In 1971, Fannie Lou Hamer gave her famous speech, "Nobodys's Free Until Everybody's Free," 6 years later June Jordan wrote a poem dedicated to Fannie Lou, on the rooted love that fortifies even "against shotguns" and white terror. Over 40 years later we still believe poetry is a home for everybody who wants to be free; a place neither detached from nor surrendered to the landscapes of violence that are all around us. Maroon Fest plants "lillies filled to the very living full," to remind our communities that poetry is for nourishing the people---all of us finding our way home.

Join us for a full day of festivities in Liberty City as we honor the elder poets of the Black Arts Movement who paved the way for our self-determination and creative excellence. The morning will begin with Yoga & Meditation, there will be local vendors and activities for the kids. Poems are intentional words and vibes. Join us as we listen to local musicians, DJ's, and poets that will open up for the legendary Last PoetsSonia Sanchez, and Ntozake Shange. Listen to Emory Douglas of the Black Panther Party discuss the role of art and culture in our movements for change and freedom.

Presented by Smoke Signals Studio, Community Justice Project, and the Dream Defenders features renowned Poets SONIA SANCHEZ, NTOZAKE SHANGE, THE LAST POETS, artist EMORY DOUGLAS in conversation with American rapper, VIC MENSA, and Chicago based American Soul Singer, JAMILA WOODS at The Historic Belafonte TACOLCY Center. The TACOLCY Center was established in Liberty City in 1966 amid racial and economic tensions as a “safe space” for youth to express themselves. MAROON POETRY FESTIVAL follows in that tradition as a liberatory space founded on truth-telling and community building. A central theme of this inaugural festival is a direct action solution, through intersections of poetic expression, to address the escalating incidence of gun violence impacting communities across the nation. 

The event is free and open to the public with registration. 
We ask for a suggested donation of $25.