Several dozen Brooklynites gathered last night at a lovely new club in Bedford Stuyvesant - the Food 4 Thought Cafe. The occasion was the first in a series of fundraisers for Brooklyn Parents For Peace, under the title of Music & Poetry For Peace. And, land sakes alive! Did we get music and did we get poetry!
The Food 4 Thought Cafe on Marcus Garvey Boulevard, corner of McDonough Street, in Bed Stuy.
This was a beautiful, multi-national crowd - a little portrait of Brooklyn, itself. The cafe is a sweet place that you must check out - lovely prints and paintings by a local artist adorn the walls, good food and drink is available and the proprietor, Will, has dedicated the venue to an "exploration of art, music and bringing people together." Food 4 Thought is one of a bunch of new cafes, restaurants and shops that are bringing a whole new exciting look and feel to Bed Stuy.
A great bunch of Brooklynites filled the place.
Portia Weldon, a member of Brooklyn Parents executive board, had put this affair together with lots of sweat and hard work and her efforts had paid off. Portia, the mistress of ceremonies, introduced herself to the gathering and then yours truly was introduced to explain the purpose of Brooklyn Parents For Peace, what we were involved in and how we needed more people to join us in order to make us more effective.
Portia Weldon gets the night going.
Matt - Why peace matters to our communities.
The first of our entertainment was introduced by Portia - Essence Lamond. A local poet of immense talent, his spoken word, delivered with wit and passion, talked of life in Brooklyn and the United States, of peace and war and promises and lies. He was poetry and delivery were brilliant and the audience showered him with appreciation.
Poet, Essence Lamond, lifted the audience with his uplifting poetry.
Next up was the evening's featured star, jazz vocalist Veronica Nunn. Beautiful in face, figure, voice and personality, she was an unexpected treat. A professional singer with an incredibly flexible voice, she wowed the audience with jazz standards accompanied only by a stringed bass.
Veronica Nunn stole the show (and our hearts) with her fabulous voice and wonderful jazz standards.
Veronica Nunn and our NO WAR t-shirt - nice combination!
Food was simple but plentiful: there were barbecued chicken wings and legs, salad and mac and cheese. Wine and juice washed it down. And then the deserts, oh my! Chocolate cake, key lime pie and fruit tarts.
As the evening wound down, a raffle and auction were held and some of the audience walked away with some lovely prizes: hand-made pillows, tshirts, a day at a local spa, a custom massage from a local masseuse and so on. The raffle was presided over by another one of Brooklyn Parents board members, Robbo Torrance of Black Veterans For Social Justice
Robbo Torrance and helpers, raffle off prizes at the evening's end.
Like I said during my brief spiel for Brooklyn Parents: "there's a warm feeling in here and it's not just because of the heat." We all left that evening with a euphoric feeling that a new sense of community and cooperation had been achieved. If the peace movement can broaden itself in communities of color it can make itself a much more potent force that can eventually still the hand of the Bush administration. Breaking through to broader forces is the goal. Last night's gathering in Bedford Stuyvesant was a good start to reaching that goal.