Best of Neighborhood News 10/31: Minnesota Black Author’s Expo connects Black writers and showcases new voices

De’Vonna Pittman, author and CEO at The Haven Publishing, and Jasmine Tane’t Boudah, author of Mothering Through Pain and Suffering in Silence, teamed up last year to offer a space for black literature artists to showcase their work, make connections and express their creativity to a wide audience. This year the MBAE is back in a larger space to give Black authors a place to share their art and talk to the community. This project comes in response to the lack of accessibility in the publishing world to new authors, especially women authors of color. “When we support Black authors, we support Black families, and that is a revolutionary act in the face of oppression and racism,” said Pittman. “The expo is an excellent networking event for the community, and people are looking forward to connecting with one another.”

Find the whole story at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 9/12: ‘Disapproved Books:’ New Weisman exhibit highlights censorship in prison system

A new exhibit at the Weisman art museum, “The Section of Disapproved Books,” allows guests to look at and flip through over 400 books banned by prisons across the country. The library contains several popular covers, highlighting the subjective nature of prison book banning and encouraging visitors to think critically about the use of censorship in the prison system. “The goal would be to affect these regulations,” said creator Daniel McCarthy Clifford. “[Banning these books] is a pretty arbitrary process, and I think bringing awareness to it could affect some policy change.”

Find out more at MN Daily. Franklin/Hiawatha Native homeless encampment faces City-mandated removal by end of September

In the Franklin/Hiawatha corridor, many homeless Native individuals have formed a small community encampment, sleeping in tents and helping each other to survive the harshness of homeless living conditions, as well as receiving regular assistance from volunteers. Continue Reading

Ritual and revelation: Black Ensemble Players reimagine Shakespeare

 

“It was kind of a whimsical artistic impulse,” recalled Antonio Duke, as he reminisced on this past spring when Ashawnti Sakina Ford drove him home each night after their rehearsals for a production of “Imaginary Invalid,” a play by 17th-century French actor and playwright, Molière. Duke mentioned that he would love to play Puck, a mischievous spirit in English playwright William Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” written in 1595/96. Sakina Ford, excitedly responded, “Antonio, I just really want to see an all Black Shakespeare show. I don’t care what it is; I just want an all-Black production of it.”

“That’s funny,” Duke responded, “Because ‘Midsummer’ is a Black-ass play.”

The pair started reaching out to their communities, pitching their idea and were met with overwhelming support. “We didn’t have the funds to produce it yet, but people were so willing to [jump in],” said Sakina Ford. Continue Reading