DA'AFRICAN VILLAGE

THE BRIDGE OF TOGETHERNESS

BY: ALEXIA BROWN MAY 20, 2019

Just under 2 years ago, Vegas was ranked 3rd in the nation for population gain. It’s no secret! We’re a growing community and we love it. The thing is, unlike more established cities such as New York or Los Angeles, we’re still in our budding stages. Culturally at least.

The African American and African communities in Vegas are prominent yet it’s hard to find our place in this city. In efforts to establish a bridge of togetherness, the Africa Love store - through Da'African Village, our sister company and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Nevada - opens its doors through a bi-monthly forum called, “Pan-African Soul Sessions.” (P.A.S.S) The focus of the forum is to build a bond between the African and African American communities in our city.

Hosted in Town Square, and coordinated by Dre’chir Whitfield, each session has one goal – uplift both Africans and African Americans through transparent conversations centered on positive dynamics and entrepreneurs in the community. The topics and panelists are intentionally selected to create an environment that allows the audience to participate in the conversation.

This Friday, May 17, the panelists (shown above) who are all active educators in the community, shared their passions for our youth with the audience. Mr. Yusef Sudah, known as a father to many and an elder in the community, passionately shared his mission to raise sons into honorable fathers.  

PASS - Youth & Education Andreé-Ashley Tarvin Pyles, a UNLV professor, and lecturer, humbly expressed that “you must read on your own to be able to think on your own, which then allows you to behave on your own.” Ms. China, co-founder of Sisters in Society Taking Action Girls Rite of Passage Program, encouraged us to allow our children to express themselves through music and dance. Big Keith, creator of Bully Busters had a strong presence with a cool demeanor and stressed the importance of meeting our children on their level. Finally, Ms. Traci Jasper openly discussed her experience with so-called “at-risk” children, and how emotional availability plays a huge role in their success.


 
 

The audience was just as knowledgeable and experienced, and included educators and parents who were passionately involved. At the end of the night, everyone continued the conversation in Africa Love. The energy was unified, one that calls you to action.

This isn’t something you want to miss. Luckily if you missed it, you can watch it on Facebook. The next Pan-African Soul Session will be hosted in July. Mental Health will be the topic of discussion. This is something many of us have dealt with but not many of us openly speak about. Do you have any unanswered questions you’d like to ask? Any personal stories you need a safe space to share? If so, we encourage you to come and join the conversation

 

Alexia B is a 24-year-old, down-to-earth, Capricorn, who is pursuing a degree in psychology at UNLV. She is also a freelance writer who has a passion for content creation.

WILL YOU BE AT THE NEXT P.A.S.S.??

BLOGS

A Instrument to Unite the People

BY: ALEXIA BROWN June 2nd, 2019

As you may know, Africa Love and its foundation, Da’African Village, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in California and Nevada, host a weekly drum class led by the Drum Doctor, Mr. Kenneth Brown II a.k.a. Yemesi, that is geared toward drum-lovers of all ages and experience levels.

You can focus on improving your drum skills with the Africa Love team during the weekly classes that are held at Africa Love on Fridays at 6 p.m. Or, you can join the gang on the first Saturday of each month for a monthly drum circle, which is held at Town Square Las Vegas Park from 6 – 8 p.m. during the summer months, and from 5 – 7 p.m. during the winter. While the weekly classes are a private experience, the drum circles are open to a broader audience. You can find people, and drums, of all colors, shapes, and sizes gathered together. The powerful sounds of the African drum, more specifically, the Djembe can be heard all throughout Town Square. 

 What’s so important about the Djembe? 

The thing is, the Djembe has been an intrinsic part of African culture for centuries and generations. 

When you visit the drum circle in Town Square, the western cultural understanding of drums is evident – we enjoy it for entertainment. While being entertained is always fun, it is equally important to understand that the Djembe was originally created as a sacred drum.

The Djembe was used in healing ceremonies, rites of passage, ancestral worship, warrior rituals, as well as social dances. Even the creation of a Djembe drum is sacred. It is believed that the drum holds the spirit of its maker; the wood of the body, the skin of the drum head and the workmanship of the artist who made the drum.

When all three are in harmony, they create the powerful sounds that move you and I. The drummer is able to connect with him or herself, to those around, and to nature. The drum circles and drum classes are more than just a group of drummers playing for entertainment. By playing together, we’re creating a powerful environment in unity.

To play the Djembe is truly an honor.

Alexia B is a 24-year-old, down-to-earth, Capricorn, who is pursuing a degree in psychology at UNLV. She is also a freelance writer who has a passion for content creation.

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