Thank You Amon Rashidi and the Griot Nation

Dear Editor: 

I would like to thank Amon Rashidi and the Griot Nation for coming to Buffalo and breathing life into the conscious movement here and inviting Buffalo’s amazing talent to help spread the conscious movement worldwide. Their commitment to our struggle is unwavering and the opportunities made available to our youth for a positive outlet is welcome as there are very few other positive outlets available.

The Griot Nation platform is one that will help not just our children but our elders too as we continue our Sankofa. And as we continue our Sankofa, (going back to fetch what was stolen from us during slavery), the culture we reclaim must be balanced by throwing off the culture enforced on and foreign to us. We have to understand that the information available to us now as reevaluated by Black scholars sheds a great deal of new light on our struggle and redefines what our objectives should be. 

On stage Sunday June 18th at the 41st consecutive Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo, Amon Rashidi briefly talked about the attack we are still under.  With the decoding of the human genome, vaccines, chem trails, lead water, genetically modified food and manmade dis-ease, we are in more danger that ever. Not just Black people but all people. As Amon says on his highly successful radio show every Sunday night on WBLK, we must “reclaim the village.” That most importantly includes reclaiming the spirituality of our village as taught by OUR ancestors. Brother Rashidi and his crew of UNCN, Pearly Gates, local team member Khalil Mohammed and Buffalo Griot Poet Society Director Ms. GOODNE$$, held several forums and coffee shop poetry sessions the seven days they blessed Buffalo with their presence,  that infused local artists with hope and opportunity to fully and freely express their positive contributions to OUR community’s improvement.

Humanity is suffering because its parents, Black people, are suffering. Even simply implying the “Gods of Egypt” were White is an outright attack on melanated/Black people. Ever since Europe raped Kemet/Egypt, the enemy has understood the subtle electricity that connects Black people is like a wireless network and could be used against us. That’s why we recently saw yet again the trailer for a new “Tarzan” movie a few years after another “Planet of the Apes.” The attack is more psychological (like the Willie Lynch syndrome) and therefore more damaging. 

The Griot Nation platform is like a force field against such attacks. We must support everything they are working on because in doing so we support ourselves, our children and our future. Lastly, I’d like to thank all the great conscious talent that came out to perform and support the Arts and Culture stage at Juneteenth this year, the Juneteenth Board, and our special guests Amon Rashidi, UNCN and Pearly Gates for helping us reclaim our village. The talent that was on display now has the Griot Nation here to support their dreams, aspirations and conscious evolution. They will be regular visitors to Buffalo as we continue our pursuit of our God given right to Life, Love and Liberation. Hotep/Peace

Ron Draffin

Juneteenth Arts and Culture Stage Chairperson