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.
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!
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.