The team behind the critically acclaimed What to Send Up When it Goes Down—playwright Aleshea Harris, director Whitney White, and The Movement Theatre Company—have reunited to launch Resilience. Created in response to the current moment, the digital initiative consists of an online love letter drive, featuring messages of love, recognition, and solidarity to the Black community, and a short film titled soft light.
A meditation on the joys and challenges of Black remembrance, soft light is written and narrated by Harris, directed by White and produced by TMTC. The short film can be viewed above, and is freely available on YouTube.
“What I recall most vividly about the summer Trayvon Martin was killed was the desire to hold and be held by people who felt as I did," says Harris. "The despair so many are experiencing now is reminiscent of that time, with its challenges to accessing community and the overwhelming images of Black death. My hope for this moment is that we’ll find ways to reach for one another across distance, that we’ll stand in the truth of our belonging and refuse to abandon joy.”
Soft light features Jozben Barrett, Keelay Gipson, Kenard Jackson, Andy Jean, Daniel Alexander Jones, Cheri L. Miller, Ashton Muñiz, Lynn Nottage, Shaina Lynn Simmons, John Sweet, and Kara Young. Collaborators include sound designer Sinan Zafar, editors Tarik Smith and Matthew Russell, and visual artist Byron McCray. Digital design is by Yu-Hsuan Chen.
Resilience also features an Instagram love letter campaign via the @loveletterstoblackpeople account, where audiences can view—and send—loving messages from far and wide. To contribute with a message, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harris' website, bagofbeans.net/wtsu-resources also has resources related to communal healing and social justice.