Thursday, July 19, 2007

RIP Sekou Sundiata

I am passing this on upon receiving it moments ago...rz:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with deep sadness and the heaviest of hearts that we inform you that Sekou Sundiata, the eloquent and much loved poet, performer, artist activist and educator, passed away this morning July 18, 2007 at 5:47am at the age of 58 due to heart failure.

Sekou Sundiata fell ill earlier this month as he was preparing for the European premiere of his latest epic music/theater piece, the 51st dream state, at the Stimmen Festival in Germany. In early June he performed, blessing the boats, at the Spoleto Festival in S.C. and delivered a keynote presentation at the 13th Annual Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed International Conference in Minneapolis. He leaves behind a full schedule of performances, community residencies and keynote speeches.

Mr. Sundiata's untimely passing is a profound loss not only to his family and innumerable friends, colleagues and students but also to all of the individuals and communities whom he touched and changed through his performances, music, writings, public talks, interviews and conversations.

Mr. Sundiata is survived by his wife, Maurine (Kazi) Knighton, daughter Myisha Gomez, stepdaughter Aida Riddle, grandson Amman and his mother Virginia Myrtle Feaster, two brothers William and Ronald and lots of nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. Cards can be sent to Maurine at 296 Stuyvesant Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11221. Donations in memory of Sekou may be made to the National Kidney Foundation at 30 E. 33rd Street, Suite 1100, New York NY 10016. Details regarding funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.

We have attached here some additional information about Sekou Sundiata and his work. Please feel free to contact us for further information.

In the words of Sekou,

All of a sudden.,

Cathy, Ann, Jordana, Milka and Emily

MAPP International Productions

Tel: 646-602-9390

excerpt from the 51st (dream) state by Sekou Sundiata:

What if we were Life

Or Liberty

Or the Pursuit of something new?

Between the rocks below

and the stars above

What if we were composed by Love?

And what if we could show

that what we dream

is deeper than what we know?

Suppose if something does not live

in the world

that we long to see

then we make it ourselves

as we want it to be

What if we are Life

Or Liberty

and the Pursuit of something new?

And suppose the beautiful answer

asks the more beautiful question,

Why don't we get our hopes up too high?

What don't we get our hopes up to high?


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