An Evening of Elevated Conversation through the Words of Black Women
Vignettes from “Black Lady Poetry” an evening of poetry and community dialogue elevating the conversation in the greater Seacoast community through the words and experience of black women. Samantha Searles, Anaya Caynes, Yoshi Maysonet and Sandi Clark Kaddy set the tone of the evening through the spoken word, song and dance after which Tanisha Johnson, BLM Seacoast Co-founder, facilitated a dialogue with the panelists. The evening was a collaboration between Seacoast African American Cultural Center in Portsmouth, NH, and Green Acre, A Bahá’í Center of Learning in Eliot, ME.
Introduction: Sandi Clark Kaddy
A Change is Gonna Come, sung by Samantha Searles
On Being Brought from Africa to America, by Phillis Wheatley, read by Sandi Clark Kaddy
Black Mama, White Man, by Samantha Searles
Time and again (Black Wall Street), by Anaya Caynes
Serendipity, by Yoshi May
Still I Rise, by Maya Angelo, read by Sandi Clark Kaddy
As I know Where I’ve Been, sung by Samantha Searles
Black Granite, by Samantha Searles
Gone Boy (Emmett Till), by Anaya Caynes
Take a Photo, by Yoshi May
We Wear the Mask, by Maya Angelo, read by Sandi Clark Kaddy with dance by Yoshi May
Ego Tripping, by Nikki Giovanni, read by Sharon Jones
Ode to My Black King, by Anaya Caynes
In, by Samantha Searles
Self Realization, by Yoshi May
Shine Bright Like a Diamond, by Anaya Caynes
Q & A with Tanisha Johnson
Closing Remarks: Sandi Clark Kaddy
My name is Anaya Caynes, I am 25 years old and I’m from Brooklyn, N.Y. Being born and raised in Brooklyn has strongly influenced the person that I am becoming. Growing up, I had much exposure to different cultures, ethnicities, and characteristics of people. Many of the people in my community and in my family have fallen victim to hurdles and obstacles set forth for minorities. I decided to use higher education as a means of escaping the circumstances countless people around me have faced. I made a decision that I would do everything in my power to create a better life for myself. At the age of 24, I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology and my Master’s degree in International Business. I am the first person in my family to receive such accolades. I currently serve as a middle school math teacher, a career I gravely enjoy. I’ve always had a love for writing. I got into poetry as a means of expressing and trying to heal myself. I fell in love with being able to tell a story in creative ways. I will continue to explore my passion for writing and educating others about black injustices and experiences.
Sandi Clark Kaddy – Born in Lowell Mass raised in upstate New York and a graduate of Elmira College, Elmira, NY with a BA in Theater. Sandi has been a longtime resident of NH and the seacoast area. She is founder of “Jukwaa Mazoa” a theater production company. Sandi is a producer, director and performer.
Sandi volunteers for several NH based Non-profits, however the majority of her time is spent as President of The Seacoast African American Cultural Center SAACC and she serves on the Executive Council for the Seacoast NAACP. Sandi is active in her Church North Star Ame Zion which is in Newington NH. Founder of the “Set The House On Fire” a Gospel Concert in celebration of the life and dreams of Rev Dr Marin Luther King Jr.
Yoshi Maysonet is a versatile performer. From dancing to writing and a few hobbies on the side. She started writing at a young age from having dairies, to journal entries and having a deep love for poetry. They also have a deep love for dancing and expressing themselves through movement. She’s looking forward to being a part of this event and having a good time with all.
Samantha Searles has resided in NH since she was 2. She became active in both theater and politics in middle school. She graduated high school with the Gold Presidential Service Award for her work with HOPE worldwide, where she still serves on the board of the Granite State Chapter. She also received the first Dayna Brunelli Memorial Scholarship from the Youth Theatre program at the Palace Theatre. She served as Community Outreach Director for the NH Legislative Youth Advisory Council for 4 years. She was a member of HOPE worldwide’s National Youth Advisory Council for 2 years, including representing them at the United Nations Civil Society Conference. In June of 2020, she helped found Black Lives Matter, Nashua and later joined the communications team for the newly formed Our Moment PAC. Throughout college she has performed professionally with Hatbox Theater and History Alive. She will graduate with a Journalism degree (Broadcast Concentration) from Boston’s Suffolk University in May 2021 with the hopes of becoming an anchor or analyst. She is passionate about serving marginalized communities, saving the arts, and giving children safe spaces to grow up.