Closing out the semester and community events

First some logistical points. Remember to send your final presentations to me if you haven’t already and that papers are due Friday 5/22 via email. I’ll be in the office on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons 5/20 and 5/21 from about 4-7 PM also.

Because we’ve covered so much and many of you lamented that there wasn’t a central source for some of the organizations and Pan-African events we’ve explored this semester, I’ve collected a few important upcoming ones in NYC. It’s far from comprehensive, but is a good start. I’ve linked as many as I can that have websites or associated Facebook pages so you can pass them on easily and invite friends/family. The process we’ve started this semester is an ongoing one.

Malcolm X birthday events

First, there are annual the Malcolm X Day events in Harlem on May 19th, starting with a trip to his gravesite at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale. Buses leave from the State Office Building in Harlem at 10 AM sharp (get there around 9:30) and return at about 2. (Details in the Facebook event)

That’s followed by a march along 125th St led by the December 12th Movement that closes businesses along the street for several hours in memory and respect of Malcolm. It starts with a rally at the State Office Building at about 12 and goes on for a few hours.

Finally, there are several traditional evening events including one at the Schomburg library and another at the Shabazz Center, in the former Audobon Ballroom at 168th and Broadway.

The next event at Clarke House is Sunday the 24th, focused on Patrice Lumumba. (Details at the Facebook event page)

<strongOther spring events

Those of you who made it to our field trip to Clarke House got to meet Betty Dopson of CEMOTAP, the Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People. There’s going to be a birthday tribute/farewell event for her on Sunday May 31 in Queens at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center, 172-17 Linden Boulevard in Jamaica Queens. (Near the corner of Merrick Boulevard). Details are at the Facebook event page and directions are at the church’s website. It would mean a lot to her to see Lehman students attend.

Summer events

An important annual event is the Tribute to the Ancestors of the Middle Passage, which is held at Coney Island on the second Saturday in June: 6/13 this year. It’s traditional to wear white and events start with libation at 12 noon sharp, followed by a full day of cultural and entertainment programming concluding with a trip to place flowers in the water at sunset for the Africans who perished during the trip.

Looking ahead, there’s the 44th running of the International African Arts Festival, which happens annually over the July 4th weekend in Brooklyn. The last few years it’s been at Commodore Barry Park, which is where it will be again this year, from July 2nd-5th.

There are two annual tributes in NYC to Dr. John Henrik Clarke, one of the key theorists in Africana Studies. One is done by the Board of Education for People of African Ancestry (BEPAA); the other is done by the Eastern region of ASCAC: the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (which you should consider joining). Waiting on the date/location of BEPAA’s event, but ASCAC’s will be Sunday July 25, from 2-4:30 PM at the Countee Cullen Library, 104 W 136 St. in Harlem. Details on the event flyer (ASCAC Annual Tribute).

Fall/Winter

We started the semester with the Nguzo Saba, developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga and some of the principles the US Organization operated by. Be on the lookout for local Kwanzaa events during the last week of December. One of the larger local ones is held in Brooklyn by the area chapter of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO) and features a keynote address by Kwanzaa founder Dr. Maulana Karenga.

I’ll try to do periodic updates to this page through the year.

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