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Much of his work has been producing experimental shorts for museum

and gallery installations, combining music and spoken-word with visual

images, as well as his freelance work as an editor for various production

companies throughout the country.

 

 

The Voices of A Black Wampanoag Warrior & Artist

By Mwalim *7)

Storyteller, Playwright & Folklorist

 

Considered by critics and peers alike to be one of the true modern masters of the oral tradition, Mwalim is a multifaceted, Black Wampanoag performing artist, writer, filmmaker and educator. Once asked what he considers to be his main art form, his answer is “communication”. When asked what his most challenging project to date has been, he responds, “Balancing being a single parent and working arts educator,” as his almost-three year-old son could be heard in the background playing a drum and singing to himself.

Born in Bronx New York and raised in Bronx, New York and Mashpee, Massachusetts, Mwalim (aka Morgan James Peters, I) grew up immersed in the oral traditions of his Bajan (Barbados) and Wampanoag cultural heritage. He is a keeper of both the New World Griot and Ahanaeenun (Wampanoag ‘Medicine Clown’) traditions. While the Black Indian experience remains a taboo for many eastern people, it is a reality that Mwalim embraces in his daily life, as well as explores and celebrates through much of his artistic work.

Mwalim first emerged to public attention in the mid 1990’s in the east-coasts growing spoken-word and storytelling scene, appearing in coffeehouses, lounges and various poetry venues. In 1998, as a means of generating an income in these venues, Talking Drum Press published A Mixed Medicine Bag, a collection of his original Black Wampanoag folk-tales. The book quickly became a sought after piece of literature by multicultural studies and native literature courses and enthusiasts worldwide.

In theatre, he has distinguished himself as a playwright, director, actor and teacher. Receiving his formal training from New African Company in Boston, Mwalim's work has been presented throughout the United States and Canada. An award-winning filmmaker, Mwalim received his MS in Film from Boston University. Much of his work has been producing experimental shorts for museum and gallery installations, combining music and spoken-word with visual images, as well as his freelance work as an editor for various production companies throughout the country.

He was recently named “Filmmaker-In-Residence” by WGBH, Boston’s PBS television station. He will be the residency programs first narrative filmmaker, where he will be producing a film adaptation of “Look At My Shorts”, a collection of Mwalim’s short plays exploring contemporary Black Indian experiences in Massachusetts. “Look At My Shorts” earned him the 2003 “Outstanding New Playwright” award from the New York Theatre Forum.

His award-winning one-man show “A Party at the Crossroads” is subtitled the tales and adventures of a Black Indian growing up in a Jewish neighborhood, has been presented at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Connecticut and as a part of the Indian Summer series at the American Indian Community House in New York City. His performance piece, based on memories of Mashpee of the past, "Backwoods People" was presented at the 1999 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC.

His romantic comedy, “Working Things Out” was a hit at the 2005 festival. Mwalim is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Oversoul Theatre Collective, a professional Black and Native American arts and education organization formed in 1994. Currently he is completing his MFA in Playwriting at Goddard College where he studies under Leslie Lee. His thesis project is entitled “Wetu In The City” the story of a tribe of Waquasiq Indians, whose territory was once the entire Bronx, now reduced to a triple-square block in the South Bronx which a real estate develop is now trying to take out from under them.

In 2000 he released a solo CD-Single “Thief in the Night” (Midnight Groove/OTC Records) which became an underground hit, followed by a limited edition E.P. called “Jazzy-Soul Club Grooves” in 2001, which became a favorite among dance music DJs in the USA, Canada, the U.K., Germany, and France.

His album “Bronx Jazz” is due for release in late 2006. Mwalim is a published author of several poems and short stories appearing in numerous anthologies; a recipient of the MLK, Jr. Cultural Arts Fellowship, New England Broadcasting Association Fellowship, NAACP Media Artists Grant, Longwood Cyber Arts Fellowship, and a three-time recipient of the Ira Aldridge Fellowship.

He has served as an Artist-In-Residence at Cape Cod Community College (1997 - 1999); The Frederick Douglass Unity House at U Mass Dartmouth (1998-1999); Harlem Theatre Company (1999 - 2001); and The Point CDC Theatre (2001 - 2003). He is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Director's Lab, and a playwright-in-residence with New African Company in Boston. Currently, he is a full-time Assistant Professor of English and African/ African American Studies at UMass Dartmouth, teaching Drama, Oral Traditions, and Digital Filmmaking.

 mwalim@gmail.com  / http://www.mwalim.com / http://www.myspace.com/mwalim7  

posted 23 May 2006

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

 

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. WashingtonPost

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Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid

By  Frank B. Wilderson, III

Wilderson, a professor, writer and filmmaker from the Midwest, presents a gripping account of his role in the downfall of South African apartheid as one of only two black Americans in the African National Congress (ANC). After marrying a South African law student, Wilderson reluctantly returns with her to South Africa in the early 1990s, where he teaches Johannesburg and Soweto students, and soon joins the military wing of the ANC. Wilderson's stinging portrait of Nelson Mandela as a petulant elder eager to accommodate his white countrymen will jolt readers who've accepted the reverential treatment usually accorded him. After the assassination of Mandela's rival, South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani, Mandela's regime deems Wilderson's public questions a threat to national security; soon, having lost his stomach for the cause, he returns to America. Wilderson has a distinct, powerful voice and a strong story that shuffles between the indignities of Johannesburg life and his early years in Minneapolis, the precocious child of academics who barely tolerate his emerging political consciousness. Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 1 May 2012 

 

 

 

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