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Blackened In A Peculiar Vibe! #BlackAmericanMusicMonth2020, #BlackMusicMonth2020

How An Egyptian-Arab Break Dancing Performance Group Gave Light To Black America's Image Of Wellness, Restoration, and Acknowledgement! #BlackAmericanMusicMonth2020

Black American culture is consistently found throughout the international realm. One of its prolonging auras, is that it is easily recognizable. Even if others do not know the her/history, or are not familiar with the people of its culture, they know the music! Black American culture and music is reflective of the her/history, movement patterns, and modes of re-creation for Black American people. It is our cultural her/history book. Each sound, beat, and rhythm addresses a unique color and narrative into the unique experience of Black American people. These tales of a peculiar people, and their migration stories throughout the United States of America, are vital to the Black American experience.

At the American University in Cairo, I often heard those sounds during break times, in the middle of Bartlett Plaza. Young, Egyptian-Arab students heard those sounds, as well. Whether it be Hip Hop, R&B, Soul, or any other musical genre, and the latest song playing upon the hit stations, that particular sound filled the spacing. I enjoyed it! It had brought a level of familiarity within the University setting. Sometimes you come across some of the most intrinsic sights on campus. Whether it be visiting guests, outside performances, or the exhibition of student organization booths, there is always a wonder to be captured in the University spacing.

(Photograph By AUC Professor; Edits By Lauren Clark)

On one particular day, scents of one Black American perfume was vigilant within campus spacing. The smell was Hip Hop. Not in the form of sound, but in that of movement. Break Dancing, is what it is called! They were visitors to the campus spacing on that day. A group of young, Egyptian-Arab men, from one group, whose name I am currently oblivious too. Simultaneously, I was able to capture their image. Using different movements, spins, and ground movements, their routine was a mental rewind to the roots of Black American youth in urban New York City’s, “the Bronx.” Gathering the crowds around, numerous students surrounded the dance group, in order to bare witness to this particular art. The specifics of this Black American dance form, are how the roots derive from that Black American Deep South Blues culture of United States soiling. There was great excitement, and I desired to be part of the crowd. Not only desiring to be part of it, but to capture myself with the energy, at hand. Whenever a maiden from a particular culture, hears her cultural sound, it is only right that she dance to it. It is also JUST that she capture her presence in it. Its part of the Universal contract when she does.

(Photograph By AUC Professor; Edits By Lauren Clark)

Photographing myself in this energy was important. In prior times, I had the beautiful experience of taking photographs with another Black American maiden from Chicago, in one section of purple gardens at the American University in Cairo. The photographs of us had been erased, while saved on another computer I was using. The experience was refreshing, restoring, and fascinating. Two Black American maidens affirming ourselves, together, within the scope of our own culture. It was a powerful image. Furthermore, it affirmed that Black America, indeed, has a feminine image. That young, Black American maidens are abundant, feminine, alive, and frolic in the gardens of Black American soiling.

On that particular day, another capturing was to take place. For in the midst of my culture, I felt affirmed. Being far away from home, I remember the nourishment of that music. It was (and is) the music, which keeps us alive. It is our music, Black American people, which gives us hope, inspiration, and re-births us, anew. Our lyrical storybooks continue to cleanse our images, when others want to taint us with their lies and wicked thoughts. I couldn’t help, but to dance in its midst. It is a nutritious element pertaining to our ability to celebrate our existence and aura. Dancing and singing within that energy is one of the pivotal figures of celebration.

As this unique dance group performed, their mannerisms of support were phenomenal. In getting the crowd to clap along with them, each one of their members performed their contribution to the overall dance. The Spirit and energy of the performance took on a communal vibe. Bystanders cheered on the performers. Happiness and joy was abundant, and the presentation served as another memory, which colored the New Cairo campus at the American University in Cairo. It would be one of many memories I had partaken in at this University. The fact that it happened, and in a way that appeared to be spontaneous and in element’s surprise, gave it great reason to be captured.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren Clark)

Looking at the photos, they create a kind of magical-realism; detailing a fiction book story, of a foreign maiden venturing off to another land. Exploring the land, she interacts with women and men of this Earth’s spacing. Tasting the food, nourishing the culture, giving blessings to the land, participating in traditional dances, tasting the land, participating in belly dancing classes with Egyptian-Arab women, handicrafts, and engaging in holistic artistry between the English and Arab languages, and numerous others. She goes through these numerous adventures and explorations of this garden. After partaking in these illustrious adventures, she is blessed in seeing how her particular culture has been honored. A presentation of love and acknowledgement, which is given back to her, in the form of her own musical haven. Affirmations that a job has been well done. If we were to go into the realm of imagination, perhaps, such is one of the sacred stories, which can be told.

My time had been limited, as another venture awaited completion for that day. Nevertheless, the feelings of that moment lingered on. In fact, it were moments of freshness and awakening. Furthermore, it was another endeavor, which showed that, I truly belonged. The spacing was right. Everything was right and suitable for the moment. The fact that I came upon this scene, sporadically, was a magical element, in its own right. In fact, it is as if it was based on Universal design. Guiding my steps and pointing me into a direction I was meant to be, at the right time and place. Clearly, I needed to be there at that moment. There was something precious about that auspicious performance, and my arrival upon it. It deserved to be treasured. It deserved to be acknowledged.

In continuing to move in the month of June 2020, there is clearly an aura of re-birth happening in Black American culture and musical artistry. Frankly speaking, there are new genres being created, as time is moving. The current times are calling for it. In fact, that has often been the case for the her/history of Black American people. Then again, that’s for another piece. In the meantime, this meeting had been a pleasant one. It was a euphoric one, indeed. Leaving one to reminisce more on more peculiar experiences to come.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren Clark)
(Photograph By AUC Professor; Edits By Lauren Clark)
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