Sunday, November 22, 2009

My friend the devil

Thanks to all of you who participated in the reading last night. It was a spiritual happening that makes me want to start a church. As Raja noted, we had all the elements: spoken word, music, dance and visual art. Of course this is known as theatre.

What makes me think of church is the healing aspect of what we did, even the welcome from Charlie Walker, a very subdued Charlie Walker since losing his grandson to police violence a few days ago.

And of course Suzzette Celeste followed his message with words of healing and inspiration. And then she read the Preface from My friend the devil.

Geoffrey Grier followed with Amiri Baraka's Introduction and later Geoffrey read the words of Huey Newton. Eugene Allen was outstanding reading the words of Eldridge Cleaver. Ayodele read chapter one, but she was a little under the weather with a tooth ache. We hope you are better today, Ayo.

Everybody was a little long winded, especially yours truly when I decided to just tell the story of Eldridge. Of course the highlight for me was reading the poem Soul Gone Home, accompanied by Rashidah on guitar and the angelic dancers, Raynetta Rayzetta and Linda Johnson who praise danced as Rashidah sang an original song Who Will Remember Me? Raynetta's movement with wings actually took us to heaven and Linda
co-signed with her gracious movement. So we had gods, devils and angels. This is why I say maybe we need a church--we seem to have all the elements.

Let me not forget the evening began with the trumpet of Earl Davis, an original member of Black Arts West Theatre on Fillmore Street, 1966.
It ended with Ptah Allah El's poem Can You Spare Some Change? I joined him with my poem Can You Change. Elena said we should take the show on the road. We'll see. We thank all of you who participated and we thank Eastside Arts for hosting the event.

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