by Louis Robinson
Kente is the colorful Asante ceremonial cloth that is hand-woven on a horizontal treadle loom. Strips measuring about four inches wide are sewn together into larger pieces of cloth. Kente (pronounced ken-TAY) cloths come in various colors, sizes and designs, and are worn during important social and religious occasions.
In addition to its value as an art form, kente is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, moral values, social code, religious beliefs, political thought and aesthetic principals.
Many of our ancestors worn kente cloths for ceremonies, weddings and festivals. Today, we generally wear kente during graduation ceremonies and annual African-American History events. You may also choose to wear your kente on an ordinary school day. But whenever you choose to wear the kente cloth, remember to wear it with the same pride with which our ancestors created this fabric masterpiece.
To learn more about the origin and form of kente, access www.kente.net/events.
Nicoles Story: On Surviving War and Following A Dream
by Nicole Tonfack
I woke up around 3 a.m. that September 18, 2000 in Cote dIvoire (Ivory Coast), Africa when I heard a sound like fireworks. I got up from the bed and headed to the living room where I asked my parents about the noise that woke me up. What I thought to be fireworks were actually gunshots as my parents told me that the same noise woke them.They said that the mutineers were shooting at the house of the general who had taken over in December 1999. His house was so close to my parents house that we could hear the gunshots. Since the coup in 1999, my parents had become used to gunfire. I was surprised that they took it so easily. Later I found out that they were just as frightened but they tried to remain calm for my sake. The gunshots started one at a time, but later they were just pouring in mass. Ironically, I was supposed to leave that same day for the U.S. to return to Foothill College. My heart started pounding at the thought of dying violently here with my family. As the gunshots poured into my parents courtyard I asked myself, What is going to happen now? Will it be another coup which will become a civil war? What had just happened to the Cote dIvoire, the country that had been in perfect harmony while I was growing up? In time, the battle subsided and I was able to leave the following day.
Whenever I feel down, I think back on the events that happened to me back home during summer break, how I was so close to leaving this earth and loosing my family. Without my family I am nothing. It gives me back my strength to continue my studies and prepares me to work hard so I can give back to my country.
One of my biggest dreams is to open my own business in the engineering field in Cote dIvoire and Cameroon. With my engineering degree, I will be able to contribute to the development of Africa. For me, science is the best tool to help Africa prosper. We need engineers to build roads, design medical instruments, provide electricity and help implement electronic components into everyday life.
The Incredible Moses Leroy Writes Songs That Go Pop
The Incredible Moses Leroy Writes Songs That Go Popby Adriana Leshko
(Reprint from LIFE-HARPERSBAZAAR.COM May 2001)
Unbridled optimism may have gone the way of the Osmonds in todays canned and canny music scene, but singer-songwriter Ron Fountenberry, a former substitute teacher from San Diego who records under the name the Incredible Moses Leroy (right), is hoping to change all that. His debut album, Electric Pocket Radio (Ultimatum Music), is a hook-laden and unabashedly tuneful affair that registers influences as diverse as Wham! and old school rapper Kurtis Blow.
Despite the fact that Fountenberys powerhouse producers have worked with everyone from Beck to Elliott Smith, the 28-year-olds aspirations for the album are as laid-back as he is: I wanted to make a record that people could listen to on their headphones and just space out. Groovy.
*Ron Fountenberry is the son of Carolyn Wilkins-Greene, De Anza College faculty member.
Third Annual African American Achiever Awards Celebrates Student Successs
By Donald Dorsey
During the fourth week of the AAHM Celebration in February celebrate achievement. For three years, the celebration has taken the form of the Foothill Achiever Awards Program.
This year, 14 high school seniors were selected by their schools for recognition from San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. The high school honorees were Margaret Washington, Cupertino High School; Tiffany Hayes, Piedmont Hills High School; Cheryl E. Young, Santa Teresa High School; Rochelle Carter, Hillsdale High School; Teonna Akinsette, Notre Dame High School; Jazmaya Reynolds, Yerva Buena High School; Deyynne Herbert, Aragon High School; Jermeana Oliver, Sequia High School; Janai Gomes, Peninsula High School; David Mitchell, Peninsula High School; Andrea Ferguson, San Mateo High School; Courtney Tate, San Mateo High School; Yasmine Perdue, Capuchio High School; and Kristal Fair, Independence High School.
Foothill faculty and staff are asked to nominate deserving Foothill students of African Ancestry for recognition by their division. Students are then screened, and one student from every division is selected to receive the Achiever Award which is named for a person of African ancestry who has made significant contributions in that discipline. The 2001 Foothill Achiever Awards were presented to Abdul Kamara, Carter Godwin Woodson Award presented by the Adaptive Learning Division; Kaididia Traore, Reginal Lewis Award presented by the Business and Social Science Division; Anne Warratho, Daniel Hale Willliams Award presented by the Biological & Health Sciences Division; Kaididia Traore, the George Washington Carver Award presented by the Physical Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering Division; Landis Baker, the Lorraine Hansberry Award presented by the Fine Arts & Communication; Samuel St.Jean, the Jackie Robinson Award presented by the Physical Education & Human Performance Division; Joseph A Brown, the Lewis Latimer Award presented by the Computer, Technology & Information Systems Division; Doris Gourbere the Thurgood Marshall Award presented by the Student Affairs & Activities Offices.
The following Foothill students were recognized as Achiever Award nominees and received certificates: Yasmine Chambi, Gloria Poole, David Due, Shandyn Hicks, Dokesha Mecham, Cedric Paye, Verdine Baker, Brenda Nassaka and Jerry Folly-Kossi.