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Jawanza Bakari was born Lonnie Spencer in Queens and raised in Far Rockaway, New York. Jawanza graduated from SUNY at Downstate University with a B.S. in Physical Therapy.
Jawanza began to notice his gift for writing in his late twenties but did not bring it to reality until he self-published his first novel, Black to the Struggle with Afrikan Love (2000). This was followed by Provocative Thought: 21st Century Issues for Discussion Confronting People of Afrikan Descent (2004). In 2007, Jawanza wrote The Passage: Poems from the Maafa, which was inspired by the Maafa production at the Saint Paul's Baptist Church in Brooklyn, under the leadership of Reverend Johnny Ray Youngblood. That same production, inspired Jawanza's first theatrical production, The Passage: Stories from the Maafa in 2008.

Jawanza has written, directed, and produced over ten plays since his theatrical debut. His credits include: Journey Continued (2009), Tears of the Lonely (2011), Tears of the Lonely Part 2: Another Session (2013), Poetic Love (2013), Where are All the Good Black Men (2014), Emi Trilogy (2015), Emi Pentology (2017), and Morning Coffee (2018). Jawanza has also written several essays and manuscripts dealing with African culture, cosmology, and history.

In 2014, Jawanza founded the Arfrikan Luv Company, a not for profit 501(c)3 community organization whose mission is to make a social difference in the community of color by challenging negative stereotypes that are geared to demean people of African ancestry  by producing theatrical productions that celebrate as well as educate people of African ancestry. The non profit also offers a Creative Writers Workshop designed for inner city youths of (but not limited to) African descent between the ages of 13 to 17 to help them develop or improve their creative writing skills.
Jawanza is happy to be bringing back The Passage: Stories from the Maafa to a new audience in the Spring of 2019, and hopes to educate and inspire a new generation to embrace and give back the love our ancestors have given us the last 500 years.

The Passage: Stories form The Maafa

On August 20, 1619, the first enslaved Africans arrived at the British colony in Jamestown Virginia. Four hundred years later in the year 2019, "The Passage: Stories from the Maafa" will arrive at the National Black Theatre in Harlem.

Come join us in honoring all enslaved Africans who were stolen from their homes and scattered throughout the "New World." Come hear their stories of strength, courage, determination and of their sacrifices that made it possible for us to be here today.

Come be a part of the “ultimate love story.” Come experience "The Passage: Stories from the Maafa.” It's a journey like no other.

The Passage: Stories from the Maafa
National Black Theatre
April 19, 20, 26, 27
May 3, 4
7:00 p.m.

Purchase Tickets!
Copyright © 2019 Afrikan Luv Company Inc., All rights reserved.

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Afrikan Luv Company Inc. is a non profit organized exclusively for charitable, cultural, literary, theatrical, and educational purposes, including for such purposes, the making of distribution to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law.