Friday, February 28, 2014

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BLACK BOYS DON’T SHOOT is an intense, experimental theater production aiming to cease gun fire on black youth across the globe. BBDS tackles the history-long obstacles and violence-dense ideology faced by and taught to black boys (particularly in America) from the 1700’s until now. The objective of Black Boys Don’t Shoot is to help members of the community re-establish the village mentality. We aim, with this production, to bring responsibility back to self while bringing accountability back to the entire community (the village). The production follows ten scripted monologue passages that discuss the effects of abandonment during slavery, the judicial system, poverty and fatherhood. Black Boys Don’t Shoot discusses solutions for becoming better men by seeking the divine within ourselves and mentoring young men. Writer/Director Charles Foster Jolivette is a 31 year old entertainer and entrepreneur from San Francisco California now living in New Orleans Louisiana. Charles began his career in writing shortly after he learned to walk, penning letters to Maya Angelou at 8 and rubbing elbows as an adolescent his Bay Area hometown with 2Pac Shakur. As a recording artist and talent manager, he has had the honor of working with Dick Gregory, Michael Franti and Paul Mooney among a slew of creative talents. His books include Etouffee, Le Midnight Roux and Bayou Babies. Foster Jolivette's upcoming release is an intense, experimental theater production aiming to cease gun fire on black youth. He calls the production, Black Boys Don't Shoot, "God's work!" Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tony Wilson is a multi-talented stage performer and recording artist now residing in New Orleans, Louisiana. An electric performer, Tony Wilson presents captivating, uplifting entertainment and is often referred to as "the most sought after Spoken Word artist in the Gulf Coast Region." Born in Jackson, Tennessee and raised in Henderson SIMPLE CITY Tennessee, Robert Deon is a 39-year-old United States ARMY SENIOR LEADER currently serving in Gulfport, Mississippi. Robert is an Iraqi War Veteran, a film and television actor and business owner. Deon also boasts that, "I'm the proud son of a preacher dedicated to pushing the positive word to the world.''

 A Scribe Called Quess? (aka Michael Moore) is a poet, educator, and an actor. Quess has spent four years as an English teacher and is is a founding member of Team SNO (Slam New Orleans), New Orleans’ first slam poetry team since Hurricane Katrina, and the only national championship team the city has ever produced having won competitions in 2010, 2012 and 2013. His accomplishments with Team SNO have earned him honors from the Mayor of New Orleans as well as from City Council.

32 year old Larry D.E. McGhee II, originally of Atlanta Georgia is a graduate of Morris Brown College and the North Atlanta School for performing arts. As an active duty U.S. Coast Guard for 8 years Larry was worked in counter narcotics and search and rescue. His daughter is the center of his world and music and acting are his passion. Of Black Boys Don't Shoot, Larry says, " I  hope it will light a fire in the hearts and minds of MEN both young and old to take a stand against what's happening to our FUTURE."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Celestial Blue Skies: Celestial’s Blue Skies –Maggie Collins This is...

Celestial Blue Skies: Celestial’s Blue Skies –
Maggie Collins

 This is...
: Celestial’s Blue Skies – Maggie Collins  This is a fictional story set in the Bayou of Louisiana in 1989. Picture, country gravel, un...
Celestial’s Blue Skies –
Maggie Collins

 This is a fictional story set in the Bayou of Louisiana in 1989. Picture, country gravel, unpaved roads. It’s a one traffic light town set in Bell Place, Louisiana by the Bayou. My sister-girls and I could have been bred and raised in Bell Place, USA. Belle Place can be any fictional city in the South. Some of the major players include Maymay, the Bastille matriarch, married to T-Man. T-Red, the only son of Maymay and T-Man. Tut (Theresa Bastille), the only daughter of the Bastilles. In the African American culture we come up with nicknames for ourselves and that of our children. Our grand-parents were quick to give a child a nickname that way when you entered the room you did not know who they were talking about on the telephone. The life of Celeste and her family was the message of this novel. Looking at life from your children’s viewpoint brings insights overlooked for a mother trying to grind life in 24 hours and trying to survive with shelter, safety and food on the table. Issues addressed include racism within classes of women, the bayou with sugar cane stalks and surrounding community. Working the stalks, living around the stalks and finding love within the stalks. This novel was a page turner and held my attention because I wanted to know what was going to happen in the storyline. It was a realistic storyline set in everyday African-American families trying to rise out of poverty. My favorite character was Celeste’s mother, Tut. Tut is called “simple” by family and town members. Tut is the mother of Celeste and three other children. Tut is twenty four. Her mother called her “nasty, sinful and disgusting because she was sleeping with any man. She was labeled as the town whore. With hair down her waste she said that “Diana Ross stole her lyrics to “Upside Down.” Everybody says “Tut is known for her cutting up and acting up” therefore her brother T-Red instills the fear of God in her. Maymay once said “Tut, came into the world like “the soft winds in the Belle Place.” Tut, could be anyone’s best friend with a childlike quality in a woman’s body. The moral of this story is that often time’s family is all we have. “We all we got.” How we loved on each other, speak to each other resonates when God calls us home. Although Celeste is raised by the village, she none the less pushes her pain deep down inside of herself in regards to her mother’s behavior or lack of time to spend with her daughter. Celeste once said of her mother, that “Mama can’t change who she is, and we are who we are.” Each character’s presentation could become the sequel novel. I was so riveted I wanted to know what happens in the end. This was quite the page turner. I gave this novel a 4.5 because it was an excellent read. It was a summer breeze on a cold winter’s night. I recommend this book to book clubs to read amongst sister-girls to dissect and come up with a viable series of questions. A young lady trying to find her way in life would love the beauty of growing up around a family that guards their own. After completing this book I would read other books by this author.

Marilyn G. Diamond, a Sankofa Literacy Society and Delphine Publications Reviewer began reading at an early age and continued through college reading Harlequin novels. Books became as an escape mechanism for her while growing up in Brooklyn, New York. While working full-time Ms. Diamond raised three boys and other neighborhood children with a strict demeanor insisting on finishing homework and visiting libraries as positive incentives. After finishing college in Central New York, weather and medical issues bore down on Ms. Diamond, causing her to relocate. She now resides in South Carolina, where she is not only a book reviewer, but also a Published Author. Ms. Diamond took part in the Motherhood Diaries Anthology published by Simon and Shuster under ReShonda Tate Billengsley in 2013. “Having always maintained a journal there was always a desire to write. “As a reviewer she takes her occupation to heart. You can find this grand-mother, reading and reviewing various literature alongside starting a book club and inspiring the upcoming generations.