Ceremony honors African ancestors who resisted enslavement

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Afrocentricity International held their Third Annual Tudituvuluka Ceremony recently. The yearly tradition draws members and others from the community to honor their African ancestors who resisted slavery and colonization. The spiritual ceremony was held at the MKA Institute, 5535 Germantown Ave. on Sept. 14 from 2 to 4 p.m., Arlene Edmonds reports for The Philadelphia Tribune.
Participants were encouraged to wear African attire or all-white. Many also brought with them musical instruments, including African drums, original poetry, and any other artifact that reflect their heritage or aesthetics. The ceremony is cross-generational so many entire families are often in attendance.
“This is an event that honors our ancestors from the Caribbean, South America, North America, Philadelphia, the South and even Europe and Asia,” said Molefi Kete Asante, who co-founded Afrocentricity International along with Ama Mazama.
“The word tudituvuluka means resistance,” Mazama said. “This event is to honor our ancestors who were enslaved and who resisted the systems, defeated systems and sometimes were victorious. We know that we would not be here if it had not been for them.”
Consequently, the event organizers insisted that this was really about spiritual celebration. They said that this recognizes that though the ancestors may not be with us physically they reverberate with their descendants.
Since this was a sacred ceremony Mazama told those who wanted to attend to either wear African garb or something white. “If you have all white African garb that would be even better,” Mazama said in inviting attendees before the event.
Why white? In many African indigenous faiths white is the default color that lay persons wear to sacred ceremonies. Some believe that this is the color of purity or modesty. Therefore, it is often the color word for initiation and ordination ceremonies.
“We recognize that African men, women and children resisted and fought (enslavement),” Mazama said. “They fought so we can be here. We can’t take this for granted and we appreciate our ancestors.”
Mazama also pointed out that Afrocentricity International held its first Tudituvuluka ceremony in 2011. This was the year the organization was founded simultaneously with the MKA Institute, an intellectual think tank. Though the two organizations have the same founders and maintains the same address, they are two distinct groups, according to Mazama.
“They are two organizations were born together by the same people,” Mazama said. “Sometimes the organizations work together.” The two groups hosted the 100th celebration of the Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League last Aug. 17. The event drew a standing room only crowd to the MKA Institute.
Afrocentricity International is a comprehensive Pan-African organizations created to educate and support the worldwide network economic, cultural, spiritual, and educational advancement of African people. Their members come from around the globe and represent the entire African diaspora.
Each year they hold an international convention at a different location in the world. The Philadelphia chapter and the group’s national headquarters are based at the MKA Institute in Germantown.

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