Friday, March 21, 2008

liberty city= a havestrength homecoming

i saw april yvette thompson's play on sunday night, the night before my aunt deedee's wake, and it fed my soul.

my great-grandmother largely raised my grandmother and her brother, my uncle george, in liberty city. uncle george and his wife, dee dee, made her house their second home throughout my childhood. it was in my great-grandmother's bathtub, while drying off from a bath, that i asked aunt dee dee to be my second grandmother (because my father's mother passed away soon after i was born). liberty city holds a special place in my heart.

i love seeing/reading/hearing/experiencing expressions of other people's loves for the places i love. i love having that venn diagram moment when you realize that there are things about yourself that you share with others. i took a friend to the play, someone that doesn't know me or my rituals very well yet. afterwards he commented on the way i reacted, audibly, to the references to homemade corned beef hash and hamburger patties with green peppers and onions and cornflakes, wrapped in foil. the way my eyes lit up with recognition when she spoke about a woman's husband taking the boat back and forth to nassau every weekend. the tears in my eyes as she recounted the mcduffie riots, and i imagined my parents, my aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents, and where they must have been during that crazy time.

i called my mother on monday morning to tell her about the play. as i explained what thompson addressed, my mother began asking questions about her name and where she went to school- "did she tell you her mother's name? i bet momma knows her family!" it was a homecoming for her through my telling as much as it was a nostalgic journey for me. my mommy wants to take her mommy to see the play. we're just waiting for it to make the journey to liberty city.

you should see the show if you can. it's playing at the new york theatre workshop. 20 buck tickets for all seats on sundays at 7, cash only.

for more information, check

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