Black Memory Explored Through Poetry at Berkeley Workshop on July 20

Ra Malika Imhotep. Photo courtesy of Medium.

Ra Malika Imhotep will lead a performative lecture and writing workshop called “The Cotton Patch—Memory Writing” as part of the Black Life monthly series on Sat., July 20 at BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street in Berkeley.

An inspiring and innovative writer, performer, and thinker, Ra Malika’s workshop draws on Toni Morrison’s essay “The Site of Memory.” The interac­tive event encourages partici­pants to reflect on the contours of their own memory, and sift through a collective memory bank in search of poetry that already belongs to them.

From Atlanta, Ga., Imhotep is a Black feminist currently pursuing a doctoral degree in African diaspora studies at UC Berkeley and is the current art­ist in residence at the Ashara Ekundayo Gallery in Oakland.

Her dissertation project engages the relationships be­tween black femininity, aes­thetics, and the performance of labor. Her creative praxis is invested in a textual and em­bodied interrogation of “the primitive,” “the erotic,” and the historical present.

Imhotep is co-convener of the experimental study group The Church of Black Feminist Thought and a member of the curatorial collective The Black Aesthetic.

Next month’s Black Life lecturer will be Levi Maxwell, a Bay Area–born food justice and youth advocate, who will explore the impact of African material culture and agrarian knowledge on colonial econo­mies throughout the transat­lantic world, and discusses the effect of clothing from local populations along the West and Central African coast on West­ ern cultural identity. It will be on August 24.

Black Life is a monthly series of events curated by Chika Okoye and Ryanaustin Dennis and organized around the ques­tion of a black epistemology. The events aim to uplift cultural and intellectual production of the African diaspora.

BAMPFA admission prices:

  • $13 General admission
  • $11 Non-UC Berkeley students, disabled, 65+
  • Free BAMPFA members; UC Berkeley students, faculty, staff; 18 & under; one adult per child 13 & under; and artists in the BAMPFA collection/MATRIX


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