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Contract No. 09-79055-006 March 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012.

“For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”
                                                                                                     -African Proverb

Drums are very symbolic and identifiable of the homeland that is continental Africa.  They have been used for inter-tribal communication, signaling meetings, dangers, etc., and also to summon people for events such as weddings, births, and other important rites of passage events and social gatherings.  Historically, drums have been used in terms of spiritual healing and have had a spiritual basis from the start.

 The djembe-drum, for instance, is one of the most basic and most renowned drums.  Originally it is said to be created Numu blacksmiths (Mandinka and Susu people) in Western Africa and its name means “everyone gather together” in the language of Mali’s Bamana people. 

The spirituality of drum is created starting from the construction of the drum, as many of these are made from trees as symbolic of life as well as of a part of the spiritual whole that connects every dead and living thing on Earth, according to African beliefs.  Part of the drum-maker’s spirit is within the drum as well as the drum player’s spirit.  Each unique drum has a spirit of its own; a voice of its own.

African people are spread throughout the world.  We are a proud people, intelligent, creative, industrious, and a people who come together.  We are known by our nationality, such as African American, Continental African. Afro-Caribean, Afro-Latino, African other nationalities or countries of birth.  There is one common thread: we all have African ancestors.

We the people of African ancestors in the State of California have summoned the “collective wisdom” of our people to address mental and behavioral health issues among our people in our state.  These pages are dedicated to communicating information regarding the progress and outcome of our gathering under the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP): African American Population Report commissioned by the California  Department of Mental Health.

Barack H. Obama
44th President of the United States
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