Culture

We should all be feminists: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at TEDxEuston – YouTube

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the self-proclaimed Happy African Feminist, discusses the scope of feminism in the modern world. In her delightful style of comedic and educating insights, Adichie explains how we stunt the growth of our men in their humanity, especially towards women. Men have to be hard, she posits, resulting in their weakness. Her commentary on culture, sex, rape, marriage, and pretending is priceless in the value of scholarship.
Adichie follows up this essay in her book by the same title, We Should All be Feminists.

We should all be feminists: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at TEDxEuston – YouTube.

We feminist Adichie

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What Texas can learn from Nigeria when it comes to containing Ebola – The Washington Post

Nigeria‘s success with Ebola outbreak provides working model, contact tracing, to be implemented in the US. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, infectious disease expert confirms no new victims since August 31, 2014. Much of the success is credited to an alert and responsive community. What Texas can learn from Nigeria when it comes to containing Ebola - The Washington Post

As concerns spread over U.S. hospital readiness, there are some lessons to be learned from Nigeria, where officials managed to get ahead of the fast-moving virus after it was brought into Africa’s most populous country by an Ebola-infected man who’d flown into Lagos. This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the outbreak could be coming to an end in Nigeria, with no new Ebola cases since Aug. 31.

via What Texas can learn from Nigeria when it comes to containing Ebola – The Washington Post.

Streets & People of Monrovia. LIBERIA. West Africa – YouTube

Liberia was established by citizens of the United States as a colony for former African American slaves and their free black descendants. It is one of only two sovereign states in the world that were started by citizens of a political power as a colony for former slaves of the same political power: Sierra Leone was begun as a colony for resettlement of Black Loyalists and poor blacks from England for the same purpose by Britain. – Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Liberia


Uploaded on Feb 5, 2012

Liberia’s capital Monrovia, Australian tourist on a motorcycle.

Neighbourhoods:
0:00 Downtown
3:53 Perry Street
5:58 Johnson Street
6:35 Frances Doe General Market
7:03 Waterside
8:46 Revolutionary Road Beach
9:35 Miami Beach
10:02 West Point
11:51 Tubman Boulevard
12:10 Barolle Practice Ground
12:44 Singkor Beach
13:46 Congo Town

Track list:
0:04 Alonzo – “Letter To the President”
4:09 Morris Dorley – “Who Are You Baby”
6:15 Marc Aryan – “Liberte”
7:22 Killa D & Devilsky – “LIB Boys”
8:47 Tru Storry – “Everybody Song”
10:03 Monrovia – “Forgayzee”
12:44 Eazy P – “More Money More Problems”
13:46 K47 – Servivor

GoPro HD Hero
October/November 2011

via Streets & People of Monrovia. LIBERIA. West Africa – YouTube.

Gut-Wrenching Images Show The Brutal Reality Of The Ebola Outbreak In Liberia

Ebola dead are carted away to cremation without burial rites and rituals. Their families cast aside as refuge. All of the victims are not Ebola deaths, however. Under legitimate fear and the subsequent necessary forced cremation policy, all dead are now being carried away while their families look on in horror. The photo below tells some of this story. The associated article and photos tell the rest. Sacred social rituals are easily disposed of among the most poor of any community.  Ebola dead buried without ceremony

A woman throws a handful of soil towards the body of her sister as Ebola burial team members take her Mekie Nagbe, 28, for cremation on October 10, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. Nagbe, a market vendor, collapsed and died outside her home earlier in the morning while leaving to walk to a treatment center, according to her relatives. The burial of loved ones is important in Liberian culture, making the removal of infected bodies for cremation all the more traumatic for surviving family members. John Moore/Getty Images

via Gut-Wrenching Images Show The Brutal Reality Of The Ebola Outbreak In Liberia.

15 Black Uprisings Against European and Arab Oppression They Won’t Teach in Schools – Atlanta Blackstar | #OYRchallenge

The 15 least taught Uprisings of African enslaved peoples are  presented in the  article. The First Maroon War was my favorite pick but I am sure you will find other goodies of your own.

The First Maroon War

The First Maroon War

In 1739, the Jamaican Maroons were the first enslaved Africans to win their freedom from European slave masters. During the First Maroon War, they fought and escaped slavery and established free communities in the mountainous interior of the island. For 76 years, there were periodic skirmishes between the British and the Maroons, alongside occasional slave revolts.Eventually, the British government and slave holders realized they couldn’t defeat the Maroons, so they came up with a peace treaty that allowed them to live in their own free states in Jamaica. As a result, the Maroons established their five main towns: Accompong, Trelawny Town, Moore Town, Scots Hall, and Nanny Town.

Source: wikipedia.org

via 15 Black Uprisings Against European and Arab Oppression They Won’t Teach in Schools – Page 3 of 8 – Atlanta Blackstar.

Barriers Rooted in Race and Gender Bias Harm Educational Outcomes of African American Girls and Must Be Addressed, New Report Shows | NAACP LDF | OYRchallenge

This article is based on the NAACP report, Unlocking Opportunity For African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity. One premise that has held true since the 1960’s, is that the quality of teaching usurps all other factors in a child’s life. “One growing body of research shows that student achievement is more heavily influenced by teacher quality than by students’ race, class, prior academic record, or a school a student attends. This is especially true for students from low-income families and African American students. The benefits associated with being taught by good teachers are cumulative.” African American Girls education

The report, Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls:  A Call to Action for Educational Equity, outlines what are sometimes insurmountable barriers to staying in school and how poor educational outcomes result in limited job opportunities, lower lifetime earnings, and increased risk of economic insecurity for African American women. In 2013, 43 percent of African American women without a high school diploma were living in poverty, compared to nine percent of African American women with at least a bachelor’s degree. The report examines roadblocks faced by both African American girls and boys—such as under-resourced schools—and emphasizes those that have a distinct impact on African American girls due to the intersection of gender and race stereotypes. These barriers include lack of access to college-and career-preparatory curricula in schools; limited access to athletics and other extracurricular activities; disproportionate and overly punitive disciplinary practices that exclude them from school for minor and subjective infractions, such as dress code violations and wearing natural hairstyles; discrimination against pregnant and parenting students; and pervasive sexual harassment and violence.

via Barriers Rooted in Race and Gender Bias Harm Educational Outcomes of African American Girls and Must Be Addressed, New Report Shows | NAACP LDF.

“To obtain a copy of the report, please contact:

LDF Communications Department

40 Rector Street, 5th Floor

New York, NY 10006

E-mail requests for hard copies of the report to

seehersucceed@naacpldf.org

To download a copy, please visit:

http://www.naacpldf.org or http://www.nwlc.org “

Ferguson Rapper Tef Poe: Barack Obama Has Forsaken Us, But We Will Not Stop Fighting Injustice | #OYRchallenge

“In the blink of an eye, I felt as if I were living in 1963. A week before all of this madness, I never thought I would see German shepherds and sniper rifles directed toward children and adults alike with my very own eyes.”

Ferguson Community Continues To Demonstrate Over Police Shooting Death Of Michael Brown

TIME

We’re now a month out from the killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, and a month away from when a grand jury is likely to decide whether or not to indict him. Yet we still have no answers and no respect in the state of Missouri.

In Saint Louis County, the police have a history of racial profiling and abusing the power of the shield. Racial profiling in North County has transformed into a problem of monstrous proportions. Young black men and women have sadly realized that the police are here to do us more harm than good. We don’t drive certain places in our very own community after a certain time of night. We avoid suburban communities as much as possible because we fear being unjustifiably locked up and thrown into jail. In Saint Louis County all of the cards are stacked against young black…

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The Final Solution; Slavery’s Back In Effect | #OYRchallenge

#OYRchallenge

Youtube presentation:

Uploaded on Oct 25, 2009

Music video by Sister Souljah performing The Final Solution; Slavery’s Back In Effect. (C) 1991 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

Frantz Fanon Black Skin White Mask |#OYRchallenge

Frantz Fanon:

“I am black; I am in total fusion with the world, in sympathetic affinity with the earth, losing my id in the heart of the cosmos — and the white man, however intelligent he may be, is incapable of understanding Louis Armstrong or songs from the Congo. I am black, not because of a curse, but because my skin has been able to capture all the cosmic effluvia. I am truly a drop of sun under the earth.”
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Look for Power in All Things | #OYRchallenge

The OYR Challenge has been picked up from Alaska to Brazil, California to Luxembourg, by all peoples in all states of oppression. So what do they derive from these  daily and minute to minute recreations of language, icons, and medium? POWER! #OYRchallenge

Changing Minds (changingminds.org) posts the six stages of personal power taken from Janet Hagberg‘s book, Real Power: Stages of Personal Power in Organizations. Interestingly enough, I researched this subject back in 1990, when I felt my most powerless self. I had relocated from a large city to a smaller enclave where African Americans had few prospects other than state employment and menial positions. It was a time of layoffs and transfers throughout the national private business environment. African American employees, as well as everyone else, of large businesses relocated in order to keep their positions or afford those unable to relocate the opportunity to remain employed.

There was a catch. Small cities with a tighter grip on designated white-only positions were not far from the lynching crowds depicted in photos of the old South. My first day on the job, four white co-workers surrounded me as I entered the office and told me to, “Go back where you come from. You are taking the job of a white man with a family.” Few African American professionals picture this happening in offices where their peers have middle-class incomes, boats in the water, private planes at the airport, etc.

One rainy day in 1992, I met a man, almost a decade younger than myself, pacing the doorway of a local coffee shop. He looked wild-eyed, disheveled, but through this mess it was apparent he had kept his body manicured, almost metro-sexual. I grabbed a coffee from inside and we both stood in the doorway, each glaring out into the deluge the weather had now become. It is not clear who spoke first, but as he proclaimed his wish to end his life, we began to share our stories. It turns out, we both were transplants. Him from a sub-company of my parent company. He was an architect. His chin jutted at the power of that statement. My chest also heaved in response. We empowered each other simply in recognizing our value beneath our brown-skins. We compared notes … no church, NAACP, community, or other non-profit response to the deadly employment race discrimination in the area. Check! No response from long-time residents unless you were a recovering drug addict, prostitute, alcoholic, or destitute. Check! We were on our own. Check! We had the power to live or die, depending on how much we empowered ourselves. Check!

I do not know what happened to that young man after our communion, but my life changed drastically. Acknowledging you are alone in a fight you are bent on winning is the first step to empowerment. So I researched power, and therefore empowered myself to, no matter what, always remember and increase my value.  It is not an easy journey, but well worth it. So now I co-opt Hagberg’s six stages of power gathered from ‘Changing Minds’ for you to remember and utilize in your #OYR Challenge. My favorite is ‘Power by Wisdom.’ I am sure you will find your own among the list.

1. Powerlessness
We start from a position of powerlessness. When we join an organization we know nobody and are totally dependent on others for initial assistance in understanding how things work, how to influence others and how to get things done.

2. Power by association
Power by association is the power we gain by being able to utilize the power that others already have.

As we get to know people and gain their respect and trust, we may leverage their power, for example in asking them to ask others to do things or asking them for introductions. The secret of gaining associative power is hence in being able to create bonds and draw on relationships.

We can also join teams, clubs and form other associations and coalitions, thereby gaining the power of the group.

3. Power by achievement
Power by acquisition is that power which we gain through what we do and the persuasive evidence that others perceive in this.

Achievement leads to achievement. If we do well at work then we are given more important work and may also get promoted. The power we get from this multiplies, as people cede power to those who prove their ability, which then allows them to achieve further still.

4. Power by reflection
In a curious reversal of depending on others for power, we can gain power through internal reflection and realizing we have all personal power on which we can draw.

A person at this stage is competent and has sound integrity. They are widely respected and this strength draws others to them, on whose ability and power they may consequently depend. Paradoxically, as they let go of their ego, they gain more power.

5. Power by purpose
People at this stage are driven by their purpose. Their power comes from within. Their inner power is so much greater than the power of those around them, they can influence decisions of many others.

Great leaders show this purpose in stirring speeches and powerful and symbolic action. They succeed because they believe in a greater purpose beyond themselves. They are visionary and self-accepting, humble and spiritual.

6. Power by wisdom
Stage six people feel a deep connection to the greater universe. They may often spend time in solitude, connecting and reflecting. They may have been through great pain and crisis on more than one occasion, yet have used these events to learn and grow.

They have found contentment and live on an ‘even keel’. The purpose they work to is very high. The know and accept powerlessness and in doing so find ultimate power. They embrace paradox and do not need to take sides.

Changingminds.org #OYRchallenge Click the link to get started: OYR Challenge

The “Own Your Racist” Challenge #OYRchallenge

What is the OYR challenge?

African Americans have been at war – mentally, physically, economically, and socially ever since the first African was dragged from the African continent onto a slave ship bound for the American shores. The volumes of histories (European and African American), movies, television series, news reports, studies, and other publications serve as qualitative evidence to support this claim. It has always been the strategy of Racist and their race collaborators to present the resulting body count as isolated or individual incidents to be argued within the confines of the criminal justice system, race discussion forums, and/or the same models used to maintain White Supremacy.

These systems have eroded and the people lax into comfort that the myth of Black powerlessness is firmly in place. They have secured the veil with a 21stcentury Bi-racial President of their choosing, replacing the Civil Rights icons – until now. Every playbook must be revised. Our young are inundated with slave songs, yet no one drills them with the principals that created Black Wall Street and other past ultra-wealthy and sound communities. There are only so many times African American children can attend the funeral of a murdered/lynched family member, friend or neighbor, buried with Amazing Grace and “I Have A Dream,” before they stop listening.

21st century African American youths acknowledge that they are human and know that humans are fallible. In a 1992 televised panel discussion, The Issue is Race, Sister Souljah points to the need for Black empowerment and business. She also points out that every municipality has their game in place to crush African American businesses much more easily now than with the attack on Black Wall St.

Crime in the African American community, the most readily used silencing cue in the racist toolbox, reflects that humanity and the substantive pressures placed on that humanity. Our young in 2014 Ferguson, MI reformed the messages of African American history that racist and African American collaborators use to teach them powerlessness. Yet, take a look at how school systems are now trying to formulate a methodology to discuss the current events in Ferguson and other cities.

Why control the conversation? For the same reason our children in African American venues are taught slave songs instead of empowering verse? Our dialogue needs to be controlled to include silencing, powerless training. HBCU institutions provide tools to exude our power along with the history lesson. The intelligent heed the message. The fearful and mediocre cite statistics.  The European face of government and class conscious models of respectability politics band together to quell Black cognitive dissonance. But that dissonance also creates race-collaborators. This is also human. Fear is human.

To get you through this challenge, we need to revisit and establish in our lives how we accommodate, participate, and sometimes instigate our own demise. Here is the catch, if your town has no industry that will support your degree as well as your Africanism, there are always municipal positions available. And those who become a part of the machine (thinking they can make change from within), soon become THE MACHINE, despite their good intentions. Get over them … but do not give them a pass. Racist tactics are methodical complete with literature and verbal cues that African Americans are trained to absorb and respond to appropriately. Within this context, we must not forget that on an individual level, racist are confident that whatever their mistakes, there is a cue (crazy toolbox) to combat African American claims to racist attack and the victim will disregard their rights within that transaction. Add an insecure, incompetent collaborator and you have a cocktail for a now seemingly powerless victim.

So here is your challenge. There are two parts.

Part I: At least once per day, approach your racial encounters with power. Inner power. Victories, no matter how small, are the key to this challenge – no hubris, retaliations, pettiness, or abuses exude power or is the aim of this challenge (put away your crazy toolbox; not needed here). This can only be done if you follow principles that we ourselves will create during this adventure. There are a few listed to get you started.

  • We are human.
  • In our humanity, we fail, but as humans we are resilient and rise stronger.
  • Remember, racist gain their power in OUR acceptance of dehumanizing media, literature, slurs, and behaviors on their part.
  • We must know the laws and devices used to counter those laws that work in our benefit, during ANY transaction.
  • We must examine, in any situation, where and how we must exude our power effectively, and when racist malaise will cause them to empower YOU.
  • Recognize oppressive methodology, no matter who attempts it – these 4 indicators may help: Insult, Deny, Threaten, and Attack (these are all a part of the verbal cues). Find them in yourself first, and then you will recognize these tactics in others.
  • Act with a sound, still mind. If you become flustered, BREATHE, SING, or whatever you have to do to get back on track. It may seem crazy to the offender or allow them to feel momentarily “uber” empowered, but the whopper you will deliver will soon change that.
  • Most importantly, never, ever take your failure to control any situation as defeat. Remember, you were trained how to be powerless (regardless of how much Black literature you read or education). Regroup and fortify yourself for the next encounter, and you will recognize more of them as you learn to live as a citizen, instead of props in someone else’s theater.

Part II: You MUST develop your own strategies through these contacts and expand on these few lines with posts using the hashtag, #OYRchallenge. Your stories are important as they energize those too weak to accept this challenge. Start with the meager crumbs I have put before you and together we will create a banquet.

The alternative to this challenge is this – continue doing what you are doing expecting different results. Hence, buy a scooter to carry your crazy toolbox. It will only get heavier.