The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture officially appointed Nephtali De León as San Antonio’s new Poet Laureate. De León will serve as the City’s sixth Poet Laureate for a three-year term spanning April 1, 2023 – March 31, 2026.
About the Program
The duty of the Poet Laureate is to promote poetry and the literary arts in San Antonio and is tasked with developing innovative and inspiring public events and programs in conjunction with local organizations and the Department of Arts & Culture. The Poet Laureate also makes special appearances and attends various functions throughout their term. The Poet Laureate initiative has led to a greater appreciation and understanding of poetry and helped preserve and express our culture through the written and spoken word. San Antonio’s Poets Laureate have participated in over 750+ events, programs, projects throughout the city, state, the US and internationally during their terms burnishing our city’s reputation in the fields of arts, culture and education.
The concept of a Poet Laureate originated in England in the 1600s.The title Poet Laureate dates to the ancient Greeks and refers to the tradition of placing a laurel wreath or crown as recognition for significant achievements in literature or the arts. The United States Poet Laureate was established in 1937 and the State of Texas has appointed a Poet Laureate since 1932. In 2012, San Antonio was the first major Texas city to appoint a Poet Laureate. Each municipality establishes guidelines and criteria for the selection of its Poet Laureate and their duties.
About De Leon
Nephtalí De León is a Chicano writer and artist known for his poetry, children’s stories, essays, paintings and sculptures. He was born in Laredo, Texas in 1945 as the son of migrant workers. Although neither of his parents received much formal education, Nephtalí has stated that they were responsible for first exposing him to literature. He published his first book— Chicanos: Our Background and Our Pride —in the early 1960s during his senior year of high school. He then expanded his work to include poetry and plays.
De León is also a visual artist who has worked in painting, sculpture, and mural art. His first children’s book I Will Catch the Sun received great praise. He has been published in Mexico, France, the U.S. and Spain with his stories being translated into several languages. He is also credited with illustrating most of his books. Currently, Nephtalí is a full-time poet, writer and painter who performs lectures and poetry at schools and community events.
Downtown SA Lights Up for the Holidays
Downtown San Antonio will sparkle this holiday season with an array of lights and holiday events.
Set against the backdrop of one of the city’s most historic and charming walkways, five blocks of Houston Street will buzz with twinkling lights, decorations, entertainers, and vendors from Nov. 24 and runs through January 2.
Additionally, on Nov. 24, kick off the holiday festivities with the Annual H-E-B Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Travis Park. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. and include live entertainment, food trucks, letters to Santa, giveaways, holiday crafts, a special visit from Santa, and a movie screening of “The Grinch.” The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m., followed by the movie at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
Get front-row seats to the 42nd Annual Ford Holiday River Parade, which offers a spectacular one-hour parade along the San Antonio River Walk starting at 6 pm at the Tobin Center. This year’s theme, “Holiday Stories,” will kick off the San Antonio tradition. Always held the day after Thanksgiving, the parade and river lighting ceremony will feature 28 illuminated floats and over 100,000 lights (2,250 strands) illuminating the River Walk. The lights turn on from sundown to sunrise every day until the weekend following New Year’s Day. Seating ranges from $15 to $40. It is broadcast live at 7 p.m. at the Arneson River Theatre.
The Rotary Ice Rink, presented by Valero, will also return this fall at Travis Park in downtown San Antonio. Since 2019, nearly 200,000 people have enjoyed the rink and surrounding festivities. For more information, including hours of operation, pricing, and specials, visit (rotaryicerink.com).
For more events, go to (VisitSanAntonio.com).
Harlem Renaissance – First African American Movement of International Modern Art
In February 2024, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present the groundbreaking exhibition The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism from Feb. 25-July 28, 2024, at The Met Fifth Avenue, Gallery 999 in New York.
Through some 160 works, it will explore the comprehensive ways in which Black artists portrayed everyday modern life in the new Black cities that took shape in the 1920s–40s in New York City’s Harlem and Chicago’s South Side and nationwide in the early decades of the Great Migration when millions of African Americans began to move away from the segregated rural South. The exhibition will establish the Harlem Renaissance as the first African–American–led movement of international modern art.
The Ford Foundation and Denise Littlefield Sobel provide major support for the exhibition. The Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund, the Enterprise Holdings Endowment, and The International Council of The Metropolitan Museum of Art provide additional support.
Many of the paintings, sculptures, and works on paper come from the extensive collections of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
“This landmark exhibition reframes the Harlem Renaissance, cementing its place as the first African American–led movement of international modern art,” said Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO. “Through compelling portraits, vibrant city scenes, and dynamic portrayals of nightlife created by leading artists of the time, the exhibition boldly underscores the movement’s pivotal role in shaping the portrayal of the modern Black subject—and indeed the very fabric of early 20th-century modern art.
The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism will open with galleries that explore the cultural philosophy that gave shape to the New Negro movement of art and literature, a term defined and popularized by the movement’s founding philosopher, Howard University professor Alain Locke, in dialogue with W.E.B. Du Bois, Charles S. Johnson, and influential literary and music figures including Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and James Weldon Johnson.
The Met has an extended history of collecting and displaying works by artists active during the Harlem Renaissance. In the 1940s, the Museum acquired several early works by gift from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), such as Jacob Lawrence’s Pool Parlor (1942).
A fully illustrated scholarly catalog on the vibrant history of the Harlem Renaissance will accompany the exhibition. The Met will host various exhibition-related educational and public programs, to be announced later, while also pursuing community outreach and engagement initiatives. The exhibition is featured on The Met’s website at (TheMetMuseum.org) and on social media.
Jay-Z Exhibit Opens in Brooklyn
Jay-Z’s motto is to “Always Bet On Yourself.” His formula has paid off since he has continuously shaped the culture and broken barriers for nearly three decades.
Now, fans can uncover more about his career through The Book Of HOV exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library. Variety magazine said the 40,000-square-foot exhibit provides a deep dive into Jay-Z’s life and career through seven themed “zones” that explore his influence on music, culture, business, and social justice. With a curated collection of recordings, clothing, artifacts, audio tours, and videos, this homage to Jay-Z is a must-visit for fans and enthusiasts.
According to Hot New Hip Hop website, the installation presented by Roc Nation has already made waves online before its launch on July 14. “The Brooklyn Library put Jay-Z’s lyrics on display outside of the building to formally announce the exhibit. On the opening night, his wife, Beyonce, and their daughter, Blue Ivy, were in attendance. Additionally, Rakim, Questlove, Lil Uzi Vert, Fat Joe, and more came to show support.”
According to the exhibit’s website, the Book Of HOV is a tribute exhibition at the Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, recognizing Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter’s extraordinary journey from Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects to a global figure. The multimedia exhibit explores JAY-Z’s global impact as a musician, innovator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
The exhibit presents thousands of archived objects, including original recording masters, never-before-seen photos, iconic stage wear, prestigious awards and recognitions, and videos and artifacts from every facet of JAY-Z’s professional life.
“Our goal, with The Book of HOV tribute exhibition, is to provide a behind-the-scenes look at a Hall of Fame songwriter and performer, successful business person, and a consequential philanthropist who has never forgotten the lessons he learned on the road to success. And the borough where his journey began,” according to the Brooklyn Library.
The exhibit is free to visitors. To learn more about the exhibit, visit (TheBookOfHOV.com).
The Real History of Thanksgiving
Downtown SA Lights Up for the Holidays
Black Soldiers’ Convictions Overturned – A Century Later!
Video Surfaces in Ahmaud Arbery Case
Bushwick Bill, Of Houston Rap Group Geto Boys, Dead At 52
Botswana’s First Skyscraper and Tallest Building
Black Life Texas3 weeks ago
The Untold Story of Native Americans Heritage Month
Entertainment4 weeks ago
Kirk Brings Tour to San Antonio
Black Life Texas4 weeks ago
Get Ready for Fashionetta
Black Life Texas4 weeks ago
Black Veterans: Fighting Two Wars
Business2 weeks ago
San Antonio Airport Ranked #2 in U.S. by The Wall Street Journal
Black Life Texas4 weeks ago
Free Native American Festival at the Briscoe
Black Life Texas2 weeks ago
The Historical Lack of Black Publishers
Black Life Texas1 week ago
The History of Soulful Thanksgiving Sides