Last Sunday, May 3, 2015, my friends Tim and Raul and I attended the 41st annual In the Heart of the Beast Theatre's MayDay parade in south Minneapolis. This year's theme was "And Still We Rise." It was inspired by Maya Angelou's poem, "Still I Rise," and by the local and national work of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Notes the MayDay 2015 program . . .
We rise so that the legacy of slavery and oppression will not live on anymore. Not in the prison industrial complex or racial profiling or state-sponsored violence or senseless killing or ignorant stereotypes or hateful confusion or soul depression or greedy indifference. This stops NOW.
We rise to heal the dis-ease of racism in all our hearts and the collective heart of the United States of America! We rise with galvanizing fire so that all the pain and sacrifices of our ancestors can be fully vindicated and freedom fully arrives! YES!
We rise so that all can know a free heart when walking in the streets. We rise so all can lay in the shade of the Tree of Life, feeling luscious breezes and warm kisses knowing all are loved to their core. YES!
We rise in affirmation that Black Lives are sacred. And sweet, ingenious, inventive, unfolding, blossoming, courageous, resilient, ancient, soulful, queer, folk, complex, diverse, precious and infinite.
As I've done in previous years attending MayDay, I spent time before the parade in its staging area. That's where the images in this first of two MayDay 2015 posts were taken. Enjoy!
Above: My friend Raul snapped this photo of me talking to a young man (also pictured below) who was dressed as a kangaroo!
Above: A kudu! I must say the guy under this mask was quite impressed that I knew what type of African antelope he was dressed as.
Note the good folks at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre:
Puppetry's power lies in the act of transformation -- of bringing something inanimate to life. This act in itself speaks to our lives, which rise and fall and rise again. As we share this act of building and performing, we find that art brings people together. It creates and expands community.
Above: "Black is Sacred" is the message on this young boy's sign.
Left: With my friends Tim (center) and Raul (right) – Sunday, May 3, 2015.
NEXT: Part II
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• Photo of the Day – May 3, 2015
• Mystics of Wonder, Agents of Change (MayDay 2014 – Part 1)
• A Creative Exploration of the "Spiritual Dialectic of WONDER?!" (MayDay 2014 – Part 2)
• See the World! (MayDay 2013)
• The End of the World as We Know It (2012)
• "Uproar!" on the Streets of South Minneapolis: Part 1 (2010)
• "Uproar!" on the Streets of South Minneapolis: Part 2 (2010)
• Getting Started: MayDay 2009 (Part 1)
• Celebrating Our Common Treasury: MayDay 2009 (Part 2)
• MayDay and a "New Bridge" (2008)
• The Time is Now! (2006)