Taste of Soul Sunday: Learn


Inside a 1950s Black Barbershop: An African American Cultural Oasis

1:30 pm & 3:00 pm
Adult Computer Training Center | Lower Level

Have you ever visited a black barbershop? What goes on in a black barbershop besides shaving mustaches and cutting hair? How important is a barber shop to a black community? Where did African American men learn this trade? Were black barbershops off limits to women? Learn these answers and much more about an early black barbershop in Grand Rapids from the son of black barber, Daniel S. Groce, who owned and operated his barbershop on Grandville Ave SW from 1951-1972. Daniel Groce, Jr. shares what he remembers from listening, working and growing up in his father’s barbershop in the 1950’s.

Fable the Poet pic

Fable the Poet and Guests

2:15 pm & 3:45 pm
Storytime Room | Level 2

Fable The Poet is a constantly touring performance poet, published author, mental health awareness advocate, and youth worker. He is currently host of The Drunken Retort (Grand Rapids, MI), The Drunken Retort (Detroit, MI), and Put UP or SHUT UP (Kalamazoo, MI) and strives to connect artists in each city on a larger scale by opening his venues to up and coming artists in cities all across Michigan. Between learning new promotion tactics, writing, hosting, and serving his community, Fable opens his arms to opportunities to inspire, teach, and challenge others to think outside of “the box” through music, written and spoken word. In the second session he will be joined by Antonio Tone Taylor, Jomo “Moes The Poet” Upton, and Motif.

Grandma’s Voices Oral History Project

All day
Vander Veen Center for the Book | Level 4

African-Americans first began coming in significant numbers to West Michigan in the early twentieth century as Jim Crow proliferated across the South. The Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (GRAAMA) has launched the Grandma’s Voices Oral History Project to provide a richer picture of African American life and to do so from the standpoint of those who have lived this history first-hand. The experiences of these families will also open up critical opportunities for exchange across generations, strengthening ties across the Grand Rapids community while preserving these memories for future generations. These recordings will also provide us with the critical push necessary to formally open GRAAMA, the city’s first African American history museum. GRAAMA is symbolic of “Grandma” the keeper of the family history and stories in our culture. We will be recording interviews with families during Taste of Soul, starting with the eldest members of the community. If you want to participate or schedule a future interview please call George Bayard at 616-540-2943.