Austin's Salon Sit-down...
If you haven't read Shay Youngblood's Diary of a Young Black Girl in Paris, well...you should. Not only is it an exquisite rewriting of U.S. American relationships to the city of romance, it is an incredibly refreshing redefining of home. Well, that was my read on it.
In any case, in the story, there is a moment when Eden finds herself entering a world
"Professor May Day's Sunday sit-downs were famous and sometimes met on Monday.
Take rue St - Jacques past the Sorbonne. Cross boulevard St-Germain and the length of the open market.Walk up the hill past the fish market. When you come to the Greek restaurant on the left, go past it. Turn right into what looks like an alley. Cross teh courtyard, ednter the foyer in the center, and walk up five flights. The apartment on the left is the one you're looking for. Leave your shoes on the Oriental mat. Knock three times and touch the silver mezuzah for good luck. "
And though the author doesn't say it outright - we know that Professor May Day was a queen. And a king. And right on, too.
Professor May Day begins by saying,
"Artists are part of a nation's treasure. America is the richest nation on the planet...Now don't you think they could support they artists. Hell no. There's the crime. I believe it's simple, we talking basic rights here."
And to get the rest, you'll just have to read the book. But I loved his character. And I loved what he was doing. Which was being his self, and asking people to be they selves, too.
So, out of direct inspiration, I have launched Austin's Salon Sit-Down. The first one's going to be in February (February 17th to be exact) and I'm hoping to have wonderful submissions by literary, visual and performance artists of color by January 20th. I want us to create a language together, to discover the beauty of our work and the interconnectedness and power of what we are creating. And I'm so excited to be able to offer this space to do it.
So, yeah. There's a link to the right for the website. Or just go to austinsalon.blogspot.com