thumbnail of Traditions: Ohio Heritage Fellows; 202; Baba Jubal Harris interview, part 6 of 7
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BABA: Being a um, physical education major i—in college um, you know, I—I love the education. Um, however, there was... there were things about education at the time that just rubbed me the wrong way. It seemed to me that, you know, ro—wrote remembrance of useless information uh, was not very inspiring. And, so I always wanted to um, find a way to make the teaching process enjoyable, and in the same time um, you know, a—add an element of uh, what’s the word I’m lookin’ for? Maybe... uh... to-to-to give it something which would inspire a student to want to learn, as opposed to um, just memorizing information that you later are gonna forget about just because, you know, you just want to pass this test and you’re not really interested in learning, it’s just pass the test. Um, that rubbed me the wrong way. So, the artist in me always came forward. Um, I loved athletics, but at the same time, music was my real, real passion. Um, and at the time uh, I graduated from the University of Cincinnati, um, I went into the social service field, as opposed to going into strictly into education. Um, and I-as a matter of fact um, I became the Director of the Evanston Community Center um, and as the director of that center um, I was able to hire my former teacher, Flash Ford, to come and do uh, drumming and uh, teach uh, he taught drumming and health awareness and that type of thing at the center. Um, the—my stay there was kinda short. Uh, I was there for about a year and then uh, I moved on. Um, but to make a long story short, I um, you know, I’m kinda flashing back and forth in my mind and now, I see myself, I’m at the uh, Arts Consortium with, you know, I’m-I-I-I had—I—I had gone to Washington D.C. um, I come back, gone to New York, come back. I’m—I’m at the Arts Consortium. I’m going to Chicago. I’m working with uh, another um, very, very uh, inspirational uh, person who... who gave me a lot of knowledge of drumming and c—and African culture. His name is um... uh... he—a—as a matter of fact, he was a... a Uribe priest of Obotala. Um, and he um, he—he taught me uh, uh, a lot about the c—the Uribe connection of drumming and um, while I was studying with him and being a s—a—and working with The Arts Consortium, working with the... the the Cincinnati branch of the Sun Drummers, I met a man by the name of Doctor Kurimy Macky. And, another man by the name of Raymone Seilah, from Senegal, West Africa. Uh, but—actually I had... I had met Raymone a little before I met Kurimy, but... Kurimy wanted to have uh, an African—they wanted to-to—to put together an African—the... the African Dance Company in Cincinnati, which... which--which meant that um, the people who were associated with uh, the Sun Drummers and Dancers in the community who are parts of other dance company’s uh, would had a opportunity to come together to study with Ramone Seilah and form a company, uh, form a dance company, a dance group that became the African American Drum and Dance Ensemble in Cincinnati. Um, Kurimy Macky, Doctor Macky was a... he passed away, (inaudible), he was a... a scientist. He was the second African-American to graduate from MIT with a degree in Astrophysics. Him—he was also an African drummer and dancer. He danced uh, in Boston um, with The Art of Black Dance, The Art of Black Dance uh, dance company. So, now um, he’s involved in... in education, as well as being uh, a-a-a um, you know, a scientist with NASA. Um, and he had started doing residencies, artist in residencies with The Ohio Arts Council. So now, he invited me to come to be a visiting artist in one of his residencies. Um, and um, that is when I got introduced to the Ohio Arts Council and the—their artists uh, in residency program um, artists in education program. So, I was like, wow, this is really great, ‘cause this is something that uh, you know, I want to do. Like, bring African music dance and culture into the schools and tie it into the academics, tie it into science, math, social studies, history, you know, oh, well, this great. Um, and—and that’s what we did. And then, I found out, also, you know, it’s like that uh, Dr. Mackey’s motto for Artists in Education came from Doctor Pearl Premus. Now, Dr. Premus is credited with bringing traditional African dance to the United States from um, Ivory Coast uh, Liberia, and Nigeria. And um, she brought a dance that’s very popular now called Funga, it means the welcoming dance. The music for Funga was put together by LaRoc Bay in New York, whose studio I had gone to when I was uh, with Brett Brown. So, now we have the... the Funga music and Dr. Premus with the...
Series
Traditions: Ohio Heritage Fellows
Episode Number
202
Raw Footage
Baba Jubal Harris interview, part 6 of 7
Producing Organization
ThinkTV
Contributing Organization
ThinkTV (Dayton, Ohio)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/530-2804x55k6m
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Description
Episode Description
Raw interview with Baba Jubal Harris, builder of African drums and master drummer. Part 6 of 7.
Asset type
Raw Footage
Genres
Interview
Topics
Music
Performing Arts
Dance
Media type
Moving Image
Duration
00:08:58
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Credits
Producing Organization: ThinkTV
AAPB Contributor Holdings
ThinkTV
Identifier: Baba_Jubal_Harris_interview_part_6_of_7 (ThinkTV)
Duration: 0:08:58
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Citations
Chicago: “Traditions: Ohio Heritage Fellows; 202; Baba Jubal Harris interview, part 6 of 7,” ThinkTV, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 1, 2024, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-530-2804x55k6m.
MLA: “Traditions: Ohio Heritage Fellows; 202; Baba Jubal Harris interview, part 6 of 7.” ThinkTV, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 1, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-530-2804x55k6m>.
APA: Traditions: Ohio Heritage Fellows; 202; Baba Jubal Harris interview, part 6 of 7. Boston, MA: ThinkTV, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-530-2804x55k6m