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Sankofa Books

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About Sankofa Books

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  1. 3 p.m., Sunday, November 19 Von Martin is no joke when it comes to serious research on Caribbean culture. He searches through neighborhood voices, which at times, have simply slipped through our fingers. He turns to these in order to remind us of the authenticity of decisive experiences in the growth of our earlier lives, yesterday's imagination and dream sequences. He often affords his audiences opportunities to engage outstanding artists with complex issues. His recent book, Voices of Pan Pioneers of Trinidad & Tobago: The Beginning of a Global Legacy, opens these highways of cultural enrichment through the voices of these creative geniuses. He offers must read accomplishments, which not only blow our minds, but will connect us with the artistic presence of the Caribbean landscape. Join us for this unique and transcendent reading and signing with Von Martin. An introduction will be given by Acklyn Lynch and entertainment will be provided by Pan Lara Steelpan. Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe 2714 Georgia Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 202-234-4755 Sankofa.com
  2. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jada F. Smith 832-656-2654 Sankofa Video & Books hosts author Ta-Nehisi Coates for the DC premiere of his book, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy Monday, October 9, 2017 Washington, DC: Sankofa Video and Books, a beloved anchor institution in the Georgia Avenue corridor and educational resource in the Washington, DC area will host the DC Launch of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ third book, WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy, celebrating the highly anticipated and timely work of this talented son of the DMV. The D.C. book launch will be held at the historic Metropolitan AME Church on Monday, October 9, 2017 and will feature an intimate conversation with journalist Kojo Nnamdi and Ta-Nehisi Coates discussing WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy. Doors open at 6pm and the program will begin at 7pm. Metropolitan is located at 1518 M Street, NW. Kojo Nnamdi is currently host of The Kojo Nnamdi Show and The Politics Hour on WAMU. He hosted WHUT-TV's Evening Exchange program from 1985 to 2011. The Washington Post has described Nnamdi as, “Maybe the best interviewer in town.” Sankofa Video and Books was founded in 1997 by filmmakers Haile and Shirikiana Gerima, the producers of the internationally acclaimed film by the same name. For over two decades Sankofa has served as the premiere Black bookstore in the Nation’s Capital specializing in videos and books about people of African descent. The bookstore is an important meeting place, hosting author talks, film screenings, poetry readings, community discussions and more. Guests who have held readings and other events at Sankofa include Sonja Sanchez, Haki Madhubuti, Eloise Greenfield, Tananarive due, Sista Souljah, Solange Knowles and others. The store is also home to the largest collection of African-American children’s literature in the city. Of his decision to partner with Sankofa, Coates states: "I grew up surrounded by Black books, reared by a father who spent much of his adult life either running a bookstore or a publishing company. I was made, as a writer and as a human, by Black books. Those bookstores that specialize in this literature are sacred. It is, thus, wholly appropriate that I begin my tour with Sankofa." In his book WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy, Ta-Nehisi Coates examines the cause and effect between the unprecedented election of Barack Obama as the first Black president, to the vicious backlash that fueled the election of Donald Trump, who Coates calls America’s “first white president.” WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy builds on Ta-Nehisi’s previously published work, including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” and The Beautiful Struggle, and showcases the same riveting storytelling and laser-sharp honesty that distinguished Coates’ best-seller, Between the World and Me. WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER contains eight essays which revisit each year of the Obama administration, tracking the impact of white supremacy on our community and the nation through the personal narrative of the national correspondent for The Atlantic and National Book Award-winning author. As Coates states, “The Confederacy is not dead, and African Americans are well aware that this history is still with us.” Ta-Nehisi Coates was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Cheryl Waters, an educator, and William Paul Coates, former Black Panther and founder of Black Classic Press, a publishing house that specializes in African-American titles. Ta-Nehisi Coates attended local schools in Baltimore, and Howard University. His first job in journalism was as a reporter for The Washington City Paper. Coates is currently a national correspondent for The Atlantic. His book, Between the World and Me, was awarded the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Coates is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, and is currently writer of the Black Panther series for Marvel Comics. Sankofa Video, Books and Cafe was established as a place where thoughtful consideration of the past, present and future can take place via books, videos and programming that encourage reflection. Sankofa bookstore showcases classics in Diasporan history and culture, as well as recent releases like Coates’ new book. Co-founder Shirikiana Aina states that Coates’ book launch is a perfect fit with the organization’s mission, to foster an intellectual environment, to gather, read, contemplate, discuss, challenge and be challenged. She says, “The content of Ta-Neshisi’s new book provides us all an opportunity to digest important critical analysis and discuss next steps.” Ta-Nehisi will not sign books at the October 9, 2017 event. Copies of WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy can be acquired at the bookstore or online at sankofa.com. The D.C. book launch of WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy is a free event but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis for general admission and premium ticket holders. VIP ticket purchasers will have reserved seats. Tickets for admission to the event and reserved seating can be accessed at: events.sankofa.com and https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sankofa-bookstore-presents-ta-nehisi-coates-washington-dc-book-launch-tickets-36785358999
  3. This Saturday, June 17, at 2 p.m., Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe will be hosting noted Caribbean author Opal Palmer Adisa for a reading of her latest collection, "Love's Promise." Angela Y. Davis, legendary activist and educator, called Ms. Adisa's collection "stories for our time, evoking feminism that has as much to do with the quotidian life as with radical social transformation." Indeed, "Love’s Promise" is sweet respite from the often publicly-displayed hate that has become a staple of public discourse. This work displays stories of innocent childhood love, of couples meeting up again after years of being apart and finding each other still with the passion of earlier days; older women finding time to enjoy body and companionship and sex, parents ensuring that a daughter was prepared to rekindle past connections; a wife whose love for herself takes her to another zone of self protection. Love’s Promise refreshes our faith in humanity, a way of being naturally in the world, flaws and all; full of gains and losses. Adisa, Jamaican born and reared, has won numerous awards for her poetry, prose and non-fiction. She has lectured, facilitated workshops and read her work throughout North America, West and South Africa, Europe, South America and Latin America, an addition to being a resident artist in internationally acclaimed residencies. Currently, she is a distinguished professor of creative writing and literature in the MFA program at California College of the Arts. She has been a visiting professor at several universities including Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley and University of the Virgin Islands. Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe - 2714 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
  4. Hugh B. Price, former president of the National Urban League, will be at Sankofa Video & Books on Monday, May 15 at 6 p.m. to read and sign copies of his book, "The African-American Life." In this acclaimed memoir, Price traces his historical lineage throughout the United States. Ancestors such as Nero Hawley, who fought in the American Revolution and served at Valley Forge under General George Washington; George and Rebecca Latimer, who escaped slavery in Virginia by stowing away on a boat and traveling to the North as master and slave; and Lewis Latimer, a famous inventor who worked with Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison and played a pivotal role in perfecting the light bulb.Price discusses his varied and successful careers such as editorial writer for The New York Times; head of the production division at the nation’s largest public television station, which produced such acclaimed PBS series as Great Performances, Nature, and American Masters, and vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation, where he was instrumental in launching innovative youth initiatives. Along with discussions about his varied careers and inspiring ancestors, Price shares stories about his childhood and growing up in the segregated neighborhood near Howard University in Washington D.C.; his passion for baseball and his dream of becoming a major leaguer; his experience as one of the first students to integrate the previously segregated Washington, DC, schools in 1954; and his stirring memories of witnessing the birth of the new South Africa at a thrilling rally in Cape Town on February 2, 1990, the same day President F. W. deKlerk proclaimed the end of apartheid and announced the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.
  5. On Saturday, March 4 at at 2 p.m., we'll have a reading and signing with five of the authors from Sycorax's Daughters -- a collection of short stories and poems by black women that delve into the world of imagined demons and shape-shifters, ghosts and mermaids. These women do a thrilling job of exploring real-life fear and alternate realities, from a slavery past to a science-fiction future.This collection challenges the notion in this country that blackness, and therefore black people, are the ultimate horror. By engaging black women as both the authors of these stories as well as the majority of main protagonists, we finally hear the so-called "demons" speak. The authors that will be attending are Joy Copeland, Teri Clarke, Lawana Holland Moore, Dana McKnight and K. Ceres Wright.We hope to see you there! Sankofa.com IG: @sankofabkscafe Twitter: @SankofaVideoBks Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sankofa.bks
  6. For immediate release Contact: Jada F. Smith - 832-656-2654 Renowned photographer Chester Higgins discusses the role of imagery in bridging the gap between Africa and its Diaspora with filmmaker Haile Gerima Chester Higgins photographed Maya Angelou in what is now an iconic moment of grace and joy. He captured a profile of Haile Selassie at an Organization for African Unity meeting in 1978. In Haiti, he portrayed young men weaving extravagant hand baskets, and in Brazil, a Candomble priestess dressed fully in white. Each of his striking photos -- primarily of Africans around the world -- serve a higher purpose of giving visual definition to an experience had by the soul. On Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 6:30 p.m., Mr. Higgins will discuss the role of imagery in bridging the gap between Africa and its Diaspora with renowned filmmaker and owner of Sankofa, Haile Gerima. Chester Higgins is an artist, photographer, public speaker and retired staff photographer for The New York Times. He studied photography under P.H. Polk at Tuskegee University and was mentored in art under Romare Bearden. Mr. Higgins’s five decades of work has culminated in renowned exhibitions worldwide and numerous books. __________ Named after the internationally acclaimed film called SANKOFA (produced by the founders), Sankofa Video, Books & Café carries with it an expectation of quality and discovery. Founded in 1998 by filmmaking couple, Haile and Shirikiana Gerima, Sankofa Video and Books specializes in videos and books about people of African descent around the world.
  7. For immediate release Contact: Jada F. Smith - 832-656-2654 William Jones, author of “The Ex-Con, The Voodoo Priest, Goddess and the African King: A Social, Cultural and Political Analysis of Four Black Comic Book Heroes” hosts a book reading and discussion at Sankofa In this book, William Jones, founder of the Afrofuturism Network, breaks down the origins of four black comic book characters -- Luke Cage, Papa Midnite, Storm and Black Panther -- and analyzes their representation throughout comic book history. He will read excerpts from his book and host a discussion about black comic book characters on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 at 4 p.m. at Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe. William Jones is a historian, educator and self-described "comic book geek." He frequently speaks on the subjects of the history of black people in America, the image of black people in various forms of media, pop culture and hip-hop music on various college campuses and at conferences both nationally and abroad. __________ Named after the internationally acclaimed film called SANKOFA (produced by the founders), Sankofa Video, Books & Café carries with it an expectation of quality and discovery. Founded in 1997 by filmmaking couple, Haile and Shirikiana Gerima, Sankofa Video and Books specializes in videos and books about people of African descent around the world.
  8. 2714 Georgia Ave NW - Washington, DC 20001 - 2020-234-4755 For immediate release. Contact: Jada F. Smith - 832-656-2654 Washington, DC, December 2, 2016 - This year, Magical Mirrors Children’s Book Fair is in for a special treat as kindergarten teacher-turned-author Sherrita Berry-Petus reads from her books, “Rock on With Your Afro Puffs” and “Smile Bright Chocolate Prince.” Both books seek to cultivate a positive self-image in black boys and girls. Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe continues to expand its children’s literacy efforts through the 5th annual Magical Mirrors Children’s Book Fair, taking place December 10-11, 2016. Sankofa, which is an Adinkra term for “going back to our past in order to go forward,” aspires to provide a space for questioning and curiosity to flourish, and the Magical Mirrors Book Fair is an important part of that mission. With the largest collection of African-American children’s literature in D.C., our books explore a broad array of subjects, from the whimsical to more difficult such as immigration, loss of a loved one and homelessness -- while still embracing the joys of counting cupcakes! Sankofa is dedicated to offering a space where the greatness of diverse voices can be celebrated, and where children of color can see themselves, their communities and their unique situations represented in literature. This will also be a great time to shop for holiday gifts for the children in your life! We hope to see you there! ###
  9. Sankofa Bookstore and Mahogany Books will host award-winning author Tracy Chiles McGhee for a reading and discussion of her book, "Melting the Blues," on December 17, 2016 at 4 p.m. The book, which Kirkus Review describes as "a brave, musical story rich with Southern history," examines the complexities of identity, yearnings for love and acceptance, and racial tension in 1950s Arkansas. McGhee -- a D.C. transplant who graduated from Catholic University Law School and Georgetown University -- is the winner of the 2016 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award in the category of First Fiction and recipient of the 2016 BIG Greater Orange County Chapter/Amber Communications Group, Inc. 4th Annual Literary Award. She is also the co-founder of the Literacy Empowerment Action Project and an ambassador for the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. We look forward to seeing you there! Sankofa is located at 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001. More information about the event can be found here.
  10. Sankofa Bookstore and Mahogany Books will host award-winning author Tracy Chiles McGhee for a reading and discussion of her book, "Melting the Blues," on December 17, 2016 at 4 p.m. The book, which Kirkus Review describes as "a brave, musical story rich with Southern history," examines the complexities of identity, yearnings for love and acceptance, and racial tension in 1950s Arkansas. McGhee -- a D.C. transplant who graduated from Catholic University Law School and Georgetown University -- is the winner of the 2016 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award in the category of First Fiction and recipient of the 2016 BIG Greater Orange County Chapter/Amber Communications Group, Inc. 4th Annual Literary Award. She is also the co-founder of the Literacy Empowerment Action Project and an ambassador for the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. We look forward to seeing you there! Sankofa is located at 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001. More information about the event can be found here.
  11. Come out to Sankofa Video, Books & Café this Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 at 2 p.m. for an afternoon with author and screenwriter Robert J. Williams. He will read excerpts from his book, “Strivers and Other Stories,” which recently won the Washington Writers' Publishing House Fiction Prize. This short story collection is set primarily in the black American south between the 1920s and the present day, harnessing the voices of teachers and doctors, train porters and factory workers, soldiers and musicians -- all striving towards their versions of the American dream. With a mix of humor and heart, satire and sentiment, this collection captures their everyday struggles for better lives and their hopes for promising futures. There will be a discussion with the author immediately following the reading. Robert J. Williams is the recipient of four Larry Neal Writers’ Awards given by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for three of his short stories and one screenplay. He has been a participant in the Hurston/Wright Writers Conference at Howard University, the Voices of Nation’s Arts Workshop at the University of San Francisco and most recently, was selected for the 2016 Callaloo Literary Journal of the African Diaspora Creative Writing Workshop held at Oxford University in England.
  12. Sankofa Video, Books & Café, the neighborhood institution that has nourished the minds, bodies and souls of the Georgia Avenue community in Washington, D.C. for nearly 20 years, is relaunching its weekly childhood literacy program, Happy Nappy Storytelling. The event will take place on September 25, 2016 at 3 p.m., with a reading by renowned historian and children’s book author Glennette Tilley Turner. She will engage the Happy Nappy children, ages 6-10, with her most recent title, "Billy the Barber's Mirror: Reflecting on an Untold Lincoln Story" and "Fort Mose: And The Story of the Man Who Built the First Black Free Settlement in Colonial America." The historic tales will be enhanced by interactive storytelling, key word and vocabulary exercises, corresponding art projects and a skit that will employ the full use of the kids' imagination. Come for an epic storytelling adventure amongst the largest collection of African-American children's literature in D.C., and stay for a tasty meal in our healthful cafe! The Happy Nappy Storytelling series will be held each following Sunday at 3 p.m. Follow us at Happy Nappy Storytelling on Facebook and @HappyNappySt on Twitter to stay up to date! __________ Named after the internationally acclaimed film called SANKOFA (produced by the founders), Sankofa Video, Books & Café carries with it an expectation of quality and discovery. Founded in 1997 by filmmaking couple, Haile and Shirikiana Gerima, Sankofa Video and Books specializes in videos and books about people of African descent around the world. Sankofa, which is an Adinkra term for "going back to our past in order to go forward," aspires to educate, enlighten and raise the consciousness of its surrounding community, and Happy Nappy Storytelling is a vital part of that mission. With each session, we engage children with age appropriate materials with the goal of igniting their imaginations, and teaching them knowledge of self through African-American history and literature. Contact: HappyNappyStorytelling@gmail.com / 202-234-4755 Facebook: Facebook.com/HappyNappyStorytelling Twitter: @HappyNappySt
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