Haraya and friends came out in support of a Brooklyn bookstore on Feb. 2 at “Groove III,” an event sponsored annually by the Pan-African Students Coalition. The bookstore, Nkiru, is facing closure.
“We want to keep it open,” said Dorian Fuller, executive vice president of Haraya.
Nkiru is a center for culture and education.
The entertainment at “Groove III” included five time Apollo winner at amateur night for poetry Jessica Care Moore; musician Detroit Read; Sharriff Simmons, author of “Fast Cities and Objects That Burn;” musician Black Monsoon; and Mums, an actor from the HBO original series OZ.
Other entertainers included rappers Top Gunz and To Hunt Nine, poet and author of “Mental Hieroglyphics.” DJ DP One hosted the event. Aside from entertaining, the performers spoke about life as an African- American and the trials and tribulations they face.
The event drew 150-200 people. Seventy percent of the proceeds will go to Nkiru. The other thirty-percent goes to benefit the organization. “This is the third ‘Groove’ Haraya is sponsoring, and it is more successful each year,” said Fuller.
Haraya does many things to help the community, such as helping the Bread and Life Foundation which St. John’s helps to support. Every year Haraya hosts the Black Music Fest. This event draws around 3,000 people, and a large percentage of the profits goes to Bread and Life. “I enjoyed ‘Groove,’ this was a good idea to help Nkiru,” said Cheryl Clark, a junior.
Haraya has been in existence for 30 years. They are the main sponsors for African Heritage Month. “I am content with the way the month has started out, and with ‘Groove,'” Brad Griffith, President of Haraya said.
Haraya is also sponsoring a number of discussion forums and will host the Black and White Ball. These events are just a few of the activities planned throughout February for St. John’s University’s African Heritage Month.