Author: stoombs14

But Has It Really Changed?

“Grow In the Grace of Knowledge and Truth”

The bottom of page 93-94

This quote stuck out to me the most because I feel as if everyone still needs to be educated on history that is often swept under the rug. “You learn something different everyday” is another way to put this. People in today’s society sometimes make up their own history, especially when it comes to the African American history. What surprised me right after this quote happen to be another quote. “ Slavery has always sought to hide itself under different names”. It shows that people try and “ Sugar Coat” what the actual reality of it is. I find that the most challenging thing about reading this section and reading the quotes I have defined is that, others still look at African Americans as slaves. There is a lot of hate still in Virgina when it comes to our history. We have had riots, vandalism, and marches in richmond for the past five years and none of the marches have educated anyone. It has just been Hate Marches. Being the fact that this book gives you insight on the history of Virginia. For the ones who read the book can educate others and teach others what the History Textbook does not. 


5 Rule

In these moments of the last couple of weeks I feel like my body and mind have not been in the same place no matter how much I try and pull them together. I have had to really try and make myself present in situations. Yes, I would be there for the moment but as soon as my mind starts to wander off I am gone for good. Life has been thrown at me these last couple of weeks but I continue to have positive thoughts. I continue to say a quote to myself everyday: “If it is not going to matter in 5 min, 5 weeks, 5 months or 5 years .. why stress over it?” That turns my mindset around and then that turns my full day around. I take my min. everyday that I can! It is always something that reminds me to do it and I really wish I had this when I was physically active in school. “Stressed To The Max” was my nickname at one point in school. I was in overload for my last 2 semester and I feel like I still am. Granted I do not have 24 credits this semester but balancing work, School, rehearsal and a life outside of that is hard. But, always doing my best. 

Let’s Talk About It

During the creative process of the performance of learning about Brother General Gabriel, I found it to be very eye opening experience. Being that I stepped into the process just a few weeks later, playing “catch up” made a small difference for me as a student. Though playing catch up happened to be apart of my process, I found that digging into the history and also listening about others experiences I gained more knowledge. The process of learning about the information up to the performance at the Burial Ground help me in a lot of ways because, I am very hands on. I tune into a lot of visual work and being face to face wether it is my work or someone’s work. Stepping into the museum and having a chance to learn from Free happened to be the best experience. Sitting with someone who knows so much history and has so much knowledge was a pleasure.

When working with MK, I found that as the performer at times I would find movement or intentions to be unclear but, it also made me realize that “staying in the moment” played a huge part in this role. As a person I over analyze everything and second guess a lot of my work but, in this case I had to go with the flow and really just stay in tune with everyone else. Feeling the energy of others happened to be where the story telling would come to life.

“Eye opening, moved spiritually, taken back and unity” are the words my mom used to describe her experience. My mother is always my go to person when it comes to receiving feedback. This was her first time at the Brother General Gabriel Burial Ground but this was not her first time hearing about it. When I mentioned that the performance was at the sight, she said “ They were going to turn it into a baseball field”. Instantly I remembered about that being in the paper and on the news. As I ask my mom to walk me through the process of what her most memorable moment of the performance would be she says “ When you all were in the tunnel and when the music would pick up, you guys would pick up the pace as well”. I found that to be interesting only because, we never heard the music. Being that we could connect step by step and beat by beat sent a chill up my spine. “The performance was powerful in itself but the music set the tone, the energy set the tone even higher”. She even talks about how the singing at the end of the performance felt like everyone came together and formed as a unity. It gave insight on African American History but also let people know that the Burial Ground is here. 

As an African American we are often forgot about when it comes to history. So to have everyone come out who have different racial backgrounds was a big deal. The experience will never be forgotten and I am honored that I was able to be apart of the process. 


As a person who has an opinion about most things in life. Typing out my reaction for 15 minutes will be a short challenge.

Going to a show and not knowing anything about it made me question myself but also I happened to be very excited. Before the play began, I found that the set of the stage happened to be the best set stage I have ever seen ( especially when it comes to student plays). From the beginning of the story I find that the characters threw out their personality roles very fast. I knew then that this play would touch on subjects that needed to be spoken out loud. When the children discovered the pictures I found it kind of amusing because, things happen like this in real life. Normally when people find out their family is connected to racism, they try to throw it aside or either become very denial. It took me to a place where a lot of history, black history gets swept under the rug but in school we continue to learn about what Christopher Columbus discovered. The one thing that I wanted to add to play would have been a question. “What do you know about these pictures?” I say that because the parents reacted but all they could question was why the father had them. All in all it happened to be a very decent play to attend.

Camille A. Brown – Sadé Toombs

Camille A. Brown is all about social dance and activism. She talks about her movement coming from the community and gets a lot of her movement from styles of African Dance. Her choreography is all about freedom in the arms and freedom in the movements. She talks about how she will give the dancers steps and/or task when it comes to creating phrases. The dancers will then development movement in the rhythm that she gives but, she will throw a spin on their character development. For example she would say “ Do this phrase happy, sad, mad, somebody is fighting you and etc”. 

In the talk back she touches on the bases of her dances being told through the black experiences. She is very vulnerable when it comes to her dances and movement. Her dances speak for themselves rather than her trying to explain detail by detail, even though she could into that much debt. Being that she teaches social dance it gives a feel for all the communities to come together and just be one for a moment in time. Camille will turn the social dancing into learning about the history which I find amazing on how she merges everything together. Bringing the audience together is what we strive for Brother Gabriel remembrance/ performance coming up. I pray that it gives the Richmond community a feel of the story, the issues we are expressing and also a sense of understanding. 

The question I wanted to ask was, how do the dancers prepare their minds for each performance and how do you get through the performance with 10 different emotions in one dance? What are you focused on more.. the technique? the steps? the feeling? or the movement?

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