Tag Archives: writer

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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Baub: Poet, Actor, Playwright

“If New Haven’s hip-hop community has a Renaissance man, it just might be Baub Bidon.”—

Jim Shelton, New Haven Register

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Yes! I am finally sitting down to share with you an artist that I feel is keeping it real.  Baub speaks to the times, he speaks from the heart.  His pen is littered with truth.  He holds nothing back and stands behind everything he writes.  We have been sharing inspiration and poetry for more than a decade.  There are people who come and go and then there are people who lift each other up.  He is one of those people, one of those artists.  His poetry sticks to my thoughts and keeps me engaged.  I visit his page often for inspiration. He is mighty and strong, he uses the medium of poetry to bring wisdom, change and thought provoking messages to light.

Baub ( pronounced:Bawb ) Bidon is a Haitian/African American Poet, Actor, Writer, Playwright.

He writes to tell the stories often marinated from the ghettos, and jails throughout the United States. His poetry speaks of injustice and poverty. His hope is that his work uplifts and empowers those who are and have been victims of oppression.

Learn more: HERE

Jogging the Mind (6/30) 1986

In middle School,

Mr Neff, would have me read a dictionary

write the words, and definitions

as a way of punishment

eye would have to eat my lunch in class

in an empty room

while the other kids, would be in the cafeteria

eye could imagine some rapping,

and banging beats on table

but eye was alone

pounding, these webster pages

filling these legal sheets,

with words, eye didn’t care for

just wanted it to be over…

Father of,

translated into Arabic

is Abu

Prince defined

as Mumia

Put together, as…

Mumia Abu Jamal.

1986 marks, five years in prison

redesigned plantation

blamed for the crime, do the time

lose time, plant slavery in the mind

keep the body, close the blinds

the blind, don’t see injustice

nor read the fine print,

etched in the 13th amendment

my friend J-sun once said…

“slavery hasn’t been abolished, 

it’s just been polished”

Cleaned up, like a Philly crime scene

scarecrows, hide behind smoke screens

communities gated

the privileged keeps their suburbs

closed, to black hope

hope done died, with Jessie’s rainbow

Knock on Al Sharpton’s door

where’s the marches,

and all that freedom talk

what has it done, since he lost weight

privatized prisons, pockets much fatter

subsidized households, holds an empty plate

empty platter promises.

talk that freedom in your mind, Mumia

put it on radio, like hip hop

like, don’t stop

like, a head bop

bang on that wall my brothah

jog your mind, till it grows feet

till it knows how to defeat

till it runs out of that cage

and onto the streets

jog your mind…

till it becomes free

Copyright © 2017 Baub Bidon

 

READ MORE POETRY: HERE

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The Power of Neycha

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A rockstar…a healer…the embodiment of love blowing into any room.  Her fiery forward nature is what makes Neycha a force to be reckoned with.  She is transformation coupled with empowerment. A much-needed feminine force unto the world.

For 18+ years, K. Neycha Herford, the founder and CEO of The ReMixed Life™ and creator of TheCrossfade™,  has helped thousands recreate their lives through multiple mediums including transformational counseling, lifestyle coaching, writing, speaking, providing abbreviated advice for national radio and television audiences, as well as stirring provocative and compelling conversations as a skilled interviewer and lead moderator.

Have you ever been in the same room with a person that changes the emotional shape of the space, have you ever walked away from a person and realized somehow that your life has been made better.  That is the essence she sprinkles about the world at large.

In this piece I want to focus on something called Crossfading.   Pioneered by artist and healer k. Neycha Herford over a decade ago, Crossfading is both an inventive transformation method and a way of life led by those Neycha dubbed as “crossfaders” – who intentionally push the boundaries of perception, remix reality and cultivate bold, authentic lives. 

The Crossfade Method™ engages critical self-inquiry, encourages a mystical interpretation of life, and a commitment to reconstructing our personal narratives in ways that feel purposeful and empowering, rather than stifling and oppressive.  

Learn more here: www.crossfaderlife.com

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In our culture, there is still the stigma of staying away from self-investigation. We are taught to say “everything is ok” or “I’m alright” when things are not.  Finding your purpose and stepping past your pain is quite literally still frowned upon.  There is so much we don’t face and talk about.  There are so many dreams being neglected and set aside.  That is why Neycha is so very important during this time we are now living in.  We have to conversate, investigate, dream bigger and translate our trauma into beauty, power, and the realization that we are whole and creative beings capable of immense success.  Success in the sense of confidence and self love.

While doing some catching up on what Neycha has been up to I got lost in her loving world.  Her attractive world of empowerment.  I wanted to get on a plane at that precise moment and knock on her door in Brooklyn and say, “I need a splash of Neycha to boost me on high.”  She has given me the courage to step out even further than I have in the past.  She has taught me how to take the talents I have and set them on high.  To believe in the larger picture of myself, larger than I thought possible.  Like starting this blog and writing in a way I believed I wasn’t good at.  There are no closed doors or windows in this world of Neycha, only open ones.  Step into something grander!

Stand up…CROSSFADE and #NEVAHBLACKDOWN

Find out more about Neycha the artist here : www.neychaonline.com

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All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island by Liza Jessie Peterson

How could I not share this magnificent information?  Liza Jessie Peterson raises the bar with her new book.  Watching her stay true to the kids she uplifts and educates is mindblowing.  Her tenacity to stay the course is unparalleled.  This book is a must read. Release date is April 18th, 2017, however, you can pre-order your copy HERE

CONGRATULATIONS LIZA JESSIE PETERSON!

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Told with equal parts raw honesty and unbridled compassion, ALL DAY recounts a year in Liza Jessie Peterson’s classroom at Island Academy, the high school for inmates detained at New York City’s Rikers Island. A poet and actress who had done occasional workshops at the correctional facility, Peterson was ill-prepared for a full-time stint teaching in the GED program for the incarcerated youths. For the first time faced with full days teaching the rambunctious, hyper, and fragile adolescent inmates, “Ms. P” comes to understand the essence of her predominantly Black and Latino students as she attempts not only to educate them but to instill them with a sense of self-worth long stripped from their lives.

READ MORE

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Black Hair: A Modern Day Controversy

These days I find I can continuously ask myself this question “Why is black hair such an issue?” After all,  it is an unquestionable natural state.  My hair doesn’t grow out of my head straight, it grows out of my head frizzy, somewhat curly and nappy.  That is a definitive fact.  My ten year old daughter’s hair is the same way, my mom’s hair is the same way, my two sisters have the same texture hair.  I am surrounded by a plethora of black women with the same hair.  So why ohhhh! why is this such a huge discussion.

So (lol) I answered my own question with another question:

“Does BLACK HAIR instill in others the fear that black women have actually found and have fallen in love with their truth?  With their beauty?  With self?”

Please feel free to answer this question in the comment section below! I would love to hear from you!

“Art stems from the concept of being or tuning into one’s authentic self both on the inside and out.  Our hair is natural.  Our hair is our natural expression. Our hair is our art!” Karen Gibson Roc

Fifteen years ago my sister dared me to grow out my natural hair and wear an afro.  At the time I thought she was absolutely mad.  Why did I have that reaction?  This is another question I have pondered on.  What was I afraid of?  Back then not many people were doing the big afro natural thing.  In our little bubble of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, we held each other up so we could express ourselves in whatever natural and artistic way we wanted.  I was cradled as an artist so I went ahead and followed through on the dare from my sister.  I loved rocking my afro.  I loved everything about it.  I stood out in other areas of NYC, people stared, wanted to touch all that crazy shit!  Now, however, an afro is a natural sighting pretty much anywhere.  So why still the controversy?

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Karen Gibson Roc Live @ The Whitney Museum 2005

Does it have anything to do with the climate of the times? Oh gosh! another question! That’s what this topic unearths.  It unearths questions and more questions, truth, power, self love, empowerment and the natural gift of hope for something/someplace more loving and accepting!

Check out this most powerful SpokenWord piece by: Elizabeth Acevedo

This is a world wide discussion. I hope that through our daughters something will burst through and really make a change!

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A Blurb of Respect for Solange Knowles

 

I never expected to write anything about Solange.  I’ve always admired her from afar but kept my distance as a fan.  Her fashion bedazzled me and on occasion, I would wish myself into her closet so I could snatch pretty much all of her clothes.  I kept hearing so much about the new album “A Seat at the Table” and finally I listened and felt myself being drawn to her new and brilliant expression.  All of that aside, however, I am not compelled to write about that or share too much of that side of her.  I am here to share a side of her that has brought me to a place of admiration and inspiration. I am here to share an article/poem/bit of writing that I came across after I did a little perusing on her website solangemusic.com Its words jumped off the page and pulled me in.  She opens up about her experience as a black woman! BRAVO! I might be late to the table with this blurb of respect for this icon but that’s ok because now is better than never! — karen gibson roc

“And Do You Belong? by Solange Knowles” — Excerpt

“You are also fully aware, now that you use your platform consistently to speak out on social, racial, and feminist issues, that people who have no awareness of your work outside of gossip sites and magazines, some of which who are most likely voting for Donald Trump, have been starting to engage and/or target you in public and social media in regards to race.

(And yes, having white people constantly call you the n-word, or say you and your people are degenerates that need to leave America or zoo like animals, surely does not help you feel more comfortable in predominately white spaces)

You read headlines that say, “Solange feels uncomfortable with white people,” and want to use the classic  “I have many white friends” or “Half of my wedding guests were white” line to prove that you do not dislike white people but dislike the way that many white people are constantly making you feel. Yet you know no amount of explaining will get you through to this type of person in the first place.

You have lived apart of your life in predominately white spaces since you were a kid and even had your 3rd-grade teacher tell you “what a nigger is” in front of your entire white class. You watched your parents trying to explain why this was wrong to her and learned then it can be virtuously impossible to get your point across.” (read full piece)

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Event: A Sucker Emcee by Craig ‘Mums’ Grant @ National Black Theatre

This is not to be missed!

Ticket Info

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A Sucker Emcee
Written & Performed by Craig ‘muMs’ Grant
Directed by Jenny Koons
Music by Rich Medina

APRIL 26 – 30, 2017

2031-33 National Black Theatre Way
New York, NY 10035

PH: 212-722-3800
$25 in advance
$35 at the door

Infused with hip-hop, slam poetry and personal recollections, this one-man show charts the ups and downs of muMs’ incredible journey, from growing up in the Bronx to starring on one of HBO’s biggest shows. A life set against the backdrop of the birth of hip-hop, this is the story of a man looking for his spotlight and finding it in the most unlikely of places.

A Sucker Emcee was originally produced by Labyrinth Theater Company (Mimi O’Donnell, Artistic Director; Danny Feldman, Managing Director) in September 2014.

PRODUCTION TEAM:
David Meyer (Set)
Bradley King (Lighting)
Jessica Paz (Sound)
Marie Cisco (NBT Producing Fellow)

Ticket Info