One incredible aspect of AMEND is that it first showed at the MAK Center in March, before the pandemic, before we were sheltered in place, before the Black Lives Matter protests marched through thousands of towns and cities across the country. Amend is a meditation on so many of the issues—the home, wealth inequality, the systemic injustice facing black men—that have been at the forefront of the national conversation in the five months that your show lay dormant. What was the genesis for this piece?
I knew I wanted to do an intergenerational work: seeing a child grow into a man, and all of the conquests you have to go through. Dealing with how society sees me and how the government keeps me down—all of the societal discriminatory practices and what that does to a person. There’s this hopelessness that you get after living this life. I was approached by USC to conceive a work through their digital library. While I was looking through their social work archive, [one interview with a social worker] talked about a policy in L.A., [the Man-in-the-House-Rule that stated] that if father in a household was unemployed [that household] could not receive welfare.