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Mother Patricia Continues Beat of Black History



The Black History Month Lecture Series at the Multicultural Arts Center (MAC) in Merced continued for a second weekend by giving the spotlight to “Mother” Patricia Morgan — a lifelong activist, spiritual coach, and universal parental figure.

She packed in a wide variety of stories and fields of knowledge with her short time on stage Jan. 28. Mother Patricia discussed the many facets of storytelling, gave the floor to a couple with an astounding story, as well as telling us “Our Story.” A bonus treat of the evening was that the event was accompanied by percussionist, Mark Henry II, who had a surprise performance the previous weekend.

“Mother Morgan is such an inspiration. We’re looking forward to having more of her presentations and storytelling here at the MAC in the near future,” says Colton Dennis, MAC director.

The presentation began with the soothing and empowering sounds of the drums being played. Shown on the projector behind the stage was a beautiful landscape of a beautiful African landscape. Happily seated stage to support Patricia, was her husband Leroy Morgan. The crowd sat calmly and quietly, captivated by the rhythm, as they waited for Mother Patricia to approach the microphone.

To the beat of the drum, presented melodically, calmly, yet proudly, Patricia began telling the audience about the history of the drum. How, historically, that the drum has been used for far more than just the musical purpose that we do today, that “It is a sacred tool connecting heaven and the Earth.” It is much more than just an instrument; the drum is a tool that can be used for long-range communication as well as storytelling. For its use in storytelling, it would be used in the same way that she did for the presentation, it was a way to help keep the audience focused and in the trance of the story through strategic emphasis and the changing of pace.

She continued to reflect on the extreme relevance of storytelling to early cultures (and thus nowadays as well). A long time ago, the earliest cultures, before written word was developed, people relied on spoken word for stories to be remembered and saved for generations to come, and to help.

“Imagine if our ancestors did not pass on their knowledge?” Patricia asked the crowd rhetorically, which forces the audience to evaluate the importance of storytelling as an art to the success of humanity as a whole.

Patricia then introduced one of her spiritual daughters, Joy Aborode, and her husband Jerimiah Aborode, and gave them the stage to share their incredible story. With the support of Mother Patricia, the couple recently moved to the United States so that Joy can further her education here at UC Merced. As they both came from incredibly religious families, as well as differing tribes, which comes with a wide variety of stereotypes, they have gone through a lot to make their love for one another work.

Individually, they are each impressive and hard-working scholars who have beaten the odds to carve out a great life for them. Jerimiah studied Architecture and was working commercially as an Architect in Nigeria before the move, and Joy completed a degree in English before pursuing her masters and being accepted to UC Merced for a Doctorate program.

They spoke about the importance of faith and the church in their life. They both credit their devout nature and ultimate devotion to the church as the reason for their success and fortune. They left to audience with two pieces of advice that they live by and think all can benefit from, one “With God, all things are possible.” and two, “Don’t just make a living, live a life.”

Mother Patricia then took back the stage and continued talking about the power and importance of storytelling as well as storytellers. She says, “Storytellers are assigned, appointed, anointed to give knowledge.” She continued to talk about how many (if not most) people will not ask the right questions or take the time to learn and analyze the progress made by others, which means it is left to the storyteller to make sure that society progresses and retains growth.

The then the lecture shifted to more personal topics. Mother Patricia announced that she would be telling a story, “For anyone who has been personally attacked,” with the goal of creating a hopeful “exodus” for them. She relayed the importance of one having an overall vision and being willing to chase your dreams, much like how Joy and Jerimiah did. Telling everyone, “To never become so invested in your ego that you no longer dream or take risks.” She talked about  the many types of opposition that you may encounter if you embrace yourself, but that it is worth it in the end. Most importantly, she expressed the necessity of being willing to change and grow.

“Check your attitude, your beliefs, assumptions, and how you feel… Make sure your beliefs are valid and in service of you. Your story is always changing, so always update your knowledge and beliefs.”

The event was followed up by a Nigerian feast, full of favorite cultural cuisines, provided freely by Mother Patricia and her family for anyone who decided to stay afterward.

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