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Sights & Sounds: Marvin K. White

courtesy of Marvin K. White / cropped and resized

Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Public theologian, artist and poet Marvin K. White told KALW’s Jen Chien about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.

Credit Rachel Eliza Griffiths

At 16, Betts participated in a car-jacking and landed a nine-year prison sentence. Betts shares not only his transformative tale from prisoner to scholar, poet, and Yale Law graduate, but also uses his experiences to speak to important issues surrounding the American criminal justice system. He’ll be hosting this workshop for teens to talk about life after incarceration, writing, and poetry at the Eastmont Branch of the Oakland Public Library on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 7th.

WHITE: I'm just captivated by his stories ... and it seems like poetry, for Reginald, allowed him a quicker view that stopped him from participating in that [incarceration] cycle.

Purple Rain will kick off the Summer Season of the annual Waterfront Flicks series at Jack London Square. Moviegoers should arrive early for pre-film festivities including small eats, trivia and giveaways. The movie starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 8th. 

WHITE: I was in high school and I saw my first Prince concert. It was at the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco ... and my life was changed in that moment ... when I saw him, I was like, oh, I can be a freak.


Credit courtesy of Charif Shanahan

The Sweetwater Sessions is a multimedia series at Omi Gallery at Impact Hub in Oakland, that aims to intersect and possibly disrupt social constructs by exploring femininity and liquidity-- and celebrating black people and Blackness. This event, Volume 14 in the series, will feature poet Charif Shanahan. He’s a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford, a nominee for the Pushcart Prize, and published author many times over. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 9th. 

WHITE: He talks about being raised and born in the Bronx and what it means to be black ... and what it means to think about blackness as a global identity.