Monday, July 18, 2011

Nelson Mandela Day

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) was the anchoring site for Nelson Madela International Day.

BCRI is located across the street from the historic 16th Street Baptist Church . Diagonal to the church is Kelly Ingram Park where most of the festivities were held.There was free admission to BCRI from noon till 6pm.

I arrived early around 2 pm so many of the vendors and acts of entertainment had not arrived.

Schedule of Events included:

Sharrif Simmons-Poet

Umdabu Dance Company

John Paul Taylor(Real Life Poets) & B'ham's Finest Young Poets

Neo Jazz Collective

Music of the Movement

Remarks from visiting diplomats & local officials

International Legacy Youth Leadership Project

Presentation by students from Johannesburg & Birmingham

Mandela Day was held from noon until 8 pm, July 18th. This also happens to be Mr. Madela's birthday.

A Buffalo Soldiers exhibit sponsored by the Alabama Chapter #1 of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Association was on hand.

This chapter is comprised of volunteers who wish to keep the history of the Buffalo Soldiers alive.

"The Cheyenne called the Black Soldiers, 'Ta Tanga' for buffalo. The soldiers' curly hair, dark skin and fierce fighting style reminded the Native Americans of their sacred animal of the Plains."

Trooper Issac L. Prentice, dressed in the full uniform of the Buffalo Soldier, stands in front of a Conestoga wagon. Trooper Prentice is the Founding Chapter President.Various vendors were on hand with their wares.


"HICA (Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama) is a nonprofit organization that offers bilingual and culturally appropriate services to improve the lives of Hispanic families in Alabama through economic, social and civic integration."
SmokeFree Alabama is part of the Champions for Health campaign.

This is the booth where I got a FREE t-shirt, ink pen, pill box , chapstick and mints. In order to get a free T-shirt signing up to be smokefree was the ticket. That was easy since I don't smoke.

What's a festival without a band? Since the banner says noon till 1 pm, I guess I missed them. In place of a live band there was blaring music, none of which I was familiar with.
*There were three moonwalks.Pictured here are two of the three.

The purpose of Mandela Day

Mandela Day is an annual international day adopted by the United Nations.
More than a celebration of the life of the former South African President Nelson
Mandela (b. July 18, 1919), it is a global movement to take his life's work into
a new century and change our world for the better. Mandela Day asks that we
embrace Mandela's values and honor his legacy through an act of kindness.
It's a day for us to roll up our sleeves and play active roles in building our
community- an opportunity for us to share Mandela's vision of a better future
for all.

I would have enjoyed seeing the other acts but it's
summer and very hot. I live a long distance from Kelly Ingram
Park and would not be returning so I only got a taste of the


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