, then you’ll know what dub poetry is – basically it’s spoken word usually over reggae rhythms.

That’s what a visiting Jamaican artist specializes in. Her name is D’bi and tomorrow night, she promises to set lyrical fire to the stage at the Bliss Center.

We found out more about here today:

Jules Vasquez Reporting

Her name is D.Bi. She’s a dub poet who has touched stages all over the world – but she’s also a playwright and a storyteller

D.be. Young Anitafrika – Dub Poet
“I tell stories, you know.”

And the stories she tells are about difficult social realities, from child abuse to imperialism:

D.be. Young Anitafrika
“I feel like growing up in Jamaica and having growing up in a working class neighborhood, having gone to other prestigious high school in another part of Jamaica, moving to Canada, and moving around the world, what I’ve realize in all of these environments is that as people, we are people. So, the social issues that we’re facing in Jamaica, the issues around incest, molestation, the issues around not having equal access because of how you are in society, where your position on the class line, or even if I go to Sweden and see people sleeping on the streets who has similar issues around access to resources. The issues that were drawing me in Jamaica were not just about Jamaica, and the ones that were drawing me in Canada were not just about Canada, we’re talking about global realities for all human beings.”

Jules Vasquez
“A critic can say, but, it’s just a poem. You can’t change the world with a poem; you can’t ease human suffering with a poem. Bring some soup.”

D.be. Young Anitafrika
“I completely agree. I completely agree; this is why I agree. I think the story teller’s role is to write the poem, and have the poem reflect the experience. Now once the experience is reflected and the member of the village sees that their experience is being reflected, that then gives them a chance to look at themselves. So yes, the poem alone absolutely is not enough, but it is the genesis, it is the catalyst, it’s the beginning and then we continue to work.”

She wants no less than a revolution:

D.be. Young Anitafrika
“Only, a revolution can end this ya…”

And if you wonder about her style, she is unapologetic:

Jules Vasquez
“Perhaps people seeing this interview will say, ‘Who is she? She has a nose ring; she has natural hair.’ Now if you look like Beyoncé and you had a weave down to your back no one would say anything. So I’m saying, how do you reconcile the stereotype that is often foisted upon black women, who choose to represent themselves in a natural way?”

D.be. Young Anitafrika
“I celebrate, I mean, I’m really thankful for the work that I did before and continue to do, because it’s always work, but you definitely get to a point where you can deal with yourself. And so what usually happens is people see me and they’re like “Oh my God, wow”. And then, we begin to speak, or they watch a poem or performance, then their hearts begin to shift and change. So I’m more concerned about what happens once we start to communicate, you know, than the initial ‘She’s so African, oh my God!’ I am. What I do is I simply talk about our lived experiences in as dramatic, intimate, as loving and challenging away as my body will allow me to do. And usually people have a phenomenal time, usually. So, they must just come and listen to the story, that’s all.”

letter #2 to the little girl/boy/being who dreams of being a supah s/hero/queero…

reflection by wade hudson

the making of a black supah shero comic…

letter #2 to the little girl/boy/being who dreams of being a supah s/hero/queero and will know through her/his/their life that they always were, is and will always be…

dear little girl/boy/being supah s/hero/queero,

when i first began writing SHEMURENGA i wanted her to have supah dupah powers. powers that were out of this world. maybe out of my world. as the writing progressed as a collaborative process with the images ronald was sending me, and as i encountered the realities of my own mortality, SHEMURENGA began to shift as well.

i realized more and more that she wanted to be that part of myself that is a supah shero not because she possesses extra-terrestrial powers but because she possesses human courage.

courage takes you leaps and bounds into what you believe is impossible. courage is about self-knowledge. self-truth. the discipline to uncover the multiple layers of reality in which we live.

shemurenga’s ultimate quest is to fully innerstand who and what she is. this is the supah shero that i am growing into becoming. one who is aware of and grounded in the full extent of becoming.

this personal journey is lifelong. maybe even lifetimes long until the cycle of cyclical existence is broken.

are you up for the adventure…

in love and solidarity
your black supah shero auntie
d’bi.

SHEMURENGA black supah shero
launches march 9. 2013

SHEMURENGA.COM