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Sat, Apr 06


Sankofa Video, Books, & Café

Holy Ghost Key with A. B. Spellman

Join us for a special book discussion with our beloved Howard University scholar Dr. Joshua Myers and the legendary poet A. B. Spellman on Holy Ghost Key, a new book of poetry by Dr. Myers!

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Holy Ghost Key with A. B. Spellman
Holy Ghost Key with A. B. Spellman

Time & Location

Apr 06, 2024, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Sankofa Video, Books, & Café, 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA


About The Event

Watch Conversation HERE

About the book:

Joshua Myers's Holy Ghost Key celebrates the essential role of African music in the continuity and sustenance of African Diasporic life and culture. Myers weaves his broad knowledge of African and African American music practices, genres and instruments with his memory of gospel lyrics and symbols evoking African spirituality, showing us the ways in which this music has been both the light on our path and the grounding of our historic journey. Though many of the poems pay tribute to the genius of contemporary musicians who have won popular acclaim, the entire collection reminds of a persistent African ancestral legacy.

About the author:

Joshua M. Myers is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies in the Department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University. He is the author of  Holy Ghost Key, the winner of the 2023 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize (Broadside Lotus Press, due February 2024), Of Black Study (Pluto, 2023), Cedric Robinson: The Time of the Black Radical Tradition (Polity, 2021), and We Are Worth Fighting For: A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989 (NYU Press, 2019), as well as the editor of A Gathering Together: Literary Journal.

His research interests include Africana intellectual histories and traditions, Africana philosophy, musics, and foodways as well as critical university studies, and disciplinarity. His work has been published in TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Zanj: The Journal of Critical Global South Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies Journal, Washington History, The Journal of Academic Freedom, The Journal of African American Studies,The Journal of Pan African Studies, The African Journal of Rhetoric, The Human Rights and Globalization Law Review, Downbeat, The New Inquiry , Pambazuka, Obsidian, and Burning House Press, among other literary spaces.

He serves on the board of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations and the SNCC Legacy Project and is the senior content producer at the Africa World Now Project. He was the co-coordinator of the SNCC Legacy Project’s Black Power Chronicles Oral History Project and organizes with Washington DC’s Positive Black Folks in Action. In addition he serves on the editorial boards of The Compass: Journal of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, Siyabonana: The Journal of Africana Studies, and The Journal of Black Studies.

A central thread that guides all of this work is an approach to knowledge that takes seriously that peoples of African descent possess a deep sense of reality, a thought tradition that more than merely interprets what is around us, but can transform and renew these spaces we inhabit—a world we would like to fundamentally change.

About the host:

Poet and writer Alfred Bennett (A.B.) Spellman was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He earned a BS in political science from Howard University, where he also attended law school. He published his first book of poems, The Beautiful Days, in 1964 while working as a jazz music reviewer. His second book, Things I Must Have Known (2008), received an honorable mention from the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award and was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry. Spellman has written essays and poetry for Rhythm Magazine and taught at Morehouse College, Emory University, Rutgers, and Harvard University. In 1975, he became director of the Arts in Education Study Project for the National Endowment of the Arts, where he held a series of positions, culminating in his role as deputy chairman for the Office of Guidelines, Panel and Council Operations. Spellman retired from the NEA in 2005; his service to the organization is honored by the A.B. Spellman Award for Jazz Advocacy. In addition to writing, Spellman has served on a number of arts panels, including the Advisory Group on the National Museum of African American History and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution.


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