Erika Roberts is a creative force. With words written and spoken, she brings power to her art using her strongest tools: language and love. In this new blog takeover series, Erika not only gives us a look into what it’s like to be a collaborator forced to work from a distance during a global pandemic, but she’ll also introduce the GHC team through the lens of the shutdown later in the series.
You found your way back !
I have shared a lot over the last 5 weeks via this blog. The original intent of my taking over the GHC blog was to tell my story along with giving insight to what it is like working with a nonprofit during this time. It started out that way but the world became so complicated that the blog turned into a window into the life of a Black woman trying to cope with all of the things.
I revealed how obviously unready I was for this shutdown. I shared how I questioned my own sanity. I cried at the thought of not being able to be with my creative friends. As an extrovert that is real. I miss the stage. I miss real deep hugs. I shared alot.
I wrote about the engagements that were underway before the quarantine and the screeching halt as things changed. I wrote and shared how I began progressing this moment in time.
Then there was this deep shift. I am sure that you all felt that change. We were approaching social exhaustion from the world. We saw the video of 2 unarmed Black men being killed for no reason. The world became a witness to those deaths.
I shared emotional poetry about what was happening in the world. I cried as I wrote those words. I shared my anger and rage over what was happening in our country.
We celebrated Juneteenth, a holiday that I grew up respecting. My Blackness became more important than the Coronavirus. My strong need to protect Black men was heavy and undeniable.
I had NO choice but to write my feelings. I had a duty to put pen to paper about that.
I was very transparent and vulnerable in those early blogs. It was needed. So many things happened inside this bubble of chaotic safety. Racial lines were defined with electric barbed wire. We are all in a state of heightened sensitivity. At times we are ALL moments away from emotional breaks. We had to find ways to keep it together and move forward.
Here we are bravely peering into the mirror of these last couple of months. We are reliving the fear and feeling the coldness of the unknown. A nonprofit organization that has made its work uniquely around art and community. The middle of March was 1 BIG RED stop sign. Glass House Collective had to take a deep breath and answer some questions. These were among many more.
In the next few weeks I will be interviewing my teammates on how they began their process of coping with the quarantine.
I will ask them each to be ready to dig deep and be vulnerable as we share the good and the bad. We will talk about the work that Glass House Collective has been doing and how we will move forward.
I will ask each of them hard questions to spark brave conversations on racism inside this quarantine bubble. Each member of the collective has a word to write and talk about. As I write this, they have no idea what their specific word will be.
I encourage you to rewind the blogs and read them again. I look forward to having you back here next Friday ready to peel back the layers and get to the bones of humanity as it works.
Please take some time this weekend to do nothing. Be gentle with yourself.