Annual Libation ceremony being held to remember the 150 documented lynched Black women
Black women who were lynched between 1870 and 1957.
By Marilyn Kai Jewitt & Yolanda Spivey
Spiritually-conscious women and men of African descent gather at 3 p.m. sharp on Sunday, March 29 at Congo (Washington) Square, Seventh & Walnut Streets in Philadelphia for the Second Annual Sacred Libation Ceremony in remembrance of the 150 documented Black women who were lynched between 1870 and 1957.
In March 2014, the First Annual Sacred Libation Ceremony to honor the women was conducted by Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett and a group of priests of Philadelphia’s African American Yoruba/Orisha community. Although it rained that day, approximately 30 people came to witness the ritual — some from as far as New York and Washington DC. The ceremony has now been instituted as an annual ritual on the last Sunday in March as part of Women’s History Month.
In addition to libation being poured by Jewett in the Yoruba tradition, women from other traditions will also participate. The Queen Mothers of the Philadelphia Asante Nation – Nana Afua Afriyie Kyeiwaa, Philadelphiahemaa, Nana Akua Oforiwaa Amanfo, and Philadelphia Asonahemaa — will pour libation in the Akan tradition from Ghana. They will be accompanied by the women of the Philadelphia Asante Abusuafoo. Other holy women participating include well-known healer/education activist Mama Gail Clouden and her godchildren.
How did this all come about? Last year, while perusing stories on Dr. Boyce Watkins’ “Your Black World” news website, Jewett came across a story entitled, Black Women Were Lynched Too! written by blogger Yolanda Spivey.