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March 27, 2009

Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum

Actress Phylicia Rashad attended the Culture Project’s ‘Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum’ concert at The United Nations on Wednesday in New York City.

On March 25th it was the International day of Remembrance of the victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic slave trade.

"We must acknowledge the great lapse in moral judgment that allowed [the Transatlantic Slave Trade] to happen. We must urge present and future generations to avoid repeating history. We must acknowledge the contributions that enslaved Africans made to civilization. And countries that prospered from the slave trade must examine the origins of present-day social inequality and work to unravel mistrust between communities. Above all, even as we mourn the atrocities committed against the countless victims, we take heart from the courage of slaves who rose up to overcome the system which oppressed them."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Drums and Slavery
In Africa, rhythms, spiritual dimensions and the order of the universe are not generally separated into compartments in the mind of most people. Traditional African societies acknowledge that the drum has a spirit and character that is clearly observable. It is believed by many African communities that voices of great ancestors are hidden inside the wood of trees so they could be accessed whenever men and women need them. African history has been maintained through an oral tradition.

Everywhere, slaves strived to keep the heritage and practice of drums alive. Drums from Cameroon represent various types of African drums. Due to its many peoples and unique geographical location (on the coast, deep in the heart of Africa as well as close to the Sahara), Cameroon is sometimes seen as Africa in miniature. Drums also reflect spiritual, social, ethno-anthropological and artistic perspectives. The historical and cultural significance of drums with regard to the Transatlantic Slave Trade is noteworthy. Continue reading

1 comment:

Fly Girl said...

Acknowledgement of slavery's past is the first step toward healing. I hope it continues.


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