Monday, October 20, 2014

Why Black History Matters Part 2

London Black History Walks have been holding events about Black people in WWI for many years.  We have now reached the centenary of the start of the First World War and I have noticed that, over the past few years, more and more documentaries have started to emerge about the Black contribution to, and involvement in, the war.  For example, this one about Togo

I can’t help thinking that this is partly due to the example set by Black History Walks. 
I am wondering:  what do you think is the importance of Black history? 

Further to what I said in Part 1, I think there are two main benefits to gaining knowledge about our history. 

1) Understanding and analysis.  I touched on this in Part 1

2) Self-esteem and confidence.  The more we know about the Black contribution, the clearer is our sense of ourselves, our identities – individual and collective – and our gifts, talents and strengths. 

This is one reason why I publish the More Black Success ebooks.

My mother taught me about slavery and resistance when I was a young child.  Although she never used the word “resistance”, she taught me about Black heroes and sheroes like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass and Toussaint L’Ouverture. 

These stories gave me a sense of pride.  They also meant I had a little bit of knowledge on which I could build.  

It is the responsibility of each and every one of  us to pass on what Black history knowledge we have to the next generations.  

There are lots more Black history posts on this blog, so do explore.  Use this as a resource, and share it with your networks.  I welcome your comments below. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why Black History Matters

Child being pursued during the Haitian Revolution
As October is Black History Month/African Heritage Month in the UK, I have been posting lots of Black history events on Nurture Success Events – even more than usual.

Of course, many of us know that every month is Black History Month.   BHM in the UK was started in the 1980s as an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of African people.  It was never intended to be the only Black History Month – just the one observed by local authorities and other statutory bodies.

Tony Warner of London Black History Walks runs events all year long, not just in October. So do Black History Studies.

I attended “What Were Black People Doing in WW1” on Saturday – an excellent presentation.  I have seen it at least three times now, and I always learn something new. Brother Tony breaks down the whole context of how Africa and its people got involved in the two World Wars.

So why does Black history matter?   For one thing, in order to know who we really are, we need to know our history.  We need historical context to understand the events of today, and to understand why Africa and African people are in the position we are in.  For example, check out my recent blog about how people are recovering from the Rwandan genocide. To understand how and why the genocide happened, we need the historical context.

That's just one of many, many examples I can give. 

In order to subdue and control our ancestors, the enslavers did everything they could to steal their cultural identity.
When we understand how Black people were robbed of our dignity for many generations, we can begin to see why we behave in ways that are so self-destructive. And these behaviours will continue until we undergo a profound healing process. And of course, that's what my work is all about.

You may also be interested in my recent blogs about the First World War.  More about this soon.

There are loads more Black history posts on this blog, so feel free to explore. 

Organisations such as Black History Studies and London Black History Walks are making a  crucial contribution to us as a people and this needs to be acknowledged more.  Enjoy Black History Month and please share this blog with your networks. Please leave your comments below.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

World War One: The Crucial Battle for Togo

Map of colonised Africa 1914
I watched this very interesting short film on the BBC today. 

The wireless station at Kamina in Togo, West Africa, was a crucial centre for German communications.  Built by a huge workforce of African men and women during the German occupation, the station allowed the German colonisers to communicate with their home country and with Asia.

This is just one of many examples of how African labour, land and resources were exploited by European colonisers during the war. 

See also:  Black People in the First World War

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Black History: Break the Silence Congo Week 2014

Mutilated in Congo
In the 19th century, under the rule of King Leopold II, Congolese people were enslaved, forced to work in their own country, which had been turned into the king's private estate, and mutilated when they failed to meet the quotas that had been set for rubber extraction. 

For a fifth year, Black History Studies will take part in the Break the Silence Congo Week for Black History Month. 

The purpose of the Break the Silence Congo Week is to raise consciousness about the devastating situation in the Congo and mobilize support on behalf of the people of the Congo

Click here for details.  

For lots more Black history images, see:  African Images and Black History International on Pinterest. 

Monday, October 06, 2014

Free Advice from Black Business Experts

Melinda Emerson
As I'm sure you know, some of the editions of More Black Success feature advice by Black business experts.

What you may not realise is that all of the Black business experts I have interviewed provide business advice themselves.   You can contact them for advice or for ongoing mentoring and support.

And some of them offer free resources. 

I recently tried to donate copies of More Black Success to the City Business Library.  While they were initially very interested, in the end, they did not add MBS to their collection.  I was very disappointed.  However, you can still download MBS here

My own business advice involves using the power of your unconscious mind to help you achieve the results you want.  For more information, see:  How Does This Affect Your Performance

Monday, September 08, 2014

8 Key Points for Global Networking

I'm the author of Success Strategies for Black People and the author and publisher of numerous ebooks including Shaking the Money Tree and the More Black Success ebooks.  

To produce my online radio broadcasts and my books and ebooks, I have connected with, and interviewed, Black millionaires, business experts, and people from a range of different cultural backgrounds, countries, occupations and walks of life.  

Listen below for my 8 Key Points for Global Networking. 

Do you wonder how to get started networking?  Do you feel too shy or embarrassed to approach people at networking events?  

How do you decide whom you want to approach?  And how do you approach them?  

What networking mistakes do you need to avoid?  
How can networking help you to grow your business?  

Listen below for my 8 Key Points for Global Networking. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Filmmaker Ken Fero on Deaths in Police Custody

Joy Gardner
There's a reason why everyone in my neighbourhood in South London knows who Trayvon Martin was.

A few months ago, a local public meeting was held. The posters all featured a photo of Trayvon. No caption, no explanation. But everyone in this area knows that similar things happen here.

I know Trayvon was not killed by the police, but his killing was sanctioned by the courts.

BFI London South Bank recently held a day on deaths in police custody, as part of the African Odysseys ongoing film series.

Filmmaker Ken Fero, director of numerous documentaries including the multi-award-winning Injustice, spoke in the morning and screened clips from his films. In the afternoon, two of those films were screened.

Injustice chronicles the fight for justice of seven families whose members died in police custody. None of the police officers involved in these killings have been prosecuted or disciplined. Six of the families are Black (African Caribbean), the seventh is Irish. An Irishman was gunned down as he walked through Brixton carrying a wooden table leg. The police stated they thought he was armed with a gun.

All of these families are still continuing to fight for justice.

Injustice has never been shown on UK television. When it was first released in 2001, every time it was due to be shown in cinemas, the police would phone the cinema about 15 minutes before the screening was due to start, threatening legal action. They claimed the film “might be libellous”.

Ken Fero, filmmaker
However, as Fero explained at the BFI, the audience inevitably contained someone who owned a business or ran a community centre or another venue. So the audience would decamp down the street, and the film would be screened.

Like a lot of people, I was very keen to see the film, and I saw it in a barbershop in South London. All I can say is, if you haven't seen Injustice, you need to see it.

Fero has made many other films about human rights abuses committed in Britain and other European countries, notably Germany and France. It was, frankly, disturbing to hear him say how many times he has filmed some of the same families. For example, the family of Joy Gardner, a Jamaican citizen who died in police custody in 1993.

Joy Gardner suffocated whilst in police restraints. The press labelled her an illegal immigrant and, as Fero pointed out, ignored the fact that other labels could equally be applied to her. Like “student” and “mother”.

He also said that, between 2001 and 2011, another 1,000 people died in police custody. This is an escalation, as more than 1,000 deaths in police custody had occurred in the previous 30 years.

Fero said he makes these films in order to inspire people and educate them about how to take action. He told me that he doesn't want to continue to make these films but, as I am sure he would agree, it is vital that he does.

And while we are collectively mourning Michael Brown, Eric Garner and all the others, we are aware that these things also happen here.

Please join us for the International Summit on Nonviolence today.