Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wanda's Picks Radio Show, Wednesday, December 11, 2019

This is a Black Arts and Culture site. We will be exploring the African Diaspora via the writing, performance, both musical and theatrical (film and stage), as well as the visual arts of Africans in the Diaspora and those influenced by these aesthetic forms of expression. I am interested in the political and social ramifications of art on society, specifically movements supported by these artists and their forebearers. It is my claim that the artists are the true revolutionaries, their work honest and filled with raw unedited passion. They are our true heroes. Ashay!


1. Oakland Ballet Company Presents Graham Lustig's The Nutcracker with the Oakland Symphony, Dec. 21-22, 1 and 5 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre. http://oaklandballet.org/wp/about/artistic-director/

Paunika Jones (Marie) was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and is an alumna of the New World School of the Arts. After graduating, Paunika danced with Oakland Ballet from 2005-2007 and moved on to Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she ascended through the ranks from a member of the professional training program to principal dancer. From there, she worked in various ballet, contemporary, and dance theater companies, both nationally and internationally. During her ever-expanding career, Ms. Jones has developed a love for ballet and dance instruction, yoga, GYROKINESIS, and overall well-being. She plans to further her studies in these areas and continue blooming artistically, which includes cultivating her own dance / performance art company.

2. Ben Vereen excerpt (June 2012)

3.  Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-founder, The Poor People’s Campaign joins us to talk about: A National Call for Moral Revival organized a 25-state “We Must Do MORE: Mobilizing, Organizing, Registering, and Educating” national tour from September 2019 to May 2020. This tour stops in SF at Glide Memorial Church at 7 p.m. The March starts at SF City Hall at 5:45 p.m. today. https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/more/


4. Gabriel Christian and Chibueze Crouch join us to talk about Mouth/full, their work in Performing Diaspora at CounterPulse this weekend, Dec. 11-14, 80 Turk, 7:45 p.m. with Cherie Hill's SheVerse. Thursday is Pay-what-you-can.   Visit http://counterpulse.org/event/performingdiaspora2019/

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Wanda's Picks Radio Show, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019

This is a black arts and culture site. We will be exploring the African Diaspora via the writing, performance, both musical and theatrical (film and stage), as well as the visual arts of Africans in the Diaspora and those influenced by these aesthetic forms of expression. I am interested in the political and social ramifications of art on society, specifically movements supported by these artists and their forebearers. It is my claim that the artists are the true revolutionaries, their work honest and filled with raw unedited passion. They are our true heroes. Ashay!

1. Ben Vereen @ Rrazz Room 6/12/12 excerpt

2. Byb Bibene, joins us to talk about 7th Mbongui Square Festival 2019 Dec.15-22, mbonguifest.org
Venues include: Temescal Arts Center (12/19& 12/20). Shawl Anderson and The Flight Deck (12/21-22).

Nell Myhand
3. Nell Myhand is a long time Oakland resident who has been working for justice since the 1970's who is also a member of the Poor People's Campaign:A National Call for Moral Revival Bay Area Steering Committee.  Join her with artist David Solnit in Richmond at the We Must Do M.O.R.E. Tour’s Art-Build, Thursday, December 5th, 2019, 6PM - 9 PM at Bridge Storage and ArtSpace, 23 Maine Ave, Richmond.Visit www.poorpeoplescampaign.org to learn more and get involved.

David Solnit Art Build

Chibueza Crouch and Gabriel Christian in Mouth/full

4. Cherie Hill, IrieDance and Chibueze Crouch join us to talk about their work this year at Performing Diaspora at CounterPulseThu-Sat, Dec 5-7 & 12-14, 7:45pm-9pm
Pay-what-you-can Thursdays: counterpulse.org/performingdiaspora2019/

IrieDance in She/Verse
















5. African American Steering Committee for Health and Wellness members, Dr. Tony Jackson and Pastor Horacio S. Jones join is to talk about the "2019 Annual African American Conference: The Souls of Black Folka Reclaiming Our Humanity from Racialized Trauma," Dec. 10. It is at capacity presently.

Music: Ben Vereen in "Defying Gravity."

Show Linkhttp://tobtr.com/s/11607521



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wanda's Picks Radio Show, Wednesday, November 27, 2019

This is a black arts and culture site. We will be exploring the African Diaspora via the writing, performance, both musical and theatrical (film and stage), as well as the visual arts of Africans in the Diaspora and those influenced by these aesthetic forms of expression. I am interested in the political and social ramifications of art on society, specifically movements supported by these artists and their forebearers. It is my claim that the artists are the true revolutionaries, their work honest and filled with raw unedited passion. They are our true heroes. Ashay! 


Slave Rebellion Reeenactment Choir at the Old Mint/Armory
Kelsey Robinson's camera, edited by Wanda Sabir
This is the third conversation in a series, begun Nov. 20, 2019, which looks at the historic Slave Rebellion Reenactment Nov. 8-9, 2019 in the places the German Coast Uprising January 1811 took place in Southeast Louisiana. The brainchild of artist provocateur Dread Scott, these conversations are an opportunity for the Army to reflect on the experience and where we go from here. 

We are joined by: Jardyn Lake, aka Sweetboi, is a black/queer cultural activist, youth worker, and artist living in New Orleans. Jardyn has been a member of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) since being affirmed, baptized and radicalized in the holy waters of Southern youth organizing and leadership at the Highlander Center in 2005. A graduate of Temple University [B.A. African-American Studies, Summa Cum Laude] and University of London’s SOAS [M.A. African Studies, with Distinction], Jardyn is interested in creating a queer Black and African transnational dialogue and cultural-historical exchange between artists, activists, scholars, and visionaries. Since moving to New Orleans, Jardyn joined the Afro-Brazilian company, Casa Samba as a percussionist, furthering their vision to engage in diasporic cultural education and organizing. Jardyn is an avid sweet tea drinker, lover of all things dapper and dandy, and a world traveler.


Kelsey (R) with other Freedom Choir Member on
the levee. Photo credit: Wanda Sabir
Kelsey Robinson is a Pittsburgh and Brooklyn-based actor-singer with an interest in global folk music and theater with a focus on racial/multiracial identity and empathy elevating immersion;

Carrie Hawks (they/them) is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, animator, artist and performer who focuses on healing and queer narratives.

Victoria Netanus Grubbs
, Ph.D.Candidate in the Dept. of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU. Her research interests include the political economy of cultural production, transnational/diasporic cultural networks, the semiotics of sound, and the aesthetics of the black Atlantic. Professionally, she is an arts educator with a commitment to developing and supporting radical leadership in underserved communities in the U.S. and abroad; Carrie Hawks’ art investigates gender, queer sexuality, and Blackness in order to promote healing. They work in a variety of medium including film, drawing, doll-making, animation, and performance. They hold a BA in Art History and Visual Arts from Barnard College and a BFA in Graphic Design from Georgia State University. They have shown nationally and internationally in the Brooklyn
Victoria Netanus Grubbs
Museum, The New Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum, The Kemper, The Kitchen (NYC), Atlanta, Cape Town, Toronto, and Tokyo. Their award-winning animated documentary black enuf* was funded in part by The Jerome Foundation and included in Black Public Media’s AfroPop series. They have performed with Black Women Artist for Black Lives Matter, and selected for the Set on Freedom Artist Residency (Queens Museum) and awarded the Jerome Camargo Residency in 2019. Reviews, mentions, and interviews about their work have appeared in The New York Times, Colorlines, HyperAllergic, The Kansas City Star;

Nicole Eugene
 is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston-Victoria. She received her PhD from Ohio University in Communication Studies, her MA is from Bowling Green State University in American Cultural Studies and she studied Sociology and Art at Spelman College. She is an interdisciplinary scholar, a disability advocate, and a scholar-artist. She is the winner of numerous awards and her work has been supported by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her research focuses on the particular ways hidden disabilities—especially neurological disabilities—are shaped by cultural dynamics. She uses cultural studies, qualitative, ethnographic, and autoethnographic methods to examine the experience of navigating a visual culture with a hidden disability. She has published research on a range of conditions that includes but is not limited to: Bipolar, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, and Narcolepsy. Nicole Eugene has published several articles, including peer-reviewed articles in Howard Journal of CommunicationsKaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research, and Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters. Her research interest areas includes: health disclosures, hidden disabilities, sleep, race, cultural studies, performance studies, critical theory, health narratives, feminism, and technology;

Camellia Moses Okpodu (born January 24, 1964 in Portsmouth, Virginia), is Professor of Biology and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), New Orleans, LA. She was Professor (2003-2018) and former Chair of Biology (2003–2008) at Norfolk State University (NSU) and the 2007–2008 American Council of Education Fellow. She was the second director of the DIA-designated Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence at Norfolk State University, 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camellia_Okpodu


And Dread Scott, artavist (artist+activist), provocateur and visionary who pursued the Slave Rebellion Reenactment concept from idea to fruition Nov. 8-9, 2019 in Southeast Louisiana into New Orleans and beyond. Visit 
https://www.dreadscott.net/ and https://www.slave-revolt.com/

Show link: 
http://tobtr.com/s/11595363

Music: Zion Trinity, Billy Harper

Monday, November 25, 2019

Saint Rosa Parks (2017)

Unassuming and for the people, Saint Rosa is still an enigma. The public doesn't quite know how to handle her legacy so she sits framed on so many mantels--seated, inactive, passive and obscure. Brooklyn College professor, Jean Theoharis's political memoir, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks somewhat stirs this water. At least for the limited none academic audience who have read it, yet so many read this book and still remain on the segregated bus where Parks's life and legacy ends for so many.


How can one read a book like this, yet continue to stay in Birmingham where Parks's life and work certainly covered a lot of territory as secretary for the NAACP, wife, daughter and activist started. Yet the gendered caricature was also created there after booked and fingerprinted Parks was escorted home by a very worried and relieved Raymond Parks, who knew the viciousness of the white south and what was in store for the family if his wife became the public face of civil discontent.


He acquiesced however, to Mr. Nixon and the Durrs discourse and gave his wife his blessings. No one could foresee the way popular thought would be manipulated to see Mrs. Parks as a victim of racial segregation, something she was fighting tangentially--as human rights were what she was after dating back to her youthful scuffles with white boys who dared threaten her, Negro staff who'd sell her to the highest white male bidder and to men who'd threatened her mother on public transportation. Not getting up from her seat was just another aspect of resistance she embodied all her life.


What is the appeal to the public is martyrdom? We crucify our leaders and then hang them to dry on altars rather then burying them and using that space on the mantel to strategize our next move(s).


Mrs. Parks never sat down. Her action and her arrest are but a metaphor. Stasis she was not. Still she was not, if we note the nature of energy and its active and potential force. Both are necessary to action.

So I pick up the Parks poster this semester, this year and start carrying it around. I get questioned as no one is carrying her poster anymore--she has a US stamp, a bust in the White House and besides Kennedy had a major procession at her death.


Students were assigned Theoharis's book to read and essays to write reflecting on Mrs. Parks as revolutionary and rebellious, the second term one she attributed to herself. The grandchild of former slaves, the daughter of a mother who lived in Tuskegee and was in the trenches teaching her folk's children all Parks's life, certainly made an impression on her daughter. Then when she meets Raymond Parks who is active in the anti-lynching movement and is also a man who fights for Negro human rights and through him she is introduced to a vehicle with which to channel her efforts, the NAACP, how is it possible that she could have not been a rebel and a revolutionary?


As a woman, she might have been assigned secretarial duties. As a woman she might have been revisioned as a seamstress rather than depicted as a tailor and the main breadwinner of a family with reversed roles for the spouses--Raymond took care of the home and the his wife's sick mother.


One student responded to my query of his paper that I seemed to take his argument too seriously. I responded that I took everything seriously. His flippant language and assertions that while opposing Jim Crow these same black men discriminated against Parks, was a red herring. What does sexism have to do with the fact that black people were catching hell in the south, that is was the Civil War without the northern soldiers coming to the rescue?


Abraham Lincoln was dead and with him any semblance of support from the white powers that be. They had their United States; the black south was on its own.


If Rosa Parks could bracket the sexist overtones of the emergent movement to move it forward then shouldn't the question be, why did she do so? Clearly, she wasn't afraid to stand in the trenches alone. Her husband Raymond was a different kind of man. He let his wife be herself. He encouraged her and stood by her even when no one knew his story or acknowledged his presence except in calling his wife's name which included his own.


100 years after her birth and eight years after her death in October 2005, we can certainly unpack Parks's legacy and describe the frame that both constrains and ultimately misrepresents this woman so many claim to know.

With her archives and effects in probate, there is so much we shall not know until her life is more thoroughly examined, yet Theoharis deconstructs what is available and carefully shows us a Mrs. Rosa Parks few know.

Parks had much more in common with Malcolm X than Martin Luther King Jr. She was a woman of action and though patient, she was weary of the slow march to democracy for black people. Perhaps she too was a victim of post traumatic stress and slave syndrome, given the nature of the place she lived.


Birmingham, Angela Y. Davis called "bomingham," for all the bombs exploded in public places like the 16th Street church which was one of several sites bombed just that week there.


The Parks's experienced financial loss when Mrs. Parks went public. She was dangerous while undercover, but when she went national, she was public enemy number 1. The death threat, which were not symbolic but real came frequently and as Mrs. Parks husband could not be with her as he had to stay home and take care of his mother-in-law the stress also affected his person and well-being.


When one talks about war veterans and the families of such national heroes, seldom does the conversation include the effects of the battle on those not on the front line. PTSD can happen vicariously. One doesn't have to hear the bomb drop or the see the body dismembered--see the cattle prods used on civil rights volunteers or feel the high powered water hoses turned on children who are washed down Alabama streets to be effected. All black people in the south at that time suffered from PTSD, and that legacy lingers as does the guilt.


It took a lot of persuasion to get President Kennedy to agree to protect the lives of black people fighting the war against segregation and Jim Crow in the south in schools and other public places like libraries and neighborhoods, equal pay on jobs and equal employment opportunities as well. And then he was killed and President Johnson, a southerner, weighed his options and passed the Civil Rights Bill after much negotiation and finessing of the language.


In the meantime, Mrs. Parks was not invited to the White house to witness the signature. She wasn't even a part of the negotiation. For all intents and purposes, she might be the public face of the Civil Rights Movement, a bit more sanitary than Emmitt Tills, whose face Mrs. Parks saw when she refused to move.


She is a symbol, but symbols aren't people. They are figments of our collective imagining and even when they still live we still hold our imagined image as the reality. Sometimes this is done subconsciously, at other times, as with Parks, then and now, it is more feasible to do so.


Books like Theoharis's Mrs. Rosa Parks and Harry Belafonte's My Song, call into question historic memory --how it is preserved and when it is to be trusted. If the Rosa Parks we think we know is just a tiny aspect of the multifaceted woman who lived to be 91, then what about Martin King and other public figures whose lives and stories became a part of the official lore of this nation.


Look at the monuments: King's had him coming out of a mountain. Are these markers a way to silence these stalwart leaders? Coretta Scott King, who was she really? Raymond Parks, why didn't anyone interview him while he was alive to find out what he thought about his wife's work and the battle for human rights. it wasn't over in 1963, 1964 or 1965. It is still not over if the economic gap between black and white American remains the same.

My students think that just because they see a multiracial America that the vision is the reality when the country is still black and white. The TV set has one show and one dial, despite technical advances.


It is always worse for the black citizen. The black immigrant, the black student, the black employee, the black neighbor, the black executive, the black teacher, the black college professor, the black athlete, the black patient, the black artist, the black writer, the black scholar, the black prisoner, the black soldier, the black politician, the black president, the black child, the black woman and the black man. . . .


Nothing has changed. Laws which are not implemented do not exist. This country looks good on parchment, but its in the deeds.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Wanda's Picks Radio Show Rebroadcast Friday, November 22, 2019

This is a black arts and culture site. We will be exploring the African Diaspora via the writing, performance, both musical and theatrical (film and stage), as well as the visual arts of Africans in the Diaspora and those influenced by these aesthetic forms of expression. I am interested in the political and social ramifications of art on society, specifically movements supported by these artists and their forebearers. It is my claim that the artists are the true revolutionaries, their work honest and filled with raw unedited passion. They are our true heroes. Ashay!


This is a rebroadcast of the Slave Rebellion Reenactment: Conversations for the Army Part 2, hosted Nov. 21, 2019


http://tobtr.com/s/11595353

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wanda's Picks Radio Show, Wed., Nov. 20, 2019

This is a black arts and culture site. We will be exploring the African Diaspora via the writing, performance, both musical and theatrical (film and stage), as well as the visual arts of Africans in the Diaspora and those influenced by these aesthetic forms of expression. I am interested in the political and social ramifications of art on society, specifically movements supported by these artists and their forebearers. It is my claim that the artists are the true revolutionaries, their work honest and filled with raw unedited passion. They are our true heroes. Ashay!

We are so excited to speak to participants in the historic Slave Rebellion Reenactment, Nov. 8-9, 2019. Visit https://www.slave-revolt.com/

We speak to Fred T. McWilliams, Baba Luther S. Gray and Camellia Moses Okpodu.

This is part 1 of  series of conversations. The next: Thurs., Nov. 21, 12:30 PM PT and Wed., Nov. 27, 8 AM PT

We close with a pre-SRR conversation with Dread Scott.


http://tobtr.com/s/11595159

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wanda's Picks Radio Show, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019

This is a black arts and culture site. We will be exploring the African Diaspora via the writing, performance, both musical and theatrical (film and stage), as well as the visual arts of Africans in the Diaspora and those influenced by these aesthetic forms of expression. I am interested in the political and social ramifications of art on society, specifically movements supported by these artists and their forebearers. It is my claim that the artists are the true revolutionaries, their work honest and filled with raw unedited passion. They are our true heroes. Ashay!

1. Today we speak about Col. Charles Young and the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers (https://www.nps.gov/prsf/learn/historyculture/buffalo-soldiers-in-the-national-cemetery.htm) with two veterans: 
Michael Khubaka Harris and Akinsanya Kabon who has an exhibit opening at the Crocker Museum Feb. 2020 in Sac: https://www.crockerart.org/press/kambon

Rebroadcast

2. Adia Tamar Whitaker, Have K(no)w Fear: A Blussical at ODA 10/17-20/2019


Link: http://tobtr.com/s/11570159