Listen to Rene Mims and Jaijae Kabasa, respected elders, community leaders and musicians speak on African American culture with EcoJustice Radio from The World Stage in Los Angeles’ Leimert Park. They share with host Carry Kim deep ruminations on the past 21 generations of enslavement, the seeds of racism, and how it continues unabated today. Rather than perpetuating and reciprocating with hate against “white oppressors” and white supremacy, they view love and unity of the human family as the ultimate way forward.
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Jaijae Kabasa speaks on the 21 generations Black People have experienced since coming to the US enslaved.
Hear their insights and reflections on the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests that have erupted in response to the unconscionable killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. They share their views on the ongoing oppression and prejudice against black people and the significant role US Europeans can play in healing the racial divide by honestly confronting the historic and current realities of racism in the U.S. and worldwide.
Jaijae is a griot, which come from the West African tradition of historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet, or musician. The griot is a repository of oral tradition and often seen as a leader. According to Francis Bebey, “The West African griot is a troubadour, the counterpart of the medieval European minstrel… The griot knows everything that is going on… He is a living archive of the people’s traditions… The virtuoso talents of the griots command universal admiration. This virtuosity is the culmination of long years of study and hard work under the tuition of a teacher who is often a father or uncle. The profession is by no means a male prerogative. There are many women griots whose talents as singers and musicians are equally remarkable.”
Rene Mims is a community leader, activist, and the founder of S.H.I.N.E. Muwasi Women’s African Drum Circle. She founded this group to spread the knowledge and wisdom embodied by West African drum culture combined with healing, empowerment and inspiration.
Jaijae Kabasa is an accomplished musician, educator, activist, and griot or historian who “keeps record” of and for the African people who reside in Los Angeles. He is leader of Kabasa West African Drum and Dance Ensemble.
Interview by Carry Kim
Hosted by Jessica Aldridge
Engineer: Blake Lampkin
Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Music: Javier Kadry
Updated 8 December 2021