Mama Katherine

A dupe, Iya
(We give thanks, Mama)
For Katherine Dunham
June 22, 1909 - May 21, 2006

Since her birth, 1909
She struggled to destroy the color line
The world of performing arts is enhanced
through her contribution of drum, story and dance
Beginning in the 30's, she recorded sociology
Trailblazed in Jamaica among the Koromantees
She Danced with Shango
In Guadalupe, Trinidad and Tobago
Lived among descendents of winning revolutionaries
In the first black republic, Haiti
Organized a company for dance, music and play
Opened closed doors on Broadway
In Hollywood, showed out in Stormy Weather
Her live dances brought 57 countries great pleasure
Advisor to Senegal, she played her part
Organizing the 1st Pan African World Festival of Arts

Grassroots, she directed PATC
Performing Arts Training Center in the East St Louis Community
Established a museum there of world African art
For children to get a good start

She had a vision, made a way

For the first two teachers of the African drum, djembe

To come to America and play

Traditions of Black culture stolen and gone astray
Journey to Accompong, Island Possessed, Kassamance
And Touch of Innocence she wrote for us to read
Continuing the plan for us to succeed
A dupe, Iya

written by Kunama Mtendaji, Dec. 12, 2006

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