Carolivia Herron


The 20th anniversary of NAPPY HAIR celebrates what started as a book celebrate a childs background and became the #1 banned book.  Today NAPPY HAIR and it's author CAROLIVIA HERRON open up eyes and heart with the unique tie in of poetry, culture and passion to unite all people through the written and spoken word.


She is a Black Jew and much of her writing stems from that heritage, she has also been named the “Grandmother of Hip Hop” as she was the first prof in the US to teach a course on hip hop - - - comparing it to ancient Greek epic.

The natural tie in groups would be, Jewish Student Organizations, Social Justice, Black Student Union, early education and english.  If there is a class on Hip Hop or a poetry club they too would be interested.

Here is some recent inf:

On December 15, 2016 she will be talking at the NYPL on “Banned in Brooklyn: The Journey of Nappy Hair from DC to NYC”
For education majors there is a natural tie in with education, diversity and a reading of the book to exemplify call and response and the creation of poetry for students.

Her first book, Thereafter Johnnie, has recently been identified as one of 100 novels that every Jew should read. Here is the link to the article.

Opera Ebony in NYC is working to produce her opera, “Let Freedom Sing: The Story of Marian Anderson" in February of 2017
(In the mid 20th century opera singer Marian Anderson, was denied the right to perform at Constitution Hall by the DAR because of her color. At the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt, she broke the barrier to perform at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939.)

Her novel “Asenath and the Origin of Nappy Hair" interconnects a fictionalized version of my life with the life of Asenath, wife of Joseph, son of Jacob in the Bible

Her latest book, “Peacesong DC"
  a) was specifically requested by the Pen/Faulkner Writers in School Program for placement in Washington, DC high schools
  b) is a 95% autobiographical account of growing up black and Jewish in Washington, DC
  c) is being considered for a Jewish Book Council Jewish book award. The Jewish Book Council has already asked her to be in a program  in Washington, DC in February


Carolivia Herron is the author of the much publicized children's story, Nappy Hair. A huge controversy occurred when a white teacher in Brooklyn, New York, was verbally accosted by members of the African American community for reading and sharing Ms. Herron's book with her class of African American and Hispanic children.
It was only after the media created a circus that the parents realized that Nappy Hair was a celebration of heritage. Nappy Hair, written in call and response style, enables young people to be active participants in living poetry.

Carolivia Herron is an African American Jewish author, educator and
publisher living in Washington, DC. She received her Ph.D. in
Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of
Pennsylvania, and has held professorial appointments at Harvard
University, Mount Holyoke College, California State University, Chico,
and the College of William and Mary. Most recently she has been the
Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Project Humanities at Arizona State

Carolivia’s publications include the adult novel Thereafter Johnnie
(Random House, 1991), the critical edition, The Selected Works of
Angelina Weld Grimké (Oxford University Press, 1991), and the
children’s books, Nappy Hair (Knopf books for Young Children, 1997),
Little Georgia and the Apples (EpicCenter Stories, 2005), Always An
Olivia (Kar-Ben, 2007), and Asenath and the Origin of Nappy Hair
(Street to Street Epic Publications, 2014).

She has also written lyrics and librettos for the following  musical
works: Let Freedom Sing: The Story of Marian Anderson (music composed
by Bruce Adolphe; commissioned by the Washington National Opera and
the Washington Performing Arts Society); The Journey of Phillis
Wheatley  (music composed by Nkeiru Okoye, commissioned by Boston
Landmarks Orchestra); We are Free in choral composition, Reach out,
Raise Hope, Change Society (music composed by Bruce Adolphe,
commissioned by the University of Michigan School of Social Work), and
An Ocean Can Dry Into Silence (music composed by Ellen Harrison;
performed by University of Cincinnati Camarata).

Dr. Herron promotes and publishes the writings of Jews of African
descent and directs the educational program, EpicCenter Stories, a
non-profit that encourages the study of traditional epics and the
writing and publishing of contemporary epic. She also directs the
PAUSE writing program (Potomac Anacostia Ultimate Story Exchange), and
teaches courses in classical epic, Star Trek, and hip-hop. In fact,
she was the first professor in the United States to teach a university
course in hip-hop. (Harvard University, 1987).

Carolivia loves epic literature and the city of Washington, DC. Much
of this novel, Asenath and the Origin of Nappy Hair, derives its
impetus from her discovery of John Milton’s Paradise Lost in the
Carnegie Library of Washington, DC when she was eleven years old. The
second volume of this two volume publication, Asenath and Our Song of
Songs, will be published by 2017.

Carolivia Herron has won writing awards and commendations from from
Be’chol Lashon, Parenting Magazine Reading Magic, Marian Vanett
Ridgway Awards, the Patterson Poetry Center, the Elizabeth Stone
Memorial Award, and has received the Exceptional Women in the Arts
Award from Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Bruce George


Bruce George is the  co-founder of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam As a  Peabody Award Winner he is a visionary, executive producer, writer, poet and activist. He was born and raised in New York City. He has written poetry/prose & articles for over 37 years. His work has been published in major magazines, anthologies, and literary publications. He has written testimonials from the likes of Essence Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Class Magazine, Harlem River Press etc…

“Bruce George was a pleasure to meet and spend time with. His presence fostered an environment of intellectual enthusiasm and intrigue for social consciousness. His life story has shaped a character that is both humbled and focused. His accomplishments only make up a fraction of what he has contributed to to the art of word for 30+ years. To have transcended from the inner city boroughs of New York, New York...his heart and soul will always be empathetic to the struggle suffered by the oppressed masses of The American Ghetto. With that said, we appreciated his dynamic presence, authenticity and unwavering support!” - Wesley College, Office of Student Life

 His newest publication:
Street Smarts: An Anthology of Urban Survival Strategies
is a literary first that focuses on how urban working class people enhance their earning power despite often being underemployed. How do lower paid workers make ends meet? How do the unemployed survive once they've used up their unemployment benefits? What happens to them once they disappear from official statistics? What tactics have they developed? Is there another economic system at work that is totally outside of mainstream standards? What does the underclass do to feed the family within a hostile environment? Are the strategies they devise parts of yet another working standard?

To what extent is there an underground economy that is not exactly illegal, yet for which there is no yardstick by which to measure its effectiveness? Given the current economic downturns and consistent losses of jobs, are the strategies and options that have long ago developed among the working poor still viable? What are they? Are they legal, extralegal or illegal? What common threads hold the underclass together? Do they bear their own ethics? How applicable are they?

The answers to these questions serve as the parameters for Street Smarts. The target audience includes the hundreds of thousands who, like never before, are faced with new challenges – unemployment, loss of homes, debts, etc., with homelessness and public shelters their potential options.

Bruce has his own online social network via “Ning”: "The People Power Network" a grassroots platform: http://thepeoplepowernetwork.ning.com/

Bruce has joint-ventured with Harold Whaley who's the COO of Mongram Virtua and Terry Cyrus of OutSpoken Media as Virtual Consultants within "Second Life" www.secondlife.com  which is an entire virtual world.

2007 Bruce is one of the founders of an anti-violence/poverty initiative entitled "The American Experiment Peace Project"

2007 - Bruce is the Executive Consultant of Gumbo For The Soul Publications. www.gumboforthesoul.com 

2007- Bruce is the Executive Consultant/VP of Business Development of the "International Hip-Hop Speakers Bureau."

2006- Bruce is on the Host Committee of Kevin Powell’s 6th Annual Holiday Party Clothing Drive to benefit the homeless at “The Safe Horizon Street Work Project.”

2006- Bruce is the Executive Consultant for Audible, Inc. creating/providing "Top Tier" Podcasting-i-Tune & i-Pod content of celebrities (Spoken Word Artists, rappers, authors, comedians, singers etc. 

Bruce has won multiple poetry & talent contests. He has won several awards such as a “Peabody Award” for “Russell Simmons Presents, Def Poetry (HBO)”, a “Miky Award” for “Russell Simmons Presents, Def Poetry Jam (HBO)”, an “Upscale Showcase Award”, a “Trail Blazer Award” etc… for his outstanding vision, production, writing and performance. 

Bruce is the Founder/Executive Consultant of Ebony Energy Talent Network (Booking Agency) featuring major talent such as Paul Mooney, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Amiri Baraka, The Last Poets, Malik Yoba, Dawn Robinson etc.

Bruce is the Co-Founder of the critically acclaimed award winning “Russell Simmons’s Def Poetry Jam.”  He’s also the Founder/Managing Editor of “The Bandana Republic, an Anthology of Poetry & Prose by Gang Members & Their Affiliates.”

Bruce is the Founder/Executive Producer of a spoken word documentary entitled: “Bone Bristle, A Spoken Word Documentary” which is in post-production.  The film features critically acclaimed writers, poets & spoken word artists.

As an activist Bruce has been and currently is associated with major grassroots organizations that fosters and uplifts people in struggle.

Bruce has served on numerous panels (Hampton, Harvard, The New School, Fordham University, Medgar Evers, Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture etc…) and judged hundreds of poetry/spoken word competitions.

Bruce is a graduate of Niagara University in which he earned a B.A. degree in Psychology.

John Waters


"Life is nothing if you’re not obsessed."
- John Waters

John Waters will have a new book spring of 2019:

Mr. Know-It-All ( a clip from CNN: https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2019/05/23/amanpour-waters-know-it-all-int...)

The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder- No one knows more about everything—especially everything rude, clever, and offensively compelling

His one man show: This Filthy World (and for those who have had him before- This Filthy World, Dirtier and Filthier) is available for bookings

John Waters’ one man spoken-word lecture entitled “This Filthy World” is performed at colleges, museums, film-festivals and comedy clubs around the world.  He has played to sold out audiences at the Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Bonnaroo, the Sydney Opera House, Volksbühne Berlin, and Southbank Centre in London.SOLD out POP MONTREAL!  Audiences in all languages love John Waters

John Waters is a man of many monikers:  The Prince of Puke, The Duke of Dirt, The Sultan of Sleaze.  Anyway you put it, John Waters is famed the world over for his trash epics including  "Pink Flamingos", "Female Trouble", "Desperate Living", "Polyester", "Serial Mom", "Pecker",  "Cecil B. Demented", and "A Dirty Shame".  Two of his more surprisingly commercial films have been adapted for the stage.  "Hairspray", winner of eight Tony Awards and "Cry Baby - The Musical" nominated for four Tony Awards.   In the summer of 2007, "Hairspray" reinvented itself cinematically as a big-budget Hollywood movie starring John Travolta that became a smash hit worldwide. 

"This Filthy World" is Waters’s rapid-fire one-man spoken word "vaudeville" act that celebrates the film career and joyously appalling taste of the man William Burroughs once called "The Pope of Trash".  Updated and expanded from the original film version that enjoyed critical success at the Edinburgh, Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals, the live performance of "This Filthy World" focuses on Waters’s early negative artistic influences, his fascination with true crime, exploitation films, fashion lunacy, the extremes of the art world, Catholicism, sexual deviancy and a love of reading. 


Director Filmography

2004                A Dirty Shame
2000                Cecil B. Demented
1998                Pecker
1994                Serial Mom
1990                Cry-Baby
1988                Hairspray
1981                Polyester
1977                Desperate Living
1974                Female Trouble
1972                Pink Flamingos
1970                Multiple Maniacs 
                       The Diane Linkletter Story
1969                Mondo Trasho
1967                Eat Your Makeup
1966                Roman Candles
1964                Hag in a Black Leather Jacket

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