Monday, June 26, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
NUBIART EDITORIAL: Editorial Pt 1 Following Chief Lola Ayorinde repeating her view that Afrikans outside Afrika are no longer Afrikan, both Nubiart shows were dedicated to the Afrikan diaspora in places where it doesn’t get much coverage. In the first half of midweek Nubiart, we looked at the western diaspora and in the second half, at the eastern diaspora. Nubiart welcomes equally well-documented research that supports the stance of Chief Lola Ayorinde and her fellow travelers.
NUBIART PODCASTS NOW AVAILABLE: ‘What Is Beauty?’, looking at attitudes to hair, skin bleaching, relationships and Afrikan identity. You can downloadthis now at: www.soundradio1503.wordpress.com
NB: Nubiart Diary can also be read weekly at www.ligali.org and on the Afrikan Quest website.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
On June 19, 1865, the Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and announced the news. Texas was apparently the last part of the United States to be liberated, two and a half years after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth is celebrated in many parts of the United States as well as other parts of the world, as the day when African Americans finally were free. Or rather, when the government finally got around to telling us we were free.
I ask myself, are we really free? Compared to our enslaved ancestors, of course we are. Reading Soul Survivors recently, I was reminded yet again of the daily brutality which the enslaved Africans faced and accepted as their lot.
Seeing the Maafa Photographs reminds me of the unspeakable conditions they endured when brought to the Americas as ships' cargo.
But remembering Stephen Lawrence, Rodney King, Cherry Groce, Cynthia Jarrett, Joy Gardner, and so many others, I have to ask, how free are we really? Too many white people in authority continue to want to treat us as objects, brutalise us and discourage us from enjoying the freedoms which are ours by right.
Last year, when I was verbally abused by a racist white man, the police did nothing to protect my freedom (see State of London – Policing).
I am reminded, too, of Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. After she had finally escaped and moved to the North, a white friend of hers bought her from her 'owners' in order to spare her any further harassment by them. But, she reports, although in enslavement she had sought her freedom, living in the North she came to realise that she was entitled to it - freedom was her birthright.
Soul Survivors also reminded me of the enslaved African people's determination to escape and to liberate their family members, whatever the cost.
We have never had an African President of the U.S.A. Many of our brothers and sisters on the Continent are living and dying in grinding poverty and losing their family members to preventable diseases. Many of us still deny that we are even Africans.
Next year, we shall commemorate the ending of the Transatlantic trade. What are we really celebrating? Is freedom not ours by right? And what do we need to do to really be free?
African Heritage Resources:
See also: 2007 Commemoration
Thursday, June 15, 2006
I am not convinced by their argument that 'The “N” word is not a term of endearment. It cannot be reapropriated. We cannot redefine the “N” word' because I have personally seen it redefined and I have seen it used as a term of endearment. That does not mean it is appropriate to continue using it today.
Of course, the argument is vastly more complex than this. Some of the most racist people and institutions do not use the 'No' word - they act in a way that is far more subtle.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Despite the fact that it was the first day of the World Cup, many men and women chose to join us at Southwark Town Hall because they prioritise the education of the next generation.
Some statistics show that 70% of African Caribbean children are failing in Southwark schools. We want to know what to do about it. The PPPD will help us to gain skills to support young people to succeed and excel within the educational system.
The speakers were very articulate and erudite. They included academics Dr. Kimani Nehusi and Dr. Lez Henry, as well as Clarence Thompson, a pioneer in supplementary/complementary schools movement.
I shall be blogging about some of their key points in future, once I have typed up my notes.
Equally impressive were some of the audience members, including Mia Morris of Well Placed Consultancy and Decima Francis of the Boyhood to Manhood foundation. Decima made the following points:
1) There are two types of GCSEs and our young people are not being put forward to the A-C type GCSEs, they tend only to be put forward for the lower grades.
2) You only need five children in order to set up your own school. You have to provide teaching in English, maths and science, and after that you can provide any subject - Yoruba, Twi, Caribbean history, whatever you want.
It was very heartwarming to see so many people there who are committed to helping our young people achieve a better future and better choices.
The Parent Personal Development Programme will be offering our first course for African Caribbean parents from the end of June. To join, contact:
Pamela Hamilton (020) 7525 5504
See also: Black Success Stories, a brilliant resource for parents and teachers.
Keywords: African Caribbean, education, young people, schools, parents
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The open day will be held on Saturday 10th June at 2:00 p.m. at Southwark Town Hall.
For more info, click here.
See also: Empowering Black Parents
Sunday, June 04, 2006
I have been reading "slave narratives" since I was a child. What is unique about this collection, edited by Marcia Williams, is that it contains only narratives by women.
The stories cover a wide historical range, from the Revolutionary War in 1776 to the end of the American Civil War in 1865 and beyond.
This collection also contains "Incidents from the Life of a Slave Girl", by Harriet Jacobs, which many of us have already read as a separate volume. This is one of the rare texts which portray the sexual harassment and abuse which enslaved African women and young people must have commonly experienced.
The author shares her own experiences as a way of depicting the immorality that was inflicted upon enslaved women, and to which they were often forced to submit. I can't help thinking that many women probably did not write of these experiences, either because of embarassment or because they feared being labelled "immoral" or "loose" themselves.
African American women, during and after enslavement, were often at pains to prove that they were not sexually "immoral" because our women were commonly labelled as such by their enslavers, who used this as a justification for raping or prostituting African American girls and women.
Jacobs describes having to hide in a small attic for seven years to escape from her libidinous 'owner' who was so obsessed with her that he scoured the country trying to track her down. She also depicts how, prior to her escape, her white mistress heaped scorn and abuse on her and other enslaved women because of her husband's licentious behaviour and her own intense sexual jealousy.
Many of the women describe the horrendous physical abuse, including beatings, whippings and heavy labour, that they continually experienced. Many of these personal histories were recorded in order to support the abolitionist cause.
In fact, one of the authors, Mary Prince from the Caribbean, states, "I am often much vexed and I feel great sorrow when I hear some people say that slaves ... do not need better usage and do not want to be free. They believe the foreign people who deceive them and say slaves are happy". She continues, "There is no modesty or decency shown by the owner to his slaves".
The authors all describe their great sorrow and grief at having been sold away from their own children, partners, parents, brothers and sisters, and their attempts to reunite with their family members. They also relate the enslaved African people's constant attempts to gain their freedom by any means necessary, either through escape or through purchasing their own or their children's freedom, sometimes saving up for years in order to do so.
Another common experience was the greed and duplicity of white people: many of the authors were descended from people who had been born free in the United States but kidnapped and sold into enslavement; and several had been freed by their owners but still found themselves enslaved and sold. One woman even took her owner to court to sue for her freedom and won.
My one criticism of this collection is that it could have done with better editing. There are no historical or bibliographic notes or indications as to the sources of these narratives. The table of contents does not even contain page numbers. The narratives sometimes jump around in time and I found this confusing.
Having said that, this volume is an important addition to any collection of African diasporic history.
Click here to order Soul Survivors.
See also: 2007 CommemorationKeywords: Enslavement, Slavery, African American, African Caribbean, African Diaspora, Black History, African heritage, slave narratives, women
Yesterday, I attended my first-ever EFT group meeting, led by a very experienced EFT practitioner, Suzanne B Zacharia.
The hour-and-a-half workshop was excellent, I really learned a lot within that short period.
There were about seven of us participating and the workshop focused on using "Borrowing Benefits", an EFT technique. This means that we all tapped along on the same points, at the same time, saying the same words, regardless of what issues each of us were working on, and we all benefited from this. We all experienced a great reduction in our stress and upset about the various issues we were working with. Borrowing Benefits work on the basis that we are all interconnected, and thus can all benefit from tapping together.
You can also experience Borrowing Benefits by tapping along with the DVDs.
Another thing I really like about EFT is that you don't even have to say what issue you are working with. If you don't want to talk about it, you don't have to - you still get the benefit of EFT.
Some people may object to working with a white therapist, but I can personally recommend Suzanne. She is very highly skilled at using EFT and was certainly able to pick up on some of my issues. I think what I got out of it most was when I became very upset about something and she had us all tap on "It's okay to be upset", along with affirmations about unconditional love. She said, "Maybe I was not allowed to be upset" and asked me if this was the case for me, which it was.
The only drawback for me was that I was the only person of African heritage attending the workshop, but don't let this put you off!
The next workshop is Sunday 25th June 2006 at 3:00 p.m. and I may be attending.
You can contact Suzanne at:
1 Fleet Place
0800 78 19 315
She also conducts workshops and clinic sessions in various other London locations and will do home visits within London.
Click here to order EFT DVDs and download the free manual.
Click here to read more about EFT.
Click here to read about Strong Black Woman Syndrome.
Lee will keynote the company's annual African-American telecommunications conference in St. Louis.
St. Louis, MO - The National Board of Community NETwork, African American Telecommunication Professionals of AT&T and the St. Louis Chapter National Conference Committee are hosting a dynamic weekend in July 20-23, 2006 at their eighth annual conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
The 2006 conference theme is Encouraging Empowerment...Shaping the Future, and Dante Lee, CEO/president of Diversity City Media, will be one of the keynote speakers.
Lee will address the attendees with tips on how to be successful in business and in life, and will discuss points from his book - How To Think Big...When You're Small.
Click here for Black Success Stories
Keywords: Black Success Stories, African American, Dante Lee , AT&T