5 Reasons Using Promo Code HSPRXZ is Smarter Than You Might Think

(INTERNATIONAL, Oct 8, 2018)– Most would agree it is a fairly big deal by itself to save a substantial 30 percentage off wall art, iPhone cases, battery chargers, notebooks, items for the home like towels and shower curtains, T-shirts, baby-clothing, and coffee mugs. However, in addition to the savings, promo code HSPRXZ also gives buyers easier access to the qualities and signature features which make the Postered Chromatic Poetics art catalog at Fine Art America and Pixels.com unique.

Promo Discount Code HSPRXZ 30 Percent off

Those exceptional qualities and signature features have increased the catalog’s popularity over the past year and continue to do the same for its value. The following are five factors driving the increases and reasons why  using promo code HSPRXZ is a lot smarter than you might think:

  1. Two or More for the Price of One: Chromatic Poetics artwork more often than not actually consists of two or more creations harmoniously blended to produce cutting edge artworks and designs. This practice is a modified contemporary version of one which classic artists sometimes utilized by painting one exceptional work on the top or back of another. Technology allows Chromatic Poetics to blend different canvases so they become one completed piece of art. In some cases, this process can be reversed and the canvases made available as separate titles.
  2. Customization: The customized digital matting and framing employed for catalog items often make them more adaptable for use with formats ranging from different-sized wall prints and hand towels to tote-bags and duvets. Buyers themselves are also able to further customize purchases by selecting preferred background colors or toggling a specific image for different products to further enhance particular details.
  3. Variety: Collections include landscape- and portrait-formatted works suitable for a variety of tastes and environments. Subject matter and styles range from nature, abstract expressions, travel, and historical documentation to intimate poetic inspiration, compelling series, and powerful visual commentaries.
  4. Commitment and Mindfulness: Meaningful themes which support dialogs on some of the most important issues of modern times inspired various individual canvases as well as some entire collections. For a example, a number of pieces in the Redbird Series have been tagged to help raise funds for people displaced by natural disasters and war. A percentage of profits from artwork in the Abstract Dreamers of Love and Humanity Collection go toward supporting organizations committed to increasing more harmonious interaction between members of diverse demographics.
  5. A Rare Kind of Artist: Catalog items are both created and curated by a historian of the Harlem Renaissance. That obviously means the works can reflect creative aesthetics gleaned from the period. But it also means collectors get a rare chance to acquire visual art by a noted award-winning historian, poet, editor, USAF veteran, and author. After years of working as a journalist and bookseller in order to meet personal and family obligations, the calls to art and literature asserted themselves too strongly to resist.

The above list actually demonstrates the advantages of acquiring Postered Chromatic Poetics artwork at any time, and why using promo code HSPRXZ is such a smart to make.

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Bright Skylark News Productions

 

 

 

 

 

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Renaming The Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge Art Gallery Launches

Artnotes by Aberjhani Renaming TalmadgeBridge C2018

If there are any kinds of silver linings to the numerous struggles for social justice taking place across the world right now, they are probably the different songs, films, poems, essays, and fine art inspired by them. Such at least is the case involving the decades-long struggle to rename the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge.

A former governor of the state of Georgia (USA), Mr. Talmadge has been given his proper place in history books. However, because he so unapologetically advocated for white supremacy, citizens of Savannah and elsewhere have noted his name is not one which should be memorialized by the very modern bridge spanning the Savannah River.

Some Georgia lawmakers have echoed that observation and introduced House Resolution 1054 to propose a change. However, the resolution thus far has failed to garner the support needed (this being an election year and all that) and little appears underway to build up any new momentum.

That’s where the role of one particular artist  and the launch of “The Renaming the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge” online art gallery comes into play. The gallery started out consisting of two images in 2017. It has now grown to these five, with the most recent listed first:

4)    Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge And The Serious Politics Of Necessary Change No. 1

5)    Savannah River Bridge The Morning After Hurricane Matthew No. 2

Given Savannah’s age and racial demographics, along with administrators’ plans to position the city for a progressive leap forward, those who are aware of the issue have generally agreed maintaining the current name makes little sense. Purchase of the above individual artworks, which are available in a variety of formats (T-shirts, posters, coffee cups, wall prints, etc.) have been helping to raise awareness and encourage more definitive action.

The works are combined with exclusive Postered Chromatic Poetics processing and an important social justice theme to create compelling visual statements in a variety of innovative styles. To read the engaging stories behind each,  just click on the gallery images and visit the art piece’s page.

Aberjhani
©Sept 2018

Talmadge Bridge Getty Images Michael Orso(photo of Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge by Michael Orso for Getty Images)

News Release: 2018 Art Catalog Performance Surpasses Expectations

 

Expanded 1art Catalog News Graphic

Following the 2017 launch of his art catalog at Pixels.com and Fine Art America, content for the database of artwork titles by contemporary artist Aberjhani for sale online has more than doubled in 2018.

That news is notable because the catalog initially was intended to provide validation of the artist’s work as a writer, confirming his authorship of popular quotations by featuring them as the text for his Postered Chromatic Poetics products. However, responses to popular original photography, digital paintings, collages, and mixed media have inspired the creation of themed collections and individual prints. Among the most recent are “Suzannanian Algorithm Finger-Painted on an Abstract Wall” posters number 1 and 2, and “Harlem Renaissance Deja Vu Number 1.” These three items are also presented as commemorations of the Harlem Renaissance Centennial.

The Catalog So Far

Lovers of art and purchase agents for various businesses interested in keeping up with posts of new images by the artist can do so by subscribing to his Art-Notes Blog. Below is a list of brief snippets from and links to works currently available:

  1. Introduction to Artist behind Postered Chromatic Poetics
  2. Art-notes On All The Flowers We Meant To Give Each Other

Saturday, August 11, 2018, 11:34 AM

Use Discount Code GMKJUD for 15% OFF all Official Postered Chromatic Poetics artwork. “All the Flowers We Meant to Give Each Other” is a collage of photography, watercolor, digital painting, custom-designed matting, customized framing, and signature…

  1. Art-notes On Redbird Dreaming About Why Love Is Always Important

Saturday, August 11, 2018, 11:33 AM

“Redbird Dreaming about Why Love is Always Important” is a mixed media vertical-formatted work consisting of nature photography, layered oil, digital painting, …

4. Tribute To Survivors And Firefighters Battling Wildfires In California

Saturday, August 11, 2018, 11:33 AM

“Redbird Sifting Beauty out of Ashes” is the second print in the Redbird Series and my homage to those battling California’s historic wildfires of 2018. (Please …

Suzannian Algorithm Artnote 1 by Aberjhani

  1. Art-notes On Suzannian Algorithm Finger-painted On An Abstract Wall Number 1

Thursday, August 02, 2018, 10:29 AM

“Suzannian Algorithm Finger-Painted on an Abstract Wall Number 1” (which you can view by clicking the link at the bottom of this post) was inspired by conversations with the artist to whom it is dedicated: Suzanne Jackson. We discovered we both had …

  1. Art-notes On Suzannian Algorithm Finger-painted On An Abstract Wall Number 2

Thursday, August 02, 2018, 10:29 AM

I am profoundly grateful to the 3 women who modeled for “Suzannian Algorithm Finger-Painted on an Abstract Wall Number 2” (which you can view by clicking the link at the bottom of this post). Each is highly-accomplished in her own right and did not …

  1. Art-notes On Harlem Renaissance Deja Vu Number 1

Friday, July 20, 2018, 9:03 AM

The Harlem Renaissance is celebrated around the world as one of the most important cultural and political periods in African-American and American history. Next year, 2019, celebrations will get underway to mark the 100th anniversary of the Renaissance…

HarlemRen DejaVu Artby Aberjhani at Pixelsdotcom

  1. Art-notes On Song Of Love And Compassion

Friday, July 20, 2018, 8:59 AM

When I look at this artwork in its current form, I am reminded of the late art critic Bertha Husband’s description of the style and technique known as “real” painting. In her review of the ELEMENTAL Exhibit then on display at the Jepson Center for the…

  1. Art-notes On Lovers Dancing In The Golden Light Of Dawn

Friday, July 20, 2018, 8:56 AM

Lovers Dancing in the Golden Light of Dawn is one of those pieces I had to force myself to stop working on after years of experimenting with different ideas for it. A number of artists have told me about similar struggles deciding when to quit or …

  1. Art-notes On Flowers And Wings For Her Years And Tears

Friday, July 20, 2018, 8:51 AM

This print was almost titled Roses and Wings for Caring and Giving because of the subject which inspired it. Elderly matriarchs in most large southern families in America have traditionally been taken care of by younger female relatives when the time…

  1. Art-notes On Cultural Literacy For Lovers And Dreamers Number 1

Friday, July 20, 2018, 8:47 AM

This abstract print along with it corresponding piece, Cultural Literacy for Lovers amp Dreamers Number 2, was created out of recognition of the millions of people currently #seeking relief from war, starvation, terrorism, gun violence, drug addiction…

  1. Art-notes On Dare To Love Yourself Rainbow Poster 3rd Edition

Friday, July 20, 2018, 8:40 AM

Providers of some friendly feedback regarding the first two posters in my Official Dare to Love Yourself Series suggested that, for their specific tastes, the images were “pretty but kind’a tame.” I heard them well enough and for this third edition …

REDBIRD COLLECTION COVER ArtBy Aberjhani C2018

  1. Elemental Month Continues With Beautiful Irony

Friday, May 11, 2018, 10:57 AM

The current celebration of the 10th anniversary of ELEMENTAL, The Power of Illuminated Love, continues this week with the posting of two new print images: Portrait of the Poet as an Angel Drunk on Love, and, Black When Haitians Were Heroes in America…

  1. Thanks For All The Support

Monday, July 17, 2017, 12:41 PM

I have received a lot of encouragement from the great community at Fine Art America since joining a couple of months ago and today was notified about my first sale. It is for of a pack of Official Chromatic Poetics greeting cards titled Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge the Morning After Hurricane Matthew…

  1. Appreciating Beauty Of Magnificent Fountains Of The World

Monday, May 15, 2017, 1:24 PM

Fountains are among the most admired ornamental manmade structures because they combine the artistic beauty of refined sculpture with the precision of engineering and architecture. Celebrated examples can be found all over the world, including Savannah…

  1. Dare To Love Life On National Selfie Day And Always

Monday, May 15, 2017, 1:18 PM

The Dare to Love Yourself “movement” had nothing to do with National Selfie Day when it began to slowly develop ten years ago. The well-known quote–“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.”– as many are now aware, …

  1. The Mysterious Wonder Of Birds And Winged Horses

Thursday, May 04, 2017, 9:55 AM

Who hasn’t at some point wished they could just fly off somewhere, like birds or other winged things, without dishing out cash for a ticket or becoming unwillingly intimate with pat-down procedures’ My homage to winged beings actually began a long time…

  1. Correcting Legacies Of Injustice

Thursday, May 04, 2017, 9:48 AM

One of the hardest questions posed by recent headlines in the U.S. has been: How do we come to terms in 2017 with legacies of an American past during which racism and other forms of social injustice were openly practiced’ It’s not a question that can…

  1. Expanded Perspectives On City Of Savannah, Georgia

Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 9:04 AM

I just added 3 images to a new FAA collection called Sojourns in Cosmopolitan Multicultural Savannah. Because the city is an odd mixture of diverse cultures framed within some intense southern history, the text provides a bit more background than…

  1. Art Plus Poetry Equals Amazing Magic Part Two

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 12:32 PM

EDITORIAL NOTE: This is a continuation of the previous blog discussing changes in the publishing industry in regard to books of art and poetry. Publication of the ekphrastic art and poetry collection ELEMENTAL, the Power of Illuminated Love, proved …

  1. Art Plus Poetry Equals Amazing Magic Part One

Monday, April 17, 2017, 11:27 AM

Art and poetry have long functioned as a kind of team in my creative life. It is interesting at this point, while setting up the profile here on Fine Art America, to recall the different artists who have inspired me. I never intended to make attempts …

Bright Skylark News notes Aug 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Summer 2018 kicks off with ‘Blossoms of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution’

Two new releases by Postered Chromatic Poetics creator Aberjhani made their debut on Pixels.com and at Fine Art America as part of May’s ELEMENTAL Month celebration, a third work of art posted June 14, and three more were released June 18. The new releases along with the artist’s entire online catalogue are now offered at 25% off with the use of Discount Code EXLTBU until July, 4, 2018, as part the Summer 2018 “Blossoms of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution” event.

The event takes its name, “Blossoms of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution,” from one of the new works slated for release June 18. The works released in May plus previews of those scheduled to go on sale next week show the author-poet-artist moving in some new directions with visual explorations of night-time urbanscapes, family life, and possibly most surprisingly a trio of abstract works.

Discount Code EXLTBU artsale2018 25 percent offThe page description for the digital painting titled  “Flowers and Wings for Her Tears and Years” states that it is a homage to caregivers. On his Facebook profile, the artist shared that the image was “modeled after a series of pictures taken by my friend, photographer and catalyst-counselor John Zeuli, an uncommonly beautiful soul who did me the honor of photographing me for a gallery of works featuring fellow poet Coleman Barks (celebrated foremost interpreter of works by Jalal al-Din) and others.”

His night-time urbanscape, titled “Moon on Fire over Downtown Savannah” represents a departure from previous depictions of the historic city while further verifying the uncanny mystique that draws millions of tourists to it every year. (The current National Beta Club Convention being held in Savannah is only one example.)

The mixed media digital painting “Of Time and the Savannah River Bridge” is an obvious type of departure in terms of the style employed. But it also shows the artist expanding his public commentary via art –as he did with the popular print “Savannah River Bridge the Morning After Hurricane Matthew No. 2”–on the controversial name of the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge. The text for his collection of bridge images reads as follows:

“There is no ignoring the many social justice calls for renaming the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge so its nomenclature better reflects our changing more inclusive modern times. A lot of dedicated mindful people are working hard to make that happen. But that doesn’t mean we have to wait to celebrate the aesthetic triumph and majestic beauty of the bridge itself.”

The artist further proposed some of the new canvases are, “like painted prayers offered on behalf of all those millions of people in the world today so desperately on the run from one country to another, or one history to another, trying to save their own lives and the lives of people they love. I’m also reminded of the too-many victims of gun violence in schools and homes. Our fellow human beings endure so much horror and yet through their faith and courage and sometimes triumphs, they gift us with amazing inspiring beauty.”

A number of the new images already unveiled have featured on the front pages of several groups at Fine Art America, including: Beauty in Art, Contemporary,  Social Justice Awareness and Unity, and Digital Art.

–Bright Skylark News Notes

Dancing with David Bowie under the Serious Moonlight – Bright Skylark Literary Productions

David Bowie on 1983 set of LET’S DANCE video with dancers Terry Roberts (left) and Joelene King (center). (Photo from bowiedownunder.com originally published in 1983 Serious Moonlight Tour booklet)

Dance is a political strategy that says “yes” to life as opposed to the corporate and terroristic manipulations that so eagerly promote polarization and glorify violent entries into death. Simply put, that is one important reason David Bowie’s 1983 Let’s Dance video (directed by David Mallet) is one of my all-time favorites. Through its subtle acknowledgment of the plight of Aboriginals in Australia, the late great Bowie Jan 8, 1947 – Jan 10, 2016) made two very important statements:

The first statement is very similar to that made by Leonardo DiCaprio when accepting a 2016 Golden Globe Award for his performance in the movie Revenant. It is namely this: the lives of indigenous and “minority” people are something much more than hindrances to a given company’s or government’s preferred agenda. As such, colonizing them (something which can be done in many different ways: economically, politically, socially, etc) or marginalizing the same is not the “acceptable option” so many seem to believe it is.

For the complete post with photos and videos please click the Source: Dancing with David Bowie under the Serious Moonlight – Bright Skylark Literary Productions

Many Inspired by Amazing Grace of Young Brotherhood Advocate Semaj Clark

Advocate for brotherhood Semaj Clark giving thumbs Up GoFundSemajBrotherhood ambassador and advocate for nonviolent conflict resolution Semaj Clark. (photo courtesy of Gofundme)

The cost of the public health crisis of gun violence in America grows more expensive by the day. It has surpassed even the mega-millions of dollars that gun advocates such as members of the National Rifle Association casually spend to counter efforts to implement the most basic sensible forms of responsible gun legislation.

The greater cost is in that of lives lost or irreparably damaged. Sometimes the damage takes the form of psychological trauma experienced by those who have lost loved ones to the violence and for whom monetary compensation does nothing to ease their inconsolable grief. Recent reports on an attempt by Gloria Darden, mother of the late Freddie Gray, to commit suicide, underscores that point. Moreover, it represents only one example.

What happened to Semaj Clark when he chose to speak out against the violence he saw destroying too many young lives represents another deeply troubling instance. Yet his story is one which this compelling millennial crusader for brotherhood refuses to allow to be defined by the word “tragedy.” Considering what doctors have said about the likely results of the gun violence inflicted upon Semaj, his amazing grace is truly inspiring.

To learn about Semaj Clark’s extraordinary story please click the link below:

Millennial on a Mission to Promote Brotherhood

Aberjhani

When the Lyrical Muse Sings the Creative Pen Dances – Bright Skylark Literary Productions

If you’re a regular reader of my national African-American cultural arts column, you may have noticed that I have not been posting articles as frequently as I once did. The reason is simple enough. Having reached a certain point in the research for my current book-in-progress (at least one of them anyway) I had to reduce as many additional writing obligations as possible to fully concentrate on completion of the work.

For me, this is the part of authorship when the lyrical muse sings and the creative pen dances. The greater bulk of the more rigid tasks of verification and documentation have been satisfied, and imagination may be allowed to take over the processes of narrative construction. The resulting musical flow of image and language stamp the work with its own unique identity. And its own self-defined meanings destined to merge with different readers’ interpretations of the same.

The Writer and the Times

I started the national African-American cultural arts column on July 13, 2009, with a story about the debut of Johnny and Me, Savannah author Miriam K. Center’s play based on her friendship with the late 4-time Academy Award-winning composer Johnny Mercer. That was followed by a profile of acclaimed artist Jerome Meadows.

The next month, August, saw the launch of the controversial series on the trial (and eventual execution) of Troy Anthony Davis, convicted for the murder of Savannah policeman Mark Allen MacPhail.  Not writing about Davis’s trial, to my mind, would have been a case of gross negligence. Doing so was one early indication of what readers would discover over the next few years: basically, I found it impossible to restrict myself (as asked to do) to the subject of “the arts” as pertaining to African Americans.

Please check out the full post by clicking here: When the Lyrical Muse Sings the Creative Pen Dances – Bright Skylark Literary Productions

The Abbreviated Mind Faces ‘The King of Music’ Dilemma (part 1 of 2) – National African-American Art Examiner

Michael Jackson in the studio.

Michael Jackson in the studio. (Postered Poetics enhancement of pr release photo)

For those members of a given demographic made uneasy by the idea of eventually becoming just one more minority in America, an abbreviated mind taking note of the evolving dynamics could react with overwhelming fear. The carnage inflicted by Dylann Roof in Charleston, SC, just last month may be considered one such case. That demonstrated by the Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik in 2011 illustrates how analogous scenarios are playing out across the globe.

The idea and reality of losing previously-held political power and privileged authority based on racial domination could (some would say apparently does) encourage violence against those perceived of as a threat. Certainly the ongoing violence inflicted upon unarmed African-Americans by armed White-American policemen ––the latest most visible cases being that of Sandra Bland in Waller County, Texas, and Sam Dubose in Cincinnati, Ohio, does very little to suggest otherwise.

From the opposite end of the undulating spectrum, populations growing increasingly more powerful and reacting with abbreviated minds may, conceivably, develop a penchant for vindictive behavior. It is in fact wholly possible that the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the choking death of Eric Garner in New York City, later followed by shootings of policemen described as “retaliatory,” are precise examples of the dynamics in question. Such scenarios, however, represent only a fraction of the kind of personal, local community, national, and global chaos that an abbreviated mind, especially when linked to intentional guerrilla decontextualization, can cause.

Periods of shifting demographics, along with the often overwhelming giant crashing waves of sudden historical events themselves, often create odd partnerships and dangerously extreme polarization. Fear of getting lost in the shuffle prompts many to abandon personal ethics for some semblance of security motivated by a heightened sense of raging and yet repressed anxiety.

To read the complete post by Aberjhani please click here
The abbreviated mind faces “The King of Music” dilemma (part 1 of 2) – National African-American Art | Examiner.com
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Michael Jackson One Theater production. Video interview with director Jamie King.

5 Ways to be Geniuses Together: Celebrating Ja Jahannes

Quote by Ja A. Jahannes with art graphic by Postered Poetics and Aberjhani.
“Unless we learn” quote by Ja A. Jahannes (with art graphic by Postered Poetics)

One self-penned definition of the word genius is: a focused intensification of individual intelligence resulting in works of exemplary creativity, visionary leadership, or uncommon spiritual depth and beauty. This definition is perhaps a fitting one to describe much of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Ja A. Jahannes, who was born August 25, 1942. in Baltimore, Maryland, and died in Savannah, Georgia, on July 5, 2015.

As recently as April 28, Jahannes (as he was known to many of his friends) had started a new blog in which he stated his intentions as follows:

“This is the beginning of me putting my thoughts, observations, queries, photos and insights in one place for present, current, and past generations (it could happen…time travel) to read and witness that I made some small, if not minuscule, contribution to Planet Sol-3.”

Unfortunately, battles with illness and the drive to continuously produce creative works did not leave much time or energy for the planned blog entries. That does not, however, mean there was or is anything at all “minuscule” about the contributions Jahannes managed to make to the world community before leaving it. Proof of that statement may be found in the announcement that his latest play, “Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly,” will be performed July 26, 2015, at the Jewish Educational Alliance in Savannah.

Indeed, anyone even vaguely acquainted with his name find themselves astonished when learning about his prodigious output as a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, an educator, minister, proud alumnus of Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), composer, playwright, poet, novelist, essayist, photographer, family man, community leader, publisher, and public intellectual.

Please enjoy the complete article by clicking here:
5 Ways to be geniuses together: Celebrating Ja Jahannes (part 1 of 3: the man) – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.

Some Notes on the Colors of These Changing Times: Editorial with Poem


(
poem poster art copyright by Aberjhani)

Given the horrendous white-versus-black-motivated massacre in Charleston, S.C., on June 17, the jubilant rainbow celebrations that broke out following the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nation-wide on June 26, and increasing calls to cease flying the Confederate flag on government properties, colors have commanded a lot of attention during these changing times.

The hues celebrated the most of course on July 4 in the United States are red, white, and blue. Many like to believe they stand for freedom, justice, and the American way. Officially, however, according to the House of Representatives’ publication Our Flag, red stands for hardiness and valor, white represents purity and innocence, and blue symbolizes vigilance.

But long before the founding of America’s democratic republic, visual and literary artists have used colors to create realistic images of external environments as well as representations symbolizing psychic responses to those environments…

Please check out the complete post with video at this link:
Some notes on the colors of these changing times: Editorial with poem – National African-American Art | Examiner.com
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Shifting Points of View and the Massacre in Charleston | Aberjhani | LinkedIn

#PrayersForCharleston #StandingWithCharleston #Aberjhani

News about homegrown and foreign terrorism receives a lot of broadcast media airtime and focused attention online. It has become a pervasive theme in the developing story of our 21st century lives. Still, it is not something with which most us can ever afford to become so comfortable that we take it for granted in the same way that we take doing the laundry or drinking a cup of coffee for granted. Nor should we.

I almost refused to allow myself to believe the reports about the shooting Wednesday at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. Six women and three men shot dead by one Dylann Storm Roof. I almost succeeded in believing the massacre had not occurred so close to where I grew up in Savannah, Georgia. Then I reminded myself that denial of evident truth is also something we cannot afford to indulge in today’s socially and politically tumultuous climate.

Heeding that reality, I found myself meditating on words from my essay Creative Flexibility and Annihilated Lives (published last year in the fourth edition of Charter for Compassion’s Words and Violence online curriculum resource):

Shifting Points of View and the Massacre in Charleston | Aberjhani Author-Poet-Literary-Consultant | LinkedIn.

Red Summer: Text and meaning in Claude McKay’s “If We Must Die” (part 1 of 4)

The summer of 2015 marks the 96th anniversary of the publication of Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay’s masterful poem, “If We Must Die.” This essay is presented in commemoration of that literary milestone and in remembrance of the extraordinary Red Summer of 1919 that inspired it.

There were many good reasons to believe America had entered––or at least was about to enter––a golden era of post-racialism following the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Among them was the election of the country’s first African-American president itself, an increasingly diverse American population, and a sociopolitical landscape made more democratic (in appearance at least) by the various influences of technological innovation.

Unfortunately, none of those good noble reasons were able to withstand the onslaught of reality as the number of hate groups in the country began to increase almost immediately, even while the Black prison population and Black unemployment rates continued to do the same. In a word, the country was nowhere near “there” yet.

Red Summers of Yesterday and Today

The growing number of cities where protest demonstrations have occurred over the past few years in response to extreme uses of force by policemen against African Americans, and the very oppressive conditions under which many African Americans continue to live, is eerily similar to another riot-filled time in U.S. history. The period which might first come to mind for most people is the 1960s, a decade in which “race riots” flared up every other year in places such as Greensboro, N.C. (1960), Los Angeles (Watts), Calif. (1964), Detroit, Michigan (1967), and Baltimore (1968).

However, the historical moment which possibly resembles the current intense state of racial affairs the most is that of the period leading up to the Red Summer of 1919. As pointed out in Facts on File’s Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance:

To enjoy this complete article by Aberjhani with accompanying video please click below:

Red Summer: Text and meaning in Claude McKay’s “If We Must Die” (part 1 of 4) – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.

5 Eye-opening Books about Slavery in Savannah (part 1)

Georgia Historical Society marker citing
Georgia Historical Society marker citing “The Weeping Time,” a.k.a. the “Largest Slave Sale in Georgia History” held in Savannah.
(photo courtesy of Waymark)

Two of the most acclaimed movies of the past decade, 12 Years a Slave and Django Unchained, have focused on the degradation, inhumanity, and absurdity associated with slavery as it was once practiced in the United States. Those who are surprised by this film genre’s ability to continue to command the attention of audiences around the world might want to consider the fact that various forms of forced servitude are very real in 2015.

In addition, just as the year 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War, 2015 commemorates the sesquicentennial of the war’s end. It is therefore also the official end of slavery in the United States and reason enough for movies that remind viewers why so many fought against it then and why so many, acknowledged or not, are doing so now. For all intended purposes, the precise date of the end of the Civil War was April 9, 1865, when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia. Some, however, maintain it did not end until Confederal Gen. Edmund K. Smith’s concession on June 2, 1865.

A Functional Metaphor

Slavery as it was known in the past serves as a functional metaphor for the human trafficking that remains to be corrected in the present. Current estimates provided by the Walk Free Foundation place the estimated number of people enslaved across the globe at 35.8 million. The foundation has drawn some heat regarding the accuracy of this figure and how they derived at it. In its own defense, the organization’s website states the following:

“Measuring modern slavery is a very difficult undertaking due to the hidden nature of this crime. Surveys represent the most accurate method for estimating the numbers of people living in modern slavery…. Data from a total of 19 countries were obtained from random sample surveys, including the seven Gallup survey countries.”

Criticisms of methodological precision to the side, even the fact that organization members dispute an exact number of millions of people enslaved in modern-day times is something so incredulous that many prefer to pretend there are no real numbers at all.

For the TedTalks photography video on modern-day slavery and to read the complete essay by Aberjhani please click this link:
5 Eye-opening books about slavery in Savannah (part 1 of 2) – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.

Selma Revisited: from Violent Racism to Reflective Compassion (part 1)

3 Producers of the film
Left to right, Producers of the Golen Globe Award-nominated film Selma:
Dede Gardner, Oprah Winfrey, and director Ava DuVernay. (photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for AFI)

 The movie Selma, directed and executive produced by Ava DuVernay, opened on Christmas Day 2014 and rang in the New Year 2015 with domestic sales estimated at $1, 204,000 according to Box Office Mojo. Whereas there have been any number of films about the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. produced for television, Selma is the first major feature film on the great civil rights leader made for theatrical release.

The movie’s box office performance at the beginning of the year placed it at number 23 on Fandango’s list of “Top Box Office Movies,” and it currently stands at number 22. Both positions place it far behind “The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies” ruling at the time at number 1, and “Unbroken” at number 2.

However, Selma played during the first week of its release in only 19 select theaters. It is set to screen nation-wide on January 9, just in time for the 86th anniversary of Dr. King’s birth on January 15. In honor of the fact that the movie would not have been made without the definitive role played by the people of Selma, Alabama, in the past as well as in the present, Paramount Studios announced that residents will be allowed to view it for free until the end of January.

DuVernay has already won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association New Generation Award for the film and it has earned 4 African-American Film Critics Association Awards. It has also received 4 Golden Globe Award Nominations. In addition to DuVernay, the line-up of producers includes Hollywood heavyweights Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey, who also performs in a supporting role as Annie Lee Cooper. Paul Webb provided the screenplay and among the exceptional cast that brings it to life are David Oyelowo (as Martin Luther King Jr.), Carmen Ejogo (as Coretta Scott King), Cuba Gooding Jr., Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Tim Roth, and Allesandro Nivola.

Technology and the Struggle for Human Rights

The story of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery is now a well-known one for many important reasons. It is obviously vital for the place it holds in the story of African-Americans’ ongoing struggle for social and political equality in the United States, as it is for the place it occupies in America’s attempts in general to refine its practice of the concept of democracy. In addition, it dramatically demonstrates the role which the evolution of technology has played in struggles for human rights in the modern era.

For the full article by Aberjhani please click this link:
Selma revisited: from violent racism to reflective compassion (part 1 of 5) – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.

‘Tis the Season for the Magic of Poetry: Black Gold | Aberjhani Author-Poet-Literary-Consultant | LinkedIn

'Tis the Season for the Magic of Poetry: Black Gold | Aberjhani Author-Poet-Literary-Consultant | LinkedIn
Cover of new anthology: Black Gold, edited by Ja A. Jahannes.

When contemplating such issues as the current protests against the trend of white policemen killing unarmed black men (or boys in the case of 12-year-old Tamir Rice) and the unceasing escalation of war and terrorism across the globe, some might consider poetry an insignificant subject to address as the year 2015 approaches. Others, however, might contend that just like black lives in the past, present, and future–– poetry matters, enough in fact to be placed among Big Ideas 2015 .

One important reason poetry matters is because it often helps to expand humanity’s capacity for putting brutal and sublime experiences alike into usable, meaningful, contexts. What may be the oldest known Christmas poem, A Visit from Saint Nicholas (often referred to as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”) was first published anonymously on December 23, 1823, and later attributed to Clement Clark Moore. The year was a relatively peaceful one compared to the year before and that which followed. The poem, then, in addition to celebrating the holiday spirit of giving, could have been the poet’s way of affirming grace in a world too often overrun by grief.

Black Gold

The forthcoming poetry anthology entitled Black Gold, edited by playwright and composer Ja A. Jahannes, is not a collection of holiday verse. But it does offer a powerful counterbalance to the current mainstream images documenting what it does or does not mean to be a person of African or Latin descent in these still-early years of the 21st century.

With its mixture of multigenerational, gender inclusive, and intercontinental voices, Black Gold in some ways accomplishes through poetry what various government, educational, and community institutions have not. That is to say it successfully replicates the principle of unity, or Umoja, which many celebrate on the first day of Kwanzaa (December) and then generally ignore throughout the rest of the year. This should not be taken to mean the poets presented in the book are without their own brand of diversity.

To check out the full post with video and quotes please click the link:

‘Tis the Season for the Magic of Poetry: Black Gold | Aberjhani Author-Poet-Literary-Consultant | LinkedIn.

How Creativity and Social Responsibility Inspired 5 Memorable Moments | Aberjhani Author-Poet-Literary-Consultant | LinkedIn


Rainbows introduce us to reflections
of different beautiful possibilities
so we never forget that pain and grief
are not the final options in life.

Aberjhani

Measuring the success of a given year by the percentage of profits gained or lost is a sensible enough practice for many individuals and an essential one for various organizations. However, I decided going into 2014 that I wanted to commit time throughout the year to finding ways that creatively honored the concept of mutually-empowering and life-enhancing partnerships. The goal was to combine as much as possible measures of social responsibility with different types of creative endeavors.

Why such an intensely-focused approach? Because the still-straggling uncertainty of the economy, the domestic gun violence that broke America’s collectively-beating heart nearly every other week, and rising waves of conflict on the global front made it far too easy to succumb to such dispositions as cynicism, nihilism, and actions motivated by anything other than an ethical perspective.

Since partnerships, or relationships, by definition require interaction with more than just oneself, not every effort was as successful as I might have hoped. Certainly not all would top a list of favorite #My2014Moments even when proving what some might describe as “profitable.” Still, others resulted in beneficial reconnections with previous colleagues and some produced thrilling adventures in formerly unexplored territories.

5 Memorable Moments

1. Taking a Stand for Compassion: Toward the end of the year 2013 I promised to sign the Charter for Compassion on the first day of 2014. That affirmation so far has not impressed groups such as ISIL, Boko Haram, the Taliban, or Al-Qaida to revise their habits of employing guerrilla decontextualization to misrepresent a major religion and justify heinous actions against noncombatant civilians. It did, though, prompt me to write three of my stronger articles in 2014 on the world’s attempts to reconcile chaos with sanity:

To check out the full list please click this link:
How Creativity and Social Responsibility Inspired 5 Memorable Moments in 2014

by Aberjhani

Let’s Fix It: 7 Steps to Help Replace Legislated Fear with Informed Compassion | Aberjhani Author-Poet-Literary-Consultant | LinkedIn

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, hold large banner containing the many names of individuals known to have been killed in confrontations with police. (Photo: Reuters)

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, hold large banner containing the many names of individuals known to have been killed in confrontations with police. (Photo: Reuters)

More than half the states in America (currently 33) have laws which allow one individual to take the life of another and get away with it simply by saying he or she feared the person represented an immediate danger to his or her life. That argument in recent years has been used in a number of high-profile cases where exactly who posed a danger to whom was not at all clear.

Nevertheless, in the end it has been an African American (usually unarmed) who lost his or her life to a White American (usually armed––in the case of Trayvon Martin’s death George Zimmerman’s biracial background is duly noted), creating an apparent trend. Even mainstream media with its upbeat pop culture delivery has found it impossible to ignore the increase in that trend and consequently joined the ranks of those shouting it is time to #FixIt.

In this particular case, fixing it means correcting the tendency to give fear authority over one’s actions when encountering those perceived of as “different.” Also, in this particular case, it means not exploding like a suicide bomber in the face of inevitable change and opting instead to invest in informed compassion toward one’s fellow human beings.

An Ominous Iceberg

Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Kajieme Powell only a few miles from the same location, Renisha McBride just outside Detroit, Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, and Eric Garner in New York are but a fraction of the tip of a very ominous iceberg.

For the full article with list of recommendations please click the link:
Let’s Fix It: 7 Steps to Help Replace Legislated Fear with Informed Compassion | Aberjhani Author-Poet-Literary-Consultant | LinkedIn.

Song of the Black Skylark: Poem in the American Literary Halloween Tradition

Song of the Black Skylark (poem) by Aberjhani on AuthorsDen

                    (Black Skylark title art graphic by Postered Poetics for Aberjhani)

Does the enigmatic figure of the Black Skylark referenced in this blog title have anything to do with Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” (1845), with Walt Whitman’s “The Mystic Trumpeter” (1872), or Abram Joseph Ryan’s “Song of the Deathless Voice” (1880)? It shares with Poe’s classic poem the image of a dark mystical bird. On the other hand, the presence of an eerie beguiling melody establishes a strong link to Whitman’s and Ryan’s poems.

Obviously, the poem Song of the Black Skylark is from the book Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black. It was not until the first edition of the book was about to be published that I began to understand the origins of the Black Skylark. The following is what I noted as my understanding grew deeper:

It dawned on me that the book was actually conceived many many years before…In fact, it began as part of a writing assignment in a class taught by Wendy Parrish at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, way back in the day before people used the phrase “back in the day”…. That was when I wrote a poem called The Dark Bird, describing a creature that was frightfully heroic in life while being somehow oddly connected to death.

At that time, the word “metaphysics” was unknown to me so I was more driven by a feeling than a concept. The central image that formed around that feeling disappeared for two decades before re-emerging and evolving into the Black Skylark that not only soars through the pages of Visions, but through those of a novel also [now] completed.

The poem is set in the city of Savannah, Georgia, but its themes are universal. Readers are cordially invited to decide for themselves how well it fits into the tradition of the American Halloween poem pioneered by Poe, Whitman, and Ryan:
Song of the Black Skylark (poem) by Aberjhani on AuthorsDen.

by Aberjhani

Literary Passion and the City of Savannah-Georgia

James Alan McPherson public release image

 Author James Alan McPherson (public release photograph)

One of the greatest authors of our 21st century times is a man who made history in the previous century when he became the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize in fiction: James Alan McPherson, a native of Savannah, Georgia, born September 16, 1943.

Unlike many of today’s celebrated public intellectuals, Mr. McPherson tends to play down his celebrity status and opts instead to put the greater part of his energies into teaching and writing. His absence from high-profile media events, however, has not stopped fans and commentators celebrating his life and legacy as represented by such books as Hue and Cry (1968), Elbow Room (1977, for which he won the Pulitzer) and Crabcakes (1998).

The Pinterest board titled “Literary Passion and the City of Savannah-Georgia” was constructed both as an acknowledgement of the city’s extraordinary cultural heritage and as a tribute to Mr. McPherson, who as adult has now spent much of his life in Iowa as an esteemed instructor for the famous Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Follow Author-Poet Aberjhani’s board Literary Passion and the City of Savannah-Georgia on Pinterest.

Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player Pump up the Volume 

Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player mythopoeic speculative fiction novel by Aberjhani.

There is some basis for describing Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player as a southern Gothic rock and roll murder mystery. Yet there may be more reasons to consider it a mythopoeic love story in the mode of classic tales where heroes, and anti-heroes, attempt to challenge powers far greater than their own for the sake of reclaiming love stolen by tragedy.

The theme is also true of stories from fact-based history (including current history) wherein members of families torn apart by war or slavery have found themselves battling overwhelming odds and risking what remains of their lives to reconnect with their loved ones.

This is currently a free edition of the mythopoeic paranormal novel recounting the attempts of one Danny Blue to come to terms with a series of unusual events in his life. You can check out the book page and link to the streaming text here: Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player (book) by Aberjhani on AuthorsDen

The 2015 Bid for Power and History in Savannah (Georgia, USA) – Bright Skylark Literary Productions

There’s a lot at stake when it comes to casting a vote for the mayor of Georgia’s first city. Candidates not only stand to make history but to shape it some very powerful ways. (photo of Edna B. Jackson courtesy of Diva Magazine)

Journalist Patricia C. Stumb, in a 1999 Connect Savannah news magazine story titled “Peace, love & blessings…,” wrote of how I “found worldly consciousness in the heart of [my] hometown.” Her observation was surprisingly precise because during that period while living in Savannah, Georgia, I had indeed become more aware of my hometown on the global scale of things. I had also become more cognizant of myself as an author whose influences and inspirations tended often to derive from regions far beyond it.

However, expanded consciousness or not, there was no such thing as overlooking the profound thematic shift that occurred in the city’s history when Floyd Adams became its first African-American mayor in 1996. That event prompted the composition of these lines:

By way of an African wind
a letter came today.
It was not scribbled over
Hallmark fantasies or
popcultural postcards;
it was engraved on sweat-dyed scrolls
manufactured by centuries
of anguish, struggle, determination.
––from the poem A Letter Came Today (I Made My Boy Out of Poetry)

The thematic transition grew even more powerful in 2003 with the election of Otis Johnson as mayor of the city and in 2011 when Edna Branch Jackson won the office. Up until this point, too much of the story of African Americans in Savannah had been one of a people continuously oppressed and suppressed by history itself. Different industries (such as film) and individuals benefited economically from that history but Blacks native to the city have rarely done so to any significant degree.

The Re-Historicization of a Narrative

The elections of Adams, Johnson, and Jackson created a thematic evolution that has helped the city prepare for even more dramatic and culturally inclusive demographic shifts already in progress. Call it the re-historicization of a narrative that dates back at least to late 1800s Reconstruction.

Please enjoy the complete essay at this link: Source: The 2015 Bid for Power and History in Savannah (Georgia, USA) – Bright Skylark Literary Productions