Bloodlines and spiritual ties create the heartbeat of family and the rhythm of community. Through local stories and expert advice, we explore how to curate our past, heal generational wounds and evolve our unique family legacies.
Blood & Spirit Podcast mines the wisdom of local families, who share how they preserve their family histories, resolve long-term issues and build community. Experts in genealogy, oral history, family dynamics and more join our dialogues, helping us connect with our greatness and develop vibrant community cultures.
Where to listen
400 Years: The Triumph of Presence
Blood & Spirit: Black Families Evolving • By Njemile Ali • Jul 31, 2019
Quinton Gaines is an Albany native artist and activist, fighting for representation of our authentic selves in the media. Quenton is passionate about complete and total expression, living life in a flow that creates greater understanding.
Guided by the content of their character, three non-heterosexual Albanians live and love beyond the boundaries of gender and sexuality. Javetta Sabra, Tiffany "O'She Tyght" Thomas and James Bernard Pratt, Jr. - two artists and a phenomenologist - talk about self-discovery, values and just BEING.
Four young elders reveal the wealth of joy, struggle and drama we discover when we go beyond just saying "hi" to our neighbors. Ms. Comalena Jones, Ms. Peggy Knight, Ms. Mary Ann Williams and Ms. Mary Lee talk about stepping into the role of eldership, loving and living in community and giving a title to the story of their lives.
Four unique and fascinating elders speak with heart and deep passion on grief, marriage and family. These SOWEGA Council on Aging devotees stay active and engaged with family, friends and community. Fabulous clues and great insights from Sara Cutts McClendon-77, Sally Sawyer-76, Jimmy-71 and Christine Reagan Wilson-78.
Psychologist Dr. Shea Lott shows how communication no-no's--known as the four horsemen--can destroy relationships. With a calm and clear voice, he guides us to remember where we started and how to return to a place of trust and transparency in relationships of all kinds. Prepare to build and rebuild.
Oral historian and author, Julie Rainbow, weaves her love and honor of African American elders and ancestors into her daily professional and personal practice. Her mission is to amplify the voices of elders, and she does so through her books, oral history projects and daily communion. Keeping a daily ritual of sitting with elders since she was a little girl, Julie experienced nonjudgmental love. She says when we release the "illusion of time" we can sit with elders for more than a five-minute conversation, and discover unique and interesting individuals.
Dr. Veronica Adams-Cooper reveals the birth of the Artesian Renaissance, a resurgent flow of arts and humanities in the Western Hemisphere, led by ARTriumph Historical Society. Honoring the triumphant spiritual legacy of Africans in the Americas, Spiritual Midwives from around the country join her to broadcast the birthing via YouTube on August 1, 2019, and to "Celebrate a New Season, A New Story and a New Song." Dr. Adams Cooper shares her own story of triumph over despair, and her choice to answer "the call on her life to help people of color heal from traumatic experiences."
South Philadelphia born and raised, Nana Kofi Tuuda now shares the ancient African wisdom of Sankofa, to help us gain cultural and spiritual grounding as Africans in America. For over 35 years, Nana Tuuda has been Ancestrally led to Ghana, West Africa, where he built bridges of understanding between Ghanaian-born Africans and Africans born in North America. As the officially enstooled Agogo Nkabomhene, or king, he shares Akan traditional wisdom regarding family and community.
What does Sankofa mean? In this clip, Nana Kofi Tuuda shares some of the deep symbolism of the Sankofa bird. Nana Tuuda is the Nkabomhene of Agogo in Ghana, as well as the Asante Nkonim Kuromhene in Philadelphia. His life and work demonstrate how we reach back to go forward.
An urgent spiritual message sent this new dimensional couple on a journey that transformed their lives, love and legacy. Shari Brooks and Steve Lyons left Albany and moved to Atlanta without a plan. After three vision-packed years, they are the parents of two beautiful sons, and owners of three businesses. How did it all happen? Listen to the final episode of Season 1 to find out.
Femi Anderson’s Renaissance Art Café is an oasis for artistic expression and self-therapy in Albany, GA. Growing up immersed in art and artists, Femi now hosts art parties, exhibits and jazz music, that have become a staple in the city’s indie arts scene. What’s next? Expansion.
A deep dive with Mother, Poet and Farmer, Tannur Shewrightz Ali continues. Poetry. Elders. Philly-to-Georgia adjustments. Growing up in a polygamous household. A wealth of experience has converged in one young life dedicated to the organic cultivation of food and community.
Mother, Poet and Farmer, Tannur Shewrightz Ali talks about the relationships of mutual cultivation that surround her growth. Her homestead, Solomon's Garden, is a blossoming of the vision that inspired the creation of iLOGIC: Institute for the Love of Genius in Community.
Alvita Swain, Executive Director of Strive2Thrive in Albany, Georgia, shares some tools for personal and family growth. Hundreds of Albany families have been assisted by Ms. Swain and S2T, with their holistic approach to personal and family development. She believes that “There is no greater joy, nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.” Through her steady tenure at S2T, she has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of Albany’s best, shepherding families through stormy waters to terra firma, a strong foundation on the Earth and in community.
Dr. T. Marshall Jones is a master musician, composer, conductor and ambassador of the arts. With an ever-youthful spirit, he remains fully engaged in the musical and creative arts in Albany, Georgia. Dr. Jones shares some of his wide-ranging experiences that have reshaped the Fine Arts Department at Albany State University, and transformed musical and creative arts in the state, the country and the world.
Hip-hop and visual artist King Kotton (Kwame Hakiem Ali Humphrey) explains how he makes his dreams real in music, family and life. Amazing wisdom from a young multi-artist - on opposition, motivation, love and family.
Historian and ancestral drummer Michael Harper envisions family as the core of all our existence. In this wide-ranging conversation Michael reveals the griot who sparked his love for history, hilarious family stories and how the drums saved his life. And so much more.
Retired economist, Rev. Dr. Julian Ellison, wants to know the bottom line of family genealogy. Gatherer of family history and brother of host, Njemile Ali, Rev. Ellison explains how he gathered just the facts of his family history and compiled a book to pass on to future generations.
Naturopathic and Chinese Medicine student Kitwana Pounsel Lott shares tools for balancing 10-12 hour school days while raising three spectacularly brilliant young ones. Deep-set family values and a very involved husband make the journey and destination a pleasure.
Frank Wilson is a keeper of Black history in his work as Executive Director of the Albany Civil Rights Institute. The rich family and village life that he enjoyed in South Georgia saw him through tragedy as a child, and set him on the road to a life of excellence.
Salon owner, Capucine Peterson, thought she had to choose between family and career, until the love of her life showed her how she could have both. This Albany, Georgia Millennial Woman is building on the nurturing from her parents and ancestors to create lasting memories, guidance and capacity for her little girl.
Local families are writing their own histories and healing old wounds. The Blood & Spirit: Black Families Evolving Podcast brings together experts and neighbors, to discover and elevate the wisdom within and the wisdom next door.