Last week, the African American Rites of Passage (AARP) culture group at Naselle Youth Camp hosted a black history month event focusing on the many nations of Africa. Youth decorated the camp gymnasium with traditional African clothing, artwork and educational posters. The event also emphasized the global scale of Black History Month and blended both historic and modern culture.
The event kicked off with a blessing and feast followed by youth presentations on African countries. The AARP also led a chorus of the Black National Anthem, performed African drum solos and demonstrated the traditional libation ritual of pouring water on the earth to honor loved ones and elders. “Mzee, mimi heshima yenu,” they said, which is Swahili for “Elder, I honor you.”
As the event unfolded, youth explained the rich history and guiding principles of Kwanza. They also honored their enslaved ancestors, remembered the Civil Rights movement and raised their fists as Black Panther descendants. We are proud of the youth and DCYF staff who hosted this event, and grateful to come together as a community to honor diversity in all forms.