LOVE & LIBERATION BALL: A Black Panther-inspired, Afro-Futuristic Gala & Fundraiser
If you woke up tomorrow, and all of the challenges plaguing the Black Muslim community were resolved (white supremacy, anti-Black racism, anti-Muslim bigotry, misogyny, etc), what kind of community would you live in? Who would you be? How would we envision ourselves as a community embodying love of self, family, and God while striving for authenticity? Let's imagine and celebrate that future together!
The Love & Liberation Ball will feature Live Entertainment, Artist Showcase and Silent Auction!
Our featured guests include: Nadirah Pierre, Ran'D Shine, Moses the Comic, Jasiri X, Tasleem Jamila and Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble! Come dressed in your best Wakanda/Black Panther-inspired, Afrofuturistic formal attire!
Saturday, July 21, 2018 | 8pm - 11pm
Chubb Hotel and Conference Center,
Lafayette Ballroom 800 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA
$75 per person
MEET OUR LOVE & LIBERATION FEATURED ARTISTS & ENTERTAINERS
Hover over each artist to learn more about them!
Tasleem Jamila aka TAJ is an internationally renowned poet, vocalist and cultural producer. Her sound is a fusion of hip hop, spirituals, mystical chants, and lyrical soul. With performances that include The Kennedy Center, Excel London, Columbia University (NYC) and the African World Festival of the Arts. She has performed her works across the US as well as the UK, Africa, and Canada and continues to tour worldwide. Tasleem recently published a book of poetry, Black Baptist Muslim Mystic which is receiving critical acclaim in addition to her album “Tasleem” and live and unplugged DVD “My Soul Speaks”. She is sought after for her captivating energy as a host, professional skills as a cultural producer and educating activist as a workshop facilitator.
Jasiri X is the first independent hip-hop artist to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate, which he received from Chicago Theological Seminary in 2016. This recognition grew out of the spiritual/political urgency and artistic vision he shared on songs like “Justice For Trayvon” and “Strange Fruit (Class of 2013),” which documented the unjust police killings of young Blacks in the Millennial Generation. Likewise, he has been deeply involved with the national Movement for Black Lives, working with organizations like The Gathering for Justice, Blackout for Human Rights, Justice or Else, BYP100 and Sankofa. Still, he remains rooted in the Pittsburgh based organizations he co-founded, the anti-violence group 1Hood as well as the 1Hood Media Academy, which teaches youth of color how to analyze and create media for themselves.
MOSES THE COMIC
Moses The Comic is a seasoned Muslim comedian with a diverse range of innovative concepts who began his comedy career in Philadelphia at the world famous Laff-House. Since then Moses has performed all over the world with his routine bridging the gap between Muslims & Non-Muslims from Caroline's on Broadway, The Hollywood Improv, The Laugh Factory, Uptown Comedy Corner, Jokes & Notes & many more. Moses has toured and/or performed domestic and internationally with superstar entertainers Kevin Hart, Michael Blackson, Steve Harvey, George Wallace, Charlie Murphy, Kelly Price, Snoop Dogg, Tommy Davidson, Deen Squad, Omar Regan, Preacher Moss, Jill Scott, Kindred The Family Soul among many others and has been featured on the BBC IPlayer and British Muslim Television Network in the UK.
Ran’D is a performer, producer and educator of magic. He has entertained audiences in over 20 countries and hundreds of American cities. As a producer, Ran’D has produced and performed in several magic shows such as “Collaboration”, “Parallax” and most notably the “Heart & Soul of Magic”, the first magic show in history to feature an all African – American cast of Magicians. In addition to performing and producing magic shows, Ran’D also lectures about the history of Magicians of African descent and the psychology of deception. Prior to becoming a full time magician Ran’D earned a BS in Health Policy and an advance degree in Health Education. He also served as a Behavioral Interventionist for the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.
DANCE & DRUM
Founded and directed by Robert and wife Wanda Dickerson in 1984 and co-directed by their oldest son Jamal and wife Ronsha Dickerson, son Nasir Dickerson, daughters Atiya Johnson-Dickerson and Ayanna Dickerson, Universal has grown to be one of the largest professional African Dance & Drum Ensembles in the United States of America. The Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble headquartered in Camden, New Jersey which includes members from Camden, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Africa. Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble is blessed by having one of the best African Dance Teacher and (Djeli) Scholar, Yalai Bangoura, from West Africa, Guinea daily on staff.
Nadirah Pierre is a 21 year old undergraduate student at Montclair State University studying Psychology and African American Studies. She plans to pursue a Master’s degree and eventually a PhD in Social Work after finishing her undergrad in order to pursue a career as a Prison Psychologist. She also has plans of establishing healing centers and creating a healthy dialogue in an effort to combat the stigma surrounding mental health in the black and islamic communities. Nadirah starts critical and somewhat uncomfortable dialogue on her social media platforms (and if need be in social settings) in an effort to inspire change in our communities. Topics stemming from the woes that come with the intersectionality of being a young, black, muslim women in America all the way to the troubles of a broken judicial system. Fearlessly and with the use of her wit and satire she says what nobody else will and crosses barriers nobody else dares to.
MWF Board Member Dr. Mona Masood has painted these three beautiful pieces below which will be up for silence auction during the Ball to benefit the Muslim Wellness Foundation.
*All proceeds from this fundraiser go to Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healing and well-being in the American Muslim community through dialogue, education and training. The Black Muslim Psychology Conference (BMPC) is sponsored by MWF as a core program of The Deeply Rooted Project - a Black Muslim Mental Health & Healing Initiative. It was established in 2015 to intentionally and unapologetically center the narratives, voices, and strengths of Black Muslims with a special emphasis on healing and collective well-being.
CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE
An Arabic rendition of the famous love statue in Philadelphia!
COME TO PRAYER, COME TO SUCCESS!
The Great Mosque of Djenne, Mali.
[Acrylic on Canvas]
The Grand Mosque of Mopti, Mali
WHAT IS AFRO-FUTURISM?
Afrofuturism is the reimagining of a future filled with arts, science and technology seen through a black lens. The term was conceived a quarter-century ago by white author Mark Dery in his essay “Black to the Future,” which looks at speculative fiction within the African diaspora.
"Can a community whose past has been deliberately rubbed out, and whose energies have subsequently been consumed by the search for legible traces of its history, imagine possible futures?"
Read more about Afro-Futurism in the links provided below!
What The Heck Is Afrofuturism?
What makes Afrofuturism significantly different from standard science fiction is that it’s steeped in ancient African traditions and black identity. A narrative that simply features a black character in a futuristic world is not enough. To be Afrofuturism, it must be rooted in and unapologetically celebrate the uniqueness and innovation of black culture.
Afrofuturism: The genre that made Black Panther
by Ashley Clark
A runaway box-office success and genuine cultural phenomenon, Black Panther may be the highest-profile Afrofuturist artwork to penetrate the public consciousness, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Afrofuturist ideas and aesthetics, across a variety of art forms, long predated the term’s coinage (see, or rather, read W.E.B. Du Bois’s remarkable 1920 short story The Comet), and continue to develop apace today. Multi-hyphenate superstar Janelle Monáe is arguably the most notable contemporary proponent of Afrofuturism, having built her entire career around a high-concept and impressively sustained edifice of android androgyny.
Beyond 'Black Panther': A Brief History of Afrofuturism
By Siddhant Adlakha
"The premise of Black Panther, as with most Afrofuturist art, goes against the grain of history itself – a violent chronology that stripped African cultures of resources and opportunities, and stripped African peoples of their languages and identities when they were enslaved in America and elsewhere. Few modern African-Americans know their exact origins, and African nations are rarely portrayed in anything resembling positive light in Western media despite their advancements. Black Panther is Afrofuturism writ large, the incorporation of distinctly African and African-American narrative symbolism as a means to reclaim modern blackness. "
The Afrofuturistic Designs of ‘Black Panther’
By Melena Ryzik
To imagine the fictional African nation of Wakanda, without the influence of the Dutch, the British and other colonizers, Ms. Carter borrowed from indigenous people across the continent. During six months of preproduction, she had shoppers scouring the globe for authentic African designs, like the traditional stacked neck rings worn by the Ndebele women of South Africa. Textiles were sourced to Ghana, but many African fabrics are now printed in Holland; Ms. Carter rejected those. “I wanted to create the fabrics, and I wanted them to feel very superhero-like,” she said.
The resurgence of Afrofuturism goes beyond ‘Black Panther,’ to Janelle Monáe, Jay-Z and more
The term, coined by cultural critic Mark Dery in his 1994 essay “Black to the Future,” refers to an aesthetic that infuses science fiction and fantasy with cultures of the African diaspora. It shakes up our preconceived notions of history and race by envisioning an often utopic future shaped by black technological innovation. Elements of it predate the term, going as far back as the 1950s, appearing everywhere from visual art to novels to comic books to music by the likes of George Clinton and the jazz musician Sun Ra.