White Snake at the Guthrie – A sociological review

This is a beautiful play which transports the audience to China by means of a rain of ribbons and clouds of cloth. White Snake is about a female snake who despite obtaining great wisdom and mystic powers remains unfulfilled. Love of course being the answer. White Snake transforms into a human woman. She marries and keeps her true form from her husband, thereby living in constant fear of discovery.This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. Continue Reading

Ubuntu “straight talk” for Africans and African Americans aims to tackle Twin Cities racism

The energy and sense of community were palpable during an open, “straight talk” session at South High School for African and African American community members last week. Titled “Ubuntu! Storytelling Across the Boundaries of Nation, Culture and Ethnicity,” the panel discussion and community dialog covered much ground.Some of the topics discussed include: racism, migration histories, complex identities, in-group racial tensions, and the struggles of the black diaspora in the Twin Cities and beyond. The purpose of the discussion was to create a space for people of African descent to find creative ways to work together across ethnic, cultural, and national difference. The audience enjoyed food catered from local African restaurants while the panelists tackled complex subjects through storytelling. The diverse panelists represented different generations: Flamingo restaurant owner and women’s advocate Shegitu Kebede, Malanna Fields, artist and policy advocate Andrea Jenkins, local journalist and editor Lolla Mohammed Nur and community elder Dr. Mahmoud El-Kati. The panel and audience were made up of diverse members of the African, African American, and other communities.The Straight Talk session was organized by Zenzele Isoke, University of Minnesota professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS), and the Black Feminist Praxis Project Team. Continue Reading

OUR STORIES | Barbara Pierre-Louis: “Ubuntu” and storytelling preserve untold histories

Barbara Pierre-Louis attended the “Ubuntu! Storytelling Across the Boundaries of Nation, Culture and Ethnicity,” a community conversation about migration, nation, identity, and race at South High School. The event was organized by Zenzele Isoke, a professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, and the Black Feminist Praxis Project Team.Dr. Pierre-Louis, a professor at Metropolitan State University, reflected on the importance of storytelling to her as a Haitian American in Minnesota. Storytelling is a way of preserving the stories and wisdom of her ancestors and black revolutionaries, such as Toussaint L’ouverture, the leader of the Haitian Revolution, she said. She also talked about the importance of libation, a ritual pouring of water as an offering to a spirit, as a way of celebrating those who have passed. Reporting for this article supported in part by Bush Foundation. Continue Reading