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Harlem Overheard Kwanza Speaker Series

Thank You Rheedlen, Harlem Overheard, and Countee Cullen Community Center for your enriching speaker series.

A Program of Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families


Nikki Giovanni - Short Bio and More and Story

Next Speaker - Geoffrey Canada

Geoffrey Canada, Executive Director of Rheedlen Centers

Each Speaker was precluded by a performance of the Kumba Kids, songs, and dance.


October 10th - Umoja/Unity - Eric Copage, author Kwanzaa: An African-American Celebration of Culture and Cooking; Black Pearls

October 16th - Kujicagulia/Self-Determination - Alfred Powell, author of Message 'N A Bottle: The 40oz. Scandal

October 24th - Ujimma/Collective Work & Responsibility - Sharon Robinson, Author of Stealing Home: An Intimate Family Portrait by the Daughter of Jackie Robinson

October 30th - Ujamaa/Cooperation Economics - John Henrik Clark, Historian, Author - Malcolm X: The Man and His Times

November 7th - Nia/Purpose - Niki Gionvanni, poet / author - Ego Tripping, Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day

November 14th - Kumba/ Creativity - Robert Wallace, author - Black Wealth through Black Entrepreneurship

November 21st - Imani/Faith - Geoffrey Canada, author - Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America

To RSVP or Info call Agnes Nichols 234-4500


Sharon Robinson - Daughter of Jackie Robinson

John Henrik Clark, Historian, Author - Malcolm X: The Man and His Times






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Nikki Giovanni - On Tupac, Dole, and Outhouses

Nikki Giovanni roused a responsive audience with her poems and stories at The Countee Cullen Community Center November 6th.

She related that she missed the outhouses of her youth growling up in Tennessee. It was there that one would be left alone, where she could read in silence. She said she felt more privileged than the white folk in big houses, since their homes always seemed to be cold, with the occupants wearing coats. Her house was always kept warm, with her family wearing short sleeves and the like.

She admonished Presidential Candidate for drawing undue attention to his injured arm, wondering aloud that had it been an African American male that was injured, would the same considerations and resources have gone into saving the arm?

She stirred the listeners with several poems, including one about the recently slain Tupac. Only a few lines are included as we do not have permission to reprint her poem. Hopefully it will/ or has been published in its entirety soon

ALL EYEZ ON ME - Tupac Shakur, 1971-1996


Tupac Shakur


As I tossed and turned not able to achieve sleep, not able to control anxiety, unable to comprehend why Tupac is not with us,

. . .

He deserved his life

. . .

But he will not go away

As Malcolm did not go away

As Emmit Till did not go away

You will surely not take him from us.

His spirit will fill our hearts

His courage will strengthen us for the challenge

His truth will straighten our backbone

. . .

They took away bands,

the boys started scratching

They took away gyms

they started break dancing

They started rapping and they gave them guns and drugs

But not schools and libraries

. . .

And we mourn Tupac

We reach out to his mother

And as We hug ourselves in . .

We are compelled to ask . . .

Tupac is gone. Are you?