Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Come and Support Tha Artivist Presents...Words, Beats and Pics in St. Louis Sunday August 20,2006 from 3-6pm at Legacy Books and Cafe.

Artastic Greetings Fam!!!
Please pass the following information on even if you don't plan to attend any of these events and regardless of your area and zip code because this movement is worldwide ...I need your support because one person can't stand alone as an island...Also don't forget to visit http://www.weallbe.com ...Thanks!!!
Sunday Aug. 20, 2006 from 3pm-6pm @ Legacy Books and Cafe, Tha Artivist Presents...Words, Beats & Pics In St. Louis!!!
"The greatest collection of talent you'll ever see assembled under one roof...An Artastic Event For Anyone Who Loves The Creative Brilliance of the Human Spirit!"


R2C2H2 Tha Artivist


Music/Arts - Exhibit and Performance

Sunday, August 20, 2006


3:00pm - 6:00pm

Legacy Books and Cafe

5249 Delmar Blvd
St Louis, MO 63108

Albert Grant and Ronald Herd II
phone- 901-299-4355

$6 in advance, $7 at the door. This is a family friendly event. To buy tickets in advance please contact Mr. Albert Grant through the previously mentioned e-mail address and/or phone number and state your name, phone number where you can be reached and how many tickets.

About Event:
Please join R2C2H2 Tha Artivist and Friends for the second installment of Tha Artivist Presents...Words, Beats and Pics celebration!!! This event will showcase regional as well as local talent in poetry/spoken word, song/music and the visual arts.

Featured and Honorable guests are:
St. Louis' Own Sisters Nineties Literary Group, to see
samples of their work check out the following links:

2.) Introducing St. Louis Arts Patron and Spoken Word Artist Ms. Freida Wheaton

Featuring select songs by Hip Hop Artist Woo Child
http://www.woochild.com/ from his upcoming second album...

4.) Introducing St. Louis' own Hip Hop Artist Caesar

The D.R. Brown All Stars

6.) THE URBAN MUSIC COALITION featuring Les Moore with Ron Atkins.

There will also be more surprise guests as well as a chance for audience members to participate in a talent contest for a prize
...Original art and prints will be featured and on sale by great contemporary artists such as New Orleans' own Oscar Donahue
http://www.oscarofneworleans.com and R2C2H2 Tha Artivist http://www.r2c2h2.com...Books will also be available to purchase from Sister Nineties Literary Group as well as other products by other featured artists...Proceeds from the event will go to projects benefiting artists and our society.
*To get an idea about what this unique event will be like please go read about what happened at the Memphis,Tn version:

Monday, August 07, 2006

An Artivist on Location In Tanzania:“Say it loud I’m black and I’m proud!”

Imani Cheers is an Art Homie and fellow Artivist of mine who I befriended during "my residency" at Wash U in St. Louis…She has achieved a lot artistically and personally in such a short period of time and I am very proud to call her my sister comrade…She's a photographer/ film maker and humanitarian currently on a relief mission in Tanzania...Check out her message and photos…Get inspired and lifted!!! Check out her last post about her journey as well to catch up...You can e-mail Ms. Cheers at imani_cheers@hotmail.com -R2C2H2 Tha Minista of Information

Ladies and Gents:

Take a journey with me...

The concept of Pan-Africanism is rather simple in the words of the legendary Bob Marley, “How good and pleasant it would be, before God and man, to see the unification of all Africans”. In reality, its another story. Apparently I do not look like the typical “Black American”. I don’t know if this is as a result of my curly locs, or my _mocha skin or my broad nose but on any average day, I am constantly asked “Wewe ni mtanzanian?” “Are you Tanzanian?” What makes it even more amusing was the weekend events in Zanzibar. (Yes, I went back for the THIRD time in 4 weeks…hey, its beautiful!)

I traveled with 4 of my friends, Cyndee (my roommate), Susan, Tom and Jesse (two Marines). We met up with several Fulbrighters and Peace Corps volunteers and altogether it was about 20 people. Now, I stand out in the group for various reasons but for the purpose of this story I’ll keep it simple. I’m the darkest out of the group, by far! The closest person in complexion was a Fulbright Tonya who’s dad is Mexican. As we walked through Stone Town (rather loud and slightly obnoxious, I’ll admit) it was hilarious to watch the faces of Zanzibaris. I was repeatedly mistaken for the groups “guide” or when I was just with the guys some eager prostitute (side note: interracial dating/marriage here is HUGE, among Tanzanian women and European men which further supports my theory that European men are obsessed with African women) trying to hook a “mzungu”. Locals constantly walked up to me out of 20 people and started rattling off in Kiswahili. What makes it even more hilarious is that half of the Peace Corps volunteers are fluent in Kiswahili and I am barely proficient. BUT, as a result of my appearance I was perceived to be the “native”.

Jesse and Matthew showing Imani loving at the club....

What made these situations even more interesting were the conversations I had with a guy at the club on Saturday night. Apparently he had seen me on the flight over (remember only 14 seats) but didn’t speak to me b/c I was with “wzungus” (white folks). At this point I’m getting a little upset, here I am all the way in Tanzania, one of the most peaceful African nations where interracial dating/marriage doesn’t appear to be a big deal and I’m getting the cold shoulder b/c I hang out with white folks! Not dating anyone just friends and it’s a problem! Now after the conversation I realized that they guy was just intimidated by Jesse and Tom and after I realized he was coming on to me, I quickly got away. Not b/c he was a “local” but b/c he was creepy!

I’m saying all of this for a few reasons. First, ignorance amazes me on a very regular basis. Similar to living in South Africa from 1995-1999, as a progressive “Black American” I’m caught in the middle. White folks don’t like me and black folks think that “I think I’m better than them”. So I’m caught in the middle of this tug of war. I’m too “American” to be “African” but too “African” to be “American”. Hmmmmmm, still trying to figure out what to do with this one and I’ve been in this situation for the last 11 years. Where do you fit in when you want to identify with your African ancestry but contemporary ideologies force you into archaic times???? Whoa, I know…let’s marinate on that for a minute…

Besides my culture shock, Z-bar was GREAT. We went out to Prison Island about 3 miles off the coast of Stone Town and played with the gigantic turtles, went snorkeling and lounged on the beach.

Then we walked around the town, spent way too much money, listened to great local music and had very good Swahili food! It was incredible! Hummus, falafel, spice tea, cardamom rice, so yummy!

We all watched the sunset from the roof top of Jesse and Tom’s hotel. It was beautiful as usual. Then the craziness began…lets just say, shots of tequila and Southern Comfort…I know, we somehow made it home around 4:30am.

Sunday was filled with culture! I went to the “House of Wonders” which is Zanzibar’s big museum. It was awesome! I loved it! There were 3 floors of just about Zanzibar culture. Everything from history of hair styles, food, clothing, structures of homes, to henna designs (which I now have 2 designs) were explained in detail. The top level had a photo exhibit about the abuse of animals. I felt like it was sponsored by PETA…very graphic and depressing. I love photo exhibits but this was a bit much. Sidenote: Please go and see the World Press Photo exhibit! I went on Friday and it was inspiring and monumental in my life as an artist. Incredible images, check it out as it travels world wide!

(TOP) Imani with her friend Susan... (BOTTOM) Imani with her roomate Cyndee...
Okay…I think that’s about it for now. Loving life, contemplating my existence as a “African-American woman” living in Africa, working hard and not getting nearly enough sleep! On the bright note, we (Susan, Cyndee and I) are traveling to the northern circuit this weekend. I’m super excited. I’ve always dreamed about going to the Serengeti and that dream will come true this Friday!! Plus we are going to see Mt. Kilamanjaro as well! Great pics to come! Yeah!! Hope all is well my friends, please feel free to give me a call, send an email or just say a prayer…all is appreciated!


Views of Stone Town and the Old Fort

Children playing in the street and posing for the camera.

The beautiful Imani and the beautiful Indian Ocean.

Imani all Hennaed Up!!!

*Important Note : All the following pictures are the copyrighted property of Ms. Imani Cheers...Please contact her at imani_cheers@hotmail.com if you are interested in her gorgeous pictures!!! Thanks!!!*

We Shall Be Overcomed…With Joy!!!

Tha Artivist Presents…Words, Beats and Pics is a resounding hit with people of all walks of life and generations…Tha Artivist Reports.

Also check out the wonderful article done on this event by the Memphis Tri-State Defender, the official Black Newspaper of Memphis,Tn.

Greetings family,
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…

What Am I Talking About You May Ask??? Well what I am talking about is of course the birth or re-birth of Tha Artivist Presents…Words, Beats and Pics!!!
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.
First up or leading off were Sister Nineties Literary Group from the city of St. Louis, of the state of Missouri or as they would say the State of Misery…S90LG didn't disappoint fore they set the bar high with emotionally packed, socially cognizant, politically fiery commentary through the gifts and combinations of both the spoken and the written word respectively for one hour…S90LG founder and literary diva Debra "Mama D" Morrowloving actually set the tone letting her Afro-centri-consciousness blessed the mic and and minds of those who were open and honest enough to receive this real very healthy and nourishing soul food…I have known Mamma D for over 6 years and I consider everyday that I known her to be a true blessing from Creator…Mama D has in many ways been like a second mama to me hence the name Mama D…Native Mississippian and fellow journalist Marie Chewe-Elliott biblically pontificated her "Psalms of a Woman" recalling coming of age where southern trees bearing strange fruit was the rule and not the exception and where kids whether it be the murder and torture of Emmett Till or the bombing of four little girls in a church from Birmingham can and did become victims of tragedies transformed into symbols of martyrdom which inspired true affirmative action in regards to civil rights and bringing down the walls of segregation…

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!!!
One of the most inspiring and touching testimonials came from the beautiful woman in yellow Ms. Bernice Sims…If S90LG member Marie Chewe-Elliott's poem was about the "Psalms of a Woman" then Ms. Sims' amazing life story is "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
Ms. Sims in more ways than she probably knows articulated perfectly the true moods and feelings of Americans in general and African Americans in particular during a time of great social unrest, upheaval and change in our nation's history…I was blessed to have discovered Ms. Sims and many others like her through a website which keeps an active list of civil rights veterans from the the 1950s and 1960s...
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
Another one of Memphis' hidden treasures and under appreciated social scientists also took the stage to tell it how it was, is and the way it should and is going to be…The Oracle definitely lived up to her namesake and spoke truth to power enticing the crowd with the way her well chosen and placed words flowed off her melodious tongue, kissing and aesthetically hugging the audience with notions of Black Love, Pride, Identity and Collectivity…

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!!!

Artivistically yours,
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 r2c2h2@gmail.com 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 arrow@inet-direct.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!!!

Me and Papa Morrowloving (Doesn't he look like a Black Ernest 'Papa' Hemingway???)

The Best Friend of Da Best Man, D. Hurt...Check out this tribute I did for D. Hurt and his lovely Lena...He is also a talented artist.
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 neimaj@tmail.com

My extended Black Family Tree...Enough Said!!!