Source: Quote: Howard Thurman
Wonderful reminder of a great man who overcame great odds and left an equally impressive legacy.
You can find out more about Howard Thurman on the link above. Enjoy.
Source: Quote: Howard Thurman
Wonderful reminder of a great man who overcame great odds and left an equally impressive legacy.
You can find out more about Howard Thurman on the link above. Enjoy.
Introducing my first photography dedicated blog – the 4toconvert.
Feel free to like, comment, share, tell your friends and recommend it to your family, friends and followers. Look forward to interacting with you and exchanging ideas, constructive criticism and a lot more.
I am a lover of photography. I have loved photos from a very early age although I never had the opportunity to indulge in the craft because I didn’t have the luxury of owning a camera.
Thanks to digital photography and mobile phones, the craft has become more accessible to everyone and not just the professional photographer.
I have been taking photos for a few years now but I didn’t put so much thought into it. Don’t get me wrong, I have always taken great photos. I have published a number of photographs through some newspapers and via some charities. I guess I transferred some of my video production skills and knowledge to my photography.
There is very little difference between videos and photos because both involve storytelling through images. However, video has the advantage that it has moving images plus sound to do that much more.
I have recently started taking…
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“‘What became of the Black people of Sumer?’ the traveler asked the old man, for ancient records show that the people of Sumer were Black. `What happened to them?’
`Ah,’ the old man sighed. `They lost their history, so they died.'”
This legend above demonstrates what happens when a people lose or forget their history. They die. As it has been written, our people perish because of a lack of knowledge.
A people without knowledge of their history or past are dead! What happened to the people of Sumer illustrates the dangers a race faces if it fails to document it’s history and tell its own story not “his” story. Because what is passed off as history is not every man’s story.
If you know your history
Then you would know where you coming from
Then you wouldn’t have to ask me
Who the heck do I think I am
We, Africans, have lost a significant amount of our history because it was not documented.
It is no surprise some people try their utmost best to convince us that our history only begun with the advent of the coloniser in Africa.
Such a lie becomes impossible to maintain when one knows the history of Africa that begun while the coloniser was still living in the mountains of Europe, and Africans created the first civilisations of Meroe, Songhay, Mossi Kingdom, Benin Empire, Kingdom of Ghana, Axum and the likes.
Below is a front cover of African Empires: it is a book written for children that elaborates on the empires I referred to above and provides insight on them.
How I wish I had known about this history while I was younger. However, it is never too late to learn. A book like the one above is not only good for children but it is also good for adults too who may be as ignorant as I was until I stumbled on the work of Williams.
It can provide them with an elementary education of Black History which can be topped off later by reading other books written by writers like Dr. Williams, Dr. John Henrik Clarke and Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan to mention a few.
In addition, it is a good way for parents to bond with their children while learning together and raising their level of consciousness.
Adults can learn something from the titles held on the Letterbox Library archives because there are going to be things that they are ignorant of.
This is not to insinuate that they are unenlightened; it is impossible to know everything. There is too much information to know everything that happened in the past but it is never too late to learn something new.
Black history matters and it is our duty as parents within the community to spread this knowledge. Without a knowledge of our greatness, we will never be able to realise our potential or know how far we have fallen from those great architects of civilisation.
We, as individuals and as a race, are the total sum of our past and the present. Everything that we are is a mixture of the two. And what we will become in the future depends on these two things.
The past teaches us to avoid the same mistakes that our ancestors made in the past. Not only does it teach us our strengths and weaknesses, but it also teaches us our strengths. It provides us with answers and solutions to some of our problems and challenges in the present and future and how we can be strong again.
The quote below by Chinua Achebe, a legendary Nigerian writer, author, publisher and social activist, illustrates the destruction of of African history and how Africans stepped back into their past to draw strength and ideas to decolonise the continent from white minority rule.
I believe that one of our elders Dr. John Henrik Clarke summed up the importance of our history in this quote:
History is not everything, but it is a starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. It tells them where they are, more importantly, what they must be.
I don’t think I could have summed it up much better myself. Sometimes, this is why we need this kind of knowledge to draw ideas from those who came before us and have condensed knowledge that took a lifetime to figure out into a form we can make sense of within a short time.
I believe that an awakening of Black people begins with an understanding of their history because that is the beginning of their consciousness. We cannot rely on the past today but we can find answers that we seek about ourselves from it.
Those who destroyed our history or whitewashed it had an aim as Achebe illustrated above. It was necessary to colonise and enslave an entire race to subjugate and exploit them.
It was necessary to convince them that they were an inferior species who were not quite human; hence, they needed to be colonised and enslaved for their own good and their history destroyed for the purpose.
However, the truth is that there is no humane form of colonisation or slavery. Both are inhumane. They are an affront to humanity. Nobody can ever prove otherwise.
“Colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native’s brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it. This work of devaluing pre-colonial history takes on a dialectical significance today.”
This is why it is important for us to know our history and pass it on so that we may never die like the people of Sumer. Which brings me to the point of this post.
They are a not-for-profit social enterprise and cooperative that acts as an education supplier based in London. The books they distribute promote multiculturalism and inclusivity in children’s books.
Therefore, children can find fiction books with characters that reflect their reality, look like them or find positive images of black people.
The system via the various mediums such as print, digital media, TV, advertising, etc. subliminally feed people a diet of negative stereotypes.
Consequently, people tend to believe the worst about themselves because everything they know is what is stored in their subconscious as images which have been stored from what the system feeds them in the form of images and portrayal of their people in the media.
The only way to address such an anomaly is to replace the negative stereotypes with these new ideas and images and gradually eradicate the negative stereotypes embedded in the minds of Black people.
It is not possible for us to put new knowledge into old minds: the minds will expand and explode and the knowledge will be lost. But we must put the new knowledge into new minds to preserve them both and this is why it is essential to reteach the children and those adults who are willing to learn for their must be untaught the whitewashed history before they are reborn mentally to receive this new knowledge.
This is where the Letterbox Library and other such distributors and publishers come in.
You can also find non fictional historical titles like the front covers littering this post above and below which show some of the titles Letterbox Library have in their catalogue.
Their books are sourced from a wide range of overseas and UK publishers. Their focus is on children who are at the stage of primary and early learning years.
This is the time that children pick up a lot and their minds are formed. This is the time that they are at their most receptive.
Therefore, it makes sense to introduce them to their history at this early age so that no one can ever miseducate them about their history. It will help them to think critically when presented with propaganda or a version of whitewashed history.
Learning our history should not be limited to Black History Month. We should learn our history every day of the year. That means parents shouldn’t rely on teachers to do for them what they should be doing for themselves; i.e., teach their children about their history.
Malcolm X once said something to the effect that only a fool lets his enemy educate his children. He had a point.
For too long, too many parents have relegated the teaching of their children to a system that continually fails them and then have the audacity to complain about it but take no action to address the rot.
It is time we as parents and elders take responsibility for our own actions and stop blaming the system.
It is time that we stopped being disinterested in our children’s education and started supplementing their formal education with home schooling.
We should take advantages of educational suppliers like Letterbox Library and help develop the literacy skills of our children.
I remember how as a child I loved discovering new things. I read widely but unfortunately at the time my reading resources were limited. There weren’t educational suppliers like Letterbox Library around at the time.
Just looking at the titles stocked by the Letterbox Library, I know I would have enriched my general knowledge.
For example, I was unaware of Bessie Coleman, the daring female stunt pilot, until I came across Letterbox Library.
Up until a few years ago, I was ignorant of Nat Turner and the slave rebellion he led. This illustrates the significance of The Letterbox Library.
It is an ally in the fight against our greatest enemy – ignorance. It is true that you don’t know what you don’t know.
However, it is a disservice to ourselves to remain ignorant when there are resources to enlighten us and help us in the fight against ignorance using words, ideas and knowledge.
Their books cover numerous black personalities who have excelled in their calling such as the likes of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: the Music Man, famous writers and explorers.
There are also books on current stars alive today such as Mo Farah, Lewis Hamilton, Benjamin Zephaniah, rulers and leaders, black freedom fighters and others. They cover a significant portion of the black experience. It is worth checking out.
Letterbox Library not only concentrates on books about Black History. They are more diversified than what I have presented here. They deal with books about migrants, refugees, etc.
They help children to be understanding of people who are different to them or people they don’t understand. It encourages them to respect them. That is the power of books. They are great teachers.
Their fiction titles also include mainstream children’s fiction books as well as the popular Anansi stories which are a staple of the Caribbean Islands.
The Anansi stories are a vehicle that carries a people’s culture, mores, values and the likes. They maintain a continuity between different generations. I believe that parents and children can read these books together and bond.
Bonding with children is beneficial for children because if they create significant bonds with their parents, they are less likely to become delinquents or psychopaths.
I am delving into sociology and psychology now but this is a topic for another day.
It is essential that we support works and individuals and organisations promoting Black or African History, whether that is writing it, distributing or publishing it.
Chancellor Williams clarified it best why it is important for us to document our own history:
“Black inertia is the main problem, there is still too much dependence on white scholars to do our work for us. I have written elsewhere that as long as we rely on white historians to write black history for us, we should keep silent about what they produce. They write from the Caucasian viewpoint, and we are naive, indeed, if we expect them to do otherwise, all the ballyhoo about their “scientific objectivity” to the contrary, notwithstanding.”
I recommend you check out the Letterbox Library. It might be one of the best investments you make into your children’s education. Who knows, they are the generation that will continue with the brilliant work started by the great teachers like Dr. Williams, Dr Clarke and Dr. Jochannan who have now departed this earth.
Captain Thomas Isidore Noel Sankara is the late Burkinabe military captain, Marxist revolutionary, Pan African theorist and the President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987. He is more popularly known as The Upright Man. He was born on the 21st of December 1949 in Yako, Burkina Faso.
He rose to power through a popular revolution or coup in what was known as Upper Volta in West Africa. He was only 33 at the time. His goal was the socioeconomic and political transformation of his nation, eliminating corruption, oppression, exploitation and dominance of France, the former colonial power.
He renamed Upper Volta and called the new country Burkina Faso which literally means Land of Upright Man, hence his popular moniker.
Sankara is remembered for some of the most ambitious and successful programmes for social and economic change he implemented when he came to power. Within four years, he transformed Burkina Faso from an impoverished nation to a self reliant country through his commitment and drive to transform his political and moral ideology into action.
He conducted a struggle against imperialism, foregoing foreign aid for his government, nationalising the land and mineral wealth, neutralising the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
He was one of the first presidents to launch a tree planting programme to arrest the desertification of the Sahel, agrarian self sufficiency, local production of Burkinabe goods, nationwide literacy campaigns and vaccination programmes.
These are only a few examples of his programmes. It is by no means an exhaustive list. He was deeply committed to the liberation of women from exploitation and oppression by outsiders and society and culture.
He banned female circumcision, forced marriages, polygamy, expelling girls from school when they fell pregnant. Sankara appointed women to high governmental positions, employed women in the army, encouraged them to be employed outside the home and set up committees and institutions to tackle women’s liberation.
This article is not going to focus on his accomplishments and programmes. The focus is on his words and ideas and one of his concerns – Women’s Liberation.
Therefore, I have chosen 27 quotes, mainly from The book Women’s Liberation and the African freedom Struggle. The book features two speeches. The first, Women’s Liberation and the African freedom Struggle, was made he made in 1987.
The second, Women’s role in the democratic and popular revolution, was made earlier on the 2nd of October 1983. I was reading the book and was going to write and post a review. However, time was not on my side.
Therefore, I thought that 27 quotes, one for each year since he passed away, was a befitting way to remember Thomas Sankara through his own words and ideas and something, women’s liberation, that concerned him very much while he was still alive.
In a sense, it captures the essence of Thomas Sankara and provides a focus on the man himself, his convictions and his essence without an interpreter or narrator providing their own opinion of what they made or understood of the Upright Man.
Look forward to the review in a few days. In the meantime enjoy these quotes and please share them so that more people become aware of Sankara and what he stood for; his ideas, his quest for the liberation of the oppressed worldwide and women’s liberation.
In his own words, “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas”. He would happy that his ideas are still alive and are a source of inspiration to the people he sacrificed his life for – you and me – and humanity.
Keep your eyes peeled for two book reviews coming within the next few days. The first is Woman’s liberation and the African freedom struggle based on speeches by the late Captain Thomas Isidore Noel Sankara.
The second is I Write What I Like written by the late Steve Bantu Biko. It is a compilation of his speeches, letters, reports, articles and interviews. Don’t miss them. Thanks for reading. Spread the word. Spread the ideas.
Sensible advice regardless of whether you are a writer, musician, entrepreneur, a business, etc. Follow the advice of this wise sage, Jo Robinson, if you are going to make the most of social media to advertise, market or sell your products. Read the article to gain a better insight on how to improve your social media campaigns and get the best out of your return on investment a.k.a. ROI.
Unless you’re writing purely for yourself, your aim is to sell your work to readers. Selling is a word that often has Indie authors running for the hills. It shouldn’t though. If you want people to read your books, you’re going to have to have them buy them to begin with. There’s nothing torrid about selling your books. Nothing to be ashamed of. So do it. Sell that stuff. But sell it politely. One of the most powerful tools for Indie authors to find readers is Twitter. Unfortunately some of the really hardcore OY BUY MY BOOK brigade have muddied the waters there a little, with their ad nauseam spamming of their books without ever posting anything else. That doesn’t mean that Twitter won’t help you sell books anymore though. You just have to be patient, post interesting content other than only your own, and behave socially.
I often come…
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An extremely well articulated article addressing the pitfalls of a lack of cultural sensitivity and awareness when tackling “human rights” issues from cultures alien to us. It calls into question the methodology of activists and abolitionists who through their cultural illiteracy may do more harm than good and end up alienating the people they hope to “save”. Brace yourself for an engaging and compelling piece.
Written by Doreen Gaura for Africa on the Blog
A few days ago, a good friend of mine brought to my attention The Atlantic’s article Confronting a Sexual Rite of Passage in Malawi penned by Beenish Ahmed and the subsequent response to it by Kim Yi Dionne published on Africa is a Country and she asked for my thoughts; particularly with regards to Dionne’s response. In short, I am inclined to agree wholly with Dionne’s position but I’d like to take it further and extend this discussion to include the human rights sector and not just limit it to international media and it’s reporting on Afrika and the cultural practices therein.
I work in the human rights sector and actively work on children’s rights so it goes without saying that I appreciate what The Atlantic was attempting to achieve with this piece…
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Wow! What a revealing and insightful article. It appears long but it flows smoothly setting out a well reasoned, constructed and articulate argument illustrating the absurdity of “democracy” through violence. It is worth reading. I highly recommend it.
The principal reason why Washington engages in military wars, sanctions and clandestine operations to secure power abroad is because its chosen clients cannot and do not win free and open elections.
A brief survey of recent election outcomes testify to the electoral unattractiveness of Washington backed clients.
The majority of democratic electorates rejects candidates and parties which back the US global agenda: neo-liberal economic policies; a highly militarized foreign policy; Israeli colonization and annexation of Palestine; the concentration of wealth in the financial sector; the military escalation against China and Russia. While the US policy attempts to re-impose the pillage and dominance of the 1990’s via recycled client regimes the democratic electorates want to move on toward less bellicose, more inclusive governments, which restore labor and welfare rights.
The US seeks to impose the unipolar world, of the Bush Sr. and…
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This article challenges the single story and debunks a lot of myths about Africa as a place that has made no contribution to the world. Read with caution ⚠ because it may cause severe cognitive dissonance which has no known cure to date. Only more recommended reading and enlightenment will ease the discomfort over time. Please note: Proceed ahead if you have the mental stamina to embark on a marathon read. If you can endure it to the end, you will emerge more enlightened than you were before you embarked on this journey.
None of this is in my own words and for some reason the page no longer exists, maybe they are rebooting. The other sources still remain though. It is long but informative.
Gloria T. Emeagwali(with assistance of Constance Hilliard)
The history of the sciences in Africa is rich and diverse. In ancient northeast Africa, those regions such as Egypt, Nubia and Aksum that had evolved large, complex state systems, also supported a division of labor which allowed for the growth of science and the more practical technologies involved with the engineering of public works. In other parts of Africa, in the various city states, kingdoms, and empires that dominated the political landscape, science and technology also developed in various ways. The applied sciences of agronomy, metallurgy, engineering and textile production, as well as medicine, dominated the field of activity across Africa.
So advanced was the culture of…
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Apt. The longevity of a man’s ideas, character and philosophy defines who his position not only in the world but minds and hearts of the people. That writers and poets, Burkinabe youth and Africans across the world continue to be inspired by Thomas Sankara is a testimony to his greatness. Thanks nativedrum for sharing.
Once barren plains green with harvest
Seeds of Sankara
Spreading like a swarm of bees
Red berets sprouting across the continent
Growing like the sands of the Namib
Parliament stimulated in Cape Town
Parliament burnt down in Ouagadougou
Neo-colonialism going up in flames
Sankara a ghost
An apparition the heartland
Striking back on Halloween
Once barren minds beginning to understand
Once fearful hearts standing up without fear
Once barren plains lush with vegetation
Irrigating my little pasture
Walking alongside a phantom without fear
Minding my business
Africa is my business
Africa rising one fist at a time
Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
This piece eloquently captures the beauty about writing about what you don’t know but using research to compensate for what you don’t know.
Original version is at http://litworldinterviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/research/comment-page-1/#comment-469. Check it out.
Write about what you know is pretty good advice. It is possible to write about what you don’t know, but whenever you do you’re going to have to make sure that your research is spot on. The wonderful thing about Google is that you have a world of information at your fingertips. The not so wonderful thing is that not all of that information is accurate. So when I’m looking for specific facts I always find at least a couple of different sources to be sure that I’m not using flawed or bogus articles.
Most of us have felt the gamut of emotions to one degree or another, so those are fairly easy to convey. I believe though, that there are some extreme emotions that would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible for most – not all – writers to communicate unless they’ve lived them. So all the research in…
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