Fundraiser looks to spread the word about Black literature and Black liberation

Furious Flower Poetry Center in Harrisonburg
Furious Flower Poetry Center in Harrisonburg(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 8:24 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2021 at 9:26 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - A fundraiser called “Getting Word: Black Literature for Black Liberation” is raising money for five Black-led literary arts organizations in the country, including the Furious Flower Poetry Center in Harrisonburg.

Furious Flower the first academic center dedicated to Black poetry in the nation and is located on the campus of James Madison University.

Lauren K. Alleyne is the Assistant Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center.

She said the idea for a collaborative fundraiser began last summer.

“We had so many people, especially last summer, wanting to give to Black organizations and not really knowing where to go, so we tried to make it easy for everybody to find us,” Alleyne said. “Supporting these organizations is supporting Black communities, it is supporting Black writers, and as we move that work forward we are also doing the work of moving the country and its letters and literature forward.”

Director of the Furious Flower, Joanne Gabbin, said the Getting Word fundraiser started on Juneteenth and runs until July 4.

“To, in effect, get word about the excellence of Black literature and to also show that Black literature is a way of emphasizing Black liberation. In fact, it came about because of our celebration of Juneteenth,” Gabbin said.

More than $10,000 has been raised so far. The goal is $50,000.

“With these organizations working together, trying to be sustainable, we are hoping to go far together instead of fast alone,” Alleyne said.

If you wish to donate, you can do so here.

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