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“Familiar Strangers” from Nate John Mark

In Administration, Assistantship, Audience Development, Uncategorized on May 1, 2017 at 6:22 AM

conferenceAs the FAIR Audience Development Assistant much of my work here has been in community outreach. We are working hard to connect and form partnerships especially with communities of color. Most recently we have made have reached out to the Indigenous community by inviting ambassadors and other guests from Oregon Indian Education Association and SOU Native American Studies. What they received from us was an opportunity to see one of our amazing productions, a dinner reception, and a pretty good discount for tickets to “Off the Rails.” We were graciously invited to the OIEA conference at SOU and what I received from them was the ignition of an internal flame. These hungry flames consume my spirit and burn a passionate red and an envious green. I want now more than ever to know where I come from. I want now more than ever to truly know my ancestors and hear their stories. Like many Black people, there are so many lost stories in my ancestry. So much wisdom buried underneath the eternal night in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. And that may not even be totally true. How many of our ancestors were captured right here in North America? How many of our ancestors escaped into the mountains of a small Caribbean Island? I see the similarities within Pan African culture, Latinx culture, and now Indigenous culture and I can’t help but think that we all come from the same sacred womb. Brothers and sisters separated at a young age and made to forget the families they were taken from. The ancient pages of our book are scattered across the earth, hidden conspicuously in caves and cliff walls, in pyramids and ancient stone wonders, we write our story over monuments who’s greatness would baffle its witnesses thousands of years later. My family, my Clan, my tribe is out there somewhere waiting to tell me where my journey began. So to my ancestors, whoever you are, I humbly seek presence and wisdom. I will find you. I will listen.

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