BRENTWOOD – The Prince George’s African American Museum and Culture Center (PGAAMCC) held its fourth annual Family Day on June 16 in North Brentwood. “It’s an opportunity for the museum to open its doors to the community,” said Interim Executive Director Maleke Glee. “It’s an invitation for people visiting for the first time and for […]
BRENTWOOD – The Prince George’s African American Museum and Culture Center (PGAAMCC) held its fourth annual Family Day on June 16 in North Brentwood.
“It’s an opportunity for the museum to open its doors to the community,” said Interim Executive Director Maleke Glee. “It’s an invitation for people visiting for the first time and for others to come back.”
The PGAAMCC concept came about in 1991 beginning with the North Brentwood Historical Society exhibit “Footsteps in North Brentwood” to celebrate the first municipality in Prince George’s County incorporated by African Americans. They created a museum in 1998, and in 2010 it began operating under its current name.
Since then, their mission has been to inspire the community by the presentation of the cultural and artistic contributions of African Americans in Prince George’s County.
Family Day came to fruition four years ago as another way to bring their mission to the community. The four-hour event featured a moon bounce, face painting, children’s activities, food trucks and live performances.
The hope is that the day will be another way to inspire the community and bring about necessary conversations about African American culture.
There were three performances throughout the day given by the Prince George’s Children’s Theater, Callaloo: Cultural Literacy for Kids and Farafina Kan.
Callaloo, an educational children’s media brand promotes cultural literacy through books, live performances, and workshops, gave a 30-minute interactive performance. It was their first time performing at PGAAMCC, but they have done many performances in the Washington, D.C. area and New York.
“The kids were engaging, and there was a lot of audience participation,” said Marjuan Canady, CEO, and Founder of Callaloo. “I hope to keep working with the museum in the future. It’s a great space and good for children’s theater.”
Callaloo’s performance was a favorite among the events throughout the day.
“My daughter was very engaged,” said Sheila McKayle. “It reminded me of home. There were aspects of New York where I’m from and is connected to the Caribbean.”
Farafina Kan also gave their first performance at the museum. The drumming group, made up of members Adrian Smash, Agyei Edwards, Robert Myers, and YL Hunt, focuses on West African drumming from Mali. The group was initially started by Edwards’ father Mahiri Keita Edwards who learned the art and brought it back to teach classes at their studio in Mount Rainer.
What set this year apart from previous years was the emphasis on reading literacy. As part of that aspect of the day, there was a book fair for children’s books that focused on the image of black children and African American history.
There were about six different booksellers such as Sherrita Berry-Pettus selling her titles such as “Rock On With Your Afro Puffs” and “Smile Bright Chocolate Prince” with the aim to increase the presence of African American children in books and Frantz Derenoncort’s “Haiti: The First Black Republic.” Callaloo also sold some of their books after their performance.
The day presented an excellent opportunity for people to get out and enjoy the beautiful day with their children, as well as celebrate Father’s Day and Juneteenth, a holiday to commemorate the abolishment of slavery in the U.S.
“I’ve never been to the museum, so this was an excuse for me to come by,” said Sheri Eastman. “There were a lot of good performances it was good to have something cultural for Juneteenth.”