|Respecting our Ancestors’ Religions|
How many White evangelical Christians are in Japan delivering aid or calling Shinto, luxury Acura manufactures ignorant while counting the Christian conversations they make?
|Academy Nominates All White Actors for Second Year in Row
The results have also caused a heated debate on how to respond including one between actresses Jada Pinkett-Smith and Janet Hubert.
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"Join our effort to introduce young people to books vetted by African Studies scholars,” says Brenda Randolph.
|What’s In a Name?
It was only until 1957 that Michael King, Jr. legally became Martin Luther King, Jr.
|Thaddeus Stevens School Gets New Life
Built in 1868, the historically Black school was named for Republican Congressman Stevens best associated with the "40 acres and a mule" legislation.
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I don’t know why I found it hard to believe that some people, including Black people, still believe that enslaved Africans were empty vessels open to being made whole by White enslavers. This belief in Black inferiority manifests itself in several ways.
Recently, what I experienced in impoverished Haiti was another startling manifestation of White supremacy when some fellow travelers displayed insensitivity toward Voodoo that is not shown toward many other belief systems - - especially those practiced in wealthier, non-Black nations such as Japan.
It took place while touring, as a reporter, the operations of an American-based Christian charity with some pastors when a 30-something-year-old Haitian employee of the charity profusely testified how some mid-western supporters of the charity answered his prayers and built him a home. I was happy for his joy.
However, I thought he went too far when he disavowed his Voodoo ancestors and heritage. Did someone forget to tell him that it is not cool to dishonor your father and mother, especially in front of strangers and, even more so in public, no matter how bad you come to think they are?
A Verbal Beat-DownLater, he proudly declared to his audience’s delight, that 80 percent of the villagers we were visiting had converted from Voodoo to Christianity and had stopped praying to the tree standing before us. As the audience began to snap pictures and say their amens, we got an awakening as a local began to give our guide a verbal beat down.
What is Voodoo?I first recalled Dr. Sharon Caulder, a former physical therapist turned Voodoo chief and author of The Mark of Voodoo. She explained in Port Of Harlem (May 2002 - Oct 2002 print issue) that there are many Western misconceptions about Voodoo: “Voodoo magic was originally used more for healing purposes than cursus. But then the Voodoo people were trapped in the lethal throws of slavery, they used their power and magic skills to save themselves. The enslaved practitioners were particularly successful in Haiti, which became the first independent Black nation in the Western world.”
The enslaved Africans had a religious sensibility she insists that they shared and molded to fit their new environment. “The difference between an American religion and European Christianity is because of the influence of the many Africans who were brought here during the slave trade,” said Clark in our interview.
Just as secular dancing and singing sensibilities survived the Middle Passage, many religious traditions did, too. “The most obvious one is shouting and trance possession (getting the holy spirt) in evangelism. You cannot trace those influences back to European traditions,” continued Clark, whose book includes an extensive glossary, timeline, and references.
Pure Believers?After interviewing Amir Muhammed of America’s Islamic Heritage Museum, I got another reality check on the verbal beat down episode, conversations, and the retention of practices as Muhammed told me Hajji Omar Ibn Sayyid’s story: Although an enslaved Sayyid converted to Christianity around 1820, many modern scholars believe he continued to be a practicing Muslim, based on dedications to Muhammad written in his Bible such as a 23rd Psalm transcription, which Said recorded in Arabic and which was later translated back into English. The re-translation reveals that the psalm is prefaced with the statement, "In the name of God, the merciful and gracious. May God have mercy on the prophet Mohammed."
Something to View*TV’s Dennis the Menace (1959): Dennis and the Witch Doctor: Mr. Wilson is writing a magazine article about voodoo. Dennis gets the wrong idea and tells the whole neighborhood that Mr. Wilson is a witch doctor.
The results have also caused a heated debate on how to respond including one between actresses Jada Pinkett-Smith and Janet Hubert. Hubert was the original Aunt Vivian on the "Fresh Prince of Belair," that starred Smith's husband, Will, who was not nominated despite his performance in "Concussion."
How can you participate?
Built in 1868, the school was named for Republican Congressman Stevens, who on February 5, 1866 introduced legislation to give the once enslaved "40 acres and a mule." However, Democrats opposed it, led by President Andrew Johnson. The front side of the US 20 dollar bill has featured Jackson since 1928.
The school’s notable alumni include Charles Drew, Roberta Flack, Robert Hooks, and Amy Carter. The Ivymount school, which specializes in school- and community-based services for children and young adults with special needs, will be the lead tenant in the renovated Stevens.
Voodoo-Inspired Artist Renée Stout
American University Museum
Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Tue, Jan 26-Sun, Mar 13
(new opening date)
Open Tue-Sun, 11a-4p, free
(Parking is free on weekends under the Center)
(Stout is best known for work that lets audiences view some of the rich traditions and cultural practices of African American through exploration of an underground system of African-derived folk beliefs as transmitted from slavery to the present.)
Nu Afrikan Communiversity
(Discussion of recent visit to Ethiopia
Howard University students plus Film - Adwa and Januwa Moja)
Adrinka Arts Center
3804 & 3808 34th Street
Mt. Rainier, MD
Sun, Jan 24, 2p-6p, free
Justice Denied: The Roots of the
11 Crescent Rd
Tue, Jan 26, 7p, free
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