A Tradition That Has No Name: Nurturing the Development of People, Families, and Communities

By Mary Field Belenky; Lynne A. Bond et al. | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER
THE CENTER FOR CULTURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

People of color, all of us--women, poor men out on the street, all of us--live as an act of resistance, like the keepers of aflame. We are in active resistance to those who can only see themselves and think that their image should be the image in which everybody else is cast. As a resister I am always looking for people whose voices have been historically shut out in this country, people whose voices seem to be silent, people that other folks see as invisible.

JANE SAPP

FOUNDING DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR CULTURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Do you know the gospel singer Jane Sapp and her work with CCCD-the Center for Cultural and Community Development?" This question kept coming up in conversations with people around the country about ways of sponsoring grassmots women to gain a voice and claim the powers of mind. Invariably our matchmakers would add," If not, you should." "Jane." one informant said, "works with African Americans and other disenfranchised groups all over the country to develop the philosophy and practice of something she and her colleagues call 'cultural work.'" He went on to explain that they call themselves "cultural workers" because they draw on the arts and traditions of the African diaspora that enable them to create nurturing homeplaces where the silenced find themselves coming into voice. Jane Sapp and most of the other women who have helped develop the idea of cultural work grew up in the Black Belt, a fertile strip of dark rich soil that cuts across the Deep South, spanning Georgia, Alabama, and running into Mississippi. Because cotton blossomed easily on this land, the Black Belt housed an enormous African American workforce

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