The following item on Lady Henrietta Vinton Davis is from The Denver Star, Volume 26, Number 114, November 27, 1915

New York Audience Gives Noted Dramatic Reader Great Ovation

Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis was given a royal reception at Beth. Tphillah Fourth Moravian church the latter part of October, when she appeared in Shakespearean readings and electrified and charmed a large and appreciative audience by her splendid interpretation and rendering of the lines of the immortal bard. In scenes from “Macbeth,” “Richard III.,” “Romeo and Juliet/’ she follows to the letter Hamlet’s advice to the players, speaking “the speech trippingly on the tongue.” and as she proceeds we see Macbeth or mad Richard III. or the loving Romeo and Juliet as we imagine Shakespeare saw them after he had created them. It is difficult to say in which role Miss Davis excels, the humorous or the dramatic, for in response to an encore she gave in her most inimitable way a selection (humorous) from Dunbar, “Mammy’s Li’l Baby Boy/’ which completely convulsed the audience with applause. It was so perfectly natural and realistic one could almost hear •‘mammy’s Li’l baby boy” squall—a sort of black squall. When Miss Davis left the platform after this number had been given the audience lay back and roared its delight. The sexton of the church on the following day swept up nearly a dustpan full of buttons which Miss Davis’ contagious humor had burst from the garments of some of her pleased hearers. Professor Freeman of the Choral society and a number of his scholars furnished an excellent musical program.

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A scene from the play Christophe by William Edgar Easton

Reception to Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis

In the Evening Critic of April 24, 1883 is an article describing an appearance of Henrietta Vinton Davis at the home of Frederick Douglass in Anacostia, D.C. Her performance described below is followed by that of her teacher Marguerite Saxton.

The Evening critic. [volume], April 24, 1883, Page 1, Image 1

Hon. Frederick Douglass invited a few friends last evening to his residence in Uniontown to meet Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis, the young colored lady who is to make her debut in dramatic recitals on Wednesday evening, 25th instant, at Marini’s Hall.

Miss Davis recited very effectively scenes from “Romeo and Juliet,” “As You Like It,” “Briar Rose” (a poem of great dramatic power by Bjornson), “Awfully Lovely Philosophy” and “Dancing at the Flat Creek Quarters.” Mr. Douglass, than whom there is no better judge, made a speech of congratulation, and predicted a successful future for Miss Davis.

Miss Marguerite E. Saxton, the preceptress of Miss Davis, upon a request from Mr. Douglass, gave a scene from “MacBeth,” and recited “Drifting.” Miss Saxton is so well and favorably known that the appearance of her pupil will be one of the events of the season.

Lynching of Elizabeth Lawrence, July 5, 1933, Birmingham, Alabama

From The Omaha guide. [volume] (Omaha, Neb.) 1927-19??, July 22, 1933 via Chronicling America

Negro Boy Tells Of Lynching Of Mother

News of the lynching of a Negro woman, near Birmingham, three weeks ago, was brought here today by the son of the woman murdered, Alexander Lawrence Who narrowly escaped death at the hands of the same mob.

About three weeks ago according to the story told by the International Labor Defense by Lawrence, his mother, Elizabeth Lawrence, living about five miles from Birmingham was walking along a road when a crowd of young children threw stones and dirt at her. She scolded them severely, but did not touch them.

That night, she was murdered and her home burned down by a mob. Alexander was away at the time, and when he returned, he made a report to the county police. The only result was the reformation of the same mob which threatened to lynch him. He escaped, and fled north to Boston.

The International Labor Defense has set machinery in motion for an investigation of this lynching from its Birmingham office.

America’s Uncrowned Queens: Dedicated to the Heroic, Toiling Black Woman

America’s Uncrowned Queens:
Dedicated to the Heroic, Toiling Black Woman
by Drusilla Dunjee Houston

October 26, 1917 – Black Dispatch
Courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society

‘Neath a weary load upon dusky head,
Upon American streets is the tread
Of an uncrowned type of heroine,
Their labors untrumpeted and unseen.
It to her helpmate, life chance is denied
With undaunted courage, she stems the tide,
Meets some of homes needs, help make it fair;
That he may find a kingship there.

When manhood is shackled, into its place
Nature oft forces a courageous race
Of women, who with heroic spirit,
Stamp within unborn children the merit
Denied their fathers.  For what man’s disdain
Keeps from one generation, the next will gain.

We see them in rain, in cold and the heat,
As they pass us with patient, toil worn feet.
Behind some great universities wall
It is the boy or girl for whom she gives all
Sometimes the more sacrificial her fire
The less we praise it, the more we require.

Whipped with the lash, until the reddened stain,
Of her life blood ran from opening vein,
In slavery’s hour, this type was true
To virtue.  Today life’s way they pursue
As heroically.  No scorn or slight
Can change her ideals, she sees aright;
That duty done, in higher worlds will mean
That she will be more than an uncrowned queen.

148th Earthday Tribute to the Honorable Lady Henrietta Vinton Davis

MONDAY – AUGUST 25, 2008



L.A. Scruggs, 1893.)

10:00AM Prayer Service at National Harmony Memorial Park

1:00PM Program at Brown Memorial Church

5:00PM Rally at UNIA Liberty Hall

Lady Henrietta Vinton Davis

Shakespearean Actor, Elocutionist, Dramatic Reader, UNIA International Organizer, Black Star Line Vice President

Henrietta Vinton Davis born August 25, 1860 Baltimore, Maryland, joined the ancestors on November 23, 1941 in Washington, DC.

An only child, her father, Mansfield Vinton Davis was a musician who passed away when she was very young. Her mother Mary Ann Davis married influential Baltimorean George Alexander Hackett. Hackett passed away when Davis was 9 years old. She and her mother then moved to Washington, DC.

Davis schooled in Washington until the age of 15. She became a schoolteacher in Maryland. Eventually, she went to work at the DC Recorder of Deeds in 1878 before Frederick Douglass.

Proclamation for Henrietta Vinton Davis Day

Proclamation for Henrietta Vinton Davis Day

Her desire for a theatrical career inspired her to study under Miss Marguerite E. Saxton. April 25, 1883 Miss Davis was introduced in her debut as an actor by Frederick Douglass. For over thirty-five years she was the premier African-American woman of the stage performing “Shakespearean Delineations”, original plays and dramatic readings throughout the USA, Caribbean and Central America.

In 1919 her career took a dramatic turn when Lady Davis joined the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League headed by Marcus Garvey. Initially chosen as International Organizer, she eventually held positions as Assistant President-General and Vice-President of the Black Star Line. On the maiden voyage Black Star Line flagship SS Frederick Douglass, she was the ranking member of the UNIA and the Black Star Line as it carried its cargo worth upwards of $5,000,000.

Proclamation by Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon

Proclamation by Mayor Sheila Dixon designating August 25, 2009 “Henrietta Vinton Davis Day” in Baltimore, Maryland

After leaving Jamaica where she continued supporting Garvey, she returned to the USA in 1938. There she joined the UNIA, Inc. headquartered in NY city. After some time she was elected President-General of that group.

At the age of eighty-one she joined the ancestors. Having been divorced, without children of her own and livicating her life to bettering the condition of her people, she was buried in Harmony Cemetery in Washington, D.C. without a marker for her grave.


Lynching of Women in United States Blog Series Part 1: The Lynching of Sisters Eula and Ella Charles

They state:

“Between 1837 and 1946, 173 women were victims of white mob violence in the United States. Of the 173 women lynched: 144 were African American…” What are their sources?

Rediscovering Black History

This blog was written by Dr. Trichita M. Chestnut, Management and Program Analyst in the Office of the Chief Operating Officer at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland

This will be the first blog post on a series of blogs on the lynching of women in the United States.

Lynching remains one of the most disturbing and least understood atrocities in American history.  During the Postbellum and Reconstruction periods, mob violence in the South became a tool for maintaining the racial order. African-American men, women, and children now comprised the majority of victims of lynch mobs and lynchings assumed an increasingly sadistic nature.

Between 1837 and 1946, 173 women were victims of white mob violence in the United States. Of the 173 women lynched: 144 were African American, 25 were white, 3 were Mexican, and 1 was Native American. 164 of these women met their deaths at the hands…

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2017 sacred libation flyer

Flyer for 2017 Sacred Libation Ceremony March 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sacred libation ceremony for our lynched sisters: Calling all spiritual warriors to do the work!

By Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett, Oni Sango

Calling all spiritual warriors of African descent to gather 3:00PM sharp, Sunday, March 26, rain or shine, at Congo (Washington) Square, 7th & Walnut Streets in Philadelphia for the Fourth Sacred Libation Ceremony in remembrance of the 150 documented Black women who were lynched between 1870 and 1957.

In March 2014, I and a small group of priests of Philadelphia’s African American Yoruba/Orisha community conducted the first Sacred Libation Ceremony for the martyred ancestors. The ceremony has now been instituted as an annual ritual in March as part of Women’s History Month in memory of our ancestors.

Libation is poured and prayers are offered by female clergy in the Yoruba, the Akan, the Buddhist and the Christian traditions as prescribed by the Egun (ancestors). If weather permits a drumming is included.

How did this all come about? In 2014, while perusing stories on a Black news website, I came across a story entitled, “Black women were lynched too!” written by blogger Yolanda Spivey. The story included a link to a website (https://henriettavintondavis.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/recorded/) owned by Brother Nnamdi Azikiwe, that’s dedicated to Henrietta Vinton Davis, a prominent and fearless leader in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) that included a listing of documented cases of 150 African American women who had been lynched between 1870 and 1957. It provides documented information on these women – their names, dates, places, the reason they were lynched and with whom they were lynched. Reading this made me angry and brought tears to my eyes. After reading details of the lynchings, the Egun spoke to me and instructed me to do more than send an email informing people about the history.

They needed libation poured for them to uplift and bring light their souls. They wanted to be remembered and have their stories told. They wouldn’t let me rest. It was physically and spiritually painful. I kept asking them why me? They replied, “why not you?” They have been with me ever since.

I contacted Brother Nnamdi who said he had been trying to get Black women to pour libation for the lynched Egun for years but no-one wanted to do it. In the 1990s he received a pamphlet by Dr. Daniel Meaders entitled “Black Women Who Were Lynched in America” that gave him details of the lynchings and posted it to his website. These “women,” many of whom were children, were not just lynched — they were raped and tortured before being hung, shot or burned by mobs of white men. Now days, African Americans ostracize Black people who are Republican. However, the first three women on the list – Mrs. John Simes lynched in 1870 in Henry County, Kentucky and Mrs. Hawkins and her daughter, lynched in 1872 in Fayette County, Kentucky, were all murdered for being Republicans!

Many were lynched for standing up for themselves and their families. If their husband or son was accused of a crime and couldn’t be found, the females in the family were lynched. Entire families, including the children were lynched together. Some were lynched merely because they were Black. Others were lynched because they dared to have a dispute with a white person.

Hannah Kearse was lynched in 1895 in Colleton, South Carolina with her mother and son for supposedly stealing a bible. Jennie McCall was lynched in 1903 in Hamilton, Florida by mistake! Mercy Hall was lynched in 1922 in Oklahoma City for strike activity. Eliza Bryant was lynched May 25, 1926 in Duplin, North Carolina for having the nerve to be successful. The last sister on the list, Mrs. Frank Clay, was lynched November 18, 1957 in Henderson, North Carolina for having a dispute with a white person. I was 3 years-old in 1957.

Most people don’t know about women like pregnant Mary Turner who was lynched May 17, 1918 in Brooks County, Georgia to teach her a lesson. After her husband was lynched, Mary threatened to have those who lynched him arrested. She fled, but the mob pursued her and found her the next morning. She was eight months pregnant when the mob of several hundred took her to a stream, tied her ankles together and hung her from a tree upside down. She was doused with gasoline and set on fire. One of the mob took a knife and split open her womb so that her unborn baby fell to the ground. The baby’s head was then crushed under the heels of her murderers. But, that wasn’t enough for the demonic mob. They finished Mary off by riddling her body with bullets – to teach her a lesson.

Each year Nnamdi and I work together to carry-out the Egun’s instructions. The Egun plans every aspect of the ritual. The first year, neither Nnamdi nor I could sleep for weeks until it was done. We realized that we were chosen by the Egun to bring this to the people and that the Egun were speaking through us. They are channeling through us to do what needs to be done for them and our communities – healing. The Egun are not an abstract notion. They are just as alive as they were here in this realm we call Earth. Many of us can hear and communicate with them, but most people ignore them. However, they have determined that they are no longer going be ignored. The ancestors are commanding our attention. What was hidden is now being brought forth.

“The Egun/Ndiichie/ancestors are reaching out to us,” explained Azikiwe, a staunch Garveyite who lives in Washington, DC. “ They are calling us to use them in the struggle for the triumph of the righteous. The sacred libation ceremony opened me spiritually to view life from a whole new perspective. It is happening because we heeded the call of the ancestors to engage in a process to condition us spiritually for the work that needs being done.”

Let all those who have ears listen! The Egun wants people to innerstand that we are engaged in a spiritual war that is manifesting on Earth and that it’s time to put on our spiritual armor and use our spiritual weapons to defend and protect the children of the Diaspora. They are saying that we must be on one accord spiritually – “no more divisions among the children of Africa regarding religion or nationality/culture. Stop dividing and elevating yourselves above your brethren because of the way they worship the God. You are all God’s children and everyone in the family must work together.” Work is the operative word this year. Do what you have to do spiritually and do it NOW for the good of our people! They are commanding us to “do the work, do the work!”

Each January, Yoruba/Orisa priests around the world conduct divinations for the new year. The 2017 Reading of the Year for the U.S. conducted by the Philadelphia community of Orisa priests revealed that we must work together across the different traditions to do the important spiritual work that is needed this year. It also revealed that the feminine energy is very strong this year and must be recognized and respected. The feminine energy will be our saving grace. Victory over adversity will come through the Iyaami (E-ya-Mee) – the Mothers of the World. They are the powerful primordial mothers sent by Olódùmarè (Almighty Universal Creator) to rule the Earth. They oversee the control and balance of nature, hence “Mother Earth.” Everything comes to Earth through the Mothers. The Iyaami are coming to remove the obstacles and purge the malevolent energy. Accompanying them in the fight against the evil ones are the ruling Orisa (angelic forces) of the year – Sango, God’s avenging angel who is always victorious over his enemies, and Oshun, leader of the Iyaami. Oshun is Mother of Civilization and Culture — the Orisa of fresh waters which we need to live.

This year Sango, Oshun, the Iyaami and the Egun have prescribed an additional prayer ritual for the protection of the children of the Diaspora living in the U.S. and for the future of this nation. Olódùmarè’s angels are fighting on our behalf, but we must do our part. The most important component of this ritual is the feminine energy/female spiritual warriors. I am especially calling women of African descent from all spiritual traditions who are spiritual/prayer warriors to join us in this important ritual for the future of our nation and against the evil ones. There is nothing more formidable than a praying Black woman – a powerful force that raised nations! Our words have increased power this year, so we must be very careful what we speak. Keep your thoughts and words lofty.

We have to elevate ourselves to a higher spiritual vibratory level at this time in order to be in tune with the Universal Creative Force and its positive energy. It is imperative that we lift ourselves above the destructive energy that is being purged in order to survive. There is no need to react to the malevolent because they now have physical control. NO FEAR! Olódùmarè has spiritual control of the outcome – but we must do the work!

We must raise the vibration level of the Earth – the mother of us all. So, I’m calling on all of the clergy of our community – Babas, Iyas, Nanas, Mambos, Hougans, Tatas, Yayis, Imans, Rabbis and Reverends – to come together to pray for our Egun and the future of our people on Sunday, March 26. Those who are ready and willing to do the work step forward. This is not an event and is not for spectators. It is a serious ritual. Please wear white or light colors and bring your instruments.

Lady Vinton Davis Tells Los Angeles Children What African Redemption Means

By Ethel Trew Dunlap

Lady Henrietta Vinton Davis, International Organizer, delivered a brilliant farewell address to the members of the Los Angeles Division on December 27, in which she told in her usual graphic way of the struggles the Negro undergoes in his fight for complete independence. Miss Davis recited a conversation she had with a Mr. Michael, a California Jew, who drew a parallel of the Negro and the Jew both fighting for a restoration of their ancient homeland.

“It is indeed a pleasure to be with you again, said Miss Davis. “I am glad to have this opportunity, and I am proud that I was here last night. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the children here in their recitations, seeing them playing–how free they were in Liberty Hall. That is as it should be: they should have freedom to enjoy themselves. And I thought last night that as an organization you should set aside one night of each month and call it children’s night. Let them have a little time after the program. Of course it won’t always be Christmas; you won’t always have a Christmas tree; but you can make the children happy.

The Curse of Race Prejudice

“We all look back at the pleasant time that we had when we were children. And I throw out that suggestion tonight–one night in each month we should call children’s night.

“I was surprised there were not more people here last night. We should all be interested in the children they are our future hope; they are our future leaders. And we should train and do what we can toward the training of our children.

“Colored children have so much to make them unhappy. I know that from my experience. The time comes when they learn they belong to a race that is segregated, despised and jim-crowed for no other reason than that they are black; and it is a sad day for a colored child. So it behooves us to make our children as happy as we can. And I shall be glad indeed when we can found a nation in Africa where our children can grow up free and untrammeled from prejudice. That’s what I am working for and that is what every member of my race should work for, that our children can enjoy a greater freedom than we have ever been permitted to enjoy. And I think that all of us should become enthusiastic workers in the U.N.I.A. in the interest of the little ones.

Forced to Wander in Alien Lands

“When I saw this dear woman last night, when I saw how she got the children together and trained them, not only for the sake of the Negro children, but for the children of Los Angeles as well, I said: ‘She is a noble woman and I honor and love her, and I shall never forget her.’

“I am glad the dove of peace is hovering over Los Angeles. I shall feel better satisfied than if I had left last week. I feel that my mission has been fulfilled, that what Marcus Garvey sent me for has been done and my mission performed. I feel that I shall leave you all in harmony and peace, looking forward instead of backward, working hopefully for the improvement of the U.N.I.A.

“What a boon you have before you, the redemption of your fatherland. A gentleman called on me today–you know Mr. Michael. And he likened the condition of my people to the condition of his people. He said that the Jews had been forced to wander in alien lands just as the colored people are forced to wander in alien lands; that the Jews are a scattered people and that the colored people are likewise scattered–not because they want to be a scattered people, but because of the prejudice and hatred of other men. He called attention to the fact that the Jews for years had worked for the redemption of their land, Palestine, and that the Negroes were busy likewise redeeming Africa. And he expressed the belief that the time is not far distant when Palestine should be populated with its scattered sons and daughters, and that the Jew and Negro should be well side by side in love and harmony as in ancient times.

“What a beautiful thought, my friends. He did not suppose that I would come here tonight and tell it, but I must tell it, for it shows the beauty of his mind. And he said he would leave here tonight to trael in the interest of the U.N.I.A. The Jews have scattered their propaganda throughout the world, and they have had divisions in their ranks as we have had amongst our people. These divisions exist; we cannot escape; but we must learn to bear them, to grasp the situation, learn to become victorious over them, and by overcoming them we shall only become the stronger.

“As I listened to Rev. Matthews I said: A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches. Although he knows me, I do not know him: it is so with thousands of people throughout the world wherever I go. I have all my life been a busy woman, and just as he says, I go to my home, stay there maybe half an hour, and I am gone again. I cannot enjoy the quietude of my own home, but I have chosen to wander for the benefit of my race. I am not compelled to do it from circumstances. I would not need to do it, for all my life I have been so busy that I could afford to go home and sit down and read the newspapers about the current events; but I cannot see my people suffer without doing my best to alleviate their suffering. And if I die trying to alleviate their suffering I shall feel that I have not died in vain. Because I could have it comfortable by my own fireside is no reason why I should not feel the suffering of my sisters and brothers in the South, in the East and in the Western part of this country, in the West Indies, in Central and South America and in Africa.

“I feel their troubles because I am identified with my race. I know my people  in Alabama, in Mississippi, in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Oklahoma. I know them in the country, on the farms and the plantations, because I have lived with them on those farms and plantations. I know them in the beautiful islands of the West Indies; I know just what they suffer there–a little different from what we suffer here, but they are suffering just the same. And those suffering are crying to high heaven. I known them in Ecuador, Peru, British Guiana, French and Dutch Guiana, and I sympathize with them in their struggles.

“Memories crowd my mind as I think of the many deeds of cruelty that I have seen in my travels against my people. And if you could have seen what I have seen, if you could have felt what I have felt, you , too, would take up the cause for your race; you too would be as I, ready to cross the continent at any time, at any hour, for the sake of your race. But words fail to describe some things; they have to be seen and felt to be really understood.

“However, in this, my farewell speech to you, I leave my blessing with you and trust that from this time forth you will go on in the bonds of love and unity, and that you will cast aside all things that are detrimental to your growth. You should look forward to buying this property. You can do this by adopting a practical program. You have about a hundred members, I believe. You can double up the number in a month if everybody will go out and get one member. Don’t try to get everybody, but try to get just one, and try to convince them that this society is the only salvation of the Negro; that it is the only organization which solves the Negro problem. It will be no problem to Negroes if they will fall into this movement. We have been a problem to ourselves, because sometimes we have misrepresented ourselves. As our friend has said, this is a crazy city. I don’t want to take the impression from him that all the Negroes here are crazy, but I have known two or three that were crazy. And they re not only undesirable citizens, but they should be loked up; but they are not members of this division of the U.N.I.A.” (Laughter.)  “No, they are not members–and they show their insanity by not being members.” (Laughter.) This is their first trace of insanity. They are not members, or they have been members and deserted the cause.

“The Los Angeles division has been tried as by fire and it has come out as pure gold. So see that you do not tarnish that gold, that that gold becomes brighter and brighter, and that when Garvey comes here that gold shall dazzle the eyesight. But you have to keep it shiny, otherwise it will grow dull like everything else does. But I think by mapping out a program and keeping busy you will so outline your couse of actions the coming year that by the end of 1923 you will make a splendid record. And I hope before the end of next year I may be privileged to come to you again.

“You have plenty of friends who are waiting to see what you are going to do to join you. They want to see if you are free of past nonsense. They feel life is too short to fritter away in foolish things; but to gain our goal we must do it by hard work, by steady work.

“Speaking of the children again, someone expressed the hope that we would have schools in Liberia. I want to say a number of years ago Rev.___________ established a college in Liberia. We are going to enlarge that college and put it on a footing with any other college in the world. That is another thing we have to look forward to–the development of the Liberian College. A part of this Liberian Construction Loan is to be used for the higher educational development of youths in Africa.

“I suppose you all read Prof. Picken’s article in The Negro World. He is a scholar, a man of experience, and when he speaks he says something. And when he writes he gives you something to remember. I read it at one sitting. I would not let anything come between me and my article. For Brother Pickens has answered our enemies: he has given them a knockout blow in the solar plexus so they can’t come back at all. So read that article. He has told us it is the greatest organization in the world. Yet he is a professor of the N.A.A.C.P. But he is not afraid of losing his job. He comes down to Liberty Hall whenever he feels like it. And we ask him to speak and he expresses his sentiments. Sometimes he just likes to steal in and listen to Marcus Garvey, for he thinks, as we think, that Marcus Garvey is the most remarkable person living today. It is something to hear him, and it is more to know him. And to know him is to respect and revere him. I received a telegram from him today, and I think so much of it I am just carrying it around, because in it he wished me a merry Christmas and a happy new year. In it he told me to be in Chicago on the ninth of January and to be in New York city on the eleventh of January. And by the help of God I am going to be there. And although it means I have to speak to a large audience that night and have to leave immediately for New York, yet I don’t mind it.. I am glad to have the opportunity to do as my chieftain bids me. I shall possibly leave your city tomorrow afternoon or tonight, and I am asking you to do your best–for Marcus Garvey expects you to do it–towards giving a splendid collection.

“I am not a beggar–I never begged until I came to the U.N.I.A. It sort of gets me, you know, to do it. But I am begging for your race, and I am ready to go to the uttermost parts of the world in my efforts for their behalf. I have been doing this for four years now, doing without sleep, getting into large cities in the early morning hours, with no one to meet me. And the thought of doing something for my race has warmed my heart and has made me not feel weary, has made me go on. So I am asking you now to come forward and give me your Christmas offering. Kindness has been shown me while here, and it shall not be forgotten. I have been comfortably located while here and I thankyou; but I am on my way now, so help me on. You know you used to sing, ‘Help the weary traveler on the lonesome road.’ So I shall be the weary traveler on the lonesome road, but I shall be thinking of you with thoughts of love and hope.”

Second Annual Sacred Libation Order of Service


2015 Sacred Libation Ceremony Flyer



3:00PM, Sunday, March 29, 2015

Congo Square, Philadelphia, PA


Procession of Priests, Philadelphia Asante Nation Queen Mothers and other presenters

Egun Songs and Drums

Baba Joe Bryant, Baba Sekou Olayinka


Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett, Oni Sango

The Women

Brother Nnamdi Azikiwe, owner of Henrietta Vinton Davis website

Lynching in Amerikkka

Iya Katrina Hazzard Donald, director of Rutgers/Camden Africana Program

Libation for the 150 Lynched Women Egun

Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett, Oni Sango

Nana Afua Afriyie Kyeiwaa, Philadelphiahemaa

Nana Akua Oforiwaa Amanfo, Philadelphia Asonahemaa


Hush Somebody’s Calling My Name

Calling of the Names of the Lynched Egun

The Sisters


Mama Gail Clouden

Sufi Healing Chant

Sister Sultana

Closing Song

Oh Freedom!

Drumming for the 150 Lynched Women Egun

Baba Joe Bryant & the community of drummers

ANNUAL SACRED LIBATION CEREMONY FOR OUR SISTERS: The community remembers Black women lynched


The community remembers Black women lynched

Spiritually-conscious women and men of African descent will gather 3:00PM sharp, Sunday, March 29, rain or shine, at Congo (Washington) Square, 7th & Walnut Streets in Philadelphia for the Second Annual Sacred Libation Ceremony in remembrance of the 150 documented Black women who were lynched between 1870 and 1957.


Flyer for the 2015 Sacred Libation Ceremony to be conducted at 7th & Walnut Streets in Congo (Washington) Square Philadelphia, Pa.

In March 2014, the first annual Sacred Libation Ceremony for the women was conducted by Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett and a group of priests of Philadelphia’s African American Yoruba/Orisha community. Although it rained that day, approximately 30 people came to witness the ritual – some from as far as New York and Washington DC. The ceremony has now been instituted as an annual ritual on the last Sunday in March as part of Women’s History Month.

In addition to libation being poured by Jewett in the Yoruba tradition, women from other traditions also will participate. The Queen Mothers of the Philadelphia Asante NationNana Afua Afriyie Kyeiwaa, Philadelphiahemaa and Nana Akua Oforiwaa Amanfo, Philadelphia Asonahemaa, will pour libation in the Akan tradition from Ghana. They will be accompanied by the women of the Philadelphia Asante Abusuafoo. Other holy women participating includes well-known healer/education activist Mama Gail Clouden and her godchildren.

How did this all come about? Last year, while perusing stories on Dr. Boyce Watkins’ “Your Black World” news website, Jewett came across a story entitled, “Black women were lynched too!” written by blogger Yolanda Spivey. Although she was a student of history and knew about the list of 5,000 documented lynchings of people of African descent in the U.S., Jewett wasn’t aware of the number of women who were included. Neither was Spivey.

I can’t begin to tell how shocked I was to learn the depths of what happened to lynched Black men and women in this country,” said Spivey.  “I wasn’t naïve about the lynchings, but I was definitely naïve to learn the circumstances surrounding their murders.  The Black women in some cases were pregnant — and that didn’t matter to the white people who murdered them.  They were, in all circumstances, murdered for the silliest infractions or implicated in crimes that they did not commit.” 

Spivey’s story (http://naturallymoi.com/2014/02/yolanda-spivey-lets-not-forget-that-black-women-were-lynched-too/) led Jewett to a website owned by Brother Nnamdi Azikiwe, that’s dedicated to Henrietta Vinton Davis, a prominent leader in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). The website (https://henriettavintondavis.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/recorded/) provides documented information on these women – their names, dates, places, why and with whom they were lynched. After reading details of the lynchings, the Egun (ancestors) began speaking to Jewett and instructed her that she must do more than send an email informing people about the history.

Amy Jacques Garvey, Henrietta Vinton Davis and Marcus Garvey

Amy Jacques Garvey, Henrietta Vinton Davis and Marcus Garvey

They needed libation poured for them to uplift and bring light their souls,” Jewett explained. They wanted to be remembered and have their stories told. They wouldn’t let me rest. It was physically and spiritually painful. I couldn’t sleep for the two weeks leading up to the ritual. I kept asking them why me? They replied that it was part of my destiny and that I had to do it.”

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