Saturday, June 27, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Sometimes it's just as plain as the nose on your face:
"It was reported that an anonymous bomb threat made to Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church, where black and white congregants sang "We Shall Overcome," was made from a telephone in the Charleston County Jail." (where Charleston shooter Dylann Roof and Michael Slager, the former police officer accused of killing Walter Scott are held).
"Former Texas governor Rick Perry called the massacre an "accident," then later said he meant "incident"; former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum said Roof chose his victims "indiscriminately"; former Florida governor Jeb Bush said he didn't know whether Roof was motivated by racism; and Roof, who wore the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa on his coat and had a Confederate-flag license plate on his car, told investigators he wanted to start a race war." -- Harper's Weekly
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 6/23/2015 10:25:00 AM
Friday, June 19, 2015
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Saturday, June 06, 2015
ESPER; City of Charlotte Mayor, Daniel Clodfelter; the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Praise Dancers; Postmaster of Charlotte, Le Gretta Roass-Rawlins; Dr. Paxton Hughes; and emcee for the event, WBTV News Anchor, Brigida Mack (who gave me one of the most fun and energetic introductions I think I've ever had). As everyone spoke and performed, I was reminded of the sheer genius, gifts, and reach of Maya's thoughts and work. After all, she was a writer, dancer, singer, poet, actress, director, civil rights activist, professor, and mother. The work she accomplished in her lifetime is breathtaking and magnificently inspiring. Most people don't realize that she directed the moving film, Down in the Delta,, starring Alfre Woodard and Wesley Snipes. Maya's legacy will influence generations and generations to come. She is the ancestor that she talks about in her work who speak to us, teach us, and direct us to higher ground. Thank you Dr. Maya Angelou for your words, your work, and your love. Here's the poem that I performed at the event. Maya wrote it for and read it at the Million Man March on October 16, 1995. Million Man March Poem
The night has been long, The wound has been deep, The pit has been dark, And the walls have been steep. Under a dead blue sky on a distant beach, I was dragged by my braids just beyond your reach. Your hands were tied, your mouth was bound, You couldn't even call out my name. You were helpless and so was I, But unfortunately throughout history You've worn a badge of shame. I say, the night has been long, The wound has been deep, The pit has been dark And the walls have been steep. But today, voices of old spirit sound Speak to us in words profound, Across the years, across the centuries, Across the oceans, and across the seas. They say, draw near to one another, Save your race. You have been paid for in a distant place, The old ones remind us that slavery's chains Have paid for our freedom again and again. The night has been long, The pit has been deep, The night has been dark, And the walls have been steep. The hells we have lived through and live through still, Have sharpened our senses and toughened our will. The night has been long. This morning I look through your anguish Right down to your soul. I know that with each other we can make ourselves whole. I look through the posture and past your disguise, And see your love for family in your big brown eyes. I say, clap hands and let's come together in this meeting ground, I say, clap hands and let's deal with each other with love, I say, clap hands and let us get from the low road of indifference, Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts, Let us come together and revise our spirits, Let us come together and cleanse our souls, Clap hands, call the spirits back from the ledge, Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation, Courtesy into our bedrooms, Gentleness into our kitchen, Care into our nursery. The ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain We are a going-on people who will rise again. And still we rise.
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 6/06/2015 09:40:00 PM
Thursday, May 28, 2015
To celebrate the unveiling of the Forever Maya Angelou stamp, three organizations, including the Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections (ESPER), will host a ceremony on Saturday, June 6 at 1 p.m., Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3301 Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte, N.C.
Several speakers and performers will be featured, including Charlotte Mayor, Daniel Clodfelter; Charlotte Postmaster, Le Gretta Ross-Rawlins; Dr. Esper Hayes; WBTV News Reporter, Brigida Mack. I'm happy and honored to report that I will perform a Maya Angelou piece during the event, which is free and open to the public.
Did you know that in 1997, Maya Angelou and 11 other Black authors were honored on stamps in Uganda and Ghana? The stamps, created to promote world literacy, were designed by Seattle artist Gary Aagaard.
|Ghanaian Great Writers stamps (1997)|
Earlier this year, on March 4, the U.S. Postal Service unveiled a Forever Stamp honoring Maya Angelou, the world renowned writer, professor, singer, director, and activist, who died last May. The First-Day-of-Issue stamp dedication ceremony was held on April 7 at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C., with First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey as special guests.
For more information about the Maya Angelou stamp dedication ceremony in Charlotte, contact Beatrice A. Cox at email@example.com, or 704-574-1064.
|U.S. Forever Maya Angelou Stamp (2015)|
|Ugandan Great Writers stamps|
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 5/28/2015 04:42:00 PM
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Last evening someone was pounding on my door like it was an emergency. I opened the blinds but didn't see anyone -- then I looked down. It was a little girl who must have been about 6 years old. When I opened the door she said with urgency, "Can I have a dollar?"
"Where's your momma?" I said.
"She's at work."
"Who's at home with you?"
"My sisters......can I have a dollar? I don't have any money and the ice cream truck is here."
"Oh.....OK... Will a dollar do it?"
"OK. Let me go get it."
I went to my purse, pulled out the dollar and handed it to her.
"What's your name?" I asked.
"Nice to meet you Z----. My name is Ms. Alicia."
She waved and ran off to get her ice cream.
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 5/12/2015 11:51:00 AM
Friday, May 08, 2015
Listen to the song here: Rock Chariot, I Told You to Rock
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 5/08/2015 12:57:00 PM