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Black Cultural Artivist Gather /Chicago

In photo left to right, Askia Toure, Eugene Redmond, Maulana Karenga, Haki Mahubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Kalamu ya Salaam, and Haile Gerima.

The Third World Press Foundation (TWPF) celebrated its 50th anniversary and it’s commitment to publish culturally progressive and politically insightful works of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and works for children.

The Gala and Black Arts Conference, Sept 30-Oct 7, 2017, featured a week of keynotes, workshops, concerts, film screenings, spoken word events and reflective dialogue for an intergenerational audience.

A dominant theme throughout the week was economic sustainability and empowerment of local & national Black Arts and Black Institutions. The Third World Press Foundation is the founder of the Institute of Positive Education, and the New Concept Development Center, and a co-founder of the Betty Shabazz Int’l Charter School, Barbara A Sizemore Middle School, and DuSable Leadership Academy. Black vendors, such as the historic Parkway Ballroom, The Chicago South Loop Hotel, and the Betty Shabazz Academy, provided venues and accommodations.

The schedule of events included panels on “An Intergenerational Conversation “,

With Ta-Nehisi and Paul Coates, “ Keeping Peace: Conversation, Life, Legacy, Commitment & Struggle” with Cornel West, A Gwendolyn Brooks Day featuring 2 films, and the Chicago premiere of “ Footprints of Pan Africanism” with filmmaker Shirikiana Aina.

“ The Black Arts Movement: Legends, Legacy & Linage” acknowledged the contributions of luminaries and cultural icons, Askia Toure’, Sonia Sanchez, Woody King Jr., Eugene Redmond, Kalamu ya Salaam & Haki Madhubuti, in dialogue with

emerging artists Michael Simanga, Jahari Jones, Yahdna Ylsreal, Lasana Kazembe Kendra KLove & Ugochi Nwaoqwugwu. The powerful, poignant, dialogue covered an array of topics and stressed the importance of examining and understanding past historical events and social injustices that directly relates to current events today.

Dr. Maulana Karenga, activist /scholar and vanguard of the Black Arts Movement Black Studies, and Black Power Movement presented: “ Struggle and Building Institutions for Eternity, Karaida, Kwanzaa, Third World Press & Us”

He articulated his powerful commitment to a philosophy and set of principles and programs to sustain and deepen the dialogue with African Culture: recovering/recreating the best of African Culture and continue to expand the political education process and re-enforce community.

Honorary Chair of TWPF / Danny Glover, offered remarks at the closing Gala at the historical Parkway Ballroom. He acknowledged Askia Toure’, 1967, and Sonya Sanchez, 1966, Woody King and Haki Madhubuti as influences, and stated: “unequivocally I am who I am by the collective village that surrounded me”.

“ It is an honor and a privilege to be here to celebrate 50 years of TWPF. We must lay the groundwork and foundation for the next generation and encourage, prepare and elevate their voices for building our institutions. We must inspire, train, and discuss with the next generation. We will be ancestors but We will be right there

with you!”

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