by Wanda Sabir
As this year recedes into memories of what was before April 2020 and into what is January 2021, we all have our calcified pre-novel coronavirus stories, our stories of last time in a theatre or elevator, classroom or mosque, car with someone or walking outside without a mask, seeing an unmasked face, giving a friend a hug, kiss, casual pat on the arm.
It’s all so strange, this alienation – I haven’t ventured far from home. I only travel where I can walk. I drive the same as the walking. Maafa 2020 was the first time I’d been in San Francisco this year – once for the ceremony at sunrise, once for the rehearsal.
I feel most comfortable staying in my village. I know the streets and the shops and my neighbors. I am fine where I am. However, when I have been in Oakland, I’ve noticed how many people are unhoused.
If anyone has extra resources, please help community-based efforts to help the less fortunate.
The strip along East 12th has expanded and I remember our Sunday morning breakfasts at the encampments in West Oakland, and I miss our neighbors. I was happy to see people out on East 12th with a table passing out food Saturday afternoon.
If anyone has extra resources, please help these community-based efforts to help the less fortunate. It’s getting chilly, so I am sure there are drives to provide blankets and socks and warm coats and shoes to families and individuals. Kwanzaa starts the day after Christmas, and this year, many Africans from the United States have moved to West Africa; quite a few to Ghana. There will be a special Kwanzaa this year there. Check back for 2020 Kwanzaa updates.
Maafa SF Bay Area at 25: What the Black Woman Body Knows: Addressing Trauma through Art
Maafa SF Bay Area at 25 will present a free lecture series at the African American Center at SF Public Library called “What the Black Woman Body Knows: Addressing Trauma through Art Praxis,” on Saturday, Dec. 5, 11-1 p.m.
In this virtual panel discussion, Sistar Lorraine Bonner, MD, a sculptor and poet whose work centers on externalizing what is unseen, such as the consequences of historic and persistent trauma; Sistar Fania Davis, Ph.D., author of “Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Healing, and US Social Transformation” (2019) and founder of RJOY (Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth), offering tools for those difficult yet necessary conversations centered in the self; Sistar Amara Tabor-Smith, scholar conjurer’s Deep Waters Dance Theater’s House/Full of Black Women is a reclamation of public space with intentional occupation. House/Full is an uncompromising look at wellness for Black women and girls with rest and safety at the top of the list. Moderated by Sistar Wanda Sabir, depth psychologist and CEO of MAAFA SF Bay Areahttp://www.maafasfbayarea.com/.
Register on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HO8CD305QjuKadSO6nEWGw or watch on YouTube Live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX-8_YG9Jrw&feature=youtu.be.
Spotlight on African cinema
The spotlight will be trained on African cinema at the 28th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival 2020 (NYADIFF 2020), Nov. 27 through Dec. 13. Watch at https://nyadiff.org/2020/. Also listen to the Wanda’s Picks Radio interview with ADIFF founder, Mrs. Diarah N’Daw-Spech at https://www.blogtalkradio.com/wandas-picks/2020/12/02/wandas-picks-radio-show.
On the fly
Holiday Film: “Jingle Jangle Christmas”; 2020 Bay Area Holiday Lights; Ailvin Ailey Free Virtual Season online, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, 7:30 p.m. ET through Dec. 31. Link to Dec. 2, 2020 program: https://vimeo.com/486603436. More information: https://www.alvinailey.org/performances-tickets/virtual-winter-season.
‘Georgia Voices for a Blue Senate,’ a virtual Georgia Roots concert
“Georgia Voices for a Blue Senate” takes place Sunday, Dec.13, 5:00 p.m. PST on https://www.1000grandmothers.com/concert.html. We are facing two crucially important senate races in Georgia: John Ossoff and Rev. Warnock. Their wins are essential to keeping McConnell and his crew from blocking every single thing Biden will try to make happen – be it health care, racial justice, climate action, immigration reform, student loans, judicial nominations, and, and, and, and.
‘We Are the Radical Monarchs’
On POV streaming at https://www.pbs.org/pov/watch/radicalmonarchs/video-we-are-the-radical-monarchs/. meet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color on the frontlines of social justice. Set in Oakland, Calif., the film documents the journey of the group as they earn badges for completing units on such subjects as LGBTQ allyship, environmental preservation and disability justice. Official selection, SXSW. A co-presentation of Latino Public Broadcasting.
‘Through the Night,’ directed by Loira Limbal at SF Doc Fest, Sunday, Dec. 6
Director and Producer Loira Limbal says her film, “Through the Night” https://www.throughthenightfilm.com/events-1/doc-nyc-screening-fhzjh, is a love letter to the strong Black and Latinx mothers who struggle daily to feed, clothe and house their children and women, like Nunu and her husband, Richard, who open their doors to provide safe and caring shelter while these mothers work. The film highlights a fact lots of us have lived with, as children whose mothers had to work, and as mothers who also had to work while worrying about who was going to care for our children.
I remember getting up and fixing my brother’s breakfast and then helping him get dressed and walking to John McLaren Elementary School. I might have been six or seven. My brother was three, almost four years younger than I. After school I would pick him up from childcare and we’d walk home and play inside until our mom got home from work at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, where she did keypunch. She worked swing shift, so it wasn’t a long wait.
That Marisol, a mother profiled in the film, has to work three jobs because her employer didn’t want to pay benefits, is criminal. That another mother works graveyard and then goes home – not to sleep but to spend time with her kids – is a violence beyond proportion. Why is this normal?
In a scene at the childcare, where she and her children talk on the phone at bedtime, the kids know this isn’t right and wish for an opportunity for their mom to rest, to get some sleep. The government pays for childcare up to 11 or 12 years and then all of a sudden there is no assistance for the mom, who has to take all the kids out of daycare. Marisol says she cannot leave her 12-year-old at home alone.
Though the story is a call to action, “Through the Night” is also a salute to these mothers and all parents who want the best for their children – they have found in Nunu an ally and friend. The film opens theatrically online Dec. 13. Visit this link: https://www.throughthenightfilm.com/events-1/doc-nyc-screening-fhzjh.
Afrofuturistic poets: Poetry moving towards the stars
Afrofuturistic poets: Poetry moving towards the stars is a program moderated by Kim McMillon that begins at 2 p.m. PST, 3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. CST and 5 p.m. EST. Part 3 is Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. Free to the public. Register at https://bit.ly/30fthgf.
Poets reading include Ayodele Nzinga, devorah major, Eugene Redmond, Darrell Stover, Michael Warr, Avotcja, Lenard Moore, Len Lawson, Ishmael Reed, Staajabu, Tureeda Mikell, Jerry Ward, Glenn Parris and C. Liegh McInnis, with Kim McMillon as moderator.
Part 3 of the series will stream on Facebook Live and can be viewed at www.drkimmcmillon.com. If you would like more information on the program and authors, please contact Kim McMillon at email@example.com.
Poetry convening: ‘Beyond the Obvious’
A poetry convening “Beyond the Obvious” seeks to answer the following question: How does poetry create conditions for radical belonging? Join the event Thursday, Dec. 10, at 5 p.m. PST. It’s open to the public and hosted by University of Arizona Poetry Center. This is a virtual event: https://arizona.zoom.us/s/84831426043. The passcode is 418825.
Join us for an evening with Luis Rodriguez, Luivette Resto, Michael Warr and Peter J. Harris, hosted by Literary Director Diana Delgado. Rodriguez, Resto, Warr and Harris will read and have a conversation with Delgado as part of the Institute for Inquiry and Poetics. Books by these authors are available at Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural and Bookstore.
The Institute for Inquiry and Poetics, founded at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, is a thought center designed to create space and time for poets to respond to pressing questions that reside at the intersection of social concern and poetry. Encouraging interdisciplinary modalities and investigative research, the institute will ask poets a series of questions and digitally archive their responses on poetry.arizona.edu.
IIP at UAPC believes that social, racial and environmental justice are rooted in language, and that poets are preeminent language makers who can help us reckon with society’s most perplexing questions. We also believe that each person never loses the capacity to learn, grow and change; and because of this radical capaciousness, we hope to reorient conversations and reframe our future through imaginative language and action.
Black Laughs Matter
Virtual comedy show featuring some of the Bay Area’s top African American comics. The live comedy scene has been devastated by the closure of all of the comedy clubs, so if you’d like to support Black comics, join us for a special “Black Laughs Matter” online comedy show live from San Francisco. RSVP on Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-laughs-matter-virtual-comedy-show-tickets-111384530128 and we’ll send you the secret Zoom link right before the show – good for the first 100 people!
Donations greatly appreciated. Find them on Venmo @hellafunny. Help keep comedy alive in the Bay Area!
Hosted by Terry Dorsey, comedian and actor originally from Chicagoland and now in the Bay Area. His comedy storytelling and social commentary was featured on BET’s ComicView. Upcoming shows and comedy lineup include:
- Anthony Oakes, DC improv, NYC comedy clubs
- Shanel Hughes, Comedy Works, Denver improv
- Christian Royce, not the rapper
- Richard Douglass Jones, Black Nerd Power Podcast
- Yayne Abeba, comedian, activist and writer
- Ngaio Bealum, co-host of Cannabis Planet
- Shaquita Griffin, Peachtree Comedy Festival
- Sierra Fitzgerald, Black Girl Giggles Comedy Festival
The performance will be broadcast live on Facebook at www.facebook.com/1000GrBA at 5 p.m. PST and 8 p.m. EST on Sunday, Dec. 13. Check here for the YouTube link closer to the event. The concert will be free – no tickets necessary. We will ask for donations between performers. Donate here: http://secure.actblue.com/donate/gavoices?abt=email.
Virtual Kwanzaa 2020
Via Eventbrite. Check here for links to free and low cost Kwanzaa gatherings in the SF Bay Area with the Village Project Dec. 26 – Jan. 1, 2021 to other events like karaoke on Dec. 26, Children’s Kwanzaa: Honoring the Black Family Dec. 30, and talks Dec. 20.
Wanda’s Picks Radio Show, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020
Features Ms. Adrian Williams, founder, The Village Project, which sponsors 7 Days of Kwanzaa, plus free meals.
Bay View Arts and Culture Editor Wanda Sabir can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website at www.wandaspicks.com throughout the month for updates to Wanda’s Picks, her blog, photos and Wanda’s Picks Radio. Her shows are streamed live Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 a.m., can be heard by phone at 347-237-4610 and are archived at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wandas-picks.