As I currently work on my fantasy novel based in Queens and inspired by the Underground Railroad (two of the characters are based on Harriet Tubman and William Still), I look forward to featuring others who are continuing to share the legacy of our ancestors and heroes who fought for freedom and for us to be here in this moment today.
One of those people is Lacresha Berry, a local Queens-based educator, singer-songwriter and playwright. Currently, she is writing a one-woman show about Harriet Tubman and t-shirt line for Air Tubman. Continue reading to find out more about her and her previous and upcoming work within the community.
“I just felt it was important to understand our histories in context to the larger global community and tell stories that haven’t been told. Instead of complaining about not being taught these things, I wanted to create a conversation that there are black Kentuckians. We exist and we helped to shape the state that it is today. We contributed to country music, blues and bluegrass.”
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Lacresha Berry and I’m an artist—educator, artivist, singer-songwriter, playwright, actress, and sometimes lyricist. I was raised in the great state of Kentucky. I came to NYC—actually this month, in 2003. So, I guess you can say I’m a New Yorker now. Well, at least I live the life of one. I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in theatre. I came to NYC for grad school at NYU. At the time, I was really into costume design and got accepted at Tisch for Costume Design for Stage and Film. I ended going for about a year and began full time teaching in 2005 after stints of being a sub and after-school teacher.
If you live in New York City, the Brooklyn Brainery will be having two Thursday classes, March 22nd and March 29th, on short stories from Octavia Butler. The class cost $27. At this time the class is full, but you can get on a waiting list.
This is the information:
Octavia E. Butler is arguably one of the best sci-fi writers of her time. A rarity in her day–African-American and female– she broke boundaries and created extraordinary, life-changing stories.In this class, we will examine three of her short stories from the collection BloodChild. We will discuss the central themes throughout her work which include female sexuality, dystopia, and loss of humanity.
Participants will receive electronic copies of the short stories before each class, so that they can come prepared to discuss. Class will include some delicious, sci-fi themed snacks!
If you cannot get in, still support the Brooklyn Brainery, since they host many interesting classes for affordable prices. Maybe I’ll do a class there one day. Hehe.
Professor of Sociology, African American Studies and Library and Information Science, Abdul Alkalimat, has recorded several lectures about theory in black studies. The five lectures are available at the eblack studies website. In his lectures, Alkalimat discusses ideology, methodology, history, tradition and debate. So far, I have seen only the tradition lecture in which he speaks about black tradition and retention, and the constant improvisational transformation of those traditions for survival. He also discusses how these theories can be of practical use to African-American communities today. It is a very interesting lecture that I recommend you watch. Other videos from Alkalimat are available here.