Category Archives: Dancestry2013

Nat’l DNA Day Discounts – work your lines

Traditional Dances steeped in West and Central African spiritual traditions, has invoked

guerrier_03_body_BOMB_yvonneDaniel
foto: Jan. 2005 – BOMB interview of Haitian Master Dance Teacher Peniel Guerrier by Yvonne Daniel

DNA wisdom within me since the womb. I indentify with Òsùmàrè [Oxumaré – Brasilian Candomble] known as the “rainbow spirit” of Yoruba traditions holding dominion over the heavens and the earth bearing dual qualities of male and female; Òsùmàrè is the umbilical life-line of continuity’; this embodied concept permeates throughout the island of Haiti — undulating dance movements of  Yanvalou, honoring the divine serpent duo known as lwa,  Ayida-Wedo and Damballah-Wedo; where rainbow showers and white offerings activate writhing, from the cerebral cortex winding down to the coccyx.  And in the Ancient star systems of the Dogon peoples exist the serpentine symbolism of the “double-helix”.

 

dnaday2016_fb_logoAmerica’s noted discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953, propelled a Congressional proclamation called National DNA on April 25, 2003.  This initiative transcended into an anniverserial event carried forward by the  National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), now celebrating it’s 15th year.

DNA testing is a powerful tool for identification. ~DNA Diagnostics Center

DNA testing made accessible for home use?! seemed almost unbelievable.  For African Americans on their quest to find their ROOTS marked an important benchmark in Family History Research.  Yet, long before I considered taking a DNA test I needed to consider a few things:

1st  Exorcise historical Family ‘lore, fears and myths concerning taking such a test, in light of how much surplus blood I’ve given at a many Doctor and or Medical visits.

2nd  I actually LOVE biology and particularly became fond of our Genetics component, in High school. Although I was aware of MESA [Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement] my Mom was actually a Health and Safety Lab technician at Lawrence Berkeley Labs and anything less than an ‘A’ in Biology and Chemistry was unacceptable.

3rd  It became apparent that I needed to immerse myself, so I took workshops with Field leaders and binged on very accessible tutorials by Ancestry.com on youtube.com. Learning about the discoveries of other African American Genecymera_20170201_1531421alogists and Family Historians heightened my determination. It was the dynamic delivery of  Mr. Shannon Christmas, experienced genealogist specializing in genetic, colonial American, and African-American genealogy in Virginia and the Carolinas, that tipped my scales.  He’s well-versed, studied and a dynamic lecturer whose sought out expertise and encouragement invoked me to buy 23andMe immediately after his lecture at #Rootstech2017, Salt-Lake City, Utah. Since then, 4 generations of my maternal line are tested. I’ve taken a second test with Ancestry.com and planning my 3rd effort through FamilyTreeDNA.

Soooo, over 1500 DNA matches later, I am a deep diver of Family History research and highly advise that working YOUR lines is a must, as it often said by experts that Genealogy and DNA testing goes hand-in-hand. And while waiting for your results to come back, make certain to interview your walking history – the Elders in your Family and continue to build your tree. In special cases of adoption, I can share that DNA testing will enhance your investigation, along with Genea-friend kin support, with select educational online sources;  Consider every piece of information as a clue towards your find.  To this day, I’ve be in the service to locate biological parentage of cherished friends and DNA matches who are adopted; If there ever was a testimony to share, this area of Genealogy, DNA testing bears powerful impact of transformation.

That being said, take all of these cues of inspiration and further your right to learn about your birthright through your Ancestral codes.  Testing opportunities are accessible, available and now on SALE. ~ workingmylines.org  #workingmylines

Happy National DNA Day and #givepraisetolife

23andMe-30%off
$69 Sales end: APR 25th: www.23andme.com
AncestryDNA$59
$59 Sales end APR 29th: AncestryDNA.com
30051737_1814882985230741_8292834271531699593_o
$49 Family Finder Sale ends APR 28th: www.familytreedna.com

#NOLA Flash4ward – Marketplace

New Orleans is a myriad of dynamic movement on the ground, filled with voluminous aural sensory, cosmical crossings and most certainly movement through the people. In July 2015, I was prepping for full immersion into New Orleans Historic Collection “Purchased Lives” Exhibit and the American Slave Trade 1808-1865 as part of my field-research works; The experience was an awe-inspiring ethereal visual display of artifacts, accounts, bills, ledgers and clothing, citing various landmarks throughout the historic French Quarter once fully immersed in a thriving economy, and said to be the site of the largest Slave Market in antebellum America.

“…more than two million people were forcibly moved within the boundaries of the United States and its territories…Owners and traders in the Upper South—Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC—sold and shipped surplus laborers to the expanding Lower South.” ~civilrightsmuseum.org

Sounds like the history of any of your folks?! I know NOW that it most certainly does of some of mine —  Learn more about my sojourn from a previous blog post :

Purchased Lives: New Orleans *flashback to FALL forward 2016*

NOLA_slavemarkets
photo courtesy @byp100 on Instagram – July 4, 2016

#Maafa commemoration March in conjunction with the #BYP100NOLA taking a moment to stand on the corner of Chartres and St. Louis in the French Quarter which was once the site of one of the largest slave markets. Through the efforts of this same movement, the originally “decor” including slave chains and whips were removed after a direct community led action during Essence Fest.  A plaque on the restaurant that sits on the corner , “The Original Pierre Maspero Restaurant reads:

  “ORIGINAL PIERRE MASPERO’S SLAVE EXCHANGE – EST 1788.                                    Within this historic structure slaves were sold …”

#                          #                              #

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 ]

 

Unearthing the Story: When slain Matriarchs speak…

Image
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”

Image
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 

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.

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

MonThurs., 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

#Dancestory2013 – A Momentous Meeting in St. Louis

Image
#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!

Image
#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]

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

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
Image
#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.

Live from #MAAGI! -blogs, blogging, blogger…

#Dancestory2013 – Live from #MAAGI! Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute in St. Louis, Missouri. Having launched from post-crash SFO, simply ecstatic to have traveled well and arrived safely. Institute Director, Charles Brown, Jr piloted the way to ensure my stay,  as I touched down and was warmly welcomed by kinship Kreative Pandemonium, Weedie and Andrea for a wonderful night in “ da Lou”. Gillespie Hall ushered a good night’s rest in the dorms upon the Historic Harris-Stowe State University. This historically Black public University is in the forefront for producing some of the nation’s first Educators.

My morning was like *whoosh*, the trek is fast here with jewels and gems of #Genealogy information shared, specializing in various topics of African Ancestored Family histories.   After ooohhh’s and ahhaa’s at the breakfast chat listening to a wealth of personal stories connecting to Africa to freeborn Africans in Virginia, my class of the day begins with Bernice Bennett blogtalk host of  “Research at the National Archives and Beyond” with over 164,00 listeners to her show.  Bernice gives us an assignment to produce our own blogtalk radio show – by this evening *gulp* I volunteered to help brand, suggest talent and contribute creative content *wink*     Check back as this assignment continues to unfold and shall be featured upon Bernice’s show forthcoming.

My study trek core is “Genealogy as a Profession” led by the nationally acclaimed Angela Y. Walton, [see “The Beginning Genealogist” in the featured links section ] co-presented along with leading researchers in the field, such as Shelley Murphy of Afro American Historical Genealogy Society – Central Virginia Chapter, and Nicka Smith, photographer, genealogist blogger with noted site of East Carroll parish and chronicling her journey: http://blog.atlasfamily.org  Ms. Angela is a researcher and Blogger and nationally renown for her research and work on Oklahoma Native American records.  She presents a multitude of reasons to blog, recanting compelling stories and more. The class was led to engage in a brisk “lunch brunch” chat on Afrigeneas.com.  This chat session online is a like a freeway of information exchange of core members, experts and community associations. It was completely exhilarating to participate with the organization that sponsored my tuition as I was enthusiastically congratulated.

About the blogtalk show, we’ve come up with a name for the show, listened to select “Congolese” music for consideration of background music and elected our host…stay tuned for details and look forward to a wealth of tips forthcoming on this blog. ~R. Califa-Calloway, #Dancestory2013

#Dancestory2013 – ZAPPED by Ms. Electra Price – Chief Genealogist

Photo: Siana Hristova, The Chronicle
Ms. Electra Price Oakland Bay Area Pioneer in Genealogy with nationally renown contributions to the field, specializing in African Ancestored Family Histories. She’s also a founding member of Afrigeneas.com, Founder of local African American Genealogical Society of Northern California, with 15 years of outstanding stewardship serving as a volunteer at the Family History Center housed at Oakland’s Mormon Temple.

This Sojourn would privy me to the rare sittings and cherished conversations with Eldership who are trailblazers in this burgeoning field of Genealogy; As my interest is of African Ancestored Family Histories in shared vision with Afrigeneas.com, I’d meet a founding member residing right here in Oakland- Ms. Electra Price! “Come on in here baby…” greeted with a sparkling smile and infectious candor, I am literally floating in from a soggy rainy day- grateful for my Dance-kinetworx – SHOUT OUT TO LEAH KIMBLE-PRICE [lovez you].

Needless to say in true “geek” behavior, I squealed at the site of seeing two computer screens, desks of vital information, data, album stacks, a printer, wall-lined books endless of my eyesight as I wanted to read them all up – yup this is my house, to train, to learn, to initiate! All so serene, encompassed in an atmosphere of a scholar’s lounge. And 3-4 hours later, I found a deep kinship beyond the book stacks, shared interests, and name claims – WE Oakland natives Ms. Electra and I share a deep pact with Ours, to somehow “leave the data”. And NO, I can’t begin to tell you everything as we combed decades, traveled dimensions weaving information as I fast took dictation -yet I will leave you with one of the endless tips from Ms. Electra Price to aid in your own personal journey in discovering your Family history.
TIP:
Go home get the old photos you’ve collected turn them over, label and date them i.e. who, where, when. A gold mine of information!

MORE about Ms. Electra Price: Read this article by Brenda Payton, Veteran Journalist: http://bit.ly/1cwqBIh

SUPPORT – My #Dancestory2013 Sojourn underway in preparation to attend the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute in St. Louis, MS for continued study and development and travel to collect Family data, documents and stories from 3 states. Please review: http://www.gofundme.com/Dancestory2013