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Center for Black Literature and Culture celebrates anniversary

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The Indianapolis Public Library’s Center for Black Literature and Culture (CBLC) at Central Library is partnering with the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper to celebrate its third anniversary. 

“On Whose Shoulders We Stand” will be an online program and poetry workshop featuring poet Adrian Matejka, along with guests Too Black, Manon Voice, Chantell Massey and Allyson Horton. Pianist and music sociologist Joshua A. Thompson will perform a musical selection. 

The online conversation will discuss the impact of poetry on Black culture and social action throughout history, using poetry from Etheridge Knight, Mari Evans and others. Matejka, an award-winning poet, will host a workshop to help aspiring poets.

“The CBLC, even during the challenges of COVID-19, is providing a space virtually for artists and members of the community to gather, share and learn from each other,” Nichelle Hayes, leader of CBLC, said. “Globally, we have experienced more upheaval during 2020 than we could have ever imagined. Times such as this call for resistance and renewal, for which poetry serves as a vehicle. We can learn a great deal from legendary and up-and-coming poets on how to navigate these times and reimagine a better world.”

The event will be livestreamed on the library’s YouTube and Facebook pages as well as the Recorder’s Facebook page. 

“It is a true honor to partner with the CBLC, particularly as we celebrate the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper’s 125th anniversary,” Robert Shegog, president and CEO of the Recorder, said. “We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us — those bold, courageous, creative and talented individuals. It is only fitting to pay homage to them while also showcasing some of today’s promising poets and recognizing one of the country’s oldest Black newspapers.”

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