Black History Month events conclude in fine fashion
The organisers of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize are happy to announce Shem Alexander as the overall winner of the visual arts competition. Alexander and several other young people collected their prizes Friday night during the Word Up! 2010 Creative Arts Showcase, organised by the team behind the month-long Black History Month observance here in Antigua and Barbuda.
The event was held at the national museum and showcased not only the word but dance, song, drumming, and the visual arts. With respect to the visual arts, the winning entries adorned the walls of the museum gallery alongside the works of the likes of Zahra Airall, Heather Doram, Yagga Yow and others.
In addition to Alexander, who collected prizes from the Daily Observer, Jewellerâ€™s Warehouse, and Harpers, prizes went to best 12 and under artist DÃ©jÃ Phillip, best artist in the 13-17 category, Ashley Clendenen, and best 18-35 winner, Akeem Barry. The organisers would also like to thank the Art Loft, the Best of Books, Stephen B. Shoulâ€™s, and Raeburn Generator Services for their contribution to the prize package. Winning pieces are expected to be moved shortly from the museum to the Art Loft where they will be on display for a period of time.
Celebrating the word, the organisers, while not giving the nod to an overall best literary piece, recognized the accomplishments of Terrikia Benjamin in the 12 and under category, Shakeema Edwards in the 13-17 category, and Hilesha S. Humphreys in the 18-35 category, with thanks to prize sponsors D. Gisele Isaac, Cedric Holder, the Best of Books, and Althea Prince.
Prince was one of several writers whose words were showcased during Word Up! with Zeeâ€™s Youth Theatre performing a selection from her non-fiction book Being Black. The group also brought to life Monica Matthewâ€™s â€˜A Wha You Fromâ€™, Dr. Elaine Olaoyeâ€™s â€˜On Becoming Afro-Americanâ€™, Althea Romeo-Markâ€™s â€˜Allieâ€™ and â€˜Each One Must Walk This Wayâ€™, and Joanne C. Hillhouseâ€™s â€˜On Black History Monthâ€™ and â€˜The Danceâ€™, the latter enhanced with a dance by Abi McCoy and drumming by Antigua Dance Academy.
Antigua Dance Academy was a highlight of the programme with effervescent performances of traditional dances and folk songs, led by ADA creative director Veronica Yearwood.
The Roots Cultural Connection was reforged with a stirring performance of drumming, dance, and storytelling, meanwhile by Zucan Bandele, and friends. It was a mixed and interesting range of performances with Linisa George taking it to the playground and the confusion over colour and esteem in â€˜Brown Girl in the Ringâ€™; King Zacari taking it to the calypso arena with his career making hit â€˜Guilty of Being Blackâ€™; and more interesting places with the likes of Argent, designer/model and interpretive artiste, and Airall backed by Athlyn Davis on drums for her piece â€˜Redemptionâ€™.
Proceeds from the night will be donated to Haiti relief efforts on behalf of the museum and the entire BHM team.
The month of activities leading up to Friday nightâ€™s show included a lecture series live and on radio, which earlier in the week wrapped with thought-provoking insights from Rohan Hector and Vance â€˜Bandeleâ€™ Joseph; and a photo finish trivia contest with Kishana Appleton and Brother Highlander walking away with prizes sponsored by Respect for Life.