Endangered Species, Enduring Values: SF Bay Area Writers of Color
Join us in welcoming these local auhors to Laurel Book Store!
Meet local authors who will discuss and read from their anthology, with discussion to follow.
About the Book:
Endangered Species, Enduring Values is a new anthology of prose, poetry and four-color artwork by San Francisco area writers and artists of color. Over 70 people of all ages and walks of life responded artistically to these questions:
• In challenging times, how do heritage, history, or spirituality inspire you as a person of color?
• What keeps you working for a just and inclusive society?
• What do you want the world to understand about your heritage or community?
The result is a compelling snapshot by and of the city’s majority minority, who now comprise 58% of the residents in the nation’s most diverse and progressive metropolis.
As people all over the world lose their connection to the places, histories, values, and traditions that shaped societies over millennia. San Francisco’s residents of color, a significant but largely silent majority, draw strength from their heritage. They find ways only to survive but to thrive—through compassion and collaboration rather than competition.
The evening will start with a tribute to the recently departed Chicano artist/curator Rene Yanez, followed by stories like these: an African American born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, recalls long-buried traumas inflicted by the Ku Klux Klan, a retired school principal whose parents met in a Japanese American incarceration camps wonders whose door the FBI will knock on next, a Cuban immigrant finds and loses a sense of home in San Francisco’s gentrifying Mission District, a suicide survivor finds healing in The Black Women Is God art exhibition, and a mixed-heritage educator transmutes the warring blood in her veins into poetry.
About the Authors:
Shizue Seigel, editor of Endangered Species, Enduring Values, is a third-generation Japanese American writer, visual artist and community activist who explores the human dimensions of social justice through community storytelling. An Army brat born just after her family was released from incarceration, her five books include Standing Strong! Fillmore & Japantown and In Good Conscience: Supporting Japanese Americans during the Internment. www.WriteNowSF.com
Grace Morizawa is a third-generation Japanese American whose parents met in a Wyoming concentration camp. Grace taught elementary school in Oakland, worked on a national school reform project, and was a principal of an elementary school in San Pablo, California. Currently she is the Education Coordinator for the National Japanese American Historical Society. She has an MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State, and an EdD from the Leadership in Education and Equity Program at UC Berkeley.
Jesus Francisco Sierra raised a family and established a thriving bicoastal engineering firm before earning his MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. He is working on a collection of short stories based on his experiences as a Cuban immigrant growing up in San Francisco’s Mission District. He is fascinated by the power of transitions, both sought and imposed, to either awaken or suppress the spirit. His work has previously been published in the Marathon Literary Review and The Acentos Review.
Kimi Sugioka is a poet, songwriter and educator who earned an MFA from Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. A San Francisco Poetry Slam winner, and a founding member of the spoken word group, Bloodtest, she has a book published by Manic D Press, The Language of Birds, and a recording of her songs. She takes measure of the world through the lens of a utopian educator in a dystopian system, a bi-cultural woman of color, and a single mother.
Holman Turner: I am an African American. I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, where I spent the first twenty-two years of my life. It was a tough and demanding place. The physical violence experienced there, daily, was equaled only by its psychological counterpart. As a young person, you learned early on that the decisions you made outside of the home were every bit as critical as those that were being made for you by your parents. our immediate and future chances for survival were directly linked to those decisions. It made for a brief childhood.
Kelechi Ubozoh is a Nigerian-American San Francisco Bay Area poet and mental health advocate. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Kelechi holds a BA in journalism from Purchase College, and was the first undergraduate ever published in The New York Times. Kelechi has performed at many Bay Area readings like Lit Quake’s Lit Crawl, Beast Crawl, Birds of Paradise, Lyrics and Dirges, Get Lit, Passages on the Lake, Voz Sin Tinta, Uptown Fridays, Liminal, and Bay Area Generations. She is featured in The Voice Award-winning documentary, The S Word, following the lives of suicide attempt survivors in an effort to eliminate the stigma of mental health issues in the black community.