On Jesse Williams Speech

  I took to my Facebook page and Insta to display the amazement of Williams’ speech, in his steadfast and dangerously calm voice.

image

   I did break down in tears, because he put out, in front of millions of viewers a message that so valiantly voiced the sentiments of the African Diaspora. He assuaged the pain and torment of the African experience with his powerful words. Just last week I penned Where Is Our Leader? We are all but bursting forth to fight for Black Liberation, to put at end, once and for all, to the inequality and wickedness of white supremacy and domination.

  I must thank Williams’ for helping bring the message to those who still haven’t figured it out, who are still trying to compete in a white man’s world and suppress their beautiful Blackness, and for those who think Blackness is thuggery and cool kicks. He may just be responsible for starting a revolution, and not a moment too soon.

THE Speech 2016

Full Video AND Transcript of #JesseWilliams #BETAwards ❤

"Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that .

Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award – this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country – the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It's kind of basic mathematics – the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we've been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday. So what's going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Now… I got more y'all – yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice's 14th birthday so I don't want to hear anymore about how far we've come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it's so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn't gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone's brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven't done. There is no tax they haven't leveed against us – and we've paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. "You're free," they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn't acted so… free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

And let's get a couple things straight, just a little sidenote – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That's not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

We've been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we're done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we're magic doesn't mean we're not real.

Thank you."

Kraka Kraka

    

African champions must break the chain that links African ideas to European ones, and listen to the voice of the ancestors without European interpreters. 
                                                 -John Carruthers
                                                   “Mdw Ntr”

  I have put the Akan language Bambara aside for now in favour of Asante Twi, which is far easier to learn and more fun. I don’t know why my heart wasn’t into Bambara, but when I began learning Twi, I felt alive. I felt as if my ancestors were telling me this is right, this is for you to learn. I honestly felt a spiritual connection to the Asante Twi language, despite the fact it is unlikely my ancestors were Akan. Only 3% of the Akan tribe arrived in my Caribbean island via the slave trade. 67% arrived from Southeast Nigeria (Igbo) and Cameroon. So I should probably be learning Yoruba. But Twi is so fun and I love Ghanian culture and music!

    It is super easy for me to teach my son. His favourite Twi word is “kraka kraka” meaning “small small” or “a little”. We watch @goldcoastdebuty on YouTube, Gloria is amazing and vibrant. We also use the Junior Twi app for Android, and I have created an Asante Twi notebook with phrases, words, song lyrics and the national anthem, which you should listen to because it’s in your face awesome.

   Our ancestors want us to continue where they left off before those European slave ships arrived. We are indoctrinated with European ideas but Africa is inside of us, we just have to listen to the voice of our ancestors. It doesn’t hurt to learn their language. A’se, sisters and brothers. Mendase!

image

National Aboriginal Day

  Today is National Aboriginal Day, which we celebrated last year and this year with reflection in a natural park setting. As a Black Canadian with a family from the West Indies, I notice many parallels between the Black struggle and the Aboriginal struggle against colonialism and white supremacy. We are both struggling to remember and honour the language, names and ways of our ancestors. We were both ripped from what rightfully belonged to us, and had it savagely taken away; then were called the savage ones for added insult.

    There is a push to make National Aboriginal Day a statutory holiday, one which I would gladly celebrate because this land I live in is not my land. This land belongs to Aboriginal people, and now they are all but invisible in a society that stole and destroyed their heritage and homes. I would much rather celebrate this day than Canada Day or Victoria Day. What has Queen Victoria ever done for Black people and liberation? The holiday would force people to be conscious of the tragic effects of colonialism, and to attend Aboriginal events, learn about the real history of Canada and give back to Aboriginal communities so they can rebuild themselves.

Where Is Our Leader?

   

You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. -Fuller

 

     If we are raising our beloved Afrikan children to be true revolutionaries, we must realize we are sending them to fight a war of greed, hate, capitalism and domination that may ultimately destroy them. We are sending our children out to be martyrs, not to be safe 9-5ers working at the bank or as a teacher. We are sending them out to create African banks and African schools. We are raising them to topple white supremacy that reigns across this Earth, from South Africa to Alabama to Papua New Guinea to London.

   Who wants to willingly be a revolutionary when our past revolutionaries were silenced, intimidated, imprisoned, tortured and assassinated or sent into exile? Who wants to knowingly inflict pain and suffering upon themselves in the possibly futile hope that the African nation may rise out of poverty and oppression and inequality. That we may participate in world trade, in government and in thriving communities? Is it such a futile hope that there is a revolutionary man or woman out there who can light the torch and lead the masses, because the masses are ready to be mobilized and a leader will rise.

   And once this happens, we must be ready to possess a revolutionary spirit and to unite, and show the world that we will get freedom, by any means necessary.

The White Microscope

   I never fully understood what it meant to be under the White Microscope until I moved, precisely a year ago, to a small, rural Canadian town. Originally from Toronto, the White Microscope wasn’t something I previously experienced because there were a lot of Black mothers before me, and a lot of Black mothers will surely come after.

   But in my small town, to see a Black mother was somewhat of a spectacle where in a town of 100,000 only 1% were Black, according to census. Whenever I left my house, I felt the eyes probing and judging. My son, a typically boisterous 2 year old prone to occasional temper tantrums and toddler behaviour, acts out in public sometimes.

   And I find myself shrinking in horror at any slight disturbance he might incur from crying to unwrapping a Kinder egg at the grocery store checkout. It is not that my son is a terrible child, but under the White Microscope, every action, every splash of chocolate milk on his shirt or stray hair is met with inimical disapproval and reprove. I am not a perfect mother, nor is my son a cherub; and to step out of the house and face the White Microscope is extremely disheartening.

   The  White Microscope may exist for you too. Whether you are a Black employee at a white dominated job, a Black soldier in the army or one of few Black children in a predominantly white high school or university, you will notice the White Microscope. It is there to judge you, shame you or use you as amusing entertainment and hold you up to the Perfect White Standard to show you exactly how you fall short. The microscope might be invisible, but if our colour is the elephant in the room, then it is our leash.

   I’m tired of the White Microscope. I want to leave my house without my hair perfectly poised, praying my son will be quiet and well-behaved at the library or the doctor’s office, and not glaring at him angrily when he acts like a toddler. I really want to glare at you, hiss at you and put you in timeout until you learn we are all imperfect beings, regardless of skin colour, and everyone deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt.

Re-Africanization

   We all know Black struggle. We are aware of the anguish and suffering of our ancestors who were stolen, beaten, burned, lynched, murdered and raped; suffering that still reverberates through our communities today. And now it’s time to re-Africanize ourselves, to relearn and practice what was taken from us as those ships landed on the Motherland: our languages, our culture and ways.

   Re-Africanization is a positive aspect of our struggle towards liberation because this is the part where we begin to pick up the pieces, where we begin to heal and where we continue where our ancestors left off. Re-Africanizing is a powerful undertaking that has political, economical, societal and personal repercussions for the oppressor. They do not want to see us Re-Africanize collectively. They do not want the Afrikan Diaspora to heal and build itself.

    I am on the very beginning of my re-Africanizing journey and I cannot stand at the top of the mountain and preach what you must do to re-Africanize yourself. That is for you to decide individually based on your circumstances. Some people are fortunate enough to go to the Motherland, others are fortunate to live in Little Africa neighbourhoods in their respective cities.

   Some Afrikan people change their slave names, others are comfortable simply adding an African name to their existing name such as “Kwame Michael Button” or “Oke Janet Brown”. If African names sound strange and unpalatable to you, ask yourself as to why. Other people wear dashikis, geles,  asa okes, Bantu knots and Senegalese twists or henna. Some people are reacquainting themselves with African deities, music and dance. Others read books on ancient African history. A few people are even learning a West African language like Asanti Twi. I cannot imagine this is easy.

   We, in the Diaspora, have been cut off from our roots and origin, and it is up to us to educate ourselves for liberation and re-Africanize ourselves which should come naturally as part of our being. Re-Africanizing is about celebration, recovery, discovery and healing. It is not a foolish thing to embark on because once you have knowledge of self, the next step is to apply it.