THE COMMUNITY CULTURE AROUND THE BAM DANCE AFRICAN STREET FAIR FESTIVAL IN BROOKLYN

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is one of the oldest performing arts centers in America; it introduced the BAM Dance Africa street fair festival to the public over forty years ago to celebrate annually in May the African culture through its Dance Africa Festival. These are images I have captured throughout the years. 

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When I perform... Tafa

The Name Tafa, was given to me on one of the many trips made to West Africa with Kawambe- Omowale. It is basically and Arabic given name The name is an epithet of Muhammad that means - The Chosen One. It is a very common male given name throughout the Muslim world.

West African Drum and Dance. Most of the performances pieces come from parts of West Africa. Most of the dance pieces represent traditions and events that have taken or take place within communities.

I have been a part of Kawambe - Omowale for over 30 plus years

The dances from west Africa are more grounded with a connectedness to the earth in many of the pieces.

My ethnic origin is African American, going back 4 generations from Mississippi and South Carolina as best I can tell. Prior to that is the African American story often told about existing in the South.

Some of the things I have gained artistically and culturally is a realization that people are basically the same around the world, celebrating, important events and birthdays that have come to be meaningful within cultures.

"There is a sort of freeness  and self-expression that comes with the drumming." ~Tafa