Black Manifesto, the 10 Commandments: Black Women Speak Out, is a 10-part podcast series hosted by nora chipaumire and Pawlet Brookes. Black Manifesto brings together voices of Black women from around the world as a collective conversation, making the invisible visible, and addressing how we work to reshape a new world in which Black women are seen and heard, and a resource for inspiring creativity, learning, and unlearning. Each guest will discuss one commandment from nora’s Black Manifesto, offering their interpretations and insights.
1) THINK, darn it!
with nora chipaumire
THINK, DARN IT. This series will bring together Black women from around the world to discuss the 10 commandments of nora chipaumire’s “Black Manifesto.” nora is a renowned artist, performer, and choreographer whose work challenges and embraces stereotypes of Africa, the Black performing body, art and aesthetics. In this episode, Pawlet Brookes speaks directly to nora about the inspiration for Black Manifesto, the challenges Black women face in arts and media, and where we go from here.
2) Shape Shift! You Can
with Annabel Guérédrat
Shapeshift. You can. In this episode Pawlet Brookes explore the second commandment of the Black Manifesto with Annabel Guérédrat, Martiniquan performance artist and co-founder of the Festival International d’Art Performance (FIAP) in Martinique. Guérédrat discusses the role of shapeshifting and metamorphosis in her work, life, and spiritual practices; She also offers insight into the founding motivations of FIAP and it’s anti-colonial philosophy.
3) Free the feminine in u
with Yinka Esi Graves
Free the feminine in u. In this episode, Pawlet Brookes and Black British flamenco dancer and artist Yinka Esi Graves explore ideas of freedom and individual truths and how they can be expressed through the body and dance. Graves examines the links between her personal background and her work beyond flamenco and how these experiences have shaped her ongoing journey of expansion and self-definition.
4) Refuse to dumb it down
with Maya Taylor
Refuse to dumb it down! In this episode, highly sought-after choreographer and movement director Maya Taylor takes us on a journey of self-affirmation, explains her practice of overcoming fear, and contextualises the fourth commandment of Black Manifesto, “Refuse to dumb it down.” Maya also shares insights into how she built her career without compromising her artistry or individuality.
5) Recognise state craft* for the witchcraft it is
with Dr Gladys M Francis
This fifth commandment of nora chipaumire’s Black Manifesto is the spark for a dialogue between Pawlet Brookes and Guadeloupean Dr Gladys M Francis. Francis is a scholar and facilitator of academic and artistic collaborations and a native of Guadeloupe who lives and teaches in the United States. In this episode, Francis exposes “statecraft” and discusses the importance of identity, retention, and re-creation against a backdrop of racial oppression and violence.
6) Édouard Glissant said it, I repeat – Opacity – own it
with Dr S. Ama Wray
Édouard Glissant said it, I repeat – Opacity – own it. In this episode, Pawlet Brookes and Dr S. Ama Wray discuss the sixth commandment of Black Manifesto, the relationship between the mind and the body, Dr Wray’s Embodiology® movement, and the indigenous and African Diasporic influences that led Dr Wray to create Embodiology®.
7) Platform yourself and know when to de platform yourself comrade
with Project X
Platform yourself and know when to de platform yourself comrade. In this episode, Pawlet Brookes explores the seventh commandment with Project X Co-Directors Mele Broomes, Ashanti Harris, and Rhea Lewis. Based in Scotland, Project X is platforming dance of the African and Caribbean Diaspora. Responding to a series of provocations, the discussion covers visibility and invisibility, layered identities, empowerment, collaboration, comradeship, vision, emancipation, and more.
8) Family is all who can THINK with you
with L’Antoinette Stines
Family is all who can think with you. In this episode, Pawlet Brookes is joined by Dr L’Antoinette Stines, the renowned Jamaican director, choreographer, author, actor, dancer and founder of L’Acadco: A United Caribbean Dance Force. Dr Stines reflects on the people whom she considers family, the importance of building connections with people from all walks, and the dance concepts she has developed over her many years of artistic revolution and resistance.
9) Race matters – remember who created it – long live James Baldwin
with Cynthia Oliver
We’ll start with an easy question, “Does race matter?” In this episode, Pawlet Brookes and Cynthia Oliver explore the ninth commandment, “Race matters, who created it? Long live James Baldwin.” Cynthia Oliver is a Bronx born, Virgin Island reared, award winning choreographer and performance artist. In her conversation with Pawlet, Cynthia reflects on the shared experience of Blackness around the world, the reality (and construct) of race, identity, activism, and Black womanhood.
10) READ! Will ya! Educate your damn self
with Dr Anita Gonzalez
READ! Will ya! Educate your damn self. That’s the tenth and final commandment of Black Manifesto. In this episode, Pawlet is joined by Anita Gonzalez, PhD, a professor of performing arts and African American studies at Georgetown University and a co-Founder of their Racial Justice Institute. Anita offers her reflections on international collaboration, racial justice, and the many forms of self-education.