The Glory of Africa
For long millennias, humans have lived in the world. Africa is the Mother of human civilization. This is why we all love Africa. Africa not only has has beautiful fauna and flora. Amazing human beings among many nationalities and backgrounds live and proper in Africa. No amount of oppression and any other evil can stop the revolutionary, inspiring spirit of the Motherland of Africa. We live in the 21st century. Massive technology, economic development, trade, and the rights of women are very important issues in Africa. We have to address not only economic and political issues in the world. We have to promote the total human rights of women in Africa (and throughout the Earth). We believe in the right of all Africans to believe in spirituality or not. There has been massively historic changes in the world during the year of 2015 alone. Yet, one thing remains remains the same, which is wisdom. Also, the truth is stoic and is unchangeable. The truth remains the same from the days of the earliest civilizations of Africa to our modern times. We ought to acknowledge our heroes like Kwame Nkrumah and Harriet Tubman. Not to mention that we must give respect to the courageous, young conscious individuals who are making a real difference in the world too. History is being made now from efforts to help the poor to community development programs in the globe. I am a black American person. I AM BLACK AND BEAUTIFUL.
There is a lot of good news in Africa as well. There is a program called GiftedMom based in Cameroon. It is Central Africa’s first mobile health platform. It was established to improve the health of pregnant women, new mothers, and their children. It has saved lives too. Alain Nteff was the founder of this group. He created Gifted Mom and it offers a comprehensive amount of services to women and families. They have free SMS services to help women handle their pregnancies. Many young people are involved as well. Ellen Chilemba is a Sister from Malawi who has her Tiwale community based organization. She and her team have trained 150 women to be entrepreneurs and offering grants, loans, and lessons that can lead into empowerment and independence. Olumide Adeleye of Nigeria has created the Twin Academy in Idaban, Nigeria. This is a school to offer media and creative arts services for young people, mostly who are typically 18-35. There are courses there on basic computer skills, photography, video production, web design, and visual effects. So far, the Twin Academy has provided comprehensive vocational training to more than 100 young people with graduates going on to become professional photographers, videographers, or small business owners. The 28 year old Hado Nicaise Sawadogo is working on a program to get young men and women back to work in Burkina Faso, His program is called AEPT-Detenus et Entrepreneuriat. These actions are done by young African people. The mainstream media doesn’t readily report on these stories, yet these stories are real. Africa is made up of courageous human beings who are doing what is right.
Our Great Heritage
Our heritage is long. We are the first humans on Earth as black people. Humanity was birthed in Africa. There is the Ishango bone which appears to be a lunar calendar between 23,000 and 18,000 B.C. People in Africa during that time eat food, domesticated animals, and cultivated wheat and barley. In the steppes and savannahs of the Sahara and the Sahel, the Nilo-Saharan speakers and Mande peoples started to collect and domesticate the wild millet, African rice, and sorghum between 8,000 and 6,000 B.C. There were Omotic speakers who domesticated enset in ca. 6,500-5,500 B.C. in Ethiopia. East Africa, West Africa, and North Africa developed greatly in the early times of human history. Most of southern Africa back then was occupied by the Khoisan people and other human beings. There was the Saharan desertification which caused the Sahara to transform into a heavily desert region that it is today. During the Neolithic revolution, ancient Egypt, ancient Nubia, and other cultures were grown in the world. The Nabta Playa is known for its elaborate design.
Basil Davidson wrote, "Egypt was not born into a void; it emerged from a Neolithic womb, and this womb was African. The peasants of the Fayum Lake, those who laid the foundations of old Egyptian society, were not without their own ideas about like and the cosmos; the provenance of these ideas, or of most of them, was undoubtedly more African than Asian. "God's Land" with all it great ancestral spirits lay, for dynastic Egypt, neither in the east nor in the north, but far to the south and west. There is nothing to show that the earliest forms of ram and sun worship or of other cults made famous along the Nile did not take their rise in this obscure "God's Land" of "upper Africa." (Davidson, Basil. The Lost Cities of Africa. Boston: Little Brown, 1959, 75).
Ancient Nubia and Egypt later used cooper, bronze, and lead during the fourth millennium B.C. Ancient Nubia and ancient Egypt grew into massively advanced civilizations. Ancient Nubia has been divided into Lower Nubia, Upper Nubia, and Southern Nubia. Lower Nubia is in the north near Egypt. Upper is in the south and Southern Nubia is the southernmost region. Upper Nubia is called Kerma or Kush. Southern Nubia is often called Meroe, because that is the region where the advanced and powerful Meroe Kingdom would later develop. Many women were rulers in Nubia. There were governments in ancient Nubia too. Nubia had great wealth. In the age of Meroe, the kingdom’s royal court had palaces, audience chambers, stores and domestic quarters for the palace staff. Nubia-Meroe had an advanced and efficient agricultural system that generated large surpluses. Meroitic pottery was very excellent. The Nubians conquered Egypt in 747 B.C. in the 25th Dynasty. Nubian King Piankhy ruled Egypt along with his brother Shabako. Many people know about Taharaqa, who was a famous Black Nubian King too. The ancient Nubians used chariots, horses, and elephants in the battlefield. Nubia defeated Roman troops who wanted to conquer Nubia. The Nubians developed their alphabet called the Meriotic script. It was made up of 23 different signs including vowels. During the reign of King Nastasen (328-308BC) Merotic-Nubia experienced fabulous culturally enrichment; new and improved indigenous styles in architecture, art, pottery, and religious practices took place. Queen Amanirenas was a well-known Black Nubian Queen too. Punt existed in modern day Somalia too. Metal working in West Africa has existed in 2,500 B.C. at Egaro in Niger and Iron working has existed in 1,500 B.C. We know of iron smelting between Lake Chad and the African Great Lakes between 1000 and 600 B.C. The Nok culture in the Jos Plateau starting in ca. 1,000 B.C. It was an Iron Age culture based in mostly Nigeria and parts of Niger. It was for its terracotta sculpture and it lasted to 300 A.D. Nok has an advanced social system. The Kingdom of Aksum came about in Ethiopia. It was filled with leaders, advanced government, and trade too. North Africa was filled with the Carthaginian civilization. The Bantu peoples traveled from West Africa, to Central and Southern Africa as well. The Sao civilization was in Cameroon and Chad. It existed from the 500’s A.D. to the 1500’s. There was cooper, sculptures, jewelry, pottery, spears, coins, and other objects. Ghana, Songhai, Luba, Bornu, Kongo, Zimbabwe, Mapungubwe, and Mali were great Empires in Western Africa, Central Africa, and Eastern Africa. as S.M. Cissoko or the Professor at the University of Dakur in Senegal has said: "(The) Songhay state encouraged the flowering of a brilliant intellectual civilization and considerable economic and social development." There were people in South Africa who created great civilizations too. European imperialism harmed Africa with their colonialism, imperialism, and racism.
Black people and others fought back against imperialism to stand up for freedom and justice. There was Kwame Nkrumah who fought for Ghana to have independence. There was Lilian Ngoyi who loved black people, fought to end the evil system of apartheid, and wanted women to have human rights globally. There was C. L. R. James whose great political analysis of Africa and the Diaspora has been excellent. There was Malcolm X who promoted pan-African unity. There was Sister Margaret Ekpo who stood up for women rights in Nigeria. There was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who stood up in favor of the anti-colonial movements of the world by name. Also, we should always remember Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ella Baker, Septima Clark, and so many other black people who did so much for our people. This represents our heritage and we’re blessed as black people.
In Africa, there is tons of political development. Many areas of Africa have seen massive economic development. Other places of Africa have wars, corporate exploitation, and a power struggle (between the West and China over the various mineral and other resources in Africa). There are countries deals with issues of civil liberties, women’s rights, the freedom of the press (when Ethiopian government officials must stop its harassment of Ethiopian journalists. For example, Sister and journalist Reeyot Alemu and four bloggers were recently released from prison in Ethiopia without explanation), and other important issues that all African hold dear too. There should be not only progressive governance in African nations, but economic inequality must be fought against too. We see this economic inequality in many nations like South Africa (which is fighting against xenophobia too which must be eradicated completely in the Earth). Reeyot Alemu to the Voice of America- Amharic Service on July 9, 2015, a few hours after she was literally thrown out of the infamous Meles Zenawi Prison in Kality (Ethiopia’s “Robben Island”), on the outskirts of Addis Ababa:
“I will continue to fully struggle to make Ethiopia a good place where democracy and justice prevail. Until I can see such an Ethiopia, I will continue my struggle.” So, Africans will continue to fight for a real progressive democracy all over the continent from Ethiopia to South Africa. Also, citizen participation is very important. It is found in the Kenyan Constitution too.
Black people have lived in France for a long time. For centuries, Afro-French human beings have made excellent contributions to the human race. Today, there are millions of Afro-French people today (in about 5-6 million people). Large portions of the Afro-French have mostly Caribbean ancestry or they have Afro-Caribbean ancestry. The nation of France bans collection of data based on ethnicity and race, even for the reason of research or the measurement of discrimination, which is highly wrong. The story of the Afro-French deals with slavery. France was an evil slave Empire globally. Afro-French came into France after 1632. This was the time when France established colonies in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Plantation slavery was found all over Africa, the Caribbean, etc. by France and other European nations. Some slaves in France had training in many fields. The 1777 Police Des Noirs law in France forced black people in France to be registered. Slaves could not marry without their owners’ consent. They could not be freed unless by will. So, the Police Des Noirs was a very evil decree. It was an unjust law. By the late 1790’s, Boukman and others formed the Haitian Revolution. This caused the liberation of Haiti from white supremacist oppression in 1804. Franc abolished slavery in 1794 and then the evil man Napoleon re-instituted slavery in 1804 in France. Haiti defeated Napoleon and France. Black people fought for France during the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars as well. Julien Raimond, who was an Afro-Haitian, founded the Black Legions and defended Paris from attacks of Prussians and the Austrian in 1792. Haiti is forced to pay tons of money to France unjustly. The first Afro-French journal of black culture called “Revue Des Colonies” existed in 1834. It was founded by Cyril Charles Bissette. Black anti-slavery advocates included people like Adzee Louisy, Lois T. Houat, and Mondesir Richard. France would never ban slavery in France and in all of its territories until 1848. Still, France had massive colonialism. Many people came to France as a way for people to accept scholarships. France during the 19th century continued to steal resources and oppress black people in Africa. Colonialism and imperialism are evils that have no justifications at all. Many Afro-French scholars lived in France as well like Julien Girard (who was a Guadeloupian scholar of Latin and Greek and he became a professor of philosophy at the Lycee Louis –de-Grand.
Henry Ossawa Tanner became a resident of Paris too. African American leaders visited France too like Frederick Douglas, Ira Aldridge, WEB DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and others. They were treated better than they were treated in America, but some folks promoted the myth that France was totally “color blind” or free from race prejudice when we know that isn’t case then or now. Racism is found heavily in France then and now. During the early 20th century, French and American culture merged with Afro-French and African Americans. The 1919 Pan-African Congress was held in Paris. he social gathering of the Nadal Sisters and the publication of Revue Du Monde Noir, a mouthpiece for the Négritude Movement, which explored the meaning of blackness. The movement was founded by Leopold Senghor, Aimé Césaire, and Claude Mckay.
In 1921, Martinican writer René Maran won the Prix Gon Court, a very prestigious prize in literature. Afro-French scholars like David Diop created great literature. James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Chester Himes were famous African Americans who visited or lives in France for a period of time. After WWII, during the Fourth Republic (1946-1958), many Afro-French served in the French legislature. The President of the Chamber was the Marinican Gaston Monnerville. The French black population grew. In 1947, Présence Africaine, or a literary journal was created in order to promote black culture. Anti-black sentiments increased after 1961. There were anti-Arabic attitudes too especially after Algeria gained independence from France during the early 1960’s. The white reactionary backlash came also in the rise of the National Front Party (whose founder is Jean Marie Le Pen), who obviously forgotten that the Franks are not the first people who lived in France. The NFP are xenophobic and use racist rhetoric to blame “immigrants” (or code word for black people and North African Arabic people) for the problems of France.
In 1984, SOS-racisme was formed by Blacks, Jews, and Arabs. Led by Martinican, Harlem Désir, the organization staged anti-discrimination, anti-police harassment rallies. There had been a massive migration of black people from the Caribbean to France as well. In 2005 and 2007, Paris has had rebellions in response to police harassment and profiling. The cops would routinely stop anyone with just a suspicion and request ID. Black people and Arabic people in the suburbs were disproportionately checked. Today, Afro-French are French citizens, but they are still fighting for liberation in France. Organizations like the Council Representative of Black Associations (CRAN), Au Delà Des Mots (Beyond the Words), and Devoir De Mémoire (To Have Memory) have emerged as a voice of the Afro-French.
As the 21st century comes into 2020, we have to learn more about the Black African Diaspora. We are an international people. The Afro-Germans have long history. There are about 500,000 Afro-Germans worldwide. They are heavily found in locations like Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, and Cologne. They speak a diversity of languages like German, Niger-Congo languages, Nilo Saharan languages, English, etc. Many Afro-Germans have increased their populations since the end of World War II. Their populations have flourished in Germany as a product of trade and migration. About 70,000 Afro-Germans live in Berlin. The first black Africans in the modern era came into Germany during the 17th century. We know about the Ghana born Anton Wilhelm Amo. He was sponsored by a German duke to become the first African to attend a European university. He completed his studies and he taught plus wrote in philosophy. Germany was heavily involved in slavery and Afro-Germans were oppressed by white racists. Many Germans were involved in the extermination of the Nama people in 1907. The racist German director for colonial affairs, Bernhard Dernburg, stated that "some native tribes, just like some animals, must be destroyed.” Germans were involved in the colonial period and some Afro-German fought back for freedom and justice. Africans founded the bilingual periodical that was published in German and Duala: Elolombe ya Cameroon (Sun of Cameroon). A political group of Africans established the German branch of a Paris-based rights organization: "the German section of the League to the Defense of the Negro Race.” Afro-Germans endured the Great Depression in Germany. The Nazis killed not only Afro-Germans, but Americans soldiers (which included Black Americans) who fought the Nazis too. Naturalized Afro-Germans lost their passports. In continued discrimination directed at Afro-Germans including biracial people in Germany. Nazi officials subjected some 500 Afro-German children in the Rhineland to forced sterilization. Blacks were placed at the bottom of the racial scale of non-Aryans along with Jews and Gypsies. For an autobiography of an Afro-German in Germany under Nazi rule see Hans Massaquoi's book Destined to Witness.
After WWII, more Afro-Germans, Afro-Caribbeans, Africans, African Americans, and biracial people lived in Germany. Also, a massive amount of U.S. soldiers were stationed in German soil, especially after WWII. My father was stationed in Germany for a time decades ago. Audre Lorde sought to break stigmas and taboos. She is a Black American writer and activist. She taught in the Free University of Berlin from 1984 to 1992. She helped to push the coining of the term “Afro-German” into a powerful movement that addressed the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexual orientation. She encouraged black German women like May Ayim to write and publish poems including autobiographies (so people can get writings into a higher sense of visibility). Audre Lorde was a strong black feminist. Since 1981, Germany has had immigration from African states, mostly from Nigeria and Ghana, who were seeking work. Some of the Ghanaians also came to study in German universities. John Ehret was Germany’s first Afro-German mayor. Afro-German musicians include Ayo, Denyo, Lou Bega, Mamadee, Mark Medlock, Nneka, Rob Pilatus, Samy Delux, Jessica Wahls, etc. Steffi Jones is the Afro-German President of the Organizing Committee of the FIFA women’s soccer World Cup 2011 and the German Football Association Director. The SFD - Schwarze Filmschaffende in Deutschland (Black Artists in German Film, literally Black Filmmakers in Germany) is a professional association based in Berlin for directors, producers, screenwriters, and actors who are Afro-Germans or of Black African origin and living in Germany. They have organized the "New Perspectives" series at the Berlinale film festival.
Afro-Australian people have not been talked about a lot. Now, it is time to describe about these human beings. I first heard about Afro-Australians recently. These are human beings who are Australian citizens and residents of Australia (in or with recent ancestors form Africa). It is has been a recent event where large scale immigration from Africa to Australia has taken place. There have been thousands of black people coming to live in Australia from South Africa, Sudan, Somalia, etc. African Australians speak a diversity of languages. They are diverse culturally, religiously, ethnicity, and in terms of employment backgrounds. They mostly live in the large cities of Australia like Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth. Their total population is almost 250,000 as of 2005. Many of the recent African migrants come to Australia as skilled migrants, refugees, scholars, and other human beings. There were modern Black African people coming to Australia during the late 18th century. In 1901, people from Mauritius came into Australia. Numerous students from Ghana and other African nations came to Australia during the mid-1960’s. A massive increase of black people immigrating to Australia came about since the 1990’s. Well known people who are Afro-Australians are Heritier Lumumba, Dorinda Hafner, Dr. Chika Anyanwu (he is a senior academic at the University of South Australia. He was the founding Head of the University’s Department of Media from 2002 to 2006), Tim Omaji, Kofi Danning, Anton Enus, Janice Petersen, Sheela Langeberg (who is an internationally renowned and multi award winning artist).
Rosemary Kariuki is a great organizer of African events in Australia. Dr. Casta Tungaraaza (from Tanzania) has promoted social justice and racial equality for years in Australia. Leticia Omankoy is a young African Entrepreneur who has established her own Product Empire. Originally from Congo (Kinshasa), she has been living in Australia for 21 years and performed in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games opening ceremony. She has sold children products and other products for years in Australia. There is also a great, interactive website called, “Africa to Australia.” It shows stories of Afro-Australians and their lives. It is also very honest to destroy how these Brothers and Sisters fight racism, racial stereotypes, and other economic problems in order for them to live their lives and be free as human beings. Sister Fadzai Matambanadzo has worked in Australia to help the poor in Africa. She works in a charity to give a scholarship fund and educational projects in Kenya. The African Dream Benefit is created to do just that. Also, she is involved in helping a children’s orphanage in Zimbabwe. There are discrimination and other problems in Australia, but there are other people in Australia who are standing up against racism and prejudices, so society can be better.
Afro-Peruvians are not discussed a lot in many circles. Yet, their stories are valuable and their humanity will always be respected. The evil of slavery existed in Peru and Africans were brought into Peru as slaves. Also, there were the conquistadors who believed in the evils of slavery and imperialism, which is in contradiction to the great principle of loving your neighbor as yourself. The Afro-Peruvian population today is about 589,928. They live mostly in Lima, Callao, Ica, Piura, and Lambayeque. Most of them speak Spanish and they are part of many creeds like Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Animism, etc. The first Africans came to Peru in 1521 with conquistadors. Most who came were slaves and some returned with colonists to settle in 1525. There were slaves who came from Africa directly or slaves who came from the Spanish Indies or from other Spanish colonies. People of African descent worked in Peru as cooks, they worked in the shipyards, many were maids,many were laundresses, some were handymen, many were gardeners, and many were in construction projects. There were black artisans who worked as tailors, blacksmiths, swordsmiths, and silver smiths. The Spanish formed an evil color caste system where people of black African descent were heavily discriminated against, the biracial people or mestizos were in the middle, and the Spaniards had most of the economic and political power in Peru. Black people fought to end slavery. In 1856, President Roman Castilla y Marquezado declared freedom of the Afro-Peruvian ethnic groups and abolished slavery. Today, Afro-Peruvians communities celebrate the decision of Castilla with a popular saying. One of the greatest contributions made by Afro-Peruvians involves music. Afro-Peruvian music has been influenced from Africa and from Andean including Spanish traditions. Black people back then used a simple box, a tea chest, and other objects to create sounds for Afro-Peruvian music when slave owners banned musical instruments (since these evil slave owners wanted to crush the spirits of the slaves). Peru Negro is a famous music group that shows Afro-Peruvian music. Gabriel Algeria performs Afro-Peruvian music too. Most Afro-Peruvians live in the Callao, which is an area that received many of them from the north and the southern coast historically. Today, most Afro-Peruvian communities live in farming areas where mango, rice, and sugarcane production in present. Professor Aguirre’s research is excellent in studying about Afro-Peruvian history and culture. In November 2009, the Peruvian government issued an official apology to Peru's Afro-Peruvian people for centuries of racial injustice. It was the first such apology ever made by the government. It was announced by Women's and Social Development Minister Nidia Vilchez, and initially published in the official newspaper El Peruano . The apology said: “…We extend a historical apology to Afro-Peruvian people for the abuse, exclusion and discrimination perpetrated against them since the colonial era until the present…”
We have to remember that one person who was involved in getting that apology made was Congresswoman Marta Moyano. She was an activist and she promoted human rights. Her Sister named Maria Moyano was assassinated in February 15, 1992 by members of the Maoist Shining path movement. This doesn’t mean that racism is gone in Peru though. Racism is very strong in Peru. Afro-Peruvian activists today are courageously fighting for racial justice. There is the group called: LUNDU Centro de Estudios y Promocion Afroperuanos or the Center for Afro-Peruvian Studies and Empowerment. One of the great young Afro-Peruvian activists today is Monica Carillo. Monica is fighting the good fight for racial justice. “There’s no other place in South America that has the same levels of offensive, aggressive racism as Peru,” says Carrillo. “The other day I left my house...and counted the number of insults I received in 20 minutes: 12. People say these things and they don’t run away, because they feel they’re in the right.” She has told her story of experiencing racism and she is the founding director of the organization LUNDU, which is a Lima-based human rights organization that fights to improve the conditions for Afro-Peruvians. To this very day, the Afro-Peruvian Sister Monica Carillo is fighting against HIV/AIDS, poverty, sexism, racism, discrimination, and other injustices. Bless the Afro-Peruvian people.
Fighting to End Misogynoir
One real problem in our black community is misogynoir. Misogynoir is misogyny directed against black women. Any form of misogyny is evil and wrong, but misogynoir is a great evil that must be confronted and ended totally in our community. Misogynoir is a word coined by Moya Bailey. We know that misandry exists, but misogynoir is so much more evil and pervasive in our society than misandry. Misoygnoir is not just shown by white racists. It has been shown by some black people too. This disgraceful evil is antithetical to the authentic truism of gender equality. Gender equality has nothing to do with causing tensions among males and females. Gender equality is about males and females being liberated and all human beings having their human autonomy respected. In other words, our bodies are own own and no one should violate our bodies or our human dignity. Black women suffer racism, sexism, and classism too. All people can't be free unless black women re free. The system of white supremacy has used racism, sexism, capitalist exploitation, and patriachy to oppress the black community. We know how Western capitalism from the Maafa to the present has been racist and sexist. Black slaves were forced to labor without pay (on rice, sugar, and cotton plantations) and they were filled with injustice in the Americas.
Jane Brown, Louisa Pacquet, and other black women of the 19th century exposed the evil of black female sexual exploitation. One of the greatest black women champions of black women's rights was Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. She was born in Baltimore of free parents in 1824. She was an activist, she wrote poetry, and she helped black people for decades. She passed away in 1911. Zora Neale Hurston, Mary McCloed Bethune, and other Sisters have stood up for the truth. It is a known fact that many cultural nationalists (then and now) exploit the necessity of establishing justice for black people as an excuse to promote evil, reactionary, and sexist views. For example, cultural nationalist Maulana Ron Karenga is well known to promote patriarchal views. Progressive black women then and now stood up for their interests and for their human rights as black women. Black men (not just black women) must be involved in uprooting and ending the patriarchal oppression that dominates our society today. Historically, black women have carried the greatest burden in our communities worldwide. On many occasions, the contributions and efforts of black women have been ignored, minimized, or ridiculed. That should change.
Also, many Black Sisters stood up against patriarchal oppression like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells (she not only opposed lynching and racial injustice. Ida B. Wells exposed the racism found among some white suffragettes), and so many Sisters in our generation.
In our time near 2020, the evil of misogynoir is very present. 60% of Black girls are sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday in America, mostly by black males. Black women are murdered at 2.5 times the rate of white women. Compared to a Black male, a Black female is far more likely to be killed by her spouse, an intimate acquaintance, or a family member than by a stranger. Where the relationship could be determined, 94 percent of Black females killed by males in single victim/single offender incidents knew the men who murdered them. Ninety-three percent of the homicides of Black females were intra-racial. Black women are only 8% of the population but represent 29% of ALL WOMEN who are victims of intimate partner homicide. Black women are facing DISPROPORTIONATE levels fatal, life threatening, and severe gender based violence and domestic abuse. A 2000 US Department of Justice report showed that African-American women experienced intimate partner violence at a rate 35 percent higher than that of white women. "In 2007, African-American female victims of intimate partner homicide were twice as likely as white female homicide victims to be killed by a spouse," according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. A study conducted in 2002 by Tufts University found that 40 percent of African-American women report coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18, as cited by the American Bar Association. The same study found that the number one killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner, and that only 17 percent of African-American women survivors of sexual assault report the assault to the police.
This is a real problem. Some people on the Internet want to troll black women forums with overtly despicable misogynistic comments. That should change. No black women and no human being period should be degraded, harassed, assaulted, or disrespected of their human dignity and their human autonomy at all. I disagree with the misogynistic views of Tommy Sotomayor, Tariq Nasheed, and others. We live in white supremacy, capitalist, imperialist, classist, and patriarchal society. Many of these misogynist follow the same ideologies express by white supremacist men. Some of them love the sexist Moniyhan report of 1965 which blamed black single mothers (not the system of racism/white supremacy) for poverty and other forms of oppression going on in the black community. The truth is that the prison industrial complex, health issues, poverty, and other problems are issues that we must deal with as a people and as a community. We know that black men and black women are never responsible collectively for the evil system that we see today. We know a lot of black people among both genders who are upright, standing up for the truth, and helping their families as well. Only a coward who throw stones at black women.
Every time black women express her dreams and her stories, some folks want to say that her words are divisive and they want to break up unity, which is not the case at all. If we want to get solutions, then black women have every justification to express their feelings and their experiences. There are many organizations that geared to black boys and black men, which I don't have a problem with. These organizations are never treated with the same amount of skepticism, harassment, and vitriol as black organizations geared to black girls and black women are. I have no issue with organizations geared to represent the Sisters. Centric is a network whose goal is to promote the humanity of black women. That's great. We have an epidemic of misogynoir in our land and many folks deny the existence of male privilege. Black women are never responsible for the Maafa, the War on Drugs, the prison industrial complex, for gentrification, and other evils in our world. Expressing emotions legitimately is never about promoting division and misandry. There is nothing wrong with black marriages and black families, but single black women should never be disrespected of their human dignity. Single black women are human beings. It is about giving Sisters a space to express themselves, etc., so the end result will be of benefit for all black people irrespective of their gender.
A very important point is to be made. Today, there are many black women fighting for justice now like Brittany Ferrell, Zakiya Jemmott, Johnetta Elzie, Ashley Yates, etc. Many black men and black women are fighting back against misogynoir and all injustices. We have to educate people, so many folks can wake up and change their lives for the better. We want criminals, who abuse women, to be held accountable and be locked up. We want street harassment to end. This is not about being vicious. It’s about being real and helping people to be better human beings. We want healing in our communities. We want black males and black females to have happiness, peace of mind, truth, and justice. This is about promoting our BLACKNESS without compromise. This is about fighting for liberation for black men and black women. Here is a quote from a Strong Sister that sums up this issue perfectly:
“At this time I’d like to say a few words especially to my sisters: SISTERS. BLACK PEOPLE WILL NEVER BE FREE UNLESS BLACK WOMEN PARTICIPATE IN EVERY ASPECT OF OUR STRUGGLE, ON EVERY LEVEL OF OUR STRUGGLE.”
This is an important issue to mention and discuss. People in our generation are asserting themselves intellectually, politically, economically, and socially. Many young people are in the streets now standing up for racial justice, for our civil liberties, and for progressive, legitimate changes in our communities. The courageous efforts of these young Brothers and Sisters ought to be acknowledged and respected. These human beings are not only protesting against police brutality and economic injustice. They are forming community related programs that are helping the youth, adults, the elderly, women, and other human beings. It has been over a year after Eric Garner was murdered by the NYPD and we are still fighting for justice. As the family of Eric Garner has said, a $5.9 million settlement with the Garner family is not justice. "The victory will come when we get justice," said Garner's mother, Gwen Carr. "Justice," added Garner's daughter Emerald Snipes, "is when somebody is held accountable for what they do." In our generation, we witness the Black Lives Matter movement which was created during the Presidency of Barack Obama. The Kerner Commission of 1968 accurately destroyed that structural inequality cam about via white racism and structures of oppression. We are opposed the agendas of white racists and reactionaries like Ted Nugent, WND, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Donald Trump (who said bigoted statements about black people before), Ann Coulter, and other characters, The murder of our Brothers and our Sisters by crooked cops has inspired this new generation to take action. In 1999 Amadou Diallo was killed in a hail of 41 bullets. Oscar Grant was killed by an armed transit cop. Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman and the modern Black Lives Matter movement was crated. The murder of Michael Brown in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri grew the young people’s motivation to fight for change. The murder of Michael Gray in Baltimore has inspired more people too. Black women have been murdered by the police (and by others too) too like Rekia Boyd, Shelly Frey, Alberta Spruil, Michelle Cusseaux, Miriam Carey, Kyam Livingston, Eleanor Bumpers, and other Sisters. Their stories and their lives matter. The #SayHerName Movement has shown the world that the lives of black women matters as black women are the mothers of human civilization. Black women must be liberated just like anyone else. There are so many young people’s names that are showing the truth like Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, Ashley Yates, Tef Poe, and others.
I hope that Generation Soweto is fully funded and comes out. The documentary shows the world that African people are diverse and South African Millennials want progressive change just like other demographics. Also, I like how the documentary project refutes the racist stereotypes that some people have of Africa. I do find South Africans have a great sense of resiliency and the documentary shows how we, as a people, are still fighting economic inequality and others evils in the world. The Millennials in the film are dedicated in accomplishing their goals too. We should never forget about the struggle. White supremacists murdered children in Soweto during the 1970's and they killed black people in Sharpeville during the 1960's. The more that we learn about our Brothers and our Sisters in Africa, the more we realize how much we all have in common as black people irrespective of our nationalities. Bless the project.
Some use the phrase of personal responsibility as a way to scapegoat black people instead of telling the whole truth about our situation and about our lives as black people. As the words from this following Sister says: "...The emphasis on “personal responsibility,” “culture,” and “opportunity” does more than just assign blame to individuals — it also deflects attention from a sharper focus on an American economic order that produces eight of the top ten richest people on earth while twenty-five million Americans struggle to feed themselves and their families on less than ten dollars an hour. The focus on the individual also works to deform a public debate about the latest iteration of “urban crisis” without referencing how racially discriminatory public policies and private practices have compounded economic inequality so that the brunt of evictions, foreclosures, unemployment and underemployment, crumbling public schools, a dysfunctional health care system and an immoral criminal justice system are borne on black and brown urban communities across the nation..."
-Sister Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's "Poverty and the “Tailspin of Culture”
I do acknowledge the elders and their contributions in the struggle for black liberation as well. Our eyes are on the prize. That prize to see capitalist exploitation, imperialism, and all injustices end, so humanity can have justice. It is about seeing a world where an unarmed, innocent black person will not be murdered and universal health care is available for all (not some, but for all). It is about witnessing real educational opportunities for our people without the prison to pipeline system (which has ruined the lives of so many of the black youth). It is about witnessing not only the end to the war on Drugs, but the end to the prison industrial complex. It is about seeing a world where bigotry and intolerance are gone and where black people in our communities can flourish worldwide (as Africans, Afro-Brazilians, Afro-French, Afro-British, Afro-Caribeeans, African Americans, etc. are one. We are one people). So, this is our generation and this is our time for real change. We wat justice and we will express our voices. We will never give up and we will be victorious.
For years, people have talked about solutions. The truth is that a solution will never be monolithic or one thing. A solution will be a combination of multiple, collective actions. Collective power is stronger than just individual power. The following is not all that we must do. We have to do more than these actions. They are many important things that we can do in order for justice to come for our people and for our community. We want the system of white supremacy to end, so a system of justice can come about for all human beings. Therefore, here are some solutions (not all solutions) that we can do in order to form the same goal, which is the total liberation and justice existing among black people worldwide.
1). THE KNOWLEDGE OF SELF: This is very important. There can be no solution unless people know about their identity, respect their identity, and treat people as they would have be treated themselves. Black is Beautiful and being Black is a Blessing. Our ancestors come from Africa. Accepting our Blackness is not about promoting hatred. It is about honoring our heritage and acknowledging how strong black people have stood up for the truth throughout the ages of time. We have to especially teach black youth about how Black is Beautiful and how their physical and spiritual image is valuable in the Universe. We must do what is right, promote integrity, and promote morality so all people can benefit and be blessed in a multitude of ways. Our melanin, our eyes, our bodies, our hair, and our human value in general are beautiful. Greatly understanding about the Knowledge of Self increases confidence in people and it will motivate others to see their value in themselves. So, we have the responsibility to tell black people about the great qualities of Blackness without apology, especially to black youth. Blackness is here to stay.
2). COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: There is no liberation without us working in our communities. Some people want to receive money via capitalistic exploitation while the poor of our people suffer the greatest. That is not a solution and more Brothers and more Sisters are realizing how wrong that approach is. With depression level unemployment rates in some communities across America and in the world, we have to work in black communities to be part of the solution. This doesn't mean that we worship the police. This does mean that we get involve in neighborhood meetings, go out and participate in anti-violence initiatives, and support mentorships. we have to accept policies and programs that work and reject anything that doesn't work. There is nothing wrong with cooperative programs and other progressive actions as the late Brother Chokwe Antar Lumumba has advocated. There should be cooperative democracy. Communities need investments, respect, and collaboration among black people worldwide.
3). JOIN INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATIONS: Like always, there is nothing wrong with us joining organizations as long as they are legitimate and real. Only so much can be done individually. Yet, massive action can be done by us joining real organizations who are dedicated to freedom and justice. There a lot of them internationally focusing on economic justice, social justice, pan-African unity policies, help to women, help to the youth, environmental justice, and a wide spectrum of causes.
4). EXERCISE AND HEALTH GROWTH: One of the greatest ways to build up the human body and the human soul is by exercising and eating healthy foods. Exercise can improve the human immune system, improve intelligence, develop emotional strength, grow confidence, and cause enumerable other benefits. Cardio, strength building exercise, plyometrics, and other forms of exercise are very important. Eating fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods can improve the skin and health in general. We have the right to eat meats and to not eat meats too.
5). PROMOTE PAN-AFRICAN UNITY: We, as black people, are an international, interdependent people. Therefore, we should study about Africans and all black people of the Black African Diaspora. We should make it our duty to learn about the diverse cultures, cities, towns, languages, and other aspects of Africa. Black unity is a great blessing. Afro-Brazilians, Afro-French, Africans, Afro-Caribbeans, etc. are our Brothers and our Sisters. We are one. Pan-African unity does not just mean that we have economic, social, and political collaborations with black globally. It will also deal with economic endeavor,. It will include conferences, community meetings, cultural exchange programs, and other forms of communities with our people from around the world.
6). SELF-DEFENSE AND SELF-PRESERVATION: I believe in nonviolence. I have no problem with nonviolent, peaceful resistance against evil. Yet, I do believe in self-defense too. If someone is attacking me unjustly, then I have the moral right to defend myself. If someone is attacking my relative in an unjust way, then I have the moral right to use legitimate actions to stop that. Self-preservation is about maintaining us as a people. Self-defense is not domestic violence. Domestic violence is evil and it is wrong. No innocent human being of any color or background should experience violence at any circumstance. We have the right to defend our people, to learn self-defense techniques, and to educate people on survival techniques.
7). SUPPORT FELLOW REVOLUTIONARIES AND REVOLUTIONARY POLITICS: During this age, reactionary movements have been widespread (even among some who call themselves conscious). That is why it is necessary for us to believe in revolutionary change. The status quo doesn't work. Revolutionary politics is about advancing politics that transforms society, so the masses of the people can benefit. That means that we believe that economic justice is a necessity, universal health care is legitimate, and capitalist exploitation must end. We have every right to demand change, protest, and develop our infrastructure via self-determination. There is nothing wrong with promoting workers' rights and believing in liberation either.
8). HELP THE POOR: There can be no solutions in our communities without helping the poor. Poverty is an evil scourge that has harmed the lives of men, women, and children. The poor certainly doesn't need scapegoating or disrespect. The poor need respect, dignity, and justice. Poor people don't need patronize, but fair wages, resources, investments, and love. Love is not just an emotion. Love is the expression of how you really care about fellow human beings. Charities, food banks, and other resources should be invested in helping the poor. Also, a living wage must be advanced to reduce income inequality and combat poverty. It is important to acknowledge the fact that honorable people for a long time have used their time and effort to assist the poor in our communities. They should be respected. As the late Dr. Martin Luther King has mentioned: "If the society changes its concepts by placing responsibility on its system, not on the individual, and guarantees secure employment or a minimum income, dignity will come within reach of all."
9). BUILD AND SUPPORT OUR INSTITUTIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Our leaders and our elders have promoted this policy for decades and centuries. We need institutions to grow our resources and maintain our resources. For example, we not only need economic development. We need programs whereby help is sent to the poor, where assistant is given to the sick, and where we have international cooperation with black people all over the Earth. So, owning legitimate businesses is fine, but those businesses should have the responsibility to help those in the community. If a business doesn't do that, then they should never receive our support. We should never follow laissez faire capitalism where we form businesses, but our businesses exploit workers or solely seek profit. We seek power and the wealth to be fairly distributed to the masses of the people.
10). DEVELOP AND IMPROVE OUR FAMILIES: Without strong families, communities won't grow. Therefore, we should advance strong families in a voluntary fashion. We know that not all black families will be a nuclear family, but any black family (regardless if it is nuclear or not) should have the resources and the power to help black children and others in the community. That is why supporting family aid programs, family counseling, various programs that help families are necessary. I have no problem with universal child care either as this is found in many industrialized nations. Black fathers and Black mothers who are doing what is right must be respected and supported. Fathers and Mothers should be honored.
11). ADVANCE BLACK UNITY AND BLACK LOVE: Black Unity is a necessity. Showing solidarity and unity with each other is a prime example of loving our black people. We are in this today as one people. Black Love is special. Without Black Love, we wouldn't be here on this Earth literally. Therefore, Black Love is Beautiful and strong. Black Love doesn't only deal with romance, marriage, or sex. Any form of love should be voluntary. All human beings have the right to their human autonomy. Black love can be expressed among relatives, friends, and colleagues in the form of respecting each other as black human beings (and acting as friendly allies in the cause of justice). So, Black Love is a powerful force in the Universe that will always be respected.
#Black Lives Matter.
12). TEACH AND HELP OTHERS: We are blessed to know so many information about Africa, black culture, and the Black Diaspora. So, we can teach and help others to learn about black culture and to see that the fight against the evil system of white supremacy is a necessary one. We shouldn't be arrogant or egocentric. We must be progressive and understanding as human beings. Many black people are waking up and that's great news. We have a long way to go, but we will have faith and do action in order to come into the land of freedom.
13). TRAVEL: For anyone who can afford it, traveling is great. It can open one's eyes to different cultures. It can cause people to be more progressive on international issues and it can improve one's human soul. That is why many black Americans are traveling to Africa, Brazil, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, and other parts of the world where there is a high number of people of black African descent. I do encourage people to travel, make connections with black people globally, and to realize how interdependent we are as human beings. We should always respect different cultures that black people express worldwide and get more understanding about our great value as humans in the world picture. Any human being of any background should be treated with dignity and with respect.
14). CULTIVATE WISDOM: Wisdom is always important to now. Learning is a life long journey. That is why we have every right to learn different languages, to learn about STEM fields (as these fields relate to the development of human civilization. Math, technology, engineering, and science have been with our people for thousands of years and many black people are great scholars involving STEM fields. Black youth should be encouraged definitely to master STEM fields, economics, etc.). Wisdom is diverse. It can deal with sociology, anthropology, biology, history, music, the arts, etc. Understanding wisdom and applying it in helping society as a whole is a blessing. Black people then and now are a strong people.
We're blessed to learn books about Africa and black culture. We know about history, anthropology, sociology, and other important subjects. It’s a shame that many of our own black people have this self-hatred and just lust after degrading each other. Since, we know better, we have precious gift and responsibility in helping others. That is what the Creator would want us to do while we're here. We both love black people a lot. We love our heritage and we want the best for our people. Unity and respecting plus loving our identity is key for us to have liberation. There were tons of black people who lost their lives by evil people during the Maafa, during slavery in the America, during Reconstruction, during Jim Crow, and today in our generation. Also, it is important to note that our people fought back. There were hundreds of slave revolts in America alone. The Deacons of Defense, and other groups used arms to defend their communities from white racists who wanted to attack black people. The terrorism inflicted on black people should always be remembered including the sacrifice that our people made in building up their communities too. We are inspired by our ancestors' courage in the midst of oppression and we will continue to live on the tradition of unity, solidarity, and resistance.