On June 7th, 2013 African Voices Magazine hosted their Launching gathering for their 20th anniversary issue. Congratulations African Voices Magazine on the publication of your 20th Anniversary issue. Congratulations to everyone who worked to
make the event a success!
In order to place you at the event I will give my step by step experience. Firstly, I entered African Voices whose decor was that of an art gallery. There on exhibit were the works of Ocean Morriset and Mirlande Jean Gilles along with other visual artists. Photographer Ocean Morriset and artist Mirlande Jean Gilles works grace African Voices Magazine 20th Anniversery issue. My eyes moved around the room and met with the laughter of guests in conversation, delicious cusine, desert and drink.
Okay, I’ll be the first to tell you before you read or hear about it. I came prepared with my copy of African Voices 20th Anniversary issue and asked each contributing author and poet to autograph it. Each smiled or laughed and graciously applied their signature to my copy.
Charleen McClure, a gifted and first time published poet was the first to speak and took the audience on a poetic journey. Charleen, though young is what mama and grandma called an old soul. You wonder how can such a young person speak from such a place of experience.
Ed Toney’s down home sweet familiar references caressed our hearts and memories. Ed brought church and community. This was evident in the call and response of guests acknowledging Ed’s words. Can we all say in unison Amen!
We held our breaths unable to breath as Kini Ibura Salaam shared a story of incest, power of potions and spells. Silence enveloped the room. I trembled with each spoken word. I admit feeling anger, later joy when the main character emerged victorious. The truth is no one emerged victorious, but for me I wanted the ending result. Kini Ibura Salaam is a wonderful writer. I look forward to reading more from her.
last but not least was Juliet P. Howard, co-founder of Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon. Juliet shared memories of growing up in Harlem’s Sugar Hill. Meomories of being raised by a mother who was a prominent Black Model during the 1940′s and 50′s. A mother who loved dolls and treated her daughter as one. Juliet gave honor to her grandmother Pearl, who lived in working for White families and coming home on weekends. Juliet’s poems for Trayon Martin are heart wrenching. We are left in silence to ponder and to feel all that has been shared.
Again, Congratulations African Voices on your 20th anniversary issue!
©Lorraine Currelley 2013. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author is strictly prohibited.