Wednesday, June 7, 2017


"Never The Same After That"

By Shannon McNally

"I lived in New Orleans for a long time and I came to understand rhythm so much more personally. ...

I went to Mardi Gras Indian practice one time in the 3rd Ward. I was the only white person in the room. It was packed and I didn't really think about it until we first went in because as a white person in America sometimes you don't think about things. I grew up in a real multicultural neighborhood in New York, it didn't seem weird to me.

I was intrigued by the drum circle, it was one of the more wonderful experiences of my life. I was standing there, watching them play their talk congas, the groove was so heavy. I was there for an hour or two, they were dancing across the room. It was really hip and at one point this older guy pushed me up towards the drum and said, "go ahead and play." There were other people playing the drums simultaneously. I was intimidated but I started to play on it and it was so alive, I never felt anything like that in my whole life.

In that moment I thought, "Oh, Wow, these are talking drums and they tell whole stories and they communicate over long distances, but they also channel spirits and their ancestors." I always thought about that on an intellectual level and understood that as a way of communicating, that people had communicated like that for centuries all over the world. Until my hands were physically on the drum, playing with it, it was like the drum didn't need me there. It was doing it and I was just picking up the phone. It was heavy, it was beautiful and I was never the same after that." [June 07, 2017] 

story from archives of Jake D. Steinberg

Shannon's story is important to know because unbeknownst to many, and probably her; she is part of a long process of helping white Americans with their emotional retardation. It is a possible story rarely talked about, but in the African circles the beginnings of this type of spiritual work introduces the Africans and the retained traditions from the Motherland, and the drums to start something white Americans cannot do alone.

In African and Indian circles we have our prophecy stories our Old Ones shared long ago giving us a thing or two to look forward to, and a tiny number, with the ability to do this introductory work for whites, are in the shadows of most people's consciousness.

There is more, much more, to this work, but this isn't the place to talk deeply on a taboo subject for the American public. - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories [June 07, 2017]   

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