Racial

Racial

In “Dear Future Ancestor,” Artist Daniel Beaty Uses Love as Catalyst to Overcome Racial Injustice


In “Dear Future Ancestor,” a poem that speaks to the country’s injustices and inhumanity against African-Americans, author/activist/playwright, Daniel Beatty, soothes, empowers, and challenges “future ancestors” in a firm, but hopeful, way to act now to right the racial injustices that have plagued our country since its start.

A writer of plays, poems and books, Beaty has been addressing issues of race and inequality in titles such as “Run Black Man Run,” “A Lost Black Boy Speaks,” “Dance Mama Dance,” “Love Always Wins,” “Transforming Pain to Power,” and “Knock Knock.” This year’s series of racial events culminating in last week’s death of George Floyd, prompted Beaty to write the poem, “Dear Future Ancestor,” to push future ancestors to act now, but to use love as a sword. Beaty is at once soothing:

“Your courage to love is your heart’s lubrication. And though you are afraid, now is the time to love more.”

hopeful and empowering:

“You are the promise now.”

“You are the architects of freedom.”

“You are the minds that strategize a clear, precise agenda for change now.”

while nevertheless challenging:

Future ancestor, earn your place amongst the legions of ancestors past.

Future ancestor….what are we going to do – now?

In a prior interview, Beaty expressed his philosophy as follows: “I want people to [understand] that we are more alike than we are unalike. I really believe that we are all connected. There are a variety of things that happen in the world that cause us to believe that we’re different from each other. I believe that a lot of the greatest problems that happen in the world come from that false belief that we’re disconnected; but, it is my belief that we’re all reflections of one another.”

“Dear Future Ancestor” is attached as well as a link to a video of Beaty’s presentation of the poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA4idvETJCQ&feature=youtu.be

Dear Future Ancestor
Dear Future Ancestor,

If I could take all your pain
Wrap it in my arms
And toss it into the depth of the Middle Passage
Where countless tears have filled waters
Stretching from Africa to these Americas
I would

If I could take your rage
And ball it into a collective fist
And smash injustice into a thousand pieces of light
Carving a path for future generations
I would

If I could whisper into the soul of every black child
Confused, trembling in fear:
You are safe. You are protected
Your #blacklivesmatter
I would

If I could promise every black parent
That nothing can assassinate the promise
You birthed into creation
Your seed will flourish, it must
I would

If I could assure every lover that the body you hold
Is sacred, is the peace of God, is a miracle
Your courage to love is your heart’s lubrication
And though you are afraid, now is the time to love more
I would

If my spirit could inhabit everybody that fears you
Illuminate their hearts, their minds, their eyes
To the beauty of your Divinity
Shine light on the oneness of our shared humanity
I would

Because I cannot, please know these words…

You are the King, the Malcolm
The Tubman, the Truth,
The Robeson, The Simone
The direction and the promise
Now

You are the feet that march,
The bodies hosed and arrested
The songs of freedom sung loud
The collective action
Now

You are the architects of freedom
The late night camp meetings
The minds that strategize
A clear, precise, agenda for change
Now

You are the rage and the pain
You are the hope and the vision
Even though your heart is breaking
You are the salve
Now

Future Ancestor know yourself
It is when we are under attack that we must know
The unlimited power of black soul
It is time to mobilize and act
Now

Future Ancestor earn your place
Amongst the legion of heroes past
Breathe deep, look inside: we are here
In your brother, sister’s eyes: we are here
Now

Future Ancestor,
Who are you?
Do you truly know your power?
Then, what are you going to do?
Now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA4idvETJCQ?feature=oembed

Daniel Beaty Bio

Daniel Beaty is an award-winning actor, singer, writer, and community activist. His critically acclaimed plays Through the Night, Emergency, Mr. Joy, and The Tallest Tree in the Forest – Paul Robeson, have been performed at venues ranging from the Public and Lincoln Center to the White House and maximum security prisons. He has garnered numerous awards including an Obie award for writing and performance and three NAACP Theater Awards. A highly requested performer & keynote speaker, Beaty has worked throughout the U.S., Europe, and Africa. He is the co-writer/star of the critically acclaimed feature film Chapter & Verse. In fall 2011, Beaty launched a nationwide initiative called I DREAM using the tools of storytelling to help individuals and communities heal trauma. I DREAM currently serves thousands of young people in three cities across America. A graduate of Yale University (BA) & American Conservatory Theatre (MFA), Beaty has developed original scripted television shows with Imagine/Fox, Fox/Showtime, and UCP/USA. Beaty just completed a documentary about the impact of mass incarceration on children and families called Behind the Glass. A child of an incarcerated parent himself, Daniel’s poem Knock Knock has become an Internet sensation receiving over 30 million views and has been made into a children’s book, also titled Knock Knock, published by Little Brown Books. Penguin-Random House published his empowerment book Transforming Pain to Power in February 2014. Beaty is developing an original T.V. show based on his life executive produced by multi-Grammy Award-Winning Artist, Alicia Keys, and Vin Diesel. He is currently a writer/producer for HBO’s hit show A Million Little Things.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danielbbeaty/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danielbbeaty1

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-beaty-27411122?trk=people-guest_people_search-card

Twitter: https://twitter.com/danielbbeaty?lang=en

Website: https://www.danielbeaty.com/



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