About Us


Our Logo - Literally: A CHAIN or LINK


"We are linked in both
life and death"

This symbol represents unity and responsibility. Its meaning relates to the concept of connection with cooperation. It relates human beings to the links of a chain, where the interdependence of each person (link) determines the success of the community (chain).

(CFC code 43710)



Our mission is to nurture and promote the cultural spirit of Africa in the Diaspora and support health and humanitarian programs in Africa . Jah Kente International, Inc. (JKI) offers to you, the community, services in the areas of display/exhibition/curatorial presentations featuring selected articles of (1) a private African collection acquired by the curator, Rufus T. Stevenson, during his work and travels in Africa and the South Pacific; (2) theatrical presentation Redemption Ritual: Inviting The Ancestors To Be Present conceived by Douglas McArthur Johnson*, is an anthology of eleven classic African-American poems written by seven African American poets from the Harlem Renaissance. When strung together they trace, the African presence from pre-captivity to the present; (3) “Slave Genealogy" - a genealogical presentation demonstrating how you too may research your family's history, and gain insight, health and strength remembering SANKOFA - an old African Adinkara symbol meaning "look to the past, fetch what is needed and move on." Presented by the President of Jah Kente International, Roland C. Barksdale-Hall, author, lecturer/minister and genealogist; and (4) support for our first African project "The Sibiry Doumbia Community Memorial Health Center in the village of Koundgodjan , Mali ( West Africa ).


Under the management of Jah Kente International, Inc., Redemption Ritual has presented at the Corcoran Gallery of Art; opened Washington, DC's City-Wide Black History Month Kick-Off at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library here in the District of Columbia; the grand opening of the African-American Historical Society's Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana; performed on the lawn of the Fredrick Douglass National Historical Site in Washington, DC; and presented as a professional student "showcase" production at the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, District of Columbia and at the University of District of Columbia.


*Brother Johnson, a teacher, scholar and actor was known in theater circles as Sincere Thunder Namefree, believed the best poets to feature in Redemption Ritual who will speak clear and honest of their journey were: Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Robert Hayden, Richard Wright, Margaret Walker, Sterling A. Brown and James Weldon Johnson. These poets illuminate the core of the African-American experience in Africa and American as it related to bondage and freedom; they describe in details, tribulations and successes of that struggle. And the poets, like Sincere, believed these poems had the ability to birth racial healing through education, but more important, through the presentation. In the summer of 1994, Sincere Thunder Namefree passed away, and Rufus T. Stevenson continued the work that Sincere had started.


Founded in 1997, Jah Kente International is Washington 's premier venue for the consistent powerful presentation of African art and African literature. For eleven consecutive years JKI has stage dressed the Kennedy Center's Concert Hall for the annual "Spirit of Kwanzaa" celebration; dressed major church sanctuaries and events including Nineteenth Street Baptist, Greater New Hope Baptist, Union Temple Baptist and my home church, Metropolitan A.M.E.; dress the podium on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for the 40 th anniversary March on Washington; dressed the stage on the U.S. Capitol steps for the 10 th anniversary of the Million Man March; and presented at theaters, universities, schools and organizations.

Sibiry Doumbia Community Memorial Health Center

Thanks to the HENRY SCHEIN , INC. - a global healthcare products company and the D.C. Rotary Foundation our first two shipments of medical supplies have been delivered to the Sibiry Doumbia Community Memorial Health Center in the village of Koungodjah, The Republic of Mali, West Africa . Peace

Members of the Board of Directors

Rufus Tiefing Stevenson, Executive Vice President/Treasure
Africanist, Curator, Producer/Actor

Dr. Roland C. Barksdale-Hall, President
Librarian Administrator, Genealogist, Author, Storyteller

Dr. Elsie Williams
Professor of English

Edward Stevenson
Construction Worker (Ret.)

Maurice Johnson
Actor, Drama Instructor

Lassine Doumbia
Financial Analyst

Charisma Wooten, Secretary
Actor, Playwright and Educator

Emanuel Payton
Senior Security Principal
Xerox Services 

Joseph Perry, Board Advisor
Internet & Computer Services





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