Tag Archives: African American female poets

Oakland’s Free Poetry Fest

February is Black History Month, and the 29th Celebration of African American Poets and Their Poetry at the Oakland Public Library’s West Oakland Branch.

This year’s theme, “Black Migration,” coincides with the 2019 theme of Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s Association for the Study of African American Life and History (Established in 1915). ASLAH’s 2019 theme “Black Migration,” emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities. While inclusive of earlier centuries, this theme focuses especially on the twentieth century through today. Beginning in the early decades of the twentieth century, African American migration patterns included relocation from southern farms to southern cities; from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West; from the Caribbean to U.S. cities, as well as to migrant labor farms; and the emigration of noted African Americans to Africa, and cities in Europe, such as Paris and London after the end of World War I and II. Such migrations resulted in a more diverse and stratified interracial and intra-racial urban population, amidst a changing social milieu, such as the rise of the Garvey movement in New York, Detroit, and New Orleans; the emergence of both Black industrial workers and Black entrepreneurs; the growing number and variety of urban churches and new religions; new music forms like ragtime, blues, and jazz, white backlash as in the Red Summer of 1919; the blossoming of visual and literary arts, as in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and Paris in the 1910s and 1920s. The theme “Black Migration” equally lends itself to the exploration of the century’s later decades from spatial and social perspectives, with attention to “new” African Americans because of the burgeoning African and Caribbean population in the US; Northern African Americans returning to the South; racial suburbanization; inner-city hyperghettoization; health and environment; civil rights and protest activism; electoral politics; mass incarceration; and dynamic cultural production.

The event is free to all, and while featured presenters were selected in mid-January, there will be an open mic for those interested in participating. Artwork displayed by local artists always adds an important, interesting and colorful element to the celebration.

In the 29-years since the events inception, many poets have graced it’s stage. Participants have ranged in ages from 8 to 80, some now adults and in college, others, now parents with children. Music, dance, and costumes have enhanced past performances as each participant shares her or his unique style, including poets performing in ensemble. Published writers, award-winning authors, and brand new poets reading their work in public for the first time have graced the stage. Oftentimes, the most moving recitals, were from poets who had never recited their work in public

before. If anyone has photos or footage from the past 29-years, please contact event founder Ms. Wanda Sabir at info@wandaspicks.com or leave a message for Ms. Sabir at (510) 255–5579. She would love to have the opportunity to make copies of your material.

The event, Saturday, February 2nd, 2019, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oakland Public Library, West Oakland Branch’s Multi-Purpose Room is free to all and includes refreshments donated by many local vendors. Besides poetry, event planners would love to incorporate anyone who wants to volunteer, such as help with refreshments, the setting up of chairs, and any other pre or post behind-the-scenes work. If someone from the community knows a TV station that would be interested in broadcasting the event, event planners would be most interested in making this a reality. Also YouTubers, and other social media influencers, are most welcomed to share this event on their platform.

Event: 29th Celebration of African American Poets and Their Poetry

Date: Saturday, February 2, 2019

Time: 1pm-4pm

Location: Oakland Public Library, West Oakland Branch, Multi-Purpose Room

Contact: Oakland Public Library, West Oakland Branch; 1801 Adeline Street, Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 238–7352; Ms. Wanda Sabir info@wandaspicks.com or (510) 255–5579

[Editor’s Note]:

The Celebration of African American Poets and Their Poetry is the brainchild of Bay Area community activist, Wanda Ali Batin Sabir. Ms. Wanda Sabir holds a BA in Humanistic Studies from Holy Names College, and a MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. Professor Sabir has taught English at various Bay Area colleges and has developed college-level English curriculum for multi-tiered Educational Systems both public and private throughout the Bay Area. She has been the art editor at the San Francisco Bay View for over 20 years, and a freelance journalist for theatre, music, dance, visual arts, as well as giving literary reviews both local and national. She can be heard on her radio show Wanda’s Picks http://wandaspicks.com/radio/ and her awards and activism are far too lengthy to be communicated in a single article.

TITLE NOT KNOWN

This is a poem to which I lost the Poetess contact information. I even lost the title to the poem. But nevertheless, it’s a piece, with such rawness, it had to be published.

Who got those concrete balls?
The kind that aint scared to let em hang…
Not the ones thats tuckd n they ass.
Im talkn bout courage… ‘ lion balls’.
Where r the brave, secured, strong men at.
Do yo balls hang low?
Can they wobble to the floor?
Can u tie em n a knot?
Can u tie em n a bow?
Can u throw em over yo shoulder like a continental soldier?
Do yo balls hang low?
Where they at?
Where the kings of the jungle at?

Ima strong cat…Lion tamer lol but where r the real strong kings at?

Not these ol water down… sugar n the corner of they tanks ass cats . Assumin only they know bout the sweet water n them.
I like the pure… no additives no perservatives.
One mo time where the cats at that balls hang real low?
who aint scared to b my king of things.
So where oh where?

by Author Unknown but looking for her (contact us)

SETBACKS

No longer confined to that place.
That total and complete lack of space,
of which there was no room to move or grow. Sophicating without life’s oxygen to breath..
I’ve decided to leave.
I’ve decided to break away from that dark void,
where I was stuck and immobilized. I’ve deployed.
My soul has ejected.
I now stand forth, erected…
Ready to pull away from the dark decay of my broken dreams. Away from the sitting still of my drive and will.
I will pull away from the dark soot clouding my vision.
I have regained ambition.
As I detach myself from the black sands of hopelessness and despair.
They crumble as I seek to claim what is out there,
what is out there waiting for me
in the land of milk and honey…
In the wide open space of possibility,
I have the strength, the will and ability,
to bring into existence the things I want and desire to possess,
by simply getting up off this chair of set backs and give ups that hinder me from my success…

By: Rachel R. Bridgett 4/25/2015
© All Rights Reserved

AMERICAN PRISON SYSTEM

The system is put in place
to be against us.For people of color,
America has got no love,
for the 30% of blacks
who make up this nation,
60% of them
make up the American prison population.
If we plead the words, “STOP this wrongful legislation!”,
“the new Jim crow!”,
the “3 strikes you’re out!”
They wouldn’t hear us though!
In an oppressive
morally bankrupted society,
the rich buy stock in companies
who get rich off our misery,
the booming business
of keeping black people in cages.
Legalized slavery
the system is racist.
More and more prisons are being built
with anticipation.
that 1 in 3 black men will go to prison in their life,
a modern day plantation
SO MUCH EFFORT,
is being put towards keeping blacks in jail.
Not much effort in rehabilitation programs.
They set us up to fail.
Nobody wants to hire
an ex-inmate,
with prison on the record
seals one’s fate.,
What choices does one have
in order to eat?
With this system set in place,
they’ll be back on the street.
And just because it’s the law
it doesn’t make it alright.
Sisters and brothers
we need to rise up and fight!
Stand up for ourselves, in unity
and come together as one.
Speak out! To be heard,
so that we can overcome!
Put an end to it all
and no longer be victim.
to the unjust and oppressive
American prison system…

By: Rachel R. Bridgett (2015)
© All Rights Reserved

TRUE SATISATISFACTION

Feel me heat

 

My personal treat

 

Taste so sweet

 

You can barely speak

 

Not able to stop until I Shriek

 

No retreat

 

Until………….

 

My turn is complete!

 

Then with complete satisfaction. I SLEEP!

 

 

%%%% This poem can be as lustful as one’s mind allows it to be. The truth behind this one is innocent as can be. So get ready to find out what is true satisfaction for me! %%%%

 

 

My “TRUE SATISFACTION“ is Ice Cream. Pay attention.

 

Feel my heat (against ice)

My personal treat (of course I love ice cream)

Taste so sweet ( well that’s ice cream)

You can barely speak ( too cold to talk)

Not able to stop until I shriek (BRAIN FREEZE!!!)

No retreat. (Its Brain Freeze there is no retreat)

Until…. (bring it)

My turn is complete (I eat it all)

Then with complete satisfaction I SLEEP! ( ok, maybe I shouldn’t but like a full baby I can’t help myself!)

by Batmanzwifey

I MADE YOU A KING……….

I gave you me

I decided to make you a King

I want you to have everything

I need you sitting on the thrown next to ME!

Since the day I became a Queen

I waited for my King

Now you are here with me like I need you to be!

PART 2

I gave you a crown

You turned out to be a clown

My prayers for you had my knees on the ground

Everytime I looked up you were never around

Here and there, this and that to my beautiful face

You brought and UGLY FROWN!

So many tears from my eyes -> I should have drown

I am taking back the crown!

Enjoy the circus you’re nothing moer than a simple clown!

by Batmanzwifey

FREE

If weed could set me free

So, high I’d be

Flying free, because weed had set me free

There’d never be a puff, puff pass!

 

Because…..

Only puff, puff will be to ME!

 

So, only I will be free

I understand that you too want to be free

Simply it sounds to me like you need to get your own weed

AND….. Set yourself free!

by Batmanzwifey

HEARTLESS

I HAVE ALWAYZ BEEN A W0MAN 0F MY W0RD, THAT HAS STO0D BY MY W0RD! IM KIND, GINUWIN,AND ALWAYZ TRY T0 BE THERE F0R 0THERZ. WHEN I LET MY GUARD DWN T0 FEEL C0MF0RTABLE AND AT EASE. THERE IS ALWAYZ S0ME HEARTLESS PERS0N THAT TRY T0 C0ME AND TAKE THAT FRM ME. BUT AS L0NG AS I KNW WH0 H0LDZ MY LIFE IN THEIR HANDZ, N0 WEAP0N F0RMED AGAINST ME SHALL PR0SPER!IM ALWAYZ THERE F0R 0THERZ WHEN THEY ARE G0ING THRU TRIALZ, TRIBULATI0NZ, HEARTACHE AND PAIN, CRYING 0R LAUGHING. WHY CNT S0ME1 BE THERE F0R ME WHEN IM G0ING THRU THE SAME? I KNW IVE HAD MY SHARE 0F UPZ AND DWNZ, TIMEZ WHEN THERE WAS N01 AR0UND. G0D CAME AND SP0KE S0ME W0RDZ T0 ME AND MY PRAISE HAS AND F0REVER WILL C0NFUSE THE ENEMIES! AS U CN C, IM N0T A HEARTLESS PERS0N. JUST S0ME1 THATS BEEN THRU AL0T 0F HURT AND PAIN. WHAT DIDNT BREAK ME 0NLY MADE ME STR0NGER! AND INSTEAD 0F U HEARTLESS EG0TISTICAL PE0PLE JUDGING ME. REALIZE THAT ITS MY TIME T0 SHINE HEARTLESS IS WHAT I W0ULD NEVER BE! IM A CHILD 0F G0D, NEVER HEARTLESS CNT U C.

I HAVE ALWAYZ BEEN A W0MAN 0F MY W0RD, THAT HAS STO0D BY MY W0RD! IM KIND, GINUWIN,AND ALWAYZ TRY T0 BE THERE F0R 0THERZ. WHEN I LET MY GUARD DWN T0 FEEL C0MF0RTABLE AND AT EASE. THERE IS ALWAYZ S0ME HEARTLESS PERS0N THAT TRY T0 C0ME AND TAKE THAT FRM ME. BUT AS L0NG AS I KNW WH0 H0LDZ MY LIFE IN THEIR HANDZ, N0 WEAP0N F0RMED AGAINST ME SHALL PR0SPER!IM ALWAYZ THERE F0R 0THERZ WHEN THEY ARE G0ING THRU TRIALZ, TRIBULATI0NZ, HEARTACHE AND PAIN, CRYING 0R LAUGHING. WHY CNT S0ME1 BE THERE F0R ME WHEN IM G0ING THRU THE SAME? I KNW IVE HAD MY SHARE 0F UPZ AND DWNZ, TIMEZ WHEN THERE WAS N01 AR0UND. G0D CAME AND SP0KE S0ME W0RDZ T0 ME AND MY PRAISE HAS AND F0REVER WILL C0NFUSE THE ENEMIES! AS U CN C, IM N0T A HEARTLESS PERS0N. JUST S0ME1 THATS BEEN THRU AL0T 0F HURT AND PAIN. WHAT DIDNT BREAK ME 0NLY MADE ME STR0NGER! AND INSTEAD 0F U HEARTLESS EG0TISTICAL PE0PLE JUDGING ME. REALIZE THAT ITS MY TIME T0 SHINE HEARTLESS IS WHAT I W0ULD NEVER BE! IM A CHILD 0F G0D, NEVER HEARTLESS CNT U C.(3(3@-

by Sexyd1va28

MIND BODY SOUL

I GAVE U MY MIND, B0DY N S0UL. AND ALL I ASK IS 4 U N0T T0 HURT THEM. IT SEEMS LIKE THE M0RE I PRESS THAT ISSUE, THE M0RE THEY GET HURT. U SAID U W0ULD L0VE ME WH0LEHEARTLY AND NEVER MAKE ME CRY. BUT CRYIN N HURTIN IS EXACTLY WAT I D0! BECAUSE U BR0KE A PR0MISE, I PRAY T0 G0D EVERYDAY N NITE T0 MAKE IT BETTER. I KN0W HE WILL BECAUSE I AM HIS CHILD AND HE WILL NEVER PUT M0RE 0N ME THAN I CAN BEAR!MY LIFE,MIND,B0DY N S0UL BEL0NG T0 HIM.IF U ARE 0UT THERE AND C0ME ACR0SS THIS. ST0P HURTING ME N W0RK WITH ME. L0VE ME N SH0W N U CARE.THAT U WANT MY MIND,B0DY N S0UL. T0 L0VE AND CHERISH LIKE IT WAS UR 0WN.0R LIKE U WANT ME T0 D0 4 U.L0VE AND RESPECT ME 4 WH0 I AM N N0T WAT I AM. AND U WILL GET THE SAME N RETURN. MIND, B0DY N S0UL!

I GAVE U MY MIND, B0DY N S0UL. AND ALL I ASK IS 4 U N0T T0 HURT THEM. IT SEEMS LIKE THE M0RE I PRESS THAT ISSUE, THE M0RE THEY GET HURT. U SAID U W0ULD L0VE ME WH0LEHEARTLY AND NEVER MAKE ME CRY. BUT CRYIN N HURTIN IS EXACTLY WAT I D0! BECAUSE U BR0KE A PR0MISE, I PRAY T0 G0D EVERYDAY N NITE T0 MAKE IT BETTER. I KN0W HE WILL BECAUSE I AM HIS CHILD AND HE WILL NEVER PUT M0RE 0N ME THAN I CAN BEAR!MY LIFE,MIND,B0DY N S0UL BEL0NG T0 HIM.IF U ARE 0UT THERE AND C0ME ACR0SS THIS. ST0P HURTING ME N W0RK WITH ME. L0VE ME N SH0W N U CARE.THAT U WANT MY MIND,B0DY N S0UL. T0 L0VE AND CHERISH LIKE IT WAS UR 0WN.0R LIKE U WANT ME T0 D0 4 U.L0VE AND RESPECT ME 4 WH0 I AM N N0T WAT I AM. AND U WILL GET THE SAME N RETURN. MIND, B0DY N S0UL!:)

by Sexyd1va28