Tag Archives: black lives matter

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.

 

 

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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

The Darker The Berry

PC: @beybe_baby IG

  To be a pure African is to not have the undiluted blood that some of us in the Diaspora have due to intermingling with colonizers and slaveowners, due to rape and due to the free choice of choosing a marriage partner of a different origin. Our skin is important. If we keep lightening and lightening it, Black is really going to be yellow and golds. I want my own children to be pure African, much darker than my brown skin tone because I have diluted African blood. 

    To not want to be dark chocolate, richly hued black in skin tone is to believe that black is not beautiful, not divine, not worthy. And Black, very black, is beautiful, divine, worthy and pure. This is about colorism. We all know there is a large fixation with beautiful biracial people. But what about upholding the belief that very dark Africans are also as beautiful and worthy? 

   In order to look in the mirror and see our ancestors, and look at our children and see Mother Africa, we cannot create the image of the European. We have to create the image of the African. The African’s image is not flawed, it is not defected, and it is not inferior. Our features are beautiful and unique, they rightfully belong to us and we should think long and hard before we decide to let them disappear in the name of a looser curl and a lighter eye. 

   Our Black girls are as beautiful and unique as their biracial counterparts. It is up to us, the Black community, to let them know they are   admired and accepted as the standard of African beauty–they are the pinnacle of Black beauty. All Blackness is derived from them. We have to teach our Black boys they don’t need to look like white boys. They are handsome and strong and worthy. Our goal as a Black community is to intermingle with each other and make our babies African again. 

Peace and love!

Charlotte Uprising

Usually when I hear a story of another Black brother shot in the States, I immediately feel anger and frustration. But when I heard about what the organized, militant protest in Charlotte, I felt hope. As a Canadian, I often feel helpless but today I scrutinized a few ways Canadians and others in the Diaspora can help our American comrades fighting with their lives for liberation.

 First, we must be with them on a conscious level. We must offer our positive vibes, we must pray for them to our ancestors. We have to separate ourselves from the notion that White Is Right. White, no matter how innocent it may appear, will not and has not suffered for liberation. We must separate ourselves from white ideology and think African unification.

   Secondly, we need to raise funds for our comrades whether it’s just $5 or $10, or $20. Each comrade protesting is taking time from work to fight for their right to live. They may not have a job when they return. They may have dependents. They may need supplies during the protests. It is our responsibility as Black Canadians who are fighting for freedom in North America to aid our comrades who are literally fighting. Freedom for one, is freedom for all. We are one.

   We must spread awareness through social media, alerting other people to their plight and effort. We must show the world we are in solidarity and we must show we are paying attention to the injustices in our neighbouring country.

   Lastly, if some of us are able to do so, we must go to the States and lend manpower and show that the killing of Black people is affecting us internationally. If there is a protest in nearby New York or Chicago you can attend, drive or bus it and attend. We cannot sit like cowards in Canada, afraid to fight and afraid to lend a voice. It is time we turn anger into action.

reAfricanization – Attire

I recently went out on Etsy and purchased some African traditional attire for my 2 year old son and I. It is one thing to believe in Pan-African values, but it is another to actually make it a daily part of your life, or rather integrate it into your life to the point that Western culture has very little effect on you. By dressing in African attire, it serves as a conscious reminder that we are Africans with a culture and heritage living in the Diaspora, to ourselves and those we encounter. 

    Just as we may acknowledge an Indian in a kurta, or a Tibetan Buddhist with prayer beads, we can be proud in the fact we have a heritage and culture as well. When I am wearing a crown, or a Kente print dress, I feel a great deal of pride in my African ethnicity and culture. I am not here to compete with people who created their own Western ideal, I am here to experience the culture that was created for me by my people, this is my birthright.

   Should Africans dress like Africans even though we may live in New Jersey, or Vancouver or Amsterdam? It’s really up to you, there are Africans from the Motherland who wear African attire for special occasions and some who wear African attire 24/7. It’s really up to the individual. As a Canadian-born African, the desire to wear African attire is completely motivated by my love of my people and culture and a desire to unite with other Africans. It is also motivated by a need to rediscover what an African identity looks like for someone who has been removed from the Motherland for so many generations. I cherish everything I can get my hands on to piece together that identity whether it’s a story of my great-grandmother or an African headscarf. 

Twi Progress

Learning an African language is an important aspect of reAfricanization and one I take so seriously that I don’t even want English spoken in my house, just Asante Twi or other African dialects (I’m dating an African man who speaks both Twi and Yoruba). Learning an African language isn’t easy because I do not have the opportunity to practice my Asante Twi very often since I live in a small, rural town. 

However, if you are dedicated to learning an African language, there is a lot of resources and all it takes is determination, practice and discipline. I found that this comprehensive website is very thorough and has a lot of information, as well as being a reAfricanization website who’s purpose is to assist the African in the Diaspora in their journey. Here Here is a basic Twi language website that’s great because it has pronunciation from an African, and not some random bot. 

  There are a number of Asante Twi and other language apps. I use Twi Junior which is good for beginners, and Twi Proverbs which is just nice to have. My goal is to memorize the Asante proverbs I like. I also listen to Ghanaian music on YouTube although it’s not 100% certain the songs are all in that dialect, but the music is actually good and upbeat and puts me in the right mind frame when I’m studying Twi. The best tutorial on YouTube is GoldCoastDebuty. She makes learning Twi fun! 

I hope to be fluent in Asante Twi by Kwanzaa this year, and I believe in everybody young and old who are reconnecting with their African roots! We can do this! 
 

Dating a Black Man

It is ironic that I had to go to the whitest town I have ever lived in to meet the Blackest man I’ve ever met. Yes, my African king is from the Motherland, what some may call a “freshie” but in my opinion, it’s just refreshing.

We are taught to hate what we fear, and we are taught to hate Black love. But we were not taught the truth by our oppressors. Black love, the love between two Black people, should be revered. It is a beautiful, sacred and important thing. Black love heals the nation, it brings us closer to our heritage and history and unifies the Black people. We cannot be strong as a people if we are fragmented off in the name of multiculturalism. 

If I had not opened myself up to the importance of Black love, which came later because I have been taught my Black brothers are inferior, I would have missed the opportunity to meet my king. But now I see that not only are Black brothers desirable and should be sought after, but that they should hold precedence over other races because Black love is natural. And an alienation from Black love means perhaps we need to do a bit more self-love and give a brother a chance as well.

  I’m not saying Black love is easy. It takes trust, dialogue and commitment to overcome the negative ideas associated with Black men and to relearn or learn how to have a healthy relationship with men of colour. What words should we use to describe and name each other? Words have power. We have to lift each other up and understand that despite the circumstances in our lives, we can work together to overcome them and solidify the bond between two Black people. 

As they say, once you go back Black, you never go back. Well I say, if it’s not Black love it’s tragic, because Black love is magic. And I’m not putting down interracial couples, I’m not. Listen, I come from the most diverse city in the world–Toronto. I get it. And if the one for you is from a different ethnicity, that is alright! But where once many sisters, tired of the playa playa act, turned to other cultures for marriage, respect and monogamy; I believe that we need to scrutinize what Black love really is, how powerful the potential of Black love is personally and collectively and build upon that.