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April 12, 2022

Worldbeat with George Collins: Javoen Byrd Part 1

Part 1 of WorldBeat with guest Javoen Byrd .  A new generation of black American activism has emerged in the last ten years as movements like Black Lives Matter broke into the public discourse. These causes have brought wider attention to such issues of police corruption and discrimination in housing. But beyond the political realm, many black Americans are also digging into their history and finding a new sense of pride in their heritage, and one area of growing enthusiasm is in reclaiming spiritual practices from the Continent. Some of these folks felt particularly drawn to the community and healing aspects of such beliefs as the COVID-19 pandemic threw the whole world into the meat grinder. Porsche Little, a Brooklyn-based artist, diviner, and aborisha told Vox that she has received a huge increase in requests for divinations and readings throughout the pandemic. Beyond the personal fulfillment of these explorations, could embracing African spiritual practices hold value in the liberation struggles of black Americans? How does this rising enthusiasm for these beliefs intersect with the explosion of anti-racist activism in black communities of the past decade? Ethnomusicologist and the founder of The Hawk Foundation for Research and Education in African & African American Culture Javoen Byrd sits down with George on this episode of WorldBeat. Part 1 details Javoen's early forays into music, his love of the drum, and how he came to be an initiated Isese practitioner as well as the history of African spiritual practices in slave resistance, the Haitian revolution, and how the stigma against such traditions carries forward into today both among African-Americans and populations still on the African continent. The Hawk Foundation for Research and Education in African & African American Culture: https://www.hfeducation.org/ Intro/outro music by Batata K1ng https://www.batatak1ng.com/home Part of the Ungagged podcast network http://leftungagged.org/

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