Archive for the ‘DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO’ 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
Click thumbnail to view full-size
See all 14 photos

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

SAVE OUR AFRICAN MOTHER TONGUES-“IN ABUJA,NIGERIA CULTURE EXPERTS CANVASS PRESERVATION OF MOTHER TONGUES”-FROM THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER-NIGERIA

May 16, 2009

From ngrguardiannews.com

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In Abuja, culture experts canvass preservation of mother tongues
From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja

THE threat is real. In fact, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) sounded the warning late last year that “more than 50 per cent of the 7,000 languages spoken in the world may disappear.”

The risk is so high that “less than a quarter of those languages are currently used in schools and in cyberspace, and most are used only sporadically.”

The situation is compounded by the fact that “thousands of languages – though mastered by those populations for whom it is the daily means of expression – are absent from education systems, the media, publishing and the public domain in general.”

And with Nigeria having more than 250 indigenous languages, the casualty might be on the high side. But culture agencies across the country, and by extension, in the continent of Africa are not taking the threat lightly.

Last week in Abuja, the preservation and promotion of the indigenous languages was the focus of the one-day yearly public lecture organised by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC).

The event brought together culture icons from across the continent, among them, the Director, Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS), Cape Town, South Africa, Prof. Kwesi Kwaa Prah; the Emir of Gwandu and Chairman, Kebbi State Council of Chiefs, Dr. Muhammadu Iliyasu Bashar, who was represented by the Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja; Prof. Yakub Yusuf and the Executive Secretary National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr. J.B. Yusuf. Others were Director General, National Orientation Agency, Alhaji Idi Farouk, directors of culture under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as well as secondary school students within the Abuja metropolis.

With African Languages, African Development and African Unity as theme, the guest lecturer, Prof. Prah, blamed African woes partly on leaders, who abandoned their cultural heritage for foreign ways of life without realising the impact of their actions on national development and integration.

Deliberating extensively on African development, he noted that such could only be achieved when both material and non-material needs of individuals and groups had been adequately put in place. He said

Still on development, Prah regretted that long after independence, all that Africa has got to show for the lofty ideals and over-charged euphoria that greeted the end to colonial rule is disillusionment and sentiments.

“For the very early period, we appeared to be making credible headway. But it didn’t take long, in most cases, not more than a decade or a decade and a half for disillusionment and sentiments of being lost in the woods to begin to overtake us,” Prah remarked.

Not even the early post-colonial elites were exonerated from Prah’s hammer on the misfortune that befell African cultural heritage.

According to him, this group of people adopted the modernisation school that was fundamentally functionalist in approach and tended to see development within ‘sealed’ social system and structures.

He said they also regarded traditional values, institutions and beliefs as constraining factors in their developmental endeavours.

On the impact of cultural on development, the Professor of Culture stressed that every society, which develops, does so on the basis of its cultural heritage and its ability to adopt new inputs from outside into its own culture.

He expressed dismay that too often Africans have likened culture to mean old practices, especially the display type such as traditional dancing, music and singing.

Regardless of this belief, the guest lecturer said that it is only culture that distinguishes man and raises him above other animals. “Humans learn and create culture as a social heritage, which is transferred from generation to generation as material and non-material products of the human genius,” he noted, adding: “Thus, much as we make culture, culture makes and defines us both as individuals and as members of groups, its assemblage of ideals, values and patterns of institutionalised behaviouir, socialised symbols and shared meanings underscore the centrality of language.”

In conclusion, he advised that if Africa must move forward, there is the need to roll back the unhelpful consequences of the colonial heritage, reclaim their cultural belongings and histories and with these in hand, confidently move ahead.

While stressing that not everything about African culture deserves to be saved, preserved or utilised in the quest for modernity, he suggested that a selective attitude to both artifacts and values should be adhered to.

“The idea of reclaim is that we must retrieve what is vital, living and timeless in our cultural and value system and construct or reconstruct them as a basis for our advancement. Our languages are our primary instruments, without them, we cannot move forward”, he warned.

Earlier in his address, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Senator Bello Jibrin Gada, reiterated the urgent need to save indigenous languages from the impact of colonisation and globalisation.

Noting that the survival of African language is endangered, he warned that Africans should not watch helplessly while their languages are fast being substituted with foreign ones.

He also shared the belief that Africans quest for development is closely related to the survival of their linguistic diversities.

“We often complain of, and yearn for solutions to our declining educational standards. We have failed to realize that the foundation of our problems in the educational sector lies in the absence of the use of our mother tongue for instruction in schools.”

If other countries of the world, especially the Asian tigers have advanced scientifically and technologically with the use of their local languages, the minister said same could be possible in Africa.

Commending CBAAC for its initiative, Gada assured of his ministry’s support for programmes and activities that tend to promote African cultural heritage.

The Director/Chief Executive Officer, CBAAC, Prof. Tunde Babawale, in his remarks, said though Africa and her people spread all over the world and occupied a place of special importance in the world’s history, they have been responsible for their misfortune in the areas of development and unity.

According to him, inability to attain their desired developmental height could be blamed on their willingness to celebrate the pre-eminence of foreign languages against theirs.

This development, he said, accounted for the communication gap between the rulers and the ruled.

Babawale expressed optimism that the lecture would offer the much needed reflection on the African experience, their shortcomings and laxities as well as address the challenges facing Africans and black people of the world.

“Most indigenous African languages face the threat of extinction. This forum would provide the platform to articulate our concerns and thus, serve as conveyor belts for transmitting our ancestral knowledge system suppressed by several decades of domination by foreign languages.”

Speaking on the possible ways of achieving the mandate of reviving dying cultures, especially as it concerns indigenous languages, Babawale said public awareness was should be the starting point. “I think one of the ways for us to perform the task is for us to raise awareness, let the public know that we are neglecting our languages to our own peril and that there is need for us to encourage our children to speak our own languages if we have to escape from permanent enslavement, and the only way to correct the Eurocentric and America attitude of our people is for us to go into indigenous languages.”

According to the CBAAC boss, any parent that argues that teaching a child indigenous languages affects his or her proficiency in foreign language does not understand that child. His assertion is based on the scientific proof that a child has the ability to pick as many as six languages, and speak them with equal competence.

“That is why when you see a child living in a community where they speak indigenous languages, that child will be able to speak all the languages with equal competence. However, the point to be made there is that you cannot talk of your own development exclusive of your language. Development comes when you have the totality of your cultural experience providing the springboard, and one aspect of your culture that helps to provide that springboard is your language. It is the only way you can communicate your own philosophy of life, the only way you can direct attention to your technology which must tell those friends that they are getting it wrong.”

Other advantages of local languages to a growing child, Prof Babawale said, which is the reason you include the development of his cognitive ability. “If your child cannot speak indigenous language and he lives within your environment, his ability to understand the environment is limited because he speaks English. For instance, it is not everything indigenous to us that have English translation. How do they grasp that without understanding their local languages? So, the point here is for us to raise awareness, to call the people to contribute to the effort directed at preventing these languages from going to extinction. We also call on government to see this as a serious task that must be done.”

Babawale, however, called for collaborative relationship with individuals and institutions in the task of reviving African dying treasures.

In a similar vein, the Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Prof. Yakub, stressed that African languages are strengthening and as such, he could not understand why most Africans prefer foreign languages. He asked if those people fail to capture the essence of language.

“As you know, language is essential, bedrock on which culture is built and progressively handed to the future.” He hoped that Africans will be able to express themselves as well as document their achievements in indigenous languages in future. This, he said, can only be possible when efforts are made at preserving them through their frequent usage.

“It is instrumental to our unity. A stranger, who understands your language is loved and adopted into the community.”

Calling for public policy on the preservation of indigenous languages, the V.C, said it would enable Nigerians forge ahead in enforcing the use and preservation of local languages, especially in schools.

Even the student participants were not left out in the quest to revive their mother tongue. While regretting the inability of most of them to speak indigenous languages, they also blamed political leaders and the affluence in the society for sending their children abroad for various reasons, who often return to intimidate them with foreign accents.

“We also want to speak like them, we feel inferior when they come back from overseas and speak foreign accents. So, we try to imitate them by also speaking foreign languages and imitating foreign accents”, said one of the students.

Others believed that though they missed earlier in life, having indigenous language teachers could do the expected magic of educating them on various Nigerian languages.

Guests were entertained with cultural dances and drama presentations that attempted to highlight the importance of local languages in national development and unity.

© 2003 – 2009 @ Guardian Newspapers Limited (All Rights Reserved).

BLEACH AND DESTROY YOUR BEAUTY! -SEE THIS VIDEO FROM ATOZBEAUTY.WORDPRESS.COM

May 5, 2009

BLEACH AND EVENTALLY YOUR SKIN WILL BEGIN TO REACT TO THE DEADLY CHEMICALS IN THAT CREAM!

BLEACH AND EVENTALLY YOUR SKIN WILL BEGIN TO REACT TO THE DEADLY CHEMICALS IN THAT CREAM!

BLEACHING CHANGES YOUR SKIN FOR EVER AND ENDS IN SKIN CANCER!

BLEACHING CHANGES YOUR SKIN FOR EVER AND ENDS IN SKIN CANCER!

BLEACH AND BE A MONSTER LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON!

BLEACH AND BE A MONSTER LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON!

THIS SOUTH AFRICAN BROTHER AND SISTER ARE REGRETTING BLEACHING NOW!

THIS SOUTH AFRICAN BROTHER AND SISTER ARE REGRETTING BLEACHING NOW!

CLINK ON HERE TO SEE THE SHOCKING VIDEO OF DAMAGED SKIN!

FROM atozbeauty.wordpress.com

Dangers of Hydroquinone
Posted by: setsuccess on: April 3, 2009

Dear sista,

The use of Skin bleaching creams or serums containing hydroquinone will actually damage your skin over time. Believe it or not I have seen many sista’s with skin problems get worse with long use of hydroquinone, it may actually darken your skin in the long run.

Check out the possible long term effects of using Hydroquinone skin bleach in the video below:

——————————————————————————–

Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

Hyperpigmentation causes and solutions
BLEACH AND LOOK LIKE A MONSTER EVENTUALLY! CHECK OUT THESE PHOTOS ON EVASIT…
SKIN BLEACHING/LIGHTENING? YOUR ENNEMY
Five Ingredients Your Skin Can’t Live Without…and How to Use Them
1 Response to “The Dangers of Hydroquinone”

1 | Suzan
April 22, 2009 at 11:14 am

Can you please let me know whether you have a distributor of Makali products in UK?

I have just read about it and would like to try.

|Many thanks.

Reply

2 | Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade
May 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

THIS A GREAT WARNING TO OUR SISTERS OUT THERE RUSHING TO BLEACH! WILL LINK IT UP ON MY SITE WHERE WE RAGE WAR ON BLEACHING EVERYDAY!
BLACK ON SISTER FOR PUTING THIS INFO OUT!
“BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!”
yeyeolade.wordpress.com

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

BLACK MEN,BLACK YOUTH JUST DO IT! WE CAN SOLVE BLACK PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS! BE LIKE OBAMA,LET HIS BLACK EXAMPLE TELL YOU “YES WE CAN!”-FROM SEFERPOST.COM

January 14, 2009

6a00e55290c5048833010536cc7527970c-800wifrom seferpost.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Not Just A Dream: Obama Sparks Black Men To Action
NASHVILLE, Tenn — An actor turns a dilapidated, inner-city mosque into a theater in just a few days. A 20-year-old buckles down on his studies at a historically black college after his mother dies of cancer. A community organizer decides his plan to create thousands of green jobs is too modest and enlarges it twenty-fold.
Not Just A Dream: Obama Sparks Black Men To Action
NASHVILLE, Tenn — An actor turns a dilapidated, inner-city mosque into a theater in just a few days. A 20-year-old buckles down on his studies at a historically black college after his mother dies of cancer. A community organizer decides his plan to create thousands of green jobs is too modest and enlarges it twenty-fold.

Barack Obama’s election to the White House is the very realization of what so many black fathers have told their sons to aspire to for years, even if often it was just a confidence-booster, not meant to be taken literally. And long before he wrapped up the contest, his candidacy had driven these three black men and others to actions they say they might not have taken without his example.

Jeff Obafemi Carr, who had been a successful actor in New York, was debating whether to return there or stay in Nashville, where he wanted to turn a run-down mosque into Nashville’s first black theater in a century. It was an ambitious and daunting idea considering that some in the neighborhood figured the building would wind up as a liquor store or a thrift shop.

Then the 41-year-old remembered a conversation he had with Obama during an Ohio campaign stop. The then-Democratic nominee encouraged him to keep working on his project.

“He told me that we’re going to make a big change for the country with my help,” Carr recalled.

When Carr returned from that event, he put his plan in motion. With the help of community volunteers, donated time from professional builders and materials from corporations, Carr set a date for construction and built the Amun Ra Theatre. Its first major performance will be next month with “Gem of the Ocean,” by American playwright August Wilson.

Throughout the process, Carr said he and the workers repeated Obama’s slogan: “Yes we can.” Now the theater’s Web site proclaims, “Yes, We Did!”

Justin Bowers, a junior at historically black Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala., was thinking about dropping out after his mother died of cancer two years ago at age 48.

“It was a lot of stress,” Bowers said. “I was struggling. It was really hard.”

A friend pointed out Obama’s perseverance after the president-elect lost his 53-year-old mother to cancer. Bowers said the story motivated him to stay in school and study harder to honor his mom.

“I know she would have wanted me to press on with my life regardless of what adversities might come,” said Bowers, 20, who is majoring in accounting and marketing. “That’s just how I was raised. And clearly, that’s how Barack was raised.”

Van Jones, 40, founded Green For All, a national program that seeks to create clean energy jobs. His Oakland, Calif.,-based program, which employs 25 people and has an operating budget of $4.5 million, was instrumental in passing a portion of a national energy bill, called the Green Jobs Act. It will use up to $125 million to train 30,000 people in jobs such as installing solar panels and retrofitting buildings to make them more environmentally friendly.

With Obama’s election, Jones decided to shop a $33 billion proposal before Congress that would hire about 600,000 over the next two years for similar work.

“I wouldn’t have believed in myself enough to come forward with an idea that bold,” Jones said. “But now, you’ve got somebody who’s up there, who’s telling people, ‘Let’s be bold.’

“The ceiling has come off. We can dream of … bringing new technologies and new jobs into communities that have been left behind. Yes we can.”

Obama’s historic run has provided ammunition for black fathers, too, who can point to it in motivating the next generation of black men. Will Rodgers, a communications manager at an electric company in Tampa, Fla., said he takes every opportunity to talk to his 12-year-old son about Obama and “how our nation has transformed.”

“I want him to understand the gravity of what’s happened,” said Rodgers, who boasts of having been a conservative Republican who never voted for a Democrat for president until Obama.

“He can really be anything he wants to, even president of the United States.”

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

October 17, 2008

from nhregister.com

Opinion
Blacks must slay lie of inferiority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” “History is just that. History.”

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

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

“race-baiting opportunists”

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

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

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

“The ugly crutch of history”

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

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

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

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

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

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

…and …

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

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

“BRAIN GAIN FOR THE AFRICAN RENAISSANCE”,A NEW BOOK ON HOW ALL BLACKS CAN RESTORE AFRICA TO ITS ORIGINAL GREATNESS:FROM LEADERSHIPNIGERIA.COM

September 18, 2008

from leadershipnigeria.com

Restoring The Dignity Of Africa

BY Sule E. Egya

Brain Gain for the African Renaissance, Edited by Okello Oculi and Yakubu Nasidi; published by Ahmadu Bello University Press, Zaria; 447 pages.

What we know of socio-cultural and scientific civilisation today, it has been established, started from Africa. Per Ankh, the house of life, in the ancient Egypt was a brain-home from where knowledge spread to other parts of the world. World-class African thinkers such as Cheik Anta Diop, Ayi Kwei Armah and Theophile Obenga have persistently forged a narrative to connect us to that glorious past. Regrettably, their narrative, what Armah calls “the way,” is countervailed by forces that have retrogressively reduced the height of Africa. The Africa that housed intellection in the past, as absurd as it sounds, is now a pitiable shadow of itself, its intellectuals driven to continental self-enslavement. During the slavery of the past, the white people came and captured Africans, but in the present slavery Africans willingly present themselves to the white people as slaves. It is the exodus to the West; it is the brain drain Africa suffers from.

To stem the tide of intellectual erosion as a result of the brain-drain phenomenon, Africa Vision 525, a non-governmental think-tank based in Kenya and Nigeria, has initiated what it calls Brain Gain book project. Part of the objective of this project, according to Okello Oculi and Yakubu Nasidi, editors of the first book in the series, is “to contribute to ameliorating [the crisis of brain drain] by drawing back into African universities intellectual products of the African Diaspora and Africanist scholars resident outside Africa” (ix). Contributions by outstanding scholars on the continent are also brought into the pool of intellectual productions the project injects into a system that is practically comatose. This first volume of the project demonstrates the feasibility and, indeed, the fruition of a concerted effort to reconstruct the canon of intellection in Africa. Here is a conscious response to a continent’s moral, ethical and intellectual failures; a measured criticism that validates the notion of inward positivism and a pragmatic approach to Africa’s solutions to Africa’s problems.

The theme of this volume is “Issues in Governance.” A crucial angle from which to begin the business of renaissance in Africa, you may say. The choice is vital. Governance is perhaps the most derailed sphere in the evolution of nationhood in Africa. It is a continental weakness—really, an insurmountable vice—that reduces one of the wealthiest continents in the world to beggardom. The choice of scholars to tackle these issues Brain Gain has made is both appealing and gratifying. The names are intimidating: Ali Mazrui, Toyin Falola, Okwudiba Nnoli, Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, P. Anyang Nyongo’o, Okechukwu Ibeanu, Crawford Young, and others. In their diverse themes and styles, tones and tenors, these intellectuals engage the readers in profound dialogues that evaluate and define the course of governance in Africa.

Falola’s “Writing and Teaching National History in Africa in an Era of Global History” is a primal discourse. The eminent, globe-trotting scholar returns home, patriotic, having been exposed to the sophistry of globalisation. Beginning his argument from the existence of nation-states, in spite of what he refers to as the “ambiguities” surrounding them, Falola harps on the conspiracy of the globalists to undermine, and consequently nullify, national historiography. In doing this, he undresses globalisation and presents her to us in her full nakedness, with all her ugly joints. The scholar informs us that “[it] is the weak nations [in the sense we see all nations of Africa] that are being asked to adjust, to subordinate their national histories to the threatening agenda of a global world and a global history” (58). In this design, globalisation weakens weaker nations and strengthens stronger ones, insofar as the concept of globalisation is continuously fashioned and manoeuvred by the powerful nations of the world. A powerful nation, then, upstages her history to what Falola calls “metanarrative”. In this premise, the less powerful nations must evolve a history to confront the many lies and infamies of globalisation, and with resilient intellectualism and vigorous historiography. A further antidote, pragmatic in its chemistry, is offered here:

We have to keep decolonizing African historiography, to turn to indigenous creativity and ideas, to empower the marginalized voices, to shed light on the tremendous energy and success represented by popular cultures, market women, craft workers, and local cultivators, among others. Oral history should not be abandoned in the face of global history. Students and researchers must contribute to our understanding of a variety of topics: migration flows within Africa and nation-states; regional conflicts; ethnic and religious divisions; inter- and intra-national relations within Africa; development and modernization; processes of democratization and participatory practices; neoliberal reforms; cultural transformations; market and economic networks; the Cold War and its aftermath; ecological history and sustainable development; and mass communication. (Italics mine, 77-78)

It seems like a thesis that will liberate nation-states in Africa from what one may call globalism i.e. the dishonest rhetoric of globalisation. But many Africa-based students and scholars, as some of the essays in Brain Gain attest, have been engaging in the enterprise Falola proposes, except that the overall socio-political climate of Africa does not welcome—and, indeed, kills—intellectual activities meant to forge a liberated and equitable nationhood.

It is this hostile climate in Africa that Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja draws our attention to in his “Challenges to State Building in Africa”. His discourse is clear and familiar to us. His first sentence opens the wound we have been nursing for long: “After three to five decades of self-rule, the people of Africa have yet to see the fulfilment of their expectations of independence for full citizenship rights” (87). This is painfully true. The eminent scholar goes on to outline some of the factors responsible for this condition. The problems are home-based, though mostly engendered by the hypocritical posture of the West, Africa’s chief coloniser. Greed and Dishonesty, the twin sisters, are the hot-legged prostitutes cradling African leaders on their laps. They caused the disillusionment of the post-independence era, lengthened to destructive militarisation, which has begotten anaemic democracies in Africa. Nzogola-Ntalaja neatly ties this to the globalisation-syndrome Falola has expounded: “contrary to the political vision of Amilcar Cabral and other progressive founding fathers of African independence, post-colonial rulers have not transformed the inherited structures of the state and the economy to serve the deepest aspirations of their peoples instead of the interests of the dominant classes of the world system, with which these rulers tend to identify” (88). The gist is simply that African leaders, since independence, have set their visions abroad to cater for their greed and the interest of their colonial masters. Nzogola-Ntalaja believes that Africa is yet to severe its umbilical cord from the West and that is one of its greatest problems. He harks back to the early rhetoric of Pan-Africanism, reminding us of the good intentions of the fighters of independence, giving us an insight into the stupendous wealth waiting for Africa at the dawn of independence, and he regrets that Africa today is a famished continent whose children troop to the West in search of food and survival. Really, every section of Nzogola-Ntalaja’s essay echoes the ignominy that Africa Vision 525 intends to redeem with its book projects. Part of Nzogola-Ntalaja’s suggestion for a better Africa is that “a successful development strategy [for Africa] requires a radical break with the past, that is, with the authoritarian and predatory character of the colonial state, as well as the promotion of egalitarian and participatory values” (107).

Some of the essays in Brain Gain are very revealing. Okechukwu Ibeanu’s “Petroleum, Politics and Development in the Niger Delta” is an eye-opener for non-Nigerians whose knowledge of the Niger Delta conundrum is what the radio brings to them. The depth of Ibeanu’s research and the clarity of his language are such that you will see, most graphically, the situation in the Niger Delta today. “ECOMOG Operations in the Resolution of Conflicts in West Africa”, by Gani Yoroms, is another eye-opener for those who have heard much but have known less about Africa’s peace-keeping operations in Africa. Deftly expository, Yoroms’s essay is different from most others because of its tone which is less critical. Yoroms is interested in furnishing us with facts with which we can conclude that Africa, after all, can tackle its crises, although what we see of Somalia and Darfur today confounds us. But no matter what we see today, if we read Yoroms’s essay, we are likely to agree with him that “it is important to acknowledge that ECOMOG operations were indeed path breaking approaches to peace keeping in Africa” (373).

Other essays, such as Kristen Timothy’s “Defending Diversity, Sustaining Consensus: NGOs at the Beijing Women’s Conference and Beyond”; P. Anyang Nyong’o’s “Good Governance for Whom? How Presidential Authoritarianism Perpetuates Elitist Politics in Africa”; and Adagbo Ogbu Onoja’s “The Commonwealth Intervention in the Zimbabwe Land Reform Crisis: Africa’s Security in the Post Cold War Era” give us profound education on issues that are here with us and yet we know just little about them. Beyond the depth of the researches collected in this book, the spread, which is an attempt to embrace all facets of political life of Africa, is a commendable feat.

With about fifteen essays, the book is one that every scholar and thinker, irrespective of the field of specialisation, ought to possess and give it a prominent space on his/her shelf. Perhaps, those who need the service of this book most are the politicians and the policy-makers of present-day Africa who have become persistently noisy and noisome about reforms. The book will help them reform themselves, and give them a lead-way towards the evolution of a genuinely democratic norm in Africa.

Sule E. Egya, Ph.D, writer and scholar, teaches in the Department of English, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nasarawa State.

WHEN SERENA WILLIAMS WENT BACK TO AFRICA(GHANA) THE FIRST TIME IT INSPIRED HER!-FROM FEB.2007 NIGERIAN NEWSPAPER QUOTING AP WIRESERVICE

September 16, 2008

from osundefender.com(Nigeria)

GHANA TRIP HELPED ME – SERENA
Tuesday, 13 February 2007
Finally, after years of ambiguity and doubt, Serena Williams scored an amazing emotional victory to win this year’s Australian Open, obliterating Maria Sharapova 6-1 6-2 in the Women’s Singles final.

Her show of determination, power and passion that eclipsed anything the former world No 1 had previously achieved. Her performance proved that she still remains potentially one of the most formidable force in women tennis.

Persistent wrist problems prevented Serena’s sister, Venus, from playing in Australia, but a trip to Ghana in November last year revitalised Serena.

“I saw things there that my ancestors had been through and it couldn’t be worse than that,” she said. “I thought about that and I think it helped me a lot.”

ENROLL YOUR CHILDREN IN A TRULY AFRICAN SCHOOL,BASED IN A CONDUSIVE VILLAGE ENVIRONMENT,LEARNING AFRICAN CULTURAL VALUES,USING THEIR HANDS TO CREATE AFRICAN CRAFTS AND FARMING AND LEARNING TO BE THE BEST IN ACADEMICS OF WORLDWIDE STANDARD!

September 6, 2008

AFRICAN HERITAGE INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL


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