Archive for March, 2014

YORUBA Ooooooo!-ASO-OKE IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CLOTH IN THE WORLD!-LET’S PRESERVE IT BY WEARING FULL ASO OKE,BUT BUBA,IRO ATI ALL-NO MORE LACE SPOILING IT LIKE OUR “FIRST LADIES” ARE DOING!-FROM PUNCH NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

March 31, 2014

FROM PUNCHNG.COM

Aso oke: The allure of an ancient fabric

   

Segun Adeoye visits an aso oke factory and explores the age-old technique of weaving this famous Nigerian fabric

It is unlike the typical cloth-making factory, which is equipped with machines to take the stress off the apprentice. In this aso oke fabric weaving factory, the blood is the fuel that propels the crocheting that gets the synthetic fibers woven together, to form fascinating patterns of aso oke fabric.

The setting is such that it has a semblance of being on a football pitch, with posts erected on both sides. There are sheds facing each other, made from planks and corrugated iron sheets, complemented with strewn sack materials to shield from the scorching heat of the sun.

Under each shed are four apprentice weavers facing each other in their segmented horizontal looms. Their task is as daunting as it is competitive. Before them is a “burden” made up of a block around which is wound a rope used to bind it to a carrier made of wood, to which is attached threads, which are stretched at a distance of about 12 metres to each weaver.

The simple but onerous task is to engage in the weaving process as fast as is possible, which will eventually see the “burden” pulled to the feet of the weaver, with the eventual outcome of having woven as many as 15 pieces of patterned aso oke fabrics. Each piece, which has a width of about 15 centimetres, and length of about 50 cm, is then stitched together to make traditional outfits like agbada (men’s flowing wide sleeved robe), fila (men’s traditional cap), iro (women’s wrapper), gele (women’s head gear), and Ipele or Iborun – shoulder sash or shawl.

No special prices will be awarded to whoever finishes first; but then, it is also a test of the weaver’s prowess, indeed, manliness. For a piece of aso oke fabric woven, the apprentice gets paid N100.

It is a daunting task that Egbetsiafa Philip, now in his 40s has been engaged in since 1992 when he started out to learn the art of making aso oke fabrics in the Volta Region of Ghana. “The pattern depends on what the customer wants, and there is no pattern under the sun that we cannot create, as long as it can be written down we can weave the thread to create the pattern in aso oke,” Philip says, with a characteristic Ghanaian accent.

Philip who learnt the art of making aso oke fabrics in Ghana from 1992 to 1996, moved to the Ojokoro area of Lagos, Nigeria in 1997, and has continued the age-old traditional art.

Patterned aso oke fabrics, used for various clothing outfits like the trademark fila of the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, have become not only a fashionable trend in the society, but a status symbol, indeed, a niche for an elevated personality. It is akin to a fashion label that stands an individual out from the crowd.

In many Owambe parties, it is a common sight to see gorgeously dressed women with gele, wiggle their waists as they dance with rhythmical steps to tunes blaring from speakers. Such geles are usually stylishly tied and knotted in glamorous styles that literally announce the presence of the wearer in any of such parties. In a number of instances, they are complemented with Ipele or Iborun. Parties like wedding and engagement ceremonies in the South-western part of Nigeria are incomplete without the use of aso oke.

“What is there is that many people love aso oke, especially women, for them party is party, even naming ceremony is not complete without wearing aso oke,” Alexander Geogisberg, an aso oke weaver says.

Geogisberg, like Philip, left Ghana for Nigeria in 1997, because the allure and market for aso oke was more in Nigeria. “I also have my own shop in Ghana, but Nigerian market is more than there, so I came here,” Geogisberg says.

But as alluring as aso oke is, the process of making the fabrics is similar to the egg (used for omelet) which was laid by the mother hen – it comes with pain and stress.

“There’s the joy of seeing the aso oke when you finish, but the thing is that it comes with great stress and body ache,” Agbetsiafa Bright says, as he swallows two tablets of analgesic, followed by a full stretch of his body. It would be the second time he would swallow the tablets in a space of about five hours. To weave the 15 strips of aso oke could take a whole day depending on the pattern to be designed on the fabrics, and indeed, how much stamina the weaver can muster.

Philip shares the views of Bright. “It gives a lot of stress because you are seated in one spot for hours as you weave the thread together, so for me I used to see it as exercise,” he says.

There can be short breaks at intervals of five hours in between the weaving, depending on the resilience of the weaver. It is a period used only to refresh and to eat, before the weaver returns to the loom to continue the weaving process.

The setting up of the tools relies on the technique that involves interlacing a set of thread, warp and weft, at right angles, to form the striped patterns on the aso oke fabric. The sets of thread, which are interlaced together on the loom are arranged in line with the pattern or design to be created on the aso oke fabric. For more elaborate design, the weaver simply adds supplementary wefts. It is an age-old technique that has apparently defied the touch of modern technology.

“I can tell you that no machine whether in China or wherever can make aso oke fabrics that we make, the types of fabrics they use machine to make only try to look like aso oke, but it is not the same like the ones we weave here,”Philip says.

The horizontal looms where weavers like Philip, Geogisberg and Bright sit for hours as they weave the thread, take the shape of log cabins. Each weaver inserts the thread into the aasa (striker) through the omu (extenders). On the upper hand of the omu is the okeke (wheel) used for pulling the omu up and down. There are two itese (pedals) under the omu, which the weaver presses down interchangeably during the weaving process. The itese when pressed enables the warp to open and the reel put through to one side while the aasa knocks the reel to and fro to another side making the reel to be finely set interchangeably. The weaver simultaneously handles the oko (shuttle), throws it inside the open warp to be received by his other hand. The continuous process results in the thread being woven to aso oke fabric. At intervals of about 15 minutes, the weaver uses the drawer to pull the carrier on which the thread is attached, towards his loom. At the end of the process, 15 strips of aso oke fabric would have been woven – enough to be stitched together to make fila and iborun for a newly wedded couple.

To make a complete outfit for a client, the weaving process can take as long as three days, to produce the strips that will afterwards be stitched together, says Philip.

But as stressful as the process is, Philip expresses delight in weaving aso oke fabrics.

“I can tell you that I have several clients abroad that I make aso oke for, so even though there are many other types of attires, the thing is that aso oke will always have those that want to wear it,” he says.

Indeed, there was a time baggy trousers and afro hairstyles were the fad, but they have faded away. Fashion changes like a girl changes clothes, but the aso oke traditional attire, which has been in existence since the late 8th century has remained alluring and enduring as its age-old weaving process.

Mrs. Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade

African-American, Mrs. Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade, an ardent lover of everything African, hardly wears any clothing apart from aso oke. She sums up her reasons thus: “Aso oke is the most beautiful cloth in the World, so every day I want to be the most beautiful I can be! No inferior cloth again for me o!”

OBAMA ATI QUEEN MICHELLE OBAMA AFTER THE BLACK HOUSE?-FROM NATURAL ROOTS MAGAZINE

March 28, 2014

OBAMA ATI QUEEN MICHELLE OBAMA AFTER THE BLACK HOUSE?-FROM NATURAL ROOTS MAGAZINE

RASTA OBAMA ATI QUEEN MICHELLE OBAMA-NATURALLY BLACK AS THEY CAN BE!

OBAMA O…!- SEEKS TO SAVE BLACK CHILDREN-FROM EBONY MAGAZINE

March 28, 2014

FROM EBONY.COM

 

12
February 2014

A Call to Action

EBONY partners with the White House to spark an important nationwide conversation about our children

A Call to Action

For President Barack Obama, a father with two daughters, preparing African-American students for the academic future is one of his top priorities—and, perhaps, one of his most daunting challenges.

Obama has an ambitious vision for the nation’s Black students during his last two years in the White House: ensuring that all African-American pupils receive an education that fully gets them ready for high school graduation, college completion and productive careers in a highly competitive global job market.

After signing an executive order that created the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans in 2012, the president is dedicating new resources to enable African-American students to improve their educational achievement and prepare them for college and a range of professions after graduation.

“The Obama administration, through the creation of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, is dedicating time, energy and resources to help seriously address the challenges facing many African-American students today,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told EBONY.

“Regardless of zip code, every child in this country should have access to a high-quality education that adequately prepares [him or her] for college and career,” Duncan said.  “For the nation to fulfill the president’s goal of leading the world in college graduates by 2020, we will need a significant number of African-Americans to be part of those numbers, and I’m hopeful that the initiative’s work can help contribute to that ambitious goal.”

For years, civil rights advocates have argued that America’s public schools are failing Black male students. In fact, government officials say many African-American students, both male and female, lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools and challenging college-preparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline and referrals to special education.

In 2014, The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans will partner with Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. to produce a “summit series” designed to raise awareness about the White House initiative and encourage much-needed positive conversations about African-American student achievement.

The summits will be held at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Feb. 13–14, 2014; at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., April 25–26, 2014; at Laney College in Oakland, Calif., June 13–14, 2014; and at the University of Pennsylvania in  Philadelphia, Oct. 24–25.

“The initiative is uniquely positioned to support African-American students from cradle to career,” David J. Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, told EBONY. “For the first time, there is a central office within the government to identify and disseminate best practices that ensure African-American students are supported academically and developmentally, beginning at birth.”

Michael H. Cottman, an author and award-winning journalist, covers the White House for BlackAmericaWeb.com. He is also co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show Keeping It Real With Rev. Al Sharpton.OBAMA

 

QUEEN MICHELLE OBAMA ! -MENELIK CHARLES’ ODE TO MICHELLE OBAMA! – FROM FACEBOOK!

March 26, 2014

Michelle Obama…America’s Chocolate Queen

BY Menelik CHARLES

Your skin is brown and clothing astounds
yet your beauty does confound

You’re proud of face and walk with grace
yet they can’t wait til you’re replaced

You reach to embrace where others shake
and Hug where others hesitate

By the President you stand near
and yet it’s YOU they fear

You read of smears ‘n’ sneers and
comments about your rear

You hear it all and stand so tall
while enemies stall ‘n’ fall

You’re the 1st Lady we applaud

(c) Menelik Charles.

— with Marilyn Aunty Mayo Cazoe-Cummings

· 
COMMENTS-

Menelik Charles
She’s a lady 

Yohanan EliYah
She has to be in the Top 5 of women who clean up well, because I have seen those pictures where she’s not really cute at all- but when she’s in 1st Lady character, OMG, I want her on my arm. All politics aside- I love this sistah.

Menelik Charles
Yep lol

Maria L. Castellon
Lovely and true poem…thanks!

Jonathan Chiles
Sir Charles,

Thank you for this excellent and poignant ode which honors our GREAT FIRST LADY and an even better MOTHER. ALL PRAISE unto Her and your considerable Artistry and Efforts.

Menelik Charles
Thanks bro Jonathan 

Jonathan Chiles
Thank you! You’ve built an impressive body of work. Compelling insight always and a dignified and wise world view – always.

Robert Rosenthall
THE WORLD’S QUEEN FROM THE ROYAL FAMILY OBAMA

BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY IS RISING! –“THE GOOD OLD DAYS…”-MENELIK CHARLES SPEAKS ON BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY ON FACEBOOK!

March 26, 2014

Menelik Charles
These are the ‘good old days’!

One day African-Americans are going to look upon the eras of the Williams Sisters, and America’s chocolate First Lady, as golden eras in their history. Until then, images like this will be given a cursory glance, and dismissed as an irrelevance to the African-American consciousness.

My overall point?

That this simple image represents a long and painful history of slavery and discrimination, and, ultimately, of the journey from victimhood to victory. There are continuing struggles taking place in the African-American community: they await their own conclusions.

Until then, treasure this image, for it will come to represent the ‘good old days’ for our young people – just as images from the 80s and 90s represent the ‘good old days’ for us.

Peace, man 

(c) Menelik Charles.

Timeline Photos · 5 hours ago · 

Nathan Hare and 23 others like this.

Nathan Hare
Yes, treasure it, because in a couple of years you are not likely to see it again. Even if another black person, male or female, becomes POTUS in our time, they aren’t likely to tote a chocolate-colored black First Lady, but a white or light one.

Menelik Charles
This is why I value Lady Michelle Obama so much…cos she’s genuine chocolate 

Menelik Charles
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152094167368673&set=a.10150107537388673.280773.747108672&type=1&theater

Timeline Photos

Michelle Obama…America’s Chocolate Queen Your skin is brown and clothing astounds yet your beauty…

Jay Arrington
Touche’ brother and well said.

Jeffrey C Weaver
Ase!

SolutionyaBayindo SolutionforMoorish
Former President Rawlings of Ghana… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvTXCMTf_4g

President Rawlings challenges religions for truth and lies

youtube.com

Menelik Charles
Mrs.Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade….

Mrs.Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade
BEENI O! Dudu dun!(BLACK SKIN IS SWEET!)

Mrs.Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade
Michelle Obama as a BLACK BEAUTIFUL WOOLLY HAIRED teenager!

Mrs.Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade
BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY IS Rising again to the TOP of the BEAUTY PYRAMID where it BELONGS! As it WAS IN THE BEGINNING!

MISS ISRAEL IS A BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY-YTYISH AYNAW!-From http://prettyperiod.me/

March 17, 2014

MISS ISRAEL IS A BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY-YTYISH AYNAW!-From http://prettyperiod.me/

BLACK POLYGAMY IN YORUBALAND!-OBA OF EGBALAND ATI. HIS 3 WIVES!

March 16, 2014

the white/witch/bitch/goddess(ati to those bleaching to be white!-you are, as IYA MI Would say-“A DISGRACE TO THE BLACK RACE!-beyonce ati all others!)

March 12, 2014

Long as you wear
the white girl’s
clothes

you be worshippin’
the white girl

whither you be
chinese/japanese
or AFRIKAN

(Yeah,universal worship
of the white ‘woman’)

Paint your face like her
Do your hair like her
act like her
(Under her white spell)

you be goin’
Against your
BLACK self–
sacrificin’ yourself
at her altar!

BY Yeye Akilimalii Funua Olade
C.1981-2014
(First published in (he Guardian Newspaper,Lagos,,then Monthly LIfe,July 1987,then Association of Nigerian Writers Review

BLACK MEN/BLACK WOMEN WILL RISE TOGETHER IN BLACK LOVE!- FROM CODEBLACKLIFE AT FACEBOOK!

March 8, 2014

BLACK MEN/BLACK WOMEN WILL RISE TOGETHER IN BLACK LOVE!- FROM COPEBLACKLIFE AT FACEBOOK!

OBAMA OOOO! -OUR BLACK PRESIDENT LOVES OUR BLACK BOYS! -BLACK ACTIONS BY US WILL FORCE THE white boy to stop DESTROYING OUR BLACK BOYS ATI ALLLOW OBAMA TO DO MORE!

March 8, 2014
President Obama launched a new government partnership with businesses and philanthropic groups on Thursday aimed at keeping high-risk young men of color on the right path. Obama called it a "moral issue" for the country to help minority youth gain the education and skills they need to succeed as adults and to stay out of jail. "It doesn't take that much, but it takes more than we are doing now," Obama said. "And that's what My Brother's Keeper is about." As part of the program, Obama wants to adopt best practices from communities throughout the country where businesses and foundations are already working together to mentor young minority men. In support of the program, the Obama administration recruited several philanthropic groups — including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Ford Foundation and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation — to pledge at least $200 million over the next five years to develop programs on early childhood development, parenting, school discipline reform and other critical areas. Obama noted that in the first three years of life a child born into a low-income family typically hears 30 million fewer words than a child of a well-off family. He also cited statistics that show a student who can't read at grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time. Children living in poverty are 13 times less likely to graduate on time than their wealthier peers. The president took aim at zero-tolerance policies, the practice of automatically suspending students for certain infractions. The administration last month recommended that schools discontinue the practice. Schools are twice as likely to suspend a Hispanic student and four times more likely to suspend an African-American student than they are white students. Students that are suspended even once before the ninth grade are twice as likely to drop out. "There are ways to modify bad behavior that leads to good behavior," Obama said. "We can make classrooms good places for learning for everybody without jeopardizing a child's future." The foundations have agreed to work with Obama's Cabinet secretary, Broderick Johnson, over the next 90 days to assess the effectiveness of existing public and private efforts and determine how the federal government can change its policies to support those efforts. The announcement comes in the same week as the two-year anniversary of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager whose 2012 slaying in Florida spurred Obama to speak in personal terms about race. Trayvon's parents, as well as the parents of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, an unarmed black teen who was killed in 2012 in Jacksonville, were among those invited to the White House for the announcement. Obama also invited young men from a Chicago-based group called Becoming a Man, which he held up as group that his administration can learn from as it develops the initiative. He recalled telling them about the bad choices he made, including "getting high" and sometimes taking school less seriously than he should have. "I could see myself in these young men," Obama said. "The only difference was I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving." Obama has faced periodic criticism during his presidency from prominent African Americans — including scholar Cornel West and radio host Tavis Smiley — who have charged that he has spent little political capital or energy focusing on the plight of poor minority communities. But in recent weeks, the Obama administration won praise for focusing on some issues that are of great concern in minority communities. Attorney General Eric Holder called on states this month to repeal laws that strip felons of the right to vote, a penalty imposed on nearly one in 13 African Americans. Holder is also pushing Congress to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders and has sued Texas and North Carolina to overturn voter-identification laws that opponents say are more likely to keep minorities and the poor from voting. On Thursday, Obama received praised from African-American lawmakers and activists for launching the initiative. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said the program could "give our young black men a fighting chance."

President Obama launched a new government partnership with businesses and philanthropic groups on Thursday aimed at keeping high-risk young men of color on the right path.
Obama called it a “moral issue” for the country to help minority youth gain the education and skills they need to succeed as adults and to stay out of jail.
“It doesn’t take that much, but it takes more than we are doing now,” Obama said. “And that’s what My Brother’s Keeper is about.”
As part of the program, Obama wants to adopt best practices from communities throughout the country where businesses and foundations are already working together to mentor young minority men.
In support of the program, the Obama administration recruited several philanthropic groups — including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Ford Foundation and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation — to pledge at least $200 million over the next five years to develop programs on early childhood development, parenting, school discipline reform and other critical areas.
Obama noted that in the first three years of life a child born into a low-income family typically hears 30 million fewer words than a child of a well-off family.
He also cited statistics that show a student who can’t read at grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time. Children living in poverty are 13 times less likely to graduate on time than their wealthier peers.
The president took aim at zero-tolerance policies, the practice of automatically suspending students for certain infractions. The administration last month recommended that schools discontinue the practice.
Schools are twice as likely to suspend a Hispanic student and four times more likely to suspend an African-American student than they are white students. Students that are suspended even once before the ninth grade are twice as likely to drop out.
“There are ways to modify bad behavior that leads to good behavior,” Obama said. “We can make classrooms good places for learning for everybody without jeopardizing a child’s future.”
The foundations have agreed to work with Obama’s Cabinet secretary, Broderick Johnson, over the next 90 days to assess the effectiveness of existing public and private efforts and determine how the federal government can change its policies to support those efforts.
The announcement comes in the same week as the two-year anniversary of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager whose 2012 slaying in Florida spurred Obama to speak in personal terms about race.
Trayvon’s parents, as well as the parents of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, an unarmed black teen who was killed in 2012 in Jacksonville, were among those invited to the White House for the announcement.
Obama also invited young men from a Chicago-based group called Becoming a Man, which he held up as group that his administration can learn from as it develops the initiative.
He recalled telling them about the bad choices he made, including “getting high” and sometimes taking school less seriously than he should have.
“I could see myself in these young men,” Obama said. “The only difference was I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”
Obama has faced periodic criticism during his presidency from prominent African Americans — including scholar Cornel West and radio host Tavis Smiley — who have charged that he has spent little political capital or energy focusing on the plight of poor minority communities.
But in recent weeks, the Obama administration won praise for focusing on some issues that are of great concern in minority communities.
Attorney General Eric Holder called on states this month to repeal laws that strip felons of the right to vote, a penalty imposed on nearly one in 13 African Americans.
Holder is also pushing Congress to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders and has sued Texas and North Carolina to overturn voter-identification laws that opponents say are more likely to keep minorities and the poor from voting.
On Thursday, Obama received praised from African-American lawmakers and activists for launching the initiative.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said the program could “give our young black men a fighting chance.”


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