|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on March 31, 2017 at 12:45 AM|
ROC FRIDAY | Check Out “The Power of the P”
By Christine G. Adamo
There is power in Poetry, Paint and Piano. Purpose itself is an art form.
So says Gianni S. White—better known on Facebook and in area arts circles as The Rebel Flower Bomb. Tomorrow night she presents a powerful, unique, multisensory event you won’t want to miss called “The Power of the P.”
Ariana Highsmith performs on keys and The Rebel Flower Bomb serves up some poetic justice, as both Pooker Astacio and Lavonne Barfield paint before a live audience .... bringing another dose of vivid color to the mix.
That's Fri., Mar. 31, 7-10 pm at Gallery 74.
“This is an event you do not want to miss,” The Rebel Flower Bomb explains. “Tell a friend to tell a friend, as we bring the Passion, the Pain, the Peace and most of all the POWER.”
Gallery 74 (aka Robert Thompson Photography Gallery) is on the 3rd Floor of Bldg. 3 at 215 Tremont St. (off Ford St.) in Rochester, NY 14608. Admission is $15. Expect light refreshments and bring cash, as afterward the highest bidder will walk away with a painting created on-site. Can we get some snaps for that?
Whoa, Back Up a Minute!
Let’s back up a minute. How'd this blogger stumble upon all of this in the first place? ROC-Arts got turned onto “The Power of the P” last weekend. On Sat., Mar. 25, The Rebel Flower Bomb and others gave explosive live readings during the Black Women’s Book Fair presented by the Rochester Genesee Valley Club arm of the Nat’l. Assoc. of Negro Business & Prof’l. Women’s Club, Inc. The nearby Phillis Wheatley Community Library was the hosting locale.
“I am so grateful for (this) to have been an opportunity for me,” she explained. “It was indeed very powerful.”
“I believe (events like it are) truly necessary and needed in Rochester—as well as the black community,as a whole. It is always an honor to share the stage with Professor Tokeya Graham, Lu Highsmith, Reenah Golden and Banke Awopetu-McCullough. It was even more rewarding to share the stage with Rochester pioneers.”
Part of her own readings included "This Is Why I'm DOPE!" (at R). The poem was written April 2015 and shared at that year’s annual Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley Voices of Experience program, which seeks to inspire girls Grades 6 thru 12 to overcome challenges and to broaden paths to literacy and legacy-building for them.
“The poem is intended to empower women. Most of all women of color. I believe we all need to be encouraged. This poem defines the Power of women and the importance of a woman, in general. As a lesbian, I get both sides of a woman and can remind myself and others: We are powerful beings."
Even More Power to the P
Tokeya C. Graham helped emcee last weekend's Black Women’s Book Fair. Graham—an author, WAYO 104.3-FM radio host, ATHENA award finalist, D&C Woman to Watch and more—is Asst. Professor of English and Philosophy at Monroe Community College. The Rebel Flower Bomb (an MCC student) tells me she and Graham recently talked about honoring area leaders and building legacies of one’s own. Graham says she learned about the book fair when a friend posted a flyer on Facebook.
“I shared (it) with my writing collective, We All Write,” she told me. The group hosts a Facebook page by the same name. “I reached out to (NANBPW Member and Event Committee Chair) Alicia Ward by email and she invited our group to participate. I spoke with her on the phone and told her I would invite other performers, including my students.”
Ward then asked Graham to facilitate the panel discussion. She accepted.
“I hope the attendees were inspired to listen to poetry and to create poetry. I hope they were inspired to write books and to read more books, particularly those authored by Black women writers. I hope that they felt uplifted by all of the beautiful words that were shared in that space. I hope they recognized the significance of hearing poetry in a library named after the first Black woman to be a published poet.”
The event was powerful and empowering. Hence this post.
“These events are important because they illustrate the power of the written word. The event also provided a space for Black women authors to share their works. In these times of blatant disregard for the humanity and relevance of Black women, it's necessary to show the truth of Black womanhood—the beauty of it.”
Hey, I may be White but I could still relate. As a woman. As a concerned citizen. As a former Marine who's been used and abused by the sytem. And I was awestruck by the volume of the talent and voices which spoke so emphatically. You can be sure I won’t miss another Black Women’s Book Fair. If you know what’s good for you, you won’t miss another one either. As a primer, check out tomorrow night's offering at Gallery 74.
For tickets, search "The Power of the P" at EventBrite.com.