London Bridgez: Breaking Barriers | 30 Days Unchained : Day 10 Saturday 19 January, 2013

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30 Days Unchained/#30unchained | Day 10 – 1/19/13 | Inspiration: London Bridgez Part poet, part MC, part lyricist, London Bridgez makes art that crosses musical boundaries. Her live performances incorporate spoken word, literature, hip hop and live music. London explains: “In my art I attempt to bridge music and poetry. I believe that if you look at […]

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30 Days Unchained/#30unchained | Day 10 – 1/19/13 | Inspiration: London Bridgez

Part poet, part MC, part lyricist, London Bridgez makes art that crosses musical boundaries. Her live performances incorporate spoken word, literature, hip hop and live music. London explains: “In my art I attempt to bridge music and poetry. I believe that if you look at music within a historic context you will find examples of poetry and music being commonly fused in the creation of opera, yone poems, choral works as well as in funk, jazz and early hip hop. It is only recently that the division has been created.”

As an artist and activist, London uses her status as a public figure to ally with non profits who are serving social needs. Her social justice performance credits include Bayard Rustin Community Breakfast sponsored by the Aids Action Committee, a YWCA fundraiser to support the production of VDAY Lawrence, Queer Women of Color Week- OUTSPOKEN, Provincetown Women of Color Weekend, the Hispanic & Black Gay Coalition Panel Series, the Milwaukee Pridefest, National Day of Silence, NYC Pridefest Stage, Sister’s Talk Radio and the Aids Walk Boston Opening Ceremonies. Embracing all of her passions into one beautifully talented persona, Bridgez is the definition of living unchained. London’s determination to interpret the world in her own unique way is the inspiration for today’s challenge…

Challenge (Find, Create, or Remix an Image that Answers the Question): What barriers will you break with your art? 

Share your image(s) on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and be sure to tag @liveunchained and use the hashtag #30unchained so we can shout you out! Be sure to follow us on FacebookPinterestand Twitter to keep up with the latest #30unchained news.

Live Unchained: Where does the stage name “London Bridgez” come from?

London Bridgez: London is my name. I added on “Bridgez” because it summed up my creative process of transforming poetry to be listened to by audiences. In my art I attempt to bridge music and poetry. I believe that if you look at music within a historic context you will find examples of poetry and music being commonly fused in the creation of opera, yone poems, choral works as well as  in funk, jazz and early hip hop. It is only recently that the division has been created.

At the root of music you will find poetry and vice versa because tone,
rhythm, cadence, and lyricism, are the properties of both poetry and
music.  In my personal life I find great satisfaction in bringing
people together and bridging the gaps of isolation that often separate
people.

LU: As an artist and an activist, what social issues does your work address?

LB: I am an openly identified  gay woman of color. I  support many
organizations that are tearing down strongholds for LGBTQ equality
such as Queer Women of Color, Aids Action Committee of Boston, NYC
Heritage committee, Riverside Church NYC and a long list of others.

In terms of my personal engagement, my wife and  I am currently
co-editing  anthology of writing called Going Public: Black Women
reflect on love, relationships and coupling. In preparation for our
wedding, we began an ongoing discussion about not knowing many Black
lesbian couples, particularly married ones. Our conversation evolved
into a deeper discussion of how marriage and indeed “coupling” is far
too uncommon within the Black community.

We thought it would be insightful to hear the stories of other Black
women who have chosen to marry whether to another Black woman or a woman of another racial/ethnic background. As legal residents of Massachusetts, we recognized how fortunate we were to even have this discussion, as most gay and lesbian people do not have the opportunity to legally marry their partners in their own states.

We went on to think about coupling in general and began doing research on this issue. Via our research we found that Black women in the U.S. are the least likely to marry or to couple regardless of sexual orientation. Whether straight or gay, black women are less likely than any other racial/ethnic group to be married or living with a partner as a couple. This anthology will not only give historical presence to the voices of black women but also reflect on the social implications that stem from these statistics of black women and marriage. It is important for the voices of black women to be heard by larger society. We are not invisible. Our stories matter. Telling the stories of black women is vital to the black community and society at large.

LU: What does living unchained mean to you?

LB: My personal goal in life is to live an un-fragmented life meaning I can be all of myself in every environment. To me being unchained means I am not locked into other people’s definitions or expectations instead I can live my life freely as the universe wills me to do.

This interview is excerpted from a full feature with the artists. View the original article here.

30 Days Unchained/#30unchained is an interactive creative countdown to the Live Unchained Anniversary Celebration . Everyday for 30 days, we’ll share some of our most popular interviews with Live Unchained featured artists. They include women creatives of various disciplines from across the African diaspora. Her creative journey will be the inspiration for your challenge. To participate simply respond to the challenge question with images (not words). Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and be sure to tag @liveunchained so we can shout you out – it’s that simple. Learn more about 30 Days Unchained, including rules and prizes hereGet your daily challenge from Thursday, January 10th through the day of the big bash on Friday, February 8th at www.liveunchained.com.


Written by Aleyna Jones and Kathryn Buford

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One Comment

  • trevor says:

    London’s voice is vibrant and her messages and attitudes on sexuality ring a familiar bell of insight and revolution/evolution…

    Truly powerful stuff.


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