<Askari AKERU <Askari/>


With great respect and sincere appreciation is extended to my sibling, Danny, for the support during those long training classes over the years by being the caretaker for her nephews , Mwalimu Anthony and Mwalimu Adrian. Then of course my sons, Mwalimu Anthony and Mwalimu Adrian were VS students from the age of toddlers and became the primary source of performance expertise until AKERU was able to birth students on its own.

Much appreciation to affiliate Black Belts Shihan Godan Tolliver Perry, Renshi John Bates, Sensi Heston Newland and Sensi Brett Kellog all earned additional instructor rank in the AKERU system and our drummer Mfundi Matt Falter. He gave our students many hours of dedicated training and performance time. Then Brother Lucious Smith who voluntarily taught our youth about Capoeira through many ways especially his humble demeanor.

Yet without a doubt, Mestre Dennis Newsome, the first Afrikan American to be acknowledge by the Brazilian Elders in the system of Capoeira as an Elder, gave from his soul to teach the all AKERU classes from Germany to Richmond, VA and then Columbia, SC. His visits were full of mental, physical and most important spiritual education in the martial and cultural sciences. We will be forever grateful for his contribution to the success of AKERU. To our “Women’s Council” that was established in 1995 with many thanks to the dedicated members: Mama Lavere Fairnot, Mama Paula Bridgett, Mama Barbara Stroman , Mama Di’ana Di’ana, Mama Sandra Scott, Mama Victoria , Mama Mary , Mama Christian Flynn-Hill, Mama Kim Mitchell, Mama Carolyn Revere, Mama Ayala, Mama Roberta Tyler, Mama Doni Bouknight, Mama Sheila Conyers, Mama Robin King, Mama Saundra Holland and Mama Barbara Smith. These women were my “coaches and therapists” during those very long and dark moments when being the head of a village meant being alone.

Finally, we respectfully appreciate the following Elders, who have given their knowledge directly or indirectly through Askari Mwalimu to the AKERU students, we most graciously thank you: Queen Afua, Grandmaster Leroy Taylor, Baba Maulena Karenga, Reverend Eugene White, Baba Khuru, Reverend S. Allison Baker, Brother Basin Hasan, Brother Rodd Favor, Brother “OG Tumbleweed” Abdullah-Bey, Sister Angela Muhammad, Grandmaster Alan Goldberg of the Action Martial Arts Magazine, the AKERU Radio Station Under The Guardianship of Imakhu Mwt Shekemet and The National Womens Martial Arts Federation!