March 5, 2004

Poetry Jam Celebrates African American History

MIRA MESA – An exciting evening of professional poetry and Open Mic is planned for all who enjoy the Spoken Word and Hip Hop on Friday, March 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in lecture hall I-10I at Miramar College.

The College will culminate Black History Month celebration activities with a special “Evening with the Experts” presentation, focused on African American heritage. “Miramar Poetry Jam” will feature popular poets Bennie Herron, Jahsun Edmonds, Teresa F., Michelle Coons, D. Jones, Able Minded Poets and event hostess Toosdhi from the R Spot – famed North Park barbershop, bookstore and poetry house.

Poet Bennie Herron is a self-proclaimed writer caught between two worlds: the world of freedom and the world of slavery. A Southeast San Diego native, Bennie’s first major outlet for expression was dance, but it was Hip Hop music that fueled the fire of his emotional word play.

Michelle Coons

Jahsun Edmonds holds a master in fine arts degree in creative writing from SDSU and a bachelor’s in philosophy with an emphasis in law and minor in Africana Studies. Founder of The NOMMO Collective of San Diego, a performance group specializing in poetry and music, he is also founder of the WRITERZBLOCK, a writing/performance/poetry workshop venue.

Theresa F., mother of four, began her writing career at Baker Elementary School with a play she wrote and directed for the annual talent show. Since that time, her writing career has evolved into “WordSound is Power” – poetry, song lyrics and speeches, which are intended to create a mental and spiritual paradigm shift to create positive change.

Michelle Coons, writer, director, television and film actress, hails from San Diego and received her bachelor in arts degree in film and television from UCLA in 1997. That same year, she received the “Reversing the Negative” Award from Clark Atlanta University in the short film category for her first poetry video “Imani.” In 2000, Michelle began teaching film and television at Los Angeles High School and is currently a fourth grade teacher at South Park Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles.

Derrick A. Jones (D. Jones) was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio where he spent most of his youth writing poems and short stories, as well as being actively involved in community theatre. During Derrick’s undergraduate years at Bowling Green State University, he dedicated his energies to the speech and debate team, the poetry scene and public speaking. Derrick received his master’s degree in 2000 and co-founded Pangaea People, a network of poets dedicated to expressing thoughts on social issues and change. Pangaea People poets present their work to the public through independent publications and performances.

Los Able Minded Poets are a San Diego based spoken word, live instrumentation and beats collective. According to founder Nazareth Simmons, “Irrational times deserve heartfelt measures.” So armed with conscious spirits and Able Minds, this six person ensemble performs throughout Southern California at various venues and college campuses from San Diego to San Francisco. AMP is currently working on its first full-length CD. Poets include: Nazareth Simmons, Irene Castruita, Kenton Hundley, Rudy Dominguez, Marcio, Preston, Myson King.

“R Spot Barber and Books” hostess Toosdhi will guide the evening’s events. Toosdhi’s action-filled vibe keeps audiences returning every first and third Friday to “Spot Sessions.” Her style is a mix of whimsical humor, lyrical genius, down home warmth, and natural beauty.

Guests are invited to stay tuned for the Open Mic session, showcasing poets of all ages. Individuals interested in performing original works (3 minutes max) must complete an entry form in advance. No illicit themes or profanity allowed. Tickets will be available at the door for $3 for this Black History Month Scholarship Fundraiser. All ages are welcome. Parking is free.

Miramar College is located at 10440 Black Mountain Road, one block west of I-15 between Mira Mesa Blvd. and Carroll Canyon Road. For more information, or to acquire an Open Mic entry form, please call Terrie Hubbard at (619) 388-7418.

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