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About Last Friday Night

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Thanks for tuning in, this is Kalvin. We have reached the end of Black History Month. Looking back over the month. I wanted to take some time to talk about things that stuck out to me about the Ebony Ball and Black History Month in general. Most recently we had the BSU’s Ebony Ball which was such a great time. I really enjoyed the Key Note Speaker Elmer Dixon. I could honestly listen to Black Panthers talk all day. It was such a great cultural reminder of substantial impact that has been made by the Black Panther Party/ Movement, and community values they instilled with their ground work, and  movement. To see the echos of their work reverberate today, is absolutely beautiful. I can not help, but think that TCC bus passes are a direct result of this sort of uplifting community mindset.

As I sat that the Ebony Ball I wasn’t sure what to except for the evening. They started with brief introductions, and gave a very well spoken Land Acknowledgment. Its too great to see a Rainbow Collation of people supporting each other. As indigenous people it was incredibly wondering to hear and see the land acknowledgment, at such a opulent event. It was really a great way to continue the Rainbow Collation so long ago. Its been far to long since we seen such strong community unity.

As a indigenous person, I had a emotional response to the music and dancing, it really made me miss my own cultural gatherings. It was a really great reminder of how important these things are. To come together, and gather, for cultural exchanges. To exchange words of encouragement, and uplift each other. As people of the land, and the woods, and the jungles, our connectedness is through music, song, dance, story telling, we are tied to the land, and the cosmos. I wish theses sorts of things didn’t only happen once per year, and only during Black History Month. There may have not been any prayer, but I definitely had a spiritual experience.

In that spiritual experience I really began to wonder about African spiritual diaspora.

Africans people have had such a troubled history in someways worse than indigenous peoples of North America. I think its really important as earthlings and as humans that we understand each other spirituality. I think in part do to ongoing systemic racism, the vilification of African

people, there spirituality has suffered greatly. What remains of their spiritual cultural heritage has been forced underground in order to save itself from christianity.

But once you start to learn about Vodou, Hoodoo, Santeria, Candomble, Orisha. Lwa,  etc etc. I realized a couple things. Everybody prays before they eat. The people more connected to the land and the animals pray over the land and animals before taking. The religions and spiritualities that more earthly connected also asked the plant, the animal, the earth before taking. I think that this sort of fears independence on land the is what posed such a threat to christianity. When you’re from the woods you don’t need money. You're supposed to redistribute wealth back to the community, and if you don’t its seen as disruptive to the web and cycles of life. Christianity sort of needs funding to keep going.

For many people they say life started in Africa. I think spirituality started in Africa too. I’m not sure if its really talked about honored. For people in the community we got to see a small glimpse to that on Friday. I think its important to understand that this wasn’t a spiritual event. It was a dance with a very nice and elegant dinner, and fabulous key note speaker. Beautiful songs and dances by Gangsango a west African style.  I really couldn’t have asked for a better night. BSU also gave away some really wonderful art pieces.

I originally wanted to write about Haiti. As I believe its very important cultural place. Spiritual place. Haiti is a nation founded by slave uprising following major Vodou ceremony. Dominate society has fear or spirituality ever since. They have done everything they can to destroy it, yet we remain. Hidden in the shadows of our Community, families, home, and the woods. Being a survivor of this ongoing genocide against people of color. I think its important to realize that a a vast majority of what is called Voodoo in pop culture is a demeaning monitiatiztion of afro spirituality, and is only meant to minimize and make profits from mongering fear about dark skinned people, in order to help keep innocent white girls safe. For myself it was incredibly healing to attend the Ebony Ball and participate in Black History month even if I’m a fair skinned Indian.

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