TANESHA, written by local artist David Vaughn Straughn as part of CPG’s AMPLIFY Season, represents the generational divide that separates the characteristics of Black upbringing within a generation. Straughn’s story is an amalgam, told by our fathers, sons, daughters, nephews and uncles. It is an amplification of the voices from our offices and our loading docks, our churches and street corners, our operation rooms and our maintenance closets; Black men who have given to this country and share in the trauma of its original sin, under muted voices in American hallways.
The framing of a young Black woman holding the space for the violence captured and suffered by Black men is not meant to be incidental. These stories of Black struggle are experienced threefold and uplifted by Black women, who have undoubtedly been the backbone of America, and particularly Black America, in the ways of education, emotional knowledge, nurturing, and upkeep. TANESHA is meant to amplify not only the stories of pain endured by Black men, but also Black women who often bear that pain silently, while giving all of themselves to America with unwavering resolve, and receiving little to nothing in return except scrutiny and spite.