LaShawnda Crowe Storm,
M. Eliza Hamilton Abegunde
Be/ Coming
mixed media installation with costume
19 ft. diameter


I AM        
                                                  Jane James Albertina Daly Henrietta
                                                  James Vergie James Ataline Gentry
                                                  Harriety Gentry  Mamie Perrin Lillie
                                                  Belle Mack May Munroe Celia Gilyard
                                                  Nellie Sanders

the woman who feeds you until
you are full with summer peaches
and the memories of old women laughing
while singing the ripest from the center of trees

I AM        
                                                   Isabella Daly Muriel Daly George
                                                   Ramona Bouye Linda Theresa Daly
                                                   Hamilton  Celestine Magnolia Blount
                                                   Juanita Gray Cordedia Smith Nichols
                                                   Leola Keller Bettie Jean Scott Moore Hall

the woman who whispers you to sleep
with the rustling of my fingers against
dry earth until it rains and your body is
mud and succulent dreams of love
in moments you would have preferred to die

                                                    Georgiana Lizzie James Lily Daly
                                                    Juanita Schwartz Eliza Frances James
                                                    Daly Mary Goodman Probia Elvira
                                                    Collins Wickliffe Helen Goodman Bessie
                                                    Marie Scott Mary Kay Bowen

the one who knows your stories before you
are born who draws you into the limelight
to meet your Self and love her without fear

I AM        
                                                    Audrey Palestine Wickliffe Timberlake
                                                    Nancy Russ France Keller Russ Mary
                                                    Louise Wilson Mary Daly Peggy
                                                    Marshall Sadie Goodman Margaret Daly

the woman who walks without moving
who dreams without sleeping
who cuts without bleeding
who calls you without speaking         Remember

I AM                        
                                                     Mary Pearl Goodman Sadie Goodman
                                                    Anna Washington Rachel Young Agnita
here now                                     Daly Nevlyn Rawlins Maria Luzia de
                                                    Nascimento Maria Jose Silva de Jesus
                                                    Maria Augusta de Nascimento
did you think I would forget

I AM                                                
the sun setting green over the Atlantic
the blues turned into magic
ballast exchanged for gold                                Spirit made flesh

 --M. Eliza Hamilton Abegunde
                      --LaShawnda Crowe
                                                                COLLABORATIVE STATEMENT
                                       Artist LaShawnda Crowe Storm and Poet M. Eliza Hamilton Abegunde

Be/Coming is rooted in various masquerade traditions found throughout Africa, particularly Gelede and
Egungun of the Yoruba (Nigeria). Gelede honors female mystical power while Egungun honors the
collective ancestors of an individual person or group.

Be/Coming is the first in an ancestral masquerade series that addresses historical and contemporary social
ills and in/justices rooted in American society.  In this manifestation,
Be/Coming dances for
African-American women to reclaim their primordial female power, which continues to be fractured,
destabilized, and undermined by the weight of history, negative stereotypes and derogatory imagery.
Each time a masquerade is danced, the memory of that people is activated and, through the performance,
embodied by those present.
Be/Coming dances so that African American women can remember, honor,
cherish, and reclaim their ancestral power, as well as access and use it.

Be/Coming is a fusion of peoples and traditions. As such, it is grounded in the American folk art tradition of
quilting, which is about the piecing together of disparate parts and leftover things. African-American folk
traditions and mythologies (i.e. The Underground Railroad Quilt), and the controversies and hearsay
surrounding American history and iconography (i.e. the Statue of Liberty) are included. Various esoteric
and spiritual practices are also incorporated to activate the spiritual energy necessary to heal these
destructive forces.  

Like many healing rituals, in order for the community to benefit, multiple individuals must take part in its
construction. As such, many individuals have woven their power into the fabric of
Be/Coming, which
expands the circle of healing.