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Serafemme 2005

This was a historic event for Black lesbians. Sistahs performed for sistahs and the event was organized and arranged by Sistahs, Marquita Thomas of Out & About and Hanifah Walidah, a sistah from New York who has several CD’s out now, quite a body of work, and she is an equally talented visual artist. Just an aside, check out her site and visit her blog because sistah is doing some serious vlogging or video blogging and is getting the word out about other artists along with the work she’s doing. Her blog is also educational—nuff said.

Getting back to Serafemme, if you were not able to attend do make plans for next year because I came away from the event more excited about something than I’ve been in a long time. The reason for my excitement had to do with the wealth of talent we have in our community and the aforementioned women making something happen without prior experience or knowledge on how to do something like this. These women made this thing happen and it was wonderfully done.

The event was held at the One Gay & Lesbian National Archives in Los Angeles near the University of Southern California. Around the festival grounds were vendors selling their wares and services. I did some shopping and bought a wonderful rainbow set complete with an ashtray, incense holder, and other items I am now proudly displaying in my home office.

The first artist to take the stage, Angie Evans, is a woman we used to call back the day a “blue-eyed soul sistah.” A lusty soulful voice complimented an equally soulful acoustic guitar. From Long Beach California to Serafemme, Angie Evans started her set with a revolutionary song entitled “A Call To Action.” From there, the mood was set for poetry and the poet was Damnyo.

Damnyo, a local poet who is credited for starting and maintaining a number of spoken word events throughout the city performed a poem during her set that got my attention. The piece, Suicide Song starts with the phrase, “if Sade’s crying everyone’s tears then I must be singing everyone’s blues.”  Yeah, that got my attention. A powerful opening to an equally powerful poem.

Next was the group Myriad and I stood stunned for a moment because these sisters packed some tremendous talent which set me up for more to come. My favorite was that “funky” little something they did on perception. I loved it and have played it repeatedly since.

Jessica Knox hit the stage with a sultry little song from her CD entitled "Surrender." That was just what the doctor ordered to take my mind off the hot day and think about hot nights—but I won’t go there. You’ve got to get the CD.

For a little comic relief, or release, came the “little fellas,” Butchlalis de Panochtitlan who gave us a rundown on the various moans out there. You had to be there to thoroughly enjoy their performance. They were unapologetic and good.

Ganessa James from NYC followed the “little fellas” and gave quite a performance. She and her twin sister comprise a group called the Onliest. I would love to see the two of them perform. As Hanifah stated in her introduction, one is butch and the other is femme—can you imagine?

During intermission we all had a chance to listen to Hanifah’s CD The Blue State, from her label Trust Life. The CD features artists Hanifah Walidah, Mrk DrkFthr and Tim'm West. Sistah’s got skills and I’ll explain later.

Next to the stage was Kamala, a sister from Belgium born in Bombay and rapping in both English and French. Unfortunately, she was a little under the weather but she still pulled out on a good performance in spite of it, particularly when she cut the music and went full force with a French rap.

When Sphear hit the stage, I found myself standing there like a proud mother I was so amazed at this young sistah’s talent and I discovered she is also a filmmaker who has a DVD out entitled “County General.” Sphear has such a stage presence and can she mix some words? I won’t go into detail about a box brought onto the stage but suffice it to say, I’m seriously reconsidering my thoughts on eating meat—nuff said.

Now, I’ll be honest. I’m not one for rap but Ricoshade jazzed me so I actually bought one of her CD’s. Even I could not believe I did what I did. The sistah is hot and she delivers—effortlessly—she delivers. She definitely “came at the audience” and she did not need the wireless mic. Wow!

I interviewed Nayahri Suhalia last year in Lemert Park and Nayahri, along with Hanifah Walidah are Leaders here on FemmeNoir. When I saw her perform poetry during a Burst of Light reading last year, I knew from her presence and her ability to mix old school with new school while pouring in a little hip hop in the mix, this sistah is going places. She can drop wisdom right in front of you and you’ll hear it when it hits the floor, take a good bounce, before finally hitting your head. All I can say about Nayahri is watch out, you could get hurt cause that star is about to rise hot and heavy.

After Nayahri, I had to hit the road and go to work. Two and one-half hours of video and memories is all I have from a wonderful day with entrepreneurial sistahs, talented sistahs, sistahs working for and in the community—Lisa Powell from ULOAH was there along with Katina Parker representing GLADD, one of the sponsors for Serafemme—it was empowering and I felt proud to be a Black lesbian.

Unfortunately, leaving early meant I missed Hanifah Walidah’s performance but I did catch some of it from her blog entitled Serafemme 5: I Delivered.”  She does what I call my kind of music because she makes music talk and it be hurt’n you while it be talk’n. She adds vocals to compliment the beat. It’s "thanking" music and you gotta be there to get it—or maybe not—but being there is preferable. After reminding myself over and over to pick up her CD The Blue State, I still forgot because I was having issues with myself so I gotta get it. Sistah is deep. Did I say that already? Yeah, she deep.

Leaving early also meant I missed other very talented artists and I sure wanted to see Mi$$ Money who I hear blew up the crowd. That’s another sistah doing some stuff.

Hanifah and Marquita are working on a video compilation of the event which should be out soon and it is certainly something you will not want to miss.  Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s Black Pride and get your tickets for Serafemme 2006. It was hot this year, next year it will surely be smoking.

Serafemme 2005

Serafemme Highlights Part I -- Quicktime Stream (LAN/DSL/Cable).  Approximately 50 Minutes.  Video highlights artists Angie Evans, Damnyo, Myriad, Jessica Knox, Butchlalis de Panochtitlan, and Ganessa James.

Serafemme Highlights Part II -- Quicktime Stream (LAN/DSL/Cable).  Approximately 54 Minutes.  Video highlights artists Kamala, Sphear, Ricoshade, Naya'hri Suhalia, and closing credits.

Windows Media Player (Dialup):

Serafemme Highlights Part I  -- Serafemme Highlights Part II





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