My, How We Danced

We are all dancing through life; some of us gracefully, some struggling to find our rhythm. But with each step and twist and turn and toss of our hands, we are making our way.

On Wednesday, August 17th, 2016, hundreds of us gathered in the village to dance together and celebrate the life of Mama Shu’s ancestor son, Jakobi RA Harris. In 2007, at the age of 2, he was killed by a hit-and-run driver. This night would have been his 11th birthday.

We remembered and celebrated Jakobi’s vibrant spirit at the 6th annual Reggae in the Hood with food, drinks, vendors, and live music. It was a true community event. Peaceful. Diverse. Uplifting.

Mollywop and One Love Reggae Band brought us the beats along with special guest DJ Eddie Riott. Children performed an African dance. People enjoyed delicious food and drinks. The rain held off and a beautiful sunset sent beams of light shining through our Homework House, which is currently undergoing renovations. After dark, we lit candles at a special memorial site for Jakobi with flowers, photos, quilts and messages placed under our solar streetlight. We also sent 11 colorful lanterns into the sky in memory of Jakobi and other ancestor children.

Several Slow Roll bicyclists paid us a special visit – riding down the street with their decorated bikes and boom boxes blaring.

It felt the way a village should feel. It felt like home.

Now our work continues. There’s so much to do before September 23rd, the date we have set for the opening of the Homework House. The rhythm of Reggae music will be replaced by the hum of construction equipment, the sounds of dogs barking and men at work. But, we’ll always look back on our 6th annual Reggae in the Hood and remember a truly awesome celebration. Thank you to all who took part!

My, how we danced.

The Avalon Village Grand Opening weekend will take place September 23-25 at 24 Avalon Street in Highland Park, MI. We invite our supporters, volunteers, friends and family to join us for a weekend of ribbon-cutting, music, celebration and back-to-school supplies giveaways as we conclude the first phase of construction on the village and look ahead to so much more!

Comments for this article (2)

  • I love what you all are doing and would love to participate in a number of ways to keep the movement strong please contact me as to how I can be involved
    Peace & Blessings

  • Creating Positive Vibrations in our Communities is a must!!! What a great idea!!!There are so many parks and lots that are not being used in our communities we have to jump on board and do things like this, the aftermath is when our newly gentrified communities squeeze us out and what was not being used will be but will be exclusive to…?

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