Readers of Cobb know that I had a black nationalist upbringing as a child. As such I was, among other things, participant in the very first celebration of Kwanzaa. Among the family, friends and associates of the day were more than a handful of interesting characters with stories to tell. I am fortunate to have received a number of correspondences handed over personally from Althais Aka a family friend and a favorite 'aunt' of mine.
I cannot say what I know of Althais, because I don't know. She was an extraordinarily attractive young woman, with the perfect afro and a very snazzy home in Leimert Park. One of the first art shows put on by my father's Institute for Black Studies took place at her house, and here I have a picture. That's my mother on the left. I helped construct those pegboards, but I must say that's about all I recall besides the pride of being involved. Althais was certainly associated, as we all were, with Father Hannibal's church. I was a bit young to remember much of that place. What I do remember of her was that she was fearless. There was nothing conventional about her; she 'went there'. As you read what she has written you can make up your own mind.
At any rate, she has turned these over to me with the expectation that I share them with you, the public. And so I have and shall. Find them Here:
Included are letters to and from Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Julian Bond, Harry Belafonte, TD Jakes, Maya Angelou, Antonio Villaraigosa, Maxine Waters and others interesting.