A Celebration of African American Poetry

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This past Thursday, our Novello Festival of Reading event was “Grown Dkleep Like the Rivers, a celebration of African American Poetry.”  What a great celebration of local talent this night turned out to be! The senior drummers from the McCrory YMCA started the evening for us — a terrific group of 21 senior citizens, ages 55-84.

Other participating artists and poets included: T.J. Reddy, Connie Williams, May Orr, Emery L. Rann III, Willie Stratford, Jr., a group of teens from A.D.A.P.T. (African Diaspora Arts Program and Theater), Quentin Talley, and SlamCharlotte poets including Bluz, BlkSwan and Mike Simms. We were also pleased to introduce Leslie Corbin, winning poet in a recent WQNC sponsored poetry contest.

T.J. Reddy at Novello

Tom Hanchett, historian at the Levine Museum of the New South and Theresea Elder, a community activist worked with the Public Library to bring the vision for this program to life as part of Novello.

Tom Hanchett summed up the evening with this great comment: An awesome event….(made) visible the vibrant traditions right here in our own community, honoring elders who have gone on, connecting past masters with the rising generation, and helping us all realize that the joy of words is not just something found on the Best Seller lists, but something we all can create.

McCrory YMCA Drummers
McCrory YMCA Drummers

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