By Staff Writer
Photos by Voice & Viewpoint
The Jacob’s Center for Neighborhood Innovation was the location for a very small and almost private poetry event last weekend. Dr. Mary F. Lenox, who is an author and poet, was the main presenter. The program was called, “The Gift of Our Ancestors: A Celebration of Black History Month.”
Bennett Peji, Vice President of Outreach for the Jacobs Center, gave a brief welcome followed by Wanda Rogers, Principal and Owner of Construction Services Workers. Rogers provided the introduction of Dr. Lenox, who gave a brief history of her family and their influence on her works. She then provided a series of spoken word poems written by her.
Lenox told the attentive audience that she often attempted to write a poem a day. She covered several topics in her works, including “The Great Migration,” “Ode to the Sweet Potato,” “Delicious Memories,” “A tribute to My Mother,” and “In Homage to Harriet Tubman.” She also recited the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes and “Won’t you celebrate with me?” by Lucille Clifton.
A small group of about 25 people were on hand in the Community Room to hear Ms. Lenox, a very quiet and unassuming person with terrific credentials. Born in Chicago, she has had a distinguished career which includes service as a librarian, researcher, university professor and minister-in-training with a Certificate of Advanced Studies from the Chicago Theological Seminary. She holds a Doctorate in Library Science, is a world traveler and now resides in San Diego.
She explained with photos and discussion before each poem, the influence of her ancestors, naming and pointing them out in pictures as she went. This was a very good start to the celebration of Black History month.