Audio

JAMILLAH FINLEY 'LILA',

BREAKBOX THOUGHT COLLECTIVE

"I'm So Black, I'm Blue"

Spoken Word Poetry and Vocals

Runtime: 7 min. 10 sec.

00:00 / 07:10

What can we say about 2020? This year has truly taken our breath away. No. Literally... .like -- We can't breathe. From the facemasks to police brutality, this year has been a gut punch, a sucker punch, that none of us saw coming. And what's so amazing, is that we keep finding joy in the midst of it all. Whether we are out protesting, or gardening in our backyards, we are still connecting with our passions. The essence of the challenges we face in life is ingenuity. . .pulling nothing out of a hat, leveraging what we have to make something beautiful. This is what we inspired I'm so Black, I'm Blue. It is a lullaby. It is a battle cry.

"The People Cried for Justice"

Spoken Word Poetry and Vocals

Runtime: 3 min. 35 sec.

00:00 / 03:35

I had been listening to Breonna Taylor’s mom talk about her baby Breonna and something in her mother’s words resonated so deeply that I came unglued. All of these incidents informed my creative process as I tried to personify the pain of uncertainty about whether justice would be served and to echo the outcry about cases like hers. This piece was originally commissioned for Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday and performed with The Talented Tenth for the City of Fresno's celebration back in 2014. Through community improvisation and jam sessions, Collectiv revamped the song to accompany the Miscarriage of Justice on the album.

"The Miscarriage of Justice"

Spoken Word and Vocals

Runtime: 3 min. 37 sec.

00:00 / 03:37

This piece is autobiographical. it is both symbolic of the overall times as we see police brutality go unchecked in the justice system. It was also written in response to my encounter with racism in the medical field. As I was questioning a medical diagnosis with a specialist, the physician ended the appointment abruptly, asked the medical assistants to call security and falsely accused me of being irate and yelling. The situation escalated and ultimately, I was forced to decide between my patient rights and criminalization.

"Nightingale"

Spoken Word Vocals

Runtime: 2 min. 47 sec.

00:00 / 02:48

British Nightingales winter in Guinea West Africa. For over 1,000 years the male bird sings at night. As a cage bird, their urge to migrate causes them to dash themselves against the cage. This has cause the nightingale population to decline by 90% over the last 50 years. An innocent, unarmed 25-year-old man was killed in the street while taking a jog because he looked like a “suspect.” The shooters tried to make a citizen’s arrest. Another video was released. “Please, I’m not trying to win,” George Floyd said during his struggle. “I’m not a bad guy, man. I’m not a bad guy.” With a knee to the throat, he told the officer, “I can’t breathe.” No adjustment was made. We watched George Floyd call to his mother. We watched him die. I wanted to venerate and celebrate the Black man in this piece, hoping to envision his spirit uncaged and soaring.

Creative Literary Expression

ENEDINA CASTAÑEDA 

"You Are the Teacher"

Poetry

I'm a high school teacher. On Monday March 16, 2020 I had to be in my classroom after our school was abruptly shut down over the weekend. My lessons were ready to be taught, but there were no students to learn. It was sad to see an empty classroom.

WILL FREENEY  

"Breathe"

Creative nonfiction essay

"A conflated response to coronavirus and police brutality rendered through personal perspective."

JOE AMARAL 

"Asymptomania"

Poetry

I work as a an ambulance paramedic on the frontlines of 911 emergencies and COVID. The stress of this ever-changing pandemic stays constant but we endure.

ROMAN C. RAIN TREE  

"Balance"

Poetry

Harmony VS. Balance in life.

Visual Art

PANDEMICAL, Center for Creativity and the Arts 2020

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