Gospel music was birthed in America as a natural derivative of African American history.  African Americans sign what they live.  As slaves, they sang a slave song.  As freedom fighters, they sang a song of deliverance.  As freedom marchers, they sang a song of victory.  Today, African Americans sing Gospel…
Based in San Diego, United Women of East Africa Support Team (UWEAST) was founded to be a pipeline of culturally competent health services, education, and advocacy for the improvement of East African women and their families’ health and well being. Several years ago, a group of East…
West African Dance is the cultural, social, spiritual, and moral expression of African people.  It is how values are expressedfor various life events including birth (naming ceremonies), growth and maturity (rites of passage), love and family (marriage rituals), social events, and death.  African dance holds these traditions that are near…
Colombia’s Caribbean coast is host to a plethora of rhythms and musical styles.  Many fall under the umbrella of cumbia, which is but one of a number of styles.  In this region, the most commonly used instruments are the alegre, llamador, tambora, maracón, guacho, and gaita.  Together, they represent the…
Ginga Arts is a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles that emowers underserved and at-risk youth by offering ongoing classes featuring the traditional Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira.  Ginga Arts uses capoeria — part martial arts, part dance, part percussion, and part game — as an…
West African Traditional Djembe and Dunun
Fua Dia Congo, founded in 1977, is guided by a Kikongo proverb, Wa Dia Fua Yika Dio, meaning “What you inherit, you must add value to.” For forty years the organization has been resolute in its dedication to preserving and presenting the music, dance, cultural arts…
San Diego-based Tekura Jegnas supports the preservation and continuation of African American martial arts traditions in Southern California.  Master artist Dennis Newsome started Tekura Jegnas in 1975, naming his organization in the Ethiopian Amharic language–tekura jegnas means “Black hero/warrior”–out of respect for his African teachers and in…
Founded by dancer and teacher LaKiesha Golden, Cultural Arts of Gold’s mission is to preserve the arts and culture of Congo.  The annual Congolese Dance and Drum Festival, also known as Biamvu Bia Kongo (Bridges of Congo), aims to preserve the history of the cultural traditions of the people Congolese…
The batá is a sacred drum tradition originating among the Yoruba people of West Africa and brought to the New World during the slave trade era.  Female in nature, the three two-headed drums played by three men activate a sacred language that communicates with the spirit world of the Orisha (or…