Little Texas

Tony Mims speaks at the unveiling of the Little Texas historical marker at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville SC during the Little Texas Reunion on August 12, 2017.

The newly installed historical marker for the black neighborhood of Little Texas. Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC.

Little Texas

by Tony Mims

If you don’t honor your history,

you won’t respect your future.

If you only live in the now

you can get lost in the many illusions

that will only feed the pitfalls

of your own personal confusion.

That’s why the memories of your home

should be a force of the positive and the strong.

It’s the roots of positive experience of growing up

that help your vision stay focused on what is real

and gives you solid meaning to how you should feel

in a world that sometimes gives life very little meaning.

 

The history of Little Texas goes way back.

About twenty years after they had to let the slaves free

this black downtown neighborhood

was Greenville’s first black working class community. Continue reading “Little Texas”

Remembering Cleven "Goodie" Goudeau

It’s hard to write a title about remembering someone, when that person gave so generously of his time both to me and my husband Tony Mims. Since getting the news from Jim Kern at the Vallejo Museum, we have been reminiscing about Goodie, as he wished to be referred to, and the many ways he was a part of both Listen & Be Heard Weekly and Listen & Be Heard Poetry Cafe.

From the very first days when we started circulating copies of the paper, Goodie started contributing “Goodies” comics similar to the ones he used to publish in Playboy Magazine. He shared his knowledge of graphic design with me while I struggled to learn how to use Quark and Photoshop and communicate with printers.

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Continue reading “Remembering Cleven "Goodie" Goudeau”

Ms. Roberta Flack 2012

I’m a Roberta Flack fan. The first time ever I heard her voice, I was touched by her depth of feeling and purity of sound. She reached out to a part of me that is innocent, full of awe, and imbued with love. That is a great place to dwell when you can find yourself there. My husband spotted the announcement in our local newspaper, months ago, that she was going to appear at the Newberry Opera House, about an hour’s drive from Greenville, on April 20. We bought tickets on the phone that same day.

Yes, I love the songs that launched her career, and her duets with Donny Hathaway. I looked forward to hearing some of them. But really, I was excited to see Roberta Flack now, today, the older wiser woman with experience and grace. It would be the first time I would ever see her in person. I really didn’t have any idea what she’s been up to lately, but I knew it would be soulful and beautiful, that it couldn’t be any other way.

It was inspirational to see how she worked with her musicians and back-up singers. Resplendent in her natural beauty, Ms. Flack shone light on each member, engaging in a subtle and masterful musical conversation that I rarely see anymore and greatly appreciated. The acoustics in the “cute little opera house” (her words) were very nice. It was really a great venue to hear that same voice that I found so inspiring years ago. \n \nWe were indeed treated to some oldies, including Carol King’s “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “Killing Me Softly” by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel. She took the opportunity to have the audience sing along with the chorus of more than one familiar song. People did at first timidly, and then a little more boldly. The audience was on the elderly side.

Honestly, I don’t know what a Roberta Flack fan looks like really, (probably they have every complexion under the sun) but I wasn’t expecting what I saw. I believe much of the audience were season subscribers to the opera house, who might have been familiar with a few of her most famous songs. We saw one gentleman who was clutching some albums, which I presumed he was going to try to get her to sign for him. So I know for sure he was a fan. I really enjoyed her version of “Sweet Georgia Brown” which she said she had to pay $25,000 for the rights to use her own lyrics, (so she makes sure to sing it every time she makes an appearance.)

But Ms. Roberta Flack is still a creative and inspirational woman, not confined to replaying her hits from the past. She has a new album, already available on iTunes, “Let It Be Roberta – Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles (Bonus Version + Digital Booklet).” At one point in the evening she said that she is a classically trained musician, and then expressed her appreciation for great songwriters, like the Beatles. She sang a song called “Say No” from a project called the Real Artist Symposium, that I liked a lot. It was a message to young women not to be so anxious to grow up so quickly. Throughout the evening I appreciated her message delivered in several ways, that is so feminine and so supportive of the spirit of women and girls.

The range of dynamics, of her musicians and singers, of songs and emotions, the arrangements, were all great, and there was nothing about the evening that I did not enjoy. When we were leaving a lady asked us if we thought she still had her voice, saying she didn’t think so. I, actually we, (my husband and I) disagreed. She didn’t give an athletic performance, but it was the same unforgettable voice. (We refrained from pointing out that she probably had lost a little something over the years too.)

If you’re in Peach Tree City, Georgia on June 23 you can catch her with Peabo Bryson, or in San Diego, CA on July 6-9, you can hear her with the San Diego Symphony. I’m sure that will be unforgettable. I left the concert feeling inspired to do my best to shine being the very best me I can be, and thankful to Ms. Roberta Flack for being so great at being Roberta Flack.

L&BH Weekly Print Covers – Contact Sheet 15

These were the final print issues of Listen & Be Heard, before moving exclusively to Web Publishing. For pdf files of specific issues, please contact the editor.

L&BH Weekly Print Covers-Contact Sheet 14

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Listen & Be Heard Weekly Print Covers – Contact Sheet 13

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Listen & Be Heard Weekly Print Covers – Contact Sheet 12

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Listen & Be Heard Weekly Print Covers – Contact Sheet 11

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Listen & Be Heard Weekly Print Covers – Contact Sheet 10

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Listen & Be Heard Weekly Print Covers – Contact Sheet 9

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Listen & Be Heard Weekly Print Covers – Contact Sheet 5

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L&BH Weekly Print Covers – Contact Sheet 3

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Listen & Be Heard Weekly Print Covers – Contact Sheet 2

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L&BH Weekly Print Covers – Contact Sheet 1

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Poetic Symmetry in Downtown Greenville, SC

I met my husband Tony,  a poet, when I was hosting Listen & Be Heard Open Mic in Vallejo, CA.  He appeared to be trying not to be noticed, but after creating a sensation on the mic, he stood out in the crowd. I tried to act like he wasn’t going to rock my world, but he did anyway. After that fated meeting we published Listen & Be Heard Weekly together and opened Listen & Be Heard Poetry Cafe in downtown Vallejo. We had to close shop with the downturn in the economy, and I followed him to his hometown Greenville, SC.

He always told me that Greenville was a beautiful and unique city and he was going to move me there one day. And I’m glad I did! Greenville is indeed a rare gem, and in the five months that I have been living here, I’ve seen many signs of a flourishing arts community.

On Saturday December 12, at 7:30pm we will make our arrival official with a poetic performance in the theatre at the Coffee Underground in downtown Greenville. We have distinctive styles, quite different from each other. Both improvisational fun and the culmination of the decades of spoken word performance between the two of us, what happens when we come together is synergistic and transformative.

We look forward to sharing the excitement with friends, family and poetry lovers in Greenville. The Coffee Underground serves dinner and desserts and of course espresso drinks, coffee and tea. Seating is limited to fifty. Advance purchase of tickets is recommended, and will be available at the counter, at the Coffee Underground.

Saturday, Dec. 12, 7:30pm
Coffee Underground
1 E Coffee St
Greenville, SC 29601
864-298-0494

info@coffeeunderground.biz

Thanks for Listening

Dear All,

This will be my last letter from the editor of Listen & Be Heard.

Times are changing, and I am changing with them. Listen & Be Heard the open mic, Listen & Be Heard the newspaper and website, and Listen & Be Heard Poetry Cafe have all been learning experiences for me from which I have derived much pleasure over the years. It has been the vehicle which has allowed me to cross paths with a great variety of talented people. It has been my, and my husband Tony’s, contribution to the communities we have been a part of.

One thing I have never derived from Listen & Be Heard is financial gain, and I find that neither my desire nor my bank account will take this project any further. I do want to thank everyone who has contributed to Listen & Be Heard over the years. If you have writing, photos or anything else archived at the Listen & Be Heard website that you wish to keep, please be sure to visit in the next week or so and save your work to your computer, as it will not be available anymore in April of 2009.

If there is anyone interested in adopting the Bang! list please get in touch with me to discuss it further.

Wishing you Peace and Poetry
Martha Mims