San Diego poet Gill Sotu on Thursday released a powerful poem exploring the meaning of Independence Day “in a time when Black communities are facing a disproportionate impact from COVID-19 and unjust violence at the hands of police.”
“While the Fourth of July celebrates the nation’s independence, the day did not establish freedom for all people in America,” a press release said. “This dichotomy is the underpinning for Sotu’s new poem that addresses the disadvantage that Black business owners face when it comes to applying for and receiving allocations from government-sponsored relief programs.”
Sotu, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, is playwright, musician and DJ. He is a two time Grand Slam Poetry Champion, two time Raw Performing artist of the year, and a three time TEDx San Diego presenter.
While asking the community to hear and read his poem, Sotu is asking the public to donate to the Black Business Relief Grant Fund, a program spearheaded by the Black Chamber of Commerce.
“This bandwagon you have now jumped on has a rough road ahead,” Sotu said. “But the beautiful folks inside are beaming with hope, with direction, with love. Place whatever color hand you have over your heart and pledge allegiance to balance. Pledge allegiance to Black-owned businesses.”
Fundraiser organizers hope to raise at least $1 million for 200 Black-owned businesses.
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