Friday, September 28, 2012

Wanda's Picks Radio Show Friday, September 28, 2012

Author, James Kilgore joins us to talk about his latest book, murder mystery set in Oakland and Zimbabwe, Prudence Couldn’t Swim, just out on Switchblade Press. He is in town for an author event at Freedom Archives: From Fugitive to Fiction: The Literary and Political Odyssey of James Kilgore, Sunday September 30, 2012: 4-6pm, 518 Valencia Street - San Francisco.

Kilgore was a fugitive for 27 years, on the run for his participation in political violence in California during the 1970s. He spent most of his time underground in Southern Africa, where he was an educator, activist and father. Upon his arrest in Cape Town in 2002, dozens of people from around the world, including Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, wrote letters of support to the court. In the end, the U.S. authorities sentenced him to six and a half years in prison, which he completed in 2009. Currently a research scholar at the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois and an activist on criminal justice issues, Kilgore has just returned from his first visit to South Africa since his arrest. Now he will be making his first trip to California since his release from prison.

For more information about the event Sunday, Sept. 30, 2-4 p.m., at Freedom Archives visit or call 415-863-9977

We play an archival interview with director, Abigail Disney about the Women and Girls Lead Initiative on PBS October 2011.

She is followed by Halifu Osumare, Ph.D., Black Popular Culture and Dance Studies Scholar, who joins us to speak about her latest book: The Hiplife in Ghana: West African Indigenization of Hip-Hop published by Palgrave Macmillan and the reading at Underground Books in Sacramento, Sat., Sept. 29, 2-4 p.m. Visit

Professor Halifu Osumare is currently Associate Professor and Director of African American and African Studies at University of California, Davis. She has been a dancer, choreographer, arts administrator, and scholar of black popular culture for over thirty years. She has accomplished many of these roles not only in the U.S., but also in Africa in the countries of Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, and Kenya. Her teaching and writing spans the traditional African to the contemporary African American, to which her 2007 book, The Africanist Aesthetic in Global Hip-Hop: Power Moves, testifies.

She holds a M.A. in Dance Ethnology from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. Photos from

Members of The Pyramids: Idris Ackamoor, Kenneth Nash and Kimathi Asante, on the occasion of their 40 Anniversary 1972-2012 release “Otherworldly” join us to talk about their gala performance event Nov. 1-3, 2012 as a part of The Underground Jazz Cabaret at The African American Art and Culture Complex Burial Clay Theater, 762 Fulton Street, in San Francisco. They also talk about Antioch College  with Cecil Taylor, study abroad programs where the ensemble first went to France to study French then to Africa where they spent nine months studying and playing and collecting instruments in Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, and Ghana. We spoke about their seminal work: "Otherworldly," just released --the reunion tour about five years ago after 35 years where they took Europe by storm. In a follow-up interview, Kimathi spoke of living in the hinterlands of Ohio, where not even his wife knew his performance history or heard him play up to that point, when Idris made they call inviting him to join the other musicians on a reunion tour.

Kimathi says he is playing better now than ever in his career and is happy he can travel freely as a recently retired public school principal.

The San Francisco Party with The Pyramids is part reunion, part kick off of their European Tour which will cross quite a few borders where the ensemble has a huge fan base, a fan base unfortunately absent in America at this writing, but that can change (smile). Besides their latest CD, "Otherworldly," guests Nov. 1-3, will be able to pick up an archival or should I say, historic double CD of the group "back in the day." Visit or (415) 292-1850 for tickets.

Music: Soweto Gospel Choir: "Malaika" and selections from The Pyramids's Otherworldly

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