Wait a minute. Don’t make your move too soon. Years ago when Meshell debuted at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, I was there. Enthralled by her combination of musical talent and autobiographical fierceness. And when that forward thinking sprite, Staceyann Chin newly arrived in New York was about to explode, I was also there. Marveling at the giant talk of this little sister. That was decades ago. They are still holding forth.
But of course, a lot of water has flowed under their bridges. They worked, and worked hard at their respective crafts. Developing and sharpening their artistic visions while living their lives, neither of which was easy, but they persevered. It’s not easy in the U.S. being lesbians who do not commercially exploit their sexuality but who also do not shrink from confronting the class-defined/racially-entombed anti-sexuality/anti-racism of this nation.
Neither was born in America–Meshell in Berlin, Staceyann in Jamaica. Both have chosen to live and work primarily in this cold, cold clime. At one point late in their respective careers they joined forces on a gender defying/defining event. They not only did a public series, they also sat and talked about their lives.
The meeting was iconoclastic. Check it out.