“If you prick the finger of a black person, the blood is red. If you prick the finger of a yellow person, the blood is red. If you prick the finger of a red person, the blood is red. If you prick the finger of a brown person, the blood is red. If you prick the finger of a white person, the blood is red. This proves that the color of our skin doesn’t mean anything. We are all ONE. We all share the same blood.”
Harry F. Byrd
Purpose: To give all human beings regardless of age a chance to celebrate people of different cultures, ethnicities, and/or skin colors.
Participants and Set-Up:
Version One of the Celebration Game is based on participation from all colors of people. No props are necessary, just an area big enough for a large circle.
Version Two of the Celebration Game can be done when participants are all or mostly from one culture, ethnicity, or color group. Props are 5 colors of construction paper—black, yellow, red, brown, and white. Depending on the size of the group, strips of each color are cut, so that they can be waved like ribbons. If you are in a large room, the 5 colors are hung from the ceiling spaced so people can choose to stand under their chosen color. If outside, the 5 color papers are spaced on the ground and held with rocks.
Version One Everyone holds hands and creates one big circle. They practice cheering and clapping as if their favorite team just scored a winning point. Have them practice this until they are really creating a strong cheering sound. The facilitator lets them know that they will be cheering for each other.
Hint: It’s important to keep this game moving quickly!
When the cheering is satisfactory, choose 1 color to begin with and ask the people who represent that color to step into the center of the circle. Ask the people standing on the perimeter to think of one thing that this group of people have taught you or influenced you or one person of that race that you greatly admire. [Facilitator points out that it is OK to have the person they admire be someone who is standing in the center of the circle!’] When everyone is holding the thought of that person or persons in their minds and hearts, encourage the group to cheer and express gratitude for that person and race. Facilitator says, “Let the cheer go up to heaven and be heard throughout the Earth.” Facilitator praises cheering group and people in the center and invites those in the center to join the rim of the circle again.
Facilitator invites each color group into the center one by one and repeats the experience.
After all 5 colors, have been invited into the center, been cheered by the others, and returned to the rim of the circle, facilitator says, “We also know people by their blood. We say some people are ‘PURE’ bloods---meaning that their ancestors are primarily from one color group. We invite all the ‘pure’ bloods into the center of the circle.” After they are in, everyone cheers them. They return to the rim of the circle.
Next the facilitator says, “Love or union between a man and a woman of different colors can also happen. When that happens, we sometimes call the children from these relationships, ‘MIXED’ bloods. Will everyone of ‘mixed’ blood, please come into the center of the circle.” After the mixed bloods are in the center, everyone cheers them. They return to the rim of the circle.
Finally, the facilitator announces that there is ONE more cheer that we need to give. He or she says, “Will everyone with RED blood come into the center of the circle.” Usually, there is a lot of confusion and people don’t know what to do. Facilitator repeats, “Will everyone with RED blood come into the center of the circle.” Sometimes the facilitator even has to add, “That is RIGHT. That means all of you….if you have red blood , you should be in the center of the circle now.”
When everyone is in the center of the circle because everyone has red blood, the facilitator announces, “OK. Go around and shake hands with everyone who has red blood as if they are a long, lost family member.” Give everyone a chance to do this for a five minutes or less. When everyone has had a five minutes or less of this, the facilitator reads the Harry Byrd quote and announces now we will have ONE last cheer to celebrate red blood---our ONENESS!!!. Everyone cheers and claps our ONENESS.
Game is over.
Everyone holds hands and creates one big circle. They practice cheering and clapping as if their favorite team just scored a winning point. Have them practice this until they are really creating a strong cheering sound. The facilitator lets them know that they will be cheering for each other.
Hint: It’s important to keep this game moving quickly!
If the group is inside, hang 5 colors from ceiling; if outside, the colored papers are spaced out and held in place with rocks so wind doesn’t blow them. Without explaining what is going to happen next, the facilitator tells the group that in a few minutes they are going to be asked to choose to stand under or near one of the colors. When they do so, they need to look around and spread themselves out evenly so that one color doesn’t have more people than another color. This isonly a rough approximation; it doesn’t have to be exact.
Once everyone is standing beneath or near one of the colors, the facilitator hands out the strips of color that are the same as the color that people are standing under or near (Black for those people standing under black; red for those standing under red, etc.)
Facilitator then announces, “These colors symbolize the 5 different colors of human skin. These colors are sometimes called ‘the rainbow colors.’ Of course, these colors are not as pure as they might seem. Originally, science tells us that all colors came from Africa. We were all ‘birthed’ from the black race. Or, most of us are mixed tribal bloods of one kind or another.”
[Option 1: Depending on how long you have for the game, you then get all the colors to go underneath the black sign and you re-create the first GREAT migration. First brown race leaves black and goes to brown; then yellow race leaves black and goes to yellow; then red race leaves and goes to red; and then white race leaves and goes to white. Facilitator says this was the first great migration.]
When group is adults or older youth, you ask each group to talk over some of the great gifts that humanity has received from the races—art, music, science, astronomy, architecture, understanding of nature, inspirational people, great teachers, etc. The group selects a few to ‘act’ out or offer to the other races.
When groups are ready, each race/color takes a turn offering their great gifts by telling about them or acting them out quickly. Members wave their colored ribbons during their presentation. After the group has finished with their offerings, all the other colors cheer them and express gratitude.
Facilitator goes through all the colors until every group has given their offerings and received the admiration of all the other groups.
When all the groups are done, facilitator says, “Parts of the human family have always stayed close to their original land or roots and other parts have migrated elsewhere because they chose to go or because they were forced into it. In fact [add this if you haven’t done option 1], as I said, science says that we have all come from Africa. Let us thank Africa and the black race for birthing our family.” Cheers and ribbon waving from all the other groups.
The facilitator says, “Now we are going to practice migration. Let ½ of every group travel and migrate to another color/ place on the Earth; the other ½ stays at ‘home.’ Encourage each group to do this all at once. It is usually messy, but eventually they all get it and different colors are all living together.
Facilitator says, “Now look at us. We live every where and we bring our type of food with us! OK. People who stayed in one place and didn’t migrate, please shake hands with new people and welcome them, their languages, customs, and food. We need to learn how to do this.” Let each group do this all at once.
Facilitator says, “We have one more thing to recognize. We have emphasized the colors of our skin and celebrated each other. But we haven’t recognized our ONENESS yet.”
Facilitator reads Harry Byrd quote and then invites everyone with RED blood into the center of the room. When everyone is in the center, one last big cheer is sounded by everyone. Lots of clapping.