400 years the story of Black people in poems written from love 1619 – 2019


400 years
the story of Black people in poems written from love 1619 – 2019
Michael Simanga and Lita Hooper
Editors
Broadside Lotus Press
with support from
Third World Press Foundation
and
University of Detroit Mercy Press
FALL 2019

400 years
1619 – 2019
The story of Black people in poems written from love

In 1619, a ship landed in an English settler colony in Virginia carrying the first Africans who had been kidnapped and taken to what would eventually become the United States of America. While enslaved Africans were already being trafficked to European settlements in the Caribbean, Central and South America, the landing of the slave ship known as “Jesus” began a 400-year experience of Africans and their descendants in the U.S.

400 years
A poetic narrative of Black life in the United States
This anthology is a compilation of new poetry from established, mid-career and emerging Black poets, giving voice to the millions of Black lives from the past, and those who are presently shaping the future. The poets are asked to write about any aspect of the 400-year journey and the dignity of Black people in our resistance to oppression and the affirmation of our humanity. The poems may be sweeping descriptions of Black life and calls to arms, like Margaret Walker’s “For My People ,” or reflections on a historical figure as in the important Broadside Press collection For Malcolm. Choose any moment in the 400-year history from Africa to now, or any person, community, church, temple, mosque, rural or urban context. Poems may be about sheroic and heroic personalities like Harriet or Rob and Mable Williams or the sister you see on the bus on her way to work. Tell the story of working-class Black people who risked their livelihood and lives, went to jail, and were murdered in the Civil Rights Movement, or evoke the transformative assertion of Black Power, Black Womanism, and the soaring sound of Black Lives Matter. Show us the work and gifts of the Black intellectual, the teacher, inventor, scientist, political theorist, anthropologist — all in the struggle for liberation.
Poet about the music, language, artists like Elizabeth Catlett, Coltrane, Savion Glover, Ella, Billie, Aretha, Kendrick Lamar, Ava DuVernay, the LA Rebellion, spirituals, gospel, blues, jazz, soul, hip hop. Recapture the experiences of HBCU’s, sororities, fraternities, women’s clubs, house parties, bar-b-ques, birth of babies, Black celebrations, home goings, watchnight. Write about our internal conflicts and external confrontations. You might choose to write about a parent or parent figure in your community, sports, the feeling of a moment that moved you/us.
All of our emotions are rich as content — our fear, love, rage, laughter. Write our pain and healing, Black wit and humor, the spontaneity and skill of cultural creation. Write about the slave narratives and the painters of the Harlem Renaissance, the poets of the Black Arts Movement, the linguistic innovators of the hip hop nation. Tell the story of the courage to cast a ballot under threat of murder. Write about gender and identity. We need poems that are quiet and loud. Contribute a poem about “while being Black.” Tell readers about jumping the broom, Kwanzaa, Baptism in the River, the Nation of Islam, Garvey in Regalia, Gwendolyn Brooks engaging the Black Arts poets. Testify about spirit, flesh, intellect, muscle, hands, tongue, shoulder, feet, body, sweat, fire, fatigue, wounds, restoration, building, courage. Tell our story as a people committed to this undying truth: One day we will be free.
Let us tell this 400-year story of a people who refused to be defeated and who continue to rise. Together let’s write this story in poems written from love.

We choose to have this important collection of poets and their poetry published by the historic Black independent Broadside Lotus Press with support from Third World Press Foundation.
Each poet in the collection will receive one complimentary copy. We plan to have readings throughout the country and hope you will be able to participate in one or more.

Broadside Lotus Press http://www.broadsidelotuspress.org/

Third World Press Foundation https://thirdworldpressfoundation.org/

Submissions due: May 1, 2019
Send submissions to: 400yearsBLP@gmail.com

400 years

1619 The Good Ship

Cross and ocean
In the belly of Jesus
Restricted motion
In the belly of Jesus

No place to run
In the belly of Jesus
No African sun
In the belly of Jesus

We hear our breath
In the belly of Jesus
We smell our sweat
In the belly of Jesus

Taste our tears
In the belly of Jesus
Wrestle with fear
In the belly of Jesus

Search for light
In the belly of Jesus
We have to fight
In the belly of Jesus
Hide your name
In the belly of Jesus
Cloak our pain
In the belly of Jesus

Wear our stripes
In the belly of Jesus
Hold onto life
In the belly of Jesus
Blood on the floor
In the belly of Jesus
Spit on the shore
From the belly of Jesus

Michael Simanga

New Book Just Out: 2019 NLM Poetry Award Winner Jacquese Armstrong

Jacquese Armstrong is a poet/writer residing in Central New Jersey. Her first poetry chapbook, dance of the shadows, was released June 2017. She has been published in For Harriet, A Gathering of the Tribes, The Rising Phoenix Review, Black Magnolias Literary Journal and Ourselves/Black. Ms. Armstrong was a 2015 recipient of the Ambassador Award from the State of New Jersey Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma for promoting wellness and recovery and reducing stigma through the arts.

Happenings

Broadside Lotus Press Poets Theatre

The Dudley Randall Print and Media Center, and, Broadside Lotus Press Presents
 
BROADSIDE LOTUS PRESS POETS THEATER

Broadside Lotus Press resumes its poetry writing workshops before our Sunday Poets Theater every third Sunday of the month.
We will be examining and discussing the work of our published poets, your poems, and, writing poetry.

 

TIME: 3:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M

1. WRITING WORKSHOP  From 3:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.: Writing Workshop. Bring your work in progress and completed poems to read and get feedback.

2. POETRY TRIBUTE TO RON ALLEN, FARUQ Z BEY, AND OTHERS  4:30 – 5:00. bring your favorite poems by these authors, share how they inspired you!

 

3. OPEN MIC 5:00 -5:30



WHERE: GROUNDS COFFEE HAUS, LOWER LEVEL OF STUDENT UNION, UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT- MERCY
Enter at the Livernois entrance.Turn left, the Student Union will be on your right.

Contact: Rosemary Weatherston- weatherr@udm.edu, Aurora Harris- Broadsidelotus@gmail.com

Free and open to the public.

* See our website, Facebook page, and Twitter also!  http://www.broadsidelotuspress.org/
https://www.facebook.com/BroadsideLotusPress/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/broadsidelotus?lang=en

Best Regards,
Aurora Harris
Poet, Activist, Educator
2015 “Unsung Heroes” Award- Michigan and Detroit National Lawyers Guild

2014 Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award- Peace and Justice Studies Assoc.

2012 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Excellence in Literature Award for
Solitude of Five Black Moons (poetry)

Bigger Than Life: Humble Detroit artist LeRoy Foster’s work projected a regal quality.

BrooksGwendolynAlonessHis first name, LeRoy, translates as “the king” in French (le roi), and that’s how he pronounced it, with the accent on the second syllable.

That might strike some as an affectation. But by all accounts Detroit artist LeRoy Foster was as humble as they come. Foster may have lived more like a pauper than a prince or king, but his art often projected a regal quality.

“You would look at his art and it was monumental, with Michelangelo-type figures, the artist he most admired. But he was a small guy with a quiet voice and very gentle,” says artist and teacher Jerry Lemenu, who met Foster in the mid-’80s when they were teaching at Detroit elementary schools through the Omniarts program.

“In his paintings, he made people look noble and strong and fiery, the way he must have felt when he was painting them,” Lemenu adds. Read more

Naomi Long Madgett awarded 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist

Detroit Poet Laureate Naomi Long Madgett.

The 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist Award goes to Naomi Long Madgett.

She’s an award winning poet, editor, and educator. She’s often called the godmother of African-American poetry.

Dr. Madgett says the award came as a complete surprise because she didn’t even know she was being considered for the award.

“So it means a great deal to me that I can be alive to realize that my life’s work has had some positive effect on other people’s lives,” she tell Michigan Radio’s Jennifer White.

According to Dr. Madgett, a lot people stay away from poetry because they don’t understand it. She says, “the wonderful thing about poetry is that it is open to many interpretations….poetry is a universal expression.” Read more >

5 Poems by Etheridge Knight

“What I am saying is that through extension we are humanists in the beginning, but how are you going to love or speak to somebody else if you can’t speak to your own brothers and sisters?” – Etheridge Knight