Tag Archives: African American

Solidarity in the Diaspora + Africa

Yesterday I tried fufu for the first time, and it was pretty delicious. It wasn’t something I grew up eating in a Caribbean household. I didn’t learn anything about Africa in my home despite the fact that my family is very dark-skinned and obviously our roots are African. My family has always looked down on Africans and had some kind of crazy assumption that they all do voodoo. So, growing up, I never really learned about Africa. It’s only in the recent years that I’ve been learning about African history and African culture, and wishing genuinely that I had been more aware of African culture, and African history as well. Even now that I’m marrying a Ghanaian, other Ghanaians often seem surprised that I can speak Twi and I love Kumawood films. They believe that Canadians of Caribbean descent are not interested in Africa–but the truth is–many of us are shunning Eurocentric cultures and wish to connect with our roots in respectful and humble ways.

Solidarity between African-American, African and Caribbean people is needed more than ever. An achievement by a Black person should be seen as an achievement for us all, whether they came from Nigeria or Jamaica or Baltimore. We need to help each other out and unify. Americans need to tell Africans to boycott all the KFC restaurants popping up like crazy all over Ghana and other countries. That fried chicken is not linked to a better social status, however, it is linked to obesity and heart disease. It could be a very clever ploy to kill more Black bodies. If Africa wants first world social status, they need to get in on the organic health food kick, get in on fitness and things that will add years to your life–not end it. Africans that are making African languages accessible to the Diaspora, Africans that are collaborating in business and tech fields with Black people in the Diaspora are helping unify us and make us stronger. We have to learn about our different historical pasts, our unique cultures and find a way to connect.

We have a great advantage–numbers. When you combine all the Black people in Africa, the Caribbean islands, America and Brazil (and Canada–I mean hey, can’t leave myself out! Joking, but no, we are truly doing things in Toronto and Montreal due to the diversity there), you have numbers. Before another endemic happens that will be lethal to more Black bodies on any continents, we need to get together and make sure we have each other’s backs. There’s so much happening in the world that is ending Black lives–from police brutality to slavery in Libya to the “ideal” mulatto child that is erasing the Black race and replacing it with a much more palatable, bronze-skinned and ringlet-haired race. And it’s up to us to wake up our brothers and sisters, and just be like, “We have our differences, but I got you.”

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Lessons From the Past

I’ve recently become interested in Chinese history, particularly the Second Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945. The unity and strategies of the Chinese people are truly admirable–despite their political differences, they still came together against one enemy: the Japanese. It’s something that Black people can really learn from. Chinese traditions and history runs deep, and these people know their culture. Unlike Black people, whose connection to their origins has been severed. It truly shows how important it is to know and honour our African traditions, and history. It is Chinese pride that kept the Chinese fighting stubbornly enough to gain allied help. It is African pride that should unite us all–and keep us fighting–for Black liberation.

We are so fragmented, all pitched against the other. Africans against West Indians, Black Americans against immigrant Black, etc. When will we understand we are all one and that we have a common oppressor? Of course, many Black people have risen to wealth, but unless the Black nations are liberated–Black people are oppressed. And there is no liberation without unity. You can say what you want about a Chinese person–but they have been taught to be proud of their Chinese heritage. And you will see Chinese helping Chinese. You will see the Chinese ready to fight for China. It’s time that Africans learn from the East.

Marry the Plain Guy

Everybody wants a Jay to their Bey. I do get the glam and glitz of having beautiful life partners. Who doesn’t want to wake up to a well-muscled, perfectly-oiled moustached 6″3 chocolate hunk? Maybe it’s the affluent, well-connected lawyer who is charming and smells of fresh money from the bank machine (how come nobody made that smell into a cologne yet?) that has you screaming “wedding bells”. There’s the fine ass brother, who is so obviously a bachelor for life that he has scented lotions and pink slippers ready for you when you come to his pad. And there’s the awkward, maybe not the cutest but not the worst-looking, super sweet normal dude who probably works at IT or knows exactly how to put together IKEA furniture….without the instruction guide.

Choose the awkward dude. For real. He may not make the rounds with a fifty-watt smile at parties, but you won’t have to worry that he’s got his phone on Airplane Mode so you won’t hear his other three side chicks texting, WhatsApping and Facebook Messaging his ass. Unlike the stylish dudes onto every new trend–hoping the girls will follow the trail of Jordans and new fusion restaurants–awkward dude probably has his will written and paid off his college debt. The classy lawyer in Tom Ford cologne might call you up for a booty call, but awkward guy feels no qualms about texting you back right away because he truly wants to talk to you–and not just get in your pencil skirt. The smooth-talking bachelor might hint at marriage to lure you along, but awkward dude will likely be the one who is planning to get down on one knee–instead of tricking you into getting you onto your knees. Choose the awkward dude.

This blog is called ‘ConsciousBlackQueen’. I’m 100% for Black love, but I also believe Black women have been down in the dumps when it comes to marriage and we deserve love–in whatever colour or shade it happens to be. If your hellbent on a chocolate brother, but the brothers are not commiting–and you got yourself a white man who is willing to commit to you…shoot, get that ring, girl. And brothers, don’t lose out on a quality girl because she’s not all the 100 things on your checklist you need her to be–a perfectly Instagrammable wife. Get yourself a real girl, with real flaws, because I’m certain God made you with flaws as well. And ladies, forget the flashy cars and expensive shoes. Is he faithful? Can you trust him? Does this n—- text back?!

Some Things Never Change

There will always be that white man in the grocery store with that stare.

There will be always be that one Black leader rising from the ashes of the fire of misery of his country.

There will always be that Black businessman in the Mercedes-Benz with a white wife.

Some things never change.

 

There will always be the surprised glances at your impeccable English.

There will always be the sniggling at your heavy, magnificent African name.

There will always be suspicious ogling at her hijab.

Some things never change.

 

There will always be the white elderly woman who clutches her purse tighter as you walk by.

There will always be young white men who view your female Black body licentiously.

There will always be African woman who wear their gele proudly and dance with the slopes and arcs of the earth in their bones, the light of the stars in their eyes.

Some things will never change.

 

There will always be a white leader hellbent on destroying equality and liberty, and the path to unity and peace in the name of greed and power. Their names just change over time.

There will always be a Black boy who dreams of becoming a doctor. And makes it.

There will always be the future of freedom in the womb of our women.

Some things will never change.

Rap x Trap = New Message

Entertainment and art are two very important spheres that can transcend and define a movement. Right now, our generation needs positive vibes and we need positive, uplifting music. The new tracks I’m hearing in 2016 are a lot more mellow, sensitive and open-minded than the tracks that were out say in 1998 or 2000, like Ruff Ryder’s Anthem or 50 Cent’s What Up Gangsta, or a number of any other gun-slinging, hoe-slapping “hits”. These are truly hits, hits to the Black morale, to the Black collective, to Black unity–they were hitting us like bombs–because it’s not the message we needed back then and definitely not what we need now.

Instead, I’m hearing more about the beauty of the Black female and more bars discussing the tragedy of police brutality against our brothers and sisters. Future, Drake, Kanye West are showing that healthy relationships are not only attainable but desirable, even though we still hear the “H” word and “B” word. What I want to see is a call from these artists, both locally and internationally, to unite and uplift the people. We need messages of hope, cohesion and encouragement. Not encouragement to stay in the traphouse and grind, but to work on that degree, get married to a brother or sister and focus on what is truly important which is not chains, trips around the world or cars with heavy artillery.

I still don’t think I’m at a point where I’d allow my son to listen to rap music. I feel the overlying message is still very destructive to a young psyche. But at the same time, the face of rap has changed. It’s not about pimps and macho guys in bullet-proof vests. As we evolve and reach a certain collective consciousness about our reality and what obstacles we face, I hope our music can reflect that and offer a portal of entertainment but also a sense of empowerment and exclusivity. We need music by us, for us, that is relateable. The struggle is always relatable, but it’s time to take the conversation to what happens when we are ready for a new Black identity and how to fabricate that into our music. That needs to be our new message.

 

 

Fragile Like China

LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

The dating game is tough when you’re single. I know it. Throw in being a single parent, or just arriving from another country, or emerging as a broke graduate–there’s always another aspect to make it difficult. But one thing that is worth it is the outcome: Black love. If you aren’t on the Black love train yet, get on it. It’s worth the ride and destination. It’s going to lead you towards a new consciousness, a new awareness of the collective Black people, unity and power. If you are striving for a Caucasian partner as the highest prize, then you are not striving high enough, my friend.

I am in a new relationship (early dating phase) with my young king. That new Black love is not just new because he’s someone I’m getting to know, but it’s new because there is a stratum of significance that is occurring as two Black people meet and fall in love. I am treating this relationship, guarding this newfound love like delicate china. I am peeling back the layers of lies, of distrust and inferiority that Western culture has placed on the Black man to reveal the beauty, the truth and the power of the Black man. And indeed, he is all these things and more.

We as queens have to have our king’s backs, and have them pick us up and regard us as nothing less than royalty. We need to hold our heads up high and regard each other in the highest calibre. When we decide that we want nothing less than a Black queen or king, when we begin to emanate that respect and admiration for our own people then that love will soon follow. And if the brother you are with, or sister now isn’t on the same wavelengths as you; there is someone out there waiting for you who will love you and bring out the queen or king in you. Don’t settle for anything less!

 

blacl-love

Focus On: Black Love

I will never give up on love, the hope of that conquest energizes me with a new high that shatters my equilibria and turns my world topsy-turvy with the possibility this might the one. I have always believed I will find true love, mainly and honestly, because I’m not that picky. 

    I have always, since I reached puberty, been slutshamed for my enthusiasm at finding love. It is not that I was particularly sexual, if anything I was the aloof Black nerd with my head stuck in a book, not in someone’s crotch. But, if I was attracted to someone, I would obsess and analyze and hope. The boy next door. The youth pastor in church. The guy who walks his Lab in the park at 6pm every day. The barista at Starbucks studying at university with those irresistible eyes and that sad smile. The landlord. That heroic single dad. Your 40 something professor with the motorcycle and disheveled jeans. The guy on Plenty of Fish with a strong, charming game. 

  I am focusing solely on Black love, on finding a Black man in the same naïve way I have loved and hoped for love. Because it really shouldn’t be that complicated. There should be no harsher criticisms, no down low police checks, no double standards. If anything, if a Black man is up and coming and not quite there yet, with you by his side, what a powerful testament to the strength of Black love if you both persevered together. And vice versa. I’m tired of dipping my hands in the vanilla and butterscotch cookie jar, because it’s not satisfying me. I want a dark chocolate cookie. 

  And, Black man, I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. But we have potential, untapped potential, for greatness that will never be realized or come to fruition if we are hostile towards each other and do not do the work to have dialogue and trust with each other. Black man, I’m proud of you because I know what you have been through and I see what you are capable of. I’m working on respecting you, on loving you. I say with great conviction, there is none more natural than a Black woman for a Black man. I won’t stop until I find you.