Black voters and family

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In 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, indicating that states could no longer be judged by voting discrimination, inferring the country has fundamentally changed since the Act’s passage five decades ago. The recent horrific massacre in Charleston obviously discounts that claim.

Sheri Holbrook Labedis, author of “You Came Here to Die, Didn’t You,” writes of her experiences in 1965, when she responded to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s request for white people to help register black voters in the South. Coincidentally, she was first sent to Charleston for training, and then to the poverty-stricken community of Pineville for canvassing. Witnessing the extreme change of culture from that of her hometown in California, the experiences of the young, naive 18-year-old deeply impacted her life, on many levels.

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Black books and education

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The 2nd Annual Sacramento Black Book Fair – held in eight different venues – offered a plethora of informative, engaging, and entertaining activities from which to choose. The Brick House Art Gallery hosted a fabulous Kids Zone, with African drumming and dance provided by Jodama Drum & Dance, and vendors who introduced community-based organizations, such as Sojourner Truth Museum, Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, Black Child Development Institute, and Read Across Jamaica. Plus, the Crocker Art Museum’s Art Ark made an appearance. You’ll also meet four authors who attended an evening at Underground Books: Nicholas Powers, Cedric J. BoyKakwasi Somadhi, and Sandy Lynne Holman.

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Appalachian dulcimers and heritage

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The Appalachian dulcimer’s unique sound resonates on a cellular level with those of Irish or Scottish heritage, and is just plain lovely to the rest of us. Robert Scott of Where Ravens Fly discusses the history of the instrument, and plays a couple of songs on a Appalachian dulcimer he designed.

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Native Americans and culture

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Indian? Native American? First Nation? The “appropriate” name of this culture varies, depending on the location.  Al Striplen, MA is a descendant of a California coastal tribe, who serves as docent at the State Indian Museum in Sacramento, also offering guidance and instruction in Native American spirituality, and mindfulness, through meditation and prayer.

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Motown and Movements

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Motown and that “Motown sound” continues to be a powerful influence on musicians and songwriters, and it’s just plain funMotown on Mondays (“MOM”) is truly a party for all ages, with 18 current locations, and looking to spread the joy into Europe. This week, I speak with a few of the Sacramento Motown on Mondays gang – Ginnie Jester, Chris Hopkins, and DJ Epik – about this unique ongoing event.

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