African Voices Magazine honored Dr. Tony Medina with its 1st Annual African Voices Literary Awards! The word for the evening was fun! Enthusiastic attendees including yours truly made for a joyous evening. Attendees came to support and to have a great time and we did!
Arriving early, at the Auturo Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, I was greeted by staff, and early guests. I made some inquiries about present events and exhibits. After collecting literature I was informed of two exhibits. The first exhibit, Africans in India. While viewing the exhibit I had conversations with several persons viewing the exhibit. Several of us remarked about Africa’s glorious presence since the beginning of time. We spoke glowingly of our African culture and connections worldwide. I shared a few words with a tall regal man whose appearance was not a daily experience. His complexion was that of rich dark purple plums with red highlights. The color of bluest black. I came apon a photo resembling him during the exhibit and the following words flowed from my mouth. “Here you are my brother in all of your glory.” I was met with a radiant smile of equal enormity and the word “Yes!”
Soon afterwards, I met Lora Rene’Tucker, Writes of Passage, known as “The Therapeutic Poet”. We accompanied each other to the Lois Mailou Jones, A Life in Vibrant Color exhibit. Sharing this space with Lora, a person with a formal background in art was both a learning experience and as well as fun. She pointed out some of the periods and the artistic techniques of the artist. Being a lover of art these periods were not unfamiliar. Ours was a wholistic experience, graced with vibrant colors and interesting subjects and conversation. What a perfect way to begin an evening!
The Master of Ceremonies was Terrance, McKnight, host at WQXR Radio and the widely acclaimed Saturday evening program, All Ears with Terrance McKnight. Program speakers included life long friends and respected colleagues, Bondafide Rojas, who performed a dedication to Tony Medina, poet Willie Perdomo, who gave a special dedication, poet Ekere Tallie, shared one of Tony Medina’s poems, Dr. Brenda Greene, director of the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College and Tony Johnson, founder, AALBC.com who gave presentations.
Program speakers dismissed with formalities, allowing spirit to reign. This organic flowing complimented Dr. Medina’s sense of humor, warmth and approachability. It is in their personal reflections attendees gained insight into who this incredible man, Dr. Tony Medina. I left with a profound respect and liking, believing I had met with a kindred spirit.
Dr. Medina was interviewed by asha bandele. Ms. Bandele’s style was informal and relaxed. Her questions were insightful and allowed Dr. Medina to not only respond but to expand offering rich colors and textures of his life experience. There was never a lull in the conversation. Attendees spoke of feeling as though they were a part of the conversation, in their homes with friends. Time permitted for a brief Q & A.
One of the highlights of the evening was the fabulous and beautiful Shelly Nicole blaKubushe and her band. She gave a passionate performance that had us on our feet, hands in the air dancing. Shelly Nicole blakubushe’ joyous spirit flowed throughout the room! I am looking forward to attending future concerts. Not only did I dance out of the auditorium, I floated out, greeting and embracing everyone along the way. Where we entered the reception area gathering for conversation and photos. Books were for sale for eager attendees who wanted more of the powerful words Dr. Medina shared with us. What a great musical ending to a special evening!
The Currelley Literary Journal is a literary journal blog of commentaries, reviews, cultural, educational, herstorical/historical & literary works.
©Lorraine Currelley 2013. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author is strictly prohibited.