In this episode, Doni and Dr. Rhonda chat with Emilio Sasamu Thomas about Garifuna history and culture.
A professional musician and educator, Sasamu is the youngest member of the Garifuna Collective, a band based in Belize. He plays the guitar, piano and a variety of percussion instruments.
Sasamu talks about how the Garifuna people are a mixture of indigenous and African, and about the various tales of how Africans arrived on the shores of the Western Hemisphere. He also talks about his efforts to preserve the Garifuna culture, particularly the importance of preserving the Garifuna language, which even though it may be spoken among small groups around Central America, it’s still “alive.”
“The Garifuna language is alive, even if it’s just five people who speak it, the mere fact remains that it is alive,” he says. “And so our responsibility now is to teach the other generation to continue the language. It is very important that we recognize that we have a responsibility, and saying that it’s dying instead of doing something about it means that we intend to let it die.”
Listen to the podcast about Emilio Sasamu Thomas and Garifuna culture by clicking below!