The Mixtape Submissions

Browse by Art / Photography|Dance |Film|Interviews|Music|Technology| Spoken Word

Hear “Children of Freedom,” an original submission by Marty Lamar.

In response to the historical significance of 2020 defined by COVID-19 and social protest, the black album. mixtape., a project by Regina Taylor and SMU, invited students, professionals and the community in the arts, technology, science and activism to submit original content.

UPDATE: Announcing the winners of the mixtape awards

Works included video, music, audio, images, monologues, photos, designs, or text, interviews or self-interviews.

Art & Photography

“Dark theme photographs” By Marko Milic

“African Culture” and “Live In Peace” By Chaima Boucherma

“Forget Me Not” By Martha Carlisle

This field of forget-me-not flowers acknowledges and honors Black Americans who paid the ultimate price of racism, and reminds us not to forget them. Each flower is individually cut from a pattern I created using a photograph of a forget-me-not flower. The flowers feature hand embroidery, machine quilting, and  a black button. The unfinished edges of the forget-me-not flowers represent unfinished lives. The purple background color represents sorrow; it also represents the dignity of these individual lives.

“The Circle Will Remain Unbroken” By Deitrah Joye Taylor

I am a public historian and dramaturg. This is my narrative of reunion after COVID 19

“Sweet Escape” By Brooklynn Huerta

Sweet Escape is a collection based off of my imagination to escape into a candy reality. My vision and aesthetic derive off of those sweet childhood memories that I share with my friends and family. I remember that big pink fluffy cotton candy that I got at every annual carnival, making confetti cake every year for my birthday, walking to the store with my grandpa to get ice cream, getting full off taffy from trick or treating with my friends, or all those wild sleepovers where me and my friends got sugar high! Step into my sugar reality and down memory lane with me. I hope that each piece brings a little bit of joy and nostalgia unleashing your inner child. This is a tiny collection that very much so resembles me as a person! I am very playful and eclectic, and I don’t think enough black designers or models are represented in that field of fashion so I hope to continue to fill in that gap.

“Open Letter To The Pegasus Corpse” By Patiance Wiley

An Open Letter To The Pegasus Corpse
How can there be so many race issues within a community that was originally created for black people to thrive? My piece is a poem explaining how to move forward past this hump.

“Progression?” By William Moore

This is a summation of the forward progress of the black man in the United States as we live in today. The picture showcases a rioter a female cop the black panther and a female protester from the Black Lives Matter movement behind each 2 on either side is a photo of Former President Donald Trump and George Floyd.

“BLM” By Samuel Wu

“Squashed Perception” By Neo Makondo

We believe 2020 will be remembered as the year that squashed the perception that climate change is a distant threat: COVID-19 has been a harsh reminder of the frailty of humankind in the face of ‘natural’ forces. The solidarity gained during global lockdown is a valuable foundation for the new narrative: tackle climate change now, not later.Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19) is the official name of a respiratory infectious disease caused by a new coronavirus that started first in Wuhan, China, and outspread worldwide with an unexpectedly fast speed. Flights have been canceled worldwide and transportation has been closed nationwide and across international borders. As a consequence, the economic activity has been stopped and stock markets have been dropped. The COVID-19 lockdown has several social and economic effects. Additionally, COVID-19 has caused several impacts on global migration. On the other hand, such lockdown, along with minimal human mobility, has impacted the natural environment somewhat positively. Overall carbon emissions have dropped, and the COVID-19 lockdown has led to an improvement in air quality and a reduction in water pollution in many cities around the globe. A summary of the existing reports of the environmental impacts of COVID-19 pandemic are discussed and the important findings are presented focusing on several aspects: air pollution, waste management, air quality improvements, waste fires, wildlife, global migration, and sustainability.

“Let the Sunset on Hate” By Mikaela Brooks


“Sisters Bond” & “Warrior Grace” By RaKendra Turner

“Sisters from Another Mother” By Iwa

“Black Portraiture” By Leandre K Jackson

Digital Art By Meg Seymour

‘Waiting’ represents the sadness and confusion brought upon us by the COVID pandemic and worldwide quarantine, through the eyes of a child.
‘Keep Your Head Up’ is my digital representation of these words Tupac Shakur rapped about back in the 90’s and how, sadly, they are more than applicable today.
It Keeps On Spinning – My digital, freehand drawing is meant to represent how just like the records on a spin table, so too does our earth keeps spinning. Though there will be some scratches and set backs along the way, beautiful things happen when we keep going.

I have always been an artist, at least in my mind. It has been my therapy for as long as I can remember and I have never been more thankful for my love of creating as I have been this past year. My father passed away last March, one week before our country went into lockdown. Not being able to reach out for face to face support, I turned to my art to help me express and work through my grief and other emotions. Not having enough paint on hand, I decided to dive into the world of digital drawing! I am having so much fun learning and exploring this form of art. 

“BLACK PEOPLE LOVES” By Destiney Johnson

“Eve’s Mitachondral Movement” By Morgana Wilborn

This piece is derived from my 2018 exhibition “KLRD GRLS” based on Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf”. Many of the pieces come from a line in the script and were entitled, “real colored girls”. The piece has been reimagined to look at resistance from the space of the creator of humanity. The Black woman, who exists in every shade and diaspora, the mother of creation, the “Eve”. “Eve’s Mitochondrial Movement” is the Black woman’s legacy of life and liberation.

Portraits from The Hood” by Leandre K Jackson

“Mother and Learning Something New” by Prarena Chopra Mondal


“Two Different Sides of the Moon” by Puja Mondal

Two different sides of the moon. One side shows the lunar eclipse and the other side shows the state after the lunar eclipse. After the eclipse the moon looks more beautiful and magical.

“Search within find without” by Hilda Adelson

Acrylic panel painting
Acrylic panel painting

“Embrace” by RaNina Turner

My sister and I in tribal like look, in each other embrace meant to represent the strength of female support to each other

“Being-in-the-world: Anxiety Undone” by Mohamad Hossein Nourani

Vulnarability, fragility and the imminence of death in these times of global crisis has never been more tangible in our daily life. The cause of this crisis, the virus, is so far in the sense that it’s invisible and yet so close that it may be everywhere around us. The hope and inner urge for immortality dwells within each of us and so does angst and fear towards the notion of death and finitude. Graveyards in this sense are where we can dive into all of these existential dillemas. Anxiety and angst thus are the two outcomes of this existential situation. To me though, finitude and the notion of death have been the main subjects of artistic exploration. Cemeteries are the perfect representation of this immenent fragility. Walking among those who have left us, makes me feel peaceful and tranquil. The awareness of my own finitude washes away the anxieties and worries of daily life and guides me towards leading a more authentic and free life. Knowing without doubt that one day, I will become a part of this wonderful nature and contribute to the roots of what comes after. Like this anonymous gravestone. Embraced by and giving to mother nature. Grounded, settled, eternally rooted. Through this mentality, I strive to show that being aware of our finitude in this world, is not only liberating but can also lead us to a better life by making us aware of the present moment, the moment now.

“A Trashy Overlook” by Shoka Kamaria-Ford

A Trashy Overlook
This piece represents having the ability to remain tunnel vision; despite the optical illusions and emotional clutter that we may encounter on the road in life. 

“Hand Me Down” by Lillian Young

Hand-me Down

“Garra” Glass Painting, by Seetia Akpawu

“Zoom” by Julian Rumos

Acrylic painting on canvas, 48″x36″, 2020

“Fuga” by Jaime Enrique Prada

“The project interprets newspaper advertisements about the slave escape, which came with a detailed description of the person. This is how the ads are recreated from an empowerment perspective. The escape is a revolutionary act with the intention of returning the way you came. Elements such as water, contribute to the meaning of purification and it is through the sea that the ships arrived full of slaves, but in this case, the person faces alone before that immensity of the sea through which he tries to heal the wounds.” Jaime Enrique Prada is a student at University of Lima.

Black Lives Matter” by Zita Holbourne

“George Floyd”: A digital artwork in memory of George Floyd.

Original Paintings by Raymarah Watson-Cunningham

“Identity is the way we perceive and express ourselves from the things we are born with such as ethnicity and heritage, gender, or body. Although the woman in this painting is not myself, I did create her in my likeness.

This painting is a self reflection and exhibition of whom I’ve grown to be: a young, beautiful, black woman.

Artist Raymarah Watson-Cunningham

Just as my mother was, and her mother, and her mother, and so forth. There is truth and beauty that lie within a black woman. There is grace and elegance in her hair, her clothes, and her being. This is all easily lost within the soul of a black woman due to the unjust acts and cruel words of society. I hope that this painting could serve as a reminder to black women, as well as myself, to take a good look within and discover who you are. For it is only a job you can do. Embrace the grace you hold.”

“Good Days” by Mahari Kitt

“Good Days” is a painted portrait of the singer SZA, created using acrylic paint on a canvas sized 18″ x 24″ . This piece celebrates the Black Women in the Music Industry as they represent for the little Black girls that look like them. It reminds us that no matter what happens in life always try to make a “Good Day” out of it.” Kitt is a student at Kennesaw State University.

A Study on the Weight of Being Black (Finds) A Study in the Resilience of Blackness” by Constance J. Strickland

‘The Fight,” A Series of Self-Portraits by Kaye Rogers

“A large series of self-portraits that reflect my reality as a black man.”

“Big Dawg” by Kordeena Clayton

“Photo of intense individual at BLM protest in front of a controversial sign. This photo is coming from Nova Scotia, Canada’s first Black settlement and largest migration of African people and Descendants.”

“Billie Holiday” by Golda Toffan

A memorial of Billie Holiday’s song “Strange Fruit.” Artist’s description: “Billie Holiday was a civil rights activist and wouldn’t let anything not even the police stand her way. She would always stick up for black people and risk her life and career to sing a song that put her life at risk.”

“Black Joy” by Hannah Tkatch

Artist’s description: “After I found out my commencing ceremony was switched to online, I took it upon myself to take my own graduation photos. This is a photo I took of my dog Prince and myself.”

“My Brother’s Keeper” Original oil-on-canvas from Patti Blueh

Pati Blueh is an artist located in Ghana.

Oil on canvas from Patti Lablueh

The Root, by Ezekiel Emeka Chidozie

“The work tilted The Root, is a photo showing a boy looking at his surrounding, like a kind of word view, he is standing there lost in his thoughts thinking about the way forward he is confused because of the damages COVID-19 brought.” Chidozie is a student at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.

The Healing Art of Synthia SAINT JAMES

“Love is Essential”
by Mikaela Brooks


“Mourning” by Mikaela Brooks

“While being black fills me with so many beautiful things (love, joy, pride resilience, forgiveness, rhythm, and seasoned food) it often feels as though to be black means to be constantly mourning. We mourn or our ancestors and what they went through, for the loss of culture and history, for the stories that will never be told, and for the brothers and sisters that are still being killed today due to a system that was created to keep us down. Black people have given so much to not only this country, but the world. Despite all that we have given freely, so much has been stolen from us in return.”

Milktoast by SMU Student Taylor M. Knight (Bachelor in Fine Arts in Studio Art, a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies, and a Minor in Archaeology. )

Artist statement: “This video articulates my emotions as a person who wishes to be a positive force for good in the world but often feels overwhelmed by the gravity of our reality. “
SMU Student(s) Leon Jones, Rhett Goldman, Caleb Mosley: “Through My Mind”
“This film explores racial injustice, black mental health, and what it means to be black in 2021 through visual art, dance, film, music, and monologues.”

“Shadows in Isolation” by Courtney Marsaw

Artist’s statement: “I think a lot of people can relate to the difficulties that come with putting a work of art together. I struggled with that throughout this project, which is why it’s not finished. Shadows In Isolation is a concept I developed while in solitude. With the pandemic affecting our lives more than ever, I wanted to play on the idea of your shadow being your company. During that time, I learned that life happens in ways you don’t envision and it’s okay to share that process with others.”

A Short Film by TJ Harris, DePaul University (M.F.A. Acting ’21)

Artist’s statement: I created this piece in April of 2020 as a part of a voice class project. The film was inspired by my hero Chadwick Boseman’s commencement speech at Howard University. Chadwick continues to help me triumph over any obstacles, and his passing reinforces that even more within me.

“Psalm 91” by Jennifer Young.
Young is a student at the Theatre School at DePaul

Artist’s statement: I created this film during my second year MFA training. I took a piece of text I worked on in my voice class and adapted it into a film about how we find peace and soundness within ourselves while the world is shouting about so many things: Global Pandemic, job loss, economic crisis, police brutality and systemic racism, threats to our democracy and what felt like an onslaught of black deaths in the summer of 2020. It became a piece about searching for stillness and release.

I intentionally used the camera and physicality of my character moving through their environment to show the juxtaposition between stillness and chaos. I also used camera angles and audio cues to do this. I tried to include God as a second character, because I couldn’t have other actors in my space during a pandemic. The choice to have the camera looking down on my character, or in the cupboard that I opened or following me on my run was supposed to the words from God to his people in Psalm 91: I will be with you in trouble.

Our Stories: 2020 (Submitted by SMU Student Alexa May)

Artists’ statement: SMU students Kelsey Hodge, Nushah Rahman, and Alexandra Savu walk us through their first four months of the pandemic. They navigate a campus-wide shutdown, dramatic shifts in religious and social life, cries for racial justice, and graduating into an unknown and uncertain future. Their stories offer a collective voice of hope.


“Glimmer of Hope” by Chadwick Peters

Artist’s description: “There is light in the horizon of the abyss we are climbing out of…”

A COVID-19 Project by Sayomi (Los Angeles)

“Something that keeps my mind off of Covid is dancing.”

Culture Loop by Wilfredo Rivera, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre

“A female African American Choreographer’s personal response & meditation on the racial injustice movement explosion following George Floyd’s assassination in 2020.”

“The Cicada Year” by Tamara Jones

“2021 is a cicada year. As the earth thaws, the nymphs of Brood X will emerge to find a safe place to shed their skin and come of age. For the first time in 17 years, these black-bodied creatures will wander clumsily through this new world singing and fucking, eating and being eaten. The Cicada Year tells a story of growth that percolates within—subtly and slowly—and manifests as a beautiful ephemeral being.”

A Study on the Weight of Being Black (Finds) A Study in the Resilience of Blackness” by Constance J. Strickland

“Strange Fruit” by Zariyah Perry

“This is the story of two young black girls that live their lives in a world full of hatred for their beautiful black skin and hang for it.” Perry is a student at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts.


Black Musicals Matter by Lonnae K Hickman

My video series about Black Musicals is a collection of history, thoughts, and sources about six black musicals. The episode I’ve submitted is from episode two about The Wiz. My whole goal is to discuss who gets to tell black stories, who the audience is, and if they way we tell stories in theatre can/should be as authentic as possible. Yet what even is authenticity? Join me as I discuss why black musicals matter, but also why we need to be careful about certain stories we put onstage amiss the white gaze of patrons.

Trouble Of The World 2020 by Neil Totton

Artist’s description: “2020 has awakened the sleeping world to harsh realities African-Americans have been enduring for centuries. I wanted to explore the strength, faith and struggles in Black America. This 14-minute work is a visual collage of found internet footage, photography and performance projected onto my moving body. Trouble Of The World asks viewers to consider if the power of prayer can save America from its troubles?”

Spoken Word

Vandous Stripling II performs “To Be” (Written by: Akin Babatunde)

“Follow the Spirit” by Olga Manuilova

“The Mirror” by Kanyla N Wilson

The Mirror is a short tale about good and evil, and what happens when both sides meet in the middle.

“In the Time of Corona: Emerging From The Wind” by Atlas Brown

“Black Matter” by Jordan Camille McCrary

Monologue ‘Black Matter’ performed by Jordan McCrary

“Dear Mom” and “A GIRL” by Kimberly Higareda

It is a perspective done for KQED and a story based on true events.

Excerpt from “Rent Party” by Valerie Curtis-Newton

Synopsis: The spirit of Bessie Palmer has come back from the dead to get her earthly house in order. She can’t connect with her husband Ray on the other side until her children get themselves sorted out. As her family gathers bail money to free her activist son-in-law, old patterns and grudges get in the way. Bessie meddles and pushes the entire family to come together to support the cause – uniting a house divided.

“Black Lives Matter” by Zita Holbourne

“Y for Yelp” by Emori Reece

This piece is a cry out to trauma, pain, & truth.

“These People.” by Kennedi Sky

Three Works by Cliff Blake

Would You? An original song written for an MLK event.
A new view of Langston Hughes’ America
Asks the vital question…”What are you doing, Today” — spoken word piece presented at the 2020 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival.

“Sisters Without A Mother” by Iwa kruczkowska

The paintings were created under the influence of my travels and meetings with people. They are an expression of admiration and deep respect for other cultures, nationalities and religions.

“Creating in this Time/Rage” by Fynta Sidime

My piece explores identity, art and asks question about living and creating in this time.

Crown Care” by Amaiya Sims

For black people across the globe, their hair is their heritage, their identity, their crown. Black hair needs extra care and time in order to tend to each coil, curl, and wave. Many African Americans spend hours in salons and barbershops perfecting their styles and they take pride in wearing their natural hair, braids, locs, fades, wigs, and extensions. Black people have also been unable to graduate, had championship titles stripped from them, and even fired over this beautiful form of self-expression. Many organizations and legislators are calling for change with what is known as the CROWN Act, an acronym for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. The law will forbid discrimination at jobs, schools, and public spaces based on hairstyles worn by people of color. Dove is a major pillar within this movement as the company co-founded the Crown Coalition. As many Generation Z consumers use their purchasing power to support brands that make a political stance2, Dove will create a haircare line known as Crown Care to capture the zeitgeist of the Crown Act movement. This inclusion of the Crown Act movement, as a social and cultural phenomenon, allows Dove to develop a luxury haircare line for African American men and women, while at the same time maintaining their brand authenticity, of being a beauty company that produces quality products. This collection will consist of five products that will be launched in an omni- channel rollout at Ulta and black-owned beauty supply stores. The goal of this zeitgeist inspired line is to elevate the pre-existing Dove Amplified Textures collection into an online and in-store merchandising campaign advocating for those who have faced hair discrimination, expand Dove’s target market to be more inclusive of African Americans, and increase support for the Crown Act.

A Woman’s Perspective” by Melvina Douse

A Woman’s Perspective is a realistic drama born from the reality that often women of color are left out of the narrative concerning violence. A Woman’s Perspective is a short play that tells the story of how violent acts against people of color have impacted the narrator as a woman. The narrator displays her feelings and the traumatic impact she feels by highlighting several of the crimes that have impacted her the most involving law enforcement and violent crimes..The post traumatic stress that bearing witness to these acts has established among women of color is explored and told using the true stories of individuals like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd that died due to violent circumstances.The play drives the story home using well-known events that propelled the conversation of systemic racism in recent times.

“The Coloring Book” by Jai’lyn

Malcom X noted the black woman as the most “disrespected, unprotected, and neglected person in America”, and that statement still stands true to this day. My poem reflects on black women and how colorism affects our being. It is important that we shed light on one another when our magic can be dimmed by our own.

“Let Me Rest” by Emily M. Newsome

Spoken word recitation written in response to the unrelenting onslaught of the injustices of 2020.

“Angry Black Woman” by Sherna Phillips

“Again and Again” by Felicia Taylor E.

Poetry. A poem about the continual pattern of deaths in our community that happen so frequently we can heal to grieve the next. And the realization that we must be strong together and not give up with the injustices that continue to occur. And our voices and expressions need to be shared to infuse each other to work together for changes in our communities and country.

“The Secret Place” by Sandra Jackson-Opoku

In the 18th century village of Chicago, a young artist discovers a magic power that sends her into a 20th century Black Lives Matter protest.

“Tired” by Shaneisha Dodson

Tired is a monologue written from a black woman’s perspective that explains her feeling toward the current climate revolving around social injustice.

“A.R.T. Activism Resistance Triumph” by Sister mama Sonya

Submitted by Sister Mama Sonya. This poetic expression explores how our A.R.T. is a reflection of our everyday life. This informal reading takes place on the porch in an artist community in Third Ward Houston TX amidst the sounds of chimes twinkling in harmony with my words while children are playing outside, their mothers lovingly correcting and caring, with motorcycles blazing along with other sounds of our everyday life.  Our ART is not just relegated to a museum, a concert hall, or a dance studio. Our A.R.T. is an expression of the total community and is a total sensory perception and experience. 2020 has challenged artists to explore their relationship and significance throughout these turbulent times. A.R.T. checks 2020 and its happenings.

“HOLYCITY” by Damen Morris

  My hood is Holy. Not in the religious but in the infamous sense. Holy City, from Cermak to Roosevelt, from Pulaski to Homan, is known for showing “No Pity” on anyone outside of its four block radius. If you’re brave enough I want you to take a walk with me as I navigate through my old neighborhood, this place where “21st No Worse” ,”One Way”, “Da Lou”, to name a few fought hard to maintain their identity.

            Holy City was the safest when we had a strip of black-owned businesses along the 16th street corridor. It was safest for me when my grandmother, the backbone of the family, was still living. they [The black-owned businesses] were the driving force behind family reunions and block club parties; and the street organizations had structure, and they had respect for those who were neutral.

 Now that those key factors in our safety had left us. No one, no place feels safe. Now “Neutrality” can make you an innocent bystander.” Survival of the fittest” is the code. Which has created internal conflict among the families in our once close-knit community. So now we have very few neighbors left in our neighborhood.

“These Un-United States” by Diana Rhodes

A perspective on the state of our states.

“Excuse Us Ms. Colvin” by B. J. (Betty) Holmes

A skit that summarizes the role that an unsugn hero played in the civil rights movement in the 1950’s.

“Dear America” by Chizaram Izima

2020 has been nonetheless an eye-opening year for us all. Ideals of America that mirrored perfection were finally being debunked and brought into light. This spoken word is my letter to America. It showcases the dichotomy in which America has given my family and I a lot at Nigerians, but still recognizing its malicious past full of pain and oppression which it seems like we haven’t had much change from. I hope through this poem, you can see both sides and push America to do better and keep its promise on delivering “justice for all”.

“The Manhood Tree & Fatherhood Manologues” by Abdul-Rahmaan Muhammad

The Manhood Tree is a collection of initiatives to primarily support Black men to be healthy in their mind, body, spirit as well as in their relationships with family, friends and community. The Manhood Tree initiatives include group discussions, therapeutic performances, training, community events, documentaries, photography, books and conferences.

“I Am” by Imani Nyame

My mind goes blank when asked to describe myself in a few words because it is to my understanding, especially as an artist, that I am in a constant state of evolution. This “Who Am I?” is an embodiment of all the affirmations that guide me each day into being and becoming the person I know that I can be with absolutely no limitations.

“Perfect Vision” by Joan McCarty

A young girl from Chicago struggles to go to college amid the pandemic. A surprise visit from her grandmother helps her see her own self-worth. dead grandmother

“Yo Mama” by Sharon D Epps

Addressing where systematic racism begins.

“Four Numbers, Four Syllables: 2020” by Taylor Parker

I wrote this piece around this time last year. Life was already extremely overwhelming at the time due to COVID-19 & quarantine but then there was also a surplus of death & police brutality against African-Americans. This poem describes all the hardships & adversities we, specifically black people, went through during the challenging year 2020.

“The Summer of Song” by Aida Ndiaye

It’s a short story that takes place in Oakland, CA. It’s about a girl named Zina who lives across the street from this family that moved in. She befriends the girl that lives there and they start to hang out for often. When Zina, and her newfound friend from China go to get Zina vaccinated, Tanny, Zina’s friend, get’s racially profiled. Zina lies to the man to stop him from going any further.

“Are We Having A Revolution, Or Is It Something Else” by Cristee Cook

A poem about what it’s like to be a black mother in America, from the perspective of a white mother.

“Normal Kid Stuff” by Cristee Cook

“America” by Jade Coleman

This piece is my take on America. All of the injustices that we as black people face in America. We will continue to push for justice and until we receive it we will not back down.

“Covid Masks” by Vincent L Mason

“Tired Blood” by Shemetra Carter

A Black woman thinks she’s turning into a White woman.

“Zemill & Brotha Deep Speak – The Audacity of Truth” by Efrem Zemill

A compilation of socially conscious, spoken work and the many shades of love. It is an auto-biographical interview of my life and culminates with an inspiring motivational message! I hope you enjoy!

“Untitled #1” by Tim Rhoze

The author’s response to the Murdering of Black People

“The Circle Will Remain Unbroken” by Deitrah Joye Taylor

I am a public historian and dramaturg. This is my narrative of reunion after COVID 19

“Killing Ourselves” by Mariot Valcin Jr.

A memoir and charge regarding infighting.

“BLM: Hear My Voice” by Sean Avery

I was inspired to write this poem a few months after the murder of George Floyd for a free response, English project.

“T W E N T Y – T W E N T Y – T O G E T H E R” by Nafissatou Ndiaye

It’s a poem about how we have come over 2020 and how we have high hopes for this year.

“Cascade” by Kimberly Jae

The spoken word poem, Cascade, is a critical look at police brutality. This spoken word performance is by world ranked slam poet Kimberly Jae.

“The Pulse” by Lillian Rivas

This piece was a collaboration between me and my whole family. I was very excited when I heard about this project and wanted to share it with the people around me. The words were written by my mother and the percussion was written by my. My sisters helped with the recording of the instruments. And my grandma filmed our visuals. 

“Black Lives Matter Poetry Collection” by Patiance Wiley

A collection of poetry written through the turmoil of the black lives matter movement within quarantine.

“Can’t Sleep” by Jazzma Pryor

I wrote this one night when I couldn’t sleep because of the fear my boyfriend would not make it home the next day. I laid in bed listening to him snore. Although annoying, I wondered if it would be the last time I heard him breathe.

“Agony” by Louis Williams III

Somewhere in the meeting space between black rage and white apathy, this poem was born. Unbelievably angered at the flippancy that folk have at the disappearances of his sisters, this little black boy decided to pen his “Agony”.

“The ’19 Stages of Mercury” by Ashley Sanders

This is a short story about a young lady living in Atlanta during the riots of 2020. She felt the strong emotions that came from anger and hopelessness and blindly joined the crowd of rioters to spread awareness. She wanted everyone to hear her voice that night. The fear and anger of 2020 had driven her into doing something she never thought she could do. She wanted to tell her story to others that are willing to listen. She also wants to ask you a question…How close are you to going mad?

“Gibberish in Retrograde” by Kara Adrienne Roseborough

In “Gibberish in Retrograde,” the Black speaker analyzes their contrasting admiration for, and disdain for, the English language; recognizing it as tool of European colonialism.

“I Believe” by Nya Smith

My spoken word is a view of reality that I believed at a young age.

“Set Trippin” by Valerie Udeozor

Artist’s description: “A seven minute expression through monologues/spoken word /rap that expresses the feelings of four young adults and how they found positives through the double pandemic of 2020.”


“Like Flutter from a Black Butterfly” An original poem recitation by Durell Cooper ’08


“Follow the Spirit” by Olga Manuilova

“Trash: Chauvin” by Everton Ferreira de Melo

“A short film poem about the first trial on Derek Chauvin in 2020 and its results on the feeling of people of color in the USA.” Directed by Everton Melo and Tammy Gomez; Written by Tammy Gomez; Edited by Everton Melo

“Budda Pecan Nuyorican Discertation” by Vida Landron

“The Strange Fruit and the Mountain” by Sheyenne Javonne Brown

“If Knees Could Talk”

Submitted by Dr. Mark G. Henderson, Interim Chair in the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre at Jackson State University. Starring acting troupe MADDRAMA.

“James Baldwin, Circa 1987” by SMU Student Marquis D. Gibson

A contemporary reimagining of James Baldwin’s final interview with Quincy Troupe in St. Paul de Vence, France.

“1-Neet-Kat” by Gil Pritchett

Original Music

“Smoke sum herb” by Shyronda S Felder

“Melancholy” by Joshua Oshea Mergerson

It is a song about someone I was close too that passed away, the lyrics will speak for it’s self!

“No Peace” by Celeste Butler

In Jacob Martin’s words, “My hope is that [this song] finds its way into every corner of the nation, energizing and encouraging people of all classes and colors to stand together in solidarity and rally against our oppressive systems; but if it inspires even one person to add their voice, their time, their resources and their body to the fight for justice, then I’ll consider it a success.” This song isn’t an empty shout into the void, it’s a determined boost of determined energy. It’s a firm and meaningful stance for the side of humanity. It’s an anthem for the impassioned, and an accountability check for those who have shied away from standing up and speaking out. It aims to make clear that true sustainable change will require a commitment from everyone; because “there is no peace, until there is peace for all.”

“What’s Life to a Sole” by Saniyah Mack

It’s my interpretation of a shoe commercial highlighted in usual places you don’t normally see shoes.

“Dear America,” by Amira Marshall

“Dear America,” is an original song I wrote, arranged, and produced that discusses many of the issues regarding many of the struggles people of color go through and systemic racism. This songs specifically focuses on Black Lives and the adversity faced by the Black community throughout America. The inspiration to write this song came from seeing many of people who I personally knew having different views then I did regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. I wrote this song in hopes to convey the message of the mistreatment of Black people and people of color in a society that claims it’s already fair. I wanted to open the eyes of those around me and open the opportunity for conversation.

“The Third Island” by Maurice Williams

This is the third movement in a seven piece work based on some of my travels.

“Can You Take Me To The Root?” by Umm Jasmine Dia

“Walk With Me” by Brandy White

“Cavernous” by Amir Hubbard

“Be True To You” by Charlie Jordan Brookins

I wrote this song during the pandemic when I was isolated from my friends.

“Drown” by Chrislyn Shepard

“In The Dark” by Alexandria Carrington

“DEEPDIVE” by Daks McClettie II

Pandora – Deep Dive
Rain – Deep Dive
Past Life – Deep Dive
She Said – Deep Dive
Venus Interlude – Deep Dive
Thorned Roses – Deep Dive
Okay – Deep Dive
Outro – Deep Dive

“Blue” by Maria Cornelious

Blue is a self-written and produced song that I have been working on since May of 2020.

“149 West One Hundred and Eighth Street Manhattan” by C Niambi Steele

A blues in the key of gratitude written through the eyes of homelessness

“All” by Ben Woods

It is a song about freedom. Finding it. Seizing it. And running with it. Then, eventually passing it on to the next.

“Hands Up…Don’t Shoot!” by Kodisha Bivins

This spoken word piece was created to speak out against police brutality and injustice. It was written to highlight the pain blacks in America feel and create thought-provoking conversation that leads to activism and change.

“Her Song” by Cherry Mantis

“Make The Change” by John M Tyler

“Make The Change” is the closing song to John Tyler’s EP titled “No Color”. The song was heavily inspired from 60’s to 70’s soul & blues, but still is relevant today. John Tyler conveys in the lyrics that there’s still hope for justice for black people in America, and that soon we won’t have to fight for our lives. John encourages all listeners to help make a change

“Rough Ride” by Djore Nance

A rough ride is an illegal policing tactic, which resulted in the death of Freddie Gray. This song describes the horrendous nature of that tactic and overpolicing in general.

“Symphony for the End of the World (2020)” by Amrita Dhillon

“This audio piece ‘Symphony for the End of the World’ created during the first COVID-19 lockdown, deals with the mass paranoia and conspiracy of the COVID age. Snippets from Orson Welles’ 1938 radio drama ‘The War of the Worlds’ – which unintentionally provoked a mass panic about an alien invasion – are layered over contemporary COVID-19 conspiracy theorists who have created their own modern brand of paranoia with seriously damaging consequences.”

“Airplane Mode” by Karisa Washington

“My submission is a produced instrumental that I created during the spike of Covid-19. Everything is made from scratch and I created it on a airplane (how I got the title of the song) coming back from my hometown. I made the best with the intentions of reflecting my feelings that I experienced during the pandemic. During the pandemic, it was hard to socially interact with people and while I had difficulties with the issue of not being able to speak to people face to face, I was able to let out all my emotions into my work.”

“My Eyes” by Jarrett Murray

A song and scene based off of a photo by Accra Shepp of Andrea Willis at a BLM protest in August, with real dialogue from an interview with Andrea herself. Originally created for The Civilians: Showing Up Cabaret. Words by Katie Madison, Music by Jarrett Murray

“Caged Bird Improv” by Amanda Finch (vocals), Alex Nguyen (Piano/Trumpet) Sam Weber (Bass), and Jay Sawyer (Drums).

Artist’s description: “This was an improv selection based on Maya Angelou’s Caged Bird.”

Original Songs by Bobby Daye

“Here 4U,” Lyrics and Music by Bobby Daye.

Artist’s description: “A reminder about doing for ourselves what we ask others to do for us. Be mindful of our sisters and brothers.”
Song written by Bobby Daye, Sylvia MacCalla and Yvette Cason. Video created by Arnetia Walker.

“This song was created to highlight the importance of voting and having your voice heard.”

Bobby Daye, from a submission to the black album. mixtape.
“For America,” with music and lyrics by Bobby Daye.
Marty Lamar Performs “Children of Freedom.”
SMU Student Trajan Clayton: “Wake Up” (Music by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes)

Artist’s statement: “Though we be chained to our history wherever we go, we hold the key to our own freedom. Time to get woke!” With Aly Marchant, Ethan Taylor, Tyler Baker, Anthony Gaetjen, Megan Muscato. Filmed and edited by Macy Mae Cowart.


“Making of an Avatar” by Jenny Kljucaric

“Making of an Avatar explores the process of avatar creation within gaming and internet communities. Drawing upon specific elements from various games and placing them within a slower paced, ominous environment allows for a closer look at this gaming trope. The piece equates the concept of the avatar to that of the cyborg through its DNA and chromosomal imagery and its fragmentation of the body. The video pulls elements from the opening sequence from Ghost in the Shell, Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 animated film, as well as its audio to create a tense and somewhat meditative state. The audio also works to create a sense of humor between the ridiculous figures and the serious tone of the film’s opening sequence. I do not own the audio in this piece. The song is ‘Making of a Cyborg’ by Kenji Kawai from the Ghost in the Shell soundtrack, 1995.”

“Portrait of a Nation” by Mark Hirsch

Original Writing

Grace, Excerpt from the Original Play by SMU Theatre student Crislyn Fayson

It’s March 14, 2020. Today is the day after Breonna Taylor’s death.

“There are two living, breathing, and loved black lives in the space. Take care of them.”

MS.PEACE, a black 28 year old woman, sits still in front of her computer screen. Her Zoom screen is on, her glasses are resting in her hand, and a notebook sits in front of her blank and open. She’s staring at the wall.

A moment.

GRACE, a black 19 year-old girl pops up on the screen, her head down, writing in a notebook. She looks up quickly, taking in the room, and gets to writing again. She huffs.


Where is everyone?

Ms. Peace

Oh! Good morning Grace.


Am I the only one here?

Ms. Peace

Yes. You’re the only one who decided to come today.


Ms. Peace

How are you?


I’m ready to take the test.

Read the full play


Dallas Theater Center’s Morgana Wilborn Interviews Ann M. Williams, Founder of Dallas Black Dance Theater

Ann M. Williams founded Dallas Black Dance Theatre in 1976. She is a founding member of the Dance Council of North Texas, the Advisory Board of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and The International Association of Blacks in Dance.

Morgana Wilborn is a Dallas native. She is the Director of Education at Dallas Theater Center and Professor of Theater and Humanities at Eastfield and El Centro College.

A Submission from John Ziegler, Director, Egan Office of Urban Education and Community Partnerships (UECP):

An Interview with Carol Johnson, the City of Austin’s First Civil Rights Officer

An Interview with Dallas Cultural Critic Terry Allen

SMU Journalism Student Interviews Lexxi Clinton ’21

Troy Pryor and Regina Taylor Interview Harry Lennix

Regina Taylor Interviews Edward Okpa

Edward Ejike Okpa Jnr. also referred to as Ejike Okpa II, is a Nigerian-American Entrepreneur, commercial real estate Broker, economic development.

Regina Taylor Interviews Curtis King

Curtis King, founder of The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Incorporated (TBAAL) of Dallas, Texas, was born in Coldwater, Mississippi. Earning his master’s degree in theater from Texas Christian University in 1974, King worked for the Mayor’s Council on Youth Opportunity in Fort Worth, and the Sojourner Truth Theater Company after graduation. King was teaching theater at Shaw University in 1977 when he learned that the BAAL had gone defunct in 1976. Using $250, King formed the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters (later The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Incorporated, or TBAAL) in homage to BAAL in 1977. TBAAL went on to become the only African American multidisciplinary cultural arts organization housed inside a major urban convention center.

Regina Taylor Interviews Dallas’ District Attorney John Creuzot

John Creuzot is a retired Judge and an award-winning lawyer with more than three decades of experience in the criminal justice system, including more than 21 years as a Felony District Court Judge. His background also includes seven years of service as a Dallas County Assistant District Attorney and Chief Felony Prosecutor as well as a criminal defense lawyer while in private practice.

Regina Taylor Interviews SMU Alumni, Miami Vice Star Saundra Santiago

Saundra Santiago is a versatile actress who has worked in television, movies and on the Broadway stage. She holds a BFA from the University of Miami, and an MFA from Southern Methodist University.

Regina Taylor Interviews SMU Alum, Actress and Stage Director Ptosha Storey

Storey was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She later attended Southern Methodist University. She’s known for her role as Nancy Hallsen in the BET prime time soap opera, The Oval.

Regina Taylor Interviews Film and TV Writer/Producer Kevin Arkadie

From Arkadie’s biography: “I’m originally from Washington, D.C., the Nation’s Capital, affectionately known as “Chocolate City.” My mother worked for the Federal Government, of course. We moved to Maryland, then Dallas, Texas where I graduated from Lake Highlands High School and enrolled at Southern Methodist University’s Film school. After my first year, I transferred to the Theatre Department and received my BFA in Acting, although I always thought I’d be a short story writer or novelist.”

Vicki Washington Interview with Djore Nance

From Art & SeekWashington has been not just a mainstay but a foundation in North Texas theater, influencing generations of artists. She started and led two black companies, r.t.w.-reading the writers and Afro-American Artists Alliance. She’s taught at Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet for three decades. She’s acted and directed at companies from Jubilee Theatre to Theater Three. And now her influence has gone national: Her son, Terence Nance, is the director of Random Acts.

Djoré Nance is a singer, actor, musician, composer, music producer, and conductor originally from Dallas, TX. Djoré has been a frequent guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In 2008, Djoré made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York.

Interview: Jonathan Norton and Vicki Meek

Vicki Meek, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a nationally recognized artist who has exhibited widely. Meek is in the permanent collections of the African American Museum in Dallas, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Paul Quinn College and Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Jonathan Norton is the Playwright in Residence at the Dallas Theater Center.

Theatre TCU’s Cast: “How Artists Use Their Platforms for Social Change Past and Future”

Regina Taylor ’81 Interviews Actor, Director, Writer Akin Babatunde

Akin Babatunde is an accomplished actor, director, writer and lecturer. His theatrical career spans the regional off-Broadway to international stages of the world, film and television.