Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Photos by Ma'atology

UMSL Student Activities Coordinator MK Stallings welcomed folk to the lecture.

Mocha Latte presented with a poignant poem about family abuse as it relates to her day job as a social worker.

Close to 400 people of all ethnic backgrounds came to hear poet/educator, Sapphire who was part of the school's Womens History Month Lecture Series.

Sapphire first addressed the scathing commentary, "Fade to White" an op ed piece written by poet/educator Dr. Ismael Reed in the NY Times in regards to the film, "Precious"

A long shot of Sapphire at the podium.

Sapphire read from her critically acclaimed book, "Push:" where the film, "Precious' was inspired from as well as from the late Lucille Clifton;s children;s book, "The BCs'," , the book that the character Precious read from in the film.

Sapphire said that the reason why she wrote "Push" 14 years ago was to "open the sacred cows of the black community" and to focus on the ways of "language and learning." She also described her joy of writing it like during her life in Cali when she "had a dream of being in a tall building, not in her grown up self, but a baby, and someone pushed me out a window from twenty floors up and when I'm is about to hit the ground, a pair of arms caught me. Push is about the fall and then the catch from that arms for that could."

Another long shot of Sapphire at the podium.

During the Q&A session, there were various comments and questions for Sapphire from how to get a book published, thanking her for writing "Push," the target audience for her book, Precious director Lee Daniels version of "Precious" and her being a "recovering" lesbian (she said she was bisexual and said she didnt find lesbianism something you recover from). The gentleman pictured said that he didnt like the film, "Precious" and was very unsatisfied and saw a very horribly told story with no inspiration."

Sapphire responded saying the book, not the film, was based on a story of hundreds of thousands of people and that Hollywood likes the rags to riches and romance versions of real life, but she felt "Precious" helps to show someone breaking the cycle of abuse. Her answer was followed by a round of strong applause from the audience.

A member of the UMSL group Sistas Keepers had spoken to the crowd about the importance of the book and how it should help make people aware of family and sexual abuse.

The young lady presented Sapphire with a gift bag as Stallings looked on. The bag was for her groups' appreciation of Sapphire's book.

Hairstylist Dr. Jennices made a comment that she hears a lot of stories form her female clients about abuse when they sit in her chair to get their hair done and says she feels she is a vessel from God to try and help ladies with their problems.

After the show folk got their meet and greet on with Sapphire, including Latte who was reaching in her purse to get a pen.

This lady was one of Sapphire's biggest fans.

Latte holdin up the program and her signed copy of "Push."

Attendees included St. Louis Post's Kevin Johnson, actor/director Joel King and model Christiaan Cofield.

The line was long that wrapped around a few feet.

Sapphire signs a copy of her book for a fan.

A member of Sista Keeper gets a copy of her book signed.

....and a hug.

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