Connecting African Culture
Can Blacks in America Work With Blacks in Africa?
Posted by hudsonliberty on September 19, 2008 at 7:47pm in Friends
The answer is Yes. The Black Business Builders Club is demonstrating the cooperation is not only possible but necessary. For many years, there has been an artificial rift between Blacks in the Homeland and those in the Diaspora.
As Dr. John Henrick Clarke would say, “It didn’t matter where the slave ship stopped to drop you off, we all came from Africa.” The Black Business Builders Club is making a concerted effort to build the economic bridge between Blacks Globally.
The fee structure for membership made it affordable to people even in some of the most economic stressed areas. It is another wonderful step in building bridges between the East Side of the Ocean and the West Side of the Ocean.
For more information on the club the resource site for the club. To join one goes to the club entrance
Tags: africa, at, based, blacks, business, cooperation, home, job, joint, training
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Permalink Reply by yaw on September 23, 2008 at 1:42am
I am glad the “answer in yes.” Having visited the continent on several times, and i’ve been captured, immershed and captivated with the people, their culure and their humanity; from the way that i see it, with the meetings of the minds of the far streched distance among the people of the diaspora and those on the continent, would be a Godly chosen circumstance. I think with the mindset of both coming togather for a common goal is achievable.
But, let me back up. even though all things are possible, it sometimes seems that what is destined to be, seem’s a bit far fectched, “like getting it together.” we often talk about ethic and tribal turmoil, etc. Well, perhaps to some degree, it does exist. I feel that anything i hear concerning this matter was intentionally conceived and planned for much of such causes. Even so, i’ve visited 13 or14
“countries”, (only because some of the countries are so small, it would seem if we could form and have a feradated union among various states) and classed as a visitor, i’ve enjoyed my connections, and indeed, feel that i have established some good links with many people every place i’ve gone. no, not every encounter is your ideal friendship. you’ll have to weed those not so hospitable out, just as anyother place, but the culture and the people seem to me, so full of humanity you can easily let your guard. It occurs to me that many of us here in the diaspora and on the continent desire to make these links, but lack the formality to do so, that is, the united front or effort to do; to pool our resources, both human and with monetary resources. The problem seem’s to stem from the word good GOVERNANCE by the leadership in too many of the Afrikan countries. Corruption. Why not we do nor pool these resources and work for the common good of bringing ourselves in unity for the betterment of our political and enconomic situation? to achieve meaniful economic and unity for this goal will require what many of us are not ready to do; give the necessary sacrfice to achieve what we say we want. And within the diaspora, are groups not pooling themselves for the interest of the cause. I see a lack of organization.
I conclude, that what is going on is the results of colonialism and slavery, of which has been vested into the hearts and minds of Afrikan people. Even so, it would appear that we would have learned to overcome such obstacles.
i feel there is much life left, i think, that is if global warming won’t extinguish us before someone get sense and stop the human madness, which i feel we all must partake in. I imagine we will have to take the lead roll in that as well.
I hope i have not gone to far from the point of issue, but i think it is all relevant. I just hope the continent of Afrika will still have enough of its resources left to sustain the future children to come. You know like the minerals and other natural resources: the cobalt, uraniaum, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, etc. hopefully the rich soil will be left to sustain us. So please!!! someone halt self extinction of selling all the minerals and keep hope alive.
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Permalink Reply by tekono on September 24, 2008 at 3:32am
Here is an example of a successful African American Businessman in Nigeria. He arrived with no capital in NIgeria in 1988 at the invitation of his University friends and he has been representing Apple Computers in Nigeria since 15 years now.You can read more on John Cashin;s journey on one of my blog posts:
More info about Cashin’s business in Nigeria:
MetroLAN Plans State-of-the-Art Apple Systems
By Okechukwu Kanu
MetroLAN Ventures, a company which believes strongly in the radical revolutionary research & development programme of Apple Computers has set itself the target of using Apple products to provide the right basic tools to change lives. John Cashin, CEO MetroLAN Ventures made this known recently in a statement to THISDAY on the trends within MetroLAN and the computer industry.
He said MetroLAN could deliver the latest up-to-date range of Apple technology at short notice anywhere in the country. According to Cashin, “At any given time MetroLAN has several equipment in stock that are usually on the way out for delivery. The demand is such that many systems go straight from clearing to delivery. MetroLAN also offers a demonstration on its system for interested customers, on notification of their wish for this.
Cashin had more to say on the Apple range of products: “Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.”
MetroLAN also offers a complete line of high quality, high performance Internet, Intranet and Extranet solutions enabling customers to increase productivity and profitability through Internet technology. Through its comprehensive service offerings, MetroLAN meets the requirements of businesses, governments & parastatals, online service providers and telecommunications firms. Customers can choose from in-house deployment to end-to-end, fully managed Internet services, all backed by technical support. MetroLAN’s Systems & Hardware Services Group provides Information Technology services, such as systems integration and networking that allow organizations to match their IT strategy with their business objectives.
MetroLAN offers remote access options such as, ISDN and VPN, Wireless Technology. With MetroLAN Wireless Internet, customers will have access to a complete spectrum of remote connectivity options to satisfy their telecommuters, traveling road warriors and other e-workforce needs. MetroLAN is working to further enhance and extend its IP networking offerings beyond Nigeria and into the West African Regions. This will improve availability of expanded bandwidth and redundancy options and inter-operability between legacy data connections and IP VPN solutions.
MetroLan Ventures is an Apple Authorized Dealer for Nigeria which and advises, sells, supports and provides warranty for the Apple range of products.
The company has a daring list of companies for which it has done all sorts of jobs. They include: THISDAY Newspaper, National Maritime Authority HQ; Christ Embassy Ikeja, Lagos and ABG Communications, Kaduna. Others are Nigeria Minting Security & Printing Company, Victoria Island, Lagos; Continental Transfer Technique Limited, Victoria Island, Lagos; Daily Times Of Nigeria Ikeja, Lagos; Equity & Research Associates (Banking & Financial Consultants) Ikoyi, Lagos and several others.
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Permalink Reply by tekono on September 24, 2008 at 3:57am
I am just using few examples of successful African American businessmen currently operating in Africa to show that yes, Blacks in America and Blacks in Africa can work together:
Sweet success in South Africa: a wine merchant finds opportunity in Johannesburg
Black Enterprise, June, 2008 by Kelly E. Carter
E-mail Print Link [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
ALL EYES WILL BE ON SOUTH AFRICA WHEN THE COUNTRY hosts soccer’s World Cup in 2010. But aside from the sports fanfare, fare, the capital city, Johannesburg, which will host the opening ceremony and final match, is getting significant attention because of its growth in the business sector.
Mining no longer drives the economic growth in this city of 3.9 million. Today, finance and manufacturing, which contribute 34% to the national economy and approximately 9% to the gross domestic product fuel the province of Gauteng (which includes Johansesburg) more than any other district. Information and communications technology and construction also represent growth sectors.
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Son Gault, 67, has witnessed this dramatic change. The Chicago native moved to Johannesburg in December 1996 from New York where he served as a managing director of JPMorgan, heading an infrastructure group in the public finance department. After anti-apartheid sanctions were lifted, the firm opened a South Africa office and installed Gault as managing director. The four-employee office grew to 70 before the 2000 merger with Chase Manhattan Corp. “It was a wonderful opportunity,” says Gault, who appeared on BLACK ENTERPRISE’S 2002 list of Top 50 African Americans ON Wall Street. “Several of the global banking institutions have opened offices here.” He cites Citibank, HSBC, and Merril Lynch South African. Bank of China, Barcklays, Deutsche, and State Bank of India have also set up shop there.
Moreover, 80% of approximately 600 American companies have a presence in South Africa. A little more than half of those, including Microsoft, Coca-Cola Co., Ford, DuPont, UPS, Intel, and Colgate-Palmolive, are among America’s largest companies.
Gault transitioned–a word he prefers to retired–from JPMorgan Chase in early 2006. but he and his wife, noted journalist and author Charlayne Hunter-Gault, remain permanent residents of South Africa. (They own a place in New York City and spend summers at their Martha’s Vineyard home.) Gault is now a chairman of a private investment company, an adviser for an international management consulting firm, and a producer-exporter of South African wine. His RTG Trading Co. portfolio consisted of Passages, a wine venture he started with his wife; Epicurean, which Gault launched with three South African business partners; and wines from the othe vineyards. “The thing about South Africa that is so attractive is that the vista is full of opportunities,” Gault says. “If you have an idea, pick one. If you have enough energy, enthusiasm, and financial wherewithal, pursue it.”
He points out that Johannesburg, like many large cities, has social and economic problems. “Power outages, inadequate public education facilities, a need to curb crime, unemployment, inadequate public health facilities, the full menu of problems that cities have, you’ll find them here.” Gault says. Despite those difficulties, he manages to enjoy long, leisurely lunches with friends on weekends and plays golf and tennis in his spare time.
If you’ve got a few nickels to spend, Gault recommends the Saxon Boutique Hotel and Spa (36 Saxon Road, +27-11-292-6000, http://www.saxon.co.za). He appreciates the ambience and spaciousness at this serene, 24-suite sanctuary. “It’s not a well-traveled venue, so you can go there and do pretty much what you like without a lot of interruptions.” A suite is named in honor of the nation’s favorite son, Nelson Mandela, who stayed at the hotel when he edited his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (Back Bay Books; $17.99).
For convenience, Gault recommends that business travelers stay at the Hyatt Regency (191 Oxford Road, Rosebank, +27-11-280-1234, http://www.johannesburg.regency.hyatt.com), in the cosmopolitan suburb of Rosebank. The 259-room hotel, centrally located in the business and social district, features the Phumula Spa and Peak Health Club.
French-born chef Frederic Leloup dazzles diners with his native country’s cuisine at the chic Auberge Michel (122 Pretoria Ave. Sandown, +27-11-885-7013, http://www.aubergemichel.co.za), which boasts an extensive wine cellar. Gault suggests the escargot as a starter and duck for the main course, noting that the fish dishes are particularly tasty as well.
Another one of Gault’s favorites is The Orient (4 The High St. Melrose Arch, +27-11-684-1616), which serves contemporary Asian cuisine in a sexy, indoor setting and alfresco. Feast on Japanese sushi Vietnamese steamed fish, and Chinese dim sum
Find it all at Sandton City Shopping Centre (+27-11-217 6000. http://www.sandtoncity.com), where 300 stores are spread over three levels and offer international brands such as Hugo Boss, Diesel, Lacoste, Hiss Sixty, Dunhill, Versace Collection, and Guess. South African designers Jenni Button and Hilton Weiner can also be found there.
Gault’s must-do list includes a visit to the Apartheid Museum (Northern Parkway and Gold Reef Road, +27-11-309-4700, http://www.apartheidmuseum.org), a guided tour of Soweto, and outings to art galleries. He particularly suggests the Everard Read Gallery (6 Jellicoe Ave., Rosebank. +27-11-788-4805, http://www.everardread.co.za), South Africa’s largest and most well-known commercial gallery, which exhibits a range of national and international artists. Newtown Music Centre, +27-11-838-9145, http://www.bassline.co.za) features live South African jazz, kwaito, and hip-hop artists.
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Permalink Reply by tekono on September 24, 2008 at 4:12am
The Historical Relationship Between African Americans and South Africa
The relationships between African Americans and Africans in South Africa are especially intriguing because most African Americans trace their ancestry to societies in West and Central Africa, not southern Africa, and because there has not been a large migration of blacks from South Africa to the United States. From the late eighteenth century, the exchanges began to flower as African Americans made their way to South Africa under different guises. The earliest visitors were sailors who crewed American whalers that docked in ports such as Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban. Some of these sailors, along with West Indians, settled permanently or for extended periods. They became key intermediaries for spreading ideas from the black diaspora back to Africa.
Other African Americans moved into the South African interior, setting up small businesses or seeking work and adventure as the diamond and gold fields opened up in the late nineteenth century. A notable case was Yankee Wood, a ship steward who turned up in Port Elizabeth during the American Civil War. After building up a nest egg on the diamond fields, he opened up hotels in Kokstad and Johannesburg, and he staked out gold claims.
Yankee Wood, a former ship steward, settled in South Africa after the American Civil War. He participated in the gold rush on the Witwatersrand in the 1880s and owned hotels in Johannesburg and Kokstad.
In the arts African Americans made notable contributions to South African African music. Between 1890 and 1898, Orpheus McAdoo’s Jubilee Singers spent five years on three separate trips touring South Africa. These troupe’s performances of spirituals, folk songs, minstrel shows and dances left an indelible impression on African choirs, social clubs, and music styles as well as independent church leaders. The absorption of American jazz and ragtime, dance and recording styles in South Africa in this century has resulted in distinctive urban African music styles such as marabi, a mix of traditional and borrowed forms. In the last decade, marabi and its variants have made their way to the United States and influenced popular music.
Herbert Payne, a Baptist missionary, was stationed at Middledrift in the eastern Cape from 1917 to 1922.
The Jubilee Singers were circulating through South Africa at about the same time as African American missionaries began to arrive. The National Baptist Convention founded a mission station in 1894 in Cape Town and the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and a lesser known body, the Church of God and Saints of Christ, followed. Motivated by a desire to redeem and uplift Africa, they attracted many African Christians into their folds who were disenchanted with European mission Christianity. They influenced black education thought through their schools and religious philanthropies. As a result of these ties, possibly as many as several hundred Africans from South Africa journeyed to the United States for higher education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and forged close ties with African Americans. Many were sponsored by the AME, and most found places at black colleges such as Wilberforce, Tuskegee, Fisk, Hampton, and Lincoln. Alarmed at the prospect of African students being influenced by radical political ideas at black colleges in the United States, in 1916, the South African government founded Fort Hare College exclusively for black students.
Livingstone Mzimba (left) and Harry Mantenga (right), students from the eastern Cape, were ends on the Lincoln College football team in 1907 when this photograph was taken. After graduating, both returned to South Africa and became Presbyterian ministers. (Lincoln University Archive)
Booker T. Washington’s self-help and industrial education ideas also had a major impact on black (and white) educational circles in South Africa. His ideas were copied in schools such as John Dube’s Ohlange Institute at Inanda and the AME Wilberforce Institute in Evaton. Washington’s Tuskegee model of self-reliance in agriculture had special significance for African farmers who were attempting to survive on the bits of land left after European conquest in the nineteenth century.
For most of this century, the South African government tightly controlled the number of African Americans allowed into South Africa. Most were either teachers, such as Janet Jackson in Cape Town, or missionaries. On rare occasions African-American scholars secured visas and traveled around South Africa for short periods. The most notable were Eslanda Robeson, who stopped over in South Africa for three weeks in mid-1936, and Ralph Bunche, who journeyed around South Africa for three months in late 1937. In addition, black sailors in the U.S. Navy stopped off for shore leaves in port cities like Cape Town and Durban.
The journeys of Bunche and Robeson were mirrored by the ventures of Africans who traveled around the United States. Most of these travelers came to study American education, but some, such as Solomon Plaatje, had explicit political agendas. All of them sent back letters or wrote essays about the differences and similarities they observed between race relations and segregation in South Africa and the United States.
Although person-to-person ties were important, it was in the realm of ideas and images that African Americans had an effect on Africans in South Africa that far outweighed their numbers. African Americans became a potent political symbol for Africans. For instance, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois had their own circles of educated followers in South Africa who applied the African-American experience of struggle to their own predicament.
The figure who most captured the imagination of a mass audience in South Africa was Marcus Garvey with his message of race pride, unity, and self-determination for Africa. After the First World War Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association set up branches around South Africa and the Garvey message took on a life of its own as African politicians shaped it to serve their parochial needs. For example, in the 1920s, Wellington Buthelezi, leader of a Garvey offshoot in the Transkei and a Zulu who claimed to be an African American, tapped into a wellspring of millennial fervor and recast African Americans as liberators who were coming to free South Africa from white oppression. This image of an African-American savior lingered on long after Buthelezi’s eclipse.
African Americans became a metaphor for progress and success. Africans saw them as survivors of slavery who were now advancing themselves in an industrialized and westernized society similar to their own. Though the achievements of African American professionals, politicians, and businessmen were sometimes exaggerated, Africans closely followed African American male musicians such as Paul Robeson, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington and sports figures such as Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, and Henry Armstrong. On the other hand, male Africans regarded professional African-American women who engaged themselves in public activities with suspicion because they symbolized female autonomy and challenged male control of the household.
Finally African Americans were involved as advocates of political change in South Africa. The Council on African Affairs was founded in New York in the late 1930s to educate the American public about first segregation and then apartheid in South Africa and to influence American foreign policy. Its most prominent spokesman was Paul Robeson, who was already well known in South Africa. Max Yergan was another key figure. In 1921 the YMCA had dispatched him to Alice, the home of Fort Hare College in the Eastern Cape. During his 14-year sojourn as a missionary, Yergan became increasingly radicalized by his experiences with conditions in South Africa and he influenced Fort Hare students such as Govan Mbeki to move to the left politically. When he returned to the United States, he helped establish the Council. But his later shift to the right provoked a dramatic break and he ended up as an apologist for the South African regime.
The Council was the forerunner of the American anti-apartheid movement. As the Council on African Affairs was declining and under attack from the US government, the American Committee on Africa was founded to support the ANC’s Defiance Campaign in 1952. Other organizations such as the American Negro Leadership Council and the Organization of Afro-American Unity were also established in the same period and maintained communications with South Africa.
In the 1940s, South African political groups such as the ANC and the South African Indian Congress sent delegations to lobby at the United Nations. During the 1950s ANC leaders corresponded with African-American civil rights leaders about their respective struggles. Through the exchanges a friendship was forged between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Albert Lutuli. These two prominent advocates of non-violent tactics were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
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Permalink Reply by tekono on September 24, 2008 at 4:14am
After 27 years in prison, it took Nelson Mandela only four months after his release in February 1990 to pay a visit to the United States, He came to acknowledge those Americans, particularly members of the African American community, who had supported his battle for freedom in South Africa. For decades many tireless and patient North Americans had kept an anti-apartheid movements alive — in the churches, on campuses, in corporate boardrooms and trade union halls. When three African Americans stated a sit-in at the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Thanksgiving eve 1984, their arrest provoked one of the longest-running and most effective political demonstrations in recent U.S. history. Daily marches at the Embassy took place without interruption for several years, drawing national and international attention. Pressure built up to change American foreign policy towards South Africa; and Congress responded by passing the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986. The Act was one reason why South Africa’s main opposition groups were legalized in February 1990 and Mandela released a week later.
In Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom he recounts some of his impressions of African Americans during his first stay in New York City. “I went up to Harlem, an area that had assumed legendary proportions in my mind since the 1950s when I watched young men in Soweto emulate the fashions of Harlem dandies. Harlem, as my wife said, was the Soweto of America. I spoke to a great crowd at Yankee Stadium, telling them that an unbreakable umbilical cord connected black South Africans and black Americans, for we were together children of Africa. There was a kinship between the two, I said, that had been inspired by such great Americans as W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and Martin Luther King, Jr….In prison, I followed the struggle of black Americans against racism, discrimination, and economic inequality.”
Emotional as it was, Mandela’s trip was by no means the first exchange between blacks of these two large, urbanized, industrialized, multiracial nations. As we enter the twenty-first century, connections between the two countries are bound to become more dynamic and productive. Therefore now is an appropriate moment to retrieve and evaluate the rich but little known history of African American involvement with South Africa. This relationship stretches back several centuries, and the diverse and surprising linkages that have developed between African Americans and Africans go beyond political and economic matters to include a wide range of social and cultural issues, such as education, religion and ethics, sports, music, literature, theater and art.
The project’s co-directors, Dr. David Anthony, a historian at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Dr. Robert Edgar, a historian at Howard University, propose to chronicle this relationship through an edition of primary documents that illustrates the exchanges that have taken place between African Americans and black South Africans from the late eighteenth century when African American sailors began venturing to South Africa to 1965. We have made 1965 a cut-off date because of shifts in the American civil rights movement and the progression of freedom movements in South Africa from legal, above-ground protest to underground, armed resistance.
The project commenced in September 1999 and will continue for a three-year period. The project is centered on a collection of several thousand documents that the project’s co-directors have collected over the past several decades from a variety of sources — diaries, private papers, travelers’ accounts, autobiographies, speeches, songs and hymns, government documents, missionary journals, magazines, newspapers, books and interviews — in the United States, Europe, and South Africa. When taken as a whole, these documents provide eloquent testimony to a relationship that has largely been relegated to the margins in historical studies.
This project will illuminate questions raised by recent scholarship on the African diaspora and the ties that have existed for many centuries between Africans on the African continent and people of African descent around the globe. African diaspora studies have challenged scholars to move outside traditional disciplinary and geographical boundaries to examine how black communities in different parts of the world engage, interact and influence each other. For instance, Paul Gilroy has coined the term “Black Atlantic” to describe the complex of ideas and culture flowing between blacks in North America and Europe.
We believe that a “Black Atlantic” also developed between black communities in the United States and South Africa because of their shared experiences with white domination and segregation in industrializing societies and their efforts to overcome discrimination and devise strategies of mobilizing and advancing themselves. Despite their common ground, individuals and groups within these communities had different views and perspectives on a range of issues and these made the exchanges all the more fascinating. The collection’s documents include discussions between both communities over appropriate political and economic strategies for responding to and challenging segregation and white domination; their attempts to pressure the American government and the international community to oppose the apartheid system; how they assessed the similarities and differences in racism, race relations and racial identities in each other’s societies; how they created perceptions and images of each other and how these shaped their own identities; and how and for what purposes popular culture and ideas were transmitted from one society to another.
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Permalink Reply by AnNu on January 23, 2009 at 1:19am
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Permalink Reply by Eric Eyutchae on February 17, 2009 at 12:54pm
That will be the best thing the African Americans can do for themselves.Yes they can! and Yes they should! African Americans should be coming to Africa more frequently,that is where the power lies.
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Permalink Reply by Benin Mwangi on February 17, 2009 at 1:27pm
It is one of the best things that one can do in their lifetime, to make a trip to Africa. And if one can find a way to settle their permanently, then all the better.
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Permalink Reply by Eric Eyutchae on February 17, 2009 at 2:53pm
Thank you Benin,I don’t know how to get this message to African Americans,that our best bet is for them to move focus unto Africa,the closer they come to the heart of this world they will definitely see that,the power is in Africa,not in europe,nor America,or Asia.If you remember I mentioned earlier about what moves Economy – THE WILL.Without the will forget about persistence nor all the other virtues.The power is there incubating.African Americans should start waking up,enough of their slumber and whining over trivial issues,where is man without his roots?remember the whites saw this and used the opportunity to rape Africa.Look at picasso,where did all his genius come from? Africa,from the African sculptures and today no picasso painting is less than $2million.That is just one example,not to talk of the physical energy that makes construction possible.
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