Artist examines black womanhood in ‘100 Acts of Resistance’


Daniel Tian/Daily Senior Staffer

Noyes Cultural Arts Center at 927 Noyes St. Lynsey Ann Moxie sang, danced and recited original poetry as part of a performance in the “100 Acts of Resistance” series.

Gabby Birenbaum, Reporter

Midway through her performance, Lynsey Ann Moxie stopped the music and spoke directly to the audience. As a black woman and artist, she said that it was time for her to be vulnerable.

Moxie sang, danced and recited poetry as part of “100 Acts of Resistance” on Monday at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center. The performance was one of 100 across the Chicago area this year, in which artists express their experiences as marginalized Americans.

Moxie said her piece aimed to pay homage to black women and the diversity of their experiences. As an “interdisciplinary artist,” Moxie said her piece used multiple art forms to mirror the wide-ranging obstacles and successes black women encounter.

“When I was creating this show, my conversation of resistance revolved around the dimensionality of black women,” Moxie told The Daily. “I sit on the shoulders of all these black women who have helped me have the audacity and the courage to be vulnerable. And so, as I wrote this thesis, it was really important for me to share all the dimensionality and the versatility of what it means to be a black woman.”

The first half of the performance involved spoken-word poetry and music, quoting Billie Holiday’s song “Strange Fruit” and recounting the story of Emmett Till, a black teenager who was murdered in the 1950s. Moxie delivered poems on racial paradigms, colorism and the “dimensionality” of black sound.

Moxie also performed original songs from her EP, “Forget Me Nots.” The songs took the audience of approximately 15 people through the stages of her relationships.

Lisa McDonald, a Wilmette resident who attended the event, said she appreciated the structure of the performance. McDonald also said she valued the inclusivity of the performance’s discussion of colorism.

“(Moxie) touched on a lot of topics that are still pertinent and have always been pertinent,” McDonald told The Daily. “I loved how she closed it with love and the concept that we need to be vulnerable.”

Moxie works as an English teacher at Southland College Prep Charter School in Richton Park. She said as an English teacher, she believes in the power of words to enact change. Having attended Spelman College, she said the historically black college for women helped her learn important aspects of history.

Tim Rhoze, the artistic director at Fleetwood-Jordain Theatre, said Moxie’s show was a part of the Noyes Cultural Arts Center’s Black History Month programming. Rhoze said Moxie’s piece managed to inspire the audience.

“I thought it was absolutely brilliant,” Rhoze told The Daily. “She has consciously raised her performance to a level where we’re going to be aware of our actions as human beings and our interactions as human beings.”

Moxie’s performance also touched on reclaiming black culture and allowing black women the space to experience a range of emotions. In the piece, Moxie listed emotions ranging from joy to anger, explaining that it is okay for black women to feel and express these sentiments. Allowing yourself to access multiple feelings is a statement of humanity, she said.

Ultimately, Moxie said she hopes the piece serves as a space to confront discomfort and learn from it.

“There’s nothing wrong with having discomfort,” Moxie said. “If we’re all comfortable and we’re all kicking it with people who agree with us, then how do we grow? That’s what this show is about.”

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