Community celebrates ‘Imani’

Community celebrates ‘Imani’
January 07
00:00 2016
Photo by Timothy Ramsey
Patricia Sadler reads a biography of honoree Mildred Peppers and prepares to present an award to Peppers’ daughter Joniece Pledger on Friday, Jan 1.
Former Chronicle columnist Mildred Peppers honored

By Timothy Ramsey

For The Chronicle

The final day of Kwanzaa celebrates the seventh principle, “Imani” or faith, which means to believe in our parents, our leaders, our teachers, our God, our community, and the righteousness and the victory of our struggle.

Emmanuel Baptist Church culminated the community-wide, weeklong Kwanzaa event with excerpts from an original play “When Courage Becomes Contagious.” Adapted from the struggle in Selma, Alabama, during the civil rights movement, the play was written by church member Felecia Piggott-Long and honored Mildred Peppers, former columnist for the Chronicle.

“It means that not only is she a role model for my sisters and I, but she is a role model to her church and her community and God is good and she will keep on teaching in whatever fashion God has her to do. She will teach the word of God because that’s what she truly enjoys,” said Joniece Pledger, daughter of Mildred Peppers, who accepted the award in the absence of her mother, who is again battling cancer and was not able to attend.

Songs and chants that required audience participation from the onset of the celebration got everyone excited and engaged.  The children were involved in the event as well by lighting the Kwanzaa candles and giving an example of the principles of Kwanzaa.

The excerpts from the play were an adaptation of the voter rights efforts for African-Americans in Selma and were shown to elaborate on the principle of faith.  The participation of the youth and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were highlighted in the scenes. Members of the church performed as the characters of the play during a reading of the play’s excerpts.

According to Piggott-Long, she wrote the play for the church’s MAAFA celebration, which she explained is an epic voyage tracing the history of the African holocaust, which she said is the darkest human tragedy as African-Americans. She said this is a way to experience and connect with African-American ancestors who were aboard the slave ships. Even though present African-Americans were not there, at times “we still feel enslaved,” she said.

Mildred Peppers is a deacon at Emmanuel Baptist and was the “Sunday School Lesson” columnist for The Chronicle from 1999 until late last year.  Peppers’ absence was because she endured a cancer treatment procedure earlier in the week and was not feeling up to attending.  Pledger stated that her mother was really thankful to receive this acknowledgement and was appreciative to everyone.

Patricia Sadler, member of Emmanuel Baptist stated, “On the occasion of Imani, which is faith, we wanted to recognize someone who personifies faith in their daily life. Deacon Peppers has been an active member of church, as well as throughout the community, and having been an educator, she has influenced many young people so she is so very deserving of this recognition.”


About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors