Cracked Walnut Presents Literary Lights
A Moment of Silence offers unabashed accounts by Black artists in Minnesota facing The George Floyd Uprising and COVID-19. The Anthology shines a light on a rich Minnesota literary community of leaders, activists, politicians, mothers, scholars, youth, and elders who speak truth and resilience at a time when it is needed most. 55 artists To donate to this and other organizations that support black lives and black artists go to: https://blackmnvoices.com/donate
Abdifatah Farah aka “Abdi Phenomenal” is an award-winning Somali poet, playwright, and creative director whose work explores the misplaced, displaced, and replaced stories of the African Diaspora. Abdi's mixture of poetry, prose, and dramatic monologues deal with strength and vulnerability, movement, and migration. He attended NYU, St. Cloud State University, and St. Thomas University, studying clinical psychology with an emphasis on art therapy. He was featured at the White House in 2015 and also by the Bush Foundation, the Minneapolis Arts Institute, the Weisman Arts Museum, and Global Stories in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he led the Danish Somali Storytelling Project, currently touring Scandinavia. He's been published by The Advocates for Human Rights and the Minnesota Historical Society. Previously, Abdi served on the board of Made Here and was appointed to serve on the Minneapolis Arts Commission to advocate for arts-related issues. Abdi lives and works in Minneapolis.
Joe Davis is a nationally-touring artist, educator, and speaker based in Minneapolis. His work employs poetry, music, theater, and dance to shape culture. He is the founder and director of the multimedia production company, The New Renaissance; front man for the emerging soul funk band The Poetic Diaspora; and a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. He has keynoted, facilitated conversation, and served as a teaching artist at dozens of high schools and universities including those in New York and Boston. Most recently he serves as the Artist-in-Residence at Luther Seminary where he earned a Masters in Theology of the Arts.
ShaVunda Brown is an internationally award winning spoken word artist, an actress, organizer, and spirit-guided writer. She writes primarily to empower and to shed light on raw truths, with a sharp social consciousness. Using her knowledge of African diasporic spirituality, history, mythos, and the southern folklore of her upbringing, she weaves stories and new visions of liberation. She has been seen in Art is Black Light, a MN Original Series featured on PBS-TPT and has originated roles in world premiere stage plays produced by The History Theater, The Children’s Theater, and The Arena Stage Theater in DC. ShaVunda is the recipient of a 2019 Performance Arts Award from Washington County; a 2017-18 inaugural cohort member of the Bush Foundation’s Change Network; a 2016-17 Many Voices Mentee at the Playwrights’ Center; a 2015 Verve Grant recipient for Spoken Word; among other awards for slam poetry, writing, and hip-hop work, including Poetry Slam Winner of The Farrago Fresher Slam at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Lastly, but, certainly not least, she is the beaming mother of two brilliant children. Wisdom Young is a writer, educator, activist and mother of three children ranging in ages from
5-22. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology, LCD, and a minor in African-American Studies from the University of MN. Recently, Young received a Forecast Media Research and Development grant and was selected as an Our Space is Spoken For collaborative artist for TCMA. In the past she has been selected to participate in Flow: Northside arts crawl, the Givens Black Writers Retreat, and Blacker the Berry at Intermedia Arts. Wisdom is inspired by God, the ancestors, her people and the power of words. Popular themes in her work are: Black feminine resilience, love, memory, and commentary on justice or political issues. She loves poet, Langston Hughes, who said so much with so few words.