Archive for the ‘BLACKS IN ISRAEL’ Category

THIS BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY LEARNED TO LOVE HER GOD-GIVEN BLaCK BEAUTY!-FROM BUZZFEED.COM

March 6, 2014

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mackenziekruvant/lupita-nyongo-essence-speech-black-
beauty?s=mobile

Lupita Nyong’o Delivers Moving Speech About How She Learned To Love The Color Of Her Skin

The Oscar nominated actress spoke candidly in her Black Women in Hollywood acceptance speech about her struggle to understand her own beauty.

posted on February 28, 2014 at 12:58

Yesterday, Lupita Nyong’o won the Essence Magazine Black Women In Hollywood Breakthrough Performance Award.

And while she has fast become one of the most idolized women on the red carpet in years…Lupita told the audience that she has not always felt that comfortable with the color of her skin.

Here is the full transcript of her beautifully honest speech.

I wrote down this speech that I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session. Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community. I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, Black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for light skin prevailed, to the beholders that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside, that there is no shade in that beauty.

Confirmed: Lupita could not be more beautiful.

YORUBA MALE ATTIRE! -THE BEST IN THE WORLD-THESE PROUD BLACK MEN RULE THE PLANET WHEN IT COMES TO CLOTHES!

April 6, 2011

FROM

OJOGBON AKINWUMNI ISOLA,ORLANDO JULIUS AND HIS BLACKamerikkkan WIFE ADUKE

OBAMA WITH HIS YORUBA FRIENDS IN YORUBA DRESS!

OKO IFEDOLAPO!

Traditional Attire of Nigerian and African Men
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By Philipo
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Surprisingly, most men in Nigeria especially Lagos State wear the traditional Yoruba cloths. This comes in various styles and designs. They have different names depending on the type of design like:

Agbada – this is a 4-piece Nigerian Agbada apparel that is made up of hat, buba, flowing Agbada and pants with embroidery.

Babariga – This is men’s 4-piece African Babariga clothing apparel comprising a Hat, long-sleeved shirt, flowing Buba and pants with embroidery.

3-piece Gbarie outfit. Hand-loomed Aso Oke material with matching embroidery.

They are suitable for special occasions and events. Have you seen what the Nigerian women wear? See this http://hubpages.com/_1rfosdrnucsn9/hub/Glamorous-and-Gorgeous-Yoruba-Nigerian-Women-Dress

“THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?-YORUBA IS DYING-YORUBAS ARE BUSY MIXING/DESTROYING THE LANGUAGE WITH ENGLISH-AT YORUBA WEDDING CEREMONIES,CHURCHES,PRIVATE SCHOOLS ETC.-STOP KILLING YORUBA LANGUAGE:YORUBA RUNU!

July 3, 2010

FROM speakyoruba.blogspot.com

LEARN YORUBA LANGUAGE-THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE!

Saturday, July 3, 2010
“THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?”-BY YEYE AKILIMALI FUNUA OLADE(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,2005
((originally first published in the guardian newspaper)

She is the Chief librarian of the African Heritage Research Library,and in this article, makes a case for Yoruba language

THAT English, the ready-made weapon of British-American cultural imperialism, is not just trying to destroy African languages, but is attacking all other languages worldwide, I agree. Ojoogbon Akinwunmi Isola, related to me during a discussion with Ojoogbon Babatunde Fafunwa, the problem the French are having with English. He stated that the French government had recently warned all French broadcasters to stop polluting French with English, as is now popular in general French conversation, or face dismissal.

The greatest tragedy in Yorubaland today, however, regarding language is the dominating trend to speak only English to their children, making it their first language, then sending them to private nursery school, who only teach in English and causing Yoruba children to value English above all other languages! (After all their WAEC will not be in Yoruba, one highly*educated Yoruba man told me!) And see the result! These English-speaking children will rudely use English to disrespect all and sundry (after all English does not have pronouns of respect for anybody). Ask them or some of their parents and they will tell you they don’t know the original Yoruba for the popular phrases that many literate and non-literate leaders and followers commonly use throughout Yorubaland.

As a Black-American, who has come back to her Yoruba roots these past 26 years in Nigeria, I want to break down in tears over this “iyonu”! How can Yorubas kill their own language? What sort of curse is this? Obviously the curse of european-american imperialism/colonialism/slavery! As a result I have declared “War Against Destroying Our Nigerian Languages” from today. And it must start from Yorubaland. Are not the Yorubas the “wisest and the greatest”? As everything good seems to start from Yorubaland in Nigeria, “let it be so”. Full-blooded Yoruba, as of today should consciously seek not to mix English with their Yoruba. Yoruba leaders must slowly speak, watching their tongues, not to include any English word inside their Yoruba.

It has gotten to a state where such leaders cannot avoid mixing English as they speak Yoruba and their every sentence includes whole English phrases! The late Yoruba leader, Oloye Bola Ige was a pure Yoruba language speaker and other Yoruba leaders should follow his example. All clubs and organisations in Yorubaland should hold bi-annual and annual Yoruba Speaking Competitions for the “Best Yoruba Speaker”, with heavy monetary prizes (N20,000 plus) to get Yorubas to consciously practice speaking Yoruba without any English mixture. Yoruba broadcasters are guilty of promoting this deadly trend. In schools, Yoruba teachers must stress the importance of not mixing Yoruba. All private schools in Yorubaland must be required to have classes in Yoruba language from nursery through secondary school levels. And any student who fails to pass Yoruba in Yorubaland must not be allowed to graduate!

The Yoruba press must be commended for indeed holding the banner high and not polluting Yoruba with English. More effort, however, must be made to eliminate “pasito”, “professor”, “dokita” words as most of them have genuine Yoruba words that can be enlisted and popularised among their readers. Yoruba departments in Nigerian and foreign universities must start churning out more research on modernising Yoruba for technical, scientific and other vocabulary and making it available through special courses for the media and the general Yoruba public. Yoruba writers must begin to write and publish bilingual publications. For any publication they publish in English, its Yoruba equivalent must be done. In the same book (Yoruba-from the front, turn upside down, English from the back) is one way to do it or in a title simultaneously released. More books, magazines, other publications like club histories, year books must be published in Yoruba. Yoruba music too, has been assaulted by Yoruba artists, unknowingly killing Yoruba language. The mixture of English has reached a new high in Fuji. Yoruba gospel has started mixing English inside Yoruba songs within Yoruba cassettes, adding along side complete English songs! Olodumare!

Such artists must be warned—no more killing of the language in this manner. If it is English you want then put that on an English cassette. Do not replace our God-given Yoruba in a Yoruba music cassette! Yoruba movie practitioners are perhaps the biggest offenders and must take up this challenge to save Yoruba language. English nixing should absolutely be banned in all Yoruba films. I have not researched the topic but I suspect that Hausa, is probably the most unpolluted language in Nigeria, and in all their films that I have seen no English there at all. The beauty of the Yoruba language must be showcased by having more Yoruba Cultural Festivals to be held by all clubs and organisations in Yorubaland annually.

Odua’s People Congress and other enforcers of law and order in Yorubaland must be in the vanguard, not only by stressing among its members that Yoruba should not be polluted but by holding bi*Annual Yoruba Speaking competitions for the “Best Yoruba Speaker”. They must lead the way in correct Y oruba speaking and have literacy classes for all their members to learn to read in Yoruba and encourag them to speak Yoruba in the home to their children: Yoruba must become again the first language of Yorubas at home and abroad. A private Yoruba school system must be set up. These schools will teach all subjects in Yoruba from nursery up to the university eventually. If it must be like a “mushroom school”, starting with nursery school first and adding class by class this must be done. This Yoruba Academy can be supported extensively by Yorubas abroad, eventually having board houses were Yoruba children from abroad can join their counterparts here, (including all “classes of children, street children etc.) This Yoruba Academy will inculcate Yoruba culture into our children also. With the help of our Yoruba scholars we can build on Ojoogbon Babatunde Fafunwa’s successful “Mother-tongue Education” at University of Ife in the 60s. Afterall, even UNESCO has proven that Mother-tongue Education is the best for all children.

Let Yoruba Language not die! God has given the Yoruba race a language to be proud of, anywhere in the world (there are at least 60 million or more Yoruba speakers throughout the world). Let’s not destroy it with our own mouths! Let us pass it on in its richness to our children, daily in our home. Let us proudly speak it daily, read it daily, champion it daily. Yorubas cannot remain great without our language. And let us be in the vanguard of saving all Nigerian and African languages. Biu, Ogoni, Urhorbo, Igele, Ogoja, Ebira, Idoma, Efik, Tiv, Langale: Tangale, Kagona, Kutep, Oron, Legdo, Bubiaro, Esan, Afima, lsekiri, Ijaw, Edo, Ikenne, Joba, Gwari, lbo, Igala, Hausa, speakers are you listening?

http://www.tribune.com.ng/16062007/arts.html
LOVE CONQUERS ALL
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06-16-2007 11:46 AM#2vince
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Death ke?!Iro o!Agbedo!
Eledumare teaming up with Orunmila will never let it happen!
Eewo orisha!
Ko gbodo shele!
Ka ma ri!
Long live,yoruba language and all the other african lingos,ojare!
DS ON YOUTUBE.

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06-16-2007 11:54 AM#3vince
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The writer is a little bit too optimistic,though.Speaking yoruba without polluting it….sorry,supporting it with ede geesi in this modern times,is a bit dificult o!But i can understand where he/she is coming from,and going to.
Now here is something really strange(just in case none of you have observed it yet),when you try to “speak” 100% yoruba,you’ll mostly find the going very tough,but start writing it and you find it a lot easier!Now,that’s weird!How can one be able to write a language in it’s pure form,while one finds it so tough to speak it?
Maybe somebody can explain that to me.

My final parting salvo is this,”Kolo metality is still very much alive and kicking.Africans are still playing the i-want-to-belong-in-a-whiteman’s-world game as if their lives depend on it.”

Don’t be surprised to discover that quite a number of africans unconsciously harbour the belief that the more western you are,the closer you are to entering the kingdom of heaven.No english name,no visa to heaven.No ability to speak english,and the gates of heaven will remain closed on you for eternity.
It is a neverending struggle to “fit in”, for the black race.Pathetic.
DS ON YOUTUBE.

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06-16-2007 12:41 PM#4praizes2000
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Yoruba cannot remain great without our language.

True talk my sista, i hope we will all learn especially the so called rich men that prefer private school for their kids.

What happened to afasefetepe, afahonferigipe my Yoruba langage that i learnt in my school (Naija) in those days.
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06-16-2007 01:08 PM#5kolinzo
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This writer is not lying at all o. Yoruba Language is not the only language gradually goint into extinction but the Yoruba local dialects as well. Kolo mentality has a lot to do with this. However, I have taken it upon myself to play my part of the Yoruba language preservation -which means Yooba would be the first language for my unborn child. What parts are you guys going to take?
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06-16-2007 02:10 PM#6Peaches
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tough one. My friend only a few weeks ago baptized her daughter: Mirabelle! I just wondered what was wrong with Motunrayo or Modupe or something like that. Shame!
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06-17-2007 06:53 AM#7vince
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Originally Posted by kolinzo
This writer is not lying at all o. Yoruba Language is not the only language gradually goint into extinction but the Yoruba local dialects as well. Kolo mentality has a lot to do with this. However, I have taken it upon myself to play my part of the Yoruba language preservation -which means Yooba would be the first language for my unborn child. What parts are you guys going to take?
If i ever start making movies,99% of them will be in naija lingos,and a lion share will be in my own native tongue,yooba.That will be my own preservation contribution.
And no foreign name for my pickin,as well.
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06-17-2007 03:31 PM#8Tiron
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Yes, we all have a part to play in keeping our indigenous languages alive.

I have an unusual and uncommon Yoruba first name. When I first started in my professional field, students and fellow colleagues used to smile whenever I introduced myself to a new group. No one EVER forgot/forgets my name.

My children, though UK born and bred, also have Yoruba names. They also understand some Yoruba. I speak it to them diluted with English in most cases I admit!

I have this British Naija friend called Shola. She gets mad whenever some of her “Asan” Naija friends or English colleagues/friends pronounce her name “Show-u-lar”. In fact, it was one of the reasons why she fell out with an “asan”, plum-in-her-mouth, friend of hers recently.
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06-17-2007 04:36 PM#9gqbabe
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http://www.tribune.com.ng/16062007/arts.html
i agree wif the text in purple but i think the text in bold is bullcrap!
http://r.yuwie.com/partypeoplepresents – Get paid to browse!!!

Lord – Forgive Us Our Trepasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us
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06-18-2007 08:16 AM#10vince
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Originally Posted by gqbabe
i agree wif the text in purple but i think the text in bold is bullcrap!
I think it is in order.A concrete,even draconian steps like that need to be taken to preserve that precious gift from God to us,yoruba language.
The british did it to us with their language and left us to continue to do it to ourselves(no english,no graduation).
So why can’t the yorubas do it for the sake of preserving their own language in yorubaland?
Bullcrap,it is not.IMHO.

I just think that those sleeping yoruba intellects need to wake up from their slumber and get down to updating and upgrading yoruba language to fit the modern era.
Telling modern yorubas to start speaking old yoruba is very unfrealistic.The language needs to be modernised to fit our era.
How they set out to do this is their headache.Shebi they are the intellects.
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06-18-2007 11:51 AM#11Gen Sani Abacha
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Originally Posted by vince
If i ever start making movies,99% of them will be in naija lingos,and a lion share will be in my own native tongue,yooba.That will be my own preservation contribution.
And no foreign name for my pickin,as well.
That’s why I have made a commitment to write fiction in Yoruba as well as English!
UP ISI-EWU!! UP NIGERIA!!!
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06-18-2007 11:54 AM#12Gen Sani Abacha
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Originally Posted by vince
I think it is in order.A concrete,even draconian steps like that need to be taken to preserve that precious gift from God to us,yoruba language.
The british did it to us with their language and left us to continue to do it to ourselves(no english,no graduation).
So why can’t the yorubas do it for the sake of preserving their own language in yorubaland?
Bullcrap,it is not.IMHO.

I just think that those sleeping yoruba intellects need to wake up from their slumber and get down to updating and upgrading yoruba language to fit the modern era.
Telling modern yorubas to start speaking old yoruba is very unfrealistic.The language needs to be modernised to fit our era.
How they set out to do this is their headache.Shebi they are the intellects.
They have already been on it for the past 30 years. Check out Prof Longe’s efforts towards a Yoruba language publication of the mathematical theories underpining computer science. He did this back in the early 1980s. Someone else also published a dictionary of Engineering physics in Yoruba, that was in the early 1990s. You should try to find out the activities/publications and research of the Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria(Egbe Ilosiwaju Imo Ijinle Yoruba Naijiria).

ciao
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06-18-2007 02:56 PM#13vince
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Originally Posted by Gen Sani Abacha
They have already been on it for the past 30 years. Check out Prof Longe’s efforts towards a Yoruba language publication of the mathematical theories underpining computer science. He did this back in the early 1980s. Someone else also published a dictionary of Engineering physics in Yoruba, that was in the early 1990s. You should try to find out the activities/publications and research of the Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria(Egbe Ilosiwaju Imo Ijinle Yoruba Naijiria).

ciao
All their efforts since all that time has little influence on the yoruba acaedemia,talkless of on the common man.And that is the sticking point.
These yoruba studies association,does it have a website?I am keen to link up.
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06-18-2007 03:32 PM#14gqbabe
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when i was younger, my mom used to yab me tht when God was creating me He put cotton buds in my ear cos other than english i dnt understand any other language. Now if it is made compulsory that you pass yoruba to graduate, then some1 like me wld never graduate. Or if tht person managed to pass, then they’d not be able to communicate wif non-yorubas, as the likelihood of them understandn another language is negligible!
http://r.yuwie.com/partypeoplepresents – Get paid to browse!!!

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06-19-2007 04:25 AM#15Gen Sani Abacha
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Originally Posted by vince
All their efforts since all that time has little influence on the yoruba acaedemia,talkless of on the common man.And that is the sticking point.
These yoruba studies association,does it have a website?I am keen to link up.
Remember Prof Akinwunmi Isola, the author of Oleku the book and the scriptwriter of the film ? He is part of that cadre of academics. They have a lot of input into the teaching syllabus of Yoruba language. They also act as consultants sometimes for major Yoruba movies. They also advise government on language policy(although the govt doesn’t seem to take any notice of their advise!).
I don’t the Yoruba Studies Association has a website, neither do their sister organisation, the Yoruba Teachers Association of Nigeria.
UP ISI-EWU!! UP NIGERIA!!!

“ BEAUTIFUL TO BE BLACK”-A POEM BY SISTER CHARA NYASHIA SANJO AND HER PROFILE!

June 11, 2010

Author Chara NyAshia Sanjo

from yeyeolade.wordpress.com

BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!
DEDICATED TO SAVING BLACKNESS WORLDWIDE!

——————————————————————————–

« BROTHER PEACEMAKER INTRODUCES THE TOPIC OF POLYANDRY:MANY HUSBANDS FOR 1 WOMAN?

ITALIANO # 2 »

“BEAUTIFUL TO BE BLACK” A POEM BY SISTER CHARA NYASHIA SANJO,SUBMITTED BY KYA TO “BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL”
By Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade

“BEAUTIFUL TO BE BLACK”

“It’s beautiful to be black.”

It is the color of strength and pride.

I will say it out loud. I don’t have to hide.

I love me, and the color that I represent.

Look at me, there is nothing like it.

What you see is not an illusion.

It’s a gift from GOD, don’t ever confuse it.

“It’s beautiful to be black.”

It is the color of fame and envy.

If I wasn’t black, I wouldn’t be me.

Black is the color of power and authority.

It is so outstanding, thank you LORD for blessing me.

I’ll shout it to the world, I’m proud of what I am.

Those who are in vain will never understand.

“It’s beautiful to be black”

It is the color of confidence and style.

I have been blessed, by my ancestor from the Nile.

I am scenic from the inside out.

These verses are true, I don’t have any doubt.

There is no one who can change my mind.

Black has been beautiful since the begging of time.

“It’s beautiful to be black.”

It is the color of honor and grace.

This is one thing that cannot be taken away.

By Chara NyAshia Sanjo

——————————————————————————–

Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

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This entry was posted on August 12, 2007 at 3:06 pm and is filed under AFRICA, BLACK CHILDREN, BLACK CULTURE, BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!, BLACK MEN, BLACK NATIONALISM, BLACK PEOPLE, BLACK WOMEN, THE BLACK RACE. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Edit this entry.

4 Responses to ““BEAUTIFUL TO BE BLACK” A POEM BY SISTER CHARA NYASHIA SANJO,SUBMITTED BY KYA TO “BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL””
The face of Afrika Says:
May 4, 2008 at 2:54 am | Reply edit It is beautiful to be black indeed! I hope you don’t mind if I use your poem on my blog, dedicated to celebrate the beauty of African people and of the African continent. Please check the Website http://www.thefaceofafrika.com and contact us at thefaceofafrika@googlemail.com

jameka little Says:
March 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Reply edit love the poem it describes me and the way that i feel, it’s very intresting to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

khadijah Says:
May 19, 2009 at 12:27 am | Reply edit i love the poem i hope it will inspire many
can i use your poem for my group “black is beautiful?”

daijahenry Says:
January 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Reply edit i love the poem and i hope other people do to and i hope they love to be black
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from mirrors of expression.com
XHARA NYASHIA SANJO-
Poet, Song Writer and Screenplay/Stage Play Writer

Chara NyAshia Sanjo (born August 27, 1965) is an African American author, poet, song writer and screenplay/stage play writer. She is best know for her novel Reclamation of Africa’s Royalty 323 BC and her inspiring poem “It’s Beautiful to be Black.” She began writing at the age of eleven.

Sanjo was born in Cleveland, OH, as Carla Benita Burton, but decided to reclaim her African name Chara NyAshia Sanjo once she was inspired by the true beauty of African History. Her name translates to (Beautiful African princess of purpose who appreciates her past) Chara, the daughter of Anita Cozzette Moore, a hair dresser and elementary school janitor and Albert Carl Burton whose career is unknown seeing that Chara never established a relationship with her father. Her mother died in 2005 of Lung Cancer.

Chara attended John Adams High School and later transferred and graduated from West Technical High School in Cleveland OH. After high school, she attended and graduated from Cuyahoga Community College with an Associates of Art Degree (liberal arts-music & theater). She later attended and graduated from Myers University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Information Processing Systems.

Chara had every intention on finishing what she started in the arts but had allowed other to discourage her dreams when she became a statistic as a single parent. From this, she took on various jobs working as a secretary, customer service, fitness instructor and she has also worked in various administrative positions in the Medical Industry to support her son.

Before her mother’s death in 2005, she encouraged Chara to get back into the arts and to write the stories that she so loved. Chara took her mother’s advice and decided that she didn’t want to look back on her life and be a victim of Should of would of could of so she pulled an old novel that she started in 1998 off her book shelf and felt compelled to finish it. Chara dedicated that book to her mother.

In 2007 Chara made many attempts to get her book published, but all she heard was no or not interested. After being turned down, Chara decided to self publish her story because she was determined for the world to hear it. Today we know this novel/stage play as Reclamation of Africa’s Royalty 323 BC.

Chara was determined not to let anyone discourage her from making her dreams a reality. In 2008 she launched her own production company called Chara NyAshia Sanjo’s Entertainment Empire. She completed her first poetry book titled Verses of a Black Voice in 2009.

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March 29, 2010

RACISM IN ISRAEL AGAINST THE BLACK ETHIOPIAN ORIGINAL JEWS!-FROM TSEDAY.WORDPRESS.COM

June 6, 2009

STOP THE RACISM AGAINST THE BLACK ETHIOPIAN JEWS IN ISRAEL!

STOP THE RACISM AGAINST THE BLACK ETHIOPIAN JEWS IN ISRAEL!

FROM TSEDAY.WORDPRESS.COM

An Ethiopian Journal“Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel?” (Amos 9:7)

How a Jew becomes Black in the Promised Land

It’s sad to hear the harsh reality faced by Ethiopian Jews in Israel. The Israeli government has yet to protect the rights and dignity of this neglected community. Racism exists in Israel! And the Black Jews of Ethiopia are one of its victims. Little do we know that they are the true original Jews from Biblical times! Shame on Israel.

-Tseday M

Being a Black Jew in Israel: Identity Politics in the Post-hegemonic Era
Uri Ben-Eliezer – University of Haifa (2007)
http://www.american.edu/israelstudies/whatsnew/Papers/Uri.htm

The Ethiopian immigrants arrived in Israel at a time of great transformation in the country. For decades, Israel followed an ideology consisting of practices and a structure of domination known as mamlakhtiyut (statism). It was based on the nation-state model, in which everything is managed, concentrated, and supervised from above. The attitude toward the many immigrants who arrived in the fledgling state was that they had to adapt themselves to the integrating society. If not, the state mechanisms would do it for them.

Almost inevitably, attempts to assimilate generate dependence. The anthropologist Esther Herzog described how the absorption centers to which the Ethiopian immigrants were sent created and then heightened their dependence on the existing population. An absorption center creates a bifurcated world, in which the officials who mediate between the world inside and the world outside possess great power.
It did not take long before the new immigrants’ problems with the Chief Rabbinate began. The religious establishment questioned the Jewishness of the Ethiopians. The Rabbinate demanded ritual immersion and totally rejected the authority of the kes, the respected religious leaders of the Ethiopian community. The insistence on immersion generated fears among the Ethiopians that the establishment wanted to turn them into second-class citizens by forcing them, and them alone, to undergo a humiliating ceremony.
True, in 1980s Israel the melting pot discourse had been supplanted by a new discourse espousing cultural pluralism, the mixing and fusion of cultures; in practice, however, the newcomers were pressured to adapt to the dominant culture. In the service of this noble ideal, the youngsters were separated from their parents. The authorities effectively cast aside the so-called “generation of the desert” and sought to instill in the children the values of the integrating society, cutting them off from their past and their community’s traditions. No fewer than 90 percent of the Ethiopian children and adolescents were raised in closed boarding schools, most of them in religious institutions. In Ethiopia the family, both nuclear and extended, was at the center of life. In Israel the state exposed the children m to the disciplinary aspects of the educational system. In some institutions, 70 percent of the students were of Ethiopian origin. Warnings about ethnic segregation, however, went unheeded.
Although the absorption agents insisted that they would “not repeat the mistakes of the past” – referring mainly to the failures with the Mizrahim (Jews who immigrated to Israeli from North Africa and the Middle East in the 1950s) – they did just that. As in the past, the officials declared that the young people should be helped to adapt to a modern way of life and become Israelis in every respect. The binary approach made it possible to constitute the attitude toward the Ethiopians in terms simultaneously inclusionary and exclusionary. On the one hand, they were to be transformed into Western-style Jews and then into Israelis fitting into the hegemonic structure, while on the other hand, that very effort of transmutation relegated them to a status of inferiority, as it is incompatible with their culture and outlook.
The immigrants were also frustrated and embittered because of the day-to-day discrimination they endured. Veteran Israelis did not want to sit next to them on the bus and they did not receive an equal opportunity in the job market. Classrooms and schools emptied out when young Ethiopians entered them, and private kindergartens refused to accept Ethiopian toddlers because they were “different.” Indeed, everyday life, exposed the color barrier and brought to the surface racist tendencies in Israel between Jew and Jew. There was no residential integration, no intermarriage, and no integration in education.

All that missing was a cause, which appeared on January 24, 1996, when a newspaper report stated that for the past 12 years the Blood Bank had not been using the blood of Ethiopian Israelis for medical purposes because of its possible contamination by the HIV virus. The report generated protests of a sort rarely seen in the country. Some 10,000 Ethiopian immigrants from all over Israel, held a protest demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. It was a moment of truth with a significant Durkheimean element, of conferring name and meaning on the feelings of frustration and discrimination. The violent clash went on for hours, and dozens of policemen and demonstrators were injured. The crowd carried placards reading “We are black but our blood is red,” and “We are Jews like you: stop the racist apartheid.” A 17-year-old girl who came to Jerusalem for the demonstration from the Haifa area, where she attended a boarding school, said, “I came to protest against what is being done to the blacks because of the color of their skin. I am ashamed of my nation, of the white Jewish nation.” The Chief of the Jerusalem District Police, Aryeh Amit, labeled the demonstrators “young savages.” Indeed, to everyone’s surprise, the “boy savage” turned out not to be harmless, pleasant, and passive. “They think they know better than we do what’s good for us,” one of the participants summed up.
The huge demonstration, however, did not help much. The Ministry of Health announced that it would continue with its policy of not making use of blood taken from Ethiopians, as they constituted a “risk group.” By invoking this term, the state officials intended to shift the discourse in a direction that would serve their ends. Their bureaucratic medical discourse is based on a division of reality into generalized categories and endeavors, and to justify discriminatory policy by evoking fears, in this case fears of AIDS, following the line that was presented by Ulrich Beck in his “risk society. Thus the Health Ministry frightened the public by revealing that an Ethiopian blood donor was 34 times more likely to be a carrier than anyone else.
More than once, racism appears through the definition of an immigrant group by certain disease and the fear of contamination. As though to illustrate the point, Dr. Ram Yishai, the chairman of the Society of Medical Ethics, explained that the Ethiopians constituted a risk group because single Ethiopian women did not abstain from random sexual contact. Elaborating, the learned physician stated that the Ethiopian women were not afraid of AIDS and that, if infected, they displayed no anger at the man responsible. Again the litany of familiar terms was invoked: ignorance, a different conception of sex and death, sexual permissiveness that differs from the Israeli norm, the good of the public, and so forth. Probably, too, the Ethiopians were angry at not having been given the information or being allowed to share in deciding policy. The integrating society perceived the stranger, the other, the black as a child or a native who lacks sufficient maturity to be told the truth or cope with it.
The Blood Affair became something of a moment of truth for the Ethiopian Jews. The affront sustained by them showed that they could not, and perhaps did not want to discard entirely their traditions and their past. “Blood is the soul,” I was told by interviewees who explained the cause of the violent outburst in the Blood Affair. In Ethiopia, blood served as a symbolic means to distinguish Jews from Christians in three areas: ritual slaughter of animals, the dietary laws, and the categorization of women in their menstrual period as unclean. To the Ethiopians in Israel, discarding blood taken from them was an act of exclusion.

Rumors about suicides of Ethiopians in the army were already circulating by the time of the Blood Affair. The chairman of the committee of Ethiopian immigrants claimed that twenty Ethiopians had committed suicide in the past few years. The army claimed that the figure was far lower. The main point, however, is that the rumors showed a change in the immigrants’ attitude toward the army. At first, the young people wanted nothing more than to excel in the IDF, to do combat duty, preferably in one of the elite units. Excellence in the army was perceived as a rite of passage leading to acceptance in the Israeli society. Gradually, however, they realized that army service, far from resolving their problems, might aggravate them instead. In the second half of the 1990s we find, along with the suicide phenomenon, a decline in the Ethiopian Jews’ motivation to serve and excel in the army. In part, the disappointment was due to the fact that the combat soldiers discovered that they could not translate their service into social mobility. Many of them found it difficult to earn a living.

This behavior in part was a clear manifestation of what James C. Scott calls “everyday forms of resistance,” a desire to overcome a discriminatory, alienating reality, in our case, at the price of escaping military service or even by means of suicide. Similarly, the rising crime rate among young Ethiopians in the late 1990s should be seen as a form of subversion and of criticism of the society. The social welfare agencies, appalled by this trend, viewed it as proof that an identity crisis existed and that the young Ethiopians were drifting toward the margins of the society. In fact, it is the other way around, those involved are looking for meaning and a sense of community. In their way, they are also protesting actively against a reality that had made them and the rest of the community passive and dependent. At the same time, there was an element of the new in this development, a show of differentiation and distinctiveness that shattered the stereotypical view of the community as modest and quiet. As though to prove that the youngsters were rebelling against the image that was foisted on them, 16-18 year-olds, asked how they react to being called kushi, a term that connotes a slave in their culture, replied unequivocally that whereas in the past they had been offended and backed off, now they would lash out at anyone who used the term and “let him have it,” in the word of one of them.
The Ethiopian immigrants displayed further manifestations of subversion in relation to marriage. Not all of them were willing to undergo the Rabbinate’s humiliating rituals and tests – which were earmarked for Ethiopians alone – in order to take out a marriage license. The interviews showed that members of the community had found various ways to solve the problem. Some couples live together without marrying; others are married in the traditional Ethiopian ceremony by a kes, even though this is not recognized by the Rabbinate or the state.

However, this was not enough for the young Ethiopians. Their subversive practices were accompanied by an attempt to construct a new identity by challenging the hegemonic structure while exploiting its widening cracks. The identity politics they practiced involved deconstructing the “one” Israeli identity, exposing its problematic nature, and reconstructing it in terms of their conceptual approach. In Gilroy’s terms, this is a process of deconstruction and contextualization. Identity is reconstructed such that it is context dependent. Fundamentally, since the Blood Affair, Israeliness for young Ethiopians has gradually become an identity one element of which is blackness. The passage of time will make no difference,” I was told by one interviewee, who had a clear grasp of the reality in which she lives. “In Ethiopia we were Jews, here we are blacks,” another said.
Africa, observes Stuart Hall, is often depicted as being a mother for all Africans. The effect is to bestow an imagined cohesiveness and shared identity on Africans’ experience of dispersion and fragmentation, a feeling that there exists a permanent “essence” of the African, of the quintessential black experience. However, as Hall, too, points out, identity development is a far more active process, in which those involved attempt to locate themselves in the space of the presence and adapt to changing reality. Indeed, blackness is not the only distinguishing characteristic of this group. In discotheques, for example, these youngsters do not mix with foreign workers from Africa, who are not Jewish. In fact, quarrels and fights between the two groups have been known to erupt. The process of constructing a new identity intertwines similarity and differentiation. The young Ethiopians differ from other Israelis and resemble blacks in other countries; yet, as Israelis and Jews the resemblance is not complete. As young student told me: I am first of all a Jew, then an Ethiopian, and finally an Israeli… In fact, I am also an Israeli but different from these franjim.

Thus the Israeli experience – “white,” discriminatory, exclusionary – is sending the young generation back to their roots in Africa. Many have begun to study spoken and written Amharic, a language that they have almost forgotten. The members of the young generation are also taking African names. As one student explained, “A few of us friends got together and decided to go back to our original names. Why weren’t the Russians made to change their names when they came to Israel?” They want to visit Ethiopia and they like Amharic music, both traditional and modern, with its romantic themes. The Africa they envisage is of course not the Africa they knew as children; it is an imagined Africa. It is an Africa of rhythm, of special foods and customs, of suffering and hope. An Africa that is both present and vanished, in any event an Africa of blacks only.
By the end of the 1990s, black Jewish Israel defined itself as part of the African diaspora. That is a definition with a cultural and a political meaning that cannot simply be ignored. The cultural practices of the Ethiopian Israelis draw their inspiration largely from the politics and culture of black America, Jamaica, and black Britain. Technological advances in communications bridge geographic distance: consider MTV and the Internet. Cultural commodities, such as CDs, books, and magazines facilitate identification. The young people invent a history of their own. People who in Ethiopia lived on a motif of exile and longing for Zion, meaning Jerusalem, now live in Israel with a sense of exile and a longing for Zion, which is of course Ethiopia, as in the song by Bob Marley. True, they came to Israel of their own volition, and for religious reasons, and from this point of view their history is different from that of the descendants of the slaves who were exiled forcibly from Africa and transported to America. Nevertheless, the youngsters identify with the history of their “brothers”: their suffering, their severance from their past, the discrimination and the poverty they endure, and their yearning for the Black Continent. Africa becomes the lost paradise. The longing to return to lost origins, to beginnings, is of course impractical, though the symbolic, too, is fraught with meaning. This is their narrative and with it they constitute their contemporary identity.

The anthropologist Malka Shabtai has analyzed the content of the music that the young Ethiopians are fond of: above all, black music of political protest with social messages of equality, brotherhood, and peace. Usually, they dance to reggae or rap. The fact that Rastafarianism originated in Jamaica in 1930, after the coronation of Haile Selassie as Emperor of Ethiopia, with the belief in him as the “Lion of Judah,” helps explain why young Ethiopian Israelis are attracted also to this music. Shabtai interviewed an Israeli reggae singer named Emanuel, the soloist of the “Roots of Africa” group. “The story of the Jews of Ethiopia is in some ways similar to the story of the blacks in Africa,” he said. “There are a lot of things that are, you know, parallel.”

Written by Tseday

September 7, 2008 at 12:25 am

The Headwear of Beautiful Black Yoruban/ Nigerian Women!!

May 15, 2009

These ladies do style, they are about class. They are ready to flaunt.
They’ve come prepared to show their
hats off. Brace yourself for the most
beautiful and vibrant, bright set of
colors. Oh, and the styles of the headwraps will make you want to
go purchase scarves for them.

It’s like a festival. It will make you want to dance, just maybe.
It’s a parade of glorious scarf hats.
The hats are so beautiful it will make
you lose gravity, just kidding, but they
are really really gorgeous.

“OBAMA’S RABBI”-HIS COUSIN-IN-LAW-HEADS A BLACK JEWISH SYNAGOGUE IN CHICAGO-FROM NEW YORK TIMES -APRIL,2009

May 3, 2009

05rabbi-600FROM newyorktimes.com

Obama’s Rabbi
Alec Soth/Magnum, for The New York Times
Hallelujah, shalom: Rabbi Funnye singing at Shabbat services.

Published: April 2, 2009
Rabbi Capers Funnye celebrated Martin Luther King Day this year in New York City at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, a mainstream Reform congregation, in the company of about 700 fellow Jews — many of them black. The organizers of the event had reached out to four of New York’s Black Jewish synagogues in the hope of promoting Jewish diversity, and they weren’t disappointed. African-American Jews, largely from Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, many of whom had never been in a predominantly white synagogue, made up about a quarter of the audience. Most of the visiting women wore traditional African garb; the men stood out because, though it was a secular occasion, most kept their heads covered. But even with your eyes closed you could tell who was who: the black Jews and the white Jews clapped to the music on different beats.

Alec Soth/Magnum, for The New York Times
Rabbi Capers Funnye
Funnye, the chief rabbi of the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Chicago, one of the largest black synagogues in America, was a featured speaker that night. The overflowing audience came out in a snowstorm to hear his thoughts about two men: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama. King is Funnye’s hero. Obama, whose inauguration was to take place the following day in Washington, is family — the man who married Funnye’s cousin Michelle.

A compact, serious-looking man in his late 50s, Funnye (pronounced fu-NAY) wore a dark business suit and a large gray knit skullcap. He sat expressionless, collecting his thoughts, as Joshua Nelson and his Kosher Gospel Band steamed through their sanctified rendition of the Hebrew hymn “Adon Olam.” Nelson, a black Jew, was raised in two Jewish worlds — a white Reform temple in New Jersey and a Black Jewish synagogue in Brooklyn — and he borrows from both. The first time the Rev. Al Sharpton heard a recording of Nelson’s “Adon Olam,” he said, “I can hear that’s Mahalia Jackson, but what language is she singing in?”

Mary Funnye, Capers’s wife, tapped her foot to the music and smiled with apparent equanimity, but her husband knew she was seething inside. “Mary has been a rabbi’s wife for a long time,” he told me a few weeks later. “She has an excellent synagogue poker face. But she really wanted to be in Washington that night” — for the early inauguration festivities — “not New York. And you can’t really blame her.”

The Funnyes were invited to Washington by the Obamas for a full calendar of inaugural events, including a dinner that evening held by the president-elect for his family and close advisers. Mary’s brother, Frank White Jr., a businessman who served as a prominent member of Obama’s national finance committee, was invited. So were three of Funnye’s sisters. It was going to be the family reunion of the year, the social event of the season and a crowning moment in American history. Mary had a formal gown ready. But here she was, singing “Adon Olam,” as she did virtually every Shabbat in Chicago.

Still, to be fair, this night was a historic moment for her husband too. For the first time in a rabbinical career stretching back to 1985, Funnye had been invited to speak at a white, mainstream synagogue in New York. Plenty of black Christian ministers, in a spirit of ecumenism and racial harmony, have addressed Jewish congregations in the city. But a black rabbi? Many American Jews regard the very concept as an oxymoron, or even, given the heterodoxies of much Black Jewish theology, some sort of heresy. Funnye has been trying for years to demonstrate that he and his fellow Black Jews belong in the Jewish mainstream. Mostly he has been ignored.

But it is hard to ignore a man with a cousin in the White House. Tonight was payback for all those years of stupid jokes (“Funnye, you don’t look Jewish”), insulting questions and long, wondering stares. Funnye was finally being given the stage at a high-profile Jewish event. “My Broadway debut,” he said, without evident irony, as he prepared to go on. “Been a long time getting here, but I’m ready.”

Capers C. Funnye Jr. was born in South Carolina in 1952 and raised on the South Side of Chicago. His paternal relatives are Gullahs from the barrier islands off Charleston, S.C. The Gullah community has retained many of its original African customs and much of its ancestral language. On his first visit to Nigeria, in 2001, Funnye was delighted to discover that variations of his family name are common in Africa. On his maternal side, he is a Robinson. His mother, Verdelle, was the sister of Fraser Robinson Jr. — Michelle Obama’s grandfather. That makes Funnye and Michelle Obama first cousins, once removed.

And not that removed, really. “Our families were very close,” Funnye says. “All through my childhood, our families were in and out of each other’s houses, celebrating holidays together, that kind of thing.” As kids, Funnye and Michelle Obama weren’t peers (he was nearly 12 years older), but they connected in earnest years later, in 1992, at her wedding, and a friendship developed. The Obamas, like Funnye, were involved in community organizing in Chicago, and they saw one another often, socially and professionally. It didn’t surprise Funnye, he told me, that when he and Mary went to Washington to attend Obama’s inaugural ceremony after Funnye’s speech in New York, they were in the good seats, near Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg. Family is family.

Funnye was not always Jewish. When he went off to college at Howard University in 1970, he was the conventionally Christian son of upwardly striving parents. But he was moved by the radicalized atmosphere of the day. Black nationalism, Afrocentrism and cultural separatism were in vogue, and Funnye came to see Christianity as an alien religion imposed on blacks by white slave masters. “I was never an atheist,” he told me. “I just wanted to find the right way to worship him.”

During a summer job in Chicago, some friends introduced Funnye to Rabbi Robert Devine, the spiritual leader of the House of Israel Congregation. Devine preached that Africans were the true descendants of the biblical Hebrews, and that Jesus, the Messiah, was a black man. The message appealed to Funnye. Devine baptized him in a public swimming pool, and Funnye entered the complicated world of black American Jewry.

Estimates of how many black Jews there are in the United States range widely. It all depends on who is doing the counting and what criteria are being used. There are Jews who happen to be black: kids adopted by white Jewish families, for example, or the offspring of mixed parents. (Orthodox Judaism recognizes as Jewish the offspring of only Jewish mothers; Reform, the largest American denomination, accepts patrilineal as well as matrilineal descent.) There are also African-Americans who have been converted to various forms of Judaism, as well as Jews of Ethiopian origin who immigrated to Israel and subsequently moved to America. Probably no more than 2 percent of the American Jewish community is made up of black Jews.

There have been African-Americans with blood ties to white Jews since at least the early 19th century. Among them was Julia Ann Isaacs, the daughter of a white Jewish man, David Isaacs, and a free black woman, Nancy Ann West. In 1832 Julia married Eston Hemings, the son of Sally Hemings and — more than likely — Thomas Jefferson. Another was Francis Cardozo, a freeborn black man of Jewish descent (and a distant relative of the Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo), who during Reconstruction served as secretary of state and treasurer of South Carolina. But in almost no such early cases did the offspring of black-Jewish unions identify themselves as Jewish.
Black Judaism as a self-conscious religious identity arrived in America in Lawrence, Kan., in 1896. A charismatic Baptist named William Saunders Crowdy established a black congregation called the Church of God and Saints of Christ, where he preached that Africans were the true descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Didn’t the Bible tell that Moses married a black-skinned woman? he asked. And that King Solomon bestowed on the queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian, “all her desire”?

One implication of Crowdy’s doctrine was that blacks were God’s chosen people. This might have been a hanging offense in Kansas at the time had white people been aware of it, which they mostly weren’t. The denomination practiced an eclectic, “roll your own” brand of religion that combined beliefs and practices of the Old and New Testaments. Crowdy’s tabernacles practiced male infant circumcision, observed Saturday as the Sabbath, celebrated Passover and other Jewish holidays — but venerated Jesus Christ.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Crowdy’s faith offered freed slaves and their offspring something that mainstream Christianity did not: a grand historical identity and a distinctively black mode of religious expression. This proved to be a potent mix. Since the formation of the Church of God and Saints of Christ, there have been more than 200 congregations in the United States, Africa and the Caribbean. Today the group still has more than 50 affiliated congregations. In addition, a great many other “messianic” Jewish houses of worship have flourished, including Rabbi Robert Devine’s congregation, where Funnye first came to regard himself as a Black Jew.

“When I joined Rabbi Devine’s shul, I felt less like I was converting to Judaism than reverting,” Funnye recalls. “Going back to something.”

For a few years after leaving Howard, as he worked a series of jobs in Chicago, Funnye found Devine’s conception of Judaism to be rewarding. But he eventually became uncomfortable with the hybrid nature of Devine’s theology. As his interest in Judaism deepened, Funnye was increasingly drawn to the more conventional teachings of a black, Brooklyn-based rabbi named Levi Ben Levy, the spiritual leader of the Hebrew Israelite movement. “He taught me that real Judaism isn’t mixed in with Christianity,” Funnye says. He studied with Levy for five years, long distance from Chicago; the curriculum included Biblical Hebrew, liturgy, standard rabbinic texts and Jewish history from the perspective of African originalism. In 1985, Levy ordained Funnye as a rabbi, although no mainstream denomination accepted the title or Levy’s right to confer it.

Very few white rabbis were even aware of the existence of the Hebrew Israelites. The movement was established in the early 20th century by Wentworth Matthew, a charismatic figure who arrived in Harlem at the end of World War I, claiming to be from Africa, although he was more likely born in St. Kitts. Matthew proclaimed himself a rabbi and founded a congregation in New York called the Commandment Keepers. He was influenced by the idea that blacks were the original Hebrews; but unlike William Saunders Crowdy, who lived in rural Kansas, Matthew modeled his congregation on the white Judaism he saw around him in New York. He called his a storefront a shul, introduced a standard Hebrew prayer book and weekly Sabbath Torah readings, discouraged excessive shows of emotion during worship, insisted on separate seating for women and men and instituted a modified version of kosher dietary laws. He also, and crucially, denied the divinity of Jesus and the truth of the New Testament.

As Matthew’s group grew, it became far more “orthodox” in its Jewish ritual and code of conduct than the average Reform temple. Still, Matthew held some highly unorthodox beliefs. Chief among them was the doctrine that many white Jews are descended not from the ancient Israelites but from the Khazars, a tribe of Turkic nomads who, according to legend, converted to Judaism in the eighth or ninth century. Mainstream scholars say there is no historical evidence for such a claim, but it remains an article of faith for many Black Jews. (The claim is also a staple of anti-Israel rhetoric, a fact that Funnye, who like most Black Jews supports Israel, says makes him uneasy.)
Matthew didn’t express animosity toward white Jews. On the contrary, he saw and appreciated them as temporary placeholders, people who kept the faith of Israel going while the Black Jews were lost in bondage. He sought to make common cause with and be included in the wider Jewish community: twice he applied for membership to the mainstream New York Board of Rabbis, but he was turned down. The Orthodox rabbis were flabbergasted that any gentile, black or white, would have the chutzpah to declare himself to be a Jew, let alone a rabbi. Some of the more liberal rabbis were intrigued by the Hebrew Israelites but were not willing to fully embrace them as fellow Jews.

For Matthew and his followers, the disappointment was acute. “Rabbi Matthew concluded that black Jews would never be fully accepted by white Jews, and certainly not if they insisted on maintaining a black identity and independent congregations,” Sholomo Ben Levy, the rabbi of the Black Jewish Beth Elohim Hebrew Congregation in Queens, wrote in an article published by the Hebrew Israelites. “Since his death in 1973, there has been virtually no dialog [sic] between white and black Jews in America.”

It has become the mission of Capers Funnye to start that dialogue. “I believe in building bridges,” he told me as we sat in his office at the Beth Shalom synagogue in Chicago, a week and a half after his Martin Luther King Day speech in New York. “That’s why speaking at the synagogue was so important to me.”

“Has Mary forgiven you?” I asked.

Funnye nodded. “We drove down to D.C. and made one of the balls the next day,” he said. “And she got to snap a picture of Denzel Washington, so everything is more or less cool.”

At the King Day celebration in New York, the musician Joshua Nelson proved a hard act to follow; Funnye came across as stiff and cautious, expressing measured thoughts about Jewish solidarity, the brotherhood of man and the need for peace in the Holy Land. But here in his study, surrounded by books and family pictures, he seemed far more at ease. The Sabbath was only an hour away, and people kept busting into the room — kids who wanted to show off their grades; an assistant rabbi who wanted a word about the youth group; ladies of the Nashe Or (“Women of Light”) Sisterhood who wanted to know what time exactly the communal meal should be served.

Funnye handled it all in good spirits. He is not only the chief rabbi of the congregation, which, in various permutations, has been around 90 years; he is also its C.E.O., spiritual leader, head social director, senior teacher and unofficial cantor. Beth Shalom, which he joined as an assistant rabbi in 1985, has about 200 members, making it the largest of the six American synagogues affiliated with the International Israelite Board of Rabbis (the organization that serves the Hebrew Israelites), and Funnye is the Israelites’ only full-time rabbi. A majority of his congregation are converts to Judaism, although a large number are second- or third-generation Black Jews. (People often confuse Funnye’s congregation with that of Ben Ammi Carter, a fellow black Chicagoan, who established a community of followers in Israel in 1969. Funnye, who says there is no similarity between their theologies, is at pains to differentiate the two.)

Early in his rabbinical career, Funnye says, he realized that his Jewish credentials were too limited and exotic for the kind of outreach efforts that he wanted to do. So he enrolled at the mainstream Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Judaic Studies. And in 1985 he underwent a second conversion, this one certified by a Conservative rabbinical court. Before he took this step, he consulted with his earlier mentor, Rabbi Levy; Funnye feared insulting other Black Jews. “I didn’t want anyone to interpret my conversion as meaning I thought they weren’t Jewish enough,” he told me. But he received Levy’s blessing. “I explained that if I was going to do the kind of outreach I wanted, European Jews had to feel that I was their brother,” Funnye said. “But I’m still a Black Israelite. A halakhic conversion” — one in accordance with traditional Jewish law — “wasn’t going to take away any of my blackness.”
After his second conversion, Funnye taught Hebrew and Jewish subjects at Chicago-area congregations and worked for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a group dedicated to fighting poverty, racism and anti-Semitism in the city. He sent his four children to Jewish day schools, quietly built his congregation and got to know the leaders of the white Jewish community. In 1997, he did what his mentors had all failed to do (and no Hebrew Israelite rabbi has since done): he became a member of the local Board of Rabbis. Rabbi Michael Balinsky, the executive vice president of the Chicago Board, says Funnye makes a conscientious effort “to play an active role in the mainstream Jewish community without losing his Black Hebrew tradition. He’s taken a leadership role for the Jewish community on civil rights issues and outreach to Hispanics and Muslims.”
In January, Beth Shalom organized a community celebration with members of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network, a social-justice organization in Chicago headed by a Palestinian-American activist named Rami Nashashibi. Funnye has also worked to improve Chicago’s historically strained relations between its black and Jewish communities. In conversations with white Jews, he has defended the Rev. Jesse Jackson, whom he admires, and he encourages dialogue with Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam, whom he counts as a friend.

“I don’t agree with everything the man says or thinks,” Funnye said of Farrakhan. “I’m a Jew, after all. But you need to talk. Right now I’m trying to put together a group of Chicago rabbis for a meeting with Minister Farrakhan.”

“How’s it going?” I asked.

“Two so far,” he said. “But I’m still working on it.”

Before sundown that night, Funnye joined about 60 congregants in the social hall for Friday-night blessings and a fried-fish-and-spaghetti dinner. In 2004, Beth Shalom bought its current building, on South Kedzie Avenue, on Chicago’s South Side, from a rapidly declining congregation of Lithuanian Jews. It has a tan brick exterior and a layout common to American synagogues circa 1955; it is a virtual twin of the temple in Michigan that I attended growing up.

The money for the building came mostly from tithes and contributions, and raising it was a stretch. “The members here are working people, teachers, city workers, mostly middle class,” Funnye said. “We don’t have any billionaire philanthropists, like the Bronfmans or the Crowns. The only rich black Jew I ever heard about was Sammy Davis Jr., and he’s dead. Besides, he was Reform.”

After the dinner, Funnye chanted the grace and then reassembled his flock in a large classroom for evening prayers and a Torah lesson. The week’s portion happened to be the story of the Exodus, and Funnye used it to illustrate the virtue of interdependence. “Think about it,” he said. “God told Moses to talk to Pharaoh, but Moses stuttered, right? I mean he stuh-stuh-stuh-stuttered. That’s what they called it back then. Nowadays he’d get called a rapper.” This got a laugh. A woman sitting nearby said, “Teach the Torah, rabbi.”

Funnye went on: “Moses stuttered so bad until he had to bring in his brother Aaron, who was a Cohen, a priest, to talk for him. And you know no priest is going to stutter, right?”

This got another laugh, and Funnye closed in on his moral — the importance of people from different backgrounds sharing the benefits of their respective upbringings. “I mean, hey, you grew up in the suburbs, maybe you can help me with something,” he said. “Or if you came up on 59th Street — some of y’all know what I’m talking about — so I know some things that you just don’t know. We can help each other.”

The congregation applauded and called out in agreement. This wasn’t the button-down Funnye who spoke at Stephen Wise in New York; here he was a signifying South Side Chicago rabbi.

A few years ago, before Beth Shalom bought its new synagogue, its members would meet in a small building on a blighted street in Chicago. A Latino gang worked one corner of the block, and a black gang worked the other. “Soon as we got there, somebody marked up the building with graffiti,” Funnye told me. “I went to both gangs and told them: ‘This is a synagogue, with elders and children. I don’t care what business you do during the week, but from Friday sundown until Saturday sundown you need to be respectful.’ I let them know that I am a man of peace but I’m not a pacifist and I had men in the congregation, so if we had a problem we’d deal with it ourselves, not call in the police until later.”

I was surprised to hear that the speech worked. “And the gangs fell into line, just like that?”

Funnye chuckled. “Well, I also had a word with some brothers I met doing prison counseling, and they may have intervened. I put out word when we moved here too. I don’t get in people’s business, but I won’t allow anyone to disrespect our synagogue.”

Because of Funnye’s connection to the Obamas, his community work has occasionally been a source of political interest. Between 1997 and 2002, Funnye served as the executive director of Blue Gargoyle, a nonprofit social-services agency that offers, among other things, adult-literacy and alternative-education programs. Blue Gargoyle was in Barack Obama’s district when he was an Illinois state senator, and during Funnye’s tenure, Obama earmarked a total of $75,000 for the organization. The issue of the earmarks and the family connection was raised by some of Obama’s opponents during the 2008 presidential campaign, but it didn’t gain traction; evidently the disbursements were aboveboard.

Funnye also worked with Michelle Obama in her capacity as executive director for community affairs for the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she focused on health issues affecting young people. Funnye told me that the only money Blue Gargoyle received from the university was a $5,000 grant for a tutoring program, and that the money did not come through Michelle Obama’s office at the hospital.

At the start of the 2008 presidential primary season, Funnye contributed a few hundred dollars to the Obama campaign but didn’t publicly endorse Obama, and he avoided mentioning the family connection. “I was afraid it might do him harm in the Orthodox community,” he told me. “I believe they were the ones putting out stories about Barack being a secret Muslim and so on. They could have made me out to be a friend of Farrakhan’s or a cult leader or who knows what.”

Obama apparently wasn’t worried by the association. During the Democratic primaries, as he came under repeated attack for being insufficiently pro-Israel, Obama reached out to Funnye, by way of Mary’s brother Frank White, the Obama fund-raiser. White told me that Obama encouraged him to “tell Capers to get the word out that I’ve got a rabbi in my family.” Funnye acknowledges getting the message. Before long, The Forward, the Jewish weekly, ran an article on Obama’s rabbi, and the news spread like low-fat cream cheese from Boca Raton to Brooklyn.

Funnye’s association with Obama probably didn’t reassure fervent Zionists — the rabbi is considerably to the left of Obama on Middle East policy — but it didn’t seem to hurt either. The connection to Obama certainly didn’t hurt Funnye. “I got no blowback from the Orthodox at all,” he said. “In fact, I started getting phone calls from a couple Hasidic rabbis in Israel who want to get together.”

There is no black Jewish neighborhood in Chicago. When they congregate on the Sabbath, the Hebrew Israelites come from all areas of the city, and they tend to spend the entire day in shul. The lyrics to the songs they sing are the same as the ones heard in any traditional synagogue, but the music is different. Hebrew prayers are sung in unison in something resembling call and response. A gospel-like band accompanies the choir’s weekly performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” During the Torah procession the congregation sings, “We’re marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion.”

On one of the days I was there, in early February, I was the only white Jew in the shul, and an old guy in front of me kept turning around and showing me the right page. There’s a nudnik like him in every shul I’ve ever been to.

I forgave him, though, during the Torah service, when a young man faltered over the blessings and looked mortified. “Not your fault, young man,” the nudnik said. “The fire of the Torah burns so hot to where sometimes it just confuses your mind.”

At the end of services, I met a young woman named Tamar, who said her children are the only black Jews enrolled at the Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School. “Things have been a little tricky for them at school since Obama won,” she told me.

“Why?” I asked. “Aren’t most of the parents at the Day School Democrats?”

“Yes. They voted for Obama, and their kids are glad he won. But they don’t love Obama the way my children do. They aren’t thrilled in the same way.”

“So?”

“My kids are wondering, If their classmates and teachers figure out how personal this is for them, will they be considered more black and less Jewish?”

When I told Funnye the story he chuckled but said he wasn’t surprised. Being a black Jew in America can be a trying experience, even when white Jews are well intentioned. One morning I went with Funnye to a suburban Conservative congregation, where he was to deliver another Martin Luther King speech. We sat at the head table. I ate bagels and lox while Funnye chatted with a convert to Judaism. At the end of the meal the host rabbi stood and began chanting the blessing after food.

When he saw that Funnye wasn’t singing along, the rabbi pointed to the appropriate words. He didn’t realize that Funnye wasn’t praying because he was still eating. Another nudnik.

On Inauguration Day, Capers and Mary Funnye drove down from New York and made it to Washington in time for a quick shower. Then they boarded a bus for Obama-family relatives that drove them from venue to venue throughout the day. Over lunch at the Old Executive Office building, Funnye recounted, he bonded with Obama’s Kenyan grandmother and aunt and exchanged business cards with the president’s Kenyan half-brother. “I get to Africa from time to time,” Funnye said.

That was an understatement. Funnye heads the Pan-African Jewish Alliance, a group established to help Africans join and feel more included in the mainstream Jewish community. For its founders — Gary Tobin, the head of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research in San Francisco, and his wife, Diane — the motivation is in part demographic. Discovering or creating millions of Jewish Africans (as well as opening the community in the United States to African converts and to African-Americans with Jewish roots) would, the Tobins say, greatly strengthen what they see as a stagnant population.

Funnye’s motive is more spiritual. As a Hebrew Israelite rabbi he maintains that many Africans were originally Jewish. Some, like the Lemba of South Africa, claim direct descent from the Jews of the Bible. There is considerable resistance to this notion, but many leading scholars take it seriously. “I have no problem believing that the Lemba of South Africa are descended from Jews,” says Jonathan Schorsch, an assistant professor of Jewish studies at Columbia University. “Jews are ethnically and biologically mixed. It just makes sense that this mixing took place in Africa as well as other places.”

Funnye’s closest connection is to the Ibos, a tribe in Nigeria, some of whose members describe themselves as Jews. Beth Shalom has a sister synagogue there, and Funnye travels back and forth. For all practical purposes, he is the chief rabbi of Nigeria, and he has plans to reunite the Ibos eventually with the worldwide Jewish people through formal conversion.

Before he gets to Africa, though, Funnye has other commitments. A French organization recently flew him to Paris for a Martin Luther King event. He now finds himself flooded with invitations to speak at big Jewish congregations in California, Florida and Long Island. Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, the executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, is planning a meeting for Funnye with his colleagues. I asked Potasnik if the organization would be willing to reconsider membership for the Hebrew Israelite rabbis. “We’d entertain an application,” he said. “I’d love to see the test case.”

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the head of the Reform Movement, is, like Potasnik, ready to consider new possibilities. “The fact that men and women sit separately in the Israelite congregations might be a problem for us on gender-equality grounds,” he told me. “But race would certainly be no problem for us.”

A few years ago, Funnye considered applying for membership to the Union for Reform Judaism. He shelved the idea when his congregants objected on the grounds that the white congregation was not observant enough. “Some of their rabbis perform intermarriages,” Funnye explains, “so some of our people were uncomfortable. But sometimes I think it would be good to be part of a larger movement. Maybe we’ll revisit the subject.”

Funnye hasn’t built all his bridges yet, let alone crossed them, but the progress he has seen — both as a black Jew and as a black American — has mellowed him. “You know, as a young man I was angry about the way we were laughed at and ignored,” he said. “I sometimes went down to the kosher meat market here in Chicago, put my face right up in the face of one of the Orthodox rabbis and yelled, ‘I ain’t never seen no white Jews before!’ I was so hurt I became obtuse and bitter. But I don’t feel that way anymore.” He paused. “There’s no need to shout. People are ready for a dialogue, to talk and to listen.”

Zev Chafets is a frequent contributor to the magazine. His most recent article was about Rush Limbaugh.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: April 26, 2009
An article on April 5 about Capers Funnye, a rabbi who is a cousin of Michelle Obama’s, misstated the name of an organization to which he considered applying for membership. It was the Union for Reform Judaism, not the Union of Reform Jews.

WANT TO SET UP AN INDEPENDENT BLACK SCHOOL WHERE EVER YOU ARE IN WHITELAND? CHECK OUR THE COUNCIL OF INDEPENDENT BLACK INSTITUTIONS(CIBI.COM)-THEY WILL SHOW YOU HOW!

April 9, 2009

from cibi.com

BLACK CHILDREN EVERYWHERE NEED BLACK SCHOOLS TO TEACH THEM THE TRUE BLACK HISTORY AND TEACH THEM THAT THEY ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN IN THE WORLD!

BLACK CHILDREN EVERYWHERE NEED BLACK SCHOOLS TO TEACH THEM THE TRUE BLACK HISTORY AND TEACH THEM THAT THEY ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN IN THE WORLD!


About the Council of Independent Black Institutions (CIBI)
Founded in 1972, the Council of Independent Black Institutions (CIBI) is an umbrella organization for independent Afrikan-centered schools and individuals who are advocates for Afrikan-centered education. CIBI members are found primarily throughout the United States. Most of our institutional members are full-time Afrikan-centered independent schools. Our institutional membership also includes a number of part-time and supplementary schools. These schools enroll students at all levels from pre-kindergarten through secondary. The heaviest concentration, however, is at the elementary level.

CIBI activities include:

• Bi-annual conferences (in odd numbered years) designed to educate members of the Afrikan community about issues and prospects in Afrikan-centered education in general and specifically in CIBI. Unlike the convention, the conference is open to the public;

• Bi-annual conventions (in even numbered years) provide educators from CIBI schools and elsewhere opportunities to share information on curricula and other Afrikan centered education related matters. CIBI also installs its incoming Ndundu (leadership council) members during its convention;

• The Walimu Development Institute (WDI) attracts teachers in CIBI schools as well as CIBI home schools. CIBI also organizes intensive, on-site workshops for African-centered educators;

• Semi-annual publication of a newsletter, FUNDISHA! TEACH!, provides a forum for curriculum innovations, book reviews, news about member schools and other features pertaining to people of Afrikan ancestry.

• Annual Science Expositions held each year in April. During each Science Expo, children from the various member schools have an opportunity to display their science projects in a uniquely non-competitive environment in which they are evaluated according to criteria based upon the Nguzo Saba.

• A speakers’ bureau;

• An alumni association for graduates of CIBI institutions;

• Consultation and technical assistance to those operating or wishing to open independent Afrikan-centered schools. Services are also available to public and private schools or to any institution or group that serves children of Afrikan descent.

CIBI member contributions help make it possible to publish some of the outstanding Afrikan-centered curriculum materials that have been developed and used effectively over the years by teachers in institutions affiliated with CIBI as well as in other schools. CIBI’s social studies curriculum guide, Positive Afrikan Images for Children, published in 1990, is an example.

CIBI Mission Statement (Approved January 14, 1995)
Definition, Standards and Interpretations

• To define Afrikan-Centered Education
• To establish appropriate terminology, conditions, interpretations and standards consistent with the definition

Advocacy

• To vigorously promote the philosophy of Afrikan-centered education as defined by the organization
• To serve as the primary regional, national, and international spokesperson for the Afrikan- centered education movement and the institutions associated with that movement

Certification

• To establish Afrikan-centered standards and procedures for the certification of educational institutions, program, initiatives, organizations, etc.
• To establish Afrikan-centered standards and procedures for the certification of instructional and administrative personnel associated with educational institutions or programs

Curriculum Development and Standardization

• To develop and promote an Afrikan-centered curriculum philosophy
• To establish appropriate definitions and terminology associated with that philosophy
• To establish an Afrikan-centered curriculum design and methods for its implementation and evaluation
• To establish Afrikan-centered curricula for all ages (infancy through post-graduate levels) and in all subject areas
• To sponsor and/or facilitate the development of curriculum materials consistent with the design and content of Afrikan-centered curricula

Academic Performance Standards and Evaluation

• To establish academic performance standards consistent with the philosophy and design of the Afrikan-centered Curriculum
• To sponsor and/or facilitate the design of appropriate performance and diagnostic instruments, and procedures for the measurement of academic performance
• To establish standards and appropriate instruments for the evaluation of curriculum design and operations, instruction, and administration within Afrikan-centered educational institutions

National and International System Development and Coordination

• To facilitate the development and linkage of Afrikan-centered institutions world-wide through staff and student development programs, exchange programs, expositions, conventions, computer networking, bulk purchasing, joint investments and fundraising, etc.
• To establish designs, criteria, procedures, models, and necessary training\orientation programs that facilitate the development of viable institutions of Afrikan-centered education and culture.
• To serve as that administrative vehicle that coordinates the affairs of a national and international system of Afrikan-centered education.

CIBI’s Definition of Afrikan Centered Education: A Position Statement (Adopted November 11, 1994)
CIBI defines Afrikan-centered education as the means by which Afrikan culture — including the knowledge, attitudes, values and skills needed to maintain and perpetuate it throughout the nation building process — is developed and advanced through practice. Its aim, therefore, is to build commitment and competency within present and future generations to support the struggle for liberation and nationhood. We define nation building as the conscious and focused application of our people’s collective resources, energies, and knowledge to the task of liberating and developing the psychic and physical space that we identify as ours. Nation building encompasses both the reconstruction of Afrikan culture and the development of a progressive and sovereign state structure consistent with that culture.

We, in CIBI, further believe, that in practice, Afrikan-centered education:
1) acknowledges Afrikan spirituality as an essential aspect of our uniqueness as a people and makes it an instrument of our liberation (Richards, 1989; Clarke, 1991; Anwisye, 1993; Ani, 1994);
2) facilitates participation in the affairs of nations and defining (or redefining) reality on our own terms, in our own time and in our own interests (Karenga, 1980);
3) prepares Afrikans “for self-reliance, nation maintenance, and nation management in every regard” (Clarke, 1991, p. 62);
4) emphasizes the fundamental relationship between the strength of our families and the strength of our nation;
5) ensures that the historic role and function of the customs, traditions, rituals and ceremonies — that have protected and preserved our culture; facilitated our spiritual expression; ensured harmony in our social relations; prepared our people to meet their responsibilities as adult members of our culture; and sustained the continuity of Afrikan life over successive generations — are understood and made relevant to the challenges that confront us in our time;
6) emphasizes that Afrikan identity is embedded in the continuity of Afrikan cultural history and that Afrikan cultural history represents a distinct reality continually evolving from the experiences of all Afrikan people wherever they are and have been on the planet across time and generations;
7) focuses on the “knowledge and discovery of historical truths; through comparison; hypothesizing and testing through debate, trial, and application; through analysis and synthesis; through creative and critical thinking; through problem resolution processes; and through final evaluation and decision making”
(Akoto, 1992, p. 116);
8) can only be systematically facilitated by people who themselves are consciously engaged in the process of Afrikan-centered personal transformation;
9) is a process dependent upon human perception and interpretation [Thus, it follows that a curriculum can not be Afrikan-centered independent of our capacity to perceive and interpret it in an Afrikan-centered manner (Shujaa, 1992)];
10) embraces the traditional wisdom that “children are the reward of life” and it is, therefore, an expression of our unconditional love for them. In order to best serve Afrikan children our methods must reflect the best understandings that we have of how they develop and learn biologically, spiritually and culturally.

References

Akoto, K. A. (1992) Nation building: Theory and practice in Afrikan-centered education. Washington, DC: Pan- Afrikan World Institute.

Ani, M. (1994). Yurugu: An African-centered critique of European cultural thought and behavior. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.

Anwisye, S. (1993). Education is more than the three “R”s. Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, 2, 97-101.

Clarke, J. H. (1991). African world revolution: Africans at the crossroads. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.

Karenga, M. (1980). Kawaida theory: An introductory outline. Inglewood, CA: Kawaida Publications.

Richards, D. M. (1989). Let the circle be unbroken: African spirituality in the diaspora. Trenton, NJ: The Red Sea Press. (originally published in 1980)

Shujaa, M. J. (1992). Afrocentric transformation and parental choice in African American independent schools. The Journal of Negro Education, (61)2, 148-159.

How CIBI Defines “Independent” As it Relates to the Fiscal Affairs of Independent Afrikan Centered Educational Institutions
An Afrikan-Centered educational institution is considered by CIBI to be “independent” in the context of its fiscal affairs, if:

a. The programmatic emphasis of the institution is directed toward nation building and the security of liberated space.

b. Pan-Afrikan nationalist interests determine institutional decisions about soliciting, accepting and investing funds.
c. The operational budget (i.e., that which includes the rent/lease/mortgage, payroll, utilities, kwk (etc.)) is funded primarily from sources within and controlled by the Pan-Afrikan community in order to ensure that the ability of the institution to maintain itself is contingent upon Afrikan people.

AT LAST!-THE PHOTO I HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR-MICHELLE OBAMA WITH AN AFRO-SHE IS INDEED A BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY!-FROM THEPOLITICALCARNIVAL.BLOGSPOT.COM

March 7, 2009

FINALLY THE PICTURE I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR -MICHELLE WITH AN AFRO!WHAT NATURAL BLACK BEAUTY! MICHELLE IS A BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY!

FINALLY THE PICTURE I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR -MICHELLE WITH AN AFRO!WHAT NATURAL BLACK BEAUTY! MICHELLE IS A BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY!

FROM thepoliticalcarnival.blogspot.com

Friday, March 6, 2009
PhotObama: Michelle Obama’s high school prom date was no Barack

By GottaLaff

Prom Night! 18-year-old beauty named Michelle Robinson: Check. Flirty low-cut dress slashed to the thigh: Check. Handsome prom date: Check. David Upchurch instead of Barack Obama: Ruh-roh!

Back then, [Upchurch] recalls Michelle exhibited the drive that would take her from a rough Chicago neighbourhood to Harvard University and on to a law career where she would later meet her husband, Barack Obama.

David said: ‘I grew up with Michelle and her brother Craig. We were neighbours, and our families were close.

‘When Michelle was in the middle of her junior year, we began dating and continued to date for a year-and-a-half.

‘Michelle knew what she wanted and after graduation she was off to Princeton University. I couldn’t stand in her way.’

Perhaps mindful that her husband is the President, David refuses to ‘kiss and tell’ about their time together.

He says he can’t even remember if he received a goodnight kiss after the prom.
The romance ended when Michelle went off to Princeton to study sociology. […]

‘I wished the best for Michelle because she has always been a wonderful person,’ he said.

‘I always knew Michelle was special and would make a difference in the world.’ […]

David, a divorced father-of-three from Colorado Springs, Colorado, says he finds it hard to believe his prom date ended up in the White House.

‘I cannot tell you how proud I am of her and her husband. I have never met Barack, but I have to say, he is a very lucky man,’ he said.

David Upchurch: The Pete Best of dating.

Posted by GottaLaff at 12:31 PM
Labels: david upchurch, first lady michelle obama, high school, prom
7 comments:
GottaLaff said…
He came THIS close… ; )

He sounds like a sweet man.

March 6, 2009 12:45 PM
Anonymous said…
LOL! I didn’t look close enough at first and just saw the mustache and thought, God Barack looks like crap with a mustache!

March 6, 2009 1:09 PM
Clancy said…
Oh, that dress! Let me tell you, prom pictures should be destroyed within five years of their taking. Every once in a while, mom likes to pull out my junior prom pics, in which I’m dressed in a 18th century period clothes (because I really loved my girlfriend).

March 6, 2009 1:15 PM
Dr. President said…
look at those long ass legs, go girl!

March 6, 2009 2:20 PM
Dr. President said…
look at those long ass legs, go girl!

March 6, 2009 2:20 PM
Anonymous said…
She looks as though she did not age a day. What is ya secret GF?

March 6, 2009 5:34 PM
Belinda said…
I wonder if President Obama is the jealous type. I bet he would pimp slap someone over his woman. I Already know Michelle would snatch a woman bald.

March 6, 2009 9:35 PM


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