At the 2020 Girls United Virtual Summit, we took a moment to honor Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland and the countless other Black women who have had their lives cut short due to state violence. In what proved to be one of the program’s most powerful and unforgettable moments, poet Ashley Haze dedicated her spoken word performance to the memory of Taylor.
In the moving piece, Haze envisions a space wherein Black women are free of struggle and police brutality isn’t an issue. “In my heaven, a young woman from Louisville, Kentucky wakes up and hits the snooze button one too many times in an attempt to steal one last kiss,” Haze said of Taylor.
The weeks since the grand jury only decided to indict only one of the officers involved in Taylor’s death have been disorienting to say the least. Especially given that the indictment revolved around the fact that the shots fired could’ve harmed others and not the loss of Taylor’s life. Even so, we must still continue to tell Breonna’s story and speak her name so that our deep pain, and hopes for the future, are reflected.
Haze’s career took off after her poem on innovative Hip-Hop icon Missy Elliott blew up. The talented young artist performed the piece on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert and even received an in-person thanks from Elliott herself. Since then, Haze’s work has become a voice for Black women everywhere because she makes it her business to center us in her work.
Watch Haze’s full performance of “A Heaven For A Black Girl” above. For more of everything you missed at the Girls United Virtual Summit, including a replay of the full show, visit essencestudios.com
The 2020 Girls United Virtual Summit is sponsored by ULTA Beauty, McDonald’s and STARZ.