Photos courtesy of TFJ Foundation.
On June 29, we were able to connect with T. J. Crawford and Black Culture Week at the south side’s beautiful Rainbow Beach Park. You may ask what is “Black Culture Week”? I believe their website describes it best.
“Black Culture Week is a time for the world to gather in unison to celebrate and commemorate Black Culture. It is also a time for people everywhere to intentionally collaborate and create new contributions to the culture.
From June 15th to June 23rd, ALL people, communities, corporations, organizations, and otherwise are invited to either produce or participate in some type of program dedicated to Black Culture.”
This year Black culture week featured a three-day wellness seminar focused on “how to successfully engage, heal and educate children and families who suffer from complex trauma”. During the seminar participants learned to recognize the signs of trauma and how to use various coping mechanisms to deal with the effects of that trauma. Many in the community maintain that just the strain of living in underserved conditions adversely contributes to an individual’s mental health (PTSD) and creates a domino effect in their physical well-being. Mental health awareness is trending upward in the black community as celebrities such as Common, Jay Z and Kanye West relate their experiences with mental wellness thus helping to dispel some of the cultural stigma around mental health.
The week was to conclude with the Black Culture Wellness Fest on June 22 but was postponed to the following Saturday. The delay did little to dampen the spirits of those who attended. The featured event was the 8th Annual HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Softball Tournament. Alumni, who bridged 50 years, represented a wide variety of HBCU’s such as Howard University, Jackson State University, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Tuskegee University. The family-oriented fest featured food, networking and music hosted by WGCI’s Leon Rodgers. The crowds were receptive to the foundation’s message of proactive men’s healthcare and often related their own experiences with the lack of health awareness among men.
The Timothy Francis Jones Foundation truly enjoyed engaging with the community, all the HBCU alum and the other organizations who participated. We look forward to next year’s event and will keep you informed of our future activities.
Video by Jackson State Univ. Alumni.