All posts by Taneya Koonce

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

An Evening at the Africa House

Last night, Kalonji and I attended a wonderful benefit fundraising dinner on behalf of the African Legacies Foundation and the  African Union-African Health Diaspora Health Initiative (AU-ADHI).  We really didn’t have all the details of the event before we went, but we were pleasantly surprised.

The event was held in Gallatin, TN at the Africa House — a former plantation home that is now owned by Dr. Arikana Chihombori (aka Dr. C – pictured below in green), a physician based in Murfreesboro, TN and her husband, Dr. Nii Saban Quo.  As soon as we started going up the very long driveway, I had to look the history of the home and quickly found a descriptive article from a Florida newspaper.  The plantation used to have many slaves, and what a striking contrast to it’s current use as a meeting place for people of African descent.

The purpose of the evening was to raise awareness of the health care needs in Africa and overall awareness of the health disparities in hypertension, diabetes and stroke among African-ancestored individuals. The stories shared were incredibly moving and greatly illustrated how important it is to increase access to basic healthcare services. The AU-ADHI has a new initiative to promote Vital Signs — that we all need to know our numbers (blood pressure, blood sugar, etc) and that health care facilities in Africa all have ways to collect vital sign information in patients, for as Dr. C noted, it is via vital signs “…that we enter the healthcare system”.

We also learned about Panafest Nashville, an event sponsored by the African Legacies Foundation,  and now I’m really looking forward to attending.  Panafest is a cultural event held in Ghana and the Nashville event (April 26th and 27th) is meant to celebrate it here also.  

Overall, we had a great time getting to learn more about the group’s work and their upcoming activities.  Though so much more needs to be done, they are doing a great job and helping to raise overall awareness!

Another Scarf Completed!

You would think all I do these days is crochet! Not really, but I am doing it quite a lot :-). I just find that it is a perfect activity to do in the car or evenings when I can’t bear to look at the computer screen any longer and I need to go “offline.”

So, my latest finish is a scarf I made for myself using the same colors as Kalonji’s Dr. Who scarf.  I call mine my “Dr. Who-inspired” scarf. The technique I used is called “Corner 2 Corner” crochet and I really like this style.

Here is Kaleya modeling it for me.

Kaleya models my crochet scarf

Yeah to another finish!

 

 

 

Our 12th Anniversary

December 31, 2013 was our 12th anniversary and Kalonji and I had a nice, leisurely day. We hung out with Kaleya running various errands around town and finished the day with a fulfilling dinner at the Aquarium Restaurant.

Earlier in the day, I took this picture of Kalonji and Kaleya wrapped up in his Dr. Who scarf :-)

And here is photo montage of our dinner. Yummy!