Elizabeth Austen presents a piece by poet Anastacia Tolbert, a writer, performance artist and workshop facilitator. She's also a black woman and the mother of two sons.
Her poem "What To Tell My Sons After Trayvon Martin, After Michael Brown, After Medgar Evers, After, After, After, After and Before..." is a fierce assertion that black lives have always mattered.
The poem's litany of "don't" and "do not" throws the heart-rending predicament of parenting in an environment of racial injustice and violence into high relief.
Tolbert's one-woman show "9 Ounces" will debut at The Project Room in July. She wrote, co-directed and co-produced the 2007 documentary "GOTBREAST?" about women's attitudes toward breast and body image. She's an alumna of Hedgebrook, Jack Straw and VONA, and is a Cave Canem Fellow.