“Soul Prints of Our Ancestors and Ourselves”


Moving with Spirit
616 Pettus Street
Alabama 36701
(334) 526-1710 or (334) 505-6158
wekandodis9@yahoo.com


Sister Afriye We-kandodis firmly believes that the study of the slave trade and slavery often occurs at scholarly or organizational levels that can overshadow and ignore the unhealed emotional and spiritual wounds of Africans and their descendants living in the Americas and Caribbean.

In June 2005 thru the grace of God and the blessings of her Ancestors Sister We-kandodis was inspired to create and conduct for the Slavery and Civil War Museum in Selma, Alabama “Foot Prints of Our Ancestors,” an interactive dramatization that enable participants to experience the embedded trauma of the Middle Passage and slavery. Through the use of sound, movement and performance she is able to create an unconventional-but traditional African healing space to guide participants through the spiritual and emotional releases that can suddenly surface and go unattended during an academic study of the topics of slavery.

Sister We-kandodis has had the opportunity to conduct over 500 interactive dramatizations with an average group size of 35 to 40 people. Participants gain a deeper understanding of (1) the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual trauma that Africans and Africans Americans in the 15th thru the 19th centuries may have endured; (2) the ways in which this trauma has been remembered or embodied by Africans and their descendants who survived slavery; and (3) his/her own unresolved issues related (or unrelated) to this topic.

Sister We-kandodis has received hundreds of letters and cards from participants who shared how this stimulating and soul searching presentation was a life changing experience for them and their families. In May 2008 Sister We-kandodis realized that this dramatization not only encouraged participants to embrace and learn from the past it also inspired them to move forward in the process of healing themselves and uplifting the human race it was then she decided to rename this magnificent healing piece to “Soul Prints of Our Ancestors and Ourselves.”

Each experience ends with an open forum where groups of different races, nationalities, religions, traditions and ages have the opportunity to talk about the intense pain of slavery and the effects it has on us even today. Participants are asked to not carry the history of enslavement of Africans as a burden to our spirits but to use it as a foundation to stand on with the commitment of making sure that this history will not repeat itself.
As an artist who has been initiated as practitioner of African tradition, Sister We-kandodis understands how important it is to collaborate with historians, schools, museums, various religious groups as well as other organization in the spiritual healing of African Americans. She also understands how equally important it is to present this powerful history correctly and on a professional level. As a humble servant she accepts the responsibility to tell the story of our Ancestors over, and over again so that we will never forget how important it is for us to REMEMBER!

“Soul Prints of Our Ancestors and Ourselves”

Abstract


“Soul Prints of Our Ancestors and Ourselves,” an interactive dramatization that enable participants to experience the trauma of the Middle Passage and slavery using sound, movement and performance. Participants gain a deeper understanding of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual trauma that Africans endured because of the institution of slavery.
1) How the re-enactment develops:
• a. Audience participation
• b. Addresses issue of enslavement
• c. Incorporates history, drama, drumming, dancing and singing
2) Discussion:
• a. Debriefing of participants
• b. Open forum immediately after debriefing, participants are encouraged to share their feelings
• c. Healing ceremony “Circle of Greatness”
• d. “Circle of Greatness” celebration includes reciting the “I See My Greatness Pledge,” dancing, drumming and singing
3) Performers:
• a. Main Conductor: Afriye We-kandodis
• b. Selected members of participants or staff of host organization
• c. Local artists may also be invited
4) Technical:
• a. Moving with Spirit will provide; props and handouts
• b. Host organization will provide DVD player/projector and movie screen
5) Time and Space
• a. Re-enactment 60 minutes
• b. Three separated rooms for dramatization to take place
• c. Ample space for debriefing and “Circle of Greatness” celebration 30 to 40 minutes