May 29, 2020 (USA Today) Anika featured in article by Lorenzo Reyes:
Bear witness, record, de-escalate: How race may affect what bystanders are called to do in cases like George Floyd’s
We’re on the Move! CT and NYC, Here We Come…
On April 29, 2019, Anika will be offering a 30 Black Moments workshop & book signing for Connecticut Library Association members at the CT Library Association Conference 2019 in Groton, CT. Go here for more details…
Every Day in the USA: 30 Black Moments Tour Begins in November!
EVERYDAY IN THE USA: 30 BLACK MOMENTS
Author | ANIKA NAILAH
Illustrator | C. ANDREW WILLIAMS
Dear person of color, this book might make you laugh out loud. Dear white person, it might make you wince. It spearheads conversation that incites change. An undisguised, sometimes humorous portrayal of life in Black America, Everyday in the USA: 30 Black Moments is inspired by Langston Hughes’ Black Misery.
Springfield, MA – October 19, 2018 – Western MA author and former Smith College Professor, Anika Nailah, announces another thought-provoking release over a decade past her inauguration into the literary world with Everyday in the USA: 30 Black Moments. Her first signing: Olive Tree Books-N-Voices in Springfield, MA on November 10, 2018 from 2P until.
Evocatively portraying life in Black America, she leverages her experiences as a Black woman through C. Andrew Williams’ 30 black and white illustrations to brazenly reflect the racial microaggressions Black Americans face daily.
“Black life historically and presently in America is grounded in an immense amount of pain and suffering. However, Black folks always persevere and find numerous pathways to contentment and joy. That said, I want to use this book as both a point of reflection — comical and sometimes painful — to stand in solidarity with my people and educate others on the depth of our resilience and life experiences,” said Nailah.
Olive Tree Books-N-Voices owner, Zelmon Johnson, insists that Nailah’s book is both timely and important. “As an African American in 2018, it is unfortunate that there are still two Americas: One White and One Black. We’re excited to host this signing to stimulate discussions about our lives in today’s society,” she said.
According to Robin DiAngelo, PhD, NYT Best Selling author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism, “Every Day in the USA: 30 Black Moments accomplishes what so many other efforts to raise racial awareness miss: immediately recognizable and thought provoking vignettes that make powerful points in a quick glance…astutely layered entry points to understanding the daily indignities people of color endure in America, so often at the hands of well-intended but oblivious white people.”
Nailah’s previous release and induction into the literary world, Free and Other Stories, earned her a Black Writer’s Alliance Gold Pen nomination and inclusion into the New York Public Library’s Young Adult List.
Every Day in the USA: 30 Black Moments is now available at amazon.com/author/anikanailah
and at select bookstores (Broadside Bookshop, Amherst Books, and Olive Tree Books-N-Voices). Visit www.anikanailah.com for more information.
ABOUT | ANIKA NAILAH
Cultural liberationist and fiction/poetry author, Anika Nailah is the founder/former director of Books of Hope, a Boston-area program that helps young people write, publish, and sell their own books. Through social justice consulting and performance, she holds healing space to interrupt racism across the US
ABOUT | C. ANDREW WILLIAMS
Andrew Williams is an illustrative artist with expertise in creating lively and expressive comic illustrations. His inaugural works include a collaborative comic project, Tripod, in conjunction with comic artist Priyanka Menon, and advising actress and screenwriter, Sola Bamishigbin in creating the artistic vision for screenplays The Eventand Crocodile. He currently resides in Oakland, CA.
SITE | anikanailah.com
FACEBOOK | facebook.com/30BlackMoments/
INSTAGRAM | instagram.com/30blackmoments/
TWITTER | twitter.com/anikanailah
Press Contact | Alexa Palacios
New Poem (For Ida & Charleena): i refuse
June 19, 2017—In the wake of the exoneration of Minnesota police officer, Yanez, who murdered Philando Castile and the recent killing of mother of four, Charleena Lyles. It’s time for a new liberatory paradigm:
to live my days in emptiness & fear
you will not take my life
before my life is done
how dare you
even try to kill me
born to Earth Mother
i belong here
i refuse to go
until she tells me so
i will curl my toes
in cool greenness of her hair
laugh out loud
skin-soaked through tickling rain
hear cardinal’s red song in my backyard
each day east way
thank her sun for yellow orange rising
warming me awake
one more time
yes, that was me
i destroyed your creatures grown bold by night’s disguise
the ones i let you put behind my eyes
despairing lies of who i am
how dare you
even try to kill me
i refuse to cower
in the wake of your unworthiness
can’t dissect me
hell, you can’t even catch me
forgot Earth Mother’s ancient rivers course my veins
her silken stars sprinkle
gather in my breasts
drip shine down each finger
rest orb-like in open palms
my body is my birth certificate
hollow soulless tombstone
you’ve sentenced me to
it’s not my ‘hood
with each breath
i am my sword
sparks leap from my chest
light the steps before me
i am coming for you
in whatever time is left
i will not run away
you will not own me
(you never have)
eye to eye
see your devil eyes
bring all of me
fully present in the now
though you try to hide
behind your puny gun
you will taste me in your throat
i am here
to the last
even as your coward’s bullets rip my flesh
i will hold the final image
of your naked fear
i hear my dying
signal all the others
born to take my place.
–Anika Nailah (c) 2017
Talks Underway to Bring Tour Experience to Amherst College
May 24, 2014—-Ingrid Askew, NLPTE Theatrical Director and Anika Nailah, are engaged in negotiations to have Amherst College in Amherst, MA host the Nat’l Liberation Poetry Tour Experience for the 2014-2015 School Year. “In the light of all the recent activities of solidarity against blatant and institutional racism this school year in Amherst,” Anika said, “It will be important to give community members and students a place to continue healing and bonding.” Visit https://www.facebook.com/AnikaWrites for more information about what’s going on in the local Amherst community.
Blazing the Trail in Greenfield, MA
Tour Experience at Smith College—Amazing!
White Women’s Caucus Group Spawned by Liberation Conversation Project: 2 Yrs Later– Still Going Strong!
The white women who came to the first meeting of the Liberation Conversation Project in October 2012 have been meeting regularly in the Western Massachusetts area . They come together to discuss the ways in which they can support each other in interrupting racism in their lives. Bravo to our white sisters! We wish you all the best as you continue to show up to do your work, and hope the reverberations will be felt in your respective communities.
African American Women & White Women Talk About Their Relationship in America
History will happen in Springfield, MA on October 27, 2012! There was a contingent of white women who were so moved by my performance in Florence , MA on August 25, 2012, that they agreed to be part of a brand new project birthed right there–The Liberation Conversation Project. It will be a conversation between African American women and white women about the history of our relationship here in the United States. The white women, myself, and some other African American women, some in association with The Interfaith Middle Passage Pilgrimage , have agreed to sit across the table from each other and be filmed, as we talk about that white elephant—slavery, and the ways in which women of color felt betrayed by white women’s alliance with white supremacy, our areas of commonality in that experience, how our historical relationship has effected our relationships in 2012, and how we can move past what has happened to a more authentic alliance. Check back for more information about that historic event.
Anika Makes Major Decision As a Result Springfield, MA Performance
After Anika gave her October performance at the Renaissance Artspace in Springfield, MA, she was so inspired by a group of audience members, that she committed to a life-changing decision. She decided to no longer put chemicals of any kind in her hair. More than twenty years ago, she had stopped getting any kind of processes at the beauty salon, but this was the final step toward completely natural hair. Anika cleaned out her bathroom shelves of anything she had been putting in her hair that had any chemicals in it, and has now gone completely natural. “It’s a whole new world,” she said, “Even in the 60s we were all using chemicals in our Afros. There is a movement now on the part of my Black sistas especially to love the hair we were born with, thus, loving ourselves more completely. I am proud to be part of it! How liberating to not have to spend hours in the mirror in the morning making sure I look just right for white folks and my brothas and sistas. God forbid that I should reveal what my hair is really like!”