The Ballet Slipper
Traditions are meant to be broken, especially in a place like AmeriKKKa. Many practices in our country were established by white men that were greedy. The tradition of greed came at the expense of Communities Of Color. In particular, greed was one of the factors to erase our history and voices. As NAS says in Not for Radio, “I think they scared of us.” When you erase a people, you do not allow others to learn and understand their greatness.
Traditions are meant to be broken. I encourage all who can break traditions that silence and oppress to do so. A big thank you from us to you. We acknowledge your brilliance and confidence as you walk in the room and speak your truth.
Traditions are meant to be broken and so she wore that ballet slipper. Not just any pink slipper, a silky smooth brown slipper. She padded it with foundation to take on the golden brown and black hues of her skin. During her time with Dance Theater in Harlem, Cira Robinson was required to wear brown ballet slippers. Traditions are meant to be broken. What became a mandate by the Harlem Dance Theater, Cira carried into her new dance company.
Traditions are meant to be broken and they noticed. Now companies carry Brown and Bronze ballet slippers specifically for Dancers Of Color. When we speak our truth, some will listen. Now Cira and her fellow Dancers Of Color are asking to wear brown tights to match their skin tone but doing so is considered “incorrect.”
Traditions are meant to be broken and require us to be indignant. This is why the IPE movement supports Cira and those that push for all of us who will enter spaces where traditions need to be broken.
Remember that in AmeriKKKa, many traditions disempower our communities. In Everything, NAS raps, “I been shackled by western tradition,” and as result, we do not speak our truth because we fear retaliation. I encourage us to support those that break tradition because one day this broken tradition will be the reason why our children are able to be who they chose to be. Let us support them by breaking traditions and allowing them to create their own ways of expressions.