Sunday, December 6, 2015

2015 Dec 6: Filipino Ancestry-On Finding Relatives; Brigadier General Macario Peralta

Sunday Dec 6, 2015 copyright 2015 by Aurora Harris Note: This entry, along with ohers from this blog will be a part of a new book I am working on entitled "From A Detroit War Primer." Photos that appear are from my personal family collection. Please do not copy or exhibit without my permission. If anyone wants to copy any part of my written blog enstries for any purpose, please submit a request for permission to Thank You! Today, I am working on his blog to update links to information that may not be working. One of the Philippine government links to my cousin Brigadier General Macario Peralta was no longer working.I checked the Internet for new links and was happy to find this site, one that I had not seen before that contains Macario's war diary entries: It is called "The Philippine Diary Project." Macario Peralta was my mother's first cousin who was a lawyer, senator, and a soldier that led the Free Panay Force of guerillas on the Island of Panay. He was also the Secretary of Defense. For about twenty five years, I have been researching and piecing together my family history from both sides of my family (Filipino and African American). Some of the history I wrote about are in the form of poetry that was published in Brooding The Heartlands: Poets of the Midwest by Bottom Dog Press(now out of print); Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing 1st Edition by Shirley Geok-lin Lim (Editor), Cheng Lok Chua (Editor); and my book Solitude of Five Black Moons, that went into second print in September 2015 by Wayne State University Press: This ongoing journey of researching my ancestry began when I found photographs of Macario, my mother, grandfather, and great uncles, and, an original Detroit newspaper article about him in my home. According to my mom, Macario came to Detroit, MI to visit my mom,grandfather, and great uncles but was also in the US in an effort to get reparations for Filipino soldiers that served in WW II along with US soldiers during the Japannese invasion. A few years ago, I went to the Detroit Main Public Library and was able to find other newspaper articles about Macario. At the library, while on, I was able to find ship records of my grandfather and his brothers when they left from the Philippines and entered the Alaska or California...I can't recall right at this moment...A few years ago, I found photographs of my gandfather working for the Libby Alaskan fishery. Two summers ago, I found the original crumbling birth certificates of my Lolo (grandfather) Lauro de Peralta who was born in August 18, 1890 in Luna La Union, and, my Lola (grandmother) Narcisa Napenas, who was born October 26, 2890. The birth certificates gave me a little more insight on Spain's involvement through the priests to convert Filipinos to Catholicism. It is from finding things like this that compel me to find my relaties. I miss my relatives. The last time I was there was in 1989, when my Lola passed away. Most of my elder relatives are gone now. I think my only uncle, Dr. Conrado Peralta is still alive. When my mom was very ill, my Manong Alex and I tried to contact him, but my only first cousin Raul, would not return calls or a letter. Manong Alex was able to leave a message for my uncle at his clinic in Mindanao, but I never received a message back. I know, my gut feeling tells me I still have relatives in Manila, Quezon City, Luna and San Fernando, but I haven't been able to find them. I remember my cousins Abat and Sotera, and wonder if they are still alive in Luna. My Lola's sisters, Lola Calise and Lola Lucia passed away years ago also. All I wanted to do was let my relatives know that mom was ill and was in a state of depression from my father getting ill and then passing away. Right before her 90th birthday, we had talked about taking her home to the Philippines, and were the process of getting her papers in order to go. Mom wanted to get her affairs in order in the Philippines, concerning land she inherited, that would be passed down to me, my brother and sister. I had everything packed up to be shipped there. Then she became very ill and couldn't travel. There are so many reminders in my home that compel me to find my relatives. I have so many photographs that I am in the process of getting back into photo albums. I still have a 1967 photo of me with my Igorot statue, standing in the yard of my relatives homes, at Number 2 Batino Street Project 3 in Quezon City. On the back of the photo it says, "Auring (my nickname), holding an Igorot head hunter figurine. Taken at Quezon City, Philippines, August 21, 1967." It whas taken a couple of days after my Lolo's birthday and we sent it to him while he was living with us in Detroit. This is a photo of my grandfather(sixth from right, in middle with hat on)with other Filipino workers at the Libby McNeil and Libby North Alaskan Cannery July 2,1933. It says, "Remembrance of the Libby McNeil and Libby Koggiung Cannery North Alaska"

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Detroit Broadside Press 50th Anniversary Events Sept 17-20 2015

It has been a wonderful week! I celebrated my birthday and Broadside Press is celebrating its 50th year! Poetry by special guests and open mic tonight, September 19, 2015 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. at the University of Michigan Center in Detroit, on Woodward and MLK Blvd. It's official! My book Solitude of Five Black Moons has been re-printed by Wayne State University Press! Tomorrow, September 20th, we will have a Black Genius Panel at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History from 3:00 - 6:00

Friday, September 4, 2015

Detroit: Broadside Press' 50th Anniversary Sept 17-20 2015

Good Morning Broadside Lotus Press Family and Friends! Two important announcements: 1. Detroit's Broadside Press merged with Lotus Press. We are now Broadside Lotus Press. 2. Get ready for four exciting days of celebraton and poetry in Detroit! September 17-20, Broadside Press will celebrating our 50th Anniversary! September 17- "Invoking the Spirit, Honoring Broadside Lotus Ancestors" in the Ballroom of the University of Detroit-Mercy, 6 -8 p.m. September 18- "A Legacy of Excellence." Reoception in Strohm Hall, Detroit Main Public Library at 7:00 p.m. Program in the Friends Auditorium, Detroit Main Public Library 8:15-9:30 p.m. September 19- Children's writing workshop 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.; High School Writers workshop: My Own Slam 3:00-5:00 p.m.; "Detroit Poets Rock" 6:30-9:00 p.m at the University of Michigan Center on Woodward and Mack The September 20th event "Black Genius in the 21st Century: Innovators in the Arts Technology, and Community Development" will take place at the Charles Wright Museum African American History 3:00-6:00 p.m. Also, Broadside Lotus Press is on Facebook. Click the link to see the events flyer If you would like to contact us, we can be reached at Broadside Lotus Press P.O. Box 02011 Detroit, MI 48202

Sunday, July 5, 2015

In Detroit: ADA Legacy Project/Tour July 21, 2015

ADA Legacy Project/Tour -­ Americans With Disability Legacy Tour -­ Michigan Detroit, MI PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Susan Fitzmaurice,, 248-­767-­2217 Loren Glover,, 313-­831-­0202 Brooke Blackwell,, 313-­580-­2101 ____________________________________________________________________________ Americans with Disability Act (ADA) 25th Anniversary Celebration in Detroit -­ July 21, 2015 ADA Legacy Tour Bus comes to Detroit Eastern Market ____________________________________________________________________________ July 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the groundbreaking passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the United States civil rights legislation that protects and addresses the diverse rights of people with disabilities-­-­the world's first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. To commemorate this Anniversary, the national ADA Legacy Tour, (, a two year-­long, cross-­country traveling education exhibit and "Road to Freedom" Bus will be at Detroit Eastern Market, Shed 3 on July 21st from 9:30am to 3:00pm to raise awareness and educate the public about the ADA, disability rights and advocacy. The Detroit community is honored to be selected as one of the hosts for the ADA Legacy Tour as it heads to Washington D.C. for the July 26 National ADA Celebration and Parade. We are equally honored that The Honorable John D. Dingell, Member of Congress 1955-­ 2015, one of the sponsors of the original ADA legislation, will be the distinguished speaker at the event at Eastern Market. With the passage of the ADA in 1990, Congressman Dingell declared, “Enactment of this landmark legislation opens the doors of opportunity to millions of Americans with disabilities who will be able to realize their highest hopes, ambitions and dreams.” Other highlights include Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Circuit Court Judge Deborah Thomas, Ms. Wheelchair Michigan Kristen Milefchik, former MSU Basketball player Anthony Ianni, Human Rights Activist Elizabeth Bauer, Paralympian Winner & Wheelchair dancer Cheryl Angelelli, Tom Olin's iconic photographs of the disability rights movement, the Matrix Theatre Company's Justin Dart Hero Puppet, Kuungana African Drums, wheelchair dancing, performances by Wild Swan Theatre, with a deaf and hearing cast, music, photo booth, many interactive activities, face painting, and recording and telling of your own story. Come celebrate and commemorate the civil rights legislation, the ADA in the "D”. The Legacy Tour Bus and events are a momentous opportunity for ALL people, young and old, disabled and non-­disabled to celebrate the sweeping disability activism, to enjoy accessible activities, education and entertainment-­-­-­all of which are FREE, fun, enriching, and fuel us to continue our work to create a world where everyone is intentionally welcomed and included. Media interviews with speakers and persons who have been impacted by the ADA can be arranged. "Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down." George H. W. Bush, July 26, 1990 at the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act -- -- Rich Feldman 248-225-8037 @rfeldman60

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Aurora Harris Detroit and Poetry Update 2014-2015

January 20, 2015 I haven't had a chance to blog until now. Hopefully, I will have more time... 2014 was a real interesting year in Detroit, Michigan. The United Nations came to address the water shut off crisis and determined that shutting off the water to thousands of families was a human rights violation. There were several protests across the City of Detroit concerning water shut off, pensions, foreclosures, utility shut off, lack of public transportation, emergency management, and other life affecting decisions that primarily affect African Americans and the poor. We The People of Detroit set up emergency water stations around the city for those who need water. In October 2014, I won the Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association. I received the award at their conference in San Diego. It was an honor to open the plenary with my poem "This Poem Has Checkpoints" and meet with many wonderful colleagues. The award winners in the photo below are: 1. Almudena Bernabeau: International Attorney and Transitional Justice Program Director- Recipient of the Social Courage Award. 2. Aurora Harris: Author-Advocate-Educator. Lecturer at the University of Michigan Dearborn. Recipient of the Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award in Peace Studies. 3. Nico Amador: Writer-Organizer-Educator. Recipient of the Peace Educator Award 2 4. Loreta Navarro-Castro: Program Director of the Center for Peace Education at Miriam College, Manila Philippines. Recipient of Peace Educator Award 1 Poetry News: 2014: Broadside Press had the honor of working with the Motown Museum to host its first Motown Poetry Slam. The winner was One Single Rose, who wrote a great poem from the lyrics of Motown hits. We look forward to working with the Motown Museum again this year! 2015 news: Broadside Press is now in its 50th year. There will be upcoming events to celebrate the legacy of Broadside Press. We are still hosting the Broadside Press Poets' Theater every third Sunday of the month at the University of Detroit Mercy campus in the Grounds Coffee Haus, lower level of the Student Union from 3:00 p.m. -6:00 p.m. Poets, writers, and playwrights who would like to attend or read on the series should contact me through the Broadside Press Facebook page. Condolences to the Vest family: This past Saturday, we received news that our Board member Emeritus, Don Vest passed away. See Broadside Press' Facebook Page. Yesterday January 19, 2015, Detroit had a successful 11th annual march down Woodward Avenue for Jobs, Peace, and Justice and cultural event of local poets and folk musicians. As part of MLK week at the University of Michigan Dearborn, tomorrow evening, there will be a poetry reading: "Unsilenced" by Broadside Press Poets and students in the University Center Kochoff Hall rooms B and C from 6-8 p.m. January 21, 2015 Aurora Harris