Detroit Performs

S11 E3 | CLIP

Scheherazade Washington Parrish

Scheherazade Washington Parrish executes a stunning silent performance on what makes a black woman safe in today’s society.

Episode 1103/Segment 3

AIRED: October 20, 2021 | 0:07:10

- The definitive list of everything

that will keep you safe as a black woman,

as a black being in America.

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- We're back from a thought-provoking,

stimulating performance by Scheherazade Washington Parrish.

And we're here with Scheherazade, hi, Scheherazade.

- Hi, Satori.

- Oh, as a black woman, as a black being,

your piece startled me back into knowing

that the threat is ever present and random.

Can you speak to how, just speak to that if you don't mind.

- That is how, as a black woman, I navigate by,

that is how I feel black women,

black children, black beings navigate life.

There's always this hope that there is a protection,

or a safety inherent in laws, or policies,

that sound like they are all encompassing,

and then there are events, current events,

that the reality of the life that we live in,

that show you that that's not at all the case.

And it is my intention to highlight that.

Sadly, there are no things that keep us safe.

- So, where do we find safety then?

- I am still in search of this safety,

which is very different than protection,

which is very different than seclusion.

The feeling of no fear,

the feeling of being able to navigate without worry,

without the checklist that we go through

before we leave our house.

That is what I am ever in search of.

- When we talk about not having words, you didn't need them.

I mean, it was in very subtle expression,

but powerful, filled up the whole theater.

What would you want,

an audience that doesn't understand that threat?

- It is always my intention that

the listeners, the audience to that particular piece,

walk away with exactly what it is, and then question that.

Why is there no safety?

It is absolutely for black people.

I see you, I relate to you, this is our story.

I am going to tell our story for us.

It is also for non-black people.

This is our story, what is the responsibility

of the non-black listener to this poem?

I hope they are stirred to some sort of action.

If it's only correcting family at dinner tables,

when families are prone to get into those discussions.

- Scheherazade Washington Parrish.

- Thank you, thank you.


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