Indeed, we were all facing the same virus, but we are not all having the same pandemic experience. It has become glaringly apparent that while we are all in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat. If America was out to sea and a storm set upon the ocean, many White people are on a cruise ship, and Black people are in dinghies.
Hannah Drake offers a powerful, inspirational message that has been heard in various arenas around the world. Hannah has had the distinguished privilege of opening for political and social justice activist, Angela Davis, National Book Award Winner and poet, Nikky Finney, author and motivational speaker, Iyanla Vanzant, honorable judge and TV personality, Judge Gregory Mathis, and rapper and music producer, BIG K.R.I.T. Hannah has served as a presenter at Ideas Festival at WKU and in Louisville, KY as a panelist with CNN chief national correspondent, John King. In April 2017, Hannah had the honor of curating an evening of performance artists for the Festival of Faiths entitled Compassion Rising which reflected how arts could have an impact on the compassion. In November 2017, Hannah’s poem Spaces was selected by the National Academy of Medicine to be featured in a national art exhibit that speaks to visualizing health equity. Also, Hannah was chosen as a 2017 Hadley Creatives, a partnership between the Community Foundation of Louisville and Creative Capital to help local artists build their professional practice, cultivate an expanded peer network and dedicate time for reflection and planning. In December 2017 Hannah was honored for her work by the Kentucky Alliance of Against Racist and Political Repression.
In 2014, she joined Roots and Wings, a dynamic group of artists that seek to bring social change to their community. In 2015 and 2016, Hannah Drake, along with the members of Roots and Wings were able to perform their written plays, The West End Poetry Opera and The Blood Always Returns, at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.
“Always leave crumbs & footprints detailing your greatness for those that are coming behind you.”
In 2016, Hannah’s poem Formation poem went viral being shared over 20,000 times around the world. A lover of writing and social justice, Hannah’s new blog offers commentary on current events and has been viewed around the world. Hannah’s work is filled with passion and truth, believing that communication is indeed the beginning of change. Hannah is the author of several works of poetry, Hannah‘s Plea-Poetry for the Soul, Anticipation, Life Lived In Color, In Spite of My Chains, For Such A Time As This and So Many Things I Want to Tell You-Life Lessons for the Journey. Her debut novel Views from the Back Pew was received with stellar reviews and was performed on stage to a sold-out audience. Her follow-up novel, Fragile Destiny has been hailed as life-changing. Currently, Hannah is working on a new collection of poetry and life lessons, entitled Love, Revolution, and Lemonade. Her powerful, honest delivery has garnered her the nickname, "Brimstone." More information about Hannah can be found at her website www.hannahldrake.com.
Let me be clear in the Year of Corona since this seems like a difficult concept for some people to comprehend, when I say Black, I mean Black. You will NEVER have to wonder, “Does Hannah mean all people?” The answer is an unequivocal no. If I meant all people, I would have said all people. I said EXACTLY what I meant to say. I do not need any White person (or non-Black person) to come behind me attempting to correct my language.
At no time in the HISTORY OF THIS NATION, have White people ever been told no, and they do not like it. They are like two-year-olds that are having a tantrum because their parents put them in time out. It is fine as long as they are the ones setting the rules for Black people and People of Color. They are uncomfortable being told they can’t gather in groups and go where they want to go. They are upset that things have become inaccessible to them. White people can’t stand for someone to tell them what they can and cannot do.
In a stunning display of 2020 Civil Rights, gatherings of White people found themselves at the Kentucky Capitol to protest Governor Andy Beshear shutting the state down (you know so we can live) in light of the Coronavirus. While the first known case of the Coronavirus in the […]
Let me be clear as Kentucky continues to fight the Coronavirus, enforcing social distancing does not mean the policing Black bodies in spaces. Pause and absorb that sentence. And then read it again.
While I know he is a calm leader, in my mind, Governor Beshear needs an Anger Translator like Luther on Key and Peele. I am volunteering for that role. While Governor Beshear is remaining calm during his daily briefings, in my mind, he is saying, “Give me a fucking break!! What part of HEALTHY AT HOME are some of yall not understanding? Really? You wanna play fucking basketball? REALLY? In the middle of a pandemic? No one is drafting you. NO. ONE. Not one single coach. GO HOME!!
I believe that goodness and compassion are the core of who we are and who we can be. It shouldn’t have taken a pandemic for that to happen. It shouldn’t take a pandemic for us to care about our neighbors. It shouldn’t take a pandemic for us to be concerned about the least of those. It shouldn’t take a pandemic for us to reassess the economic structure of this nation and how it benefits very few at the top and tramples on the many at the bottom. It shouldn’t take a pandemic for us to be the village. It shouldn’t take a pandemic for us to care.
But sometimes things are turned upside down for us to put them right side up again.
During this time, I challenge you to take the time to see yourself and ask yourself some questions. While I have been home, these are some of the questions that starting coming to the surface for me:
Is the life I have been living the life that I genuinely want to live?
Are the people I am giving my energy, time, and love to worth it?
Why didn’t you pause and take the time to read that book, watch that show, enjoy your life?
What was so important in your life that you put your life on the back burner?
Is this relationship one that I want to spend giving my energy?
Rain is coming. With no clouds in the sky. With no forecast given.With no warning, Black people can tell you that rain is coming. Weeks ago, before the “panic buying” started in America, my daughter told me, “Mom, we need to go to the store and start buying […]
Black isn’t something you “put on.”
Black isn’t performative.Black isn’t something you gain by proximity.
Black isn’t something Black people can deputize you with.Black people sincerely need to stop saying that White people can be “honorary Black.” There is not today, nor will there ever be an “honorary Black” certificate.