Category Archives: Africa

Inside Story Of How The U.S. Acted To Prevent Another Rwanda


Almost everyone understands that we need peace in the world, and we wonder why leaders do nothing to bring it about. While many US politicians are jerking the country around to give corporations and elites MORE power and money, President Obama is busy trying to save the U.S. and the world. If you don’t know about Rwanda, you might want to read up on it after reading this story. Horrific. Obama just averted another Rwanda and has more than earned his Nobel Peace Prize.

A true leader surrounds themselves with the best advisors…and listens to them…and let’s them do their jobs.

Inside Story of How the U.S. Acted to Prevent Another Rwanda
http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/12/20/3054321/inside-story-acted-prevent-rwanda/

 

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His Day is Done – A Tribute Poem for Nelson Mandela by Dr. Maya Angelou

 

Newsone—Dr. Maya Angelou, a living legend among us, has delivered a powerful, gripping tribute to Nelson Mandela on behalf of the American people.

Released by the U.S. State Department, Angelou speaks about the “heart of Africa” walking out the prison’s door and feeling the “cool winds of freedom” all the way in America. She speaks of love, revolution. Peace.

It is truly a fitting tribute—from one legend to another.

 

 

NMMU Choir’s tribute to Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s internationally acclaimed choir pays tribute to our namesake on his 94th birthday with their rendition of Asimbonanga. Don’t miss this!

 

 

Here’s the transcript of Obama’s keynote speech and an excerpt below:

“We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world – you can make his life’s work your own. Over thirty years ago, while still a student, I learned of Mandela and the struggles in this land. It stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities – to others, and to myself – and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better. He speaks to what is best inside us. After this great liberator is laid to rest; when we have returned to our cities and villages, and rejoined our daily routines, let us search then for his strength – for his largeness of spirit – somewhere inside ourselves. And when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, or our best laid plans seem beyond our reach – think of Madiba, and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of a cell:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

What a great soul it was. We will miss him deeply. May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela. May God bless the people of South Africa.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/transcript-remarks-president-barack-obama-nelson-mandela-service-article-1.1542986

 

Stay tuned…I will be posting more here on Mandela. There are many stories out there about this great leader to share. It will serve as a reference point for us all. ~Marion Young

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Discovery Channel’s Africa

I look forward to seeing this series. It may be our last chance to see the beauty of Africa before it is raped and exploited by the West for oil and resources being taken now.

Africa is a Country (Old Site)


The Discovery Channel and the BBC have joined forces to produce a new seven part series entitled, Africa. The series is four years in the making and brings together stunning footage of the landscapes and animals within the continent. The first episode focuses on the Kalahari Desert, while later ones will capture the wildlife in others regions spread throughout Southern, Central, Eastern and Northern Africa, with later episodes titled (you’ve guessed it), “the Congo”, “the Cape” and “the Sahara.”

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Video – A War For Your Soul

From Erisai Films…

Reggie Bullock’s short film “A War For Your Soul” is a stirring, inspirational video for today’s generation. Over 10 million internet viewers have watched “A War For Your Soul” in 2 years. The video has garnered praise from mayors, city leaders, youth and civic organizations and almost every major country around the world, sparking dialogue in encouraging adults to play a more active role in educating children.

Popular radio host Michael Baisden said “This is a must see film”.

This video was created to inspire young at-risk African-Americans not to fall prey to some of the problems they face in society. The “Master of Darkness” represents that abstract concept of evil that has the potential to reside in the consciousness of mankind.

The use of the images of Richard Pryor and NAS, were used to show how we have publicly displayed the “N” word over the course of time. Richard Pryor, before his death, had gone on record to publicly denounce his use of the word, and the Rapper NAS ( one of the few socially conscious rappers ) intentions of wearing the jacket had nothing to do with the glorification of the word. I have enjoyed some of Pryor’s masterful story telling and I have also enjoyed some of the thought-provoking music from NAS.

This video should not to be used to divide people (Black and White). 
This video should not be used to criticize all aspects of hip-hop culture.
This video should not be used to allow the rest of society to escape from their responsibility, to help with financial and academic support.

If used properly, this video will allow our youth to see some of the horrific conditions that their ancestors fought through and some of the horrific conditions they face today.

An extensive commentary about the film can be seen at warforyoursoul.com

 

 

Smokey: Yeah, I said it…and I don’t take it back

Smokey Robinson: The Black American Poem 

Every American, everyone on the planet needs to hear this or read it and understand this. It is timeless. It’s perfect for Election Day. Enjoy.

Lyrics: The Black American Poem 

I love being Black. I love being called Black. I love being an American.

I love being a Black American, but as a Black man in this country I think it’s a shame that every few years we get a change of name.

Since those first ships arrived here from Africa that came across the sea there were already Black men in this country who were free.

And as for those that came over here on those terrible boats, they were called niggah and slave and told what to do and how to behave.

And then master started trippin’ and doing his midnight tippin’, down to the slave shacks where he forced he and Great-Great Grandma to be together, and if Great-Great Grandpa protested, he got tarred and feathered.

And at the same time, the Black men in the country who were free, were mating with the tribes like the Apache and the Cherokee.

And as a result of all that, we’re a parade of every shade.

And as in this late day and age, you can be sure, they ain’t too many of us in this country whose bloodline is pure.

But, according to a geological, geographical, genealogy study published in Time Magazine, the Black African people were the first on the scene, so for what it’s worth, the Black African people were the first on earth and through migration, our characteristics started to change, and rearrange, to adapt to whatever climate we migrated to.

And that’s how I became me, and you became you.

So, if we gonna go back, let’s go all the way back, and if Adam was Black and Eve was Black, then that kind of makes it a natural fact that everybody in America is an African American.

Everybody in Europe is an African European; everybody in the Orient is an African Asian and so on and so on, that is, if the origin of man is what we’re gonna go on.

And if one drop of Black blood makes you Black like they say, then everybody’s Black anyway.

So quit trying to change my identity.

I’m already who I was meant to be I’m a Black American, born and raised.

And brother James Brown wrote a wonderful phrase, “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud! Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud!”

Cause I’m proud to be Black and I ain’t never lived in Africa, and ’cause my Great-Great Granddaddy on my Daddy’s side did, don’t mean I want to go back.

Now I have nothing against Africa, it’s where some of the most beautiful places and people in the world are found.

But I’ve been blessed to go a lot of places in this world, and if you ask me where I choose to live, I pick America, hands down.

Now, by and by, we were called Negroes, and after while, that name has vanished.

Anyway, Negro is just how you say ‘black’ in Spanish.

Then, we were called colored, but shit, everybody’s one color or another, and I think it’s a shame that we hold that against each other.

And it seems like we reverted back to a time when being called Black was an insult, even if it was another Black man who said it, a fight would result, cause we’ve been so brainwashed that Black was wrong, So that even the yellow niggahs and black niggahs couldn’t get along.

But then, came the 1960s when we struggled and died to be called equal and Black, and we walked with pride with our heads held high and our shoulders pushed back, and Black was beautiful.

But, I guess that wasn’t good enough, cause now here they come with some other stuff.

Who comes up with this shit anyway?

Was it one, or a group of niggahs sitting around one day?

Feelin’ a little insecure again about being called Black and decided that African American sounded a little more exotic.

Well, I think you were being a little more neurotic.

It’s that same mentality that got “Amos and Andy” put off the air, cause they were embarrassed about the way the character’s spoke.

And as a result of that action, a lot of wonderful Black actors ended up broke.

When we were just laughin’ and have fun about ourselves.

So I say, “fuck you if you can’t take a joke.”

You didn’t see the “Beverly Hillbilly’s” being protested by white folks.

And if you think, that cause you think that being called African American set all Black people’s mind at ease…

Since we affectionately call each other “niggah”, I affectionately say to you, “niggah Please”.

How come I didn’t get the chance to vote on who I’d like to be?

Who gave you the right to make that decision for me?

I ain’t under your rule or in your dominion And I am entitled to my own opinion.

Now there are some African Americans here, but they recently moved here from places like Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Zaire.

But, not the brother who’s family has lived in the country for generations, occupying space in all the locations New York, Miami, L.A., Detroit, Chicago… Even if he’s wearing a dashiki and sporting an afro.

And, if you go to Africa in search of your race, you’ll find out quick you’re not an African American, You’re just a Black American in Africa takin’ up space.

Why you keep trying to attach yourself to a continent, where if you got the chance and you went, most people there would even claim you as one of them; as a pure bread daughter or son of them.

Your heritage is right here now, no matter what you call yourself or what you say And a lot of people died to make it that way.

And if you think America is a leader on inequality and suffering and grievin’, how come there so many people comin’ and so few leavin’?

Rather than all this ‘find fault with America’ fuck you promotin’, if you want to change something, use your privilege, get to the polls!

Commence to votin’!

God knows we’ve earned the right to be called American Americans and be free at last.

And rather than you movin’ forward progress, you dwelling in the past.

We’ve struggled too long; we’ve come too far.

Instead of focusing on who we were, let’s be proud of who we are.

We are the only people whose name is always a trend.

When is this shit gonna end?

Look at all the different colors of our skin…

Black is not our color. It’s our core.

It’s what we been livin’ and fightin’ and dyin’ for.

But if you choose to be called African American and that’s your preference, then I ‘ll give you that reference.

But I know on this issue I don’t stand alone on my own and if I do, then let me be me.

And I’d appreciate it if when you see me, you’d say, “there goes a man who says it loud I’m Black. I’m Black. I’m a Black American, and I’m proud”.

Cause I love being an American. And I love being Black. I love being called Black.

Yeah, I said it, and I don’t take it back.

Smokey Robinson
Def Poets, 3rd Season
May 16, 2003

 

Sinead O’Connor on Trayvon Martin: this is a disgrace to the entire human race

Open Letter from Sinead O’Connor on Trayvon Martin

I would like to extend my very deepest sympathies to the family and other loved ones of murdered teenager, Trayvon Martin. I am very sad today (and am certain the whole of Ireland is) to learn of poor Trayvon’s terrifying ordeal and horrified by the fact his known and named and admitted killer has not been arrested, despite the crime having taken place a month ago. This is a disgrace to the entire human race.

For those out there who believe black people to be less than pure royalty, let me inform you of a little known, but scientifically proven, many times over, FACT. Which after reading, you will hopefully feel both very stupid and very sorry. For you dishonor your own mothers and grandmothers.

EVERY human being on earth, no matter what their culture, creed, skin colour, or nationality, shares one gene traceable back to one African woman. Scientists have named it ‘The Eve Gene’. This means ALL of us, even ridiculously stupid, ignorant, perverted, blaspheming racists are the descendants of one African woman.

One African woman is the mother of all of us. Africa was the first world. You come from there! Your skin may be ‘white’…because you didn’t need it to be black anymore where you lived. But as Curtis Mayfield said, “You’re just the surface of our dark, deep well.” So you’re being morons. And God is having the last laugh at your ignorant expense.

If you hate black people, it’s yourself you hate. And the mother who bore you. If you kill or wish ill on black people, it’s yourself you kill and wish ill on. As well as the mother who bore you.

When you dishonor the utter glory and majesty of black people, you lie. Your heart lies to you and you let it. Despite seeing every day, all your life, how you and your country would be less than wonderfully functioning and inspiring to the world, without the manifold and glorious contributions made by the descendants of African slaves who did not, by the way, actually ask to go to America and leave their future families there to be disrespected for eternity.

What are you doing hating yourself by hating your brothers and sisters who daily show you nothing but inspiration and love, despite having NOTHING, in their own country? Despite having barely a chance of anything, because of racism. Despite being granted no ‘permission’ for proper self-esteem.

These beautiful people continue to believe in and even manifest Jesus Christ better than you do. That alone could stand as the greatest reason your racism is blasphemy, were it not for all the other reasons.

These people you hate and fear ARE the body of Christ, just as we all are. Every child, woman or man. And they know it. Maybe that’s why you can’t bear to look at them. Because you see Jesus Christ and you can’t stand the Light.

Stop this ridiculous and uneducated attitude. You would be dead without black people. Think of all the greatest music ever composed. The greatest songs. The greatest inspirational heroes…Muhammad Ali, Mandela, Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Soujourner Truth, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Curtis Mayfield. So many absolute angels, sent from God.

Without the inspiration of these people many millions of so-called ‘white’ people, including myself would not have had the strength to pay the price of life.

And black youth in America. I’m talking to you here too. I love you. So I don’t mean to sound cross, I’m just being a mother. Why are you killing each other? Why are you hating yourselves? You are the most important people God ever sent to this earth, every man, woman and child among you! Don’t let uneducated people win and take your self-esteem or your esteem for each other, and make you kill each other over guns, drugs, bling, or any other nonsense.

You are now entering YOUR version of a sort of civil rights movement and you’re going to see history being made in what has certainly the profoundest potential to become THE most wonderful country on earth. Because soon ALL ‘isms’ and ‘sits’ will end. including racism, as the people of the earth begin to understand we are all one.

We came from one mother. We are all brothers and sisters. And we CAN get beyond this ILLUSION of separateness. With prayer and love. It CAN change. It WILL change. And YOU guys (young people of all kinds) are the ones who are going to GENTLY change it. And you know where it starts? With MUSIC.

Don’t be guided by rap, Gangsta or otherwise. Sure, enjoy it. Adore it, as I do. But realize this: rap ain’t about your civil or spiritual rights, baby boys and girls. It, along with most music nowadays, is about falsenesses and vanities. Bling, drugs, sex, guns and people-dissing. It’s giving you the message you ain’t ‘good enough’ if you don’t have bling and ting…and money, or if you’re not what it deems ‘sexy’.

This is true of all popular music not, rap alone. I know. It’s tragically true of all popular youth culture the world over.

Poor Curtis Mayfield must be crying all day and night, ALL day and night in heaven, to see what has been so successfully achieved by those who sent guns, drugs, and bling to squash the Civil Rights Movement. Now, you all don’t have to be murdered by racists any more…you’re murdering each other FOR them! And your parents and grandparents are left crying.

Go back to strong black musical guides who left you information in the 60s and 70s when they were living through the civil rights struggle. Curtis Mayfield. The Impressions. Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson. Sing back the Holy Spirit, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, as those artists did.

Forget bling. Forget “Get Rich Or Die Trying.” That is an evil message. Evil my dears is only live (life) backwards. Turn it the right way up. With music. The messages American black youth are being given through music are not about the spiritual, and therefore strong and conquering but PEACEFUL making of YOUR country into the wonderful place it secretly is and can be. BECAUSE OF YOU, and BY YOU!!

You know not how you are adored, appreciated, valued, loved, cried for, smiled for, prayed for, all over the world. You know not how much inspiration and upliftment of heart you give to millions just by your presence on earth.

These musical guides will give you self-esteem. When you have self-esteem you can achieve anything. You can stand in the street as many did yesterday and change your country peacefully and with song. Chant down Babylon as the Rastas say. Rastafari will also give you self- esteem. Investigate it.

You will notice, my beautiful sons and daughters, when you study, as you must, footage of all civil rights gatherings, how singing and music and sound and voice and the Holy Spirit were all employed and were so much a part of the energy which moved things along. Just as running was in the South African gatherings I saw on tv in my own childhood, which inspired me to survive my own horrors.

What you listen to musically and whether or not you employ the Holy Spirit’s highest will for your life is what’s gonna make you transcend all you’re having to suffer (the worst of which is low self-esteem…or esteem based upon material ‘success’ or ‘sexiness’ as a result of being the descendants of people who didn’t ask to be stolen and leave you where you are. Delete bling. Get conscious with your music. Demand conscious music from your artists. Go back to the artists who left you proper guidance.

This is some serious stuff and we (all manner of musical artists) are too silent on matters of enormous spiritual importance. Lemme ask you…JayZ and Eminem et al…Why was it always that black people only worked in the post rooms of record companies, which was always in the basement? Why was it that as each floor went up the skins got paler till it was fuckin ghosts at the top? And all us artists.. even me.. said nothing? Those buildings (record companies) always struck me as being a microcosm or painting of America, racially speaking. Christ almighty…if it’s like that in the music business, how is anything ever going to change?

We, musical artists are too silent on important stuff. And it is our job to be the gatekeepers of truth. ALL the people of this earth must come together eventually and see that we are one. ALL artists must stand up. Black, white, yellow, green, pink, fucking polka dot.. and be a light in these times.

The world is going to shift massively this year.. spiritually speaking. Musical artists are to be a massive part of that shift. Get up, letls all of us. And light Jah fire.. and BE lights.

Where’s the fire gone from music? Where is the love? The oneness? The knowing that music CAN and WILL move things in the right spiritual direction without hatred or violence? We must box clever. Sing the devil to sleep at your feet. Thats what Curtis teaches. He is the master of ALL musical masters. Forget, forget, forget and forget again bling and guns and drugs and the worship of fame and money. Itls time to wake up. We KNOW the power of music. Why aren’t we using it to change anything important?

Musicians all over the world should now gently demand this child’s killer be arrested immediately and the family of Trayvon Martin be immediately apologized to upon bended knee. Frankly, I myself would like an apology! America is a country I love and adore. What this man has done is un-American in the most horrific extreme.

Him not being arrested is extremely embarrassing and does absolutely NOT paint the true picture of of a country and a people who for the 90% majority are the kindest, most loving, intelligent, and wonderful people you could know.

Please.. ALL Americans should deplore this crime. As should ALL people of ALL nations. And deplore the fact this man has not been arrested. All Irish people should do the same. And I ask that we here in Ireland should express through our American embassy that we would like to see this man arrested this very minute. Because racism is not acceptable. Nor is vigilantism. And this was very clearly in no way at all a case of self-defense.

I leave you with some lyrics of Curtis Mayfield which I feel are appropriate for this situation. I am certain Curtis would have wanted to contribute to the discussion on the issue of Trayvon’s murder and the condition of young black people in America today.. so here goes.. the song is called “This Is My Country”…from the album of the same name.

Lyrics – This Is My Country

Some people think we don’t have the right
to say it’s my country
before they give in
they’d rather fuss and fight
than say its my country
I’ve paid three hundred years or more
of slave-driving sweat and welts on my back
This is my country

Too many have died in protecting my pride
for me to go second class
We’ve survived a hard blow and I want you to know
that you must face us at last
And I know you will give consideration
shall we perish unjust or live equal as a nation?
This is my country.

via Sinead O’Connor

Reference

Trayvon Martin and 7 Black Men Who Should Be Alive Today (background on this murder)
Stand Your Ground Law States
Law enforcement and other groups fought against this law predicting exactly what has happened, yet Jeb Bush (of the Bush Family) and other governors in 24 states (I think) have signed this monstrous law into effect
The NRA (gun lobby) is the primary reason for this law. They paid well to get it in action.
Understanding the role of the GOP, NRA, ALEC and even a confederate supporter in enacting this law

The Top 10 Most Startling Facts About People of Color and Criminal Justice in the U.S.Written by Sophia Kerby

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From the foremost expert on race relations in America, Tim Wise:

Trayvon Martin, White Denial and the Unacceptable Burden of Blackness in America
http://www.timwise.org/2012/03/trayvon-martin-white-denial-and-the-unacceptable-burden-of-blackness-in-america/

“George Zimmerman must be held accountable for his actions, and hopefully he will be. Innocent until proven guilty of course, there is a process for determining matters of formal legal responsibility, and may that process now move forward to a just conclusion. But beyond the matter of legal guilt or innocence, beyond that which can be addressed in a court of law — one way or the other — there is a bigger issue here, and it is one that cannot be resolved by a jury, be it Grand or otherwise, nor by judges or prosecutors. It is the none-too-minor matter of the monster we as a nation have created, not only apparently in the heart of George Zimmerman, but in the minds of millions: individuals far too quick to rationalize any injustice so long as the victim has a black face; persons for whom no act of racially-biased misconduct qualifies as racist; persons who have allowed their own fears, anxieties and occasionally even hatreds to numb them, to inure them to the pain and suffering of the so-called other.”

Yes, there’s a war going on right here in this country against anyone who is the “other.” When all these “other” people arise and fight back on the war against us, the terrorism that has gone on against blacks for the past 400 years and the other issues we face, we will come to find out the REAL war was never about the “other.” The “other” was a scapegoat to divert our attention away from the real “other” which is the 1%.

It was always about the 1% vs. the 99%. By pitting racists against the “others,” the 1% kept the focus off of them as they made slaves of us all with usury, poisoning our food, water, land, oceans, giving us peanuts while they milked us dry. Racism was always about economics. It still is.