Filed under: afrika
The awakening process has had a beautiful subconscious effect on my interpretation of life. Everything is now related to Africa, its redevelopment, and also its suffering, its children and their history of both glory and downfall… It’s a great comfort, the sense of finally belonging. I am a child of Afrika.
Filed under: afrika
I, like many, want ‘world peace’, but achieving this is more than getting high and making peace signs. It’s the aftermath of justice. For any hint of justice, we must be aware of the current injustice: poverty. This alone has a long history which must be understood before any solutions can be made. Poverty is prevalent in the ‘third world’, a part of the world pompously labelled as such due to level of development. The development in these areas is kept low for a number of reasons: corrupt leaders, religion, disease, racism… these are the continued legacies of colonialism. By ignoring these issues that may not affect your ‘first world’ life, especially as a descendant of these impoverished lands, you are contributing to an indirect, self-sustained form of colonialism – neocolonialism.
A solution for all: decolonisation.
You are not contributing to the prospect of ‘world peace’ by donating a bit of money to third world charities. You are simply postponing issues. It is like taking paracetamol for a headache: this only removes symptoms, which will reoccur once the paracetamol has worn off. The cause of the headache must be resolved.
Through ignorance (or I daresay – plagiarism) of our ancestors’ already flourishing theology, philosophy, scientific knowledge, languages, cultural practices, architecture, technology, our ancestors were labelled savage, uneducated, immoral, ‘pagan’ by the colonising Europeans who arrogantly believed that their societies were the most civil, and thus forced their idea of civilisation onto our people through their modified sexist and racist Catholicism, biological and armed warfare, and through brainwashing following generations with racial hierarchy.
European ideals were set as the standards of aristocracy, while our ancestors were pushed to the bottom of this new society on their own lands, to the point where they became a pure commodity, stolen and transported to other lands and subject to robotic labour and inhumane conditions.
Today, Africa is a broken and looted land where dark shades of skin are despised, African ‘spirituality’ is perceived as demonic, European languages are the official languages, wars are developed between parties of different colonial religions, and where, leaders who attempt to establish a system which removes all forms of colonialism are condemned and/or murdered.
Children of motherland Africa spread across the ‘new world’ continents are so deep in the European colonial system that they think in the same ignorant manner as the imperialist Europeans that created and maintain the system, so much that they reject any mention of Africa as part of their identity. They ignore the broken state of Africa, as though they bore no relation to its people. They consider Africa the land of the ‘savage’, ‘uneducated’, ‘immoral’, ‘pagan’ or simply ‘impoverished’, because they are so deep in the European colonial system, that they know nothing of their ancestral history.
They may live in a nation where the music, dance, dialect, food and cultural customs had been taken there and developed by our enslaved ancestors, yet they know nothing of their ancestral history.
Is it simply enough to be ‘black’, or even worse, a colonial nationality, when the nation in which you live was founded on the basis of racial hierarchy? Is it enough to assimilate (‘integrate’) into these systems, when you will only ever be acknowledged by the shade of your skin? Interracial relationships are, for the most part, based on fetish. Profiles are presumed on the basis of skin colour. Even acceptance into university is a decision based on your skin.
Integration into colonial nations will not create equality, if the nation is founded on racial inequality! Assimilation is not equality, for assimilation in a society based on racial hierarchy is to reach the top of the hierarchy! There cannot be equality where there is a hierarchy – somebody has to be at the top. You, as a child of Africa, can live under the illusion of equality of communism, feminism, ‘peace and love’, but it is only an illusion, for somewhere in the ‘third world’ is a people, your people, being exploited to fund this illusion. You may feel like you have a conscience, but you are just as colonised as the black woman who bleaches her skin to be white, as he who holds ignorant and racist perceptions of African people, or as the African leader who continues to force European ideals on his people, while funding the colonial leeches with free African resources.
Acceptance of African ethnicity is not a decision to be mocked, nor belittled to the comical label of ‘freedom fighter’. It took our brothers and sisters Malcolm X, Walter Rodney, Assata Shakur, and several others spreading the message of ‘black power’ as opposed to ‘assimilation’ (white power) just for us in the diaspora to stop being publicly lynched. Ignoring crisis in Africa and furthermore any connection to Africa is a stab in the back of those who fought for our rights.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: acceptance, africa, afrika, black, racism, self-hate
A brown-skinned, hazel-eyed, curly-haired little girl or boy may seem to you like the perfectly ‘beautiful’ doll to pamper and show off, but just take a little moment out of your superficial dream to think. You may feel that, by increasing the number of racially mixed kids, the entire social construct of race will just vanish, when what you are in fact doing is creating more conflict. The majority of the world’s societies are founded, or re-created through colonialism, on the sheer construct of race.
Colonialism brought to most of the world’s societies the hierarchy of skin tone, split into roughly three rows: the bottom being the indigenous person – African, Nican Tlaca, indigenous Chinese, etc.; the top is the White European; in the middle row would be the ‘racially’ mixed – possibly treated with less discrimination than those of the ‘bottom row’, yet ironically still considered part of the bottom by the White European.
What this has contributed to, first of all, is the White European standard of beauty. As someone from the ‘bottom row’, it would be an achievement to appear more like someone from the ‘top row’, that is to say, be lighter in all aspects, and lack the physical attributes that someone from the ‘bottom row’ would typically possess, whether that be kinky hair, a wide nose, small eyes, etc. It is common to take drastic, sometimes life-threatening measures to seem part of it.
However, the reality of not being White European leaves the ‘middle row’ as the best compromise, hence this fetishisation of mixed-race children. This current trend is a historical folly that only damages the confidence of both the black and black-mixed children.
It’s important to note that, besides the everyday issue of beauty standard, racism touches other areas. Colonial attitudes towards people of the ‘bottom row’ still continue their legacy to this day. This is done by maintaining decorum in a certain way to avoid any association with the ‘bottom row’. Being ‘well-spoken’, i.e. speaking either a colonial language such as French or Spanish, or avoiding use of a vernacular such as Patois or slang, implies ‘intelligence’. Avoiding participation in and enthusiasm for ‘bottom row’ customs such as music or food, implies ‘respectability’. Most of all, choosing an identity which avoids implication of being part of the ‘bottom row’, for example, ‘Jamaican’, ‘Latino’, ‘Dual Heritage’, implies acceptance and tolerability.
To express support for colonial prejudice towards a group of ‘bottom row’ people is shocking for some, but nevertheless accepted, often considered as ‘light humour’.
To express love for the same group of people, is either mocked by some, or most of the time considered intolerable and racist.
To not kiss the arse of those in the ‘top row’ is intolerable and racist.
Yet, to desire to be part of the ‘top row’ is ‘ambition’.
As a ‘racially’ mixed person, I fall into the ‘middle row’. From here, there are two routes to take:
I can use my less-than-African blood mix as a reasonable excuse to be part of the ‘top row’. I am half-white, therefore, I can hold colonial views towards African people by prejudging, stereotyping and laughing at racist jokes, having never been to Africa. I can avoid any relation to Africa by calling myself ‘British’, ‘Jamaican’, ‘black and white’. I can speak ‘properly’ like a grammar school-educated white girl and listen to ‘acceptable’ music so that I am not seen as suspicious by the police, teachers, or old ladies. I can use my lighter-than-African skin to be seen as ‘pretty’ whilst avoiding that attention be made to my African nose, lips, and hair. Scrap that, I can permanently straighten my hair. This is white privilege.
Or, I can study the history of Africa and its civilisations so that I can appreciate that African people are way above the stereotypes. I can empathise with oppressed people, rather than view the world with white-privileged glasses by condemning any race-related talk and labelling it as ‘racism’. I can identify myself as Afrikan, of African descent, or part of whatever ethnic group I may belong to, without shame or fear of being mocked. I can wear my most African features with pride and true acceptance of their beauty – natural, kinky hair, slightly large nose, full lips, high cheeks, full figure in the lower half (big booty). Features I was once ashamed to show in public, I now flaunt with more self-confidence than I’ve ever had.
Which sounds more racist? And which one is more commonly labelled ‘racist’?
Filed under: afrika
i try my hardest to avoid the use of cliché words that would make me seem part of this new age, neo-hippy trend. i find it a shame that such words are thrown around so lightly – the english language is limited as it is, so the significance of these words, i think, must be considered before being used.
‘enlightenment’ is a word in particular of which i have been experiencing the meaning, yet without being able to explain this experience, it would only sound empty if i were to proclaim it. it is a word that is immediately connotated with either hinduism or marijuana; neither had been tools in my repeated experience.
on both occasions, i felt what i feel i can truly describe as bliss – a bliss i had only before been able to achieve with marijuana. they had both followed, however, the gift of knowledge.
knowledge is preceeded by acceptance. when in doubt or denial, you can’t notice even what is right in front of you. pessimism, that is.
i suppose i am implying that optimism is the key to happiness, but i wouldn’t want to induce the idea of blind faith for the sake of faith. rather, it’s more a case of collecting information to contribute to your faith, thus gaining knowledge. then, through experience, knowledge is confirmed – such which happened to me. bliss, or ~enlightenment~ is more than a human emotion. it’s a state that affects both the physical and mental – and it is here where i lose myself in the prison of vocabulary.
“reverse racism” is just a taste of one’s own medicine (or rather poison). you create the idea of “race” to feel superior and as a way to identify an entire group of groups of individual people as of lower rank (or subhuman). now these people who have been seen as subhuman for the past 500 years or so revolt against the self-proclaimed “superior race” and are attacked by this “superior race” for only seeing the skin colour of these people who initially made the cut-off lines between a gradient scale of one colour (brown/melanin). i, for one, would love to see us all as “the human race” but it’s near impossible in this “new world” that’s been founded on the idea of race and its hierachy.
Brown skin. Brown eyes. Black, kinky hair.
White parent. Black parent. English surname.
These are the contributing factors to the confusion I’d felt for seventeen years of my life regarding my ethnic identity.
The idea of being mixed is often romanticised as having the ‘best of both worlds’, but the reality is that you barely feel like you can live in either. From what I had perceived from both sides of my family while growing up, I could either be Jamaican, or British. It was very naive of me to think of that as the solution to my identity crisis. Growing up in the diaspora is to be in a society that opposes everything you perceptionally are: I could settle in this British society, as long as I identified only with my English heritage. That is to say, as long as I don’t express any sign of being ‘black’, I could live avoiding any racial prejudice. I would perm my hair straight under the false pretence that I simply preferred straight hair. I hated my full figure which is an obvious attribute to being a ‘black’ girl. I developed this false ‘well-spoken’ grammar school accent, despite having lived in South London all my life. I envied the other mixed girls who were ‘blessed’ with light skin, green/hazel eyes and loosely curled hair. Worst of all, I rejected the idea of being a child of Africa. Speaking from a shameful experience, to have any allegiance with Africa would be submitting yourself to racial prejudice, discrimination and mockery. I was living under white privilege.
I would never have even contemplated the idea of being African. As a Jamaican, that would be treacherous to the island’s motto, “Out of many, one people”, which implies that one must conform to the colonial identity above all. It had always been obvious, however, that Jamaica’s culture, as well as population, is descended (for the most part) directly from Africa. Such denial of African descent is a problem all over the Caribbean, caused by colonialism, and causes many Afro-Caribbeans in the UK to settle as either Jamaican (/Caribbean) or British, but never a child of Africa.
I was proud of my English surname, until one day, curiosity drove me to trace my family tree. I could only go as far back as my great-grandparents. Any history before that has been masked by my surname, which I concluded had been the name of a slave-master. From that point at the age of about sixteen, I could only feel negativity: sadness, confusion, a slight bit of anger. I accepted it as a part of life, and continued my embrace of other cultures around the world, as a way to avoid my own lack of identity.
It was only when I visited Santa Cruz, Bolivia, that I developed enough anger to mentally activate myself. Bolivia has a rich ethnic diversity, including Quechua, Aymara and Guaraní. However, there is a general preference to not acknowledge such ethnicities. Instead, I only heard people talk of their Spanish, Italian or German blood. It angered me, not just because of the outright white supremacy, but because there still exists today indigenous populations that continue traditional customs in their way of living and communication. The evidence of their heritage in Santa Cruz is in their surroundings, and they choose to not only detach themselves from it, but attack it! Everyday life in Santa Cruz is a constant battle between the camba and the colla – of which the common connotations are the ‘indigenous-looking’ person (i.e. dark skin, hair and eyes) and the person of light complexion. In actual fact, the true meaning of colla is simply to be of Quechua or Aymara descent, and camba is to be of Guaraní descent – meaning that both the camba and the colla are indigenous to Bolivia! It was simply a battle between ‘light skin’ vs. ‘dark-skin’. You can surely understand how quickly this made me reflect upon my own fellow Afro-Caribbeans and diaspora Africans.
Through networking on Facebook, I discovered Africans from all over the diaspora and ‘South Americans’ (Nican Tlaca) who, not only felt the same way as me, but had already taken action to resist colonialism/white supremacy and embrace their true identity. Now, I am beginning my own journey to the rediscovery of my roots. It will and already has been a long, emotional and demanding process, but I am rewarded with knowledge of my true identity and cause for which to fight.
Facebook groups to consider if you wish to begin your journey:
Filed under: language resources | Tags: bilingual books, chinese, hindi, japanese, korean, mandarin
I said I would scan the books I get from the library. Well, it’s very tedious to scan! So I will upload one each day.
1. 狐のお話し [kitsune no o-hanashi] (Fox’s Fables) [Japanese->English]
This consists of two fables: The Fox and the Crane; The King of the Forest.
2. यए थिन [ye shin] (Yeh Hsien) [Hindi->English]
Cinderella derives from this old Chinese folk tale.
3. 여우 우화 [yeowoo woohwa] (Fox Fables) [Korean->English]
The same story as number 1 :)
4. 旋轉的頭巾 [xuan2 zhuan3 de tou2 jin1] (The Swirling Hijaab) [Traditional Chinese - Mandarin->English]
I don’t know if this story is sensible lol.