B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence to host Juneteenth celebration featuring local artists

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Black Literature & Arts Collective of Kansas (B.L.A.C.K.) Lawrence will celebrate Juneteenth and the release of Tai Amri Spann-Ryan’s book of poetry on Friday.

Spann-Ryan, the 2016 Langston Hughes Poetry Award recipient and a co-founder of B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence, worked with a group to produce “Beautiful Ashe: memoirs of a sweet black boy & other poems.”

The book “includes a poetic memoir that speaks to the difficulties growing up as a Black male on the East Coast of the United States,” and it was edited by Alex Kimball-Williams, and it includes formatting and layout by Mercedes Lucero, photography by Leah Evans and artwork by Dan Phelps, according to the release.

Spann-Ryan will share some selections from the book during the event. There will also be music and poetry by Barry Washboard Barnes, music by Cia Coles, poetry by Lucero, musical vibes by Kimball Williams and barbecue and desserts from Crystal’s Spot and G’s Cheesecakes, according to the release.

“The event is meant to bring people of all backgrounds together to recognize the importance of Black liberation, which the day of Juneteenth has come to symbolize,” the release says.

The celebration is set for 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 18 at the Centennial Park east shelter, 2124 W. 9th St. It will also be streamed on Zoom from 7 to 8 p.m. at this link.

Preorder a copy of Spann-Ryan’s book at this link.

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