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About BBRP

    The Black Banjo Reclamation Project (BBRP) is a group of musicians and performers employing a multitude of tactics to advance African American and Black life through the pursuance of the traditional folk musical practices relating to the banjo. Our organizing leadership, along with participants in our programs, have harnessed plans and taken action towards the reclamation of the banjo firmly based in the racial, social, economic, historical, spiritual, earth-based and practical ways that music can be used as a form of cultural healing. BBRP takes a unique approach to fostering an environment of change-based community design at the root. By placing the banjo at the very center of our work we create and nurture an ancestral connection through the ways that playing, teaching and creating the instrument produces a tie to rich cultural heritage and the way wisdom is passed down through song. 

      Our healing comes from creating spaces for Black artists to thrive as we pursue the banjo— as an historically Black and African communication and spiritual technology. The banjo, even though it has taken on a modern form— originates from earthen materials: gourds, wood and raw goat-hide. The banjo is most well known for its recent histories related to colonization and enslavement. As organizers of a liberatory project, working with the banjo means combating racist stereotypes within the world of banjo and different folk genres. We accomplish this by uplifting inherent connections that we, as Black people, have to the banjo itself as a pre-colonial expression of our indigenous connections to land, cultural expression and traditional land based folk art practices. As facilitators, we have been tasked with going deeper into these inquiries in order to truly obtain individual healing and reconnect the community in multi-faceted ways.

Our healing comes from creating spaces for Black artists to thrive as we pursue the banjo— a historically Black and African communication and spiritual technology.

Our Mission

Our Intention

BBRP is a cultural institution focused on reinstating and reconnecting Black people with African-based, diasporic cultural traditions of the banjo in local communities and around the world. Our work both acknowledges, and combats, the colonization of the banjo through enslavement and other oppressive tactics. BBRP as an organization creates a container for the deeply rooted traditional and healing practice of playing and crafting banjo instruments by serving Black individuals, families and organizations that reflect the heritage of the original stewards and creators of the instrument which dates back thousands of years. Founded on a wide array of cultural practices that are integral to Black life in America: land stewardship, healing arts, academia and historical education, spirituality, and social justice. Our work motivates a broad audience of supporters and collaborators to examine these conditions within the Black experience while inspiring anti-oppression work and camaraderie in diverse populations.


Our Vision

The Black Banjo Reclamation Project is a collaboratively creative eco-system that curates musical, cultural and land-based healing opportunities for Black, Afro-Diasporic communities around the world to work with the banjo as a tool for reclaiming ancestral wisdom and creating Afro-futures. By teaching and learning banjo playing techniques with African and Black centered perspectives, our unique facilitation of programs which includes banjo musical education, building with traditional materials, repair of donated instruments, we highlight the practice of land stewardship and the roots of Black liberation found in our folkways via restorative somatic community experiences. Through economic solidarity and self-determination, we are paving pathways for restorative narratives to use music as a tool for transforming our world.

We Need Your Support Today!

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