I grew up in DC, a daughter, niece, and cousin of generations of Howard University graduates. So, I am aware of the history and pride that are inherent in our historically black colleges and universities. They continue to play a very important role in the development of our community.
You can imagine how excited we were to be at the historic Jubilee Hall on the campus of Fisk University. You can feel the history in that place. There is a lot of pressure to deliver the message of our movement clearly and respectfully within those walls. The Nashville community made it easy! We had a great mix of people in attendance, from the Queen Mothers of the community to the Village Church to an engaged group of excited young people.
We were honored to reveal the ancestries of several people in Nashville. Ken West and Porcha Wofford were surprised by their Yoruba and Fulani roots in Nigeria. In fact, Ken guessed that his ancestry would be Nigerian. Rep. Brenda Gilmore and Dr. Jeff Menzise appreciated learning of their Grain Coast African roots. One of the ancestries that they share is Mende from Sierra Leone. Rep. Gilmore was pleased to learn from where she inherited her fighting spirit. Queen Mother shares ancestry with our photographer, Kea Taylor, and the Bamileke people in Cameroon.
The highlight of the reveals was Rev. Stephens’ reaction to his Mandinka warrior roots!
I’d like to publicly thank Dr. Jeff Menzise, a descendant of the Mende of Sierra Leone, for hosting us at Fisk. He provided an important perspective on the history of Fisk and its current challenges. Jeff is committed to the psychological development of young African American minds. Fisk is quite fortunate to have him as a leader within the institution.
Do you know where you’re from? Be sure to check out our schedule and join us at an event near you.