Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

This weekend has been great! I’ve had a not so great week as I was sick and had to miss a couple of days of work. I still have some residual respiratory “stuff” going on, but this weekend has been so nice and I’ve felt far better than I had all week.

Saturday I started the day with some shopping – for yarn to use in my crochet projects, and for Kaleya as she has an upcoming science fair.

Saturday night I had a chance to catch up with a friend and her daughter,  and we had dinner at Rainforest Cafe.  It’s been many years since I last visited there and we had a great time!

Then Sunday, Mother’s Day, we spent the afternoon at Edwin Warner Park with friends and just enjoyed being outside. The weather was perfect.

This coming week will be busy as I have a business trip to Chicago on Saturday.  Hope everyone else had a great weekend too!

Panafest Nashville 2014

This year, Kalonji and I had a chance to participate in some of the activities for Panafest Nashville.  The Nashville version is based on the one held every two years in Ghana and aims to bring together all African cultures for a weekend of cultural festivities.  This year, the guest speaker was Nelson Mandela’s eldest granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela.

We all had a chance to meet Ms. Mandela last weekend on her arrival to the states. Africa Legacies Foundation held a reception for her at the Africa House and we enjoyed having the opportunity to hear Ms. Mandela speak about her father, Thimbekele Mandela, and her grandfather Nelson.

kids in the backyard of the Africa House
Kaleya & Ndileka Mandela
Ms. Mandela w/ Dr. Chihombori, Dr. Quao, and Kwame & Justina Ahima
Kalonji and Kwame Lilliard

Then, last night, we attended the Panafest Gala Dinner and had a great time! The Gala was held at the Global Event Center in what used to be Hickory Hollow Mall.  Ms. Mandela was also present, spoke some about her family and the work she was doing – including the fact that she planned to establish a Tennessee office of her foundation – that’s great news to hear.  During the evening we were treated to dance performances, a fashion show,  and great food and music.  We even ran into a family friend while there. For more, the Tennessean has a nice article with information about her visit here in town.

My pictures didn’t turn out the best, but I did capture a few.

Kalonji, Derrick, and Donovan

I also very much enjoyed the music. It was awesome! I was trying to use Shazaam to identify the music, but the app didn’t do that great of a job unfortunately. But, I did capture a few tracks, so I’ll start with those and see what else comes up.

Many thanks to the organizers for a great evening

Another Visit with Khalil G. Muhammad

Almost exactly two years ago, we had the pleasure of listening to a lecture by the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,   Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad.

This week, Dr. Muhammad did a visiting lecture on the campus of Tennessee State University and Kalonji had a chance to hear him again.

Dr. Khalil G. Muhammad, Kalonji, and some of Kalonji’s students

I’m sure the students got as much from hearing him speak as we did.

Family Fun Weekend

What a great weekend we’ve had!  

Thursday night I had an opportunity to go on the General Jackson Showboat.  I’ve only been one other time in all my time here in Nashville and Thursday night was fun.  The evening cruise show was called “The Heart of Tennessee: A Musical Journey.”  The performers covered a range of music – from bluegrass, soul, country of course, and some gospel.  I do have a favorite singer though – that would be Soren Wohlers by a longshot.  :-)

Fun on the General Jackson

Friday night, Kalonji held an event on behalf of one of the courses he is teaching. The course is called The Great Debate and students have to hold a public forum debate as part of their grade. The debate was held at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church. This year, Kalonji chose as debate topics W.E.B. DuBois vs. Booker T. Washington.  Team Booker T. won the debate but both teams did a great job!   Kaleya’s and her classmates even had a role – reciting the poemBooker T. & W.E.B.by Dudley Randall. Many thanks to everyone that came out to support the students.  

Highlights from The Great Debate

Saturday we stopped by a fish fry Kaleya’s school was having. as a fundraiser. The food was good!

Fun at the Fish Fry

And Sunday, Kaleya and Q flew kites. The wind was perfect for it!

Hope you all had a good weekend too!

We’re Having a Cookout!

cookout

We are having a springtime cookout & you’re invited! We would love to have you come spend a few hours with us just hanging out.  Best of all, there will be cake! It is also Q’s 13th birthday.

WHERE:  Join us at the Pavillion at Centennial Park.  Great location with a covered shelter all to ourselves.

centennial shelterAcentennial playgroundA

Don’t know where it is? Check Google Maps.

If you can join us – please respond to our Evite.

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday,  Kalonji and I traveled to Chattanooga to say goodbye to a family friend.  We attended funeral services for our friend, Gerald Taylor, Jr.   Gerald and Kalonji used to work together for the Room In the Inn program here in Nashville.

TaylorGerald_Obituary

Gerald was incredibly kind and polite, always a pleasure to be around, funny and overall an extremely nice guy.  He will very much be missed by his family, his friends, and all who knew him.

Rest in peace Gerald.

Black History Month Program

Friday night, we attended a Black History Month program at Masjid Al-Islam and it was great!  The program included short talks by several members in the community, including Thaxton Abshalom Watersan artist who’s recently opened an Art Lifestyle Lounge & Gallery, and Edward Kendall – a local lawyer and long-term school board member who’s written a book about historic Jefferson Street.

I wish the pictures I took came out better, but here is a group photo of all the speakers and several people officially recognized during the program.

Kaleya and her classmates put on a play based on the life of Malcolm X.  Kaleya had two roles – one as “Shorty” and one as Narrator at the end of the play. We are so proud of her and all her school mates.  :-)

 

Kalonji Speaks at Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church

A few pictures from Sunday — Kalonji was invited to speak at Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church to their youth groups for Black History Month.  

Kalonji_LakeProvidence_Collage_rev

We all attended with him and had a nice time.  Many thanks to the church for the invitation!

I was particularly impressed that the church has a library and have been documenting their history.  One of their former congregation members, Mrs. Sadie W. Overton,  even wrote a book covering the church history from 1866-1996.  I definitely plan to follow-up with more research about the church given my interest in genealogy and African-American history in Nashville. 

LakeProvidenceHistoryCollage