West Oakland to West Africa

West Oakland to West Africa provides a sustained exchange to connect members of the African diaspora and Africa through creative writing. Our core values are to create a safe place for the transparent healing and growth of Black people.

  1. Literary Arts
  • West Oakland to West Africa provides a sustained exchange to connect members of the African diaspora and Africa through creative writing. Our core values are to create a safe place for the transparent healing and growth of Black people; to deliver innovative and authentic forms of writing and to engage the medium of spoken word to shape and define the narratives of the diaspora; to allow a visceral and uncensored critique of social systems through artistic expression. Our goal is to facilitate a return to retrieve what has been forgotten or lost (Sankofa). By doing so, we hope to continue to promote Afrocentric approaches to international and cross-cultural relationships that support holistic partnerships between Americans and the world around us. Our American and African partners are from all walks of life. Participants range in age, profession, and cultures. However, we all have one thing in common, our link to the diaspora and our desire to connect through creativity. Our first session(which began in February) is full, however click the link below to join the next two sessions starting in March. Our History In 2016, a group of poets from across America, but residing in Oakland, embarked on a poetic exchange. The goal of the exchange was to create healing and reconnection between Africans and African Americans who have long been separated due to the Maafa, the calamity of slavery, and many current socio-economic factors. Karla Brundage, WO2WA founder, partnered with friend and co-founder of EHALAKASA (a Ghanian slam poetry and arts organization). Together they started a one of a kind partnership between people across continents creating what is now called West Oakland to West Africa: WO2WA. Using prompts to such as "Where I Come From" and the form of Renshi poetry, a Japanese form, also known as linked or chained poems, a door was opened. Renshi poetry includes the use of the last line of your partner’s poem to start your own. Through the process, friendships began to blossom and in 2018, the year before President Akufo-Adoo declared the Year of the Return, WO2WA embarked on a journey to Ghana to meet their Ghanaian exchange partners. With new works by: Emmanuel Akambo, Jr., Nora (Xorlarlie) Anyidoho, Dodzi Korsi Aveh, aka WhoIsDeydzi, Radhiyah Ayobami, Sara Biel, Wild-Flower Brashear, Tyrice Deane Brown, Karla Brundage, Zakiyyah G. E. Capehart, Azi Edoua, Noemi Rose Gonzalez-Barillas, Xiomara, Jewell King-Speaks, Joseph Chief Korgan, aka Wordrite, Makeda, aka Sandra Hooper Mayfield, Nathaniel Ogli, Etchian Jean Frédéric Orbeli, Woédem Afua Parku, aka Woé, aka Z. Afua, Marcus Lorenzo Penn, aka Adeshima, Wanda Sabir, Mariska Araba Taylor-Darko, Crystal Tettey, Kathryn Waddell Takara, PhD., Imani Todd, Tamaris Usher, Sir Black aka Yibor Kojo Yibor.