Also check out the wonderful article done on this event by the Memphis Tri-State Defender, the official Black Newspaper of Memphis,Tn.
I just wanted to let you all know that new seeds of historic, epic, and spiritual proportions were planted on Saturday July 29, 2006 from 1-4pm at MO's Memphis Originals…The earth definitely shaked and quaked and brought forth the true essence of human libations and liberation through the art of expressing self…For those who witnessed it was a welcomed birth right and for those who missed or never got it in the first place, don't worry you will be feeling the blessed aftershocks for years and generations to come…
Thanks to all who participated by either performing and/or showing up and made this event such a definitive moment in time and turning point in one grateful artivist's humble existence…
Three of Amerikkka's Blackest and Brightest cities best creators and griots were repping (representing) in that small yet big hearted venue known as MO's Memphis Originals for three pleasant and breathtaking hours…
Legendary St. Louis' Own Sister Nineties Literary Group repping' truth , knowledge of self, and wisdom through cross-generational African Diaspora unification and teaching...Pictured here with Tha Artivist from left to right: Wilma Potts, Kiarra Lynn Smith, Mama D Morrowloving, and Papa H Morrowloving.
A young artivist to watch: The multitalented Kiarra Lynn Smith
S90LG'S YOUTH MOVEMENT a.k.a. Yari Yari also repped well with dazzling and stirring renditions of original prose and verse given by Kiarra Lynn Smith, a young lion and amazing talent whose star is definitely on the rise to greater altitudes and frequencies…Her FEMA Blues is one of my favorite works by this versatile 'artivist'…Not to be outdone fellow Yari Yari member Sharifa Taylor did her part to honor the past and Black womanhood by creating and reciting a poem dedicated to the amazing diva and native St. Louisian and cosmopolitan citizen Josephine Baker whose centennial birth year is currently being celebrated as I write this report...Ms. Taylor also gave a valuable lesson and blueprint in urban planning with another Black nationalistic call for building community or re-enforcing the old African proverb not Hillary Clinton so-called quote "it takes a village"…The very resourceful and pleasant S90LG veteran and personal favorite Wilma Potts definitely brought intensity and heartfelt emotion through the hypnotic power of her bittersweet words dealing with abuses and pains given by and to humans through sexually devious means…
Brotha's Keepa is always Black and Proud and always bringing the heat!!!
Memphis,Tn own Spoken Word vets and legends Brotha's Keepa also repped on the Afro-centri-conscious tip and complemented S90LG's thunder by bringing their fiery lightning of rhetoric and kernels of truth…My mom, Ms. Callie Taylor Herd, actually personally knows the very talented BK well and was the one that suggested that I put them in the event…Always remember that great moms can sometimes give great advice…Brotha's Keepa with their Black Nationalist, populist, community oriented and grass roots nurtured appeal a.k.a. Street Cred basically dropped tons of knowledge and science and covered everything just about that is ailing Black People not only locally, but also world wide from FEMA to Katrina and beyond all in a matter of minutes…BK definitely handled their business…With polished deliveries and charismatic personas they bascially recaptured the essence of what it must have felt to see Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets (BK's personal mentors) in their prime…And to those who may disagree and feel that BK is too aggressive with their timeless messages of Black Pride and Unity then I say we can all agree to disagree, but no matter how you feel you must realize that BK is definitely playing for keeps and wins nothing more and nothing less…
Vocal Goddess Laila Wright gave the audience lyrical soul food with her amazing vocal performances…One of the highlights of the entire event was Laila's beautiful rendition of "My Funny Valentine" without musical accompaniment ( a cappella) …Her rendition ranks as one of the greatest I ever heard in my lifetime (right up there with Miles, Frank, and Chaka Khan)…Laila (who is also my high school friend and the class president of our high school senior class with me being the vice president of class affairs respectively) hails from Memphis,Tenn and I do not doubt five to ten years from now this true most known unknown is going to be a major star and national treasure!!!
"The Book of Esther"…Ms. Sims is an American Civil Rights Movement Veteran in the truest sense of the words...She was basically on the frontlines of history making events and was very well acquainted with many of the key movers and shakers of the day...She worked closely with legendary Mississippi NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers so close in fact that she actually had dinner with the civil rights leader just days before he was felled by a assassin bullet literally in front of his young family…Ms. Sims and her family were also neighbors and close friends with James Earl Chaney, Mickey Schwerner and Andrew Goodman the three martyred Civil Rights workers whose tragic demise helped spawn the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and helped to passed the 1965 Voting Rights Act Bill as well as formed the basis for the otherwise fictional movie Mississippi Burning...She was actually one of the last friendly faces to see the three men alive because they departed her mom's house on their final journey to destiny June 21, 1964…She can also count the legendary and charismatic Fannie Lou Hamer as a close friend as well…It was great to see true living history in the flesh (although she grew up in the 60s I found Ms. Sims very youthful in appearance, demeanor and spirit as well as quite beautiful in other ways) and not some tabloid quasi-documentary on the UN-History Channel …
Ms. Sims, a true giant and veteran of the American Civil Rights Movement...Telling "herstory" very powerfully and eloquently!!! Pics on wall and stage are courtesy of Mr. Oscar Donahue and Tha Artivist
Taking a journey back into time with Civil Rights pioneer Ms. Bernice Sims, Oh yeah that's me as usual hiding behind history!!!
Please visit http://www.crmvet.org and let these beautiful people know how much you appreciate their sacrifices and commitment to generations who still have yet to grasp what it truly means to be free and equal as well as sacrifice yourself for a cause you believe in and by this doing small act of kindness we all wil be setting the right model and precedent for generations not yet even born…
Ms. Sims is in full bloom: Showing off her talents as an artivist in her own right!!! Check out her website
Ms. Sims is truly a Renaissance woman or Jackie of all Trades...Please check out her website featuring some of her colorful and breath taking artworks...Also if you are in Memphis anytime between Sept 22-Oct 15 please check out Ms. Sims the thespian in the Samm-Art Williams' play Home which will debut and open the first season of Memphis' newest cultural institution, The Hattiloo Black Rep. Theatre...Be on the lookout for her memoirs about her incredible life story coming out soon…Thank the Creator for people like Ms. Sims!!!
The Oracle in her element and truthful state of mind (Pics on stage and on wall are courtesy of Oscar Donahue and Tha Artivist
The Oracle dropping lyrical and afro-centri-conscious science and mathematics...
She also let it be known that like BK said in their performance that their is no justice just us and it is up to just us to reclaim our rightful inheritance for not only just us, but also for the children and for generations not yet born...I met or discovered the power of the Oracle at a family union only a week before The Artivist Presents… event took place…What a blessing and pleasure to know the range of exceptional talent that can exist in one's family!!! You'll will be hearing more great things from this wise poetic soul very soon…Just stay tuned to Tha Artivist Channel!!!
Mr. Oscar Donahue = An one of a kind original!!!
I would also like to thank the artist known as Mr. Oscar Donahue of New Orleans for offering his beautifully hand crafted original one of a kind made for all mankind artworks…His artworks created a true jazzy and joyful atmosphere for the participating performers to do what they do!!! Check out his official website at http://www.oscarofneworleans.com/index.html and see how the Spirit of New Orleans pre-Katrina can be relived and cherished forever through the power of art…Also check out the USA Today article featuring Mr. Donahue's view on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:
Although he lost his house and many material valuables, Mr. Donahue never lost his true home where a warm and giving spirit and great big heart reside…I actually had the opportunity to learn about Mr. Donahue after reading about him in the summer edition of my alma mater's magazine Washington University Magazine in St. Louis...I was immediately inspired by his story of creative achievement, professional fulfillment and the ever universal theme known as the triumph of the human spirit against all adversity man made or mother nature raised that I hit the Wash U Alumni Directory and e-mailed him some lines of appreciation and admiration...A funny thing happened, he e-mailed me back and we struck up a meaningful and hopefully lasting friendship all in the span of a week without ever meeting face to face or speaking on the phone...The powers and potential of the internet!!! May the Creator continue to bless this true cultural warrior and please support Brother Oscar by purchasing his incredible but affordable art today!!! I am also now one of his representatives so you can also contact me if you want some Oscar's Originals as well…
Finally, I would like to thank all the good folks who showed up to make this event a reality and success…Thanks to Nita B and MO's for making this event accessible and enjoyable for the people involved…Like my good friend Chinyere is always apted to say there's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come!!!
R2C2H2 Tha Artivist
Tha Artivist Presents…Words, Beats and Pics!!! Will be coming to a state, city, town, 'hood, set, ward near you soon!!! Get at Tha Artivist at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating…
Some more pics from the first Tha Artivist Presents...:
Freedom Fighters and R2C2H2 Fans For Life, The Gibsons and Kiarra Lynn Smith...If you want to stay hip to what's going on on the international,national, and local fronts concerning the current human and civil rights struggle please sign on to Bro. John Gibson's a.k.a. Arrow's e-mail mailing list to receive updates on issues that mainstream media outlets won't either dare cover or don't do a great or even a good job at relaying actual facts and substantive persopectives...E-mail him at email@example.com...Also visit http://www.crmvet.org to get in touch with other Civil Rights Movement Veterans.
A New Convert To The R2C2H2 Tha Artivist Movement: Ms. Bernice Sims
You are only as good or great as the help that you receive...Special thanks to the Beautiful mother/ daughter team of Lou and Nadia Winston for making this event memorable and a success!!!
My sister MoMo, Me and Mama D!!!
With my good friend and clothing accessories entrepreneur J. Sills...This guy is a true visionary and aesthetic mastermind/genius...Watch out FUBU, Sean John, Nike, and Phat Farm because here comes Game Time Athletics!!! Respect his fresh!!! And yes ladies and gentlemen that is his real eye color...Hey Bro. J. hook a brother up with an endorsement deal!!! Get at this talented brother at firstname.lastname@example.org
My extended Black Family Tree...Enough Said!!!