On a recent visit to the public library, The People Could Fly jumped off the shelf and into my hands. I knew the author, Virginia Hamilton, and the title was familiar, but one I’d not yet read.
It demanded to come home with me.
Today I cracked it open and was struck. The pictures and storytelling moved me. So much so I could see it – as dance. I could see the brilliant bodies of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater making these pictures. And flying.
Revelations is my favorite thing. This would give it a run for the money.
I’m currently adapting a children’s book into a play. But if I were born with different talents, I would adapt this for dance. If you have this talent, I invite you to interpret this piece for the world. It’s Black people dancing pain. Then dancing magic, freedom. Flying away.
This work moves me because I’m interested in helping adults tap into their imagination. I believe many problems in society are due to lack of imagination. Too many don’t believe in the possibilities of change. They think the way things are is the way they’ve always been, and subsequently, have to be.
But if you are imaginative, you know better.
We need more art in the world that forces people to reckon with possibility.
Did you create art today?