NUBIAN JAM HISTORY
According to the SCBHC’s historian, Marilyn Quincy, in 1993, a group of friends who had not seen each other in a long time reunited at a funeral for another friend. After the memorial, the friends all agreed they should plan… a time where they could reminisce and share memories about their childhood. Catch up on present-day events and experiences involving their families and current lives. It was at that time when these individuals decided that only coming to together when someone was ill or had passed away was no longer acceptable. They agreed that it was appropriate to gather to celebrate community, family, and life by honoring their heritage, past and present both young and old. It was agreed that they would intentionally make and set aside quality time where they could invite the community to celebrate, fellowship, laugh, sing, dance, eat, share stories, network, honor the elders and give space to the youth to freely express themselves.
It just so happened that also in 1993, the City of Everett was celebrating its 100-year centennial. Ms. Marilyn Quincy and other black community members approached the Centennial Committee asking if the African American or Black Community could be a part of this historic event as we were residents in the City of Everett and Snohomish County before Everett was recognized.
According to the Federal Archives, a Territorial Census for Washington State was conducted in 1889 which showed 15 blacks living in Snohomish County. Three families made up the 16 residents. Husband and wife, William P Stewart (mulatto/49), Eliza Steward (molott0/40), their child, Zay (mulatto/20) and Eliza’s father, Abraham Thornton (mulatto/78) who lived with them. The Udell Family was the second family noted. Husband and wife, George (white/61) & Frazaline (black/30) and their 6 children. Lastly, the Richardson family. Husband and wife, WR (black/65) & Martha (black/67) and their two adult children, George (black/37) and Frank (black/20) and their E Chapman (mulatto/6). Ms. Quincy stressed the point to the newly formed SCBHC that Blacks had contributed much growth and wellbeing to the City of Everett as well as to Snohomish County and it was vital to add our experiences and voices to the missing pages of Everett’s history.
After receiving approval to participate in the Centennial, the planning for the first Annual Nubian Jam began. Some of the original members for the Nubian Jam included Debra Ponds-Smith, Maxine Ponds and Vanessa Ponds. Marie Clay. Joe Holliman. Anthony Greenridge. Ron Gibson. Ella Anderson, Peggy Taylor, Clara Lumpkin’s and Ms. Marilyn Quincy.
The first Nubian Jam took place on the 4th of July weekend of 1993 and was officially accepted by the City of Everett Centennial Events. Some of the activities included in the first Nubian Jam were, speeches by the mayor, law enforcement, and members of Everett School Board. As well as vendor booths displaying books, fashion, art, and jewelry. We had African dance and drum teams. Various music ranging from gospel to rap and hip hop, potato sack races, story- telling, and a sweet potato pie contest. The first Nubian Jam had over 300 people in attendance.
The Nubian Jam adopted its name after one of the young people, who served on the committee, shared that Nubian meant “Beautiful People”. In further research, we also learned the name Nubia is derived from the Noba people: nomads who settled the area in fourth-century AD following the collapse of the kingdom of Meroë. In America, the name Nubia has come to be virtually synonymous with blackness and Africa. To ethnographers and linguists, it refers to a specific region straddling southern Egypt and northern Sudan, where black-skinned Nubians have traditionally lived. (https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Nubia).
Since 1993, the Nubian Jam Community Celebration continues to thrive and remains a well-received expectation in Snohomish County. The Nubian Jam is the oldest cultural celebration of its kind to honor and celebrate Black heritage in Snohomish County. There has only been one occasion when the event had to be cancelled, which was 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions associated with having physical gatherings.
Attendees can expect: We believe that anytime people of ethnic and cultural diversity can come together in the spirit of understanding and mutual enjoyment, the community as a whole will benefit. The NUBIAN Jam is designed to bring about a cross-cultural understanding and promote a healthy and safe community for the residents of Snohomish County. Since the time of its inception, the Nubian Jam has grown to close to 3000 according to the statistics from the City of Everett/Parks and Recreation.
· Activities for Children
· Recognition of our Elders
· Car Show
· Youth Basketball Tournament
· Arts and Crafts
· Toy Give Away
· Fashion Show
· Youth Talent on Display
· Educational Information
· Collaboration with Community Partners
· Cultural Displays & Historical Information
· MUCH MORE
The event has been held at the Forest Park in Everett, usually beginning at 10:00am and concluding at 7:00 pm. As always, the event is open to everyone and admission is FREE. The event has a festival type atmosphere with entertainers, food, retail, and craft vendors. We feature local talent, highlight our youth, and give historical narrations. Interspersed within the event are messages from African American role models, educational and health service providers. The event is conducted in a family-oriented environment.
NO ALCHOHOL OR DRUGS ARE ALLOWED.
NUBIAN JAM OVERVIEW
The NUBIAN Jam is a celebration of African and African American culture in the form of fellowship and community connectedness. The goal is to be an educational as well as an entertaining event. Through it, we strive to honor our elders, inspire, and encourage positive self-awareness in our youth. Our ultimate goal is to promote unity and fellowship by helping the community become aware of the beautiful richness of the Black culture.