On Saturday morning March 5, 24 youth from both Block by Block teams came together at the Live Oak Public Library on Henry Street to read, perform, and share their works-in-progress with 50 of their peers and family members, as well as community partners. The day was a joyful culmination of Block by Block’s research and documentation process, in which youth went on site visits, embarked on neighborhood tours and walks, and interviewed family members and community artists and leaders about the West Side’s stories.

At the Midterm Reading, youth shared their stories and reiterated the purpose of their research.

Also present were representatives from our partner site, the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, and well as visitors from the Macon Arts Alliance, who drove 2.5 hours to see Block by Block in action.

You can watch raw video footage of the event here.

Here is one of the extraordinary early drafts read at the midterm reading:

Every Day Is Sundayby Amaya

Every day is Sunday like how the wind
blows through the bald trees looking for
scriptures to read

Every day is Sunday like how my father
sits at his “holy desk” for 1, 2, 3, 4
days to write a sermon he spoke for 30 minutes

Every day is Sunday as I stand and fix my
pleated skirt and say my
allegiance to a plastic flag that won’t
even sway in the wind

Every day is Sunday even on chapel Tuesday
when our speaker goes from baptism to God
to porn to parents then back to porn and tells you
not to go on these sites, these channels

Every day is Sunday like how this redneck
no tooth pimple headed ass cracker
snapped and whistled at me as if I
was his hunting dog.

Every day is Sunday, even on bible study Wednesday
when a woman walks in and
yells to your father “go to hell, you lying
hypocrite, I will find you and your
demon child kids in your graves
you lying bastard.”

Every day is Sunday like how when my
concert rolls around and it’s
secretly dedicated to him and all I get back
is “church first Amaya!”

Everyday is Sunday but today is my day
not to put on a brave face, soldier
you’re going to war.