by: Olayinka Lawal
On Friday, December 2nd, Next Generation Art Ensemble opened Jubilee Center’s Winter Celebration at New Song Academy with their exciting Kwanzaa Show that educates while entertains audiences. The lively cast of 5-12 year old sang, danced and gave homage to our ancestors. Next Generation shared a complete history of Dr. Maulena Karenga seven principles from Umoja to Imani, and examined the present day oppression we strive to overcome today. The audience of over 100 men, women, and children erupted with excitement to the youth rapping ‘I'm going beast mode /don't you know we’re in a War/ I love my people so I know what I'm fighting for!!’ The crowd was on the edge of their seats as Charles Watson lead of half of the cast on bucket drums, Djembe, and Dundun and they watched West African dance for a spectacular finale.
Next Generation was followed by the Jubilee Arts Ballet class, Hip-Hop class, and fashion show presentation. Food was served and New Song Academy in Sandtown-Windchester hosted the program for friends and family.
On December 3rd Mama Rashida, Urban Foli’s founder Baba Menes Yahudah, and Brother Charles Watson gave a 15 minute presentation at Creative Alliance. Mama Rashida opened with the song, ‘Kwanzaa is a Holiday’ and taught the principles and symbols of the African- American tradition. Mama Rashida taught a South African song in the Zulu language called Sin Gin Gin. This is a freedom song that means, our mother prayed for us and we will never give up the struggle for total freedom. Mama Rashida also taught a West African Dance called Funga, one of the first dances that are taught to dance students. She closed with ‘Kwanzaa is Holiday’ and the audience of 50 people experienced an interactive African performance.
If you want to see a live performance we will be at the The National Great Blacks and Wax Museum 1601-03 East North Avenue on December 26th 2017 and Henderson Hopkins School 2100 Ashland Ave and Eubie Blake Cultural Arts Center 847 N Howard St on December 28th 2017. Contact the venue for times. We are also available for bookings. Contact us to come and perform for you.