Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

EVERY TIME I TALK ABOUT... BLACK VOICES IN A TIME OF CHANGE To Bring Together Poets and Musicians

Featuring artists celebrating the work of poet Lucille Clifton and artist Aaron Douglas, along with powerful original compositions.

EVERY TIME I TALK ABOUT... BLACK VOICES IN A TIME OF CHANGE To Bring Together Poets and Musicians

Conceived, curated, directed, and hosted by internationally renowned poet, author, Emmy winner, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Kwame Dawes, "Everytime I Talk About... Black Voices in a Time of Change: Poetry, Art, and Music" will bring poets and musicians together on the Lied Center stage in a powerful free virtual event.

Drawing on the poetry of the late poet Lucille Clifton and the art of Aaron Douglas (a University of Nebraska alum), University of Nebraska poets will celebrate the long history of Black poets bringing often uneasy truths to the heart of America and reflect on the issues still facing our nation. In conversation with music and visual art, they will perform their own compositions and selections of poems by Lucille Clifton, whose words continue to resonate in our culture today.

Kwame Dawes, describing the spirit and intent of this show says, "Clifton reminds us that our true dignity lies in the celebration of our varied humanity, full of intellectual acuity and sensibility-this is what her art achieves even as she exemplifies Langston Hughes' clarion call for black artists so many years ago, 'We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.' Hughes also described Aaron Douglas as an artist 'drawing strange black fantasies.'" Dawes adds, "Our poets and musicians in this show continue this wonderfully human celebration of beauty-and this is the edifice that stands against bigotry and racism."

The event will include original songs from Omaha-based artist Mesonjixx, who will set Clifton's words to music. The featured poet/performers include Jamaica Baldwin, Chaun Ballard, Tara Ballard, Jordan Charlton, Saddiq Dzukogi, Jessica Poli, and Stacey Waite, all members of the writing community in the Department of English at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Lied Center Executive Director Bill Stephan says, "In the wake of the horrific murder of George Floyd and the racial justice movement that began in the summer of 2020, the Lied Center wanted to use our resources to create something meaningful. We believe deeply that art can be a powerful force for change, and we are so grateful to Kwame Dawes for his leadership in creating this truly powerful piece. In celebrating the works of great artists like Lucille Clifton and Aaron Douglas and elevating new voices like those of our featured poets, we endeavor to shine a hopeful spotlight on how we can become a more just society."

Learn more at liedcenter.org.


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More
Branded Broadway Merch

Related Articles View More Omaha Stories

More Hot Stories For You