Sunday, August 10, 2008

This afternoon I'm sitting in student dorm called the Hacker house in Lewiston, Maine. I've been living at the Hacker house the last week while getting up and dancing at 8:45, 11:00, 2:00 and 4:00 for the last week. This, after a week of being in NYC and dancing at 10, 1:00 and 3:30. Today is the first time I've opened my computer, which amazingly looks exactly the same even as the work has been piling up in this strange little receptacle, a box that provides countless hours of work whether I look at it or not.

When I wake up tomorrow on the other coast I will proceed to finish a book, hire staff, raise $18,000, and move. I have 6 weeks to do it all, at which point I will have become a partially employed dancer. I will live in Seattle again and San Francisco, well, SF will be like a friend I had an extended visit with before we grew apart.

Lewiston, Maine is an old mill town and home to Bates College. Pedestrianism is not big here. Empty mills the size of football stadiums and old ornate churches built in a time when white people were still the minority on the west coast make it seem impossible to refer to this town as a suburb, though that's often how its described. There is a mall and a wal-mart so maybe that's enough of a standard.

In the midst of a the town that seems to limp along in the early 90s time zone, is the beautiful Bates College Campus, home to dozens of rooms fit for dancing and a cafeteria that caters to almost any dietary need. I've quickly become accustomed to eating prepared I acquire from behind a sneeze guard three times a day. This is the only way I know how to feed myself here.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hi I'm shannon and I use "she." I was thankful that this was the only thing asked to share in our first go round of the Anne Braden program. Of course that statement is easier for me to make in a room of 45 strangers than for others here.

Up to this minute that I found myself sitting in 522 Valencia, my anti-racist organizing experience totaled some participation in the campaigning against anti-affirmative action legislation while I was in college, attendance of some "CAR W" meetings (Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites) the year after I graduated, organizing community forums for artists of color, and a long and frustrating struggle to bring liberation politics into the all-ages music organization I helped to start in Seattle, that was and is mostly white.