beautiful ashe: memoirs of a sweet black boy & other poems

B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence
  • Tai Amri Spann-Ryan, Co-founder, B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence
  • Alex Kimball Williams, Co-founder, B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence

Project Description

This audiobook project will make available a poetic memoir that speaks to the difficulties of growing up as a Black male on the East Coast of the United States. It addresses the homophobia, sexism, and classism that runs rampant in this country in brutal and vulnerable realism. This poetry is meant to bolster the resolve to continue towards (r)evolution, and addresses the contradictions and counterrevolutionary aspects of the self. Using an audiobook format will elevate inclusivity for folks who are visually impaired or unable to sit and read long texts in a world of struggle. Tai Amri aims to involve musicians and audio engineers to bring life and interdisciplinary artistic discourse to this important work. B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence and the surrounding area are brimming with musicians who have previously performed with Tai Amri. Because Covid-19 has exacerbated income and wealth inequality for Black people, Tai Amri wants this project to provide financial security and incentive to other Black artists.

Images courtesy Leah Evans

Project News & More

Clark, Mackenzie. “B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence to Host Juneteenth Celebration Featuring Local Artists.” The Lawrence Times, July 15, 2021.
Medina, H. (Host). (2021, n.d.). “Interview with Tai Amri.” In Kansas Is Lit.

Partner Details

  • Tai Amri Spann-Ryan

    Co-founder, B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence


    TAI AMRI SPANN-RYAN is an African American Universalist Quaker from Lenni-Lenape land in South Jersey, right outside of Philly. He is Lawrence, Kansas’ 2016 Langston Hughes Poetry Award Recipient, and is a co-founder of the collaborative group B.L.A.C.K. (Black Literature and Arts Collective of Kansas) where he organizes events and readings.

  • Alex Kimball Williams

    Co-founder, B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence


    Alex Kimball Williams is a multicultural artivist (artist + activist), musician, writer, & community organizer. Their work focuses on ethnopolitics, medical activism, & environmentalism. They received the 2018 MLK Dreamer’s award & 3rd place Community Leader/Hero (Racial Justice/Equity Issues) on Best of Lawrence 2021. Kimball Williams co-founded B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence (Black Literature & Arts Collective of Kansas).