Adigun Kazemde Ajamu Interview
Adigun Kazemde Ajamu is a visionary and community activist. As an avid reader of Afrikan and Black culture, he knew that he wanted to promote Black positive messaging with a purpose. This love for our people and thirst for knowledge led to the founding of the Black Dot Cultural Center and Bookstore. However, his journey did not begin here.
As a young man growing up on the streets of North Jersey, Kazemde knew that he wanted to make a difference. During that time, he wasn’t certain of how he could attain this goal because he thought making a difference required something he didn’t have – a lot of money.
Over the course of twenty years, Kazemde worked various jobs. His diverse background includes sales and marketing in the mortgage banking industry and the automotive industry. During this time, he spent a great deal of time searching within himself. Beginning in 1989, Kazemde’s increasing knowledge of Afrikan history and his interest in social and political issues sparked the transformation into the foundation of his purpose. As a result, he finally discovered a way to bring positive Black messaging in everything he does.
After becoming more in tune with his Afrikan roots, he decided to consult with one of the elders. In the Afrikan tradition, babies are not named before or even immediately after birth. The parents consult with the elders in the village and based on the child’s personality and what they wish for him, the name is given. There is a naming ceremony and their destiny is set. Armed with this information, he decided to change his name. He reached out to Baba Mwalimu Baruti in 2012 to inquire whether under these circumstances it would be appropriate to name himself or if he should be given a name by an elder. Baba Baruti advised that either would be appropriate, but Kazemde decided to request that Baba Baruti give him the honor of bestowing upon him his new name.
In April 2014, he asked Baba Baruti for his name. In July of the same year, his name was bestowed upon him. Adigun means righteous. Kazemde means ambassador. Ajamu means fights for what he wants. In November 2014, Baba Mwalimu Baruti performed the naming ceremony for Adigun Kazemde Ajamu. To know him is to understand how fitting this name is for such an humble leader.
In 2013, Kazemde Ajamu charted new territory within the Afrikan consciousness community. He partnered with producer Ronnie Burnett, Sr. to begin his own internet radio show called The Urban Politician Show. The show’s focus was on politics and history. In 2014, Ajamu added author to his resume with the publication of “Think Black: The Manifesto.” Ajamu, Inc. was born in September 2014 and AjamuDesigns’ introduced its line of legacy t-shirt designs. The “Think Black…It’s Okay” shirts, hats and hoodies hit the streets of Atlanta in October 2014 and thousands have since been shipped across the nation.
Even with all of these accomplishments, Ajamu wanted to do more still. He had a vision of bringing his people together and helping them learn more about themselves to promote power within our communities. This desire birthed the concept of the Black Dot brand. The Black Dot is an ancient Afrikan symbol for Blackness – the seed and archetype of all humanity. It is the hidden doorway to the collective unconscious, ancestral memory bank for all who enter.
Kazemde wants to help his customers in the process of “moving from the unconscious state to the conscious knowing.” The Black Dot Cultural Center and Bookstore is a community gathering place where you can come in, sit back with a cup of Afrikan coffee or tea and read a book, purchase diaspora-inspired pieces and attend events to enhance your being. Our people are becoming more and more unapologetically Black and this is a safe haven for expression and food for the journey. This sacred space is here to offer literature to touch your spirit while addressing our history, spirituality and psychological behavior towards one another.
The Black Dot Cultural Center and Bookstore is not simply the expansion of a brand, but an extension of Adigun Kazemde Ajamu. A devoted husband, father and grandfather, Kazemde resides in Lithonia, Georgia. Affectionately known as Baba Kaz, he now makes public appearances and speaks to young people about the importance of education, respect for their elders and making a difference within the Black community. He spends his travels supporting Black businesses while spreading the Think Black message because, after all, It’s Okay.
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