In the Khametic (Ancient Egyptian) language, uhemu means storyteller, historian, lecturer, orator; cultural custodian.
Conceived and founded by lifelong cultural educator Queen Mother Imakhu, UHEMU (woo-HEM-oo) is the advocacy organization for Black and Latino storytellers, poets, musicians, historians, documentarians, cultural educators, folkloric artists, and African/Latino spiritual traditionalists.
UHEMU promotes its members and member organizations to venues and special events for appearances, workshops, speaking engagements, and performances. UHEMU also provides workshops to help novice members improve their speaking and presentation skills. UHEMU addresses artist concerns for gigs, networking, health care, and business insurance.
UHEMU also advocates and encourages the preservation of local and African diasporic and Latino history through the creation of local cultural museums, schools, and cultural centers. UHEMU is also committed to new expressions of the Black and Brown experience in film. UHEMU is additionally supportive of new voices in Black and Brown theater.
Queen Mother Imakhu's passion for cultural preservation and reclamation is tied to her own rich ancestral and living relative roots. Her maternal ancestor, Billy Artis, fought in the Nat Turner Uprising. George W. Murray, former enslaved African turned politician, author, and inventor, is her paternal ancestor. Her father, Tommie James Lloyd, became the first African American to be accepted into the NJ Tool & Die Association. Her paternal cousins are South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, vocalist John Legend, and CBS News correspondent the late Harold Dow.
Queen Mother Imakhu's maternal grandparents were sharecroppers, who came to NJ and became respected business people. Additionally, she embraces her Gullah Geechee heritage, Mende, Bajan/Caribbean, Cherokee, and Lumbee bloodlines, her North and South Carolinian roots, and her North Jersey upbringing. Queen Mother's talent for storytelling and public speaking came from both sides of her family, with a long line of ministers, politicians, and engaging storytellers. Her mother and grandparents raised Queen Mother to love her people and culture. Her mom exposed her to Black theater, films, and history books. As a result, Queen Mother Imakhu, known to her family as Elaine Lloyd-Nazario, has made cultural education and performances her life's mission. She encourages her audiences and students to know themselves through learning the fullest extent of their own family histories. Her folkoric storytelling and contemporary poetry is heard on public radio stations around the world.
Queen Mother Imakhu co-founded Newark Latino Film Festival and Newark Latino Artist Collective. She is founder and CEO of AKERU MultiMedia, and Shenu Art & Yoga Sanctuary (teaching from its African origins). She created UHEMU Black & Brown Storytellers to unite Artists of Color, and to share the vast cultural richness of the African diaspora.
Storyteller, vocalist, poet, actor, musician, lecturer, filmmaker, cultural educator, event producer and arts administrator
Queen Mother Imakhu,
Chief-Founder of UHEMU. Learn more about her HERE.