Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hands across the Borders

Last night I attended a very special event at the Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia. The evening began with greetings and song and the guest speaker was John Franklin of the recently established National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC. Mr Franklin was here visiting and speaking in advance of the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference which is scheduled to take place in Nova Scotia, September 2011.
John Franklin of the Smithsonian Institution
He came with strong messages about the importance of developing relationships between institutions and countries in preserving and expressing the history and culture of the African American experience. He spoke of the importance of telling the whole story and facing raw emotion as the way to express the story in its entirety is found. He also spoke of the important role mediation will play in the process. The story is complex with an intricate interweaving of cultures, countries and economies over a long period of time. Important parts of the story are inextricably linked with the history of Nova Scotia and it is these links and the desire of the developing museum to forge relationships with other institutions engaged in African American heritage that specifically brought him to the province. In February no less.....
The five acre site in the heart of Washington on The Mall and the impressive building designed to house the museum speaks to the American resolve to tell the story with respect, resolution and renewal. It will be a wonderful thing to watch unfold.
The evening closed with gifts exchanged, blessings given and food shared.

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