Archive for October, 2008

“AFRICAN WOMEN IN AFRICAN CIVILIZATION!” FROM AFRICANEYE.WORDPRESS.COM

October 30, 2008

from africaneye.wordpress.com

The time has come…

AFRICAN WOMEN IN AFRICAN CIVILIZATION

INTRODUCTION: THE GREAT BLACK MOTHER

Africans were the first to inhabit the earth. Fossil records as well as DNA analysis give scientific evidence to support this fact. Therefore, the first woman to give birth was a Black African woman. It is from us that all humans have come. The other races of humankind all evolved from Black Africans.

Ancient Africans had a deep-seated respect for women. Charles Finch in the book Echoes of the Old Darkland explains that early man did not know the link between sex and birth. Therefore, it was believed that new life was created by the woman, the mother alone. It was perceived that all life in nature emerged from women ALONE. Therefore when the first concept of God was developed, the female served as the model of the Supreme Being. Finch explains how it was under this initial Matriarchal System that the first rules and taboos to govern human behaviour were articulated. Another important contribution of ancient woman can be seen in the fact that as the gatherer of grains, seeds, roots berries and plants to the group, we had the opportunity to observe how seeds sprout when they fall in the ground. This observation led to the practice of organized cultivation. It was the woman who probably developed the practice of purposeful cultivation. This may have happened as early as 15,000 BC. It is the practice of agriculture that made population expansion, food surpluses and community settlement possible.

It is not known exactly when the role of the male in procreation was discovered, but this discovery did not enhance the status of men much until the necessity of men became clear in war and conquest. The vital role of men did not lead to an imposition of the male on the female, rather it served to enhance the principle of duality evident in creation. Males and females were seen as complements to one another and a harmony between the two was necessary for harmony to continue on earth. Therefore, it was seen as prudent and wise to ensure the well being of both men and women if the successful survival of humans was to continue. The respect for women was reflected in society and the seriousness and consideration women were given. In Egypt and Kush the importance of the mother was seen in the facts that the children took their surname from the mother and that the mother controlled both the household and the fields. In Kush, the Queen Mother had the right to choose the next Pharaoh. Prior to Islamic conquest of sub-Saharan Africa in the 12th and 13th centuries, the system of succession to the throne was matrilineal. Cheikh Anta Diop in his book Pre-colonial Black Africa explains that in the African custom of matrilineal succession, very strict rules were observed which stated that the heir of the throne was not the king’s son but the son of the King’s first-born sister (the king’s nephew). This is because, as an African proverb states, ‘ You can never be sure who the father of the child is; but of the mother you can always be sure. The brilliance of this logic cannot be missed. This saying underpinned the rationale many African societies used to ensure that conference of power and titles of leadership were reckoned through the mother’s line. This matriarchal foundation of African society meant that respect for women was woven into the very fabric of society. Women had numerous important roles and functions to carry out, many of which conferred a great deal of power and respect to them. The erosion of the status of women occurred gradually but was significantly exacerbated and hastened by foreign invasions, particularly colonialism.

Unfortunately, most people, Africans and non-Africans alike, assume that the current status of women in Africa is reflective of their status in ‘traditional African societies’. This is wrong. The status and power of women in Africa in antiquity and the pre-colonial period was significantly healthier than it is today. Therefore, referring to the second-class citizen status of African women today as ‘traditional’ is erroneous and must be rectified. Africans cannot afford to continue thinking that traditional African societies perceived women as inherently inferior creatures and thus sidelined them from positions of power and influence. In this article we will look at some of the roles, functions and related power that African women had before the onslaught of colonialism. In later articles we will look at how colonialism in particular led to the erosion of the power and status of women in African society. This article is by no means exhaustive but instead seeks to provide a brief overview of the role of women in traditional African society. The article will close with several examples of exceptional African women who transformed their societies and the world.

AFRICAN WOMEN’S ROLE IN SOCIETY AND GOVERNANCE

Economic roles

In traditional Africa, women had recognized and vital roles in the economic development of their communities.

Among the Kikuyu of Kenya, women were the major food producers and thus not only had ready access to land but also had AUTHROITY of how the land was to be used and cultivated. Therefore, the value of women’s productive labour in producing and processing food established and maintained their rights in the domestic and other spheres. Nowadays, although women still are major food producers either directly or through employment, they do not receive the recognition and respect that they used to. Colonialism profoundly negatively affected the role and status of women in African society.

Moreover, in much of pre-colonial Africa, bridewealth gave women a certain amount of economic independence and clout. In the past, African women in some societies retained a measure of control over their bridewealth which economically empowered them to a certain extent. Sadly, with the new financial constraints experienced by males due to colonialism, especially in the form of heavy taxation, bridewealth became a source of income that males sought to control. Thus, once more, women were excluded from a cultural prative that had previously given women some measure of economic independence.

Among the Egba of Nigeria, women were the economic powerhouses of the nation due to the trade and market system they had developed. Among these people from West Africa, women dominated the trade and merchant exchange of goods of their communities. Women were responsible for a number of things including: setting the rules of trade among themselves i.e. market taxes and tariffs; organizing and managing the market system; agreeing on lucrative terms of trade with outsiders; holding meetings to discuss how to improve their trade and marketing system and more. These women had a highly developed business acumen which they used for the economic upliftment of their community. Keep in mind that many of these women were taking over their businesses from mothers or aunties of the same profession. Therefore, the economic knowledge they implemented had been honed for centuries. In short, they knew what they were doing. To this day, women still dominate the local market scenes in Africa but almost none can be found in the ‘formal’ Westernised economic institutions that have developed in Africa since independence. Perhaps the absence of women, and thus the absence of ancient African economic knowledge is contributing to the LACK of economic organization and power in many African nations.

Spiritual Roles

In ancient Africa, women were often the most powerful spiritual figures in the land. Women were often in charge of the spiritual systems in their communities. This group of female spiriual leaders were a select group, and not all women were allowed to join the ranks of spiritual leadership. Nonetheless, women dominated the positions of spiritual and religious power in most African traditional societies. These were responsible for announcing dates and times of ceremonies, rites and rituals. These women were oracles, spirit mediums, knowers, seers and advisors. These women had the power to place and remove curses.

African people are known for their spiritualism and the seriousness with which they take religion. Therefore, we can see how a dominant feminine energy in the spiritual sphere helped to ensure that women were respected in society.

Political Roles

We will begin with a intimate type of governance system used by African women. In parts of pre-colonial Nigeria, newly-married women of a given town would form an organization designed to look out for their interests and those of their families. Among the responsibilities of this body was the governance of their husbands! If one of the members came to the group with a serious and valid complaint about the behaviour of her husband, the group would find this man, confront him with the allegations and keep and eye on him until his behaviour improved. This method was highly effective because it did away with the often destructive and frankly, Western notion, that a marriage (or a serious relationship) if only the business of the two involved. This system of inter-personal governance ensure that BOTH the man and woman were accountable to each other and treated each other with respect and dignity.

In terms of macro-political organization, in the past, most African societies had a dual sex political system which allowed for substantial female representation and involvement in governance and administration. The position of Queen mother seen across Africa in Ghana among the Akan, Egypt, Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda but to name a few, gave women prominent and visible political authority in running the nation.

In most cases the Queen Mother was older than the King and was biologically related to him. She often had her own land, from which she gained revenue through tax and her word was law on the land she owned. She had her own courts complete with courtiers and staff. It is only through her courts that decrees, especially death sentences, made by the King could be annulled. Therefore, although the King had the technical power of the lives of those in his kingdom, the Queen Mother could often give someone back their life.

The Queen Mother among the Akan of Ghana also had very important role in terms of ensuring the well-being of the women and children of the nation. Therefore, she and her staff were responsible for designing and implementing the educational system of the land. As you can see, the nation was entirely comfortable with the Queen Mother and her staff being in control of the structure, organization, some content and day-to day running of the educational system which ALL their children were affected by. We as modern African women should remember that not too long ago the minds of all nation were moulded by the vision women.

Often the Queen mother also in charge of childbirth, coming-of-age and marriage ceremonies.

In some nations, the role that the Queen mother played was also played by the King’s wife. For example among the Baganda of Uganda, the Kings wife had considerable power. But usually, the King’s wife either had as much power as the Queen mother but usually had less.

A very important role that the Queen Mother, and sometimes also the wife of the King, had was that of either selecting or endorsing the King’s successor. In some cases, the Queen was responsible for nominating the King’ successor and it was up to her to convince a panel of advisors to agree with her choice. In other cases, other people nominated the King’s successor and only with the Queen’s consent could the heir-select be allowed to rule.

Women also directly ruled many African nations. We should remember that this was the exception rather than the rule. However, women did rule their nations. At the end of this post you will find a list of women from whom we can draw inspiration, courage and self-confidence. Many of these women were Queens. African Queens had supreme power and authority over all inhabitants of her Queen-dom. Her word was law and no man or woman could defy her. She had supreme military, political, spiritual and economic power.

In the book Black Africa, Cheikh Anta Diop explains bicameralism, a type of governance some of our ancestors used to rule their people. Before Africa was under the dominance of any foreign powers, women had a position of influence in society. In African bicameralism, women participated in the running of public affairs within the framework of a women’s assembly. This assembly sat separately to the man’s assembly but the two shared influence and power. The resistance against foreign invasion and occupation of West African nations such as Dahomey and the Yorubas is said to be a result of the women’s assembly meeting at night. African bicameralism allowed the blossoming of both males and females and allowed the full use of both the feminine and masculine mind. Bicameralism is an ancient example of African democracy that put full to use the human resources of society in a manner that supported and encouraged everyone.

THE LEGACY OF AFRICAN WOMEN

These stories are taken from the book In praise of Black Women by Simone Shwarts- Bart and seek to give us all concrete examples of the power, scope and nature of African women in the past. African women should NEVER accept being told that they have done nothing. We have created religions, resisted invasions, raised kings and more.

Lucy

Humanity was born in Africa, Black Africa to be precise. In 1959 two palaeontologists dug up the skull of a human like being dated to be 1.75 million years old. The place of the discovery was Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. In 1974, at the same location, they discovered Lucy, a 3 ½ million year old fossil of a small woman. This young African woman, Lucy, may be the womb from which all humanity came.

Queen Tiye

Little known today, Queen Tiye is among the women who have most marked history. 3,500 years ago she was the wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Queen Tiye’s beauty was legendary, but her personality was even more powerful. For her pleasure the Pharaoh built a new palace for her in Thebes (now called Malkata). He also dug her a lake in the middle of the desert, just to please her. The revolution in Egyptian art dates back to her rule. Her influence on the Pharaoh was so great that she seemed to the supreme authority in the empire.

When the Pharaoh died, Tiye’s son Akhenaton came into power and it was during his rule that Queen Tiye took action that has most decisively marked history. Up until then Egyptians, like many others, were polytheists, they saw the world around them as governed by several gods. But suddenly, under Queen Tiye’s influence, the Pharaoh proclaimed for the first time in human history, a single God-Aton. This reform may have inspired Moses to establish the monotheism that has since spread all over the globe. So today when people pray to God in a church, mosque or synagogue, they may be, in some way, under the invisible influence of Queen Tiye.

The Candaces

The kingdom of Kush so renowned and honoured in ancient times was headed by Queens know as the Candaces. The Black Kingdom of Kush was born about 3,000 years ago and lasted until 350 AD. In the year 750 BC, the kingdom expanded north along the Nile and conquered Egypt founding the 25th dynasty, the illustrious dynasty of the Black pharaohs.

However in 666BC the Assyrians invaded Egypt and defeated them. The final battle took place in Thebes which the Assyrians burnt to the ground.

Tautaomon is the name of last black pharaoh to rule Egypt, he fled to Napata (Maraw) after the fall of Thebes. Napata was then the capital of the Kingdom of Kush. Of the Queens of Kush, the Candaces, two names stand out. The first is Amanireans, the Queen of Kush when the Romans followed the Nile south after the defeat of the last Pharaoh Cleopatra. She is described as a ‘very masculine woman who had lost an eye in battle’. Masculine probably meant courageous. Remembering her Pharaoh ancestors she went down the Nile to meet the Romans and defeated them at Aswan where her soldiers broke all of statues of Emperor Augustus. Although the Romans formulated a counteroffensive in the form of a strong army that stormed the kingdom of Kush up to Napa, it failed. This army was thoroughly humiliated by Amanireans and her army. The Roman army was withdrawn back to Egypt. Finally giving up the conquest of Kush, the Romans suggested that Candace ask for peace which the Emperor Augustus granted.

The second Candace is mentioned in the Bible in Acts 8. The story explains how the apostle Philip heard a voice telling him to go to Jerusalem from Gaza. On his way he met a eunuch, who was a Minister to Candace ‘Queen of Ethiopia’ (Kush was called Ethiopia by this time). The story goes on to detail how Philip told the eunuch of ‘the good news of Jesus Christ’. The eunuch was baptized and went o back to Kush filled with a desire to share the news he had been told. It appears that Candace was the first in Africa to embrace the faith. As a result Christianity went down the Nile reaching the area we now call Ethiopia. The biblical Candace and Amanrenias, the brave lady with the missing eye, give us a glimpse into our buried African past.

Makeda- Queen of Sheba

The story of the Makeda is recorded in the Bible in the second book of Chronicles and the first book of Kings. Makeda had learnt of the wisdom of Solomon and went to Jerusalem to test it with riddles. The Kebra Negast, a 14th century book of legends of Ethiopia says that the visit of Makeda lasted more than six months. At the first sight of Makeda, Solomon was struck by her miraculous beauty and he said in his heart ‘May God bless me with offspring through her’.

On the day of Makeda’s departure, Solomon had gifts loaded on 6,000 chariots for her alongside a vessel to travel in the air. He begged that if a child should be born of their union that she send him home to Jerusalem and give him a ring so that the child be recognised. So Makeda went back to her country where she gave birth to child and named him Ibn el Hakim: Son of Wisdom. When the child grew up, Makeda gave him the ring and sent him to visit his father. The child was 22 years old. In Jerusalem, crowds gathered in the streets surprised to see someone who looked so much like Solomon. Some people thought he looked even more like his grandfather David. During his stay in Jerusalem, the young man was adorned and consecrated a king in the Temple of Jerusalem. This is how he became Menelik I, the first king of the famous dynasty of the Lions of Judah, the last of whom was Negus Haile Selassie, the last Emperor of Ethiopia.

Sarraounia- The panther queen

In the 1890 a French colonial operation was planned whose mission it was to force the submission of an empire along the bend of the river Niger. Lieutenant Voulet and Captain Chanoine were the colonial officers in charge of this mission. The Voulet-Chanoine mission met with success as they spread death and ravaged the villages they took. It was in 1899 that they would go on their final and fatal expedition to Chad. It was there that they met a woman, Sarraounia, the queen who opposed their bayonets with the strength of her soul and the white man’s tricks with the traditional magic of Africa.

Sarraounia’s father was a warrior who had distinguished himself from the those who were hungry to sell black men. He had become the king of a small territory of the Azna’s. Sarraounia’s mother had died giving birth and it was thought that her child would follow her to the grave. But the little child with her pinched mouth and clenched fists opened her eyes and revealed shining yellow eyes; the people recognized the sign of the panther. The Azna’s always knew that they been born of a panther, and it was this animal which was sculpted in front of their houses, embroidered on their clothes and was their symbol among the other tribes. Panthers are made for the bush and the panther child soon learnt how to use a bow and arrow. She learnt the secrets of ‘hyena’s ear’ a poison that gives arrowheads merciless power over everything that breathes. She was the king’s daughter and she went with men as she pleased, but never wanted a child clinging to her breast. Sometimes she would disappear for weeks at a time and they said that she would talk to the spirits of the Shadow who taught her all the secrets of good and evil, the elixirs of power and wisdom and the plants that kill and those that bring back life. This is how she became Sarraounia, daughter to the king, sorceress, great dame of the Shadow.

She was 20 when was brought to the throne due to her father’s death. At the slightest danger, she would be at the head of her troops, her pales eyes shooting lightening. Her silhouette became legendary. Then a rumour made its way to her: a column of white men were marching east, devastating everything in their path. Sarraounia immediately sent messengers to her Muslim neighbours suggesting that theyunite against their common threat. The Muslims did not even bother to reply: you don’t make alliances with the seeds of slaves. So Sarraounia had a fortress wall built around Lougou, her capital. She smashed open the granaries and sent the women, children and old men to safe places in the bush. The warriors waited while the queen applied an ointment on them that was supposed to stop bullets. Then having hand-picked a group of archers, the silent warriors, she slipped into the tall grass to seek out the enemy. When night fell, a cloud of arrows from nowhere threw the Voulet-Chanoine expedition into a state of chaos for the first time. The next day 150 porters were missing at roll call and a dozen native infantrymen had deserted preferring to wander in a strange land that confront Sarraouina. The troops enter a deserted city. Another arrow flew in sky and shouts rang out, a woman’s laughter was heard: that was the beginning of the end for the French force. Day after day Sarrounia harassed the divided and crippled column until one of her warriors brought now Chaoine with a rifle shot, while Voulet was slain further along. That was the end of their adventure.

The capital kingdom was rebuilt, but new French soldiers followed those who had died and the traditional cunning of the Azna people could not sustain them. Eventually a French flag was raised in the middle of the great court of Lougou and the queen shut herself up in the shadows of her palace. One day at the end of a fiery hot afternoon, a yellow-eyed panther burst out of the throne room and disappeared into the bush. Sarraounia was never seen again.

Ana de Sousa Nzinga

In 1860 the Scottish missionary David Livingstone reached the old Portuguese stronghold of Luanda. Bare stairs, cells and shackles told of the horrifying recent history here. As he reached a courtyard he saw the imprint of a woman’s foot engraved in stone. When he asked whose it was an Angolan man declared it was the imprint of the great Ngola Nzinga who had set foot in this courtyard 300 years ago.

Ana de Sousa Nzinga was born in 1581 in Basa the capital of the kingdom of Ndongo, a land ruled by leaders called ngolas. During this time the Portuguese were advancing towards Ndongo with the aim of converting them as they had the peoples of Kongo. However, the greatest treasure in the minds of the Portuguese were the very people of Angola- the black ivory- slaves.

Ngola Karensi, Ana de Sousa’s father, had thought about the European effect on neighbouring Kongo and decided to bar missionaries from his country. War is waged against him for this decision. This war will last more than 40 years, until his very last breath. On the King’s death, power falls into the hands of his oldest son Ngola Mani a Ngola who raises an army of 30,000 men who he intends to put to fight against the Portuguese. Ana de Sousa Nzinga, the amazon and warrior considered the greatest political mind of her time plans to join them on the battlefield. She realizes that their traditional lances are no match for the Portuguese guns and points this out to the king in a council meeting saying, ‘My dear brother, your warriors are many, but their chests are bare; if you go this course, your defeat will be that of the whole nation’. Furious, the king has the throat of Nzinga’s only son cut and has her sterilized some say using red hot pokers while others claim they used scalding water.

A few months later after having been defeated again, the king begs Nzinga to negotiate a peace agreement with the Portuguese governor of Luanda. Since she speaks Portuguese and has studied their customs, ways of thinking and military strategies, Nzinga agrees to go though she cannot forget her dead son and ruined womb. But the lamentations of her people give her the conviction she needs and so she sets off for Luanda. She enters the white’s fortress accompanied only with a few of her fellow women. At that moment, trying to test her, the governor fires a 21 gun salute. But the princess already knows the sound of the white man’s music and she enters the fortress without blinking an eyelid. She crosses the courtyard where her step leaves an imprint in the stone as she makes her entrance into the main reception room. The room is full of armed men. All the way from the back of the room the governor signals her to step forward, but still wishing to embarrass her, he has not prepared a seat for her. She gestures to one of the women who kneels and Ana de Sousa Nzinga sits upon her human throne. The governor rudely asks her what the conditions of her surrender will be to which she replies, ‘I represent a sovereign people and I am ready to continue this conversation only on that basis.’

A few months later in 1623 a peace treaty is signed between the kingdoms of Angola and Portugal. But Nzinga knows the tricks of the Europeans and is still determined to fight in order to protect her people from the slavers. On her return home she jails her brother and proclaims herself ngala.

The passage of time proves Nzinga was right about the Europeans. The peace treaty lasts the space of only a dream and soon the Portuguese are moving deeper into her kingdom. Though she suffers setback after setback she fights until the very end. For 30 years she will fight to win her homeland. She will return blood for blood and slaughter for slaughter, all to save her people from slavery. She dies at the age of 84 without having been able to rebuild her homeland but she is still remembered as the woman who lost many battles but never lost the war. Ana de Sousa Nzinga lived a queen and died a queen.

Bibliography

1. Shwartz- Bart, Simone. In praise of Black women. Texas, Modus Vivendi Publications, 2001.

2. African Women in history course

3. Diop, Cheikh Anta. Precolonial Black Africa: A comparative study of the political and social systems of Europe and Black Africa, from antiquity to the formation of modern states .New York, Lawrence Hill Books. 1987

4. Mbiti, John. African religions and philosophies. Nairobi, East African Educational Publishers, 1969.

5. Ehret, Christopher. An African Classical Age: Eastern and Southern Africa in World History 1000BC to AD 400. Virginia, The University Press of Virginia, 1998.

6. Finch, Charles. Echoes of the Old Darkland: Themes from the African Eden. (Georgia, Khenti Inc. 1999)

Previous comments on this post

ziwani said…

Great respect to the phenomenal women you highlight, it is a great read. In addition another woman ruler occcured in the Shilluk kingdom around the early 18oo’s. She was ruoth Abudhok Bwoch and effectively ruled the Shilluk kingdom in current northern Sudan. The shilluk Kingdom is a branch of the ancient Luo nation, part of which settled in Kenya.

9:44 PM

Ms K said…

Hey great blog you have here.

I just wanted to ask, what’s your reason for spelling Africa with a ‘k’. I’m sure there’s an interesting story behind that.

3:04 PM

AfricanSunset said…

Check out this Book
“For Women and the Nation”-Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti of Nigeria.

Cheryl Johnson-Odim and Nina Emma Mba Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a Nigerian feminist who fought for suffrage and equal rights for her countrywomen long before the second wave of the women’s movement in the United States. She also joined the struggle for Nigerian independence as an activist in the anticolonial movement. For Women and the Nation is the story of this courageous woman, one of a handful of full-length biographies of African women activists. It will be welcomed by students of women’s studies, African history, and biography, as well as by opponents of the Nigerian military regime that has held one of her sons, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, in solitary confinement since August 1995.

3:42 PM

Afrikan Eye said…

Thank you for your comments…
@ms K…Afrika with a ‘K’ because that’s how it is spelt in Kiswahili…also signals a break from the ‘Africa’ that has been created by the West…Westerners have created an idea of ‘Africa’ in our heads that misrepresents our history and tends to belittle our legacy, who we are, our achievements/ contributions and our potential.

4:11 PM

giovanni.dicristofano@tin.it said…

dear Afrikan Eye, we hope you will soon post the second part of ‘African women in civilization’. Some question now..
1) can I republish your posts in my (penniless for now) webzine http://www.strudeltimes.it ?

2) can you upgrade ‘African Women in..” adding tales, stories, so on ?

And last but not least, I have a dream (yep). Even if I am just a white male, my ambition is an international respectable webzine. There is a column ready for you, think on it . Thanks gdc

10:23 AM

Afrikan Eye said…

Will soon post the next spiel…effects of colonialism on women as well as other great examples of Afrikan women
@gdc Thank you for your encouragement Will soon holla at you. in peace!

11:48 AM

AfroFeminista said…

I love this! I’m no fan of historical writing, but this, this was just so inspiring! Proving that there was a time when women and men were held in equal regard by a society not tainted by patriarchy borne of displacement, colonialism and globalization!

Thanks for sharing this!
I’m adding you to my blogroll – fasta fasta:):)

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14 Responses to “AFRICAN WOMEN IN AFRICAN CIVILIZATION”
A very well-researched essay on the real story of African women in Ancient Times. Very enlightening. However, the grammatical errors were distracting. To learn more about this topic, I intend to read some more essays on this website.

Monique said this on April 12, 2007 at 12:49 am

Thank you for your comment and I’m delighted that you’ll be doing your own research to learn more.Sorry about the typos and stuff…I’ve worked on it abit..hope it helps.

Afrikan Eye said this on April 12, 2007 at 7:48 am

Thanks for this great and inspiring work! More grease to your elbows

Spice said this on August 2, 2007 at 9:26 am

“”Africans were the first to inhabit the earth.””

This statement is nonsensical. Africans were not the first to inhabit the earth. Those who you are erroneously refering to as Africans were actually a different species called Homo Erectus. And they were the only humans (beings of the genus Homo) to EXIST on the earth… anywhere…for a while.

And when you say Africans were the first to inhabit- That means, grammatically, that Africans came…and then later other races. And that the comming of other races was secondary and somehow seperate from the coming of Africans.

But all races of Homo sapiens evolved from Homo Erectus at the same time and so all first began to inhabit the earth simultaneously.

“””Therefore, the first woman to give birth was a Black African woman.”””

Again, nonsensical. A “Black African” woman is a Homo sapiens, evolved from Homo erectus, evolved from Australopithecus.

Homo erectus evolved from Australopithecus in what is now Africa. So at first Homo erectus existed only in Africa. Then later Homo erectus migrated from Africa to Europe and Asia, then beyond. Homo erectus then evolved into Homo sapiens. This evolution occured wherever Homo erectus lived. Not just in Africa but also in all the other places of the earth. So Homo sapiens women gave birth all over the world basically simultaneously. Homo erectus evolved into Homo sapiens all over the world at about the same time.

“””It is from us that all humans have come. The other races of humankind all evolved from Black Africans.”””

No. I mean no insult, but no they didnt. All races of mankind evolved from Homo erectus. You could say that Homo erectus WAS “Black Africans” but that would be incorrect. A “Black African” is a Homo sapiens with dark skin, as is common to the Homo sapiens that evolved from Homo erectus in Africa.

“Black Africans” and Homo erectus are two completely different species. All races as they are today came from Homo erectus evolving in different climates…and so creating slight variations in the species Homo sapiens.

This is all knowledge gained by fossil records and DNA analysis. As you cited for your statement. Since you used those very things as proof of the correctness of your statement, I dont see how you can argue against it. If you DO argue against it then you will also be arguing against the very validity of your statement in the first place.

~is grinning widely~ I can be a tricky son of a gun cant I? I am beginning to greatly enjoy our mental fencing. Though in this one I think I have you.

I would comment on the rest of your essay but I havent read it yet I’m afraid. I’ve been up all night and I’m very tired. I will read it though and look forward to doing so. I skimmed through it and saw mention of Kush. I remember first reading of Kush, the great ancient civilization south of Egypt and being transfixed. Up until that time I hadnt even known it existed. Anyway I’m particularly looking forward to reading that part.

Plz read and respond to the next section of this as seperate from this first part. Thanks.

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The Concept of a Female God

A lot of men find that concept threatening. I dont at all. The idea of a nurturing-loving mother god smiling down on me is a beautiful and comforting thought.

Though if you acknowledge a female god. Logically, (I repeat..using Logic) you must also acknowledge a male god. For a god would not, nor any living creature, be a female if there was not a male counterpart. If there is no male then there is no need to be female. Living beings that reproduce without a male…or without a female…are called asexual.

So, logically if you believe in a male god you must also believe in a female god. But two thirds of the world (christians) believes that god is male and that there is no female counterpart, in defiance of logic.

And most who believe in a female god refuse to believe in a male god, in defiance of logic. And most likely for the same reasons males deny a female god. Because a single god who is a male only is threatening to women. The idea of a supreme being, the sole divine being, being female is comforting and empowering to women in a world where many women are denied power.

Either way. Its illogical.

My personal opinion…I dont care. I believe in a Supreme Being. But what do I care whether that being is male or female? I believe god is a being of love. That is all that matters to me.

I personally suspect that god has no gender. Why would a divine being such as god need sexual organs, or anything the like?

And why would a being of such great intelligence be hindered by only one personality type- male or female- How can an omnipotent being have only one point of view? By its very nature an omnipotent being would possess ALL points of view.

And if not omnipotent…then why would at least an unfathomably intelligent being adhere to only one point of view?

That is my belief anyway. Please…dont anyone try to argue with me. I wont debate about this. This is only my personal opinion. And as an admited matter of opinion I can not be proven or disproven. Its just opinion.

My only response to any argument to the contrary of what I have said would be, “yeah…yeah thats possible too.”

Chris said this on August 7, 2007 at 2:32 pm

You said: “”Africans were the first to inhabit the earth.””
This statement is nonsensical. Africans were not the first to inhabit the earth. Those who you are erroneously referring to as Africans were actually a different species called Homo Erectus. And they were the only humans (beings of the genus Homo) to EXIST on the earth… anywhere…for a while.

I say: Why is this statement nonsensical? As far as we know so far the first homo sapiens were in Afrika and thus were Afrikans. National Geographic alongside a bunch of institute and universities actually did this research recently to find the ‘original Adam’ if you will, the first homonoid from which all humans evolved and they found that ‘he’ lived in Afrika so he was an Afrikan…they even went as far as constructing what this ‘original Adam’ looked like’ and he looks like a modern day sub Saharan Afrikan. So I don’t really see how that statement is nonsensical…

You said: But all races of Homo sapiens evolved from Homo Erectus at the same time and so all first began to inhabit the earth simultaneously.

I said: Aha but DID all homo sapaiens evolve from homo eructus?!! That’s what folks USED to think…but now there is emerging evidence stating that homo erectus may have been a branch in the homoid tree like homo habilis…that flourished for a while and then died out…this is still a raging debate with many feeling that in order to really get to the root of where modern humans came from. Look here (http://www.articlesbase.com/news-and-society-articles/is-homo-erectus-in-our-family-tree-179891.html and http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/12/1212_021213_journeyofman_2.html)
And even if you’re right that homo erectus was the precursor to humans STILL:
’ Today, there is general agreement that Homo erectus, the precursor to modern humans, evolved in Africa and gradually expanded to Eurasia beginning about 1.7 million years ago.’
So Black Afrikans are STILL the original ones.

You said: ””Therefore, the first woman to give birth was a Black African woman.”””
Again, nonsensical. A “Black African” woman is a Homo sapiens, evolved from Homo erectus, evolved from Australopithecus.

I said: Again, why nonsensical…see my comments above. There is general consensus that the first homo sapiens came from Black Africa…yes you may find some Homo habilis/ erectus, Cro Magnon, Neanderthelis in other continents but OLDERST REMAINS of homo sapiens are in Afrika…so it doesn’t take rocket science to extrapolate that s propagation of the species happened, the first person to give birth was a Black Afrikan woman. If ‘Original Adam’ looks like a Black Afrikan why do you suddenly doubt that ‘Original Eve’ is not a Black Afrikan woman?

Homo erectus evolved from Australopithecus in what is now Africa. So at first Homo erectus existed only in Africa. Then later Homo erectus migrated from Africa to Europe and Asia, then beyond. Homo erectus then evolved into Homo sapiens. This evolution occured wherever Homo erectus lived. Not just in Africa but also in all the other places of the earth. So Homo sapiens women gave birth all over the world basically simultaneously. Homo erectus evolved into Homo sapiens all over the world at about the same time.
THAT’S SIMPLY INCORRECT. You’re assuming that homo sapiens arose from Homo erectus, this is infact in dispute. Moreover if you track the human genome (you really should read up on the human genome project), the oldest ‘bits of DNA’ are found in Black Afrikans…that’s how thet finally traced the ‘Original Adam’ to East Afrika in Tanzania…a certain community there had the ‘oldest DNA’. You’re still stuck in the ‘multi regional model and in the words of experts(Chris Stringer, director of the Human Origins Program at the Natural History Museum in London):
“The multi-regional model of Homo sapiens evolving globally over a long time scale is certainly dead.”

‘”African populations have the most ancient alleles [gene pairs that code for specific traits] and the greatest genetic diversity, which means they’re the oldest,” Hedges explained. “Our species probably had arisen by 150,000 years ago, with a population of perhaps 10,000 individuals.”

‘By around 100,000 years ago, several species of hominids populated the Earth, including H. sapiens in Africa, H. erectus in Southeast Asia and China, and Neandertals in Europe. By around 30,000 years ago, the only surviving hominid species was H. sapiens. ‘

So ummm you’re wrong… Homo sapien women WERE NOT simultaneously giving birth all over the world. You’re wrong on this one : )

You said: “””It is from us that all humans have come. The other races of humankind all evolved from Black Africans.”””
No. I mean no insult, but no they didnt. All races of mankind evolved from Homo erectus. You could say that Homo erectus WAS “Black Africans” but that would be incorrect. A “Black African” is a Homo sapiens with dark skin, as is common to the Homo sapiens that evolved from Homo erectus in Africa.

I said: Well NO. A Black Afrikan is not a homo sapien with dark skin. There are the Aborigines of Australia whom, although they are dark skinned homo sapiens, they are less closely related to Black Afrikans genetically than white Europeans. Its only due to similar historical struggles and the ‘demonising’ of Blackness, that Black Afrikans and Aboriginal Australians have been lumped together. And on the whole homo erectus tip…PLEASE SEE ABOVE.

You said: “Black Africans” and Homo erectus are two completely different species. All races as they are today came from Homo erectus evolving in different climates…and so creating slight variations in the species Homo sapiens. This is all knowledge gained by fossil records and DNA analysis. As you cited for your statement. Since you used those very things as proof of the correctness of your statement, I dont see how you can argue against it. If you DO argue against it then you will also be arguing against the very validity of your statement in the first place- is grinning widely- I can be a tricky son of a gun cant I? I am beginning to greatly enjoy our mental fencing. Though in this one I think I have you.

I said: Haha! No no I think I have YOU on this one. Homo sapiens did not necessarily come from homo erectus. Your entire argument seems to be pinned on a erroneous assumption that homo sapiens came from homo erectus. And who said I’m arguing against fossil proof…I’m using it in support of my arguments…I think I have YOU on this one:)

Afrikan Eye said this on August 8, 2007 at 9:03 am

One more thing…
It SHOULDN’T matter what sex God is but it DOES matter because males in history as evidenced through the creation of patriarchy which is premised on the glorification of males and the depreciation of all female, seem to think that if God is Man then Man is God. You’re a man so you probably don’t REALLY get how disempowering it is to continually be told that God is a Man. As a woman, I can assure you, it makes a difference, because when God has a male image, the attributes of ‘Godliness’ are associated with ‘manileness’, males are given higher positions in society because ‘they closer to God’ etc etc…So although of course The Divine One has no sex, it does matter that God tends to be portrayed almost exclusively as a man…have you ever seen GOD portrayed as a woman…and I mean GOD not GODESS (because that’s tends to have diminutive connotations itself).
Its like when folk say.. ‘it doesn’t matter that Jesus is always depicted as a white man’ Never mind the fact that depicting Jesus as white is a historical inaccuracy and fallacy, my bone of contention is that when white colonialists came to Afrika they USED the image of a WHITE Jesus and WHITE God and a BLACK devil to entrench racism and the straight LIE that whites are closer to God and that the white God gave the white man the job to ‘civilise’ the Black Native(never mind that one of the Most Holy spiritual pieces of the Catholic church is a BLACK Madonna). So as long as Blacks, Afrikans in particular, still see God as white, there is an extent to which we will fail to relate to God and a subconscious manner in which we will think if God is white then White is God…if Satan is Black then Black is Satan…these subconscious messages affect and guide our thinking and behaviour.

Afrikan Eye said this on August 8, 2007 at 9:47 am

I wasnt saying you were arguing against fossil proof, Only anticipating that you might. However you went another way.

I’m going to have to call this one a draw. What you have said is true but it is all theory. As you have said the issue is still hotly debated. Perhaps in the future the answer will be more certain but for now I think it is simply a matter of point of view.

Do you accept the new evidence as proving the new theory, or do you believe in the older theory which has its own supportive evidence and its own merit against the new?

Maybe in the future you will be proven absolutely correct but for now it is a matter of debate.

And of course some new evidence or argument might arise that discounts either of the two current popular theories.

“””Well NO. A Black Afrikan is not a homo sapien with dark skin. There are the Aborigines of Australia whom, although they are dark skinned homo sapiens, they are less closely related to Black Afrikans genetically than white Europeans.”””

I only said that Black Africans are Homo sapiens with dark skin. Which they are. Other Homo sapiens also having dark skin doesnt matter. I didnt mention others, or say that Black Africans were the only dark skinned homo sapiens. So at least that one sentance of mine was completely correct.

Read the rest of your essay. Enjoyed it.

Chris said this on August 8, 2007 at 10:09 am

“””It SHOULDN’T matter what sex God is but it DOES matter.”””

Well yes of course it matters in the scheme of things. I just said it didnt matter to me, as an individual.

“””You’re a man so you probably don’t REALLY get how disempowering it is to continually be told that God is a Man.”””

Its true, there is no way I could know exactly what thats like. I know that. Wasnt trying to say that I did. Men often feel the same way when they are told god is a woman. So, while I dont and never will understand exactly what that is like, I do have some idea.

“”So although of course The Divine One has no sex,””

Of course? Maybe you and I both agree on that point but most people do not. The idea of a sexless god is rather revolutionary at this time. And as a man, who has the idea of god as a man all around him, I would hope to be commended for my out-of-the-box and open minded thinking. : )

“”have you ever seen GOD portrayed as a woman””

Yes I have actually. When I was a young man I read a graphic novel series called Spawn. It was very popular. Awhile into the story god is portrayed to the main character as an elderly african woman. And yes god, not goddess. This portrayel continues throughout the the series.

“”if Satan is Black then Black is Satan””

I have never in my life seen satan portrayed as black. Or even being black in color. Usually satan is portrayed as Red, with cloven hooves, horns and a spikey tail. Also I have seen satan as an attractive woman, a man, various monsters, a beautiful angel, and a demonic avatar. These in cartoons, movies, and paintings.

Satan is portrayed as black in africa then? Not so here. Thats interesting. I had no idea.

Chris said this on August 8, 2007 at 10:35 am

Enjoyed both your article AND the banter with “Chris” — you both have some valid observations. My question for you Afrikan Eye is basically “who are you?” Don’t mean to sound disrespectful, it’s just that I might want to use some of your essay in a paper that I am writing myself for a doctoral history class–especially since you have some excellent references. I need a real name for the Bibliography. (:

Christine

Christine S Brown said this on September 18, 2007 at 8:34 pm

I love it all, my mind is wirling now.And i cherish the images,i am looking for moore.

Aviah said this on September 25, 2007 at 9:08 pm

THANK YOU for this enlightening article!
Delighted to learn that just like Native American societies in the traditional pre-colonial form, African tradition includes systems of Matriarchy and matrilineal kingship/chiefdom. This knowledge should be advanced in mainstream education!

Anita said this on September 30, 2007 at 9:44 pm

i love this i like to learn about my people it makes me happy to learn that women are the main roots of this world

Roshan said this on December 14, 2007 at 7:10 pm

Greetings, how are you feeling this good day? What a joy it is to come across this blog. At last the black women is given what is due to her; RESPECT and HONOR. In’I as a nation of black kings and queens wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for In’I mothers,aunts, grandmothers and sisters. When their husbands, brothers, uncles and fathers were lost for a solution to a particular problem they knew that the wo(mb)man was (hu)man enough to come up with a perfect solution to that problem. So big up to all Afrikan Empresses(wo[mb]men) who are proud of that sun-burnt face and dread crown. This Afrikan son is proud to be an offspring of such an honorable soul. Big Up Afrikan eye for uplifting our sisters and educating our some what ignorrant brothers on the power their sisters have as equal partners in life. Keep up the good work because if Afrikans are to reclaim our former glory we must first uplift the wo(mb)men of Afrika then In’I would see a way forward in eradicating the poverty, wars and diseases on Gracious Mama Afrika; In’I birth ground…. once more again Big Up to Afrikan Eye, In’I need more people like you; to rejuvinate the Afrikan spirit once and for all

Signing off wid seven words of love;

JAH(God) is Love so let Us Love

TuffRoc said this on December 18, 2007 at 11:50 am

Hello!
I don’t have a link to the info that I want to share with you, but I will get it from my coworker. It is a piece on Lucy! It appears that the people have pulled the wool over the eyes of the world again. When I first heard of Lucy, I thought of the first Black African Woman, the first woman in the world. Then my coworker showed me the link with the pictures of Lucy! It was basically a primate. All of the bones were never found and the people, AKA THE MAN, mixed human bones of hands and feet and other parts to complete Lucy in the image of man/woman. It was and ape. But when everyone looks at it, men, women, and kids alike, they all say, “Look at the APE WOMAN!” The people are trying to put the image of MAN coming from APE into the brains of everyone. There were others who studied Lucy and saw that the bone parts added were human and the original bones were APE bones. They even had an APE pelvis and it was broken. They showed the original peoples notes and noted that when the original people were putting Lucy together, that they thought it was strange that Lucy’s broken pelvis looked like and APE pelvis. The Pelvis was shattered into many jagged unrecognizable pieces. The original people said that Lucy’s pelvis was stepped on by a deer. They showed the shattered APE pelvis and then magically, they showed the pieced together pelvis that had been manipulated to resemble a human pelvis. We did not come from primates! Lucy was a Primate. I will get the link for you at another time.

meuw said this on February 12, 2008 at 12:04 am

This is a truly great BLACK article. We will give you the credit note and reprint it at our blog BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!(yeyeolade.wordpress.com)to enable more people to see it! Black on Brother from Kenya!

Your Blackamerikkkan Sister who 30 years ago went BACK TO AFRICA-Yorubaland,Nigeria,to raise 4 of my 5 children as culturally based Yoruba children,
Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade

Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade said this on Your comment is awaiting moderation. October 30, 2008 at 4:08 pm

BLACKS AND OTHERS WALK OUT ON AN ATTEMPT TO LIE ON OBAMA’S BLACK NAME! FROM TPMELECTIONCENTRAL.TALKINGPOINTSMEMO.COM

October 28, 2008

FROM tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com

Dozens Of Call Center Workers Walk Off Job In Protest Rather Than Read McCain Script Attacking Obama
By Greg Sargent – October 27, 2008, 5:18PM
Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being “dangerously weak on crime,” “coddling criminals,” and for voting against “protecting children from danger.”

Williams’ daughter told her that up to 40 of her co-workers had refused to read the script, and had left the call center after supervisors told them that they would have to either read the call or leave, Williams says. The call center is called Americall, and it’s located in Hobart, IN.

“They walked out,” Williams says of her daughter and her co-workers, adding that they weren’t fired but willingly sacrificed pay rather than read the lines. “They were told [by supervisors], `If you all leave, you’re not gonna get paid for the rest of the day.”

The daughter, who wanted her name withheld fearing retribution from her employer, confirmed the story to us. “It was like at least 40 people,” the daughter said. “People thought the script was nasty and they didn’t wanna read it.”

A second worker at the call center confirmed the episode, saying that “at least 30” workers had walked out after refusing to read the script.

“We were asked to read something saying [Obama and Democrats] were against protecting children from danger,” this worker said. “I wouldn’t do it. A lot of people left. They thought it was disgusting.”

This worker, too, confirmed sacrificing pay to walk out, saying her supervisor told her: “If you don’t wanna phone it you can just go home for the day.”

The script coincided with this robo-slime call running in other states, but because robocalling is illegal in Indiana it was being read by call center workers.

Representatives at Americall in Indiana, and at the company’s corporate headquarters in Naperville, Illinois, didn’t return calls for comment.

ASHA MANDELA,THIS BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKINNED SISTER HAS BEAUTIFUL BLACK NATURAL WOOLY HAIR IN DREAD FORM FROM STUPIDCELEBRITES.NET

October 27, 2008

asha_mandela_hairfrom stupidcelebrites.net

Asha Mandela Sets World Record With 8 Foot Dreads (Pictures/Video)
Posted on October 24, 2008

youtube.com

Asha Mandela of Polk County, has dreadlocks measuring 8 feet, 9 inches and has set the world record for the longest dreadlocks. See Asha Mandela’s dreadlock photos and video below.

Asha Mandela’s dreadlocks are longer than she is tall. Asha began growing her dreads twenty years ago.

Asha wraps her 8 foot, 9 inch dreads around her neck like a scarf, or lets them hang down her back like a veil. Mandela is originally from Trinidad, and began growing her dreads 20 years ago while she was living in New York.

Asha Mandela said she has considered cutting her long dreadlocks before, but loves the hairstyle and it has become too much a part of her to part with them now.

Asha says, “As much as I love it, I get frustrated with it. ” But adds, “But then I realize I’d feel naked without it.”

An executive assistant to the city administrator of Longwood, Florida, Ryan Spinella, was a witness to vertify the measuring of Mandela’s dreads. He said, “I couldn’t say what to compare it with. Just a lot of hair.” Spinella added, “You don’t believe it until you measure it really.”

Mandela’s dreadlocks are very important to her, and she refers to them as her baby. But of course they are quite a bit of work. When she goes in her pool, it takes two hours at least for her dreads to dry. Mandela says, “I try not to have any errands that day”.

Asha Mandela washes her 8 foot dreads once a week, and it takes an entire bottle of shampoo and bottle of conditioner to accomplish the task.

Check out Asha Mandela in the video below:

Posted by: Monya
4 comments

Comments

gerard Vandenberg on 10-24-2008
WOW!!
…….some heavy stuff, folks!!

Miss Boss on 10-26-2008
wowowowow…. deve essere proprio difficile curare quei capelli….

Cheryl on 10-26-2008
That is really neat! I admire you for your long natural hair!

BLACK PEOPLE VOTING FOR OBAMA EARLY IN TEARS! FROM THEPOLITICALCARNIVAL.BLOGSPOT.COM:OCT.22,2008

October 23, 2008

FROM thepoliticalcarnival.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Early voting in Evansville

Sniff. An emailer describes his early voting in Evansville, Indiana to Ben-

For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn’t in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president. Anyone who doesn’t think that African-American turnout will absolutely SHATTER every existing record is in for a very rude surprise.

Posted by Paddy at 6:03 PM
Labels: 2008 elections, african american, Barack Obama, pride
13 comments:
Ellen said…
TEARS TEARS TEARS

October 22, 2008 6:09 PM
Bucky said…
I know I’m an old softie … but that really choked me up.

And I think I agree — the African-American turnout will be huge.

And the GOP efforts to block the AA vote by any means possible will be huge as well.

I actually expect it to get ugly in a few places.

October 22, 2008 6:12 PM
Paddy said…
This just makes me so happy for them, almost as good as seeing the first woman prez, but I guess we’ll just have to wait a bit for President Maddow.

October 22, 2008 6:30 PM
wotching said…
Reaching for my Klennex.
Stupendous stuff.

October 22, 2008 6:31 PM
Paddy said…
Is that what they call it in Ireland wotching?

October 22, 2008 6:37 PM
lucy said…
Bucky I have to agree with you about the AA vote. I never thought I would live to see a non-white person become President. For some reason I didn’t want either Jackson or Sharpton to win,not that I didn’t think they were not capable. I felt the same way I felt about Hilary. Just too many high negatives. However I did support Jackson in the primary.
But Barack is a fine candidate from every perspective. He is knowledgeable about how to get things done, and about how the world works. He has a broad perspective on so many issues. He just impresses me.And, he happens to be biracial.

October 22, 2008 6:41 PM
Margali said…
Tears of joy! :.)

For my part, I am happy we have someone to vote FOR, not merely a choice of “lesser of two evils”.

October 22, 2008 6:43 PM
Cyndi said…
oh man, @ the rate I’m going, I’ll shed enough tears to last me for yrs. Its so beautiful and I can only imagine how it feels to grow up in a time where you were treated like 3rd rate citizen, then live long enough to see your country improve so much.

October 22, 2008 6:44 PM
belinda said…
Jackson and Al were to polarizing.
I mean being A.A myself I had respect for there efforts for the A.A. issues but with Obama there is no comparison. He is far more succesfull because he has something they did not. The ability to see ALL RACES AS EQUAL!
To talk to the hearts of EVERY American about the issues that affect us all. He brings us together no matter the skin color, religion (or lack there of), sexual orientation, age and whatdayaknow political party.
Think about the first time you really felt you wanted to vote for Obama. Did you say hey he’s a black guy. No you probably said this is an intelligent man who knows exactly what america needs to change. Then you said Hey he’s a black guy. Some might have said oh crap he’s a black guy, then you heard him speak, went to a rally or read his book then you forgot he was a black guy.
My point is AL Sharpton and Jessie Jackson had I am a BLACK GUY writtin all over their face in the words and the issues they focused on.
Obama on the other hand come with a message for everyone.

October 22, 2008 7:19 PM
Anonymous said…
We can’t make one race’s issue more important then anothers. there are multiple issues that americans need to deal with some more prevalent then others, some harder to irradicate then others but all important equally. An until we individually take on all issues as our own then nothing will be solved and we will always be pitted against eachother. Blacks against whites, gays against straights, Po-choice against pro-life and on and on.

October 22, 2008 7:26 PM
Margali said…
So true, Belinda.

I look at Barack Obama, and what I see is a man who is good for America.

October 22, 2008 7:33 PM
thekingfiphtin said…
I second Margali.

You are very right Belinda. I love how I don’t feel like just a demographic in Obama’s eyes. I feel like Obama actually respects people. He’s gone through a lot of different phases in his life, and he really understands different peoples’ struggles.

Who couldn’t vote for that?

October 22, 2008 9:08 PM
wotching said…
I third Margali and I second Thekingfiphtin re. Belinda’s words!!

All great sentiments re. our main man Barack.
He’s an all round good human being, being HUMAN
and sees the good in everyone no matter our differences.

As Powell put it, he’s inclusive. That’s what is apparent to me. That’s what matters to me.

A leader for our time.

P.S. Paddy are you referring to my miss-spelling of the word Kleenex?!!

October 22, 2008 11:25 PM

BROTHER COLIN POWELL’S COMMENT ON AL JAZEERA,MCPAIN,AND THE MIDDLE EAST FROM MY.BARACKOBAMA.COM

October 23, 2008

Post from Would Obama help America better understand the Middle East:
Powell, Al Jazeera and the McCain Rallies

On the day Colin Powell announced his support for Barack Obama, he said to a reporter, “Those images going out on Al Jazeera are killing us around the world. And we have got to say to the world, it doesn’t make any difference who you are or what you are, if you’re an American, you’re an American.” Powell was referring to an exchange between John McCain and a supporter at a rally, in which McCain corrected a woman who started to tell him she does not trust Obama because he is an “Arab.” He said, “No, ma’am, he’s a decent family man.”

Indeed, Al Jazeera, like other news outlets across the Arab World, strongly denunciated the deafening silence that followed the incident. “McCain’s crowds have displayed an ugly side of the American electorate – a group who are afraid of people who are different. Maybe it is entrenched racism mixed with fear mongering and a couple of decade’s worth of Arab-bashing,” posted Al Jazeera on its website the next day.

Powell’s comments are not only visionary, but they also are accurate. Al Jazeera has become a leading source of news and information across the world. Hours after Al Jazeera’s quoted article, dozens of comments about the incident appeared on its website, coming, literally, from the all corners of the globe, including the US, Canada, Afghanistan, Angola, Ireland, Argentina, UK, New Zealand, Pakistan, Brazil, and Australia. All expressed outrage and disaffection with the GOP and with America.

There is an opportunity in the horizon. On November 4th, we will decide to either continue on the righteous, ultra-patriotic path of the Bush administration or choose Barack Obama for President and give the American people the chance to portray to the world their true values of tolerance and inclusiveness.

Reader Comments Write a Comment on this Post Comments RSS

RACISM TO THE CORE!
By Yeye 4 seconds ago (Updated 4 seconds ago)
MC PAIN/PALEN ARE intentionly STIRRING UP RACISM TO GET VOTES AND THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING. IT’S GOOD TO BRING THE RACISM TO THE SURFACE SO that others will see how wrong they are to think the same thoughts secretly and to make Americans realize how much they have to change in their attitudes towards Blacks,Arabs and colored others!
As a Black American Sister now back to my roots in Nigeria I hear everyday the surprise that Africans have to see such racism in America!
Wake up White America! You must change or America will keep failing in the World which is majority of Dark colored races.

“BLACKS MUST SLAY LIE OF INFERIORITY”BY SISTER LEAH CARTER IN THE NEW HAVEN(CT) REGISTER NEWSPAPER,OCT. 18,2008

October 17, 2008

from nhregister.com

Opinion
Blacks must slay lie of inferiority

Thursday, October 16, 2008 6:10 AM EDT
By Leah Carter

IF polls are any indication, there is a real chance Barack Obama will be elected president of the United States. On its face, this seems to suggest that America has seen the worst of its complex and painful history of racism.

A closer examination of the presidential race reveals we probably should not be patting ourselves on the back just yet. As political analyst David Gergen points out, race is still a factor and Obama’s “blackness may cost him the election.”

It is unclear which group more accurately represents contemporary America: the smiling, screaming fans proclaiming that Obama brings “change you can believe in,” or people like Bobby Lee May, the former McCain campaign chairman for Buchanan, Va., who wrote that Obama, if elected, would “hire rapper Ludacris to paint (the White House) black.”

Is the United States a country that has moved beyond racism, leaving behind a small group of reactionaries? Or are the attitudes that sanctioned slavery and Jim Crow laws still going strong and hiding beneath the surface of our society?

The answer seems to be that both are true. The United States cannot quite seem to make up its mind about race.

American blacks are making tremendous strides forward. The rest of America has progressed as well, in both attitudes and actions.

However, beneath many people’s actions and conscious thoughts lurks a deep-seated conviction that black people are inferior. They might be better at dancing, slam-dunking and avoiding skin cancer, but certainly are not as smart, hardworking or beautiful as white people.

This view may seem like a relic of ancient history, but a 2008 report on a study conducted by a Stanford University psychologist concluded that many white Americans subconsciously associate black people with apes.

The saddest part of this is that black people are not immune to this. While black Americans gain success and fortune in increasing numbers, many are simultaneously hindered by a sense of inferiority. In other words, nearly all Americans seem to believe the same lie: that black people are not as smart, valuable, capable or worthy as white people.

The lie of black inferiority was first told hundreds of years ago when Europeans decided it was profitable to colonize Africa and export its citizens for labor while declaring them less than human. It was a useful lie, and successfully instilled — so successfully that it has been propagated through generations to today.

When the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 case that ended legalized segregation in the United States, psychologist Kenneth Clark demonstrated that school segregation negatively affected black children’s image of themselves. The children thought that black dolls were ugly and dirty, and white dolls were prettier, cleaner, nicer and generally more appealing.

When a similar study was conducted just a few years ago, decades after the end of legalized segregation, the majority of black children still preferred white dolls.

The lie no longer needs to be explicitly stated. We absorb it as if from the air. It is everywhere in our society, and yet seemingly undetectable in a world in which Obama may be our next president, Oprah Winfrey is the world’s most influential media personality and Tiger Woods is the world’s most popular golfer.

Part of what makes the lie so influential is its flexibility. It can coexist with the phenomena of Obama and Winfrey. They can be seen as mere aberrations from the norm.

The result is that while black people can look around and see some blacks succeeding in America, they still find it difficult to love themselves, to believe they deserve the best life has to offer.

The New Haven-based Community Healing Network (www.communityhealingetwork.org) — launched by a group led by the Rev. Victor Rogers, rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and the Rev. Bonita Grubbs, director of Christian Community Action — has issued a “Call to Healing and Renewal,” declaring that the time has come to extinguish the lie of black inferiority. It wants to replace the lie with “the truth of black people’s beauty, worth, value and dignity.”

The group is calling on the black community to build a movement for emotional emancipation — for freedom not only in body, but also in mind and in spirit.

The group is starting annual Community Healing Days on the third weekend of every October, starting this year on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to focus the black community on healing the lie of black inferiority.

The goal is to encourage blacks to take special care of themselves and each other on these days. The hope is that the celebration will continue past the weekend, until the day when black children everywhere believe that they are just as smart, strong, capable and worthy as other children. If the work of the Community Healing Network succeeds, as I believe it will, that wonderful day will come sooner rather than later.

Leah Carter is a volunteer with the Community Healing Network. Readers may write her in care of the Register, 40 Sargent Drive, New Haven 06511. Her e-mail address is leahcacarter@gmail.com.

Comments
The following are comments from the readers. In no way do they represent the view of nhregister.com.

Bill wrote on Oct 16, 2008 10:38 AM:

” Leah Carter is absolutely right. The democrat party is guilty of fostering the idea that somehow blacks are inferior. They insist that they cannot make it on their own, they need affirmative action, and handouts. The democrats insist that blacks need a boost up while other minorities many of them just a dark skinned or darker than American blacks come to this country and succeed in record numbers in spite of perceived racism. They don’t know that they cannot succeed so they do. ”

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History wrote on Oct 16, 2008 4:24 PM:

My father grew up in a time when black folks were beaten – by uniformed police officers, in the open – on the way to the polls, and small black children had to be escorted to school by the national guard to protect them from enraged citizens. This was ONE GENERATION AGO. You think this has no historical reverberations? You think it’s reasonable for black folks to disregard the experiences of thier parents and grandparents? You think ‘the inferiority complex’ comes from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

There is a reasonable difference of opinion about how to heal these wounds; niether of you contributed anything worthwhile to that debate. ”

History wrote on Oct 16, 2008 10:12 PM:

” “History is just that. History.”

Let’s talk specifically of Connecticut. This state has the unfortunate distinction of having one of the highest achievement gaps in the country, meaning that poor and minority students perform well below the levels of their wealthier collegues (for more on this, see conncan.org). There are lots of reasons for this, but surely we can agree that history is one of them, that there is a strong link between generations of slavery, housing discrimination, instititionalized racism, etc, and the poverty that many black families face today.

Having said that, I do believe we should ask ourselves if affirmative action is an appropriate way to attempt to right this historical wrong. Like you, I feel that a healthy debate is a good thing – it helps us flesh out our positions and fortify our thinking. But part of that debate is acknowledging the tenacious legacy of racial discrimination in this country without placing the blame solely on the Jacksons and Sharptons. If nothing else, that’s an insult to black agency and intelligence, to say that black folks can’t analyze what comes out of Al Sharpton’s mouth the same way you can, and separate the bad ideas from the good. It would be like blaming crimes committed by Italian-Americans on The Sopranos, which is absurd.

“race-baiting opportunists”

I’m surprised to see that your list of “race-baiting opportunists” includes only the Sharptons and Jacksons of the world. Would you agree with me that the Strom Thurmonds, Robert Byrds, and David Dukes of the world are also “race-baiting opportunists?” If so, do they bear no responsibility for their own negative messages?

“I’m not hearing it from the leaders of today’s black community.”

Maybe you aren’t familiar with Dr. Cornel West, or didn’t hear Senator Obama’s Father’s Day Speech – those are two outstanding examples of positive black leaders recognizing history while speaking hard truths to the African-American community. There’s lots, lots more of that out there.

“The ugly crutch of history”

Again, I’m not saying that we should use history as a crutch. I’m saying that we need to give history its due, and that any debate about affirmative action or perceptions of black ‘inferiority’ needs to start with a recognition of the lasting legacy of that history. ”

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Michael wrote on Oct 17, 2008 2:39 AM:

” “Ed” said:We need more messages like that of Dr. King.

I agree; in particular I think a lot of people need to hear what Dr King said, in particular
A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him, to equip him to compete on a just and equal basis.

If a city has a 30% Negro population, then it is logical to assume that Negroes should have at least 30% of the jobs in any particular company, and jobs in all categories rather than only in menial areas.

No amount of gold could provide an adequate compensation for the exploitation and humiliation of the Negro in America down through the centuries…Yet a price can be placed on unpaid wages. The ancient common law has always provided a remedy for the appropriation of a the labor of one human being by another. This law should be made to apply for American Negroes. The payment should be in the form of a massive program by the government of special, compensatory measures which could be regarded as a settlement in accordance with the accepted practice of common law.

…and …

[…] our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race

You can either disagree with King (which is not necessarily a bad thing, because an appeal to authority is not a conclusive argument), or agree with him and cite him to get respect for your own position, but don’t cite him to oppose things he supported, to whit affirmative action, particularly using racial quotas if need be, reparations for slave descendants, and a clear-eyed view of the original sins of our nation. ”

THESE WHITES DON’T “LIKE” OBAMA,BUT WILL VOTE FOR HIM ANYWAY!-FROM POLITICO.COM

October 17, 2008

from politico.com

October 15, 2008
BEN SMITH’S COLUMN(A RUNNING CONVERSATION ON THE 2008 ELECTION)

Voting for Obama anyway
I just got an astounding e-mail from a Republican consultant I know well. He’s a guy who’s always thought Obama had a “glass jaw,” and was always among those agitating for hitting Obama harder.
Recently, he conducted a focus group in an upper-Midwestern state, showing them the kind of ad he thought would work: A no-holds-barred attack, cut for an independent group, which hasn’t aired.
I’m just going to reprint his amazed e-mail about the focus group:
Reagan Dems and Independents. Call them blue-collar plus. Slightly more Target than Walmart.

Yes, the spot worked. Yes, they believed the charges against Obama. Yes, they actually think he’s too liberal, consorts with bad people and WON’T BE A GOOD PRESIDENT…but they STILL don’t give a f***. They said right out, “He won’t do anything better than McCain” but they’re STILL voting for Obama.

The two most unreal moments of my professional life of watching focus groups:

54 year-old white male, voted Kerry ’04, Bush ’00, Dole ’96, hunter, NASCAR fan…hard for Obama said: “I’m gonna hate him the minute I vote for him. He’s gonna be a bad president. But I won’t ever vote for another god-damn Republican. I want the government to take over all of Wall Street and bankers and the car companies and Wal-Mart run this county like we used to when Reagan was President.”

The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. “Well, I don’t know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I’m sick of paying for health insurance at work and that’s why I’m supporting Barack.”

I felt like I was taking crazy pills. I sat on the other side of the glass and realized…this really is the Apocalypse. The Seventh Seal is broken and its time for eight years of pure, delicious crazy….

“THAT’S IT FOR MCPAIN” SAYS THIS WHITE JOURNALIST-OBAMA A BLACK PRESIDENT! FROM THE BOSTON GLOBE NEWSPAPER,OCT.16,2008

October 17, 2008

From boston.com

That’s it for McCain
By Joan Vennochi
Globe Columnist / October 16, 2008
Email|

He has talking points. He is against taxes, earmarks, and pork. But he can’t knit what he opposes into a coherent economic philosophy that would inspire voters to get behind him in the final days of this presidential campaign.
He has an inspirational life story. But in this campaign, he never connected his biography to his presidential ambition, and he never told voters how it would shape a McCain administration and make him a better president than his opponent.
McCain has long years of political experience, exactly what Democrat Barack Obama lacks. But McCain is unable to explain why his experience makes him better able to lead the country.
McCain had at least one good line last night: “Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush you should’ve run four years ago.” But one good line isn’t a lifeline.
The Arizona senator finally mentioned Bill Ayers and ACORN to his opponent’s face. But he can’t link Obama to Ayers and domestic terrorism, or to the controversial community group called Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, as tightly as Obama can link McCain to Bush. And that remains one of Obama’s biggest advantages in this race.
The Democrat has other advantages, from the economy to his own eloquence. He also has the ability to do what McCain can’t do: look and sound presidential.
Enjoying a surge in the polls, Obama was confident, maybe a bit overconfident in this final debate.
Obama grinned; McCain grimaced.
Each knows his destiny. One man is walking to the White House. The other is just a politically dead man walking.
Joan Vennochi can be reached at vennochi@globe.com

THIS KENYAN BROTHER WAS HEALED OF PARALYSIS ATTACKS!-FROM SPIRITUALITY.COM

October 17, 2008

from spirituality.com

Thankful in Nairobi
Euphresia Likhanga
Reprinted from the October 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal.
Christian Science has been a way of life for me since I was ten. My brother learned about it through a healing he received by reading an article in the Christian Science Sentinel, which he was given by a friend in school.

After that, my brother introduced us to Science and Health, the textbook of Christian Science, although at the time our family practiced a different Christian faith. My brother’s friend later introduced him to First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Nairobi. My brother then introduced my family to the church. And so I began attending Sunday School classes there.

I’ve been studying Christian Science ever since.

My brother and sister and I are all active in the church. My older brother has served as an assistant librarian at our church’s Christian Science Reading Room and as a Sunday School teacher. My older sister has also been a Sunday School teacher and is presently Second Reader of our branch church. Christian Science has been a source of encouragement for all of us.

I felt a need to serve the church.
Last year, when I turned 20, I finished Sunday School and applied for membership in my branch church because I felt a need to serve the church and join a community where we can share ideas as we grow spiritually. I’m now an usher at church and a member of the care committee. As a member of the care committee, I have been practicing Christian Science by assisting people through prayer and visiting the sick, helping them understand who they truly are in God’s eyes.

Every morning I study Science and Health, together with the Bible. And in the evenings, I read other writings by Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science magazines, and the Weekly Bible Lessons, which I borrow from my former Sunday School teacher. I’ve been able to overcome many challenges and diseases by understanding what’s in these Bible Lessons, which teach me that God is All-in-all and that I am His child.

One of my first healings occurred ten years ago when I experienced attacks of paralysis. These attacks took place quite a number of times and were followed by severe headaches. That’s when my brother handed me a copy of Science and Health for the first time. He told me to read the book from page 600 onward, which is the chapter entitled “Fruitage.” I did this.

I came to the story of a man who tells how he recovered quickly from a cycling accident. He was cycling from work to home when he fell down and broke his arm. After he managed to get home, he began to read Science and Health. Within ten minutes the pain left. Very quickly his arm was back to normal, and he was back to work. His friends convinced him to see a doctor, who examined the arm and said it had been set perfectly. But no one had set it. The man also told about being healed of “sick headaches.”

I applied Christian Science and was healed.
After reading this, I stood up and walked toward the sitting room. I had forgotten about the pain. I kept on studying Science and Health and the Bible. After some time I realized how perfectly I was healed. I have never had such a problem again. The same year I got in an accident and had a fracture in my left foot. I applied Christian Science, and within a very short time I was healed.

For seven years (from 1999 to 2006) I suffered from poor eyesight, and on and off from severe headaches. I could not see and read clearly, and this affected my academic performance. After I had taken various medicines and used glasses to reduce the pain, an eye specialist diagnosed the problem as farsightedness. For many years I would visit the hospital twice a year for checkups. Sometimes I changed the lenses in my glasses. Finally, I was told that I would have to live with the problem because it was hereditary.

I stopped taking the medication last year when I began to engage in church activities. All this time, although I had been attending a Christian Science Sunday School, I had never thought of praying about the situation until this year, when my glasses broke at a time when my parents were facing a serious financial crisis. They were not in a position to replace my glasses. Yet I was still in school.

The solution for me started with my daily study of the Bible and Science and Health and with daily prayer for myself. I had used the glasses as recommended by the specialist, but all in vain. The glasses never stopped the headaches, nor did they improve my sight. I not only began to search the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s writings to gain clearer views of God’s nature, but I also worked to lay hold on—to understand—each new, fresh thought that came to me from this study.

I am the full expression of every quality of God.
I started to see that God’s nature is really the source of my nature and that as His dear child I reflect all that He is. Being God’s reflection, I realized, does not mean that God projected His divine being into a human “me.” In reality, I saw that I am wholly spiritual and always have been, because God, my source, is Spirit. As the reflection of God, I am not a pale imitation of the original, but rather the full expression of every quality of God—of His wisdom, life, intelligence.

I would pray, “Father, because you are Truth, Truth is the very substance of my being and the only thing I am really made of.” I’d continue this way, replacing the word “Truth” with one of the seven synonyms for God that Mrs. Eddy provides in Science and Health. This daily prayer, far from being selfish, helped me discover my real, spiritual nature. This clearer understanding of who I am healed me.

Several months have passed, and I no longer have headaches or use the glasses. This taught me that disease vanishes when consciousness is spiritualized. The Apostle Paul said, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” He also said, “We have the mind of Christ.”

Each day I watch to make sure that I am expressing this same mind. I am most thankful for the transformation of mind, body, and daily life that this study has brought me.

Euphresia Likhanga is working toward a diploma in the field of information technology. She lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

Life and peace:
Science and Health:
606:21-25
607:2-4 I will (to .)
King James Bible:
Rom. 8:6
I Cor. 2:16

FESPACO:THE LARGEST PAN-AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL AND BROTHER DANNY GLOVER,ALWAYS TRAVELLING TO THE MOTHERLAND NARRATES THIS DOC ON IT-FROM THE FINAL CALL NEWSPAPER

October 16, 2008

FROM finalcall.com

——————————————————————————–

FESPACO: The largest Pan-African film festival you’ve probably never heard of
By Ashahed M. Muhammad
Updated Oct 7, 2008, 12:33 pm

Narrated by award-winning actor and outspoken activist Danny Glover this 82-minute documentary chronicles FESPACO (Le Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la Télévision de Ouagadougou) an African film festival held bi-annually every odd year in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in West Africa.

FESPACO began in 1969 when a group of visionary film enthusiasts joined together to create venues for works written, produced and directed by Africans to receive wider exposure. This desire led to the establishment of an outlet to promote the works of African filmmakers and led to the creation of networking opportunities for film industry professionals across the globe to share their ideas and techniques. Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Morrocco, Burundi, the United States and the United Kingdom are just some of the diverse global locales represented by filmmakers displaying their creative talents at FESPACO.

Previously called the Republic of Upper Volta, the land now known as Burkina Faso was renamed in 1984 by President Thomas Sankara who fought against imperialism and corruption which ultimately led to his death in 1987. It is important to note that during the time of French colonial rule in areas such as Burkina Faso, filmmaking was forbidden to Africans which makes the establishment of a film festival hosted there even more remarkable and meaningful.

Even if you consider yourself a Black film aficionado, it is quite possible that you’ve never even heard of the film festival and there are a number of reasons for that.

Here in the United States, there are very few outlets for Black films dealing with serious and interesting Black oriented themes. There is little if any support for Black films that deal with topics other than crime, sex, dysfunctional relationships, or stepping fetchit-esque representations of comedy.

As a contrast, FESPACO features movies with political and socially relevant themes such “Chisholm ‘72: Unbought & Unbossed” a 2004 documentary directed by Shola Lynch dealing with Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s historic 1972 presidential bid. “Drum”, a 2004 film about South African journalist Henry Nxumalo played by award-winning American actor Taye Diggs deals with those who challenged apartheid in the 1950s. In 2005, “Drum” earned FESPACO’s top award, the “Étalon de Yennenga” (Stallion of Yennenga) given to the African film that best shows the realities of Africa. The award also symbolizes African cultural identity that lives on through the creation of African filmmakers who use their talents to effectively tell our story.

Another FESPACO award winner, 2003 documentary “Beah: A Black Woman Speaks” covers the life of Black actress Beah Richards and was directed by Black female filmmaker Lisa Gay Hamilton. Ms. Hamilton was given the prestigious Paul Robeson Prize awarded for the best film by a director from within the African Diaspora.

Awards are also given for the Best First Film (called the Oumarou Ganda Prize), and awards for Best Actor and Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and other categories similar to the Oscars that are awarded to film industry professionals in the United States.

FESPACO is written, produced and directed by Kevin Arkadie, whose credits include “NYPD Blue,” “NY Undercover,” “Soul Food,” and “The Shield.” Interviews with FESPACO award winners (and losers) as well as a behind-the scenes peek into the unique challenges faced by filmmakers from Africa and the African Diaspora make this DVD well worthwhile.

The next FESPACO film festival is scheduled for Feb. 28th through March 7th 2009. (To order the documentary go to http://www.fespacodocumentary.com/. For more information on attending the festival or qualifications for film entry, visit the English language website at http://www.fespaco.bf/index_en.html.)


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