Author Profile: Dara Kalima

Dara Kalima, author of "Black Man Black Woman Black Child"

Dara Kalima, author of “Black Man Black Woman Black Child”

With the summer in full swing and school out of session, it is a great time to catch up on some reading. There will also be book fairs and festivals this summer for those who are inclined towards literature. In July, we have the Harlem Book Fair, and in August there will be the first ever Queens Book Festival. In looking at the upcoming events, as a part of the Black Writer’s Collaborative network, I discovered a writer who is scheduled to be at this year’s Harlem Book Fair. I’d like to introduce you to writer and poet Dara Kalima. She is the author of “Black Man, Black Woman, and Black Child” a perspective on the African-American experience. I was able to reach out to Dara for some questions about her book, and writing in general.

Polite On Society: What motivated you to write Black Man, Black Woman, Black Child? 

Dara Kalima: The title poem came to me many years ago. My goal in that moment was to explore the dynamic in the household. I wanted to understand how three people can live together and still not fully appreciate what the others may or may not be going through. In time, when I decided to compile the book, I realized this poem lent itself to a larger structure. It’s written in 5 sections; I tackle with the experience/perceptions of man, woman, and child, explore the family unit and then look at what it like when these people have to face a world that was not necessarily designed for their success. 

POS: What is your purpose in your writing? Who are you trying to reach?

DK: I write for those people who don’t know how to share their stories, who feel alone, unheard, etc. I write because by writing my story can help provide healing for another. I’m trying to reach anyone who will listen. But in the case of this book specifically I want those within the community to better understand each other and then I want those outside of it to see us as just regular people who may just have a bit more of a challenge facing them.

POS: As a poet, how do you decide how much of your life experience to pour into your work? Do you ever feel at risk of going too personal? 

DK: I have put a lot of my life on the page, some would argue too much and at this point though it may have all been written it’s not all shared. But I write often times to help me find clarity on things. If I don’t understand how an atrocity can happen in the world, I tend to write the questions, or my perceptions. If I’m hurting over a broken heart I write about the relationship, where it went wrong, how I am feeling and what healing looks like. I get shy and blush or get angry when I read some of my work but if the goal is to have deep and candid conversations, then I cannot shy away from these things in writing. I would be doing myself, my readers, and my craft a disservice.

National Association of Black Accountants Raise Money For Scholars At 36th Annual Gala

NABA Board with Scholarship recipients, NABA Gala 2016

NABA Board with Scholarship recipients, NABA Gala 2016

On Wednesday June 8, 2016 the National Association of Black Accountants Inc. (NABA), New York Chapter held its 36th Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala at Pier Fifty-Nine in New York City.

The National Association of Black Accountants Inc. (NABA), New York Chapter, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to bridging the opportunity gap for people of color in accounting, finance, consulting, information technology and other related business professions.

Comedian and radio personality, Chuck Nice served as master of ceremonies. Kimberly N. Ellison-Taylor, Global Accounting Strategy Director, delivered the keynote address, and New York Life was the lead sponsor of this event.

This year’s theme was “Relevance and Reliability – Qualitative Characteristics Beyond Accounting.” As President Rosalind P. Danner states, “Individuals and organizations alike must stay relevant – closely connected to the matters at hand. Our relevance puts us in a position to stay ahead of the competition. Equally as important is our reliability – our reliability to deliver consistent, dependable and trustworthy results.”

Representing more than 200,000 professionals, NABA advances people by providing education, resources and meaningful career connections to both professional and student members.  Each year NABA awards scholarships to outstanding students, recognizes corporate partners and honors distinguished professional members for excellence. The 2016 honorees include:

 

  • PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP & EXCELLENCE: Edwin Jenkins, Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase; Hayes MacArthur, Principal at EisnerAmper; Mark Elbaum, Chief Financial Officer at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

 

 

  • COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Trishann Antoine-Despinosse, Accounting Controller at Huge, LLC
  • PROFESSIONAL MEMBER OF THE YEAR: Taisha Walker, Second Vice President of National Association of Black Accountants Inc., New York Chapter

 

  • STUDENT MEMBER OF THE YEAR: Ariana Robinson, Senior at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh; double major in Accounting and Business Administration and minor in Criminal Justice

 

Other students recognized include scholarship recipients:

 

Mamata Bah (Accounting Major at Baruch College), Ashley Belgrave (Accounting Major), Kacey Bernard (Accounting Major at Monroe College), Odia Butler (Accounting Major at Monroe College), Alexandria Dass (Accounting Major at Brooklyn College), Shantel Deleon (Accounting Major at Baruch College), Latanya Edwards (Accounting Major at Monroe College), Elijah Greene (Applied Economics Major at Ithaca College), Parin Kaba, (Finance Major at Ithaca College), Kirsten Kelly (Accounting Major at Syracuse University), Christakaye Myles (Accounting Major at Monroe College), Christine Nurse (Supply Chain Management Major at Baruch College), Subuola Ojerinola (Accounting Major at Medgar Evers College), Ariana Robinson (Accounting Major at SUNY Plattsburgh), Aderogba Salami (Accounting Major at Baruch College), Donique Sampson (Accounting Major at Monroe College), Isaiah Scott (Accounting Major at SUNY Plattsburgh), Aliou Badara Sidibe (Accounting Major at Baruch College), Shantayia Smith (Accounting Major at SUNY Plattsburgh), Ashia Thompson (Accounting Major at Monroe College), Candice Williams (Accounting Major at Monroe College), Tonya Williams (Finance Major at Monroe College), Leslie Ann Yarde (Accounting Major at Brooklyn College)

 

“For 36 years, we’ve provided scholarships to our students and recognized our corporate partners and our numerous volunteers,” says President Rosalind P. Danner. Over those 36 years, NABA has awarded more than $650,000 in scholarship funds to students. “We’ve accomplished this only through the support from our members, our corporate sponsors and the tireless efforts from our volunteers.”

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The National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA) is a premier professional organization representing the interests of over 200,000 people of color in furthering their educational, professional and career aspirations in the related business fields of accounting, consulting, finance and information technology. NABA provides avenues for growth, development and advancement to its members. To learn more visit:

http://www.nabany.org

Bringing Conscious Back Shows Out At Shrine

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Greetings my African-Americans… err my readers. I want to tell you a bit about the set at The Shrine in Harlem that I was a part of. As you have all seen before on this blog, Bringing Conscious Back is a collection of artists, poets and authors that have collaborated to raise awareness of issues in the community.

Started by Nicholle Lavann, the set  does events at The Shrine ever so often. Our last event this past Friday was wonderful. Hosted by Zakiyyah Modeste, this set featured dancer Shoniah Torres, Evan Charles, and veteran poet Abiodun Oyewole.

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For two hours, we were treated to songs, poems, and thoughts on matters of the day. Reign Taylor performed a song with her drums, and I read three pieces from my book of poetry.

Zakiyyah performed with her band, and held down host duties in Nicholle’s absence.

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This was a good event, and the end of my four month long book tour. Much thanks to the people there for coming out to see us. Since the summer is here, I don’t have anything else lined up. So I intend on taking a break from the heavy book promo. It takes a lot out of you, especially when you are your own street team. Thanks to everyone who came out to see or hear me, whether it was the Bronx, Harlem or Brooklyn. Y’all really helped make my spring. I’ll rest up, and hit hard in the fall. You can still cop the books on marcpolite.com though. Lol.

Until next blog post. Peace!

Metropolitan Black Bar Association Highlights Achiever’s At 32nd Annual Awards Gala

Board Members of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, 2016 Gala Image Credit: DosOjosMedia.com

Board Members of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, 2016 Gala
Image Credit: DosOjosMedia.com

 

At a time where people in our community are looking for examples of achievement, every event that is publicized is a morale boost. This past Friday, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association held the 32nd Annual Awards Gala at Chelsea Piers. On a Friday evening in downtown Manhattan, I was fortunate to attend, and witness the spirit of collective affirmation. The MBBA is an organization that began in the city, and has grown to be among the largest organization of Black lawyers in New York State. The theme for this year’s gala was Advocates for Inclusion: Leading With Courage, Commitment, and Conviction.

At this event, those qualities were recognized and lauded. Since attorneys often find themselves concerned with diversity in the field, they can at times be activists. The purpose of the gala was to raise funds for community outreach efforts, advocacy, and working to lessen the barriers for those interested in entering the legal field.

Sandra Bookman of WABC was this year’s mistress of ceremonies. The five people who were recognized were as follows:

Donahue Peebles, Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, who received the award for Trailblazer of the Year

Kathlyn Card Beckles, General Counsel for Card Services J.P. Morgan Chase, for Corporate Counsel of the year

Honorable Marguerite Grays, Eleventh Judicial District and Presiding Justice – Commercial Division, Jurist of the year

S. Jeanine Conley, Partner, Littler Mendelson, P.C. , Private Practitioner of the year

The Honorable Carl Heastie, Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Public Servant of the year

Congratulations to all of the award winners, and to the MBBA for hosting a successful gala.

About the MBBA:

The Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) is a unified, citywide association of African-American and other minority lawyers. Founded on July 5, 1984, MBBA is one of the largest organizations of Black attorneys in New York State. Providing a voice for Black legal professionals in the communities it serves, the purpose of MBBA is to advance equality and excellence in the pursuit of justice, aid the progress of Blacks and other minorities in the profession and address legal issues affecting the citywide community. To learn more visit: https://www.mbbanyc.org

Bronx Book Fair 2016

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The Bronx Book Fair 2016 was this past weekend. A gathering of readers, writers, authors, and artists at the Bronx Library Center for the second year in a row. As I experienced before, it was an event to reach out and discover what others are reading. I was fortunate to be accepted as a vendor again this year to promote my work.

Other authors like Dara Marsh, Taneeka Wilder, Angela Williamson, Kalisha Buckhanon, Shanika Sealy, and Sonya Harris were also there. When we were not speaking to fair attendees, we were talking among ourselves about what motivated us to write and publish our books. Feel free to check out a great set of photo’s over at Shanika’s blog: Positivealicious Bronx Book Fair 2016 photo slide

Talking with a few people. Me being a political writer, I got more than a few interesting questions.. including one about my opinion on immigration matters. Also discussed were promoting strategies, and thoughts on the logic of respectability politics and if there is any connection to behavior and Black oppression. You know, with me being me, there was no escaping the controversy. When it comes to how people conceptualize society, I enjoy answering questions from a number of different angles and engaging people.

I came away with knowing how serious this is to me. After waking up at 6am the morning of, prepping the various items you see in the picture on the table below, that’s how you know its real.   Choosing how to do something is important. Choosing your messaging, approach, is critical. My greater purpose is to do this.

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Author Marc Polite set up shop at Bronx Book Fair 16

It’s May 10th, and my spring tour is coming near it’s end. It may be a quiet summer from the looks of things, but it was a fun ride. The last event I have coming up before the June 3rd show at The Shrine is my 7th year anniversary celebration for this very blog next week. I hope y’all will come out for that. I am up here trying to figure out what I am going to say next week. I am sure I’ll come up with something.

Thanks to everyone who came by to see me at the Bronx Book Fair this past Saturday. Take care y’all.

-Marc

 

 

 

Polite On Society Seventh Year Anniversary Celebration!

Polite On Society

Polite On Society

Good evening my readers! As you know, I have been doing this blogging thing for a hot minute. I look up, and next month it will be 7 years. On May 17th, 2009 to be exact was when I first started Polite On Society. Over the past years, POS has grown, and has been a platform for independent Black authors, publicizing information for the Harlem community, and contributing to the literary scene of NYC. It’s been such an interesting journey, and I would like for you to share the moment with me if you’re able.

In collaboration with Calabar Imports, I am having a 7 year anniversary event on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 from 6pm-8pm

If you plan on coming, please do register via the Eventbrite page: Polite On Society 7th Year Anniversary

Also, here is the FB page for the event too: 7th Year Anniversary of Polite On Society Celebration

I will be talking about the blog, what motivated me to start it, and having a question and answer session for people who are interested in picking my brain about the ins and outs of social media. I will also have my books available there, so I guess it will also be part of my Spring tour. Did I mention it’s free admission?

So yeah. I am looking forward to this. I want to say thanks to everyone for the support, and hope to see some of my day one supporters there. Yes, the site is named after me, but it’s not just about me. (That don’t stop folks from going to Huffington Post or Drudge Report, just saying *smile*) The journey continues, and I have no intention of leaving folks hanging.

Just had to share this news. It’s going to be an interesting May. Peace, until next post!

-Marc W. Polite