>Discover Buffalo Sonnet< a digital comic by Kamau Studios, inspired by San Juan Hill. This comic explores the Black experience in this historic Manhattan neighborhood. The title pays homage to the “Buffalo Soldiers,” Black infantrymen who settled there after the Spanish-American War. This compelling narrative highlights a vibrant community’s dispersal, leaving a lasting impact on the city’s history. Buffalo Sonnet reflects the broader African diaspora in New York City, illustrating the resilience of displaced Black communities.  The Buffalo Sonnet is an invitation to consider healing for a people migrating by force. Commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.  


 

Artist Statement by Writer and Illustrator Kamau Ware: 

Buffalo Sonnet takes the formless structure of a poem. Characters ebb from an African medicine woman named Sage who offers a prayer in the form of a sonnet for generational healing to children of the African Diaspora. The story flows to the historic luminary Thelonious Monk Jr., with consideration for the lives of two Black women building community in a nation that is belligerent toward their existence. The protagonist Paint brushes against hard and soft lines on an errand through San Juan Hill to pick up beets in an effort to finance his dream of becoming a pianist such as the famed Eubie Blake and the venerable James Reese Europe. In essence, San Juan Hill is a real place that has inspired the poem received by Sage for children of the African Diaspora who find themselves displaced or facing the machine of displacement. The Buffalo Sonnet is an invitation to consider healing for a people migrating by force.


 


 

 


Creative Team and Cast Credits: 

Creative Team: 
Kamau Ware: Writer, Illustrator, and Creative Director  
Isa Reyes: Art Direction and Graphic Design 
Adrian Franks: Creative Direction and Logo
dr.troizel xx: Archivist and Research Coordinator 
Pope Phoenix: Creative Direction and Cartography 
Walter Cruz: Graphic Design, Creative Direction and Text
Justin “Suede” Hunte: Graphic Design 
Chris Walker: Creative Consultant 
Cast: 
Sawdayah Brownlee as Sage 
Monifa Coffee as Louise Bryant 
Chase Manning as Paint 
Runako Guistone as Mr.Coco
Francis Marley as Buffalo Soldier 
Leilani Minnis as Black Girl #1
Legacy Period as Black Girl #2 
Ezra Sandoz as San Juan Hill Resident 
Clifford Smith as Shuffle Along Actor 
OG as San Juan Hill Resident 
Nia Calloway as Flapper Girl #1 
Raia Garvin as Flapper Girl  #2
Kanene Holder as San Juan Hill Resident 
Terrell Brown as Shuffle Along Actor 
Asmaa Amadou as Shuffle Along Actress
Orion Mickens as Copper
Dream Period as Marion Monk
Shanna Sabio as Barbara Monk 
Garvey Crown Franks as Thelonius Monk 
Wahkeem Kelly as San Juan Hill Resident 
Uchenna Obiora as San Juan Hill Resident 
Sean Mayers as Adam