I had the honor and pleasure of closing out Black history month at Exposition Park Regional Library for Celebrating the Black Aesthetic Through the Written Word curated by F. Douglas Brown. There were two panels of writers representing a cross section of perspectives. Some of the artists included S. Pearl, Peter J. Harris, Terry Robinson, Bridgette Bianca, and Mike Sonksen.
The room was filled with a vibrant energy expressed across the spectrum of age, ethnicity, orientation, and education. It was also a good feeling to be in the company of people who appreciate and celebrate the power of words which was evidenced in the audience of community residents and a few children.
The event was especially significant for me because of the conversations I had with Amiri Baraka while I was a graduate student at Brooklyn College. I would call him while I was working on my research paper about the Black Aesthetic Movement. He impressed to me the responsibility African American authors have in upholding the rich legacy of struggle and victory in the United States. This gathering was a cherished opportunity for me to fellowship with writers who appreciate that heritage.