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Sisterfire returns to the Kennedy Center

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The Kennedy Center is hosting Sisterfire Lovesongs on Saturday for the annual Sisterfire showcase. This year’s theme of love songs invites three queer, Black DMV-based artists to share their interpretations of love.

Whether it’s the love of a partner, grandparent or oneself, love is the tool to humanize people, Be Steadwell, the curator of Sisterfire Lovesongs, said.

For marginalized identities, creating space for openly and unapologetically talking about love can feel like an antidote against oppression. “[For] Black people, specifically Black queer people, singing and talking about love feels very radical and very powerful and rare, and it shouldn’t be,” Steadwell said. “Everyone should have the space to talk about love, but it’s just not usually what we get to see at the center of the narrative.” Sisterfire builds off the 45-year-long mission of its parent organization Roadwork, a multiracial coalition of LGBTQ, social justice and anti-racist arts activists in D.C.

From 1982-1989, Roadwork’s Sisterfire Festival showcased artists, particularly women of color, who tackled local and global social justice issues.

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