Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr
Poet, Essayist, Playwright
Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr Originally from West Africa and now, over three decades a Harlem resident, Rashidah Ismaili is a writer of plays, poetry, fiction and cultural critiques. She is one of the original faculty of the Creative Writing Low Residence at Wilkes University. She has read at many international arts festivals and as well, her plays have been presented in Zimbabwe for the HIFA, Harare International Festival of Arts, for three years. In addition to her writing Ismaili-AbuBakr is the host of Salon d' Afrique; an international forum for the gathering of artists, cultural workers and prominent activists as well as celebrations of various activities. This is something she has done prior to coming to Harlem, over forty years. She is a founding member of OWWA, Organization of Women Writers of Africa, an active member of African Literature Association, PEN International Writers, Pen&Brush as the Vice President of the Board. Currently she is organizing the archives of the late dancer/choreographer, Eleo Pomare. Ismaili-AbuBakr has a long history in literary and cultural movements and groups; Umbra, a group of visual and literary artists that formed in Lower East Side during the mid 60's along with Black Arts Movement, Calabashe Poets, Afrikan Poetry Theatre and Badenya, a Pan African cultural and arts organization. She considers herself an advocate for human rights, literacy for young people, cultural and intellectual development for women of all ages in Africa and the African Diaspora.