Zora in Santa Monica & the Deedle Deedle Dees
Jump at the Sun had a private screening at Santa Monica College on May 18 for David Burak’s English class, and was sponsored by the SMC English Dept, Black Collegians Club, SMC Associates, SMC Communication Dept, and Asian-American Pacific Islander Achievement. I was blown away by the students, almost 30,000 total at this fascinating school. A cross-cultural collection in attendance, they embraced Zora’s independence, her Black Nationalism, her love of self and culture. What a beautiful campus in a breathtaking city, perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Zora Neale Hurston had visited California in 1940, driving all the way from Florida, and she wrote about her time there, working briefly for Paramount Pictures. She visited her friend, dancer Katherine Mershon, up in the mountains. For someone whose idea of way up high is the Chinaberry tree in her hometown of Eatonville, she was blown away by the constant climbing.
English teacher David Burak has been described as an “activist” and a former “protestor” and I liked his engaging and questioning spirit immensely. He should be crowned Mayor of the College, or at least given an honorary parking pass if they haven’t already. It was very nice of David to throw in a little smog when I took his photo.
And while Jump at the Sun was busy visiting the Left Coast, the Deedle Deedle Dees paid Zora homage in an interesting little ditty at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, a burg of Brooklyn NY.