You don't have to put together a run-of-the-mill baby shower with same themes, refreshments and games as every other shower. Instead, plan an event that will fully celebrate "the cultural influence of African-Americans and their ancestors," as stated by Tonya D. Evans in her book, "Put Soul in Your Baby Shower."
Prayers and Blessings
Africans use blessings frequently in acts as simple as greetings to more serious rituals and parties. The belief is that if enough people bestow someone with a particular blessing, such as in this case, a healthy child, it will come true. For example, you can ask your guests to stand together and recite a traditional blessing of the Nuer people of southern Sudan and western Ethiopia, such as: "Our father, it is thy universe, it is thy will. Let us be at peace, let the souls of thy people be cool. Thou art our father, remove all evil from our path." Alternatively, you can ask guests to write their own blessings for your child and place them in a decorative bowl for you to read later and keep forever.
Janice Robinson suggests you create a Swahili baby block cake in the book "Pride and Joy: African-American Baby Celebrations." Using three boxes of carrot cake mix, prepare the cake batter according to the manufacturer's instructions and pour the batter into three separate 9 inch by 9 inch baking pans. While the cakes are baking, mix one can of icing with red food coloring to make pink icing and another can of vanilla icing with blue food coloring to make baby blue icing. Fill two separate frosting tubes with each respective color and write a letter "A "on the first cake, a letter "B" on the second cake and a letter "C" on the final cake, alternating frosting colors. Underneath the frosted "A," write the word "Abee" which means "I am on the way" in Swahili. Underneath the letter "B," write "Barikwa" which means "Your blessing" in Swahili. Under the letter "C," write "Chunga" which means "Look after me." In it's entirety, your cakes bear a Swahilian message: "I am on the way, your blessing; look after me."
Present a new, freshing spin on nursery rhymes by proposing a game called Def Poetry Nursery Rhymes. Print out famous nursery rhymes such as Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty and Little Bo Peep on index cards. Players have to stand up, select a card at random and recite the classic nursery rhyme with an interesting new beat and continue the rhyme with new lyrics. Create a game such as Afro-centric baby trivia and make up questions about famous African American children that have appeared in cinema and television. For example, "What was the name of the young girl who played Rudy on the Cosby Show?"
- "Pride and Joy: African-American Baby Celebrations"; Janice Robinson; 2001
- "Put Soul in Your Baby Shower: The African-american Baby Shower Book"; Tonya D. Evans; 2006
- Photo Credit Mother and child in shade image by geophis from Fotolia.com
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