Posts Tagged ‘Black woman’

AZEEZAT-OUR BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY SINGS HER HEART OUT IN NIGERIA! -THE NATION NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

July 20, 2012

MUHAMMAD ALI LOVES US BLACK WOMEN AND HAS NOT MESSED WITH ANY WHITE WOMEN SINCE AS HE SAYS-“LEARNED BETTER!”

March 15, 2012



SONJA ROI CLAY, ALI'S FIRST WIFE WHO COULD NOT FOLLOW BLACK MUSLIM RULES SO SHE WAS DIVORCED AND HAS SINCE PASSED ON.

2ND WIFE KHADIJA BELINDA ALI


3RD WIFE VERONICA PORSE,MOTHER OF LAILA THE BOXER WAS 9 YEARS WITH HIM BEFORE DIVORCE!


4TH WIFE-STILL HANGING IN THERE SINCE 1986- YOLANDA-"LONNIE"(BLACKS CALL HER TYPE 'MORANY'(FREAKLES,REDDISH,NEAR ALBINO LOOKING)

Thursday, March 15, 2012
MUHAMMED ALI LOVES BLACK WOMEN AND HAS NOT MESSED WITH WHITE WOMEN SINCE HE HAS SAID “LEARNED BETTER” FROM THE BLACK MUSLIMS!

1,715
Uploaded by historycomestolife on Mar 20, 2011

Top Comments

I agree with Muhammed Ali’s racial seperatism, and I am a white man
flash34able 7 months ago 5
Yep I agree with Ali, I love my race of women. Any black man who doesn’t agree and would rather have a child that looks NOTHING like him obviously has some insecurities.
The1Heart1 7 months ago 4

see all
All Comments (12)
yeyeolade
Respond to this video…

MUHAMMAD ALI WAS TAUGHT BY THE BLACK MUSLIMS TO LEAVE WHITE WOMEN ALONE AND TREASURE BLACK WOMEN! THAT COMMENT ON THE LIGHTNESS OF HIS CHILDREN HAS TO DO WITH SLAVERY CAUSE WE KNOW HOW THEY RAPED BLACK WOMEN THEN AND THE MIXTURE IS COMING FROM THAT! HE HAS STUCK WITH BLACK WOMEN SINCE AS HE SAID -“LEARNED BETTER”! BLACK ON TO THAT! GOD MADE THE BLACK WOMEN FOR THE BLACK MAN!
yeyeolade 1 second ago

@pedrom41 I have nothing against anyone perfering and dating there own as long as they don’t harrass those who choose to date otherwise or look otherwise based on there race.
hydrolito 5 days ago
The preservation of an ethnicity is simply an impossibility. Diversity is the key of evolution as well as power. This is why the most successful countries are inclusive and don’t discriminate against others. Examples includes The Mongols, The arabic nations in the middle ages and most of the western world. You guys are idiots if you seriously think that people are merely extensions of a race rather the individuals.
PinkHeartChainsaw 2 months ago
I totally agree. I am Russian and I want to preserve my people. Political correctness talks about diversity but mixing destroys both peoples so that in the end, we’re all just some random mix, where is the diversity then?
Mr. Ali speaks a sentiment which we all feel but political correctness seeks to censor.
ForImperium 3 months ago
Has anyone seen his daughters? He had a baby with another black woman but yet his kids look mixed race.
MrCherubhair1 4 months ago
Muhammad Ali is awesome!
SGTLima66 5 months ago
@The1Heart1 TRUE DAT
Netertaat 6 months ago
I, too, agree with Ali’s comments.If I don’t want to marry or date a white woman that doesn’t mean that I hate white people. It simply means that I prefer and feel more confortable staying with my own. What’s wrong with that? Conversely, I don’t hold as a racist a white person who prefers date and marry his/her own.
pedrom41 7 months ago 2

SAVING YORUBA LANGUAGE! -YOU CAN NOW TEXT AND THE RECEIVER CAN GET THE VOICE MESSAGE IN YORUBA! (OR ANY OTHER AFRICAN LANGUAGE!)

March 15, 2012

Ife researchers unveil local language text-to-voice application – 234next

Move over twitter. Nigerian texters unhappy that their messages can only be accessed by people able to read in English Language can now breathe easier as local researchers have concluded work on an application that renders texts in local languages in audio.

To help secure, protect, and bring back most of the local languages that are going into extinction, Information and Communication Technology researchers at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, last week unveiled the technology through which texts are converted into voice messages in Nigerian indigenous languages by the recipient’s handset.

The research work is led by Tunji Odejobi, a local computer expert in constraint satisfaction and programming and Rick Wallace, a professor at the Cork University, Ireland.

“Even if you don’t even know how to read and write in the formal sense of it, the technology can leverage that,” Mr Odejobi said.

“So technology has redefined what we call literacy now. But the key item in this is the use of language. If you want to a local language that doesn’t speak your language, then you can use technology to get your mind across to such people. That is what we have done. You can use what we are doing today to achieve such communication in various languages between the sender and receivers of a message. If we don’t do this, we are just going to kill our languages silently. It can help smoothen the culture by having common language of communication and giving other languages a place to showcase their values and culture too,” he added.
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Source: 234next news
August 15, 2011 By Bunmi Awolusi

MARCUS GARVEY -OUR GREATEST BLACK LEADER! -HE ORGANIZED MORE BLACK PEOPLE WORLDWIDE THAN ANY OTHER!

March 4, 2012




“SPEAK,GARVEY,SPEAK!” -BLACK PEOPLE SHOUTED TO MARCUS GARVEY WITH GUNS PULLED OUT FOR THE WHITE POLICE WHO WERE OUT FOR STOPPING HIM!-OUR GREATEST BLACK LEADER AND BLACK POWER FOR REAL!

“Speak, Garvey, Speak!”A Follower Recalls a Garvey Rally
The Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey, a brilliant orator and black nationalist leader, turned his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) into the most important black organization in the United States in the early 1920s. Garvey’s speeches often drew huge audiences, and stories of Garvey’s stubborn resistance in the face of white hostility proliferated among his supporters. In an oral history interview, devotee Audley Moore remembered the Jamaican’s defiant behavior at a rally in New Orleans caused “the [white] police [to] file out . . . like little puppy dogs with their tails behind them.” She proudly recalled the crowd intimidating the police by raising their guns and chanting “speak, Garvey, speak.”
Listen to Audio: Queen Mother Audley Moore: They didn’t want Garvey to speak in New Orleans. We had a delegation to go to the mayor, and the next night, they allowed him to come. And we all was armed. Everybody had bags of ammunition, too. So when Garvey came in, we applauded, and the police were lined man to man along the line of each bench. So Mr. Garvey said, “My friends, I want to apologize for not speaking to you last night. But the reason I didn’t was because the mayor of the city of New Orleans committed himself to act as a stooge for the police department to prevent me from speaking.” And the police jumped up and said, “I’ll run you in.”When he did this, everybody jumped up on the benches and pulled out their guns and just held the guns up in the air and said, “Speak, Garvey, speak.”And Garvey said, “As I was saying,” and he went on and repeated what he had said before, and the police filed out the hall like little puppy dogs with their tails behind them. So that was radical enough. I had two guns with me, one in my bosom and one in my pocketbook, little 38 specials.
Source: Interview done by the Oral History of the American Left, Tamiment Library, NYU for the public radio program Grandma Was An Activist, producers Charlie Potter and Beth Friend.

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THE VIEWS OF AFRICAN SOCIALIST ABOUT GARVEY-

Marcus Garvey Lives! Legacy Carried Forward by the ASI
Aug 17
Posted by Enaemaehkiw Túpac Keshena
Today, August 17, is the birthday of Marcus Garvey, one of the most important anti-imperialist leaders of the last 150 years. In celebration I am reposting the following article from the August 2006 issue of The Burning Spear Newspaper, the organ of the African People’s Socialist Party.
Each August, growing numbers of Africans around the world celebrate the birth of Marcus Mosiah Garvey who was born on August 17, 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay, Saint Ann, Jamaica.
The celebration of Garvey’s birth date is due to the fact that since the attack on Africa that led to the capture, dispersal and enslavement of millions of Africans and the colonization and balkanization of Africa, no African has been more instrumental in creating the vision of a free and liberated Africa and African people. No African has been more successful in setting the example for organized resistance that would result in the liberation and unification of Africa and African people everywhere.
Garvey, more than anyone, contributed to the ideas advancing the existence of African people as a dispersed nation to be liberated from imperialism and served by our own all-African government in Africa.
In 1914, Garvey organized the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Jamaica. At the time, the UNIA was conceived as a fraternal reform association that would work for the upliftment of African people through the creation of educational institutions and industrial opportunities. However, it was only after his location to Harlem in 1916 that the organization began to achieve rapid growth.
By 1920, there were more than a thousand UNIA branches and divisions around the world. In August of 1920 at its first convention, held in Madison Square Garden in New York, more than 25,000 Africans from Africa and virtually everywhere else Africans had been forcibly dispersed, came together in a month-long display of unity and organization never before witnessed by Africans or anyone else.
The UNIA, which would become the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League, was comprised of members and followers who were mostly working class. This was one of the most important reasons for its strength, estimated at being from 6 to 11 million members and followers, and also one of the reasons it was greatly feared and hated by various imperialist governments and significant sectors of African middle class leadership, most of which saw assimilation into U.S. imperialist society as the only way to achieve their aspirations.
Garvey Makes Incredible Accomplishment in Building Steamship Line
In 1919, the UNIA founded the Black Star Line Steamship Corporation. This was one of several ventures that included the Universal Printing House, the Negro Factories Corporation, and the Negro World Newspaper, printed in three languages.
Marcus Garvey built a single internationl economic capacity for African people in the eraly 1900s that has not yet been duplicated. This was on of the many aspect of Garvey’s work to consolidate a single African nation.
All of these were among the efforts to create an economy around which the oppressed and dispersed African nation would be organized. Central to these efforts was the Black Star Line that was to initiate trade between Africans worldwide.
The Black Star Line venture failed because of a number of factors including inexperience on the part of Garvey and the UNIA. And, while the ineptitude of Garvey and the UNIA is something all his detractors, then and now, love to expound on as being the reason for the failure of the Black Star Line, this explanation overlooks the fact that this was not the primary reason for its failure. It also overlooks the significance of the creation of the Black Star Line.
The fact is that Garvey and the UNIA built a steam ship line in 1919 when almost the whole African world lived under white colonial domination, the exceptions being the nominal independence of Liberia and Ethiopia. Additionally, this was only a little more than 50 years after the formal emancipation of enslaved Africans in the U.S. and during the year that was the bloodiest in post-emancipation America in terms of anti-African terror launched by whites in the U.S.
Clearly, this was not a sign of ineptitude. If anything, it was miraculous.
Also, the hostility of the U.S. and white society to African economic advancement during the period is revealed in the fact that only two years after the launching of the Black Star Line, the Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma was attacked and bombed, destroying it. Today no one claims that the destruction in Tulsa was due to the ineptitude of the African business people there.
No. Ineptitude was not the primary factor in the failure of the Black Star Line. The most critical factor in its failure was the active opposition and sabotage by the U.S. government, the white left, and the African petty bourgeoisie. The Communist Party USA worked tirelessly to undermine Garvey while the NAACP and W.E.B. Du Bois actively sought the support of the U.S. attorney general to acquire a ship that could be used to destroy the Black Star Line.
Along with the white left and African petty bourgeois active opposition, the Bureau of Investigation (precursor to the FBI), launched its own vicious campaign to rid the imperialist world of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA. In 1922, Garvey would be indicted by the U.S. government on contrived charges of using the mail to defraud through sale of the Black Star Line stock.
Though the charge was politically motivated and facilitated by agents who worked within the Black Star Line for the U.S. government, Garvey was tried and imprisoned in 1925. He spent two years in prison before being released and deported to Jamaica.
The movement that Garvey led would never be the same after his imprisonment and deportation. Agents and opportunists within the organization and enemies without were finally able to render the UNIA ineffective. Garvey, from his location in Jamaica and separated from the connections and membership in the U.S. — which was then becoming a major imperialist center — was unable to effectively defend the organization. On June 10, 1940, Marcus Mosiah Garvey died in relative obscurity in London, England.
Garvey Initiated Process of Creating a United, Liberated Africa that Influenced Other Oppressed Peoples’ Struggles
However, the legacy of Marcus Garvey lives today. And it should, despite the barrage of slander that had been unleashed against him when alive and despite the efforts by U.S. and European imperialists and African petty bourgeois liberals to erase him from history.
Garvey was not only the man who moved toward constructing a unifying national economy and a vision for African liberation, unification and redemption. He was also voted by oppressed Africans from around the world as the provisional president of Africa when Africa suffered under the book of direct white power colonialism.
Garvey began creating all the organizations and symbols of State power to be exercised by an independent African people. He initiated a process in Liberia, where he bought land and sent a construction expedition there that would create a beachhead from which the struggle to free Africa could be launched.
The great meetings of the Garvey movement at its Liberty Halls, especially in New York, would become of major interest to all imperialists. Not only were Africans from throughout the world, especially seamen, constantly visiting these meetings, but also other oppressed people and their developing leaders, such as Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh who regularly attended Garvey meetings.
The Negro World also became a major irritant to imperialists. During the period of the resistance to U.S. imperialism in Nicaragua during the 1920s, the Negro World became a means through which followers of the anti-imperialist Nicaraguan revolutionary leader Augusto Sandino would communicate and advance their ideas.
On August 13, 1920, the UNIA adopted the Declaration of Rights of The Negro Peoples of the World. The significance of this declaration resonates today, some 86 years later. Among the complaints laid out in the declaration is Point 3 which declares, “That European nations have parceled out among them and taken possession of nearly all of the continent of Africa, and the natives are compelled to surrender their lands to aliens and are treated in most instances like slaves.”
Among the rights advanced by the declaration is this one that declares, “that Negroes, wheresoever they form a community among themselves should be given the right to elect their own representatives to represent them in Legislatures, courts of law, or such institutions as may exercise control over that particular community…
“…We believe that the Negro should adopt every means to protect himself against barbarous practices inflicted upon him because of color…
“…We believe in the freedom of Africa for the Negro people of the world…
“…We strongly condemn the cupidity of those nations of the world who, by open aggression or secret schemes, have seized the territories and inexhaustible natural wealth of Africa, and we place on record our most solemn determination to reclaim the treasures and possession of the vast continent of our forefathers…
“…We believe in the self-determination of all peoples…
“…We demand complete control of our social institutions without interference by any alien race or races…
“…That the colors, Red, Black and Green, be the colors of the Negro race…
“…We proclaim the 31st day of August of each year to be an international holiday to be observed by all Negroes…
“…We want all men to know that we shall maintain and contend for the freedom and equality of every man, woman and child of our race, with our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor…”
These select quotes from the extensive declaration helps us to understand the significance of the vision and the organizational efforts of the movement founded and led by Marcus Garvey. They also help to explain why the legacy of Garvey is eternal.
Political Movement of Pan Africanism Born in Opposition to Garvey
Today, with the crisis-ridden imperial white power groaning in response to the efforts of the oppressed peoples of the world to free ourselves from its domination, more and more of the African middle class or petty bourgeoisie are also looking toward Africa and some form of African unity.
In many ways, this is similar to the time of Garvey when for a time the imperialists were engaged in the first imperialist war to divide the world among themselves and oppressed peoples everywhere were attempting to forge their own path to freedom from colonial domination.
The power of the Garvey legacy has resulted in an effort by some, especially petty bourgeois African liberals, to lump Garvey and Du Bois together as founding fathers of practical, political, Pan Africanism. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Garvey was not a Pan Africanist. In fact, Pan Africanism, as a political movement, was formed by Du Bois and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It was founded in opposition to the Garvey movement and as part of the overall imperialist-led struggle that led to its demise.
Both Du Bois and Garvey were always clear that they were opponents. In a June 20, 1921 letter to the New York Age and quoted in Volume III of the Marcus Garvey Papers edited by Robert Hill, Du Bois writes, “Bishop Smith mingles the Pan African Congress and the Garvey movement as practically one idea. This is a grave mistake. The Pan African Congress has nothing to do with any ‘Africa for the Africa[ns]’ movement. The object of the Pan African Congress is simply to bring representatives of the various people of African descent into knowledge and common acquaintanceship, so that out of such conferences general policies and actions can be evolved…
“Many colored persons know this, but have been restrained by the Garvey movement. Mr. Garvey’s African program has been dangerous, ill-considered[,] impracticable, and for that reason the Pan African Congress has not invited him to participate. On the other hand we must be generous enough to give Mr. Garvey the credit of having foreseen the necessity of union in business and social uplift between all the African people. He is not the man to carry this out because he lacks poise and business ability…”
Garvey, quoted in the same book on page 583, introduced this resolution during his opening address at the August 1921 UNIA convention:
“Be it resolved: That we, the duly elected representatives of the Negro peoples of the world, from North America, South America, Central America, West Indies, Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa, assembled in open conclave on this day of August, 1921, at the 12th Regiment Armory, New York City, United States of America…do hereby place on record our repudiation of a Pan African Congress to be held in London, England…
“Our repudiation of this Congress, as representatives of the Negro peoples of the world, is based on the fact that W.E.B. Du Bois, secretary of the so-called Pan African Congress, and those associated with him, are not representatives of the struggling peoples of the world, and that the men who have called the said Congress have not consulted with the Negro peoples of the world of their intention, and have received no mandate from the said people to call a Congress in their name…
“That we believe the motives of the Congress are to undermine the true feeling and sentiment of the Negro race for complete freedom in their own spheres, and for a higher social order among themselves, as against a desire among a certain class of Negroes for social contact, comradeship and companionship with the white race…”
There is no confusion here, by either Du Bois or Garvey. Moreover, a careful reading of the statements from both men will reveal the class bias of each.
Du Bois, with his concern for Garvey’s lack of poise and his begrudging and cynical praise for Garvey’s recognition for “union in business,” speaks volumes of his class sympathies as does Garvey’s complaint that Du Bois and his cohorts “are not representatives of the struggling peoples of the world.”
The imprisonment and deportation of Garvey were necessary for the development of the Pan Africanist movement which, up to then, was simply a gathering of a handful of African intellectuals, some of whom, like Blaise Diagne in France, actually worked for imperialist governments.
With Garvey’s forced removal from the scene, many people joined the Pan Africanist movement out of confusion while some others, like Garvey’s wife Amy Jaques Garvey, joined in 1945 in an effort to advance the work of her late husband.
Garvey’s Work Continues on in the Work to Build the African Socialist International
We, of the African People’s Socialist Party, are African Internationalists, followers of Garvey who continue to develop his ideas to make them consistent with the times in which we live.
Our opposition to Pan Africanism is not opposition to the literal translation of the words, which simply mean “all-African.” Our opposition is to what Pan Africanism is as a political expression.
People like Du Bois, and later George Padmore, created Pan Africanism as something petty bourgeoisie in outlook, pacifist and parliamentarian in tactics and strategy, anti-communist and neocolonialist in worldview.
However, for most people, Pan Africanism is whatever its advocates want it to be. It is not a theory, so much as it is a belief in the solidarity of African people worldwide, without regard for issues of class or practical program to liberate and unite Africa and African people in a revolutionary struggle against imperialism.
There have been many brilliant, heroic Pan Africanists. They include giants like Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Walter Rodney and Mangaliso Sobukwe. However, most of the difficulties and disasters that destroyed these courageous leaders and their movements, Rodney being a possible exception, came as a result of their adherence to the Pan African values that came from Du Bois and Padmore.
We believe that the efforts to build the African Socialist International, a single organization of African revolutionaries committed to the struggle to liberate and unite Africa and African people under the leadership of the African working class and to create a socialist United States of Africa is Garveyism in the era of imperialism in crisis.
For the African People’s Socialist Party the celebration of the legacy of Garvey means that we should live like him and fight to accomplish his vision in our lifetime. We call on all others who would be like Garvey and who go beyond the annual process of paying homage to a deceased Garvey, to join us in building the ASI, our greatest testimony to the fact that Garvey lives!

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FROM columbia.edu

A black nationalist, Marcus Garvey immigrated to Harlem in 1916. There he established Liberty Hall as headquarters for a movement that would grow to almost 2 million members.
Marcus Garvey in full uniform
Marcus Garvey
Thought by many blacks to be another Moses, Marcus Garvey rose from humble beginnings in Jamaica, West Indies, to become the number one advocate of the “Back to Africa movement.”

He left school at sixteen and went to work as an apprentice printer, organizing the printing workers in Kingston, Jamaica.

In 1917, he came to America and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), whose major goal was to create a strong Negro Nation in Africa. By 1920, the UNIA claimed more than 1 million members. In August of that year, their International Convention was held in New York City, where 25,000 people gathered to hear Garvey speak.

In 1923, Garvey was charged with and found guilty of using the mail service to defraud in connection with his fundraising to buy ships for the return to Africa. While imprisoned he wrote his famous “First Message to the Negroes of the World from Atlanta Prison,” where he said: “Look to me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God’s grace I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for liberty, freedom and life.”

Garvey died in 1940 in London, England. He was named Jamaica’s first national hero and buried in the National Heroes Park in Jamaica. This entry contributed by Curriculum Concepts International
Related Media

Video

Kenneth Jackson discusses Marcus Garvey Park and the man for whom it was named
Columbia University Professor of History Kenneth Jackson talks about Marcus Garvey Park, and the man for whom it was named.

Kellie Jones discusses Marcus Garvey Park
Kellie Jones, Columbia University Professor of Art History and Archeology, describes New York’s Marcus Garvey Park.

Images

Current view of Marcus Garvey Memorial Park
The Marcus Garvey Memorial Park interrupts Fifth Avenue between 120th and 124th Streets. Its 70-foot hill offers a view of the site of Garvey’s Liberty Hall on West 138th Street.

Marcus Garvey in full uniform
A black nationalist, Marcus Garvey immigrated to Harlem in 1916. There he established Liberty Hall as headquarters for a movement that would grow to almost 2 million members.

Envelope for Donations to UNIA
This envelope calls for joining and contributing to the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

Advertisement for a UNIA Convention
A 1924 UNIA flyer announces “Biggest Negro Convention in the History of the World: Program for Big Conclave Outlined.”

Lesson Plans

Marcus Garvey and the Rise of Black Nationalism

Marcus Garvey and the Rise of Black Nationalism – 4th Grade Adaptation

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http://minglecity.com/group/knowledgeisking/forum/topic/show?id=2322904%3ATopic%3A14847509

Mingle City

Mark Wells
Marcus Garvey

Posted by Mark Wells on December 20, 2009 at 1:22pm in KNOWLEDGE IS KING!!!!
Back to KNOWLEDGE IS KING!!!! Discussions

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
Marcus Garvey

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940), was a publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, Black Nationalist, Pan-Africanist, and orator. Marcus Garvey was founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL).

Prior to the twentieth century, leaders such as Prince Hall, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, and Henry Highland Garnet advocated the involvement of the African diaspora in African affairs. Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement focusing on Africa known as Garveyism. Promoted by the UNIA as a movement of African Redemption, Garveyism would eventually inspire others, ranging from the Nation of Islam, to the Rastafari movement (which proclaims Garvey as a prophet). The intention of the movement was for those of African ancestry to “redeem” Africa and for the European colonial powers to leave it. His essential ideas about Africa were stated in an editorial in the Negro World titled “African Fundamentalism” where he wrote:
“ Our union must know no clime, boundary, or nationality… let us hold together under all climes and in every country… ”

God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.
Marcus Garvey

Early years

Garvey was born in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, on 17 August 1887, to Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Sr., a mason, and Sarah Jane Richards, a domestic worker and farmer. Of eleven siblings, only Marcus and his sister Indiana reached maturity. Garvey’s father was known to have a large library, and it was from his father that Marcus gained his love for reading. Sometime in the year 1900, Garvey entered into an apprenticeship with his uncle, Alfred Burrowes. Like Garvey Sr., Burrowes had an extensive library, of which young Garvey made good use.When he was about fourteen, Garvey left St. Ann’s Bay for Kingston, where he found employment as a compositor in the printing house of P. A. Benjamin, Limited. He was a master printer and foreman at Benjamin when, in November 1907, he was elected vice-president of the Kingston Union. However, he was fired when he joined a strike by printers in late 1908. Having been blacklisted for his stance in the strike, he later found work at the Government Printing Office. In 1909, his newspaper The Watchman began publication, but it only lasted for three issues.

In 1910 Garvey left Jamaica and began traveling throughout the Central American region. He lived in Costa Rica for several months, where he worked as a time-keeper on a banana plantation. He began work as editor for a daily newspaper titled La Nacionale in 1911. Later that year, he moved to Colón, Panama, where he edited a biweekly newspaper before returning to Jamaica in 1912.

After years of working on the Caribbean, Garvey left Jamaica to live in London from 1912 to 1914, where he attended Birkbeck College, worked for the African Times and Orient Review, published by Dusé Mohamed Ali, and sometimes spoke at Hyde Park’s Speakers’ Corner.

I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
Marcus Garvey

Founding and Projects of the UNIA-ACL

During his travels, Garvey became convinced that uniting Blacks was the only way to improve their condition. Towards that end, he departed England on 14 June 1914 aboard the S.S. Trent, reaching Jamaica on 15 July 1914. He founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in August 1914 as a means of uniting all of Africa and its diaspora into “one grand racial hierarchy.” Amy Ashwood, who would later be Garvey’s first wife, was among the founders. As the group’s first President-General, Garvey’s goal was “to unite all people of African ancestry of the world to one great body to establish a country and absolute government of their own.”

Following much reflection the following day and night about what he learned, he named the organization the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities (Imperial) League.”

After corresponding with Booker T. Washington, Garvey arrived in the U.S. on 23 March 1916 aboard the S.S. Tallac to give a lecture tour and to raise funds to establish a school in Jamaica modeled after Washington’s Tuskegee Institute. Garvey visited Tuskegee, and afterward, visited with a number of Black leaders. After moving to New York, he found work as a printer by day. He was influenced by Hubert Harrison. At night he would speak on street corners, much like he did in London’s Hyde Park. It was then that Garvey perceived a leadership vacuum among people of African ancestry. On 9 May 1916, he held his first public lecture in New York City at St Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery and undertook a 38-state speaking tour.

In May 1917, Garvey and thirteen others formed the first UNIA division outside Jamaica and began advancing ideas to promote social, political, and economic freedom for Blacks. On 2 July, the East St. Louis riots broke out. On July 8, Garvey delivered an address, titled “The Conspiracy of the East St. Louis Riots,” at Lafayette Hall in Harlem. During the speech, he declared the riot was “one of the bloodiest outrages against mankind.” By October, rancor within the UNIA had begun to set in. A split occurred in the Harlem division, with Garvey enlisted to become its leader; although he technically held the same position in Jamaica.

Garvey next set about the business of developing a program to improve the conditions of those of African ancestry “at home and abroad” under UNIA auspices. On 17 August 1918, publication of the widely distributed Negro World newspaper began. Garvey worked as an editor without pay until November 1920. By June 1919 the membership of the organization had grown to over two million.

On 27 June 1919, the Black Star Line of Delaware, was incorporated by the members of the UNIA with Garvey as President. By September, it obtained its first ship. Much fanfare surrounded the inspection of the S.S. Yarmouth and its rechristening as the S.S. Frederick Douglass on 14 September 1919. Such a rapid accomplishment garnered attention from many.

One person who noticed was Edwin P. Kilroe, Assistant District Attorney in the District Attorney’s office of the County of New York. Kilroe began an investigation into the activities of the UNIA, without finding any evidence of wrongdoing or mismanagement. After being called to Kilroe’s office numerous times, Garvey wrote an editorial on Kilroe’s activities for the Negro World. Garvey was arrested and indicted for criminal libel in relation to the article, but charges were dismissed after Garvey published a retraction.

While in his Harlem office at 56 West 156th Street on 14 October 1919, Garvey received a visit from George Tyler, who told him that Kilroe “had sent him” to get Garvey. Tyler then pulled a .38-caliber revolver and fired four shots, wounding Garvey in the right leg and scalp. Garvey was taken to the hospital and Tyler arrested. The next day, it was let out that Tyler had committed suicide by leaping from the third tier of the Harlem jail as he was being taken to his arraignment.

By August 1920, the UNIA claimed four million members. That month, the International Convention of the UNIA was held. With delegates from all over the world in attendance, over 25,000 people filled Madison Square Garden on 1 August to hear Garvey speak.

Another of Garvey’s ventures was the Negro Factories Corporation. His plan called for creating the infrastructure to manufacture every marketable commodity in every big U.S. industrial center, as well as in Central America, the West Indies, and Africa. Related endeavors included a grocery chain, restaurant, publishing house, and other businesses.

Convinced that Blacks should have a permanent homeland in Africa, Garvey sought to develop Liberia.

The Liberia program, launched in 1920, was intended to build colleges, universities, industrial plants, and railroads as part of an industrial base from which to operate. However, it was abandoned in the mid-1920s after much opposition from European powers with interests in Liberia. In response to suggestions that he wanted to take all Americans of African ancestry back to Africa, he wrote, “We do not want all the Negroes in Africa. Some are no good here, and naturally will be no good there.”

Garvey has been credited with creating the biggest movement of people of African descent. This movement that took place in the 1920s is said to have had more participation from people of African descent than the Civil Rights Movement. In essence the UNIA was the largest Pan-African movement.

Our success educationally, industrially and politically is based upon the protection of a nation founded by ourselves. And the nation can be nowhere else but in Africa.
Marcus Garvey

Charge of mail fraud

In a memorandum dated 11 October 1919, J. Edgar Hoover, special assistant to the Attorney General, and head of the General Intelligence Division (or “anti-radical division”) of The Bureau of Investigation or BOI (after 1935, the Federal Bureau of Investigation), wrote a memorandum to Special Agent Ridgely regarding Marcus Garvey. In the memo, Hoover wrote that:
“ Unfortunately, however, he [Garvey] has not as yet violated any federal law whereby he could be proceeded against on the grounds of being an undesirable alien, from the point of view of deportation. ”

Sometime around November 1919 an investigation by the BOI was begun into the activities of Garvey and the UNIA. Toward this end, the BOI hired James Edward Amos, Arthur Lowell Brent, Thomas Leon Jefferson, James Wormley Jones, and Earl E. Titus as its first five African-American agents. Although initial efforts by the BOI were to find grounds upon which to deport Garvey as “an undesirable alien”, a charge of mail fraud was brought against Garvey in connection with stock sales of the Black Star Line after the U.S. Post Office and the Attorney General joined the investigation.

The accusation centered on the fact that the corporation had not yet purchased a ship with the name “Phyllis Wheatley”.[clarification needed] Although one was pictured with that name emblazoned on its bow on one of the company’s stock brochures, it had not actually been purchased by the BSL and still had the name “Orion”. The prosecution produced as evidence a single empty envelope which it claimed contained the brochure. During the trial, a man by the name of Benny Dancy testified that he didn’t remember what was in the envelope, although he regularly received brochures from the Black Star Line. Another witness for the prosecution, Schuyler Cargill, perjured himself after admitting[ to having been told to mention certain dates in his testimony by Chief Prosecutor Maxwell S. Mattuck. Furthermore, he admitted that he could not remember the names of any coworkers in the office, including the timekeeper who punched employees’ time cards. Ultimately, he acknowledged being told to lie by Postal Inspector F.E. Shea. He said Shea told him to state that he mailed letters containing the purportedly fraudulent brochures. The Black Star Line did own and operate several ships over the course of its history and was in the process of negotiating for the disputed ship at the time the charges were brought. Assistant District Attorney, Leo H. Healy, who was, before he became a District Attorney, attorney for Harris McGill and Co., the sellers of the first ship, the S. S. Yarmouth, to the Black Star Line Inc. was also a key witness for the government during the trial.

Of the four Black Star Line officers charged in connection with the enterprise, only Garvey was found guilty of using the mail service to defraud. His supporters called the trial fraudulent. While there were serious accounting irregularities within the Black Star Line and the claims he used to sell Black Star Line stock could be considered misleading, Garvey’s supporters still contest that the prosecution was a politically motivated miscarriage of justice, given the above-mentioned false statement testimony and Hoover’s explicit regret that Garvey had committed no crimes.

When the trial ended on 23 June 1923, Garvey had been sentenced to five years in prison. He initially spent three months in the Tombs Jail awaiting approval of bail. While on bail, he continued to maintain his innocence, travel, speak and organize the UNIA. After numerous attempts at appeal were unsuccessful, he was taken into custody and began serving his sentence at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary on 8 February 1925. Two days later, he penned his well known “First Message to the Negroes of the World From Atlanta Prison” wherein he makes his famous proclamation:
“ Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God’s grace, I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for Liberty, Freedom and Life. ”

Professor Judith Stein has stated, “his politics were on trial.”

Garvey’s sentence was eventually commuted by President Calvin Coolidge. Upon his release in November 1927, Garvey was deported via New Orleans to Jamaica, where a large crowd met him at Orrett’s Wharf in Kingston. A huge procession and band converged on UNIA headquarters.

The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.
Marcus Garvey

Criticism

While W. E. B. Du Bois expressed the Black Star Line was “original and promising,” he also said: “Marcus Garvey is, without doubt, the most dangerous enemy of the Negro race in America and in the world. He is either a lunatic or a traitor.”Du Bois feared that Garvey’s activities would undermine his efforts toward black rights.

Garvey suspected Du Bois was prejudiced against him because he was a Caribbean native with darker skin. Du Bois once described Marcus Garvey as “a little, fat black man; ugly, but with intelligent eyes and a big head.” Garvey called Du Bois “purely and simply a white man’s n*****” and “a little Dutch, a little French, a little Negro … a mulatto … a monstrosity.” This led to an acrimonious relationship between Garvey and the NAACP. Garvey accused Du Bois of paying conspirators to sabotage the Black Star Line to destroy his reputation.

At the National Conference of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in 1921 a Los Angeles delegate Noah Thompson spoke on the floor complaining on the lack of transparency in the group’s financial accounts. When accounts were prepared Thompson highlighted several sections with what he felt were irregularities.

Garvey recognized the influence of the Ku Klux Klan, and in early 1922, he went to Atlanta, Georgia for a conference with KKK imperial giant Edward Young Clarke.

According to Garvey, “I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together. I like honesty and fair play. You may call me a Klansman if you will, but, potentially, every white man is a Klansman, as far as the Negro in competition with whites socially, economically and politically is concerned, and there is no use lying.”[27] Leo H. Healy publicly accused Garvey of being a member of the Ku Klux Klan in his testimony during the mail fraud trial.

After Garvey’s entente with the Ku Klux Klan, a number of African American leaders appealed to U.S. Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty to have Garvey incarcerated.

Although historians tend to side with Du Bois, Theodore Vincent’s “Black Power and the Garvey Movement” contends that, “Cronon and most other scholars dealing with Garvey have misunderstood their subject, and have written off as unimportant a man who founded a most significant movement for black freedom.” This book is devoted to dispelling “militant” criticism of Garvey from people like W. E. B. Du Bois.

There shall be no solution to this race problem until you, yourselves, strike the blow for liberty.
Marcus Garvey

Later years

1928, Garvey travelled to Geneva to present the Petition of the Negro Race. This petition outlined the worldwide abuse of Africans to the League of Nations. In September 1929, he founded the People’s Political Party (PPP), Jamaica’s first modern political party, which focused on workers’ rights, education, and aid to the poor.

Also in 1929, Garvey was elected councilor for the Allman Town Division of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC). However, he lost his seat because of having to serve a prison sentence for contempt of court. But, in 1930, Garvey was re-elected, unopposed, along with two other PPP candidates.

In April 1931, Garvey launched the Edelweiss Amusement Company. He set the company up to help artists earn their livelihood from their craft. Several Jamaican entertainers — Kidd Harold, Ernest Cupidon, Bim & Bam, and Ranny Williams — went on to become popular after receiving initial exposure that the company gave them.

In 1935, Garvey left Jamaica for London. He lived and worked in London until his death in 1940. During these last five years, Garvey remained active and in touch with events in war-torn Ethiopia (then known as Abyssinia) and in the West Indies. In 1937, he wrote the poem Ras Nasibu Of Ogaden[29] in honor of Ethiopian Army Commander (Ras) Nasibu Emmanual. In 1938, he gave evidence before the West Indian Royal Commission on conditions there. Also in 1938 he set up the School of African Philosophy in Toronto to train UNIA leaders. He continued to work on the magazine The Black Man.

In 1937, a group of Garvey’s American supporters called the Peace Movement of Ethiopia openly collaborated with Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo in the promotion of a repatriation scheme introduced in the US Congress as the Greater Liberia Act. In the Senate, Bilbo was a supporter of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Bilbo was an outspoken supporter of segregation and white supremacy and, attracted by the ideas of Black separatists like Garvey, Bilbo proposed an amendment to the federal work-relief bill on 6 June 1938, proposing to deport 12 million black Americans to Liberia at federal expense to relieve unemployment.[30] He took the time to write a book titled Take Your Choice, Separation or Mongrelization, advocating the idea. Garvey praised him in return, saying that Bilbo had “done wonderfully well for the Negro”.[31]

During this period, Evangeline Rondon Paterson the grandmother of the current (55th) Governor of New York, David Paterson served as his secretary.

Marcus Garvey

Death

n 10 June 1940, Garvey died after two strokes, putatively after reading a mistaken, and negative, obituary of himself in the Chicago Defender which stated, in part, that Garvey died “broke, alone and unpopular”. Because of travel conditions during World War II, he was interred at Kensal Green Cemetery in London. Rumours claimed that Garvey was in fact poisoned on a boat on which he was travelling and that was where and how he actually died.

In 1964, his remains were exhumed and taken to Jamaica. On 15 November 1964, the government of Jamaica, having proclaimed him Jamaica’s first national hero, re-interred him at a shrine in National Heroes Park.

The flag of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

MAHALIA JACKSON -A STUNNING BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY HERSELF SUNG UNDILUTED BLACK GOSPEL SO HEAR THIS VIDEO OF HER HERE!

February 26, 2012


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New Orleans, United States
Mahalia Jackson (1911–1972 ) was a U.S. gospel singer, widely regarded as the best in the history of the genre.

Born on 26th October 1911, Jackson grew up in the “Black Pearl” section of the Carrollton neighbourhood of uptown New Orleans, Louisiana, and began singing in a Baptist church. In 1927 she moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she sang with the johnson brothers, one of the earliest professional gospel groups.

The Johnson Brothers broke up in the mid-1930s, and Jackson began her solo career, recording for Decca in 1937. The result, “God’s Gonna Separate the Wheat from the Tares”, was only a moderate success, but Jackson became a popular concert draw. She didn’t record again untill 1946, when she signed with Apollo Records, releasing several singles that are now highly regarded, though sales were sluggish at the time. “Move On up a Little Higher” (1948) became a huge success, however, and stores could not stock enough of it to meet demand. Jackson rocketed to fame in the U.S. and soon afterwards in Europe. “I Can Put My Trust in Jesus” won a prize from the French Academy, and “Silent Night” was one of the best-selling singles in the history of Norway. She began a radio series on CBS and signed to Columbia Records in 1954. With her mainstream success came an inevitable backlash from gospel purists who felt she had watered down her sound for popular accessibility.

CANCEROUS LIFESTYLES BY WOLE SOYINKA- OUR GREAT BLACK WRITER!- FROM THIS DAY NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

February 21, 2012

FROM THISDAY.COM


Tuesday 21 February, 2012 Updated 15:55

GUEST COLUMNIST WOLE SOYINKA

Cancer researchers can take our gratitude for granted, but the ones among them who deserve extra acknowledgement are the pioneers in the uphill, often thankless task of public awareness – which applies to virtually every form of public hazard, the most personal being of course – human health. Even today, the battle has not been won. There is something fatalistic in human nature, which is not a bad thing. To cling desperately to life, to be governed in every detail of one’s existence by an obsession with prolonging one’s life, can sometimes appear as ludicrous and undignified as the irresponsible conduct of thoughtlessly throwing it away.

When I look back on the entire career of anti-smoking campaigns for instance, the campaigners often strike me as the unsung heroes of the battle against cancer. Why, I sometimes ask myself, has the battle been so rocky? We may as well acknowledge the commercial aspect – and here, I begin with the tobacco industry whose products till now, appear to be the frontrunner among the various contenders for cancerous provocation. The history of tobacco extends backwards probably into pre-history, which means that, today, a formidable global industry, now calculated in mega-millions, has evolved over centuries, providing a livelihood for billions – from plantation to crummy retail kiosks and glitzy supermarkets with enticing humidors.

That is the Number One obstacle. I find myself however far more intrigued by the obstacle that comes from human nature itself – indeed this is of greater interest generally, since it speaks to the innate contradictions that characterize that very nature, called human. This, I’m afraid, also speaks to strategies of attempting to wean people out of a habit that is considered detrimental to their well- being, the choice of techniques for imparting a message, as the consumer world knows only too well. Avoid this, eat this, don’t eat this – often tailored to commercial exploitation, creating a new consumerist craving, especially in rabidly capitalist societies. This can turn one in extreme opposite direction.

When you keep screaming at me that something is not good for me, especially when this is tied to selling me an alternative – it ends up as resistance to what amounts to vested interests, or simply overkill, thus alienating the badgered individual. The very sight of anorexic women who look as if they are at the terminal stages of cancer, for instance, but are held up in some countries as the ideal of beauty can lead to a total rejection that manifests itself through gravitation towards the contrasting ideal of beauty – such as the voluptuous graduates of Calabar fattening houses, products of three square meals of pounded yam with edi kia’ikong, interspersed with starch and banga soup.

This psychology of human response to any kind of stimulus – which lies at the basis of aversion therapy – requires more careful study. Sometimes, the opposite of the expected result is what takes place, owing to a failure to factor in such psychological ambiguities. In other words, the wrong approach to get people not to smoke may actually drive them to smoke, and we are not speaking here only of juvenile mentality, that peer craving alone among youths, a desire to be accepted by a macho in-group that makes the fourteen, thirteen, even as young as seven-year old take to smoking in schools. Or indeed early adoption of a role model who looks ‘cool’ with a cigarette in the hand, perhaps a film star. That same mentality is also manifested in adults whose supposedly mature minds actually find the forbidden intensely attractive. It is all part of the psychological quirks that underline human nature. Our earliest recorded instance – just to remind you – is the case of Adam and Eve. Consider the conduct of those two adults, alleged primogenitors of humanity. The tempting serpent should be read as a metaphor – there was no actual serpent as such in the Garden of Eden – if ever such a garden itself did exist. The serpent merely symbolized the hidden desire.

Among such extreme advocacy you may count some truly weird methodologies of totalitarian prohibition – such as the case of cities which simply declare their entire spaces of human habitation and non-habitation smoke-free zones. My recollection is that is was some obscure village called Davis, in the state of California, US, which took the lead in that direction, and declared itself a totally smoke free town as far back as two score or more years ago. If you were caught smoking within the City Limits, including within the walls of your own home, you could be run out of town, frontier style, tarred and feathered, tied backwards to a horse with the Mayor and councilors escorting you to the nearest border while the citizens pelted you with hoots and rotten eggs. It had to be the United States, the land of extremes and the original home of prohibitionism.

Diseases. In relation to cancer, long time direct exposure can be associated with the processes that lead to changes in cells, especially of the lungs and upper respiratory tract that van result in cancer. Now do we see how and why it is possible for the smoker to sometimes develop a carefree, indeed fatalistic attitude towards smoking hazards? Half the urban population of Nigeria – at a modest estimate – survive on generators. The expression ‘using fire to fight’ fire comes to mind.

Tobacco at least gives off a seductive aroma, unlike the fumes from a generator. One can imagine the addicted smoker shrugging, ‘What the hell’, when I urge him to ‘Kick the Habit or Kick the Bucket’. Those in whose hands the affairs of this nation have been placed – military and civilian – especially during the past four decades that oversaw the complete collapse of our electricity supply system, deserve to be dragged to court and charged with gross negligence leading to homicide, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy to murder and, at the very least – being accessories to silent genocide. Mind you, they have undoubtedly created a special class of the affluent – the generator millionaires – and so I expect that instead of prison sentences, they will only receive national honours. May I propose for them a special category: Meritorious Order of National Population Control.

As with the human body, there are indeed many forms of behavioural cancer. To begin on a universal scale, I would certain describe racism as such, with South African apartheid being a spectacularly malignant form that was just as spectacularly placed in remission by that remarkable medical team, led by Nelson Mandela. Next, if you regard the entire African continent as a political body, dictatorship definitely qualifies for such a diagnostic classification – cancerous. Africa was once described by an African-American legislator, in a moment of frustration, as a beautiful lady that had been gang-raped by a succession of sex maniacs. Admitted, that analogy is not inappropriate. However, I am more inclined to see the continent as a victim of serial cancerous attacks that acts true to type, leaping from one part of the body to the other. No sooner is it stabilized in the liver than it erupts in the spleen, next we hear of it ravaging the testes, next the lungs, only to find suspicious lumps appearing in the breasts. They turn out to be malignant tumours that, in recent times, required the mobilization of a relay of traditional healers from Egypt, Libya, Morocco etc to flush them out with shock therapy, massed incantations in the streets and town centres, sometimes accompanied, alas, by blood transfusion from septic surgeries. But the disease has lurked in the bone marrow for nearly half a century and all we have been engaged upon is curing this part or the other – Liberia one day, Nigeria the next – instead of embarking on that most painful, most elaborate and invasive of all cancer treatments – a complete marrow transplant. It is that procedure that makes the cancerous analogy so appropriate, since we are able to monitor the process of the healthy marrow fighting back, pushing out the diseased cells, until the entire continental body is, some day, declared totally cancer free.

Then there is, in my estimation the most notorious cancerous growth that can afflict a body – I leave you for now to guess what that might be. Different societies tackle the affliction in different ways – in the communist days of the Republic of China for instance, the ‘magic bullet’, taken literally, was the most favoured form of treatment. It made its way through the body and homed in on the malignant formation in one direct hit. Cancerous cells, we know, have learnt to lie low, then burst out with renewed vigour, capturing territory, attacking other organs and finally overwhelming the rest of the body. Even the sturdiest organs eventually succumb. This social affliction that is patterned on cancerous advance is one that this nation knows to its cost. It is not unique to the nation, but in our case, only one technical word fully captures its remorselessness: metastasis. By now of course, you have already discerned what that cancer is called: Corruption!

Regarding our mystery, slow but guaranteed Silent Killer, I do not know of any branch of medical science that is devoted to it. Perhaps a branch of psychiatry. Maybe we should just assign it to the theologians. Certainly there is a vacuum in assumption of responsibilities, since the state does not yet accept that combating this hidden scourge is a legitimate preoccupation, and this is perfectly understandable. You can budget – as we hope will happen – for the kind of initiative that has brought us here today – cancer of the body – but how do you justify budgeting for cancerous souls? It borders on the metaphysical, and yet its corrosive powers are quite palpable and may affect the very destiny of a people, of a nation, enfeebling both to a point of inability to function rationally or with dignity. With cigarette addiction, you can label cigarette packets, tax delinquent companies, impose huge fines on those who have been caught forging statistics on nicotine content of cigarettes. Slogans come easy: SMOKING IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH. PREGNANCY AND SMOKING DO NO GO TOGEHER. SMOKING KILLS. Or my own concoction – KICK THE HABIT OR KICK THE BUCKET, that last being under patent. If I see it on any anti-tobacco billboard, cigarette pack, television screen or whatever, I shall sue! You are all witnesses.

In this case however, how does one even begin to diagnose this particular form of cancer, every bit as lethal as the physiological disorder, much less address it openly, and yet it is here. It has been inseminated and it is proliferating. One feels it, reads it, smells it, one can almost touch it, so palpable is it in its effects. It is especially present in governance, and we know how readily this percolates down through the body politic which looks up to governance for leadership and direction. Its malignant cells are being injected into the blood stream of the nation.

Let me waste no more time on riddles, especially as I suspect I have proffered sufficient clues. You would be justified in thinking that my mind is on bigotry, especially of the religious kind. Fanaticism. Intolerance. Hatred of all but whatever is of your own conviction. Inability to see that there is more than one route to the uncovering of life’s mysteries, or partaking of the banquet of life, and that the regulation of differences, just as in the human body, is the key to functioning society. That first-line enemy is indeed Bigotry, but no, we have long by-passed Intolerance as a contagion in its own right, and are left with the consequence, which is even more efficacious in its ability to spread and paralyse a people’s will. That leaves only one candidate – the fallout from intolerance, especially of the fanatic, homicidal mind.

I am speaking therefore of – Fear. The very morbidity of Fear. Fear as the product of terror, Fear as the real permissive environment of the cancer of Intolerance. Fear as the enervating prelude to the deterioration and total collapse of the body politic. Fear as the determinant of social and political decisions. Fear as the governing factor even in the choice of life-styles. Fear as the regulating quotient in day to day calculations, bearing even upon the most mundane activities, personal and collective. Fear as the Silent Censor even in utterances, leading to lies, half-truths, outright deceptions, rationalisations, double-talk. Fear as the wages of injustice, leading to appeasement and humanity’s abject surrender.

I have dwelt on this theme before now, in my series of BBC Reith lectures, under the title of CLIMATE OF FEAR. Permit me to state clearly therefore that I distinguish between Fear and Caution. As the very title of my address indicates, I place the dogmatic mind and the fatalistic as two sides of the same cancerous coin, both deleterious impingements on rationality. To cower before a dogmatic, unproven prohibition is just as irrational as to act in defiance of its validity through a carefree, dismissive attitude. The former stems from fear, the latter from mere bluster, bravado, throwing caution to the winds. Neither truly reflects man in the plenum of his intelligence. In that same vein, I distinguish between the Strategies of Peace and the Rites of Appeasement. When a nation is under attack, it is the easier choice to diminish the rights of the innocent, the victims, and concentrate near exclusively on the Vaseline approach, the appeasement of killers, massaging the tumour of unconscionable, arrogant, boastful, homicidal menace, easy to forget that victims are entitled not only to protection but to compassion, collective indignation, and restitution. In these times we live in, the primacy of victims has been disproportionately, grossly, unconscionably deficient on the scales of equity, almost to the condescending level of tokenism, and the cause is the triumph of that cancerous growth silently infiltrating the cells of the body politic – Fear, and its main companion stalker – Impunity. It has manifested itself through a number of acts, impudent demands, and in the very demoralizing language of a number of official pronouncements. Fear can become a habit, an addiction, and the nation, as a vital entity, had better understand that, if it truly wishes to survive, it must also learn to kick the habit, or else – kick the bucket.

Doctors, surgeons, psycho-therapists, healers of varying traditions – all will agree that, under cancer, the body is a war zone. The body politic is no different, and this national body is pre-eminently so. But let there be no mistake – it is not terror that is the cancer, but Fear. Terror is mere pustule, a noisome excrescence. That it often results in human suffering does not change its real nature. And there I find myself at one with our wave theorist – we are indeed back to the territory of primordialism, since Fear is a product of Nature. It is indeed Nature itself, and the battle against Fear is equivalent to taking on Nature as adversary. Now, Nature – that, as adversary, is truly worthy of our respect, not Noisy Killers, and the noxiousw agencies of terror. So, let us take our cue from the doctors who have chosen to confront the very origin of life by taking on the ontology of cancer, and make the right and dignified existential choices. A life lived under fear is the choice of a cancerous life-style, oscillating between fatalism and dogmatic submissiveness. If we must adopt a dogma at all, permit me to propose this over-arching rendition: Just like cancer, the fear of Fear itself – is the beginning of wisdom.

•This is an abridged version of paper delivered by Professor Wole Soyinka at the launch of the Cancer Centre last week

Tags: Backpage, Cancerous Life Styles, Dogmatism, Fatalism, Featured

SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE BY BRIBING YORUBAS TO SPEAK YORUBA WITHOUT MIXTURE WITH ENGLISH AS THEY ARE DOING NOW BY HAVING “BEST YORUBA SPEAKER” CONTESTS” WITH BIG MONEY PRIZES!- YES EVEN IN TRINIDAD,BRAZIL YOU TOO CAN SAVE YORUBA! -USA BLACKS CAN LEARN YORUBA AND HAVE THEIR CHILDREN TAUGHT YORUBA TOO!

February 21, 2012


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THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?
« on: November 15, 2008, 04:31:59 PM »

The death of Yoruba language?
By Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade
“Kilo happen? Ma worry. Mo understand. Kosi problem. Mo sorry gan. Ma expect me. Ke e nice day” – (a GSM conversation)
Surely this is not Yoruba that this man is speaking? Definitely not! Yet everyday Yoruba speaking people are killing Yoruba like this. Is this the new (English) pidgin for Yorubaland, joining other sections of the country, who have spespamed in killing their own Nigerian language by using mainly “pidgin” in the name of “communicating” with other groups? Oyinbo culture has brought Nigerian culture to its knees in so many ways – now a foreign language seeks to kill our own God-given languages, using Nigerians as the executioners! Eewo!
That English, the ready-made weapon of British-American cultural imperialism, is not just trying to destroy African languages, but is attacking all other languages worldwide, I agree. Ojoogbon Akinwunmi Isola, the newly-appointed Chair of Oyo State Arts and Culture Board, related to me during a discussion with Ojoogbon Babatunde Fafunwa, the problem the French are having with English. He stated that the French government had recently warned all French broadcasters to stop polluting French with English, as is now popular in general French conversation, or face dismissal. But I doubt whether the French would think of slaughtering their language to the extent that Yorubas daily have begun to do.
The greatest tragedy in Yorubaland today however regarding language is the dominating trend to speak only English to their children, making it their first language, then sending them to private nursery school, who only teach in English and causing Yoruba children to value English above all other languages! (After all their WAEC will not be in Yoruba, one highly-educated Yoruba man told me!) And see the result! In effect,that child has become an Oyinbo child and no longer a Yoruba child.What are the grim onsequences of this disturbing trend? The first problem that will result is a change in that child’s behavior with respect to discipline and respect for his parents and others.. The English-speaking child will never become great in creativity nor in leadership in the Nigerian context; he or she can never become the President of Nigeria for example. Is it possible to have a Nigerian President who cannot speak his Mother-Tongue effectively? These English-speaking children will rudely use English to disrespect all and sundry (after all English does not have pronouns of respect for anybody). Hear them saying “Shut up Daddy! – Give me back my candy!” in an authoritative way. And hear this one told by Oloogbon Ishola – an semi-literate (in English)) parent says to his child, “Say hello to Daddy”. The child replies “Ye ‘llo Daddy”. Olodumare! Yoruba children now do not know proper Yoruba and even as a result of this mixture do not know the real Yoruba words for “ma worry”, “check result” etc.. Ask them or some of their parents and they will tell you they don’t know the original Yoruba for the popular phrases that many literate and non-literate leaders and followers commonly use throughout Yorubaland.
As a Black-American, who has come back to her Yoruba roots these past 26 years in Nigeria, I want to break down in tears over this “iyonu”! How can Yorubas kill their own language? What sort of curse is this? Obviously the curse of european-american imperialism/colonialism/slavery! As a result I have declared “War Against Destroying Our Nigerian Languages” from today. And it must start from Yorubaland. Are not the Yorubas the “wisest and the greatest”? As everything good seems to start from Yorubaland in Nigeria, “let it be so”.
I am appealing to all full-blooded Yoruba, as of today to consciously seek not to mix English with their Yoruba. Yoruba leaders must slowly speak, watching their tongues, not to include any English words inside their Yoruba. It has gotten to a state where such leaders cannot avoid mixing English as they speak Yoruba and their every sentence includes whole English phrases! The late Yoruba leader, Oloye Bola Ige was a pure Yoruba language speaker and other Yoruba leaders should follow his example. This is a “War Against English words entering Yoruba”!
All clubs and organisations in Yorubaland should hold bi-annual and annual Yoruba Speaking Competitions for the “Best Yoruba Speaker”, with heavy monetary prizes (N20,000 plus) to get Yorubas to consciously practice speaking Yoruba without any English mixture. Yoruba broadcasters are guilty of promoting this deadly trend. Yoruba stations must have quarterly courses in Correct Yoruba Speaking for they are one of the biggest offenders of mixing heavily English into Yoruba. In schools Yoruba teachers must stress the importance of not mixing Yoruba. All private schools in Yorubaland must be required to have classes in Yoruba language from nursery through secondary school levels. There is a “famous” private school in Lagos, owned by Lebanese (or is it Syrians), which does not teach Yoruba on the secondary school level, as required by law. Law enforcement is necessary with frequent unannounced inspections on this crucial issue. And any student who fails to pass Yoruba in Yorubaland must not be allowed to graduate!
The Yoruba Press must be commended for indeed holding the banner high and not polluting Yoruba with English, especially Alaroye.Alalaye, Ajoro, Iroyin Yoruba, Akede must also continue the struggle to save Yoruba language. More effort however must be made to eliminate “pasito”, professor ,”dokita” words as most of them have genuine Yoruba words that can be enlisted and popularised among their readers. Aworerin must be resurrected by Alaroye, for use in all schools in Yorubaland as it was in the ’50s to inculcate love of Yoruba language among children. Yoruba departments in Nigerian and foreign universities must start churning out more research on modernising Yoruba for technical, scientific and other vocabulary and making it available through special courses for the media and the general Yoruba public.
Tiwantiwa(uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/tiwantiwa),created by Sister Molara Wood in London,must be commended for keeping the purity of the Yoruba Language intact.More Yoruba websites are needed on the worldwide web.
Yoruba writers must begin to write and publish bilingual publications.For any publication they publish in English, its Yoruba equivalent must be done. In the same book (Yoruba-from the front, turn upside down, English from the back) is one way to do it or in a title simultaneously released. More books, magazines, other publications like club histories, year books must be published in Yoruba. (Do you know that Alaroye sells many more copies than English newspapers in Yorubaland?) For example why is a prominent Yoruba Club issuing their history in English? If they must have English, then it must be a bilingual edition, in Yoruba from the back. Who but Yoruba should promote publications in Yoruba? We must stop promoting a foreign language over our own God-given language.
Yoruba music too, has been assaulted by Yoruba artists, unknowingly killing Yoruba language. The mixture of English has reached a new high in Fuji. Yoruba Gospel has started mixing English inside Yoruba songs within Yoruba cassettes, adding along side complete English songs! Olodumare! Such artists must be warned – no more killing of the language in this manner. If it is English you want then put that on an English cassette. Do not replace our God-given Yoruba in a Yoruba music cassette!
Yoruba movie practitioners are perhaps the biggest offenders and must take up this challenge to save Yoruba language. English mixing should absolutely be banned in all Yoruba films. I have not researched the topic but I suspect that Hausa, is probably the most unpolluted language in Nigeria, and in all their films that I have seen there is no English there at all.
The beauty of the Yoruba language must be showcased by having more Yoruba Cultural Festivals to be held by all clubs and organisations in Yorubaland annually. Odua’s People Congress and other enforcers of law and order in Yorubaland must be in the vanguard, not only by stressing among its members that Yoruba should not be polluted but by holding bi-Annual Yoruba Speaking competitions for the “Best Yoruba Speaker”. They must lead the way in correct Yoruba speaking and have literacy classes for all their members to learn to read in Yoruba and encourage them to speak Yoruba in the home to their children: Yoruba must become again the first language of Yorubas at home and abroad.
All legislatures in Yorubaland should switch to using Yoruba as the first language of communication for their deliberations. If English has to be listed at all it can be the second language of communication!
Finally a private, Yoruba school system must be set up. These schools will teach all subjects in Yoruba from nursery up to the university eventually. If it must be like a “mushroom school”, starting with nursery school first and adding class by class this must be done. This Yoruba Academy can be supported extensively by Yorubas abroad, eventually having board houses were Yoruba children from abroad can join their counterparts here, including all “classes of children, street children etc.) This Yoruba Academy will inculcate Yoruba culture into our children also. With the help of our Yoruba scholars we can build on Ojoogbon Babatunde Fafunwa’s successful “Mother-tongue Education” project at University of Ife in the 60s. Afterall, even UNESCO has proven that Mother-tongue Education is the best for all children.
Let Yoruba Language not die! God has given the Yoruba race a language to be proud of, anywhere in the world (there are at least 60 million or more Yoruba speakers throughout the world). Let’s not destroy it with our own mouths! Let us pass it on in its richness to our children, daily in our home. Let us proudly speak it daily, read it daily, champion it daily. Yorubas cannot remain great without our language. And let us be in the vanguard of saving all Nigerian/African languages.
Biu, Ogoni, Urhorbo, Igede, Ogoja, Ebira, Idoma, Efik, Tiv, Langale, Tangale,Ikwerre,Kagona, Kutep, Oron, Legdo, Bubiaro, Esan, Afima, Itsekiri, Ijaw, Edo, Ikenne, Joba, Gwari, Ibo, Igala, Hausa, speakers are you listening?
*Mrs Olade is the Chief Librarian of African Heritage Research Library, Adeyipo Village via Ibadan.

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Re: THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 09:58:00 PM »

This is certainly a bold article Yeye Olade (I hope you don’t mind me addressing you this way) . One thing that has greatly impressed me in London where I lived for a long time is that for most Chinese and Indians, their language remains the language of communication at home and this is enforced . Yet their children perform extremely well in schools and always better than most other children. It struck me that if they are able to maintain this abroad ,they must certainly be more aggressive about protecting their culture at home. Unfortunately we have no such custom and it is now considered “progressive” to westernise everything that we do with the result that our children don’t know who they are anymore – and this I submit is responsible for the high level of crime these days .

In traditional Yoruba life it is unthinkable for anyone to be jobless and a thief condemns his/her entire family to be ostracised almost forever.When a thief is caught , the questions go beyond the need to know whose child he/she is , but it must also be found out which town they came from – they are all publicly humiliated so much that they often leave their town to live very far away in new places where they are not known. In traditional Yoruba life if you couldn’t get an easy white collar job you go to the farms or commit yourself to the family crafts (blacksmith , drummer / drum maker, hunter etc.) or a variation of such, but nowadays we see young “graduates” decked up in faded suits and worn shoes searching all over for jobs that do not exist. But things have changed quite horribly these days.I know for certain that in Britain at least, these family crafts are protected from extinction by government patronage , but in our case the intention seems to be to bury them as “heathen” , or “savage” crafts on the persisting instructions of our colonial masters.

Though in these days and especially when juxtaposed with the race to catch up with technology , efforts to recover our culture could certainly be a hard sell , it is still a laudable project . It will take a lot of commitment and also a lot of money which unfortunately is not at a premium these days .in the interim there is a lot that can be achieved through the efficient use of current technology and this is what this website (Yorubaland) is all about. The objective is to gather interested parties from all over the world and make it possible to persuade them to commit into such projects as you have described; and it is my hope that this approach will succeed .

About 20 years ago, I read “The Water House” by Antonio Olinto – and it completely blew me away.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881841374?ie=UTF8&tag=yorubaland-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0881841374
This book, which I consider the Yoruba/Brazilian equivalent of Alex Haley’s “Roots” tells the story of slaves sent to Brazil and then coming back to make their home in Lagos and environs . As a matter of fact the book told me more about Lagos than I ever knew , and it was originally written in Portuguese (Geesi). Therefore, as much as we need to preserve and generate literature in the Yoruba language , it is also essential to be able to issue translations of such books into other languages – especially English , Spanish and Portuguese which are the major languages of Yoruba people in the Diaspora. In our race to preserve our culture at home, we must also not alienate our brothers and sisters abroad ; they also need to share of the gains.

My intelligence report presently shows me that twice as much people visit this web site from Eastern Europe, where there isn’t a lot of Yoruba presence, than from any other country in the world – which shows that we are on a good start. If there is anyone who also wishes to assist in the efforts of taking Yoruba to the front stage in world cultures do contact me as follows :
Olurotimi Ogunjobi , Director
Center for Exposition Of Yoruba Arts And Culture (Yorubaland)
mail@yorubaland.org
Telephone : 234- 7028777368
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OUR BLACK PRESIDENT OBAMA CAN GET DOWN WITH BLACK PEOPLE WITHOUT ANY APOLOGY RIGHT NOW!

February 14, 2012

Are Black Folks Becoming Political Orphans?

Washington Informer, Commentary, Dr. Boyce Watkins, Posted: Feb 14, 2012
Prepping for another run for the White House, President Barack Obama recently launched an “African Americans for Obama” campaign to target Black voters.

“I don’t think there’s a better time than African-American History month to consider the tremendous progress we’ve made through the sacrifices of so many, or a better time to recommit to the challenges we face right now,” said Obama in a video to his supporters.

It is expected that the Democrats would work to shore up their Black base right before the president’s bid for re-election. The dampened enthusiasm among Black voters who are facing 15.8 percent unemployment and rapidly declining wealth levels is also expected. The Black unemployment number is more than double that of white Americans, which stands at 7.5 percent. Throughout the Obama presidency, White unemployment has improved, while Black unemployment has gotten markedly worse.

Ironically, the “African Americans for Obama” website says that the president has been fighting “to restore economic security that has been eroding for American families for a decade.”

President Obama won 96 percent of the Black vote in 2008. His approval rating today stands at 91 percent. The black community continues to be the strongest and most loyal base of the Obama Administration.

Political commentator, Yvette Carnell, has something to say about the issue:

“I have no problem with Obama targeting African-American voters. None. He needs us and he knows it,” said Carnell. “What I do have a problem with, however, is how most of the targeting begins during campaign season and ends on election day. We’re more than just a voting bloc. We’re real citizens with real needs, needs which I hope the President begins to acknowledge and address.”

Columbia University Professor Christopher Emdin doesn’t agree with Carnell’s assessment.

“I do not believe the ‘frustration and dampened enthusiasm’ cited within Af-American communities is as pervasive as we are led to believe. With that being said, these facts do not negate the fact that these communities are dealing with serious issues related to education and poverty,” said Dr. Emdin. “I do not believe that Obama’s campaigning in Af-American communities is reflective of some ulterior agenda to “use them when he needs them. It very well may be an effort to make a shift to explicitly focus on the needs of this community.”

The pending re-election of Barack Obama has put Black voters in a quandary. While many would agree that conditions have worsened for the Black community under Obama, the Republican Party provides no reasonable alternatives. In many cases, Black people have become the political orphans of America:

You can either live with the parents who abuse you or live with the child molester down the street. While one fate is clearly worse than the other, there is no end to the pain in sight.

It is actually logical for the Obama Administration to keep Black voters on the back-burner. When a group gives you 91 percent approval and asks for nothing in return, there is almost no political incentive to do anything for them. This calculation likely played a role in the statement that the “rising tide will lift all boats” made three years ago, when the president was asked about inequality in wealth and unemployment. The “lift all boats” policy was a clear and miserable failure, for most economic experts can tell you that racial inequality is not going to fix itself without targeted economic policy.

Right now, in the Black community, there are at least two types of people: those who are suffering and those who are not. The suffering group consists of the poor, unemployed, and those who live under the thumb of the criminal justice system. The rest of us have jobs, food to eat and are not impacted directly by mass incarceration. If you’re in the second group, it’s difficult to find fault with the Obama Administration, for a Black president grants the symbolic comfort that comes along with the “Mama I Made It” syndrome that justifies the trade-offs many of us make for the sake of economic and social progress in a White supremacist society. Being the first Black president is the granddaddy of all “proud mama” moments, so there are millions willing to forgive nearly any short-coming of the Obama White House to maintain access to the throne.

For those who care about the poor, there is almost no redemption when the president barely mentions poverty in his speeches. For the unemployed, it’s hard to imagine how your life will get better by supporting an administration that helped white folks find jobs while letting the Black numbers reach levels approaching those of the Great Depression. For those suffering with the effects of mass incarceration, it’s hard to get excited about a president who has not directly confronted the debilitating effects of the drug war, which has destroyed millions of families and an entire generation of children. All of these issues indicate a state of emergency in the Black community; but thus far, we’ve only given
White Americans the right to express dissatisfaction with their condition.

The implicit African American slogan for the Democratic Party is “You should just stop complaining, because the Republicans are even worse than we are.” The threat of political punishment is clearly enough to secure the Black vote without doing a thing. But at the same time, the Black political orphans of America do have a choice. WEB Dubois, when faced with few quality political options 50 years ago, simply said that he refused to vote at all. Rather than behaving like a teenage girl who shares her body with the first man who buys her a cheeseburger, Dubois advocated for the idea that we save our votes for politicians who have truly worked to earn them.

After a mass holdout from conscientious Black voters, perhaps the Democrats will then strive to honestly earn the Black vote instead of simply telling us that they are not as horrible as the Republicans. It should not be taboo to request that Black voters have enough self-respect to demand that all politicians give priority to the issues that lead to our suffering. There are no victims, just volunteers, and we don’t have to be political orphans forever.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University.

BLACKS IN THE DIASPORA ARE EMBRACING YORUBA RELIGION! -FROM TELLNG.COM

February 13, 2012

THIS BLACKAMERIkkkan IS BEING MADE A BABALAWO!

Tuesday, 07 February 2012 11:02
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Vandermeer (in white) during his initiation, with Wande Abimbola (in green) Vandermeer (in white) during his initiation, with Wande Abimbola (in green)

In search of direction and purpose in life, African Americans, Latinos, Jamaicans, Cubans and Brazilians in America become Ifa worshippers and consult priests

By ABDULRAFIU LAWAL / Boston, Massachusetts

The grey staircase banister leading to the five-bedroom house smells of fresh paint. As he opens the kitchen door while reciting some Ifa poems in Yoruba language laced with American accent, the neatness of the kitchen and fragrance of rose air freshener become convivial.

The kitchen area reveals a dining table with four chairs, a refrigerator and gas cooker on the far left. Moving through the passage to the divination room, one needs to take off shoes before proceeding further. On the right is a black wooden shelf containing books on Ifa authored by scholars from all over the world. Atop the shelf rests a black gong, pictures and Ifa divination chain, opele.

Unlike the room of an average Ifa priest in Nigeria, this room has no strange wall hangings. In the middle of the room there is a rug, two small chairs facing each other, a small table between and some Ifa paraphernalia. On this table, you have a divination tray carved from wood known as Opon Ifa containing Iyerosun (divination powder), carved ivory object used to invoke Ifa during divination (Iroke) and cowrie shells (Eerindinlogun). Welcome to the home of Tony Vandermeer, an African American Ifa priest, known as Babalawo, located in the Dorchester area of Boston, Massachusetts, United States, US.

Vandermeer, an enigmatic character in many ways, hails from Harlem, a part of New York, which is a predominantly black settlement. Harlem is famous in America for producing a generation of black intellectuals. He comes from a family of seven. Coincidentally, he also has seven children, five boys and two girls. This is unusual in America where most families do not have more than three children. It is however not the only unusual thing about Vandermeer. Equally unusual is the fact that he does not celebrate Christmas, Easter or any of the Christian holidays in the US, which is predominantly Christian.

Rather, he observes the Ifa new year (odun Ifa) and other celebrations recognised by his religion. As an Ifa worshipper, Vandermeer is known for his practice throughout New England and beyond by his students and clients. New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the US consisting of six states namely Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

So why would someone in America, the land of opportunities, need the services of an Ifa priest?

One of his clients, Yvette Modestin, a social worker and coordinator for Network for Afro Latin American and Afro Caribbean Women, says divination allows her to understand the sequence of events unfolding in her life. According to her, “I have been in the position where Ifa divination has spoken directly to a situation that I was in. I actually find it hard to explain because it is an internal thing that happens, that validates the next step you are about to make.”

Modestin, founder of Encuentro Diaspora Afro who through her association with Vandermeer also embraced Ifa religion, says it has cleared confusion and pains from her life. “Ifa has become my voice and whisper because I felt like my ancestors were speaking to me. I had tapped into something that was deeper than me. This is what has been calling me and what I need in my life,” she said.

For Askia Toure, a 73-year-old writer, poet and political activist who says he comes for divination when his mind is troubled, Ifa is a direction giver. “Ifa is a blessing for me because I get the right answers. I grew up in the African American church, my father was a deacon. Then, I had influence of Sunni Islam. My whole life has been a search for how best to communicate with my creator. After a very traumatic experience in my life, I met Wande Abimbola,” Toure said.

Similar to what obtains in Nigeria, African Americans, Latinos, Jamaicans, Cubans or Brazilians in America who are Ifa worshippers consult priests when searching for jobs, setting up a new business, contracting marriages and facing other challenges of life.

Bridgit Brown, an African American blogger and writer in Boston, says she had an Ifa divination when she was going to work in West Africa for the first time few years ago. She wanted to know how the journey would turn out and the divination revealed that it would be a major success. “And it was. It also told me to be mindful of the importance of ordinary things, and to not just see wealth in terms of money, but in terms of having those things which are of basic needs: food, shelter, love, and so on, which is very contrary to the American way that I grew up knowing,” she said.

The method of divination for Vandermeer’s clients is also similar to that of Nigerian Ifa priests. All a client needs is to give a small consultation fee, whisper his intentions on it and Vandemeer consults Ifa for answers. For him, Ifa divination is a vehicle to help the society rather than an avenue for material gains. “This is why I have no fixed price for divination. I have students who come with coins or a dollar from their pockets. I tell people who come to see me that if they are doing well, I am happy to be part of it.”

He says some of the qualities he has learnt from Ifa in dealing with clients are honesty and patience. “No divination can bless one unless one’s Ori (inner self) accepts it. It is a two-prong process involving divination and sacrifice (ebo). So, if you are not gonna go through the process, don’t even bother. This is because the idea of sacrifice concretises what is it you came for,” he said.

Vandermeer recalls his first contact with traditional African religion in 1978, when he was about graduating from the university. “Things were kind of rough, I was having problems with the mother of my daughter. I went to an Obatala priest for divination which enabled me to get through these problems but things got worse in 1983.” This Obatala priest was of Jamaican ancestry who got initiated through the Cuban system and was part of the African Americans who set up Oyotunji village in North Carolina.

In 1983, sensing that his life had not really changed for the better, this father of seven met some Cubans who introduced him to their own form of Ifa practice. He was given a cauldron, beads of various deities (awon orisa) like Esu and Osanyin. Still not fulfilled, Vandermeer left the Cuban house in 1994 when he met a Nigerian, Afolabi Epega, whose father had written a book on Ifa in the early 1900. However, his romance with Ifa took a turning point when he met Abimbola, who is spokesperson for Babalawos worldwide (Awise Awo Ni Agbaye).

Vandermeer ended up studying with Abimbola for 12 years. “If people come for divination, I would help on any kind of spiritual work like ebo (sacrifice). At this point, he (Abimbola) had set up the Ifa Institute in Atlanta where people were coming to see him.” The interaction culminated in Vandermeer’s initiation in Oyo State in 1999, adding that when he got involved, his mission was to use Ifa “to get the kind of spiritual balance and guide that I need to navigate the challenges of life.”

But as fate would have it, his destiny decided otherwise. He soon became a full scale Ifa diviner, though with a difference. One unique difference between Ifa diviners in the US like Vandermeer and Nigeria is that they have paid jobs through which they fend for their families. In addition to being an Ifa priest, Vandermeer is a senior lecturer in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and he is currently working towards his doctorate degree.

Like adherents of Islam and Christianity who observe their morning prayers before leaving the house, Vandermeer begins his day chanting Ifa verses, odus and ancestral chants for Egungun and throwing kolanuts before Esu. The essence is for him to have an idea how the day would be and determine what his schedule should look like. “If it is caution and I don’t have to go out, I will stay indoors. If I have to, I will be cautious,” Vandermeer said.

So why would an educated, widely travelled African American chose to become an Ifa priest? Vandermeer says before embracing Ifa religion, he had developed a sense of himself as a descendant of Africa. “So it made sense to me that my spiritual system should be one that related to Africa.”

Ifa divination system and religion associated with Yoruba history is common in most cultures in West Africa and later Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Jamaica, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela due to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The divination system uses an extensive corpus of texts and mathematical formula interpreted by the diviner. The Ifa literary corpus, known as Odu, is made up of 256 parts subdivided into verses called Ese. In the US, Abimbola, a professor of Yoruba language and literature, has given it so much prominence through his works, especially in the last two decades. Its philosophy centres around belief in Olodumare, the Yoruba high God, humility and honesty. Statistics from the Council for Parliament of the World Religions estimate that Ifa religion has over 70 million followers in Africa and the Americas.

According to Yoruba myth, Ifa is one of the 401 divinities sent to the cradle of Yoruba civilisation in Ile Ife, Osun State, by Olodumare to carry out specific tasks on earth. Some of the other divinities are Ogun who is in charge of hunting, war and iron implements; Esu, the universal policeman and keeper of Ase; and Ifa who is in charge of divination because of its mental capacity. This role earned Ifa the nickname Akerefinusogbon (the young one whose mind is full of wisdom).

QUINTUPLETS SURVIVE IN NIGERIAN HOSPITAL! – A GREAT FEAT FOR NIGERIA!-FROM THE NATION AND THE PUNCH NEWSPAPERS

February 11, 2012

‘I‘ve not only hung my boots, I have thrown them out’
By Okorie Uguru and Wale Adepoju 15/01/2012

The duo of Okorie Uguru and Wale Adepoju were at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba to witness an unusual send off.
The neo-natal ward of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Lagos, is not used to conducting send off ceremonies for discharged infants born in the hospital.

However, last Thursday that tradition was broken. The reason? This is no ordinary time and such a time deserves special treat. The Shofunlayo quintuplet delivered in the hospital on December 16 last year are ready to go home hale and hearty.

As a prelude, five baby cots lined side by side, and the quintuplet were brought one after the other and placed inside the cots. They were cute in the cloth and caps on their heads.

Bundles of joy

All around, doctors, nurses and every one in LUTH engaged in one way or the other in nurturing the Shofunlayo quintuplet since they were born were beaming with smiles. One could understand. It was the first time that such high number of multiple births would be delivered in the hospital and all would survive. That was the reason the management board of the hospital gathered, not only to bid the children goodbye as they returned to their parents’ home, but also came with gifts for the children.

LUTH’s message for the proud parents Mr. Wale and Olayemi Shofunlayo was that the doors of the hospital was opened to the family whenever there was need for any check up without any protocol.

Although one could see in his disposition the façade of an expert who has seen it all, the eyes of Professor Godwin Olu Ajayi, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology still betrayed excitement and happiness. Ajayi and his assistants monitored and saw to the nurturing of the babies right from the womb and delivered them safely.

Ajayi, who is also President of Society of Perinatal Medicine of Nigeria (SOPMON), speaking about the quintuplet and their welfare said: “It is actually for me a very joyful moment that we have this type of delivery here. We, right from the beginning thought that it was four, but on the day of delivery, the Almighty God told us that he was wiser and better than all. The parents must have been budgeting for four but now they are five. I immediately I left the operation theatre, I had to call the husband and told him the number of children. And what was going on in my mind was that this is a blessed country yet, the government does nothing for us.”

According to him, in 2002 a similar case had to be referred abroad when around 20th week it was discovered the pregnant mother and father were AS (sickle cell carriers). Further tests showed that the expectant mother was also carrying a virus. The medical team was unsure whether the pathogens have the touched the placenta and done any harm. After several considerations the mother had to be sent to the United States of America where she eventually delivered in New York. After the delivery the Mayor of gave the children citizenship of the US and provided the parents with a house and nanny.

However, for the Shofunlayos, parents of the quintuplet, it has been a long journey that the hospital chapter has closed on a positive note. Last Tuesday was exactly six months, 184 days since the mother left her home and the hospital became her temporary abode. The couple is now looking forward to taking care of their children in the comfort of their home. Before the birth of the quintuplet, they had only a male child.

Looking to a bright future

While the husband is a little reticent on having another child, Mrs. Shofunlayo was categorical: “I have not only hung my boots, I have thrown them out of the window.”

To Mr. Shofunlayo the prospect of catering for these children does weigh him down: “I am really very happy for what God has done for me. I ought to have had more than one child before now, but it was not possible so God decided to compensate me for the delay by giving me a quintuplet. I am very sure he will give me the wherewithal to take of them. I am just so happy.”

He added: “I have taken it as a responsibility. Even before now if I had been spending too much in other areas, I have put a break so that I would be able to meet up with my responsibility and also put more efforts in my job.” He does not however rule out receiving any assistance if offered especially from the state or federal government.

Talking about his experience, he said: “We always go together, even coming to LUTH I brought her. I was happy. The issue of children for us had been delayed. So, if God wants to compensate me for that, why not. At a point to ease herself was a Herculean task, I had to assist. It was not easy at all. At a time she had bed sore because of lying for a long time in one place. I felt so much pity for her. Most of the times, I had to help her by massaging her stomach.”

Shofunlayo is disappointed that all the tiers of government had not deemed it fit to identify with his family and LUTH on the medical success recorded. He said: “I expected to see representatives of both the federal and state governments come to identify with us. We all know that this thing that happened is not a thing that happens every day and it certainly will go down in the records. This is a federal hospital and I am sure the Minister of Health is aware of this breakthrough. We are not asking him to give us anything, but he could through the Medical Director of the hospital communicate with us. There is no acknowledgement that such a thing happened.“

Professor Edna Iroha, a professor of Paediatrics, who spoke on the success the hospital has recorded with the quintuplet said: “The birth of the children is special. The normal thing is usually one two, three, but when it goes beyond that, I mean it is something big and special in a way. I tell you what you haven’t asked. There is a certain amount of weight that the uterus can’t carry beyond that, the baby must come out; about three kilogram, a little over four. But in this case, five of them and none weighed less than one kg.

“We are talking about six kg or more. How she managed for that length of time, it is a miracle. You would have thought that that the five of them by the time the total weight is approaching four kg, she would pour them but surprisingly they stayed on and you can relate survival to weight. The bigger you are in terms of weight, the more likely their survival and in terms of gestational age, the longer they stayed there, the higher their weight all things being equal, the mother is feeding well, the placenta is able to deliver that nutrient from the mother to the womb.”

On whether the mother being at her prime, contributed to the success of the birth Iroha said: “It has some contributions. The earlier in life you have your babies, the better the chances of those babies surviving both in terms of gestation, the size and then the absence of abnormality. So, the age of the mother contributes a lot.”

The babies have been in incubators since they were born. However, two of them are now big enough to be weaned off the incubator and their temperature outside it is stable.

Iroha has advice for potential mothers faced with such multiple conception. According to her “ One thing that I will say, looking at this mother, is that she got to the hospital, she had bed rest and she delivered in the hospital unlike the ones they have transferred to us in the past, babies born in another hospital and then transferring that to the specialist institutions and by that time they would have lost some time. These babies would have gone very cold, their respiratory problems would have worsened but these ones came out and they were handed over to us, next to the incubators. It was just a matter of seconds and minutes. So, I think that contributed. So, if anybody is going to have a premature delivery, whether one or five, it is better done in a facility or in an institution where the facilities and experts are available”

For LUTH and the Shofunlayo family, it is an idyllic story that ends well.
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from punch newspaper(nigeria)
You are here: Home / Health / We spend N.4m monthly to feed our quintuplets – Mother
We spend N.4m monthly to feed our quintuplets – Mother
January 25, 2012 by Motunrayo Aboderin
Mr and Mrs Shofunlayo with their quintuplets

MOTUNRAYO ABODERIN spent a day at the Ijede home of Mrs. Olayemi Shofunlayo, the 30-year-old woman who gave birth to quintuplets last month and in this report she highlights the challenges the family has been facing nursing the five children.

The journey to the Number 35, Peace Avenue, Unity Estate, Ijede, Ikorodu home of Mr. and Mrs. Olayemi Shofunlayo last week Tuesday was eventful. Though the road was dusty and bumpy, the serenity of the area bears testimony to the peace that reigns in the estate. Residents were hospitable as most of them gladly directed our correspondent who was visiting the area for the first time to the house. The house itself bears testimony to the fact that the family is just like an average Nigerian family hustling to survive. Sparsely furnished, the three-bedroom house located on a plot of land is devoid of the conveniences that one would see in opulent environment such as Lekki and Victoria Island. But the occupiers are living in peace.

The mother of five warmly welcomed our correspondent to the house. Mrs. Shofunlayo, who appeared weak and sleepy, introduced our correspondent to some of her relations who had come to help her nurse her five children. After the introduction, the woman narrated the challenges she and her husband, Wale, a self-employed lawyer had been going through nursing their five new born babies. Though the interview was intermittently disrupted by the babies’ cry for attention, Shofunlayo revealed a story that was woven in pains and pleasure.

“Nursing a baby is challenging how much more nurturing five children at the same time, my sister it is not easy but I’m not complaining because it is a good stress,” the woman, who was delivered of the quintuplets on December 16 last year, opened up

THE PUNCH had reported the delivery of the five babies, which occurred on Friday, December 16, 2010. It was Mrs. Shofunlayo’s second delivery and also the first quintuplets recorded at LUTH.

The quintuplets were successfully delivered through caesarian operations. They are now at the family home located at Ijede, Ikorodu.

However the shock of starting with a set of quintuplets and the demands of nurturing them has yet to strain the joy of the new mother.

Asked how much she spent in a month on her babies, Shofunlayo said her family spent nothing less than N.4m. She added that this could increase as the fuel price hike had affected the prices of all consumables and baby products.

She said, “While I was on bed rest, I bought some baby things which cost about N380,000. That was in December before the Federal Government increased the price of petrol. Most of those things will finish at the end of this month. That means I have to go to the market again and with more money. It’s costing my husband so much, but it is worth the investment. These are my babies and they deserve the best.”

Breastfeeding the babies is another challenge for the new mother of five. However, in spite of the strain that this would impact on her, Shofunlayo maintained that she would endure the hardship for the sake of her children.

She said, “I have to struggle to feed the five babies one after the other until they fall asleep. I spend all the day breastfeeding them. When I’m feeding one, that’s when another wakes, and another. The first day after I was discharged was very challenging; I could not sleep throughout the day till the next morning. My eyes were so heavy. I was tired.

“I later devised a means to make life easy for myself. While the babies are asleep, fill their bottles with breast milk, and then mix it with baby formula. So far, things have been going well. But breastfeeding is just a fraction of what a baby needs. At that tender age, they cry for attention.”

But Shofunlayo said that her mother, mother-in-law and sister had been providing the needed assistance. “I thank God for my family. They have been by my side. I can’t imagine going through this journey alone. But I still hope to hire house helps later,” she said.

However, if breastfeeding the babies is difficult, raising money for their daily upkeep is tasking. The mother is presently jobless while the husband, Wale, is a self-employed lawyer. But according to the woman, the family is coping by the grace of God

Recalling the years she was still trusting God for a child, Shofunlayo said that they were years of pain. “Yes, they were years of pain but I thank God for He has wiped off her tears and that is why I described the present stress I’m passing through as a good stress,” she said.

However, Shofunlayo said that she was not pleased with the response of the Lagos and Federal Government, noting that nobody had visited the babies from the two sides.

She added, “No representative from the Lagos State Government visited me at the hospital. It is not right. I’m sure they heard but chose to ignore us. I’m not asking them for money, they would have at least paid a courtesy visit. If this had happened in some other states, I’m sure government officials would have come to check on the welfare of the babies.”

But in spite of the state government’s silence, Shofunlayo said that so many well wishers including non-governmental organisations, private companies had been strong pillars of support for the babies.

She said, “I have also been getting calls from people asking me to send the account numbers of my babies. People have been of great support. I thank God. He has not left me stranded.”

Speaking on the welfare of her babies, Shofunlayo said that they were all in a stable condition.

“The last boy is so fair like me, and the other girls look like their dad. They took the shape of his face,” she added.

She said that the birth of her quintuplets had brought an unexpected publicity to her family, one she would never have envisioned. “When the first media house visited me at the hospital, I thought that was going to be the end, but it did not stop. Even Cable News Network and CNTV, a Chinese Television station paid me a visit. I was baffled.”

On the popular Ogunsanya quadruplets, who just bagged Master’s degree from the same university in the United Kingdom, Shofunlayo congratulated them and their parents. She said they must have spent fortunes before the quadruplets could attain that academic heights

“I just had my babies for less than two months, and I know that we have spent lots of money. So now, hearing about the story of the parents who trained four children up to Master’s level is mind-blowing. You can’t begin to imagine the amount of money those parents would have spent on those children. I salute the parents. Train a child up to secondary school level is no joke; talk less of Master’s level.


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