Curator: Special lens on the Mary Turner Project – #KimpaVita

Greetings Good Folks;

Unearthing the untold stories and giving voice to the unsung. I return to participate as a curator for Muisi-kongo’s Kimpa Vita in its second year run. We seek to invoke the healing upon a subject matter that for African Americans stir a harrowing memory of historical racial violence and trauma, as for some Americans its a forgotten song, yet the racial notes don’t disappear. Discovered Family lineages, unveiling story elements and a stellar cast of Bay Area Community leaders serving as “Sermon Messengers” fuel the “Rebirth” of this year’s production.
This post features the marker of one of our highlighted martyrs, Ms. Mary Turner of Barney/Morven, Georgia in Brooks County as the commemorative “Mary Turner Project” spearheads community action initiatives for racial justice and racial healing through driven education, research and preserving free and searchable data of 1860 slave schedules.

I enjoy immensely the deep works of genealogy and how every find matters, giving voice to the story. I encourage you to bear witness to the powerful mediumship of Muisi-Kongo Malonga’s Kimpa Vita, more tenacious than ever, moving towards ascension.

Learn about herstory: Ms. Laura D. Nelson Okemah, Oklahoma – http://bit.ly/13ABY4X

See: PBS Documentary of historical “Banishment” of a people through racial violence, fear and intimidation 1860’s-1920’s http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/banished/film.html

‎Matondo,
R. Califa Calloway, curator
Nzo Califa Dance Works | FB Page
CounterPulse Performing Diaspora 2014
Muisi-Kongo’s Kimpa Vita Nov. 14th-16th

R. Calloway: Project Curator

Creative Visionary,

Performing Diaspora, Counter Pulse, SF, CA

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Posted in Curatorial Projects, Dancestory2014, Family History, Genealogy

Ancestors RIZE, WE Live on…iba’se

Daddy Star Shine! This commemorative day I honor my Father’s transition in the post-launch of a lunar eclipse and in the midst of a swift Harvest Season of Ancestral rites, celebrations and atonement.

Daddy Star Shine - Give Praise to Life of my Father Alvin Charles Calloway AUG.15.1942-OCT.08.2009 born: Summerfield, LA

Give Praise to the Life of my Father Alvin Charles Calloway      AUG.15.1942 – OCT.08.2009
        born: Summerfield, LA

It’d be awhile returning to this particular blog as I’ve been in field studies working tenaciously and “in the Lab” so to speak, forwarding works with a rapidly paced #Dancestory2014 – see more here: #Dancestory2013 – A Project of nzo.califa Dance Works [click link]

What an amazing journey thus far having gathered so many amazing stories to be retold and archived, as well as capture the stories of Our living, vital threads of information to keep weaving our DNA codes into truth. Those codes remain vital links transcending time, generations giving deeper insight into mysteries of innerstanding. As much as we are immersed into a highly socio-techno world — breath, blood, and water are powerful conduits for transmitting Spirit  and information and for African Ancestored Genealogists, WE know that this is the ammunition that slays so-called “brick walls”.  Ancestral propitiation remains a life line extending deep wisdoms and truth to help us to live long, and live well ensuring our wealth into the next generation.

KeepCalmFamResearch

How are you inspired by Family History, and who amongst you is the the Historian or Researcher? See link below for continued inspiration.

Easier said for most, yet I give witness through my own life, marked NEXT LEVEL when one of my parental pillars transitioned. Since then, my life works have been fueled with immeasurable rewards and unfettered passion. See http://workingdalines.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/whose-do-you-belong-to/

I’ve listened to and have observed countless testimonies from the voluminous works of African Ancestored Genealogy Societies daily throughout this country. I’ve experienced the re-awakenings of Spirit, the strengthening of Family ties towards Communal betterment. For this, I “stay on the potter’s wheel” utilizing this powerful vehicle for healing and transformation. And I can attest to my own personal development and thank my Ancestral stars for it… R. Waters Calloway

Get Started & Give VOICE to your Story: 

http://beginninggenealogist.com/

http://www.afrigeneas.com

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Posted in Family History

Genealogist READ by any means necessary…

I am moved and grounded by reading a good book. As much as I love to surf the web, research online or build social media formats,  I love the adventuresome qualities of of collecting books of interests and find that buying or gifting books is an invaluable investment.  In my Genealogy works before there was internet, I frequented libraries, museums and institutions for information in researching my Family History, while learning about historical elements associated with my heritage.  With the introduction of  Technology and subsequent passages of  the Freedom of Information Acts, [FOIA]  Genealogy has become a billion dollar business captivating our attention, our minds and in some cases eclipsing invaluable connections like face-to-face contact, while shortening the attention spans of some presuming that they “don’t have time for reading.”  Libraries, Museums and Historical Institutions are the great halls of information equally valuable as our online technological cohorts.

Most recently, I was an organic conduit for bridging a trio of these components:

 

ACT TODAY!

 Gain Knowledge,

Read a Book

Save A Library

Encourage Reading

ENCOURAGE READING!

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Posted in Family History, Genealogy, Study Trek, Uncategorized

Dr. Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau

Dr. Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau  Rest in Power Dr. Fu Kiau Bunseki
“The ancestors are not dead. They are not gone. Their energy is…”

[Sunrise April 9, 1934 – Sunset November 29, 2013 ]My Tata takes his seat upon the throne in the realm of the Ancestors. Kongo Cosmology has been a grounding force in unearthing vital keys of my Ancestry, healing and honoring the rhythmic cycles of life and therefore the universe. One moment with my Teacher Dr. Fu-kiau, was like sitting in a world of libraries; each word uttered represented several novels filled with mysteries of sacred knowledge made accessible to its front door. He ushered scores of students and naysayers into dimensions of enlightenment surrounding deep wisdoms of our ancients and its transcendental effects upon our lives today. Born in Minianga, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr. Fu-Kiau was one of the foremost scholars of African Spiritual traditions producing a cadre of books serving as primers for deeper study into these traditions. As one of last initiated of his generation into the coveted Lemba Secret Society, the foundation for many Diaspora tributaries of Bantu practices, has been pivotal in unearthing cultural heritage customs, ties and traditions still retained amongst Omo-Afrika of Cuba, Haiti, Brasil to name a few, including the United States.

At the gate, Dr. Fu-kiau ignited within me personal empowerment with an awakening purpose to seek, honor and achieve that for which already belongs to me by birthright, profoundly emphasizing its inherit ties to the Universe and beyond. As I am still processing his transition, my thoughts swiftly begins navigate strewn works for which I must begin to tie — bit by bit, honoring every breath, I accept the pact made so long ago. Matondo Tata, Matondo Nsambi *Simba Simbi*

[ in kinship the link above offers tribute to Dr. Fukiau, by Eyon Biddle, Sr @biddleisbold ]

 

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Posted in Family History, Genealogy, Kongo, Uncategorized

Blessed that be the ties that bind…thank you Auntie Lucy

Blessed that be the ties that bind...thank you Auntie Lucy

Those who have gone before me, continue to live within my heart and soul; I am a thriving extension of that living heritage. ~R.Califa Calloway

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…Whose do you belong to?!

iba'e_A.Calloway2013

In observation and reverence of my Father’s transition, this Ancestral Season of Anba Dlo

Oct. 8, 2013, California — This walk of my life strongly reflects an aspect parallel to my Father’s journey, post fatherhood.  Before I knew him as my Father, I learned that he was born in Summerfield, LA, the youngest of 4, migrated to California at a young age with his Mother and Father, who later separated. In high school, he met my Mother on rebound and patiently courted, charming her into dating and eventually on “their 1st time” — then there was me. I learned that my birth was filled with the trials of a young Mother, classically partnered with a man facing the daunting responsibility of Fatherhood, both determined to “do the right thing.” And thus, the two were married 2 months before my birth. They loved, learned, struggled, and endured trials and triumphs to the tumultuous. Summerfield,LABoth were Louisiana reared in a traditional custom of staunch Family support by Grands and Greats to Uncles and Aunties.  My childhood was school everyday to church all Sunday; planting peas, making preserves to sewing and starching a shirt; running track to running the household chores; Friday fish fry to Family Reunions; from Black Power to Vietnam; cake walks, frog legs and “roaches” the kind that walked and the kind that made you “talk funny”.   My parents eventually divorced when I was 5 years old. –Bless them

At 5, with broom and belt in tow, I became instant lil’ mama, as I begin sweeping the house warning my brothers to behave — accepting a high sense of responsibility becoming independent and self-sufficient by default.  Often times my Father would resurface in my life phantom-like to instill the “fear of God” in me, and remind me to never forget to take care of my younger brothers.  While my maternal Grandparents were like my second parents on loan, my paternal Grandmother was a brash, wig wearing’, God-fearing’, church-going, haughty high-cheeked Lady who did not take to repeating herself.  She still lives where I grew up and had remarried a good-natured man named Brown, he transitioned some years back.

Although well-versed in Family History on my maternal side, I’d always wonder  where my paternal grandparents came from and what was their story.  Although my Grandmother and Brown were very good to us, she was very protective about talking about the past and didn’t speak too favorably of my biological grandfather. It wasn’t until after a severe stroke that, my Father’s “road home” revealed a potential loss to gain access about this side of my Family history.  However, at that time, my priority was to make certain his transition would be in the best care, knowing that he was well loved.  These preparations availed him the most fortunate moment before his passing — a reunion to make peace with the only Family he created.  After 30 years, we’d convene by his bedside: my Mother, his only wife and his 3 adult children.

On October 8, 2009, about 4-something in the morning, my Father took leave in peace and in sweet ease, with his children lightly sleeping at his bedside.  We spearheaded his Home-going ceremony, which was attended by both sides of his Family, friends, Homelessness advocates and scores of cousins.  The most profound presence at the ceremony, was his grieving mother who was compelled to sing an impromptu hymn to a now captivated audience.  Her haunting message in the midst of the song “… the bell has rung children, playtime is over! Time to come on in.”  I was pleased to receive a letter from my paternal Uncle’s church in Houston, as his Sister the Evangelist delivered “The Word”.  One of the most heartfelt moments at the Home-going was a down-to-earth letter submitted by an older cousin read aloud by my younger Brother, before the church; It revealed a rare glimpse as to what Our Father really thought of us — in some cases unbeknownst to us.

PineStWash

Pine St. “The Big Wash” Black Dot Artists, Inc / Congo SQ West – refreshment, atonement and renewal. W. Oakland – 2009

Of Heart and Home: In 2009, I also took leave, feeling somewhat displaced and needed to truly grieve as one of my cosmological poles had now fallen. During this period, in some ways like my Father, I submitted myself to a vulnerable path, accepting a vow of benevolence, and wanted to increase my action of faith, determined to shake the sediment of emotional transgressions inherited by Family ties.  With faith forward, I needed to strip and re-visit the depths of me and as a result my landscape changed swiftly…including home.  In the beginning, I found the most comfort in a friend’s car, couches, palettes, or sometimes a prepared room honoring my path.  Along the way, I cleansed, listened and mirrored testimonies a many, from West Oakland to Harlem, New Orleans and back.  Often reflecting and wondering if the works “took” – wondering, “ How is Daddy? or “Is he close? ” or sometimes thinking, “…maybe I don’t want to know.”

Picking back up “the lines” of my Family History from past research, I began honing my skills participating in a workshop in Harlem at the Schomberg Research for Research in Black Culture and the New York Public Main Library, conducted by the local Black Genealogy chapter Jean Sampson Scott AAGHS-NY chapter.  Upon first investigative attempt, not only did I come across a record of my Maternal great grandmother for the first time, later upon Ancestry.com census records, I’d quickly unravel at least 4 generations of patriarchal Calloways, whom I never met nor heard of except for my grandfather when I was two — I was completely stunned. Ever so critical, the code had been cracked. Since then, I have discovered scores of Calloways, centenarians even and enjoy a close relationship with my Father’s brother, my Uncle James.

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My Father’s passing was my catalyst in unearthing his Family line, revealing these names…2009

On this 4th Anniversary in observation and reverence of my Father’s transition, I infused the sparkling highlights of the ocean’s waves — I listen, petition and speak, marveling at the enormity of its breadth and depth where Souls dwell, pacts are made and Mami washes woes away in exchange for well wishes — T’ache’o.  I smile, because even at 5 years old, I knew my Father had to go and I mentally held space for him.  It’d be 4 years later after his death, that I’d recognize that my culminating trek today, somewhat remarked an aspect of my Father’s path (metaphorically speaking) who once said to me,  “…you know I just had to drop out of the system and deal with myself.”

www.cohsf.org

Alvin C. Calloway a mover/shaker advocate for Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco, CA

I’d find out later that he was a “mover and shaker” of the Coalition on Homelessness advocating for housing, shelter, Street Sheet program and affordable SRO’s for people in need, and so much more. I remember 2 months before his final departure, he’d painstakingly share how he’d watch our evolution, the shame of not being present, his pride and regretting the time wasted to make it right.  As I witnessed this narrow opening of painful truth, he shared that we had made it upon our own merits and felt he could not take any credit for that, except that we were Calloways. He had always been proud that his offspring would be the crowning glory of his legacy on earth.

[smile] This re-tell for me used to be heart-wrenching to share. However, learning that the heart is a working vessel, I’d strive to become stronger in love, light and of sweet ascension – today regaining a stronger sense of home, with his Ancestral presence ever so strong, in truth testament. ~Thank you Daddy, Love, Gina…

********************

~The after-life dream~

Him: [retort]   Whose do you belong to?

Me: [bewildered] You Daddy

Him: Alright then… [storms out]

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Unearthing the Story: When slain Matriarchs speak…

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behind the scenes glimpse  as M. Malonga depicts the “Laura Nelson” story | Okemah, OK 1911

REEEEE-MIIIIX – Genealogists serve in a multitude of professional arenas. In the capacity as Curatorial Director, I was privy to participate in the stellar artistic works and exchange of Muisi-kongo Malonga’s “Kimpa Vita” creation. Daunting, yet always guided we prayed, researched and gathered oral narratives from Congo to California, combed scholarly works and built compelling stories focused upon 3 iconic travesties of justice involving African American Women.  The particular stories chosen, we felt resonated with the movement and demise of our central figure Kongolese Matriarch and Warrioress – Mama #KimpaVita of old Kongo Kingdom.

The solo chore-opera first debuted as an excerpt, at San Francisco Counter Pulse Performing Diaspora 2nd 4-day weekend showing, witnessed by 3 sold-out audiences.  Wearing the “Directorial” hat was like balancing a 50lb laundry basket upon my head. Yet through stealth training and mentorship, I focused on balance determined to obtain evidence unearthing associated documents. To my surprise, my discovery included rare graphic depictions concerning these African American Women dating back to as early as 1865 for one, an actual audio recording of American Folk singer Woody Guthrie,  and a state sponsored historical marker citing the lynching rampage of  the times in 1918.

Born 14 months after the Laura and L.D. Nelson lynching,  Woody Guthrie’s own father, then a local politician was actually associated with the lynching and the heinous crime of these times, ultimately chronicled into a postcard. Guthrie wrote a song called “Don’t Kill My Baby & My Son” and gives his crackling retell of story along with the accounts leading to the Nelson lynchings.  The song wails in agony…

Not content to believe that Ms Laura’s story starts with lynching and ends with death, I further discover a blog dedicated to her aptly named “The Nelson Lynching of 1911 @Okemah, Oklahoma” also bearing genealogy research for Laura’s husband, giving some idea as to how the two came to be united and ultimately divided. [see link below]

“The Nelson Lynching of 1911 @Okemah, Oklahoma”

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Kimpa Vita aka Dona Beatriz Kongolese Matriarch 1684–1706
One of the African Women to fight against European colonialism in Africa

I remember thinking the whole time, “Who are the descendants of these matriarchs and what are the surviving legacies arising from their marked death?” Equally thrilling was to discover active initiatives and commemorative efforts that raise awareness and bring to the forefront these injustices, engaging ongoing activism that combat violence against Women. The #KimpaVita project speaks veneration, and is a powerfully artistic offering to elevate these Spirits through Muisi-kongo’s dynamic mediumship for birthing the stories.  Regarding the reveal of these historical accounts concerning the African American Women, it exposed such an inherit ignorance about an abominable era of American History and at the same time de-mystified Mama Kimpa Vita, provoking more people to want to know herstory deserving to be known through her own rites – WAH!

And my #DANCESTORY2013? Its been a fast track, as I’m currently preparing my case scenarios for further research and engagement with genealogy kinship. About the next leg of travel, I’ve added #AK to the #MSY sojourn! I invite You to join the sojourn and support the project that invokes more stories deserving to be preserved, starting with my own.  Updates right here: http://bit.ly/1e56YML

~Regina Califa Calloway
nzo.califa Dance Works
“Working Da Lines: Dancestory2013″
twitter: @nzoCALIFA

___________________________

About the Artist: Muisi-Kongo Malonga 

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Posted in #Oakland Bay Area Dance, Dancestry2013, Genealogy, Kongo, Uncategorized

2013 Legacy Dunham Workshops in Oakland, CA

2013 Dunham Technique Certification Workshop- Laney College Dance Dept.

Dunham Keepsakes|2013 Certification    
foto cr: nzo.califa Dance Works

 August 11th – 16thOakland, CA: Historic week as Oakland is the Dance place for the 2013 Dunham Certification Technique Workshops held befittingly at the Laney College Dance Department, whose legacy lauds such Dance luminaries as Bay Area Pioneer Ruth Beckford, former member of Dunham Company, Department Founder- Elendar Barnes, Lynn Coles- Dept Chair for over 10 years, Sister Linda Johnson, West African Dance Pioneer, Linda Faye Johnson, Caroline Himes, Jacqueline Burgess, legacy Dance Educators and serving Department Chairs to name a few, today carried forward by Artistic trailblazers Andrea Vonny Lee, Co-Chair and Colette Eloi,  Haitian Dance/ Dunham Technique Dance Teacher.

June 2006 marked another important benchmark for Laney College, producing a “Living Birthday Card” of 97 dancers to showcase the Northern California legacy Katherine Dunham. Truly an ethereal experience captured by photographer Alan “Kimara” Dixon [click link] June ’06 -NorCAL -Dunham Legacy  and choreographed by Colette Eloi, as we performed Yanvalu dance of Haiti first brought to the United States by Miss Dunham in the 30’s drawing from her extensive research in the Caribbean [see “Island Possessed”].  This initiative was spearheaded by Ms. Ruth Beckford, Dunham Biographer, Matriarch of the Dunham Technique in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area and Honorary Chair of the Katherine Dunham Legacy Project of Northern California, included an unveiling of the “Dunham Legacy Tree,” displaying several generations of Dunham teachers in Northern California – it remains a humbling sight to see the roots of your training and the supporting branches that are so responsible for your continued growth- I am ever so grateful to my beloved Dancestors Paula McCullum and Alicia Pierce.

OAK_DunhamCertificationAug11-16

2013 Dunham Certification-Oakland, CA
Laney College Dance Dept.

This year’s event opener welcomed its public and Dunham students from all over the country to  convene at a Free Dunham Symposium led by Dr. Halifu Osumare, Institute Co-Director, featuring presentations on the life and legacy of Katherine Dunham, along with scholarly presentations on the significance of her dance technique.  Indeed to witness the Master Class taught by lifetime Dunham practitioner, Dr Albirda Rose, Institute Founder, Trainer and Educator, in rare fashion demonstrate technique mastery sharing along the way in her teaching narratives actual experience with Dunham, identify the evolution of four generations of the technique, often referring to Ms. Beckford and took the students upon a complete #Dance journey – equally beneficial to the observer and a wonderful challenge for students alike – the class accompanied by Mozel Zeke Nealy, Jr  Master percussionist and tradition-bearer in Bay Area Haitian Cultural Arts presentation for over 20 years. The finale of the week?! A Dunham showcase and Award Ceremony: Friday August 16th at the Laney College Gymnasium

You are encouraged to bask in the living legacies, rare training opportunity and share in a Dance journey learning “A Way of Life” of Katherine Dunham, Cultural Ambassador, civic activist and Humanitarian. / ~nzo.califa

OAK_DunnhamCertClass

Master Class by Institute founder, Dr. Albirda Rose [rt] & Certified Instructor,Eyla Moore  *foto cr:nzo.califa

GENERAL PUBLIC

SUN. Aug 11, 1:00-5:00 Free DUNHAM SYMPOSIUM [Laney College Forum]

Featuring presentations on the life and legacy of Katherine Dunham, along with scholarly            presentations   on the significance of her Dance technique.

MON.-THUR. Aug. 12-15, 2:00-3:30 Laney Smart Classroom: Dunham Lecture-Discussions ($5), featuring with Dr. Halifu Osumare.

FRI.  Aug 16, 7:00 PM (Laney College Gymnasium): DUNHAM SHOWCASE AND AWARD CEREMONY ($10), featuring Dunham-inspired choreography and presentation of the 2013  Legacy Keeper and Certified Instructor Awards.

PUBLIC DANCE CLASSES

Sun. Aug. 11, 5:00-7:00 PM | Dunham [Laney College Dance Studio]  Beginning-Intermediate Master Dance Class, ($15), taught by Dr. Albirda Rose, Director of Dunham Technique Certification.

Mon-Thurs, Aug. 12-15, 3:45-5:30 PM  [Laney College Dance Studio]  Beginning Dunham Technique ($5), taught by Certification Candidates.

Mon-Thurs., Aug. 12-15, 7:00-8:30 PM [Laney College Dance Studio]  Beginning – Intermediate Dunham Technique ($7), taught by Dunham Certified Instructors.

For more information:

Facebook page:            Institute for Dunham Technique Certification

Website:                         http://www.dunhamcertification.org/Home.html

____________________________

*A Grand Salute to Ms. Ruth Beckford along with Dr. Albirda Rose & Dr. Halifu Osumare 

*Special thank you to Linda Faye Johnson, Myrtha MuseEyla Mooore 

*Welcome to the Bay Area all Dunham Students, Candidate and legacy – Shout out to my #Dancestory2013-STL kinship Ms. Jamilah Ajanaku & Heather Beal-Himes

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Posted in #Dance, #Oakland Bay Area Dance, Dancestry2013, Dunham

#Dancestory2013 – A Momentous Meeting in St. Louis

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#STL – My 2nd class @Black Family Life Center

#‎Dancestory2013 #‎STL- Post #MAAGI, one of the climatic moments of my Sojourn a private tour led by the illustrious Ms. Ruby Streate, Director of Dance & Education for the Katherine Dunham Centers in East St. Louis.  Upon, crossing the building’s threshold of legacy and washed by a waterfall of timeless information exchange, enlivened stories, rare artifacts and cultural treasures marked a reflective moment in my own Dance steps including my most profound trek, #‎Dance Professor/ Mentor Paula Fleury- McCullum with Jacque Burgess; and Lynn Coles & Linda Johnson at Laney College; My early #Dance nzo founded by  Dr. Halifu Osumare Everybodys Creative Arts Center whose transcendental works still thrive at The Malonga Casquelourd Center for The Arts. And Dr. Albirda Rose revolutionizing and delivering the sermon to certification chronicling Dunham legacy all along the way. The finale, US speaking fondly of her beloved Sister-kin Ms. Alicia Pierce and my Paula McCullum  – give praise to Life!

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#STL- Califa in the office of Madame Katherine Dunham [Museum]

*Ms. Dunham thank you for your breath, brilliance and rich legacy for all to inherit- in grand Salute! Ayiboboo! Ms. Streate, thank you for such a glorious tour and sharing of an incomparable Dance story that affects us all. *still reeling*

Although I made it a point to catch a good whiff of the city visiting sites like the Western Expansion Museum, took a picture in front of “the Arch” – not your average structure, it’s pretty impressive. Even saw “The Wiz” at the local Black Repertory Theatre, past through Forest Park, saw several Universities, and neighborhoods, a flourishing downtown Art District, even spent time at the Library, I knew there was so much more to appreciate – so I shall return. My last night was imbued with a KP #Brass rehearsal session, Bush Ra’s unmatched Banana pudding and Dre’s “can’t stop eating it” Routelle dip. I smiled at the symbiotic nature of it all, this #STL Sojourn was full, vibrating a high rise and wouldn’t you know it- the block experienced a slight power outage! Nevertheless, the Brass kept playin’ on. I shall meet in St. Louis once again, real soon – those folks did me #RiteOn!

A Big kinship hug and a heart-full thank you to Weedie Braimah and Andrea Peoples – Jahi, Jason, Mike, Jackie, Douns, Djembes, Bush Ra & the nephews and otha KP kin – you are the tops – Stay UP!

____________

On #Dancestory2013 track: Gathered surnames from kinship encounters to unearth: #Ebron of Virginia, legacy music traditions of the #Morris of New Orleans and #Peoples of Arkansas. iba’e [give praise to life] For more info about #DANCESTORY2013  [just click link]

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…My last nite in #STL in sheer Brass heaven with Kreative Pandemonium

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Posted in #Dance, #STL, Dancestry2013, Dunham

Greetings from St. Louis #MAAGI finale

Greetings from St. Louis! 

On an amazing journey, making tracks to build lasting legacies.  Just finished co-producing a blogtalk radio show segment I spoke about last post.  This was a “Blogtalk” class project was commissioned to Track 4 participants “Genealogy as a Profession” by one our Teachers Ms. Bernice Bennett, granting us the opportunity to broadcast a show on her popular program “Ancestors Footprints”.  Launched LIVE July 10, 2013, from #‎MAAGI at the Historical Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis, MO, listen in as Institute classmate Callie Flournoy-Riser shares her #‎genealogy journey to Cameroon with our class host Gary Franklin. Here’s the broadcast link: http://bit.ly/134oWEp and below is my Track 4 classmates.

#Dancestory- #STL - at MAAGI

Track 4 class – “Genealogy as a Profession” coordinated by Angela Walton-Raji

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#STL- Lobby Greeting at B.F.L.

Part of my #Dancestory2013 mission is to participate in cultural exchange with kinship organizations of the African Dance and Drum Community to invoke dialogue about our Family Histories, while exploring cultural connections. Through Kreative Pandemonium, I was invited to teach a Afro-Cuban Diaspora Dance/lec at the historic Better Family and Life Center led by DeBorah and Malik Ahmed. To be greeted warmly by students of the Community and to encounter the powerful artistry of Mardi Gras Indian traditions was a wonderful welcome; I along with many have have sewn a few of the pieces of this very suit by the Zulu Family of New Orleans, worn by Chief Shaka Zulu of Yellow Pocahontas, member of 200 year legacy founded by the legendary Big Chief Allison “Tootie” Montana. Mind you, every stitch counts for such a monumental task taking about a year to complete.  God Bless the Mardi Gras Indian tradition.

#STL- #Dancestory2013 - KP

#STL HOT topic 24/7 aka “

My “KP” kinship began with long time Brethren Weedie Braimah,  leading to meeting his life-partner Andrea Peoples a whirlwind of familiar hospitality and a creative force, both imbued with long-standing music traditions in their own heritage stemming from New Orleans and the infamous Temptations, respectively. Their Organization/ Band/ Family Kreative Pandemonium, so aptly named breeds a powerful movement of sound filled with deep soulful grooves, intricately woven with West African Ancestral calls, historical Jazz runs, flipped with #STL swagg all day and them some.  I was privy to some of the rehearsals and was compelled to do a jig on the spot in my little corner, because this was NOT sit down music – AND, the musicality is on HIT!

Wearing my red Fogo  2004 “Kongo Ya Bakoko” shirt in tribute to the legacy of the Ancestors, the class opened up naturally to honor St. Louis’ infamous Cultural Ambassador and treasure Ms. Katherine Dunham.  As I shared my own Dunham #Dancestory citing my Mother, Patricia Waters-Calloway whose teacher was Ms. Ruth Beckford, Dunham Biographer, toured with Ms. Dunham in 1943, celebrated 1st Lady of Oakland Dance and Professor Elendar Barnes, Founder of the Laney College Dance Department and Co-Founder of Dimensions Dance Theater, later to further ignite my own passion under the aegis of Mentor/High-school Dance teacher Paula Fleury-Mc Cullum, with a myriad of Dunham emissaries along the way.  I reflect favorable upon an fortunate opportunity to meet Ms. Dunham at San Francisco’s Festival 2000 in 1990, where as a Marketing/PR associate I was privy to accommodate her general needs and to observe a class she instructed masterfully from here chair at Laney College. Later in 2006, I’d participate in a “Living Birthday Card” choreography, honoring her 97 years on earth, presented by the Dunham Legacy Project of Northern California at Laney College. For my first class in the #STL, we started in 1st position parallel, working plies, undulations,  parallel flat back, rhythmic isolations, then onto progressions – warmed up to a sweat dancing for Palo, adding some heat with Ogun and hit a frenzy with a little Vodou-Arara ,all in dedication to them- here and beyond. I had a great time and love the energy of “da Lou” filled with generations of deep-soul Dance and Drum folks. #grateful

#Dancestory2013 - #STL

#STL- R. Califa teaches Afro Cuban Dance #STL Better Family and Life w/KP

#Dancestory2013 - #STL Drummers

#STL Drummers Led by Weedie Braimah of Kreative Pandemonium

IMG_1867I am ushered to highlight the Bay Area’s African-Ancestored #Dancestory, so inspired by the tenacious Soul-searing ground works like that of my Sis-kin Amara Tabor Smith and the talented Dance mediums of “Ed Mock-manifestations” giving us signs that “We and They” want to be heard.  In shared works and more, I too pose the question:

“How shall we preserve and archive vital information that   transcends generations, and inform these times?”

To this, I relish these thoughts:  My living Grandmother allowing me to perform data entry on her job computer at 14, being a Mac User since 1984 and my Grandfather [deceased] urging me to re-do his Family History documents on a newly purchased Mac to appease my Grandmother, knowing that I’d “hang around”.  We produced our first Family history book – #Walston 1993,  taking it next level in 1994 on the matrilineal side, lead by my Grandmother – #Coleman/Culverson.

Yet, when I think of my experience at Midwestern African-American Genealogy Institute this year in St. Louis, I think back that just a couple of months ago, my family buried my 1st cousin who was my age…Her beautiful transcendental Spirit of perseverance is my fast pass to live my life NOW, which lead to my Scholarship Award from Afrigeneas.com making it possible to attend #MAAGI.

It shall always be an indelible print upon my memory, taking our inaugural class picture, my eyes welling up in quiet pride. I shook my head, because I could see my grandfather smiling and sense Ancestors applauding for this moment was truly historical and I was a part of it–for the record. #Dancestory2013-STL

#MAAGI2013 Inaugural Class

Inaugural Class of the Midwestern African-Am     Genealogy Institute, July 2013
Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis, Missouri

*For more information about #Dancestory2013  [just click link]

**Special thank you to Institute Founders, Directors, Coordinators, Professors and Experts. A very special thanks to Charles Brown, Jr and Angela Walston-Raji along with the tenacious works and hospitality of the St. Louis African American Genealogy Institute. Pleased to be in the esteemed kinship of Kreative Pandemonium and Better Family Life Cultural, Educational and Business Center, and Community Dancers, Instructors and Drummers.

***Hail Up: Baba Bro. Rodney Lindor of Haiti, Bokulaka, Black Repertory Theatre, 14th Street Artist Community, Sabayet Inc., Dr. David Imhotep, Baba Kenya Ajanaku, and the New African Paradigm Study Group and my roomies from the Afro-American Genealogy Historical Society of Chicago.

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Posted in #Dance, #STL, Dancestry2013, Dunham, Genealogy
About Me
Regina "Califa" Calloway

Regina "Califa" Calloway

Creative Strategist & aspiring Genealogist at work!

#Dancestory2014 on the Move…
1st Stop - #STL: Midwestern African-Am Genealogy InstituteJuly 8th, 2014
Excited to have secured a coveted spot to attend #MAAGI2014 focused and prepared to unearth more skills and vital keys of research in African-Ancestored Genealogy.
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