Wanda’s Picks for October 2021

Colossus-Home-poetry-anthology-Oakland-2020, Wanda's Picks for October 2021, Culture Currents
The “Colossus: Home” poetry anthology from 2020 benefitted Oakland’s Moms4Housing. Submit your piece by Oct. 27 for the 2021 freedom edition of Colossus!

by Bay View Arts and Culture Editor Wanda Sabir

Amazing, isn’t it? 2021 is concluding, the second year of a pandemic. We count our blessings and then recount them as we look for guidance and think about chickens without heads and how headless fowl are unreliable.

Gratitude is the theme I choose. So many great lives ascending, ascended like so many stars. The people really could fly, you know, and those Black people who didn’t fly got into boats and rowed into the hereafter. They are our waterfalls – breezes, strong winds that knock down trees to get our attention. Sometimes they come like floodwaters.

Scientists state most of us use only a fraction of our reasoning capacity. In fact, we are sleepwalking. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad used to say that we were the dead walking – blind, deaf and dumb to the knowledge of self. There is no excuse for intentional ignorance.

I started setting my (body) clock so I don’t miss anything (smile). No, really – if we tune ourselves to the frequency that vibrates in our souls, collective soul and individual souls, then we don’t have to worry.

It’s all one great energy, one great vibration or energy that breathes for all life. We need to use intention to tune our souls so we can charge our human battery to capacity.

Worry never accomplishes much anyway. Worry, fear, shame, regret – we can let all these feelings and ideas go. Change is the awesome hope. Change and love. Revenge is a waste of time. Hate is also a waste of time. I am trying to stop spending my time on ideas and concepts that do not serve me – ideas and concepts best let go. Time is too short and, as my brother says, I have more years behind me than ahead of me.

Yes, I have faced death a couple times. Once 39 years ago and more recently four months ago. Certain kinds of news shake up one’s life and, when one lives, the games stop and all that is left is gratitude for each day one wakes, each sunset one sees, the ability to walk without pain, to be able to tie one’s shoe, get out of bed, sit up, pick up a grandson, drive a car.

Count your blessings before they dissolve, ’cause we can’t take any of this with us or that’s what they say. Do any of us want to test this hypothesis?

Hushite-Nubian-Heritage-Conference-poster-1021-1, Wanda's Picks for October 2021, Culture Currents

Listen: Hushite-Nubian Heritage Conference

Listen to Hushite-Nubian Heritage Conference organizers Brother Manu Ampim and Sis. Mayada Mannan-Brake on Wanda’s Picks Radio from Sept. 22, 2021.

Listen to Wanda’s Picks Radio Show from Sept. 29, 2021. Here’s the lineup:

  1. BJ, Billy X Jennings, Black Panther Party Alumni Museum, joins us to talk about the 55th Anniversary Oct. 22-24 program in Oakland, Calif. The big day is Oct. 23.
  2. Baba Jalil Muntaqim, prison abolition activist, joins us to talk about Jericho Movement and the International Tribunal Oct. 22-25 – both virtual and in-person.
  3. Update on Hurricane Ida with Nana Sula Spirit and Baba Malik Rahim.
  4. Electric Lady: The Ladies in the Life of Jimi Hendrix” is available Oct. 1, 5 p.m. PT, 8 p.m. ET, virtually. Jerome Preston Bates, Rome Neal, Rosa Lee Brooks and Genia Lear Morgan join us to talk about the production. “Electric Lady” (An Infinity of Jimi) is Berkeley’s Black Repertory Group 59th. mainstage season production.
Pen-Out-Loud-Wole-Soyinka-Chronicles-from-the-Land-of-the-Happiest-People-on-Earth-1021-1, Wanda's Picks for October 2021, Culture Currents

Virtual: Wole Soyinka

PEN Out Loud and LIVE from NYPL: Wole Soyinka with Farah Jasmine Griffin takes place Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, from 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET. Get free tickets here.

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka joins PEN Out Loud and LIVE from NYPL to celebrate his first novel in nearly 50 years, “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth.” Set in an imaginary Nigeria, the novel is a “fictional meditation on how power and greed can corrupt the soul of a nation.”

Soyinka will be joined in conversation with writer, scholar and inaugural chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department at Columbia University Farah Jasmine Griffin to discuss the book’s interrogation of political and social corruption. Presented in partnership with The New York Public Library’s LIVE from NYPL.

Black-Repertory-Group-show-Electric-Lady-The-Ladies-in-the-Life-of-Jimi-Hendrix-1021-1-1, Wanda's Picks for October 2021, Culture Currents

Colossus Anthology: Call for submissions on the theme of freedom – poetry, prose, visual art

The theme for the upcoming Colossus Anthology is “freedom.” This issue is focused on raising support and awareness around the impact of incarceration on individuals and their families. The funds raised from this anthology will go to support the California Coalition for Women Prisoners.

Colossus is an anthology of Oakland and Bay Area poetry, prose and visual art. Our past anthologies focused on raising awareness and funds to support activists intervening in the immigration crisis and the housing crisis.

Please pass this on to other folks who you think will be interested in participating. The submission deadline is midnight, Oct. 27, 2021. Submission maximum is 1,700 words.

Please email submissions in Times New Roman 12-point font Word documents to colossuspress510@gmail.com. Please put “Colossus: Freedom Submission” in the subject heading.

If you would like to send a hard copy of your submission, please mail it to: Colossus Press, 4900 Shattuck Ave, Box 22554, Oakland, CA 94609.

Please include a brief bio with your submission. Please also include a brief – maximum 200 words – statement about how the incarceration of you or a loved one has impacted your life.

If you have any questions or thoughts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at colossuspress510@gmail.com.

Fall-Into-Art-classes-in-Oakland-by-Orlonda-Uffrie-1021-1, Wanda's Picks for October 2021, Culture Currents

Bay View Arts and Culture Editor Wanda Sabir can be reached at wanda@wandaspicks.com. 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.