Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm feeling -like a dream

A Message from LPC5 Parent

"An Open Letter To The Continuum Project"



It is now two months since my daughter took part in the Continuum Project's Legacy Program Cycle 5.

In many ways it seems as though the whole thing was a dream, but I do have a few thoughts about the experience I

would like to share with you.



What is History? Most of us grow up thinking of history as a finished story. Even when we study events closely and

realize that the story could have been different if one action had been altered, we still think of history as something outside of ourselves, separate and complete. Rarely do we understand that history is never a finished story. Events unfold today because of actions taken by others long before we were here.



In a similar way we rarely personalize history. Even when we have the benefit of knowing our elders, we usually take their presence for granted. When listening to their stories, it is unusual to put them within the broader scope of historical events.



Maeve decided to personify my Paternal Grandmother during the Legacy Production. This simple exercise taught her a very powerful lesson, one that I do not think she fully understands yet. She learned for the first time that history is living right now, and that her personal story is part of a much larger whole. Her monologue had a few factual errors, but what she got so right was how my Grandmother must have felt while she was on the ship coming to America, her trepidation and determination, as well as the enormity of the change that was about to take place in her life. For a few seconds Maeve became my Grandmother, and for a moment I understood my Grandmother better than I ever had before. Maeve wrote her piece without any input from me, and she imagined her Great Grandmother on her own. It was an incredible experience and I will never forget it.



There was another moment that first night I will always cherish. Maeve and I discussed her knowledge of African Geography shortly after you posted the initial film of them on your website. No student had been able to name very many countries and she was a little embarrassed. I often quiz her and her brother on geography, and they always groan when I do. But this experience made her want to learn as many countries in Africa as she could and she set her mind on memorizing them all. I split the continent into regions and she learned them in a way that allowed her to know where on the continent each country is located.



When the results of her DNA test were announced and she heard that she had ancestry in Sierre Leone and Guinea Bissau, I saw the flash of recognition in her eyes. She KNEW exactly where those countries are located and drew a direct personal connection to them. It was a precious moment, and I was able to share it with her from across the room.



These are just a few observations, and they do not even address the overall experience Maeve had in Cycle 5. I have not talked about the sense of accomplishment she felt in being part of a production team, the sense of camaraderie she experienced, her elation from working hard and seeing results. She said to us as we were leaving school that first night "My mouth hurts from smiling so much."  It feels like a dream now, but I know it will resonate for a long time to come. We all appreciate the chance to have been part of your program, and are very grateful to everyone at The Continuum Project for making it all possible.



Peace & Love, Michael Connolly"



December 2011

From the INSIDE THE CONTINUUM Newsletter

A Message from LPC3 Alumni: Sydney Clarke



“Probably the deepest thought I gathered and turned into a motto was taking pride in my heritage. I made this my motto, to respect Africa and show my respect and pride for it because it is a sliver of what makes the anatomy of Sydney Clarke. Even though, I give in and giggle at jokes my friends make about things they've heard about Africa through stereotypes, I continue to try and control myself to show people I care about my roots and that I take it seriously because I was lucky enough to find it. I am dedicated to the Continuum Project and will always appreciate Mr. Glenn and Ms. Nikkole for traveling with me on the rugged and smooth path to my roots.”



Dec 2011

From the INSIDE THE CONTINUUM Newsletter

A Message from LPC5 Parent: Deci Tyson-Johnson



“Knowing yourself, knowing where you come from gives you support and inspiration to be everything that you want to be. I wanted my daughter to know that she belongs not just to the Johnson family, that she has a place in the world. I think Naomi - all of us, actually - know that place more now. We can stand on that and be proud.



Dec 2011

From the INSIDE THE CONTINUUM Newsletter
A Message from RE:DEFINITION Audience Member: Eula Taylor



For me, RE:DEFINITION is theatre at its finest! It’s entertaining, thought provoking, passionate, and compelling. [RE:DEFINITION] is an absolute gem, a must-see. Glenn Gordon forces you to question, or “redefine,” your understanding of what it means to be Black in America. It explores the role oppression continues to play in the Black psyche. He accomplishes this through beautifully crafted lyrics, reminiscent of Common and Talib Kweli, and comedy that is simply gut-wrenching. RE:- DEFINITION can best be described as the truth.”


 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm feeling -missing you

A Message from LPC3 Alumni: Sydney Clarke



"Hey Ms. Nikkole! I miss you and Mr. Glenn!! What days does Project go on because I was planning to stop by and help out. Plus my friend is in it so I want to support...! I miss you both so much and this program has been an IMMENSE impact on my life and how I act around my friends. Dedicated Continuum Project Alumni, Sydney Clarke"


 

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm feeling -excited

A Message from LPC4 Supporter Veronica Street:



"I had the great opportunity to watch my niece and nephew discover there roots at Alexander Middle School 51 and I would like to help keep this project going strong. I would like to get info on how to bring this to my son's school- Promise Academy I in Harlem. Please let me know what steps I can take to be a part of your next cycle!"


 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm feeling -elated

A Message from Supporter Connie Salter:



"I love the [Legacy] program, I'm excited about the website, I wish I was young enough to participate....one day I will be a volunteer!!!!"


 

Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm feeling -reflective

A Message from LPC1 Parent Steven Reiser:



"As a descendant of European Jewry I have always been curious about my family genealogy. And as a father of a biracial son (African Jamaican & European Jewish) I have encouraged him to discover how his Jamaican and Jewish ancestors have played a role in shaping who he is. Often biracial children are treated as "others" in American society, and I think it's very important to have strong connections to all of the pieces that make up who one is. Too often, biracial children are "forced" to make a choice of one root over another. The Legacy Program has given my son an opportunity through his love of theater to embrace his African heritage with love and respect. It has given him a real connection that will accompany him through his entire life. Even though he has graduated from Cycle One, both he and I keep returning to see other students perform. It's great theater and quite emotional for the players and the families at the end of the performance to discover their family origins. It's wonderful to return to see other families celebrate their legacy. Here's to Cycle Four! Can't wait!"


 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm feeling -thankful

A Message from LPC3 Parent Stephen Scott Gross:



"I wanted to thank you for putting such an incredible performance and powerful experience together. Wow! ... It truly was something that will shape his identity and his sense of himself for the rest of his life."


 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm feeling -fonaminale(?)

A Message from LPC3 Participant Sydney Clarke:



"Last night was fonaminale!! (bad spelling). I want to thank you [Nikkole] and Mr. Glenn for all of the advice and support you have given me."


 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm feeling -thankful

A Message from LPC3 Parent Ruth Stanislaus:



"Thanks Nikkole! I was truly in awe yesterday. Although I saw last years's it meant so much more knowing where my husband is from. I am interested in participating in this for my side through my mom, and perhaps having my dad do the same. Thank you for helping us find our back!"


 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm feeling -missing you

A Message from LPC1 Participant Siddiq Saunderson:



"Hey Nikkole, hope all is well! Well, in my honors global class today we started learning about a new topic. So when i get to my class i sit down un-pack and read the aim on the chalk board. When i look up i read "Why is African culture important?" as soon as i saw that i thought of you, Glenn and all of the rest of my African brothers, and sisters LOL! I thought of you guys and realized how much I learned and gained from that experience, how much fun i had with you guys, and just basically how much i miss EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE OF YOU GUYS !♥ I was wondering, maybe if possible all of us can get together sometime, and just catch up on life, cus' i feel like it was yesterday when i hit that stage with Ohgie, Zurah, Zakiyah, Avery, Jumaane, Evan, Nyle, and Indigo, but Nope it was almost two years ago:/ well get back to me ASAP cus' i would really love to see you again! Peace and Love -Siddiql"


 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm feeling -missing you

A Message from LPC2 Participant Yacine Ndaw:



"I miss the Continuum Project [Legacy Program], it brought me close to everyone and I miss those memories. My dad is still wondering how the heck he could be from Guinea Bissau, and my family is now calling me the Balanta girl. I hope that the next Continuum Project [Legacy Program] people will do the same [thing] that we have done. Hope to see you guys soon. And thank you for the experience of a lifetime. Oh yeah and [thank you] for an online b-day card. Love, Yacine the Balanta girl"


 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm feeling -amazed & thankful

A Message from LPC2 Parent Claudette Pages:



"Thank you again for a wonderful program and presentation. I have not stopped speaking about our discovery, the program or sending out emails with the link to both organizations [The Continuum Project, Inc. and African Ancestry]. Simply amazing work you do. [My child] was beyond thrilled to have participated."


 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm feeling -thankful

A Message from LPC1 Parent Tirinda Hixon:



"We want to thank you and your partner immensely, for allowing [our son] to become a part of your phenomenal program last year. We wish you much success with LP cycles 2 and 3, because a program like yours is essential to our culture and community."



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm feeling - proud

A Message from Connie Salter:



This [video clip of The Legacy Program - Cycle (1) One] is amazing....I pray your program [The Legacy Program] goes on forever.....

Testimony from the Continuum