Recent Articles

Seven stages of growth lead to Elder-hood

Conclusion of a two-part column
The Elders are here now in the Cultural Wellness Center. They will teach, coach, share and guide us forward. For this, we are deeply grateful. African culture and heritage anchors the person’s life cycles inside the “Pyramid of Community.”  The African recognizes in this Pyramid of Community seven stages of development and growth towards Elder-hood (Shemsu) and seven stages of development and growth towards Ancestor-hood (Tepa). Each stage is marked by a period of seven years. Continue Reading →

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Our stories and symbols can restore our authentic Black selves

Third of a three-part column

This is the last in a three-part series focused on the effects that enslavement, cultural uprooting, and geographical and spiritual dispersing have had on our culture — Black culture — and the ways that we relate to ourselves and each other at present. During the late 1800s, after savagely ripping many of the human resources from our land of our origin, colonists stripped Africa of its natural resources, which were then divided among the British, French, Portuguese, Italians and Dutch. These European colonists installed a system of imperial rule where they were able to claim these resources as their own. The process of imperialism meant that people were colonized — instead of being African, they were taught to carry the identity of their colonizers and thus to assist them in unleashing the forces of generational self-destruction. One writer described this plight of self-destruction as lasting into “perpetuity,” meaning it would never end. Continue Reading →

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