Friday, February 01, 2013

23rd Annual African American Celebration through Poetry Program

The 23rd Annual African American Celebration through Poetry at the West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline Street, Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Program 1-3 p.m.

This year our theme is: 150 Years Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation; 50th Anniversary of Martin King’s “I Have a Dream Speech”

Libations for the Ancestors
Lucille Clifton's blessing the boats

(at St. Mary's)
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back    may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that


Jabari Aali Shaw: Ain’t Nobody Gona Turn Me Around

Barbara Akousa Williams: Nearer to Thee; A Bus Ride  

Andre Wilson: Clown and his Mistress III; I Believe In Vampires; African Cobblestones; African Maiden; Changamire; Dream; Would You Love Me If I'm Bald?

Gene Howell Jr.: Untiled 1 and Untitled 2


Charles Allensworth: "Holding onto Your Dreams, The Life of Col. Allen Allensworth"

Steve McCutchen: And Still I Dream

Ayodele Nzinga: Ordinary Woman

Sandra Mayfield: In My Own True Nature; The Second Coming; Perspective; The Poetry Goddess

Douglas Katabazi Coleman: African Woman; Water; Emancipation

Paradise Free Jah Love: Fanfare!, Another Day in Oakland, You Should Be Concerned (Why it Takes a Team of Scientists to Make Your French Fries), I Love Everything About You...

Kinara Sankofa: I Wanna Write a Poem; Where Are You Fathers; Rize

Vanessa Rochelle Lewis

Leroy Moore: "A Shotgun in His Lap or Some of Us had Our March at Home during the March on DC--the Story of Rev. Cecil Ivory in verse"

Open Mic

Please sign up in advance. Limit your poems to 1-3 minutes. You can return for a second round (smile).

Enjoy the refreshments during the program. Make yourself at home.

We want to thank The West Oakland Branch Library staff, especially Giovanna Capone and Gay Ducey and Veronica Lee, now at MLK Jr. Library. Thanks to Dolores Vitero Presley for her two lovely quilts:

Masai Women
1. Masai Women, 46" x 46", June 2007, Machine pieced by Dolores Vitero Presley, Quilted by Valerie Nelson, Eugene, OR. She says this piece was created to show the beauty of the Masai women.

2. African Nine-Patch, 62" x 62", January 2003. Challege block to the membership of AAQGO - create a 12" block using African fabrics. Individual blocks were machine or hand pieced by The Usual Suspects of AAQGO.  Blocks were assembled by Dolores Vitero Presley.Quilted by CA Quiltmakers, Tracy, CA.

Artist statement: I never planned to be a fabric artist.  I just wanted to make a quilt for my newborn granddaughter. Crochet, embroidery and sewing skills taught to me by my mother and grandmother helped me to transition to a quilter as did my experience in making stained glass windows.  While I have an idea of what of how I want my finished piece to look, I work intuitively and spontaneously.  I use nature as an inspiration for my designs.

Thanks also to Bilal Sabir for his No Cookie Cookies and to the photographers Hubert Collins and Kheven Lee LaGrone. Of course thanks to the poets and the audience and the muses. We are wishing Mama Geri Abrams a speedy recovery. We are also holding poet Lee Williams in the light. Ashay


Take the work home. Many of our poets are published, which means you can take their books and CDs, etc. home with you for a modest cost. Check at the sign-in table in the back. 


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