BrooksDay is a celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks that takes place on the anniversary of her birth, June 7th. Each year you can join us for BrooksDay, celebrating the works of Gwendolyn Brooks on her birthday! Each year we honor her legacy as an artist and an iconic figure of generosity and civic conscience in Chicago and in the nation. And 2017 will be all the more spectacular with the City of Chicago and its myriad arts organizations celebrating Brooks during the 2107 centennial. BrooksDay is the marquee event for these celebrations –an evening of Gwendolyn Brooks on her 100th birthday.
Along with youth, other poets, actors and teachers, many notable literary, cultural, civic, and political leaders from Chicago and beyond have taken the stage at the for BrookDay each uniquely celebrating and honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, who was the first African American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize. Since 2013 BrooksDay has been a marquee marathon event that has lead to a city-wide Brooks celebration in 2017. Each of our annual events have been unique unto themselves, all commemorating Gwendolyn Brooks’s artistic achievement, her legendary generosity toward other poets, her influence as a pathbreaking cultural figure in Chicago and the nation, and her deserved stature as the iconic poet of modern Chicago. In 2016 we outdid ourselves, featuring Kevin Coval, Aviya Kushner, and Andrea Change, as emcees, along with many of Chicago’s top literary and artistic talent including graffiti artist Tyrue Slang Jones, artistic brother-trio Sketch N’ Tyme wit LTAB 2016 winners, Rebirth. Readers include Michelle Boone, Steve Young, Jackie Taylor, Calvin Forbes, Coya Paz, Eric May, Angela Jackson, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Quraysh Ali Lansana, and many others. Putting together a robust day of poetry, performance, activism, and Gwendolyn Brooks and we were again centrally located in Chicago’s Loop at the Chicago Cultural Center.
BrooksDay 2017 was even more impressive, with BrooksDay@Nite being a spectacular event celebrating the centennial Birthday of Gwendolyn Brooks on her actually 100th birthday, with one hundred one-minute performances, reception, and more at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.
Performances for BrooksDay 2017 featured:
Tyehimba Jess, Angela Jackson, Haki Madhubuti, Nate Marshall, Kevin Coval, Marcus Dunlevy, Runako Jahi, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Patricia Smith ,Tara Betts, C. Russell Price, Natasha Estevez, Mario Smith, Nicole Bond, Judith Heineman, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Eva Miller, Britteney Black Rose Kapri, Nora Brooks Blakely, Tracie D. Hall, Peter Kahn, Christian JaLon, Val Gray Ward, Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Reg Gibbons, Michael Puican, Aurora Performance Group, Maggie Brown, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Cynthia A. Walls, Sketch N’Tyme, Shahari Moore, Zahra Baker, A.J. McLenon, Shanta Nurullah.
For more information please join us at the dedicated BrooksDay page: BrooksDay.org
See you next year, but in the meantime, here is a little teaser of the photos from BrooksDay@nite, the Official Centennial Birthday Party celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks
There are many more photos on of the BrooskDay@Nite celebration.
You can view all the photos from the night by clicking here!
BrooksDay is now in its fifth year!
Nora Brooks Blakely talks about her mother’s legacy at the 2016 BrooksDay Preview event held at the Museum of Contemporary Art. May 3, 2016
Performances and Readers for BrooksDay 2016 featured:
Kofi Ademola | Quraysh Ali Lansarna | FM Supreme | Fatimah Asghar | Babu Atiba
Aurora Performance Group | Bill Ayers | Tiff Beatty | Nora Brooks Blakely
Michelle Boone | Rosellen Brown | Kristina Colon |Kimberly Dixon- Mays
Mama Edie | Kai El’Zabar | Calvin Forbes | M’read Green | Natasha Estevez
Val Gray Ward | Duriel Harris | Jill Hopkins | Angela Jackson | Bee Kapri | K’Love
Haki Madhubuti | Page May | Toni Nealie | Julie Nesbitt | Peter O’Leary
Sandra Opoku | Elise Paschen | Coya Paz | Rebirth | C.Russell Price
Tim Samuelson | Sketch N Tyme | Javon Smith | Elizabeth Taylor | Stephen Young
Emcees for 2016 were Andrea Change, Kevin Coval, Aviya Kushner, and Mario Smith.