2017 SACRED LIBATION CEREMONY


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.

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Second Annual Sacred Libation Order of Service


2015 SACRED LIBATION CEREMONY FLYER 3

2015 Sacred Libation Ceremony Flyer

SECOND ANNUAL SACRED LIBATION CEREMONY

IN REMEMBRANCE: 150 BLACK WOMEN LYNCHED IN THE U.S. 1870-1957

3:00PM, Sunday, March 29, 2015

Congo Square, Philadelphia, PA

ORDER OF SERVICE

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

Egun Songs and Drums

Baba Joe Bryant, Baba Sekou Olayinka

Welcome

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

Song

Hush Somebody’s Calling My Name

Calling of the Names of the Lynched Egun

The Sisters

Prayer

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

The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth on them.


 

The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth on them.

The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth on them. This is an advertisement taken from the Washington Bee newspaper dated Saturday October 22, 1892. It is an advertisement for Ida B. Wells’ lecture held at Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C. Her subject that night was “Southern Mob Rule.” She was introduced by Timothy Thomas Fortune, editor of the New York Age and later an editor of the Negro World Newspaper. Presiding at the event was Mary Church Terrell.

Ida B. Wells gives us our marching orders. We know 148 women of African ancestry were lynched in the United States of America. We will right those wrongs by turning the light of truth on them.

The Lady Vanishes: Meet Henrietta Vinton Davis-one of the most amazing women you’ve probably never heard of | Baltimore City Paper


This article tells the journey of three men: their discovery of “The Shero of Our Story,” the lack of a marker on her grave, and the founding of the Henrietta Vinton Davis Memorial Foundation to rectify that historical oversight.

The Lady Vanishes: Meet Henrietta Vinton Davis-one of the most amazing women you’ve probably never heard of | Baltimore City Paper.

Livication Marker Unveiling 2013


PRESS RELEASE

07/10/2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information:
Vaunita Goodman (202) 291-1663
email: shero1860@facebook.com
blog
: https://henriettavintondavis.wordpress.com
#Livication

JULY 20, 2013 is HENRIETTA VINTON DAVIS GRAVE MARKER UNVEILING

-Events to recognize cultural icon-

Washington, DC –Today the Henrietta Vinton Davis Memorial Foundation (HVDMF) announced plans to unveil a marker at the grave of its namesake in National Harmony Memorial Park. The Foundation has as its mission to raise awareness of the life and legacy of Shakespearean actor, elocutionist, dramatic reader and activist Henrietta Vinton Davis.

Miss Davis remained relatively unrecognized until July 1983 when an article entitled “Henrietta Vinton Davis and the Garvey Movement” by Professor William Seraile was published in the journal ‘Afro-Americans in New York Life and History’. Nearly a year later, acknowledgment of her contributions increased with the publication of the book ‘Shakespeare in Sable’ written by Professor Errol Hill of Dartmouth University. Her home in Northeast Washington, DC has been listed on Cultural Tourism DC’s African American Heritage Trail since 1999.

On Saturday July 20, 2013 the HVDMF starts the day off with an award presentation and celebration at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, culminating with the unveiling of a marker at Miss Davis’ grave site at National Harmony Memorial Park. Guest speakers and celebrants include:

Dr. William Seraile (Bruce Grit), Barbara Eklof (For Every Season), Kevin Grace (Friends of Joe Gans), Nnamdi Azikiwe (Vinton Davis Weblog) and Mwariama Kamau (UNIA). Producing partners for the occasion are Vaunita Goodman (MTPC) and Michon Boston (Iola’s Letter). Clayton LeBouef (Something The Lord Made, The Wire, Homicide) will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

In 2008, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty issued a proclamation designating August 25 ‘Henrietta Vinton Davis Day.’ The decree acknowledged Davis as the first African American to work at the DC Recorder of Deeds office beginning in 1878, before Frederick Douglass was appointed Recorder. She made her career debut as a Shakespearean actor, elocutionist and dramatic reader in Washington, DC on April 25, 1883 where she was introduced by Douglass, a family friend. The proclamation acknowledges the success of Miss Davis as a public speaker and cultural icon.

Celebration / Award Presentation recognizing Vera J. Katz, (Professor Emerita Howard University Theatre Arts) and others will be conducted in the A-5 Auditorium 11am-1:30-pm at the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Library 901 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. (202)  727-0321

Livication / Henrietta Vinton Davis Marker Unveiling will be conducted 3pm-5pm at her grave site in National Harmony Memorial Park 7101 Sheriff Road Largo, MD (301) 772-0900

Events are free and open to the public.

About Henrietta Vinton Davis
For thirty-five years after her debut performing “Shakespearean delineations”, original plays and dramatic readings with her own performing company, and local troupes throughout the United States, South America and the Caribbean, Henrietta Vinton Davis broke new ground as a successful theatrical artisan. Her commitment to her craft gained her recognition as the first African American “woman of the stage.”

During 1919, a year notable for its “Red Summer,” she joined the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League headed by Marcus Garvey.

As a leader of the African Redemption Movement, Davis made use of her acting skills to promote the aims and objectives of the UNIA. Her ability to “transport her listeners” to another place with her oratorical skills played a key role in both attracting members to the organization and promoting the Black Star Line Shipping Company. As such, she was elected to numerous positions including International Organizer, and Third Assistant President General of the UNIA. Additionally, as Vice President and a Director of the Black Star Line, Davis was the de facto authority aboard the Black Star Line’s flagship vessel, the S.S. Yarmouth, on its maiden voyage. The ship was laden with a cargo worth upwards of $5.000.000 destined for the Caribbean. On the ship’s return Marcus Garvey proclaimed Miss Davis “the greatest woman of the [African] race today” in a meeting at the UNIA’s Liberty Hall.

About The Henrietta Vinton Davis Memorial Foundation
Initially organized to raise funds for a marker at the grave of Lady Henrietta Vinton Davis

in 2005, the mission of The Henrietta Vinton Davis Memorial Foundation has evolved to include publishing books, producing plays, films/videos and conducting symposiums educating the general public about her life and the times in which she lived.

* *

A scene from the play Christophe by William Edgar Easton

Proclamation for Henrietta Vinton Davis Day

95 years ago today, Pregnant Mary Turner was lynched. Seven years after that, on the exact same date, Malcolm X was born.


95 years ago today, Pregnant Mary Turner was lynched. Seven years after that, on the exact same date, Malcolm X was born..

via 95 years ago today, Pregnant Mary Turner was lynched. Seven years after that, on the exact same date, Malcolm X was born..

Address by Marcus Garvey at the Palace Casino


Address by Marcus Garvey at the Palace Casino

[Negro World, 21 June 1919]

Over three thousand persons, members and friends of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, assembled at the Palace Casino, 135th street and Madison Avenue, New York City, Sunday evening, June 15, to greet Mr. Marcus Garvey, president-general and International Organizer of the association, who has just returned to the city after an extended lecture in Michigan, Virginia and Canada.

Mr. Edgar M. Grey, general secretary of the association, called the meeting to order a few minutes after nine o’clock, by the singing of the opening hymn, “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains.”  After a few brief remarks by the chairman, a musical program consisting of one violin solo by Master William Wilkinson, and a piano solo by Miss Irene Callender was rendered.  Mr. George Tobias, treasurer of the association, was next presented to the
audience and surprised his hearers and friends by revealing unsuspected talent as a reader, when he gave an impressive rendition of Wendell Phillips’ great oration on Toussaint L’Ouverture.

A brownie of Norfolk, Va., was a prize winner in the contest conducted by the Berry & Ross Manufacturing Company of New York City. The subject was, "Why Should a Colored Child Play with a White Doll?" And here we see little Catherine Bynum with her prize, a sleeping, brown-skinned doll. Catherine is eight years old and attends the John C. Price Public School. She is in the third grade.

The next speaker introduced was Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis, the popular and talented elocutionist ofWashington, D.C., who, as a tribute to the children who had so splendidly entertained for the evening, recited a poem entitled “Little Brown Baby with Sparkling Eyes,” written by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, poet laureate of the Negro Race.

 

In order to make the recitation as realistic as possible, Miss Davis used for the occasion a large colored doll manufactured by Berry & Ross, who had very kindly loaned it for the occasion.  At the end of the recitation Miss Davis made a stirring appeal for support for the factory that was doing so much to inculcate a spirit of race pride in the Negro race.Colored Dolls;Berry & Ross, Inc.;Factory- 36-38 West 135th Street, New York A Negro doll factory in Harlem which provides colored dolls for Negro children. (1929)

Following this the chairman asked for a silver collection, which was heartily and liberally responded to.  Taking as his theme, the subject of race pride, the chairman then made a few short and cryptic remarks in which he pointed out that the principal concern of the race was not so much in finding out how to die but in learning how to live.

At the close of his address the chairman then introduced as the next speaker the person whose commanding personality was responsible for the vast assemblage that evening, Mr. Marcus Garvey.  Mr. Garvey began his address by thanking all those who had supported the officers of the association, while he was absent touring the West, Canada and the South.  He then told how efforts were being made by enemies of the association to discredit both himself and the organization.  He specifically named Mr. William Bridges, editor of the “Challenge Magazine,” and a well known stepladder orator on Lenox avenue, as having assailed him in many ways while he was away.  On his return to the city he had taken up the gauntlet and challenged the editor of the “Challenge” to meet him in open debate, which Mr. Bridges at first declined, but under pressure of public opinion was compelled to accept.  Mr. Garvey then outlined the debate which had taken place the night before at the corner of 138th street and Lenox avenue, and which he assured his audience resulted in the complete and inglorious defeat of his opponent.  The speaker also told of the plots engineered against himself and the organization by a cabal of envious and malicious individuals, who being incapable of thinking internationally, were doing everything of an underhand nature to wreck the organization; but inasmuch as the organization had firmly established itself in a majority of the States of the Union, the islands of West Indies, several republics of South and Central America and on the west coast of Africa, it was next to impossible for any group of men or any government to entirely destroy it.  He was there that evening, he said, for the purpose of defending himself and the organization, and to give a detailed explanation of the feasibility of the Black Star Line project.

He then roused his audience to the highest pitch of enthusiasm when he recited to them the prowess of the Black race and how it was possible for the scattered millions of Negroes all over the world to accomplish the liberation of Africa by supporting the plans of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League.  Dramatically striking his chest, Mr. Garvey convincingly assured his hearers that all cowardice had departed from his anatomy, “for,” he said, “if I could have died on the field of Flanders of France in the white man’s cause, I can die in America fighting for myself and my race.”  At this a storm of applause rent the building.  Men and women rose to their feet and handkerchiefs were waved over head as every individual vied with his neighbor to show that the orator had transmitted the spirit of courage from himself to the entire audience.

After scathingly condemning those who were opposing the organization as “white men’s niggers” and cowards, the speaker told of the great work that was being done by the Newport News branch, which had pledged itself to subscribe $100,000 for the purpose of making the Black Star Line a reality.  At the close of his address, which lasted for over an hour and generously applauded throughout, Mr. Garvey made an eloquent and impressive appeal for funds to help the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities’ League in the prosecution of its many plans for the liberation of the Negroes of the world and the founding of a Negro nation on the continent of Africa.  The audience showed their sincere appreciation of the evening’s exercises by subscribing most liberally.