Today’s the day I hustle my taxes off to the accountant, but int he meantime here are a few things that are happening this week:

The Alexandria African American Museum in Alexandria, VA is hosting the National Endowment for the Humanities traveling exhibit “>Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art.” The “Grass Roots” are the sweet grass baskets made by African Americans in the Lowcountry (outside Charleston) of South Carolina. These coiled baskets are made using the same techniques of the enslaved Africans along the southeastern Atlantic coast of the U.S. They used to sell for about $60 – $100 over 20 years ago; they now sell for $300 – $400 and more today. Did I neglect to mention that this is a dying art? The exhibit runs through March 11 and then it’s back on the road. There’s a $2 admission at the door.
Alexandria Black History Museum
902 Wythe Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone: 703-746-4356
Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am – 4 pm

Kudos to NEH for packaging such a fantastic feast for the eyes and soul. Here’s a prayer published in the brochure credited as Prayer of titled men from Anambra State, Nigeria, August 1966:

And who is going to remember
To Coninue in the tradition
Of the elders?
In those days,
When things were shared out in common,
In this town,
What belonged to my village,
By right
Used to fill up a big basket.

I say “Amen” to that.

A few years ago I was trying to develop a character for a musical who was an actress and a member of Marcus Garvey’s UNIA organization in the 1920s. Well, that wasn’t just my imagination. That real person is Henrietta Vinton Davis, a Shakespearean actor, elocutionist, dramatic reader and activist.

Clayton LeBouef has been organizing and working to recognize Davis’s legacy. He will present his play “The Shero’s Journey: A Livication for Henrietta Vinton Davis” at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Sunday, March 14 at 2 PM.

“The Shero’s Journey…” will be followed by a reception for the opening of an exhibt on Miss Davis and a book signing by Professor William Seraile, Ph.D. of his book Bruce Grit: The Black Nationalist Writings of John Edward Bruce.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library is located at 901 G Street, NW. For information, call phone:202-727-1222.

For more information about the Henrietta Vinton Davis Memorial Foundation fund, visit this site.

March 10 – 13. Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness invites poets, writers, artists, activists, dreamers, and all concerned world citizens to Washington, DC, for poetry, community building, and creative transformation as our country continues to grapple with two wars, a crippling economic crisis, and other social and environmental ills. The festival will feature readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, film, activism –- opportunities to imagine a way forward, hone our activist skills, and celebrate the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for social change.

That’s Split This Rock Poetry Festival which kicks off Wednesday giving voice to an activism vision. The festival began in 2008 as a creative protest against the Iraq war. Wow, it’s been two years already???

Featured poets are Chris Abani, Lillian Allen, Sinan Antoon, Francisco Aragón, Jan Beatty, Martha Collins, Cornelius Eady, Martín Espada, Andrea Gibson, Allison Hedge Coke, Natalie Illum, Fady Joudah, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Richard McCann, Jeffrey McDaniel, Lenelle Moïse, Nancy Morejón, Mark Nowak, Wang Ping, Patricia Smith, Arthur Sze, Quincy Troupe, and Bruce Weigl.

Visit for registration information and schedules.