Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Nooses Found

My fellow AfroSpear member has been writing on the Jena 6 Blog about more nooses that have been found in different parts of the U.S., including in Tennessee.

This raises a question for me: were nooses being used to intimidate African Americans in recent times, before the Jena situation arose? Maybe this has been going on for years but has not hit the headlines. Maybe the noose problem never went away – it has just continued since the bad old days of mass lynchings.

I remember when the author Toni Cade Bambara came to London in the early 1980s. At that time, there had been a well-publicised spate of killings of African American youngsters in Atlanta, GA.

I recall Bambara stating that the killings had not been confined to youngsters or to Atlanta, that they were far more widespread than that. In fact, there was evidence to suggest that some of the violence had been organised and committed by international organisations including some based here in the UK. Part of the reason for her visit to London had been to alert us of these facts.

When stories are covered in the news, as most of us know, there is a whole other story going on which has not made it into the public sphere. In fact, there are usually a whole complex series of stories operating on many levels, and we only get fed the basic minimum information about “who, what, when, where and how”. We usually don’t even get to the “why” of a story before the major news providers move on to the next headline.

We, as African Americans, have a duty to ourselves to be more well-informed than this. We were talking about this last night on my “Success Strategies” radio show. Americans in general tend to be less well-informed that we need to be about world events. Thus the confusion after the 9/11 bombings about “Why do people hate us enough to do this?”.

As African people, we need to be aware that what is going on in Africa affects us. Not just the big stories such as Zimbabwe and Darfur. What has happened in Africa historically relates directly to our experience in the United States and other parts of the Diaspora.

See, for example, my blog about Kenya's Colonia Past.

I am wondering whether there is a lot more information yet to emerge about the recent trend in using nooses to intimidate us.

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