We speak with Ana Castillo, one of the most powerful voices in Chicana literature, about her new memoir Black Dove: Mamá, Mi’jo and Me. Among her acclaimed works are: So Far From God, Sapogonia, Give It to Me, Peel My Love Like an Onion, and Goddess of the Americas: Writings on the Virgin of Guadalupe.
With roots firmly set in the Black American choral tradition, the Sounds of Blackness were founded in 1969 by Russell Knighton on the campus of Saint Paul’s Macalester College. Since 1971, Director Gary Dennis Hines has nurtured these Minnesota vocal and instrumental talents whose abilities cover several genres of music including gospel, R&B, soul and jazz. I spoke with Gary about what inspires his inspirational music direction. His ready response? The musical nurturing provided by his mother, Twin Cities Jazz Legend, the late Doris Hines.