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The Questions featuring Amanda Shea

Boston, MA - 10/29/2020 Amanda Shea is an artist, organizer and community leader.  She is photographed in her Roxbury Home. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)
Boston, MA - 10/29/2020 Amanda Shea is an artist, organizer and community leader. She is photographed in her Roxbury Home. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Amanda Shea is a connector of creativity and community. She dances at the intersection of art and activism, using poetry and performance to amplify social justice issues.

Shea doesn’t just create art, she nurtures solidarity among artists and often brings them together to create change and raise awareness around issues.

Her life is a beautiful resistance.

What does a beautiful resistance mean to you?

A beautiful resistance to me means to continue to speak my truth and refusing to be silent. My art is my truth and I resist when I speak from my heart about my multifaceted identities. I was raised in the North, born in the South, and my bloodlines are tied to Africa, Puerto Rico, and Portugal. My very existence and the contrasting environmental dynamics that I was nurtured and raised in have solidified my ever-evolving fight against oppressive ideologies. Our voices are powerful. As an artist, it’s my responsibility to raise awareness of how important it is to amplify all voices, especially Black, brown, and indigenous people.

Being a Black person in New England is:

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A constant battle with internalized oppression. It’s a fight against dealing with chronic micro-aggressions while simultaneously having to reinvent and radically imagine what our future will look like.

In this moment, what is your greatest joy or hope?

In this moment, my greatest joy is being with loved ones and creating. Being intentional and mindful of my joy. It’s been a priority for me amidst the pandemic of COVID-19, Black and Trans lives being taken by the police, Trump, the election, Libya, South Sudan, Nigeria, and just 2020′s trauma. I’m hopeful that change will actualize from the results of all these atrocities transpiring. Black and brown people have fought; continue to fight for freedom and liberation. I’m hopeful and I pray it will happen within my lifetime.

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Why is rest important to the revolution?

As a collective, Black and Brown people have been relentlessly battling a perpetual fight against a deliberate system of White Supremacy. We are tired, exhausted from proving our humanity to a system that doesn’t acknowledge, nonetheless recognize, us as fully human. Rest must be utilized as a tactic to heal ourselves while also reenergizing ourselves to continue this fight. Rest is vital when it comes to mental health. Without steady rest and relaxation, our ability to function will diminish. The system is already set up so we have to work twice as hard to prove ourselves in the eyes of the white imagination so we must employ a regime of rest to even exist in this climate of hate. Rest will grant us the strength to brave the battles and win.

Follow Amanda Shea on Instagram: @amandasheaallday




Jeneé Osterheldt can be reached at jenee.osterheldt@globe.com and on Twitter @sincerelyjenee.