Elder Black Women Feted at ‘Grandma’s Hands’ Event in Oakland

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Back row - from left to right, standing: Asatu Musunama Hall, Francine Wesley, Iya Wanda Ravernell, Mama Renel Jones-Abdullah, Zarina Ahmad, Toreadah Mikell, Treina Alexander, Denise Robinson; Middle row, left to right, sitting: Ms. Joyce Owens, Carolyn Willingham, Mother Georgia Brown; Front row, left to right: YEWAS members Johzara Boykins, Xanaii Williams, Evan Green, Taylor Criswell, Lea Williamson, Laurel, Abena-Amen Newson. Photo by RoLanda Wilkins.

Led by their mentor Asatu Musunama Hall, the members of Youth Empowered Wombmyn Achieving Self, Rites of Passage Program and Sisters of Tomorrow, honored 14 women elders for their contributions to the Black community. It took place at the East Bay Community Space, 507 55th St. in North Oakland.

The six girls, ranging in age from 10 to 12, chose some of the elders that were honored. served them food and drink and performed a short dance that they choreographed themselves at the Second Annual ‘Grandma’s Hands’ event.

The honorees included a great-great grandmother, who was there with the four generations who were her descendants. RoLanda Wilkins, from Sacramento, spoke of the movement across the nation to honor Black women elders. Cultural Development Fund Coordinator  Denise Pate, representing Councilwoman Lynette Gibson-McElhaney, read a proclamation for the women from the City of Oakland.

Each woman was presented with a framed award of recognition from Grandma’s hands a commendation from Oakland City Council and a candle lovingly decorated in cowrie shells and sequins.

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