by Bay View Editor Nube Brown
This year’s GIRLFLY in the Gardens was built around the three key ideas of “Land, Belonging and Racial Justice.” As young women and non-binary people moving through the world, it can be hard to claim a sense of belonging, particularly in public spaces mired in racial injustice.
Through site-specific dances, choreographed by GIRLFLY participants, Jo Kreiter and Megan Lowe of Flyaway Productions; lessons by master hoop dancer Eddie Madril (Pascua Yaqui) and former SF poet laureate, Kim Shuck (Tsalagi/Cherokee and Polish); and writing activities led by SF State professor of Asian American Studies Wei Ming Dariotis, GIRLFLY participants developed a deep sense of their belonging in San Francisco tied to rich and complex histories and even dreams of their own futures, as you can see in the following poems. To respect their privacy, we will be showing the GIRLFLY participants in group settings.
The Gardens, the Quesada Gardens, just off busy Third Street, Bayview Hunters Point’s main corridor, has a rich community history of its own: Transformed in the early 2000s from a trash-strewn median by local residents Annette Smith and Karl Paige into a lush and beautiful place for the local community and surrounding neighborhoods to enjoy, it is a testament to the power of people coming together to nurture and feel a sense of belonging.
The SF Bay View is honored to present this series of 16 poems starting with Michelle W and then presenting three poems each month over the next five months. Be inspired!
Waves of Sunshine
by Michelle, 17, Bayview Hunters Point
I am from zoology and the Disney Channel
I bring my own sunshine
I am from nature
I am the roots of the Bayview
I am from ribs and mac & cheese
I am the special connection to my grandpa when I create our family BBQ sauce
I am from purple royalty throughout fresh generations
my ancestors guide me to push forward and shine my light
I am from Crocs Universal
my goal is to make connections for others
I am from cocoa roots and curls
I am made of water and I flow through this thing called life
I am from 6 feet apart
I have social-distanced my entire life
I am from anime
I hope to help others make change for themselves
I am from thickness and curves
dance is a circle of life for me
To learn more about GIRLFLY, contact Jo Kreiter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jo is a nationally recognized choreographer and site artist with a background in political science.