Words without Borders; The Home of International Literature

Words without Borders; The Home of International Literature
Check out an interview with Rwandan Writer Scholastique Mukasonga

Monday, July 8, 2024

Art in Bloom at Ultra Silk Gallery; A Celebration of Young Talent

Young Artists with Their Families And Friends

Yesterday’s exhibition, at Ultra Silk Gallery, in Philadelphia, showcasing the artwork of young people in our community, was absolutely extraordinary and moving. A huge shoutout to Rashida Watson and Ms. Kenya, of Ultra Silk Gallery and Renee Kirby of Westside Framing Studio, for the love they put into organizing this event. All students' artwork was professionally framed and presented.

Teacher McBride-Ahebee with her student
artists from Bluford Elementary, at the gallery event.

Artwork by Ksaani W.

                                    Renee Kirby, of Westside Framing Studios, one of the organizers of this event, explains its purpose.
Poet Lamont B. Steptoe signing one of his books.

Plus, all artwork was available for sale, with the proceeds going to the young artists. Shoutout to the families and friends who came out strong to support their young folk and a shoutout to folks like Phyllis Jones- Carter, owner of A Part of Me Boutique, who have generously supported my efforts in the classroom!!! Thank you to educator Camille Bounds for her continued support and thanks to the formidable poet Lamont B. Steptoe!

Love my Bluford and Powel students!

Monday, June 17, 2024

Just Because... Artist Harmonia Rosales

America's Civilized

The Birth of Eve


Portrait of Oshun

The Creation

   I absolutely love the themes of Harmonia Rosales' work. To learn more about her and her creative process check out this article in DAZED.  https://www.dazeddigital.com/art-photography/article/41202/1/harmonia-rosales-repaints-classic-artworks-god-is-a-black-woman-rjd-gallery

Saturday, June 1, 2024

The Black Bottom Book Club's July/Aug Selection- Always Enough; A Global Food Memoir by Annette Anthony

  West Philly's own London-based Annette Anthony-world-traveler, lawyer and entrepreneur- has a new book out; Always Enough; A Global Food Memoir. Listen to Annette share a little about her book, which is full of more than 160 recipes inspired by her extensive travels and living in various parts of the world.  Click link, to listen: Food, Farms and Chef podcast- Annette Anthony

Writer Annette Anthony

   Join The Black Bottom Book Club's  inaugural  shared reading of a bimonthly book selection. Though the club is Philly-based, those readers of the book, who are interested in participating in the book discussion, may join us, via Zoom.  

For July/August, the selection will be Anthony's Always Enough; A Global Food Memoir . This book is available on Amazon.

 Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, read this book and try out some of these yummy recipes. And take to heart and mouth what Andrew Zimmern stated:  Food is the passport to a thousand journeys, each bite an adventure." Let your culinary adventure begin.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Step Into The World with Palestinian -American Artist Samia Halaby

Palestinian -American Artist Samia Halaby

Step into World- Samia Halaby , age 87, is a Palestinian - American artist who was scheduled to have a retrospective exhibition of her work hosted by Indiana University at Bloomington.
I deliver my curriculum through the Arts! I have a team of 4th graders , who once a week visit online the pages of Hyperallergic; an online art journal. Because students had been studying the poetry of another Palestinian-American- Naomi Shihab Nye-, the Hyperallergic headline about a Palestinian artist caught their eye. We read the article together about how Halaby’s invitation to have her work showcased was cancelled. We know intimately how this works; living in a city dominated by universities which are clearly not devoted to the exchange of ideas and dominated by the will of wealthy donors.

      Her abstract work appeals to children and so my students decided to host a classroom exhibition of their work inspired by Samia Halaby . I don’t discuss explicitly what is happening in Gaza. But I do , with a grand intention, try to connect my students to the global community through the arts. I would love if any of our Philly- based Palestinian restaurants would want to exhibit my students’ work in honor of the great Samia Halaby

4th Grade Artists

By Ksaani W.

By Ksaani W.

By Tethelma M.

Ayden C.

By Nina S.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Nzuri Journal - Furaha; Cote d'Ivoire

    I am working on a series of poems about my friends and friendships. I have put a few of these out into the world.  I recently learned that this poem- Furaha; Cote d'Ivoire, was published this past May.  Please hit the link to read and revel in the joys of friendships!

Nzuri Journal

#nzurijournal #poetry #blackpoetry #africanpoetry #coted'ivoire #friendships

Friday, August 11, 2023

Justin Ngoga Makes Travel and Relocation to Rwanda a Breeze

  I finally made my trip to Rwanda this summer and I could not have made this journey with confidence if I had not used the services and skills of Justin Ngoga. As a middle-age woman, the idea of traveling from my hometown of Philadelphia all the way to this lovely, East African country seemed a bit daunting. 

30th Street Amtrak Station-Philadelphia

   But someone recommended the services of Justin Ngoga, founder and director of Impact Route. Justin, based in Kigali, Rwanda, is a trained and licensed cross-cultural professional and he and his team offer a variety of services from meeting with you online, prior to your departure, answering all of your questions and concerns to preparing a plan to make your arrival and stay in Rwanda an enjoyable one. Equally important, they share Rwandan customs and social norms, which are very helpful to know. 

Justin Ngoga in conversation with Sojo and Mentha, a 
client he helped to relocate to Rwanda.

  Justin and his team offer a wide array of services, from pre-departure, online meetings, to Kinyarwanda language lessons, to airport pickup/drop-off, driving services, to aiding you in securing local phone service and exchanging money, to city tours, museum tours and so on. Whatever your travel needs are and whatever is needed to make your stay in Rwanda a truly meaningful one, Justin and his team are there to guide and support you.  Did I mention guided trips to the spectacular local markets to local fabric vendors and dressmakers?   

Justin escorting us to the Kimironko Market; one of the busiest markets in Kigali!

Kimironko Market-look at the variety of beautiful beans.

Me with fabric vendor-Patrice-in the market.

Sojo and I at the Liberation Day Night Run in Kigali 

The best dressmaker in Kigali- Beautiful Rousse

Justin escorted us to the Genocide Memorial Center.
Needless to say it was a profoundly emotional experience. 

Sojourner reading the names of the genocide
victims interred at this site. Justin's commentary
and insight were invaluable.

 Justin has become like family. There is a bond that is created when someone guides you through their country, especially one that has suffered a horrific event like a genocide.  Justin showed us a young, vibrant, gorgeous Rwanda positioned for a great future.

       The end of our stay was topped off with a traditional, delicious Rwandan meal Justin and his wife served us in their beautiful home, with their beautiful children. 

  Going to Rwanda?  Use the services of Justin Ngoga. You will not be disappointed. Below are links to his website and links to order or download his books for free.

1. Link to Justin's website- Relocation Buddy in Rwanda

2. Book- Rwanda Cultural Awareness

3. Moving to Rwanda Guide Book

4. Kinyarwanda Travelers' Phrase Book

#rwandatravel #rwandantravel #africantravel #africancontinent #rwanda #visitrwanda #genocidememorials #neverforget

Sojo and I with Justin's lovely wife and children in
their home, where they prepared us a 
delicious , traditional Rwanda meal. 

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Black Star Film Festival 2023 Was Amazing

Sojo, Phyllis, Camille and I had at a blast at this year’s BlackStar Film Festival. Thank you to the BlackStar team for organizing another stellar event! See you folks next year.  Here is a link to the names of the films presented this year. Be on the lookout for many of them being shown on various streaming services.

Camille Bounds and Octavia McBride-Ahebee Stepping out to enjoy the
incredible line-up of films presented in the BlackStar Film Festival. 

The fabulous BlackStar Team dedicated to presenting the best films of Black, 
Brown and Indigenous Filmmakers and Media Artists. photo-BlackStar

Going to Mars; The Nikki Giovanni Project/ Directors Michele Stephenson & Joe Brewster. Shoutout to Louis Massiah and Yolanda Wisher who each moderated a stellar Q&A session with directors. You have another opportunity to see this film on Sunday..

You know folks got their party on! photo-BlackStar

Below are some of the films and panel discussions I attended.

Team Dream , directed by Luchina Fisher, has me already making plans to get back in the pool. This short documentary “explores the complicated history of Black Americans’ relationship to swimming through a pair of extraordinary athletes in the golden years.”

MnM , a documentary by Twiggy Puccini Garçon, showcases “in a joyful and liberating way two nonbinary chosen sisters in the ballroom community.”  The featured stars- Mermaid Garçon and Milan Garçon - were in attendance at today’s screening. See  Camille in photo with them.  Let me say too, BlackStar  audience members are slaying in their couture!!!!.

See you next year at the BlackStar Film Festival.

#blackfilmfestivals #blackfilmmakers #blackfun #blackjoy #nikkigiovanni #teamdream #filmfestivals #visitphiladelphia #philadelphia 

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Mural Arts Annual Wall Ball 2023

Mural Arts Annual Wall Ball 2023 - celebrating murals in our community tonight with mayoral candidate Helen Gym, Cathy Harris of Mural Arts,

Laurel Raczka of the Painted Bride Art Center, Percussionist/playwright extraordinaire Karen Smith and so many other great folks!

Don't forget to find and see the mural featuring the poem my daughter and I composed and see the stunning artwork of Priscilla Bell, Sheena Garcia, Wanda Payne and Pauline Houston McCall.
Fresh Grocer Market, on Market St., between

56th and 57th Streets; facing the EL.


Saturday, March 18, 2023

One of My Students Made it to the Regional Round of the Scripps Spelling Bee

Had an amazing time at the regional Scripps Spelling Bee this morning.  It was hosted by WHYY-Billy Penn. I think I was more nervous than the kids, who were absolutely tremendous. My student, a 3rd grader, one of the youngest  competitors, lasted 5 rounds. I am so proud of him.

Here I am with WHYY's on-air host and  reporter Avi Wolfman-Arent, who served as the pronouncer for the event! 

As an aside, do check out the vey new children’s book about the true event involving MacNolia Cox , an African-American girl, and  her 1936 participation in National Spelling Bee!