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That dude Tai Allen, POET, MUSICIAN, A MAKER OF THINGS

Tai Allen

Yes, I know this guy and proud of it.  We have shared stages and shared non-conversational moments of the poetic kind.  I have respect and admiration for the continuous presentation of his gifts. He speaks in ways that hold us accountable as human beings.  He is in your face with that confident wordsmith kinda power. He doesn’t have to speak loudly or often to actually be heard and remembered, I think that is what has always drawn me to his work and to keep up with what he has going on.

VISIT: TAIALLEN.COM

From across the landscape, I have sometimes wished I was hangin’ back in Brooklyn with some of the folks, Tai being one in particular. That’s ok though, I can read and listen to his new works!

“The award-winning poet/soul singer’s new project uses poetry and songs to create a narrative around innocence lost to abuse and weaponized love.”

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#NoJewels is a book that tries to narrate a young man’s life that was loved well, loved wrong and, once, not loved at all. Sadly, this story is not an aberration or oddity. There are numerous No Jewels tales in every city. This book of lines, devices, stanza, and spaces hopes to serve them all.

The 20-poem chapbook reinterprets classic literary forms, such as triolets and haiku, to create a narrative of a young man’s loss of innocence. The book follows a psychological path of being subjected to an abuser’s potent mix of love and abuse and the subsequent emergence.

“There’s a lot of trauma in the world, in this story,” explained Allen. “But, even in the midst of that, the collection is about finding yourself. You can emerge on the other side.”

No Jewels

nothing to offer
but remembers (without “whys”)
of a fall i raked,

bagged and placed on the
curb — cliche-close to the cans
waiting for trash day

-tai allen

released April 11, 2017

Available on Amazon

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Please be sure to check out the sound that accompanies the book!!! Get ready to Groove to truths and beats!! Right up my ally!! THE “TRAVEL SONG” HAS ME SWAYIN’ AS I WRITE THIS PIECE…YES, I PUT IT ON REPEAT!

Tai Allen is a respected creative who excels in multiple disciplines. The Brooklyn-based creative director is a poet who sings over music he has produced. His poetry has been published in noted tomes ( Bomb, Killens Reviews, OPEN and African Voices) and his music has been heralded by such publications as SoulTracks, CentricTV, Soulhead, Okayplayer and Uptown Magazine. He has headlined such venues as BAMcafé Live in Brooklyn, Nighttown in Rotterdam and the American Jazz Museum’s Blue Room in Kansas City, as well as co-hosted the main stage for Art of Cool Festival in Durham.

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Be sure to check out this artist and his work.  Please feel free to share any and all information you find here!

Thank-you Tai Allen for using your story and your art to open hearts and minds.  To bring things to light!  To create spaces and places for us to shine!  1Luv always!

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Hanifa Queen former BGIRL turns painter with a twist

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Hanifa Queen rose to fame in the 80s as the only female member of Wolverhampton’s famed B-boy group. Known as Bubbles, she was the leading female break dancer in the world and internationally known in her field.

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Since then Hanifa has trained as a nurse and has become a mother, but her strong passion for break dancing remained. After a lengthy break from the field, she has returned to B-boying, but with an artistic twist!

Hanifa is making a name for herself yet again – by incorporating painting into her impressive dances.

The talented mother of two spends her days spinning around her home covered in paint and creating amazing works of art.

“I call it ‘b-boying on canvas’ – b-boying being the original name for breakdancing,” says Hanifa McQueen Hudson, from Newhampton Road West, Wolverhampton.

“Hanifa is one of my favorite artists to date.  She is a teacher of her craft and has taken her art to a place of extreme originality.  She combines her dance moves, her sneakers, her paint, and her canvas transforming her moments into something beyond words.  She herself is a work of art, blending her presence with her tools.  There is definitely nobody else like her.  Her artistic image and perseverance as an artist is something to be celebrated and presented as an overwhelmingly positive image for both our children and our community. ” #NEVAHBLACKDOWN

The above images are a few of our favorite pieces! To find out more and to stay connected to Hanifa Queen aka Bubbles visit her website: CLICK HERE

Check out Artbreaker – The Process

Check out a few great articles:

UK’S FIRST BGIRL HANIFA QUEEN AKA BUBBLES DOIN ART

Break dancing on canvas

FOLLOW HANIFA ON FB

Please feel free to share any information! Peace and Light

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Featured Event: LA Screening of “I AM BOLT” The Story of the fastest man alive! June 16, 2017

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imagesCaribbeanLens International Film Festival is pleased to partner with Los Angeles-based Jamaica Cultural Alliance (JCA) to bring the story of the fastest man alive to Los Angeles.
Usain Bolt is a globally adored icon. He is a man who defines athletics, transcends sport and embodies his homeland, a man whose signature lightning pose has become a symbol of inspiration for generations now and to come. He is a man we know from the track – his focus, his smile, his winning and now I Am Bolt lets us see the real man behind the Triple Treble Olympic Gold Medals for the very first time.
 
Please join us as we experience the real Usain as you have never seen before. Raw, revealing, joyful and inspiring. 
Tickets are $10.00 and include complimentary beverages and finger food. Click here for more ticket information: TICKETS 
(seating is limited so get your tickets as soon as possible)
Location: Veterans Memorial Building Rotunda 117 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90232
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The Spellcaster’s Manual by Ainsley Burrows! 20 Years of Poetry

Since 1999, Ainsley Burrows has been a lean, mean, poetic machine, having toured at least eight to nine months of the last eight years; hitting almost every state in the United States, as well as several venues in Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Germany. He has released several books, musical albums and most recently he has compiled over 20 years of poetry in his new project entitled “The Spellcaster’s Manual” (click link or cover image to order book) cover photo by Barron Claiborne

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Find out more about this creative and dynamic artist who considers himself a Poet, Writer,  and Imagineer!

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The duo ‘Climbing PoeTree’ is art meets activism in its most powerful revelation

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These two young ladies “ALIXA + NAIMA are at the forefront of using art to speak, to inspire and to share thoughts on the state of affairs in the world at large.  They have inspired me for a few years now.  As a poet and mother of a young lady, I am thrilled to share the story of these immense artists with my daughter and those I come into contact with.  They epitomize exactly what we do here with NevahBlackDown, we use art to uplift and promote positive change.  They bring truth gloriously mixed with a passion that creates a template to be honored. (photos by Pablo Aguilar)

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“Creativity is the antidote for violence and destruction. Art is our most human expression, our voice to communicate our stories, to challenge injustice and the misrepresentations of mainstream media, to expose harsh realities and engender even more powerful hope, a force to bring diverse peoples together, a tool to rebuild our communities, and a weapon to win this struggle for universal liberation.”
– Alixa + Naima

“Over the last 13 years, Climbing PoeTree has infused our movements for justice with healing and imagination, inspiring thousands through their award-winning multimedia theater, dual-voice spoken word, visual art, sustainable touring, and community organizing. Co-creators Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman are cultural architects committed to reframing the story through multi-voice spoken word, hip hop, world music, and multimedia theater that translate deep research around the most pressing issues of our time into stunning artistry that catalyzes their audiences to activate the transformation they wish to cultivate within themselves and their communities.” Read and find out more about CLIMBING POETREE

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Climbing Poetry has just released their latest album “INTRINSIC” A must purchase for your music collection!

On 3/31/2017 Climbing PoeTree released a new collection of rebel-rousing anthems, bilingual ballads, and unconventional love songs. Backed by 33 world-class musicians, vocalists, and producers, Alixa and Naima’s impassioned lyricism propel 17 soulful compositions bridging electronic music and live instrumentation, combining hip-hop, spoken word, rock, blues, folk, and Afro-Latin beats.

Produced by the powerhouse music legend, Toshi Reagon, INTRINSIC features an incredible cadre of collaborators including Carolyn MalachiRising Appalachia, B Steady, Taina Asli, Arooj Aftab, Juliette Jones, Ayla Nereo and many more.

Check out the official video for ‘WE SURVIVED’

There is so much more to check out with these powerful young ladies.  I suggest a visit to their website CLIMBING POETREE

NevahBlackDown is proud of the profoundly positive and strong images these young ladies present to the world.  I hope they continue to speak up and share their gifts with the world!

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These L.A. dancers are changing the way people protest

I found this story in the LA Times to be fantastic.  Dancers using dance to protest. Read more here: LA Times

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The seeds for street dance activism were planted with the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin. After Bell learned Martin’s shooter George Zimmerman was able to walk free, she immediately headed to L.A.’s hot spot for arts and activism: Leimert Park

Using art to speak within the times is exactly what we are about here for NevahBlackDown.  Non violence, non traditional protesting, art, love, joy are all amazing ingredients for change.

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Gina Breedlove: Her Voice & Soul Can Heal All Wounds

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There is nothing more powerful than a voice filled with soul, raw emotion and the alchemic brew to heal and bring light to darkness. Gina Breedlove fashions her sound in a way that draws you in and envelopes you in love and magic.  She lifts you up and leaves you feeling empowered and strong.  There is nothing holding back, there is nothing hiding, there is nothing selfish, there is nothing egotistical about this song bird.

I have had the pleasure of hearing Gina sing (on more than one occasion) and getting to know her personally through friends. Her softness and Goddess like nature has and will always inspire me.  She is feminine strength and power personified.  I watched her and learned.  I listened to her and imagined.  I sat in her space and grew. That is what Gina brings to the world, she brings change, she brings truth and she brings the bridge where all can cross and find passion, love, and balance.

She began performing at age 15, singing back up for the incomparable Phyllis Hyman. Since, gina has toured all over the world with artists who, like herself, define and redefine genre; Harry Belafonte, Toshi Reagon, Ronny Jordan, Ani Difranco, Craig Harris, and Sekou Sundiata, to name a few.

She calls her music Folksoul, a coalescence of Rhythm & Blues, with story telling cadences of Folk, Soul, and the gospel truth. Folksoul is music that lifts the Spirit, opens the heart and allows one to find their way. Breathing into the Sound of this woman’s voice, gina embodies healing artistry. An Actress as well , gina created the role of “Sarabi” for the Broadway production of “The Lion King”, and recently appears in 2 Spike Lee films, ”Living Da Dream” for NBA 2k16 and “Chiraq“.

If you don’t know anything about her you must visit here website: ginabreedlove.com

If you have never seen her perform you must see her show if she is in your town.  Find out more about her tour schedule @ her website in the above link! Lucky for those in NYC, Gina will be at Joe’s Pub June 20th! joespub.com

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We are all very lucky that a spirit like Gina is roaming the earth with here healing nature.  We are all blessed to have our sister in love walk the path of helping to heal the wounds of the world.  We are so very blessed to have an image such as Gina to share with our girls! Yes yes we are blessed!

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