d'bi.young anitafrika pays tribute to her creative muse — her mother, pioneer dub poet Anita Stewart

Ahead of Mother's Day, award-winning poet d'bi.young anitafrika pays tribute to her mother, Anita Stewart, a pioneering dub poet who continues to inspire and inform d'bi.young's work today.
d'bi young.anitafrika is an award-winning dub poet. (Leilah Dhore)

When d'bi.young anitafrika was just a kid growing up in Jamaica in the '80s, she spent a lot of time watching her mother perform dub poetry on stage. d'bi.young's mother is Anita Stewart, a pioneer in the dub poetry scene who founded Jamaica's first dub poetry group, Poets in Unity. 

Her admiration for her mother's talent has never really gone away. These days, d'bi.young sees her work as a continuation of her mother's activism and creativity. 

"When I used to watch my mom perform on stage, I remember this feeling of floating," said d'bi.young. "Watching her made me float and I simultaneously wanted to cry, and laugh, and jump, and clap, and shout her name, and be right beside her, and be inside her and around her. She gave me this dreamlike possibility of inhabiting performance as a revolutionary tool."

Ahead of Mother's Day, d'bi.young joined us to pay tribute to her mother by taking us through her earliest memories of her mother and her mother's work.

d'bi.young's latest collection of poetry is called dubbin poetry: the collected poems of d'bi.young anitafrika and she's dedicated it to her mother.

Produced by Beza Seife

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