Celebrating Black History Month, the Miami Shores People of Color (PoC) organization will host a variety of free family-friendly literary and music events at the Brockway Memorial Library and other area venues throughout February.
▪ 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11: Enjoy an evening of live jazz at the library, 10021 NE Second Ave., with a performance by Shenita Hunt, whose background in gospel music fuses with rhythm and blues and other soulful genres. Hunt has performed at Miami Gardens’ Jazz in the Gardens events, NAACP ceremonies, the Miami Music Festival, Sunny Isles Beach Festival, and other venues in the U.S. and abroad.
▪ 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20: National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat will read from her illustrated children’s book Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation and Untwine, a novel for young adults about sisterhood, and familial love and loss. It was recently announced that Untwine, her 16th and latest novel to date, is a finalist for this year’s NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth.
Danticat, a MacArthur fellow, is something of a household name in South Florida. The Haitian-American novelist who lives in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood will answer questions from the audience and sign books after her readings on Saturday. Books & Books will be onsite selling her works.
▪ 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26: Miami Shores PoC presents an “Evening of Poetry,” featuring spoken-word artists followed by open mic performances at Precision Barber Club in Miami Shores, 9703 NE Second Ave.
Roni Bennett, a PoC co-founder, says the whole premise around the organization is to get more people, especially people of color, involved in community events that center around African diaspora. She and two others started the organization last year, about the time of Miami Shores’ council elections. Another goal of the organization is to encourage people of color who live in Miami Shores to run for public office. “We want more diversity. We think diversity leads to better decision making,” Bennett said. Ivonne Ledesma, a Miami Shores Village councilmember, is also one of the co-founders.
There will also be a Haitian art and music event on Feb 24, at Barry University. More details will be available later this week and will be posted on MSPoC’s Facebook page.
All events are open to the public and are free to attend.
“We wanted to do something that reflects the diverse population here in Miami Shores so that’s why we’re having these events,” says Bennett, “to bring folks out and to focus on Black History Month while celebrating diversity. We think we have a talented line-up with some heavy-hitter people of color that reflect African diaspora. Black history is for everyone.”
On Monday, at the library, author, professor and social commentator Dr. Tameka Bradley Hobbs led a discussion at the library of the New York Times bestseller, Between the World and Me, by MacArthur Award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates. The book is written as a sequence of letters by Coates to his teenage son, describing his tough upbringing in Baltimore, freedom and acceptance among like-minded students and teachers at Howard University, and current observations on race, slavery, police brutality and incarceration. The book is available for check-out at the library on a first-come, first-served basis.