It is vitally important that you know that this began in the summer of 2020 as a memorial for Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. Their murders resonated through a community exhausted by increasingly public, racially-motivated murders that emphasized what the Black community already knew to be true—that our Blackness made us disposable, and that our disposal was state-sanctioned.

Amidst feelings of frustration, anger, and helplessness came a glimmer of hope: a nation that marched, picketed, and voted to show that this injustice would not be tolerated any longer. While fear and anger inspired  the creation of WE HAVE VOICES, it is this hope that sustains it.

Inspired by the Black tradition of oral stories and the indispensable #SayHerName and Black Lives Matter Movements, the WE HAVE VOICES reading series seeks to celebrate Black lives before they’re taken, and to bring Central Florida together around poetry and prose from Black creatives.