Photo: Sonia Sanchez and jessica Care moore in 2012 | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.
Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!
The next show will air on Tuesday April 2, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features interviews with poets, activists and educators Sonia Sanchez and jessica Care moore. When this program originally aired, WBAI had moved Suga’ from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. in November 2009. Hank Williams joined me for this insightful exchange of ideas and history about these mighty artists.
Sonia Sanchez was born Wilsonia Benita Driver on September 9, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama. After her mother died in childbirth a year later, Sanchez lived with her paternal grandmother and other relatives for several years. In 1943, she moved to Harlem with her sister to live with their father and his third wife.
She earned a BA in political science from Hunter College in 1955. She also did postgraduate work at New York University and studied poetry with Louise Bogan. Sanchez formed a writers’ workshop in Greenwich Village, attended by such poets as Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), and Larry Neal. Along with Madhubuti, Nikki Giovanni, and Etheridge Knight, she formed the “Broadside Quartet” of young poets, introduced and promoted by Dudley Randall.
Among the many honors she has received are the Robert Creeley Award, the Frost Medal, the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. In 2018, she received the Wallace Stevens Award, given annually to recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.
(Bio adapted from the Academy of American Poets’s website)
Jessica Care Moore is the CEO of Moore Black Press, Executive Producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the literacy-driven, Jess Care Moore Foundation. An internationally renowned poet, playwright, performance artist and producer, she is the 2013 Alain Locke Award Recipient from the Detroit Institute of Arts. moore is the author of The Words Don’t Fit in My Mouth, The Alphabet Verses The Ghetto, God is Not an American, Sunlight Through Bullet Holes, and a memoir, Love is Not The Enemy. Her poetry has been heard on stages like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts. She has performed on every continent. jessica Care moore believes poems belong everywhere and to everyone.
Born in Detroit, jessica Care moore first came to national prominence when she won on the legendary “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” competition a record breaking five times in a row. Her searing performance of the poem “Black Statue of Liberty” earned moore several meetings with high profile publishing companies, but in 1997, she paved her own path and launched a publishing company of her own, Moore Black Press. She released her first book, The Words Don’t Fit In My Mouth, and sold more than 20,000 copies. Along with her own work, she proudly published famed poets such Saul Williams, Shariff Simmons, Def Poetry Jam’s co-founder Danny Simmons, NBA player Etan Thomas, Ras Baraka and former Essence Magazine editor Asha Bandele.
Black Tea: The Legend of Jessi James is a highly personal and passionate piece of work. It is decades of jessica’s Care moore’s musicality shared with her audience in a way they have yet to see. There was already music in her poetry; she is now bringing it full circle. The album is produced by moore and pianist Jon Dixon. Features include Imani Uzuri, Roy Ayers, Talib Kweli, Jose James, One Belo and Ursula Rucker. It will be released fall 2014 by moore’s record company Words on Wax in partnership with Javotti Media.
(Bio adapted from the jessica Care moore’s website)
This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
Watch Sanchez read her poem “Middle Passage” with a live band.
Watch moore read her poem “You May Not Know My Detroit.”
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York system.