My name is Tyehimba Kafele. Tyehimba means "we stand as a nation"; Kafele means "worth giving one’s life for". To my two nephews, Marshun and Marzellus, and my three nieces Autumn, A’shi and Olivia, I am known as Uncle Shawn. I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio by my mother, Monica Hall and Gary Springs, who up until I was twelve served as my surrogate father. I grew up with my three sisters April Hall, Sharell Hall (aka Ray-Ray or Rell), and Nichole Keyser (aka Nikki). My journey begins and ends with my family, especially my relationship with my nephews and nieces, who more than anyone else inspires me to continue to develop and hone my character as an Afrikan man. My background is diverse and quite introspective. Upon being “honorably” discharged from
the US Navy I moved back to Toledo, Ohio where I attended Owens Community College. While at Owens, I along with a few other students, started the school’s first Black Student Union. Around this time, I was also active in another organization SAAB (Student African American Brotherhood), which I also attempted to bring to Owens. My experience with organizing on this level was very valuable and helped me to understand a very key thing about myself: I was not meant to organize on the campus of a White institution. My next endeavor which more accurately reflected who I was, was forming a study group which I eventually named, P.A.S.T (Pan Afrikan Scholars of Tomorrow). Out of this group I developed very significant relationships with other brothers and sisters in the community who on some level shared my vision. This also led me to an opportunity to teach a group exercise class for Black women at the YWCA for several years. Recently I relocated to Atlanta, Georgia to continue to build relationships with elders and brothers and sisters who I believe will be instrumental to my growth as an Afrikan man.