Week 4 was concentrated on uplifting the work of our network. The fourth week of Black Futures Month presented us with two of our very own, Funmilola Fagbamila from BLM Los Angeles and Syrus Ware from BLM Toronto.

Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate, and educator. Website | Twitter | Instagram

Funmilola Fagbamila is a Nigerian American scholar, activist, playwright, and artist. Funmilola’s artistry is multifaceted, including spoken word and hip hop. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

In this activist portrait series, Syrus has been creating portraits as an act of reverence, a celebration of life, choice, and action. Pictured are:

  1. Miski: Communications strategist, activist, and organizer with Black Lives Matter.
  2. Megan: Activist and musician in Vancouver organizing around black liberation, anti-poverty issues, and harm reduction.
  3. Addis: Activist and organizer in Chicago who organizes around disability justice and black liberation.

Funmilola presented a poem dedicated to little Black girls entitled Black Girl Fly.

Imagine little black girl maybe 9 maybe 10

She solemly swears to herself she will win

She will write her thoughts

She will read them loud

She will speak her mind

She’ll be black and proud

She gonna light up the world with a futuristic vision

About what our world would look like if we fought for abolition

Of the systems that are founded on a mass superstition

That demand that our minds and bodies are imprisoned

Yes – she gonna do all that

But in order to do that she has to dodge the things that hold her back

Like assumptions made about who she is

And what she should do and how she should live

Like be a good girl, and don’t make no noise

And go play wit barbies and these pink ass toys

And your strength is not match for the strength of the boys

And she knows that ignorance given power destroys

But she won’t be held back

No she won’t do that

Yes she will push through

That’s what black girls do

And she has no limit

She exceeds the sky

She is strength and power

That you can’t deny

She will challenge authority

No she won’t comply

She will change the world

Yes she will go high

And I’ll be shading my eyes as I look in the sky

What I see in the clouds? – that young black girl fly.

View the work from this week on Blavity.