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Word has it that the first 20 enslaved Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia, sometime during the month of August in 1619. Wow! That means next year, August 2019 will extend that legacy to exactly 400 years. Look out, Jamestown, here we come to commemorate, commiserate and consummate 400 years of MAAFA! Below is an excerpt from my poem, “The Art of Living Black,” which summarizes those 400 years, opening with an addition of recent local occurrences and indignities that have become a part of the Black Experience.
It is amazing how time flies whether one is moving or standing still. One looks up and sees, suddenly it seems, friends celebrating 70 and 75 or 80 or even 90-plus milestones. Wow! What a blessing that is. And while we also see the fullness of time’s passage in the lives of those who have decided to move on, too often we are caught by surprise, our mouths hung open, the words we could have said … deeds left undone.
Over a 25 year period, 200 women in South LA went missing. Of these missing women, 100 were found dead. All of the women are Black and most were prostitutes. The refusal to let these women’s lives go unacknowledged is due to the work of Black Coalition Fighting Back Against Serial Murders. HBO will broadcast “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” on April 27.
The best African centered holiday play in the nation, “Go Tell It!,” the story of the freedom fighter Harriet Tubman told through spirituals, will be showing at the Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. Instead of celebrating capitalism during the holidays, “Go Tell It!” is a way that we can remember our ancestors, how far we have come as a people, as well as the leaders, the tactics and the situations that got us here. “Go Tell It!” makes you want to learn more about your ancestors’ history, no matter who you are.
Congratulations to Gerald Lenoir for carrying the torch and blazing the way for so many social justice issues from HIV/AIDS awareness in the Black community to his recent work in just migration for Pan Africans. Much success on your new work! Farewell to Alona Clifton and much success in Atlanta. Congratulations also to Almaz Negash, founder and director of African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley for her national recognition and award at the Continental African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
The scene should hugely embarrass all Israelis and supporters of Israel: tens of thousands of African immigrants demonstrating, demanding to be treated as human beings within a state that claimed to be created as a safe haven for immigrants. The lie is exposed for all to see. African refugees are striving to receive attention from the international community in hopes that it might help push Israelis to provide them the opportunity to live in peace within Israel.
Taiwo Kujichagulia-Seitu's theatrical piece centers around the story of Harriet Tubman rescuing her brothers from slavery during Christmas-time. “Go Tell It!” paints a picture of what is was like for men who lived through slavery their whole lives getting word from their runaway sister Black Moses, that she was coming to put them on the Underground Railroad to freedom in the North.
Thank you for supporting Buy Black Wednesdays. This new wave of “cooperative economics” is spreading across America and pan-Africa like a red, black and green tsunami of Black empowerment.
Knowing what we do about Israel, we find it insulting to see the Israeli flag flying above the Belize flag. This is offensive to Belize and Belizeans; in Israel it is illegal for Palestinians to fly their flag. We seriously doubt that anyone could fly any flag above the Israeli flag in Israel.