It’s Kwanzaa time!

Habari Gani? That’s Swahili for “what’s the word” and the word is I will be joining the phenomenal Sistahs Laying down Hands at the African American Museum in Philadelphia! The festivities begin December 26th and I, Toni Love will be joining the Sistahs on Saturday December 29th during the closing ceremony.

The full day, family friendly program is FREE with museum admission but please register at http://www.aampmuseum.org . Hope to see you!

Peace and blessings

Toni

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It’s Toni Love Tuesday! Check out a few tracks of The Restoration for FREE!

Do you have a copy of The Restoration? There are a few special edition CDs left! Click on the photo to listen to two of the tracks and purchase a copy for yourself.

Thank you in advance for the love!

 

Posted in Artists, Hope, Keeping the Love Alive, Life After 40, Local Artists, love, Original Poetry, Passion, Poem, Poetry, Recreating yourself, Relationships, Support Local Artists, Writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

La Luna, Original Poetry

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La Luna (The Golden Ladder)

Mother Moon

She beckons me with golden ray-drenched oceans lighting the path to my salvation

How I arrive is not of her concern

The journey seems endless

Crashing waves illuminate the way to paradise

How many have heeded the call of the golden waterfall at the end of the moon’s shadow?

Her energy is pulling me

Sweet serenades of Yemeya hypnotize me

I am captured

I am lost

in peace

Until I am found

(c) M. Tonita Austin aka Toni Love  8/31/18 OCM

Posted in Artists, Original Poetry, Passion, Peace, Poem, Poetry, Recreating yourself, Uncategorized, Writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Day I Left God – Performance Poetry with Sistahs Laying Down Hands, Mother’s Day 2018

Mother’s Day is always bittersweet for me. I know as a Mother that there is pressure to smile and gush at the numerous mother’s day wishes, cards and love from my kids, but even after seventeen years, I still awaken with a small void knowing I can only speak the sentiment to my own mom, and seek to hear her respond in soft whispers of the wind.

When I was asked to collaborate with the phenomenal drummers and artists Sistahs Laying Down Hands for Mother’s Day I immediately said yes. Every performance together has been a gift to me and as I tapped into my intuition I knew that I needed to be in that space on that day, I just didn’t know why. I chose to recite a poem I wrote as part of my grief work after my mother transitioned. I was in my first trimester and I thought God to be so cruel to take my mother when I was first becoming a mother. Writing helped me come to terms with the loss and my faith and I recite this poem to help other motherless children feel that it’s okay to speak the pain of grief and release it.

I didn’t know that at the dawn of Mother’s Day this year I would be admitting my first-born to the hospital after spending hours in the emergency room. Everything in me wanted to cancel the performance but I had committed and my son told me “you should do it Mom, I know you’ll be good”. So with little sleep and a strained voice I sang and performed my poem surrounded by the healing energy of the drum. It was where I needed to be and I am grateful for the opportunity to receive the strength and the spiritual support through art.

My poem is about 5 minutes in, but you will want to watch from the beginning for a wonderful spoken word of remembrance of mothers and of course the powerful hands of the Sistahs Karen Smith and Miriama Koroma! You can search this blog for the words to the poem.

May you be continue to feel the nurturing of a mother’s love in spite of where she may or may not be in your life. Love comes in all forms. ~Toni Love

#loveistheanswer

 

Posted in African American Parenting, Artists, Gifted and Talented, Grief, Holidays, Local Artists, Loss, Mother's Day, Original Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Recreating yourself, Single Parenting, Uncategorized, Writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

International Day of Women : The blessings that come when you show up! 💙 #strengthsourceproject

Browsing through my Facebook feed I come across a notification that a friend tagged me in someone’s post. As one who is both a businesswoman and artist I know a diverse group of people and am a bit picky about what I’m tagged in with the permanence of social media. Much to my surprise I saw the photo taken of me last year posted on the photographer’s Facebook page and appeared both digitally and I’m print on page 5 of the Philadelphia Inquirer!

The #strengthsourceproject is this beautiful collage of photos and stories capturing the moments that built the character and resilience of women of all colors, ages, shapes and class. It’s a brilliant compilation and I’m honored to be a participant.

If only you knew how sad I felt that day. I had just found out my daughter was diagnosed with dysgraphia, a severe learning disorder that makes it difficult and frustrating for her, an advanced reader to process writing. The same exact day my son’s school counselor called about him exhibiting signs of anxiety and depression (the dance partners of a highly gifted and intuitive brain), avoiding teachers and classes as a result. As their sole caretaker l was overwhelmed with the decisions I had to make on my own knowing I would also not receive the financial support.

I was going to cancel the meeting I set with Carrie for the photo because I just wanted to go somewhere and cry. I wore bright colors on purpose to lift my spirits. She was so warm and compassionate when I met her in Fishtown by Franny Lous Porch and reading the other women’s stories really gave me the strength to deal with it all.

And oh the blessings that have come because I showed up! Aside from this acknowledgement in the paper, since that day my children have benefited from angels in the form of teachers and therapists. My daughter has been tutored by a retired teacher for free and my son’s therapist only charges me a tenth of his normal fee because I was transparent and unafraid to speak my truth and ask for help.

My strength is my truth and I’m grateful that my transparency is able to help other women. The stories on the blog are powerful. I hope you get to read mine too. Please share your favorite in the comments. It’s okay if it’s not mine. I’m every woman 😊

Posted in Artists, Children, Gifted and Talented, Gifted Children, Health and wellness, Heroes, Hope, Life After 40, Local Artists, Oprah's Life Class, Recreating yourself, Relationships, Single Parenting, Writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Toni Love joins the Sistahs Laying Down Hands Collective, February 9th 7-9pm at the Community Education Center in Philadelphia!

February is extremely full with so many opportunities to show what I love ❤ to do most! The Producer’s Guild and the Community Education Center present Karen Smith and Sistahs Laying Down Hands in concert!! Featuring, Shanita Jackson Donna Jean Reviere Dorman, Toni Love, Mariama O’Brien and Jamila Hammond- Hendricks!

There will be lots of interaction and the opportunity to share your artistic talents too! Click the photo for more details. ⬆️

I hope to see you at the Second Fridays celebration 3500 Lancaster Avenues, Philadelphia PA.

❤ #loveistheanswer

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The Fall/Winter issue of the Philadelphia Art and Urban Literary Magazine is here and I’m the featured poet!

PAUL IS HERE!!
In this distinguished issue of the Philadelphia Art & Urban Literary Review are artists:
M. Tonita Austin, Tamara Diaz, James Dupree, Tim Okamura, Petronia Paley, Eva Preston, Danny Simmons and Richard Watson. Artist, Kathleen Spicer sits down with me to remember her late husband, renown painter, sculptor, Mr. Charles Searles who was also my great mentor and teacher. Read additional, compelling interviews with Artists: James Dupree, Tim Okamura, actress and visual artist, Petronia Paley, Danny Simmons and Richard Watson. Click the link to go inside. Stand by for details on how to collect this beautiful edition in print. Cover Art by Tim Okamura.

I am honored to be the featured poet with two poems gracing this beautiful body of work! Click the link below to look inside and let me know what you think. 💜

PAUL MAGAZINE

Posted in Artists, Gifted and Talented, Local Artists, Original Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Recreating yourself, Support Local Artists, Uncategorized, Writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment