Tropicalfete pays tribute to struggles of African Americans

Jahzrel Henderson, Kiah Henderson and Sheila Thomas performing “The African Experience.”
Tropicalfete, Inc. / ALTON AIMABLE

Brooklyn’s Tropicalfete, Inc. cultural group on Friday, March 5 partnered with New Lots Learning Center, Brooklyn Public Library in celebrating Black History Month by paying tribute to the struggles of African Americans.

Alton Aimable, the St. Lucian-born founder and president of  cultural group told Caribbean Life on Monday, “The celebration was a tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve success. There was an added bonus offering the community resources to empower themselves.”

The organizers streamed the event live on Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Twitch and LinkedIn.

Aimable said he and Jermane E. Graham from Literacy Zone, case manager, Brooklyn Public Library, gave welcome remarks.

He said vocalist Cheryl Vincent and pianist Ras Vally performed a medley of four songs – “Day O,” “One Love,” “No Woman No Cry,” and “Lioness on the Rise” — and that Tropicalfete’s Steel Pan Ensemble and Tropicalfete Stilting Unit/Limbo “were in the spotlight with their performances.

“African dance, drum and spoken word were masterfully put together by Kiah Henderson, Sheila Thomas and Jahzrel Henderson,” Aimable said. “That performance took the audience on a journey from slavery to today’s struggles.

“A moment of silence was called for the sacred African American burial grounds in New York City, with sounds of nature in the background with the images on the screen showing Manhattan: African Burial Ground National Monument, The New Lots African Burial Ground future development and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,” he added.

Aimable said African “heroes and sheroes were shown in a calypso video presentation using the song of Herb Black Reality ‘Time Again’.

“In the old days, drums were used to communicate by Africans; and, to close the program, Raheem Chapman gave a drum-playing demonstration calling on the ancestors to bless us,” he said.

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