Dear Philomena Tour Diaries: Sankofest – Sounds of Liberation

There are four places across the world that I feel at home in:
1) Airports
2) Libraries
3) Churches
4) Hospitals

My life thus far has consisted of a lot of traveling due to:
1) My father’s work
2) My father’s death
3) My education
4) My health
5) My Global South citizenship
6) My privilege and access to travel
7) Too many loved ones spread across the world

I’ve never lived in any city longer than 5 years. I’ve never lived in any country for longer than 6 years. I associate home with people more than place. However, the constants I’ve had in life, regardless of place are:
1) Airports
2) Libraries
3) Churches
4) Hospitals

Airports.
“I’m just a traveling man with no traveling shoes
And I’ve been riding around and writing all these blues
And I don’t know what to do, it turned into a long, long song
Yeah I said a traveling man with no traveling shoes
Rolling around through a city where the pain is brand new
I don’t know what to do, it turned into a long, long song
Yeah, and I’m going to play it till if fades

Airports.
Boarding pass – Check
Passport – Check
Bags – Check
Wallet – Check
Phone – Check
Keys – Check
Security – Check
Navigate my way to the gate – Check
Sit down and wait – Check
Don’t blast music so loud you miss your boarding call like that one time – check
Board my flight – Check
Take off – Check
[Optional: Enter an insightful conversation with college Professor seated next to me about Dirk Gently, writing, Dear Philomena, racism, and cults – Check]
[Optional: Contemplate starting a cult in honour of my Lord and Saviour, Asahd Khaled – Check]

My Lord and Saviour Asahd Khaled

Land – Check
Get off the plane and navigate my way to Ground Transportation – Check
Say bye to my new friend – Check
Hop in a taxi – Check
Arrive at my destination – Check

Welcomed to Halifax, (my first Canadian province out of Ontario and my first tour date out of Ontario!) by my wonderful host Mariyamu, I settled into the Maritimes and it’s beauty. Pics or it didn’t happen so here y’all go:

Views From Halifax

In Halifax, I was invited to share poetry at Sankofest – Sounds of Liberation by the Black Lives Matter – Halifax Reading Group. Excerpt below:

I told someone once that I hated being black sometimes.
They replied with ‘Sorry’.
White Privilege.

6 years ago, I woke up to a drawing of a black man being hung and five white men watching. The drawing was on my door in a college dormitory. I slept at a friend’s place that night. A friend with brown skin. I was afraid for my life in my own home. Can a state of fear really ever be called home? Will I ever be at home in this brown skin?

3 years ago a random man on the street yelled at me “Go back to Africa you fucking Nigger!” My white friends either did not notice or told me to ignore it. White Privilege.

Brown skin, you know I love my brown skin, in the midst of racial injustices, somehow I still love my brown skin.

Afterwards, Kirsten Olivia shared her powerful music which blew me away accompanied by Nic Jaggery. After the show, an audience member walked up to me, thanked me for sharing, bought a book and discussed the Black Lives Matter reading group with me. She is a white woman and said her white friends did not understand how she could put herself through the reading group. They did not understand how she could read and discuss texts that featured so much black pain. She replied with : “What about the black people who have to live it?”

Much love, appreciation and thanks to Jade Byard Peek, Shaya Ishaq and the amazing team at The Khyber Centre For The Arts for hosting me and who did an absolutely incredible job of creating such a diverse, genuine space for the evening. Massive big-ups, praise and props to the incredibly talented Kirsten Olivia who played an incredible set that evening that made me glad I went first 😊 Support her, check out and buy her music here:
https://kirstenoliviamusic.bandcamp.com/
Much love, appreciation and recognition to my wonderful host and the homie from time Mariyamu! Next tour date write-up is for Prose & Cons @The Blue Apple on August 18th 2017!

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