Crackers by vanessa german

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


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close up: crackers, or, i'm always only one or two good-intentioned white folks away from being a lead story on the evening news, or, remember that one time the police captain told me to not act, "niggerish" and i cried, or, ammo magazine and bullets can be used as evidence, or, no one runs from the police for no reason,or, my struggle is your struggle, or, i love hip hop, or, black folks couldn't support a cultural center unless it was a shopping mall, or, how i got over, or, tell my mama i went down_________, or, it was the Mountain Dew! it was the Mountain Dew! or, ask trayvon about it, or, the post-racial tar baby danced down the avenue in its new hair-do and armed, or, armed and dangerous, or, _____ and dangerous, or, ballet theater, or,_____ ballet theater, or, living wage as a sculpture, or, who needs a living wage when you've got such a fantastic cultural center, or, can i touch your hair, or, can i hug you, i just really, really want to hug you.

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vanessa german is an artist. She was raised in Los Angeles, California and Loveland, Ohio. She is presently based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s historic Homewood neighborhood. vanessa is an actress, playwright, sculptor, performer and educator. vanessa has pioneered a performance style called Spoken Word Opera; a dynamic hybrid of spoken word poetry infused with the theatrical elements of opera. She has written and performed several evening-length Spoken Word Operas including,"root", "testify", and "fire" and been featured performer at The Vineyard Playhouse, The Three Rivers Arts Festival and The August Wilson Center for African American Culture. She's been a featured performer at the International Arts Festival in Grahmstown, South Africa, Pop TECH,  Harvard, MIT, TED Women, and TED Education. vanessa's sculptural work has been shown and exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide and is in several public and private collections including, The Progressive Collection, The Weisman Foundation, the American Visionary Arts Museum and the David C. Driskell Center. She is also the founder of, “Love Front Porch,” Homewood’s Art House, and the “STOP SHOOTING, WE LOVE YOU” yard signs. The Huffington Post noted her, "One of 30 contemporary art makers under 40 that you should know about." Her work is presently touring the nation in the Driskell Center's African American Art 1950-Present and with Remix: Selections from the International Collage Center.