We Cannot Sing?

Upon viewing the Mississippi Children's Choir



For our voices stilled

That we cannot sing


Doing so may cause us

To harm each other

With droplets that emanate

From uplifted voices

Our expressions of Spirit




A Shedoobee Timeline

1986-88  I get laid off for the third time from my social work job at the Chicago Housing Authority. When the supervisor says, “We’ll be calling you back,” my response is “Lose my number.” I’d already been making more money…


Toni Morrison

August 6, 2019

Today I mourn the loss of Toni Morrison. It's a deep grieving for her as mother, aunt, elder sister, friend and inspiration. As we do after a death, I think of the times I spent with her:…


On Black History Month

February 23, 2019

This has been a good Black History Month for me, with storytelling performances in several area schools and libraries. Still nothing like the 80s and 90s, when I'd be fully booked by October, reserving two calendar days…


2018 Favorites II

I Loved Presenting These Shows: 

Storytelling at Woodridge Library. Occasionally I feel like I've done my very best; that I'm in the flow and the audience is totally with me. This was one of those magical evenings. 


2018 Favorites I

I Loved These Shows:

Sona Jobarteh at Chicago's World Music Festival. The only Gambian woman touring professionally on kora, Sona's instrumental virtuosity, vocal and physical beauty, and band leading fire wowed me from first note to last. Tried my…

Holly Near at the Old Town School

September 28, 2018

Now in her fiftieth year of performing, singer-songwriter Holly Near presented an evening of healing music for a full house at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. After weeks of accusations, denials, emotional testimony and…


Newport - Day 3

August 6, 2018 


Today there are so many women at this festival that it's impossible to catch them all. As much as we'd love to see Jazzmeia Horn, our loyalty is to our friend Nicole Mitchell. We…


Newport - Day 2


August 4, 2018 


At every turning point we questioned going forward and chose to go just a little further.  We reached the parking lot and couldn’t see the point of going out in rain like…


Newport Jazz Festival - Day 1

 Friday, August 3 

Storyteller friend Valerie Tutson met us for breakfast in our hotel. We did some delightful catching up, reflecting on our artistic practice, and brainstorming an exciting retreat idea. Then we embarked on our Newport Jazz Festival…


Heading to Newport

August 1, 2018 

Today I took my electric guitar and electric bass to the Montessori school. The four and five year olds had some prior experience (“Daddy has one of those”) and made thoughtful observations about electricity and about…


A Full July

July 26, 2018 

July has been a perfect month. Within it, I have been able to express and experience every aspect of my current self: 

Mother/Grandmother – conversations with Keewa and time with her children. A moment that…