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Performance: Standing Our Ground!

A Celebration of Bay Area Black Poet Laureates
Sunday, 4/24/2022
2:30 - 4:00
Koret Auditorium
Main Library

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

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Being named a Poet Laureate is among the highest honors a poet can achieve. The San Francisco Bay Area is fortunate to be the home of numerous Black poet laureates. In this celebratory reading, AfroSolo, in collaboration with the African American Center, proudly features San Francisco’s 8th and current Poet Laureate, Tongo Eisen-Martin, San Francisco’s 3rd Poet Laureate, devorah major and Oakland’s first Poet Laureate, Dr. Ayodele "WordSlanger" Nzinga. We highlight these artists in our ongoing endeavor to champion artists who give voice to the human spirit that reigns within us all.  

Musical interlude and some poetic accompaniment with The Destiny Muhammad Project.


Tongo Eisen-Martin is the author of poetry collections Someone’s Dead AlreadyHeaven Is All Goodbyes, Waiting Behind Tornados for Food, Blood on the Fog and the curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again. He co-founded the Black radical publishing group Black Freighter Press. He is San Francisco’s 8th poet laureate. 


Born and raised in California, devorah major served as San Francisco's Third Poet Laureate (2002-2006). In 2019 her sixth book of poetry with open arms was released in a bilingual edition in Italy. A Willow Press Editors Choice, her seventh book of poetry califia's daughter, was published by Willow Press in July 2020. In June 2015, major premiered her poetry play Classic Black: Voices of 19th Century African-Americans in San Francisco at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. She is on two CDs as a part of Daughters of Yam. devorah major performs her work nationally and internationally with and without musicians. She participated in international poetry festivals in Italy, Belgium, Bosnia, Jamaica and Venezuela and performed her poetry in France, the Bahamas, and Germany.  


Dr. Ayodele "WordSlanger" Nzinga is Oakland's first and current Poet Laureate. She is an arts and culture theoretician/practitioner working at the intersections of cultural production, community development and community wellbeing to foster transformation in marginalized communities. She is the founding producing Director of Oakland's Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc. She is also the founding Director of the Black Arts Movement Business District Community Development Corporation, Oakland, (BAMBD CDC); and founding producer of BAMBDFEST, an annual international month-long art and cultural festival that is celebrated and hosted by the Black Arts Movement and Business District in Oakland CA. Nzinga holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing and Consciousness and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Transformative Education & Change.  



Tongo Eisen-Martin - Website | Tongo Eisen-Martin - Instagram | Tongo Eisen-Martin - Twitter | Tongo Eisen-Martin - Facebook 

devorah major - Website | devorah major - Twitter | devorah major - Facebook  

Dr. Ayodele Nzinga - Website Dr. Ayodele Nzinga - Instagram | Dr. Ayodele Nzinga - Twitter | Dr. Ayodele Nzinga - Facebook  

Connect to engaging discussions and performances related to the Black community.

More Than a Month recognizes important events in Black history, honors community and national leaders and fosters steps towards collective change. Programming features authors, poets and craft classes. 

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

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