Summer Events in Harlem July 2009

4 Aug

I am a lover of good poetry.

Performance is important as well, but I am more interested in what is being said,
than how it is said.

Both writing and performance are important elements to the craft of Spoken Word.

So, when you could do both, you are hot shhh like a Patricia Smith or a Marty McConnel & etc…

Anyway, July has just past and even though New York has had more rain than sunshine, there has been great poetry and performance events around the city, particularly in Harlem.

The Last Poets are infamous for their contribution to hip hop and to Spoken Word. They are world renowned artist and healers. Truly juju-poets ๐Ÿ˜‰ Many may criticize them for their excessive use of the n- word, but it was all done in good intention. I will not get into how I feel about the word “nigger” but I promise I will in a later post. They are healers because they are a huge outlet for the injustices of Amerikkka, especially during and after the Vietnam “War”.

On Saturday, July 18, 2009, the Harlem Book Fair (hosted by Brother Earl and jessica Care moore) honored Abiodun Oyewole for his open house that he has been running for twenty some odd years. FINALLY! It is really a humbling thing to be a Last Poet and to be so accessible to your community. He opens his home, his sanctuary for us. To discuss and to debate on current issues in our lives; to share our writing; and to share our hearts. We eat, drink, and smile smoke signals to one another. There should be more places like this all over our lives, in all different mediums. But, nonetheless here are some images from the event… IMG_4331here is Dun, watching it all…IMG_4328Redefining Freedom reminding woman of their divine power!

IMG_4323Ngoma tuning us in to our chakras

IMG_4335Autumn Ashante breathing her ancestorsIMG_4339jessica Care Moore rocking the fro and her new book, “God is Not an America”IMG_4343Brother Earl molding wings on his words…

I also gave a little speech about Dun’s crib and performed one of his poems entitled, Sun People. Rainmaker performed and so did Louis Reyes Rivera. It was really a beautiful afternoon in Harlem… Here is a video of jessica Care moore reciting a piece for King and the folk who asked her why would she name her son so…ย 


Then, on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 jessica Care moore rocked it out at Marcus Garvey Park with a full band. Her words were inspiring, sincere, and peroxide to the cuts and scrapes of our falls and tribulations. She read poems, rocked us out, and invited us into her personal story. Thanks for Caring Sis. A magical Sister: a juju-poet. Here are some pics…

IMG_4379IMG_4380IMG_4383j.C.m, juju, and zi

She read a poem about how black women deserve their own national holiday, since we created this whole damn thing. (She didn’t say it like that, but if you know the power of us then you know what I mean ๐Ÿ˜‰ She performed a piece about light skin girls and her experience in South Africa and their caste system based on color gradient. She talked about her struggle with raising her son by herself and trying to support him and write (girl, I know).ย  All in all, her devotion has not changed. She is here to inspire, empower, heal and educate people like her. Human.

On that note, I will like to thank the people, poets, and trees that made those days and this day possible. All the events were priceless and free. Harlem is the gift that keeps giving.

Be Well in Writing (Change a life or Two),


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