FILM: screening of documentary - Negroes With Guns

Negroes With Guns - 02/19/2010

Negroes With Guns: Robert Williams and Black Power witnesses the breakdown of trust between the United States government and its citizens, as influenced by race, class and gender..

Robert F. Williams was the forefather of the Black Power movement and broke dramatic new ground by internationalizing the African American struggle. Negroes with Guns is not only an electrifying look at an historically erased leader, but also provides a thought-provoking examination of Black radicalism and resistance and serves as a launching pad for the study of Black liberation philosophies. Insightful interviews with historian Clayborne Carson, biographer Timothy Tyson, Julian Bond, and a first person account by Mabel Williams, Robert's wife, bring the story to life.



Negroes With Guns
by Sandra Dickson &Churchill Roberts

Friday, February, 19, 2010 @ 7PM

Dwyer Cultural Center
258 St. Nicholas Avenue
(Enter on 123rd Street)

Ticket Donation:
$10.00 (includes light refreshments)

For More Information:
917-991-4760 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it








Dwyer Cultural Center Map




Go here to view video trailer

FILM: "Silence" - a movie about sexuality and black women

In the age of misogynist hip-hop, as black women are portrayed as "freaks", award winning filmmaker Mya B. sets to destroy the present sexual myths about black women in this Telly-winning film that "is necessary" (SugaPoet). Mixing melancholic music, film clips, and hard hitting interviews from everyday people, professors, and music video directors Little X and Nzingha Stewart, Silence: In Search of Black Female Sexuality is "an interesting and gritty glimpse" (PBS) into the sexuality of black women.

Written, Produced, and Directed by Mya B.



EVENTS: new york city—february programs - center for jazz studies





A discussion and reading by author Karen Chilton

of her latest book


Hazel Scott

The Pioneering Journey of a Jazz Pianist, from Cafe Society to Hollywood to HUAC

A piano prodigy from an early age, Hazel Scott (1920-81) developed a distinct piano style that combined jazz and classical.

In her acclaimed biography, Karen Chilton explores the fascinating life of a pioneering artist who appeared in a number of Hollywood films,

ran afoul of HUAC, married and divorced Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and became a legendary expat living in Paris in the 60s.



Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 7:30 pm

301 Philosophy Hall

Amsterdam Avenue & 116th Street

Free & open to the public

Copies of Ms. Chilton's book will be available for purchase




Please join us as well for these upcoming Center for Jazz Studies events



Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd with Maurice Decaul

Acclaimed pianist/composer Vijay Iyer and celebrated poet/performer Mike Ladd (in collaboration with Iraq veteran Maurice Decaul) launch a new work of music and poetry commissioned by Harlem Stage's WaterWorks program.  Building on their groundbreaking collaborations In What Language? (2003) and Still Life with Commentator (2006), Iyer and Ladd collaborate with young American war veterans of color from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to create a new work (working title Holding it Down).  Based on interviews with veterans of color about their dreams – harrowing, mundane or surreal – Iyer and Ladd build an evening of music, poetry, and song.

This project considers what it means for soldiers of color to move from a complex American landscape into the international context of war and imperialism, and then return home.  How is this new generation of veterans suffering and surviving, and what are they able to dream about? How do they go about their irreversibly transformed lives, moving from the unspeakable back to the speakable?  And a still newer question: What is the relationship between soldiers of color and our first African American president?  How do they fit into a newly transformed American race dynamic?  Using the condensed, universal logic of dreams to express and affirm their essential humanity, Holding it Down pays tribute to young men and women returning home.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010          

Performance: 7:30 pm

Harlem Stage Gatehouse

150 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street,  New York City

Tickets:  $15

For tickets, visit or call the Harlem Stage box office at 212-281-9240, ext. 19 or 20


Co-Presented by the Harlem Stage WaterWorks program and the Columbia/Harlem Jazz Project,

with support from the Office of the President, Columbia University




Count Basie: Then as Now, Count's the King

A film by Gary Keys

Introduced by Professor Jamal Joseph, School of the Arts, Columbia University


Jazz great William "Count" Basie comes back to life in this rich documentary, which traces

the history of the pianist, composer, and bandleader over several decades. Filmmaker

Gary Keys juxtaposes a roundtable discussion among old cats from the Count Basie Orchestra

with recorded performances, including a cameo appearance in Blazing Saddles.

Archival clips and a gallery of portraits and snapshots shows the ever-smiling face of a man as

vivacious as the grooves he delivers—his good humor suffusing the music and the players

going at it all around him, from Lester Young to Ella Fitzgerald.


Thursday, February 18, 2010, 7:30pm

Lifetime Screening Room, 513 Dodge Hall

Columbia University Morningside Campus

Campus Map:

Free and Open to the public

Reception to follow


Co-presented with the Graduate Film Program, School of the Arts, Columbia University




How Does Music Free Us? Afro-Asian Revolutionary Concepts in New Music

A discussion and reading by author Fred Ho


Chinese-American composer, baritone saxophonist, scholar/writer, producer, matriarchal revolutionary socialist

and aspiring Luddite Fred Ho explores the role of music in imagining a new society and foreshadowing a

transformed humanity.


Thursday, March 4, 20107:30pm

301 Philosophy Hall, 116th Street and Amsterdam Ave

Columbia University Morningside Campus

Campus Map:

Free and Open to the public


Copies of Mr. Ho's newest book WICKED THEORY, NAKED PRACTICE: A FRED HO READER will be available to purchase




Jazz Studies Beyond the Commercial Album

A panel discussion with Jason Moran, Ben Young, Larry Applebaum and Prof. John Szwed

Moderated by Prof. Brent Hayes Edwards


Jazz scholarship has focused on commercial recordings – as Max Roach was fond of saying, "Records are our textbooks"

– yet there is a shadow world beyond these official audio texts – a world of alternate takes, acetates and cassettes of

live recordings, radio broadcasts, and club appearances.  Fascinating and revealing as these documents are, they are

seldom used as the basis for published materials.  But with the creation of new and inexpensive technology, mass

downloading, the virtual collapse of the recording business, and the flood of unlicensed music on the Web, this alternate

universe of music is overwhelming scholars and the public alike.  This panel is the first public discussion of this phenomenon

and its implications for the future of jazz scholarship and the music itself.


Tuesday, March 9, 20107:30pm

301 Philosophy Hall, 116th Street and Amsterdam Ave

Columbia University Morningside Campus

Campus Map:

Free and Open to the public




For more information about the Center for Jazz Studies activities, please or call 212-851-1633




Yulanda C. Denoon

Program Coordinator

Center for Jazz Studies

Columbia University

(212) 851-1633 - office

(212) 851-1634 - fax

Pumzi the film - Inspired Minority Pictures and One Pictures


A 20 min Sc-Fi film about futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III “The Water War”.

Nature is extinct. The outside is dead. Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it and the seed starts to germinate instantly. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside but the Council denies her exit visa. Asha breaks out of the inside community to go into the dead and derelict outside to plant the growing seedling and possibly find life on the outside.

Watch the trailer

HAITI: BBC News - Haiti's 'ghost' tent villages

By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
BBC News, Port-au-Prince


Only the aid agencies appear to be pitching tents in Haiti

It's midday in Port-au-Prince and the sun is beating down from a cloudless sky.

It's good news, another day without clouds means another day without rain.

But it won't last. Everybody knows the rainy season is now only a few weeks away, and a million people have no proper shelter.

A park on the edge of Port-au-Prince is sprouting what look like giant white field mushrooms. They are actually large white tents, hundreds of them.

It's the first proper tent encampment to be built since the earthquake. Along a high concrete wall workers are digging latrines, and building shower blocks.

In a few days from now 3,000 refugees from the centre of Port-au-Prince will start moving in here. But they will be the lucky few.

'Huge number'

Despite repeated calls from everyone - from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Haitian President Rene Preval - only a few thousand tents have so far arrived in Haiti.

Christopher Gascon
Mr Gascon says there are simply not enough tents

"The priority for flights has been given to bringing in food and medical supplies," says Christopher Gascon from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

He is in charge of building the mushroom tent camp. He has 40,000 more tents on their way from Panama, but by ship, not by air. And even when those do arrive, they will not be nearly enough.

It seems extraordinary, but so vast are Haiti's needs that there are simply not enough of the right sort of tents in the world right now to house all the refugees.

"We are talking about a huge number of tents," says Mr Gascon.

"These sort of tents are not widely available. They will have to be made, ordered from China. If you want 200,000 tents now its not going to happen, they are not there."

'Ghost' camp

There is also chaos and confusion. The aftermath of every natural disaster is chaotic. But Haiti is especially so.

Every aid agency and non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the world seems to have poured in to Port-au-Prince.

In the UN compound next to the airport clean-cut young men and women strut around in T-shirts proclaiming "Scientologist Volunteers".

A man digs with a knife where a new camp is supposed to be
Reconstruction: Haitian style

In a bar across the street a group of Belgian men are drinking beer. Outside their large white lorry has a banner draped across it with the name of their own tiny environmental NGO.

"We want to help, but the World Food Programme says they already have enough water trucks," they tell me.

But if the UN base is chaotic, it's nothing to the Haitian government compound.

It's housed in an old concrete police station just down the road. The car park is crammed with large four-wheel drives jostling for position and hooting loudly.

We manage to track down Charles Clermont, the Haitian official charged with building the mass tent cities that will supposedly house the hundreds of thousands of refugees from Port-au-Prince.

"We started work the day after the earthquake," he assures me, "the first camp will be up and running within the next few days."

Surprised, I ask him where it is.

"It is on the outskirts of the city, there is running water and there will be electricity and spaces, it will be operational within a few days," Mr Clermont says.

Intrigued, I take down the details of the location and head out of town.

The place is an empty stretch of highway that runs out to the mountains north of Port-au-Prince.

One thing is immediately clear, there is no camp. Instead on a stony hillside we come across one of the most extraordinary sites I have ever seen. Hundreds and hundreds of people, camping in the open.

'No help'

As soon as I get out of the car a crowd surrounds me. One young man speaks English.

Broadcasting on FM radio daily in Haitian Creole at 0910 local time (1410 GMT), for 20 minutes
Giving up-to-date information about where to get basic services and aid
Also available on satellite and online, and via social media

I ask him where he sleeps.

"On the ground," he answers, pointing to a patch of dirt further up the hill.

I ask him if he has had any help, any food or water.

"No," he says, "we have nothing."

Further on I find a young mother and her seven children squatting in a tiny shack they have fashioned out of sticks and old blankets. One of her children has a huge bandage around his hand.

"He had two fingers amputated after the quake," the mother says.

Nearby Salnar Devoisie is lying on a makeshift bed.

Her daughter is platting her mass of grey hair. There is a white bandage around the stump of her left leg.

"I was trapped in the rubble of my home for three days. When the Israeli doctors got me out they said we will have to chop it off or you will die," she says.

As we talk she rubs her hand against her chest as if in pain.

"It is gas. I haven't eaten for four days."

Despite the massive response from the outside world these people are still waiting for help to arrive.

And for nearly a million Haitians the coming night will be another night spent in the open.

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A BBC report on building tent villages for survivors in Haiti. There was one line in the report that caught my attention, "These sort of tents are not widely available. They will have to be made, ordered from China."

So is China the only tent maker in the world? What happened to the USA as a manufacturing center? For sure Haiti is in trouble but big brother also has significant problems.


EVENT: dallas--3rd eye book review session

The Third Eye & the South Dallas Cultural Center Invites You to a Book Review on February 21, 2010, 3:00 pm at The South Dallas Cultural Center 3400 South Fitzhugh Ave. Dallas, Texas 75210

Join us in a lively and informative discussion of "The Eloquence of the Scribes: A Memoir on the Sources and Resources of African Literature "by Ayi Kwei Armah

Armah, a brilliant writer is author of seven novels and translator of several scholarly works including Theophile Obenga's African Philosophy: The Pharonic Period: 2780-330BC and Boubacar Barry's Senegambia and the Atlantic Slave Trade, was born in Takoradi, Ghana in 1939. Educated at Achimota, Groton, Harvard and Columbia, he has taught literature and writing in Africa and America. Since 1980 he has lived in Senegal, West Africa, where he is a member of the literary work group SE SH. 

Books are available at Jokae's African-American Books, 3223 W. Camp Wisdom Rd. Dallas, Texas 75237 Ph. 214/331.8100; The Dock Bookshop, 6637 Meadowbrook Dr., Fort Worth, TX 76112-5240 Ph. 817/457-5700; or directly from Armah's book distribution website @

For study questions or more info call 972/495-7649 or email

INFO: live your adventure--kis list, vol 72

KIS.list is a monthly report featuring reflections on writing, social issues and travel by Kiini Ibura Salaam.

To join, email

To be removed, email

To read past reports go to

===== KIS.list ===== DECEMBER 2009/JANUARY 2010 ===== Volume 72 ======

Note: I started writing this KIS.list before the earthquake in Haiti and, at this point, it seems that nothing meaningful can be said that does not consider or refer to the struggles the survivors are facing right now. I send out my usual missive with the note that—though this post is not about Haiti—I am, as so many of us are, full of consternation, shock and concern. It is often confusing to know who and how to be in the face of such deep and bottomless horror. I am speechless.

Live Your Adventure

The end of a year elicits self reflection: Where am I? How am I feeling? What did I achieve this year?

Moving into 2010, I find myself in action—out from under the rock of paralysis and fear. I feel, unexpectedly, like I am living an adventure. And everyone knows how exciting adventures are. The surprising thing about this adventure is that I haven’t left home, I haven’t gone to some foreign country. I didn’t get a letter in the mail delivering an inheritance or an offer for a perfect job. I simply started doing.

There’s a lot of different ideas about what it means to be an adult. Being a hard-core grown-up is generally agreed to be about responsibilities—bills, obligations, livelihood. But I’m looking at it from another angle—grown-ups are also those who take responsibility for their own fun.

My goals in this adventurous year are the same as the goals in my dark, unfulfilled years. I want—and have always wanted—to get my creative voice out there. In the past, I deeply and profoundly believed critical acclaim and commercial success should naturally flow from the merit of the work. I wanted someone to find and instantly fall in love with my work, and then magically market it until something fabulous and money-making happened to it.

While I was in the dark, unfulfilled years, I was only conscious of what I was NOT doing, what I was NOT ABLE to do, and what was NOT happening for me. In retrospect, I can see clearly that waiting for someone else to deliver my work to its proper place in the world was NOT adventurous. It was torturous and boring, and it made me quite bitter. Sometimes we get caught validating our beliefs about something without questioning whether or not that belief is working for us. My conviction that good work should float to the top of the pile did not reward me with satisfaction. It gave me nothing but monotonous dissatisfaction.

After far too many months of stasis and stagnation, I got an internal newsflash: I was going nowhere. And I could keep going nowhere or I could change. The fact is, I cannot change the broad strokes of my life if my day-to-day life is filled with inactivity. I can hold on to my belief that recognition and achievement will find me or I can relinquish that belief and find a more gratifying principle to guide my life.

Marketing and artistry are uncomfortable bedfellows, especially for the artist. However, sitting around waiting for magic to happen has become a worse alternative. I would rather try to market myself and fail, than grow old having never honored my creative products. I can create new art until the cows come home, but if career growth is what I’m after, I have to bring my work out into the fresh air. 

I decided to adopt a lifestyle of small ongoing actions that would bring my work to the public sphere. I’d set small goals focused on how to best utilize my time. I wouldn’t make crazy marketing plans, and I’d limit my view to the next few weeks. It wouldn’t be about chasing success, it would be about creating a life of action. That which did not come to fruition (i.e., my novel) would be set aside. That which bore fruit, would be expanded. I looked around at the work I had completed and neglected, I analyzed the time I had and didn’t use, and I decided to be proactive within reason. 

About six months after shifting my beliefs and game plan, I finally have some action and activity happening with my creative work. I’ve exhibited my paintings; my book is selling three to five copies a month in six bookstores; and I’m building a web page for one of my projects. Whereas all of this would have sounded torturous to me two to six years ago, I’ve realized something that I’d never considered: Marketing myself—distributing the fruits of my labor—can be an invigorating adventure. The thing I have so long avoided doing is actually giving me more energy and engagement with my creative self. Each success gives me a thrill that keeps me pushing myself further and further on this marketing mission.

I’m not suggesting it has been easy—but it hasn’t been hard, boring, or tiresome. I’ve had to stare down emotional blocks, fears, and self-imposed limitations on what I can and can’t do. I’ve had to talk myself into cold selling my book at bookstores, or into running to the art store on my lunch hour to get hardware to hang my work, and then dragging my daughter with me to put the strings on my paintings after work. So, yes, it’s been work—but it’s been rewarding work and it’s made me realize that each of us hold the keys to our quality of life.

Satisfaction and gratification make a life worth living. The older we get, the more we tend to sit back and expect our lives to deliver satisfaction (and then we complain when that satisfaction is not forthcoming) and we forget the thrill of rushing headlong into life making our own games and adventures. But what if you started creating your own adventures again? What if you decided you’d do something for fun, just because the idea skittered across your mind? What would that bring to you? Joy? Laughter? Satisfaction?

My cousin recently told me a little story about sitting home bored and looking for something to “do.” Then she realized she was downgrading something she had been dying for: free time. She got out some magazines and made a vision board: images of what she wants to attract in her life. In the process she made some realizations about herself and got tickled with the result. She hung it by her desk and now it inspires her every time she passes by it. With no money and no major commitment of energy, she turned up her quality life and opened some doors toward a better relationship with herself.

My cousin’s story is a perfect small-scale illustration of the value of adventure. Without losing weight, or starting a new romance, or moving into a larger place, you can tap into reservoirs of excitement, discovery, and pleasure. I realize what was missing in those dark days when I wanted a marketer to “get me out there” was a sense of adventure. The journey was something I suffered rather than cherished. I wanted the gold, without finding, deciphering, and following the treasure map. I wanted the glory without the hunt. In coveting the gold at the end of the rainbow, I had completely overlooked the rainbow. The mistake in looking for your glory is that you don’t know how and/or when it’s going to come; and you don’t know what it’s going to look like when it gets there. You don’t leave space for happenstance, you don’t leave space for discovery of other talents and passions in your life. You don’t leave space for you. If it’s all about getting that thing you want (or believe you deserve), everything that proceeds obtaining what you want is devalued or rushed past. And if you never get what you’ve always wanted, then you’ve wasted your life, rushing past the good parts because you never took the time to realize how good it is to witness, participate in and play with your own unfolding. 

Playing with the journey makes me delight in the steps. I accept that I can’t know exactly where I’m headed. I can choose a general direction and then flow with the opportunities my efforts create. Embracing the journey as an exploration rather than a burden makes all the difference in the world. Marketing becomes an exploration of cause and effect, not a test I must pass lest my future fall into shambles. Welcoming the adventure makes life an experiment in the funnest sense of the word: If I try this, then what will happen? Okay, what if I try this, with a dash of that, then what? The path to “there” is never clear and never straight, so it may as well be fun. 

Be well. Be love(d).

Kiini Ibura Salaam

FYI: One of my stories, “Debris,” has just been podcasted on PodCastle. Take a listen at:

I’m working on my Single Woman’s Manifesto website, so I only went to one bookstore this month. But on the way to delivering more books to Bluestockings, I popped into Georgia Beauty Store and Salon, and they took five books. So, two more stores are selling the book. I’m consistently selling two to five a month at each location.

At the last bookstore I went to, the agent asked me “How do we sell this?” And, due to what I’ve learned about how it’s sold at other bookstores, I was able to answer. I didn’t take the question as a challenge, I just shared what I knew about how to sell it. It made me realize I have marketing knowledge about my product. (I’m thoroughly tickled by this development.) And I know if it doesn’t sell at a bookstore it’s probably because it’s not at eye-level.

Case in point, St. Marks Bookshop is a well-known independent bookstore here in NYC. They took Single Woman’s Manifesto on consignment, as they do any book that comes into their store. They have a store policy: accept everything, try it out for three months and return it if it doesn’t sell. Don’t call us, we’ll call you, is their policy. I probably should have followed up and discussed optimal positioning with them. The book is too small and too slim to sell spine-out on a bookshelf. I recently received a postcard from them saying they sold zero and for me to pick them up. I now know, however, it’s not necessarily a failure of my book, but an illustration of how important placement is for the book. It’s an impulse buy: small-format, relatively inexpensive, fun, conversation piece.

I’m going to pick up my books from St. Marks Bookshop, and I’m moving them from the “Bookstore acceptances” list to the “Bookstore rejections” list. The two lists are now tied, four and four.
Single Woman’s Manifesto 
Bookstore acceptances: 4
Bluestockings (
Brownstone Books (
Georgia Beauty (
McNally Robinson/Jackson (

Note: Through no effort of my own, the book is also in the exittheapple store in Baltimore, MD (they are the lovely publishers of the book), and at The Source Booksellers in Detroit, MI.

Bookstore rejections: 4

Press Releases:

For both the MOJO series exhibition in November and The Single Woman’s Manifesto bookstore event in December, I sent out press releases. While compiling a list of press organizations for MOJO exhibition, I learned that press releases should actually go out just after solidifying the venue and date, and BEFORE preparing for the actual event. Newspapers and magazines need lead-in time to print your announcement. So I gave more lead-in time for the bookstore event. But I never knew whether or not it made it onto anyone’s listing. Well, I just recently discovered that TimeOut New York online did list the event! It is so exciting to see my marketing labor result in an actual listing. The adventure continues!

The raging flame of your heart, feeds, attracts and inspires more souls than you know. -- Priya Kale