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Buy Black Wednesdays: What does it mean to be a born-again African?

July 1, 2011

by Paradise Free Jahlove

The Lower Bottom Playaz will bring August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” to this beautiful set, designed by David Anderson, on Aug. 19, opening night. The Sister Thea Bowman Memorial Theater, which turns 10 this year, is located at 920 Peralta St. in West Oakland.
First of all, let’s not get it twisted: You can be a born-again African and a born-again Christian at the same time! Being a born-again African has nothing to do with religion, other than religiously going out of your way to support Black people and Black businesses. Being a born again African means you realize that you and your people have been stripped of your land, language, culture, heritage and spirituality and you know it is your responsibility and delight to reclaim it for yourself and your kin.

Being a born-again African means you’ve had a revelation! YOU ARE BLACK! And proudly so! And even if you could, the world won’t let you forget it! So you own it. Cuz you’ve realized that your destiny and fortunes are bound up with a people who are like no other and who have survived and even thrived in the harshest conditions any race has ever faced. And everything you have is fruit that either comes from or was made possible by your AncesTree. It is your duty, honor and delight to carry on your ancestars’ splendiferous legacy.

Being a born-again African means you’ve been baptised spiritually in the river Nile, in the waters of the motherland, in the Garden of Eden, in the Congo, in Blackness and Afrocentricity  – and you are proud to be in the lineage of Queen Mother Moore, Kwame Nkrumah, Shaka Zulu, Jackie Robinson, King Solomon, Queen Cassieopia, Steven Biko, the Cleopatras, Josephine Baker, Mary Baker Eddy, Nefertiti, Imhotep, Hermes, Ahkenaton, The Moors, Mansa Musa, Malcolm, Martin, Medgar, Mandela, Marcus, Marley, Menelik, the Muhammads, the Mau Mau, the Melchizadeks, the African Mayans and all the other Mighty Ms.

Being a born-again African means you have your headlights turned on and you are a focused, conscious African from head to toe because you know you are being of the greatest service to yourself, your family, your community and all of humanity by restoring your people to their natural order of self sufficiency and splendor as the most radiant examples of the sons and daughters of the most high.

Being a born-again African means that every time you venture out to support a Black business and the business of being Black, you sojourn with Sojourner Truth. You pay homage and hop aboard the Underground Railroad with Harriet Tubman on the Road to Freedom. You bring flowers to those Four Little Black Girls from Birmingham. You vote for a better community with Fannie Lou Hamer. You lock arms with Dr. King in his March on Selma. You go to Washington with Frederick Douglass to splash more color on the White House – that your people built – and demand the freedom to build your own Black House.

Being a born again Afro-kin means if you’re at a flea market and you see a scarf you like being sold by one person for $5 and being sold by a brother or sister for $7, you suck it up and pay seven bucks. It means doing like that elderly Asian sister who comes to your community in the wee hours of the morning to collect cans and bottles and brings them back to Chinatown.

You go out of your way the same way for Afreetown, the little Africa that is your community! (Sometimes I spell Afraka differently, like Afreeka, to remind us that Afrika must be free!) It means you spend a measly five dollars, 20 quarters, to post your business in the Bay View Business Directory, not only to give your business more exposure but to help the Bay View become a weekly again because some day you may not be able to afford to wait a whole month to receive the truth about what’s really going on in your community.

Being a born again Afra-kin means you realize that God created blood cells to flow to the heart, bees to make honey and support the hive and Blacks to support Africans and, the be hive of all humanity, the motherland! And the best way to be independent is not to be independent of your brothers and sisters and dependent on “the man”, but to liberate your people mentally, physically, emotionally, materially, spritually, financially, dietarily and every way possible by sacrificing and going more out of “your way” for “OUR WAY!” and spiritually, if not physically, reconstructing the original Black Statue of Liberty!

A verse from my rap/song “Born Again African”:

I’m a born again African, yeah

A dark skinned hue-man, yeah

A fulltime Melaniasian, yeah

A First World Citizen, yeah

A Ma(ya)n from Swahili-land, yeah

The Red, Black and Green land, yeah

Where no one uses profanity, Say what?

We think-speak in harmony, for the children.

That’s our history…

Black Business of the Month

“How come there’s no theater in Oakland? Not a theater that uses the people, but a theater that the people can use. Guerilla theater! Street theater that addresses the needs and issues of the people and feeds the masses. And until then when will the people ever learn how to act?” This is an excerpt from my poem, “Why Is There No Theater in Oakland?” Well, there is such a place. It’s called the Sister Thea Bowman Memorial Theater and it’s located in the Prescott Joseph Community Center in West Oakland at 920 Peralta!

Ayodele Nzinga
The theater is presently in need of $10,000 within the next two months so any donation would be appreaciated. Youth and novice actors and actresses are their essential ingredient, agenda and workforce incuding The Lower Bottom Playaz, founded by dramatist-poet, Ayodele “WordSlanger” Nzinga, MA, MFA.

The LBP are an ensemble of professional and novice multi-disciplined performers. The troupe exclusively performs work of social relevance and places value in the community on a personal and universal level. Lauded for their ability to render reality in art, the troupe has been the life behind the footlights in the Sister Thea Bowman Memorial Theater for 10 years. Please check them out at (510) 457-8999, www.lowerbottomplayaz.com, http://www.indiegogo.com/The-Lower-Bottom-Playaz-A-Community-Based-Theater-Troupe.

Paradise is president of the International Black Writers & Artists Local 5 in Oakland and was recently honored by the City of Oakland with “Paradise Day,” on Oct. 6. He may be reached at oaklandworldsfair@yahoo.com. Paradise also facilitates the Buy Black Wednesdays Facebook page and group, hosts the Black Wednesday Show every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on www.harambeeradio.com and blogs at www.blackwednesdays.blogspot.com.

 

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