Last night kicked off the start of the 2012 BAAD! Ass Women’s Festival with a screening of the films B.D. Women and Standing on my Sisters’ Shoulders. Located just across the street from The Point in the Banknote building, BAAD (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance) is an arts and performance space dedicated to the work of people of color and the LGBT community. I’ve been wanting to go to BAAD for a while now, so I was glad to finally be able to make it out there. Artistic Director and choreographer Arthur Aviles set the tone for the night with a brief history of the space and a striptease sales pitch for BAAD merchandise (so I definitely knew that this was a cool spot).
The films took a look on the Black lesbian community and the role women played in the civil rights movement. I was particularly moved by Standing on my Sisters’ Shoulders. I’m really interested in sociology and the film ties in with a lot of ideas I’ve currently got floating around in my head. The film really pissed me off, but made me proud at the same time. I was angry at the level of racism, which as more time goes on younger generations can easily forget the struggle and obstacle faced by our ancestors, so I think seeing the protests and rallies unabashedly was great for instilling and reigniting the appreciation within me. (SIDENOTE: I just finished reading Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness by Toure, which I highly recommend. It focuses a lot on what modern racism looks like compared to the more blatant form it took in the 50s and 60s.) The film is an important reminder of where we come from. We being every American. Especially given recent racial situations at Fordham, the Southern Mississippi band green card chant, and those ‘Don’t Re-Nig in 2012’ bumperstickers. It’s all just one big WTF moment.
It’s obvious that more supportive places like BAAD are needed around the country. The BAAD!Ass Women’s Festival continues until the end of the month with a variety of different programs. Be sure to check out their site for full details.