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Book & Film
Live Music
& Spoken
Kumbaya on the Shore
a place of peaceful pastime
15224 - 15226
Lakeshore Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44110
Kumbaya Cafe
Site Map ~
July 21, 2019 Musical Blessing of with Kenge Kenge Oruntu Systems of Nairobi, Kenya
On Sunday, July 21, 2019 Friends of Kumbaya gathered to pray for the business
and to enjoy each other's company, refreshments and most of all, the traditional
Luo songs of praise and dance performed by Nairobi-based Kenge Kenge.  
Live streaming allowed
seniors participating in the
Greater Cleveland
Neighborhood Center
Association's  I-Connect
program to enjoy the event
from their residences.

A highlight of the day came
when friends were invited to
dance with the band leader.
Someone has photos of the
women - including this
photographer - dancing!
When the band performed a
song of tribute for their
Kenyan-American "brother
Obama," the Ladybug (aka
Mittie) dawned her "Obama
cape" and weaved the room
in the tradition of an
Indigenous American
Snake Dance.

Not to be outdone by all the
dancing, two young Kumbaya
neighbors showed off their
Michael Jackson moves!
A special thanks to Steven E. Boyd who arranged for Kenge
Kenge's Cleveland Artists-in-Residency, and AkuSika Nkomo
Mackey for hosting the band at Africa House International.
Following Kenge Kenge, friends socialized and viewed the
Ladybug Gallery exhibit celebrating the tenth anniversary of the
nomination, election and inauguration of
Barack H. Obama,  Jr. as the 44th President of the United States
Kumbaya Cafe Progress Report
Opening the coffee shop and lounge put us nearly half way there!
We are still short of funds needed to complete the remainder
of the work to fully realize the
Kumbaya on the Shore plan, including:
servicing and installing our kitchen equipment
completing the building and framing of the stage & screen area
Upgrading fixtures in both bathrooms.
Once complete we can move to a seven day operation employing
seven full-time staff and four part-time weekend staff serving a
daily brunch,  hosting music, spoken word, entertaining and
educational film, our signature Cultural Conversation and Cuisine,
and other special events.
Please consider adding your name to our Investors and Friends of Kumbaya  
Friends receive discounts ranging from 5% - 25% based on donor levels
Friends donating $250 - $500 also receive free admission(s) to routine programs
Investors receive discounts, free admission and share in profits
Investors / Shareholders
($1,000 + to D8:3 & Kumbaya)
Mittie - Cleveland, Oh
Cheryl - Dallas, Tx
Sara - Marion, Ks
Obelia  - Winston Salem, NC
Kathy & Sayres, Dallas, Tx
Susan   - Cleveland, Oh
Daniel - Los Angeles, Ca
Dolores   - Cleveland, Oh
Julia  - Bethesda, Md
Anne - Cleveland, Oh
Michael & Patricia  - Rockledge, Fl
Roger & Mary - Cleveland, Oh
Jeff - Cleveland, Oh
Van - Cleveland, Oh
Illona - Chicago, Il
Gina - Cleveland, Oh
Ceco - Cleveland, Oh
Rashad - Cleveland, Oh
Donnie & Rene - Beckley, WV
Christine - Stow, Oh
Calvin - Cleveland, Oh
Zachery - Cleveland, Oh
Harold - Cleveland, Oh
Kathy - Cleveland, Oh
Lola & Charles - Apple Valley, Ca
Alan - Greenville, SC
Barb & Richard - St. Paul, Mn
Charles - Cleveland
Jo - US / Ghana
Mindy - Chardon, Oh
Martha - Cleveland, Oh
Anthony - New York, NY
Alicia & Michael - Cleveland, Oh
Sherrie - Cleveland, Ohio
James - Chicago, Il
Bonnie - Cleveland, Oh
Charlene -Centerville, Md
Carol - Cleveland, Oh
Gretchen - Avon, Oh
Frank & Juanita, Temcula, Ca
Rick & Rita, Dallas, Tx
Gillian, Cleveland, Oh
Mittie - Cleveland, Oh
Millicent - Cleveland, Oh
Charlene & Mendel - Cleveland, Oh
Carol - Cleveland, Oh
Mike & Richee - Cleveland
Marilyn - Atlanta, Ga
Wayne - Cleveland, Oh
Lionel - Cleveland, Oh
Adam - Cleveland, Oh
Kathleen - Cleveland, Oh
Brenda - Cleveland, Oh
Juanita - Cleveland, Oh
Valerie - Reynoldsburg, Oh
Brandon - Cleveland, Oh
Allen - Cleveland, Oh
Delores - Cleveland, Oh
Dennis & Kathi - Dallas, Tx
Marcia - Atlanta, Ga
Beverly - Cleveland, Oh
Liza, Nepal
Michael & Felicia - Florence, SC
Kendra - Winston Salem, NC
Russell - Cleveland, Oh
Tereese - Cleveland, Oh
Roger & Alease - Midlothian, Va
Gina - Midlothian, Va
Rachelle - Nofolk, Va
Elgan & Wendy - Cleveland, Oh
Hugh & Betty - Dayton, Va
Clyde & Glendora - Dunbar, WV
Tom & Suzanne - Cleveland, Oh
Gina - Columbus, Oh
Debbie - Cleveland, Oh
Terri - Cleveland, Oh
Offering a hand up is not a hand out!
        The quote is attributed to Clarissa Harlow Barton better known
    as  Clara the teacher, nurse and founder of the Red Cross.
         There are lots of stock images that accompany her words online,
    some even with lake shore themes, but none grabbed me like  
    These two little fellows striving together in taking on what appears to be harsh, barren, arid red earth to rise
    from the depths of a daunting situation.
           Just look at their determination!  Not a pair of shoes between them.  One struggling to climb, one
    struggling to pull, both holding firm to the goal of getting out of that ditch!
           I'm in a ditch, folk.  But, by the grace and mercy of God and kind friends, I've come two-thirds of the
    way from having to close a business, store it in a barn, find a new location, prepare it.... and start over.  If
    you've been following my emails and website for the past year, you know how much there was to do and far
    Kumbaya on the Shore has come.
           Raising the Cafe shutters was a great victory this week, but without the funds to keep the lease and
    utilities current, complete the installation of the kitchen, obtain full-service licenses and hire help - I could
    end up back in the barn, or worse.   
           Why give, you might ask?  For the same reason many of you contribute to non-profits - less the write-
    off: to help create employment opportunities and bring people together for culturally enriching experiences.  
    Visit our About Page,  and you will find the reasons there, and will hopefully add your name to list of
    Friends above who have graciously joined our funding campaign.  
           You can give at, or join the other half of our donors by
    mailing your check payable to Kumbaya on the Shore, 15226 Lakeshore Boulevard, Cleveland,
    Ohio 44110.  As we used to say as children, without having a clue about what it meant: "your kindness shall
    never be obliterated!"  

      ~ Mittie Imani
Friends of Kumbaya (Gifts of $5 - $999)
A Conversation With
Actor/Writer Composer/Musician,
Human Rights Activist & Ted Talker

Mississipi Charles Bevel
Saturday, November 2, 2019 ~ 4 - 6 p.m.
365 To
Get Out The Vote
Launch Party
& Film Screening
The American
Sunday, 4 - 6 p.m.
November 3, 2019

    "The 'Blues' does not mean black music.

    It means having the courage or audacity to speak to
    what is in your heart without consulting your head.

    That human attribute is colorless. But what is now
    termed the 'Blues' has to be placed in the context of the
    unique way in which this music form was derived.  Its
    African roots cannot be denied, but most of its energy
    was and continues to be acquired from a people being
    forced to continuously live on the outer edges of the
    majority culture in America.  From slavery, through
    legal segregation, to the many present forms of
    isolation, blacks have developed unique ways of
    expressing the constant pain and frustration that
    comes with being  perpetually guaranteed.

    On Saturday, November 2, 2019 beginning at 4 p.m., Kumbaya on
    the Shore is pleased to host A Conversation With actor, writer, musician
    and human rights activist; Mississippi Charles Bevel. The program is free
    and open to the public.  Please pass this information on.

    His smile is genuine.  Soft and sincere.  His eyes, knowing.  Yes, just
    beneath his signature brim – sometimes feathered, are eyes that know.  

    Sometimes peeking, sometimes piercing, but undoubtedly open wide and
    knowing. Knowing of seasons suffered, seasons revered and seasons yet to
    be told.  With confidence, he talks and sings about them.  

    An occasional bold flash of laughter, a momentary sigh of chagrin.  Every
    now and then a bit of righteous indignation.  Daring to speak “truth to
    power” long before its sanctioned popularity.  “Sip” was unafraid to use the
    term and indicted “white supremacy” when others were still cringing to
    even use the “R” word.
    Knowing.  Having seen.  Bearing witness.

    Born the fourteenth of seventeen children on a cotton plantation in the
    Mississippi Delta, Charles Bevel left the Jim Crow south for northern big
    cities including Memphis, St. Louis and Cleveland, where he eventually
    settled after a military tour in the Pacific Islands, and a three year
    residency in Monrovia, Liberia.  Trained as an electrical engineer, Bevel
    has worked as an aviation electronics technician, naval in-flight radio
    operator, television engineer and missile test technician... occupations that
    took him a long way from his early years as a cotton picker, shoeshine,
    dishwasher, grocery and stock clerk, and steel mill laborer.   After thirty
    years of “working, always working,” Bevel gave way to his art spirit that
    had been brewing inside.
“At thirty-one
the musician was born; at
forty, the writer; at forty-
eight, twins, the actor and the
visual artist.  Giving birth to
these mysterious personalities,
my bumbling attempts at
nursing those babies, was
not only unnerving disruption
to my own life, but extremely  
    And since music is the easiest way to express matters of the heart, the 'Blues'
    (the pain and the joy, whether directed inwardly or outwardly) is,
    and will continue to be, the most persistent form of expressing matters of the heart
    in black culture in America."

    ~ Mississippi Charles Bevel
confusing and disturbing to family and friends as well. At sixty, there is some
disquiet in my life, but hardly about death.   Life has showered me with too
much sweetness to leave me fretting over when death will appear to gather
my bones.   Any uneasiness is about the illusion of time; not enough time left to
divulge my revelations; my mysteries.”

~ Mississippi Charles Bevel circa 1997
    A nationally recognized multi-media artist, Charles Bevel began his career
    as a musical performing artist in 1973 with his A & M label recording of
    Meet Mississippi Charles Bevel.  Over the next decade he performed as a
    duo with songwriter/performer Chic Streetman (with Bevel above),
    opening concerts for internationally acclaimed artists including Taj Mahal,
    Richie Havens, Hoyt Axton, Sonny Terry and Brown McGhee, Doc Watson,
    B.B. King, Third World, Albert King and Gil Scott Heron.

    First appearing on stage as an actor in 1986 with the East Cleveland
    Community Theater and shortly thereafter at Karamu House, he has
    performed on professional and community theater stages throughout the
    United States and abroad as both an actor and musician and is best known
    for co-creating and staring in the critically acclaimed Broadway musical It
    Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, which earned him a Tony nomination in 1999
    for best book of a musical.

    Although much of his work has been in theatre, doing mostly dramatic
    roles, Mississippi is equally comfortable working as a writer, visual artist,
    actor or singer-composer. Other theatre credits include Piano Lesson
    (Doaker) Karamu House; I Am A Man (Bluesman) Meadow Brook
    Theatre, Rochester MI; Home (Musical Director) Rhynsburger Theatre,
    Columbia, MO; Spunk (Guitar Man) Smokebrush Theatre, Colorado
    Springs, CO; Let Me Live (Musical Director) Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL
    An exceptionally gifted songwriter, Bevel's
    lyrics reflect the personal and communal
    victories and struggles of African people,
    particularly those of us in America. His CD
    “Not of Seasons” remains a popular seller by
    acoustic recording label Sage Arts.  

    With strong connections to the 1950's and 60's
    American Civil Rights Movement in the south,
    Bevel is deeply committed to the ongoing
    struggle of African people throughout the
    world and is a founding member of The
    National Institute For Restorative Justice.

    Best described as a romantic, comedic drama
    with a twist of political reflection, The
    American President stars Annette Bening
    as environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen
    Wade with Michael Douglas in the title role
    as widower and single parent incumbent
    Andrew Shepherd. Unofficially teamed up,
    they lobby congress to pass reasonable
    legislation for the protection of the
    environment and gun control, all while trying
    to ignore a loud, fear-mongering presidential
    contender who promotes national pride and
    – when all else fails, simply makes up stuff!  

    Yep.  If we didn’t see this movie before,
    we are certainly seeing it now, except the
    loudmouth, lying contender is the incumbent!

    Complicating his routine, and threatening
    his candidacy, Shepherd falls in love with
    Wade, a sharp, self-assured former flag
    burning political activist, giving his
    conservative Kansas opponent just the right
    ammunition he needs to stir up his base.

    Released in 1995, the political story line is
    as fresh today as it was then during the
    Clinton administration, through the Bush
    and Obama administrations, on to the
    present-day politics of the White House
    and Capitol Hill.

    The star-studded cast also includes Martin
    Sheen as White House Chief of Staff,
    Anna Deavere Smith as White House Press
    Secretary, Richard Dreyfuss as the
    conservative opponent, Senator Rumson,
    and Michael J Fox as Assistant to the
    President for Domestic Policy.

    Written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by
    Rob Reiner, the film is credited with being
    the inspiration for Sorkin’s later television
    series, West Wing.  As we move into the
    thick of a presidential campaign, I trust that
    we will be inspired by both of Sorkin’s
    fictional White House residents – Andrew
    Shepherd and Josiah Bartlett, to help get out
    the votes to restore dignity and sanctity to
    the office of the president and to this nation.

    I look forward to enjoying this movie with
    you on the Shore!

    ~ Mittie Imani
    Now in the eighth decade of his life, “Sip,” as he is affectionately called by
    friends and associates, is back on campus as a student pursing a Master of
    Law degree.  

    I look forward to this conversation with my colleague and friend, and a true
    Friend of Kumbaya on the Shore.  
    ~ Mittie Imani

    It’s on us!  Exactly 365 days from this
    Sunday, the United States will hold its
    general election for the President of the
    United States along with Congressional
    elections for 34 US Senators (12
    Democrats and 22 Republicans) and all 435
    seats in the House of Representatives,
    and state and local legislators across
    the nation.  

    On the way to the general election, state
    primaries and caucuses will be held
    beginning March 3, 2020 to determine
    party nominees for the US Executive and
    Legislative branches.  We cannot afford to
    sleep this one out!  We need every man,
    woman and child – yes, children can help –
    to get out the vote.

    To that end, Kumbaya on the Shore is
    hosting a screening of  “The American
    President” to help pump us up for the
    communal conversations and pavement
    pounding tasks ahead.  The screening is
    rated PG-13 (two curse words and
    implications of a “love scene”) and is free and
    open to the public.  Please pass this on.

    She looked at me like I was crazy when I
    spoke to her at the Women in Congress Tea
    hosted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the
    2008 Democratic National Convention.  
    Four ladies
    away when I
    first spotted
    her, like most
    others in the
    room her eyes
    were fixed on
    the Speaker as
    she applauded
    her colleagues
    for the success
    of their district
    primaries and
    them to help
    seal the deal in the forthcoming general

    I maneuvered my way to the other side of
    the room.  She spotted me, spotting her.  
    It was really
    her.  Well, not
    really, but
    her… a woman
    I had fondly
    watched over a
    period of
    thirteen years:
    a fierce lobbyist
    for the
    environment, a
    woman bold
    enough to
    stand her
    when faced by the challenges and
    diminishing nuances of a male dominated
    legislation, a woman tender enough to cook a
    good meal, with some good wine, cuddle up
    with a good book and have a good laugh
    while in the arms of a good man.     

    Soon joined by a host of leading ladies, I
    thought I’d never get my photo opp as the
    room seemingly surrounded them.  Then it
    happened.  She was standing right there in
    front of me and I got my chance.  .  And “lo
    and behold,” after asking to take a picture
    with her, something really stupid parted my
    lips just as we were posing for my freshly
    recruited photographer.
    As I plotted my
    move to get
    closer – yes, this
    was one time
    when I was going
    to unashamedly
    be the star-
    struck fan and
    ask to take a
    photo with her –
    she was called to
    the podium to
    pitch a book
    signing to be held
    the next day.  
“You know, lately I’ve probably gone to bed with
you about once a month.”
 Thus the ‘lady are you
crazy’ look.  I caught myself.   
"Sydney Ellen
Wade!  It’s probably the whole campaign thing,
but I’ve been closing out my day watching The
American President a lot, lately.  You know.  Pop
in the video, get in bed, crash!”  
It was a laugh of
relief for us both.