Celebrating Black Futures: Feb. 26, 2021

Hear visual artist Juarez Hawkins, poet Maya Marshall, and rapper JSteezzy share live performance, art, and conversation. The program explores ideas of the Black artist in community, the importance of joy, and the power of radical imagination. Started in 2015 by the Movement for Black Lives, Black Futures Month is an opportunity to dedicate February to sharing new stories that dare to imagine a society where Black people are liberated and free. This program took place on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.

Juarez Hawkins is an artist, educator and curator. As Co-Curator of Gallery Programs at Chicago State University, she has organized exhibitions from the permanent collection, as well as student work and established artists. Recent curatorial projects include Black Clay at Chicago State; Radical Futures at the Museum of Contemporary Art; and Bill Walker: Urban Griot at the Hyde Park Art Center. Juarez is a member of Sapphire and Crystals, a collective of African American female artists.

Maya Marshall, a writer and editor, is cofounder of underbellymag.com, the journal on the practical magic of poetic revision. Also an educator, Marshall has taught at Northwestern University and Loyola University Chicago. She holds fellowships from MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, Callaloo, The Watering Hole, Community of Writers, and Cave Canem. She is the author of Secondhand (Dancing Girl Press, 2016). And her writing appears in Best New Poets 2019, Muzzle, Rhino, Potomac Review, Blackbird, and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago where she works as a manuscript editor at Haymarket Books.

Jalen Sharp is his name but his stage name is Jsteezzy (Jay-st-easy). He’s a junior and currently attends Oak Park and River Forest High School. He’s from the south side of Chicago as the rest of his family and has been making music part-time for about two years now. He has music on all platforms (Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud, etc.) those including one EP titled: TBH along with three singles and two mixtapes on SoundCloud. Some of his interests consist of playing basketball and playing video games, hanging out with family and friends, and watching anime.

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