February 5, 1999

Poetry Jam Sessions Highlight Black History Month with Programs & Celebration at Malcolm X Branch Library

The Malcolm X Branch Library launches its annual Black History Month celebration with its featured event: Open Mic, Spoken Word: Poetry Jam Session every Wednesday night in February. All forms of spoken word are welcome: poetry, storytelling, rap, prose, drama, songs, Deaf poetry, etc.

The annual celebration, features art and culture events including film screenings and book talks; social issues, health and awareness panels; youth and children programs; African American genealogy and memory; and immigration of East Africans to San Diego. All programs are free and open to the public.

Late films, Marlon Riggs' film, Color Adjustment: Blacks in Prime Time (Saturday, February 6, 3:00 p.m.) is a Peabody award winning look at racial stereotyping and deep seated racial conflict in the non-threatening world of prime time TV, featuring Esther Rolle and Diahann Carroll. Los Angeles based award-winning mystery writer, Gary Phillips, explores the popularity of Black crime and detective fiction in The Cool, the Hip & the Square (Saturday, February 13, 3:00 p.m.).

Dr. Owanda Doris Johnson of YoSan University in Los Angeles addresses Alternative Medicine & African Americans, the increasing involvement and appeal of alternative health practices among African Americans (Saturday, February 20, 3:00 p.m.). Los Angeles community activist Bilal Ali and Dr. Cheryl Harris of UCLA Law School discusses the formation of The Black Radical Congress, Chicago 1998 - Washington D.C. 2000: Setting a Black Freedom Agenda for the 21st Century (Sunday, February 28, 2:00 p.m.). More than 3,000 Black scholars artists and activists including Cornell West and Angela fathered in Chicago in June 1998 to explore contemporary African American reality, discuss problems, and explore strategies and visions for the future.

Retired professor, author, and former San Diego City School Board of Education member, Dr. Dorothy Smith, leads a discussion on Africa American genealogy, The Search for Self: Approaches to African American Genealogical Research. (Saturday, February 27, 3:00 p.m.).

Somali culture reigns on Monday night, February 22, 6:00 p.m. Members of the Somali Society of San Diego, Omar Abdulmalik and Amina Hassan, discuss the growing Somali Presence in San Diego. Immigration of Somalis from the East African Muslim nation of Somalia to Southern California is one of the most remarkable demographic phenomenon occurring San Diego.

Third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade finalists from local school participate in the library's inaugural launching of its African American Heritage Oratorical Contest (Friday, February 26, 3:30 p.m.). Storyteller, Alyce Smith Cooper, regales children of all ages with mind-stretching yarn of tricksters and tall tale tellers with African Folktales (Monday, February 22, 6:00 p.m.).

The Malcolm X Library and Performing Arts Center/Valencia Park Branch Library is located at 5148 Market Street.

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