Essential Pittsburgh
5:47 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

The Hebrew Mamita Breaks Through Cultural Stereotypes

Native New Yorker and slam poet Vanessa Hidary, a.k.a. the Hebrew Mamita grew up on Manhattan's culturally diverse Upper West Side, as a Sephardic Jew with close friends from different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

This experience inspired her to write "Culture Bandit," the nationally toured solo show that chronicles Vanessa's coming of age during the golden age of Hip-Hop and her dedication to fostering understanding and friendship between all people.

She will perform her poetry at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh Thursday.

In her poetry, specifically one called “What Does Jewish Look Like to You?” she retells incidents where she felt stereotyped or received peculiar reactions from strangers after disclosing her ethnicity.

“It’s a piece that I wrote for anyone who’s been told that they don’t look like or act like their people...It’s really about all those characteristics that we stereotype and put on people and I expressed it in my experience.”