Rise Up! Hendersonville, North Carolina remembers and celebrates Black History Month 2023

All photos by Isabel Cutler.

Celebrating Black History Month, celebrating the black faces and black voices and black struggle in a place called Hendersonville. The black men rise up, the gray in their temples showing the years, the hardships, the joys and the struggles as they rise to sing the back national anthem. The women, the children, the elders all rise to honor the fallen, those who have passed, those whose lives live on and never in vain. The poets, the dancers, the singers all gather to remember the black life of this landscape; to share the songs, to remind this community that black history month is every day of the year. We remember our lives, the lives of those we love through song, through remembrance and through our fight to take back our lives, to honor our lives for those among us and the coming generations. Rise up! Happy black history month.

Alyeh Cady dances at the Rise Up! Black History Month Event at Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Hendersonville produced by Crystal Cauley.

Tony Robles speaks to Alyeh Cady at the Rise Up! Black History Month Event at Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Hendersonville produced by Crystal Cauley.

Tony Robles speaks to Pam Suber at the Rise Up! Black History Month Event at Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Hendersonville produced by Crystal Cauley.

Black Love
by Crystal Cauley & Christopher D. Sims

When America is on your back,
Black Man,
I will love you unconditionally,
Since Transatlantic enslaved chains,
Voyaging across the dark cursed sea,
Salted centennial whipped beatings on cotton fields and sugar plantations that never tasted sweet; laboring side by side in unforgiving Southern colonizing heat1111
Our love for centuries is what I consume From ancient pyramids to hieroglyphics to Jumping over wedding brooms
Black conscious vows, Poetically versed,
This Black Love mission Lyrically and soulfully rehearsed.
When America is on your back, Black Man,
Together, we are on this journey, Facing so much brutality,
Daily survival is our only reality,
When your presence is greeted with misplaced anger, Structural racism from a complete stranger,
It's evident that our Black man's Existence.....is in great danger.
When America is on your back,
Black Woman calling you angry,
It surely pains me. It remains to be seen
If the Black Woman
Will ever be truly redeemed Because you are supreme
Within your Aboriginal African genes.
I am your African King, Holding you in the highest light

 I am the sun that arrives After your darkest of nights
My heart is your guitar string- It is only for you that I sing Black Woman
This world is hard. It leaves
Black women with emotional scars
We sit charged up after killings;
Sometimes we don't know What to do with our emotions Our pain......our feelings.....
Black Woman.
Remember my Queen,
You are Black love's epicenter In Babylon's coldest of winters. Let our words merge; let us Become one. Let Black Children see the beautiful horizons after Our collective work is done.
After our collective work is done, Black Woman.

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