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Spotlighting a Tenderloin African American Artist and Activist

Charles Blackwell and other artists and performers following the debut of "A Sociological Report Concerning Black on Black Anger in Poetic Form" at the Tenderloin Museum

Extraordinary is defined as VERY unusual or remarkable. An extraordinary person is considered unaccustomed, exceptional and out of the way.  These words can easily be applied to some of the greats in history like Eartha Kitt, Muhammad Ail and present-day Barack and Michelle Obama, Steph Curry and Angela Davis. We know what makes these Black people extraordinary is their ability to share their skills, talents and gifts with the world in such an impactful way.  I also believe that these individuals had some kind of boldness, courage and desire to see things change from the way they were and are currently.  These leaders, artists, athletes and activists perfected their craft in such a way that all who encountered it, were and are moved to respond.  

When I was first introduced to the artist, activist, playwright and poet, Charles Blackwell, the word that came to mind and stuck was extraordinary.  Charles is an icon, living legend and respected figure in our Tenderloin Neighborhood.  Through his art, vibrant gallery shows and spoken word, I have witnessed such a gifted, determined and enthusiastic amount of activism.  His paintings hang in our living learning community at the Faithful Fools as statement pieces, we've attended shows, hosted play/script readings written by Charles and with other community actors. 

Charles galore! With Silena at the Tenderloin Museum, at his show at Hospitality House, and at the Fools Court

Charles is extraordinary and he has a new play entitled, "A Sociological Report Concerning Black on Black Anger in Poetic Form” produced in collaboration with another Tenderloin artist, Sylvester Guard, Jr. This play created from the heart and mind of our soulful and worthy activist is being featured at the Tenderloin Museum this month. Faithful Fools will host at 234 Hyde St. San Francisco two additional shows on March 8th at 6 p.m. and March 27th at 5 p.m. For more information, please reach out to the Fools and if you’d like to learn more about Charles, please enjoy our profile of him on our 2022 Fools Fables (p.4). 

As we continue to elevate Black History, Black Celebration and local Black artists this February, we ask you to join us and experience what makes this an extraordinary time of year.   

In love, light and gratitude for all things Black – Silena

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