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
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