Medgar Evers collective collecting to feed the needy

Actress Hillary Roosevelt Ricketts learning about the 'Breadfruit' from Braata Folk Singers members.
Photo courtesy of Braata Folk Singers, file

‘Tis the season for giving.

And traditionally at this time of year, the People of the Sun Middle Passage Collective at Medgar Evers are renowned for mobilizing volunteers to give to some of Brooklyn’s most disfranchised residents by providing an annual holiday fare.

In conjunction with the Student Life Student Government, MEC Women’s Center, SEEK, and Crown Heights Youth Collective, this year they have collaborated to partner with shelters for an alternative philanthropic holiday initiative and community outreach.

“Sadly we will not be holding our annual Feeding the Needy community dinner and gifts drive at Medgar Evers,” a recent press release said.

For the first time in 53 years with still surging infectious rates from COVID-19 the daylong family, feast of Kwanza activities has been cancelled.

However, Akeem, director of the Collective wants to make it very clear, the mission to ‘Feeding The Need’ is as vigorous as ever and will prevail this month.

To that effort he is reminding civic minded citizens of the need for donations.

In the spirit of the season, a toy drive is urgently needed.

In addition to a need for new unwrapped toys, new socks, gloves, scarves and other winter gear will be appreciated.

Donations can be dropped off at 147 Rockaway Ave. (between Fulton & Herkimer) between Tuesdays to Saturdays any time after 3 pm. Donors are urged to call the location prior to delivering packages. The telephone number is 718-342-6257.

For more information, contact him at 718-659-4999.

Checks will be accepted and should be made out to MEC/Ancestors of the Middle Passage Collective. The above mailing address should include Brooklyn 11233.


Andrew Clarke, executive director of Braata Productions is ecstatic that the Caribbean company is in the midst of celebrating a decade.

Launched to “showcase the best of the Caribbean and its people,” 10 years ago, Clarke is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the catchy patois moniker which interprets “we give you something more!”

The 2020 bonus offers a rebranded presentation titled ‘Christmas Grand Market: A Caribbean Celebration.’

Initially referred to as Ole Time Grand Market, a free virtual version will debut on Dec. 13 at 5 pm.

“Braata will be replicating the family Christmas tradition every December… incorporating customs from other Caribbean territories and culminating with a grand concert,” Clarke explained.

Hosted by Jamaican TV presenter and actress Dahlia Harris, live performances by the Braata Folk Singers, the Alliouagana Singers from Montserrat, Amantes de Parranda from Trinidad and Tobago, Cesca from Antigua and a myriad of cultural and folkloric groups from the Caribbean region are slated.

Familiar to Braata fans who have travelled from borough to borough each December to experience face paintings, jonkonoo, live folk music, holiday crafts, foods and nostalgic references, the “market is a longstanding Christmas tradition in Jamaica mostly practiced today in rural parts of the island.”

Clarke explained that the tradition evolved “after Christmas morning church service, the community would be out in their numbers in the town square, or an open lot participating in a variety of games and competitions for all ages, many gifts items were on display, and food and drink were in constant supply and demand and a great time was had all throughout the day. “

In order to join the virtual celebration, register for the Facebook live stream at

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