Mama Naomi Gedo Diuof and Baba Zak Diouf's 19th Annual African Diaspora party -- Collage des Cultures Africaines -- was as wonderful as usual. The program traveled from Mali to the United States specifically the southern states during the Protest Movements: Civil Rights, Black Power to Freedom. Next stop was Chili and Venezuela, Hawaii back to West Africa, the Caribbean ending in West Africa.
Collage this year was at Oakland Technical High School instead of the usual Malonga Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice Street (near downtown Oakland) yet auditorium was still full as teachers and guests who had flown in for the classes and workshops which began Thursday and end Sunday were announced and took bows.
Oakland is a great place for African Dance; the community here for Pan African art and culture is unique to this region. The big three: Baba Malonga Casquelourd, Dr. Zakarya Diouf and Baba CK Ladzekpo are central to the development of this Pan African presence, not to mention Dr. Nonsisi Cayot and Dr. Halifu Osumare and Iya Blanche Brown and Dr. Albirda Rose.
We are just too blessed here on the West Coast in Northern California. Not only can we thrown down, we have the scholarship to back it up, since the West likes documentation.