Breathe My Black


Breathe My Black is a multi-disciplinary, multi-media excavation through the caves of trauma in search of the joy we often hide from sight. It is a call to action. A call to visibility. A call to accountability and a liberation of the Black mind/body/spirit that is a perpetual state of fear from the aggressive oppression that locks our lungs. Breathe My Black is also, the first of its kind. Not until now has there ever been an all-Black production at PASJ. Not until now, have Black alumni, current students and faculty come together and collaborate on a piece, let alone an original creation. We hope, that this is the beginning and not a tokenized ending. We hope, that after experiencing Breath My Black that the department continues to build and hold space for Black students and their truth. 

Notes from the Creators

To be Black in America is to be in a perpetual state of rage. Historical rage, for the enslavement and abuse of our ancestors. Rage against educational systems that continuously leaves Black folks behind. Rage against a society that places zero value on our lives. Rage against not being able to breathe freely in public, as an individual but also as a community. 

Breathe My Black was born out of a need to reject the idea of silent suffering. A rejection of the constant expectation that Black folks swallow bits of their tongue rather than address violence and demand Justice. It is a piece that moves through pain, grief, anxiety, anger, disappointment, vulnerability and the Black psyche in search of a joy it is necessary we see and claim. 

The creation of THIS project revealed the insidious nature of White Supremacy, its many manifestations and the truth that Whiteness is the thread that weaves this country and our communities together. Breathe My Black is a reworking of the idea that Black People, and in particular Black artists, must pander to the need for non-Black people to feel validated in their tone-deafness but instead encourages Black folks, in particular, Black artists, to demand Justice in the moment. To no longer wait for action to be taken but make it so. 

Most importantly tho, Breathe My Black is a declaration that Black People are worthy and deserving of joy. Uninterrupted, unfettered and unsullied by the evils of Whiteness and White Supremacy. It is a cold cup of lavender hibiscus tea with a shining sun and soft salt breeze. We are more than hashtags and traumatizing videos. 

I hope, that whole/after experiencing Breathe My Black, Black viewers are inspired to deep dive past the darkness of their trauma, recover their joy and bring it to the surface. For non-Black witnesses, I pray that this piece inspires you to pay close attention to your words, actions and interactions with Black people.

The piece itself is an essay and experiment but what it most certainly is not, is a video, or stagnant piece of art. It is truth. It is pain. It is joy, hard found and hard fought for but, joy. 


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