Urban Bush Women Perform in New Orleans Aug. 2nd

By Kelly Harris

I was invited to sit in on one of Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute sessions held at Ashe Culture Arts Center. I agreed to attend, but I was tired mentally and physically, but immediately when I walked through the door, I was greeted with an inexplicable communal energy of hope and pride. My spirit was rejuvenated.

Addressing inequality by Claiming Our Places, Our Legacy, Our Stories is this year’s theme. The theme places special emphasis on The Free Southern Theater model.The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is also a used as a backdrop to inform the approach to dance as a form of political activism and resistance. Participants are able to emphasize their communities’ assets as a source of strength and pride.

I got pulled in the circle.
Ms. Jawole, Founder of Urban Bush Women
Ms. Jawole, Founder of Urban Bush Women

The 10-day summer institute is being held at Tulane University for the 6th year. The culminating performances are free and will be held August 2nd on Tulane University’s campus in McWilliams Hall I the Department of Theater and Dance. Performances are at 3:00-4:00PM and 5:00-6:00PM.

Here’s a clip of participants dancing at Ashe Cultural Art Center in New Orleans on July 28th.



Urban Bush Women left me inspired. I wrote this when I arrived home:

joy inside black bodies
is hard to find
so many yesterdays
calling our names
how do you move
when you don’t know
where you’re going
how do you remember
what brought you here

Kelly Harris is the founder and Editor of BrassyBrown.com. She’s a poet and the owner of KHD Communications LLC. Contact her at brassybrown@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter & Instagram: @BrassyBrownnola

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