Tags Wanda Sabir
Tag: Wanda Sabir
This poem is water It is palm wine to the ancestors Ones with heads up, lips parted Utterance stuck in throat It is fresh water with peppermint It is nommo Words into flesh Blackness Melanin A magic hue Sun kissed by time
Happy Black History Month! We get an extra day and we need it too to get our Black Joy parade gear picked out for Sunday, Feb. 23. It’s an attitude, not an outfit.
At a time when ignoring the planet and its species hastens the end of life as we know it, Graves’s work poses options, some involving magical thinking. The artist illustrates across multiple compositions how powerful Black people are.
“There would be no New Orleans music without Haiti. It has been one of the most important influences going back 200 years.” – Ben Jeffe, Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Crossing bridges made from bones, Nzingah dances through Bahia, is wrapped in literal rainbows as she alights in New York at the African Burial Grounds (Wall Street), dances into Congo Square in New Orleans then heads back to Oakland where the enchantment continues in Oscar Grant Plaza.
Within the craziness, artists like Cherie Hill, Gabriel Christian and Chibueze Crouch have opened with their work windows into spaces where Blackness – just everyday Blackfolkness – is a ticket or key or pass code into rooms others seated behind us out of sight and mind/full/ness cannot enter.
If a viewer is looking to see a story where white people are not cast as saviors and Africans as beasts, then this is not the film for you.
It is easy to become what you know, so easy. What’s difficult is resisting. Unresolved trauma haunts the gene pool. A son, Josh (actor Yohana Ansari-Thomas) witnesses his mother’s murder or its aftermath – Dad’s bloody shirt and subsequent kidnapping of the children until he is captured. This same boy, now man, still has unresolved memories of that day when his mom was shot and the housekeeper “stood there and did nothing.”
“Jazz,” adapted by Nambi E. Kelley from Toni Morrison’s novel, is a tragic composition. Performed across a series of lyrically connected (woven) tapestries: colors, sounds, fractured memories … missing people, guns (bullets) falling tears, treetops, wild woods, sharecropped promises, fire terror, unclaimed bodies … too many bodies to count … love.
"There is so much power in stillness. We live in a very fast paced world with Internet and everyone on their phones every five seconds and everyone’s attention span is crumbling. I think it is definitely easier to be busy, to be on the run from your life, to be out there in the wilderness fighting for your life than it is to be actually still and really connect to the people who made you. That’s much more challenging. So yeah."
August Wilson, playwright, was very much at home in the SF Bay. I will never forget his workshop production of “Jitney” at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, where he encouraged a woman who criticized the absence of substantive women characters in his plays to write her own. Wilson said his journey was personal, yet there was room on the stage for multiple voices and perspectives.
“Why would I allow myself to drift when I can direct it? I was born with the instructions. Right and exact, consciousness, inner guidance, knowing, choosing how to act in every situation. I create me. Believe it. Turning thoughts into things. Turning vibrations I feel into thoughts. Impulses I receive …”
At its core, “The Urban Retreat,” a play by A. Zell Williams directed by Darryl V. Jones at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre through April 6, is a father’s redemption story; however, it is also the story of a son who strays from his creative roots. Actor Lenard Jackson’s Trench Deep finds himself caught and entangled looking for answers as does his reluctant mentor and teacher, Chaucer Mosley (Adrian Roberts), who is also running from demons.
Wanda's picks of April 2019's most exciting goings on!
I have been thinking a lot recently about restorative justice practices and violence – physical, psychological and emotional violence and the harm to persons, immediate and long term, as well as the harm to their associate families and communities. Not much attention is paid to the survivors of violence unless the violence is by the state, yet every day people are making choices which harm innocent people. Why is the activist community silent when it comes to advocacy for these silenced survivors?
Happy Kwanzaa Season! Check with thevillageprojectsf.org for all the details. Happy Birthday, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (Dec. 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950), father of Black History, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Happy 60th Birthday to those born in 1958 (smile). ASALH’s 2019 theme Black Migrations emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities. While inclusive of earlier centuries, this theme focuses especially on the 20th century through today.
On Nov. 18, 1978, the world as we knew it was changed forever: 918 victims, of whom 305 were children – including 40 infants – lost their lives along with U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan and a United Press International film crew. The place was Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana – that Paradise of Pain – founded and led by James Warren “Jim” Jones, forever rendered infamous by its name “Jonestown.”
Congratulations to Brothers in Pen for a fantastic book party and reading Oct. 20 at San Quentin State Prison. The work, whether fiction or poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir or dramatic lit, is stellar and the huge panel afterward, where the writers shared their creative process and the importance of art in their lives, was equally valuable and enlightening. That such beauty is possible behind bars is testament to the power of art to light darkness.
On Tuesday, Aug. 21, the first day of the historic National Prison Strike, Democracy Now interviewed Amani Sawari. The segment began with an excellent interview with Cole Dorsey of IWOC and then suddenly the bright, brilliant, radiant face of 23-year-old Amani filled the screen and a voice of eloquence, inspiration and power filled the room. All it took was host Amy Goodman saying she’s a journalist, and, involuntarily, spontaneously, I pointed at the screen and shouted, “There’s the new Bay View editor!” Amani and I have been talking ever since, and she came to visit Oct. 8-12. What fun we had.
It’s all about the ancestors, believe it or not. The invisible realm controls the outer. Those who believe in magic are in touch with reality – a truth, the initiated, those beings open to a creation story they participate in. Life is a collection of unedited stories; the end of a chapter does not mean the end of the book. With that said, the MAAFA Commemoration is upon us once again, celebrating its 23rd anniversary.