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Spring Newsletter 2020

Hello Everyone!

Hope you all are remaining safe and healthy during these uncertain times. We wanted to give an update on what we've been up to. As a reminder, We Re-Member's primary aim is to provide education about the Middle Passage and the legacies of chattel slavery to eliminate bias, disparities, and forced assimilation experienced by descendants of the Middle Passage.  

Starting with this newsletter, we are introducing our Recommended Book Series. Each newsletter will highlight a book we picked up during our travels. These gems needed to be shared and we are excited to share them with you!


This past January we (Cairo and Natasha) went to Jamaica to begin researching sites for We Re-Member’s educational programming, to identify possible partners, and to begin laying the ground work to pilot a 2020 group exploratory learning trip. Our trip was informative, enlightening, inspiring, and rejuvenating. While in Jamaica we were able to clarify our vision for We Re-Member.
We visited Great Houses (plantations), museums, cultural yards, and a legendary Maroon Territory. Specifically, sites included the Seville Estate, Rose Hall, the National Gallery of Jamaica, the University of the West Indies Museum, the Reparations Research Center, Dubb Club, Trench Town Culture Yard, Life Yard, and Nanny Town. Yes- we had an aggressive itinerary! At these sites we examined an array of topics including the Christmas Day Rebellions, Rastafarian prohibitions and persecution, historical and current political climates, colorism, Maroon resistance, healing foods and teas, the role of spirituality and ancestral knowledge in survival, and varying movements for reparations.
As you can imagine, our faces displayed every emoji you can think of by the time we boarded our flight back home! Nevertheless, some over-arching themes/questions that we left pondering and have been compelled to explore are:
  • How does the positionality of the enslaved and their descendants vary based on factors such as environment, population, geographical location, ability to preserve identity and culture, date of emancipation, date of independence, and political climate?
  • Colorism and interpretation of color based on proximity to blackness or whiteness.
  • Reparations- not why, but how and when?
  • Forced assimilation vs. inclusion
  • What is the role of cultural preservation and identification with African identity in our survival and wellness?
  • Controlling our narratives- what was the significance of the Maroons signing a treaty with British in the perspective of the Maroons?
August commemorates Jamaica’s Emancipation Day (end of enslavement) and Independence Day (Independence from Great Britain), therefore we will host an event in August to share the findings, materials, and resources we gathered……. And of course we will share all this in a fun and engaging way, as always!
Tea Party 

Last month, we celebrated our 1 year anniversary! We thought the best way to honor our one year mark was to highlight two different teas from our travels, sorrel ( Jamaica) and sweet tea
( American South). We also had a variety of teas for people to try and outlined the benefits of those teas.  We had such a wonderful time celebrating and sharing our accomplishments over the past year!

Mr. Ronald Lewis

Mr. Ronald Lewis founded the House of Dance and Feathers in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. The mission of the museum is to preserve and share Mardi Gras Indian culture with the world. We had the pleasure of visiting the museum last year on our Southern Exploration Research Trip. During our visit we asked Mr. Lewis all kinds of questions about Mardi Gras Indian Culture, its relation to African culture, the history of Black Native People, and the like…… needless to say he blew our minds!!!
We are saddened to share that Mr. Lewis passed away on March 20th, 2020. We pray for his family and community as they grieve their loss. And next time we are in New Orleans, we will be sure to jump in a second line, and do thee most, in his honor. Ase!
To learn more about The House of Dance and Feathers, click here:

Recommended Reading

In honor of Ronald Lewis and his legacy, our recommended book is THE HOUSE OF DANCE AND FEATHERS: A MUSEUM BY RONALD W. LEWIS. This book gives readers insight about the culture and history of the Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans. Not only does the text educate readers, but the pictures tell a vivid story of the preservation of culture and tradition. 

Next Event

Our next event will be Sunday, June 21 to celebrate Juneteenth. We will send an update with event details next month.

In the meantime, please follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook.

Sending you all healthy energy and vibes!

Cairo and Natasha
( Founders)

Visting Trench Town Culture Yard in Kingston, Jamaica. January 2020
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We Re-member · PO Box 731 · Fremont, CA 94537-0731 · USA

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