Text and Meaning in Elemental the Power of Illuminated Love (part 2 of 3)

          Video cover image for the music and poem video “Angel of Better Days to Come.”

One example of ELEMENTAL, The Power of Illuminated Love’s principal themes would be the painting “Christ Listening to Stereo.” It depicts a youth on a bus in New York City. The image reveals how the youth is at once physically part of a larger setting while remaining, via his personal stereo, completely separate from it. Immersed in his interior pleasures, he claims a connection to the creative artist who made the music and who allows him to not only share in the expressed creative passion, but to utilize the same as a kind of soundtrack for his own anticipations, memories, desires, needs, or fears of the moment. 

Similar and yet very different scenes are frequently enacted in such public spaces as parks, malls, back yards, office buildings, clubs, and street corners. They all make the person part of a larger whole even while many individuals continue to exist primarily as isolated fragments of that whole. The following poem published in the book takes its title from the painting:

To continue reading the poem and full post by Aberjhani please click the link:
Text and Meaning in Elemental the Power of Illuminated Love (part 2 of 3) – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.


The Miracle That Was Gullah Artist Allen Fireall: Poem and Remembrance


What would you call it if you heard about an artist who had been declared legally blind and whose heart had lost the greater percentage of its strength but whom somehow continued to produce masterful paintings in brilliantly-colored detail? The word miracle may not be too extreme at all and it certainly should not be ruled out in the case of Gullah artist Allen Franklin Fireall, who passed away in Savannah, Georgia, on March 31, 2014.

Fireall described himself as an “artist historian” who dedicated his talents to preserving the culture and history of his people. In that sense, his work might be described as historical realism. The images he produced support that assessment in bold hues depicting scenes from African-American island and rural life in the Southeast.

Populating his canvases were: men hoeing row crops, women and men working beside each other harvesting collard greens, people gathered at a lake or river to be baptized, couples enjoying leisurely strolls on the beach, solitary brides in rowboats on their way to get married, fishermen making and casting nets, women sewing quilts, and men in barber shops playing checkers.

In his earlier stronger days, Fireall produced 10 to 15 medium and large-sized canvases every month. They found their way into collections across the globe through outlets in downtown Savannah and festivals and exhibitions throughout the Low Country. They were sometimes lyrically humorous and at other times poignantly sad. What made them miraculous in either case during his final years was that he continued to produce work at all after diabetes robbed him of his sight and a failing heart withered his strength.

Please enjoy the full article by Aberjhani by clicking this link:
The miracle that was Gullah artist Allen Fireall: Poem and remembrance – National African-American Art | Examiner.com

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 16: Davis Executed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room

Rev. Raphael Warnock talks with hostess Amy Goodman of Democracy Now during livestream broadcast. 

Rev. Raphael Warnock talks with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now during livestream broadcast.


After many people had made their peace with the idea of Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis’ life ending at 7 p.m. on September 21, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Courts just after 7 p.m. issued a call for a “temporary delay” of his death, but then again at 10:20 said it would not block the execution.  Officials then announced that Davis was executed at 11:08 p.m. 

The planned execution of Davis for the 1989 murder of police officer Mark Allen MacPhail  topped news broadcasts on every major American television station Wednesday. Protests against the execution were staged globally in cities from Oslo and Paris to New York and Atlanta. The online television and radio program Democracy Now had scheduled a live stream broadcast from outside the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison at Jackson, where Davis was executed, to last from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The broadcast instead, with host Amy Goodman, lasted for four hours beyond that scheduled time.

For more please click this link:
Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 16: Davis Executed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room.

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 15: Georgia Board Denies Clemency | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room

Troy Anthony Davis (AP photo by Savannah News Press)



 Neither petitions bearing the names of almost one million people nor requests from such high-profile figures as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI convinced the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to cancel the execution of Troy Anthony Davis scheduled to take place September 21.

With the Board presenting its announcement just one day before the planned execution, it appears that the two-decade-long struggle to free Troy Anthony Davis, following his conviction for the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail, may soon come to an end.

The Board listened to hours of testimony from Davis’ supporters and prosecutors before choosing to reject his appeal for clemency. The inmate’s case over the past twenty years has created a forum for debates over the constitutionality of the death penalty and raised many questions about effectiveness and fair practices where the American judicial systems is concerned. It has also forced the families of the slain Officer MacPhail and the imprisoned Davis to live with the ongoing pain generated by of a lack of closure.

For more on the call for clemency from Angela Davis and others please click this link:
Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 15: Board Denies Clemency

by Aberjhani
Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 15: Georgia Board Denies Clemency | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room.

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 14: Death Order Signed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 14: Death Order Signed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room.

Martina Davis-Correia (left) with the late Virginia Davis, sister and mother (respectively) of Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis. Please click link above for story.

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 12: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Appeal

Troy Anthony Davis (photo by AP and Savannah News Press) 

Troy Anthony Davis (photo by AP and Savannah News Press)

Having attempted to obtain his freedom for more than twenty years, Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis may have lost his final chance when on March 28, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it would neither review Davis’s requested appeal itself nor order the Federal Appeals Court in Atlanta to do so.

Davis and supporters have been battling for his freedom since he was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of off-duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail in Savannah. He has been scheduled to be put to death three times but each time obtained a stay of execution pending further investigation into his case. Davis had long contended that a review of new evidence would establish his innocence, and when seven out of nine witnesses recanted their testimonies against him, it appeared the legal tide might eventually turn in his favor.

However, although the Supreme Court did order an evidentiary hearing held for Davis last summer, Judge William T. Moore ruled in the hearing that revised statements and the proposed new evidence were not sufficient to confirm Davis’s innocence. He publicly chided Davis’s defense team for their handling of the case even as he himself acknowledged that as yet some doubt did remain regarding the likelihood of Davis’s guilt.

“Passing the Buck”

While Davis’s family and supporters have understandably been fighting for his release, the family members of slain Officer MacPhail have expressed their belief that Davis is guilty and have rallied for his execution.

Upon hearing the news of the Supreme Court’s most recent decision, Davis’s sister Martina Davis-Correia told news reporters, “It’s troubling, it’s upsetting, it’s like everyone wants to pass the buck and no one wants to address the real issue of actual innocence.”

That “passed buck” now sits in the hands of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, a five-member board known to almost never postpone executions.

At this point, Georgia state officials are basically free to move ahead with Davis’s execution. Ironically enough, earlier in March federal regulators seized the state’s supply of the drug sodium thiopental, which is one of the key drugs used to administer lethal injections. Doubts have been raised about how the state obtained its supply of the drug and consequently all executions in Georgia have been placed on hold.

Despite the current outlook, Davis-Correia, who has been waging her own personal battle against cancer, has vowed on behalf of her brother “to continue to fight.”

This is the twelfth installment of Aberjhani’s Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis Series.  For part one, please click here . To make sure you catch future installments, please sign up for a free subscription.

by Aberjhani

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Events, Books Highlight Author Flannery O’Connor’s Legacy (part 1)

The ever-mesmerizing Flannery O’Connor. (photo by Getty Images)


As close to a million or more people pour into Savannah, Georgia, for the March 17 St. Patrick’s Day Parade and associated festivities a number of them will also take time to visit the childhood home of America’s iconic author, Flannery O’Connor, at 207 E. Charlton Street near Lafayette Square.

Just eight days after St. Patrick’s Day, celebrations of a different order will take place when O’Connor fans mark what would have been the author’s 86th birthday on March 25. Those who immediately conjure images of southern “library geeks” with their noses pressed inside an open book when considering fans of her work might be surprised to note the Georgia College and State University website list the following among some of the author’s biggest fans: “Bruce Springsteen, Bono, The Coen Brothers, Conan O’Brien and Lucinda Williams are contemporary examples of people affected by her long legacy.”

Acknowledgement of that legacy over the next few months will take on many forms, including a short fiction competition, a conference, and the release of a new novel based on O’Connor’s life in Milledgeville, Georgia.

In the Mode of Flannery O’Connor

Hosted by the University of Georgia Press, the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction was established almost three decades ago. It is presented annually for a collection of short fiction in the mode of O’Connor. Entries for this year’s competition will be accepted throughout the month of April until May 31.

To date, some fifty short story collections have been published through the competition, which has also been credited with generating renewed interest in the genre. Past winners have included Mary Hood for How Far She Went, Peter LaSalle for Tell Borges If You See Him, and Nancy Zafris for The People I Know. Zafris has also been appointed the new series editor for the competition. For more details and information on submitting manuscripts click this link: Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

The Conference at the Farm

The Flannery O’Connor Conference will be held from April 13-April 16 at the author’s alma mater, the Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, and also at Andalusia, the farm where she lived. The conference’s theme is “Startling Figures: A Celebration of the Legacy of Flannery O’Connor” and will feature talents from different creative disciplines, such as musicians, artists, writers, scholars, and artists, all of whom at one time or another have been inspired by the author’s work.

Among the more famous headliners slated to attend the conference is author and editor E.L. Doctorow, who will participate in an interview as well as present a reading In addition, musician Dave Perkins and Friends will perform a tribute concert on April 16.

A Good Hard Look

Usually when a publisher speaks of “resurrecting” an author who has passed away, they are referring to the re-publication of the author’s catalogue or the publication of a newly discovered book by them. In this case, O’Connor will undergo a literary resurrection with the July publication of A Good Hark Look (Penguin Press). The surprise here for those not already aware of the title is that it is not a scholarly study or biography but a novel by Ann Napolitano, author of Within Arm’s Reach.

Writing in her blog, Napolitano revealed that “The idea of a ‘well-lived life’ is a central theme of my novel, A Good Hard Look.” She further added: “It’s difficult for me to write about Flannery O’Connor [in the blog] because she’s lived in my head for the last seven years as a character in my novel… I wrote endless drafts of my novel and in particular, hundreds of drafts of her scenes, because I wanted the book to be worthy of her.”

Such concern makes a lot of sense when considering the high esteem in which O’Connor is held almost universally. Even so, if the five- and four-star ratings awarded Napolitano’s book by advance-copy readers on the Goodreads website are any indication, she may very well have accomplished her goal.

Please click to read: Events, Books Highlight Flannery O’Connor’s Legacy (part 2) Her Life and Times

by Aberjhani

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