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Archive for 'General'

ʻOhana

This is a new song by me (in collaboration on some of the lyrics with my husband Kevin) that was created with the thought in mind to celebrate our diverse dance community. It is called ‘Ohana (Hawaiian for “family”). This deliberately sentimental work took on a deeper meaning for me after the recent transition of […]

The Winds of Change

Ifa is a spiritual path that is about personal responsibility. We each come into this world with our own destiny, and the tools we need to achieve it. We do not hold that the Creator made us in his/her own image, designs “tests” for us, or in any way micromanages our lives. If things are […]

Hair

Let us start by stating the obvious, the natural hair texture of the descendants of sub-Saharan African people is unique. Unlike the hair of other ethnic groups of the world, African hair is curled to the point that each follicle spirals around itself in separate little ringlets. This gives it a denser texture, makes it […]

Why We Are Here

“She forced us to have a direct experience with the essence of love. Through her thunderous sounds, she made us stop, listen, and slowly shake our heads in amazement and gratitude. Imagine what it takes to belong to the world in this way.”

Black To Nature

Some years ago while hiking through Muir Woods with some friends, the subject of camping came up. After they each shared fond memories of outdoor experiences from childhood on, they turned to me. They were surprised to hear that I had never gone camping, and at the time had no interest in doing so. They […]

Word

The word is on the street. Lately, it seems that almost everywhere I look, there is reference to a quote by an anonymous author stating: Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes […]

It’s An African-Polynesian Thing…

Those of you who know me personally are aware that I am a professional dancer and musician, centering my expertise on the performing arts of the Pacific Islands. It was not an arbitrary decision to focus on Polynesian dance (indeed, it doesn’t really feel like a decision at all). You see, I was born in […]

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is the African concept of the interrelationship between all beings. The word is from the Bantu language group, derivatives of which are commonly spoken in communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa. In essence, ubuntu means that one’s humanity is understood in relationship with that of others. A person with ubuntu cares for others in a profound […]

A Mid-Winter Ritual

It is Mid Winter. For those of us who reside in California or a similar temperate climate, we can already see the first signs of life appearing. This is the season of celebrations, such as Ground Hog Day, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, and Mardi Gras. All of these holidays have pre-Christian origins; Ground Hog […]

Since We’re Neighbors, Let’s be Friends

Thankfully, the furor over the incident involving Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley seems to be subsiding, but not before we were treated to yet another example, as if one were needed, of how far we have yet to go in this country regarding race relations. As annoying to me as this […]