MAMA’s Club

Faye Williams. Photo borrowed from Facebook, photographer unknown (contact The Old Lady for photo credit).

MAMA’s Club officially opens in Gainesville FL on August 1!

Owner Faye Williams is a Gainesville native who spent years in Washington DC establishing Sisterspace and Books, a feminist and African-American culture oriented bookstore and community center.  After the powers-that-be in the nation’s capitol managed to evict Sisterspace and take over the building for their own purposes Faye returned to the city of her birth.

“And I found the same crap going on here as when I left so many years ago, only it’s getting worse,” stated Faye, “the racism, discrimination against women, homophobia… it’s all gotten worse.”

So she is doing something about all that.

MAMA’s Club is on the south end of Main Street in the neighborhood known as Porter’s Quarters, one of the pockets of poverty that remain neglected in this university-focused town.  In 2007, Gainesville was ranked as one of the “best places to live and play” in the United States by National Geographic Adventure[ … and yet a decade later, in 2017, Porter’s Quarters and other majority-black neighborhoods remain underserved by city government.

“MAMA’s Club is now the ONLY black-owned business on Main Street,” Faye explained, “and we have had to fight the city every step of the way just to get started.”

MAMA stands for Music, Art, Movement, ACTION. MAMA’s Club offers evenings of live performances ranging from Faye’s beloved jazz to hip-hop, punk, and all musical genres (the Club served as one of the venues for the recent Gainesville Underground Theatre Festival) as well as comedy, poetry, and other spoken-word arts.

During the day Faye plans to offer dance classes, GED classes, chess classes… “Whatever the community tells me it needs,” Faye says.

August 16 will officially kick off regular Wednesday Grab ‘Da Mike nights.  Karaoke singers and performers of all types are welcome, according to host Cheryl Floyd-Lucas, to come by and GRAB ‘DA MIKE!

You can find more about MAMA’s Club on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mamasclubgainesville/

and if you want to offer your support for this project you can do so online at https://www.youcaring.com/fayewilliams-714429

SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS!

And as Faye says:  PEACE… LOVE… and JUSTICE!

4 thoughts on “MAMA’s Club

  1. Go My Sister! You have an undefeatable spirit! Your determination has resulted in another important center for people. Wishing you and the other organizers much joy and support. I’ll have to stop in my next trip south to see porters and other area of Gainesville again. I’ll never forget the first place I got called the n word, and do often. I hope lots has changed since I went to college there as an innocent 18-year old. I met you so it wasn’t all bad!

  2. I sincerely wish her the best in her new venture and all the support she needs. Yes, crap is everywhere not only in Washington DC.

  3. Dearest Faye,

    Saw the lovely photo, jumped out of my seat, and yelled “FAYE!!!”. So good to see you and hear about your new venture in Gainesville, Fl. Never walk near U St. without thinking of you and Sisterspace. You are so special, and have a special place in my heart. So glad to hear of your new ventures.

    You may recall Pastor Alvin Jackson from National City. He and I served a church together in New York City. He and Tina retired and settled in Jacksonville, FL. The projects continue, like the upcoming “celebration” of the 50th anniversary of MLK’s assassination, for which there will be a significant observance in Memphis, TN.

    I am semi-retired. I preach on occasion, but by and large I am free to do as I please. My husband Bert will retire in the not so distant future. Still travel to TX to see family each year (as we have since moving to DC in 1986).

    Take care….stay in touch.

    Much Love,
    Monte

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