Posts Tagged ‘African American men’

SISTER IS TRIED OF amerikkka-FUK AMERIKKKA!!” ===BACK TO AFRICA OOOOO!—FROM FACEBOOK

February 2, 2017

CLICK ON HERE SINCE WE CANNOT GET THE VIDEO-
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Mrs.Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade shared We Only Want What Is True/Villain X’s video.
· January 31 at 5:11pm ·
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We Only Want What Is True/Villain X added a new video: I just don’t care anymore!!!
· December 31, 2015 ·

Ikiesha Al-Shabazz Whittaker
I just don’t care anymore!!! I’m planning to leave this country!!! This is ur notice!!!! Fuk America!!!! #imtired #imdone #retiringthecape #movingoutofthiSGodforsakencorporation!!!
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Mrs.Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade
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Mrs.Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade shared Hasani Carter-Nze’s post.
· January 31 at 4:56pm ·
Hasani Carter-Nze
· January 31 at 3:06pm · Columbus, OH, United States ·

I’m considering/planning to move out the country…I’m so tired of posting the stuff that’s going on…
Yet I fear that if I don’t, I’d just be guilty of preten…
See Mor

BLACK POLYGAMY WORKING!!!!-NAIRA POOL Boss, Chief BADERO Left 8 Wives, 21 Children

July 21, 2014

NAIRA POOL Boss, Chief BADERO Left 8 Wives, 21 Children.

OBAMA-OUR BLACK PRESIDENT HAS TIME FOR BLACK PEOPLE LIKE STEPHEN NEAL!

June 6, 2010

FROM washingtonpost.com

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Obama, Biden praise Md. businessman who rose from stock clerk to employing 105

President Obama and Vice President Biden pay a visit to K. Neal International in Hyattsville, which to owner Stephen W. Neal was an affirmation of his hard work. (Haraz N. Ghanbari/associated Press)
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By Hamil R. Harris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 6, 2010
When Stephen W. Neal was stocking shelves and cleaning up spills for Giant supermarkets more than 30 years ago, he never could have imagined what happened to him this week: President Obama and Vice President Biden dropped by to give him a pat on the back.

Neal, 55, now owns K. Neal International, which has a revenue of more than $65 million and 105 people on its payroll in Northern Virginia and Maryland. It is one of the region’s largest outlets for selling and fixing trucks and buses.

“This company employs workers from all over the greater Washington area,” Obama said Friday, after he and Biden toured Neal’s firm in the 5000 block of Tuxedo Road in Hyattsville. “After two years of recession that caused so much pain in so many communities, this is also an example of a company that is starting to see business pick up again.”

Overall nationwide, employers added about 431,000 jobs in May, more than any month in the past decade. But the growth was driven by temporary hiring in the federal government for the Census. Employers in the private sector, such as Neal, added only 41,000 jobs last month.

For the president, visiting Neal’s company was an opportunity to talk about the economy’s fifth consecutive monthly job gain. For Neal, the visit was affirmation of his hard work.

As Obama spoke, Neal stood nearby with his two children, Korey, a 19-year-old college football player, and Kandace, a 24-year-old special-education teacher. (The “K” in his firm’s name stands for his children’s first initials.)

“All that I could think was, thank you God. The president is a busy man, but he took the time to visit my business.”

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley had submitted Neal’s name to the White House. The company, which Neal started six years ago, has garnered several awards and is listed as one of Black Enterprise magazine’s top 100 firms. In 2009, Neal was named Maryland’s small business owner of the year, and this year he received a minority business leaders award from Washington Business Journal.

Despite his accomplishments, Neal doubted that Obama would show until a helicopter hovered overhead and he heard the roar of police escort motorcycles. The president’s black limousine came rolling onto Tuxedo Road, past a liquor store, a car detailing shop and into a parking lot cluttered with yellow school buses and trucks. “You are a big guy,” Obama told Neal.

Neal graduated from George Mason University and entered Giant’s retail training program, where his first job was as a stock clerk at the Giant on Monroe Avenue in Alexandria. He spent nearly three decades with the company, rising to executive vice president of store operations and sales, responsible for more than 26,000 employees.

Even as he climbed up the corporate ladder, Neal continued on occasion to straighten shelves, clean spills and help cashiers at check-out counters.

“All of these years, my motto has remained the same: Take care of your customers, they will take care of you, and along the way, we will make a little money,” Neal said.

Six years ago, Neal said, he hit a brick wall. Giant had been sold to new owners and Neal, who is divorced, decided to retire. He was 49. He traveled the world until his children encouraged him to start his own company.

Neal took a job as the general manager of J Price International Trucks before deciding to buy it. Prince George’s County is happy to have him, said Kwasi Holman, president of the county’s Economic Development Corp.

“For the president and vice president to come to a company that we have worked with extensively makes us feel very proud that our work is being noticed as a national model,” Holman said.

“Without God, friends and mentors, none of this would be possible,” Neal said when the event was over.

A TRIBUTE TO A GREAT NIGERIAN/AFRICAN,CHIEF N.O. IDOWU-BY BAYO ADEBOWALE-FROM THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,APRIL 28,2010

May 23, 2010

FROM

This is Google’s cache of http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/letters/article01/190310?pdate=190310&ptitle=The%20N.O.%20Idowu%20that%20I%20know&cpdate=200310. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 28 Apr 2010 01:42:40 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime. Learn more

Text-only version
These search terms are highlighted: bayo adebowale
The N.O. Idowu that I know

The beauty of Africa
Is slain upon the high places.
How are the mighty fallen!

SIR: The Erin-wo epitaph clearly sums up people’s general opinion of the eventful life and times of Chief (Dr) Nathaniel Olabiyi Idowu (OFR), the Mayeloye and the Okanlomo of Ibadan land. Chief Idowu led a crowded life of progress and specular achievements in virtually all fields of human endeavour Ð as a community leader, philanthropist, pillar of sports, business tycoon, devout Christian, committed family man and a complete Omoluwabi.

Steadfast, diligent, disciplined, intelligent, honest, firm and forthright, N.O. all though, kept his head while others were losing theirs, in the face of challenges and vicissitudes of life. He was adored by his admirers and venerated even by his detractors, over whom he perched mightily like an eagle bird on the giant Baobab tree. He was in perfect accord with friends and at peace and harmony with all who dug holes round him.

Chief Nathaniel Olabiyi Idowu had no space in his tender heart to harbour malice, rancour and recriminations. His heart was a level-ground for positive thinking and record-breaking tendencies. No nooks, no crannies. Several times he had summoned us in African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre (AHRLC) to Lagos, to discuss confidential matters which touched his heart intimately, and these were matters concerning the progress and development of Eniosa, Adeyipo, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria and Africa. At such meetings, N. O. would bubble with hope, optimism and the commitment of a true messiah, on a rescue mission to improve the lot of his people. A great lover of the rural communityÉ When we took the news to him about Chief Afe Babalola’s unprecedented act of philantropism to AHRLC at Adeyipo village, he grabbed his phone and poured encomiums on the legal luminary telling him, “You have done what Napoleon would not do, Afe, turning back the Duke of Wellington. May Almighty God continue to enrich your purse and bless you abundantly as you put smiles on the faces of my people. Congratulations.”

On Saturday, September 24, 2005, during the official commissioning of AHRLC, Chief N. O. Idowu risked his health to grace the occasion. That day, he met with seven thousand jubilating community people of Olorunda Abaa, Igbo-Elerin and Igbo-Oloyin waiting impatiently to welcome their mentor and leader with traditional dundun and sekere music. Fortified by a sudden gift of good health and strength from above, N.O came that day to Adeyipo smiling, singing and dancing (in company of late Archdeacon Emmanuel Alayande and Chief Mrs. C.A. Idowu, his amiable wife, in front of a vociferous community audience who bestowed on him honour and recognition, never before witnessed in Lagelu Local Government Council of Ibadan, Oyo State. Together with Chief N. O. Idowu (our beloved Grand Patron) we formulated a universal caption for the task ahead of us in AHRLC, it is that: We have great works to do,

We have been called upon to build a new Africa

And a new Black World.

The N.O. Idowu that I know was a patriotic and worthy son of Africa. A man who stretched himself to ensure relief and comfort for the poor and the needy. A man who put others first and himself last; who kept sleepless nights to secure solutions to the problems of the society. A great man who left his footmarks boldly in the sands of time.

Chief (Dr.) Nathaniel Olabiyi Idowu (OFR) can never die, in the hearts of all of us who love him at home and abroad. He will forever be aliveÉ so, Death be not proud! Because those whom thou thinketh thou slayest, Dieth not, Poor Death!

Bayo Adebowale.
Adeyipo Village, Ibadan

EBONY MAGAZINE DOES NOT PUT BLACK SKINNED BEAUTIES ON ITS COVER-SAYS WHITE BRAINWASHED BLACKS SINCE SLAVERY ONLY GO FOR CREOLE-CRAZY-MULATTO-MENTALITY-IMITATION-WHITE-GIRL-BEAUTY BUT IN THE 60’S WE WOOLLY HAIR BEAUTIES FORCED EBONY TO PUT ITS FIRST BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY,WITH WOOLLY HAIR AND AFRICAN FEATURES ON IT’S COVER AND NOW GABOUREY SIDIBE HAS BROKEN AGAIN THE IMITATION WHITE GIRL CEILING OF EBONY-BLACK ON BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY!

March 29, 2010

COME BACK TO AFRICA FOR THE BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL,APRIL 4-11,2010-LAGOS/BADAGARY,NIGERIA!

March 20, 2010

from

from ladybrillanigeria.com

thenationonlineng.net

Lagos prepares for ‘Black Heritage Festival’
By Emmanuel Oladesu Published 3/02/2010 Life Midweek Magazine Rat

For seven days, Lagos State will host the world in April for the historic ‘Black Heritage Festival. The hosts are the people of Badagry Division, the haven of tourism Fin the state. The communities are full of eagerness. The three councils in the area are cooperating with the state government to ensure a hitch-free festival.

Visitors from across the globe will comb the history of horror that made the town memorable. The lamentation of slaves, who passed the town on their way to plantations in distant Europe and America, would be recalled. The return of their descendants to their roots in April will rekindle their attachment to Africa, the most populous African country and largest supplier of the unwilling slaves, and the beauty of the titanic liberation war that shook the universe.

The visitors are expected to pick works of arts and artifacts that gave content to the culture of their forebears before they went into captivity. Many of them will locate the under-development of the Dark Continent in the centuries of disruptions, cultural dislocations, neo-colonialism and lack of reparations.

Governor Babatunde Fashola(SAN) has enumerated the conditions for the success of the third Lagos Black Heritage Festival, urging the royal fathers and people to tap its abundant tourism and economic opportunities.

His Deputy, Princess Sarah Sosan, who is from the division, asked the towns and villages in the three local government area to prepare for the inflow of tourists and visitors from across the federation and abroad into the area.

The commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye, who represented the number one and two citizens at a stakeholders meeting in the ancient town, said the visitors who will live, eat and interact with local folks expect a “To have a meaningful festival, our environment should be clean. Many people will come from far and near. Not long ago, we came here to clear the gutters. The governor and deputy governor who I am representing here asked me to tell our royal fathers, chiefs and community leaders to mobilise people and ensure a clean environment,” he told the people at Badagry Town Hall.

The Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on General Matters, Prince Sunny Ajose, who highlighted the elements of the festival, said the division would savour the economic boom and project the cultural heritage of the towns and villages.

He expressed concern for the disposition of the communities to the notion of hygiene.

“In the past, Badagry was neat, from Seme to Ajegunle. Population explosion has led to an unclean environment. Refuse dumping is a challenge. Instead of dumping refuse at Ilewo, we want LAWMA to create another dumping site near the Badagry area,” he said.

Ajose warned that, if the atmosphere is not conducive for the visitors, they would relocate to Ikoyi and Eko Hotel where they will buy souvenirs, thereby making the people to lose their patronage.

Programmes slated for the festival include symposium, painting competitions, cultural performance, traditional dances, and ‘fitila’ procession.

Ajose said no township festival would be allowed to coincide with the Black Heritage Festival. He enjoined townspeople to preoccupy themselves with the removal of shanties in the neighbourhood so that the towns could wear a new look.

“We want to showcase what we have, including our masquerades. We have tools for slave trade in the Heritage Festival Museum. Black writers have works on slave trade. They will also come to talk about the trade and its implications for us. They will like to visit Iyana Gberesu, the terminal exit route for the slave trade. We have Oduduwa shrine in Ilogbo. We should improve on what we have to be able to get what we want. We want to prepare for all these and record success so that there will be an improvement next year,” added Ajose.

The traditional ruler, Aholu Menu Toyi of Badagry, Oba Babatunde Akran, said the festival is the responsibility of all, urging his subjects to cooperate with the government to ensure its success.

He enjoined the authorities to conduct training sessions for the school pupils who may be useful as tour guides to the visitors during the programme.

‘The visitors will be in our markets. They want to see how we are living .They want to take photographs with us. We should be good hosts’, he added.

The Alabarin of Ikaare, Oba Kayode Akinyemi, said the onus is on the council chairmen in the division to rise to the occasion and embrace their roles towards making the festival a success.

Another royal father alerted the government to the danger of inadequate medical facilities in the local governments. He said the hospitals in the area lack ambulance facilities. He also said, since April falls within the raining season, flooding may mar the festival because the drainages are bad.

Agunsoye said the government has taken note of these challenges and all these facilities would be in place before the commencement of the festival.

The festival which brings to memory the historic pains of forceful separation of kindred holds in Lagos State at a time of intense campaign for greater exploration of tourism, one of the most neglected sectors of the economy. In the days of yore, the ancient town which served as a route for ferrying the black slaves to Europe and America was thrown into monumental panic .It took the earlier generations a long time to erase the terrible experience from their memory. However, the incident has also become a blessing to the town.

Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka visited Badagry early last month for a meeting with the community leaders and elders on the importance of the carnival and modalities for a successful outcome.

At the weekend meeting presided over by Agunsoye, prominent leaders of Badagry Division took their seats with eagerness. They include Oba Moshood Asafa, Onijanikin of Ijanikin; Oba Oyekan Adekanbi, Alapa of Apa; Oba Olanrewaju Aina, Oloto of Oto; Oba Abedeen Durosinmi, Prince Dele Kosoko, Moses Dosu, Amuda Abidu and Joseph Bamgbose.

Agunsoye congratulated the people for hosting the world for the important event, saying that the division is being immortalised by the focus on it.

“Many years ago, many people suffered for our freedom. Some black men died for us to have today. Badagry is one of the famous routes where our forefathers passed to Europe. It was sad. Now, we are happy. History cannot forget Badagry. That is why we want to discuss how to immortalise the ancient times,” the commissioner said.

He said the governor and deputy governor attach much value to the festival because of its implication for the black community in the world.

The commissioner said they acknowledged the fact that an unclean environment would breed disease, adding that sanitary inspectors would be in the towns to ensure compliance with sanitary rules.

“Our black brothers abroad want to come home to mix with us. But they need a clean environment,” he emphasized.

A LAWMA official told the meeting that: “All households must have dustbins. The PSP will do its work, LAWMA will evacuate the refuse. LAWMA sweepers recruited from Badagry will be on the roads. The ‘street captains’ will distribute refuse nylon to households.”

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2 Responses to “Lagos prepares for ‘Black Heritage Festival’”
kazeem balogun at 18 Feb 2010 2:41:58 PM WAT kazeem balogun Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 18 Feb 2010 2:41:58 PM WAT
its a welcome development,we shall participate
(Reply to this comment)(Cancel this reply)(Comment Replies Disabled)

EKO1CITY at 19 Mar 2010 8:48:40 PM WAT EKO1CITY Rating: Unr

said this on 19 Mar 2010 8:48:40 PM WAT
Ola Jones Lagos Black Heritage…… nice 1,but, so far i cant connect the vision of the group their objectivity pursuit, pro grammes and strategy I a son of the soil by interest in badagry thus am in total cooperation with any social articulate school of mission that set to project badagry historical value.meanwhile here is an overwhelming challenge, so much is been orchestrated in the median while all the node featuresthat makes the history are not preserve,e.g slave route,harboure,artenuation well and the gbelefu point- of- no- return. etc

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from ladybrillenigeria.com

Home » Events
3rd Annual Lagos Black Heritage Festival 2010
by Ladybrille®Nigeria on March 1, 2010No Comment
3rd Annual Lagos Black Heritage Festival

Place: Badagry Township, Lagos, Badagry

Date: April 4th, 2010

“For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran.

For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.

The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. . .”

Visit Lagos Black Heritage Festival.org for more info.

You might also like:

Abuja Food Festival 2009
Lagos Carnival 2010 – April 3rd-5th, 2010

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from ladybrillenigeria.com

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY WITH THE LAGOS BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL
Feb 22nd, 2010 | By Ayo Peters | Category: LOCAL GOVERNMENT NEWS, TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
The 17th century will forever remain in the hearts of Africans. This was when its history was taken backwards through a trade that was inimical to its growth – Slave Trade.

The Slave Trade (known as the trans-Atlantic slave trade) started with the exportation of blacks to Europe by Portugal in the 15th century. Other European countries like Spain, Netherlands, Britain, Denmark etc soon followed suit. It was not until the 17th century however that the trade got to North America. It was there that it gained real currency.

Thus, in 1619, a Dutch warship brought the first cargo of twenty blacks to Virginia in the then British colony called New World.
Consequent upon the traffic in blacks, scores of black men and women were separated from their African homes and carried into the New World before the Slave Trade was ended. Although a lot of black men like Olaudah Equiano, Candido da Rocha, Samuel Johnson, Mojola Agbebi and others regained their freedom and found their way back to Nigeria, millions were totally separated from their families.

These Africans were not slaves but were made to work in an environment where they were referred to as slaves. Back in Africa, these men were free and respected farmers and herdsmen, craftsmen skilled in pottery and weaving, wood-carving, and blacksmiths. Some of these Africans brought out of the continent against their will were traders and hunters, musicians and dancers, poets and sculptors. Many were princes and warriors, feudal chiefs, rulers of kingdoms and empires.

These important men of African descent were taken to Europe and the New World through ports marshaled by these European masters. A lot of these slave ports existed in West Africa but some stood out. These were: Goree Island (Senegal), Whydah (Benin Republic), Elmina (Ghana) and Badagry (Nigeria).

The slave port in Badagry was notorious because hordes of Africans were taken through it. Little wonder, this port was dubbed: “Point of no Return.”

One Nigerian who suffered greatly as a result of the slave trade was Gustavus Vassa (Olaudah Equiano). Gustavus Vassa was born in the ancient Benin Kingdom in 1745. He was kidnapped from his family and sold into slavery. He was later sold again to traders and chained on a slave ship bound for America. He passed on to a Virginia planter, and then, to a British naval officer, and finally to a Philadelphia merchant who gave him the chance to buy his freedom. In his autobiography, ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African,’ he narrated some of the ordeals he and his fellow African brothers went through on shore to the New World. For instance, a black man was flogged while on deck so unmercifully with a large rope that he died in consequence of it. Olaudah wrote that some of his countrymen were chained together and when they were weary, preferred death to such a life of misery and somehow, “made through the nettings and jumped into sea.”

The narrative by Gustavus Vassa was a fraction of the hardships blacks were made to undergo in the New World and in Europe. Many blacks died as a result of this hardship. Slaves like Nat Turner and John Brown who revolted were murdered in cold blood while one of the most brilliant Americans of the nineteenth century who started his life as a slave on a Maryland plantation, Frederick Douglas, in his autobiography asked: “Why am I a slave? Why are some people slaves and others masters? How did the relation commence? He wrote that he didn’t know he was a slave until he found out he couldn’t do the things he wanted.

Indeed, not having anything to say about the use of your own time and labour is probably what makes you feel bad. This is the absence of freedom. As providence would have it, that is all gone; total history.

Slavery and slave trade have been abolished after series of protests here and there and the great grandsons of former slaves have now become free men in Europe, Caribbean, and North America. These men after careful study, based on the ‘reign of terror’ of the slave port in Badagry, have decided to remember their roots, history, culture, and land of their forebears by celebrating the Lagos Black Heritage Festival.

Logically, Badagry is the preferred host as it is poised to hoist the Third Lagos Black Heritage Festival starting from the 3rd of April, this year.

Badagry, it will be recalled, was the departure route of these ‘slaves’. Once they got to Badagry, they were certain they would not return to their homes.

Today, Badagry still retains a lot of slavery artifacts. This includes one of the largest slave markets – Vlekete slave market – in West Africa. Here, slaves were sold at competitive prices. Hence, most countries that traded in slaves had their forts in Badagry. This included Portugal, Britain, Spain, Brazil, France and the Netherlands.

The Mobee slave relic is another of the artifacts that survived the infamous trade. It is housed by the Mobee family. We also have the Seriki Abbas compound, the Egbado-born businessman, who settled in Badagry and partook greatly of the obnoxious business.

In truth, the Lagos Black Heritage Festival has come to stay. This feat was achieved by the Lagos state government and the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). According to Emeritus Professor, Wole Soyinka, the third edition of the Black Heritage Festival “seeks to enshrine the place of memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.”

The third edition, which starts on April 3rd, this year, is tagged: Memory and Performance in the Return to Source, has been planned to broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. In the words of Soyinka, “this will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission… pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the Journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop; and statesman, Leopold Sedar Senghor.”

Badagry local government is leaving no stone unturned towards ensuring that Badagry had a hitch-free festival. Accordingly, the local government has ensured its cleaning every day.

Most residents of Badagry are eager to see the D-day. Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, the executive chairman of Badagry local government says the “Lagos Black Heritage Festival connotes a return to the source.”

Activities lined up for the festival includes a symposium, feature films, documentaries, a book exhibition, contemporary art, theatre, concerts, traditional and modern dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African tradition games.
We await this reconnection, revaluation, and revindication.

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Tags: a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village, African tradition games, Alioune Diop prime mover of the Journal Presence Africaine, Badagry Local Government, Badagry Nigeria, book exhibition, Brazil, Britain, Candido da Rocha, concerts, contemporary art, documentaries, Elmina Ghana, Emeritus Professor Wole Soyinka, feature films, France, Frederick Douglas autobiography, Goree Island Senegal, Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, John Brown, Lagos Black Heritage Festival, Lagos state government, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Memory and Performance in the Return to Source, Mobee slave relic, Mojola Agbebi, Nat Turner, Netherlands, Olaudah Equiano Gustavus Vassa autobiography, pan-Africanist and cultural activist Aime Cesaire, Point of no Return, Portugal, Samuel Johnson, Seriki Abbas, Spain, symposium, theatre, traditional and modern dances, United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Vlekete slave market, Whydah Benin Republic
One comment
Leave a comment »
uzoh hilary March 5th, 2010 9:21 pm :

as a fashion designer and loving arts i like to participate in the black heritage festival. so please can you detail me on the event. thank you.

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from travelintelligence .com

The Badagry Route by Pelu Awofeso
Anyone can understand why callers to the slave ports at Elmina (Ghana), Goree (Senegal) and Ouidah (Benin) weep and wail after they have walked round the remains of the transatlantic slave trade in those regions. To even see images on the screen is enough to affect the senses sorely. The Black Heritage Museum—just opened to tourists in palm-and-coconut-rich Badagry, western Lagos—is another of the kind. Maybe the place won’t stir you to tears, but after going in and out, then up and down its nine galleries, it is certain to make any visitor sober.

The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in Nigeria, which helped with the research and installation, displays sketches, sculptures, photos, documents and dated shackles to tell the touching tale of over 300 years of ‘trading’ of which the African people were the ‘goods’.

We are now inside the building and this ad published in 1784 in the U.S. stares me in the face: “NEGROS FOR SALE: a cargo of very fine stout men and women, in good order and fit for immediate service, just imported from the windward coast of Africa…” Another in New Orleans, this time in 1835 described its ‘ware’ in detail: Chole…aged 36 years. She is without exception, one of the most competent servants in the country, a first-rate washer and ironer, does up lace, a good cook, and for a bachelor who wishes a housekeeper she would be invaluable. She is also a good ladies maid, having travelled to the north in that capacity.”

One learns a typical slave’s safari goes something like this: A freeborn is kidnapped, captured at war or despatched to a creditor to offset a debt. He is kept in custody and made to do simple menial duties at first. A time comes when a white businessman, sailing across from the west, seeks out the community’s head and demands for people to serve him and his wealthy colleagues back on their own soil. He proffers gins, guns and some other processed goods in exchange.

The deal sounds sensible enough and both parties come to an agreement. So starts the tortuous trip of an unfortunate African, the fall guy of unfeeling men (much later, markets were established to service the rising need for cheap human labour). He never travels alone; there are thousands of them at any occasion, group-chained, flogged to submission and silence, and ‘arranged’ in ships in patterns that guarantee little breathing space and more anguish. Not all of them survived. The dead were tossed overboard.

Sons and daughters, too, no matter how underaged, were hauled across the Atlantic from the African coast to the New World. The survivors were later put on kegs and boxes and auctioned like articles at Sotheby’s. Once sold, they toiled on the cotton, sugarcane or rice fields of their white masters—and it was almost round the clock—with the cruellest of punishments administered to those who attempted to bail (one exhibit shows a dog, purposely trained, biting at the throat of one). Others worked as domestic hands. There is more inside what used to be the District Officer’s administrative block in the colonial years and is a three-minute stroll from the white structure earmarked as the first storey building in Nigeria.

The opening of the museum in August 2002 put the inhabitants in the mood for the second Black Heritage Festival, said to be styled after Ghana’s decade-old Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) and organised to conform to UNESCO’s ‘Slave Routes Project’. Lagos State Waterfront and Tourism Development Corporation, the planners, intends for the festival with time to pep up the tourism receipts of Nigeria’s most commercialised city; for the time being, though, it is finding a sure footing and winning more participants from the Diaspora each year that are the goals.

Day four of the festival was all traditional stuff: The dozen delegates, all of them living in the U.S., had to go through a ceremony of ‘ethnic adoption and traditional robbing’ to choose the local names they wished to bear henceforth. Two home priests in the full glare of the town’s royal head, the Akran of Badagry, conducted that. The idea is not for the new names to replace the initial, but for the recipient to either add them on or to “keep it close to my heart”. The naming was performed with honey, sugarcane, salt, kola, and the other regulars in day-to-day Yoruba naming rites.

The Yoruba in Nigeria look to the Ifa for the same reasons Christians and Moslems search through the Holy Books. No move is made without consulting it. It gave its consent to the names the home comers preferred. At different times during the festival, the kola nut and bitter kola were tossed in another form of customary inquest. Each result turned out a pleasant omen: The land of Badagry agreed with the coming of Mayor Hawkins and co.

Badagry today is a smiling and struggling population of close to two hundred thousand. The Atlantic Ocean, its bane for centuries, flows subtly and quietly; the breeze still blows over it-and onto the mainland, and one can still sight natives paddling away in their canoes in the distance. The one thing it needs now is a rise in stature. The New Nigerians may well make that happen, because already, the group has promised to revisit its scholarship promise to the community’s bright minds; the other project will be to erect another impressive monument to the slave trade a la the ‘Point of no Return’.

The Akran, on behalf of the people, has promised pieces of land to the new natives, because they need, he says, to have their own homes—one they can come to whenever they please.
See all travel writing by Pelu Awofeso.

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from 234next.com
http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home/5527680-146/story.csp

Council mobilises for Lagos Black Heritage Festival

February 16, 2010 10:38PM
print email

The Oto/Awori Local Council Development Area says it will mobilise the people to showcase their rich culture at the forthcoming 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Cultural Festival scheduled for April 3- 9.

The festival themed, “Lagos/Badagry 2010”, is aimed at celebrating the creativity of Lagos State in dance, music and theatre regatta.

The Council Chairman, Bolaji Kayode, told News Agency of Nigeria in Badagry on Tuesday that the Council’s contingent had been fully prepared for the festival.

“Our participation in the festival is part of Oto/Awori LCDA’s commitment to promoting arts and culture. We will mobilise our people to feature in the festival particularly in Gelede and Ajegbo events,” he said.

Mr. Kayode expressed the hope that the council’s contingent would lift the laurels in the two events.

The organisers said the festival would be a forum for showcasing Africa’s diverse cultural heritage. The maiden edition of the festival was held in 2001 and was declared open by the former governor of the state, Bola Tinubu.

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from punchng.com

http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art20100319035970

Lagos Black Heritage: A festival of reconnection, revaluation
By Mudiaga Affe, Published: Friday, 19 Mar 2010

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka

Inspired by the spirit of convergence for which the most populous state in Nigeria remains pre-eminent, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said that the forthcoming Lagos Black Heritage Festival would be an event of reconnection, revaluation and re-vindication.

Speaking on the festival tagged, Memory and Performance in the return to Source, Soyinka said, in a statement obtained by our correspondent in Lagos, that the event would celebrate the creativity of Lagos within a ”Carnivalesque of tradition and contemporary dance.”

The LBHF, which holds between April 3 and 9, 2010, is an initiative of the Lagos State Government.

According to Soyinka, the LBHF is a seven-day cultural manifestation during which hundreds of performers will animate the ancient city of Badagry and cosmopolitan Lagos in a blend of the traditional and the modern.

On the theme of the festival, Soyinka, who is the Festival Coordinator, explained that for over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara were hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers often with the active connivance of Africans themselves.

”Millions perish even before their destination along the Trans-Atlantic route and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran. For centuries, and even till date, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents.

”By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to reclaim and resettle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved emotional, but with fulfilling experience,” he said.

He said that it was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State Government instituted, with the support of the United Nations‘ Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry.

The playwright said the Lagos State Government plans to serve the discerning palates from within the country, the continent and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and Americas.

One of the highlights of the Lagos-Badagry 2010 is a painting competition featuring artists drawn from Nigeria and the rest of the world.

An international jury will decide which of the 25 finalists will be rewarded in the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories which go with the award of $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Comments :

Lagos Black Heritage…… nice 1, but, so far i cant connect the vision of the group their objectivity pursuit, pro grammes and strategy I a son of the soil by interest in badagry thus am in total cooperation with any social articulate school of mission that set to project badagry historical value. meanwhile here is overwhelming challenge, so much is been orchestrated in the median meanwhile all the node features that makes the history are not preserve,e.g slave route,harboure,artenuation

Posted by: eko1city , on Friday, March 19, 2010

Report this comment

The slogan makes no sense to me. What is Lagos black heritage? I’ll rather call it ’Lagos reborn of African Heritage’. It makes more sense and gives me something to look forward to. I do not want to use the slogan of racisim, because that is the way they will call it in a land where there are other colours.

Posted by: Enitan Onikoyi , on Friday, March 19, 2010

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from
http://lagosblackheritagefestival.org/

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

Welcome to the Official Website of the 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Festival!
For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran…
More >>

The First Edition of Caterina de’ Medici Painting Award took place in Florence in year 2002. Three Nigerian Artists participated. One of these artists, Olubunmi Ogundare emerged as one of the best ten of the world-wide competitors!
More >>

Présence Africaine

Présence africaine is a panafrican quarterly cultural, political, and literary revue, published in Paris and founded by Alioune Diop in 1947. In 1949, Présence africaine expanded to include a publishing house and a bookstore on the rue des Écoles in the Latin Quarter of Paris. As a journal, it was highly influential in the Panafricanist movement, the decolonisation struggle of former French colonies, and the birth of the Négritude movement.
More >>

**********************************************
The Black Orpheus

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran.

For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.

The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora.

This will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission, all three now ancestral figures: the Martiniquan poet, dramatist, pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop (whose centennial anniversary comes up in the year 2010, and the poet, essayist, and statesman Leopold Sedar Senghor. With this emphasis, a further step is taken to diminish the fragmentations in a common race heritage that were created through colonization under competing European cultures on African soil.

The three ancestors led a closely intertwined career. Cesaire, it will be recalled, was a principal midwife, in company of Leopold Sedar Senghor and others, of the philosophy of Negritude, the Beingness of Black. In addition to the performance of Cesaire’s plays and readings from his poetry, rare archival material from Alioune Diop’s pioneering journal, Presence Africaine, of which Aime Cesaire was also past president, will be placed on exhibition for the first time in this country. At the same time, Lagos State pays tribute also to the late President Leopold Sedar Senghor who was the inspiration and spearhead of the first ever international Negro Arts Festival (1966), the second edition of which the late Alioune Diop, served as Secretary-General and principal organizer. That second edition was called the Black and African Arts Festival, 1977, better known as FESTAC.

Buffered by a symposium, films, documentaries, a book exhibition, a gallery of contemporary art, music, theatre, concerts, traditional and contemporary dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African traditional games, not omitting from the Nigerian Film industry, this promises to be THE cultural event to round off the first decade of the millennium. The City of a Thousand Masks – Lagos – will herself be a player in the events, since the Festival programme will feature a unique competition – in association with the Caterina de’ Medici Foundation – where artists of African descent will vie for the ultimate laurel with their painterly impression on the theme CITY OF A THOUSAND MASKS, a contest that will be held before a live audience.

To sum up, a Festival of RECONNECTION, REVALUATION, REVINDICATION – this is the feast that Lagos State plans to serve up to discerning palates from within the country, the continent, and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and the Americas.

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

The Activities for the 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Festival include:

PAINTING COMPETITION

(Collaboration with Catarina de Medici).

DRAMA / THEATRE

This segment will feature 3 plays:

– King Christophe
– A Season in the Congo
– Ireke Onibudo

Children’s play

DRAMA

CULTURAL PERFORMANCES

MUSIC

The Musical segment of the LBHF celebrates the indigenous Music and Culture of Lagos, Nigeria and the Black World. The segment encompasses every style associated with the city of Lagos. A wide scope indeed as Lagos State represents Nigeria and essentially the Black World.

From Traditional music to Contemporary – Juju to Afro Caribbean.
Ayo Bankole

Steve Rhodes Voices

Lagbaja

Seun Kuti

Fatai Rolling Dollar (Guest Appearance).

Tunji Oyelana – Guest Artist.

Fuji
(Kwam1 / Obesere/ Pasuma )
Apala
(Musiliu Isola / Apala-Porto-Novo)
Hip-Hop
(D Banj, 9ice)
Agidigbo (Eko)

Gbedu Oba (Eko)

CHILDRENS’ HERITAGE VILLAGE

(to be directed by Jimi Solanke).

DANCE & MASQUERADES

– Contemporary Dance

– ATUNDA Dance

Traditional

Ajogan (Badagry King’s Procession).

Vodun (Badagry)

Sato (Badagry)

Bolojo (Badagry/Ijio/Eko)

Obitun (Ile-Oluji/Ondo)

Bata (Lagos/Oyo)

Dundun (Lagos/Oyo)

Ijo Apeja (Epe)

Nyok (Calabar)

Ekombi (Calabar)

Sokorowo (Owo-all female troupe)

Fitila Procession
The sombre Remembrance procession.
Nasarawa Contingent

Masquerades
Zangbeto (Badagry)

Gelede (Badagry)

Eyo (Eko)

Ekpe (Akwa-Ibom)

Igunnuko (Eko)

GALA NIGHT

FILM SHOWS

-> Roots

-> Amazing Grace

CHILDREN’S THEATRE

FITILA PROCESSION

OLOKUN FESTIVAL

OPENING CEREMONY

CLOSING CEREMONY

CLOSING CONCERT

FOOD FAIR

AFRICAN TRADITIONAL GAMES

AFRICAN FASHION /LAGOS HAIR SHOW

ART & CRAFT ZONE

Crafts Artisans from the Lagos region of Nigeria and from around the world converge at Festival Crafts zone to demonstrate and sell their works. It is held at various locations around Badagry, Lagos and other selected locations around Lagos State.

Display Hours are 10am to 9pm.

SYMPOSIUM

The Lagos Black Heritage Festival Symposium creates a forum of Intellectual discourse of themes related to black history, heritage and the relevance of memory to contemporary concerns.

EXHIBITIONS

(a). Presence Africaine – Books Exhibition.

(b). Slavery Objects

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

Wole Soyinka

For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran. For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will. The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. This will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission, all three now ancestral figures: the Martiniquan poet, dramatist, pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop (whose centennial anniversary comes up in the year 2010, and the poet, essayist, and statesman Leopold Sedar Senghor. With this emphasis, a further step is taken to diminish the fragmentations in a common race heritage that were created through colonization under competing European cultures on African soil.

The three ancestors led a closely intertwined career. Cesaire, it will be recalled, was a principal midwife, in company of Leopold Sedar Senghor and others, of the philosophy of Negritude, the Beingness of Black. In addition to the performance of Cesaire’s plays and readings from his poetry, rare archival material from Alioune Diop’s pioneering journal, Presence Africaine, of which Aime Cesaire was also past president, will be placed on exhibition for the first time in this country. At the same time, Lagos State pays tribute also to the late President Leopold Sedar Senghor who was the inspiration and spearhead of the first ever internastional Negro Arts Festival (1966), the second edition of which the late Alioune Diop, served as Secretary-General and principal organizer. That second edition was called the Black and African Arts Festival, 1977, better known as FESTAC.

Buffered by a symposium, films, documentaries, a book exhibition, a gallery of contemporary art, music, theatre, concerts, traditional and contemporary dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African traditional games, not omitting from the Nigerian Film industry, this promises to be THE cultural event to round off the first decade of the millennium. The City of a Thousand Masks – Lagos – will herself be a player in the events, since the Festival programme will feature a unique competition – in association with the Caterina de Medici Foundation – where artists of African descent will vie for the ultimate laurel with their painterly impression on the theme CITY OF A THOUSAND MASKS, a contest that will be held before a live audience.

To sum up, a Festival of RECONNECTION, REVALUATION, REVINDICATION – this is the feast that Lagos State plans to serve up to discerning palates from within the country, the continent, and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and the Americas.

Wole Soyinka
Emeritus Professor in Literature
Obafemi Awolowo University
Nobel Laurette in Literature 1986

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MICHAEL JACKSON WAS BLEACHING!-THIS THE ECONOMIST OBITUARY TALKS ABOUT IT TOO!

March 18, 2010

THIS OBITUARY REFERS TO MICHAEL JACKSON’S BLEACHING(WHICH WOULD HAD KILLED HIM NEXT !)
哪怕对于一个近来被写滥了的话题和人物,经济学人都能写出与众不同的感觉。
丰富的词藻、极具画面感的描写,使得解释成为多余。仅粘贴于此,美文共赏。
Michael Jackson
Jul 2nd 2009
From The Economist print edition
Michael Jackson, pop star, died on June 25th, aged 50
Getty Images

FIRST, the songs. The light, infectious lilt of “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”. The sheer, vicious swoop of “Speed Demon”. The soft, syncopated sadness of “Billie Jean”, or the raucous shouts of “Bad”. His high, pure tenor was shot through with the little yips and sighs he had learnt from Diana Ross. And behind it lay the astonishing confidence of child-star Michael in “I’ll Be There” or “Rockin’ Robin”, with each note treble-true and each time-change as natural as taking breath.
Next, the dancing, springing from the music like a bird out of a trap. Pointing, jerking, thrusting, with rage in his feet, as Fred Astaire said once. He was at war with the floor as it slid away in the Moonwalk, and with the air as he spun through it. He danced with his knees, on tiptoe, hunching his shoulders to his ears. His splayed hand pulled at his crotch as if emasculation would be sweet to him.
The show was everything. Lights made a giant of him as he stood motionless: one white, glittering, gloved hand raised, fedora pulled down at a slant. Under the tight, too-short trousers, sequinned socks (“No one would recognise Bruce Springsteen by his socks”). On stage he felt truly alive, invincible, “unlimited”. He would appear in explosions of smoke and fire, or fly away like an astronaut. On his videos he was a leader of crowds, prowling the city in “Thriller” (1983) in an outfit red as blood. P.T. Barnum was his model, crossed with Walt Disney. He wanted his life to be “the greatest show on earth”. And so, for much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was, with “Thriller” the biggest-selling album ever, eight Grammys in 1983, his dark, lavish videos a staple of the fledgling MTV channel and his place as the King of Pop assured.
In Neverland
What lay behind it? He told his biographer, Randy Taraborrelli, that he had “deep, dark secrets”. They were encased in a voice as soft as a whisper, a handshake that felt like a cloud, a face as pale and delicate as plastic surgery and

    Porcelana skin-bleach could make it

. Dark glasses and surgical masks kept the world away from him. On his estate at Neverland in southern California, remote from the “normal people” who might grab and scratch him, he lived like a child with blank-eyed mannequins, pet snakes and Ferris wheels. He shared his meals with a chimpanzee and his bed with young boys, “the most loving thing to do”. People spread rumours about him, even twice accused him of sexual abuse, but he was never proved guilty of anything: except love, and desire for lost childhood, and a longing to be Peter Pan.
But that too was a show. Behind it was a man who could not bear to hear that Elvis still surpassed him, or that Madonna had won a Grammy when he hadn’t. He could force hard deals and millions of dollars out of Motown, CBS and Sony in face-to-face confrontations; he could fire his manager and his lawyer, after years of service, without a trace of sentiment, for letting down the brand; he could beat Paul McCartney to the Beatles’ back catalogue and exploit it ruthlessly, despite their friendship. He performed for 18 years with his four elder brothers in the Jackson 5, the bouncing, grinning child from Gary, Indiana transforming into a global megastar, then left them as brutally as he had always upstaged them. But the family never left him.

    He blanked Joseph Jackson from his life and excised him from his face

, but could not forget his father’s exhortation to be “a winner, not a loser”. Perfectionism, like distrust, had been beaten into him.
What show business required, he had also learnt, was to give the fans what they wanted. If they demanded fantasies, he would provide them. (“The longer it takes them to discover [who I am], the more famous I will be.”) From the end of the 1980s he devised ever more headline-grabbing ventures: bidding for the bones of the Elephant Man, sleeping in an oxygen chamber, appearing in toyshops and galleries in garish wigs and moustaches. Dates were arranged with Tatum O’Neal and Brooke Shields to prove he was all man, rather than the shrinking virgin of his other public self. Two marriages were undertaken, three children vicariously produced.
Oddness overshadowed his real, hard-won achievements: world adulation for a black pop star, the birth of video celebrity, and millions of dollars given to black causes. If the press stayed on his weird story, he believed, his records would sell. The risk was that the weirdness would multiply until he was hardly human.
His last public appearance, before his death of apparent cardiac arrest, was to announce a series of 50 sold-out concerts in London. Hours before his death he was rehearsing for them, exuding joy, energy and sharp judgment. His glitter jackets, the tabloids claimed later, hid a body that was half-starved, subsisting on painkillers. Though he was worth $1.3 billion, said the Sun, he died with debts of $300m.
But he had sold 750m albums and, from Riga to Rio, children danced like him. In the words of his “Dirty Diana”,
That’s OK
Hey baby do what you want
I’ll be your night lovin’ thing
I’ll be the freak you can taunt
And I don’t care what you say
I want to go too far
I’ll be your everything
If you make me a star

OBAMA!-OFCOURSE OUR SMART BLACK PRESIDENT IS WINNING!-FROM THE WEEK.COM

March 13, 2010

FROM theweek.com

Robert ShrumEmail
Is Obama winning?
The president’s long-game strategy has confounded a town with a famously short attention span. With Obama doubling down on health reform, our columnist doubles down on Obama.
posted on March 11, 2010, at 5:00 PM

Robert Shrum Photo:
As the dreary winter winds down, the political weather is also changing. On the economy, the green shoots of recovery, seeded more than a year ago, may now have their spring. On health care, the Obama renaissance is real—a historic achievement is within reach. And as these events unfold, the media, in an act of swift revisionism, may conclude that the White House, rather than falling victim to an internal conflict between idealism and pragmatism, has instead married them to advance its ambitious agenda.

First, the economy.

The devoutly conservative Larry Kudlow, of the Reagan administration and CNBC, insisted on Obama’s inauguration day that markets were the most reliable predictors of the future. He was right. With unemployment down from peak levels and job losses ebbing, with housing prices stabilized and other indicators pointing up, the Standard & Poor’s stock index has soared nearly 70 percent since its March 2009 lows—and nearly 40 percent since Obama took office with an economy teetering on the brink of depression.

This remarkable rise anticipates as many as hundreds of thousands of jobs, which forecasters are now predicting not for next year but for this month. During the interregnum between passage of the stimulus bill last year and its impact this year, the president was urged to focus solely on “jobs, jobs, jobs”—as though the mantra itself would create them. But his policies had already averted the depression and begun to reverse the decline. More stimulus would help, and it will come—not in a largely symbolic jobs bill but in the Keynesian deficits of Obama’s new budget.

Obama refused to play to a public gallery angry at the bailouts that have proved indispensable to saving the financial sector. And he has defied the ill-informed clichés and partisan complaints about deficits. The fiscal outcry will fade as the economy strengthens, and a vindicated president will take the credit—and begin to close the budget gap.

Second, health reform.

Massachusetts supposedly sounded the death knell for a bill devoid of death panels. Washington wisdom, appearing triumphant, congratulated itself for having predicted that the smears would win in the end. But the president has a longer attention span than the cable networks. Instead, he pushed ahead, and harder, echoing the compelling clarity of his campaign voice in 2008.

Where was this full-throated champion of reform last summer? Tending to legislative strategy—patiently seeding Washington’s parched terrain. Obama had to try working with the GOP to convince enough moderate and Blue Dog Democrats to go along. Reconciliation, the recondite budget procedure that has become as familiar in this debate as it was frequent under Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes, probably would be impossible without the “wasted” months last summer during which the awkward and earnest Democratic Sen. Max Baucus negotiated with his Republican opposite, the fallow Sen. Charles Grassley. Now Senate Democrats seem all but united in their resolve to use reconciliation. The bluest of Blue Dogs, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, has rebuffed the call of Republicans like Lindsey Graham to join in a bipartisan “gang” pledge to safeguard a right to filibuster. So has Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, who’s unequivocal “this bill is going to pass” should stiffen the spines of fellow moderates.

I doubt that congressional Democrats will heed the solicitous advice of Republicans that the only way to save themselves politically is to forsake health reform. They understand, as the president has argued, that they are far better off with Americans experiencing the bill than fearing it. I’m also convinced that enough members of the Progressive Caucus will consult their consciences—and conclude that health coverage for 30 million more Americans is more urgent than even the best-intentioned demand for all or nothing. (If the GOP and the insurance industry so bitterly oppose the bill, then it must be worth passing.)

Obama’s strategy, partly shaped by events, also reflects the combination of qualities that brought him to the Oval Office—and makes it more than likely that he will reach the goal that has eluded the nation since Theodore Roosevelt first proposed national health care in 1912. Obama has been “a steel fist in a velvet glove”—Carl Standburg’s description of Lincoln. The president who doesn’t panic, didn’t.

Third, the White House intrigues.

This story has been so arresting because it’s so uncharacteristic of the Obama operation. It started with a Washington Post column followed by a Page 1 article explaining how the president had been wisely warned by his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to choose bite-size rather than comprehensive health reform, to put off the closure of Guantánamo and to forego big change in favor of incrementalism. The story line migrated from the Post to The New York Times, which featured its own Page 1 portrayal of Obama’s friend and chief strategist David Axelrod as a naïf.

At a decisive moment in the health debate, the press suddenly pictured a White House fractured, with Emanuel pragmatically doubting the president’s health proposal and Axelrod gullibly, idealistically promoting it.

I’ve known Axelrod for more than two decades. He’s smart, principled, and tough. His anonymous critics have never come close to pulling off anything like the hard-nosed game changer he coached in 2008. I suspect the attacks on him only reinforce the president’s appreciation for Axelrod’s loyalty and candor—along with Obama’s own determination not to surrender progress to the Washington quagmire.

And here’s something I don’t know—where this premeditated spate of spin originated. Emanuel is very smart, too, and a paladin of inside maneuver. The transparently self-serving portrait of him as the level-minded presence in a Panglossian White House is so potentially self-destructive that you have to suspect—and someone in the administration suggested this to me—that the story may have come from “sources” out to hurt him or to derail the health bill.

But what’s in today’s papers is not the president’s focus. Obama takes the long view and plays a long game—just as he and Axelrod did in the campaign. Against the odds, the president and his “idealist” may actually break the chokehold of the conventional and petty Washington doctrine that less is more and political cowardice is the better part of wisdom. And if this president succeeds on health reform as well as on the economy, he will be empowered to advance the rest of an agenda that ranges from financial reform to the prodigious task of tackling climate change (even in an atmosphere of denial). He will begin to heal the shattered faith in government, opening the way to a new progressive era.

The first electoral verdict will come in the voting booths of 2010. Despite the dire predictions, the Obama comeback could be cemented as early as November. Assuming those jobs materialize, Democrats could minimize their losses and hold both Houses of Congress.

By 2012, with a full-blown recovery and wide ranging change achieved, it may well be morning in Obama’s America. And the Republicans, desperate to explain away prosperity, or still fulminating against socialism, will once again descend ungently into that good night.

There is something about them that seems comfortable with the darkness.

OBAMA!-A VIEW OF THE POSITIVE OUTCOME OF OBAMA’S HEALTH SUMMIT-FROM ARIS-UNCHAINED.COM

February 27, 2010

FROM

« Time to Mount Up!
Health Care Summit 2010: the Road Forward
February 26th, 2010 | Author: Aris

speed limit infinity-There are moments in each our lives that we just know are going to be the snapshots our minds will use to remember important events that must never be forgotten. Sometimes they are snapshots that are uniquely our own, like watching a child’s first steps, or the first moment you laid eyes on your spouse-to-be and felt the invisible lighting wrack your senses. But sometimes they are snapshots that we all share, like Armstrong’s boot hitting the surface of the moon, the last moments of Kennedy’s life as a sniper’s bullets found their mark, or the still vivid horror of September 11th 2001.

Yesterday’s health care summit may very well turn out to be the snapshot of the Obama presidency and a seven hour highlight reel of how the 21st century will see to it that Lincoln’s words remain immortal, that a “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

I originally envisioned writing a different piece today to recap yesterday’s historic health summit. I thought I would be doing what every other pundit is doing today, giving you my own blow-by-blow account of who the winners and losers were in this free-to-view, televised, bipartisan match up that was intended to be a political game of Bridge, not only as a metaphor about closing a divide, but as a game intended to see if opposing parties could be thrust upon each other from across a table, check out the cards they were dealt, and try to work as a team to actually win a hand for the American people. But, I changed my mind. This turned out to be too important and it deserves to be more than that. I can only hope I can rise to the challenge and find a way to articulate the history that I saw unfold yesterday.

I’ll admit it. When President Obama got in front of the cameras during the most viewed television event in history, this year’s Super Bowl, and presented the challenge to Congress to come together and try to move forward on Health Care Reform legislation, something that has been held just out of our reach for the last five decades, I thought to myself, finally, here will be a forum to separate the posers from the players. This will be the chance to for the American people to see if their wishes are truly being represented by those they charged with the task to be their voice. What I was privileged enough to witness instead was a mechanism of transparency that I hope will be repeated with every major piece of legislation that proves to be so philosophically contentious that our legislators simply can not find a way to build bridge long enough to span an ocean’s divide and put the American people back into the conversation.

It was amazing to hear from so many old-time career congressmen and congresswomen that they have never been part of anything like this summit in all their years and that they have never seen this body act so civilly with each other for so long when meeting over a piece of legislation that has such deep party lines drawn in the sand. Why not? If they don’t normally behave like the quasi-nobles they want us to think they are, why do they insist on calling each other distinguished? Now we know they can all walk the walk when the cameras are on, let’s hope they can take this obviously new lesson to budget meetings and the endless hours of debate that are required to build a meaningful consensus and hammer out the details on the things that Americans want and deserve.

When President Obama made his opening remarks, he tried to set the tone that would be needed for progress. He didn’t want it to be another day of focusing on the details that divide, he wanted to focus on the details that both parties seem to embrace, things like the unacceptable practice of allowing pre-existing conditions to be used as a device to deny or drop someone’s coverage, bringing down premiums for everyone, and getting decent, accessible health care for the frustrated legions of hard working Americans and small businesses that have nowhere else to turn for help.

But the moment I saw the Republican Whip, Eric Cantor, and Republican Minority Leader, John Boehner, walk into the room risking a hernia by lugging in the 2400 page House and Senate Bill, I knew where this was meeting was going to go. What I didn’t know is that they would be getting my thanks today. Thank you for sticking steadfast to your guns and personifying the word “unyielding” from a minority position, thank you for having such an obtuse opinion of the American people that you thought courtroom theatrics would provide the smoke and mirrors needed to misdirect the viewing public from the big white elephant in the room. Thank you for showing us all your true colors. Thank you for helping America see the light. And most of all, thank you for lighting the torches for us on the once dark path to a reconciliation vote that will see the simplest and most ancient tenet of democracy find its bloom, the majority rules.

Barack Obama did what great Presidents do, he engaged the American public in the process. But at the same time, he showed us once again what kind of truly unique enigma he is. Every time he faces an opponent, they think it’s going to be a cake walk. Ask Hillary Clinton, or even better, ask John McCain what it is exactly that he is reminded of every day. They all seem to make the mistake of thinking that because he doesn’t engage in the customary chest-pounding we’ve grown accustomed to, they will be able to lead him around like a puppy on leash and have their way.

Time and time again he proves to be something else, something I can best describe as a shy matador. I know it’s an oxymoron, after all, there is nothing normally shy about a matador, but it sums up what I see in this man. Before he get’s into the ring the spectacle has already started, the crowd is already electric with anticipation and it is the matador’s job to take charge of the bull’s final passes. He has to be on his toes and posses the agility of a feline, he has to use brains before brawn, he has to know when to flash red and instigate a charge, and he has to know when to move and allow the bull’s momentum to offer him a clear shot with his blade that will make the beast’s vulnerable spot his undoing.

After a day of the same tired talking points, his closing statement did exactly that, and more. The look on John Cantor’s face when President Obama, Mr. Hope himself, actually mouthed the words that a compromise may not be able to be reached, you finally saw the dumbfounding realization wash over him that they had blown a perfect opportunity to affect the change they want by choosing theatrics over substance, by distancing themselves from opportunity instead of embracing it. It was almost as priceless as watching Obama completely baffle John McCain by agreeing with him flat out on the point he was trying to make and turning him into a stuttering mess.

In 21st century America, forums like this have got to be made common practice. As everyday Americans rehash yesterday’s events with conversations around the water cooler and kitchen tables, as people ask themselves if they want to put their boat in a ”pool” or a lake, as they grapple with the logic presented by both sides and make an educated determination about what is truly best for themselves, I would be stupefied if there is not substantial movement in the polls, now that a lot of the shadowy mystery has been dragged into the light. If I’m wrong, I’ll grin and bear it, but if I’m right, I will be delighted and filled with a newfound confidence that we really can take our government back if the doors and windows are wide open for all of us to peer in on the proceedings that decide our future.

If these legislators want to keep saying that America rejects this, or embraces that, at least have the common decency to let us see what’s actually behind door number one and door number two. I think America is quickly getting sick and tired of making every decision based on whether it is stamped with an R or a D.

Everyone agreed that health care must be reformed. Everyone agreed that our current trajectory is unsustainable. Now that America finally had a chance to hear everyone’s positions loud and clear, I am confident that we will have a law in place by mid April and I really do hope that Republicans in Congress can look past their own nose and work across the aisle to represent their constituencies and do their very best to get more of their ideas implemented before they are simply left out of the discussion altogether as Democrats have been 16 out of the 22 times a reconciliation vote has been used in our recent history.

If the majority was really against the bill on the table, as every Republican yesterday professed, wouldn’t it be President John McCain calling the shots? Obama wasn’t miming his intentions to overhaul the system when stadiums were filled with the hopeful and the entire world tuned in for 2 years of tire kicking and checking under the hood. And I hope that everyone agrees with the mathematical truth that 51% still constitutes a majority.

President Obama will not wait to bring desperately needed relief to struggling Americans because time will not stop for anyone. This moment is too important, this moment decides the future, this moment is in our hands. It’s time to do the right thing.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: 2010, Blair House, Boehner, Cantor, Health Care, Obama, pelosi, summit
7 Responses to “Health Care Summit 2010: the Road Forward”

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Victoria:
February 26, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Great analysis. Thoughtful, insightful and well written. btw: I think you’re right!
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Daniel McKernan:
February 26, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Nice job Aris. I loved the matador analogy, it sure fits for President Obama.
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Donna No Shock:
February 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Another masterpiece Aris. You have so many great points in this article but this one struck me the most, “Barack Obama did what great Presidents do, he engaged the American public in the process”. This is what sets him apart from so many others and puts him IMO in the class of FDR, Lincoln and Kennedy. They understood the importance of bringing us, we the people, into the process.

Thank you for an excellent, insightful article.
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Nadia:
February 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Aris, I truly believe that God is at work at All Times and this definitely shows the words penned had to be put down in writing.President Barack Obama is Nobody’s Fool But very much an Intellectual which is why he belongs in the position he carries today as PRESIDENT of this Country. I also want to mention that the Role of the Republicans is to Ridicule our President but this only makes Americans realise how these so called Lawmakers have no Manners and Charisma in Comparison to our President who very much shows COURTESY and Politeness to ALL even to those who are against HIM and out to destry him,however I applaud your beautiful analysis and I definitely laughed at your analogy of the Matador. It is Good.
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Peter:
February 26, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Aris again you demostrated your eloquence & extraordinary ability to grasp the events that plague our society today. Indeed you are doing what President Obama so desperately is trying to accomplish, and that is to open the eyes of those republicans that it is high time to meet the health care requirements of the people of America to have a revised health care system that meets the needs of all..
Congratulations, you are our representitive on the forefront of this issue. I hope The President can notice your contributions.
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VIR MIR:
February 27, 2010 at 12:58 am

Aris good job, I liked it a lot but some may find it too long.
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Dr. Vigilance:
February 27, 2010 at 9:51 am

Dear Aris: I find your analysis of the arduous and supremely intricate Summit 2010 session stimulating and intriguing.Your erudite and well-researched essays remind me of the great American writer and patriot Thomas Paine as well as of the endearing wit and common sense of Will Rogers. You have the rare ability to reinterpret what we all have witnessed – some with mixed feelings – in an appealingly constructive way. You marry pragmatism to idealism! Consequently, you arrive at original conclusion, well-framed in a coherent historical context.
A brief digression into a matter of urgency to all authors, especially freelancers and those devoted to to advancing our common welfare. Roy Blount Jr. president of Authors Guild (Authors Guild Bulletin, Winter 2010, page 4) editorializes: “…there is the school of thought that books shouln’t cost anything because ‘information wants to be free.’ …a book is more than information. It’s someone’s – several people’s – work…. To send one’s child to… universities costs (say) an author maybe $50,000 a year. How about College wants to be free?” I would add that while authors breathe air, they can definitely not live on air alone. You, Aris, are a valued member of a select fraternity/sorority of altruistic souls gifted with writing skills. Their incandescent conscience impels them to give freely of their precious time and energy to improve the lot of the American people. Therefore, I am pleased to send you our modest contribution for continuing to elighten and entertain your many readers at, I should think, considerable personal sacrifice!
The “loyal” Republican Opposition promotes an “incremental” approach to the health reform initiative. But many vital enterprises demand a unitary and soundly integrated design and execution. The result is most felicitous when created by a visonary genius – alas, a species in short supply in this or any other age. Imagine the immortal Taj Mahal or the sublime Sistine Chapel, if designed by quarrelsome committees and subjected to iunterminable popularity polls, amendments and delays. Compare, for contemporary good measure, the chaotic evolution of the most worthy post-9/11 monument/plaza/edifices on Manhattan’s Ground Zero! First conceived by an uncompromising master architect, the noble project has been floundering for years – a shameful exercise in disunity. Self-serving moentary interests, political bickering and short-sightedenss are fully to blame. Shall we not learn from that debacle?
And lastly, is it not ironic that when it comes to critical issues of public health the supposedly “family-oriented” conservative statesmen and women exhibit seeming disregard for some fundamental ethical principles held in common by all dedicated Humanists and genuine followers of the Judeo-Christan faiths (and of course others like Buddhism and traditioanl Islam as well). These are currently best exemplified in the Democratic plan as presented to Congress. Are we not all deemed to be one another’s keepers and are we not charged with sharing our bounty with those who are hungry, impoverished or in need?
Thank you, Aris, and sincere congratulations, for so eloquently bringing to our attention much that could easily have become obscured by the heated arguments and counterarguments. Those darted about through heavy air for the better part of one day. Like you, I believe that good will and common sense – the largely untapped power of human reasoning – always prevail in the end. However, time marches relentlesssly on and we are fast running out of it.

OBAMA-ARGUMENT THAT MEDICARE BUY-IN IS BETTER THAN PUBLIC OPTION RIGHT NOW BY DAVE-AT BARACKOBAMA.COM

February 25, 2010

from barackobama.com

By Dave Yesterday at 1:05 am EST (Updated Yesterday at 1:05 am EST)
A medicare buy-in for those 50-64 is MUCH MUCH better then a “public option.”

Even Howard Dean says it would be better in a reconciliation bill then a public option, as it would be hard to work a strong public option into the format (and timeline) of a reconciliation bill.

Medicare is an EXISTING program, so nobody can argue you are creating this new bureacracy, it is non-controversial, and as it already exists the programs can start sooner.

The bill goes to the floor in March……the Medicare buy-in could begin 9 months later in December of 2010….people are able to sign up for it 3 months early..in September of 2010.

Everyone 50-64 gets this letter in the mail….they save $2,500…husband/wife together saves $5,000. Employers will give employees $2,000 bonuses to switch them to these plans as they are cheaper then the ones employers can buy.

This would be a HUGE success story for HCR in September…all these people 50-64….husband/wife now have $5,000 extra cash in 2011…2/3rds of people in this group will be voting Democrat in the mid-term elections…..HCR will be declared a success by 70% of Americans..

We could even in September then pass tort reform, pass a strong public option, as all we would need is one GOP vote in th eSenate…and Snowe might then vote for it….

This “public option” everyone here is excited about wouldn’t start until 2015…that is more then two election cycles away.

This medicare buy-in is more attractive to the mdoerate Demoicrats in the House and Senate whose votes are needed.

The strong public option will pass then in 2011 and probably start sooner (then 2015) and be stronger then the ones discussed in the House or Senate.

It will also save more in the CBO score, and be able to create more economic growth in 2011…


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