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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

The AfriGeneas© Poet Finds Place in Archives
In Response To: The AfriGeneas© Poet ()

Local Poet-Teacher-Activist Finds Place in Archives

Santa Barbara television producer and poet Sojourner Kincaid Rolle has donated personal materials to UCSB, including a TV interview with the late author-teacher Bill Downey.

The first installment of papers and personal materials from African-American poet and playwright, peacemaker, Santa Barbara community activist, and television producer Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, has been established in the Davidson Library’s California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives, announced Sal Guerena, CEMA director.

Her poetry includes six chapbooks, inclusion in various anthologies and literary journals, and a body of uncollected work, some of which has been choreographed for dance presentation and performed as theater. For example, in 2002, she co-wrote with UCSB professor emeritus Robert A. Potter “Ayo’s Journey,” a multidimensional theater performance directed by Val Limar about the transatlantic slave trade. It was based on a 12-poem cycle. Four of Kincaid Rolle’s poems were also produced as short plays by the local theater group “Dramatic Women.”

The Sojourner Kincaid Rolle Papers will eventually consist of literary manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, broadsides, ephemera, and audio and video recordings, Guerena explained.

He noted that her television work was a good example of how she “captures a great deal of social and cultural history through the prism of local notables from the African American community as well as from other people of color.”

Kincaid Rolle produced a well-received television show, “Outrageous Women,” from 1988 to 1995 that featured interviews with African American movers and shakers, such as Shirley Kennedy and Anita Mackey.

Among the many TV shows she produced were “A Tribute to Chumash Elders,” and segments on journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the Reverend Leander Wilkes, and the muralist Manuel Unzueta.

In the area of radio and print journalism, she has also interviewed a variety of visitors to UCSB, including authors James Baldwin and Margaret Walker, and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Julian Bond.

Kincaid Rolle has been a California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence, and a California Arts in Corrections teacher. She has served as the community outreach coordinator for the UCSB Center for Black Studies, as well as on the boards of several organizations, including the Contemporary Arts Forum, the Cultural Development Foundation, and Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.

She was appointed Poet Laureate for AfriGeneas.

She has inspired young poets in Santa Barbara and throughout the country as a speaker and writing workshop teacher. On Feb. 2, Kincaid Rolle will lead the first in a two-part, on-campus, creative writing workshop, “Transforming the Narrative: Creating the Performance.” Sponsored by the MultiCultural Center, the free workshop centers on participant’s experiences and how to transform a description into a short dramatic performance.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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