Events for the week

june 19
National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America: Unfortunately, the history of human civilization has been one ethnic/religious/sexual group repressing and exploiting another, weaker one. But can we distinguish between garden-variety atrocities and atrocities with a capital A? Here's a handy guide: Your group's suffering is an atrocity, but my group's suffering is an Atrocity. N'COBRA (National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America) believes that Americans of African heritage are owed reparation by the U.S. government for the undeniable tragedies that were slavery and segregation. The Dallas chapter of the group meets to discuss "Reparation & Self-Determination for African People in America," with Nan Kwame M Atta of Fihankra International and Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price leading the talk. The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Bill J. Priest Institute, 1402 Corinth St, Room 2200. Call (972) 285-7753.

Howl: The Artwork of Luis Jimenez: If you've caught New Mexico-based artist Luis Jimenez's current show at the DMA, Working Class Heroes: Images From the Popular Culture, then you got a raw, poignant, meticulously crafted lesson in how pop art doesn't have to be all pose. Turner & Runyon Gallery is now ready to supply you a second shot--not to mention the chance to meet the artist--with an exhibition of more sculpture and drawings in conjunction with the release of his book, Howl: The Artwork of Luis Jimenez. The show opens with a reception for the artist June 19 at 7 p.m. and runs through August 2 at Turner & Runyon Gallery, 2642 Elm Street. Call (214) 653-1130.

Second Annual Rainbow Reading: The official reason June is celebrated as Gay Pride Month is in commemoration of the June 1969 Stonewall riots; the real reason is that summer is shorts weather, and there's scarcely a gay man or lesbian alive who can resist the sights of fellow revolutionaries in less than full regalia. We can't guarantee how much flesh will be exposed at the Dallas Poets Community's Second Annual Rainbow Reading; maybe someone will take a leaf from Clebo Rainey's book and rip off his shirt in the middle of the poetry reading. In any case, DPC director Christopher Soden, Dalton James, Jason Edwards, Bob McCranie, and others will shake their poetic moneymaker with musings on the gay life. The show happens at 8 p.m. at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Call (214) 953-1212.

june 20
Opus III with Carlo Pezzimenti: Regular readers of the Observer calendar page have probably wondered why so many of Dallas-based guitarist Carlo Pezzimenti's shows make it onto these pages, but people who've actually seen Mr. Pezzimenti's stunningly nuanced performances of twentieth-century Spanish compositions don't. Calendar doesn't get kickbacks from Pezzimenti--he's just too damn good to miss, his live performance schedule is erratic, and his shows are usually free. He appears for a chamber concert with Opus III, the cello-flute-piano ensemble. The concert kicks off at 7 p.m. at Borders Books & Music, Preston and Royal. It's free. Call (214) 363-1977.

What Is the Alien Agenda? Well, it ain't getting a federal antidiscrimination law passed, according to journalist Jim Marrs. The New York Times bestselling author has made a career of debunking conventional wisdom with books like Crossfire, one of a myriad of tomes that challenged the government's explanation of JFK's assassination. But with his new HarperCollins title, Alien Agenda, Marrs reaches beyond mere dissection to construct a bold and, many will say, utterly ridiculous theory--that the U.S. government and the gas and oil cartels are in cahoots with extraterrestrial intelligence. Not only are alien abductions part of the bargain, but Marrs claims antigravity energy resources are being hogged by our leaders, who continue bilking the developed population of the planet with costlier methods. Marrs' talk for the Eclectic Viewpoint happens at 7:30 p.m. at Unity Church of Dallas, 6525 Forest Lane. (972) 601-7687.

Before You Say I Do: All these conservatives who stomp around harumphing about the high rate of divorce in America have it backwards. Leaving aside for the moment Gloria Steinem's bit of wisdom that "the leading cause of divorce is marriage," we suggest this--don't make it harder to get a divorce, make it harder to get married. A fishing license is harder to obtain than the piece of paper that's supposed to signify a lifelong, committed relationship between two people. Jubilee United Methodist Church's monthly Love Clinic looks at the subject from an African-American, Christian perspective with a talk called "Before You Say I Do: What Every Christian Should Know Before Marriage." The talk happens 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Jubilee United Methodist Church, 301 Frank Keasler Blvd, Duncanville. It's free, and free child care is provided. Call (972) 283-2264.

Midsummer Night's Full Moon Celebration: Amy Martin almost didn't hold a Summer SolstiCelebration of any kind this year, but unrepentant pagan (oops, we mean dedicated nature lover) that she is, she couldn't let the 1997 seasonal cycle turn without a ceremonial nod. And so she has organized a two-day outdoor soiree at White Rock Lake that everyone must attend to make sure it happens again next year. On June 20, the Midsummer Night's Full Moon Celebration features a participatory world beat drum circle, lunar circle dances, a full moon ceremony, and other stuff. The event happens sunset to midnight at the Big Thicket at White Rock Lake. A Summer Solstice picnic takes place June 21, 5 p.m.-midnight at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. It's all free, but a couple of bucks from appreciative participants will help defray Martin's costs. Call (214) 320-3851.

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