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Sights and Sounds: Tongo Eisen-Martin

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. During the pandemic, we're offering suggestions for ways to experience art and culture at home or through social distancing. On this episode, host Jenee Darden speaks with San Francisco Poet Laureate and Black Freighter Press publisher Tongo Eisen-Martin.

Museum of the African Diaspora’s Open Mic
MOAD hosts a virtual open mic every other Thursday on Zoom. Nia Mcallister is the host and an awesome writer. For any poets who are nervous about reading their work in front of others, Tongo advises to just do it. He admits that he even gets nervous sometimes before a reading, but says those jitters are good because they show you care about your work.

This documentary tells the history of the public television variety show "Soul!" The show ran from 1968 to 1973 on New York station WNET. Host Ellis Haizlip was an openly-gay Black man who showed America an unfiltered and authentic celebration of Black art and politics. Guests included James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou and many more. Visit the film's website for info on virtual screenings and check PBS for future airdates.

Dance Mission Theater
Harriet’s Gun: Shapeshifting Towards a Radically Imagined Black Future
Saturday, March 13th, 5pm
Black artists from around the country to their stories, hopes and express joy in this dance production. Rhodessa Jones will emcee. This is a virtual event and tickets are $10. Watch the moving https://youtu.be/9wIYzKEr9W4">trailer and buy tickets on their website.

Tongo Eisen-Martin is the eighth San Francisco Poet Laureate and co-publisher of Black Freighter Press. Look out for the press' events and monthly reading series called The Docks.

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She hosts the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds and covers East Oakland for KALW. Jenee has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.