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Thursday
Jul262007

Emancipation Vs Liberation!

This is a post located on The Trinidad Express blog, and I found it quite timely and informative.  I have long known the difference in being EMANCIPATED and LIBERATED. Yet, our people fail to have true comprehension concerning freedom versus bondage.  This post written by Dr. Kwame Nantambu will give you insight as to what we really need to be focusing on in our quest for liberation.  Dr. Nantambu wrote this in light of Emancipation Day (August 1st) in Trinidad and Tobago however, I feel its scope reaches a wider range of Afrikan, Moor and Indigenous Black people of the western hemisphere since we in the U.S. embrace June Teenth as a way of attempting to disassociate ourselves from the 4th Of July (some say the 4th of You Lie) U.S Independence from Britain, but many of our ancestors were still enslaved.  Please enjoy and learn.

 

 

Emancipation versus Liberation

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
July 20, 2007

AfricansOne of the most perplexing, disturbing and still yet unresolved perennial reality-check dilemmas that afflict Afrikan-Trinbagonians is their supremely blurred vision to clearly ascertain the intrinsic, historical differences between emancipation versus liberation.

In this regard, Malcolm X is perfectly correct when he concludes: “The major problem with Black people is that we left our minds in Africa.”

However, the sad tragedy/legacy of this historical dilemma is that the internalization of Afrikanness by Afrikan-Trinbagonians will “remain a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained” as long as they continue to celebrate emancipation instead of seeking total liberation, by any and all means necessary.

The annual celebration of Emancipation Day (1st August) speaks volumes as to the tragic truism that Afrikan-Trinbagonians are exhibiting the symptoms of the deadly diseases of Afrikan dyslexia, amnesia, sclerosis, paralysis and atrophy.

They are in serious denial of their inherited Afrikan self.

The fact of the matter is that Afrikan-Trinbagonians must realize that the most potent weapon to challenge European supremacy is for Afrikans to come out as a powerful people from Mother Afrika in ancient Kemet/Egypt in the B.C. era.

This period represents 99.9 percent of the history of Afrikan people on this planet; most importantly, during this period, Afrikans were a free, spiritual, independent, liberated and powerful people. They were also the world’s original teachers and master-thinkers.

The fact of the matter is that Afrikan peoples cannot challenge European supremacy as powerless, defenseless and nothing slaves coming out of the plantations in the Diaspora/Caribbean in the A.D. era.

This period represents only .01 per cent of the history of Afrikan people on this planet; during this period, Afrikans were enslaved, colonized, dependent, powerless, religious-Christian, expendable, nothing, “infidel” peoples.

Now is the time for Afrikan-Trinbagonians to delete/expunge the ubiquitous, asinine Carnival-bacchanal mentality/atmosphere that embodies Emancipation Day. Moreover, this day represents a total, utter mockery and bastardization of and insult to, the torturous, dehumanizing conditions our forefathers had to endure during their prolonged period of enslavement.

The bottom-line is very simple: Emancipation is the problem; liberation is the only solution. Emancipation represents historical dislocation; liberation represents historical location, location, location.

Emancipation focuses on Afrikan Nationality; liberation zeroes in on Afrikan Originality. Emancipation deals with Afrikan history from 1516 A.D.; liberation deals with Afrikan history from 1516 B.C.

Emancipation focuses on the Afrikan connection with Father Europe; liberation focuses on the existence/potency of Afrikans in Mother Afrika before there was a Father Europe. The philosophical construct of liberation suggests that Afrikan peoples do not need a European connection to make them legit.

The fact of the matter is that there would not be a Europe of today if there were not an Afrika of yesterday. Indeed, the continent of Europe is named after Princess Europa of Mother Afrika.

In addition, Emancipation represents a period in their history when powerless Afrikan slaves (our forefathers) picked cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, cocoa, etc, for powerful Europeans; liberation, on the other hand, represents a period in history when powerful Afrikans (our ancestors) civilized, humanized and educated the powerless Greeks (world’s first Europeans).

The fact of the matter is that Europeans do not celebrate any period that manifests/exposes their historical powerlessness.

For example, Europeans do not celebrate their powerless/lethargic experience during the Middle/Dark Ages when they were people poor, land poor and resource poor. Europeans do not celebrate their Bubonic plague experience when Europe lost one-third of its population or 20 million people.

Europeans do not celebrate their period of enslavement from the middle of the 7th century - a period known in history as their “thousand year fear of Islam.” This represents a period during which these European slaves referred to their slave-masters as “Infidel Arabs.”

Afrikans are the only people on this planet who celebrate their history from a position of powerlessness. This is the overt dysfunctional nature of Emancipation.

The fact of the matter is that a capitalist is a capitalist 24/7/365; he is not a capitalist only at Christmas time.

Likewise, an Indian-Trinbagonian is an Indian 24/7/365; he/she is not an Indian only on Indian Arrival Day, Divali and Eid-ul-Fitr. He/she is also proud of Mother India.

Similarly, a Chinese-Trinbagonian is Chinese 24/7/365; he/she is not Chinese only on 18 October. He/she is proud of Mother China, and so on, and on and on, for all ethnic groups in TnT. Afrikan-Trinbagonians are the only exception - the only motherless group.

The stark reality is that on their national days, Indian-Trinbagonian performers always sing in the tongue of Mother India and on Chinese Arrival Day 2006, Chinese-Trinbagonian performers sang in the tongue of Mother China at Queen’s Hall. In addition, Chinese-Trinbagonians speak in their Mother tongue 24/7/365 - liberation cum historical location.

Thus, the crucial question that immediately comes to the fore is: In what tongue do Afrikan-Trinbagonian performers sing during shows on Emancipation Day? - emancipation cum historical dislocation.

It is indeed this ominous, scary historical differential that has compelled social commentator Morel Peters (Luta) to ask in song: “How free, how free are we?”

Indeed, the Afrikans who celebrate Emancipation Day are just One-Ah-Day, feeling-good Afrikans. The more fundamental questions that must be faced are: Who are they from 2nd August to 31 July?; what’s their mind-set, worldview and modus vivendi during this period?; what clothes are they wearing, what foods are they eating and what Gods are they worshipping during this period?

The reality is that Afrikan-Trinbagonians are powerless on Carnival Monday and Tuesday; they are also powerless on carnival Emancipation Day.

The celebration of Emancipation Day is a myopic, micro, truncated, divisive, albeit Euro-centric interpretation of the totality of Afrikan history; the celebration of total liberation under the rubric/banner of Afrika Year is a holistic, unifying, macro, linkage, albeit Africentric interpretation of the totality of Afrikan history.

This all-inclusive concept of Afrika Year embraces such Afrikan milestones as Afrikan Liberation Day (25 May), independence of Ghana (6 March), Emancipation/slave resistance (August), Haitian revolution (1st January), Kwanzaa (26 December-1st January), Pan Africanism (July), just to name a few.

Most importantly, Afrika Year seeks to re-connect, re-locate and re-vitalize the umbilical cord that was deliberately and purposely severed, dislocated and emasculated between Afrikan-Trinbagonians and Mother Afrika. It seeks to re-unite Afrikan children with their mother.

Liberation emphatically postulates that there is a Mother Afrika and that Afrika is our Home, TnT is our Destination. Afrikan-Trinbagonians must be Afrikans in mind, spirit and action, 24/7/365 and not just on 1st August.

In the final analysis, whereas Emancipation gives Afrikan-Trinbagonians a fish to feed themselves for one day (1st August), liberation teaches Afrikan-Trinbagonians how to fish so that they can feed themselves for the rest of their lives.

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies and University of the West Indies.

http://trinicenter.com/kwame/2007/2007.htm

Monday
Jul232007

Begin to invest in your future

We all to often spend quite a bit of time lamenting about our situation in these United States of America and the lamenting is well warranted. Yet, we have to realize there are ways we can prosper in this society. We have to begin to learn that the power that is within us will overcome any situation, even slavery in its many forms. I just learned that in 1886, just 21 short years after the Civil War, the first Black law firm in the United States was opened in Charleston, SC by three Black men, William Whipper, Macon Allen, and Robert Brown Elliot. Robert Brown Elliot came to Charleston from Jamaica and later became the editor of the oldest Black newspaper in the U.S. I am giving this background as a platform, as a foundation to show that no matter how negatively we have been and are treated we can still overcome. Now, I don’t know if these men were ever slaves, but I do know that to practice law, to do anything, especially under the harsh conditions of slavery or the conditions of the time shows we can do and have done great things no matter the conditions. In fact the mindset or the conception for this law firm and newspaper were being developed long before the Civil War began, as all things that come to light began in the hearts and minds of the people.

The financial health of our people at this time is at a crucial juncture. Black people have the spending power of 631 to 688 billion dollars, greater than some small nations. However, its important that we begin to invest our money and one of the best ways to invest is in real property. I have met many people that feel they cannot invest in a home, but this comes from not knowing. I am going to start here by giving you a few things you can do to get started.

Pull your credit report and learn your FICO score. You can pull your credit report at least once per year at no cost however, there may be a small cost to get your FICO score. There are three credit reporting agencies.

Equifax 1-800-685-1111

Experian 1-888-397-3742

TransUnion 1-800-888-4213

Once you get your credit report you can see how you have been paying, who is on your credit report and if there is a company that you have paid completely and it is not showing paid in full or you never have done business with a company you can dispute these items.

This is to be continued

Wednesday
Jul182007

Are we as Black people a lost cause?

 

 

We have come from a long way to go. In this I mean we have worked to free ourselves from the legal restraints that kept us from being discriminated against from an apartheid level. However, the mental state of Black people around the world is fractured, broken and lost. Lost in a maze of not knowing who we really are. I fully comprehend people know they are from Brazil, Bahamas, Tanzania, United States, Zimbabwe, Jamaica or Canada. But, these labels should not become a badge that creates a riff to divide us or a banner to wave other Black people off with disdain, because they don’t fall under your flag. We all must remember and never forget that the borders as they exist today, the borders that define our particular nations were created and recreated by the white European for domination and control over you and your resources.

It is a shame in 2007 that we Black people have not overcome the illusion of borders, nations and flags. In no way am I advocating that any of us denounce our individual cultures as this is the richness of our people, but to dismiss other Black people on the basis of your given nationality. This brings me to the issue at hand.

While listening to Real Talk with Jeffery Lloyd on More 94 FM, out of Nassau, Bahamas, I listened to the venom spewed about people that are of Haitian parentage living in the Bahamas now. The Bahamian people are upset about the migration of Haitians to the islands much as the population of the U.S. are about the Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Mexican migration northward. Three guest were on the program, born and raised in the Bahamas spoke of the discrimination by the Bahamian people against them and each and every one of the guests says they have been discriminated against by Black Bahamians many times to the point of violence!! Violence, not in the course of self defense, but violence based on nationality against another Black man or woman. And, yet I am told there are some places that are still “whites only” in the Bahamas.  This is where the fight should be. 

Black on Black violence of any kind is destroying us, however mental violence can be just as terrible. This form of national bias that’s occurring in Black people is mental violence. Now I have a friend visiting me as I write this. She was born and raised most of her life in Zimbabwe, later attending college here in the U.S. Upon graduation, she attained a job working in Ethiopia in East Africa. She has experienced a type of national prejudice, in that she being from Zimbabwe, considers herself to be a Black woman, however the Ethiopians don’t consider themselves to be Black.  So she is treated with the same national disdain as the Haitians face in the Bahamas. A big factor in this “so called” national pride is the fact, that Ethiopia was never colonized like many other African countries. The Ethiopians love things that are NOT made in their country yet make beautiful products they will not wear and should an outsider wear their products they are castigated for “trying to be Ethiopian when you’re not.” This is one of the many symptoms the Ethiopians don’t recognize as colonization of the mind!

It’s a sad shame that we as Black people have not learned to see beyond the veil cast by governments, big business and other entities. With all the access to information, knowledge and wisdom we still persecute ourselves for those forces wishing to compromise us. Never think they want to destroy us, only to subjugate us as their pawns. In a conversation over at the Charcoal Link blog, Aulelia advised that to speak English rather than the native language, shows one is educated. How can this be in 2007? Until we can light a path we will continue to be lost in a maze.

Friday
Jul132007

A Gut Feeling???

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff

I am often astonished at how the U.S. population can be dupped with the help of the mainstream media.  When the Secretary of Homeland Security puts out a statement saying "I have a gut feeling..." the United States will hit by a major terrorist event, he should be questioned, almost interrogated about making such a statement.  Yes the media, repeats this "gut feeling" madness as if its fact.  Why?  What is the purpose of releasing "gut feelings..." as a fact?  It seems to be an actual fact that there are those that do not have our safety at heart.  To carelessly instill fear into the population is not looking out our health at all.  Fear is a harmful emotion.  So what is the purpose of this??  As it often occurs this "gut feeling..." statement will soon turn into a fact.  I will here people at work or on the MARTA train saying something like this; "you know they said that al Qaeda is gonna attack us this summer".  So then, you have the populace parroting your "gut feeling" as if its a hard and fast fact.  We should not be so naive as to believe this "gut feeling" thing so quickly just  because Mr. Chertoff is the Homeland Security Secretary.  A "gut feeling" should not be published in the news, this is talk that should only be shared with his afterwork drinking buddies.  It also shows how irresponsible the press is or as some people may believe it's not irresponisbility but the press working on behalf of the government to keep the people in fear.  Lest we forget all things begin in the mind, thus the title of the latest Stephen Marley cd Mind Control.  There is a battle for your mind, you are constantly bombarded with actions to control your mind.  The casinos know of this power.  The musical notes coming from the slots are tuned on the musical key of E, they fill the air with pure oxygen to keep your mind alert so the body does not recognize that at two AM it should be sleepy, so you want to keep playing or for those of us that aren't big gamblers we wil go and order food at the casino restaurant.  Its control of your mind.  Mind your mind. The wise mind their minds.  As Rachelle Farrelle sings "Is that your thought you're thinking..."  What say you?

 

Friday
Jul062007

How the NFL killed baseball in the minds of Black American children.

Barry Bonds soon to be the homerun leader!

 

I don't ordinarily speak on sports, for my own reasons, however there are some things to say here as I am noticing what may be a trend to move Black Americans out of the game of baseball.  I must say, there have been times when we hurt ourselves as in the case of baseball.  In April 1974 33% of Black kids played organized baseball, by 2007 only 7% play the game.  First, let me say a bit about Barry Bonds.  I am sick of the white pestilence coming to the ball park to harass Mr. Bonds.  Barry Bonds has NEVER tested positive for using illegal growth horomones, EVER.  Secondly, steroid use will not increase ones ability to hit homeruns, it is timing and bat speed.  So Hank Aaron, it would be a travesty if you are not out on the field to shake Barry's hand on the day he smashes your record of 755 homeruns. 

Now, my thoughts on the game I love.  Baseball was not invented by Abner Doubleday. As usual in that time period white people would take something already in existance, add something on to the existing element and then credit themselves for "discovering" the prexisting element.  Batos was played on the island of Cuba as far back as the 1700's.  The game was played with a "batey" a ball made from resin and leaves.  The "batear" would hit the ball with a rounded tree branch, and run to the first of two bases used in the game.  By 1845 Alexander J. Cartwright founded the Knickerbockers team in New York, (coincedently knickerbockers are the pants worn in the game of baseball, though the players are tending to wear their pants in the line of crickett players of late) the Knickerbockers were the first team ever formed and Cuba was the first land to welcome the game.  Let us not forget that the aboriginals on the Caribbean Islands and the American main land north and south are Black people, and the inventors of Batos.

 In 1974, 33% of Black kids played baseball, by 2007 only 7% play.  In the 1980's the game of basketball was almost dead, I can remember on the West Coast the championship games were being televised as a taped game, 11:30pm at night.  With the advent of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, the loosning of some the rules and the reinstating the dunk, the game got new life, at the same time the NFL was searching for a way to increase attendance and in the long run raise ticket prices.  Along comes Dan Fouts, Don Coryell and the San Diego Chargers and "Air Coryell" to the National Football league.  Dan Fouts had a core of receivers starting with John Jefferson, then Wes Chandler, Charlie Joiner and Kellen Winslow.  Together they amassed 24,000 yards from 1978 to 1983 in the air.  Air Coryell took the game from primarly a running game to a passing game.  This team averaged a whopping 28 points per game, this generated excitment and fueled the change in the game to charge more for game tickets and moved the NFL into the heaven of being "America's game" and pushing "America's greatest pass time" baseball to the side. 

Baseball itself may have fueled the drive for the NFL's glory.  In 1974 when Hank Aaron was breaking the homerun record Lou Brock set the single season stolen base record at 118 and in 1982 Ricky Henderson stole a mighty 130 bases in a single season.  Baseball being affectionatly known as "America's greatest pass time", and the illegitimate belief that Abner Doubleday was the white creator of this game were being usurped by the Blacks playing in the league and this is what I believe sparked the change.

By now the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers were leading the NFL in won games and the quick strike offense.  Then comes Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins playing a similar offense. This set up a need for faster wide receivers and defensive backs to defend against them.  The colleges and universities put on a serious recruiting rush, scouring Black neighborhoods and public schools where the enrollment was primarly Black students to fill the much needed wide receiver/defensive back rolls.  This seemed to place in the minds of the Black youth that football was a way to get out of the "ghetto".  Baseball attendance soon fell off and began to fall into a tail spin suffering the same possible fate as basketball a few years before.  I feel Major League baseball, after the Ricky Henderson's and Vince Colman's of the day no longer filled the seats reached out to do two things. (1)  Put white men back in the game and (2) create a exciting game much as the NFL and the NBA did, taking baseball from small ball, hit and runs/run and hit tactics to the long ball.  Homerun fever. 

Major League baseball knew they would have to slow the game down in order to make white men prominent in the game once again and install the homerun as the highlight rather than the stolen base.  Haiti was the place where baseball's were made, that contract was taken from Haiti and sold to a country in Central America and homeruns increased even rumors of "fixed" baseballs were circulated.    Black kids no longer imagined themselves as basball players and many felt and may feel it is a white man's game.  Young Black boys no longer signed up for little league, and I witnessed many little league fields empty during basball season, this seems to be part of the demise of Black players in the Major Leagues, the interest in baseball is suffering.  The other fact is Major League Baseball does not put efforts into creating excitment in the hearts and minds of "inner city" kids.  Is there a possibility what Gary Sheffield says it true?  As I write this I can say most of the Latin ball players in the Majors are not U.S. born, as this my lend credence to what Mr. Sheffield says that (I paraphrase here) that Black American's are more likely to speak up about inequealities...I think this could be a point as Latin people born and raised here in the U.S. are much more likely to react to situations in pretty much the same way as their Black counterparts, since we often live in the same neighborhoods, go to the same schools and live under the same conditions. 

Unfortunately, many Black Americans do not understand the idea of us being all one Black people, so when they see an Andrew Jones from Curacao, or David Ortiz from the Dominican Republic they do not see themselves.  There are 72 U.S. born Black basball players in the league at this time and 192 non U.S. Born baseball players in the league as of this date.  This may be due in part to a lack of participation of Black Americans but surely not a lack of talent.

Best talent in the leagues right now are Black U.S. born players;  Prince Fielder, first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers.  Homerun King Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants and Willie Harris of the Atlanta Braves and Juan Pierre of the Los Angeles Dodgers only to name a few.  These are all outstanding talents and I pray the can bring about a mind change in the Black youth of the U.S. concerning our game of baseball.