Join us for an evening of poetry, music and discussion of the legendary poet/musician/activist. Presented by the Guild’s “Applied Words” series, with support from the Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture – University of Chicago, and the Friends of Blackstone Library.
Featured speakers and performers:
Carol Adams As one of the nation’s most esteemed educators, Dr. Adams helped to bring about the convergence of art and education in Chicago, particularly in its museums and public schools. Former positions include Chairman of the African American Studies Department at Loyola University; Director, The Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University; and most recently the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services. Carol Adams has spent much of her career engaged in cultural arts research, analysis and production. Her unique perspective on art and its integral role in shaping and defining culture and community is informed by her parallel study of sociology and Africana history and culture. Among her many awards and honors is the Illinois Arts Council Governor’s Award in the Arts.
Maggie Brown is a tremendously talented singer and performer using her gift to not only entertain, but educate as well. Maggie is the daughter of the late Oscar Brown, Jr. a world renowned composer, social activist, and legendary giant on the Jazz music scene. Mr. Brown passed on his artistic integrity to his daughter who now uses her own voice to create images that excite and inspire. For 19 years, the songstress has nationally toured her one-woman show, “LEGACY: Our Wealth of Music” which follows the history and evolution of African American music and covers a wide range of musical forms. Miss Maggie’s vocal musicianship proudly heralds the LEGACY left by those who came before us. “Music is a powerful force. We need to use our music, which is our cultural expression, in a way that uplifts humanity, rather than simply for material gain,” said Brown. The singer, actress, and educator Maggie Brown is no stranger to jazz-vocal legends with unique styles of songwriting: she grew up with one in her father. In 1999 Brown worked with the late singer/composer Abbey Lincoln on her CD, “Wholly Earth”.
Krista Franklin is a poet, visual artist and performer from Dayton, OH who lives and works in Chicago. Her poetry and mixed medium collages have been published in lifestyle and literary journals such as Vinyl 5, The New Sound, Coon Bidness, Copper Nickel, RATTLE, Indiana Review, Ecotone, Clam and Callaloo, and in the anthologies Encyclopedia Vol. II, F-K and Gathering Ground. Her visual art has been featured on the covers of award-winning books, and exhibited nationally in solo and group exhibitions, and her chapbook Study of Love & Black Body was published in 2012 by Willow Books. Franklin is a Cave Canem Fellow, a co-founder of 2nd Sun Salon, a community meeting space for writers, visual and performance artists, musicians and scholars. www.kristafranklin.com
Travis Jackson is an ethnomusicologist whose work centers on jazz, rock and recording technology. His theoretical interests include urban geography, race/culture and identity, ethnographic method, performance and aesthetics. He is the author of the forthcoming Blowin’ the Blues Away: Performance and Meaning on the New York Jazz Scene, as well as articles on topics ranging from the intersection of jazz and poetic performance to the interpretation of meaning in rock. His current work focuses on the affective attachment of musicians and listeners to recording labels.
Keith M. Kelley is a poet, spoken word artist, musician and audio artist. He has been performing professionally since 1991 with his spoken word band, Funky Wordsmyths and in his one-man “Electric Poetry” show that blends spoken word, rhythmic utterances, and live instruments with effects processing and live phrase sampling and looping. In addition to performing, Kelley has been conducting Poetry, Spoken Word, and Music workshops with youth and adults for 20 Years. Kelley is the Executive Director of the Spoken Word Academy of Chicago, a not-for-profit organization established to provide a comprehensive resource for learning, practicing, performing, and experiencing the spoken word art form.
Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of five poetry books, including They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems (Third World Press, 2004); a children’s book titled The Big World (Addison-Wesley, 1998); and editor of eight anthologies, including Dream of A Word: The Tia Chucha Press Poetry Anthology (Tia Chucha Press, 2006). He is Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing at Chicago State University, where he served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing from 2002-2011. He is a former faculty member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School and former Associate Editor-Poetry for Black Issues Book Review. Quraysh earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the Creative Writing Program at New York University, where he was a Departmental Fellow. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in March 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. mystic turf, his third full-length book of poetry, will be released in November 2012 by Willow Books.
Mario , Chicago poet, educator, activist and radio personality, hosts “News From the Service Entrance” on WHPK 88.5FM/whpk.org/iTunes. He has written essays for Chicago’s public radio affiliate WBEZ , appeared on Voice of America, provided Election Night 2008 analysis for BBC Devon, and has performed his poetry at DePaul University, University of Chicago, Traffic Series at Steppenwolf Theater (Inaugural Season), MCA, United Nations Dialogue Among Civilizations, Old Town School of Folk Music, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Cultural Center.
Salim Muwakkil is a senior editor of In These Times, where he has worked since 1983. He is the host of “The Salim Muwakkil” show on WVON, Chicago’s historic black radio station, and he wrote the text for the book HAROLD: Photographs from the Harold Washington Years. Muwakkil has also written for the Washington Post, Chicago Reader, The Progressive, Newsday, Cineaste, Chicago Magazine, Emerge Magazine, The Black Scholar, and Utne Reader among others. Muwakkil has won a variety of journalism awards including the “Top Ten Media Heroes of 1994,” from the Institute of Alternative Journalism, the “Black Rose Achievement Award for 1997,” from the League of Black Women, and the 2001 Studs Terkel Award for Journalistic Excellence from the Chicago-based Community Media Workshop. In his spare time, Muwakkil serves as a board member for the Progressive Media Project and the Chicago-based Public Square. He has been a faculty member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s Urban Studies Program, and an adjunct professor at Columbia College, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Primeridian, a hip-hop based, power group consisting of Simeon Viltz (See-Me-On), and Darshon Gibbs (Race), hail from the eclectic, historical music scene of Chicago. With musical influences from blues and R&B, to house and acid jazz, the Primeridian fuses these influences into a soulful, jazzy, acid-funk sound independent of musical genres and classifications pushing hip hop to new levels of exposure, experimentation and expression using thought-provoking lyrics, a touch of humor, skilled production and musicianship and years of explosive live performances. Simeon AKA “V,” a native of Chicago’s southeast Hyde Park area, represents the ‘the soul’ of Primeridian. Darshon “Race” Gibbs is an electrifying and captivating emcee able to entice those in earshot with lyrical prowess, depth and a distinct, strong voice. Original member, Jaime “Tree” Roundtree is now a teacher, focused on making connections with his students as an educator and his audience as an artist.
David Stovall is Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His scholarship investigates four areas 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) concepts of social justice in education, 3) the relationship between housing and education, and 4) the relationship between schools and community stakeholders. In the attempt to being theory to action, he has spent the last ten years working with community organizations and schools to develop curriculum that address issues of social justice. His current work has led him to become a member of the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School of Social Justice High School design team, which opened in the Fall of 2005. Furthering his work with communities, students, and teachers, Stovall is involved with youth-centered community organizations in Chicago, New York and the Bay Area. In addition to his duties and responsibilities as an associate professor at UIC, he also serves as a volunteer social studies teacher at the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice.
avery r. young is a writer, performer and teaching artist. He is a Cave Canem Fellow and his works have been published in AIMPrint, Callaloo, Spaces Between Us and many other anthologies and periodicals. He is also featured on Urban Audiology: The Art of Audio Truism and other compilations.