Standing in the gap

Lumbee cultural preservation at the Baltimore American Indian Center

Authored by: Ashley Minner

The Routledge Companion to Intangible Cultural Heritage

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138860551
eBook ISBN: 9781315716404
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506898


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It’s a Thursday evening at the Baltimore American Indian Center (BAIC). A circle of folding chairs has been formed in the middle of the multipurpose room, a large, gymnasium-like space used for all manner of events including mini pow wows, health fairs, fundraising banquets, graduation ceremonies, forums for Mayoral candidates of Baltimore City as well as candidates for Lumbee Tribal Chair, culture classes and for meetings like the one that is about to take place. Community members begin to trickle in. When a critical mass has arrived, we join hands and begin with a prayer. The short version goes something like this: ‘Lord, thank you for this place to serve our people. Please give us wisdom to make the right decisions for its direction. In your name we pray. Amen’.

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