Monday, January 18, 2010

1. Aurora's Poetry Reading/ Event Schedule for 2010

I am celebrating my Civil Rights on this glorious Dr. Martin Luther King Day!

I will be reading at the following event in February.
This is the press release from the Michigan National Lawyers Guild:

On Wednesday, January 13, 2010, Michigan National Lawyers Guild wrote:
For Immediate Release   January 13, 2010
Bruce Peterson
National Lawyers Guild
Detroit & Michigan Chapter
P.O. Box 311458
Detroit, MI 48231
(313) 963-0843
> Title:  Community Violence, Police Brutality and Political Incarceration
> Focus of Detroit Black History Month Event

The National Lawyers Guild and the National Conference of Black Lawyers
have teamed up to produce a free public awareness event to be held on
Saturday, February 6, 2010.  The event, "From Chaos to Community," will be held to commemorate Black History Month and serve as a follow up to the "Police Brutality Panel Discussion and Public Forum" being held on January 14th.

The focus of the event will be on three issues people of color in the Detroit area continue to face; police brutality, political incarceration, youth and community violence.
The purpose is to raise awareness and to educate citizens as to their rights under the law and to offer alternatives to violence and police intervention.

From Chaos to Community will be held at the International Institute Hall
of Nations from noon to 5pm, and will include food vendors, music, poetry,
and political tabling.

Some of the initiators of the dialogue will include;
Attorney Jeffrey Edison-National Conference of Black Lawyers,
Ron Scott-National Lawyers Guild & Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality,
Cora Rene Mitchell- Mother of slain Robert Mitchell,
Raphael Johnson-Muhammad Mosque #1,
Joe Williams-Transition of Prisoners (T.O.P.),
Yusef Shakur-Community Activist & Founder of Urban Network Bookstore,
Kwasi Akwamu-H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Prisoners Elevate),
Sandra Hines-Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality
Attorney Julie Hurwitz-Goodman & Hurwitz, P.C. Attorney Jeffrey Haas-Author of “The Assassination of Fred Hampton,”
and many more.

Poets for the event include, Aurora Harris, Wardell Montgomery, Jr. and
Pitch Black with Ivy Riley and Millard Porter.  The music will be provided by Khary Frazier.  The short film, "Black Panther," will also be shown.
> #

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Art and Activism: Learning From The Community

Jan 17, 2010. 10:30 pm

I have been invited to present my Masters project paper at the University of Detroit-Mercy in March. The title of my paper is " A Multicultural Exploration of Female Scholar-Actvist Artists In Detroit, Michigan." I documented the lives of Dr. Gloria House, Michele Gibbs (Russell), Lolita Hernandez, and Emily Lawsin. Dr. House, Ms Hernandez and Ms Lawsin will be a part of the panel discussion. Ms Russell will not be able to attend but I know she will be there in spirit! As soon as I receive the date, place and time of the presentation, I'll post it on this site and email everyone.

Ms Gibbs' work in Oaxaca, Mexico can be found at:

An interview of Dr. House can be seen at:

Info about Lolita Hernandez and her book "Autopsy Of An Engine" can be found at:

Info about Emily Lawsin can be found at:

Jan 17, 2010 Evening: II. On Language and dialect; History

While searching for greetings and salutations in different languages, I found an educators site regarding mother tongues that is based in the Philippines. I added it to my blog list. When I think about mother tongues, I feel a little sad. When I was a little girl growing up in Detroit, I spoke Tagalog, Ilocano and Spanish until I entered elementary school, where I was told I had to speak only English. I cannot express how devastating it was to no longer be able to speak to my family and relatives in the Philippines.

As an African American Filipina, I was able to write a little through poetry but not able to fully excavate the origin and results of the sadness until I wrote about it in grad school.

A side note:

Even as I write, there is a PBS show called the History Detectives talking about Dewey-mania, Spain and U.S. Imperialism in the Philippines. Things like this are what keeps me tied to my Filipino heritage, in addition to the photographs and stories of my family's history that were passed down to me. Later, when I have more time, I will add photos, poems and other information. Since I have written this, for my own family's history, I will add the website that my cousin Art Sulit made for my mother's first cousin, General Macario Peralta:

January 2010

Community work:

I closed out 2009 by helping USATA and Little Rock Baptist Church plan a concert for the homeless, provide food and winter clothes. The Dec 18th event was a success.

Significant things in January so far are:
Jan 11 - My mom celebrated her 90th birthday.
Jan 12- I received news that the In The Tradition jazz cd that my poem "Yurugu" is on, was sent to over 50 US and international radio stations.

Jan 12- Haiti is devastated by an earthquake.
Jan 17- Broadside Press Poets Theater features Omari King Wise Barksdale today at the University of Detroit-Mercy Grounds Coffee House from 3-6pm
Jan 18- Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday
Jan 19- I begin teaching for the International Institute's multicultural program for youth. I will teach Asian countries and cultures at an elementary school afterschool program.

World News: Haiti is devastated by an earthquake and aftershocks