We made it! We started in New Orleans and ended up in Boston. Woo hoo!
Road Scholar has partnered with us on several events and so we were glad to be on their turf this time and to get to associate faces with emails. Kathy Taylor, Associate Vice President of Road Scholar, is a driving force behind engaging programming that reflects the African American experience.
Kathy introduces the Road Tour
The Boston group was unique in comparison to the rest of the Tour. We had a roomful of Lifelong Learners who were able to engage in a discussion from a more experienced point of view
The second to the last stop on the Road Tour was amazing! We were hosted by Joann Price and the Seniors Ministry of Union Baptist Church in Hartford, CT. The church was such a beautiful backdrop for sharing and learning about history from the seniors of the community.
Union Baptist Church
We revealed the ancestries of 10 members of the group and their results were met with much enthusiasm and excitement!
Now I have to tell you, I absolutely love JoAnn. She is a longtime supporter of African Ancestry. So I could not figure out WHY it was taking her so long to do her own test…until I got to the church. She has such a generous spirit that she kept giving hers away to one of the seniors! So, with their help, we got her to FINALLY do her test. I hope that she is my Fulani cousin!
JoAnn Takes the Test!
It wouldn’t be a church Seniors event without lunch. Woo-hoo!
Not everyone was a Senior…
Not Just for Seniors
We enjoyed meeting all of the families that joined us too. Ramona and John O’Neal have been following us online and we finally got to meet them in person!
I hate to play favorites, but…I can honestly say that Ardenia Brown was by far our most enthusiastic host! Ardenia came to us through a mutual friend and was immediately like family. She has an extensive promotions background and so she was like a one woman African Ancestry PR machine!
Butternut Market’s tasting also attracted a number of people from the neighborhood to the presentation, which was standing room only. The reveals were quite moving and the good times continued in the gallery and at Therapy Wine Bar. Bed-Stuy has roots from all over!
Angela Terry - Native American Roots!
Richard Beavers - Angolan Roots!
Alexia Billiart - Ghanaian Roots!
Ardenia Brown - Guinea Bissau Roots!
We had a great time in Brooklyn meeting the neighborhood’s architects, artists, young people, genealogists, and entrepreneurs. We were encouraged by the engagement of the youth and the number of families that came out to learn about finding their roots. Thank you Brooklyn!
Imagine an African-centered high school with a 100% graduation rate, a 100% college acceptance rate, and a 100% scholarship receipt rate. It exists. In Philadelphia. Imhotep Institute Charter High School is led by Mama Christine Wiggins and was the location for the Philadelphia stop on the We Are Africa Road Tour.
Philadelphia was a special stop for many reasons. First, my family is from there. So we had four generations of the Paige family celebrating our Nigerian roots.
Second, we revealed the ancestries of Former Mayor Wilson Goode, the first African American mayor of Philadelphia and Stanley Straughter, Chairman of the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs. Mr. Straughter is a devout Pan-Africanist and so it took some arm-twisting to get him to find his maternal roots. I promised to let what is revealed at Imhotep, stay at Imhotep! Mayor Goode was kind enough to join us during his 50th wedding anniversary weeklong celebration. And, for good reason. We revealed that his maternal roots are in Guinea-Bissau and his paternal roots are Yoruba, from Nigeria!
Gina and Stan Straughter
Plus, we had some serious African Ancestry family members in the house! One of our elders walked through the door ready to share her story. As she tells it, when she opened her results envelope, she was so happy that she “went beserk”.
Telling Her Story
Muhammad Aliyu doesn’t leave home without his African Ancestry Certificate of Ancestry! How’s that for showing your pride?
Click here for more photos from the Philadelphia scrapbook! Do You Know?
Finally! Our hometown stop. I was really looking forward to the DC event. We’d have our African Ancestry family, great reveals, Step Afrika!, an African deejay from ARK Jammers, catering by Tropical Fusion, and the Embassy of Nigeria. A night to remember for sure. Click here to view Kea’s photo album.
Barbara Harrison found her maternal ancestry in Guinea-Bissau! There were plenty of “cousins” in the audience to welcome her into the family.
Egypt? Ethiopia? … Nope, Nigeria! Carla Hall found her maternal ancestry right at home in the Embassy of Nigeria. Amazing.
Ralston had been sitting on his MatriClan Test Kit for two years. I guess it’s because he knew where he was from. Ralston guessed correctly…Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone…”Give Us Free!”
Home is a special place. Our DC-based African Ancestry team got a chance to be involved in the Road Tour and I got to see my best friend, Gina and her mom!
We are fortunate to have tremendous partnerships with different kinds of African-focused organizations. Thank you to Step Afrika! and ARKJammers for helping us to celebrate our cultural connections to Africa.
Eric Chinje of ARK Jammers
C. Brian Williams, Step Afrika!
This little guest danced the night away! She Is Africa! Do You Know?
We’re in the home stretch. Richmond marks the end of the first half of the We Are Africa Road Tour. The good news? We get to sleep in our own beds tonight. The bad news? Not many Cracker Barrels going north.
A great crowd turned out for our Richmond event. Drumming, dancing, and knowledge all made for a good time for everyone. Dr. Maureen Elgersman-Lee looked to Delegate Delores McQuinn for emotional support as we revealed her Mandinka roots.
Waiting for the Reveal
Delegate McQuinn’s family was excited to learn of their Nigerian roots.
Speaking of family, Kea’s family came out to support the Tour and I Still Do. She was really glad to see them.
Prathers and Taylors from Luisa County
I must admit that the highlight of the day was little Nana Sekou. He stole the show from beginning to end. I need to bottle his energy for the rest of the Tour! Click here to see more images from Richmond.