A Month O’ Celebrations

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by Karima Amin

The month of June always brings on thoughts of celebrations: graduations, weddings, birthdays… my own, my son’s, and my sister Wendy’s special day. For PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC., June is the month to celebrate our anniversary. This year on June 29, we will celebrate 10 years of activism in this community. June 10 was a day to remember BaBa Eng’s homecoming in 2013 after 36 years of incarceration.

Juneteenth is a time for remembering the 1865 abolition of slavery in America. Buffalo’s two day Juneteenth celebration this year was the 40th such commemoration. Yesterday, I was privileged and honored to celebrate Juneteenth in Olean, NY with my drumming sisters, DAUGHTERS OF CREATIVE SOUND. On the prior evening in Buffalo, we remembered Black lives lost during our MA’AFA, a period of horrible atrocities perpetrated against people of African descent, beginning with the period of enslavement to these present days. It was a solemn occasion but it was also a time to celebrate the indomitable spirit of a people who refuse to be obliterated from the face of the planet. We placed flowers on the Niagara River and called the names of our Ancestors, never to be forgotten. We reminded people of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery, except for those convicted of a crime.

At our next meeting, when we celebrate 10 years for PRP2 and 2 years for our Program Director, BaBa Eng, and 68 years (!) for me, Karima Amin, we will pause to reflect on our accomplishments since June of last year and our plans for the future. We will sit in a circle and affirm our humanity and the humanity of those still enslaved in jails and prisons who we pray will benefit from our teaching, mentoring, and advocacy. We will share words of power, wisdom, and encouragement.

The next meeting of PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. will take place on Monday, June 29, from 7:00-9:00pm at the Pratt Willert Community Center, 422 Pratt Street, in Buffalo, NY. Come join the celebration! (Need more info? Karima Amin, 716-834-8438; karima@prisonersarepeopletoo.org.)

“God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through.” (Anonymous)

Karima Amin is a longtime Buffalo Activist, Educator, and Storyteller as well as founder and director of Prisoners Are People Too (PRP2).

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