December 24, 2013
PARTY CITY sells paper party supplies for Kwanzaa. You can pick up a Kwanzaa greeting card at a Hallmark store, or a book on the subject at Walmart. And who could forget celebrity chef Sandra Dee's blunder when she made a semi-homemade monstrosity that she called a Kwanzaa cake? (See video at phillydailynews.com.) But there are still a whole lot of folks, African-Americans included, who will give you a blank stare if you ask them about Kwanzaa. Many have never embraced the holiday, worried that it's somehow anti-Christian.
December 28, 2012
KWANZAA IS A time for unity, when communities come together and reflect on their common heritage. This weekend, the African American Museum in Philadelphia will do just that with a full schedule of Kwanzaa-related events. The holiday is usually celebrated over a week - Wednesday through Jan. 1 this year - with each day representing one of the seven principles of African heritage. Saturday is Ujamaa, the day of cooperative economics, and Sunday is Nia, the day of purpose. Among the events Saturday is a session on the African diaspora and black genealogy with the African-American Genealogy Group.
August 1, 2012 |
MAORI Karmael Holmes didn't set out to create a film festival. She had booked some dates at West Philly's International House simply to screen some good movies about the African experience. But there were so many worthy entries to choose from, she couldn't bear to pare them down. "I'm pretty pragmatic, but I do dream big," said Holmes, a graduate of Temple University's Master of Fine Arts program and, by day, the associate director of the Leeway Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on women and the transgendered.
January 25, 2005 |
Sunday afternoon's DanceBoom! program offered a touchstone for the overview of African-influenced dance in Wilma Theater's festival: some straight-up African dance provided by Lisanga Ya Bana Kin, a Philadelphia-based group of mostly Congolese performers. Along with a piece by Philadanco (to be replaced by Odunde on the final weekend) and a stage-shaking outing by Kulu Mele African American Dance Ensemble, this one leaves no question about where it all began. With strong, acerbic harmonies, the six members of Lisanga Ya Bana Kin sang their piece, Gizembe, into life.
June 28, 2002 |
Mae Russ Haith, 54, of Wallingford, a lawyer, author and collector of African American artifacts, died June 21 from injuries she sustained in a fall at her home. The cause of the fall was unknown. An autopsy was performed and toxicology reports from the Delaware County Medical Examiner's Office are pending. Mrs. Haith founded Archives & Images, a black studies databank and information consortium. She had a practice in international import-export law and represented the World Congress of Women at conferences in Moscow and Nairobi, Kenya, as well as at the Rev. Leon Sullivan's African-African American Summits in West Africa.
February 25, 2001 |
Although Black History Month is celebrated mostly in the United States, American embassies around the world also host programs during February to educate others about the role African Americans have had in U.S. history and the influence of the African diaspora on cultures across the globe. People like Gloria Harper Dickinson, an associate professor and chair of The College of New Jersey's African American Studies Department in Ewing, Mercer County, have been invited abroad to share their knowledge.
October 5, 1999 |
Thomas Barry Morton lives three lives. Lucky for him, the three lives interconnect. He's a photographer. You can see a long-range sampling of his work in "Odunde African American Festival: Twenty Years on South Street," an exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology through Jan. 16. He's a scholar, fluent in Spanish, working on a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in as esoteric a...
September 18, 1997
Africans and Americans The long-running love affair between Africa and black America appears on the brink of collapse. African Americans wax lyrical about their ancestral homeland, but the Congressional Black Caucus, Africa's natural lobby in the U.S. government, does not have time for foreign policy. The U.S. infatuation with Africa dates to Marcus Garvey's "Back to Africa" movement in the 1920s. . . . The brief intersection of politics and radical chic in the 1960s was arguably the closest convergence of New World and Old World Africans.
February 12, 1995 |
Mae Russ Haith said she made "a leap of faith" when she decided to open Archives & Images International Inc. She realized that the middle of Delaware County - above a used car dealership on Baltimore Pike, no less - was an unlikely spot for an art gallery and research center exploring the African diaspora. But Haith has never been afraid to defy convention. "It's just like when I was a kid and said I wanted to be a lawyer," she said. "In North Carolina back then, you just didn't say that.
August 26, 1994 |
A brave and ambitious attempt to create a genuine African-American film, "Sankofa" may be a bit too rich for its own good. Shot in English by veteran Ethiopian filmmaker Haile ("Bush Mama") Gerima, "Sankofa" is a heady mix of politics, myth-making and melodrama. Gerima shifts between styles and periods with exuberant abandon, casually blending reality and fantasy, leapfrogging centuries in single dissolves. Yet, for all of the film's stylistic freedom, a bit of pruning and shaping might have helped its chaotic story line.