August 28, 2013

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Family Presents Favorite 4 & 2 More

September 14, 2013 @ 7:00 p.m.
September 13, 2013 @ 5: 00 p.m.

Holy Family Episcopal Church
18501 NW 7th Avenue,
Miami Gardens, FL 33169


August 27, 2013


Location: African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, studio 2
6161 NW 22nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33142
Admission to the film series: Free and open to the public 

Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 6:00pm
Film: Cultural Bias by Dr. Edwin Nichols

Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 6:00pm
Film: Post Tramatic Slave Sydrome by Dr. Joy D. Leary

Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 6:00pm
Film: I Shall Moulder Before I Surrender

Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 6:00pm
Film: Dogon, Egypt, Sirius Connection by Dr. Charles S. Finch


The Coalition for the Exoneration of Marcus Garvey is petitioning Senator Bill Nelson, Representative Frederica Wilson, and the Congress of the United States of America for the exoneration of Marcus Garvey:

We are also petitioning President Barack Obama to exonerate Marcus Garvey:

Thank you for your support..

August 26, 2013

Cyril Dabydeen Publishes New Book of Stories

My Multi-Ethnic Friends & Other Stories (Guernica Editions) is Cyril Dabydeen’s latest volume which spans a range of narratives set in Canada and other parts of the world reflecting lived experiences. The Guyanese-born Canadian writer has been publishing for many years; his work has appeared internationally in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.

Here in this new volume are shifting spaces and changing lives  forming the core of  Dabydeen’s stories. Tropical places with verdant greenery are subverted; his sometimes stark images supplant the traditionally exotic. In Canada’s northern hemisphere, Dabydeen’s immigrant and non-immigrant characters delve into memories; whether Greek, Italian,  Russian  or West Indian, for them new situations resonate in northwestern Ontario, Toronto or Detroit. They are even active in a mayoralty race heating up in Ottawa. It’s also a Muslim’s faith tested in Vancouver.Stories such as the title one and others like “Bearing Gifts,” “Believers,” “Look Who’s Coming,” and “In Transit” reflect ironic twists and styles.

This new book follows on Cyril Dabydeen’s previous fiction such as My Brahmin Days and Other Stories (TSAR Publications. Toronto), Play a Song Somebody: New and Selected Stories (Mosaic Press, Toronto), Black Jesus and Other Stories (TSAR), and North of the Equator (Beach Holme, Vancouver).  Dabydeen has also published three short novels, and one full-length novel, Drums of My Flesh (TSAR), nominated for the prestigious IMPAC/Dublin Prize and a short-listed finalist for the City of Ottawa Book Prize. This novel also won the top Guyana Prize for fiction.

Dabydeen’s writing explores the many-sidedness of immigrant life seen as an "outsider"  as he evokes metaphors capturing new ways of feeling laced with their psychological insights.  “Cyril Dabydeen is a writer of global concerns, permanently crossing boundaries,” said Spanish professor Dr  Pilar Somacarrera in Canadian Literature in reviewing his fiction.  "It is the epiphany, the moment of illumination, which comes out of an ordinary experience," writes Peter Nazareth (International Writing Program, University of Iowa) in World Literature Today.  Other critics have described Dabydeen’s work as: "narratives that often contain the lyrical consolidations of images that are the mark of a poet" (Books in Canada); and,  “His stories are seamless between past and present, fantasy and reality....a significant post-colonial writer” (World Literature Today).

A former Poet Laureate of the city (1984-87), Dabydeen has taught creative writing at the University of Ottawa and has published over 15 books, including eight collections of poetry. He also edited the anthologies A Shapely Fire: Changing the Literary Landscape (Mosaic Press, l987), Another Way To Dance: Contemporary Asian Poetry in Canada and the USA (TSAR, 1992), and Beyond Sangre Grande: Caribbean Writing Today (TSAR, 2012). Over the years he has read from his books across Canada, the USA, Cuba and the Caribbean, the UK and Europe, and in India.

For more information, pls. phone:  613/230-7854 (ph.) Or or

August 21, 2013


A recently established but highly significant Key West tradition will continue in Sunday, August, 25, at 6:00 p.m. with the Annual Observance of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition (officially August 23), at the 1860 Key West African Cemetery monument on Atlantic Boulevard, just west of the White Street Pier and adjacent to the West Martello Tower fort. 

The International Day was declared by the United Nations in 1999, as part of the UNESCO International Slave Route Project (ISRP), an initiative launched in 1994 as a global call to all nations which were touched by the slave trade to retrieve, restore, and conserve all historic locations, artifacts, records, memories, and other evidence, so that this world-changing chapter of human history will be more widely known and not ever be lost or forgotten. 

The August 23 date was selected to commemorate the beginning of the successful Haitian Revolution in 1791, as a reminder that Africans themselves were the primary actors in bringing about the Abolition of the barbaric trade in human beings.  (This year’s observance marks the 222nd anniversary).

The Key West African Cemetery is symbolic of Key West’s numerous, often heroic connections to the history of the slave trade.  It is the site where 295 Africans, mostly young people, were buried in 1860.  They were part of a total of 1,432 captives who were rescued from three American-owned slave ships captured by the U.S. Navy and brought into Key West, where the survivors benefited from the much-needed generosity of the local community and U.S. Marshal Fernando Moreno.  While most of the Africans lived to be returned to Africa (although not to their original homes), those buried near Higgs Beach, fully 20% of the total, could not recover from the illnesses and horrific conditions they had endured aboard the slave ships prior to being rescued.

Key West also has close other close ties to Middle (slave trade) history, by way of the remarkable saga of the Africans rescued from the 1827 wreck of the Spanish slave ship Guerrero, and the discovery of the 1700 wreck of the English slaver Henrietta Marie, discovered by legendary treasure hunter Mel Fisher, among other cases.  The Maritime Museum named in Fisher’s memory has become a repository of much of this history.

The Remembrance observance on August 25 will include traditional Native American and African ritual ceremonies along with prayers, discussions of this local history, and open dialogue among participants, aimed at making these memories more enduring.

For further information, 306-904-7620.

Image source:


The Coalition for the Exoneration of Marcus Garvey is petitioning Senator Bill Nelson, Representative Frederica Wilson, and the Congress of the United States of America for the exoneration of Marcus Garvey: 

We are also petitioning President Barack Obama to exonerate Marcus Garvey: 

Thank you for your support.

Look for me in the Whirlwind or the Storm | Circle of Friends, International

(L-R) Geoffrey Philp, Malachi Smith, Marva McClean, and Dobby Dobson

by Marva McClean

"Look for me in the whirlwind and the storm!"

 These words spoken by Jamaican national hero Marcus Garvey, remind us of our accountability to take action to address the ills in our society. They are strong powerful words, evoking the graphic imagery of natural subversion even as they symbolically convey the writer’s sense of urgency and commitment to fight forcefully for change. The truth is, Marcus Garvey, 1887-1940, was widely known for his subversive words and militant actions. 

An activist who fought for the rights of Black people through agentive action and publications like The Negro World, his memory and influence remain strong today among those involved in the continuing struggle for social justice and equity in our society. This was the consensus reached by the  group of literary friends gathered this past Saturday at the Broward County South Regional Library, Florida to celebrate the word and their heritage in a literary expo hosted by cultural activist Vonnie McGowan.

Interestingly, the event fell on Garvey’s birthday and  it was fitting then, that Garvey scholar and chair of the committee to exonerate Garvey, Geoffrey Philp shared thoughts on Garvey’s work as a Pan Africanist  as well as excerpts from Geoff’s book Marcus and the Amazons, a satire on colonialism and an assertion of the struggle of people of color for empowerment.

To read more, please follow this link:
Look for me in the Whirlwind or the Storm | Circle of Friends, International:

'via Blog this'


The Coalition for the Exoneration of Marcus Garvey is petitioning Senator Bill Nelson, Representative Frederica Wilson, and the Congress of the United States of America for the exoneration of Marcus Garvey: 

We are also petitioning President Barack Obama to exonerate Marcus Garvey:
Thank you for your support.

August 18, 2013

Oakland's Marcus Garvey Building: SAVED FROM CITIBANK FORECLOSURE - Occupy Oakland Media

Oakland's Marcus Garvey Building: SAVED FROM CITIBANK FORECLOSURE - Occupy Oakland Media:

National Historic West Oakland Landmark, the Marcus Garvey building/ Liberty Hall, Saved by Community Organization

As of Aug. 7th 2013, community based non-profits and private investors have saved the The Marcus Garvey building, also known as Liberty Hall. The Marcus Garvey building is an A-1+ rated National Historic Landmark, and is at located at 1485 8th Street in West Oakland.

The Save the Liberty Hall campaign helped raise $375,000 in 9 months to purchase the building from Citi Property Holdings, Inc.(an affiliate of Citibank). Citi had threatened to evict nonprofit service provider Overcomers With Hope (OWH) from the building after foreclosing on the previous owner.

Through a series of townhall meetings, community outreach, social media blasts and a petition, the grassroots organizers of the campaign gained the support of several organizations. As a result, we received legal transactional consultation from Hanson Bridgett via the city of Oakland, as well as funds from non-profit community organizations in Alameda County. Additional support came from Pitch Mixer Entrepreneur Forum (a non-profit program supporting investor relations with entrepreneurs in underserved communities), OMY Enterprises (community outreach, fundraising and public relations), and Timothy Y. Fong, Attorney at Law (foreclosure defense counseling).

Saving the building allows OWH, alow  new partnerships, to provide programs in Liberty Hall. Now that the building is secure from foreclosure, OWH and its partner organizations can secure funding for much needed building repairs and upgrades. The Marcus Garvey Building will continue to host organizations that serve the community of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The building has been servicing the community for over 100 years, operating by and for the people. In the past, the building has provided a meeting place for many crucial community entities. For example, in the past it was Post 188 of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A) and was the former home of the Black Pullman Porters, Father Divine, and Jubilee West, Inc.. It was the first dollar store in West Oakland. Currently, it is the home of Overcomers With Hope (OWH), a non-profit organization that trains at risk youth in Television/Digital Arts Media Production and the West Oakland Community Information/ Resource Center. The new organizations that have come to the building as a result of the campaign are Healthy Communities, Inc, and the Black Nurses Association. Healthy Communities is a faith-based, non-profit organization.

The successful campaign started on December 12, 2012,with the specific goal of purchasing the building and keeping services provided by the West Oakland Community Information/ Resource Center open. West Oakland Community Information/Resource Center organizes referrals for jobs and training, food, utilities restoration, housing search and financial assistance. Through a collective of local residents and businesses owners, the campaign was able to increase local, regional and nationwide awareness of the Marcus Garvey/Liberty Hall building in West Oakland. Grassroots organizing and a strong regional media campaign resulted in a letter from Citi on December 21, 2012. Citi offered the property for sale at $375,000 and gave an extension to the eviction deadline. The extension gave the campaign time to organize a fundraiser on January 13, 2013, which allowed artists throughout California the opportunity to support the cause through entertainment.

It also gave organizers time to find transactional legal counsel (pro bono law firm support was provided by Hansen Bridgett via the City of Oakland), a real estate broker and a primary investor willing to support the project. Together, we were able to successfully negotiate a deal that saved the building.

Although the campaign to save the Marcus Garvey building/ Liberty Hall is successful, it marks the beginning of plans that include upgrading the building with seismic retrofitting, installation of a solar panel electrical grid, and a ramp up of the information center that will help this underserved community have access to job information. Due to the structure of the deal, it provides a unique opportunity for non-profits, businesses and community organizations to work within the A-1+ rated, National Historic Landmark to serve the community. In addition, we expect to create new programs to make positive change within the city of Oakland.



The Coalition for the Exoneration of Marcus Garvey is petitioning Senator Bill Nelson, Representative Frederica Wilson, and the Congress of the United States of America for the exoneration of Marcus Garvey:

We are also petitioning President Barack Obama to exonerate Marcus Garvey:

Thank you for your support.

August 16, 2013

Support Send-A-Child to High School in Jamaica

Support Send-A-Child to High School in Jamaica
This campaign is raising funds on behalf of Caribbean Education Foundation, a verified nonprofit. The campaign does not necessarily reflect the views of the nonprofit or have any formal association with it. All contributions are considered unrestricted gifts and can't be specified for any particular purpose.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - - Nelson Mandela.

Become a part of our efforts to invest in a poor child's education and help Change the World!  If our video moves you; if you agree that education is a  solid investment; that this project benefits all of us (because educated, happy, confident children really CAN change our world for the better), then please CONTRIBUTE what you can; and SHARE this Campaign with your networks!


Our overall goal is to raise $50,000 to send 25 poor children to high school in Jamaica for 2013-2014 school year.  This Indiegogo Campaign is part of the overall fundraising effort.  Every dollar counts!  A $5 gift provides lunch for one child for one day.  A $20,000 gift funds 13 students!


CARIBBEAN EDUCATION FOUNDATION, INC. (CEF) is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization based in the United States.  We are dedicated to helping poor children receive meaningful access to quality education.  Our current mission country is Jamaica. 


Public High Schools are NOT FREE in Jamaica!  High school starts in Grade 7. It costs at least $1,500 U.S. to send 1 child to public high school each year.  Children must pay school fees, textbooks, transportation and lunch, including the usual uniforms and school supplies!  The minimum wage is $50 U.S. per week for a 40 hour work week or $200 U.S. dollars per month. 

As you can imagine, it is practically impossible for working poor families to regularly send their children to high school.  The dismal situation is depriving an entire generation of brilliant children of meaningful access to education.

HIGH SCHOOL - A CRITICAL PROBLEM (Jamaica Education Report by the Ministry of Education)

Over 30% of urban youth and 50% of rural youth have little to no High School attendance.  
Low attendance rates are due to a lack of bus fare to attend school.
50% of students are below their grade level. 
By Grade 9, hundreds of thousands of students, especially boys, cannot read or write.
Chronic poor attendance at all levels is the major cause of the high illiteracy rate, as well as a lack of text books to learn lessons taught.
80% of secondary graduates did not have the requisite qualification for meaningful employment or university programmes.


Since its inception in April 2007, CEF has awarded over 40 student scholarships in excess of $50,000 U.S. dollars to brilliant, poor children to attend school.  Our Paul Bogle Scholarships students' pay school fees, textbooks, school supplies, transportation and lunch.  Scholarships are based on academic merit and financial need.  Scholarships are renewed each year, if the student attends school regularly and maintains good grades.

Our goal is to help 25 children go back to school in September 2013!  CEF currenlty has 18 children who need scholarship renewals, so they may return to high school in September 2013 and enter Grades 8, 9, and 10.  We have 7 new students who need to enter Grade 7. 

Take a moment to check it out on Indiegogo and also share it with your friends. All the tools are there. Get perks, make a contribution, or simply follow updates. If enough of us get behind it, we can make 'Send-A-Child to High School in Jamaica' happen!

August 14, 2013

Literary & Cultural Expo: Celebrating Jamaican Cultural Icons

The event will be Saturday, August 17,  at the South Regional Library, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  This is an excellent opportunity to meet and speak with several Jamaican authors, hear their presentations, purchase books and even get them autographed! 

South Regional-Broward College Library                  
Southwest Regional Library
7300 Pines Boulevard, FL33024 

August 12, 2013

1 Minute Book Review: The Lost Collection of an Invisible Man by Nick Makoha

Name of the book: The Lost Collection of an Invisible Man 

Author:  Nick Makoha  

Publisher:  Flipped Eye Publishing 

What's the book about? 

Nick Makoha's first collection of poems, The Lost Collection of an Invisible Man, recalls the dilemma of Ralph Ellison's protagonist but relocates the angst and passion of displacement in contemporary England. Somewhere between Uganda and England, Nick Makoha is redefining manhood, fatherhood, and intimacy in a Black British context.

Why am I reading the book? 

I met Nick Makoha at the Yardstick Festival. As writers from the African diaspora, I was intrigued by his poems because of the similarity in the themes we  are exploring, but also by the generational and national differences. 

Quote from the book:

The Light 

The city clings like skin to the back of me,
like summer sweat, my oils mixing

with the humidity of the night.
Sleep the language I am speaking,

every move mimicking death.
My body leaves a signature

in the sheets. I rise; my feet touch the carpet’s canvas
cooling me slightly. The window spilling moonlight

into the room. Artificial light born from the TV mimics
the light of the sky. Voices like my vision, blurred.

My hands snakes to the remote to mute the sound
that brought me to sleep and in this moment awakens me.

Where to buy: 

About the Author

Nick 'urbanspirit' Makoha is an immensely talented poet of Ugandan origin. On stage he drops he drops a succession of interwoven one-liners so deep that every longitude ever imagined begins to shiver with insecurity. The original poet-in-residence with London's revered performance showcase, Kindred Spirit, urbanspirit catapulted himself to legendary status by disappearing off the poetry scene for two years. He re-emerged in early 2005 with a completed poetry chapbook, The Lost Collection of an Invisible Man, and has begun to reclaim the territory he haunted for many years.


I've modified this format from One Minute Book Reviews:

August 5, 2013

1 Minute Book Review: Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire

Name of the book: Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth 

Author:    Warsan Shire

Publisher:  flipped eye publishing limited

What's the book about? 

The various female personae in Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth confront identity against a background of war, nationalism, and the conflicting claims of religion (Islam) and gender.

Why am I reading the book? I met Warsan Shire at the Yardstick Festival and was struck by the contradictions (Black British/ Somali/ Female/ Moslem) and the sensuality of her verse.

Quote from the book: 


My older sister soaps between her legs, her hair
a prayer of curls. When she was my age, she stole
the neighbour's husband, burnt his name into her skin.
For weeks she smelt of cheap perfume and dying flesh.

It's 4 a.m. and she winks at me, bending over the sink,
her small breasts bruised from sucking
She smiles, pops her gum before saying
boys are haram, don't ever forget that.

Some nights i hear her in her room screaming.
We play Surah Al-Baqarah to drown her out.
Anything that leaves her mouth sounds like sex.
Our mother has banned her from saying God's name.

Warsan Shire is a Kenyan-born Somali poet and writer who is based in London. Born in 1988, she has read her work internationally, more recently in South Africa, Italy and Germany. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing. The artist and activist uses her work to document stories of journey and trauma. She curates and teaches workshops around the art of healing through narrative.


I've modified this format from One Minute Book Reviews:


August 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Lorna Goodison

When I was in first form at Jamaica College, nearly every boy in 1 Murray drooled and doodled while Lorna Goodison tried to teach us color, value, and texture. Lorna taught us art for about two or three years, and then, she left. The next time I saw her was when she was invited by our drama teacher, Dennis Scott, to talk with our literary club. Lorna talked passionately about art, Rastafari, and music. Afterwards, she gave us a writing exercise to compose a Reggae song. We toyed with the idea for some time and she offered a few suggestions. At the end of the exercise, Dennis asked her to read a poem.

Miss Goodison was also a poet? We listened intently as she read one of her poems. I can't remember the name, but I'll never forget the awe that I felt after her reading. She was like a saint. Saint Lorna.

The feeling never left me.

When I decided that I wanted to be a poet and I was searching for models by reading everything that Derek Walcott had ever written, I tried writing a poem like Lorna's "She," which was published in Savacou 13: Caribbean Women. Of course, I failed miserably. No one can write like Lorna Goodison.

For unlike Walcott, from whose work a young poet can learn forms such as the sonnet and how to use allusions drawn from Greek and Roman mythologies to create Odysseus-like characters or from Shakespearean drama to construct Calibanesque figures, Lorna's poems, while drawing from a similar landscape as Walcott's, does not seek to transform the characters into anything other than what they are. Her speakers remain obstinately Caribbean with red dirt under their fingernails, and smelling of rum and carbolic soap. Also, her sense of line, like brush strokes, carry the signature and confidence of the artist.

There was nothing that she could teach me because the images and the associations that she had made in her art held deeply personal meanings, yet she managed to translate those sentiments to the page so that her readers could experience similar emotions. In other words, what I learned from Lorna was that if I wanted to write like her, I would have to live my own life and to use the experiences and associations from my life. And that couldn't be faked. If I wanted to be a poet like Lorna, I would have to write my own poems.

Give thanks, Lorna. Give thanks!


"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery/ None but ourselves can free our minds." ~ Lyrics from Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" taken from a speech by the Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey.