Life is full of connections, and there is little more fulfilling than the warm feelings we get from this awareness. Some days we find one or two, and other days we need a bucket to hold them all. Such was my first evening with Satori Shakoor and the Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers…
It is my second time in this beautiful museum and I’m a bit nervous. Though I’ve written content and articles for several organizations, including my own, it’s my first article outside of GreeningDetroit.com’s newsletter. Lex Marie wrote the article about the Twisted Storytellers event ‘Social Justice’, which was met with rave reviews. I’ve been wanting to come to these events for months, but this is my virgin voyage and the responsibility this month has fallen to me.
I’m excited to see the vendors and attendees that turn the lobby into a kaleidoscope of activity. I’m especially drawn in by the unique craftsmanship of Stef-N-Ty’s incredible one of a kind hats, (https://stefnty.shutterfly.com),and as we talk, I’m introduced to the beautiful and intelligent Pashon Murray of Detroitdirt.org, whose satirical Ford commercial, which has received well over 1,200,00 hits so far, was sent to me by a family member just this week.
As we take our seats, my colleague mentions to me that Charles H. Wright, whose name graces the museum, was the doctor that brought her son into the world and I feel the depth of Charles H. Wright’s legacy is more personally tied to Detroit than just his name on a building.
Juanita Moore, president of the museum, is brought up to speak about the museum’s membership and intrigues me with the nominal cost and the inclusion of a ticket to the Societies monthly event.
Effrem Channel and Michael Evans start our evening with a moving rendition of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. The emotions swim deeply through me as he dedicates it to his mother who passed two years ago, as mine had.
Satori Shakoor’s magnetic personality welcomes us and captures the audience with the story of her birthday visit to Nefertiti Harris’ Tarot and Tea Room. The intimate events she shares have us all with mouths open, laughing hard. I understand why returning attendees give off a sense of close community.
Colin McConnell of Detroit Respect T-shirts follows. He shares his unique perspective of the world through his triumph over a rare vision problem. The touching support of his father and his fulfilling work as a pre-school teacher and children’s books.
Scott Fader, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Suits for Soldiers, impresses
me with his story of serving abroad and the commitment his non-profit now has to the soldiers back home.
Ayana Watts’ sobering tale of her childhood and courageous strength brings the audience to shocking tears and empathy for all abused children. My breath is taken away by the knowledge that she is not alone in her experiences.
Genelle Davis & Christopher Woolfolk create a moving and sensual dance that, for a moment, makes me forget where I am.
Oak Park School Social Studies teacher, William Boyer, creates a self-examining hard look for all of us that inspires with his integrity and love for Detroit.
The final storyteller of the evening is Pauline Onyango, an educator and counselor at Detroit Public Schools, who transports us to her grandfathers side, her husbands home in Africa, and the deep, spiritual connection to who we really are. I’m enchanted.
As we leave the evenings event, I know I this may have been my first time, but I am bound to return again and again.
The Secret Society of Storytellers performs regularly at the Charles H. Wright Museum at 315 Warren Avenue in Detroit Michigan, www.thewright.org.
For further information and tickets, visit their website at: www.secretstorytellers.com or call 313-744-6037.
Reporter: Cathleen Francois