Among My Tribe
Aug 5, 2013

Feeling perfectly at home, in the midst of a crowd of like-spirited folks

Last weekend's Black Star Film Festival was nothing short of remarkable. All of the directors, actors, screenwriters, producers, and film enthusiasts circulating about in West Philly, marveling at the slate of films that Maori and her crew compiled for everyone's viewing pleasure. Panel discussions. Posing for pictures. Business card exchanges and insightful Q&As. It was one hell of a four-day stretch.

What fascinated me most, when I had a moment to step back and take it all in, was how at home I felt in the middle of the Black Star action. I was on-hand to report on the Festival for WURD, of course, but most of the friendships and associations I had floating around the venues were made years ago, when I was actively living my life as an actress, vocalist and filmmaker. It was great to be on the set, gathering sound bytes and absorbing the vibrant energy of enthusiasm for these independent Black films. But there is nothing in the world like feeling like you belong somewhere. That your presence in a space full of people you admire is no mere happenstance. There is joy in knowing exactly where you belong.

As I enjoyed a well-deserved day off today, I got a few more messages from cousins I've discovered from my DNA/genealogy research. It made me smile, realizing that more and more often, I am finding myself knitted snugly into a sense of belonging and welcome. In these days of technology oversaturation and impersonal attachments, my life seems to be counter-intuitive. I'm the kid who pushes buttons and transmits across the airwaves to decrease actual distance and increase my real-life connectedness. Every day that I fine-tune my media presence, I'm also more firmly entrenching myself into my tribe. Halfway around the world or right in my backyard, I feel at home and among friends. That's a beautiful thing.

Here is last week's playlist: