If you woke up feeling sick today, there’s at least solidarity in the anger at/sickness towards the state of our country: as Rolling Stone points out on this day, Trump lost the popular vote by 2,865,075, his current approval rating is 44%, 1200 buses have applied for permits for the Women’s March while there are only 200 for Trump’s inauguration, and the Women’s March(es) against him tomorrow are expected to amount to the largest inaugural protest in history. One gesture countering the xenophobia, racism, misogyny, bitterness, nihilism, and double speak of the incoming governing brand was a “Voices of Hope and Resistance” Peace Ball last night in Washington, D.C., at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
There, Solange and Esperanza Spalding performed, where, in a similar vein to the queer dance party outside Mike Pence’s house, the Peace Ball attempted protest-by-celebration, focusing not on incoming horrors, but rather on progressive victories. Andy Shallal, the event’s organizer, said to NPR:
The Peace Ball is a gathering of artists and activists and progressives to sort of take a moment and pause and assess all the successes we’ve had for the past few years – successes around the environment, around marriage equality, around women’s rights. Sometimes in very difficult times, we forget to stop and celebrate and take that pause.
Attendees included Angela Davis, Alice Walker, Melissa Harris-Perry, Amy Goodman, Cory Booker, Ashley Judd, and Van Jones. It was Angela Davis who introduced Solange, after, per the Washington Post, having announced a “1,460 day [count down until] the last gasp of dying white male supremacy.” Solange performed for 30 minutes, with tracks off A Seat at the Table, including “Weary,” “Cranes in the Sky,” “Mad,” “Rise,” and “Don’t Touch My Hair.”
Footage from her performance, as well as Esperanza Spalding’s, has been shared on Instagram and Twitter:
“Cranes in the Sky”:
And here are some clips of Spalding’s performance: