Monday, January 20, 2014

A Great Cultural Griot John Watusi Branch Passes Away

I'm was sorry to learn that Elder John Watusi Branch, the legendary founder of the respected African Poetry Theatre, passed away right before the New Year. John was instrumental in being a mentor to me in my search for cultural awareness along with countless other people in the South Queens and NYC area.

He pointed me in the right direction as an activist and person of faith and exposed me to countless progressive ideologies. He also was gracious and hosted some of my seminars back in the day with luminaries like the late Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, Cornel West, Charles Barron and Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry. He will be sorely missed but takes his regal seat with the ancestors today.

Here were the Details about the Home Going Ceremonies for Elder John Watusi Branch. His Memorial Service was: Sunday Jan 5th 2014, 11am-4pm and his home going services were at: Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica NY 11432.  The Viewing of the Baba Watusi was Sat. Jan 4th 2014, at The Afrikan Poetry Theatre.

I hope there is a transition team in place to take over the African Poetry Theatre. It was a invaluable cultural institution in the community and I hope it continues. The Southeast Queens community really needs his institutional legacy to continue.

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