If There’s One Creative Livestream You Join All Week, Month, or Year, Make This It

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

In celebration of the interdisciplinary artist and historian Thulani Davis’ new poetry collection, Nothing But the Music, a launch party of performances and conversations is set for tomorrow, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The occasion is as historic and thrilling as the lineup of artists joining the livestream: Roscoe Mitchell of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Greg Tate of Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, Pulitzer-winning composer Anthony Davis, author Tobi Haslett, Yale theater professor Daphne A. Brooks, playwright Jessica Hagedorn, and NYU performance studies professor Fred Moten.

Davis’ poetry is as vivid and profound as her subjects: the sounds, contours, and characters of avant-garde jazz and soul of the ’70s and ’80s. The many instruments and registers she excels at—playwright, journalist, librettist, novelist, and screenwriter—converge in her current role as Afro-American Studies professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. But she’s been a public educator since long before the academy, awards, and articles. For Davis, a pioneering Village Voice editor and writer, the act of writing is an act of discovery and recovery—of history, information, and places. It’s also an act of documentation in a democratic sense. Her genealogy-memoir, My Confederate Kinfolk: A 21st-Century Freedwoman Discovers Her Roots, reveals the entrenched dynamics of power around family, race, and gender.

Though best known for her librettos in Amistad and Malcolm X and her Maker of Saints and 1959, she’s increasingly recognized as a visionary in the Black Arts Movement alongside Jayne Cortez, Sonia Sanchez, and Davis’ longtime friend Ntozake Shange. I could go on—about the care, the craft, the eye for joy, grief, and resilience—and I will in an upcoming dive into Davis’ works. For now, register for the Zoom. Pick up Nothing But the Music from Blank Forms Editions.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaire owners wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaire owners wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate