WELCOME TO COCOJAMS.COM!
If you like reading examples of children's playground rhymes, chants, and cheers, then Cocojams.com is the place for you.
Cocojams is a repository of information, examples, and videos of children's playground rhymes & cheers. Unlike most websites on playground children's rhymes, Cocojams uses a folkloric approach to showcase the words of real rhymes that children and youth recite. Many of the rhymes featured here are from Cocojams readers.
The overarching purpose of Cocojams,com is to increase awareness about African American culture and other cultures of the African Diaspora. While this website includes examples of playground rhymes from non- Black people, Cocojams' main focus is music/dance from African American and other Black cultures around the world.
It is my opinion that racial demographics may add more layers of information and may also make a difference in interpretation grows out of my experiences as a community folklorist whose main focus is contemporary English language playground rhymes, cheers, & singing games. Persons who collect and share folk songs and rhymes routinely document demographics such as age, gender, and geographical location. And it’s my position that – for the folkloric and historical record – folklorists should also include race/ethnicity demographics because those demographics can and often do result in differences in what type of rhymes/songs are performed, different versions of songs/rhymes, differences in meanings of words and phrases, and/or different ways songs/rhymes are performed.
In addition to children's playground rhymes & cheers, Cocojams.com features pages on African American civil rights songs, fraternity & sorority step & stroll chants, as well as (clean) military cadences, sea shanties, and Mardi Gras Indian songs. Cocojams.com also features video examples of selected song & dance traditions and - as a bonus feature - includes pages on the origin & meaning of selected personal names & nicknames. The tie that connects all of these pages is my interest in children's playground rhymes, music, dance, and naming traditions.
All material is posted on Cocojams.com for aesthetic, educational, entertainment, historical, and folkloric purposes.
From the comments that have been included along with rhyme examples that have been sent to this website, it appears that children & teens are a significant percentage of Cocojams.com’s visitors. For this reason, and because it meets my values and aesthetic preferences, Cocojams.com is a child friendly and family friendly site. What I mean by this is that I rarely ever post rhyme examples,comments, or videos that contain even mild profanity or pejorative racial references, such as the "n word", or homophobic language, or violent language and images. I say "rarely" because some examples of teacher taunts children rhymes and other types of children's rhymes are quite violent. However, I choose to include a samplying of those examples for the folkloric record.
Cocojams has an internal search engine. Use Cocojams' search or advanced search feature for words or phrases found on this website. This Search Engine will help you find material on this site such as titles of children's rhymes, titles of civil rights songs, and video examples of a number of Jazz, Rock & Roll, and R&B/Hip-Hop dances.
HISTORY & OVERVIEW OF COCOJAMS.COM
Cocojams.com was launched in 2001 as a volunteer effort. It remains a one person volunteer effort on my part with the technical assistance of Dr. Lucas M. Musewe. Cocojams has also received voluntary assistance from Greg Simkins. Cocojams.com is not affiliated with any group, or any institution. However, Cocojams.com used to be a project of Alafia Cultural Services, the now inactive non-profit organization that I started.
I'm an African American woman who resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Among the "hats" I wear or have worn are child welfare case worker & administrator (now retired), substitute elementary teacher (no longer active) and an African Storyteller (still occassionally performing). In addition, I founded and was the facilitator of no longer active after-school & summer game song group, Alafia Children's Ensemble. I consider myself a community folklorist, and I've been a more or less active blogger on a few websites other than Cocojams
As Founder/Editor of Cocojams.com, it's my hope that Cocojams continues to be a website that people from all part of the world visit again and again. Although the majority of the pages focus on African American cultural traditions, material from visitors that meets this website standards is posted without regard to any particular race, ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, or sexual orientation.
WHAT THE WORD "COCOJAMS" MEANS TO ME
I coined the word "cocojams" in 2001 by combining the syllable "coco" from "cocoa" ("chocolate") and the African American English meaning of the word "jam" (songs).
Therefore, the meaning of "cocojams" is "Black people's songs".
In 2012, I found this online quote from this article about Jamaican Patois and proverbs:
"'Wan Wan coco full baskit" - The basket can be filled by adding one coco at a time. You may not be able to put in all at the same time. (Coco is an edible tuber which helps to give body to a good pot of soup). Do not expect to achieve success overnight."
I think that adding one coco at a time fits for this compilation of songs, rhymes, and other cultural information. I'd love to say that I knew about the existence of the edible tuber "coco" and that proverb before I came up with the name "Cocojams", but it wouldn't be true. Still I'm pleased to have learned something new.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MATERIAL POSTED ON COCOJAMS
The material that I have collected through direct interactions is posted on Cocojams with the prior knowledge and agreement of those contributors (informants). Most of the material that is reposted from other websites is done so with the prior permission of those persons who first posted them, or with the permission of the owners or moderators of those websites. Examples and comments from social networking site Facebook, from YouTube video viewer comment threads, and other blogs are reposted according to "Fair Use" guidelines. Citations and hyperlinks to the source of reposted material is provided with each repost.
All videos embedded on Cocojams.com are from http://www.youtube.com/ . All music related performances remain the sole property of their respective copyright holders. No video clips are for sale, nor do they imply challenge to ownerships. Like the text examples posted on Cocojams, the videos found on this website are strictly intended for entertainment, educational, and historical purposes, and fall under the "Fair Use" guideline.
I sincerely thank all persons whose text material and/or videos are have reposted on Cocojams. If any person or website editor requests that I remove his or her text material or video from Cocojams, I will do so. My contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that links to YouTube videos or to other online resources may not remain viable. Please also be aware that comments posted on YouTube viewer comments threads or on other hyperlinked websites lymay not be suitable for children or may not otherwise meet the standards of Cocojams.
I started conceptualizing and working on Cocojams.com in late 2000 thanks to a generous grant from the Multicultural Arts Initiative, jointly funded by The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Howard Heinz Endowment. I also received a grant for research & writing from The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and The Pennslyvania Humanities Council. My sincerest thanks to all of these organizations and departments.
I have received volunteer technical assistance for Cocojams and for Jambalayah from Lucas Onyango.Musewe, and Greg Simkins. Without the technical assistance from Lucas and Greg, these websites would not exist. Thank you, Lucas & Greg!
I'm also thankful to my daughter Tazi M. Powell for her ongoing support and feedback.
Special thanks to all those who have sent in examples and comments of children's rhymes & cheers and other material for possible posting on Cocojams.com. Without visitor content, this website wouldn't be as rich an experience and a resource as it is. Please keep the examples, comments, questions, and name inquiries coming!
Please let me know what you think of this website. Comments, questions, examples of rhymes, cheers, chants, game songs, civil rights songs etc can be sent to email@example.com.
Also, if you are a member of Facebook, join my Cocojams Jambalayah page.
Share! Learn! Enjoy!
INFORMATION ABOUT JAMBALAYAH.COM
Be sure you check out another member of my website family- http://www.jambalayah.com/ .
Jambalayah.com is a website that showcases YouTube music & dance video gems. Most of these videos are from African American cultures. However, music & dance videos from other cultures in the United States and throughout the rest of the world are also showcased. Jambalayah is just a baby as it was conceptualized and launched on December 20, 2009.
INFORMATION ABOUT PANCOCOJAMS
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/ to visit my blog.
Pancocojams is an eclectic mix of information, comments, and videos about the histories, cultures, and customs of African Americans & other People of Color. The name "pancocojams" reflects this site's wide range of topics. The name "pancocojams" also reflects this blog's connection to my http://www.cocojams.com website.
Please visit and comment on this blog!
-Ms. Azizi Powell,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
latest revision January 4, 2012
Cocojams - Share! Learn! Enjoy! - firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2001-2011 Azizi Powell; All Rights Reserved