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Fiction by Norwegian Women

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What can a Black Moor, Our Mona and the very Adept Anthony Teach Us About Being a Good Neighbor – Come see the play "Lacunae"!

Playwright Mona R. Washington

Mona R. Washington most recent play, "Lacunae" will be performed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Perelman Building , 2525 Pennsylvania Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130, December 9th at noon. This is a pay what you want event. This commissioned play is part of the "Philadelphia Assembled" project which is the first public art project ever undertaken by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Washington is the featured playwright. Her 'atmosphere', which is the way the project is organized, is 'Reconstruction' and for this project she has written plays about gentrification and displacement, and mass incarceration.

Director Antony P. Kamani has directed all of Washington's plays commissioned for "Philadelphia Assembled", including the short "Pop-Ups" and the upcoming "Lacunae". 
Director Tony P. Kamani 

For Washington, "Lacunae" is about making public art, and the multifaceted participation that entails, especially for theatre. She described this play as the culmination of all of the previous plays she has written-short and long-for "Philadelphia Assembled"...and it addresses the major question "What constitutes a just neighbor ?”
So, save the date. R.S.V.P. at magicwriting@live.com

The Moorish Chief  by  Eduard Charlemont



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Amazingly Brilliant and Generous Artist Tamara Natalie Madden Has Died

                                                         Tamara Natalie Madden
                                                                  1975-2017


    Tamara-artist, Spelman professor and mother-died on November 4, 2017. This is such a shock. She was such a generous, kind soul. I can recount many stories, but most recently- this past summer-when my daughter was launching her website to promote and showcase her new poetry collection, she approached
Artist and Professor Tamara Natalie Madden
Tamara about using a particular piece of hers for the backdrop of the site. Sojourner wanted to know what costs would be involved. Tamara asked to read some of Sojourner's work.  After a few days later, after reading Sojourner's work, Tamara said she was impressed with Sojo's collection and other poetry,  and said Sojo could use that particular piece of artwork free of charge. 

Her work  and  the lives she touched speak for themselves. Here is a link to learn more about her: http://www.tamaranataliemadden.com/the-guardians/

A Go-Fund Me Campaign has been organized to support her daughter's college fund. Here is a link to this: https://www.gofundme.com/tamaratheartist

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Remembering Langston Hughes; His Art, Life and Legacy - Princeton University Conference

* Source: http://conference.aas.princeton.edu/ 
Langston Huges by Winold Reiss
 
Remembering Langston Hughes: His Art, Life, and Legacy Fifty Years Later is a local and national forum on Langston Hughes.
           Nov. 10-11, 2017

Jessie Fauset, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston at Tuskegee Institute, 1927From the Langston Hughes Papers, James Weldon Johnson Collection in the Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. 
Since his death in May 1967, his art, particularly his poetry, has been invoked to articulate both some of the nation’s loftiest hopes and its deepest fears. The forum, jointly sponsored by several Princeton University academic departments, takes place over two days, November 10th and 11th, at Princeton University.
Hughes in Harlem

Conference organizer Wallace Best writes, “Langston Hughes has long shaped people’s understanding of themselves and of the United States more broadly.  His powerful written works have provided insight into our painful past and hope for a future beyond the ills that have plagued our society. He was the ‘Bard of Harlem’ and he remains America’s Bard.”
Free and open to the public.

McCosh Hall, Room 50 & Wallace Theater, Lewis Center for the Arts

November 10th-11th, 2017



Thursday, October 5, 2017

African-American Players on the Shakespearean Stage; Ira Aldridge



I am excited this evening to see the Lantern Theater’s production of Red Velvet, a play about the life of African-American Shakespearean actor Ira Aldridge (1807-1867) 
and learn more about the pivotal moment in British abolitionist history in which he played the role of Othello in London, and his fascinating career as a black actor in Europe and all that this entailed.
Cast of Lantern Theater's Red Velvet- photo Mark Garvin

Red Velvet’s run has been extended to October 15, 2017 and over the next week I will share some really interesting information about African-Americans’ long history of participation on the Shakespearean stage and interesting tidbits about the fascinating Ira Aldridge.  I leave now with one of my favorite photographs of Howard University’s Howard Players all-Black Shakespeare cast taken in 1937.  (I am not sure of the play.)  

Here is a link for more information  about The Lantern Theater’s presentation of Red Velvet, click here: http://www.lanterntheater.org/plays/red-velvet.html   Let’s support theatre that tells our stories.

 
The Howard Players, 1937- Who can identify what play they were presenting?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Philly's Kimmel Center Presents Lila Downs October 22, 2017

Singer Lila Downs



Hey Philly, who remembers when one could see and hear the absolutely riveting Lila Downs singing  in Philadelphia clubs and bars more than 20 years ago? I do and I knew her star would rise.  If you haven't experienced Lila, you must gift yourself  this upcoming opportunity to see and hear her.

She's coming to the Kimmel Center  (Merriam Theatre) October 22, 2017 . To learn more about her and this upcoming performance, click here: https://www.kimmelcenter.org/events-and-tickets/201718/kcp/lila-downs/

Periodically, I will post some of  my favorite videos showcasing her singular and dazzling talent!  Here is Lila singing Zapata Se Queda with the formidable Totó la Momposina and  Celso Piña. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Free Library of Philadelphia Launches Its CultureShare Project



Philly Folks, I will be reading this evening at the Parkway Branch of the Free Library as part of its official launch party for its CultureShare project. So join me and many amazing writers, artists and musicians as we celebrate Philly’s great cultural scene. Light fare will be on hand.

October 3, 2017
6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Parkway Branch of the Free Library
1901 Vine Street
Phila., PA

Cultureshare is a free, subscription-based program that curates and distributes locally produced art, music, writing, and performance in conversation with existing collections of the Free Library. Its objectives includes removing the financial and logistical barriers traditionally needed to consume art, highlighting voices of culture makers across diverse communities, encouraging engagement with the Free Library as a cultural institution, and supporting working artists in Philadelphia through funding and exposure.

Monday, July 24, 2017

2017 National Book Festival; Hear And Meet Roxane Gay and So Many Other of Fabulous Writers


I am currently reading Roxane Gay's book Hunger which is absolutely riveting. I will share a complete review next week.  In the meantime, I highly recommend not only this book but also the National Book Festival in Washington , D.C.   Sojourner and I went some years ago and casually ran into novelists James McBride and Joyce Carol Oates and have a wonderful conversation with them.  That year I also heard the radically prescient Margaret Atwood.
Roxane Gay/Photo -The Chicago Humanities Festival
 Here is a link to learn when and what authors will be in attendance. Roxane  Gay will be there.   
https://www.loc.gov/bookfest/ 



Sojourner Ahebee reading at one of the National Book Festival Events-2013













Sunday, June 25, 2017

Mural Arts Philadelphia - Art Ignites Change

Mural Arts Philadelphia is one of the city's bright lights!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge; Author to Appear in Philadelphia

The Library Company of Philadelphia, as part of its
Juneteenth Freedom Seminar will present Dr. Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of
Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge,
on Thursday, June 15, 2017 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm  Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19107. Registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-juneteenth-freedom-seminar-tickets-33344739012
Dr. Erica Armstrong Dunbar




"Never Caught is the powerful narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave, who risked everything to reach freedom. Though she lived a life of relative comfort, this was nothing compared to freedom, a glimpse of which she encountered first-hand in Philadelphia. So, when the opportunity presented itself, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. At just twenty-two years old, Ona became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property."

* Source -Library Company of Philadelphia