The anticipation of each months Storyteller event draws to new heights as my colleagues and I share the excitement of what is coming that Friday.
Through the isles and rotunda, we meet and greet the people we’ve invited and nod with smiles at those storyteller addicts with whom we’ve come share the monthly gathering. The night is a flowing tapestry of warmth, smells, vendors and their wares, and the finest of warm hearted souls that the city could ever gather. It’s starting to feel like family…
Then the unexpected happens.
As the hostess steps up to the microphone, she sings.
I don’t mean she hums and calls out a ditty. Satori’s beautiful, soulful voice is controlled and moving, deep, and purposeful. This woman has talent to reach into the depth of your spirit and pull out the truth. Tonight is about Family Ties, and here we are hers.
We are then swept up by the graceful and powerful Diamond Company of The Legacy Dance Theatre Company, under the direction of Director Crystal White, treats us to a fused ballet and lyrical choreographed production by Jessica Thomas, created to an original score by Art Tatum to Maya Angelou’s vocalized rendition of “I Rise”.
Activist, Elena Herrada, of the Detroit Board of Education and District 6 State Representative forerunner shares her memories and discovery of the repatriation of Mexican Americans that began in 1929. Through the decade of pressure and families challenged and torn apart, many of the people denied and didn’t speak of this tragedy. “Forgetting is for Mexican’s what remembering is to Jews”, is a statement that she shared that haunts and clarifies the situation for those who heard her family’s story this evening.
Before the next storyteller, Satori comes back with the most outrageous story of her own about her pedicure experiences. Your life will never be the same after you hear about the basement pedicurist!
Next up, Yusef ‘Bunchy’ Shakoor shares one of the most intense stories of the evening, about his struggles with the abusive and neglected nature of being a child growing up in what he calls a “Third World Neighborhood”. Born to a 17 year old father and 15 year old mother, his life has come full circle with the fulfilling desire to become a successful man that his son can look up to with pride. For more information on this incredible mans work, go to: http://yusefshakur.org
George Ramsey grew up just 3 blocks away from where the museum is now, and he welcomes us to his neighborhood and tells us of his story growing up, singing Doo-Wop, the amazing ties between music, friends, family, the military, and how the love of one special woman brought him back to life. A Road Manager for many great artists, he continues to live in Detroit and speak of the history of music and the original creation of Doo-Wap in Motown. For more history, see one of his interviews at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n12aCZ9G4PA
After intermission, drinks, and vendor fare, Michigan Basement offers a cool version of ‘You Know It’s True”, and welcomes us back into the cozy atmosphere that the theater provides. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michigan-Basement/145988625465695
One of Canada and Detroit’s most talented treasures, Leslie McCurdy tells her passionate tale of growing up in Canada in an affluent, intelligent, hard working, yet dysfunctional household full of violent fighting, strange nannies, and the tragedy of neglect during divorce. Her irony melts into insight as she steps out into the bravery of the next chapter of her life.
Before the final story of the evening, Satori asks the audience for the amount of years any of them have been married and segways into her own story of how not to assume things about someone before a relationship.
Jazz Singer, Educational Administrator and Educator, Francine Dent tells of her strange birth situation, the unique situation of having a mother that ‘passed’ for white, and the eventual understanding of her mother’s unfortunate situation of living with her brother taking care of her. Her self-sacrificing life-style still allows her to be a successful woman, but she finds she is living to help others to the point that ultimately, she creates a life of her own and final decision of how to set limits for ones own good.
Want to see what we and all of Detroit is talking about?? This months event was LIVE STREAMED1
Watch here: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/2710797/events/3196249
They are taking August off. I’ll be having withdrawals.
Live or Livestream, Do Not Miss the next Storyteller’s gathering, cuz “It’s A Trip!” and come say hello to us!
Reporter: Cathleen Francios
Click here to be introduced to the Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers