Sunday, September 25, 2016

Diary of a renaissance negresse 25 Sept 2016

Today is the second and final day of the 10th Black Women's Arts Festival, at The Rotunda.

After my "Diary" post from yesterday, more happened. I finally got to see Naeemah Maddox perform. I'd heard of her in the 90s, when she was featured in a local music magazine. Then I started seeing her around town, on buses and trains, and she stood out because there aren't many black women walking around with electric guitars on their backs. I really enjoyed her band (bass and drums). They rocked out big-time.

A 22 year old African American youngster named Troy spoke at the All People's Open Mic - he was brought by Dr. Sunlight Little, and he continued what she was teaching about - healing through foods and nutrition. There are always delights in the All-People's Open Mic, which happens whenever there's a little time between acts. I like providing a stage for people who don't qualify to be a featured artist, or who do but weren't booked in time. It's also a good opportunity for a presenting visual artist or vendor to plug their work.

Today was a perfect example of what can happen at the All-People's Open Mic.

Exhibiting painter Lis Dembling spoke about her grandmother who was a notable author and poet, and read from that book. Rhonda Sekhmet Ra who had arrived earlier as a walk-in vendor performed her riveting spoken word and plugged her performance DVD, recorded in Miami, FL.

There's a woman named Bolt who signed up and said she performs with plants and will be making music with an aloe. So she hasn't gone on yet but I am for sure excited about that!

Three boys, around middle school age, asked if they could perform for us. I started asking them questions about what they did onstage, and then it occurred to me to say, "Where's your grown-up?" They said, "In the movies." So I told them they'd need to have a grown up with them. They didn't come back, but I felt good about that. I'll not be responsible for minors, which essentially I would be.

Some highlights tonight so far are that Ghettosongbird sang and played guitar. I hadn't heard her brand of rock in years. She talked about how she's been spending her creative time as a mother - playing guitar for her 2 children, and still singing, and doing a lot of writing. Phoenix Mystique is also a mother of 2 and said she's very busy doing peer counseling, and studying to become a doula, as well as knitting and more. Her keyboardist Sam plus her R & B soulful and expert singing  brought me back to the Five Spot days when we the audience would be treated to performances by the likes of Jaguar Wright, Kindred The Family Soul, and many others. That's what I felt and remembered when Phoenix Mystique sang.

Then Kai spoke on the healer becoming the healed. Very important and motivating talk that I think many of us identified with - how we often focus on helping others but we really need to do that with and for ourselves. He also said that often we look outside of ourselves for some of the healing we're so busy giving to others. We want someone to heal and be there for us as we have been for others, but it never comes. Kai said that it's in us. We are the healers. And we can and must be the ones to heal ourselves.

Then the amazing Koof-recommended Lauren Scott totally amazed  us with her soft voice, soft guitar playing, sweetly clever lyrics, and alternate tunings.

Now we're being treated to the earthy wisdom of cellist/vocalist/composer/lyrisist Monica McIntyre. What a soulful voice Monica has! What rich, empowering messages we need to hear, "I am the change I've been waiting for." Yer darned tootin'!

Later we'll hear from Vessna and Koof. She plays ukilele and he plays the trumpet. I am very excited!

It was so nice to see people one by one sitting at Dr. Sunlight's table, receiving hand reflexology and readings of healing and spiritual messages. The essential oils she was using for aromatherapy smelled amazing!

I have a tension headache and I'm not sure why. I'm drinking water and although I'm happy I set up all my CDs for sale, I'm not looking forward to packing them away.

I just consoled myself with the thought that I don't have to take everything with me tonight. In fact, I won't be able to, because the store is where they'd go, and it will be too late to bring them there tonight.

My soul is sooo filled up right now.

Atiya's here again today, and so is her hubby. Several familiar faces, lots of reconnections, lots of hugs.

Part of the sweetness of my day includes warm attention from two of my men friends. Polyamory works so well for me and my energy level. This womon who creates so much cannot do with just one.

Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier

"renaissance negresse"

$15,000 Leeway Transformation Award-Winning musician, writer, and community cultural arts organizer.

Founder & Executive Director of the Black Women's Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002).

Official website:

No comments:

Post a Comment