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“Drum Song” and “An Audience with Rosa Parks” Premieres at the San Bernardino Public Library

Rosa looks backSAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino Public Library will host a program for Black History Month on Wednesday, February 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bing Wong Auditorium at the Feldheym Central Library located at 555 W. 6th Street. Teacher, Spoken Word artist, and West African dancer Makeda Kumasi, will present “Drum Song” an adaption of an African American fable which includes drum and dance. She will also present “An Audience with Rosa Parks” immediately following “Drum Song”.

Playing Rosa Parks, Kumasi takes the audience on an historical journey that includes the significance of African American Symbols of the Underground Railroad, the Civil Rights Movement, and the day she was arrested for not giving up her seat to a Caucasian bus rider.

Makeda Kumasi is the founder of The Umoja Ensemble of the Inland Empire and Co-founder of WE 3 PRODUCTIONS. Currently she teaches West African Dance at the University of California, Riverside. She has a Masters of Education from the University of Phoenix and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California. Kumasi received numerous awards, recognitions and scholarships including the Phyllis E Williams’ Artist Grant 2006, Top Spoken Word Artist Black Business Expo Urban Idol 2004, Ida Mae Holland Playwrights Award 2001, and California Art Scholar for Dance in 1993. Kumasi is a featured Spoken Word Artist and West African Dancer who has performed across the nation including, The World Stage in Leimert Park Village, LA; the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood, CA; and the Ogdensburg Theater in NY. As a poet she has also been featured on MTV’s Starting Over and BET’s Fly Poet.

The program is scheduled in the morning to accommodate elementary schools, but is also open to the general public. This free program is sponsored by the Friends of the San Bernardino Public Library.

For more information call 909.381.8238 or visit www.sbpl.org or www.facebook.com/SBPLfriends.

Photo Recap: Publishers of Westside Story Newspaper Crowned King and Queen

The Allens

The Allens

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Congrats to our publisher, Wallace Allen IV, and co-publisher, Josephine Allen, on being crowned King & Queen of San Bernardino Black Culture Foundation on Friday, February 3. They are pictured with San Bernardino Unified School District Board Member, Margaret Hill.

Young Men Learn to Lead at Leadership Conference

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On Saturday January 21, 2017 over 140 young men converged on Wilmer Amina Carter High School campus for their first inaugural “Young Men’s Leadership Conference.” The theme was adopted as “Manhood is not a Game, Manhood is about my A – Game.”  The African American Advisory Council (AAPAC) enlisted collaboration from community-based organizations including: State Senator Connie Leyva; Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes; PAL Center; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.; Young Visionaries; and the Youth Action Project.  AAPAC mission is “To empower young men to realize their potential and leadership abilities, through positive interaction with other young men and male leadership within the community.”

The PAL Charter Academy High School accepted the invitation from Carter High School along with Kolb, Rialto, and Kucera Middle Schools in bringing students to this event. The students were very engaged with great speakers and presenters on various topics such as You Inc.- Finance my Future, Code Switching, Being the Real Boss- Entrepreneurship, and Social Activism which  left strong impressions on the young men. 

When asked what he gained from the experience student Edward Orrego replied “I already started teaching my little brother some of the things I learned about being a man. I tell him you have to look the part and do your best.” 

Student Jeremiah Cook said he learned that he is an “Anomaly – the exception” and to never give up.  One of the highlights of the day was the male involvement group the FELLAS – who “MAN MOB” on campuses across the I.E. providing encouragement, love, and support for all students. There is an old saying “iron sharpens iron and a man is sharpened by the countenance of his brother.” The Young Men’s Leadership Conference exemplifies real men stepping up to make a difference in the lives of our young men.  PAL Center Community Coordinator, Edward Brantley said “This is the first of many events to come.”