Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's an Affrilachian?

How would you feel if you learned that you didn't exist? Ask Frank X. Walker. In 1991, he looked up the definition of Appalachian in Webster's Dictionary and discovered this definition referring to the inhabitants: "white residents from the mountains.” So Mr. Walker, a black man from Danville, KY, did not exist, according to definition.

What would you do? Mr. Walker and his fellow poets decided to create another word to describe them: Affrilachian. Not only was this a word but a movement. And it wasn't just African, or Appalachian. Affrilachian have a keen sense of the world around them. When you read an Affrilachian poem, you might read about social justice (or the lack therof), men, women, mountains, India, Cuba, you name it. What ties them together is their supportive community and their way with words.

If you're in the Charleton/Huntington area, stop on by to see them. Affrilachian poets should be heard if possible. If you can't, head on over to The Affrilachian Poets site.

Here's a teaser from Parneshia Jones, dedicated to the founding Affrilachians:
"
Anyone that walks these bluegrass lands
know the stories.
They know when thunder shakes the hills,
Affrilachians are writing."

Read the rest here.

13 comments:

MacDaddy said...

Very good stuff, Mountain. Do they have a CD or plans to do one? Do they have a book? If they wanted to, they could self-publish and sell a book wherever they appear. I did this with book. I got back the money I put in for publishing the book, and, I think, provided a good product.

MountainLaurel said...

MacDaddy, several of the authors have their own books but I'm not sure of an anthology. There is a VHS available on the Affrilachia website. I'll find out about a CD on Friday. Perhaps I'll suggest it. They have a Facebook group that they use to promote (I, of course, found out about it after I posted.) Is your book still available?

justjudith said...

learn something new every day!

MountainLaurel said...

Judith, glad you enjoyed it! I'm amazed that they aren't more well known as they're quite talented.

MountainLaurel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MountainLaurel said...

Oh, and the update: the most recent material is available on the Affrilahian website linked in the post.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Laurel, The grad college seems to be missing out on a good source of participants for events like this. As an alumni of sorts, I never receive any notice of anything going on over there. Is it just me?

MountainLaurel said...

SH, I don't think it's you. I had some inside info. Would you like me to look into getting you on any kind of notification list? If so, please send me an email.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

You aint observed much lately. . . hope all is well.

tanstaafl said...

I checked this out a week or two ago. There is some really good stuff here. I am surprised I was unaware of it previously, but then again, most of my research is hard copy reading from libraries and I never realized there was such a proliferation of Affrilachians around. Plus the fact that I seldom check out authors anymore, as it makes no difference who they are, only their writings count.

I like poetry but have been away from it for a number of years.

This is a great resource. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

MountainLaurel said...

Sorry for the delay, folks. I'd been busy for a while, and now I'm trying to work some stuff out. I'm fine but just feeling quiet lately. Thanks for your concern, SH. and tansaafl, I'm glad you enjoyed the poetry. I'll post more in a bit once I get back in the groove.

britney said...

I was playing games online however for reading this post more interesting thanks for the share please do keep it going great job....Loving this.

Cheers,



___________________
Britney
Increase your brand popularity overnight

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