East New York’s St. Paul Community Baptist Church (SPCBC) is presenting MAAFA…A Healing Journey, a theatrical production that commemorates the traumatic event experienced by African slaves during the middle passage journey and examines its residual effect on the African-American psyche.
Through teaching and performance, the annual commemoration returns for the 24th year to explore the African existence in America, what has shaped that existence and how to reverse the thought patterns that have been ingrained in the psyches of African Americans through the oppression experienced throughout the generations.
SPCBC’s Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood initiated the first MAAFA (the Kiswahili word for disaster) in 1995, inspired by dialogue about the need for African Americans to grapple with the ravages of slavery. The catalyst for this dialogue was the age-old question, “What’s wrong with Black people?”
“We have yet to mourn the loss of our ancestors,” responded Dr. Youngblood.
For years, issues and discussions about slavery and racism were, and still remain, taboo in the African-American community, in particular, and the American psyche in general. Dr. Youngblood saw this absence of conscious memory as a major missing link the individual and collective healing. Seeing the need to address the effects of Post-Traumatic Slavery Disorder, The MAAFA Suite… A Healing Journey evolved.
As part of the annual MAAFA presentation, the SPCBC campus also transforms into the MAAFA museum. The interactive walking tour is designed to expand participants’ knowledge and understanding of the period in history known as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and allows visitors to experience “Africans in America” in an enlightening way though art galleries, authentic artifacts, woodcarvings, quilts and historic vignettes.
To date,The MAAFA Suite has been experienced by more than 50,000 people in more than fifty locations nationwide including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Seattle.
The MAAFA – A Healing Journey
When: Monday, September 17 – Friday, September 21
Where: St. Paul Community Baptist Church, 859 Hendrix St., Brooklyn
How much: Tickets are $25 -$40 and available here.
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