phyl headshotThe Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute has appointed as its first director Dr. Phyllis Gray Ray, Chair and Professor of Sociology/Criminology at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL.The Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute was founded by Rev. Dr. Eugene Franklin, chair of the Florida Black Chamber of Commerce, as a part of the Pan African American Cultural Heritage to educate, celebrate and promote the culture and connectivity of the people of the African Diaspora. Dr. Yvonne Freeman, the owner of the Alliance for Global Education and Leadership in Atlanta will serve as chair of the Institute.


 As director of the Institute, Dr. Gray Ray, who has produced approximately 20 professional research final reports, and has presented nearly 60 papers at national and international conferences, will be in charge of providing documentation and research related to black culture. A foremost researcher and veteran in getting needed funding, Dr. Gray Ray has generated close to 10 million dollars in external research funds.  Her research has been funded by such noted Organizations as the National Science Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U. S. Department of Education, the Kellogg Foundation and various departments of the government of Mississippi.


Dr. Gray Ray will use her expertise in funding to help with some of the Institute’s projects. In addition to cultural heritage and cultural commerce research, some of the goals of the Institute include the launch of the Leadership Academy which will serve to develop leaders and cultural ambassadors with character and integrity. The Institute has already set up youth academies, a speaker’s bureau and an arts and entertainment department will do various conferences, workshops and seminars and festivals related to black cultural awareness. The Institute will help to enhance the platforms and visibility of cultural heritage artists in various cities, thereby contributing to the livelihood of the artists.


For the past 30 plus years, in addition to her research, Dr. Gray Ray, the founding Director of the pan instNational Black Graduate Student Association, Inc., has used her professorship to teach about the African American Experience in areas of race relations, classism, the justice system and crime and several other topics related to race. Her administrative leadership skills include having once served as a coordinator, director, department head, dean, and a vice-president where her social and scholarly network has spanned across the African Diaspora. She is the author of “From Imagining to Understanding the African American Experience” which will be the basis of the core curriculum of the Institutes Leadership Academy.


Dr. Gray Ray wrote this book to aid individuals in developing their “sociological imaginations” and to broaden their understanding of the “Sociology of the Black Experience,” particularly in the United States’ multicultural society. Her book provides a unique sociological exploration of the African American experience and how it has been specifically impacted by culprits such as slavery and racism. “The reality of slavery and racism is deeply threaded throughout the fabric of the current state of African Americans and this threading must be understood,” explains Dr. Gray Ray.


phylis bookDr. Gray Ray says that “From Imagining to Understanding the African American Experience” is applicable to the goal of the Institutes’ Leadership Academy since the focus of the academy will be teaching the next generation of leaders from a cultural perspective by using proven historical experiences as a teaching foundation. She hopes that the book will serve as inspiration to prepare individuals to appreciate their responsibilities in seeking out opportunities that will make their communities a better place. 


“Individuals and young adults who are interested in participating in the Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute’s “Leadership Academy” must be trained about the book as a part of its core of the curriculum. I hope that the Institute will have a profound and lasting impact on today’s youth, blacks in general and other races,” says Dr. Gray Ray. She intends to lead the Institute in such a way to accommodate African American students who still find themselves subjected to segregated and inferior schools that are located within their own neighborhoods.


Dr. Gray Ray knows firsthand about inadequate schooling because,even though she was bright as a student, she was often overlooked and unsupported in a white school system. “The importance of educating “Negros” (African Americans) “the right way,” was first boldly introduced by William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) DuBois and Carter G. Woodson.”


W.E.B. DuBois who advocated that blacks are going to have to save and educate themselves, was a crusader for the creation of a black college educated elite group leaders and teachers to educate the masses with an emphasize on heritage. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History,” wrote the book “The Mis-education of the Negro” where he blasted the educational system in America, and described the vicious cycle that occurs when mis-educated people graduate from schools, and then go on to teach and mis-educate others. Both of these through leaders believed that black children are denied the real truth about their race and culture. Both scholars were ahead of their time, and contributed monumental knowledge through their writings, and their message is still very relevant today.


“If some of their knowledge teachings had been rigorously applied especially throughout the black community, perhaps the outcome for Blacks in terms of education would have been a lot better,” says Dr. Gray Ray. “The Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute embraces these men’s philosophies, and hopes to fill gaps within the current educational system. My hope is that the Institute will have a global impact and contribute to the re-education of Americans and the Global Diaspora in terms of contributions of black people.”


The philosophies and teachings of these great men will be incorporated in the curriculum and mission of the Institute, which is one of the basis for Rev. Franklin founding it. Dr. Gray Ray will work with Rev. Franklin as well as Dr. Freeman towards accomplishing these and other goals and missions of the Institute. Other goals of the Institute include working to improve and alleviate disparities not only in education, but also regarding cultural commerce issues that affects economic development in African Americans communities in particular.


With the National Black Chamber of Commerce as a strategic partner and member of the Pan African Alliance, the Institute has a goal of contributing to cultural economic development. The Institute will support and work with other chambers of commerce, state and local governments, community and economic development groups of the US and global African Diaspora. Colleges, including HBCUs; institutes of higher learning, schools, churches and faith based initiatives, as well as corporations and organizations have started partnering with the Pan African Institute to help in the preservation, education and promotion of cultural heritage and cultural economic development.


For more information and continued updates about the Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute, please visit panafricanchi.org.
















Dr. Gaynelle Henderson is president of Henderson Associates and Henderson Travel Services.  Dr. Henderson's career path was cut out for her during her childhood when her parents, Jake and Freddye Henderson launched what became the first full-service, fully appointed African American -owned and

operated travel agency in the U.S. in 1955. Their goal for Henderson Travel Services(HTS) was to expose African American travelers to the freedom abroad that they could not enjoy at home during that time, and to introduce them to the people, cultures and places of the world, especially Africa.



Gaynelle’s parent’s company was the first agency to pioneer travel to Africa:

They sent their first group of American tourists to Ghana in 1957 to witness and participate in the independence celebration of The United Republic of Ghana, the first African country to gain its independence. This trip was very significant for African Americans to experience because the Civil Rights Act was not in place, and thereby black freedoms were not the order of the day.  “Education through Exposure” became the Henderson’s motto, and cultural tours to Africa became their specialty.




     Over the next 50 years, the couple would build a successful, family owned business with Freddye at the helm and husband, Jake, with his business skills behind the scenes. The couple not only pioneered tourism to Africa — West, East, South and North Africa, but also led tours throughout the world. They even escorted and arranged international travel Oslo, Norway for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his delegation to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. They were also among those select few invited on the inaugural flight to China, hosted by Premier Chou En Lai when China first opened its doors to world tourism in 1972.

Since 1957, Henderson Travel has literally sent hundreds of thousands of tourists to Africa inclusive of Dr. Henderson taking up the Henderson Travel Service mantle in 1984. Even though she held various organizational leadership positions including a professorship at Howard University, Dr. Henderson eventually returned to her roots when she launched Washington, D.C. based Henderson Travel Services where she has continued her parent’s tradition of African travel tours.

    henderson travelToday her company is a full service, fully computerized, state-of-the-art travel and tour company and a tourism development consulting firm that operates under the name of Henderson Associates. Comprised of a team of dedicated employees, associates and technical advisors, Henderson Associates/ Henderson Travel Services is uniquely qualified to provide the full range of travel, tour services, tourism development consulting, and a full  array of conference and special event planning and management services.

gay and folk


With her parents’ tourism legacy in her bloodline, Dr. Henderson can be looked at as an “aristocrat” in Africana tourism.  She has enjoyed a stellar career in tourism where she has received numerous awards, and has served on various tourism boards including the African Travel Association for many years. She was the inaugural executive director and host of the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference (ADHT) where she worked with the Ministry of Tourism of Bermuda in implementing, developing and promoting the ADHT conferences.  As a director and organizer, she helped to bring together the most noted panels of educators, historians, culture experts, high ranking government and tourism officials and even some celebrities for the ADHT conferences over the years



In addition to Henderson Associates/ Henderson Travel, Dr. Henderson continues to contribute to the field of African and

African Diaspora Tourism through her work and associations with experts and tourism officials in the industry. For more

information, visit HendersonTravel.com.









The year was 1955. Segregation was the law of the land and despite the heroism of Black World War II soldiers worldwide and the courage of Rosa Parks, Black citizens in the U. S. faced systemic racial segregation and daily obstacles in every aspect of their lives. In Atlanta in the same year, another African American woman in partnership with her husband began a business that became the first Black owned, fully appointed full-service travel agency in the U.S.

The goal of Henderson Travel Service (HTS) was to expose African American travelers to the freedoms abroad that they could not enjoy at home and to introduce them to the people, cultures and places of the world. “Education through Exposure” became their motto and cultural tours to Africa became their specialty. In 1957, at a time when many Black citizens couldn’t vote or eat in a restaurant, Henderson Travel Service would be the first travel agency to “pioneer” in African tourism, taking the first group of Americans to Accra, Ghana to witness and participate in the independence celebration of The United Republic of Ghana, the first African country to gain its independence.

Over the next 50 years, they would build a successful, family owned business with Freddye at the helm and husband, Jake, with his business skills behind the scenes. They would not only pioneer in tourism to Africa — West, East, South and North Africa, but would lead tours throughout the world. They would escort and arrange international travel to Europe and Oslo for Dr. Martin Luther King and his delegation to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and would be among those select few invited on the inaugural flight to China, hosted by Premier Chou En Lai when China first opened its doors to world tourism in 1972.

henderson image

                                              QUICK FACTS

The First fully appointed African American owned travel agency in the United States, started by Freddye & Jake Henderson in 1955 in Atlanta, GA.

  • Freddye Henderson’s support of and involvement in the establishment of the National Association of Black Fashion Designers (NAFAD) in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
  • Involvement of the National Council of Negro Women, Dorothy Height, Mary McLeod Bethune, and the first lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt in pressuring Waldorf Astoria Hotel management to allow NAFAD to host a meeting at the hotel in early 1950’s.
  • Freddye Henderson’s first international tour--leading a group of young, Black fashion designers to Paris, Rome, Geneva and London for the Designers’ Spring Fashion Shows.
  • Henderson Travel Service’s encouraging African Americans to travel the world by opening the doors of the nation’s first Black Travel Agency in 1955, the same year that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the Montgomery public bus and when Black people were not allowed to freely travel across town in the deep south, when traveling overseas seemed out of the question.
  • Introducing the concept of post-convention tours to professional groups such as the National Medical Association, National Association of Black Social Workers, the Black Dental Association and sororities and fraternities, encouraging professional Blacks to travel the world.
  • Pioneering in tourism to Africa in the international tourism industry and taking the first group of American tourists to Ghana to celebrate its independence in 1957 on an international charter airline before commercial airlines were flying to Africa 
  • Arranging the trip and escorting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his family and delegation to Oslo, Norway and Paris when Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize.
  •                                Foir more information,  visit HendersonTravel.com
  •                                                                             Contact Henderson Travel Service                                                             7961 Eastern Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910 • Telephone: 301-650-5700 • Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

nigeria airThe Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has been applauded for the consistency and progress of work so far at the new terminal projects in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Hajia Binta Bello, who praised the agency for the project advancement, expressed the hope that with the current pace of work, the projects would be completed as scheduled. In 2012 federal government secured a loan of $500 million from Chinese Exim Bank to build the new terminals and the projects are expected to be delivered early next year. FAAN is also working at other terminal projects which are yet to be completed but the pace of work is in correspondence to the availability of funds as the agency is sourcing funds from internal sources to complete the projects.

Speaking on the new terminals, Bello said that when completed the facilities would elevate the standard of the international airports and the modern facilities that would be installed would ease passenger facilitation and would also curb delays as the international terminals would now have more boarding points. “I think it is in the contract agreement that the new terminals would be completed in the first quarter of 2016 and following the progress of work, despite the hiccups here and there because of rainy season and other challenges. I think they lost about 325 man hours the last time I went there. They have closed it by working overtime and they have assured me they will deliver this project by April,” Bello said. THISDAY gathered that the new terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano have capacity of 10 million passengers per annum and each one would have at least four avio bridges, while the current international terminal in Kano would be used for hajj operations, the current international terminal in Lagos would be dovetailed with the new one and the two would serve as international terminal.

Also, the terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja would be fully utilised for international service while the existing one would be wholly used as domestic terminal. The one in Port Harcourt would provide succour for international travellers as the old terminal that was undergoing rehabilitation was abandoned due to financial crunch, although passengers commend the quality of work done so far in the terminal that is currently being used both as domestic and international terminals. On whether work would be completed at the new terminals at the same time, the Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma said some would be completed before others but expressed optimism that the last one would be completed by June next year. “There will be disparities because of weather differences and shipment conditions and delays. The new international terminal in Kano will be the new international terminal and the old international terminal will be used for Hajj operations and domestic operations.

We are going to have four avio-bridges in the terminal and two in the old international terminal. The new international terminal will take 10 million passengers per annum. “All the new terminals are at various stages of completion. If you go to Port Harcourt they are roofing, Kano is roofing, Abuja just started roofing; Lagos is slightly behind because of the problem we had at the beginning with the siting of the terminal but they are also trying to catch up. Either Enugu or Kano will be finished first,” Dunoma said.


afExperts at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Addis Ababa expect the hotel and tourism industry in Africa will grow.

It was reported that inward international flights were recovering after being hit by the ebola outbreak, which had wiped out four years of strong growth. Moreover, the hotel sector reported significant expansion, as well as increased visitor numbers, boosted by demand from African business.

The report came from ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns. Its analysis showed there was an increase of 6.4% in international arrivals in September in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Flight bookings for the next six months suggest a sustained recovery. The data shows arrivals on-the-book (bookings for travel in future) from October 2015 to March 2016 are now running 4% ahead, compared with the same period last year.

elevateAfrican Diaspora Tourism will present the Atlanta Matriarchs of the Civil Rights Movement art and photo exhibit as a part of the “Elevate” Festival in October 15-23, 2015 in Central Downtown Atlanta. The brainchild of Kitty J. Pope, publisher of AfricanDiasporaTourism.com, the Atlanta Matriarchs exhibit is a cultural heritage project that will feature 25 woman who were key figures during the Civil Rights Movement.  “We are honoring these women because they are heroes for their contributions in helping to bring about Civil Rights. We hear so much about the men who were instrumental in Civil Rights, but not so much about the women.”  


This Atlanta Matriarchs exhibit is intended to not only attract the interest and attention of the families and friends of the ladies featured, but also, educators, scholars, government and political officials, business and corporate executives, professionals as well as cultural heritage enthusiasts and lay people.  “In other words, the “Atlanta Women of the Civil Rights Movement” has something for everyone,” says Pope. One important thing that the team wants is to also capture the interest of the Millennial Generation in such a way as to inspire interest not only in this project, but Atlanta Civil Rights history in general. “Many times young people are not engaged in their history enough to want to explore more because of boredom and/or a feeling of alienation,” says Pope. “We plan to present the exhibit in a creative and awe-inspiring way to reel in the Millennials.”                

Lead artists for the Atlanta Matriarchs of the Civil Rights Movement exhibit are C. Flux Singleton and Kevin Harp, who in addition to being noted visual artists are also graphic designers and muralists.   The team presenting this includes historian/ photographer Susan Ross, Atlanta’s photo griot. Ross will serve as consultant and exhibit curator and she will also do a collage of photos of some of the women that she has captured down through the years.  Kristina Kellie, a photographer who specializes in taking pictures of people in scenic settings, will do photo shoots of some of the local Atlanta Matriarchs for the “Living Legends” part of the exhibit.  Pope is the creative director and producer of the exhibit.

susan                                                        flux and kevin      
krisELEVATE 2015 will be a celebration of Atlanta, where she’s been, where she is now and where she is going!  Participating cultural art projects will celebrate the city of Atlanta and its unique identity, and center on Atlanta as a type of muse with the goal of generating a heightened sense of pride in the city of Atlanta and what it offers to the nation and the world. Operating under the theme F(orever) I L(ove) A(tl) – F.I.L.A., Elevate 2015 will be a 7-day celebration of what makes Atlanta unique and special through visual art, performances and events that showcase Atlanta – past, present and future. Elevate 2015 programs and commissions are expected to impact the Atlanta economy, increase the quality of life for its citizens, educate the public and gain global attention for the city as a creative and culturally engaging contemporary city.

fahamuThe overseeing curator for this year’s Elevate is Fahamu Pecou, a visual artist and scholar whose works combine observations on hip-hop, fine art and popular culture.  
Currently a Ph.D. student in Emory University's Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA), Pecou maintains an active exhibition schedule as well as public lectures and speaking engagements at colleges and museums nationwide. His work is featured in noted private and public national and international collections including; Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Societe Generale (Paris), Nasher Museum at Duke University, The High Museum of Art, Paul R. Jones Collection, Clark Atlanta University Art Collection and Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia.


Launched in 2011, “Elevate” officially became an annual downtown arts program of the Office of Cultural Affairs in 2012. Now in the fifth year, the physical project area has been extended from coverage of three blocks to all of central downtown Atlanta. Since its launch, the Elevate program in Atlanta Georgia has featured public art projects of performing and visual art, presented by artists and organizations. More than 300 local, national and international artists have exhibited within Downtown Atlanta’s public spaces through generous grants from The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and other sponsors of Elevate artworks. With mediums ranging from contemporary visual art to street performances, Elevate continually inspire to present projects that heighten the visual experience and support community involvement in Downtown Atlanta.  

naomibabsThe vision of the team for Atlanta Matriarchs of the Civil Rights Project includes elevating these ladies to the status they deserve to educate the public about them. “We trust that this project will create a buzz long after Elevate Atlanta 2015 is over,” says Pope. “Our long-term goal includes taking the exhibit to different venues in Metro- Atlanta and doing a magnificent mural of all the ladies on a strategic building in the city. We already have the support of Dr. Babs Onabanjo, co-founder and CEO of the AD King Foundation who immediately came on board. With Ms. Naomi King, co-founder of AD King Foundation as one of the Atlanta Matriarchs Living Legends, Dr. Babs will serves as board chair of the mural project.” The final phase of the project is the magnificent wall mural of the ladies that will be an important heritage tourism site for the South as well as the city of Atlanta. 

                                                                             List of

                             Atlanta’s Matriarch of Civil Rights Photo Exhibit  (ABC order)

1) Ms. Billye Aaron – The wife of Baseball legend Hank Aaron, Ms. Aaron was a very active participant in the struggle for Civil Rights even before she met her famous husband. She worked diligently with the Southern Leadership Christian Conference.

2) Ms. Juanita Abernathy – Ms. Abernathy stood strong through the bombing of her home with her husband Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy who was one of Dr. MLK’s closest confidant. She was instrumental in helping to organize the Freedom Riders. She continued dedicating her life’s efforts to the struggle through civic and religious organizations.

3) Ms. Alethea Williams Boone – Married to the Civil rights activist preacher Rev. Joseph Boone, Ms. Boone was involved in the struggle for Civil Rights right along with him. She set up the Joseph E. Boone Memorial Foundation to honor his legacy and to support human causes.

4) Ms. Xernona Clayton - A civil rights leader who worked for the National Urban League and Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the Civil Rights Movement, Ms. Clayton later had a career in broadcast. She also founded the Trumpet awards and Civil Rights Walk of Fame to honor the achievements of African Americans and civil rights advocates.

5) Ms. Dorothy Cotton – Ms. Cotton was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement and a member of the inner-circle of one of its main organizations, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference where she served as Educational Director. She was arguably the highest ranked female member of the organization.

6) Ms. Charlene Hunter-Gault - The first African-American woman to enroll at the University of Georgia, and the one of the first of two African-American students to integrate the school in 1961, Hunter-Gault was also a Civil Rights activist who became the first African American to give the University of Georgia's commencement address. She has written several books about her experience with integration and civil rights.

7) Ms. Grace Towns Hamilton – The first African-American woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly, she was also as advisor to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. During the Civil Rights Era, she worked tirelessly to expand political representation for blacks in city, county and state governments.

8) Ms. Rosemarie Freeney Harding – A Civil Rights activist along with her husband Dr. Vincent Harding, the couple moved to Atlanta to participate in the Southern Freedom Movement as representatives of the Mennonite Church. They co-founded Mennonite House, an interracial voluntary service center and Civil Rights Movement gathering place in Atlanta where they counseled participants of the movement.

9) Ms. Azira Hill – Often referred to as Atlanta’s Angel for her works as a civil rights activist and nurse, Ms. Hill was involved in many organizations related to civil rights. She is the recipient of many awards and honors for her services.

10) Ms. Louise Hollowell- Active in the Civil Rights movement and the struggle for justice and freedom for humanity, she supported and traveled with her husband Donald Hollowell, known as Georgia's foremost Civil Rights attorney during the 1950's and 1960's. She authored The Sacred Call: A Tribute to Donald L. Hollowell, Civil Rights Champion that chronicles many of the cases in which he was involved, including the release of Dr. Martin Luther King from jail.

11) Dr. Christine King Farris - The eldest and only living sibling of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ms. King stood in solidarity with the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. The author of several books and a public speaker, she was a professoer at Spelman College and was active in many civic and human rights organizations.

12) Ms. Coretta King – The wife of the late great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ms. King was a foundation for him during the movement and later created The King Center to memorialize her husband and his legacy of equal rights and justice for all.

13) Ms. Naomi King – The wife of the late Rev. AD King, the youngest brother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ms. King stood firm in the Civil Rights movement even after her home and husband’s church was bombed.

14) Ms. Lillian Lewis – The belated wife of Congressman John Lewis, she stayed mostly out of the public eye, but supported and advised her husband in issues related to Civil Rights for more than four decades. She was also his closest advisor in his political career and his historic election to Congress.

15) Ms. Evelyn Lowery- A civil rights activist and leader and the belated wife of Rev. Joseph Lowery, who marched in the historic Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. She is the founder of SCLC/Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now, Inc. (W.O.M.E.N.), the sister organization of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

16) Ms. Eliza Paschall- A white activist who served on Atlanta Council on Human Relations, Ms. Paschall was also executive director of the Community Relations Commission where she investigated racial discrimination and mediated human relations conflict. She authored It Must Have Rained (1974), a book about Civil Rights in Atlanta.

17) Ms. Cleophas Orange - An activist during the Civil Rights Movement, Ms. Orange was at the forefront with her husband Rev. James Orange who was well known as a Civil Rights Icon.

18) Dr. Roslyn Pope – – A Civil Rights activist while a student at Spelman College, Pope was an active member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), who wrote  An Appeal for Human Rights that was signed by other student leaders of the institutions of the Atlanta University Center. 

19) Ms. Terrie Randolph – Serving as secretary to the President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Ms. Randolph was one of several white women who were active in the quest for Civil Rights for all.

20) Ms. Rubie Doris Smith Robinson - A Freedom Rider, she was beaten in Montgomery, Ala., and arrested in Jackson, Miss., serving 45 days in prison under the "jail, no bail" policy she herself had instituted. She was the first woman elected executive secretary of SNCC. In her short 25 years on this planet, Robinson had a big impact on the civil rights movement.

21) Dr. Georgianne Thomas- Active in the Civil Rights Movement when she was a student at Spelman College, Dr. Thomas is the creator and producer of the compelling documentary Foot Soldiers: Class of 1964. The documentary is about Spelman students including Dr. Thomas who helped to bring about change in Atlanta regarding Civil Rights.

22) Ms. Octavia Vivian - One of the first African-American Deputy Voter Registrars in DeKalb County Georgia, Ms. Vivian worked alongside her noted husband CT Vivian for Civil Rights. Years later she took the lead in collecting and organizing documents that detailed the history of S.C.L.C. and the American Civil Rights Movement.

23) Ms. Juanita Terry Williams - A former Georgia legislator who was one of the first black women to run for public office in the state, she was the wife of civil rights leader Hosea Williams and worked with him in the Civil Rights Movement.

24) Dr. Mary Ann Smith Wilson – A civil rights activist, who was arrested at the age of 18 in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to give up her seat on the bus system. She is one of several women who were arrested for this offense prior to Rosa Parks that year. She was among the four women who took their case to the United States Supreme Court.

25) Ms. Jean Childs Young - An educator and activist who was the wife of former US Ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, until her death in 1994. Ms. Young developed curriculum for the Citzenship Schools of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She actively participated in voter registrations and various important marches. She developed the "Celebrate Difference" Program at the King Center to educate young people on the Civil Rights Movement and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as the U.S. Chairperson of the International Year of the Child--bringing the rights of children into the global movement for civil and human rights.


Above photos 1) Kitty Pope, 2) Susan Ross 3) C Flux Singleton & Kevin Harp 4) Krissie Kellie 5) Fahamu Pecou 6) Ms. Naomi King and Dr. Babs Onabanjo

africa airAccra Weizo will bring together over 150 major players in travel and tourism in West Africa and will also honour 20 outstanding Travel Personalities for their roles in building Trade across the Sub-Region.

Africa World Airlines & La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra will be the Official Airline and Hotel sponsors for Accra Weizo, 2015. The 1-day event  slated for the 3rd of July will also feature Award for Top 20 Travel Personalities in West-Africa. These individuals were selected from a list of 100 Top Travel Personalities in West-Africa based on their impact, legacy and influence in Tourism Promotions, Aviation, Hospitality, Conservation, Transport and Travel Business.

Some of the awardees are Otunba Wanle Akinboboye-CEO, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, ( Tourism Man of the Year-Nigeria) Sir, Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide-Chaiman, Arik Air (Aviation Personality of the Year –West-Africa), Dr. Kwabena Adjei-Founder Kasapreko (West African Personality of the Year)  Mr.AdeseyiSijuade-MD, Nigeria Railway Corporation( Travel Personality of the Year-Nigeria)  to mention a few.

The AWA Commercial manager Katherine Tosan Woode  receives Weizo document from Mr Ikechi uko in Accra

The AWA Commercial manager Katherine Tosan Woode receives Weizo document from Mr Ikechi uko in Accra

Official Airline for Weizo-Africa World Airlines is adjugded “Domestic Airline of the Year” by the Ghana Tourism Awards and is Ghana’s fastest growing regional airline commanding a sizeable share of the domestic traffic and operate flights between Accra and Lagos. It has also offered chartered services for renowned world leaders including the President of Liberia.

Accra Weizo, 2015 seeks to bring to fruition the dreams of former DG of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency, NCAA, Dr Harold Demuren who said in Abuja at the Bantaba event 2012 while receiving the award of Travel Personality of the year that West Africa should be single domestic Aviation Environment integrating, Safety regulations, Airline connections and airports.

Dr. Demuren has since left NCAA but his vision for the seamless integration is still far from reality.

This vision of a seamless travel experience is the main focus of a one day travel event slated for the 3rd of July at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana. The event is to be hosted by the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, Ghana, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare.

With the theme “Seamless Travel in West Africa” Weizo is targeted at the founding vision of ECOWAS to create a region of one people integrating and growing together. It is coming as ECOWAS celebrates 40 years of existence.

With a population of close to 300 million people in 15 countries and a fast growing economic block, West Africa started the regional integration race in Africa since the 1970s but has since lagged behind East and Southern Africa.

With over 40 airports the economy of the region can sustain a viable Travel and Tourism industry.

Weizo seeks to bring Travel professionals together to share knowledge and work out a future path of success for the region.

AWA logoThe special adviser to the UNWTO Secretary General, Mrs Rosette Chantal Rugamba will deliver a keynote paper titled “Regional Blocks as Tourism Destinations”.

Rosette started the tourism projects of country Rwanda including the famous Gorilla naming ceremony “KwitaIzina”.

The Aviation session will have two presentations one by AdefunkeAdeyemi, Head, IATA for Africa and the Middle East “Intra Africa Air Connectivity, the Facts Challenges and Benefits” and the second paper will be on “Passenger Friendliness and Airport Infrastructure in West Africa” by the Mr. Charles Kwame Asare-MD Ghana Airports Company Limited

The Aviation presentation will be treated by a panel made up of Airline CEOs, Aviation heads and Airport managers from across West Africa.

Other speakers at the event will include, Head HRG and GSA for Delta Airlines in Nigeria, Mr Femi Adefope a well-respected Travel expert and he will speak on “Trans-border Investment in Travel Business,” Mr Frank Nneji, MD ABC Transport, Nigeria will speak on “Doing Business across West Africa”.

The other paper to be presented at the event will be on the ‘Role of the Private Sector in Regional Integration”

The event is in partnership with the Ghana  Tourism Authourity , backed by Tour Operators Union (TOUGHA), National Association of Nigerian Travel Agents (NANTA),Nigerian Association of Tour Operators( NATOP) and will feature private tours to Accra and Cape-Coast on the 2nd day

Weizo is an event put together by the organizers of Akwaaba; African Market, Lagos-the only International Travel Fair in West Africa recognized by UNWTO and Abuja Bantaba, Abuja-Nigeria.

Source: ATQ news

Herbert Solomon J thumb medium260 361


BLACK MEETINGS & TOURISM MAGAZINE will be presenting a workshop entitled “Helping Your Clients Plan Their Family Reunion” at Travel Professional’s of Color’s (TPOC’s) 13th Annual Conference.

BLACK MEETINGS & TOURISM MAGAZINE will be presenting a workshop entitled “Helping Your Clients Plan Their Family Reunion” at Travel Professional’s of Color’s (TPOC’s) 13th Annual Conference.  This year’s TPOC Conference will be held May 14 – 17, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport Hotel in East Point, GA.  The Family Reunion Workshop is scheduled to take place on May 15, 2015 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.  The public is invited to attend this free workshop, where among other things, attendees will learn: how to plan a family reunion; the benefits of working with a travel agent; help/support services available from convention & visitors bureaus; and money saving tips for planning your reunion.




  • Chantel Ross Francois…………….……………………….……Tourism Director, Douglasville CVB
  • Penny Moore………………………….………………..……..Group Services Manager, DeKalb CVB
  • Todd Neal…………...………………..…...Sr. Sales Manager, Destination College Park, Atlanta CVB
  • J. Maceo Rogers…….……….…………CEcD Director, Dept. of Economic Development, East Point
  • Panelist TBD…………………………..Hilton Hotels Corp.




Several studies suggest that somewhere between 75 and 85 million Americans have participated in a family reunion within the last year, and 40 to 45 percent of all trips taken by African-Americans involve some sort of family visit.  It is estimated that upwards of 70 percent of all family reunions are held by African-Americans.


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                            ABOUT BLACK MEETINGS & TOURISM:


 Publishing since 1994, BLACK MEETINGS & TOURISM is the exclusive, African-American owned, awarding-winning, international, trade publication for and about the $56+ Billion plus African-American meetings, incentives, leisure and group travel market. (BlackMeetingsandTourism.com)


For More Registration Information, Please Contact:


Carolyn White, President, TPOC Board of Directors


Phone:  866-901-1259


Top photo: Solomon Herbert Founder/ Publisher of Black Meetings and Toursm. 






2014av28.407 614 444 s c1Atlanta is now the home of a major attraction that embodies the living history of the civil rights movement. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights has been enjoying many visitors from all  over since its opening in downtown Atlanta this past summer.

After almost a decade of planning, the gleaming 42,000 square-foot museum has permanent exhibits about the civil rights movement, including the personal papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. It will also have rotating exhibits about ongoing struggles worldwide. One of those exhibits focuses on the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, where four young girls were killed. Barbara Cross’ father was the pastor of the church. She says the pain hasn’t gone away, even though the bombing happened more than 50 years ago.

“It was devastating to children who thought they were in a place of safety, and to know that your friends were dead,” said Cross. “It took away a lot of the innocence. It robbed us of our friends, and parents who lost dear ones. So people were afraid to go back into the church after they rebuilt.”Katrina Robertson Reed lost a cousin in the bombing. Reed says when she was growing up in Alabama, she lived on an integrated block. She says that, in some ways, it seems like things are more segregated today.“You can go for ever and ever and never see an integrated block you know here in Atlanta, other cities. Church is still the most segregated place on Sunday morning. So I think in those ways there are still so many things yet that need to be done.”The emotional reaction from the bombing provided momentum for the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.A June 19 preview day of the center featured the Freedom Riders, civil rights activists who rode buses into the segregated South in 1961.Julia Humbles was one of those activists. Decades later, she still considers herself a Freedom Rider.“I think we’ve come a long way,” she told GPB’s On the Story.

“But we still have a long way to go. Point being, the fact that we’re still fighting over voters rights, we’re still dealing with discrimination of women.”Humbles plans to join all Americans on July 2nd in marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, a milestone that is also commemorated at the center.Humbles says she has witnessed striking changes all around her since the act passed.“When I looked at a person’s face and saw them looking at me, the hate that came through, that they were holding their babies in their arms and the babies could hear them saying ‘Kill those n---s!’ That kind of thing, not only did it resonate with me then, it resonates with me even now, because that look is the look that you can never forget,” said Humbles. “For somebody to look at you and be able to do that. Now, I think that we changed many, many hearts and many, many minds and that was what it was all about.”

Original source: http://www.gpb.org/news/2014/06/23/national-center-for-civil-and-human-rights-opens-in-downtown-atlanta

Photo credit: Center for Civil and Human Rights


Yann Ranaivo reports in this article for Delaware's The News Journal that Park to be named in his honor in Bob Marley's hometown:

Wilmington City Council President Theo Gregory is proposing an ordinance that would rename the Tatnall Playground to “One Love Park.” The park, located at 24th and Tatnall streets, would be named in honor of Marley’s famous song.

one-love-secondaryDuring the mid-1960s, the reggae icon lived for a time at 2313 Tatnall St. The house belonged to Marley’s mother, Cedella Booker, who ran a Jamaican music shop on Market Street until the late 1970s.

Gregory said he hopes the renaming sends a positive message to a community that has had to deal with shootings and other crimes. “It’s not a cure all, but you do little things to try to promote a positive in the community,” he said. The proposed ordinance is being co-sponsored by council members Nnambdi Chukwuocha and Trippi Congo.

Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, D-Wilmington, also plans to ask the General Assembly to approve a historical marker for the playground. She said timing for her effort depends on when City Council approves Gregory’s proposal and an unveiling ceremony occurs.

“The fact that [Marley] was in Delaware is historic, and I want people to know that,” Henry said. The ordinance is slated to go before the city’s Planning Commission on Tuesday. The renaming would add to a list of activities and properties in Wilmington that honor Marley and his ties to the city.

The Peoples Festival, which celebrates Marley’s music and message, is held annually in Wilmington. Across the street from the Tatnall playground, a home sits above a mural and stairs painted in red, yellow and green. The mural includes a painting of Marley singing and playing a guitar. Next to him, a sentence on the mural says “I feel so good in my neighborhood.”

Above the house’s entrance, reads “Governor General.”

Beryl Jackson, who lives at the house on the corner of Tatnall and 24th and a native of Jamaica, said she hopes the renaming causes more people to come out to the park. “It would be a great idea,” she said. “It would be something for the neighborhood to enjoy.”

Ulysses McManus, who has lived in the area his entire life, said “One Love” has always been his favorite Marley song because it came out when he served in Vietnam. McManus, 68, said he recalls seeing Marley on the street and in the park. McManus said Marley, who began achieving fame in the early 1960s when he lived in Wilmington. “He was already there,” McManus said, “but around the neighborhood, he was just Bob.”

Source: Repeating Island

For the original report go to http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2014/02/16/renaming-of-park-proposed-to-show-love-for-marleys-mark/5540445/

                  New Bed and Breakfast to Bring Much Needed Service to Accra, Africa        


bb ghanaNew Yorker Adrienne Cooke has always dreamed of opening a bed and breakfast in Ghana, West Africa. She has finally found the perfect spot for her dream --The Black Star Bed and Breakfast in Accra, Ghana, West Africa is a four bedroom home ready to become a quiet African retreat.


Cooke says she fell in love with the community on her frequent visits to Accra. Not only does she want to fulfill her dream of becoming a successful business she wants to create a Bed and Breakfast that supports local community. "The bed and breakfast will also help the local economy as I plan to use the service of several local small businesses and shop at the local markets for food," says Cooke.

In order to move forward with the next step of her dream, Cooke needs to fill the bed and breakfast with furniture, while also updating the plumbing and air conditioning. She is raising funding on Indiegogo.com and will use monies raised to outfit the bed and breakfast with beds for each room, various furniture (side tables, etc.), four AC units (and installation labor) a refrigerator, stove, microwave, toaster oven, a kitchen table and chairs, living room furniture, and dining room furniture and more.


She is asking for help to realize her dream but not without offering something in return to contributors who make from eight to 70 dollar donations. Contributors will receive a variety of handmade jewelry or baskets from Africa depending on their donation choice. Ghana wood masks, Krobo Bead bracelets, Maasi bead bracelets and Ghana Bolga Baskets made by Fair Trade artisans are some of the perks available to contributors.


Conveniently located in a residential neighborhood, the house has four bedrooms with their own private bathrooms. There is a separate dining room. The guesthouse features a living room and garden available for guests to relax, read a book, watch television or meditate. Black Star Bed and Breakfast is within walking distance to Spintex Road, a 15 minute taxi ride to Ghana Mall and a 25 minute drive to Kotoka International airport.


                                        About Black Star Bed and Breakfast


ghanaBlack Star Bed and Breakfast is located in Accra, Ghana, West Africa and is the dream of Adrienne Cooke. The four bedroom home is situated in a central location where the weary or adventurous traveler to Africa can find respite. For more information, visit, http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/566161/wdgi/5139586 




dr-julius-garveyDuring a visit to United Kingdom (UK) on a five-day tour of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham, as part of the Black History Month celebrations across Britain, Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Jamaica’s first National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, called for greater unity among Afro-Caribbean nationals at home and abroad, saying that, “To a certain extent, we lost our identity and we lost our unity as a people…and this is what he [Marcus Garvey] tried to bring back to us as a people. His father was a pioneering Black Rights activist and one of the founders of the ‘Back to Africa’ movement.

Emphasising the need to return to “belief systems and principles that go back to the beginning of history,” Dr. Garvey urged people of African descent to think internationally and not follow a history created for them by someone else.

Dr. Garvey said that Afro-Caribbean nationals need to return to Marcus Garvey’s Pan-African principles and values, and that Black History Month alone will not awaken the history and identity of black people in Britain and around the world.

He lamented that much of the African legacy and values has been lost or distorted and as a free people there is a need to fight for social and economic freedom. He added that black people need to read and write their own history, rather than using that which has been manufactured by others.

Meanwhile, High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Aloun N’dombet Assamba, praised Dr. Garvey for continuing along the path that his father blazed almost 100 years ago.

“Marcus Garvey was a powerful orator who rallied hundreds of thousands of people in Jamaica and across the world in his quest to deal with discrimination and injustice, and build black economic power. He did so at a time when there was no internet, no telephone, and no modern communications. Imagine the impact he would have had today,” High Commissioner Assamba said.

Source: Repeating Islands

For original post, see http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads-108/35220



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