Walking Together: A Reverence for Spiders

Poet/Lyricist: 

Anonymous
Walking Together weaves together words and music in a celebration of diversity as it explores the intertwined topics of migration, immigration, race, and ethnicity. In this piece, a Nigerian immigrant family is confused by Halloween. As tricker treaters start visiting the house, the adults call the police, thinking they are the target of racism. The police are kind and explain Halloween to them. The next year they all dress up as flowers.

Commissioned by: 

This activity was made possible, in part, by a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) through a grant from the McKnight Foundation. Thank you also to our donors, Jesse Tomme Salon, Orchard Dental Group, and White Bear Animal Hospital

Premiere: 

Margaret Humphrey, violin; Kirsten Whitson, cello; Erik Barsness, percussion, Readers: Peter Atakpu, Sue Cordek, Gabriel Ikuomola, Allison Lehner, Chuck Martz, Sophia Rashid, Keana Vang, Naeem Williams) Wildwood Elementary, Mahtomedi, MN; November 5, 2017

Level: 

moderate

Published by: 

Hickory Street Publishing: The Music of Catherine Dalton
Item Voicing Media Price
HSP-303-01 violin, cello, sus. cymbals, low tom, and woodblock $5.00

Text:

A Revereance for Spiders

My family came to the United States from Nigeria when I was about 8 years old. We arrived in October — which was a terrible choice. At school I had heard of halloween but I paid no heed to it as I knew that my parents would not really let me celebrate such a holiday and I still hadn’t made sufficient friends to explain to me exactly why there were cobwebs and spiders everywhere. At that point I just believed white people had some kind of reverence for spiders much like India’s reverence for cows. That night when children came to the house looking for candy, my house turned to chaos. At first my parents thought it was just some kids trying to play a trick on us, and let it go. When the second group of kids came my grandma thought that we had been cursed and began to pray. By the third one my parents were petrified and thought there may be some racist response to our moving into the neighborhood. They called the police. The officers were extremely nice and spent more than one hour explaining to my parents what Halloween was and that they were safe. Next year we all dressed up as flowers. It was amazing.

Critical Acclaim: 

“What a great program. The music was amazing and the speakers were wonderful. I hope there are plans for more events like this." - audience member

"I am a junior at Mahtomedi High School and a co-founder of S.A.F.E(Students Advocating for Equity). I serve on the Walking Together Board and will be a reader the night of the event. I jumped at the chance to be a part of this project so that I could bring the community together with a common interest in music. I fell in love with the writings because they show how important it is to love and embrace the background of yourself."

 “A phenomenal, memorable production!” - audience member

Performances
Walking Together Premiere, Produced by Catherine Dalton and the Walking Together Advisory Board - (Margaret Humphrey, violin; Kirsten Whitson, cello; Erik Barsness, percussion, Readers: Peter Atakpu, Sue Cordek, Gabriel Ikuomola, Allison Lehner, Chuck Martz, Sophia Rashid, Keana Vang, Naeem Williams); Wildwood Elementary School, Mahtomedi, MN; November 5, 2017

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