108: Nikky Finney on using art for change
Poet Nikky Finney draws on stories from the past to challenge artists to continue their efforts. "These times that we live in are essential for artists to be doing what they are doing and to be doing it times ten."
I feel like I'm a poet of my time.
It's important to remember the stories that help make me who I am.
I'm reminded of stories of who I call the prophets of my day.
People like Elizabeth Catlett and Romare Bearden
and Nina Simone and James Baldwin.
Those artists and those moments are crystallized
in so many of our lives and in our hearts.
"And there are more new ones of us born every day ...
Slavish to things we cannot do without."
And so now I take those lessons learned
from that time and bring them forward.
Get your pen out, get your palette out,
get your microphone out, and get to work.
"Slaves, he said of them all,
as he sat before their limited eyes."
These times that we live in are essential for artists
to be doing what they are doing, and to be doing it times ten.
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108: Nikky Finney on using art for changeJuly 22, 2019