In the People's Hands

is a labor of love that began in the late 1980s when a small collaborative of arts activists and cultural workers came together to “kitchen table” publish a community zine for, by, and about the Durham community. Jereann King, one of founding editors, revealed that during this time the group felt it was important to not only speak the word empowerment, but also practice it by activating the power and voices of the community. In more recent years, Phillip Shabazz, Mama Nia, Bettys’ Daughter Arts Collaborative, and the SpiritHouse family have, with the blessing of its founders, re-ignited this ‘zine in both a print and online form (see IPH news)

Community Writing Intensive – The In The people’s Hands Community Writing Intensive began in 2007 as a project of Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative. Starting as a small writers’ workshop, the intensive has grown into an annual 4-day literary art and activism workshop series. Based on June Jordan’s Poetry For The People principle that “words can change the world and save our lives,” the series led by community poets, organizers and local youth, uses poetry, short stories and essays to promote thought and solution-based community dialogue. The Intensive features: workshops, community forums, one-on-one manuscript conferences, peer editing, artists-in-residence, a travel scholarship program and an open mic.

Love & revolution are the same thing

for Assata
By Dr. Renee Alexander Craft

Part I.

Dear Assata,
I bottled an ounce of ocean,
a pinch of sand,
two fireflies,
and one dogwood blossom
In a canning jar with three holes in it
Placed it in the Atlantic off the coast of Wilmington
Not far from Freeman’s beach
Where your grandmother
taught you the word “fierce.”
Yemaya carried it to the place where water tugs sky
And entrusted it to the ancestors
They pass it
wave by wave toward Havana
They pass it
Making a ring shout
On the ocean floor
Shifting weight
Clapping hands
Black woman
Black revolutionary
We have not forgotten you

Click here for the rest of this poem entry