This video, produced by Woven Cultures Tissées, is made available to NB Media Co-op readers through a collaboration between Woven Cultures and the New Brunswick Media Co-op. The video, a conversation between Thandiwe McCarthy and Inda Intiar, was launched on YouTube on June 20, 2020.
“I’m a damn human being” says Thandiwe McCarthy in his poem titled “Enough.”
The name of spoken word artist has been in the news of late after the Mayor of Fredericton initially refused to let Poet Laureate Jenna Lynn Albert read “Enough” at the opening of a recent Council Meeting.
After Albert called him out for this decision, Mayor Mike O’Brien has since apologized and invited McCarthy to read his poem in Council Chambers.
In the video, McCarthy jokingly calls the incident his “15 seconds of fame that are hopefully done.”
McCarthy is a seventh generation New Brunswicker who grew up in Woodstock and now lives in Fredericton. After having studied at Holland College in Charlottetown, the poet just graduated from the University of New Brunswick in Kinesiology.
McCarthy has a particular interest in the intersections of cultural expression and wellness. He sees poetry as “the last free space for absolute expression.”
In this video, also McCarthy explains the racism he suffered during his childhood in Woodstock, a very white community. He explains that his poetry stems from the need to deal with this past in adulthood.
McCarthy has been pleased with the reception of his work in the New Brunswick arts community: “I haven’t seen my colour as a barrier” but is interested in creating an African Canadian arts organization to promote the work his peers.
In keeping with the philosophy of the Woven Cultures Tissées organisation, McCarthy states: “the world is better for acknowledging that we are all different.”
For more poetry, readers can follow McCarthy at @the1blackpoet on Instagram and Facebook.
Sophie M. Lavoie writes on arts and culture for the NB Media Co-op and is a member of the editorial board.