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Femi Nilaja Anderson

1971 - 2020

Renaissance Connection takes on this endeavor in memory of its co-founder and Executive Director, Femi Nilaja Anderson, who passed away in March 2020 during the first COVID-19 wave. Femi was a beacon of light to the Albany community as an artist and art patron who mentored numerous young African-American visual artists as well as helped seasoned artists expand their opportunities. Not only did Femi help visual artists, she also was supportive of the arts across all genres. Femi stood behind all artistic expressions, offering her physical and financial support to musicians, poets, dancers, etc. She brought that same love and passion for the arts into Renaissance Connection as she spearheaded several successful endeavors by the organization, including a highlight of her life – bringing back home, internationally renowned guitarist and jazz master, Russell Malone, for a hometown concert in 2018. 


Russell Malone
International renowned guitarist and jazz master.

Driven by a passion to expose people to the arts, Femi’s work included providing arts events for her community. She would often say, “I don’t want people to have to go to Atlanta for a good time.” She did her part and did it wholeheartedly. 


Her family, Renaissance Connection, and her community immensely miss her. 

Bummi Professional Pic 2019.jpeg

Bummi Niyonu Anderson


Mary Watson Jones, my tenth-grade remedial English teacher, said to me, “You didn’t write this.” She was referring to the first essay I wrote in her class.

“Yes, I did.” Respectably, I shot back.

“You couldn’t have.”

“But I did write it. Sitting right in here.”

“The person who wrote this essay could not be the same person that failed the writing test.”

I was that person. I had failed the writing part of the state’s Basic Skills Test and was now in a remedial English course to prepare me for the next chance to take it and pass it. It was my tenth-grade teacher’s words that propelled me into knowing I was born to write.


A native of Albany, Georgia, Bummi Niyonu Anderson is a writer and poet. She has written six books, including her latest book, Moods: Haiku and Other Poems, along with I Like it When: A Collection of Love Poems, You are a Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You, and Gumbo Soul: Book of Poetry.” In 2023, Bummi was asked to participate in a special edition of African Voices Magazine, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop. She composed the poem, "Love Me Hip-Hop" as an ode to her twin, Femi. Bummi also published an article on her father in The Albany Herald entitled, "Walk a Mile in His Shoes," paying homage to her father's work in the Civil Rights Movement. 

She is also co-founder of Renaissance Connection, Inc. with her twin sister, Femi. Renaissance Connection is an arts non-profit committed to educating others on the connection between art and life. RC has sponsored artists, authors, art exhibitions, readings, and facilitated workshops on fine art and writing. Sadly, Femi transitioned in March of 2020. In 2020, Bummi's essay, "I Lost my Twin Sister to COVID" was included in a book compilation on the year 2020, entitled, 2020: The Year That Changed America.





For more than thirty-five years, Bummi has shared her poetry on college campuses, at churches, at cultural centers, and in poetry magazines and anthologies. An avid sports fan, Bummi has also written for Laker Nation and Late Night Lake Show, fan sites for the Los Angeles Lakers.


She has a master’s degree in English & Creative Writing. A graduate of Albany State University, she currently teaches English at her alma mater. 

She still resides in Albany, Georgia.

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