When Cancer Calls: Lesson on Health, Self-Empowerment & Mortality
Sunday, October 20, 2019 3:00pm – 5:30pm Authors and Writers Lounge
Auburn Avenue Research Library 101 Auburn Avenue, NE Atlanta, GA, 30303The Baton Foundation, Inc., in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, will host a community dialogue in recognition of breast cancer awareness month with Sherry B. Williams. Copies of Ms. Williams’ book, When Cancer Calls, will be available for purchase. This program is free and open to the public. Reserve seats here.About the ProgramThe journey of Blacks through their chronic illnesses is quite different from that of other ethnic groups. Often, the journey involves myth, misinformation, and fear. Because of late detection, Blacks are frequently diagnosed less and have higher mortality rates. Further, despite better treatment options, breast cancer diagnoses have not decreased in the Metro-Atlanta area or in the United States. Learn more and reserve seats here.
All who attend the “Let’s Talk: Candid Cancer Conversations” are amazed at the amount of useful information they receive. These powerful and informative conversations are inspiring and empowering to all who attend.
Lead by 4-time breast cancer survivor, Sherry, these interactive conversations help attendees better understand this awful disease. The more we know, the better we can help ourselves, our family, and our friends who are faced with a cancer diagnosis.
While there is no cure for cancer, being diagnosed early will allow treatment and survival. On the other hand, being detected late often does not give the patient a chance to survive.
Caucasian women are diagnosed with breast cancer more, yet African American women die more. “Candid Cancer Conversations” are designed to educate and empower so we can save lives with early detection. And you can get a signed copy of Sherry’s book, When Cancer Calls. It helps people cope and gives them hope when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Join the conversation by attending an event listed on Sherry’s calendar at http://www.whencancercalls.info
Or, invite Sherry to speak at your meeting, event or church group during or after October.
Debra Santos (blue scarf), an Atlanta Airbnb host, who is visiting Ghana as part of that nation’s “Year of the Return.” African Americans have been encouraged to return to Africa this year to mark 400 years of slavery. “My face says it all,” Santos said of the photograph, taken in an Elmina Castle dungeon where dozens of female captives would have been held before departing into slavery.
Photo: Courtesy Debra Santos
EXCLUSIVE: Centuries later, Atlantans make trip to Ghana’s “Door of No Return”
King Historical Site, APEX team up to bring grim reminder home
For many thousands, it was the last glimpse of Africa.
Through a door, made narrow so that they would have to walk through in single file, Africans trudged out of the darkness of Ghana’s Elmina Castle or nearby Cape Coast Castle into the blinding sunlight bouncing off the Atlantic Ocean. Then they were chained and stacked like cordwood onto awaiting boats.
That “Door of No Return” was the grim gateway west to a life of enslavement in Brazil, the Caribbean, and America.
“When you walk out of that door today, even now, it is terrifying,” said Debra Santos, an Atlantan visiting Ghana now. “So they had to be terrified to look out in the distance and see no land and know they weren’t coming back.”
But thousands of African Americans have made the trip back to Ghana in recent months. Many have traveled from Atlanta, which has one of the largest Ghanaian populations in the U.S.
Ghana, part of the Gold Coast, a major departure point during the slave trade, recently launched “The Year of Return” campaign. The country, still coming to terms with the role Africans played in the capture and sale of Africans, as well as slavery’s impact on the nation’s development, is urging American descendants of slaves to return home even for just a few days.
Nene Kisseih, his daughters Korleki and Audri Kisseih and his cousin Gabriella look out of Elmina Castle’s Door of No Return. The door is adorned with gifts and wreaths left by others.
Photo: Photo Courtesy Nene Kisseih
At the same time, as America marks 400 years since the first African slaves arrived in the U.S., Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park is trying to acknowledge what that door means in the starkest of ways. As part of a new exhibition entitled “400 Years” that opened Aug. 26, a giant photo of a door and mannequins of slaves greet tourists in the atrium.
A block down Auburn Ave., as part of the exhibition, the African-American Panoramic Experience (APEX) Museum, the city’s oldest black cultural repository, is exhibiting “Africa: The Untold Story.” In that more detailed account, visitors can walk through a life-sized replica of “Door of No Return.”
The exhibitions, a glimpse into the Middle Passage and American slavery, are being described by the park and museum as a “journey over four centuries to America and hopes as a people, past and present, for racial equity and healing.”
The Door of No Return saw thousands of Africans leave the continent for the last time to a world of slavery.
Photo: Photo Courtesy Courtesy Arletha Livingston
Last week, standing outside the door replica, Dan Moore, who founded the APEX in 1978, watched silently as visitors tentatively walked in and were bombarded with a recording of waves, mixed in with screams and the shuffling of chains.
“Everybody that I have talked to, who has visited the actual Door of No Return, tell me that when they walk into that space, they can feel the presence of their ancestors,” Moore said. “Nothing was as horrific as the slavery that the Europeans modeled. They stripped Africa of its culture, its religion, its resources, its people.”
From ‘20 and odd’ Negroes to 12 million
On Aug. 26, 1619, the first Africans to arrive as slaves on American shores landed in Port Comfort, Virginia. Those “20 and odd Negroes” created the foundation for more than 200 years of chattel slavery in America.
It will never be known how many Africans were captured and stolen from Africa, but it is estimated that more than 12 million of them were shipped across the Atlantic over a span of 400 years. Roughly 389,000, or about 3% of the enslaved, landed in America.
Korleki Kisseih and Audri Kisseih were taken to Ghana for the first time earlier this month by their Ghana-born father Nena Kisseih to mark Korleki’s 14th birthday. The sisters stand behind an iron gate in one of the Elmina Castle dungeons, which would have been used to hold captured Africans bound for slavery.
Photo: Courtesy Nena Kisseih
“The transatlantic slave trade represents the most tragic episode in human history,” said Osagyefou Amoatia Ofori Panin, the king of Kyebi, in Ghana’s Eastern region. “It explains many things, but most importantly the material underdevelopment and the destruction of the communal and humanist social and cultural fabric of African society. The transatlantic slave trade opened the door for colonization and conquest of Africa.”
With “The Year of Return” campaign, “we can rewrite history,” Panin told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Africans in the diaspora have a role to play in rebuilding the continent.”
Anxiety and horror
Santos, the Atlantan, made that journey home, setting foot on African soil for the first time on Aug. 20. She was traveling with a group of fellow black Airbnb hosts. They have all returned home. She has extended the trip on her own indefinitely, touched by a crowd of Ghanaians who hugged and rubbed her face when she arrived.
“They kept saying, ‘welcome home, we missed you,’” Santos said. “I don’t know if I had ever felt the spirit, the African spirit, until that very moment. It was awe-inspiring. America is the love of my heart, but Ghana is the love of my soul.”
Still, nothing could have prepared her heart and soul for the rest of the trip.
Debra Santos, outside of Elmina Castle in Ghana. “I didn’t know what to expect when I got to Elmina,” she said. “Nothing could prepare me for it.”
Photo: Courtesy Debra Santos
On Ghana’s coast, Santos visited Elmina Castle and the Cape Coast Castle.
Generally known as holding spaces for captured Africans, it will never be known exactly how many came through the two ports, through the doors and onto ships bound for slavery.
At Elmina, Santos was ushered into a dungeon where women captives were held. By today’s standards, one of the dungeons should probably hold about 30 people. More than 150 would be packed in, with a single window to circulate the dense, hot air, according to historical accounts. Those who survived were carted onto boats.
“When we went to the dungeon, they turned the lights off,” said Santos, who has traced her roots to nearby Ivory Coast. “I had a major anxiety attack. You can feel and sense how horrible it could have felt back then. I did not expect to be so emotional.”
Like outer space
Arletha Livingston knows the feeling.
The director of the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Innovation Lab, Livingston has been going to countries in Africa since 1995, and every trip to Ghana is emotional.
In early August, she tagged along with her sister, a trauma specialist, who guided members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn), through the castles and dungeons.
They said “send her back” but Speaker @SpeakerPelosi didn’t just make arrangements to send me back, she went back with me
The Shades of Nubia Festival is an amazing event that honors the creative genius and achievements of Black Women in the arts. It will provide much needed exposure to the awesome talent of Black Women, that continues to breathe life into our communities through the arts.
Watch these amazing sisters, as they showcase their creative artistry through music, spoken word and dance!
There will be vendors and an auction of amazing art, jewelry and fashion, all curated by way of Black Girl Magic!
*This event will be recorded live and will air on the Black on Purpose Television Network.
BRING THE FAMILY!
*By purchasing a ticket and/or attending this event you give permission to be taped. You give permission for your name, image and likeness to be used worldwide on BOP TV.
The Women Superstars Luncheon celebrates women of color in front of and behind the bronze lens. BronzeLens honors female luminaries in the film and television world. Now in our 10th year, the event includes a Bronze Carpet, lunch and awards program.
Celebrating the power and achievements of women of color in film and television has been a cornerstone of the original planning of the BronzeLens Film Festival.
Our Women SuperStars Luncheon brings together legends like Suzanne de Passe, Margert Avery, Lyn Whitfield and Julie Dash, emerging stars like actress Brely Evans, top level industry executives like Cheryl Boone Issacs and Connie Orlando, visionary and creative industry women like producer/director Ava DuVernay and producer Shelby Stone for a star-studded presentation of awards.
MARTA CEO Jeff Parker gives overview of 40 years of bus & rail system in Atlanta and thank his predecessors with vision including Governor Deal signing HB 930 to create the ATL authored by Sen. Beach & Rep. Tanner.
At the Shrine of the Black Madonna in West End, young people help Jumoke Ifetayolight the Kwanzaa candles for thesecond of seven days of celebration.
Kwanzaa is started in 1965 by Dr. Maulana Karenga in Chicago. It is celebrated December 26 – January 1.
The foundation of Kwanzaa are the Seven Principles, or Nguzo Saba. When Dr. Karenga created the celebration of Kwanzaa he wanted to reflect the best qualities and characteristics of the “first fruit” or harvest festivals that were celebrated throughout Africa. It was these qualities that established the Nguzo Saba, or Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. (Nguzo Saba is Kiswahili for Seven Principles).*
“The children will carry on the traditions of the land. So we must teach them the history”, said the narrator.
These children dance with the rattle instrument, the shekere, as the narrator tells an African story with drums.
Rev. Keith Slaughter (above), a WAOK talk show host is tonight’s speaker. He gives the message entitled, “Stand Your Ground”, in celebration of Day 2, Kujichagulia, self-determination. ‘Stand not to kill people, but to claim what is rightfully ours, what we need…our fair share. Be truthful and put on the full armour of God as you fight for justice in this world. Pray the righteous will be there for us and beware of the haters!’
Rev. Slaughter’s message was powerful, informative, passionate, on point and short! He was definitely on his game!
A packed crowd looks on at the Shrine of the Black Madonna during the 15th Annual Kwanzaa celebration at 960 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.
There will be five more nights of Kwanzaa at the Shrine with speakers including Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore on Saturday 2pm-6pm, and Rev. Derrick Rice on a Faith Panel on Tuesday, 4pm-8pm. For more information, call (404) 549-8676 or (404) 444-6696.
Also, the Shrine has free Black History classes every Saturday from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Plan to attend with your family and friends.
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