By Kimya Afi Ayodele
Karibu House, Inc., hosted its annual pre-Kwanzaa brunch on Dec. 9 at the newly redecorated Art Exchange Gallery and Museum in Detroit.
The brunch, which consisted of southern cuisine such as fried catfish, grits and yam pudding, as well as West African Jollaf rice, was catered by RubyÕs Kitchen and blessed by Rev. Darren McCarroll of Unity Fellowship Church of Detroit. This yearÕs theme was Kujichagulia, which is the second principle of Kwanzaa and in the East African language of Swahili means self determination.
The celebration began with an informal meet and greet lead by several of the Karibu House, Inc., board members. Others attending the event included board members for several other local LGBT serving organizations, including Affirmations, Triangle and the Human Rights Campaign. After a welcome by current Karibu House, Inc. board President Dr. Kofi Adoma, and the African tradition of pouring of libations facilitated by Abena Makini, organizers spoke on what was termed the Òhistory-herstoryÓ of Karibu House, Inc., as well as its mission. There was also an educational presentation, followed by a quiz, on the Kwanzaa celebration. City of Detroit Councilwoman Alberta Tinsley-Talabi, whom Adoma says Òhas been a long time supporter, contributor and attendee in the community and at the organizationÕs annual Pre-Kwanzaa brunch,Ó was quite excited to correctly answer the fourth and final question of the quiz and leave with a prize of a red, black and green Kwanzaa balloon bouquet.
The grand finale of the event was a reunion performance of Two Dykes and a Drum, who consists of Kofi Adoma on the drum and master slam poet Kalimah Johnson on the verses. The group had not performed in about 5 years. The brunch closed with everyone joining hands in a unity circle and singing the traditional Nguzo Saba Kwanzaa song.
Karibu House, Inc. is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1997 with the goal of building a community center, primarily for LGBT people of color and their family, friends and allies, within the city of Detroit. They are a member of the National Association of LGBT community centers and as pointed out by Adoma, Òthe only LGBT community center in the organization with a mission dedicated to LGBT people of color.Ó
The organizationÕs current programming also includes monthly co-gender rap sessions and the KidÕs Fair and Komedy Klub, which are both held during Hotter Than July! On the horizon are cross attractional dialogue series and Karibu House Kollege.