On Monday, February 23, the Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) hosted a drum circle with activist, educator and performer Afia Walking Tree. Students had the opportunity to play authentic, African percussion instruments for a 90-minute session. A map of Africa was projected as a visual aid for the stories that were told about the African Diaspora. Afia Walking Tree also spoke about the history of drums and drumming, their cultural-historical significance, African greetings and call and response, their empowering affects, and how rural life added value to the drum as a musical instrument, a medium for communication, and even as a vessel for storing valuables.
Skyline College student Jay Miller said he learned about “the history behind the drum in Africa and how it translated across different continents.”
The ASSC promoted the event in a lively fashion, carrying large drums into the Fireside Dining Room and spontaneously pounding rhythms that caught the attention of students. The energy during the event was exciting, soulful and so loud that the music resonated all through Building 6.
Skyline College student Vanessa Aragon said she felt “alive and empowered.”
The Drum Djam was definitely a memorable event and will keep our hearts beating in unity as a Skyline College community.
Article by Marlon Gaytan Jr. | Photos by John Saenz and Albert Ramos