I am asking all of our Black ministers to ask their choirs to learn and sing this song. White folks in Spokane are lacking your soul when they sing this song. Please come to our next social justice event prepared to teach white folks how to sing and swing this song.
If you looked through the archives you will notice an absence of the African American Community at the marches, at the rallies, at the demonstrations, at the social justice community organizing meetings but at the Spokane Black Agenda Summit July 30, 2011 over 100 African Americans built a plan to action. What do you think happened after that? Click the above link to see what they planned.
My folks – those that are showing up for social justice.
Subjective-romantic best defines Stephen Pitters’ style in this collection. He uses long poetic forms to convey the powerful, uninhibited, and at times, heartfelt actions and reactions that play out in the lines of his poems. He is a self-taught language artist in the vein of other artists who embrace and articulate the emotion and the spirit of loves and lives. He explores the physicality of relationships as Walt Whitman does in his poem, “I Sing the Body Electric.” At times, Pitters’ poems speak to the raw yoga of love, and at other points, he transcends the tangible, the touchable to weave through the less sure pathways of the heart.
The narrative he uses in these passages are not half made-up composites, but rather, they sketch real-life events in the weighted style of the romantics with a heavy dose of melancholy and with a small measure of sarcasm baked into his work. His expressions stem from his experiences as a man in the middle of his passion and not a detached observer. The central inspiration for these offerings surrounds a genuine need to share unique, postage-stamp accounts of relationships of hearts and of heartbreaks lived by one man, one African-American man in the middle of the tumultuous Sixties and Seventies when he endured the racism and the discrimination of the era.
Stephen Pitters is a poet, educator and author residing in Spokane, Washington. He has had three volumes of his work published by Gribble Press: Bridges of Visions, 2009, Walks Through the Mind, 2011, and Currencies of Life…Enlisted Behaviors, 2013.He started a new series of poetry with the 2017 title “Conversations on Altered Roadways” and 2018 title “Prerecorded”. Besides publishing, Stephen has hosted The Spokane Open Poetry Program on KYRS, Thin Air Community Radio, since 2004. He is also a long-time member of the Fairchild community.
Visual and Performing Arts, Literary Arts, Media Arts
I would like to thank all of those that are helping us to develop a database of African Americans involved in the Spokane and Inland Empire in the visual, performing, literary and media arts.
Steve Pitters and I have been discussing how to bring about a change in mind-set infusing overall community opportunity for African Americans in the Arts in Spokane. The individuals listed here are being asked to consider the following ways they can enhance the cultural scene for each of us by doing the following:
Develop a community who will commit to attend each others functions and events. This will help to ensure our visibility at these events.
Use this list to notify us of our activities.
Use this list to make others in the community aware of our activities.
People in other cultures and communities in the United States and elsewhere insure the development and growth of talented individuals and businesses.
We need to change the “me for myself” attitude. Spokane is small enough for us to be able to sustain and support the talents of those who wish to share it with others.
Send us your thoughts and calendars of events and let’s collaborate with each other in support of like-minded interests and events.
Below are the names and contact information we have located so far. Please continue to send us names and contact information on other artists you might know. We would like to know the medium they operate in, email address, street address, phone number, web address, and whether they are on Facebook
Safety Pin Box benefits all people involved, but is specifically geared at supporting Black women & femmes who are contributing to the movement for Black lives.
Every month, Safety Pin Box will give one-time financial gifts to individual Black women who have demonstrated a commitment to serving Black people. Financial gift recipients will be featured in that month’s box at their discretion, and will be invited to contribute to that month’s task writing. Any and all Black women contributing to Black liberation in any way are encouraged to apply and recipients will be chosen at random each month from Black women applicants in our pool. The more subscribers we have, the more Black women we can support. Subscription fees, as a form of reparations, go directly to supporting Black women freedom fighters every month.
Steve joined us for Thursday’s Coffee discussion. This week we discussed developing grassroots community building on the precinct level. He said we may want to put in a proposal at Spokane’s KYRS radio for airtime. He left us a copy of the June schedule so that we might see the programs the station is presently airing.
We are looking it over for future programing.
We could discuss the need for GRASSROOTS community organizers INSIDE OR OUTSIDE of the two party system. We at the first Thursday coffee discussion group have discussed how to build the community we would like to live in and now it’s time to take the next step.
Have a house party meeting. Open your house. Invite your neighbors to have a discussion about participating in a democratic process built from the grassroots of your community.
Meet regularly and report back to a First Thursday coffee discussion group. If you are not currently participating in a First Thursday group, form one with other citizen activists with whom you would like to meet and discuss political, social justice and cultural concerns.
Define a job description for what a community organizer might do.
If you’ve been marching, protesting, rallying and complaining about your government you need to go to My Vote. After logging in with your name and birth date, click on Voter Registration Details to find your precinct number.
When was the last time you heard from your Precinct Committee Officer?
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: STeve is looking for VISUAL, PERFORMING AND LITERARY artists to interview on his program “Spokane Open Poetry”. He DOesn’t JUDGE, JUST allows you TO SHARE WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT!
The Spokane Open Poetry Program is for of all ages. He is waiting to hear from you. Spokaneopenpoetry@kyrs.org
Here is a heads up for you to hear Mojdeh, an African American performance artist from Chicago.
Mojdeh will be performing at the 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam Thursday and Friday in competition bouts and will MC the African American Open Mic on Saturday. Mojdeh is the Director of the 2018 National Poetry Slam in Chicago; the Education Director of Poets With Class at the Poetry Center of Chicago; and a board member of Surviving The Mic.
Thursday Oct 12 6:30 pm
The Bartlett 228 W Sprague
Friday Oct 13 6:30 pm
Boots Bakery 35 W Main Spokane
Individual World Poetry Slam African American Open Mic
Saturday Oct 14 10am – 12pm
Auntie’s Bookstore 402 W Main Spokane
Spokane poetry community hosts Individual World Poetry Slam for second time
“Between Spokane Poetry Slam, BootSlam, Three Minute Mic and Broken Mic, Spokane has made a name for itself in recent years as home to a thriving performance poetry community. After a successful event in 2013, Spokane is once again hosting the Individual World Poetry Slam, which will be in downtown Spokane from Wednesday through Oct. 14. . . . .
At the 2017 competition, 96 poets will perform during two nights of preliminary bouts at four venues – The Bartlett, Boots Bakery and Lounge, Rocket Bakery in the Holley Mason Building and the downtown branch of Spokane Public Library. ………
Host city coordinator Isaac Grambo, who also acts as commissioner of Spokane Poetry Slam, has spent the past two years preparing for this year’s event, which was created by Poetry Slam Inc.” Spokesman Review Oct 06, 2017
Dominique Christina is a poet, activist, educator, mother and African American. She spoke to two audiences in Spokane. On the Saranac rooftop she spoke to a predominantly young feminist crowd. The next evening she spoke at Gonzaga University to young creative writing students and local writers. When organizations bring talented and gifted speakers to town who bring messages of interest to a Black audience there appears to be a disconnect. Either we don’t get the message or we don’t give a damn about the message. Both engagements were free to the public. Gonzaga University has a whole program this fall around hate. Communities for Justice Fall Events