‘A Love Song for Latasha’ Director Sophia Nahli Allison: ‘We Are Building the Future’

Place a small glass of the ocean on the window seal, a mirror beneath your bed.
Drifting through the galaxies.
Rising with the tides as the moon pulls me back.
I have known Black womxn who commanded the elements, braided allegories, pricked their fingers, massaged memories; Black womxn who speak in a whisper and those who scream with rage. I have known Black womxn who’ve tended to their scars, broken rules, broken their backs, had dreams deferred, fought tirelessly, collected welfare, died namelessly, and traveled into the darkest depths of the universe to reclaim their agency. I am still searching. Still listening for the voices that call out in the night.
Seated at the birthplace of my mother.
She shared her thoughts on memories, dreams and creativity. uprising, and now in 2020, her story remains more relevant than ever. Rather than recount the details about the injustice of her murder, Allison focused in her film on a life reimagined, recreated. Sophia Nahli Allison’s “A Love Song for Latasha” (streaming on Netflix) centers on the life of Latasha Harlins, a young Black girl killed by a convenience store owner. Her death contributed to the outcry that led to the 1992 L.A.
When dreaming has been intentionally stripped from our realm of possibilities, remember, “it's not dying that hurts, it’s coming back to life that is painful.” Return. Return to your dreams that have been tended to by your ancestors. Dreams are birthed through visions, rest, meditation, discussions, collective care, nature, the cosmos, herbs, rituals, radical reimaginings. Dreaming is a spiritual and intentional process that leads to active manifesting, dismantling, and surrendering.
We exist between the realm of waking and dreaming, among the future and past, rummaging through fact and fiction, anointed by the living and dead. Memories from our ancestors and our posterity, memories that bend and avert laws of linearity. Black womxn artists have always conjured memories that were not their own.
offer libations of sweet honey and mugwort
and invite the night to rest her head.
She is a 2020 United States Artists Fellow in Film and has held residencies at MacDowell, The Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, and POV Spark's African Interactive Art Residency. Sophia is a Black queer radical dreamer, experimental documentary filmmaker and photographer. Sophia Nahli Allison directed "A Love Song for Latasha." She is also a cinematographer, editor and producer. She is currently working on her long-term project "Dreaming Gave Us Wings."” />
As they continued speaking amongst themselves I drifted into the deep recesses of the unearthed, "The Unclaimed" that Nikki Finney spoke of “for all that you were/ for all that you wanted to be/ each time I sign my name/ know that it is for a thousand like you/ who could not hold a pen/ but who instead held me/ and rocked me gently/ to the creative rhythms/I now live by.”
I remember the future as deeply as I remember the past.
Heal the past. We are echoes through time. We have traveled for centuries to reach you. We are with you. What was once unfamiliar becomes an intimate invitation for the sub/conscious to trust the unseen. Remember, we are building the future. Uplift the Black womxn who are fighting to rebirth their stories, to remember, to exist. Demand the future. Through dreaming, we access innate wisdom that has been promised to us. Ground yourself in the present.
We have been speaking to you all along. Be still, listen.
Remember and dream deeply because “… And here, as in everything, a continuum of consciousness will be represented,” as stated by Michele Russell. only in dreams are liberation and judgment at the center of vision. Remember that coming back to life is more painful than dying and be kind to yourself, this shit is hard. You are a living, breathing archive. Trust the unseen. In dreams, we seek the place in the sun that society denies us. Remember that you are a constant, ever-expanding universe. That is where we do all the things in imagination that our awareness demands but our situation does not yet permit. Dream. Black womxn, this is permission to move beyond dimensions of time to create new blueprints that tell our stories. This is permission to remember. When you are told that your ideas, approach, or process is wrong, remember, that you are building the future.
A little over three years ago, I overheard a conversation between an elderly Black woman and a younger Black woman on the bus. The young woman, who once had a near-death experience, stated casually as if sharing wisdom among friends, “It’s not dying that hurts, it’s coming back to life that is painful.”

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