jessica Care moore’s ‘We Want Our Bodies Back’ Is Ode To Blackness And Womanhood

jessica Care moore's virtual event is at 7 p.m. May 29 with the Hammonds House Museum.
jessica Care moore's virtual event is at 7 p.m. May 29 with the Hammonds House Museum.
Credit jessica Care moore

The closing of public spaces has not impeded the Hammonds House Museum from sharing creative content.

The Hammonds House digital series is presenting an evening with Detroit poet jessica Care moore. She’ll read from her new poetry collection, “We Want Our Bodies Back.” The poetry addresses those who suffer constant scrutiny because of their gender and race.

“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke with the poet via Zoom about her upcoming event.

Interview Highlights

The story behind her name:

“The lower case ‘j’ in jessica and ‘m’ in moore is in homage to bell hooks. I think for us as young women coming into ourselves, young black womenist thinkers, bell hooks was one of our heroes and still is. Care I capitalize because it was the name I took for myself. I was born a jessica and moore, but Care was a name I was given as a young activist at Wayne State University’s campus. My best friend Ken used to call me ‘Care Bear’ and said ‘jessica, you just care about everyone. You want to save the world and feed the homeless and stop racism.’ That’s what I was on my college campus, was a little ball of fire,” said moore.

On her fifth book, ‘We Want Our Bodies Back’:

We Want Our Bodies Back book“This took about two years of work and travel. The title piece ‘We Want Our Bodies Back’ is for Sandra Bland. There’s also poems in there for Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown. I was on the ground as an artist and activist in St. Louis, in Ferguson, for several days when peaceful protests-turned-violent were happening. I was in the middle of all of it. This book really captures the times we’re in right now, the times that hasn’t changed enough unfortunately. I really don’t want to write anymore poems about anyone, black people in particular, dying by the hands of police. Unarmed people being killed on YouTube. It’s tiresome, it’s stressful. This book is that, it’s full of love. Lots of homages,” said moore.

The event is May 29 at 7 p.m., and it’s free to the public. There will be a conversation between moore and Hammonds House executive director Leatrice Ellzy Wright afterwards.

Viewers need to register here.

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