Book Review - The History of White People - By Nell Irvin Painter - Review - NYTimes.com

Nell Irvin Painter’s title, “The History of White People,” is a provocation in several ways: it’s monumental in sweep, and its absurd grandiosity should call to mind the fact that writing a “History of Black People” might seem perfectly reasonable to white people. But the title is literally accurate, because the book traces characterizations of the lighter-skinned people we call white today, starting with the ancient Scythians. For those who have not yet registered how much these characterizations have changed, let me assure you that sensory observation was not the basis of racial nomenclature.
Book Review - The History of White People - By Nell Irvin Painter - Review - NYTimes.com

A Game of Chess, by Adam Isler



Trailblazing paratrooper broke color barrier in secret - CNN.com

While Morris was trying to build his men's self-esteem, the War Department was quietly considering creating an all-black paratrooper unit. Morris soon found himself with a new job as the top noncommissioned officer for the new unit dedicated to training America's first "colored" parachutists, the 555th Parachute Infantry Company, or the Triple Nickle. They decided to spell it differently from "nickel" to make sure people knew they were unique. The unit had plenty of doubters.
"They didn't think colored soldiers had the intestinal fortitude to jump out of a plane in flight," Morris remembered.

Trailblazing paratrooper broke color barrier in secret - CNN.com


Flash of the Spirit - a very special homily

Homily for October 19, 2003.
By Lone Jensen


The desert has little mercy. But plenty of sun unlike a winter day in Chicago when the grayness is so pervasive it seems to invade even our souls. It was on such a day I found her in the quiet library at the University of Chicago, a perfect expression for all the changes taking place in my own life at the time: the whirlwind Oya.
And with her I discovered the rest of the Yoruba Pantheon. It turned into a voyage of wonder and discovery much like the young American missionary who one bright morning in the middle of the 19th century ascended a lofty granite boulder and looked down upon the Yoruba city of Abeokuta. He wrote:
What I saw disabused my mind of many errors
in regard to Africa. The city extends along the bank of the Ogun for
nearly six miles and has a population of approximately 200.000 -
instead of being the naked, lazy savages I had been led to expect I saw a
lively industrious city. The men are builders, blacksmiths, basket
makers, hat makers, traders, barbers, tailors, farmers and workers in
leather and morocco, they make razors, swords, knives, hoes, billhooks,
axes, arrowheads and make soap, dyes, palm oil, nut oil and all native
earthen ware and many other things used in the country. It was a city
much as those I had left. 
It is not strange he was surprised, no one had told him, just as I was never told, that Africa was more than Egypt and Ethiopia, that it held rich treasures of many cultures and religions.


BBC News - Lost Jewish tribe 'found in Zimbabwe'

BBC News - Lost Jewish tribe 'found in Zimbabwe'

The oral traditions of the Lemba say that the ngoma lungundu is the Biblical wooden Ark made by Moses, and that centuries ago a small group of men began a long journey carrying it from Yemen to southern Africa.

Hearing from those professors in Harare and seeing the ngoma makes it clear that we are a great people and I'm very proud
David Maramwidze
Lemba elder

The object went missing during the 1970s and was eventually rediscovered in Harare in 2007 by Prof Parfitt.

"Many people say that the story is far-fetched, but the oral traditions of the Lemba have been backed up by science," he says.


African Continuities in the Americas

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Quilombo Legacy
The Bumba-Meu-Boi
Three City Tour:
June 16 - June 28, 2010   

$2,995.00 Double Occupancy

$525.00 Single Supplement

The legacy of Africa permeates all forms of contemporary Brazilian society. Religion, art, and culture continue to reflect the presence of the largest population of African people outside the continent of Africa. It is the intent of AfricanIACouple#2 Continuities in the Americas: Brazil 2010 to explore the linkages and examine the continuities that exist between Africa and the Americas.
YourWorld is offering an exciting travel celebration through Brazil, visiting three different cities to explore the continuities between Brazil and Africa. Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Luis are located in the three Brazilian states that have the largest African populations. African Continuities in the Americas: Brazil 2010 will examine the profound contemporary African legacy in Brazil as part of a dynamic living culture.
YourWorld's scholar-in-residence, Prof. C. Daniel Dawson, will add to this precious occasion his profound knowledge of the people in the African Diaspora and their connections. Through his competent, uncompromising and passionate approach Prof. Dawson' s lectures will expand and guide your unique experience of a vibrant learning process in an incomparably  joyous environment.   

Prof.C. Daniel Dawson is a scholar, curator, photographer and arts administrator living in New York City. He has taught seminars on African Spirituality throughout the United States and in Latin America. He has also taught at the University of Iowa and Yale University. He has been Director of Education at the Museum for African Art (NYC), Program Specialist at the American Museum of Natural History and Director of Special Projects at the Caribbean Cultural Center (NYC). Prof. Dawson has been researching and traveling extensively to Brazil for the past twenty-five years and is considered a leading expert on capoeira. He currently teaches on African American culture at Columbia University (Institute for Research in African American Studies) and New York University (Gallatin School of Individualized Study).

Bahia is the most African of all LadyW/redWrapBrazilian states. In fact Africa abounds in the capital city of Salvador, also known as the "Black Rome" because of its celebrated church architecture and 80% African population. In this city of over two million, the culture is ruled by visible African ideas. The local cuisine, musical traditions, dance forms, Bloco Afro carnival groups, acrobatic martial art of capoeira, vibrant visual arts, and even Bahia's ginga, the graceful swing of its people, are all living testaments to this permeating African influence. In addition, Bahia is full of beautiful beaches, and quiet and historically important countryside towns.

BraBoy Favelazilians of African origin comprise nearly 60 percent of the total population of Brazil. It is estimated that nearly 4 million Africans were shipped to Brazil. By the eighteenth century, the majority of Rio's inhabitants were Africans. As a result, virtually nothing in Rio remained untouched by African customs, beliefs and behavior - a state of affairs that clearly influences today's city, with its mixture of Afro-Brazilian music, spiritualist religions and local cuisine. Brazilian colonizers, unlike colonizers in the United States, allowed Africans to continue to use their drums.  Thus began the rhythm of the saints, the samba, and it explains why Brazilian "batucadas" reign unequaled today. 
The Samba is a genre of music and dance. It is the most popular and well-known musical genre to come out of the African-Brazilian experience. It is a very percussive, energetic form of music. The escolas de samba, the large community based samba groups,  have occasional similarities to the dynamics of marching bands, but, the similarities end there. Samba is a full-fledged musical form intended for dancing, not marching. It's rhythmically unique and culturally vital to Rio de Janeiro and other parts of Brazil. Like many music and dance genres, the samba's roots are African. Groups of neighbors in poor Rio neighborhoods played the music together to sing and dance  and soon adapted the style to become part of their yearly carnival celebration. Brazil got the samba, and the U.S. got "the blues."

 São Luís, Maranhão is a city with a rich folk tradition that blends African, Amerindian, Portuguese and French influences. Daniel Dawson will highlight the African presence in a presentation on the historical significance of Quilombos, the self-liberated communities founded by Africans in Brazil. We will visit one of Maranhão's still functioning Quilombos. Each evening we will visit the Bumba-Meu-Boi Festival, one of Maranhão's most important folklore festivals celebrated annually in São Luís, but little known outside of Brazil.
 The festivities also include Tambor-de-Criola and Dança do Coco, music and dance forms unique to Maranhão.
The rhythm and dances known as tambor de crioula, or "the black woman's drum", which date back to slavery times and feature women dancing to an engaging drum beat, are powerful, creative and spontaneous.


Bumba-Meu-Boi is like carnaval in that there are parade groups, lavish costumes and songs and dancing.  But one feature that distinguishes it is storytelling and poetry - some written, most improvised. It tells the story of an ox (boi) killed by a slave to satisfy his pregnant wife's food cravings. The farmer who owned the animal called on some Indian shamans (pajés), who brought the animal back to life. In São Luís
Bumba-Meu-Boi takes diverse musical forms as a result of unique instrumentation, which often includes various types of drums and other percussive instruments.

Bumba-Meu- Boi is a combination of song, dance and play in which Indian, African and Iberian-Brazilian elements are mingled. There are an estimated 60 Bumba-Meu-Boi groups in the city - musicians playing a variety of instruments, such as zabumbas (large drums) and matracas (pieces of wood or iron rings which are struck against one another).
The Bumba- Meu-Boi was originally a parody by the oppressed members of the population directed against the society of slave-owners, and accordingly was from time to time suppressed by the authorities.
Bumba-Meu-Boi Festival * Sao Joao Festival *  Show and Dinner * Art Exhibitions  * Presenters * Dance, Drumming and Capoeira Workshops * Visits to Independent Programs and Schools * Visit to a Quilombo

Scheduled Round-Trip Air Transportation - USA/Brazil/USA * Accommodations at Luxury  Hotels *  Transfers between Airport and  Hotel * Brazilian Buffet Breakfast Daily * Historical African Heritage Tours of Rio, Salvador and Sao Luis * Trip to Historical Town of Cachoeira, Lunch included * Visit to a Quilombo * All USA and Brazilian Airport Taxes Included * And much more!

C. Daniel Dawson                                           YourWorld Consultant Group, Inc.
cddawson@mindspring.com                          (301) 776-1182Toll-Free (888) 535-3536

                                                                        photos©YourWorld Consultant Group,Inc. 2009




JUNE 16 - JUNE 28, 2010

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