Recent Articles

Even death speaks to us if we know how to listen

Last year several people came to me for cultural coaching. They made a deep impression on me. I was able to see the changes in their energy level or in their attitude toward life immediately. Miss Sarah Hillier is the first example. Her daughter Melanie called me to make the appointment for her mother, and she sounded afraid that her mother was on the verge of suicide. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Our elders are the carriers of our culture

For three-and-a-half years, a group of amazing people have been attending monthly gatherings here at the Cultural Wellness Center. Three-and-a-half years ago, I was asked to speak to a group of seniors at Sabathani Community Center on the topics of culture and wellness. I did not expect such a deep relationship would evolve. I readily accepted the invitation at the time because of the cultural studies that have given birth to my understanding of the value of the Ancestors and the Elders in African thought and spirituality. These two roles epitomize the old hymn “We are climbing Jacob’s ladder, Soldiers of the Lord.”

As we study African culture, we see how our people who have endured horrific treatment, direct destruction, and indescribable pain were able to preserve their spirit by creating metaphors of heaven as a place of refuge and salvation, through songs, stories, life ways and community laws. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

There’s nothing else quite like Black college football

I’ve attended my share of Gopher football games over the years, but those games are mostly anti-climatic and the home school band painfully plays the same tired old songs. I have yet to see in person a Black college football game, but a good friend of mine tells me once you go Black (college football), you don’t go back. “Unlike major college football, Black college football is the African American pastime,” states Mark Gray, who broadcasts HBCU games for the Heritage Sports Radio Network.  It “is part cultural, part show. It touches a place in your soul that you didn’t know was there until it gets there.”

Black college bands and their halftime shows are as much an integral part of Black college football as the teams. “I know a lot of people want to see those bands as part of the overall [Black college] experience,” says Gray. “At major college games, people leave [their seats] at halftime to get their refreshments. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,