I'll be part of the ACCENT performance on Saturday, November 17, at Jambo Africa, 6000 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center.
In the words of IBé Kaba: "We all have accents! It's our unique fingerprint on our world and how we see it; how we articulate those experiences and how we share them with our community. It's a representation of our culture, our heritage and individual personality. It's not only on the surface, it permeates every faucet of our being! Needless to say this is a celebration of our being! AND a celebration of voices that are as unique as the words they speak are powerful. AND yeah, these are some powerful voices as well! Some of my personal favorites in the Twin Cities! And I don't say that lightly."
Our hope is by bringing people together at African business we can not only introduce people to the African community in the Twin Cities (and African culture) but also help these businesses stay viable. It’s us doing our part to ensure our community continues to thrive in our new home.
"Poetry, Music, and a whole lotta story telling!" will be a part of the evening. Featured performers include: Chaun Webster, Nimo Hussein Farah, Shahar Eberzon, Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria, Marisa Carr, Jamela Pettiford, IBé Kaba, and myself. As a quick breakdown:
Chaun Webster is a Twin Cities activist, publisher and poet in the Black radical tradition. Founding Free Poet's Press in 2009 with the intention of empowering Black and Brown artists to control their own images, Webster has published fuck poetry: bread is the politik of the hungry and as a 2011 Verve Grant recipient is preparing for the release of HaiCOUP: a fieldguide in guerrilla (po)ethics. More information about Chaun Webster and Free Poet's Press can be found at www.freepoetspress.com
Nimo Hussein Farah uses language to express things she finds too confusing. Part of her current undertaking is to develop her skills as an orator while blending Somali and English. She thinks herself charming and hilarious in the Somali language, often making herself laugh. But rarely does that humor translate into English. It’ll be magical when she learns to fuse the two languages together seamlessly. She currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota and imagines traveling to the moon, Mars or maybe Mogadishu. She hopes they’ll have water wherever her travels take her.
Shahar Eberzon is poised to shake the world with her voice. Hailing from Israel, she brings a very unique sensibility to the local music scene. Her humility, warmth, sincerity and general aura are enough to make you want to invite her over for tea. And then you hear her voice. . .
Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria is a spoken word poet of Peruvian heritage heavily involved with Palabristas, local Latino poets collective and Con Safos Radio at Hamline University. A recent graduate from the University of Minnesota and an advocate to Latinos in manufactured home parks through APAC. He writes about the duality of two cultures in English, Spangles and Spanish as well as issues pertaining to his community and life experiences. He is currently, working on a spoken word cd with collaboration of other local poets and MC's.
Marisa Carr is a multidisciplinary artist, activist, educator, and youth mentor. She uses art to raise awareness, pose questions, and tell the stories that matter, and advocates for art as a vital tool for young people to engage, mobilize, and speak up.
Jamela Pettiford comes from a theatrical and musical family, singing since the age of four, and performing since the age of eight. Ms. Pettiford has spent many years with Walker West Music Academy. Recently, Ms. Pettiford has been seen dancing in a Mall of America television commercial, and in a Qwest commercial. Ms. Pettiford runs her own business, “Singing Down The Reign,” where she sings for businesses, banquets, weddings, and funerals. In addition, Ms. Pettiford is an actress, teacher, and singing coach. As a singer, she has recently performed for “Chosen to Achieve,” the “Boy Scouts,” “Limited 30,” the “Martin Luther King Rally,” and many others. Ms. Pettiford is currently working on her debut CD.
IBé Kaba was born in Guinea, and grew up between Sierra Leone, Chicago, St. Cloud, and the Twin Cities. Quite naturally, he lives in the Middle of the Atlantic…with a mailing address in Minneapolis, MN. Among others, he writes about the African Experience, both in Africa and in America. “Bridge Across Atlantic”, his first collection of poems, is a small dose of these stories.
Bryan Thao Worra is an NEA Fellow in literature and a professional member of the Horror Writer Association. The author of six books, he has over 20 awards for his community service and art. He appears in over 100 international publications in Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, France, Singapore, China, Korea, Chile, Pakistan, and across the United States. His poems have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Korean, Thai, Tagalog, Bengali, and Lao. He is a Cultural Olympian who represented Laos during the 2012 London Olympics.
We'll see you there!