India Arie performed at Afropunk Black HERstory Live less than two weeks after undergoing polyps surgery this past Saturday evening.
“Ten days ago, I had surgery, and I’m just too honest, Arie told the audience February 25 from the stage at Lincoln Center. “I have to tell you everything. I had surgery for uterine polyps. I didn’t even have time for this, but I had to make time for this because I did not know if I was gonna make it through the show,” she continued.
According to the National Library of Medicine, “Endometrial polyps are overgrowths of endometrial glands that typically protrude into the uterine cavity.”
The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter felt safe enough to be vulnerable at the musical event designed to celebrate Black women’s history. She expressed relief that she did not have to instruct the audience to “respect Black women” that night.
The audience was a sea of shea butter and knotless braids. In fact, Arie joked with them about worrying if she was ashy as she flashed her funky platform boots at them while adjusting her flamingo pink cape.
“Usually, when I come to do a show, I have to set the tone,” she explained. “Tonight, I was in my dressing room and just watching all these women set the tone.”
Attendees embraced one another and encouraged the other performers on the bill, including Mereba, Celisse, Danielle Ponder, aja monet, Mahogany L. Browne, and Ebony Williams.
Arie connected with the audience by sharing her own struggles with safe care. “We don’t remember to nourish ourselves,” she said candidly. She further set an example for self-care throughout her performance by checking in with her body. She breathed deeply and gently caressed herself as her voice soared through the David Geffen theater.
India nodded to the evening’s theme by telling the audience how Cicely Tyson helped her overcome stage fright.
“I don’t care if you’re singing one song. You need to always go out and do what you want to do. Be yourself,” she said Tyson told her. “She could see into my soul,” she added.
Learn more about Afropunk Herstory Live here.