Every Sunday, during this pandemic, Atumpan has collaborated to facilitate the 757 Unity Drum Circle and there is still a popular question that we are presented with
"Why y'all do that African stuff?!"
A current project of Atumpan artists is Changing the Narrative of Normal through Java, Djembes and Jelis (drinks, drums, and storytellers). It is ongoing work to shed new light on what it means to be disabled versus differently abled. In short, the African stuff is culturally relative to Atumpan founders, a creative interest, and a team sport/experience.
This episode looks at how the performing arts can be used to challenge the status quo of what it means to be “normal.”
That’s a question that Corey and LaQuita Marie have been asked a lot by friends, family, and strangers over their past 22 years as storytellers and professional teaching artists. Corey and LaQuita Marie, founders of Atumpan Edutainment, were interviewed by a local news channel with members of The DAY Program and One Love Community. The interview focused on a weekly drum and dance circle that the three organizations co-host (757 Unity Drum Circle).
During the interview Corey, LaQuita Marie, and members of The DAY Program share their thoughts about:
1. The Negative Lies About Africa - Corey and LaQuita Marie share how people base their “Why yall do that African stuff” question on negative information they have been taught about African culture.
2. Changing the Narrative of Normal - Corey has been blind since the age of 19. Even after graduating from college Summa Cum Laude, Corey has had several experiences with marginalization in the job market. Corey has been underemployed for most of his adult life because of his blindness. This led Corey and LaQuita to use their talents as West African musicians, storytellers, and dancers as a vehicle to shift people’s perspective from Corey’s disability to his different ability.
3. The Power of the Circle - The DAY Program’s Kam Kelly and Bonney Barnes share their vision of using the weekly 757 Unity Drum Circle as a way to give people a creative outlet that promotes mental health during the uncertainty of the 2020 Pandemic.
4. The Awesomeness of Africa - Corey and LaQuita Marie express their love of African fashion, food, and the beauty of current African cultures depicted on the channels of fellow YouTubers Wode Maya and Living My Best Life in Ghana.
0:01 Intro: Simone Davis of WAVY TV 10 Hampton Roads Show
0:44 What’s Wrong With Celebrating African Culture
1:23 Changing the Narrative: Celebrating African Culture and Different Abilities
2:23 Improving Mental Health During Pandemic, The Hampton Roads Show
3:35 Changing the Narrative: Real Life X Men, Hampton Roads Show
4:42 The Truth About Africa: Wode Maya, Living My Best Life in Ghana
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