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Detroit organization focused on African culture to host clean comedy fundraiser

Detroit organization focused on African culture to host clean comedy fundraiser
Alkebu-lan Village, a program focused on African culture in Detroit. (Photo courtesy of Alkebu-lan Village)

A Black Detroit martial arts organization is ready to raise some money for the holidays.

On Nov. 28 at 2 p.m., the Alkebu-lan Village will host its inaugural “Lunch & Laugh” fundraiser at 7701 Harper Avenue in Detroit.

“This is a 43-year-old institution that has done a tremendous amount of work in the Detroit community for the last 43 years,” Gregory McKenzie, Alkebu-lan Village Business Development Director and Chief Financial Officer, told rolling out. “So it’s my passion to see that this institution be able to survive beyond 43 years from here on into the future, and the best way to do that is to establish a pool of resources from which this organization can operate.”

Comedian TBarb is hosting the event, while Horace HB Sanders and Damon Williams are also performing clean comedy to make the fundraiser age-appropriate for everyone.

The name Alkebu-lan Village came from a researcher who traveled the continent of Africa and asked what the land mass was named. Alkebu-lan was the overwhelming answer. The organization started in 1978, a time where martial art films were prominent in culture. While many Black martial artists participated and won competitions, McKenzie said there weren’t many Black people in leadership roles within the field.

“[Without leadership], I don’t control any of the money that comes from the tournament process,” McKenzie said. “I don’t have I don’t benefit from any of the resources that come from collecting lessons. But as a black belt, I compete with other black belts that look like me. And none of us get anything out of it except for a trophy. And so they immediately saw the emptiness in a system that was like that, and they wanted to develop an African American martial art system.”

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