Synthia Saint James

Kwanzaa Celebration Speaker: Synthia Saint James
Sunday, November 4, 2007, 6-8pm

Baker Center Ballroom
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

The featured Kwanzaa Karamu speaker is Synthia Saint James, international award-winning artist and designer of the first United States Postal Stamp for the Kwanzaa holiday.

A self-taught artist and author, Saint James has written or illustrated children’s picture books, poetry, and prose books. Her work appears on more than 60 book covers including those by Alice Walker, Terry McMillan, Iyanla Vanzant, and Julia Boyd.

Kwanzaa, an African American holiday based on the first fruit celebrations of Africa, was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture: Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. The holiday is officially celebrated December 26 to January 1. Due to the OU calendar, it is celebrated early while students are still on campus. Kwanzaa is a collaborative cultural presentation of the Office of Multicultural Programs (MCP), the Multicultural Center (MCC) and the Black Student Cultural Programming Board (BSCPB). — 


Sweet Honey in the Rock in Concert

Sweet Honey in the Rock in Concert
Thursday, October 11, 2007, 7 pm

College Activities Center (map)
West Virginia University–Parkersburg
Campus Drive, Parkersburg, WV
Adults $10/Students $5

WVUP Performing Arts Series presents Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Founded in 1973, Sweet Honey in the Rock is a Grammy Award-winning African American female a cappella ensemble with deep musical roots in the sacred music of the black church — spirituals, hymns, gospel — as well as jazz and blues. The Sweet Honey experience is like no other. Six African American women join their powerful voices, along with hand percussion instruments, to create a blend of lyrics, movement and narrative that variously relate history, point the finger at injustice, encourage activism, and sing the praises of love. The music speaks out against oppression and exploitation of every kind. The septet, whose words are simultaneously interpreted in uniquely expressive American Sign Language, demands a just and humane world for all. —

Tickets: 304-424-8223 or tammy.harper -at-

Spoken Word Slam

Spoken Word Slam
Baker University Center’s Multicultural Performance Series
Saturday, October 6, 2007, 9 p.m.

The Front Room Campus Coffeehouse
Baker University Center
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

The Spoken Word Slam will showcase different aspects of poetry with poets TRACI CURRIE, Omari Barksdale, and KALIMAH JOHNSON, along with DJ inCreDiBle (Corey Darnell).

‘Spoken Word Slam Poetry is a mix of reciting, singing and performing poetry with a lot of audience interaction,’ said Currie, an OU alumna. While she was a student, Currie regularly performed on campus for special events such as Precollege and Kwanzaa observations. ‘There is a community of people at OU who have directly contributed to me being a stronger poet. I am glad that I have this opportunity to give something back to them,’ she said. Each poet will perform separately in sets of 25 minutes. The DJ will be intermittent throughout the entire show. — OUtlook

DR. TRACIE E. CURRIE, an OU alumna and Hip Hop scholar, teaches in the University of Michigan-Flint communication department.

KALIMAH “LOCMAMA” JOHNSON holds a master’s degree in social work, and is a published performance poet. She is dedicated to nurturing pride in black people, and removing the myths and challenges related to hair locking. Her creative blend of poetry and performance is used to entertain, inform and celebrate the topic of natural black hair.

Omari “King Wise” Barksdale is a Detroit-based poet and founder of Uhuru Cipher Artists Management. King Wise is also the cofounder of a lecture group that is responsible for the activist series “Hip-Poe-Tics,” which focuses on influencing activism through Hip-Hop, Poetry and Politics in universities and communities around the nation.