Archive for the ‘AFRICAN AMERICANS’ Category

JAMES Randall-A Righteous BLACK BROTHER Fights For OUR BLACK Rights!

February 18, 2013

http://www.blackiowa.org/education/childrens-oral-history-project/stories/james-randall/. 

 

James Randall, Stead Family Professor of English
B.S., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University
M.A., Carnegie Mellon University

Professor Randall’s offerings include courses in African-American and African literature; he also teaches African-American history. He has been a participant in the project of establishing the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa (opening in Cedar Rapids in September 2003)
ames Randall

Interviewed by Living Waters History Makers
Region: Central Iowa
Category: Civil Rights

The store people also didn’t want us there sitting in either, and they would try to do things to force us away like pretend that they were spraying for flies and insects and spray on us on that occasion. Some of the rowdy people in the crowd would threaten us, threaten to fight us in some ways, too. But, we had gone through some training before we actually did that. And so it was overall a very useful experience. — James Randall

Biography

James (Samm) Randall, Professor of English and African American Studies at Coe College, taught at Coe from 1969 to 2010. He grew up in Bolton, North Carolina, working in the fields and attending segregated schools. He has studied at North Carolina A&T State University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Indiana University, Washington State University, and he has participated in summer-study programs at other universities over the years. He holds a Master’s degree from Carnegie-Mellon and is a published author. He has also taught African American literature courses at the University of Iowa. His teaching areas include African American Literature, African Literature, American Literature, English Literature, Caribbean Literature, and African American History.

Transcript

Shawndell: Hello my name is Shawndell Young and it is May 4th, 2009. And today I will be interviewing Professor Randall. So let’s get it started. So where were you born?

James Randall: I was born in North Carolina, a little town called Bolton, which is in the southeastern corner of the state of North Carolina. It’s about twenty miles up from the South Carolina border and about twenty-three miles in from the Atlantic Ocean, in an area that is known as the Green Swamp of North Carolina.

Shawndell: Where is home now?

James Randall: Home is here in Cedar Rapids.

Shawndell: How long have you lived in Cedar Rapids?

James Randall: I’ve lived in Cedar Rapids for forty years. I came here in 1969 to teach at Coe College. And I’ve been here for most of that time, although, I did take a leave at one point. I lived for a few years in Marion and now back in Cedar Rapids. Some years ago, I took a leave for three years and went out to the state of Washington, at Washington State, where I was doing some work at Washington State University.

Shawndell: So what brought you here?

James Randall: I came here to teach literature at Coe. My initial plan was to teach here for one year. So I came up here in 1969, I was going to be here for one year and it turned out that I was here just for one year on that first occasion. Then I went out and spent a year at University of Colorado working out there. And then following year I was invited to come back here to teach at Coe. So I’ve been here since that time.

Shawndell: Moving! So where did you go for school?

James Randall: Well, my school experiences have been varied. My, course my elementary school experience was in Bolton, North Carolina, which was at a sort of an ancient wooden school that had no running water and had outdoor toilets and had no central heating. But something began to happen, I am sure you and people of your generation have studied about the Brown Vs Board of Education school case which of course was finished in 1954. And around that time suddenly North Carolina began refurbishing schools for African Americans-it was a segregated system- because the idea, as I felt at the time and also felt later, was they, what they wanted to try to show that we did have separate but equal facilities. So we suddenly got a new school with central heating, with running water, built out of bricks, most of the, even a cafeteria, most of the amenities that were needed at that time. So I finished that school and then I went to high school, sort of a consolidated high school, also a segregated school for the black students. And I went to high school there and eventually I went to college at North Carolina A & E State University, which at that time was an all black school, too. All the teachers black, all the students black, all the administrators black, and I graduated from that, from that college. This was the college where the modern sit-in movement started. They started there a year before I became a student there. But when I went there, activity was still taking place.

Shawndell: So what did you do for entertainment back then?

James Randall: Well when I was very small. We did, I guess you would call it inexpensive games. We played a lot of stickball. We played softball. We played, when someone got a bicycle; we would ride the bicycle to death. In the winter we would make bows and arrows, and which we called ourselves hunting. And now it might not be considered not the nicest thing to do but our target would be birds which we would hunt and sometimes get and sometimes dress and have them prepared for eating. But, we did other kinds of things, too. One of the things that happened in that area was, we began to work at a very young age and so even small children had certain kinds of farm related jobs to do: hoeing crops, harvesting crops, chores that were assigned to us in a number of ways. So a lot of the summer activity and often after school activity was associated with work. When I was very small even attending my first grades, cotton was still grown in that area and after school we would sometimes pick cotton and turn it in and weigh it and get paid a certain amount, a certain, few cents per pound and so that took a good deal of the activity as well.

Shawndell: How was the Civil Rights Movement helped you and affected you?

James Randall: Well the Civil Rights Movement affected me a great deal. I say sometimes that people of my generation and a little bit after me, we were sort of born in the Civil Rights Movement, born in a civil rights situation. You have to remember that this was strict segregation at that time. And North Carolina was also a strict segregationist state which meant that African Americans did not have equal rights, which also meant that most of the politicians were against democracy for African Americans. So there was a lot of work to be done in order to get some things changed. Civil Rights Movement meant that I went to not equal schools, that our parents didn’t have equal job opportunities, that the state conspired to keep us poor and conspired to keep us not as well educated. We couldn’t attend University of North Carolina, nor Duke University, nor Wake Forrest University, nor North Carolina State for which our tax money supported in a lot of ways. So we were really being done in a very bad way by the authorities at the time. So the Civil Rights Movement meant a lot to me. When we began to get wind of how things were changing and needed to be changed. I mentioned the Brown versus Board of Education case. I remember when the public buses were integrated in North Carolina for the first time, for example. I remember, when of course, I remember, people my age remember, too, the presidential election of 1960, between President Kennedy and the challenger, and the other candidate for the Republicans, Richard Nixon and in the introduction of Civil Rights support becomes more common in the political sphere of things. So it meant a great deal. It meant a lot.

Shawndell: Can you explain what was segregation for the African American person back then?

James Randall: Well, the situation was really based on a Supreme Court case that took place much earlier, in 1896, the so-called Plessy vs Ferguson case, which the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was OK as long as there were equal facilities for African Americans-the so-called separate but equal doctrine. And we saw very quickly that things were separate, but they never were equal. Equal facilities were not really provided for and it meant that by law, African Americans got a raw deal from the state government and also from the national government because the national government supported the state governments in their discrimination against us in many ways. And again, education-didn’t have equal education opportunity, for jobs- couldn’t have equal jobs opportunity. In my home county, I couldn’t even go to the county library because it was only for whites. Blacks could not go the county library. And so that’s a blatant example of this discrimination in that way as well, which meant that we couldn’t get certain kinds of jobs, even state jobs we could not get. There were some more menial jobs that were designated for African Americans, but top flight jobs were out of the question at that time. And it meant that therefore, more people were waiting for these changes to occur and we were increasingly aware of them, and that made us more determined to become active, too. And for example the students, the college students who lead and who began the sit-in movement, they were also fed up with a good deal of this activity and they were motivated to do something about it and other students in other places and an increasing number of adults also began to participate directly as well.

Shawndell: So can you describe the role of the African American church back in your day?

James Randell: When I was small, I was involved in church activity especially. My parents were active in the church, especially my father, who was a very active churchman in the AME Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in my hometown. My hometown was very small, about 600 people. But as I think about it there were a lot of churches in that town a lot of African American Churches, maybe seven or eight African American Churches in a very small town. So I participated in Sunday School. When I was very young I became Sunday School secretary, state Sunday School secretary, I guess until I finished high school and went away to college. I remember attending Sunday School conventions that took place yearly. One of my cousins was the pianist. She had a talent for playing piano. And she became the director of the junior choir. So naturally I was a member of junior choir for a number of years as well. There were some other activities that took place, too, some special holiday activities that occurred in the church as well. I remember also some Vacation Bible School experiences began and it was a new idea at the time for our area of the country. But nevertheless, that took place as well.

Shawndell: Have you been involved in any Civil Rights organizations or any like of the NAACP stuff or anything like that?

James Randall: Yes again, because of the area of the country where I lived, practically it couldn’t be avoided just out of natural behavior. But when the sit-in movements began, I was still in high school. And so we decided that, some people in my town decided, that we should participate directly in some of these activates. Well, maybe I was a junior in high school at that time. Our town was so small, that we didn’t have any real facilities to integrate because we just had a little regular General Store. But we did most of our shopping in a town about twenty-five miles away, the town of Wilmington, North Carolina. Most of our big shopping occurred there. So we decided to organize and to join the demonstrations that were taking place in Wilmington. So we organized and we decided that we needed a formal organization. So it was formal organized and I was elected president of the group. So before dinner time each Saturday we would go to Wilmington and we would join in the sit-ins that were taking place in Wilmington. We had some varied experiences there, some not so nice experiences, of course some people in the crowd didn’t want us there. The store people also didn’t want us there sitting in either and they would try to do things to force us away like pretend that they were spraying for flies and insects and spray on us on that occasion. Some of the rowdy people in the crowd would threaten us, threaten to fight us in some ways, too. But, we had gone through some training before we actually did that. And so it was overall a very useful experience. Later in college, I also participated in some civil rights demonstrations. And even after I finished my undergraduate work at North Carolina A&T, I moved to Pittsburgh to attend a college there. And activity was taking place in that city. Even in that northern industrial city, some things needed to be changed there as well. And James King had even later, for example when I went to another university, ____University, and later to Washington State University, one organization that I became involved with was the organization concerned with liberation in South Africa, so in effect, civil rights for South Africa on more of a global scale. And so I think that part of that interest and activity generated in my case early from participating in the sit-ins back in North Carolina.

Shawndell: What would you say is one of your best…like your best accomplishments?

James Randall: Well I think working in education for forty years. I think that, to endure that and still fill enthused about it. And I’ve had some good students who have come through the process. And so I think very, very, very positively on that. Sometimes I hear from former students and they are doing progressive things. And so I count that as one of the best things.

Shawndell: What has been one of your happiest time, memories?

James Randall: Happiest memories. I guess there are some standard ones, such as some of my memories with my wife, with my family, with my North Carolina relatives, with visiting some other places. Living in Colorado was nice for a year. Visiting the West Indies was also good. Taking a trip to Africa was good. And so those are fond memories.

Shawndell: What would you change about the outcome of your life right now?

James Randall: That’s a big question. I’m not sure what I would change about the outcome of my life. I think that in so many ways, of course, life is still being engaged. And so we go through it, and try to do positive things that we can. But sometimes in finagling with the past a little bit it would change so many other things as well. In some ways, I think I would, I would have liked to have been more productive, more steadily at some times. I think I have been relatively productive over time. But maybe if I had gotten, maybe even started earlier, maybe if I had been able to, I don’t know, get though college a couple of years earlier then so much more might have been done. But this is, you know, fantasy. I would like to have traveled in more places than I have. I‘ve done a lot of travel across the states. I would like to have done more world travel.

Shawndell: I also have one more question. You’ve talked about one of your happiest times. Which would be one of your worst times of your life?

James Randall: A very painful time would have been the year 1972. In that year my father died in February; my grandmother died in May; my mother died in September. So within a relatively short period of time, these are the people who have sort of molded me, and that was naturally a painful time not just for me, but for my brothers and sisters as well. So that stands out.

Shawndell: So do you have any questions that you think I have not answered that you think we should know?

James Randall: I suppose we could ramble a long time about a lot of different things. I think that over my years, I’ve seen a lot of positive changes occur in society in general. And now which gives me some, more than just hope, but some belief that things are likely to continue to improve in some positive ways. As a world and as a society we have dirtied our hands with a lot of things. I’m glad to see now that we seem to be more determined to clean up behind ourselves more than we have done in the past, more accountably, than we have done the past. So, I hope that that trend will continue.

Shawndell: Alright, well, thank you for letting me interview you.

James Randall: Alright, thank you.

BLEACH AND DIE!- NIGERIA IS LEADING AFRICA IN THIS ANTI-BLACK PRACTICE AND YORUBAS NO DOUBT OUR THE TOP BLEACHERS IN NIGERIA!-STOP THIS RACIAL SUICIDE!- BE PROUD OF THE BLACK SKIN GOD PUT YOU IN!-FROM THE TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA!

February 11, 2013
GOD MADE YOU A BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY! O BORA KO DA! DON'TBLEACH AND DIE!

GOD MADE YOU A BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY! O BORA KO DA! DON’TBLEACH AND DIE!

Bleaching and communicable diseases

Written by Dr. Abiodun Adeoye
Saturday, 09 February 2013 12:04

If there is anything that has given me concern of late, it is the rate at which young and old, poor and rich people of African descent, especially Nigerians, engage in skin bleaching.

I once attended a church service where there was visible move of the Holy Spirit with powerful sermon and many souls I would say were won into the kingdom of God. But I was quite astonished to see the telltale signs of skin bleaching on the man of God. I want to believe he is not aware of the side effects of bleaching creams and soap. Or how else would we explain even some of our ‘respected fathers’ in high places who grossly engage in skin bleaching?

If they can be pardoned for lack of awareness of its side effect, can the same hold for actors and actresses in Nollywood? These are people that are supposed to be role models for young generation. After much thought, I feel we should all join hands to tackle this menace. I have never seen a white man who wants to change to dark skin. Is it inferiority complex or lack of adequate information? Yes, in certain communities light skin is associated with success, prestige and envy as women commonly turn to skin lightening products to achieve and maintain their desired complexion.

For example in India, the appeal of fair skin is deeply rooted in the nation’s culture and the caste system. Higher caste members traditionally had lighter skin and were less likely to be involved in manual work. This was shown to account for high rate of skin bleaching among the low caste especially the women. This is not the case in Nigeria, yet World Heart Organisation (WHO) ranked Nigeria first among nations endangering their lives with mercury-containing bleaching cream and soap. They have revealed that over 77 per cent of Nigerians use such products on a regular basis. We are followed by Togo with 59 per cent; South Africa, 35 per cent; and Mali, 25 per cent.

I encourage people in this category to please stop this habit. Skin bleaching contributes immensely to the burden of non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, kidney diseases and cancers, just to mention a few. Worldwide, non-communicable diseases account for more than 70 per cent of deaths.

While the infectious or communicable diseases are being wiped out in developed and some developing countries, same is not true in Nigeria. This is a double burden on our economy. The fight against polio and HIV is enough headache; don’t add more to it by using bleaching cream and soap. The dangers of bleaching creams and soap are many.

Dangers of bleaching agents
The side effect depends on the ingredients contained in the cream or soap. Unfortunately, most of the manufacturers don’t give accurate information about the percentages of these dangerous ingredients. Hydroquinone is the commonly used active ingredient in many of these bleaching creams. This chemical works by stopping the production of melanin, which is responsible for the darkening of a person’s skin tone. Hydroquinone, when used in right proportion for limited time frame, may not be harmful. According to the US Food and Drug Agency, only two per cent content is allowed but most products have up to four per cent or even more. When used on long term basis, side effects set in. Exogenous ochronosis is a well known effect of prolong use. There is a paradoxical darkening of the skin which follows an initial skin lightening. Wherever I see people in this category, I appreciate absolute ignorance in them. Who will want to get a temporary light skin and later lapse into terrible scaly and thick dark skin with bumps thatare worse than his or her initial black and shine? Instead of allowing ridicule by the community, kindly stop the use of hydroquinone today.

Steroids are another culprit in the bleaching creams and other formulations. Bleaching creams like Dermovate, Movate, Top Gel, and Nuvotone have been found to contain the extremely potent steroids betamethasone and clobetasol propionate. Again, these are extremely cheap and available in all corners over the counter.

A researcher states that “with high-potency topical steroids used for a long time, you can get suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system. And with that suppression, you can get these endocrine problems like Cushing’s disease and diabetes.”

Black men and women have an increased risk of developing diabetes, and topical steroids would heighten their risk dramatically. With Cushing’s disease, there is excessive weight gain; rounded moon shape faces with reduced immunity. All sorts of infections are reported. Hypertension, stroke or depressions can occur. In case of accidents, there is poor wound healing and under stress, they bleed into the skin and brain.

Another ingredient is inorganic mercury which is injurious to the whole body system. According to WHO, once the chemicals get absorbed into the skin and enter the blood stream, the complications are worse. The effects include kidney damage, reduction in the skin resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, anxiety, depression, psychosis and peripheral neuropathy. Others are skin rashes, swelling of the skin, irritation, seizures, numbness, pain tremors and memory loss.

aregbesola_200_160.jpg

BLEACH 2

BLEACH 1

GOMINA AREGBESOLA IS UPLIFTING YOUTH IN THE STATE OF OSUN,NIGERIA-HE IS TRULY A PEOPL’S GOMINA!-FROM THE GUARDIAN Newspaper,NIGERIA

February 3, 2013

FRESH VISAS for youth empowerment, entrepreneurship

Thursday, 31 January 2013 00:00 By 

.

SIREN blaring ambulances, skip eaters in the toe while a state chief executive is sealed!

The natural thing is to do a panoramic view of such a place, look for a possible exit route and possibly beat it. Not even at this time of adverse security challenge in the country.

Just when you are trying to get out of the flux, behold, amid a hail of dust ambulances and compactors came to a halt. One after the other, to the surprise of onlookers, women drivers started alighting from the vehicle and heading straight to the dais to salute Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola.

Indeed, Bimbo Olasoji, a female driver of one of the ambulances started out with the ambition of securing white-collar job in the state having graduated at the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, with lower credit in Business Administration.

Having sat at home waiting for the elusive job, with hope almost fading, she reluctantly opted to join the then newly created Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), at least, according to her, “to give a semblance of dignity.”

Today, Bimbo, like the others who joined this scheme, has been transformed to a paramedic with a full-time job as driver and caregivers in case of emergency.

When asked what motivated her to venture into a job usually meant for men folks, Bimbo said: “I joined O-ambulance because I have passion for driving and saving lives. Though I did not study health-related course, I have been trained to attend to emergencies.”

“Bimbo is not the only OYES cadet that has been transformed. Abdul-Azeez Yusuf from Egbedore Local Government, hitherto unemployed is today by all standards, an entrepreneur.

Indeed, watch closely the jungle boot when you see a military, paramilitary and voluntary organisations, you are likely to see one made by Yusuf among varieties he is producing.  Also, if you see Aregbesola kitted in football jersey for a novelty match, his soccer boot is made in Nigeria, courtesy Yusuf. Reason: He actually presented a customized pair to the governor at the OYES parade on Tuesday.

A part from being an entrepreneur, Yusuf is today training about 20 apprentices and, according to him, if the resources are available, he hopes to accommodate up to 80 or 100 more.

What could be more fulfilling than seeing your baby nurtured to adulthood? This captures the mood of the governor at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Orientation Camp, Ede, when he set aside protocol, sang and danced to the admiration of the cadets dignitaries and other well wishers.

A programme written off by Cynics at inception is today the toast of other governors and even the World Bank could not but commend its replication in other states as antidote to poverty and employment.

The big question, however, is if other state governors could let go N200 million on monthly basis from their security votes to support such programme, what will become of unemployment in Nigeria?

But that has been the forte of Aregbesola in the last two years and he is not relenting, as according to the Chairman, OYES Implementation Committee, Femi Ifaturoti, said another batch of 20, 000 will take their turn in February.

While Governor Aregbesola presided over a colourful programme to mark their engagement, the state government disclosed that no fewer than 18,000 of them had found one form of job or the other to keep them out of the unemployment market.

The Governor, who spoke before a crowd of stakeholders and visitors from the Federal Capital Territory, members of the Course 35 of Command and Staff College, Jaji, and others, observed that the OYES has become the foundation of the development and revolution started two years ago in the state.

Aregbesola said that the scheme has in a short period of time become an astounding success, saying the government has the evidence of its success when the World Bank recommended the scheme for study and adoption by other states for public sector mass job creation and youth engagement.

In an address he titled “We are Simply Unstoppable,” Aregbesola said “We are happy to announce that this effort is already yielding positives fruits in numerous areas where about 18,000 of the cadets passing out today have found permanent job placements.

“At the newly established Oloba Farm, OYES volunteers are engaged in cattle and ram fattening and in the broiler out-grower scheme.”

He disclosed that OYES is a programme like no other, which instead of being a white-collar or blue-collar job scheme, was uniquely conceived and designed to take the youths in the state off the streets, give them an orientation about public service and the need to contribute to the development of their society.

According to him, skill trainings for the cadets were also incorporated which involves partnerships and collaborations with the private sector and academic institutions, such as Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State University, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Fountain University, Adeleke University and some other private training and development organisations.

The governor said this is why the scheme is a stop-gap scheme to train the youth and imbue them with positive work orientation and ethics such as self-sustenance, resourcefulness, character and competence, and to give them the self-confidence to forge ahead and overcome life’s numerous challenges after they must have spent two years and be ready for disengagement.

Aregbesola continued: “Two years after, we can now proudly say that our dream has been realised. After the orientation and passing out, the cadets were deployed into various areas of public needs such as public works, sanitation monitoring, paramedics, sheriff corps and traffic marshals.

“Along the line, they were also trained in entrepreneurship and in different vocations of their choices so as to give them what it takes to be on their own and be the masters of their own destiny.

“I must also let you know that OYES is not about youth employment alone. It is also about re-inflating the economy of the State.

“Every month, the N200 million allowances paid to the cadets sink into the economy of the State. Our backward integration policy requires that all the uniform, kits and equipment used by OYES be obtained from the markets spread round all the local governments in the State.

“This has created value chain, improved the economy of the State, empowered families and created wealth.”

He described the passing-out parade as a defining moment towards development and progress as the first batch of OYES volunteer cadets disengaged.

He noted that his administration is certain that the cadets are marching onto greatness, self-fulfillment and self-actualisation, adding that they are another testimony to the fact that the march of progress the state embarked upon last two years is unstoppable because it is backed up by vision, passion and action.

At the event on Tuesday were the Governor’s wife, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola; Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti; Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola; members of the Executive Council, traditional rulers, religious leaders, leaders and members of various trade organisations and others.

Ifaturoti added that 200 of the cadets had been selected to travel to Germany for a two-year intensive training on agriculture and soil management adding that three others have been trained and participating in the manufacture of the first locally manufactured hydro turbine for generation of electricity under a partnership by UNIDO /NASENI/the state government.

He also said that 74 are currently in Leventis Foundation School for training in modern Agricultural practices while 610 are in OREAP Agriculture training facilities for training in modern agriculture, cultivating farms under a profit- sharing scheme.

He said,“500 are in Odua farmers’ academy for training in modern agricultural practices and 2100 were trained under OYES-TECH public private partnership with RLG to manufacture mobile telephones and laptop computers at their factory currently being set –up and to provide after sales support and services.

“OYES cadets are currently engaged on the largest apiary farm for honeybee production in Africa. 600 are currently engaged in red bricks production under the O- brick partnership and tannery of O’LEADS. 100 are engaged in fish farming through a PPP fish farm at Okuku and other fish farmers.

“182 OYES trained paramedics, 173 are deployed to O-Ambulance scheme and 2 are call-tracking personnel in the Min of Health. 1501 with teaching qualifications are about to be engaged by SUBEB and being posted to primary schools while more than 600 OYES are to be trained and engaged through the state’s Emergency Call Service operations as call operators, emergency service providers and system engineers.

“More than 300 are being supported under a Public Private Partnership driven Farmers Input Supply Shops and 5000 are being supported to provide mobile money, e-payment and allied services through various Schemes adding that more than 10,000 entrepreneurs are undergoing incubation.

Ifaturoti noted that more opportunities abound for the volunteers, who apply diligently adding that successful service in OYES is a demonstration of readiness for greater calling.

OUR BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY GABOUREY Sidibe WILL LEARN A LOT NOW ABOUT HER AFRICAN ROOTS AND LEARN TO BE PROUD OF AFRICA!

January 29, 2013

OUR BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY GABOUREY Sidibe WILL LEARN A LOT NOW ABOUT HER AFRICAN ROOTS AND LEARN TO BE PROUD OF AFRICA!

iHarlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo

January 24, 2013 · No comments
Culture · Tagged: africa, afropop, Culture, gabourey sidibe, Souleo

Actress Gabourey Sidibe Shines Light on Africa with ‘AfroPop’

Actress Gabourey Sidibe is ready to take on one of her most important roles to date as host of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, a documentary series highlighting contemporary life, art and pop culture in the African Diaspora. The fifth season of AfroPoP, produced by Black Public Media, premiered Tuesday, January 22 on public television’s WORLD channel, continuing on Tuesdays weekly through February 5, 2013.

Sidibe, who is best known for her Oscar-nominated performance in the film Precious, decided to accept the role of host as an opportunity to learn more about her roots. “I am part African—I am Senegalese. So I looked at it as a chance to get closer to where I am from,” she says.

Furthermore, she is hoping that this season, which focuses on human and women’s rights issues, will shatter myths about Africa. The challenge is not new for the Harlem- raised star, since as a young woman she had to combat stereotypes. “Growing up I was the African kid in my school. Every time I went back to Africa people thought I was sleeping in a bush and being chased by lions, but it wasn’t that. So I hope people can see themselves in this series and I hope it highlights that everyone struggles and celebrates.”

The universal human experience is also the core theme of visual artist Peter Wayne Lewis’ exhibition Paintings from the Middle Earth Part IV at Skoto Gallery. Special guests on opening night included legendary painter Ademola Olugebefola and writer of the exhibition’s e-catalog, Babacar M’Bow. The series of works presented visually unites themes of science, art and music as the artist’s fluid lines draw parallels between these worlds to demonstrate their interconnectedness. “There are creationists who think science is an aberration and not part of the equation,” Lewis says. “But it is only a description of the majesty of what you may say your God is, so it is all one in the same thing. Human beings, in our foibles, are trying to describe this gift we are given which is life.” The exhibition is on-view until February 23, 2013.

Further exploring themes of life is the exhibition Elements in Red, on view at New World Stages and curated by Bernard Stote. Works by artists such as Harlem Arts Alliance member Leon Nicholas Kalas, Joyce Yamada and Math-You explore this primary color and expand its connotations beyond passion and violence. “When I did the call for art I noticed getting such a diverse application from artists from blood and war to love to landscape,” says Stote. “It’s amazing how vibrant that color is and how many different themes it can invoke in artists.”

While this week offers opportunities to check out all of the aforementioned projects, you’ll also want to support upcoming events including actress/comedian Kim Coles’ one-woman show, Oh But Wait, There’s More and Keith Sweat’s appearance at MIST Harlem.

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The Harlem Arts Alliance is a not for profit arts service organization celebrating 10 years of service to a prestigious list of members such as the Apollo Theater, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Columbia University, Harlem Stage (Aaron Davis Hall) and over 850 more cultural/arts institutions and individuals. The weekly column, Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture and entertainment scene in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of event/media content production company, Souleo Enterprises, LLC.

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OBAMA! -OUR BLACK PRESIDENT HAS MADE HISTORY with his popular Vote TOTALS!

January 5, 2013

Obama’s popular vote totals put him in small club

The 2012 presidential election has obviously come and gone, but before we move on entirely, there’s a little tidbit of statistical trivia that struck me as interesting — and chart worthy.

Bloomberg reports today that, thanks to some provisional ballots that have now been counted in New York City, President Obama’s popular-vote total is up to 51.06%. That wouldn’t be especially interesting, were it not for the fact that Obama is the first presidential candidate since Dwight Eisenhower to top 51% twice.

In fact, in American history, this is a feat that’s only been pulled off by six presidents: Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and now, Barack Obama.

In case you’re wondering if Reagan made the cut, he came close, but ended up with 50.7% in 1980. Plenty of other candidates might have had a better shot at this, were it not for third-party candidates.

Also, though Obama’s popular-vote win on election night seemed quite narrow, it’s now grown to about four percentage points (and roughly 5 million votes), which is a pretty comfortable margin of victory.

We can debate the utility and value of electoral “mandates,” but if they mean anything, Obama has earned enough public backing to have Congress take his agenda seriously.

Our BLack Skinned Beauty Gabourey Will Host AFRO-POP!

January 4, 2013

Gabourey Sidibe Lands NEW GIG As Host Of Public Television’s “AfroPoP” + Fantasia Goes On APO

Jan 03 | by _YBF

Actress Gabourey Sidibe has landed a new gig as the host of Public Television’s “AfroPoP”. Get the details on her new job inside and read Fantasia’s latest rant about people who judge her….

On January 22, Yelling to the Sky actress Gabourey Sidibe will make her debut as the host of Public Television’s AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, an innovative documentary series highlighting contemporary life, art and pop culture in the African Diaspora.

Produced by Black Public Media, the show will premiere on the WORLD Channel at 7:00pm ET on Tuesday, January 22 and continue on Tuesdays weekly through February 5, 2013.

Gabourey spoke about “AfroPoP”, which uses independent films to bring awareness to human and women’s rights struggles saying,

“This season of AfroPoP helps give voice to those who truly need to be heard. I’m happy to help bring these stories to the American public and raise awareness of issues of vital concern to women and men in Africa as well as all who care about human rights.”

And since she’s a star product of indie films like Precious, this new role suits her.

Leslie Fields-Cruz, Black Public Media Vice President and Director of Programming, explained Gabby’s hiring saying,

“Gabourey’s energetic spirit and connection to the youth culture made her the perfect choice to host the series this season and we are happy to have her as such an integral part of AfroPoP.”

GABOUREY SIDIBE-BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY SUPEME

January 4, 2013

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Black Beauty Supreme!

January 1, 2013

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Black Skinned Beauty Supreme!

January 1, 2013

http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/1386_199425463527526_448739183_n.jpg

OBAMA! -BLACK REACTION TO BLACK OBAMA’S ELECTION-2012!

December 11, 2012

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