Donney Rose

Poet. Teacher. 

The American Audit is a 2019-2020 multimedia spoken word poetry project by Baton Rouge poet, educator and Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, Donney Rose. It chronicles 400 years of Black American life using the extended metaphor of America as a business audited by African Americans after centuries of marginalization. The American Audit is a performance art piece consisting of original poetic verse, audio and video interviews with history and culture experts, and visceral imagery. Its function: to creatively assess the accrued toll on humanity afforded to people once considered property.

"In his multimedia performance piece “The American Audit,” Baton Rouge poet Donney Rose casts America as a business being audited by black Americans. The accounting begins in 1619, the year slave traders brought Africans to Jamestown, Virginia, England’s first permanent settlement in North America. "

Donney Rose’s multimedia spoken word poetry project, The American Audit, is a compelling and poignant accounting of our nation’s history, and a reckoning of the impact of racist laws and systems on Black Americans over 400 years. Told through the steps of a financial audit, the powerful prose is magnified by the haunting images that appear on screen, while the video interviews provide a stunningly accurate depiction of America’s past and present reality. The entire Manship Theatre audience was captivated with bated breath from start to finish. Donney’s voice is one in a generation, and one we should all be listening to. ~ Meghan Matt, Community Advocate/Southern University Law School

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