Better Ancestors @ Round Weather Gallery: Rebecca Samuelson, griffin jing martin, Charles Ogborn III, Ayodele Nzinga & more

Round Weather Gallery

951 Aileen St. Suite P, Oakland, CA 94608

Free Event

Mon, April 3rd, 2023 @ 7:00PM PDT

Quiet Lightning presents the 10th Better Ancestors, featuring readings and performance by Rebecca Samuelson, griffin jing martin, Charles Ogborn III & Ayodele Nzinga at the beautiful Round Weather Gallery in Oakland! More authors and host TBA.

We have a limited # of seats - if you want to guarantee one, get a ticket now. We can't guarantee admission for walk-ups. This will be a set of intimate performances, followed by a brief community Q&A. We hope you'll join us!

Masks will be required throughout. Questions? Concerns? Availability requests? Write [email protected]


Rebecca Samuelson is a Bay Area poet from Hayward, California who writes from the intersection of caretaking and grief. She received her MFA in creative writing, with a concentration in poetry, from Saint Mary’s College of California. She received a BA in English, with a concentration in creative writing, from San Francisco State University. Her work can be found at

griffin jing martin is a san francisco based interdisciplinary artist. griffin’s work finds form through connection with community, reverence for the collective, and the belief that every trans person is precious and completely necessary. griffin’s work shares their transfeminine asian american perspective on togetherness and singular identity in all of their whimsical, prismatic complications. griffin’s poetry can be found in the ana, mixed rice zines, dekopon! magazine, sine theta mag, and is upcoming in foglifter journal vol. 8.1.

Charles Orgbon III (he/him) is an environmental sustainability consultant by day, and freelance writer by night. When it comes to writing, Charles has done a variety of creative projects, from personal essays to news journalism to even comics and songwriting. He has two music projects out now, “A Survivor’s Reward” and “Blackberry,” both available anywhere you listen to music. He loves writing about identity, culture, and sexuality.

Ayodele Nzinga bio coming soon

ABOUT THE HOST of the previous show

Alie Jones is a self-care advocate, writer, artist, and Creole mermaid. She is Co-founder and Director of Black Freighter Press, a revolutionary press committed to the exploration of liberation, using art to transform consciousness. She is a founder of Bodacious Bombshells, a wellness collective in Oakland. Alie is a yoga instructor passionate about centering our breathwork as sacred and hopes to build a legacy of awareness and expression. Alie graduated with her MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Mills College. She received her MPA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and BA in Cinematic Arts & Technology from CSU Monterey Bay and a minor in Creative Writing and Social Action. Alie is the host of the podcast Chit Chat with Aliecat, where she explores self-care practices and journeys of self-love in community.


One of Quiet Lightning’s efforts to diversify and move toward racial equityBetter Ancestors is a new quarterly showcase of writers of color. Developed in partnership with Michael Warr, the series features 5 authors reading or performing whatever they choose. Each author selects one performer for the following show, so the series – and community – is self-generating. All authors are paid and published in an end of the year anthology.

Why Better Ancestors? As one of our initiatives to diversify from a board that has historically been mostly white, this showcase aims to provide a long-term, forward-thinking goal. As a society, we are suffering the consequences of pervasive systemic injustice against people of color, queer and trans people, the poor, disabled, and otherwise disadvantaged. But we are all ancestors of the future. If the planet is to remain inhabitable; if the function of humanity is not to sort and oppress our descendants based on their skin color, accent, or material property, we must be better ancestors. This begins by listening to one another, and by giving each other space to be heard.

Better Ancestors was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit


Now in its 14th year, Quiet Lightning is a literary movement to create and foster community around the written and spoken word. QL aims to democratize public space by offering performances, curation opportunities, and programming with no barriers to entry, providing a launchpad for new and emerging artists, a reliable platform for professional writers, and an inclusive, accessible gathering place for the public. QL is committed to care-taking and progressing the rich threads of literary culture that exist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recognized by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as one of the 100 “people, organizations, and movements who are shaping the future of culture”, Quiet Lightning’s flagship is the literary mixtape, a submission-based series with a blind selection process and different curators for each show. The shows, which are free to attend, are published as books, handed out free to the first 100 people, and all participating artists are paid. QL has now produced 150 events featuring 1,811 readings by 975 local authors in 94 venues, ranging from dive bars and art galleries to state parks and national landmarks, and has published 120 books and produced two films, all selected by 77 different curators. In 2019, Quiet Lightning pioneered an application process for limited-term board-membership, called Disruptors, to regularly bring new ideas and energy into the organization. QL maintains, a daily calendar of literary events.


Every tax deductible donation helps Quiet Lightning invest in a sustainable, ethical arts ecosystem, with the goal of building that culture into the fabric of our lives. You can donate by Venmo or PayPal or pledge a recurring donation by becoming one of our supporters on Patreon, which comes with a few additional perks and helps us expand on the work that we do.

featured images, clockwise from top L: Rebecca Samuelson by David Morales; griffin jing martin by Sara Hoffpauir. Background photo of Round Weather Gallery by Evan Karp features work by Daniela Naomi Molnar.

Round Weather Gallery
951 Aileen St. Suite P
Oakland, CA 94608