Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Telling Stories

Last weekend at the readers theatre with Black Arts scholar Marvin X, El Muhajir, I had the opportunity to read a chapter from Parables of Plato Negro. I was really excited to read the chapter on The Heart, which was about a man who didn't realize how close God was to him as close as his heart. This event followed a lovely graduation of one of my former students, Marlene Hurd, at Mills College. Senator Pelosi gave the key note address and Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced her. One of the graduates was 89 years old. That's impressive.

So I left there, went home for a bite to eat and then jumped in the car and headed for the African American Museum and Library at Oakland. After the lovely event which was an opportunity for us to get together and talk about values and philosophy--there were a few younger people in the audience. In fact, Geoffrey Grier and his son and a friend, participated in the Parable of the Teacher. They were great, but my favorite after theirs was the Parable of the Cell Phone. It was so funny. A woman was talking on her cell phone inside her coffin. Michelle was hilarious.

From AAMLO is headed for the African Children's Advanced Learning Center for a talk on Malcolm X's legacy by Dr. Oba T'Shaka. Now this was the proper icing on the yummy cake. From start to finish my day was one uplifting and intellectually stimulating moment and the evening at the ACALC was no different. I learned so much about El Hajj Malik that I didn't know, especially about his mother and what happened to her.

Her plight was similar to that of Richard Wright's mom. She was mentally ill and the difference between what happened to her and what happened to Malcolm was Wright's ability to work and keep the family together. Malcolm was too young.

Education certainly gives us the tools to be able to articulate the problem and its solution, so there is no question what the issue is and it works as long as we don't lose any members to the other side.



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