I’m almost at a loss for words. I’ve fought back the happy tears though they still might show up later. There truly aren’t words to describe properly what transpired on July 9, 2011 in Tabaq Bistro’s Art & Media Room. I’m just going to type.
First and foremost, I want to say thank you to my fellow Left Siders. I love y’all like my brothers and sisters. From far and wide we’ve come together not only to produce a book but to produce an evening that we will never forget anytime soon. It was blessed from beginning to end with its many worries and trials that only we can handle. Y’all are my family and I love you. Thank you for being on this journey with me.
To Christina Sturdivant: You truly are my best friend. Without you, last night would not have been possible. You were the rock that held everything together, including my own nerves about the evening. Thank you to your organization, the wonderful D.R.E.A.M.Life Inc. for sponsoring this beautiful occasion. I love you and thank you for everything you did for us. I will never forget it.
To the guest poets: You guys truly took the night to another level. People don’t realize how much of an inner competitive spirit there is among poets, artists and performers. When you witness someone else destroy a stage like y’all did, us as Left Siders knew we had to step our games up. All of you were magnificent and set the tone for the evening more than we can ever say. I’d break down each performance, but I’ll save that for later =) But to Tim’m West, Karega Bailey, Rasheed Copeland, Nina Brewton and Erica “Riva” Buddington, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for blessing us with your time and talents. We are eternally grateful.
To my friends and family: You all mean the absolute world to me. The amount of love and support I felt last night was indescribable. So many of you had to sacrifice something just in order to be there and for you to do so, I’m truly honored, blessed and thankful. From my boy Matthew White driving from VA only to have to turn back around to be at work at midnight to my father flying out from California to the various friends who had to take off work or re-arrange other plans just to be there to my friends who caught the bus from places like New York or drove from North Carolina or found ways around car problems to arrive just in time. It is utterly amazing what you guys went through to get here to support this group and this book. I will never forget any face or name that was there last night. I am eternally grateful.
For those of you who saw me after we said good night, you could see the weight lifted off my shoulders. When you anticipate something like this for so long and go through so much just to put it on and for it to exceed even the grandest of expectations, it truly is a humbling experience. I’ve never been on the hosting side of something like this so my nerves were crazy. But once that mic started being passed from the hands of these amazing people and performers and the tremendous crowd was attentive, engaged and appreciative, you knew the night was going to be special.
I’m going to leave this here for now because I could go on for days. But again, thank you to everyone who attended and everyone involved in A Night On The Left Side: A Celebration of The Left Side Poets Present Strange Fruit at Tabaq Bistro in Washington DC on July 9. It was truly a night I’ll never forget…