About yoknyamdabale

" For as long as another human being is not free, I cannot consider myself free"

Extraordinary African American Boys Making Us Proud

Featured

African American boys/males are often viewed through a narrow lens. In order to keep alive racist views about them, you hardly hear about their numerous contribution to the American society. This dangerous beast often rear its ugly head whenever a continental African or non indigenous black gets a little recognition. Recently Katherine Cohen, CEO and founder of IvyWise, a New York-based consulting firm. While offering her views on Kwasi Enin (Ghanian origin) being accepted into 8 ivy league universities.Cohen could not help but to be divisive and racist about it, she reportedly states, “Being a first-generation American from Ghana also helps him stand out…“He’s not a typical African-American kid.”

It is unfortunate that many African immigrants in the US and other people of African descent ( i.e from Jamaica, the Bahamas etc.) buy into the stereotype, they participate in spreading its venom.This poison is eating and destroying us. For example, you would often hear without any factual context from cycles of African Immigrants and Caribbean that, “African Americans (AA) are not taking advantage of the opportunities that the US offers them,” “AA do not like education,” or AA are lazy.”etc.

Below are few examples amongst many achievements and contributions of African American boys/ males. These young people are keeping the  tradition of AA ingenuity despite being in a society that does not often appreciate nor celebrate their contributions.They remind me of folks like Paul Robeson, James Baldwin, Paul Laurence Dunbar,Percy Lavon Julian and Ossie Davis.

1. Akintunde Ahmad aka Tunde accepted to top 12 universities including Ivy League

628x471

 

628x471

 


2. James Martin -Molecular biology

  • James-Martin17 years old
  • Youngest in his graduating class
  • Graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a 3.9 GPA in Molecular biology
  • He is working towards earning a PhD in order to be a professor
  • Watch him graduate here :

3.Carson Huey-You -youngest student to attend Texas Christian University (TCU)

Wc7Ya.St_.58

4. Aylen Bledsoe – motivational speaker, president/ CEO of his IT company  worth $3.5 million

imagesimages-1

 

  • Started his company at 12 years old using his home computer
  • High school student
  • Company $3.5 mullion and growing!
  • Plans to attend law school to become copyright lawyer
  • Besides being a student, he held several leadership and volunteer roles in his community: “president of the Student Council and the Parent Teacher Student Association.Served as the chief technology officer of St. Louis Volunteen, a program to promote teen volunteerism, according to Patch. He was even partly responsible for bringing vegetarian options to his former middle school’s cafeteria.”
  • He started with 2 employees and now has 150 contracted employees
  • Read more of his story here:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/03/jaylen-bledsoe_n_3860585.html

5. Joshua Williams – homeless through most of his college career, started  his own scholarship to help other students 

o-JOSHUA-WILLIAMS-HOMELESS-GRAD-570

 

6. Chad Thomas – offered 150 scholarship for his skill as a musician and football player 

Chad-ThomasNike Football Training Camp

7. Avery Coffey applied to 5 ivy league Universities and got accepted by all of them
avery-coffey-190x260

url

Note: I dedicate this entry to parents that are doing their best to raise young African/black boys.

Ideas to help you cope with stress

Featured

 

110924083

 

black_man_worried_shutterstock_15297313-615x345

Life is stressful, how we deal with our problems make living “enjoyable.” Our environment contributes to ways in which we cope with stress. Some people in an attempt to escape their problems they seek out quick solutions that often lead to long term destructive behavior. For example, extreme anger, drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, over eating, misbehavior towards elders, waywardness, etc. Rarely do we hear stories about troubled people who gravitate towards empowering strategies in order to cope with life. As a person that has gone through series of life changing events, I am often ask, “how do you maintain your sanity?” Below are few suggestions for those of you that are going through something, may you find your balance!

  • Do not compare yourself with others
    I tell this to some of my family members that are always trying to be something that they are not. If you want to make it in life, you must avoid comparing your life with other peoples’. Be the best you!
  • Cry on your friends’ shoulders
    Loyal friends would celebrate your victories and mourn your struggles.
    Tears of a woman
  • Learn from others struggles and victories
    The gods/spirits/ universe brought us together to inspire each other.
  • Exercise
    It would relax your body and keep you fit, I have utilized jogging for many years and it works.
  • Take a nap 
    Like exercising, it would calm you down and energizes you when you are awake.
  • Praying and waiting on “God” would not change your situation.
    You must be proactive in finding solutions. I.e Set your goals and then find ways to accomplish them. There are many route to solve a problem, do not be dependent on one method just because it is popular.
  • You are not special,others are dealing with stress too!
    This is a hard one, do not be a source of stress for others just because you are unhappy. Even in pain, be compassionate towards people around you.
    For example, I know grown folks who would ignite hell fire for their parents when they are in need, ignoring the fact that they have ill health, struggling with younger siblings and grandchildren.rescue
  •  Have a sense of humor, laugh alot:)o-OLDER-AFRICAN-AMERICAN-COUPLE-facebook

 

Healthy Diet for Healthy Skin : Skin Care Tips for Black/African Women

 

 

tumblr_mpndxytdLf1rqikato1_500

 

Many city ( urban ) women have being conditioned by marketers to believe that what they rub on their skin is more effective than what they put on their plates. As a result, many African/black women think buying all the “beauty” products that they see in advertisement would help them get smooth and healthy skin. For example, older city women in Africa encourage  young ladies that are suffering with acne and skin disease to use skin bleaching cream. The understanding is that, bleaching creams such as tura, top gel, G&G, fair&white, etc fade dark spots and discoloration instantly, that is true.

However, the long term side effects of bleaching creams include sensitive skin (you get bruises easily), skin cancer ( because the dark pigmentation/melanin that protects you from sun is removed hence living you vulnerable ) nasty body odor, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, mercury poison damaging your liver and kidney ( pictures below ).

Jeremy Durkin

HQ_03

url-2

skin-bleaching

Screen shot 2013-12-21 at 10.57.51 AM

This is not to suggest that I don’t do daily facial routine. But my focus is mostly on what I eat, because our skin reflects the health of our organs.My tips are simply encouraging you/us to eat foods that are nutritious for a wholistic health of both our internal and external organs.

Foods

  1. Before every meal, drink a large cup of hot  water ( as you would tea ). This helps you with digestion and  it would prevent you from over eating.
  2. Avoid anything white, e.g rice, eggs, sugar,etc. Food companies especially in the “developed” world would bleach food items for cosmetics purposes, in the process they  remove nutrients. Dark foods are better for you.
  3. Eat lots of raw vegetables and fruits. This is the best way for you to get        nutrition, vitamins C, D etc. One of the many benefits of growing up in the village is that, I have the advantage of knowing food items that can be eaten raw.For example,a. Sweet Potatoes ( Americans call it Yams)

Yam-586

b. Cassava ( Yuca)

Digging cassava in Bawagraki, my village in Middle-Belt, Nigeria

Digging cassava in Bawagraki, my village in Middle-Belt, Nigeria

If you are anti raw food, you can juice your fruits and vegetables. For those that have frequent electricity, you can blend your vegetables ( spinach, parsley, ginger,moringa leaves, etc) and add honey  to make it tasty. If your community lacks electricity you can sun dry your vegetables, then pound it into powder ( this is common sense for most villagers like myself ). When you are ready to have a drink, simply add it in room temperature water mixed with honey or just drink it plain.

Here is an example, I/we just made this. We juice twice a day with different fruits and vegetables. Ingredient ( all natural and organic ): ground cinnamon, mango, almond nuts, berry, carrots, celery, ginger and honey.

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz, Yotti:Chamba village woman from Middle Belt, Nigeria© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz, Yotti:Chamba village woman from Middle Belt, Nigeria (2)


4. Roast or bake instead of fry
.  For example, instead of frying your  “irish potatoes” bake it, if you do not have a stove and electricity, simply roast them over an open fire.

5. Cook your meals with little to no oil, but if you must, stick to olive oil and for those in Africa, coconut or peanut butter  ( groundnut) oils are easy to find and are fantastic. below is an example, I cooked this last night and did not use oil. Ingredient: organic chicken ( I hardly eat meat but when I cook it this is how I hook it up ), onion, spinach, pepper, garlic, salt and brown rice ( boiled).

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz Yotti:Chamba Village woman of Middle-Belt, Nigeria (3)

6. If you are not active, excise regularly.

7. Drink a lot of water, if you do not like to drink plain water, you can always add drops of tamarind or lemon. 

8. Avoid “fast foods” burger, fries,etc. But if you are an addict, once a month fast food is okay. I know that many young people in Africa, especially in Nigeria consider eating at “Mr Biggies” a “civilized lifestyle” because that is what they see on western tv, I get the mentality,  but if you want to live long and have a healthy skin you must avoid fast food. Most of the food they sell are processed and genetically modified.
images

1157409_720098868002114_2034085324_n

9. Say no to sugar and sweets.
no-junk-food1

If you have sugar rush, make sweets on your own with ingredients that are less harmful to your body. For example, I make banana bread a few times a year.
Ingredients all natural and organic:  wheat flour, brown sugar, butter, olive oil, vanilla extract, almond nuts, vegetarian brown eggs, gluten free baking powder, and of course ripened bananas.

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz Yotti:Chamba Village woman of Middle-Belt, Nigeria (4)

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz Yotti:Chamba Village woman of Middle-Belt, Nigeria (4)banana bread

 

10. Do not drink soft drinks ( soda, pop,etc)

they are empty calories, would make you break out and destroy your teeth.

soda

11. Do not cook with maggi, it is poison.I know that many Africans use this condiment, claiming it is indigenous to Africa, but it is actually not. And most importantly, it has ingredients that are harmful to your/our health for example, disodium guanylate.

 

Maggi is Poison

 

Additional Information

Acne Treatment

  • Wash your face with black soap ( or face wash of your choice ), pat your face dry with towel, using cotton balls or your fingers tips rub tea tree oil all over your face. Repeat this at least twice a day,
  • Drink  lots of room temperature water as always,

When you are on your period/cycle and you have breakouts. Drink hot water ( as you would tea ) with lots of lemon   See “Taking Care of Your Vagina is Important to Your Overall Health: Suggestions for Sisters.”© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabaz, Yotti:Bali village woman, Shea Butter Moisturizing Your Skin

Raw  organic shea butter ( they are mostly made in Africa, Ghana is one place that has a large production ) it prevents “ashy” dryness of the skin, burns, helps and maintain your silky beautiful black skin. This is the only thing I use, I have a smooth, even dark skin, from head to toes because I do not use hash chemicals in pursuit of healthy skin. If you do not like the natural smell of shea butter, you can mix it with scents of your choice.  For example, the picture above shows my final product. I mixed shea butter from Ghana and coconut oil from Middle-belt, Nigeria .

Learning About Africa: Step by Step Suggestions by a Nigerian Village Woman

“Can you build an identity without awareness?” Malin Falu ( broadcaster, Afro-Latina ). Falu asked an important question, many times the underrepresented are not aware of their margination because they have being in that position for generations. A number of uninformed Africans/ blacks on the continent and in the diaspora assume their subjugated position as the status quo. They are convinced that disproportionate unemployment,discrimination, poor living conditions,civil wars in Africa, lack of African representation on the global platform, and in world history are self inflicted and also they are results of Africans inferior “race.” Many Black/African people in contemporary times are not aware of their oppression. I often write about the importance of decolonizing the African mind individually and collectively.But sometimes I forget that not everyone is aware of the source of their second class citizenship. Below are  fews suggestions I hope they  assist you/us with the awakening process.

Early Civilization/ Africa the birth place of humanity and inventions  ( African History in General )

Religion 

Before Islam and Christianity were created,  Africans practiced African Traditional Religions (ATRs). To date on the continent and in diaspora, there are Africans that practice ATRs and many are reclaiming, unchaining themselves from the grip of “colonial religions” ( Islam and Christianity) and are going back to their roots.

  • African Religions and Philosophy by John S. Mbiti

41XVRTYQDKL._SY300_

  • African Spirituality Forms Meanings and Expressions by Jacob K.Olupona
  • The history of the Islamic faith on the continent of Africa spans fourteen centuries. by Nehamia  Levtzion
  • Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion by Charles H. Long
  • Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Some
  • The Religious and Political power of African women. “Women of Zimbabwe as Keepers of Sacred Space”
  • A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present by Elizabeth Allo Isichei
  • “Duke University Professor J. Lorand Matory discusses Voodoo and other African-inspired faiths”

Economics

  • George Ayittey: Africa’s cheetahs versus hippos
  • Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo
  • “Black Wall Street, Little Africa, Tulsa, Oklahoma 1921″ full version http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4IvFXPGYNA
  • How Europe Under Developed Africa by Walter Rodney

url

 

 

BfV7EzZIEAAs2Hz

 

10 Ways to Survive United States of America and Abroad in General

I was not born with a “silver spoon in my mouth” and I am eternally grateful that the gods and my ancestors  (Mwari, Kimpa Luh, Su ) did not chose that path for me. Because of my rural, village Yotti/Bali up bringing, I have bush knowledge.
Our day to day activities in the village were in of the themselves lessons on how to be self-sufficient. Granted life in rural space is not often glamours particularly in contemporary times when most of our resources are scarce because of natural disasters, governmental exploitation etc. The knowledge that I have sustains me as I pursuit my “formal” education abroad.

Contrary to what many Africans are fed with on mainstream media, living abroad is not easy. Many of us are simply trying to survive and you must have a strong backbone in order to be successful. If you are black/African things could be tougher for you compared to let say poor white Eastern Europeans that migrated to the US. In general you must have strength and wisdom to keep you going when things get difficult.

  1. Humility, this mostly applies to children of “wealthy” Africans in the diaspora who think they have “arrived”. It would be impossible for you to survive abroad, if you are not willing to get off your high horse and learn from other people in your new destination. The fact of the matter is, no one cares whether you came from money. What will matter much more to them is that you are black.
  2. Learn about the history and the roles  black/ African Americans played in building the US  and learn about the black /African contributions in other country that you currently live in.
    Vicissitudes Ring under water sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor in honor of enslaved African ancestors  thrown overboard, off the crowded slave ship Zong off the coast of Grenada

    Vicissitudes Ring under water sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor in honor of enslaved African ancestors thrown overboard, off the crowded slave ship Zong off the coast of Grenada

    For example  Sidis in India, Kaffir in Sri Lanka, Afrika kokenli Turkler in Turkey, Afro Cubans, African-Iraqis, Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Mexicans and Afro-Ecuadorians etc.This is important because it would help you have a healthy relationship with people of African origin.Many continental Africans have little to no historical knowledge of what has happened to their ancestors that were enslaved and or migrated as warriors to other parts of the world, centuries ago. A lot of continental Africans have the tendency to discredit diasporans because they believe they are not doing enough to earn wealth. I recall being told by a Nigerian woman at her church’s charity event that African Americans are lazy, she went further to say, “president Obama doesn’t have African American mentality, that is why he succeeded in life.” If the Nigerian immigrant knew her history she would know that African Americans made it possible for immigrants from all around the world to live in the US, they are constantly fighting for the equality of all people especially for people of African descent in a white dominated country. Despite hundreds of years of racism, African Americans have fought and accomplished what 160 million Nigerians in a country that is predominately black has not done with all the wealth ( human and mineral ) at their disposal.The Nigerian nation state is often in cohort with white power to subjugate its citizens. 

    African Americans built US white house

    African Americans built US white house

  3. As Paul Robeson would say “remain loyal to your convictions’ I would say stay faithful to your goals,do not be overwhelm by fast and materialistic life style that many people live. Think beyond here and now. Remind yourself that you are in the diaspora for a purpose, and therefore you have no business “uselessing” yourself.
  4. Attend African centered festivals/events. For example, in Pakistan Sheedi Mela have annual festival in honor of their African ancestors they, “gather at the shrine of Mangho Pir in Karachi to hold a sacred festival,”  in the US  there are several events such as National Black Theater Festival (NBTF) that attracts 60,000 black/African people,Juneteenth festival celebrates the end of slavery (June 19 ), Kwanzaa December 26-January 1 etc.This would provide you with opportunities to interact with Africans/ people of African descent and participate in keeping African cultures alive. To parents, your children would learn about their heritage and also see positive portrayal of African people. Research shows black children with strong African/black cultural identity do well in school.
  5. Exercise, it will help you stay in shape and focus mentally.Below are two ideas, African dance by Werrason congolese girls, and Black Girls Slim 
  6. Do for self, you can make your own shampoo, hair grease, etc.
  7. Speak up and don’t allow others to exploit you simply because you are black/African!
  8. Join /create groups that are meant to empower and enlighten you. Cultures in the western world are highly individualistic, so if you don’t have a support system it would be difficult for you to accomplish your goals. You have to be proactive in being part of a community, be pan-african and join hands with other black people to uplift each other.
  9. Leave within your means
  • Cook your own food, fast food is not healthy and it is mostly synthetic. That is to say it is man made with toxic additives that are cancer causing, the food does not digest properly so it sits in your stomach longer compared to natural food. This is one of the reasons why majority of Americans are obese and many Africans after few years in the diaspora they too become extremely fat. You can buy natural vegetables and food items at farmers market, ethnic food stores. If you can’t afford natural foods you could come together with others ( the power of collectivism, village style ) and put together some money then buy in bulk then share.
  • If you must buy new clothes, don’t buy anything on full price, there is always  sales. Personally I have been doing online shopping for years,they often have sales that are not available in stores, sometimes they have free shipping and handling.And if you don’t have a car this is a great way to shop!
  • Buy from thrift/second hand store, this is where they sell used books,electronics, magazines, tables, clothes, kitchen utensils etc. Many times you could find good quality things as cheap as 50 cents. You could even take bus trips to wealthy neighborhoods, their thrift stores are usually great.The things I would discourage  you from buying at thrift store are underwear, mattress, pillow and  fabric couch/sofa. You have to buy these things new for health reasons.
  • Avoid buying cheap food, they are not good for you. The companies that make majority of American foods are only interested in making money so your health is not a priority. For example, fake sugar, salt, flour are often mixed with real ingredients to increase quantity of the product. And they are sold very cheap, advertisements get you to think you are paying less for more but in reality,the food will killing you slowly.
  • Attend events/lectures that serve free food ( college/graduate students) this should be on your daily time table. This way when you get home tired, you don’t have to cook.
  • Take public transportation this is the cheapest way you can live in the diaspora. You don’t have to bother about gas money, car insurance and monthly car payment. You will live a responsible environmental friendly lifestyle and it opens up a different world for you. You would get to meet people of all works of life. For example if you live in Boston,Massachusetts majority (black, white, Asian etc)  of the population takes public transportation, while in small town e.g Winston Salem, North Carolina it is predominately African Americans and Mexicans.
  • Do not get credit card, the interest rate is high many Americans live the rest of their lives paying it off. Live within your means, I have never had a credit card and I intent to keep it that way.

10.  Ask questions, if you don’t understand something ask for clarification. Yotti/Bali people of Northwest Cameroon and Middle-Belt Nigeria have a proverb that goes,“a person that ask questions will never get lost.”

Additional Information 

1.“The Monsanto menace takes over”

2. “Food Additives to Avoid”

3. How to Eat to Live  by Elijah Muhammad

4.How Cuban Villagers Learned They Descended From Sierra Leone

5.“National Black Theatre Festival to present more than 40 shows” Generates over $14 million dollars

6.“Arab Racism against Black People in Iraq”

7.How to live without a credit card

Interracial (Mixed Race) Relationships: The Delusion of a Post-Racial World

970214_10151734046768420_742323270_n
tumblr_mcbwfknmjo1rb3osco1_400

wpid3225-Joti_Bongo-634-Edit

rebecca_liddicoat_reuters

I often hear the phrase,

“I don’t see color, I only see people” or

“love is colorless” or “

you can’t help who you love” or

“in a few years we are all going to be mixed and it would be one world [ie. mix marriages will eliminate conflicts]” or “

there is only one race, the human race” etc.

These claims, for the most part, are based on feelings and lack proper context.

In the past, interracial relationships were outlawed and considered unnatural by the supposed “superior race” (white people) that did not want to “contaminate” their gene pool. [1] The legal sanctions have gone away and interracial marriages are much more common nowadays. In the USA, research indicates a generational shift–younger people are more accepting of relationships across the color line. Some have pointed to the seeming increasing tolerance to argue that the world is becoming more “colorblind”  or “post-racial.”

There has been progress.

African Americans are no longer being lynched or water hosed or attacked by vicious dogs. Black people fought that battle and won. And, yes, societies around the world have become more accepting of these relationships. I do believe that people of different races can develop loving relationships. For example, I have read stories of lasting interracial marriages like that of Ghanaian Nana Joe Appiah and his British wife, Margaret; James (African American) and Grace Lee (Chinese-American) Boggs in the US. And I have friends that are in interracial relationships. But what many people are missing is that just because you are dating/married to someone of a different race, it does not mean that you and the people that look like you would be accepted by that race. Indeed, your mate might not accept people who look like you. Ghetto-intellectual, Harvard trained anthropologist and Africana studies professor, Kwame Zulu Shabazz states in the interview below,“Acceptance on an individual level is not the same thing as accepting a group.”

To claim that sexual relationships or producing “mixed”/”biracial” babies signals the end of racism is naive at best and, at worst, it suggests the interracial couple’s unwillingness to tackle structural racism and oppression. These relationships are certainly not a proof that the walls of institutional racism have fallen.

Racism is alive and well. Racists can and do have sexual relationships and make babies with a member of the race that s/he hates. As Brazilian professor Joao Reis puts it,  although race is frequently a barrier to marriage “race is not often an obstacle to sex.” According to professor Henry Louis Gates Jr, “sex is colorblind.”

Justin Volpe, the cop that racially profiled, brutalized and sodomized Abner Louima a Haitian American had African-American girlfriend. Volpe’s girlfriend defended him claiming that he could not be racist because they were planning to get married. Thomas Jefferson, a slave-owning “Founding Father” and American president raped Sally Hemmings, an enslaved African woman (his wife’s half sister) and had children with her. Segregationists and US senator Strom Thurmond had children with African woman in secret while publicly promoting politices that would further oppress African-Americans ( Image below ).

1069034_583834568334138_81894770_n

Actor Terrence Howard is on the bandwagon of interracial relationships, he calls it ,” a way forward….morally right.”  Howard reported being called “nigger” and “monkey” by his ex-wife, Michelle Ghent. Ghent allegedly told Howard that she would not make nigger babies with him (image below).

terrence-howard-052010-3In the UK, Lauren Beckham, a mother of four, reportedly screams racist slurs at her mixed-race children (below).

article-2333241-1A10F888000005DC-937_634x738

A black woman of Jamaican descent complains that her husband calls her “Nigger Bitch,” during sex.

We have come a long way, but how far have we come?

One way of assessing racial progress is to “follow the money.” The wealth gap between whites and non-whites is still wide ( and widening ). Countries that have higher racial mixing are not exempt from this disparity. In fact, those with “mix blood” generally have more economic opportunity than Black people. For example, in the “New” South Africa, whites who are 9.5% of the population control 60% of the country’s wealth and the more indigenous “African” you look the less wealth you have. In Brazil even though the country has a large number of mixed race people, white Brazilians dominate the economy and the poorest Brazilians tend to be the darker people of African descent. The US is often referred to as a “melting pot,” but the reality on grounds is that the pot is just boiling. White Americans control most of the wealth. Globally, the more indigenous or Black you are, the less opportunity you have.

What is the way forward?

1.  Healthy self-esteem and self-love. Folks that say, “I would be more appreciated by other race…” are missing an important element of being fully human. If you hate yourself and others that look like you, it would be difficult for others to love you!

2.  In terms of economics, buy from other African American /black businesses. Africans/blacks need to regain their/our consciousness and start supporting businesses in our neighborhoods. If we don’t buy from our “peoples” it would be difficult to reduce poverty in our communities.

3. Set a good example to our children  and expose them to  healthy African/ American/ black relationships.That way our children would learn to treat their partners with love and respect. Research shows that most African- Americans marry each other, this debunked the idea that blacks are not marrying each other. Keep up the good work.

4. Empowering each other within our communities that way we would not look else where for validation. As Jill Scott puts it, we need to hold on unto our African culture in our relationships.

Notes:

[1] One important exception to strict ban on “miscegenation” was 1950s case, Loving vs. Virginia.

Additional Information 

1. Depiction of interracial relationship in US history.

224864_491493304228288_769787526_n
2. Nigerian husband ( Sambo Davis ) and Indian wife (Sheeba Rani ) shared their experience of tough life in India and the extreme racism that they face daily. Mr. Davis expresses, “It’s because I am from Africa, I am a Nigerian. I think Indians see us as inferior.”

3. Rachel Sullivan, a white woman shares that many of her  friends and family members are racists and treated her African-American boyfriend poorly.http://loveisntenough.com/2007/10/08/some-of-my-best-friends-and-family-are-racists/

4.“Statistics on Interracial Relationships”

5. Academic paper, ” ‘Two Nations”? Race and Economic Inequality in South Africa Today “

6. The rape of enslaved African American women by enslavers white men, this is such a fascinating book by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Wench listen to the interview of the author here‘Wench’ Explores Intimate Relationships Between Slaves And Masters

7. Mariah Carey’s mother ( white ) talks about her experiences married to a black man (Mariah’s father ). For example, her family disowned her and they had a hard time raising their mixed race  children in America.

8. People that don’t see race…

BRfIj-GCAAEtB7N

Please note: I do not hold copyright on any of the pictures and videos.

Celebrating and Rebuilding Africa: Zeresenay Alemseged Ethiopian Scientist Who Unearthed World’s Oldest Fossil

Africans/People of African descent/Blacks on the continent and in the diaspora, I believe, can maintain (or regain) our collective self-confidence is when we constantly see wholistic representations of our lives ( negative and positive). Mainstream media feeds the world mostly with negative images of Africans, so I think its necessary to provide more positive depictions of Black life. We need to see Africans achieving, contributing to our communities and the world. Currently it seems as if the only time you see Africans depicted in a positive light is when white people are giving us handouts and promoting their “charity” work. This imagery stamps in the psyche of Africans/black people, especially our youth, that white benevolence and charity equals Black salvation.

On a personal journey to increase my “knowledge-of-self” and to embrace my African-ness, I immerse myself, on regular basis, reading alternative media outlets such as Sahara Reporters, The Herald Zimbabwe, Black Agenda Report,New Africa, Aspire, Democracy Now, TVONE, Al jazeera, Black Star News etc. My goal with this series of posts is to share some of my findings. It is my libation (prayer) that we all find strength and courage in the struggles and accomplishments of our beautiful people. For this installment, I have selected Zeresenay “Zeray” Alemseged

article-2223484-15B37139000005DC-924_634x408

 Alemseged is an Ethiopian scientist (paleoanthropologist ) that researches the origin of mankind.He earned his first degree from Addis Ababa University, worked at the Ethiopian National Museum, later he travelled to Paris for his Master’s in paleontology at the University of Montpellier and PhD at the University of Paris.

In 2006 Alemseged unearth a ground breaking 3.3 million years old fossil of a three years old baby, whom he calls  “Selam”. This discovery did not only make history in Africa but in the science field in general. Alemseged finding draws us back to the fact that, indeed Africans are the parents of humanity. He is quoted saying, “it’s in Africa that you find the earliest evidence for human ancestors,upright-walking traces, even the first technologies in form of stone tools. So we all are Africans, and welcome home.” Alemseged  taught in universities and researches around the world. Every year he leads a group of scientists to his home country and works with scientists in Ethiopia, who he believes in the future they would be the voice of African paleoanthropology.
hqdefault
zeray_new_cover

Additional Information

1. Alemseged shares his work on TED

www.ted.com/talks/zeresenay_alemseged_looks_for_humanity_s_roots.html

2. How Ethiopian Scientist Unearth 3.3-Million-Year-Old Child

http://www.africanglobe.net/africa/ethiopian-scientist-unearth-3-3-million-year-child/

3. Interview With Paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged

http://www.tadias.com/11/17/2009/regarding-ardi-lucy-selam-interview-with-zeresenay-alemseged/

 Note: I do not hold copyrights of the images.

Celebrating and Rebuilding Africa: President Joyce Banda of Malawi

President-Joyce-Banda-donates-fertilizer-to-Chiefs-of-the-eastern-region-in-Balaka-on-Sunday.-pic.-govati-Nyirenda-MANA.

Africans/People of African descent/Blacks on the continent and in the diaspora, I believe, can maintain (or regain) our collective self-confidence is when we constantly see wholistic representations of our lives ( negative and positive). Mainstream media feeds the world mostly with negative images of Africans, so I think its necessary to provide more positive depictions of Black life. We need to see Africans achieving, contributing to our communities and the world. Currently it seems as if the only time you see Africans depicted in a positive light is when white people are giving us handouts and promoting their “charity” work. This imagery stamps in the psyche of Africans/black people, especially our youth, that white benevolence and charity equals Black salvation.

On a personal journey to increase my “knowledge-of-self” and to embrace my African-ness, I  immerse myself, on regular basis, reading alternative media outlets such as Sahara Reporters, The Herald Zimbabwe, Black Agenda Report,New AfricaAspire, Democracy NowTVONE, Al jazeera, Black Star News etc. My goal with this series of posts is to share some  of my findings. It is my libation (prayer) that we all find strength and courage in the struggles and accomplishments of our beautiful people. For this first installment, I have selected President Joyce Banda of Malawi, not because she is perfect or that I agree with everything she does ( I disagree with most of her foreign politics esp with aid donors ), but, rather, because I think she is making an important contribution in Malawi and African progress:

1.Banda has made an earnest attempt to prioritize the voice of the underserved, especially those in rural communities as they are the backbone of Malwawian indigenous cultures and food production. Quoting Banda:

“In this modern 21st century, an ideal village should have good access to quality housing, roads, water, food security through subsidized farm inputs and where there are no subsidies people should have access to farm input loans to enable them to grow cash crops , own cattle which transforms the social and economic status of our citizens.”

2. She has made impressive reductions on government spending.

3. She is participating in building Pan-African bridges with other African leaders.

947198_356648391125060_1505660418_n
935267_356260844497148_947690581_n

Additional information

1. Follow her on facebook “Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda” :www.facebook.com/pages/Her-Excellency-Dr-Joyce-Banda/325799237543309

2. Listen to her wonderful interview on Aljazeera :http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/south2north/2013/05/20135171428575590.html

African Centered Home Decoration

If you want to know the values of a people, look at the way in which they decorate and build their homes. When I visit the homes of self-professing Africans, only to discover almost nothing in their homes indicates that they are indeed proud of their heritage. All too often our architecture ( those on the continent ) screams, “I don’t know who I am!” Below are some ideas for and images of African-centered home decorations and architecture that tell African stories. This imagery is especially important for our children in their formative years. Afro-Affirming images and objects around the house remind us of our Pan-African past, present and future. Be intentional folks.

Furnitures 

164981_464757923592626_1590850187_n553188_441068309311361_1678892273_n59643_464753910259694_345676501_n935374_464753896926362_2095525586_n935353_588083151210726_693630154_n486892_441137675971091_1273884010_n417911_464752333593185_1976725876_n420759_464757916925960_1223039020_n553059_596209803723286_1284367990_n549764_441066049311587_1814400021_n559073_10151042885234642_1838313683_n554867_441066109311581_1772318084_n9881_588087141212732_735322942_n484315_458409667529658_1885045455_n396730_339681142783412_1554825861_n321528_464753903593028_1072127981_nAfrican Centered book shelf...

l

Kitchen

african kitchen ware 1487299_339682409449952_283097434_n

Photo by Yoknyam Dabale

Photo by Yoknyam Dabale

481408_402661553152037_1670983020_n

Mama-Masai

House structure / architecture

Ndebele Woman Painting a Wall

Ndebele of Southern Africa, House painting..

75605_280083868775532_1307627598_ncopyright Yoknyam Dabale199544_520066494689985_1858735456_n432013_306456286086786_100001672500680_815724_1379189269_n
563213_434991463217644_859128566_n47261_520065988023369_2145373586_n

1436816152_e35da5e8c1

IMG_0736

Art 

©Omar Diaw Chimere

©Omar Diaw Chimere

969597_481711691900273_1736515126_n
399326_409459405792169_841090687_n
302743_497098666978751_1020584544_n

 ©Augustin Kassi

©Augustin Kassi

_62835697_bigladiesAugustin Kassi

 ©Karen Seneferu

©Karen Seneferu

© karen Seneferu

© karen Seneferu

tumblr_mh3t36PjpG1r4b2iuo1_1280

Please note, I do not hold copyrights to these images.

Why Do Africans (People of African Descent ) Bleach Their Beautiful Dark Skin,

Perm Their Natural Kinky Hair,

And

Have “Pointed Nose” Operations?

1693a55e04a9aa4928ad0bb1a307b559

557930_10151405459487817_625144567_n 

67392_541549072556654_947610951_n

156074_541551695889725_497276113_n

url

queen-for-a-day

Africans’ early encounters with Arabs and Europeans were mostly catastrophic; these foreigners colonized and enslaved millions of African people. They deemed African aesthetics as ugly. African contributions to world civilization: medicine, traditional religions, arts, science, fashion, etc were labelled inferior. As a result many Africans today are still trying to deal with the psychological impact of these encounters: “internalized self-hate.”

African men and women bleach their skin, perm their hair and wear fake wigs that don’t look like their natural hair, have “pointed nose” surgeries in order to look like their former oppressors. It is their way of fighting for recognition. Mainstream media both in the Middle East and the Western world promote and feature white or lighter complexioned people.

For example, most of the black people that work for CNN are either light skinned or mixed race. They are regarded as the mouthpiece for all black people. An African (black) person with stereotypically kinky hair, dark skin, broad nose, and thick lips, no matter how intelligent and attractive, are rarely allowed to express themselves and represent blackness. When you watch movies from around the world, dark skinned black people are often cast in subservient roles; they are rarely the “good guy.”

As Steve Biko said, “the most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Unfortunately, even though Africans are no longer colonized and physically enslaved, we are still mentally imprisoned. Africans on the continent and in the diaspora have internalized racist ideas about themselves. Dark skinned black children are often bullied or simply ignored because they look “too African,” “too dark” or “their nose are too wide” etc. “Internalization” is constantly reinforced by an anti-dark skin bias in the social world.

In music videos on the continent and in the diaspora be it in Congo (Kofi Olumide), Nigeria ( Kcee, Olu Maintain), Jamaica (Sean Paul) black people with lighter skin are the main characters. Media outlets that are supposed to have wholistic representations of black people such as BET mostly feature mixed race and light skinned blacks who have stereotypically white features. In fact, these media seem to encourage disrespectful remarks about dark skinned black people. For example, a number of black entertainers such as Asap Rocky, Kenya West, Lil Wayne, Ne-yo and Dl Hughley publicly endorsed light skinned supremacy and there was little outcry from the black “community” to their tasteless, self-hating remarks.

What is the Way Forward?

Nuul Kukk ( Black is Beautiful) in Senegal

  • Black people need mental healing. Seek the counsel of your elders and be part of a sister and brotherhood, where you can have honest conversations
  • Promote a wholistic representation of blackness and include dark-skinned black people in every aspect of society, especially in the media
  • There should be a public outcry whenever darker skinned blacks are disrespected
  • Do not buy or play music of self-hating and disrespectful artists
  • Stop reproducing divisive phrases such as: “team light-skin” and “team dark-skin,” or  “you are pretty for a dark skinned girl,”  “you have good hair,” etc.
  • Support anti-bleaching campaigns such as Nuul Kukk (Black is Beautiful) in Senegal https://www.facebook.com/nuulkukkmoovment not only to decolonize our minds but to save lives. Bleaching creams are dangerous they cause illnesses such as  skin cancer and liver damage.
  • Recent research suggests hair perm causes hair loss and fibroid tumors.Start and/or support campaigns in your community against hair perming, skin bleaching and “pointed nose” operations.

Racist portrayal of Africans/ black / people of African descent in US and other parts of the world, past and present (  books, advertisements, movies, etc).

612_438100459572109_1311908114_n

941459_10200118757917082_772422432_nfairbanksfairysoap

1620971_458966944203288_1961554785_n

This black doll is currently ( in 2000s) being sold in the US, labeled “lil monkey”

486064151

U.S universal picture racist cartoon “scrum me mama with a boogie beat” depicting Africans/blacks as lazy monkeys, that need white people to teach them work ethic

 

In Ukrainian Africans  depicted in a newspaper as monkeys
teaser_rond
Christmas racist tradition in the Netherlands, white people paint their faces black and dress in bright colors ( being Africans/slaves)
111711-global-commentary-netherlands-black-pete

zwartepiet_uitdetijd800px-Minstrel_PosterBillyVanWare_edittumblr_mgwk9jGlmX1s2pazfo1_1280racist_democrat_poster

Ota Benga ( 1906 ), 24 year old African- Congolese young man that was taken by white people and brought to the US. He was placed in the Bronx “human” zoo, treated as a freak and an animal.

Ota_Benga_at_Bronx_Zoo

Tintin Au Congo/ Tintin in the Congo by Hergé (aka Georges Prosper Remi) Belgian cartoonist . This book is about Congolese and how they are lazy, stupid, servants etc.

article-1269473-0956C7ED000005DC-431_468x558

Belgium 1958, a little African/black girl was put into a human zoo and white people are feeding her banana like a monkey.

BeKJ8_5CUAA_kgy

Examples of Bleached Skinned, Pointed Nose Operation and Fake Hair
South Africa-Mshoza
SA
url

USA – LaToya Jackson ( before = top, after = below )

toya020308REX_468x359
url-1

Nigeria- Pele Okiemute

Nigerian bleaching expert Pele Okiemute

Jamaica- Vybz kartel

url-3

Women in Senegal
Senegal Skin Lightening / Zed Nelson

Woman and her bleached skin

African/Black man in the diaspora 

tumblr_mn5pm5Gtql1qctssco1_500

Ghana

163477_479056724511_4759033_n

 Dominican Republic-Sammy Sosa ( Bleached Skin)

url-4

African Woman

blackwoman-bleached-herself

Nigeria - Governor Alao Akala of Oyo State

Governor Alao Akala of Oyo State

Rwanda, Beatrice Munyenyezi
Beatrice Munyenyezi bleaching her skin

USA-Lil’ Kim

Ki22D7X

African Woman in the diaspora 

75594_333444740088843_1312765317_n

 Virgin Islands/USA -Karrine Steffans ( aka superhead )

karrine-steffans-bleaches-skin

Women in SeneGambia 

381757_10151177128713099_2072927531_n

224966_10151336627591815_1551747655_n

248903_406451956094617_597256347_n

Nigeria- Royal Family of Bleachers 

46072_10151252288356312_1680307427_n

Nigerian-Cameroonian, Dencia

Nigerian: Cameroonian %22artist%22 Dencia bleaching story.Nigeria- Tonto Dikeh

Tonto talks about the fact that she bleaches her skin and that she has no “problems with skin bleaching.” She believes if you do not like your skin, you should change it. ( video below)

 

tonto-dikeh2

Trinidad and Tobago/ USA -Nicki Minaj (Onika Tanya Maraj )

bleach4

African American – Tamar Braxton before and after nose surgery 

Tamar Broxton before and after nose operation

African American- Nene Leakes 

NENE-LEAKES-NOSE-JOBWoman of African descent, narrow and pointed nose surgery  :http://www.drkolstad.com/photo-gallery-rhinoplasty.html

Woman of African descent narrow nose operationSide Effects

Skin Peeling

hhhhg

 Skin Cancer and Burn
577226_370081683072326_2142249487_n

Lifestyle-Senegal-women-health-95264

url-1

 Smell 

url-1

url-2

Stretch Marks

skin2

Uneven Skin Tone

image002

bleacher

Pimples Breakout

url-2

skin-bleaching
4637_1164466468405_1130188385_492743_7963471_n1
Hair loss / Track Alopecia

409280_321788317862938_2038785521_n

url-5
url-6
naomi-no-hair-1

Additional Information

1.”Study Links Hair Relaxers To Fibroid Tumors and Early Puberty In African American Females”...http://blacklikemoi.com/2012/02/study-links-hair-relaxers-to-fibroid-tumors-and-early-puberty-in-african-american-females/

2. ” Skin Bleaching and Lightening as Psychological Misorientation Mental Disorder”http://www.questia.com/library/1P3-2360188641/commentary-on-skin-bleaching-and-lightening-as-psychological

3. “Skin Bleaching and Global White Supremacy“...http://www.academia.edu/898612/Editorial_Skin_Bleaching_and_Global_White_Supremacy

4.”Mercury in Skin Lightening Cosmetics”…http://mercurypolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/skincreamhgfactsheet_may31_final.pdf

5.”Nigeria’s Booming Skin Bleaching Market”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=illl92AMxTA

6. Mshoza’s interview on Motswako in South Africa, talks about her desire to look “white, white.”

7. “Africa Where Black is Really Not Beautiful”…http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20444798

8. “Confessions of a Hair Weave Addict.” A story of an African (black) woman who had self-esteem problems linked to her hair and how she dealt with it http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erikka-yancy/hair-weave-addiction_b_3065875.html

9. “Black Women Lightened Skin and Straightened Hair”  http://www.unbiasedtalk.com/living-and-relationships/black-women-lightened-skin-and-straightened-hair/

10. This is where “human hair wigs/weaves” come from. Poor Indians donate their hair to god and the temple priests sell them to brokers. And from poor white Europeans.

url-2url-3

407285_391029264311737_233481704_n

8269_548822998485948_325459011_n

401822_371309336319154_438824647_n

11. Unfortunately, black people don’t even have control over their haircare.The African/black haircare industry is dominated by Koreans.Black people spend billions of dollars each year to buy other people’s discarded hair that looks nothing like their real hair.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpZSWi3TKpk

60558_357875837657690_1986538125_n

12.Mr. Vegas sings “Black and Proud” (Nah Bleach)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTNuwV7NFHM

13. Vybz Kartel sings about light skin supremacy and how it gives one access to women, job etc.. “Cake Soap”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwfooWHxymk

14. Kendrick Lamar  explains the importance of casting dark skinned black women in music videos. He took it further by asking for a dark skinned woman to be the lead character in his music video ” Poetic Justice”.
http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhRkiRaOy3B65UnGlO

Kendrick Lamar

15. Fela on Skin Bleaching “Yellow Fever”

16. Watch Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry’s documentary “Dark Girls” It would help you have a better understanding of the plight of dark skinned black people especially women in the US, and it is also applicable to Africa/Black people worldwide.

officialdarkgirlsmovie.com/
Poster02v03

933908_183967195092709_446897025_n

17. Yellow Fever  a documentary on skin bleaching in Africa

10. This is an example of psychological  violence of white power on African American men and women. Maxwell needs healing.

Maxwell, white power!

Please note: I do not hold copyright to any of the pictures and videos.