Under the Dome

Legislature honors black history week

Black history week came to the legislature with a shout.

Legislators from both chambers met this afternoon in the Senate to hear from The Healing Force, a Winston-Salem-based song and storytelling troupe.

Founded in 1975, the husband-and-wife team of Joseph and Gail Anderson — and later their son and daughter — perform traditional African storytelling and music. They were invited by Gail's classmate, Rep. Larry Womble, for a belated recognition of black history month.

After performing a traditional West African song, they introduced themselves to lawmakers with a classic African call-and-response that made the usual "the chair recognizes the gentleman from Cumberland County" seem wan by comparison.

"Thank you so much for having us come and share with you. We are the Healing Force. My name is Gail, but everybody calls me Mama Gail 'cause I'm the mama," said Gail Anderson. "Can you say 'Good afternoon, Mama Gail?'"

The legislators responded with verve. Son Karim Anderson then asked to be greeted with "Ehhhh Karim," while daughter Sonji Gardner asked for "Heyyyy Son....ji."

But the most energetic response was for Joseph Anderson, who was greeted with "Hey-heeeyyy hey Baba Joseph."

Dome looks forward to Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton recognizing "Baba" Tony Rand soon.

The Healing Force


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Re: Legislature honors black history week

Isn't all of this AMERICAN HISTORY? Good or bad this history is a part of our fabric. We all benefit from learning OUR history. No one group has dibs to a particular part of our history.

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