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In Town For Black History Month – PURE LAGOS: KWAME ALEXANDER

Kwame Alexander celebrates Black poetry at a special book signing event in PURE LAGOS.
#BlackHistoryMonth #KwameAlexander #Poetry #AfricanArt #CommunityEvent

By Ernest Lowery
Special to the Guide

It has been my experience that having a peace of mind makes me feel good. There are many situations in life that reinforce that space in my head and my heart.

Just a few weeks I ventured into one of my favorite establishments where I deliver the New Journal and Guide. Chike Joseph Nwagbogu and his wife Sia Alexander are the proud owners of PURE LAGOS, 251 W. Bute in Norfolk. This place is one of the best kept African Art Gallery & Boutique secrets in the area.

On that day, a special guest was in the gallery for a book signing and reading from his new released book: Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets.

Black Boys

Black boys scrape their knees – they bleed

Black boys cry and scream-they tackle life like air

Gliding on wind-basking in a breeze. 

(Excerpt) Tony Medina.

“I’m Rooting for Everybody Black


Everybody Black is my hometown team. Everybody Black dropped the hottest album of the year, easy. Everybody Black is in this show so I’m watching. (Excerpt) Cortney Lamar Charleston.

See …! This is what I mean about feeling good, realizing a Black experience that encircles you and all you have to do is open your eyes and sometimes do a little search.

These two excerpts were read by none other than twice nominee for an Emmy, Kwame Alexander at PURE LAGOS from his latest installment of books called This Is The Honey – An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets. In December 2023, Kwame’s The Crossover won an Emmy for Outstanding Young Teen Series award.

Kwame’s a native and a favorite son of Hampton Roads and a graduate of Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake. Sia is his sister.

Kwame gave a comical overview of his experience at the Emmy. When he lost the first category for best writer, it was a tough pill to swallow, he reported. There were so many pieces to this puzzle but his take away was “I was nominated for two awards … feel special, be grateful.”

Calm followed after he spoke to his dad, Dr. E. Curtis Alexander of Chesapeake, about the misfortune. As he explained, the next day brought a new ray of sunshine as he prepared for the last round of awards that evening.

We now know the outcome … Black boys scrape their knees – they bleed. Everybody Black is my hometown team … everybody Black I’m watching!

It was a special evening for the hometown crowd as the book signing began and I’m almost certain everyone bought a at least one book this evening. Praises and accolades were extended from the mixed audience to Kwame Alexander from all in attendance.

After all was said and done, we ate some Nigerian food prepared by PURE LAGOS


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