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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Dance

Mission: The Mission of "Images of the Motherland: Interactive Theatre" (IMIT) is to educate and expand public awareness and appreciation of African and American Traditions and History through authentic presentations of drama, art, music, dance , culture and storytelling by creating “living history”of an entire people to pass from generation to generation Dignity, Self-Esteem, Tolerance and Mutual Respect

Results: We have been fortunate to reach a total diversified audience of approximately 3000 with an aggregate total of 7 productions and numerous performances presented in 2009-2015. "The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid" has over 60 performances presented since 2009. We have also dramatically improved our outreach efforts by receiving “2014 Arts & Culture Awards” , “2014 Top Rated Non Profit Awards” and “2014 Great Non Profits Top-Rated Awards” from Great Non Profits. Additionally our current rating with Guidestar is”Guidestar Exchange Bronze Participant”. We have received a considerable number of reviews from laymen and professionals attesting to the quality and impact of our productions. Your lives, and the lives of your children and grandchildren will be forever touched by these truly excellent presentations. Audience Reviews: “The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid”. “Timbuktu African Artifacts Exhibit”, “Living History Heritage Project”, “Emancipation Proclamation Jubilees Celebration”, "Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid-292 USCT", "YERO Mahmoud-Forgotten Roots", and "Sesquicentennial". “I think that the program was captivating! We need more productions for our children, families, and the community! I love this production!” Kim P. Ward “The program is very informative with knowledge and information that can be passed on to the next generation, to help them rise above their circumstances!” Cleo Young “Excellent lectures! Excellent dramatic presentations! Actors were wonderful! Enjoyed the presentation on the life of “Sojourner Truth. Fantastic!” Joan Harris “It was a wonderful program and deserves to be performed all over!” Leah Clouden “This was a really great show! It was very informative and very realistic! It helped me to understand the horrors of slavery! Very historical!” Derek Washington "I have been teaching my students about the Civil Rights Movement during Social Studies. My students were very impressed with "The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid". It helped them to understand more about what I am trying to teach them. When we returned to school, my Supervisor came in and the students couldn't stop talking about it. I was amazed at how much information they took with them and really appreciate it." Christine Stickney-Belmont Charter School-5th Grade Learning Support Teacher "We very much enjoyed and recommend "The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid". Our Middle School students were moved by the dramatic portrayal of this little known historical figure. This presentation is very much in keeping with our mission as a Friends School, and nicely fit with this years theme of "integrity". Judy Smith-Newtown Friends School-Head of Upper School "The silence in the auditorium shouted words that only the sould could speak. The crowd was captured by an astounding performance about the sojourns of an enslaved man who refused to let the conditions at hand, defer the freedom of his heart." Mel Leaman-Associate Professor of Religion-Lincoln University

Target demographics: General Public/UnspecifiedEthnic/Racial Minorities -- GeneralBlacksFamilies

Geographic areas served: Based in Philadelphia, PA with touring throughout the United States.

Programs: “Living History Heritage Project” Program Descriptions “The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid” (1770-1863) is professionally reenacted by Baba Kenya from Images of the Motherland-Interactive Theatre. Time: 1 hr + 15 minutes /1 Act performance with no intermission. This journey is replete with authentic costuming, artifacts, and props. *Special feature for educational institutions includes “Timbuktu African Artifacts Museum & Workshop” an interactive museum artifacts workshop and Q&A. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhG_C9mQLWU A gripping American saga that explores the life of an extraordinary African Fulani (Peul) Arabic scholar, teacher and religious leader from the Fulani State of Futa Torro, who was one of the last Africans sold into slavery in the United States during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. This is the life journey of a man from the land of Futa Torro (West Africa), to Mecca, to Charlestown SC, to Fayetteville NC to Wilmington NC. Omar ibn Sayyid endured 59 years of slavery in South Carolina and North Carolina. He died at 96 years of age during the year 1863 prior to the end of the U.S. Civil War. Omar ibn Sayyid would astound America with his writings from the Qur’an from memory, as well as his own handwritten autobiography written in the Arabic language and other literary samples that are available today. Omar ibn Sayyid was one of the few documented literary personages from W. Africa that endured slavery in the United States. He is the only documented African slave who wrote his autobiography in the Arabic language while in captivity. Omar ibn Sayyid’s autobiography is American Literature. This dramatic presentation is based upon his autobiography. Lesson Plan PDF available for all presentations. “Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid-#292 United States Colored Troops” is professionally reenacted by William J. White from Images of the Motherland-Interactive Theatre. Time: 1 hr /1 Act performance with no intermission. “Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid-#292 United States Colored Troops” (1833-1882) is the resurrection of an “untold story”… a “Legacy of Forgotten Roots”. A truly unique chapter in early American History. This journey is replete with authentic costuming, artifacts, and props. *Special feature for educational institutions includes additional 30 minute Quiz, Q&A. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF_thrASmlE Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid , was an extraordinary African Fulani (Peul) who was enslaved at 16 years of age and even made the Pilgrimage to Mecca with one of his masters. Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid was born in 1833 in the Fulani State of Kanem-Bornu, near Lake Chad in Central West Africa. He was the son of a famous Kanem-Bornu horseman and General known as “Barca Gana”. Captured by Tuareg slavers at 16 years old and sold into slavery of the Arab World and Europe, his story reads like a “world tour”, before he would ultimately end up in the Union Army during the Civil War fighting for the freedom of African-Americans. He came to America as a “free man”. Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid had learned to speak and write at least 12 different languages. He wrote his own autobiography while in the United States. “Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid-#292 United States Colored Troops ” is based on “The Autobiography of Nicholas Said”, written by Muhammad Ali Ibn Sayyid. It is an amazing comparative journey across the “then known world” of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid speaks to your heart and soul from languages of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe brought forward “full-circle” to current African-American descendants culminating the fulfillment of our dreams. Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid was 1 of the 292 Muslim African-American Union Soldiers listed in the 1865 US Muster Rolls who fought for the freedom of African-Americans. Lesson Plan PDF available for all presentations. You, your children and grandchildren will never forget this truly profound “untold story”… a “Legacy of Forgotten Roots”. “YERO Mahmoud”-Forgotten Roots (1736-1823) In 1753, the British slave ship “Elijah” sailed from Africa’s “Gold Coast” with a human cargo of 164 enslaved Africans. The voyage would take 286 days finally crossing the Atlantic Ocean to reach Annapolis, MD. Among the 140 surviving captives was 16 year old YERO Mahmoud and his Sister, Amana from the Fulani State of Futa Djallon (W. Africa). This was 23 years before America would become a “free” nation. This is a story of “Forgotten Roots”. The story of “YERO Mahmoud 45 Minutes-1 Hour: No Intermission. Portrayed by Mumin Yaseen

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great program I love it. It was very educational. Outstanding

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

“Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid-292 United States Colored Troops” & “The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid”

Survival is itself a condition that runs throughout the human race; it is not something a particular race, ethnicity or culture, for example, can solely lay claim too. But what can be laid claim too are the experiences Muhammad Ali ibn Sayyid and Omar ibn Sayyid underwent. A veiled history exists and we need such performances to acknowledge people who are more than "other". And in doing so, the performances leave you with a sense of empowerment as the audience experiences who these men were before and during slavery.

Tanya Andrious

1 Roland2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The very first time I heard of Images of The Motherland I was intrigued. As an older African American and a child of the Sixties, African American history has been crucial in formalizing my world view. These performances are factual, informative and extremely interesting. I watched the younger people in the audience, to get a sense of the impact of Mr. Kenya's portrayal of Omar Ibn Sayyid would have on them. The children appeared fascinated by the dramatic acting of Mr. Kenya, and at the conclusion asked some very good questions. As a Social Worker in the Philadelphia area I understand how impressionable young minds are. In today's climate of rapid fire news (if it bleeds it leads mentality), sit-coms and sports dominated entertainment our children are left lacking true intellectual stimulation. I commend Mr. Kenya for his vision! Thank you.
Roland Sharpe

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i had a most amazing experience on saturday, oct. 5th, when baba kenya completely transformed into omar ibn sayid on stage at the pa state museum. his passion as an artist became that of a man who longed for freedom and home. i was totally convinced that we were given a 1 hour 15 minute glimpse of omar's life. the use of the original languages and cultural behaviors was phenomenal also!...a must see by everyone, would love to see it over and over again.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The production of Emancipation Proclamation Jubilee was a very informative and educational event. My 10 year old daughter enjoyed the program and asked and answered questions. The historian was very knowledgeable. Thanks and much success to all involved

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

February of this year (2012) I took my 8 year old daughter to see the production of The Life and Times O Omar Ibn Sayyed. We both enjoyed the production. She learned much which was my goal to introduce her to a past that would hopefully impact her future. For me the production was a reminder of yesterday and how much further we have a a people to progress. Brother Ahmed Kenya is an outstanding artist. I have recommended the production to others to see as well. A friend of mind went to see the production and was so happy that I told her about it. She absolutely loved it! Thank you Images of the Motherland Interactive theater for bringing such a beautiful and educational production to life. rahmah

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What I feel I love best about Images of the Motherland Interactive Theatre and its Living History Heritage Project, it pushes Americans to take a world view, to view history outside of America and Europe. While, taking this unexpected journey, one realizes the familiarity of the human. Their work is so important as well as extremely entertaining.

1 Queen Sheba Village

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Peace & Greetings! A great and moving performance by Ahmad Kenya, portaying the role of Sayyid Ibn Omar a honorable human being with a remarkable story to share wuth the world and community. This dynamic Interactive voice is a treasure to the human spirit and moves emotions to a transcending level of spirituality!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid was a wonderful show. The cast was very good as was the story. I think in this day and age we need to teach anti-violence as Images of the Motherland does. This is a must see for all ages.