Exchange 3: Oakland, Nigeria, Kenya

West Oakland to Nigeria and East Oakland to Kenya

West Oakland to Nigeria Roll Call

Amos White and Godfrey-Elvis Odianose

Ayodele Nzinga and Koku Konu

Duana Fullwielly and Durotinu Jeremiah

Elaine Brown and Uchechi Obasi

Iman Gibson and Juliet Naji

Imani Todd and Victory Osarumwense

Iris Crawford and Matthew Otor

Kevin Dublin and Ifeanyichuku Onwughalu

Lisa Gray and Adeyinka Aromolaran

Makeda (Sandra Hooper Mayfield) and Isinaego Josephmark Chibueze

Meg Pierce and Michael Ayodmide

Nana Boateng and David Odiase

Shawna Sherman and Rhema Sunshine

Wanda Sabir and Gemini (Yusuf Balogun)

East Oakland to Kenya Roll Call

Adrienne Oliver and Kelvin Kombo Motuka

Chase Spears and Alfred Nyagaka Nyamwange

Dajuan Carter-Woodard and Lewis Wamwanda

Darius Simpson and Cornelius Kipkosgei

Dee Allen and Evans Mwendwa Mutie

Halima Olufemi and Caren Jepkogei

LadiRev and Rebeccah Mongina Mose

Landon Smith and Josephat Ndege Mauti

Mimi Tempestt and Stanley Kipkorir

Seestah Imahkus and Dr. Christopher Okemwa

Tessa Hersh and Lilian Omonga

Tongo Eisen-Martin and Bonface Nyamweya

Zakkiyah GE Capehart and John Otiso Bundi

West Oakland to Nigeria Featured Poems

Mama Told Me

by Victory Osarumwense

Mama told me 

Not to wear my love for you on my chest

That I should bury it between my thighs

Tucked between layers upon layers of 

Fabric, belt, jean, panties before skin…

Something hidden, 

That would call you to dig up

That I should make you thirsty 

To find my love for you buried beneath the surface of myself. 


by Kevin Dublin

Intoxicate minds of all who lip them,

says my cousin. Or was it my brother?

Or was it another or anyone at all?

I come from a place where memory

slips as easily as fingers across a silk

dreadlock head wrap. I come from loblolly pines

lining the highway, from the taste of smoke 

from a backyard barbecue, even when you 

don’t eat meat. I come from train whistles 

and routine rumbles shaking June

bedroom between evening cicada songs

and a radio tuned to Foxy 107/104. 

East Oakland to Kenya Featured Poems


by Dee Allen

Not a native, but a resident

Of my corner of East Oakland

Where poverty dominates,

Where broke-on-broke crime

Is as natural as drawing

Breath into lungs, there’s more

Cars and SUVs broken into

By unknown parties than not, more 

Fenced-off pieces of land and 

Liquor stores than there are

Community centres and decent

Food shops, the homeless sleep

Against boarded-up buildings

Empty inside as the price of

Housing continues to soar past the clouds,

Drugs and black market guns

Are always available, have been available,

Five decades of strung-out

Black bodies and Black bodies shot

From petty disputes write that history,

Where the criminal image, the thug agenda is praised,

Where I fear the enemy & the enemy is my own–

How Do You Say No In THUNDER?

by Mama One Africa

Grandmaw said git under dat bed when

THUNDER and lightenin’ strike

God don’t want no squawkin’

while she’s talkin’ loud this night,

just make sure yo stuff is right

as that Thunder louds up the night.

THUNDER without lightenin’ is like fear that ain’t frightenin’

Or a gift of a toy received without joy

and love without kisses, when you finally meet your missus,

or that very special someone.

Clap, Clap, Boom, Boom

THUNDER in the room

Slap, Slap, Boommadeboom

THUNDER sounds like doom

THUNDER in the pounding of my chest

When my love’s been put to rest

And my world has gone asunder



Where did we go wrong?