For the inaugural issue of Weld, we asked dozens of people from throughout the community — young and not-so-young; male and female; black, white, Hispanic and Asian; Christian, Muslim, Jewish and agnostic; students, professionals, artists and more — to each give us one idea for making Birmingham better. This is one of those ideas. You can read more here.
Sharrif Simmons • Spoken word artist & founder of BAAM, the Birmingham Arts and Music Festival
Birmingham, Birmingham, how I love thee, let me count the ways. When Weld approached me to write a few words about how we can improve things in the Magic City, a million and one things raced through my mind. I thought, “Maybe if we get a baby Tasmanian devil at the zoo, invite city planners from Amsterdam to layout an intricate café network at Five Points South or give away Freedom Fries at every Dart stop, maybe then we would see a deeper appreciation for what the city has to offer.”
The more I thought about it, however, the more convinced I’ve become that outside stimulus or promotional gimmicks are really not the solution. What I wish to see most here is a group therapy session on the Great Lawn at Railroad Park. It would be more hypnosis than therapy, really, where the master of ceremonies would lead Birminghamians through a yoga-based meditation on self-esteem, fueled by the mantra: “I love myself and I love my city; the past does not define me; my future is what I choose to make it. Om. Om. Ommmm…”
Read more Big Ideas to Make Birmingham Better here.