~Emancipation Day Parade, April 16, 2016; Washington DC~

I had a chance to attend this event last year and I must say it is encouraging to be a part of and celebrate the freeing of slaves in Washington, DC. There is marching, a free music concert, education, food, and fun! Many school bands and dance groups come to perform and showcase the strength of our ancestors.

“The DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 ended slavery in Washington, DC, freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had legally owned them and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. It is this legislation, and the courage and struggle of those who fought to make it a reality, that we commemorate every April 16, DC Emancipation Day.”

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~Join one of the nations top comfort food chefs on Tuesday, April 19 in NYC!~

At the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, Chef Melba Wilson will be both discussing and signing copies of her book Melba’s American Comfort: 100 Recipes from My Heart to Your Kitchen. Wilson is the owner of renowned restaurant in Harlem, Melba’s, which is a hot spot for celebrities, locals, and tourists from around the world. She began her career at Sylvia’s restaurant and has won numerous accolades and awards.

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~4th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair; Saturday, May 14~

Dive into the world of kids’ literature focused on African Americans and people of other ethnicities. Enjoy author readings, illustration workshops, performances, and craft activities. Purchase hard-to-find titles in the Book Village. Free children’s book for every family, while supplies last. Free admission.

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Who is 22?

22, also known as Shatina Davis was raised in Richmond, VA.  She is now a resident of Suffolk, VA with her loving husband and two amazing children. Her heart is to spread Gods message through rap to all the masses.

She has always had a love for music and started a group called Star22 with her brother. After God had moved through this ministry, it was time for 22 to start her own ministry.

Many people take a lifetime to find out their purpose on earth. 22 found out her purpose at the age of 22, hence the stage name. She started her ministry and has been running for the Lord ever since.

22 released her first mixtape, “The Introduction” in 2015 which is available for FREE download. She has opened up for such artists as Sinai and Legin from Renaissance Movement Music.

22 is full of life and personality in person but when she steps on stage, you feel the power and transparent side of her. She is just getting started and cannot wait to see what God has in store for her.

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Connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook: @notbysight22



“The Gullah are a distinctive group of African Americans whose origins lie along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia, as well as the adjacent sea islands. They live in small farming and fishing units, having formed a tightly knit community that has survived slavery, the Civil War, and the emergence of modern American culture.”

“Due to their geographic location and strong sense of community, the Gullah have been able to preserve more of their African cultural heritage than any other group of African Americans: they speak a creole language similar to the Krio of Sierra Leone, are skilled in the creation of African style handicrafts and enjoy a rich cuisine based primarily on rice. The origin and traditions of this group are an important piece of South Carolina’s historical puzzle. By exploring their history and development, one gains a fuller picture of South Carolina’s past.”

“The development and preservation of the Gullah’s distinct African culture was aided by their unique slave conditions. The climate of the Lowcountry, Georgia, and the surrounding sea islands aided not only rice cultivation but also the spread of various tropical diseases. These diseases affected all inhabitants in the Lowcountry, including enslaved Africans. Whites were most vulnerable to them, and as a result, the white planters customarily vacated their farms and moved away from the rice fields during the humid seasons when disease was rampant. Due to their absence, plantations were generally run by a few white managers and trusted, enslaved Africans known as “drivers.” The disease cycle kept the white population of South Carolina low while more and more Africans were imported each year. By 1708, there was a black majority in the colony. The great influx of new Africans and the lack of English cultural influence upon their lives directly assisted the creation and preservation of a distinctly African set of traditions. These enslaved Africans, therefore, continued to share many parts of the languages, rituals and customs drawn from their ancestral communities in Africa. Many Gullah arts and crafts are indistinguishable from those found in West Africa. For example, Gullah artisans skillfully create wooden mortars and pestles, rice “fanners,” clay pots, and other pieces closely connected to Sierra Leone. Most importantly, tourists in South Carolina and Georgia can still bear witness to women continuing the tradition of basket making in local markets and roadsides. These beautiful pieces, known as sweetgrass baskets, are closely connected to the Sierra Leonean shukublay.“

"Gullah religious systems and beliefs, while derived from the Christianity practiced by their former white masters, are also evidence of a distinctly African tradition. While adhering to Christian doctrine, the Gullah practice a faith immersed in communal prayer, song, and dance. Many also continue to hold traditional African beliefs. There are also special individuals known as "Root Doctors” that serve to protect individuals from curses and witchcraft.“

"Today, the Gullah people still live and practice their lifestyle in the areas that were once home to their ancestors. Despite encroachment of modern American traditions and increased expansion into their homeland, these special people continue to provide an important glimpse into South Carolina’s past. When visiting our great city, visit our local museums and research centers and learn more about the traditions of the Gullah. By increasing awareness and education about the Gullah, we aid in the preservation of their unique heritage.”

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