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Thu, Jul 25

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BlackBoard Event

The Epicenter of White Supremacy in the U.S. VIRGINIA

We'll explore Virginia's history to uncover the evolution of racialized trauma and its impact on the identity of descendants of enslaved Africans.  African people were subjected to laws, policies, and practices that created a mindset for America and normalized Black/African American Identities.

The Epicenter of White Supremacy in the U.S. VIRGINIA
The Epicenter of White Supremacy in the U.S. VIRGINIA

Time & Location

Jul 25, 2024, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM PDT

BlackBoard Event

About the Event

PURPOSE

In this workshop, we'll explore Virginia's history to uncover the evolution of racialized trauma and its impact on the identity of descendants of enslaved Africans. From the civilization-shaping origins in Africa, across the Afro-Atlantic, and into Virginia, African people were subjected to laws, policies, and practices that created a mindset for America and normalized what has become distorted Black/African American identities. Together, we'll discuss how Black/African Americans have arrived at their current state and their agency, that comes from knowledge of self, in defining their future.

GOALS

  • To examine the historical creation of ourselves.

“The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by its many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do….In great pain and terror, one begins to assess the history, which has placed one where one is and formed one’s point of view.” James Baldwin

  • We will consider a restoration of agency.

“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.”  “If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world and stands in danger of being exterminated.” Carter G. Woodson reminds.

OUTCOMES

  • Participants will gain historical knowledge of what created the supremacy culture in which we live.
  • Participants will comprehend the foundation of societal constructs in creating a self-view and a worldview we work today to desperately decondition and decolonize.
  • Black/African Americans descend from a dual past. In understanding our past, we are better equipped to break the chains of mental incarceration.  In understanding our past, we know that the world’s origin stories are ours, that we are our Ancestors’ wildest dreams, and that they live a whole, self-determined, and wonderful life.

PRESENTER

Omilade (oh-mee-lah-DEH) Janine (jan [like tan] neen) Bell is an artist, a folklorist, cultural historian, a producer and an arts administrator. Art, history and folklore offer their own energetic, often prescriptive, engagement. They can guide an immersive exploration of ideas that can become expansive, evolutionary and healing. Consummate artist-activist, Harry Belafonte, reminds us that, “It is the artist who reveals society to itself.”

Ms. Bell is the founder and president of Elegba Folklore Society, Inc., an African-centered cultural arts and education non-profit that intends to strengthen connections within the African Diaspora while impacting perspectives among others.

Bell created and produces the Society’s annual events including Black Book Expo: A Conscious Literary Festival, Juneteenth: A Freedom Celebration, the Down Home Family Reunion, A Celebration of African American Folklife, and the Capital City Kwanzaa Festival. Elegba Folklore Society also offers a menu of cultural history tours including, In the Beginning… Virginia, Along the Trail of Enslaved Africans, among other excursions, that Ms. Bell created and interprets in ensemble. The Society presents performances of African dance, music and theatre at home and on tour as well as engagement in the visual arts and material culture, where Ms. Bell performs and curates. Elegba Folklore Society is operating in its 34th year.

Ms. Bell holds a degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a recipient of UNC’s Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumna Award, the Teresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts, the Belle Women in the Arts Award, the 2019 Richmond History Maker Award, recognition as a 2020 Person of the Year by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a recipient of the 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Leaders Award for Arts & Culture and a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ 2023 RVA Community Maker. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta.

From the Yoruba (YOUR - ruh - bah) cosmology of West Africa, Elegba is the Orisa (or – REE - shah), or intercessor, who opens the roads bringing clarity out of confusion. Elegba Folklore Society hopes its programs and services are indeed road-opening experiences for its audiences.

Embrace the Spirit!

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