Category Archives: Events/Festivals

Behind the Mask: Shakilla’s Visionary Loc Scultping

Covers of Bad Hair Uprooted by Mireille Liong of Going Natural featuring Shakilla

Recently I was part of Going If you would like Natural’s 10th anniversary photoshoot event at Afropunk and my hair was styled by a gifted hair stylist and jewelry maker Shakilla, who calls herself a loc sculptor, and her work is filled with truly divine masterpieces. Her styling business, A Manifestation of a Vision, is filled with her unique visions that she recently realized uses mathematics as well to structure the designs. The entire week and half I wore her design, I was like a mini-celebrity and even received comparison to a few characters in sci-fi films and shows. I was happy to be part of her first photoshoot to showcase her work and push her business out there more. If you would like to have your hair done by Shakilla, this is her number – 917-573-9937- and tell her I recommended her! Check out the pics below:

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Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Behind the Mask, Events/Festivals, Fashion, Hair


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Modern Griots Recap: Highlights from Black Comic Book Festival

Attending the Black Comic Book Festival for the first time this year introduced me to a wide scope of the comic book world from the lens of the black community and so I wanted to share some of the creators and their works that I came across while there. It was difficult walking around the presentation tables and stopping myself from buying all the comics there, but I did get a couple:

*The first table I went to was the artist John Jennings and I purchased the African American Graphic Classics. As someone who does write poetry, this was a great find for me. It’s a similar idea to a book I had when I was younger, illustrator and author Ashley Bryan’s book of illustrated African-American poetry. Various comic and graphic artists, such as Jennings, Lance Tooks, and Afua Richardson, illustrate several short stories and poems from various authors, including Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Dunbar Nelson, W.E.B. Du Bois and Langston Hughes.

*Walking around I saw many male creators in the comic and science fiction industry, like the Craft family, N Steven Harris, Mshindo Kuumba, I enjoyed particularly seeing black women who were part of it as well, like Evolve‘s Kia Barbee. I met illustrator and animator Tiana Mone’e Scott, who has done work with Cartoon Network and PBS. At the right below was one of my favorite pieces that she had on her table. See more of her work here.

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Modern Griots Reviews: Tongues of Fire and Erykah Badu

Sekou Sundiata – “Space”

Last weekend, I attended the Tongues of Fire tribute to Sekou Sundiata at the Apollo and I must say it was a beautiful, stirring and electrifying tribute. Curated by musical director Craig Harris, the show included his band Nation of Imagination as the musical background as for a few moving musical numbers, some with lyrics written by Sundiata and sung by the three singers of the band (“Song for a Friend,” “I Found God,” “The Writer,” The Sea.”). The other performances were a mixture of spoken word performances of works from Sekou Sundiata and Amiri Baraka arranged with music as well as performances from The Last Poets member Abiodun, rapper Rakim and Nigerian artist Wunmi.

The show opened with poet Liza Jessie Peterson reading “Urban Music” from Sundiata’s album Long Story Short and continued with Amiri Baraka’s “In the Tradition” and “Something in the Way of Things,” the humorous critique of today’s hip-hop with Abiodun and Rakim, “Some of It’s Hip, Some of It’s Not,” and ended the first part with Sundiata’s “Sound of Memory” and a funky “Blink Your Eyes” with Vernon Reid and all the performers.

The second half of the show began with Ngoma Hill’s reading  his yoruba-inspired poem, “Poem for My Egun,” leading to a cacophony of poems and music with Peterson, Baraka, and Abiodun performing together “Reparations,” and “Whys.” Wunmi grooved on stage, even getting down with Harris, during the performances of  wish-to-return home “The Healing Song” and Baraka’s recitation of Sundiata’s “Space.” Rakim was brought back out to finish the night with his classics, like “The 18th Letter,” bringing the night packed already with so much to a full-circle.

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Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Sekou Sundiata

Starting this month until October, there will be several events celebrating poet, playwright, educator and activist Sekou Sundiata, all part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, a New York City-wide retrospective. There have been a few events this month already, including one with Tracie Morris, and during next two weeks will be events at The Apollo Theater and The Poets House. All the events will include a wide variety of artists and creatives, including Amiri Baraka, Nona Hendryx , Vernon Reid, and Greg Tate. Below are a few of his memorable poems (I love the musicality and cultural awareness of his poetry), and you can read more on his website:

Philosophy of the Kool

a blues for poets

I been swimming since water,

learning to sing like the songs.

The oldest one I know goes like this:

Some people came from the trees,

I remember coming out of the undertow: the ocean

of seas: the electricity the explosions

billlions of us crashing with the waves,

then blown away into memory.

You can still hear us in the piece of a beat

or in that music made from scratch.

The first words still had roots,

like a James Brown syllable.

It was a single cell one minute, a slam dunk the next.

Speed was our need.

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Black Girls and Women Are From the Future…

Since yesterday was International Women’s Day and today is International Fly Girls Day, here is post dedicated to some topics, news and resources about us black women. But first, “I’m Every Woman” from Chaka Khan, one of the first music videos:

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Otherworldly Videos: Alien Bodies Conference

Below are videos of the conversations and lectures from the Alien Bodies Conference that took place in February:

Keynote with Alondra Nelson

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Moving on the Wires: Tim Fielder, Oya: Rise of the Orisha, Live Unchained…

*Tonight illustrator and animator Tim Fielder will be sharing his work Matty’s Rocket– an episodic-animated series & web comic. The event will have guest appearances and readings from writers Liza Jessie Peterson and Melanie Maria Goodreaux. They will read Afrofuturistic pieces aloud while Fielder will illustrate their work on the spot!

*Accra Dot Alt will be returning tonight with their Talk Party Series in Ghana celebrating singer Tawiah’s mixtape Freedom Drop.

*Today, the filmmakers for the upcoming film, Oya: Rise of the Orisha, opened their Indiegogo page. The film “focuses on a young woman named Adesuwa who has the unique ability to transform into the fearsome warrior goddess, Oya, the Orisha of change. When she changes, she gains amazing abilities. We follow Adesuwa as she goes on a head-stomping mission to keep the doorway between the Orisha and humanity closed. Be prepared for an action packed , mystical adventure as we explore the world of the Orisha.”

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