< Artist >
_daughters of yam _

devorah major

opal palmer adisa

The Daughters of Yam (devorah major and Opal Palmer Adisa) make music about our bodies and our fruits and our children, speaking truth.

Lucille Clifton - poet

Their often startling images, perceptions and emotions never read false.

David Henderson - author

Hear them. See them. You will definitely feel them! These word conjurers, these Daughters of Yam. Listen closely. They are uttering the very secrets of the trees.

Rhodessa Jones

Daughters of Yam, Opal Palmer Adisa and devorah major, have been performing as a dynamic duo since 1984. In a harmonic blending of voices, they lift poetry off the page yet preserve the integrity of language. They infuse the words and resonance with the values of performance by adding music and drama. They continue in the tradition of the African Griot (storyteller and historian) who gave birth to the Last Poets, Jayne Cortez and Sonia Sanchez, et al.

Daughters of Yam performs poetry, which is cultural, social and political centering on the reality of being of African descent, women, mothers, lovers, human beings in today's world. Their poetry looks beyond the problems to defining possible solutions and sniffing out the joy and hope.

The Tounge is a Drum
New Release!
Available Now!
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Fierce / Love

"With consummate lyricism, poems such as "African Cosmology" (devorah major) embody an age when acquired knowledge - of gestation, planting cycles, health care, natural history, ritual and a world view - was passed on in song as simply as seeds were planted."
Kate Dougherty - San Francisco Chronicle

Daughters of Yam perform with world class musicians including congo drummer and percussionist, Babatunde Lee, cello and bassist, Kash Killion and tenor, Richard Howell.

They have also worked with dancers as well as integrate slide presentation as an integral part of their performance. They're about celebration, fortitude and defiance. They're about more-than-survival, through pride and tenderness. They make for powerfully dramatic communication and entertainment. They turn on to the possibilities of the present, while they maintain unique strengths of their heritage and gender.

These accomplished widely published poets/performers have individually and/or collectively performed throughout the USA, Toronto, England, Wales, Germany, Italy, South Africa and the Caribbean. They inspire, encourage and spark


every wave begins
as a drop of water

every wave begins
as a drop of water

is this the idea of thirst
born in the need
first nurtured in the blood
of our mothers

every drop of water
carries life

every drop of water
carries life

the birds tucked their wings
headed for the hills
the rats and all the rodents
picked up their bellies
and scampered to rocks
that no water would dare climb
the lizards and insects
textured other trails
desert and lonely

they knew
the smell of danger
was not banished from
their memories
the hunger for life
was not distilled
by knowledge
they knew

i was everywhere
when tsunami struck
you were there too
we were all everywhere
where we were bombing
and didn’t object
where were we dumping nuclear waste
and said it had nothing to do with us
where were we felling trees
and said that’s someone else’s problem
where were we polluting oceans
and said we’re taking a cruise vacation

i was everywhere
when tsunami struck
you were there too
we were all everywhere
not just with the handful
of north americans who died
not just with the celebrity
who lost a leg
not just with the officials
who must decide how to face
the nation
we were there
each of us contributing
a drop of water
watching for the big wave
riding it when it came
our nostrils clogged
with its vapor
we were there
even before
it rose up like the monsters
we create to scare
we were there
even as those who lived there
were digging in the earth’s bowel
for food
we were there
thinking that what happens
in iraq----------the caribbean
africa and the rest of asia
is not connected to
everything we do
every time we do it

and the need is no greater
than it was yesterday
nor than it will be tomorrow
when we become too overwhelmed
with our own lives
when another disaster captures our eyes
awaken again modicum generosity
the need is no greater
except for the calamities here at home
the people on the street
with no homes
no food
no medical care
the unpunished presidential coup
for the second time
children in marginal social schools
not being taught
prisons must be filled
slave labor needed more than ever
let do a we are the world
every week
every month
every year
until all the needs are obsolete

every wave begins
as a drop of water
every drop of water
is a wave

every wave begins
as a drop of water
every drop of water
is a wave

a wave of indifference
a wave of separation
a wave of hunger
a wave of loneliness
a wave of greed
a wave of corruption
a wave

every wave is
a drop of your thought
your thought
sent to the universe
every tsunami
begins in me
begin in you
every wave is
a drop of your thought

Opal Palmer Adisa

corrosive acid

A staggering number of people in the United States are subjected to racial profiling. Approximately 32 million people, a number approximately equivalent to the population of Canada, report they have already been victims of racial profiling. AIUSA report Threat and Humiliation: Racial Profiling, National Security, and Human Rights in the United States

one out of every nine americans
has been given a profile
has been slated as not
to be trusted on sight
has been identified as deserving of
arbitrary stops and searches
numbered as less than desirable

are you
one of

do you
wear the mask of middle eastern
the tongue of allah
the skin of africa
the flesh of latin america
the eyes of south east asia
the hair of indian
the taint of other

are you
one of

who when found engaged
in an ordinary activity

sitting at home
or walking down the street
shopping in the mall
or driving to work or play

or driving just to drive and think

preparing to fly
or going to or coming
from a place of worship

has been
stopped and questioned
examined and searched
sometimes detained
sometimes arrested
sometimes tortured
often abhorred
rarely ignored

you know who
we are

see how
our numbers

at this pace soon
it will be one
of every three

87 million left to go
and counting

devorah major

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New Movies!



Upcoming Performances

Daughters of Yam

Thursday June 30 - 7PM
San Francisco Magazine
Best of the Bay Party
Concourse Exhibition Center
635 8th Street
at Brannan, San Francisco

Lincoln Center Out of Doors
La Casita- A Home for the Heart Project
Saturday August 27 North Plaza at Lincoln Center (program starts at 2 pm- DOY at 2:30)
Sunday August 28 North Plaza at Lincoln Center (program starts at 2pm- DOY at 5:00)
Monday August 29 The Point - Bronx (program starts at 5:00 pm - DOY at 5:30)

Opal Palmer Adisa

Dayton, Florida, June 1-8
Prince William Country School, Manassas, VA June 20-22
Washington, DC, June 23-26
New York, August 28-September 3

devorah major

Friday July 21 - 7 PM
Technology Resource Center
27 South Brunt Street, Englewood, New Jersey

Friday August 18- 6 PM
Making Art, Making Change
Herbst Pavilion -Fort Mason Center
San Francisco

Sunday - August 20 - 3 PM
MoAD Sunday Salon Series -I've Known Rivers
685 Mission Street (at Third)
San Francisco

Sunday - September 17 - 8 PM
Great American Music Hall
Benefit for Mumia Abu Jamal

Monday - September 25 - 7 PM
Words on the Water
Cody’s Bookstore - Stockton Street
San Francisco

For Booking or Business Contact,

Caribbean Passion

opal palmer adisa
New Book
Caribbean Passion is feisty, sensuous -- and always thought provoking. Whether Opal Palmer Adisa is writing about history, about family, about Black lives, about love and sexual passion, she has an acute eye for the contraries of experience.

Caribbean Passion
ISBN: 1-900715-92-9 Price: £7.99

opal palmer adisa website:www.opalwriter.com
p.o. box 10625 oakland ca. 94610 email:opalwrites@sbcglobal.net




to read and/or hear more poems
by opel palmer adisa






to read and/or hear more poems by devorah major




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