Valeria Watson

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Mixed Media, performance art, couture fashion, immersive installations. 207 Coxe Ave, #4 Asheville, NC
Zamani Refuge African Culture Center...

About Us

Peace with our Past-Power in this Present moment

Zamani Refuge Center puts you in a place to make peace with your past so we can address the needs of the present and give birth to a wholesome future. Zamani is the time we take to pause, and take Refuge in choosing a better way.

Ethics, Values & A bit of Philosophy

Public institutions, due to their political nature, control: how we know, what we know and how we interpret what we experience. The average American has little understanding of the historical antecedents that determine his/her self-concept and social position. As we, as individuals and as a nation, muster the courage to look at the consequences of historic antecedents, there is hope that in looking at them we discover how to free ourselves and move into the future unencumbered.

This Nation has yet to acknowledge its incalculable debt to the minorities that were instrumental in its creation. The descendants of these minorities suffer from profound identity confusion and none more so than the descendants of the African captives. Culturally uprooted and crippled by a deeply instilled sense of inferiority, they continue to be disadvantaged educationally and economically. This historic legacy must be faced squarely. There is a debt owed – and - the debt owed must be honored so we can move forward as ONE nation.

Purpose & Mission of Zamani Center
To address the historic legacy Zamani produces and disseminates educational materials showing people of color who can serve as role models. To help heal the “identity confusion” Zamani will produce and disseminate educational materials and programs: about current West African culture (even as it is recovering from centuries of colonialism); about the way economic interests conspired (intentionally or naively) to created a widely held believe that Africans are culturally backward sub-humans; and to facilitate awareness and pride in the rich cultural contributions of Africa through out human history.

For many African Americans, it will be helpful not only to understand individual and national deficits resulting from slavery and segregation but to also eventually make a direct connection to the motherland. This connection can take the form of studying indigenous spiritual and artistic practices; linking with an African city through the “Sister Cities” initiative; travel and study in West Africa; sponsoring student exchanges; and nourishing traditional culture by supporting a school for traditionally raised children in Osogbo, Nigeria.

Zamani endeavors to give access to the most disadvantaged in our community. To this end we will partner with NGO’s that seek to build community in local neighborhoods.

Zamani will sponsor an African American Cultural Center which will be one part museum, one part teaching institution and one part venue for minority focused events. It will be the “Holocaust Center of the Middle Passage” honoring the millions that suffered this mind bending catastrophe. It also will be the center from which minority community building efforts are directed.

National wealth building on the backs of African captives was most extensive and obvious in the southern states and it is here that we investigate this complex legacy. We emerge in this century, searching for the truth of our history; an American history that is disentangled from the propaganda of the past.

Modern anthropology, archeology and linguistics, are establishing that the ‘dark continent’ is the fertile cultural soil that spawned modern science, world religions and indeed humankind itself. Knowledge of this scholarship is vital to change the negative stereotypes associated with Africa and Africans.

Our Agreements with Redneck Revolt and the IWW. New alliances new direction

 Greetings Fellow Beings!
I will continue dispensing vast quantities of gratitude to Redneck Revolt and IWW for coming out and supporting Zamani Refuge. We have been seeking cooperative partnership with local organizations for a while now, there is so much potential in knowing ourselves, I feel like Zamani Refuge African Cultural Center can offer that peace and that space.

Already so much has been done I find myself looking around like wow, some things are actually happening. Parker has been working on some water management techniques and a fall garden. Jade, Mack, Margaret, Kayla and Jake have completely cleared out a large area of brush along the driveway. That was last saturday (7/15) and then the next day Redneck Revolt brought out a freelance reporter and photographer and we took them on a walk with the goats down into the pasture. The goats have really enjoyed the extra attention. Afterwards we went to carrier park to hang out at the Meet Your Local Redneck event, where there was good food and music to enjoy. It's been a good week!

This a self or internally directed cooperative. Meaning that Zamani Refuge is what you bring to it. So look inside and make it real, make it sacred, make it healing, make it now, and do no harm! It's such a blessing to start this journey with you.

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