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400 Years of resistance and liberation - remembering, recovering, reimagining

This year marks the 400 Year Commemoration of Africans being brought to Jamestown, VA by the British and forced into slavery. While Africans had been enslaved in the Americas prior to this date, this commemoration gives us an opportunity to reflect on the lasting impact of this event, as well as to honor the legacy of resistance and liberation of African American people. To do this, the City of Minneapolis’ Division of Race and Equity is leading an effort to bring City Staff and community together to remember the histories of African American people, recover the stories of our oppression, resistance, and liberation, and reimagine a future that is not predicated on the harm of African American people.

There are several engagement and learning opportunities that will unfold around this effort throughout the year including Sacred Conversations for City employees, a lecture series open to anyone and a week of resilience in August. This work is important because it will give staff and community members an opportunity to reflect on how they relate to the enslavement of African American people and how we can collectively ensure that slavery, disinvestment, and violence does not harm all people within the City of Minneapolis. City staff and community members have been a part of shaping each of the unfolding bodies of work tied to this effort.

Still Here: 400 Years of Resistance and Black Joy

Join the City of Minneapolis’ Division of Race and Equity for this upcoming event as we honor the 400 Year Commemoration of Oppression, Resistance and Liberation of African Americans. We will reflect on the legacy of African Americans in this country, including how we have resisted and come through, and celebrate our persistent resilience and joy as we move forward. The event includes a line up of speakers, performers, and you! It is open to the public, is kid-friendly and free. 

If you are a business owner, vendor or artist and would like to table at the event, please fill out this form

Speakers and performers (More information on other speakers/performers will be released soon!)   

Pierre Douglas

Pierre Douglas

Pierre Douglas, better known as "Cool P Comedy," is a host and entertainer. He was born in Chicago IL and raised in Minneapolis, MN. After finding success and gaining a following on Twitter, Douglas decided to pursue a career in stand-up comedy in 2012. 

More about Pierre

Dr. Artika Tyner

Dr. Artika Tyner Photo

Dr. Artika R. Tyner is a passionate educator, author, sought after speaker and advocate for justice. At the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Tyner serves as the Associate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. She is committed to training students to serve as social engineers who create new inroads to justice and freedom. 

More about Dr. Tyner

Mel Reeves

Mel Reeves

Mel Reeves is an activist, free lance journalist and editor. His column, Mellaneous, is regularly published in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. 

More about Mel

Celena Lena

Celena Lena

Celena (the Rapper) is quickly establishing herself as a favorite among Christian rappers throughout the country. She is the newest artist on her father's (Grammy nominated and Christian Hip Hop pioneer XROSSS) label, 1 Way Entertainment. Based in the Twin Cities, Celena is the total package. She is beautiful with a witty personality, has a heart to serve people and is an electrifying performer with a lot of swag.

More about Celena

Puma Saballos

Puma Saballos

Puma Saballos is a truth seeker and story teller. Her work is grounded in breaking generational curses and leaning into where the love is. In addition, she is the program coordinator for Black Visions Collective, which believes in a future where all Black people have autonomy, safety is community-led and we are in right relationship within our ecosystems. 

More about Black Visions Collective

Paris Cook

Paris Cook

Paris Cook is a graduate of Thomas Edison High School in Northeast Minneapolis. Paris will be attending the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in the fall. She has been doing spoken word for two years. She is also passionate about using the arts in African American communities to heal, express and redefine who Black people are. 

Les Jolies Petites

Les Jolies Petites

Sharon Cook started Les Jolies Petites School of Dance in 1997, reaching out to service young girls by providing them the best technical training in ballet, modern, lyrical and African dance. Les Jolies Petites School of Dance believes that when youth are continually reminded of their self-worth while engaging in fun, creative exercise, potential emotional and physical problems are prevented. Since the inception of Les Jolies Petites School of Dance, more than 300 dance pieces have been choreographed for over 1,200 students. 

More about Les Jolies Petites 

Tonia Hughes

Tonia Hughes

Tonia Hughes in a Twin Cities recording artist and actress. Her vocal style is colored with melodic acrobats and elements of Gospel, Blues, Jazz, R&B, Rock and Worship. The fusion produces a delivery that is authentic, incomparable and electrifying! Tonia's versatile ability and incomparable delivery has afforded her the opportunity to open for various events featuring such mega Gospel industry standouts as Dorinda Clark-Cole, Marvin Sapp, Jamal Bryant and Fred Hammond to name a few. 

More about Tonia Hughes

 Elder Atum Azzahir

Elder Atum Azzahir

 Elder Atum Azzahir is a teacher and a practitioner of African Thought & Spirituality. She received her D-Litt Kemii, Doctor of Literature, from the International Khepran Institute and is the founder and executive director of the Cultural Wellness Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

 Ghana M'Baye

Ghana Mbaye

 Ghana M'baye was born in Senegal, West Africa. His music is inspired by the Baye Fall, a unique group within the Muslim religion characterized by spirituality, their dedication to hard work, education and tranquility. The Baye Fall can be recognized visually by their dreadlocks and colorful patchwork clothing. 

Since moving to the United States in 2000, Ghana has committed himself to teaching African drumming and culture to children in and around the Twin Cities, while continuing to perform with various world music groups. Ghana has produced one album, Baye Fall Djembe and has collaborated with other artists' productions. 


Last updated Aug 12, 2019



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