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    1. #1
      Sun Ship's Avatar
      Sun Ship is offline Warrior

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      Arrow This Sister's Story Is Deep! Adekola Adedapo and communal life


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      What do real revolutionaries do?

      h_mmmmm_mm?


      I found this sister's interview to be more than interesting and very liberating as she expounds on how the communal life at the well-known Oyotunji African Village in South Carolina changed her life...





      When I was 30: Adekola Adedapo, 56, jazz singer and educator


      By Bob Purvis
      Posted: Nov. 4, 2004

      Adekola Adedapo, who performs under her first name, has been a fixture of Milwaukee's jazz scene since the late 1970's.

      She has sung with music legends like Cab Calloway, released her own CD and performed as an actress with several Milwaukee companies.

      Her 30th year shaped her faith and solidified her love for music and performing, and in many ways set her on the path that has made her who she is today.

      While the rest of the country was getting caught up in the highly polished sounds of disco and new wave blaring in flashy night clubs, Adekola was living without modern conveniences in the backwoods of South Carolina on a commune modeled after an African village, spending her Saturday nights dancing to the rhythm of African drums.

      "It was those Saturday night parties around the bonfire in that little bitty village in South Carolina that got the whole ball rolling for me. It really did. It started my whole new world rolling."

      In 1978, Adekola sold everything she owned, including her mink coat, leaving Milwaukee to move to the Oyotunji commune in South Carolina.

      "I gave all that stuff away. My boyfriend said, 'She's lost it ... she's giving away all her stuff,'?" Adekola said.

      A civil rights activist and member of the Black Power movement, Adekola went to the village to connect with her African ancestry and to abandon the constraints of what she saw as a diseased American establishment.

      "The village was full of artists. We were all disillusioned, and we were expatriates living even within the United States. If we had any money, we probably would have gone to Paris or Africa. But we had a feeling that our ancestors dropped blood over here. We don't have to go anywhere. We own this. We can take some of this, especially down South. And that's why the village started. It was our little corner of the world."

      Nestled deep in a pine forest, the commune was modeled after an African village and had no electricity or running water.

      "I went there because I wanted to learn to live without all the material things that we have judged or adopted as needs. I had been exposed to all the Black Power revolutionary politicos because I had been at Michigan State, and they came and spoke, and I was the person responsible for programming and picking them up. So I spent an inordinate amount of time with the black revolutionary thinkers of that time, and I got to spend individual time with them.

      So I felt as a part of being relevant to black people in this country. ... I valued myself as an artist, but I knew there was a deeper mission for me, and I wanted to learn to live without all these things. I fully felt that being dependent on all these things gives somebody an extraordinary amount of control over your life. At that time as revolutionaries we were taught, 'If they turn off the electricity in the cities, if they turn off the water, what are you going to do?'?"

      Life at the commune was hard. She awoke a half-hour before the sun rose and went to sleep when it set.

      "You had to, or you couldn't get your goods stocked. You couldn't get your water stocked or get your fire going. You had to get up before day in order to get started and have your day go well," Adekola recalls.

      Adekola and others living on the commune hunted and foraged in the woods to supplement a weekly trip to the general store in a nearby town.

      Besides learning self-reliance, the experience helped Adekola form a vivid connection with her ancestry.

      "This whole thing caused me to do my own research into my own family; that rendered much history and made me certain of my lineage," she said.

      Her studies on the commune included texts on Yoruba and Egyptian history, astrology and Yoruba rites and rituals, all done by the light of her kerosene lamp. "The village was dedicated to the Yoruba lifestyle. The Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria is who we patterned ourselves after," she said. "So we spoke the language, we wore the clothes. We danced the dances. We sang the songs."

      That year she learned the African rhythms and chants that she would later infuse with jazz to create her distinct style.

      Looking back, Adekola says, her stay on the commune drastically changed the course of her life.

      "I had an awakening. I had many epiphanies in that village. Believe me. Yes I did. Yes I did. Spiritual, physical, emotional, you name it. But to me, I came out a whole and a better human being from that experience," she said.

      When she turned 30: March 5, 1978

      Who she was then: Sudying to become a Yoruba priestess on the Oyotunji African village commune in a forest about 40 miles west of Charleston, S.C.

      Who she is now: A prominent Milwaukee jazz performer and educational assistant teaching reading, music, theatre and African story telling in Milwaukee Public Schools. A mother of three, she plays regular club gigs at The Mosaic Piano Bar, 2624 N. Downer Ave., on Friday nights and Treats, 2221 N. Humboldt Ave., on Thursdays.

      Saturday night fever: "Every Saturday we would get around this big bonfire and party. You hear me? We partied! We made our own beer ... they called it white lightning down South. It will kill you! But it gets you drunk. You sniff it and go 'whewwww.' So you know we partied, but we could only do it once a week because we had to build."

      Death to disco: "I listened to a lot of modern music at that time. But the disco music, that was what was really big, and I didn't like it. To me it was like a popcorn beat. It didn't really have that kick. It didn't have that hesitation. It didn't have that swing to me, and I am a swing girl."

      Connecting with the land: "I conquered that lifestyle and I knew how to live without electricity, I knew how to live without central heat, I knew how to live without refrigeration and I wasn't afraid of the land anymore. I could walk in the woods and see things I never discovered before ... I became friends with the land, with the trees. I mean I became actual friends. When I needed comfort I could go sit out in the woods in the pine forest."

      What she wore: An African wrap made of white fabric.

    2. #2
      Mekeda7's Avatar
      Mekeda7 is offline Warrior

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      Thumbs up


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      E se (thank you) Baba Sun Ship...

      ...for sharing this sista's story by bringing it forth to the forums.
      I appreciate and am inspired by her courage to change and
      follow her spirit. Truely a Sankofa experience for her, one
      that we all as Afrikan seek to actualize for ourselves and
      our people.

      I am not too far from Milwaukee, when I get a chance, I
      would like to check this iya out!

      Once again, E se for this!


      Adioukrou Queen Mother, Ivory Coast

      Learn Afrikan Languages Online:
      http://www.abibtumikasa.com/Akan_Class_Information.php


      To Be An Afrikan Woman is to:
      *Be life Affirming
      *Be in partnership with an Afrikan man
      *Be a political organizer
      *Speak for the Ancestors
      *Be An Advocate for Afrika
      *Exert Influence
      *Be a Healer
      *Function As Part of a Collective
      *Be a Scientist of the Sacred
      *Be Divine

      -Marimba Ani

    3. #3
      Sun Ship's Avatar
      Sun Ship is offline Warrior

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      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by Mekeda7
      E se (thank you) Baba Sun Ship...

      ...for sharing this sista's story by bringing it forth to the forums.
      I appreciate and am inspired by her courage to change and
      follow her spirit. Truely a Sankofa experience for her, one
      that we all as Afrikan seek to actualize for ourselves and
      our people.

      I am not too far from Milwaukee, when I get a chance, I
      would like to check this iya out!

      Once again, E se for this!


      Sister Mekeda, I'm glad you received the spirit of this extraordinary sister's story

      What is interesting is that when you Google words like collectives, commune, communal and Black people or Africans together it is hard to find any usable hits. You do have a better return with the term co-op.

      We, who say we want independence and freedom more than anyone, are the least who are pursuing it. We should be on the forefront of all independent and alternative lifestyle choices in the world, be it Africa or America.

      Something is wrong with this picture or maybe it’s just me…lol


      Peace

    4. #4
      John P.'s Avatar
      John P. is offline Warrior

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      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      yeah, this was truly a great story. i actually want to embark on something like in the future perferably after i get my education out the way but i enjoyed this story...1..
      I'm like Martin Luther king, people listen to me alot/
      it's non-violent non-violent, till i'm hit wita rock/
      then it's coretta fuck this, gone hand me my glock/ -50cent

      Gotta dope dealers bop, wita righteous state of mind/
      Guess i'm half of my pops, enlighten by the qu'ran/- ME

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