THE AFRICANS IN AFRICA AND THE DIASPORA; Similar Cultures, Traditions, Customs, Music And Dance - African Spun

Cultural Power And Liberation

"While I am addressing a general audience, it is my highest hope that serious researchers will make a careful review of the references and selected bibliography. Special attention should be paid to those that point to documentation and descriptions informing us about our traditions. I am hopeful that these references will tease, enlighten, and heighten the interest of researchers so that they may be motivated to do the hard work of digging up greater details to illuminate traditional African aims, methods, contents, and outcomes."

Asa Hilliard

The Explosive and Awesome Music, Dances, Cultural Dress of the African people of Mzantsi, Africa And The Diaspora...

"Culture Empowers; Culture Liberates"

When I began posting , I decided to use some positive music from other countries with a sprinkling of South African African Music. I changed gears,and I started posting the cultural music and Dances of the "11 people" of South Africa: The "Xhosas". "Zulus", "Tswanas,". "Bapedi", "Shangaans", "Vendas", "Ndebeles", "Swazis", South "Sothos",The "Khoisan", and the "Colored Peoples" music/dance videos, and their cultural gabardine and languages.

One thing I have learnt about our culture is that we have been told, timex, that it is backward, barbarian, irrelevant and useless, and it does not fit the modern times, nor can it adjust to make us a better people. My posting it on this Hub is not the first time I have dabbled with this subject/topic, I have even gone to the extend of writing several Hubs about it. But recreating it on this Hub has been important because I can see or have been enabled and helped myself by experimenting first on the Face book, checked out the reaction of the readers(Globally), their comments, Sharing of the contents like Videos, African cultural histories and the depth of the geographic expansion, as to where many of these Africans are living(Because, mainly, because of slavery and other vicissitudes, that have caused social dislocation of the African People all over the world today.

What am I saying? What I am saying is that, presently here in our country, there is a paucity(shortage or lack) of reading material, or sort of a place where one can have a chance to read about one's own culture, traditions, cultural music, dresses, dances and different languages that comprise this culture.

We have been denied access to understanding our own particular cultures, traditions, customs, history, music, dances, traditional dresses, languages, sacred rites and practices by those who want to confuse us and keep us in perpetual ignorance and as slaves. We are easy to enslave because because we 'really' do not know much about our cultures, etc. Some of us do not really care.. Many have bought into being slaves of the present day South Africa and would not even care less about what I am writing about in this whole Hub

We are still suffering from the Apartheid Hangover(Setlamama/Babalazi), that even the Africans north of us think we are not 'really' Africans because we do not respect nor know and either understand ourselves, culturally, historically, customarily, traditions and the whole bit. Instead, we want to be Europeans, we want to behave like what we think Europeans are like-we are. We think that being European-like in our speech, dress and "fast Foods" and restaurant living-acquirement of the new technologies, foreign cars and suits, clothes and house-ware, is the way to go.

We even misunderstand that which we are copying and aping. We are seriously bad and poor carbon-copies of the masters who oppressed us that we seek to emulate to be and make pretend we are not Africans. We refer to our history, traditions, customs music and so forth as 'superstition', backward and dead/non-existent. This is brought about by pure ignorance and self-imposed amnesia on one hand(along with the amnesiac outlook that has been installed mummified in us by the Apartheid regime-on the other hand. We have still not yet sobered-up and we are heavily inebriated to the hilt!

We think that America and Europe/Japan and so forth are the epitome of modernity and civilization, as opposed to us with our supposedly and seemingly regressive and backward culture. This we have been taught in school and in life that we are a worthless people. Our children today, since they go to European private school(many of them, mostly go to poor public schools), where they are not really taught about themselves, and have begun to look at us(Oldies, etc) as dumb and really backward and useless people.

Even if we are their parents, relatives, and community-our kids and us are lost. We have sold our souls to a people who really do not care nor give a rats ass about us/ourselves, so long as they can keep us weak and ignorant, Thus, we willingly and vicariously imbibe our paltry wealth and abuse our own exploited labor, power and permit these Capital investors to keep us passive and scared,, and they could not care less for and about anything else.

From the days of the early struggles to now, our intellectual cadre has not yet realized what type of powers we are really up against and what their motives and what their modus operandi is. Instead, we end up joining our detractors in oppression and depressing of us/ourselves(Africans), Without even thinking about what we are doing-we conveniently forget and pretend that we are now living today, and the past does not affect us, since there's nothing we can do about it. This is where One of my battles with anyone who thinks like that begins, as the regurgitate such statements that I have been dealing with head on and opposed to, throughout this Hub.

So, to me, politics, which we really know nothing about, except regurgitate what we read or get from hearsay[Propagand]a on TV or radio, is how we approach and broach the political/cultural/historical subject -after having been subliminally seduced by contemporary media and its gizmos/techniques. And, also, having been taught a one-sided and falsified version of our African History.

But without ones consciousness awareness and being cognizant of how one's culture empowers and liberates one, we are supinely prostrated like cadavers on the operation table being torn apart at will, with us having no say nor action against what is happening to us. 'Dying [brutally] and Supposedly Peacefully', a la Malcolm.

This then, brings me back to the purpose of why I posted am writing this piece. Before I started posting these cultural musical/dance videos, I posted an article I wrote about "Cultural Wars"-anyone can go back and re-read the piece, which were the first cultural videos I have posted thus far, on this Hub. What I did with each posting, I gave a brief historical account of the nation(not 'tribe'). In some videos I erased the word 'tribe", but was not entirely successful with some of the articles) Nonetheless, I was trying to augment for the lack and paucity of reading material by giving a brief historical account of each of the 11(eleven) peoples of Mzantsi.

I did not include the Boers and other people, they have their own people who can do and have done that work. My interest is in the African people whose music, cultures, dance and so forth that has been distorted and not talked much about-and that which I have posted above, is my way of using historical and cultural pedagogy to heighten the conscious awareness of Africans in South Africa and Africans globally. This means, I have collated videos and historical records to begin to give us a fighting chance by knowing each other-enhancing and propagating our culture, future and autonomous African history and freedom and independence in our midst, etc..

What am I talking about or saying? We are not different from each other as promulgated by the Boers and their learned minions. Africans of South Africa are really and basically one united nation. If you get a chance and look at all the cultural videos I have posed here, one can begin to discern a common pattern. The Tswanas, San, Xhosa, have the same vibe in the step.dance technique; the Bapedi/VhaTsonga/Shangaans, have an admixture of both the Batswana/Xhosa/San dance and technique.

The Basotho are unique but the same as everyone else(Acapella-wise and women's ululating,if one were to watch the women's "Mokgibo"(akin to the Xhosa's Mtjitjimbo) and the Men's Mohobelo, although the line of the Basotho men is makes them unique in their presentation one can also look at the Xhosas, Mtjitjimbo and to "Xhentsa" as being the self-same techniques and dancing styles of each of these groups. Most of these groups use hand-clapping and rhythmical foot-stomping with effect and in tandem with the drum and melody, the Bapedi are more vigorous, along with the Shangaans, Venda and Ndebeles. The Drums Feature all over the music and dances of Africans in South Africa, Africa and all over the world[Diaspora]

Now, All these ten people, have cultures that form a confluence around the drum, hand clapping, synchrony of men ,women and children(see the Batswana women, Xhosa women and other videos of women in the collection below, musicality, variegated and diverse but same dance that in fact speak for itself as of one people).

The "Colored people", one should read the historical piece I gave on their Culture, but that too, emanates from the Africans of New Orleans, which is entirely another topic and subject-and the word or term 'Coon', elsewhere as it's viewed as a derogatory term, and the Colored People in the Cape say that this is not done nor meant in the American context of the word-(next time for that). We are different because the White people say so. I say we are the same and unified because our culture shows and informs me so… And as an African, I say so.

We are one and the same because our culture shows and informs us as so, if you begin to read the historical record I have posted along with watching the videos on dance and music-see also the traditional garb. If we look at each and … of them one by one, the Swazis are the same with the Zulus(Dance and, technique and music). It is also a huge and large diverse culture, from South Africa and will also delve into Africa and throughout then explore the African Diaspora. But it is One African Culture... It is also a hugely and large diverse culture, from South Africa into Africa and throughout the Diaspora. But it is One African Culture...

The Bapedi and Vendas and Ndebeles fall into one group, dance-wise, musical and style-wise(which defines their diversity in common cultures than differences), then you have the Batswana, Xhosas, and San, who, if you watch the San videos, they have the elements/cultural style that are found in the Xhosas, and Zulus(foot thumping-and the Zulus connect to the Bapedi and Shangaan in rolling and stomping the ground hard, and vigorous dancing techniques, and so on; So does one get that same sense of oneness once one begins to look at this culture wholly and holistically. Their bodies are used as percussion and where percussive shells of innovative rhytmic texture utilized as a means of backing up their hand-clapping, singing, dancing as they perform their traditional acts/dances and customary practices.

The posted videos and histories below are testament and evidence that we have never been "Tribes" but one nation of the Nguni/Bakone, if we so wish to see and think ourselves as such,, that it is no ones business but our prerogative. Because we have no ready-made material that puts our cultures, customs, traditions, history, music, dances, traditional dance and so forth in a good and concerted and intelligent light , we have to create one and invent one for ourselves-also elaborate on the cultural elements that are still in the mix and with us.

This is what I am doing with the postings and the article I am onto now. Our culture is still in its somewhat pristine and original form, So that, this article is original because it is addressing an original reality-Our cultures, customs, traditions, practices, scared rites, language, music, dances and our traditional wear, languages, communities-thus making the writing thus far: Original. If we understand, control own and disseminate our culture ourselves, we are empowering ourselves and liberating ourselves at the same time. Enabling us to see the African people in the global mode of Marcus Garvey

"No Community That Has Lost Its Intimate Connections To Its Wise Elders Can survive"

"Africans around the globe have faced oppression for more than 2000 years. This oppression has intensified in the last 400 years. Africans have faced the unique terror of oppression and have worked and fought to recreate and control their own socialization process. The mission of a quality, African controlled, socialization process is more than a basic response to oppression. It is also a fundamental path to promote healthy individual and collective development, while preventing cultural and national genocide.

"Africa is the Mother of civilization, and the land where the very foundations in socialization practices were laid; influencing cultures all over the world. When Europeans, Asians, and members of most major religions traveled to Africa, they found fully functioning cultures of people who were in control of their own destiny. Unfortunately, the mission of the outsiders was, typically, to steal the natural resources and/or people, to control the land, and to dominate and control the people. Up to the writing of this Hub, the mission of the descendants of these outsiders is the same. [Control and enslave the indigenous mentally, spiritually and economically or otherwise.]

"To justify the brutal greedy, and inhumane behavior directed at Africans, oppressors instituted and fostered slanderous propaganda campaigns to paint a picture of Africans as cultureless, ignorant, and evil people. These campaigns included diverse international codes, messages and signals which were used to produce the same result; the full scale degradation of African people wherever they exist in the world.The goal was and is to encourage everyone, but especially Africans, to resist Africa and never speak about European Imperialism against Africans Around the world.(I have already had responses of this type on my response column, here on HubPages and various Social Media)

"Fortunately, there are Africans around the world who act in defiance of the numerous institutions and individuals committed to suppressing all traces of African consciousness. These Africans stand tall and continue to teach speak and act in truth. Discourse and active organization strategies intended to lead African people to command their own socialization process,

Africans must build and improve upon distinct African indigenous traditions. Numerous documents and oral histories outline the vast traditions which were practiced by our African Ancestor and passed down through the generations. We must critique these traditions and, when needed, improve upon them so that they will address the contemporary challenges that Africans face around the world.

"We must also understand that our indigenous socialization practices can help us clarify our purpose and vision as an African family. Today, as we continue to face the culture wars against African people, we must not surrender or neglect our vision of an appropriate destiny that derives from who we are as a people. It is a vision that point to our survival and maps the steps that lead to a reclamation of our African culture and power.

There is no need to struggle to change the minds of those who make a personal choice function as an individual and not as a member of an ethnic family; with the obligations that family membership entails. But we do need to be clear about who chooses to be in the family and who prefers to be an individual or just "happens to be Black." Understanding this distinction will clarify the kinds of expectations or challenges which might be posed by certain people. It will help us to know who will be an advocate for African liberation versus who will be an opportunistic individual.

"One of the greatest obstacles to African people's clear vision and health growth as a people is the lack of unity. Africans were tortured and killed for practicing traditional religion, speaking traditional languages, using African names, and more. By the time Africans had gained a semblance of freedom to reclaim traditional practices,

Anti-African propaganda machines had already succeeded in enforcing a mental disengagement between Africans and anything African. The lingering result has been metal and social confusion, which has prevented Africans from being themselves. The result has also been that Africans are unable to unite and work to achieve true freedom. This lack of unity is in direction rejection of indigenous African principles which promote a strong sense of community[unity, interdependence and togetherness].

Asa cautions:

"Restricting one's identity to physical characteristics is equal to acquiescing to the European domination strategy of ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide. People often confuse "race" with ethnic and cultural identity. When we see people who look like us, We assume that they all regard themselves as members of the African Ethnic family;

"In addition to being Black. Many Africans believe that our only real struggle is to join the mythical "mainstream" as individuals. While we, as Africans, may have individual distinctions connected to religion, class, nationality, etc., We must be careful not to allow these distinctions to divide us in the name of service to oppressors.

"Who will make an unapologetic commitment to the Africa family? Even as oppressors work to represent Black or Darker skinned people of the world as being inhuman spirits in need of domination, sensible people know that we are all members of the human race. Still, the fact that many people prefer to pretend that 'darker' humans are not the ones who continue to catch the brunt of oppressive laws, behavior, and overall exploitation do not change the reality.

"It is by design that today, many Black(African) people around the world, cry that they do not want to be culturally connected to Africans. "Color me human and do not separate me" is the shallow cry of those bent on perpetuating a mythical "colorless" yet firmly European orientation; as if to suggest that claiming, respecting, and using one's indigenous tradition is anti-human.

"As people play the shallow 'color' game, African people, on the continent, are in dire economic and political circumstances. Africans remain victims of foreign powers who operate only in their own self interest. Even as European nations unite to assist each other, African nations have an impaired position in the world. This powerlessness has a direct effect on all Africans in the Diaspora who often see no special relationship to continental Africans, and are not advocates for them. The alienation of Africans from other Africans has enormous consequences.

No matter where Africans are in the world, our circumstances are basically the same. Many of us are waiting for a magic program, a great, and a charismatic leader, or European institutions to lead us to the "promised land." The reality is that there is no chance that anyone other than Africans will act to move us from the bottom of the heap. But as we move in the direction of liberation, who will accept an identity with African people, without apology?

"Those who benefit from the oppression of Africans understand that cultural disorder and family disunity facilitate the process of domination and control. This approach is used around the world, and it represents the process where-by Africans adopt any means available to surrender their African culture."

"The task of reclaiming even a portion of the best indigenous socialization practices in Africa is enormous. The continent of Africa is some 11,608,000 square miles; twenty percent of the earths land. Over 853.6 million(Censors as of July 29, 2012) African people populate the continent. Add Africans in the diaspora and that brings the total of Africans in the world to more than a billion and a half. Africans speak at least 1000 different languages, practice a variety of rituals and traditions, and foster distinct cultures.

"But even with the variety on the continent and in the Diaspora, African posses many basic cultural connections that extend beyond individual, tribal distinctions. They include similar socialization practices, rituals, and perceptions of community, the Ancestors, and God(In both the Western and African interpretation.

Dr./Prof. Asa Hilliard

How Do We Pass Our Cutures, Custom And Traditions From One Generation To Another

"Intergenerational Cultural Transmission"

We learn from Asa Hilliard"

"A core part of our mission today is to study and transfer the valuable information about our cultural traditions to our people. This will serve, in part, to reconnect many Africans who are far removed from our ancient and traditional Intergenerational Cultural Transmission Practices. Traditionally, our socialization was under the independent control of knowing and/by wise African elders transmitting practices.

"Traditionally, our socialization was under the independent control of knowing and wise African elders, who were legitimate representatives of the African community. While many people are exposed to all sorts of propaganda via television, radio, and to all sort of propaganda via television, radio, newspapers, But few of us have been exposed to the wisdom of elders right in our own communities; let alone the wisdom of those who practiced our best traditions We have lost our understanding of the indispensable role that control of the socialization plays in our survival and destiny and thus, we have failed to ensure proper Intergenerational Cultural Transmission efforts.

"We have a vital responsibility to our children and to our community for intergenerational cultural transmission. Our survival and our enhancement as a people are dependent upon our embrace of this responsibility and our release of total dependency on European system. We must mobilize to think and to act to restore this vital function of Intergenerational Cultural Transmission education and methods to all our communities.

"We must study our African indigenous traditions in order to understand and to evaluate our cultural, situation now. Many of us remain African at a deep structural level. A study of our traditions will reveal that they rival any tradition past or present, and that we have valid options for world view, values and practices, which are suitable for us today, with appropriate modification.

"We must be assertive in countering denigration and defamation, which charge that African people have no meaningful traditions to recall. We, as a community, must rescue and reconstruct the most viable elements of our powerful African indigenous socialization systems. We cannot avoid it. We cannot delegate it.

"Years ago, Carter Goodwin Woodson [1968] warned against an oppressor imposed miseducation. that alienated us from our people and traditions. W. E. B. DuBois skillfully outlined the details of the "double consciousness" that causes African people to see themselves through the eyes other people(1969).

He understood that European hegemony is established through miseducation and alien cultural socialization. Some oppressed people join with their oppressors to make the European system of oppression more efficient, becoming agents in the oppression of Africans, as was true of some of us during the slave trade, who betrayed their own people (Armah, 1979). As we see happening here in 'South Africa, the ANC has becoming very efficient at maximizing the Multi-corporation's and foreign governments' investments more high/viable by oppressing their own people

"Africans must meet , study, write, and produce. THERE IS NO SHORT CUT! We must go through the Door of No Return, transforming it to the Door Of Return, reconnecting to our traditions and propelling ourselves forward in a direction of our own choosing. We must reclaim our continent, our Culture and Ourselves."

"While African culture has been stolen, Europeans have forced and infused a generally unhealthy culture upon Africans. As Africans have adopted this alien culture, it has had negative consequences for our mental power, cultural power, physical power, and for the natural resources in the land of our ancestors. In order to survive and keep a minority of people on the planet living a wealthy life, Europeans determined that Africans and the threat of African power had to be neutralized at all cost. Cultural Terrorism was exercised to create disorder , confusion, and dependency among Africans.

"No matter where you live in the world you cannot escape the history and legacy of the oppression of Africans. The patterns of oppression are seen in every facet of our society. Oppression and its consequences are, in part, the result of our ignorance of the power of African Socialization Traditions.

By falsifying African history, culture and records, and even claiming it as its own, Europeans have elevated themselves. This meant that African values, culture, philosophy, etc., had to be put down. This meant that anything African had to be attacked, and that Africans had to be socialized to resist anything African.

Asa observes:

"With many Africans having left their culture, we have been tricked into using the European 'racial' identity model, a model that places all of the emphasis for defining identity on the contemplation of pigment and other aspects of phenotype. When we become preoccupied with our "racial" or phenotypic features, we fail to consider sufficiently our vast cultural wealth which connects us to Africans around the world.

The lasting challenge that we face is the absence of information and understanding of African culture. This has been by design. The enforcers of an oppressive system work to create cultural disorder among the oppressed. In particular, they suppress the value of t other cultures while glorifying and fabricating the history of themselves. They understand that the resulting disorder will make it impossible for the oppressed to be truly independent. Fanon made some interesting observations along these lines:

"The unilaterally decreed normative value of certain cultures deserves our careful attention....The enterprise of deculturation turns out to be the negative of a more gigantic work of economic, and even biological enslavement... The doctrine of cultural hierarchy is thus but one aspect of a systematized hierarchization implacably pursued. ...For its systems of reference have to be Broken. Expropriation, spoliation, raids, objective murder, are matched by the sacking of cultural patterns, or at least condition such sacking. The social panorama is destructed; values are flaunted, crushed and emptied.

"...The lines of force of force, having crumbled, no longer give direction. In their stead, a new system of values is imposed, not proposed but affirmed, by the heavy weight of cannons and sabers.

"...This culture, once living and open to the future, becomes closed, fixed in the colonial status, caught in the yoke of oppression. Both present and mummified, it testifies against its members. It defines them in fact without appeal. The cultural mummification leads to a mummification of individual thinking. The apathy so universally noted among colonial peoples is but the logical consequence of this operation. As though it were possible for a man to evolve otherwise than within the framework of a culture that recognizes him that he decides to assume

"...Thus, we witness the setting up of archaic inert institutions, Functioning under the oppressor's supervision and patterned like a caricature of formerly fertile institutions."

Lord McCaulay's Address To The British Parliament on 2nd Fe., 1835

Bridge: Notes On the Transmission Of Culture, in Words and and Visuals/Images

I posted the pamphlet above to bring to the attention of the readers of this Hub how serious a problem we have today in South Africa and the Diaspora at large. I took this From a post posted on the FB… I thought this might get to the heart of what we have been talking about on Nigeria and South Africa and all the people's who are still mentally chained and physically/culturally incarcrerated....

Below then, is the dialogue this engendered Facebook, and I had to post it.. I will not use the full names of the people, but will post what they said, and my replies to their points and questions...

"Intergenerational Cultural Transmission"

CT: Another copy of the FAKE Lord Macaulay address to parliament wings its way around the internet, gathering the "mentally chained", "culturally incarcerated" and "totally ignorant" in its wake.. Thus is fulfilled the latter day prophecy: "If you write it and place it on the internet, they will believe it".

Ixwa:

If something rings true to our African total decrepit experience and dysfunctional existence, then this article truly magnifies our present defunct existential reality.. This has nothing to do with the Internet- It has all to do with waking "My African people" in South Africa to a reality that they are so oblivious to and are in fact perfectly described by an article written in 1835... No Sir.. This is our present and contemporary reality here in Mzantsi(South Africa).... So, if you write it and place on the Web, and it relates to the contemporary rotten conditions we find ourselves in, it is therefore relevant... Fake to you, but really real to us, here and now!....

SR:

In other words CT, if you write it and put it on the internet, and it suit our cause, we will use it. Finally one honest campaigner of a cause. Ixwa.. are you not concerned about the veracity of the information you use to further your cause?

Ixwa:

I think if you lived with us here in the Ghetto, you would not need such because it is what we live. Our people speak a lot of English(aping the British and American accents in the process); my people here in Mzantsi look down upon our 11(eleven) different African languages; and now, like Whites, regard them as dead and useless languages; they feel and think that English is better than their own languages; they worship and extol the virtues/values of Europe and America and have no more their African Self esteem; they have currently lost and ignore if not deride their own culture in favor of the Europe modal; they tell you to your face that our culture is dead and irrelevant, and the way to go is being British(European or American).

You should have seen my deluded and dysfunctional people during World Cup 2010-we were an embarrassment to the world and we were shunned by our government in service of the Imperial Corporations, governments and agents. No Ma'am, what one reads can be anything(as Goebbels the minister of propaganda once said, propaganda should not be a lie and cannot be a lie, but it must be something that puts people into action). What I have posted, although written in 1835, is what we are experieincing since emerging from the iron boot and clutches of Apartheid(which is still operational as I write this to you).

Apartheid showed and taught us that we are nothing but slaves; sub-human; blubbering adult children who should be marshaled by their(Boers)'don't spare the rod' mentality and 'don't spoil the child'(meaning Africans) mantras). We have lived this and seen it and to everybody's amazement, are still living it as I speak to you. What is there to verify when it is the exact replica of our total collective African experience today?. We do not have that luxury to pick and choose issues, here. We have just enough time to try and wake if not counsel our people about what is happening to us, is akin to the proposal of Willie Lynch's advice to the slave owners of his day.

Google Willie Lynch and read his proposal. That, even if verified, is the concrete and lived experience of Africans in the US in particular, and elsewhere in general. What this White man has said above, is our actual lived existential experience and reality. We have lost our culture, customs, traditions, history, sacred rites and practices, our languages, oral history and tradition, music, dances, traditional garb and our self esteem. Is there no wonder that this article resonates with my people in South Africa and many other oppressed people all over the world.

Unless what he is saying above, the author of this piece, does not resonate with you.. To us, it helps our people to begin to reassess their present 'here and now' without making choices as to whether what this guy is saying has any veracity. Sorry Ma'am, we here in Mzantsti(South Africa) it is not verifying what is being said above, but identifying it in our present decrepit existence, bleak and barren, thus drawing sustenance from it to move our Struggle forward with a better understanding of our present dehumanized 'truly dominated nation' and beingness.. Hola!

SR:

I'm not too good at reading long messages, I usually read the first and last sentences. For me, your last sentence speaks loudly.

CT:

So, Ixwa.. Here is a piece of free advice you would do well to remember: Lying about your enemy turns that enemy into a mythical being. Your fight will then be, not against the real enemy, but against the mythical being you have created in your mind. There is one thing I know for certain; you cannot defeat a mythical being.

Keep it real, my brother. Know the enemy against whom you fight. Never be afraid to accept that some of the problems against which you fight have not been created by the enemy. Blame your enemy for the ills he has committed. Blame yourselves for all other ills. Too often we give the enemy more credence than he deserves. That is what happens when you fight against mythical beings.

Finally, stop eulogising about that which you have lost. Accept your current state and determine in your mind where you wish to go. Equip yourself and march towards your goal with purpose and determination. South Africa has lost a lot under white rule. You and your fellow countrymen now have a great opportunity to build a new South Africa, for the benefit of all citizens.

Ixwa:

We learn from Asa Hilliard"

"A core part of our mission today is to study and transfer the valuable information about our cultural traditions to our people. this will serve, in part, to reconnect many Africans who are far removed from our ancient and traditional intergenerational cultural transmission practices. Traditionally, our socialization was under the independent control of knowing and wise African elders transmission practices.

Traditionally, our socialization was under the independent control of knowing and wise African elders, who were legitimate representatives of the African community. While many people are exposed to all sorts of propaganda via television, radio, and to all sort of propaganda via television, radio, newspapers, few of us have been exposed to the wisdom of elders right in our own communities; let alone the wisdom of those who practiced our best traditions. We have lost our understanding of the indispensable role that control of the socialization plays in our survival and destiny and thus, we have failed to ensure proper Intergenerational Cultural Transmission. .

Ixwa Continues:

I think you are not well informed about South Africa, and you are falling into the danger of being irrelevant. You really do not know us(here in South Africa, except, what you read, form your former White masters/writers.). I am not here assisting no enemy, but am living a nightmare that is so well encapsulated and seriously characterized by the posted caption. What you fail to understand is that we do not live what you/we read, we live what we experience. You are not even sure what you are talking about when you say we have a great opportunity today, me and my country men. That's your wish, but it does not jive with our reality.

By the way, we in South Africa do not need your patronizing attitude and talk-down, which makes you be like all the detractors of Africans here in Mzantsi, as we call it here.. You do not seem to know who you are fighting against, yourself. I do, and I am just from some heavy-duty fights and things you will never be able to survive, as you try to push on a pointless diatribe above.

Let me tell you something,.. When we fought the Boers in 1976 to begin to overthrow the Ruling White folks, your 'type' was nowhere to be seen nor found... and by the way, we do not solicit your advice nor input, we are doing our thing. We do not have a government, as in Jamaica, whose governments are beholden to the International Monetary Fund and Large corporations/foreign governments.. You are in no better condition, if you are in Jamaica, as we are here in South Africa.

You keep on indirectly pretending to attack your imaginary enemies, whilst you attack them-a Maverick... well, we deal with our present conditions and we are not complaining to anyone, least of all you, but are working on Conscientizing and waking up our people from the doldrums of present-day oppression depression, suppression and stress.. We lead the world in AIDS, we lead the world in alcoholism Dysentery, Cholera, TB, Car accidents, Rapes, murder, Hypertension, Sugar Diabetes, Pink Eyes, you name, we Africans suffer from it...

And yet, your type tell us we are complaining, while we are facing GENOCIDE, today here in South Africa and we are now known as a dysfunctional people, who have been sabotaged in our education(which is terrible)-and we still live with Apartheid, for it is the one that is controlling our present African-supposedly-ruled government. I am not eulogizing nothing, but am pointing out to the fact what we have lost, and are now working on replacing "OUR" Culture, Customs, Traditions, Scared and traditional practices, languages, music, dances and traditional dance.

At least, for us, we know all about these, and are in the process of recovering and reconstructing them,... Maybe you have no culture to speak of, I and our people 'Do/Have, and we will fight for its resetting and recovery, and we do not really need your advice nor comment at this juncture and you are not doing anything here to understand where we coming from. You are very condescending about a people's culture, history, custom, traditional the the whole bit, that you carelessly say things by being ignorant, and think you have said something..

What do you want us to equip ourselves with, Europeanese(-ism?!), Well, we know what we are doing and are doing it without your cajoling us as you have negatively done above.. You really do not know us nor our goals, that is why you think you have said something above, but in reality, you are not saying anything.. You really do not know what we have lost under White rule, and are still loosing still under White/Black rule today...

At present, Sir, no African of South Africa is benefiting anything from the present government, except those willing to lick the government's asses, who are clearly controlled by Europe and the USA. How can a victim blame themselves, as in what way, form or fashion in such matters and realities? We should not blame the White man - you must have missed the memo, You are on the track that is very ebullient for the oppressors, and you are cheering-leading on what they have done, which is still operational here in South Africa, Jamaica and globally.

If I was you, I would not be as brash as you are beginning to sound, and sort of stand-offish, condescending and patronizing as to what the Whites have done to us... I would not be surprised if you are white, the way you are talking down to us. Well, we are nonplussed; your chirpy comments and snide remarks assailing us, only makes us stronger, and we would like to have your type here in Mzantsi, maybe we might show you things that you are ignorant of.

You are gushing with poisonous exuberance and are negatively zestful in your comments against us. Well, after all the time in our struggle, nothing like your diatribe rattles us, or stymies, nor neither flusters us about what we are doing.. And by the way, we are doing it, and what have you done for your people, except, I guess? Offer apologia for your former masters. The article above, in effect, is a clear testament as to why we find ourselves in the position we are in.

Apartheid has rationalized our suffering to your type, that you think that NOW THAT AFRICANS IN SOUTH AFRICA ARE FREE, THEY CAN THEREFORE LIVE HAPPILY AFTER, AS IN A CINDERELLA STORY... You do not know us, and you need to come here in my country to begin to know what you are talking about.. For now, you know "Nothing"; Zilch; Nada.... about the country of South Africa and its people except what you read, Carlton... You do not even know what my name means, and how can you tell us anything, sir.....

What suffering we have here in South Africa, it seems you are lost to it, as it is there in USA, Jamaica, South America.. and you do not really know in what world were in and you're living in or are existing in? At least we know that we are poor and suffering, whilst you are wearing your rose-colored glasses in looking at life, we see it in its raw reality and are dealing with it, and not sticking our heads in the sand like an Ostrich thinking that we have hidden ourselves from our present reality..No! We are at least cognizant of our reality and are dealing with it.. What about You?...

GH:

He didnt go to Bombay or to the Indian citys that i went, never seen such poverty, which City dont have poverty, i sail to South africa and saw poverty and richness, in the "so called great America, i lived and saw poverty .. Poverty is a human element .

SH:

"First of all thanks to you Ixwa, salute for bring this to our attention. And i feel Sandra, you are just being stubborn and conceited in your misinformation. I am having an anxiety attack just reading this because I can help how my body feels to know I have been misled. I can't think straight - went to tell my mom about this piece of document and my voice just a crack under the tears that running on the inside.....We need to fix Africa-Jamaica - fast awareness is the best weapon.

"But we also have to put that with being a missionary for our own cultural values. Saying "you don't read long messages", just proves your level of ignorance and the conceitedness of it. I might be bashing but thats not my real intent... I wish for us to educate Jamaica and stop taking our discussions only to groups. I am a promoter here in Jamaica and I am seriously considering stopping in some sense as I can no longer promote certain material.

"Yet, to shun my brothers for their misunderstanding, I feel is not the way. So i will be considering an approach that seeks to educate my people around me in a way that eventually makes them see the need not to go in that direction.

GH... were you around in 1835?. A lot as changed since then. plz don't let this be a butu hard head discussion. where is the call to action here. one bag a lipping like a chat alone unu love chat and express unu english thought so proud linguistics.....kmt..

GH" LOL sometimes i feel that i was around, however regretful they still fool them self regarding human conditions, what amazes me is the amount of talent and richness in many of these countrie that have such a large poor community .

Ixwa:

Not to push my luck any further on this Wall, I would like the Administration of this Wall to also post some cultural musical/dance videos of South Africa's 11 people, along with some Reggae, maybe this will help make aware the folks on this Wall what is happening in South Africa, especially when we talking "Culture" of Africans of South Africa. Jonkunu, Patois language,and the grammatical structure of Patois and drama of the culture of the Carnivals of the Caribbean-is akin to and has African written all over it

Not forgetting the colors the people wear as their gabardine, are very much alike between the Jamaicans and the eleven(11) African languages grammatical and syntactical structure in every which way they are spoken here in South Africa.. This is for another topic. We are one, and one love.... I hope I get that permission, it will add to the Afrocentrism of Jamaica and South Africa, and the commonness of the cultures will soon become apparent once one sees it...

SH:

I WANT TO LEARN ALL ELEVEN LANGUAGES.... i will be an advocate for it been thought in schools..

Ixwa:

I hope then you will not mind if I post some cultural videos of Africans of South Africa, and it will be interesting to note that your green, black and gold colors are also our colors-We have a lot of South African Reggae artists-Lucky Dube is one of the many- and we live, love and listen to all sorts of Reggae, and I have studied a lot of Jamaican life and all that it has to offer. My foremost Master Teacher is of course, Garvey, and touring the world and the US, I have lived with and hung out with Jamaicans(I love Patois). There are many Jamaicans here in South Africa and they are refusing to leave because South African Climate is similar to the one of the Jamaican Island in all aspects and respects.

We are one, and one love, as I have stated, is not merely an aphorism, but a reality... Learning our languages here in Mzantsi will require you to choose one, for now. Most people want to learn Zulu-which is cool, but there are also the "Basotho", BaPedi", BaTswana, amaShangaan, amaXhosa, amaVenda, ama-Ndebele, amaSwazi, The KhoiKhoi and The San and lastly the Colored people.

Now, each language has its own pronounciation, nuances and accent. But they are all the same at a much more deeper level, which is what the Apartheid monsters tried to divide and conquer Africans at. So, whenever I speak to you, I will choose either Zulu or Sotho for the word you use in English, for instance, you wrote - "I want to learn all eleven langages, I will be an advocate for it being taught in schools. " Okay, now, in Sesotho language of the Basothos you would say: "Ke Batla(I want) ho ithuta(to Learn) 'Dipuo'(languages) tsa batho(of the people) ba mashome a le mong'(of the eleven people).. Nnna ke tla ba motsamaisi(I will be an advocate/transmitter) hore ho rutwe(to be taught) dikolong tsa Jamaica kaofela(Of all the schools in Jamaica).

Now here is the complete sentence of the the Basotho as written above and not broken: "Ke batla ho ithuta Dipuo tsa batho ba mashome a le motso o le mong. Nna ke tla ba motsamaisi hore e rutwe dikolong tsa Jamaica kaofela". (I want to learn al the 11 languages, and I will be be the transmitter of such a cause in all Jamaican schools)

We use vowels as in a, e, i o, u sounding like - ("a"-"Ah', "e"-'Eh, i(as the 'i' in "ink"), o(as the sound of o in the word "boar", and 'u' as the u in "you"). We do not use these vowels as they are used in the English 'a' (Ah), 'E'(as 'e' in sleaze), 'i' as in I am), 'o' as the first 'o' in 'onto') and 'u' as in you/or saying urdu).. That is how the British speak, but the one I described above, is how we and the Jamaicans who speak Patois/Spanishuse our vowels..

I hope this helps somewhat.. I hope you get an idea, at least we are telling each other relevant things about our languages. You can write and interpret Patois for me, and I will deduce from it our language systems, grammar and syntax showing that it is the same, and even the thought patterns of both Jamaicans and South Africans are the same.. I can prove it, and I will do so in the future, or transcribing from Patois to one of the languages here in Mzantsi(South Africa.. SH.. Heitah!

SH:

ok sounds great ....because i notice very little support for it on google translate..

Ixwa:

Because we have never been listened to, asked about our languages and even bothered about. But I hope it gave you some idea as to what it is that makes us Africans as opposed to Europeans. Also why we want the return of our cultures, customs and traditions without let-up-it is because we realize it is who we are. It might sound great, but it is real, too.

The accents one hears when you visit our countries, are a conglomeration of all these languages which gave birth to a language called Kasi(Township Slang)-that is another story and another fascinating language, which incorporates not only the local mother tongues, but also foreign words, like the one I use, "Hola! at times i will say "Heitha" which both mean 'Hi' There/Okay, etc here, or some form of of acknowledgement or friendly greetings. Nothing that is African original is really supported by Google, you will get it from people like me and many others who have time to do it, and they are there..

WFD:

First of all i would like to say thank u so very much, Ixwa, for bring dis to our attention and allowing us to know so much about our blackmail and betrayal it is really sad too because some ppl are so ignorant and would not believe d truth if it was laid out in front of dem like a clear sheet of paper miss SR is d perfect example.....*sigh*..... but i respect and appreciate all Ixwa is trying to do!....Bless up ma bredda... Salute.


The Meaning Of African Culture

Ignorance of other peoples cultures, and racism, has always been at the forefront of social relations and interaction's always been a
Ignorance of other peoples cultures, and racism, has always been at the forefront of social relations and interaction's always been a

Defining The Terms Of Culture: Powering Our Way Of Life

Now, this brings me to matters of Cultural transmission which this paper is seriously concerned with and is am trying to apply it in writing or composing if not putting together that sense and concept of African Cultural Transmission.. I have written a serious Hub on this issue... I think I published two Hubs that deal with 'Cultural Transmission from various perspectives and points of view.

This Hub is the Cultural Transmission act in progress.. unfolding.. and being manifest.. Before I go deeper into this issue, I would life to cite some excerpt from Asa Hilliard on African Cultural Transmission below..

Cultural Transmission

"We have a vital responsibility to our children and to our community for Intergenerational Cultural Transmission. Our survival and our enhancement as a people are dependent upon our embrace of this responsibility and our release of total dependency on European system. We must mobilize to think and to act to restore this vital function of Intergenerational Cultural Transmission to all our communities.

"We must study our African indigenous traditions in order to understand and to evaluate our cultural, situation now. Many of us remain African at a deep structural level. A study of our traditions will reveal that they rival any tradition past or present, and that we have valid options for world view, values and practices, which are suitable for us today, with appropriate modification.[This bears repeating here and below]

"We must be assertive in countering denigration and defamation, which charge that African people have no meaningful traditions to recall. We, as a community, must rescue and reconstruct the most viable elements of our powerful African indigenous socialization systems. We cannot avoid it. We cannot delegate it.

"Years ago, Carter Goodwin Woodson (1968) warned against an oppressor imposed miseducation. that alienated us from our people and traditions. W.E.B. DuBois skillfully outlined the details of the "double consciousness" that causes African people to see themselves through the eyes other people(1969).

He understood that European hegemony is established through miseducation and alien cultural socialization. some oppressed people join with their oppressors to make the European system of oppression more efficient, becoming agents in the oppression of Africans, as was true of some of us during the slave trade, who betrayed their own people (Armah, 1979). As we see happening here in 'South Africa, the ANC has becoming very efficient at maximizing the Multi-corporation's and foreign government's investments, and are more high on oppressing their own people

"Africans must meet , study, write, and produce. THERE IS NO SHORT CUT! We must go through the Door of No Return, transforming it to the Door Of Return, reconnecting to our traditions and propelling ourselves forward in a direction of our own choosing. We must reclaim our continent, our Culture and Ourselves."

"While African culture has been stolen, Europeans have forced and infused a generally unhealthy culture upon Africans. As Africans have adopted this alien culture, it has had negative consequences for our mental power, cultural power, physical power, and for the natural resources in the land of our ancestors. In order to survive and keep a minority of people on the planet living a wealthy life, Europeans determined that Africans and the threat of African power had to be neutralized at all cost. Cultural Terrorism was exercised to create disorder , confusion, and dependency among Africans.

"No matter where you live in the world you cannot escape the history and legacy of the oppression of Africans. The patterns of oppression are seen in every facet of our societies. Oppression and its consequences are, in part, the result of our ignorance of the power of African socialization traditions. By falsifying African history, culture and records, and even claiming it as its own, Europeans have elevated themselves. This meant that African values, culture, philosophy, etc., had to be put down. This meant that anything African had to be attacked, and that Africans had to be socialized to resist anything African.

"With many Africans having left their culture, we have been tricked into using the European "racial" identity model, a model that places all of the emphasis for defining identity on the contemplation of pigment and other aspects of phenotype. When we become preoccupied with our "racial" or phenotypic features, we fail to consider sufficiently our vast cultural wealth which connects us to Africans around the world.

"The lasting challenge that we face is the absence of information and understanding of African culture. This has been by design. The enforcers of an oppressive system work to create cultural disorder among the oppressed. In particular, they suppress the value of the other cultures while glorifying and fabricating the history of themselves. They understand that the resulting disorder will make it impossible for the oppressed to be truly independent. Fanon made some interesting observations along these lines:

"The unilaterally decreed normative value of certain cultures deserves our careful attention....The enterprise of deculturation turns out to be the negative of a more gigantic work of economic, and even biological enslavement... The doctrine of cultural hierarchy is thus but one aspect of a systematized hierarchization implacably pursued. ...For its systems of reference have to be Broken. Expropriation, spoliation, raids, objective murder, are matched by the sacking of cultural patterns, or at least condition such sacking. The social panorama is destructed; values are flaunted, crushed and emptied.

I would like to repeat and rewrite the piece below cited in this article above...

"...The lines of force of having crumbled, no longer give direction. In their stead, a new system of values is imposed, not proposed but affirmed, by the heavy weight of cannons and sabers.

"...This culture, once living and open to the future, becomes closed, fixed in the colonial status, caught in the yoke of oppression. both present and mummified, it testifies against its members. It defines them in fact without appeal. The cultural mummification leads to a mummification of individual thinking. The apathy so universally noted among colonial peoples is but the logical consequence of this operation. As though it were possible for a man to evolve otherwise than within the framework of a culture that recognizes him that he decides to assume

"...Thus, we witness the setting up of archaic inert institutions, Functioning under the oppressor's supervision and patterned like a caricature of formerly fertile institutions."

Tata

Keeping African History In African Historical Perspective

…The projection of our culture above is paying tribute "to those who sought and continue to seek a clearer understanding of our cultural past in order to build a better and more secure and bright future for everyone". My trying very hard to reach ourselves and the present state of knowing that has been trifled with, is just only that, to make us(Africans) more knowledgeable and vigilant about what we already have in our had-in our possession: our cultures, traditions, customs, languages, sacred rites and practices,music, dances, and traditional wear(The colors of our people are one indicator I did not delve enough into here-but will in the foreseeable future).

I hope and trust that this whole exercise helps us to be able to wrap our heads around the possibilities that we have, so long as we can act in tandem on all that we have at our disposal… Well.. Here is our culture staring at us in our eyes of the mind and the physical/plain sight, So that, What Is Then Mzantsi/Africa/Africans To You? How can you Use What You Know Now To Change The Present Paradigm We Are Now Steeped And Immersed In With All Its Misery And Destruction?

Well, The mind, once it learns, it never forgets, unless we impose, forcibly and knowingly on it, amnesia of and on the reality and possibility as to how we can come out of this cesspool and morass of social/cultural miasma... This is what I will be discussing in the next installment of this Hub: the Sameness and ones on the African Culture in Africa and in the Diaspora.

The treatment of Africans people need to be fully and truly well understood, and it is the duty for us as chroniclers of our history, to pay close attention to detail, no matter how long and time consuming it is. But, putting down a loudly grounded historical piece, means we the researchers must be cognizant of the dimensions and depth and breadth of our history… Also, be able to show connections of Ancient history to contemporary history. This Hub will attempt to do just that and expand this theme in various ways…

For instance, we learn again, from Asa Hilliard that we are not doing enough to teach and raise our children. The words here suggest that it takes a refined and nurturing cultural foundation to raise a child—and the teachers of our children take up their task as one dutifully follows a religious calling. Thus we read his response:

…Ptahotep, instructs the ignorant in the knowledge and in the standards of good speech. A man teaches as he acts… The wise person feeds the soul with what endures, so that it is happy with that person on earth. The wise is known by his good actions. The heart of the wise matches his or her tongue and his or her lips are straight when he or she speaks. The wise have eyes that are made to see and ears that are made to hear what will profit the offspring. The wise is a person who acts with MAAT [truth, justice, order, balance, harmony, righteousness and reciprocity] and is free of falsehood and disorder.

—Ptahotep 2350 B. C. E.

Asa Hilliard continues to write that:

Many of us do not know it, but African people have thousands of years of well-recorded deep thought and educational excellence. Teaching and the shaping of character is one of our great strengths.

In our worldview, our children are seen as divine gifts of our creator. Our children, their families, and the social and physical environment must be nurtured together. They must be nurtured in a way that is appropriate for a spiritual people, whose aim is to “build for eternity.”

"What a pity that our communities have forgotten our 'Jeles” and our “Jegnas,” our great master teachers. What a pity that we cannot readily recall the names of our greatest wise men and women. What a pity that we have come to be dependent on the conceptions and the leadership of others, some of whom not only do not have our interests at heart, they may even be our enemies. Some actually seek to control us for their own benefit through the process of mis-education.

We have closed every avenue through which light may enter their minds. If we could only extinguish the capacity to see the light, our work would be complete.

"So we have two primary reasons for knowing our heritage in education and child raising, or socialization.

  1. We have the best teaching and socialization practices ever developed anywhere in the world. These practices are still good for others and for us now.
  2. The primary tool of our oppression is mis-education by our oppressors. We must regain control over the primary education and socialization of our children.

"Everywhere on the African continent, from the time of the Pharaohs in Ancient KMT [Egypt] to the modern era, great African civilizations in many river valleys, from the Nile to the Niger and to the Cape, were the center of the most sophisticated education and socialization systems ever developed on the Earth. Some of these civilizations developed in Africa long before other civilizations developed anywhere else in the world. The vestiges of these brilliant African creations can still be found in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora (see Finch, 1998).

"We must consider our ancient traditions; traditions that made us respected teachers all over the globe. Our people must hold their heads high in all matters that pertain to teaching and learning.

"African traditional teachers were and are people of high character, who have deep respect for ancestors and for community tradition. African teachers accept the calling and the obligation to facilitate inter-generational cultural transmission. African teachers also strive for the highest standards of achievement in emerging science and technology, areas that have always owed much to African scholarship.

"Our genius is a part of the foundation of the revolution in knowledge in physics, mathematics, engineering and cyber-technology. Our genius is present at the deepest levels of the arts and humanities. All of this is in spite of overwhelming resistance to our learning by determined oppressors.

"Therefore, for many African Teachers, tapping the genius and touching the spirit of African children is not a mystery. Not only can our children learn, they bring awesome intellects to the task. It is a routine manifestation of the African teacher’s excellence to nurture this genius. Along with teaching content, teaching good character and social bonds are our historical and contemporary strengths.

"African teachers, worldwide, share in a cultural deep structure, based upon an African 'world-view,' a shared way of looking at the world and the human experience. This world-view channels the focus of African teachers, providing them with appropriate patterns for thought and practice.

"While it certainly is a practical necessity to get academic degrees and certification from non-African institutions, such teacher training and legitimation is really minimal preparation for African teachers. We go far beyond these things to reach our traditional higher standards, whether we work in public or in independent settings, whether we teach our own children or also teach the children of others.

"For the African teacher, teaching is far more than a job or simply a way to make a living. Students are not “clients” or “customers.” Our students and parents are our family. No sacrifice is too great for that family, for its growth and enhancement.

What is special about an African teacher? It is the world-view and the practice that comes from our world-view, even when it is a dim memory.

"A teacher of African ancestry who does not go beyond certification and degrees to know or to embrace an African world-view is not an African! Cultural excellence is the essence of and African teacher. In all of our learning, we must acquire an understanding of ourselves and our heritage. This does not mean that we cannot learn from others. However, we must be critical learners, rejecting anything that is anti-African.

African teaching functions must be embedded in and must serve an African community. Traditionally, African communities have been identified by a shared belief in several key elements. It is these elements that are the foundation for African teachers.

  1. The belief that the cosmos is alive.
  2. The belief that spirituality is at the center of our being.
  3. The belief that human society is a living spiritual part of the cosmos, not alien to it.
  4. The belief that our people have a divine purpose and destiny.
  5. The belief that each child is a “Living Sun,” a Devine gift of the creator.
  6. The belief that, properly socialized, our children will experience stages of transformation, moving toward perfection, that is to be more like the creator (“mi Re” or like Ra, in the KMT language, meaning to try to live like God).
  7. Since the deep guiding principle of “living like God” is to follow MAAT (Truth, Justice, Righteousness, Order, Reciprocity, Harmony, Balance), then African teachers focus the curriculum on the real and the true, on what was, what is, and on what can be, in keeping with divine principles.
  8. African teachers place a premium on bringing their students into a knowledge of themselves and a knowledge of their communities. African people place great value on WHO each person is, on WHO the community is and the honored place that each member of the family occupies within the community.
  9. African teachers respect mastery, and seek through apprenticeship to learn from true-masters, masters who are valued agents of the African community, who are steeped in the deep thought and behavior of the community, who exhibit an abiding unshakable primary loyalty to the community and who are in constant communication with the wise elders of the community.

    African teachers recognize the genius and the divinity of each of our children, speaking to and teaching to each child’s intellect, humanity, and spirit. We do not question a child’s possession of these things. In touching the intellect, humanity and spirit within children, African teachers recognize the centrality of relationships between teachers and students, among students, and within the African community as a whole.

    For the African teacher, teaching is a calling, a constant journey towards mastery, a scientific activity, a matter of community membership, an aspect of a learning community, a process of “becoming a library,” a matter of care and custody for our culture and traditions, a matter of a critical viewing of the wider world, and a response to the imperative of MAAT.

    The African teacher is a parent, friend, guide, coach, healer, counselor, model, storyteller, entertainer, artist, architect, builder, minister, and advocate to and for students.

    A brief sample of African socialization can be found in the work of K. Kia Kimbwandende Bunseki Fu-Kiau and A. M. Lukondo-Wamba, master teachers and authors of Kindezi: The Congo Art of Babysitting(1988):

    African teachers respect mastery, and seek through apprenticeship to learn from true masters, masters who are valued agents of the African community, who are steeped in the deep thought and behavior of the community, who exhibit an abiding unshakable primary loyalty to the community and who are in constant communication with the wise elders of the community.

    African teachers recognize the genius and the divinity of each of our children, speaking to and teaching to each child’s intellect, humanity, and spirit. We do not question a child’s possession of these things. In touching the intellect, humanity and spirit within children, African teachers recognize the centrality of relationships between teachers and students, among students, and within the African community as a whole.

    For the African teacher, teaching is a calling, a constant journey towards mastery, a scientific activity, a matter of community membership, an aspect of a learning community, a process of “becoming a library,” a matter of care and custody for our culture and traditions, a matter of a critical viewing of the wider world, and a response to the imperative of MAAT.

    The African teacher is a parent, friend, guide, coach, healer, counselor, model, storyteller, entertainer, artist, architect, builder, minister, and advocate to and for students.
    A brief sample of African socialization can be found in the work of K. Kia Kimbwandende Bunseki Fu-Kiau and A. M. Lukondo-Wamba, master teachers and authors of Kindezi: The Congo Art of Babysitting(1988):


"The Kindezi can only be perceived and understood through the social context of the community it serves as an art and a big social responsibility. It is through the role that Kindezi plays in the community that one can appreciate its importance in the dingo-dingo (process) of shaping African social patterns.

The quality and personality of the ndezi/babysitter, make by influence the quality and personality of the child in the sadulu (school place) and the community as well. Since it is the ndezi with whom the child stays all day long, the future of the child will greatly reflect the impact of Kindezi, the art of babysitting, not only upon the child but upon the society itself.

The contribution of Kindezi in Bantu societies in general, and the Kongo in particular, cannot be under-estimated or denied. The role it plays in all aspects of community life is so great that it merits erection of a monument. (p. 20)

…Though things are rapidly changing today in Africa, the Kindezi, in its substructure, still remains as a skill and are to be learned by all young community members, girls as well as boys, through an initiatic and practical process for, as a Kongo proverb would say, Kindezi M’fuma mu kanda (The art of babysitting is a baobab to the community), i.e., a string supporter of community economic activities…

Babysitting, sala Kindezi, is not instinctively acquired as some would assume or pretend. Dingo-dingo diena it is a process by which one discovers the mystery of human growth and reaches the total understanding of the psychology of the child.

By babysitting, one learns the wonderful skill of being responsible for another life and how to become a new “living pattern.” A “living pattern” is a model through which cultural values are transmitted from generation to generation. Through Kindezi, Africans acquire this skill, a skill that has made the African not only one of the most religious human beings on earth but, also, one of the most humanistic.

African parents, mothers in particular, have a great concern about their children’s childhood because they are aware that Kimbuta kia muntu, bonso kimuntu, ga mataba–“One’s leadership, like one’s personality, finds its roots in the child-hood.” Earlier events in the childhood life play an important role in adulthood. As such, great attention is paid to whoever has a role to play in the life of a child—the human being with the quickest copying mind.

This basic understanding that childhood is the foundation that determines the quality of a society is the main reason that prompted African communities to make Kindezi and art, or kinkete, to be learned by all their members.

Thus Kindezi is required in societies that want to prepare their members to become not only good fathers and mothers, but above all, people who care about life and who understand, both humanely and spiritually, the highly unshakable value of the human being that we all are. (p. 4–5)

Buy this book at Amazon.com! Typically the African teacher leads a social collective process, one where social bonds are reinforced or created. In this social process, the destinies of the students are connected to each other, to their families, to their communities, to their ancestors, to those who are yet to be born, to their environment, to their traditions, to MAAT as a way of life, and to their creator.

From these few thoughts, one can see that the popular use of the African proverb, “It takes a whole village to raise a child,” is interpreted in a very trivial way, and is taken out of context. Africans who use the proverb understand it. It is a part of their world-view, their value system, a world-view and value system that may not be shared by those who quote Africans out of context.

As Fu-Kiau and Lukondo-Wamba show above, the proverb is really about raising a village, not merely raising a child. It is not a matter of welfare as it is understood in the West. It really takes a whole village to raise itself, a village that values every member as a “living sun,” a village to which the child belongs, a village where every child is shown that he or she “will never be given away.” Clearly, this is a different order of “child care.” This is African teaching/socialization, and the incorporation of the child into the community.

Africans never take teaching lightly. It is a sacred calling. The long night of slavery, colonization, apartheid, and White supremacy ideology ruptured the traditional bond between African teachers and their nurture, and even their memories of that nurture. We have been reduced in our expertise, lowered in our expectations, and limited in our goals. We have even been dehumanized and de-spiritualized. We must return to the upward ways of our ancestors. We have forgotten our aims, methods and content.

We must not bring shame on ourselves and upon our descendants. We must bring light to the world again.

The Dogon And the Sirius Star..

The Dogon people in Africa worship the Star Sirius as well as its satellites Sirius A, B and C. They had knowledge of their elliptical rotations around the North star Thousand of years long before NASA confirmed this. Sirius B is an incredibly dim st
The Dogon people in Africa worship the Star Sirius as well as its satellites Sirius A, B and C. They had knowledge of their elliptical rotations around the North star Thousand of years long before NASA confirmed this. Sirius B is an incredibly dim st

African People In The Diaspora And African Culture, Customs, Dances and Music

Everything Is African: Africanism

One of the topics and historical subjects that I have thus far not really written about is the History, Cultures, Cultural dDress, Music And Dances Of the African People of the Caribbean, South America, Latin America, North America, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Asia, India, and Japan. the main focus and thrust of this Article, which is the continuation of the Article About How African Culture was Dismantled amongst South Africa, and I used Art, Soccer, and African Traditional culture to bring about this awareness to our African people in South Africa.

As a Student of life and history, the Caribbean, South American, Latin American, and so forth Africans have always been my focus and passioned interest. This will be the first of a series of Article or Hubs I will be embarking upon, and will be focusing broadly on the African Diaspora Globally. And it the forthcoming Hubs will focus more intensely and extensively on their continental of Island African people much more in depth.

The Hub, up to this far, was like a summary of the summation of the Hub I Just published that is called: "South African Race-Culture & Sports: Dismantling of Culture, Arts, sports & Cultural Transmission Of Africans In Mzantsi". In this aforementioned Hub, I dealt specifically with the culture of Mzantsi. On this part of this New Hub, I will concentrate more on the Cultures, Dances, Music and history of the people I will be talking about or showcasing in this Hub.

In this Hub above, I want to try to demonstrate that African culture, History, Music, Dance, and Dress are All Interconnected,and the same, globally. We have a lot of drumming, hand-clapping, singing, dances, foot-shuffling and stomping, rollin on the floor and so forth that is reminiscent of the Culture I have just described of South Africa. So, therefore, to me, they are the same culture, the same people-African people in they one but very diverse culture without loosing its cultural core.

The material I am about to post below, will give us snippets of history of the Africans in the Diaspora, taken from Africa, and maintain a high cultural retention social system of all that is African. In other countries, it takes on a bit of the local people cultural tilt and the like. But these African people have consistently adhered to and kept alive their African cultural history, customs and African Tradition, and now that now we have the social media and other types of mediums and their gizmos, we are able to pick up all the globally spread cultures and present them from an African-Centered perspective, in this Primordial Viral Splurge we are all streaming in today and the speed of sound and light.

We are not only able to look at the culture of Africans in the Diaspora, but we deduce from it common points and write out article like this one which sternly assert that African culture in the Diaspora is an African variant and diverse form of the Culture of Africans in Africa, and thought it has been bent out of shape, somewhat, it still retains Africa's cultural centeredness, core, foundations and elaboration in all its facets and manifestations.

This brings me to the hard-core historical part by way and words of Eric Williams:

"According to Adam Smith, the prosperity of a new colony depends upon one simple economic factor - "plenty of good land." The British colonial possessions up to 1776, however, can broadly be divided into two types. he first is the self-sufficient and diversified economy of small farmers, "mere earth scratchers" as Gibbon Wakefield derisively called them, living on a soil which, as Canada was described in 1840, was 'no lottery, with few exorbitant prices and a large number of blanks, but a secure and certain investment."

The second type is the colony which has facilities for the production of staple articles on a large scale for an export market. In the first category, fell the Northern colonies of the American mainland; in the second, the mainland tobacco colonies and the sugar islands of the Caribbean. In the colonies of the latter type, as Merivale pointed out, land and capital were both useless unless labor could be commanded.

"Labor, that is, must be constant and must work, or be made to work, in co-operation. In such colonies the rugged individualism of the Massachusetts farmer, practicing his intensive agriculture and wringing by the sweat of his brow niggardly returns from a grudging soil, must yield to the disciplined gang of the big capitalist practicing extensive agriculture and producing on large scale.

"Without this compulsion, the laborer would otherwise exercise his natural inclination to work his own land and toil on his own account. The story is frequently told of the great English capitalist,,Mr. Peel, who took 50,000 pounds and three hundred laborers with him to the Swan River colony in Australia. His plan was that his laborers would work for him, as in the old country. Arrived in Australia, however, where land was plentiful-too plentiful-the laborers preferred to work for themselves as small proprietors, rather than under the capitalist for wages. Australia was not England, and the capitalist was left without a servant to make his bed or fetch him water.

The Caribbean Slave Labor Beginnings

For the Caribbean colonies, the solution for this dispersion and "earth-scratching" was slavery. The lesson for the early history of Georgia is instructive. Prohibited from employing slave labor by trustees who, in some instances, themselves owned slaves in other collies, the Georgian planters found themselves in the position, as Whitefield phrased it, of people whose legs were tied and told to walk. So the Georgia magistrates drank toasts "to one thing needful"-slavery-until the ban was lifted. (R. B. Flanders)

"Odious resources" though it might be, as Merivale called it, slavery was an economic institution of the first importance. It had been the basis of Greek economy and had build the roman up the Roman Empire. In modern times it provided the sugar for the tea ad the coffee cups of the Western world. Ot produced the cotton to serve as a base for modern Capitalism. It made the America south and the Caribbean Islands.

Seen in historical perspective, it forms a part of the that general picture of the harsh treatment of the underprivileged classes, the unsympathetic poor laws and severe feudal laws, and the indifference with which the rising capitalist class was "beginning to reckon prosperity in terms of pounds sterling, and ... becoming used to the idea of sacrificing human life to the deity of increased production.

Adam Smith, the intellectual champion of the industrial middle class with its new-found doctrine of freedom, later propagated the argument that it was, in general, pride and love of power in the Master that led to slavery and that, in those countries where slaves were employed, free labor would be more profitable. Universal experience demonstrated conclusively the "the world done by slaves, though it appears to cost only their maintenance, is in the end the dearest of any. A person who can acquire no property can have no other interest than to eat as much, and to labor as little as possible"(Adam Smith, p.365).

Adam Smith thereby treated as an abstract proposition what is a specific question of time, place, labor and soil. he economic superiority of free hired labor over slave labor is obvious even to the slave owner. Slave labor is given reluctantly, it is unskilful, it lacks versatility. (J. Cairnes).

Other things being equal, free men, free men would not be preferred. But in the early days of colonial development, other things are not equal. When slavery is adopted, it is not adopted as the choice over free labor; there is no choice at all. "The reasons for slavery," wrote Gibbon Wakefield, "are not moral, but economical circumstances; they relate no to vice and virtue, but to production."

With the limited population of Europe in the sixteenth century, the free laborers necessary to cultivate the staple crops of sugar, tobacco and cotton in the New World could not have been supplied in quantities adequate to permit large-scale production. Slavery was necessary for this, and to get slaves the Europeans turned first to the aborigines and then to Africa.

This is but a short history, given the depth and breadth of the Whole History of the Caribbean, south America, Latin America, North America and throughout the Diaspora Globally. I have posted below on this timeline/Wall, the music of the Africans in the Diaspora, Globally, and somewhat, some of their cultural gear.

The historical rendition above is to begin to give more substance and context to the posted music of African people all over the world in this Wall/Timeline. We are better informed if we not only quote what we should do, but do and write what we think were are and will be. By this I mean, having a better historical background to the posted traditional videos all over the World, of African people, is in a sense giving us a way of seeing and looking at ourselves in a global sense.

We should continue to write and disseminate our history as African people, and in it we will be able to discern all our African Global problems, concerns and find solutions to the large looming obstacles placed on our paths and destinies.

Slavery in the Caribbean has been too narrowly identified with the 'Negro'. A racial twist has thereby been given to what is basically an economic phenomenon. Slavery was not born of racism: rather, racism was the consequence of slavery. Unfree labor in the New World was Brown, White, Black and Yellow; Catholic, Protestant and Pagan.

The first instance of slave trading and slave labor developed in the New World involved, racially, not the "Negro," but the Indian"(IndigenousPeoples). The 'Indian' indigene rapidly succumbed to the excessive labor demanded of them, the insufficient diet, the White man's diseases, and their inability to adjust themselves to the new way of life. Accustomed to a life of liberty, their constitution and temperament we're ill-adapted to the rigors of Plantation life and slavery.

As Fernando Ortiz writes: "To subject the 'Indian' to the mines, to their monotonous, insane and severe labor, without 'tribal'(clan) sense, without religious ritual, ... was like taking away from him the meaning of his life. ...It was to enslave not only his muscles, but also his collective spirit."

In the New England colonies, Indian slavery was unprofitable, because it was unsuited to the diversified agriculture of these colonies. In addition, the Indian slave was inefficient. The Spaniards discovered that One African was worth four Indians.

A prominent official in Hispaniola insisted in 1518 that, "Permission be given to Bring Africans, a race robust for labor, instead of the natives, so weak that they can only be employed in tasks requiring little endurance, such as taking care of maize fields or farms.

The future staples of the New World, sugar and , required strength which the Indian lacked, and demanded the robust ["Cotton N******"] as sugar's need of strong mules produced in Louisiana the epithet "sugar mules." According to Lauber:
"When compared with sums paid for Africans at the same time and place the prices of Indian Slaves are found to have been considerably lower...

For us to 'really understand' what took place in tis case of the Caribbean Slavery, We will have to concretely write it from those who are giving us an insight into the spirit of the day(zeitgeist). So we cull further from Williams:

"The immediate successor of the Indian, however, was not the African, but the Poor White. These White Servants included a variety of types. Some were indentured servants, so-called because, before departure from their homeland, they had signed a contract, indented by law, binding them to service for a stipulated time in return for their passage.

"Still others, known as 'redemption's,' arranged with the captain of the ship to pay for their passage on arrival or within a specified time thereafter; if they did not, they were sold by the captain to the highest bidder. Others were convicts, sent out by the deliberate policy of the home government, to serve for a specified period.

Dafoe bluntly stated that the White servant was a slave. He was not. The servant's loss of liberty was of limited duration, The African was slave for life. The servant's status could not descend to his offspring, African took the status of the mother. The Master at no time had absolute control over person and liberty of his servant as he had over his slave. The servant had rights, limited but recognized by law and inserted in a contract.

"He enjoyed, for instance, a limited right to property. In actual law, the conception of the servant as a piece of property never went beyond that of personal estate and never reached the stage of chattel or real estate. The laws in the colonies maintained this rigid distinction and visited cohabitation between the races with severe penalties.

"The servant could aspire, at the end of his term, to a plot of land, though, as Wertenbaker points out for Virginia it was not a legal right, and conditions varied from colony to colony. The serf in Europe could therefore hope for an early freedom in America which villeinage could not afford. The freed servants became small yeomen farmers, settled in the back country, a democratic force in a society of large aristocratic plantation owners, and were the pioneers in westward expansion. That is why Jefferson in America, as Saco in Cuba, favored the introduction of European servants instead of African slaves-as tending to democracy rather than aristocracy.(Herrick)

The institution of White servitude, however, had grave disadvantages, Postlethwayt, a rigid mercantilist, argued that White laborers in the colonies would tend to create rivalry with the mother country in manufacturing. Better Black(African) slaves on the plantation than White servants in industry, which would encourage aspirations to independence. The supply moreover, was becoming increasingly difficult, and the need of the plat nations were involved in many vexations and costly proceedings arising from people signifying their willingness to emigrate, accepting food and clothes in advance, and then suing for unlawful detention.(Herrick)

"Indentured servants were not forthcoming in sufficient quantities to replace those who had served their term. On the plantations, escape was easy for the White servant; less easy for the African, who, if freed, tended, in self-defense, to stay in his locality where he was well-known. The servant expected land at the end of his contract. The African, in a strange environment, conspicuous by his color, and features, and ignorant of the White man's language and ways, could be kept permanently divorced from the land.

"Racial differences made it easier to justify and rationalize enslavement of Africans, and to exact the mechanical obedience of a plough-ox or cart-horse, to demand that resignation and that complete moral and intellectual subjection which alone make slave labor possible. Finally, and this was the decisive factor, The African slave was cheaper. The money which procured a White man's services for ten years, could by an African for life(Calendar of State Papers, [1676] As the governor of Barbados stated, "The Barbadian planters found by experience that 'three Africans' work better and cheaper than one White man."

"But the experience with White servitude had been invaluable. Kidnapping in Africa encountered no such difficulties as were encountered in England. Captain and ships had the experience of the one trade to guide them in the other. Bristol, the center of the White servant trade, became one of the center of the [African] slave trade. Capital accumulated from throne financed the other(White servitude financed, African Slavery).

"White servitude was the historic base upon whig African slavery was constructed. The fell-drivers in the plantations became without effort slave-drivers. In "significant numbers," writes Professor Phillips, "The Africans were latecomers fitted into a system already developed."

Here then is the origin of Africa slavery. The reason was economic, not racial; it had to do not with color of the laborer, but the cheapness of the labor. As compared with Indian and White labor, African slavery was eminently superior. "I each case," writes Bassett, discussing North Carolina, it was a survival of the fittest. Both Indian and slavery and White servitude were to go down before the African man's durance, enforced docility, and labor capacity.

The features of the man, his hair, color and dentifrice, his "subhuman" characterizations touted so much by the colonizers(plantocracy), were the later rationalization to justify a simple economic fact: that the colonies needed labor and resorted to African labor because it was the cheapest and best(also easy to kidnap from Africa).

"This was not a theory, it was a practical conclusion deduced from the personal experience of the planter[Colonizing enslavers]. They would have gone to the moon, if necessary, for [cheap] labor. Africa was nearer than the moon, nearer too than more populous countries of India and China. But their turn was to come.

Colonial Africa Up To 1914

Debunking and Demystifying The Myth Of Europeans Been Weak In the Heat

Again, for this part of African-The Climatic theory(That White People Cannot Survive In the Equatorial or Temperate Climates is false). History about the Caribbean, or Slavery in the New Worlds, I will defer to Williams:

"The climatic theory of the plantation is thus nothing but a rationalization. In an essay on the subject, Professor Edgar Thompson wrote: "The plantation is not to be accounted for by climate. It is a political institution.:William adds: "It is an economic institution. The climatic theory "is apart of an ideology which rationalizes naturalizes an existing social and economic order, and this everywhere seems to be an order in which there is a race problem."

Williams Continues: "The history of Australia clinches the argument. Nearly half of this Island lies within the tropical zone. In part of this tropical area, the state of Queensland, the chief crop is sugar. When the Industry began to develop, Australia had a choice of two alternatives: African labor or White labor… The commonwealth began its sugar cultivation in the usual way-with imported African labor from the pacific Islands.

"Increasing demands, however, were made for a White Australia policy, and in the twentieth century, non-white immigration was prohibited. It is irrelevant to consider here that as a result, the cost of production of Australian sugar was prohibitive , the industry survived behind the Chinese wall of Australian autarchy. Australia was willing to pay a high price in order to remain a White man's country. What's concerning here is that this price was paid from the pockets of the Australian consumers and not in the physical degeneration of the Australian worker.

"Labor in the Queensland sugar industry today is wholly White. "Queensland," writes H.L, Wilkinson, "affords the only example in the world of European colonization in the tropics on an extensive scale. It does more; it shows a large European population doing the while of the work of its civilization from the meanest service, and most exacting manual labor,to the highest form of intellectualism.

"To such an extent has science exploded with superstition that Australian scientists today argue that the only condition on which White men and Women can remain healthy in the tropics is that they must engage in hard manual work. where they have done so, as in Queensland, "the most rigorous scientific examination," according to the Australian Medical Congress in 1920, "failed to show any organic change in White residents which enabled them to be distinguished from residents of temperate climates,"

We further learn about this matter from R. Guerra that: "African slavery, thus, had nothing to do with climate. Its origin can be expressed in three words: in the Caribbean, 'Sugar'; on the mainland, Tobacco and Cotton(USA). A change in the economic structure produced a corresponding change in the labor supply. The fundamental fact was "the creation of an inferior social and economic organization of exploiters and exploited.(R. Guerra)

Williams: "In our own time we who have witnessed the dispossession of Africans by White sharecroppers in the South and the mass migration of Africans from the South to the colder climates of Detroit, New York, Pittsburg and other industrial centers of the North, can no longer accept the convenient rationalization that African labor was employed on the slave plantation because the climate was too rigorous for the constitution of the White man."

This is one part of tis sole historical account we need to pay very close attention to. Many of us, in thinking about slavery, barely consider the zeitgeist of slavery very deeply and seriously. In this next deposition, I would like to make sure that this Hub contains the very essence and reality of slavery and it historical progression to contemporary history.

Contemporary history cannot not be fully known nor understood if we do not have a solid historical foundation of the history of Africans in the New World and elsewhere in the globe, and the reality of how slavery came about, was justified, and the hidden lies and 'rationalizations, as the informer, William tells us, is just a fact that is false and was done to order to use and abuse African labor power.

In the section that I have just finished above, William was telling us about the fiction rested around the falsehood that White men cannot withstand tropical nor equatorial heat. He makes a sound and solid example of Australia above, and now, he further elucidates the fact that Whites who say the Europeans could not stand climate and would not survive, is false and that climate has been made political.

Williams further informs us:

"A constant and steady emigration of poor Whites from Spain to Cuba, to the very end of the Spanish dominion, characterized Spanish colonial policy. Fernando Ortiz has drawn a striking contrast between the role of tobacco and sugar in Cuban history. Tobacco was a free White industry intensively cultivated on small farms; sugar was an African slave industry extensively cultivated on small farms; sugar was an African slave industry extensively cultivated on large plantations. He further compared the free Cuban tobacco industry with its slave Virginian counterpart.

"What determined the difference was not climate but the economic structure of the two areas. The Whites could hardly have endured the tropical heat of Cuba and succumbed to the tropical heat of Barbados. In Puerto Rico, the 'jibaro,' the poor White peasant, is still the basic type, demonstrating, according to Greenfly Price, how erroneous is the belief that after three generations the White man cannot breed in the topics.

"Similar White communities have survived in the Caribbean, from the earliest settlements right down to pour own times, in the Dutch West Indian Islands of Saba and St. Martin


I am Who I am...

We Saying Who We Are.. Now... African Teachers

African Teachers And African Knowledge

…Ptahhotep, instructs the ignorant in the knowledge and in the standards of good speech. A man teaches as he acts… The wise person feeds the soul with what endures, so that it is happy with that person on earth. The wise is known by his good actions. The heart of the wise matches his or her tongue and his or her lips are straight when he or she speaks. The wise have eyes that are made to see and ears that are made to hear what will profit the offspring. The wise is a person who acts with MAAT [truth, justice, order, balance, harmony, righteousness and reciprocity] and is free of falsehood and disorder.

—Ptahotep 2350 B. C. E.

Many of us do not know it, but African people have thousands of years of well-recorded deep thought and educational excellence. Teaching and the shaping of character is one of our great strengths.

In our worldview, our children are seen as divine gifts of our creator. Our children, their families, and the social and physical environment must be nurtured together. They must be nurtured in a way that is appropriate for a spiritual people, whose aim is to “build for eternity.”

What a pity that our communities have forgotten our “Jeles” and our “Jegnas,” our great master teachers. What a pity that we cannot readily recall the names of our greatest wise men and women. What a pity that we have come to be dependent on the conceptions and the leadership of others, some of whom not only do not have our interests at heart, they may even be our enemies. Some actually seek to control us for their own benefit through the process of mis-education.

-Asa Hilliard..

Everywhere on the African continent, from the time of the Pharoahs in Ancient KMT (Egypt) to the modern era, great African civilizations in many river valleys, from the Nile to the Niger and to the Cape, were the center of the most sophisticated education and socialization systems ever developed on the Earth. Some of these civilizations developed in Africa long before other civilizations developed anywhere else in the world. The vestiges of these brilliant African creations can still be found in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora

-Finch....

We must consider our ancient traditions; traditions that made us respected teachers all over the globe. Our people must hold their heads high in all matters that pertain to teaching and learning.

African traditional teachers were and are people of high character, who have deep respect for ancestors and for community tradition. African teachers accept the calling and the obligation to facilitate inter-generational cultural transmission. African teachers also strive for the highest standards of achievement in emerging science and technology, areas that have always owed much to African scholarship.

Our genius is a part of the foundation of the revolution in knowledge in physics, mathematics, engineering and cyber-technology. Our genius is present at the deepest levels of the arts and humanities. All of this is in spite of overwhelming resistance to our learning by determined oppressors.

Therefore, for many African Teachers, tapping the genius and touching the spirit of African children is not a mystery. Not only can our children learn, they bring awesome intellects to the task. It is a routine manifestation of the African teacher’s excellence to nurture this genius. Along with teaching content, teaching good character and social bonds are our historical and contemporary strengths.

African teachers, worldwide, share in a cultural deep structure, based upon an African “world-view,” a shared way of looking at the world and the human experience. This world-view channels the focus of African teachers, providing them with appropriate patterns for thought and practice.

While it certainly is a practical necessity to get academic degrees and certification from non-African institutions, such teacher training and legitimation is really minimal preparation for African teachers. We go far beyond these things to reach our traditional higher standards, whether we work in public or in independent settings, whether we teach our own children or also teach the children of others.

For the African teacher, teaching is far more than a job or simply a way to make a living. Students are not “clients” or “customers.” Our students and parents are our family. No sacrifice is too great for that family, for its growth and enhancement.

What is special about an African teacher? It is the world-view and the practice that comes from our world-view, even when it is a dim memory.

A teacher of African ancestry who does not go beyond certification and degrees to know or to embrace an African world-view is not an African! Cultural excellence is the essence of and African teacher. In all of our learning, we must acquire an understanding of ourselves and our heritage. This does not mean that we cannot learn from others. However, we must be critical learners, rejecting anything that is anti-African.

African teaching functions must be embedded in and must serve an African community. Traditionally, African communities have been identified by a shared belief in several key elements. It is these elements that are the foundation for African teachers.

We Got To Be Strong...

How African Miseducation Had Been Set Up

Might I remind you that 400 years ago, black unemployment was totally unheard of in the West since every African man, woman and child was fully employed from sunrise to sunset. In fact, Europeans couldn't build ships fast enough to go to Africa to kidnap Africans and bring them to the West to work. Isn't it ironic that curbing immigration from Africa is the biggest issue in the West today where quotas and fluency in Western languages are requirements for emigrating to the West? In France they are even planning to test the DNA of relatives who simply want to rejoin their families. How unfortunate that Europeans did not enforce these practices 500 years ago because they would have saved Africans a tremendous amount of pain.

If we accept that in the western system an individual's importance depends on their financial worth, then it is clear why African children have become a liability rather than an asset and are underachieving in school. Knowing the kind of social disruption that able bodied, young men of working age unable to find a job can create in society, The West has decided to channel them into prisons as a solution in order to prevent the kind of revolts that occurred in the French suburbs 2 years ago.

This is why 'tolerance zero' was introduced and why a 15 year old African American youth who stole a simple chocolate bar would receive a 15 year jail sentence from a US court. To deaden the pain of those who have lost all hope of a better future, they inject drugs into our communities and pray for a quick demise either by a drug overdose or a bullet to the brain as our young men pretend to be mafia bosses fighting over turf.

After the Europeans had finally decided to educate African children, they had to deal with the problem of the content of their education. What were they to teach these 'Negroes?' All of the aberrations and self destructive behavioral patterns that we see in our community can be traced right back to this moment when Europeans had to make a decision about the kind of information they were going to transmit to African people.

When African children entered the western school system for the first time, there was great fear among the slaveholders that if Africans were taught 'the wrong' information, (the truth) they would lose complete control over them especially since our ancestors numerically outnumbered whites in the new world at that time.( African people have since become the minority.)

To understand why Europeans were so afraid of the content of African education we must go further back into our past. Before they had even set foot in Africa, Europeans had heard about its glory and its extraordinary civilization. Philip of Macedonia, like the typical warmongering European megalomaniac, decided that as he was the most powerful person in the West he had to conquer Egypt, the most advanced African civilization at the time and own it for himself. Fortunately, he was killed while waging another one of his numerous murderous wars.

Unfortunately, his son Alexander, who only a twisted mind could call great, decided to fulfill his father's dream and did eventually conquer Egypt. When Europeans entered Africa for the first time and saw the tremendous civilization our ancestors had methodically collected, stored and preserved from past millennia, they were mesmerized. They were overwhelmed by its organization, its opulence, its style, its architecture, its creativity, its intelligence, in short, everything but most particularly, its tremendous wealth.

Today in the western media we are inundated with propaganda of "a poverty stricken Africa" but Europeans knew then and still know now how tremendously wealthy Africa is/was. In fact, it is precisely because of Africa's genius and its tremendous wealth why African people were enslaved in the first place.

Europeans were envious and wanted to have Africa all for themselves but they also felt ashamed and it was at this moment that the crime which they would carry out later in the 15 century when they discovered the New World, began to take shape in their minds. One of the things that struck me as I studied Ancient Egyptian civilization was the number of times the word 'shame' appeared in the writings of many of the European travelers to Egypt. It's a leitmotiv in their writings. Even Jean Francois Champoleon who deciphered the hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone felt shame when he visited the tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of Kings and saw the different races depicted there. This is what he said:

"We also found Egyptians and other Africans depicted in the same way, which could not be otherwise: but there were some important and strange differences between the Namou [the Asians] and the Tamhou [the Europeans] ……

Finally (and I am ashamed to say this because our race was the last and most savage of all in those ancient times) but we must be honest and admit that we did not paint a very pretty figure in those days. Here I am referring to all the people with blonde hair and white skin, living not only in Europe, but in Asia, their place of origin. " [Asia here means people from the Middle East and not from China ] This forces us to ask the following question, Why did Europeans feel shame when they came into contact with Africa? Where did their shame stem from? It is this shame which is behind our enslavement and oppression.

Educate And Teach The African Child

The Way Of African History And African Culture

History in Focus: War And Civilization: African History In Vogue ~ At Issue is The Education Of The African Child

Historical Pedagogy

In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about the end of western civilization and we have all heard conservative and right wing politicians in the West lamenting the loss of western values. But what is Western civilization? What exactly are Western values? If you have traveled across Europe as I have, you will see walled cities, military forts, canons, pistols, guns, all manner of swords and statues of war heroes.

In short, you will see an arsenal of weaponry and materials for waging war. In my opinion, war is not what most people imagine when they think about civilization. This may surprise many people but the West has never had a civilization if you exclude war from that definition. So where did the West get all its architecture, laws, religion, human rights ideas, it's so called values, etc?They got them from Africa. Before they visited Africa they had none of these things.

In fact, Europeans had spent their time on the planet developing more and more lethal weapons to wage war and kill each other. Africans in contrast, had spent their time on this planet mapping the stars, studying the changing seasons, inventing literature, the arts, architecture, mathematics, writing, inventing the calendar, medicine, worshiping their gods, mummifying their dead, preparing for the afterlife, even inventing the very wig that so many black women can no longer do without today, in short, trying to build the things that we consider today to be civilization.

As a result, when they came into contact with Africa's splendor, Europeans felt inadequate, ashamed, inferior, because they had built nothing similar in Europe, only weapons of war, and so they were envious and started plotting to take Africa for themselves and enslave African people and that is exactly what they have done. So what has been promoted as Western civilization during the last 500 years is none other than the civilization of African people which they have simply confiscated and claimed as their very own.

Today, the West has reached the peak of its power and it is still in the warmongering business, and still sowing death and destruction in its path. Iraq is a recent example and perhaps Iran will be next in line, however, it now prefers to let the other races kill each other while it concentrates on supplying all the materials necessary for them to accomplish this task and rake in the profits from their deaths, especially from the deaths of African people who unfortunately have become infected with the western warmongering virus after centuries of close contact, to the point where Rwandans exterminated 4 million of their own people in the short space of only 3 months.

As many people are unaware that the West has claimed African civilization as its own, they are often confused by the contradictions they see in Western society. So they can't understand for example how slavery and human rights can co-exist side by side but if you understand that one comes from Europe (slavery) and the other comes from Africa (human rights), then there is absolutely no contradiction whatsoever.

Furthermore, as they do not genuinely believe in such concepts they often end up only paying lip service to them. Do you remember that Europeans were holding a book in their hands which clearly stated 'thou shalt not kill' while they were raping and killing our ancestors? Worse, the ships our ancestors traveled across the Atlantic ocean on had biblical names such as 'the good ship "Jesus" or "John the Baptist."

Today, Mr Bush talks about god and drops cluster bombs which kill women and children in the same breath. This is exactly what his ancestors, the founding fathers, did when they exterminated the Amerindians, the original inhabitants of the USA. This dichotomy can be observed in many areas in western society because they have simply juxtaposed their warmongering culture onto African civilization and promoted it as their own…

Now you can understand why there is so much injustice, poverty and exploitation on one hand and false philanthropy on the other in our world. If you have ever wondered why there are so many humanitarian and Christian organizations all over Africa apparently working to help lift Africans out of poverty, yet Africans still do not have access to clean drinking water now you know why. Next time the G8 countries get together and begin to wax lyrical/economical and political about how they intend to lift Africans out of poverty, please do yourself a favor and turn off your television.

The education of the black child caused great fear among the Europeans because they knew the genius of the people they had enslaved. What could they therefore teach African children whose birthright they had stolen? For a start, they certainly couldn't allow black and white children to compete equally because the white children would have been humiliated by the brilliance of the Africans.(Recall the history of Verwoerd mentioned in some of the Hubs, and his Apartheid policies towards the enforcement of unequal education between African children and White children)

The problem was only solved when the minority white population realized they were the sole decision makers in terms of what information was to be taught or withheld from their black students and furthermore, they had the monopoly in the writing and in the publication of the books, manuals and other materials that black people would read. So, they simply decided to give our children an inferior quality of education instead.

That is why some of us write Hubs that are long and involved because we have had our development anything arrested for over 500+ years now, and now we are trying to cover all that lost ground-thus the story and history of Education had been one place where could start.

Professor Wilson says that the education of the black child has never been and can never be the same as that of the white child because the white child must be taught how to rule and dominate others, while the black child must be taught how to serve and obey, hence the dual role of the western educational system. In spite of all the talk about equality, desegregation and. Mr Bush's famous 'no child left behind policy,' the educational system in the West has not changed one iota since the days of slavery and continues to ensure that African children receive an inferior quality of education in comparison to their white counterparts. Neither has our own education not changed a scintilla since the earlier 18th century

In order to maintain this two tiered system they have invented all kinds of covert strategies such as intelligence tests, special education classes, hierarchy between schools, etc, In short, they continue to teach our children how to serve and obey which of course our young males totally reject. In fact, it is the information they teach in the school system which destroys the self esteem and the will to succeed in our children and that is exactly what it is intended for.

As a result, they lose interest in school, begin to experience difficulty and eventually they drop out and become delinquents. Sounds like the Hub above, and this is not only in South Africa, but where African people were colonized and enslaved. And also what is happening to our education system in South Africa today, is caricatured in the paragraph above

This fear of being humiliated by African people is still very strong today and is one reason why many whites abandon certain professions and sports that black people enter and why they are so hesitant to allow black people into certain professions. When black people dominate an area of activity or profession, whites often give the impression that it is really of no value whatsoever.

However, this behavior is simply a self defense mechanism which they adopted in order to avoid feelings of inadequacy, inferiority/shame and the pain of being outperformed by African people, in other words, the same feelings their ancestors experienced so many centuries ago when they first encountered Africans.

Teaching African children about their glorious past would have been counterproductive because of their fear of being humiliated by Africans, so instead they decided to distort both African and world history by teaching falsehood. For example, many people today are unaware that Egyptian civilization predates that of Rome by thousands of years because they have erroneously been presented as contemporaneous, yet Roman civilization had not even begun when Pyramid building stopped in Egypt around the 14th Dynasty.

Worse, most people still do not know that there are more pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt, or that this is where this style of architecture originated. In fact, the civilization of Nubia (Sudan) predates that of Egypt are a prime example of this… Since most of our people are unaware of the importance Sudan in our history the impending catastrophe which the proposed Kajbar Dam represents leaves them totally indifferent. This dam, just like in Egypt with the building of the Aswan Dam will erase forever all of Africa's ancient history in the Sudan, thus making this knowledge inaccessible to future generations of African people.

Today, because of these distortions most black people are totally ignorant about their true history. Instead of teaching African children that their ancestors, the ancient Egyptians, were the true builders of civilization, ( the pyramids, obelisks and temples still stand as proof today), they were taught that it was the Greeks and Romans. Instead of being told that Imhotep the Egyptian was the father of medicine, they were taught that it was Hippocrates.

Instead of being taught about the first universities founded by their ancestors in Timbuktu and Djenne in Mali, they were taught that Africans were an oral people who knew nothing about writing.

Instead of being taught about the great Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa and Shona civilizations of Stone builders in South Africa, Zimbabwe that built a city bigger than London or the artistic genius of the Nok civilization of Nigeria, they were told that their homeland was a "dark" continent, where their primitive, savage, ancestors roamed the wild jungles from morn till night practicing cannibalism and that luckily, God sent kind-hearted and charitable European Christians (Tarzan) to civilize them and to teach them his word in order to save them from themselves.

To add insult to injury, they invented a racial hierarchy with themselves at the top, and Africans at the bottom and justified it by saying they were "God's chosen people" and therefore superior and that God had given them 'a land overflowing with milk and honey,' (Africa) while our ancestors were heathen, devil worshipers who God himself had cursed and therefore we deserved to be their slaves.

These vicious lies continue to be believed by millions of people, both black and white and is one of the reasons for the rampant and chronic racism in our societies today.(One can read Biko's book on this very account which he talks about at length and very seriously).

Today whites continue to promote African genius as their own. For example, African people invented rock and rap but it is Elvis Presley who is known as the king of rock and roll while Eminem became the first rapper to win an Oscar. Likewise, Bill Gates has become a household name and a millionaire but without the genius of Dr. Mark Dean and Dr.Philip Emeagali, two African scientists, the computer would not have become accessible to the masses of people on the planet today.

This was how the theft of African civilization, the brainwashing and the miseducation of African children and African people took place. If their plan has been so successful it is because they knew that in order to succeed they would have to target African children at a very early age. They, like our ancestors, understood that if you 'train up a child in the way that you want it to go, when it is old it will not depart from it' and that is why from the beginning of slavery, African children were divested/denied of their names and their languages.

Furthermore, to submit Africans to and under their authority, they used religion to terrify African children by teaching them the fictitious story of the bible, plagiarized from the Egyptian Osirian myth, as fact. This story promised African children a life of suffering (hell) if they were disobedient to their master, (the slave master, not a supreme being as many black people mistakenly believe) but heavenly wealth after death if they obeyed.(paradise).[The Book: "Things Fall Apart" Would Be A Good Read, here]

As has been shown above in the Hub, that the education of African children has long been designed to be destined for failure and underdevelopment. And the Hub above breaks it down over many decades and centuries how this was done, and why the colonizers of the day did what they did. It is therefore, I assert, important to write our own history and culture, Stories and so forth, and learn from what each of us has to contribute towards throwing an enlightening reality to our decrepit reality that is setting us back and under-developing us.

The Falsification Of The African History Narrative: Delayed Total Revolution

The real tragedy is that this distorted African story that generations of black children were forced to memorize, continues to be taken literally by millions of African people around the globe, today, who have spent their entire lives waiting for this ancient Superman named Jesus Christ to burst through the clouds and deliver them from evildoers. The tragic irony is that today it is African people, the victims, who are keeping to this religion which was forcefully imposed upon our children during slavery, alive-are its ardent followers.

They are its most fanatical adherents in contrast to their oppressors' own people who have long since stopped believing in this myth. Reparations can never ever compensate for the incalculable damage this myth has caused to millions of African people who have literally put their lives on hold in our world because they sincerely believe that only after death will they truly begin to live.

The Western educational system therefore will always produce dysfunctional African people and children because having committed the most horrendous crime on this planet and lied about it they are forced to continue. Their propaganda machine must continue to make African people believe in the fantasy/fiction of the Bible, believing that whites are superior, that western civilization is better than their own, also believing they must fight in the illegal wars waged by the West all around the planet, convinced by their conquerors that Africa is a continent without a future, and was backward that it needed Western religion to be saved from its barbaric past.

This belief that Africa is poor, riddled with poverty, injustice and self-exploitation has always existed and was foisted onto in our world, led many African people to think that Africa is facing a demographic explosion (overpopulation) and dying from Aids (depopulation) at the same time (an illogical equation), thought that they must work hard to promote Western interests and all the other fantasies which Africa people accept as facts/truths which are too numerous to mention here-and are in the main lies and untruths.

This is the reason their media feed our children distorted and negative information 24 hours a day(As explained above) that is designed to sap their energy, destroy their confidence, intensify their feelings of worthlessness and self hatred and increase their admiration for the West. The goal here was to make every African child a Michael Jackson-Reject his physical and natural identity, and worship the values and norms/imperialist cultures of the West and other foreign nation dictate and require-reject and dismiss his own culture, history, traditions, customs and so forth completely

This is the strategic destruction of the African psyche that the West has put into place and that is why it is important that African parents and the African community understand these negative forces which are working to destroy our children in order to delay the liberation of African people.

This is also the reason they(The present government and their sponsors) treat us in the most despicable manner. We suffer the worst health care, live in the most horrible conditions imaginable, are the most disrespected and abused people and do not live life as it should be lived by the indigenous of any country today. That is why African churchgoers often say that 'we are only passing through' in this world.

What else can they say considering the decrepit and downgraded lives that most of our people lead? On the other hand, Westerners live comfortably, eat properly, enjoy good health and live long and happy lives. They do not have the impetus to give up their power. As Prof. Clarke put it: "People in power do not readily give up power nor educate their underlings to take power from them."

In short, they are alive while we are dead because they have killed us. But we can be resurrected by erasing them from our minds in the same way that they erased African history from ours. This is what I believe Dr Kamau Kambon was trying to get across when he said 2 years ago that, "The solution to the black man's problem was the white man's extermination[from his mind, soul and intellect]" .

Many people in their ignorance thought he meant the physical extermination of white people. It is ludicrous to think he was talking about their physical elimination since the West has weapons which can annihilate every single African person on the planet. What he obviously meant was that in order for African people to come out of their comatose, zombie-like state and lead happy and fulfilling lives, they must kill the white man metaphorically, mentally by replacing his lies with the truth-thus building themselves in the process.

The West will never willingly admit the truth because they have too much to lose. They would have to admit the theft of African civilization, the mass murder of African people and the perpetuation of lies. Furthermore it would raise too many questions. For example, if the Bible is fiction, then who are its real authors? Is it true that Shakespeare was one of its writers and that is why he is known as the most famous writer ever?

If there are no chosen people, then who are the people in Israel parading as Jews? Why have they been placed there? Why does the USA defend them so stubbornly? What is the real purpose of the Pope? What information are they hiding in the Vatican? What have they done with the information they took out of Africa ?. What really happened during the Second World War? Who was Hitler? Why did the church protect neo-Nazis?

That would raise more questions about the recent past. These questions and a million more is what the Western world would rather not have to answer African people and the rest of the world after 500 years of telling them nothing but lies. It is not possible for them to do so, and the situation of the world today is more high tech, and conspiracy theories abound.. So that, we, as people of African descent, we need to work on making ourselves better than we are at present

On the internet under the Bible story about the stolen birthright this is the warning that you will read "It never pays to tell a lie. Once you tell a lie you must tell another, and another to cover up the first lie. Not only will all these lies catch up with you, but they can cause you many troubles, just like it did for Jacob and Rebecca". That is what the West has done but their lies are catching up with them and they will have to pay the consequences.

We must no longer allow the West to claim African civilization as their own because our ancestors spent millions of years painstakingly observing, collecting, recording, creating and preserving it for us, their heirs. To allow Western bullies who refused to do the same for their people to simply come along, steal it and claim it as their own simply because they had more advanced weapons than our ancestors should not be the cause of our fears to try and protect and write our own history in order to create a new civilization for man-with a human face.

. .More and more African people are only just beginning to realize this. We must tell the truth. We must reclaim our pyramids, our obelisks, our medicine, mathematics, astronomy, physics, writing, our administration, our laws and our concepts. We must reclaim the famous 10 commandments which we have been taught god gave to a man named Moses. They come from Africa and there are 42 of them which our ancestors called the MAAT (the divine principles of peace, harmony, balance and justice) while the West calls them the 'negative confessions. '[Readers can go to my HubPage and look up the Article I wrote about the so-called 42 Negative Confessions from and by the Africans, known as the Egyptians]

Even the very cross that the church uses is African. It's called the 'Ankh.' We must study African history to find out what our ancestors left for us and every single concept or object that they invented we must take back. Our ancestors demand that we reclaim our birthright that was stolen from us. But it is also important to begin to know how this can be achieved, and our scholarship should try and rise above these issues, and we should work hard to write and research our own history and write it as we see fit-Globally.

We will know that our people have reclaimed their birthright when African people want to study and receive diplomas from African schools and universities rather than those in the West, When African people want to work for African companies rather than western multinationals, When our young men and women especially our famous people want to marry African people rather than European men and women, When African parents prefer to give their children African looking dolls rather than European ones, When African people stop bleaching their skin because they prefer their own, When they prefer to give their children African names rather than European ones.

It would be fruitful for the oppressed to pray to an African God(Of their conception, imagination and creation), and reject the warmongering religions of their enemies and return to the religions of ancestor worship. This might help them to feel more empathy and compassion(Ubuntu/Botho) for African people first; they will begin to use their resources to develop and improve the lives of their people first before anyone else's. That would show a people uniting and working towards their own empowerment by/through setting up their own economic system, political system, own laws currency rather than continue to use/depend/be controlled by the currency of the West, and other foreign government/nations and peoples

The Africans should remove the artificial borders created by the West and returning to Africa's natural borderlesness, working on developing and creating new African languages out the present and existing African languages to be fused and made the official languages of Africa, will need some things to be made clear first. Those Africans who say that 'they don't see color' and are proud to be Human beings, well, I will defer to Prof.Clarke on this matter:

"Once An African, Always An African"...

"Let me explain what I am talking about. No matter where are and no matter what religion you might belong to, and no matter what kind of schooling you have gone through, you are distinctly an African person. You are a supporter of some loyal feelings for every African person that walks this earth and if you have confusion about that, you have confusion that is detrimental to the freedom of your own people." ...
-Professor John Hendrik Clarke - 1991.

Learn From the Past In Order To Determine The Future...

Propaganda And Culture/Education

We Must Own, Control And disseminate Our Own Propaganda .... Remember, We Are Being Played Here-"Kudlawa Ngathi Lapha/Ho Bapalwa Ka Rona Mona...

Here in Mzantsi, real-politic has taken on a new meaning. The whole thing is that we really do to know why the politics are the way they are. For the past 20+ years of voting, whether local of national, the ANC has been using the same modus operandi. They create a distraction, and maneuver behind the scenes to lock into power by gerrymandering, in a sort of way, the voter's consent, and greasing their approval with hampers, and adding some few Rands into the Mdende, and exploiting the fear people have of DA(Nationalist Party) coming back into power. But, to understand what is going on, we cannot feign ignorance, and we ought to learn what is going on.

Zuma has lied and cheated the poor African people of South Africa. He came onto the Tube to apologize for the wrongs he and his government have perpetrated against the poor, and that he would do better. Meanwhile, the cheerleading ANC claps heartily that Zuma has shown humility and apologized, and the, they, ANC have this whole shindig together. Same shit, and a different time[2016].

The ANC crew has hired expensive PR people who are directing their policy and media utterances. For us, here in Mzantsi to begin to understand and better know what is 'going on,' we are going to have to seriously study what Propaganda is all about, and what it do, and entail. What we do not know will definitely lead us astray. Many of us hardly even understand why we talk the way we do about issues most of us imbibe from the Media Ecology in our country.

Before I get to the crux of the article, it is incumbent upon me to cite this point from Amilcar Cabral:

Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone's head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children,

Cabral intones us to do more if we are to throw any oppressor out.

"... Create schools and spread education in all liberated areas. Select young people between 14-20, those who have at least completed their fourth year, for further training. Oppose without violence all prejudicial customs, the negative aspects of the beliefs and traditions of our people. Oblige every responsible and educated member of our Party to work daily for the improvement of their cultural formation.

"Oppose among the young, especially those over 20, the mania forgiving the country so as to study elsewhere, the blind ambition to acquire a degree, the complex of inferiority and the mistaken idea which leads to the belief that those who study or take courses will thereby become privileged in our country tomorrow ... But also oppose any ill will towards those who study or wish to study-the complex that students will be parasites or future saboteurs of the Party.

"Frequent meetings must be held to explain to the population what is happening in the struggle, what the Party is endeavoring to do at any given moment, and what the criminal intentions of the enemy may be.

"Educate ourselves, educate other people, the population in general, to fight fear and ignorance, to eliminate little by little the subjection to nature and natural forces which our economy has not yet mastered.

"[We must demand] of our people that they dedicate themselves seriously to study, that they interest themselves in the things and problems of our daily life and struggle in their fundamental and essential aspect, and not simply in their appearance.

"... Learn from life, learn from our people, learn from books, learn from the experience of others. Never stop learning."

We have stopped learning here in Mzantsi. We strive to take short-cuts towards learning and earning a quick quid."

Cabral adds that people myst be responsible, be conscious of their responsibilities, thoughtful about carrying them out, and with a comradeship based on work and duty done ... Nothing of this is incompatible with the joy of living, or withhold for life and its amusements, or with confidence in the future and in our work ....

"Reinforce political work and 'Propaganda' within the emery's armed forced. Write posters, pamphlets, letters. Draw slogans on the roads. Establish cautious links with enemy personnel who want to contact us. Act audaciously and with great initiative in this way. ... Do everything possible to help enemy soldiers to desert. Carry out political work among Africans who are still in the enemy service, whether civilian or military.

Persuade these brothers to change direction so as to serve the Party within enemy ranks or desert with arms and ammunition to our units.

"We must practice revolutionary 'Democracy' in every aspect of our Party life. Every responsible member must have the courage of his responsibilities, exacting from others a proper respect fro his work and properly respecting the work of others.

"Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories."

So that, when we speak of Propaganda, then, It is very important for me to cite the Guru of Media Ecology on this subject of Propaganda: we going to have to learn it very seriously, and I will be delivering my impression about Propaganda. According to Ellul:

"Only in the Technological Society can there be anything of the type and order of magnitude of modern propaganda, which is with us forever.

"Most people are easy prey for propaganda because of their firm conviction that it is composed only of 'lies' and 'tall tale,' and that, conversely, what is 'truth' cannot be propaganda.

"But modern propaganda has long disdained the ridiculous lies of the past and outmoded forms of propaganda. It operates instead with many different kinds of truth, half truths,limited truth, truth out of context. Even Goebbels always insisted that Wehrmacht communiques be as accurate as possible.

"A second basic misconception that makes people vulnerable to propaganda is the notion that it serves only to change opinions. That is one of its aims, but a limited, subordinate one. Much more importantly, it aims to intensify existing trends, to sharpen and focus them, and, to lead men to action."

According to Ellul:

"Modern propaganda cannot work without 'education'; Education is not the best prophylactic against propaganda. Education or what usually goes by that world in the modern world, is the absolute prerequisite for propaganda. In fact, education is largely identical with what can be called "pre-propaganda — the conditioning of minds with vast amounts of incoherent information, already dispensed for ulterior purposes and posing as 'facts' and as 'education.'

Intellectuals are virtually the most vulnerable of all to modern —:
1. They absorb the largest amount of secondhand, unverifiable information;
2. They feel a compelling need to have an opinion on every important question of our time, and thus easily succumb to opinions offered to them by propaganda on all such indigestible pieces of information;
3. They consider themselves capable of judging for themselves'.
They literally need propaganda.

"Propaganda then hands them in veritable abundance what he needs: a 'raison d'être,' and without tis intense collaboration by the propaganda, the propagandist would be helpless.

… Propaganda of action presupposes positive incitement; propaganda through "Mass Media" will generally be contrasted incitement. Similarly, on the level of the performer in direct contact with the crowd, there must be positive incitement.
On the level of the organizer, that of propaganda strategy, there must be separation from the public. So that then Propaganda must be total

Total Propaganda:

"Propaganda must be continuous and lasting-continuous in that it must not leave any gaps, but fill the citizen's whole day and all his days; lasting in that it must function over a very long time.

The famous principle of repetition, which is not in itself significant, plays a part only in this situation. Hitler was undoubtedly right when he said that the masses take a long time to understand and remember, thus it is necessary to repeat; but the emphasis must be placed on "A long Time": the public must be conditioned accept claims that are made.

"In any case, repetition must be discontinued when the public has been conditioned, for at that point, repetition will begin to irritate and provoke fresh doubts with respect to former certainties.

"Propaganda tends to make the individual live in a separate world; 'He Must Not Have Outside Points Of Reference.'

"He must not be allowed a moment of 'meditation' or 'reflection' in which to see himself vis-a-vis the propagandists, as happens when the propaganda is not continuous. At that moment, the individual emerges from the grip of propaganda.

"Instead, successful propaganda will occupy every moment of the individual's life: through posters and loudspeakers when he is out walking, through radio and newspapers at home, through meetings and movies(TV/Internet) in the evening.

"The individual must not be allowed to recover, to collect himself, to remain untouched by propaganda during any relatively long period, for propaganda is not the touch of the magic wand.

"It is based on slow, constant impregnation. It creates convictions and compliance, through imperceptible influences that are effective by continuous repetition.

It must create a complete environment for the individual, one from which he never emerges.

"And Prevent Him From Finding External Points Of Reference."

"[Propaganda] protects him by censoring everything that might come in from the outside. The slow building up of reflexes and myths, of psychological environment and prejudices, requires propaganda of very long duration.

"Propaganda is not a stimulus that disappears quickly; it consists of successive impulses and shocks aimed at various feelings or thoughts by means of the many instruments previously mentioned[Media Ecology], above.

"A relay system is thus established. Propaganda is a continuous action, without failure or interruption: as soon as the effect of one impulse weakened, it is renewed by another. At no point does it fail to subject it recipient to its influence. As soon as one effect wears off, it is followed by a new shock.

I think I have culled enough from Ellul, and would like to bring back the theme of article. This is about how and why we in Mzantsi cannot fathom our 'real-politic' and its other related matters. We endow those we call 'Towers'[Taken from Face Book interlocutions], and those intellectuals, so adorned with such titles because they were edumacated overseas and by the present South African Educational system. Our country of South Africa is a johnny-come-latelies in the media world and technological advances that have taken place in the 70s and 80s.

As stated by Cabral above, the need for us to learn much more seriously and concretely is of prime importance here. We cannot wing our way in ruling a Nation. We still have to come to terms with the Notion, Consciousness and Understanding/Knowing our Schtick.

This is what ASA has to say about the same point made by Cabral above regarding learning and knowing our people and designing our own education:

Asa teaches us that:

"The lasting challenge that we face is the absence of information and understanding of African Culture. This has been by design. The enforcers of an oppressive system work to create cultural disorder among the oppressed.

"In particular, they suppress the value of other cultures while glorifying and fabricating the history of themselves. They understand that the resulting disorder will make it impossible for the oppressed to be truly independent."

He are some musings by Fanon:

"The unilaterally decreed normative value of certain cultures deserves our careful attention ... The enterprise of deculturation turns out to be the negative of a more gigantic work of economic, and even biological enslavement...

The doctrine of cultural hierarchy is thus but one aspect of a systematized hierarchization impeccably pursued.

"For its systems of reference have to be Broken. Expropriation, Spoliation, Raids, Objective Murder, are matched by the sacking of cultural patterns, or at least, condition such sacking. The Social Panorama is Destructed; Values are Flaunted, Crushed and Emptied.

"The lines of force, having crumbled, no longer give direction. In their stead, a new system of Values is Imposed, not Proposed, but affirmed, by the heavy weight of cannons and sabers.

"... This culture, once living and open to the future, becomes closed, fixed in the colonial status, caught in the yoke of oppression. Both present and mummified, it testifies against its own members. It defines them, in fact, without appeal.

"The cultural mummification leads to a mummification of individual thinking. The apathy so universally noted among colonial peoples, is but a logical consequence of this operation. Their approach of inertia constantly directed at the natAfricans is utterly dishonest.

"As though it were possible for a man to evolve otherwise than within the framework of a culture that recognizes him and that he decides to assume.

"Thus, we witness the setting up of archaic inert institutions. Functioning under the oppressors supervision and patterned like a caricature of formerly fertile [African] institutions.

It is important to pay much more close attention to what Asa has to say below:

"A Core part of our mission today is to 'study' and 'transfer' the valuable information about our cultural traditions to our people This will serve, in part, to reconnect many Africans who are far removed from our Ancient and Traditional Intergenerational Cultural Transmission Practices.

"Traditionally, our socialization was under the independent control of knowing and wise African Elders, who were legitimate representatives of the African Community.

"Whilst many people are exposed to all sorts of Propaganda via television, radio, and newspapers, few of us have been exposed to the wisdom of Elders right in our own communities; let alone the wisdom of those who practiced our best traditions.

"We have lost our understanding of the indispensable role that control of socialization parlays in our survival and destiny, and thus, we have failed to ensure proper "Intergenerational Cultural Transmission"

"We have a vital responsibility to our children and to our community for Intergenerational Cultural Transmission. Our survival and our enhancement as a people are dependent upon our embrace of this responsibility and our release of total dependency on European Systems.

"We must mobilize to think and to act to restore this vital function of Intergenerational Cultural Transmission to All of our Communities[In Africa and the Diaspora].

"Although few communities in Africa or the African Diaspora, continue to maintain authentic Traditional Structures for Intergenerational Cultural Transmission today, there are still many sources from which we may recover much of what was left.

All these include, as listed and broken by Asa:
Texts, Biographies, Anthropological Texts
Oral Histories From Elders, Participant observation, and so forth...)

"We must study our African indigenous traditions in order to understand and to evaluate our cultural situation now. Many of us remain African at a deep structural level. A Study of our traditions will reveal that they rival tradition, past or present, and that we have valid options for world view, values, and practices, which are suitable for us today, with appropriate modifications.

We must be assertive in countering denigration and defamation, which charge that African people have no meaningful Traditions to recall.

"We, as a community, must rescue and reconstruct the most viable elements of our powerful African Indigenous Socialization Systems

"European hegemony is established through miseducation and Alien Cultural Socialization. Some oppressed people join with their oppressors to make the European System of Oppression more Efficient, becoming agents in the Oppression of Africans, as was true of some of us during the Slave Trade, who betrayed their own people.

"Africans must meet, study, write, and produce. There is no short cut. We must go back through the Door of no return(Into our ancient Mzantsi history and culture), reconnecting to [and with our] traditions and propelling ourselves forward in a direction of our own choosing. We must reclaim our continent, our cultures, ourselves."

My aim throughout this article to bring to our view those things we can do to upgrade and work to undo the calamity that is engulfing us. Articles such as this one are not posted for anything else but to propagate our own and ways of think about such issues as forms the core of the discourse within the article.

I want to parlay thoughts that address our present condition from multiple level, in a discursive tone and thought, and open mind to add onto, that, it is important for these who will have read thus far, to begin to recognize that there is more to this subject.

When our present leaders here in Mzantsi try to sell us the propaganda that they are united and working on fixing things, some of us wonder as to how long will this farce be kept up. On hand are the more destructive forces annihilating our people and us along, without care in the world. What am I talking about?

We have been sold the propaganda of supporting a once-was-liberation-movement, which has lied and betrayed the Poor African Masses to whit! For the pst twenty-plus(20+) years of ANC rule, the percentage of poor and dying masses has increased, and our youth is being definitely wiped-out-I am talking Nyaope, here. Many of those with access to the Public loot, do not give a rat's ass about the poor armies of the poor here in our country. Our leaders are so greedy, that their recollections function when it's time to vote for them, so that they can carry on business as usual.

This is a very pernicious form of Propaganda for it implants itself, using all sorts of media and mediums, to condition our ailing masses, defocusing them other hunger, joblessness, sickness, and wretched life that they exists, and concentrate of tired scandals and pretend to the people that they are doing something about Corruption… In the Meanwhile, they go deeper into many deals with their IMF, World Bank, GATT and South African Reserve Bank White Bosses - kow towing to their commands and will.

When we see Zuma 'acting' the apology part, and the ANC behind the scenes clapping for him as being humble-while they are fretting about the registrations by people to vote, the picture is not so clear, for real. Anytime the ANC, through our the two decades-their kind of rule is to come with empty policies, it simply means they have some unfinished business that will never get finished, anyway.

Critiquing the ANC and telling it like it is, to the readers, it is incumbent on some of us to begin to have more outside and authentic references from the daily bile that is our new consumption here in Mzantsi. As we say amongst our under-attack self with sad tone — "We Are Being Played, Here"

It is this collective murmurings that should also be the subject of our educating ourselves. We are being played for we use the selfsame talking points provided for us by our PR masters. We should also remember that very same PR professionals advising our government, have been doing this for many centuries in England and US. So that, what some of us regurgitate as being erudite concerning matters of the lives and well-being of our people, we need to rethink what we are doing.

Ignorance is not excuse here, articles such as this one are written with the 'truth' in mind. We are in the same game being played on us, but what we are saying is that this medium should work for us, by u and achieve those minimal goals of procuring and securing our culture, history, education, people, families and Nation of Mzantsi.

The information that one cites in such articles is to help put in a cogent fashion information we should know and work on holding onto. Reading takes time, but we do have time, I guess then some will say it's a matter of priorities-to which I answer-Are those for the benefit and development of our peoples?

Wilson elucidates:

Consequently, those of us who are in the so-called helping-professions and in the business of diagnosing other people's behavior must recognize the degree to which we are part of the respite mechanism of that system ... he Black/African must examine itself and see to what degree it has contributed to its own 'madness,' 'demise,' 'oppression' and 'powerlessness.'

"We must look at the assimilationist leadership that we have permitted to represent us in this world today. We must look at the kind of leadership that always has had its face turned outward, towards the White man, and neglected the education of the re-socialization of our people; a leadership who has spent its energies trying to convert the White man, instead of, in part, using that energy for converting ourselves as a people. For we are not only the creation of the European - We in part, have helped to create the European.

Lastly, I would like to cite Wilson below:

"There are a number of means by which we seek to resolve certain contradictions in our lives. We may excuse them by saying that the circumstances which have determined our lives, particularly the failures in our lives, are beyond our control. That it is other peoples who are totally responsible for the situation that we are in, and therefore we have no control over it."

When it comes to understanding ourselves, I will briefly cite Wilson's take on these matters:

[Self-dislike impacts our lives and existence broadly and deeply] So that when the experience of failure and the experience of not achieving in society not only becomes and individual experience; it becomes a social experience and a social disease.

"Therefore, the philosophy and the ideology of individualism is not an ideology that attacks the individual. It is an ideology that attacks the whole community. It is a part of a community over another; to maintain the dominance of the Eurocentric community over the African community.

The individual who accepts the ideology of individualism, and sees his failure to achieve as the result of some deficiency in his personality, and thinks that opportunities exist and that if he merely had the right personality he could make the best of these opportunities, when the achievement does not occur, is faced with a major contradiction.

"He is faced with what we call a 'sense of cognitive dissonance'. That certain things do not jibe. Dissonance, contradictions and conflicts are painful and are had to bear. They make life discomforting, and hence motivate the individual to seek to resolve the contradictions — to try and move these contradictions and to put them out of existence.

"While this to a degree is true, it also can lead to some other psychological problems in the individual. It can lead to the possibility that the individual become apathetic; gives up and resigns from life, gives up trying and begins to believe that h or she is powerless.

"Unfortunately, the resignation and the apathy of too many of our people are part of the means which the system maintains itself. The fear of trusting and uniting with each other. The fear of coming together and solving our problems together, the belief that it is just not in us to unite and solve our problems, and overcome the dominance of European Imperialism itself, becomes a part of the problem and helps to maintain the system.

"Others try to deal with the discrepancy between what the system says they can achieve and our failure to achieve by lowering their personal aspirations, by, in a sense, fitting into a lesser pace that the society reserves for them. Others try to inflate their achievements, to inflate their personalities.

"We see many of us along the highways and byways being very boastful, being very 'egocentric,' bragging a great deal, pumping ourselves up, pumping even small achievements up into giant achievements.

We see it en infecting the Black Nationalism community that buries itself in the great history of Egypt and the great empires of Africa. Yes, I am speaking of the kind of historicism that has developed in this community as a means of confronting reality!

"Of people who live their lives in history, and dig among the Pyramids of Egypt, and dig among the lost Kingdoms of Mali and Songhai, and who build themselves a false pride, and pump themselves up about the achievements of our History - without facing the perils of [our] current reality and preparing themselves for the future.

"The Black Nationalist who make us feel good — and pumps us up; and make us gloat and glow about our great past, and does not deal with the present; and does not educate in terms of coping with the future; and does not adequately prepare us to remove the European from power, to remove these insane people who are about to destroy the earth and life itself — is functioning in the interest of the status quo.

"And those people who holler about the devilishness of the White man, the evilness of the White man, and leave it at that, and they still are not necessarily performing a full service for our people. There must be other things involved. We see then, many individuals blowing up their minor accomplishments as a means of ignoring the realities of their situation.

"We must recognize that many Africans have a stake in ensuring the continuation of the failure of large segments of its African population. We must recognize that contradiction in this society is of major importance in determining the problems of our communities.

"That it is the people without love who talk about love most often. It is the people who are ready to go to war, and have gone to war and destroyed hundreds of thousands, who talk about peace.

"It is the people who destroy our children's mind in schools[With Nyaope swirling within our society], who talk a great deal about education. And we will see these kinds of contradictions going on and on repeatedly. We will see even in the very legal structure of the system its contradictions which conspire to destroy those who are not a part of the ruling class or group."

All the people above that I have cited, show and talk to us about how we are being conditioned through all forms of means, ways and tricks, just so that we never get to think outside the box for ourselves.

What we read, research and write, should reflect for us and to us our present reality, and we should be able to learn how to begin to deal with our decrepit and wretched realities. There is really no alternative or round-about-short-cut-way about these crucial matters and our present social miasma.

Thank you for reading up to so far, in the Age of the splurging Web, few even bother to go into reading such articles. My aim, as a keeper of the record regarding the poor people, globally, I will always endeavor to write articles utilizing the Masters I use, and injecting my two-cents ever so often. This should help start the movement towards us diagnosing our selves, our people, our Nation.This is key, and we should be working assiduously towards achieving those noble and liberating ends. Unleashing And Unlocking Our Peoples genius, energy and Power...

Developing Pedagogy Of The Oppressed...

The Importance Of African Historical/Cultural Pedagogy

The writing of this type of Hub is a very huge task wherein I will not be able to cover everything up. But at least I am going to do my best to present a pedagogy of African Culture and History in the age of Technological and Web splurging. I do this with the hope that the material will stay here forever for the young ones and those who seek alternative knowledge might come across such writings.

Th e following written/composed post, verbally, visually and audio-wise, will just be the attempt to redirect and reclaim our story, history, music, culture and all its various African peoples in Africa and in the Diaspora. I might not be as thorough as I would like to present the material, but the effort in doing so is worth it, up to this far of the Hub above.

It is important that we have a full view and grip of the issues presented above. So that, in presenting them, attention should be paid to the metadata when discussing a corrective history of a people, that as much as possible, concise identification should be primary focus, and much positively close to the people it should relate, in this case, to their past and present lived realities-and hopes for the future.

Below I am going to present African history, not following any particular order, by linking the various African cultures in Africa and those in the Diaspora to show similarities and commonness. This is simply the same matter of not negatively contrasting and but positively comparing the cultures of African Globally, and what they are like, and how they are the same or similar.

The discourse above has been clearly existent within the African and European milieu, that one can garner this from Molefe Asante's discourses below:

"One argument given by those of the anti-African culture school is that the African culture cannot exist because Africa emcompasses too many ethnic groups.
Such an argument is not made with regard to European culture or Asian culture. While it is easy to argue that there are numerous cultures within the Arab, European and Asian cultures, it is an argument with little meaning when one understands that the unity of experience, struggle, and origin causes each of these major cultures to have an internal unity.

"So it is with African culture. None of our writers would say that Yoruba is not different from Afro-Brazilian, Ibo, Edo, Ga, Asante(Ashanti); they recognize those distinctions between the Welsh, Scots, Bretons, and Anglo-Saxons. Their cultural histories are somewhat different, but they share the same cultural history.

"What we might say is that their particular histories are distinct, but their general history is the same.

"I refer to the word culture as it refers to the sum total of African philosophy, behavior, ideas, and artifacts. Although the precise actions and ideas may differ within the acceptable range and still remain squarely in the category of African culture, there are some behaviors among some others. Twinness is commonly considered a positive characteristic in African societies, yet there are some ethnic groups which accept twinness as a negative characteristic.

"African culture is therefore determined by a unity of origin as well as a common struggle. All of the African people who participated in the mechanized view interaction with Europe, and who colored the character of Europe, while being changed themselves, share a commonality.

"Also, present in the African culture is a non-material element of resistance to the assault upon traditional values caused by the intrusion of European legal procedures, medicines, political processes, and religion into African culture.

"Needless to say, resistance has not always meant success in keeping evil at bay. Indeed, while traditional courts still have the sanction of the people and traditional healers do an increasing amount of business, the pattern seems to be a weakening of traditional values.

"Part of the problem has been a lack of discussion of the elements that are valuable to African culture, despite modernization. Modernization does not mean Westernization. No one society has a monopoly on modernization. African culture takes the view that an African-centered modernization process would be based upon the following traditional values:

Harmony with nature, humanness(Ubuntu/Botho), respect and acknowledge the presence and importance of others, rhythm, and so on.

This Hub is about resuscitating the History and culture of African people in Africa and the whole world. We should be able to talk about and write about our African Culture and African history, with prolific intent. Planting and propagating our story and reality should be anchored and moored within the truth and facts. The present-day Social Media is well suited for your cultural characteristic of talking to one another, before there was any human communications to speak of.

If we now know what makes the Europeans tick since their collusion with us in the ancient times, we begin to situate ourselves in a better position of restoring and redirecting our Historiography and cultural heritage to a much more positive outcome and future for our coming generations to learn about what happened to African people in Africa and the in the Diaspora.

Our children and their children and the upcoming generations should be able to find materials that are written from an African-centered perspective, and teaching them not only about themselves in their own countries, but begin to help them to begin to learn more about African people around the world, about their cultures, their histories, music, dances, cultural clothes, and as much as possible: what their practices are, and who they behold to be their spiritual guides and so on.

I hope readers of other countries and cultures with their own histories will begin to pay attention as to how we Africans are working extremely hard to put our history within the realm and Respectable Comment of Human history, with dignity and recognition it commands and demands…

The Golden Age of Africa began in prehistoric times, though there several others like Ethiopia, Egypt, North Africa, West Africa, and South Africa(I have already written a Hub covering the Origin of Man, History, Culture, architecture, agriculture and stone-building culture of the people of Mzantsi(South Africa)-not much talked about in historical circles-this Hub initiates that historical conversation).

Starting with the Pyramid Age of ancient Egypt around 10,000 years ago and continuing through the Golden Ages of West, and East Africa, and here we encounter 5,000 years. In around 4,000 BC and conclude it at about 1600(When Egypt was attacked by the Hyksos, and later the Moslems, then the Greeks-later on by the British).

Tonybee tells us that the world up to now has produced twenty-one civilizations, and that all branches of humanity, except the African race, have been the creators of culture:

"The Black(African) race has not helped create one civilization, the brown race, two, the yellow race, three, the red race and the Nordic White race, four apiece, the Alpine White race, nine, and the Mediterranean white race, ten."

This then solicits a question as follows:

What about the Ancient Egyptians?

At this juncture in the Hub, I do not want to revive the argument unfolding, but would simply point to the piece above that addresses the 'Shame' Europeans felt when they came into Africa after hearing about stories of gold and riches from the Arabs. We have also discussed above, how the European determined how the education of Africans should be like-in the process of robbing them of their countries natural wealth. Well, in this Hub in particular, I am working on presenting the true and real history and culture of Africans in Africa and in the Diaspora, as clearly and as 'real' as I can manage or make it...

The following posts are a dis[play and show-off of African culture in the Diaspora and throughout Africa… The story of Our history and Culture, Continues, apace...

The Children Of Dominica In There Traditional African Garb

Children Of Dominica in Traditional African Traditional Garb
Children Of Dominica in Traditional African Traditional Garb
More Children of Dominica in their African Traditional Kente Cloth Clothes...
More Children of Dominica in their African Traditional Kente Cloth Clothes...
Little Boys and Girls perfuming on Stage wearing their traditional Dominican clothes...
Little Boys and Girls perfuming on Stage wearing their traditional Dominican clothes...
Dominican Woman in Carnival costume ...
Dominican Woman in Carnival costume ...

African People Of Dominica

The Africans of the Dominica Island

The Caribs, or Island-Caribs, not to be confused with the proper Caribs of the mainland, occupied the Windward Islands, Guadeloupe, and maybe a few of the southern Leewards during the time of Christopher Columbus who landed on the island on Sunday, November 3, 1493. Therefore, he named it after the day. Spanish ships frequently landed on Dominica during the 16 century, but fierce resistance by the Caribs discouraged Spain's efforts at settlement. Carib people presently inhabit the island, but the numbers of Carib population had decreased dramatically after years of brutal treatment by the Spanish, French and English. The British settlers devastated much of the Carib tribe. Many of the remaining Carib people live in Dominica's Carib Reserve, a 3,700-acre (15 km²) Territory on Dominica's east coast which was granted by the English Queen.
The island of Dominica's indigenous Arawak people were expelled or exterminated by Caribs in the 14 century.
In 1635, France claimed Dominica. Shortly thereafter, French missionaries became the first European inhabitants of the island. Carib incursions continued, though, and in 1660, the French and British agreed that both Dominica and St. Vincent should be abandoned. Dominica was officially neutral for the next century, but the attraction of its resources remained; rival expeditions of British and French foresters were harvesting timber by the start of the 18 century.
Largely due to Dominica's position between Martinique and Guadeloupe, France eventually became predominant, and a French settlement was established and grew. In 1761 a British expedition against Dominica led by Lord By was successful and the island was conquered. As part of the 1763 Treaty of Paris that ended the Seven Years' War, the island became a British possession. In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, the French mounted a successful invasion with the active cooperation of the population, which was largely French. The 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, returned the island to Britain. French invasions in 1795 and 1805 ended in failure.
In 1763, the British established a legislative assembly, representing only the white population. In 1831, reflecting a liberalization of official British racial attitudes, the Brown Privilege Bill conferred political and social rights on free nonwhites. Three Blacks were elected to the legislative assembly the following year. Following the abolition of slavery, in 1838 Dominica became the first and only British Caribbean colony to have a Black-controlled legislature in the 19 century. Most Black legislators were small holders or merchants who held economic and social views diametrically opposed to the interests of the small, wealthy English planter class. Reacting to a perceived threat, the planters lobbied for more direct British rule.
In 1865, after much agitation and tension, the colonial office replaced the elective assembly with one composed of one-half elected members and one-half appointed.

African Influence in Dominica
The people of Africa who were brought across the Atlantic ocean to work on the sugar and coffee plantations of Dominica from the early 1700s up until 1807 came from West Africa, from areas inland beyond the coast in a region that extended from what is today Senegal Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Togo Gabon, Cameron down to Angola.
Two other periods of African arrival refreshed the cultural influences from across the Atlantic. After the first stage of Emancipation in 1834, a small group of workers from West Africa voluntarily agreed to contract themselves to come and work in Dominica for wages and settled near some estates.

Then in 1837 and at other times around those years, ships carrying enslaved West Africans across the Atlantic Ocean and destined for colonies and states where slavery had not yet been abolished, were captured by the British Royal Navy. The slaves on board were disembarked on the islands including Dominica and were liberated. Areas where these persons were placed included Soufriere, Woodford Hill, Castle Bruce, Portsmouth and St.Joseph. Some African family names still with us that were handed down are: Akie, Cuffy (Kofi), Carbon (Gabon), Quamie, Quashie and Africa:

Africa: A family name originating from the village of Woodford Hill. The descendants of West Africans brought to Dominica after slave emancipation and who were landed as free people. They did not experience plantation slavery. The British Royal Navy had orders to search the seas, and to capture and liberate the people on any vessels carrying enslaved Africans that were heading for Brazil, Cuba, the USA and other destinations where slavery had not yet been abolished. Some of these vessels were seized near Dominica and the people on board were set free here. The Dominican ‘creoles’, born and brought up on the island for many generations, called the new arrivals ‘The Africans’. A group of them at Woodford Hill took the name as their surname. Other places receiving free Africans were Portsmouth, Castle Bruce, St Joseph and Soufriere.
It is instructive to note that majority of the Africans are from Akan ethnic groups.

AFRICANS TO DOMINICA: 100,000 MIDDLE PASSAGES FROM ‘GUINEA’ TO THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN, 1764-1808
By Susan Campbell, Ph.D.
Dominica was an atypical Caribbean colony in that it was never a major sugar-producer. As of 1810 only 30 percent of Dominica’s African population of 19,000 was involved in sugar production (with 50 percent in coffee and 9 percent non-agricultural domestics primarily resident in Roseau and Portsmouth).

The African people of Dominica Island's traditional Creole wear—is marked by West African plaid patterns and European-style cuts....

Dominica's World Music Creole Festival (2)

Dominica's World Music Creole Festival (1)

Live Jazz at Jazz Creole Festival 2012

The Kamba: They Are Also The Cue Of Paraguay

Interestingly, Kamba people as music and dance loving people are the original African descendants that founded the city of Kamba Cuá, an important Central Department Afro Paraguayan community in Paraguay. Kamba Cue people of Paraguay are known famously in South America for their awesome, intense and lively traditional African drumming and dancing performances.

The kamba are known in Paraguay as Artigas Cue -or "black of Kamba Cuá". They arrived in Paraguay as members of a regiment of 250 spearmen, men and women, who accompanied General Jose Gervasio Artigas, the independence revolutionary leader of the Eastern Band (the current Uruguay) in his exile in Paraguay in 1820.

After their arrival to Asunción, they settled in the Campamento Loma area, practicing dairy and secondarily agriculture. However, in the 1940s, they were dispossessed of their land by General Higinio Morinigo. Out of their land of 100 hectares they were given paltry 3 hectares to stay on. However, the community survived, kept his chapel and dances, created a football club ("Jan Six-ro") and one school of drum and dance for children.

Their ballet is the only Afro-Paraguayan expression, and premiered at the Folk Festival peach "Uruguay Yi sings in" 1992, where it won the "Golden charrúa". Their original lands at Campamento Loma remained vacant, and Kamba Cuá recently occupied them and planted the manioc, but by unfair and discriminating government decision (post-Stroessner), they were accused of being "terrorists," beaten and evicted.

Today, according official estimates, in Kumba Cuá there live about 300 families (between 1.200 and 2,500 people). However, according censuses of the Afro Paraguayan Association Kamba Cuá, this community it formed has only 422 people.

Below:

Ethnic African Kamba people of Kamba Cue in Paraguay performing their traditional dance

Ethnic African Kamba people of Kamba Cue in Paraguay performing their traditional dance

Kamba Cuá - Afro-Paraguayan

Kamba cultural dance day

The Kamba Are Also From Kenya..

The Kamba with the total population of over 4,466,000 people is regarded as Kenya`s fifth largest ethnic group. Apart from Kenya, Kamba people can also be found in Uganda, Tanzania and in south American country of Paraguay. The population of the kamba in Kenya is over 4, 348,000, about about 8,280 in Uganda and 110,000 in Tanzania.

Undoubtedly the most spectacular manifestation of traditional Kamba culture was their dancing, performed to throbbing polyrhythmic drum beats. It was characterized by exceptionally acrobatic leaps and somersaults, which flung dancers into the air. The style of playing was similar to that of the equally disappeared traditions of the Embu and Chuka: the drummers would hold the long drums between their legs, and would also dance.

The Kamba women Of Kenya...

Black Beauty of Paraguay - The forgotten people

KAMBA MUSIC: Kisanga

Afro Panamanians

This part of Panamanian History and photos were taken from the Blog of checked"

AFRICAN DESCENDANTS IN PANAMA (AFRO-PANAMANIANS)

Afro-Panamanian are Panamanians of African descent. Afro-Panamanians are 15% of the population and it is estimated 50% of Panamanians have African ancestry. The Afro-Panamanian population can be broken into the "Afro-Colonial," Afro-Panamanians descended from slaves brought to Panama during the colonial period and the "Afro-Antillean," West Indian immigrants from Trinidad, Barbados, Martinique and Jamaica, brought in to build the Panama Canal. Afro-Panamanians can be found in towns and cities Colin, Cristóbal and Balboa, Río Abajo area of Panama City, the Canal Zone, and province of Bocas del Toro. Although many panamanias like to think they are hispanic, they are not considered to be true hispanics.

The story of the descendants of African peoples in Panama is not only the story of the first persons of African origin in modern times to arrive on the mainland of the Americas, but also the story of a community that has long struggled to obtain basic civil rights. Just as in Costa Rica, Panama (and the Canal Zone) had at one time an official policy of racial discrimination against its citizens of African descent.

In 1496 Columbus’ brother Bartholomew established the first permanent European settlement in the Americas at Santo Domingo (Hispaniola). By 1501, Rodrigo de Bastidas had explored the Caribbean coastline of Central America and became the first European to set foot on what is today Panama. The following year, Columbus attempted to establish a colony here but it did not survive a series of native attacks and was abandoned within a year.

It was not until 1509, that the first permanent European outpost on the mainland of the Americas become permanently established when Diego de Nicuesa founded Nombre de Dios at mouth of the Rio Chagres. That same year, on the Gulf of Uraba (in what is now Colombia) another settlement was founded and given the name of San Sebastian de Uraba by its founder Alonso de Ojeda.

This settlement was moved by Balboa to the eastern coast of Panama and renamed Santa Maria la Antigua del Darien. In 1519, Santa Maria was relocated to the other side of the isthmus and renamed Panama, the forerunner of today’s Panama City.

Panama has not always been considered a “Central American nation” in the historical and cultural sense. For several centuries it was a part of Colombia, and the history of its African descended peoples are actually a part of that country’s history up until the time of Panama’s independence in 1903.

Panama was not a part of the five nation “Central American Federation” and most Central American’s in the other republics do not consider Panamanians to be “Central Americans”. Geographically perhaps, but not politically or historically. This could be the reason why historians have long considered the arrival of the first black people in Central America to have occurred with De Avila’s landing on the North Coast of Honduras in 1524 and not the with their arrival with Balboa in 1513.

Among the nations of Central America perhaps only Belize could be considered more “ethnically diverse” than Panama. Mestizos of native American, African and European ancestry make up 67% of its population. Persons of African ancestry, including a large number of persons of mixed African and European heritage, account for 14% of the population. Some historians have estimated that up to 50% of the population of Panama has some African ancestry.

Those persons of European ancestry (mainly Spanish, Italian, Greek and English) make up 10%, native Americans 6% and Chinese 3% of the population. There are also smaller minorities of Arabic speaking peoples, Jews and East Indians.

Black Beauty in Panama

Afro-Panamanian

Panamanian Day Parade 2014 Brooklyn New York

La Etnia Negra de Panama (Black History Month in Colon, Panama)

Beaautiful Afro-Panamanian Lady
Beaautiful Afro-Panamanian Lady
Conjunto Nuevo Milenio, traditional Afro-Panamanian
Conjunto Nuevo Milenio, traditional Afro-Panamanian
African Panamanian Woman in full dipsoay of her traditional dress
African Panamanian Woman in full dipsoay of her traditional dress

Cimarrones

On September 26, 1513, Vasco Nunez de Balboa reached the shores of the Pacific. Having crossed the isthmus from its Caribbean side he is credited by historians with the “discovery” of the Pacific Ocean. Among those with him at the time of the discovery was the Afro-Hispanic nobleman Nuflo de Olano as well as thirty other men of African heritage.

Balboa decided to sail upon the newly discovered waters of the Pacific and two small ships were subsequently constructed on the Caribbean side of the isthmus and transported (in sections) across Panama to the Pacific coast. The Africans with him, as well as large numbers of native Americans, were largely responsible for the building and transporting of these first two vessels, the first substantial vessels to be constructed on the Pacific shores of the Americas.

In 1519 Panama City was founded by Pedro Arias de Avila on the Pacific coast. A trail called Las Cruces had been discovered between the town of Panama and the Caribbean. Soon Panama City became one of the wealthiest cities of the Spanish Empire. Latter a new road (the Camino Real) was built between Panama and the Caribbean port of Nombre de Dios. By 1594 the nearby town of Portobelo became the principal Spanish Caribbean port in Central America, a position it maintained for over 150 years.

These towns had become very important to the Spanish because the gold and treasures being taken from Peru and the Philippines were shipped to and stored in these settlements. Carried overland by mule-pack from Panama City to the Caribbean port towns of Nombre de Dios (and later Portobelo) the treasures were then shipped to Cadiz (Spain).

Large numbers of African slaves were brought to Panama to transport goods across the isthmus as well as load and unload the ships at both ends of the Camino Real. Other Africans were also sent to work in the nearby gold mines of Veraguas and Darien. These mines were producing two tons of gold per year during the 16 century. A large slave market known as the House of the Genovese was set up in Panama City (Panama Viejo) and thousands of slaves were sold here to Spanish planters and miners in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, as well as to miners and planters in Panama itself. There were already 4,000 Africans in Panama City by 1610.

As early as 1531 a slave rebellion in Panama had been reported. Other rebellions took place and are among the earliest slave rebellions in the history of the Americas. Large numbers of slaves escaped during the colonial era fleeing into the remote jungles of the Darien (in eastern Panama).

The Spanish called these runaway slaves Cimarrones (“the wild ones”) and from this word comes the English word maroon which describes communities of fugitive slaves who escaped and lived in remote areas on the islands of the Caribbean as well as in Central and South America. Maroon communities were established in the Darien during the 16th and 17th centuries. Native Americans helped these runaway slaves and soon villages were established, crops planted and a king selected.

"King Bayano was the most famous of the Afro-Panamanian kings. King Bayano led the largest revolt against Spanish colonial rule in Panama in the sixteenth century. Bayano, a Mandinka and an alleged muslim was one of the four hundred Africans captured in West Africa for enslavement in Panama in 1552. African slaves were needed because the Spanish has killed off most of the local tribes.

The ship carrying the Africans sank, and the group escaped. Since they landed as free men they elected Bayano (who was reported to be a royal back home in his native Mandinka tribe in Africa) as their King and consequently fought the Spaniards to maintain their independence. This was the first rebellion against colonial authorities in Americas.

Starting in the late 1530s British, Dutch and French pirates became a serious threat to the Spanish in Central America. From the 1560s into the 18 century British pirates, along with their African and native allies, attacked Spanish ports and inland cities as far north as El Salvador and Honduras and south into Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

The Panamanian towns of Nombre de Dios, Portobelo and Panama City were all particularly vulnerable to attack because so much of value was being transported and stored in these towns. In 1572 the English pirate Sir Francis Drake plundered the port of Nombre De Dios. Both Africans and native Americans joined the English and Scottish pirates in their looting and plundering of the Spanish towns.

The Spanish moved their operations (in 1594) to nearby Portobelo. It quickly became the most important Spanish port on the Caribbean coast of Central America until 1668 when the Welshman Sir Henry Morgan attacked and destroyed much of it. Three years later he returned and sailed up the Rio Chagres and attacked, plundered and almost completely destroyed Panama City.

Arriving safely back on the Caribbean coast with 200 mules loaded with gold and riches, he sailed home in glory and later became governor of Jamaica. Two years after Morgan’s attack, the Spanish decided to move Panama City to its current location a few miles west of the old city. The ruins of Panama Viejo can still be seen to this day. When Portobello was again destroyed by the British in 1739, the Spanish authorities decided (in 1746) that it would be better to ship their South American treasures around Cape Horn then risk any more attacks on Panama.

Today the descendants of the Cimerrones still live along the rivers and coastal areas of the Darien. Known as the Playeros (beach people) they are both Spanish speaking and Roman Catholic. As late as the 1820s, runaway slaves continued to join maroon communities despite the treaties that had been signed with the Spanish prohibiting these communities from accepting runaways. A certain amount of intermarriage between Africans and native Americans of the region has taken place over the past four and half centuries.

Irene Martinez La Candela .

Brief History Of Afro-Panama

A few examples of a well known Panamanians of African descent include President Carlos Mendoza, who was of African and European descent and served as Panama’s president during the building of the Panama Canal, classical composer Roque Cordero (b. 1917), baseball great Rod Carew (b. 1945) and the pop singer Edgardo “El General” Franco who made the singing Rap in Spanish popular throughout Latin America.

In 1846, the government of Colombia signed a treaty with the United States permitting the construction of a railroad across Panama that would run from Panama City to Colon. The town of Colon was founded in 1850 as the terminus of the Panama Railroad. It was originally called Aspinwall. In 1848 gold was discovered in California and thousands of prospectors set out from the US and Europe making their way to California via the isthmus of Panama.

The construction of the Panama Railroad commenced in 1849, but by the time of its completion in 1855 the peak years of the prospector migration had passed. The money the prospectors used while passing through Panama did help however to finance the railroad and provided Panama City with an economic boom that it had not seen in decades.

The new railroad proved to be a great financial success for its investors. During the years of the building of the railroad Afro-Antilleans from Jamaica and other parts of the British West Indies were recruited as laborers. The completion of the railroad across Panama cost the lives of many workers and upon completion of it some Afro-Antilleans remained in Panama, while others returned to their homes in the West Indies.

Congo is a song and dance from the Afro-Antillean parts of the country, which are mostly located in the Colon province.(Photo Below)

The third and most important movement of Afro-Antillean settlement in Panama came with the building of the Panama Canal under the direction of the American Panama Canal Company. In 1903 the United States wanted to purchase from Colombia the “concession” to build the canal.

Colombia refused, and the United States backed an uprising in Panama that resulted in the Panamanians declaring their independence from Colombia. Panama remained a US protectorate until 1939 and American interests in the republic remain strong to this day.

Work on the canal began in 1907 and was completed in 1914. During the building of the canal Afro-Antillean laborers by the thousands were recruited from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad. By 1910 the PCC employed more than 50,000 workers, three-quarters of them Afro-Antillean.

When the canal was completed many of these workers stayed on to work for the Panama Canal Company. They made their homes in the American controlled Canal Zone as well as in and around Panama City. Only employees of the PCC were allowed to live in the Canal Zone.

During the early years of the building of the canal most US citizens working on the canal preferred to be paid in gold. Afro-Antilleans however were paid in silver. From this developed the classifications of a “gold” or “silver” employee. The terminology was eventually extended to all of the Canal Zone.

It basically took the form of racial segregation similar to that fond at the time in the American south. Water fountains, rest rooms and other public facilities were designated “gold” or “silver” and black and white communities in the Canal Zone lived in segregated communities. Separate pay scales for blacks and non-blacks remained in force until the signing of the Panama Canal Treaty in 1977.

The so called “gold” and “silver” classifications that were used to keep the canal segregated were discontinued in the 1960s. But the “gold” and “silver” term of reference was still in use for many years after its official discontinuance, much to the resentment of the Afro-Antillean community.

Discrimination has not always emanated from the US presence in the country. The anti-black policies of the Panamanian government during the administration of President Arnulfo Arias (1931-1941) was blatantly racist. Arias went so far as to call for the deportation of all Afro-Antilleans, East Indians and Chinese in Panama. The early 1940s were also among the most difficult for the black community.

By the 1980s a greater awareness of black pride and political activism resulted in the holding of three “Black Panamanian Congresses” in 1980, 1983 and 1988. This was an organized effort to reassert the Afro-Antillean position in Panamanian society by building a greater solidarity within the community itself.

The situation surprisingly improved for the black community during the rule of General Noriega and today things seem to be better then in past years. The formal segregation that was once found in the Canal Zone has ended, the Panamanian government has enacted laws to ensure “equal treatment” for all of its diverse ethnic groups and a greater awareness of black culture and tradition continues to grow within the community.

Important areas of settlement of the Afro-Antillean community include towns and cities in the former Canal Zone such as Colon, Cristobal and Balboa, as well as the Rio Abuja area of Panama City. Another region of Panama that has a large Afro-Antillean population is in the northwestern province of Bocas del Toro. Bocas del Toro is located on the Caribbean coast just south of Costa Rica.

Here the United Fruit Company introduced bananas at the turn of the century. Just as they had in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras they recruited Jamaicans in large numbers to work on the United Fruit plantations. During the 1940-‘50 period disease virtually wiped out the banana plantations.

Cacao and abaca became the main crops. After a resistant strain of banana was introduced cacao and abaca was replaced, and once again the region became an important banana producing area. Most of the Afro-Antillean population is concentrated in the town of Bocas del Toro as well as in Almirante. The village of Bastimmentos is almost entirely of African ancestry. It is an island located 20 minutes from Bocas.

There are four distinct variations of Creole English spoken by Afro-Antilleans in Panama. The variations of Creole English spoken throughout Central America belong to the Western Caribbean Creole family of languages. The variety of Creole English spoken in the Bocas del Toro province is called Guari-guari and has an English base with Guaymi, Spanish, and possibly French influences.

There is also one small Creole French speaking community in Panama that originally came from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. They speak what is known as San Miguel Creole French and are the descendants of Creole French speaking Afro-Antilleans who arrived in Panama as laborers during the 19 century.

Afro-Panamanians have a long history of struggling for their freedom. From the earliest days of Spanish rule many were determined to live as free men and women in their own communities under their own rulers. In no other Central American nation were Africans as successful in obtaining these freedoms as they were in Panama with the existence of the 16th and 17 century maroon communities of the Darien.

Later, during the 19th and 20th centuries, thousands of Afro-Antillean workers gave their lives in the building of the Panama Railroad and Canal. Proud of their West Indian culture and way of life, they worked to overturn unjust American and Panamanian laws that discriminated against them.

Although the fight for full equality in Panama is not over, and as late as the 1980’s the Afro-Antillean community still faced official government policies that were directed against them, the future of the community seems to indicate that Afro-Panamanians can keep both their unique way of life as well as play an increasingly important role in the life of Panama. A role that they have been playing now for nearly 500 years.

African slaves in the fierce struggle for freedom against the Spanish Empire (the 'runaways') were also land in the jungle magic Portobelo. And after escaping deep into its dense forests and hills, the Maroons built fortified villages, known as Palenque, from which declared war against their former slavers. So successful were these courageous battle in the Spanish fugitives were forced to declare several truces, and finally to recognize their freedom and independence.

One of the main traditions of the people is the drum of "Congos". It usually occurs during the carnival in February. This tradition dates back to slavery in the colony. It is a mockery of the Spanish kings and during the dance, which lasts several days, the participants assume the role of runaway slaves fleeing the Spanish. They hide in different parts of the village and take captive.
The dance has a story in which characters representing the Congolese fight against the devil, who is on the loose in those days. At the end are saving the "Queen Conga" with the help of "bird" and "John of God" in these traditions is easy to see the syncretism between Catholicism and African rituals Antilles.
Congo, Evocation of complaints from black ancestors and now facts and incidents of everyday life.

The Congo is the one that has persisted and is alternated with salsa dancing or popular. As for the special clothing is congo: change of chintz, striking large flowered skirt, head, crown fitted with colored ribbons, mirrors, flowers typical of the season (Caracucho, jasmine, papos, Havana), pinned at Trez in circle on the sides of the head.

Men use ketones, pants backwards subjects with rope, tape crowns interspersed with mirrors, a motet or quirky bag that serves to put few things picked up.
The Congos are the descendants of the Maroons, who have preserved the stories of their ancestors in a living tradition which is essentially a work of art. You travel back in time achieving power and strength as they approach their African ancestors of the seventeenth century. (source: Webscolar)

Afro-Peruvian Woman Dancer

Black Beauty in Peru

Susana Baca - Maria Lando

DANCE this... 2007 "Afro-Peruvian" Preview

Peru Negro(Africans)

The History Of The Africans Of Peru

AFRICAN DESCENDANTS IN PERU (AFRO-PERUVIANS)

Kwekudee writes the following in his Blog:

Afro Peruvians are citizens of Peru mostly descended from African slaves who were brought to the Western hemisphere with the arrival of the conquistadors towards the end of the slave trade. It must be emphasized here for historical purposes that black Africans were in the New World (American continent) long before the Spanish Christopher Columbus arrived there.

Although Afro Peruvians make up about 10% of the population or almost 3 million people, but today there are very few Afro Peruvians leading in politics, culture, religion, military, science or economy in Peru, mostly because they lack of equal access to a good education, well paid job opportunities and leading roles in society. It's important to mention that the first ever Black saint of the Catholic church is the Afro Peruvian wise man Martin de Porres.

The first African Peruvians arrived with the conquistadors in 1521, to return permanently in 1525. One of the biggest import of African slaves occurred between 1529 and 1537 when Francisco Pizarro was granted permits to import 363 slaves to colonial Peru for public construction; building bridges and road systems.

They fought alongside the conquistadors as soldiers and worked like personal servants and bodyguards. In 1533 Afro-Peruvian slaves accompanied Spaniards in the conquest of Cuzco. There were two types of black slaves that came to Peru: a common term used to designate blacks born in Africa was bozales("unskilled, untrained), which was also used in derogatory sense.

These slaves could have been directly shipped from west or south-west Africa or transported from Spanish Indies and other Spanish colonies. Afro-Peruvians previously acculturated to Spanish culture and spoke Spanish were called "Ladinos". People of color performed a variety of skilled and unskilled functions that contributed to Hispanic colonization.

In urban areas Afro-Peruvians were cooks, laundresses, maids, handymen, gardeners. In some cases, they worked in the navy, hospitals, churches and charitable institutions. In 1587, 377 workers of African descent worked in the shipyards. The industry included significant number of blacks: quarries, kilns and various construction projects.

The work that Spaniards performed would be insufficient to sustain the needs of the population, so blacks essentially kept the economy running. Gradually, Afro-Peruvians concentrated in specialized fields that drew upon their extensive knowledge and training in skilled artisan work and in agriculture. Within the social hierarchy of slave stratum, the black artisans took the highest position due to their skills.

They worked in carpentry, tailoring, blacksmiths, swordsmiths and silversmiths. This group exerted more freedom than their fellow companions on large haciendas and in private households. Spanish small-business keeper would dispatch a whole team of servant-artisans to do a job independently and then return to their owner.

Furthermore, as their prices rose, black artisans induced even better treatment and sometimes took a role of a low ranking employee. Skilled artistry constituted a major avenue of social progress for the colored population. Due to their royalty and high skills, Afro-Peruvians gained prestige among Spanish noblemen.

They occupied relatively low social stratum, nevertheless still had some power of the natives and were in more favorable position that the emerging class of mestizos. As the mestizo population grew, the role of Afro-Peruvians as intermediaries between the indigenous residents and the Spaniards lessened.

The mestizo population increased through liaisons between Spanish and indigenous Peruvians. From this reality, a pigmentocracy became increasingly important to protect the privileges of Spanish overlords and their Spanish and mestizo children. In this system, Spaniards were at the top of the hierarchy, mestizos in the middle, and Africans and the indigenous populations at the bottom. Mestizos inherited the privilege of helping the Spanish administer the country.

Furthermore, as additional immigrants arrived from Spain and aggressively settled Peru, the mestizos attempted to keep the most lucrative jobs for themselves. In the early colonial period, Afro-Spaniards and Afro-Peruvians frequently worked in the gold mines because of their familiarity with the techniques.

Gold mining and smithing were common in parts of western Africa from at least the fourth century. However, after the early colonial period, few Afro-Peruvians would become goldsmiths or silversmiths. In the end Afro-Peruvians were relegated to back-breaking labor on sugarcane and rice plantations of the northern coast or the vineyards and cotton fields of the southern coast.

In the countryside they were represented in wet-nursing, housekeeping, domestics, cowboys, animal herding , etc. After Indians became scarce as labor force on haciendas, the people of color gained a title of yanacona- hitherto only assigned to the status of indigenous servant with full right to own a piece of land and a day to work on it.

Afro-Peruvians often displayed negative agency towards the system of slavery dominated by the Spanish by resigning to huido( translated as escape, flight) from haciendas and changing masters on their own initiative or joining cimarrones'(armed gangs of runaway slaves that formed small communities in the wilderness and assaulted travel merchants). The indigenous population tended to work in the silver mines, of which they had a more expert knowledge than western Africans or Spanish, even in the pre-Columbian eras.

Over the course of the slave trade, approximately 95,000 slaves were brought into Peru, with the last group arriving in 1850. They were initially transferred to Cuba & Hispaniola but continued to Panamá where they were brought to the Viceroyalty of Peru. Slave owners also purchased their slaves in Cartagena, Colombia or Veracruz, Mexico at trade fairs, and they took back to Peru whatever the slave ships had brought over. Slaves were distributed between encomiendas as a result of the "New laws" of 1548 and due to the influence of the denunciation of the abuses against Native Americans by Friar Bartolomé de las Casas.

Slave owners in Peru also preferred slaves who were from specific areas of Africa, and who could communicate with each other. Slave owners preferred slaves from Guinea, from the Senegal River down to the Slave Coast, because the Spanish considered them to be easy to manage, and also because they had marketable skills—they knew how to plant rice, train horses, and herd cattle on horseback.

The slave owners also preferred slaves from the area stretching from Nigeria to Eastern Ghana. Finally, the slave owners' third choice was for slaves from Congo, Mantenga, Cambado, Misanga, Mozambique, Madagascar, Terranova, Mina and Angola. In the 17 century began the process of manumission of people of color. Possibility of buying one's own freedom boosted the emergence of free Afro-Peruvian social class.

Nevertheless, slaves had to pay a high amount to buy their freedom; they were allowed to earn on the side, some raised loans and others received grants of freedom from their master. A class of independent blacks was not entirely equal to Spaniards.Freed people of color enjoyed equal privileges in certain aspects.There are several instances of free Africans buying and selling land as well. Freed blacks engaged in various entrepreneurial activities, of which trade was a significant factor.

Moreover, peoples of African descent with larger economic power were owners of private shops. Nevertheless, the new status of a free citizen brought new challenges and conditions that a man of color had to face.A freed person of color needed to have a job, was required to pay the tribute, was called to serve in militia to defend the state and was under supervision of the Holy Office.

The Crown raised revenues on freed black population. A decree that compelled former slaves to hire themselves out to and reside with Spaniard master was another way to limit freedom of emancipated blacks. While some did stay with Spanish in order to save money, the large majority successfully defied the rule and began building "joint communities" to support each other.A discrimination policy with big and long-term impact was exclusion of blacks and mulattoes from education.

Universities and schools largely run by the Church forbade the non-white population to enroll under justification that they are "unworthy of being educated". Wealthy, skilled, capable mulattoes however made their way through the political ladder and achieved occupation of minor official posts.

"Afro-Peruvian music is one of the most elusive genres in the world. It’s practically unheard outside the borders of Peru, and the people there are even unsure of many aspects of its history. The roots of this music date back to the mid 1500s, but over time Afro-Peruvian culture and its music faded. From the mid 1950s through the 1970s, Peruvian labels such as El Virrey, IEMPSA, and Odeon supported an Afro-Peruvian revival with the release of hundreds of albums.

The Rhythms of Black Peru is a collection of some of the most important Afro-Peruvian recordings of all time that is over a year and half in the making. Many of the tracks were discovered after digging for records in a run-down garage located in central Lima last April. This compilation includes prolific figures in Afro-Peruvian culture such as Nicomedes Santa Cruz, Chabuca Granda, and Zambo Cavero.

This hand numbered vinyl-only compilation is the perfect introduction to this percussion driven fusion of African rhythms and Latin melodies. As always, each LP is hand assembled in our facilities for quality control. "

Afro-Peruvian music has its roots in the communities of black slaves brought to work in the mines along the Peruvian coast. As such, it's a fair way from the Andes, culturally and geographically. However, as it developed, particularly in the 20 century, it drew on Andean and Spanish, as well as African traditions, while its modern exponents also have affinities with Andean nueva canción.

The music was little known even in Peru until the 1950s, when it was popularized by the seminal performer Nicomedes Santa cruz , whose body of work was taken a step further in the 1970s by the group Peru Negro and then in 2002 by Peru Expresion. Internationally, this form of music has had recent international publicity through David Byrne's Luaka Bop label, issuing the compilation, Peru Negro, and solo albums by Susana Baca.

Today, Afro-Peruvians (also known as Afrodescent Peruvians) reside mainly on the central and south coast, with the majority of the population in the provinces of Lima, Callao, Nazca, Chincha, Ica and Cañete. Many Afro-Peruvians live on the northern coast in Lambayeque and Piura. The greatest concentration of Afro-Peruvians and Mestizos of Afrodescent is in the Callao, an area that has historically received many of the Afro-Peruvians from the North and southern coast.

The government acknowledged that some discrimination persists against Afro-Peruvians, who make up 5-10% of the population of the country. The government's initial statement said, "The government recognizes and regrets that vestiges of racially motivated harassment are still present, which represent a hindrance to social, economic, labor and educational development of the population at large."

Monica Carrillo of the Center for Afro-Peruvian Studies and Promotion indicates that 27 percent of Afro-Peruvians finish high school and just 2 percent get higher or technical education. Although Peru is not the first Latin American government to apologize to its population, it is the first to acknowledge present-day discrimination. Although some human rights groups lauded the government's acknowledgement, other experts criticized the apology overall for failing to reference slavery or promise a change in the status quo.

The public ceremony for the apology held on 7 December 2009 in the Great Dining Room of the Government Palace, with the presence of President Garcia, Minister of Women and Social Development, Nidia Vilchez, the only Afro Peruvian Congress member Martha Moyano, along with the former mayor of El Carmen, Hermes Palma-Quiroz, and the founder of the Black Movement Francisco Congo, Paul Colino-Monroy.

Vicky Leyva - Afro-Peruvian Song

The African Children Of Peru

Afrfican Kids in Peru donning their traditional garb
Afrfican Kids in Peru donning their traditional garb
Afro Peruvian Women in the market..
Afro Peruvian Women in the market..
African Peruvian Woman...
African Peruvian Woman...

Afro Peruvian Jazz Project-peru Mania at Lacma-extraordinario!

PERU NEGRO "Zamba Malato"

Fiesta Peruana - Vol. 1

The Story And History Of The Afro-Cubans

We will cull the following from the Blog of Kwekudee:

Afro-Cubans (Afro-Cubanos) are Cubans who are mostly of Sub-Saharan African ancestry. The term Afro-Cubans includes the historical or cultural elements in Cuba thought to emanate from this community as well as the combining of African and other cultural elements found in Cuban society such as race, religion, music, language, the arts, and class culture.

Unlike other Latin American countries where African descendants can be found in particular region with the state, Afro-Cubans on the other hand can be found in every corner of Cuba.

However, Eastern Cuba has a higher concentration of blacks than other parts of the island, and Havana has the largest population of blacks of any city in Cuba. Recently, many African immigrants have been coming to Cuba, especially from Angola. Also, immigrants from Jamaica and Haiti have been settling in Cuba, most of whom settle in the eastern part of the island, due to its proximity to their home.

It must be emphasized that until the last decades of the 18 Century, Cuba was a relatively underdeveloped island with an economy based mainly on cattle raising and tobacco farms. The intensive cultivation of sugar that began at the turn of the nineteenth century transformed Cuba into a plantation society, and the demand for African slaves, who had been introduced into Cuba from Spain at the beginning of the 16 century, increased dramatically. Afro-Cubans are descendants of diverse African ethnic groups shipped to Cuba to cultivate the sugarcane plantation thereby enriching the European capitalists.

The enslaved Africans were from ports of Elmina, Pepper Coast, Dahomey, bight of Biafra, and Central and East African ports. The ethnic groups that formed the core parts of the enslaved Africans were particularly Yoruba (or Lucumi), Igbo and Kongo (Bantu people), but also Arará (Ewe, Fon, Aja, Mina), Carabalí (Efik, Ibibio, Ekoi, Annang), Mandingo, Fula (Fulani/Fulbe), Makua, Mina (Akans, and other Gold Coast slaves) and others.

The shipment of Africans into slavery in Cuba, especially transportation of slaves from the West African coast exploded, and it is estimated that almost 400,000 Africans were brought to Cuba during the years 1835-1864. (That's roughly 1150 per month for 29 years!) As early as 1532, the blacks formed 62.5 percent of the population. In 1841, African slaves made up over 40% of the total population.

African Cubans Dancing Wearing Their Traditional Clothes...

Black Beauty in Cuba

Afro-Cuban All Star - A Toda Cuba Le Gusta [Full Album]

Cuban Women In African Traditional Dress...

The Admixture Of Africans In Cuba From The Days Of The Slave Trade

Apart from enslaved Africans that came directly from the continent of Africa, there was a large number of Haitians and Jamaicans that were imported to Cuba. "Toward the end of 1912, Gómez authorized the United Fruit Company to bring in 1,400 Haitians. Under Menocal, from 1913-21, 81,000 Haitians and 75,000 Jamaicans were admitted." In addition it is estimated that from 1913 to 1927 40,000 Negroes[Africans] a year were smuggled in.

Since then and owing to the prolonged economic crisis, few have been brought in even illegally. The companies which have brought in black people during the period of the Republic, were supposed to send them back at the end of their yearly contract, but this was evaded. As El Pais wrote:

"The Haitian immigration comes for the Zafra, but soon is diverted toward the towns and never goes back to the plantations of his own country, the result being that the following year it is necessary to introduce another contingent."

The late flourishing of the Cuban sugar industry and the persistence of the slave trade into the 1860s are two important reasons for the remarkable density and variety of African cultural elements in Cuba. Fernando Ortiz Counted the presence of over one hundred different African ethnic groups in 19 century Cuba, and estimated that by the end of that century fourteen distinct "nations" had preserved their identity in the mutual aid associations and social clubs known as cabildos, societies of free and enslaved blacks from the same African "nation," which later included their Cuban-born descendants.

The population estimates of Afro-Cubans in Cuba is a very controversial issue culminating in number of figures aimed at lowering the number of Afro-Cubans so as to ensure the Cuban state`s continuous subjugation and discrimination of the blacks. Recent (2002) population census estimates range from 11.06 million to 11.17 million. At least 50% of the population is classified as mulatto (mixed African and European descent),

Although the cultural privilege assigned to whiteness probably causes many mulattos to minimize their African heritage. 37% percent of the population claims to be exclusively white, and 11% is classified as "negro." The remaining 1% is Chinese, the result of the importation of 132,000 Chinese indentured laborers between 1853 and 1872 to replace the loss of labor caused by the impending end of African slavery.

The Cuban government`s 2002 official dubious census release was: Ethnicity Percentage Estimates Whites: 65% 7,271,926 Blacks: 10% 1,126,894 Mulattos: 24,9% 2,778,923.Total Cuban population: 11.177.743This 2002 outrageous census figure incurred serious aroused wide criticisms against the Cuban government.

The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, an influential and well-respected Think-Tank condemned the result claiming wrong parameters and variables was used in gathering data. The published Census figures provided no way at all to compare blacks and whites in categories like salary or educational levels.

The organization concluded that if right statistical data or an approach were to be used it will emerged that 68% of Cubans "are black." Ramón Colás, who left Cuba in 2001 and now runs an Afro-Cuba race-relations project in Mississippi, said he once carried out his own telling survey:

Five out of every 100 private vehicles he counted in Havana were driven by a Cuban of color. The disparity between the census' 11% and UM's 62% also reflects the complicated racial categories in a country where if you look white you are considered white, no matter the genes.

The Minority Rights Group International says that, "An objective assessment of the situation of Afro-Cubans remains problematic due to scant records and a paucity of systematic studies both pre- and post-revolution. Estimates of the percentage of people of African descent in the Cuban population vary enormously, ranging from 33.9 per cent to 62 per cent". It uses the number for 51% for mulattoes.

Buena Vista Social Club At Carnegie Hall Full Album

Food Of The Cuban People

Race relations in Cuba were/is a strange mix. The Spanish brutally crushed slave revolts and executed noted free blacks for helping insurrections. When Cubans began a revolt against Spain in 1868, free blacks and slaves strongly supported the revolt. Spain anti-revolutionary strategy was often contradictory but effective: they granted freedom to slaves who remained Loyalists and scared white Cubans that black revolutionary generals like General Antonio Maceo was plotting to drive all whites out of Cuba. It is quite strange that after the blacks in Cuba had helped in Cuban revolutions including the one they supported Fidel Castro they are still treated with disdain. Cuban state must respect and acknowledge the rights of Afro-Cubans. As the Afro-Cuban sage Fernando Ortiz once said: “Without the blacks, there is no Cuba.”

Juan de Marcos Gonzales Afro Cuban All Stars in concert

Afro-Cuban Old Women Smoking Their Laarge Cigars...

Chucho Valdes: Irakere 40 - Estival Jazz Lugano 2015

Los Van Van en vivo en el Miami Arena 1999

The Abakua: African People And Secret Society Of Cuba

Afro-Cubans are the only Afro-Latin American descendants who repatriated back to Africa and have integrated successfully. Countries such as Nigeria, the home of the Yoruba and Igbo cultures, and Equatorial Guinea experienced an influx of ex-slaves from Cuba brought there as indentured servants during the 17th century, and again during the 19th century.

In Equatorial Guinea, they became part of the Emancipados; in Nigeria, they were called Amaros. Despite being free to return to Cuba when their tenure was over, they remained in these countries marrying into the local indigenous population. The former slaves were brought to Africa by the Royal Orders of September 13, 1845 (by way of voluntary arrangement) and a June 20, 1861 deportation from Cuba, due to the lack of volunteers.

Similar circumstances previously occurred during the 17th century where ex-slaves from both Cuba and Brazil were offered the same opportunity.Angola also has communities of Afro-Cubans, Amparos. They are descendants of Afro-Cuban soldiers brought to the country in 1975 as a result of the Cuban involvement in the Cold War. Fidel Castro deployed thousands of troops to the country during the Angolan Civil War. As a result of this era, there exists a small Spanish-speaking community in Angola of Afro-Cubans numbering about 100,000.

LanguageEssential to any understanding any nation and its culture, language is intricately involved with Cuban history and identity. Because of its colonial past, Spanish is the principal and official language of the island and that is what Afro-Cubans also speak, but that does not mean that it was the only language spoken.

Enslaved Africans brought to the island spoke languages that are still used in Cuba today, although in religious or ritual contexts, not as vernacular languages. Two of the African vernacular languages are Abakuá and Lucumí. Before Akua and Lucumi Afro-Cubans used to speak Bozal.

Bozal now forms the basis of spiritual languages of Lucumi and Abakua.Abakuá is not a conversational language perse but an esoteric language used exclusively for ceremonial purposes that contains a mixture of various initiation dialects (called argots by some scholars) of the Cross River region (Nigeria), specifically derived from Ékpè practice.

Abakuá was modeled upon the Ékpè leopard societies of the Calabar region, illustrated by the thousands of ritual Abakuá phrases based upon Ékpè codes, as documented by the Cuban folklorist Lydia Cabrera(1899–1991). The influence of Spanish is minimal, found primarily in the plural endings of words.Abakua emanated from a variety of distinct ethnic groups of the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria and western Cameroon (Efik, Ekoi {Ejagham}, Igbo, Ibibio, Annang etc)who were taken as slaves to the Caribbean region from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries.

Because the port from which many departed was called Old Calabar, many of them became known as Calabarí in Latin Americas. So the Calabaris are the originators of Abakua ritual language in Cuba. Most of the Abakua ritual words are of Efik-Ibibio lingua franca. For example, Ekório Enyéne Abakuá, the name of the society in Cuba, is interpreted as “a group founded by a sacred mother that is called Abakuá.”

This phrase is understood by speakers of Qua-Éjághám in Calabar as Ekoea Nyen Àbàkpà (the forest is the mother of the Àbàkpà community), a meaning appreciated by Abakuá leaders. The Abakuá word íreme (spirit dancer) derives from the Èfìk ídèm; Ékue (sacred drum) derives from the Èfìk ékpè (leopard), "Ese son ereniyo de mue" means "Those are the eyes of the woman.

"The Abakuá language has influenced Cuban popular speech, as in the word chébere (chévere), which is used popularly to mean “valiant, wonderful, excellent” after Ma’ chébere, a title of the Abakuá dignitary Mokóngo.

The Abakuá terms ekóbio and monína (both meaning “ritual brother”) are used as standard greetings among urban Cuban males. Asére (greetings) derives from the Èfìk "esiere" (good evening). Abakuá-inspired street lingo has been recorded in popular music, as in the song “Los Sitio’ Asere” (Salutation to Los Sitios), which refers to a Havana barrio that is home to several Abakuá groups.

Cigar-Smoking Afro-Cuban Woman...

Orquesta Revee en Vivo - Show Completo

African Cuban Dancers...
African Cuban Dancers...
Cuban Actors Doing a shot for a film for some organization
Cuban Actors Doing a shot for a film for some organization

Cuban Afro Sounds

Yoruba ceremonial language forms part of each and every aspect of Lucumi, embracing people's
behavior, music, and beliefs. Afro-Cuban Lucumi speakers say "gbe le yo" which means bring joy with you. Nothing concretizes the far-reaching effects of Yoruba ceremonial
language better than rituals because as Clifford Geertz states:
"In a ritual, the world as lived and the world as imagined, fused under the agency of a single
set of symbolic forms, turn out to be the same world, producing thus that idiosyncratic
transformation in one's sense of reality' (Geertz 1973).

Cubans express this fusion of real and imagined life in Yoruba rituals that include ceremonial
language. What follows is a brief presentation of some aspects of ceremonial language in rituals,
specifically the use of Yoruba words, concepts, and music.
One function of Yoruba ritual is to gain the favor of deities, ancestors, spirits, or humans. As a broad concept of performance, the Yoruba concept of ritual subsumes annual festivals (odun), weekly rites (ose), funerals is (inku), divinations (idafa) and initiations and installations of all kinds-known by various Yoruba names according to the particular context (Thompson-Drewal 1992, 19). Many of these words are still used in Afro-Cuban religious practice today although their meaning are often changed. For example, odun now means "the sent one," or "messengers from Orula"; ose is synonymous with "grace." It may also refer to Shango's "axe." It is contended that this word has a number of meanings owing possible to the variety of dialects found in the Yoruba language.

Afro-Cuban Practitioners of Santería, an Afro-Latin religion

Practitioners, have in the chant, a tool that allows them to call for certain actions and reactions from the divine world. These chants, however, also reveal some historical circumstances of Cuban practitioners like the fact that many do not understand Yoruba word-by-word semantics. For example, the following chant has ceremonial meaning for most Cubans but now carries different semantic interpretations.
CHANT TO ELEGGUA
Eleggua Maddo
Queye Queye ye mmm :II ( repeat)
Queye Queye ye mmm maddo
Ago o/o origa
A Luyá (Chango)
E yamá seró mi changó
E yamá seró mi changó
Bobo araye onicuelé
E ayé
E ayó obalupe obalupe
E ayó obalupe obalupe
This Yoruba chant presents some complications in a number of areas including interpretation, and
meaning as has been cited by others (Velez 2000). For example, much of the extant literature
transcribes Yoruba words phonetically according to Spanish orthographic rules. An oft cited example provides that since there is no “sh” in Spanish, the Yoruba “sh” becomes “ch” in Spanish. Similar complications might also be found in English phonetical renderings of Yoruba. Generally, the meaning of the Yoruba words is lost to most performers. But some have attempted to acquire proficiency in Yoruba. Milian Gali, the foremost olubata in Santiago de Cuba is a case in point.
In a recent discussion with the authors he indicated that "there are some words that remained the same but others had varied. I learned it orally. For instance, I know personal pronouns: emí, etié, tiguá, aguá (we), tiguó (they), and the main verbs: ñaú (to eat), tubure (to sleep), chiché (to work), ulú (to play the drum), corín (to sign(Gali 2000)."

African Afro Puerto Rican Bomba Music

Majestad Negra - Afro-Puerto Rican Women and Bomba Dancers in their traditional clothes

African History Of Puerto Rico..

African history in Puerto Rico initially began with the African freeman (Libertos) who arrived with the Spanish Conquistadors. The Spaniards enslaved the Tainos who the native inhabitants of the Island and many of them died as a result of the cruel treatment that they had received..This presented a problem for the Spanish Crown since they depended on slavery as a means of manpower to work the mines and build the forts. The situation was to import slaves from Africa and as a consequence, the vast majority of the the Africans who migrated to Puerto Rico, did so as a result of the slave trade, and the mushrooming African Maroons and the Quilombos, of the times.

The Africans in Puerto Rico came from various points of Africa, suffered many hardships and were subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment. When the gold were declared depleted and no longer produced the precious metal, the Spanish Crown ignored Puerto Rico and the Island became mainly a garrison for the ships.

The Spanish decree of 1789 allowed the slaves to earn or buy their freedom. However, this did little to help them in their situation, and eventually many slaves rebelled, most notably in the revolt against Spanish rule known as the "Grito de Lares". On much 22, 1873, slavery was finally abolished in Puerto Rico. The Africans that came to Puerto, overcame many obstacles and particularly after the Spanish-American War, their descendants helped shape the political institutions of the Island. Their contributions to the music, art, language and heritage became the foundation of Puerto Rico.

First Africans In Puerto Rico

According to the historians, the first free Africans arrived in the Island in 1509. Juan Garrido, a conquistador who belonged to Juan Ponce de Leon's entourage was the first African to set foot on the Island and the New World for that matter. Another free African who accompanied de Leon was Pedro Mejias. It is believed that Meiias married a Taino woman chief (a cacica) by the name of Luisa.

When Ponce de Leon and thd the Spaniards arrived on the Island of "Borinken"(Puerto Rico), they were greeted by the Cacique Agueybana, the supreme leader of the peaceful Taino clans in the Island.

Agueybana helped maintain the peace between the Tainos and the Spaniards. However, the peace would be short-lived because the Spaniards soon took advantage of the Tainos' good faith and enslaved them; forcing them to work in the Gold mines and in the construction of forts. Many Tainos died as a result of either the cruel treatment that they had received, or of the smallpox disease epidemic, which attacked the Island. Many Tainos either committed suicide or left the Island after the failed Taino revolt of 1511.

Friar de las Casas, who had accompanied Ponce de Leon to the New World, was outraged by the cruel treatment of the Spaniards against the Tainos and protested in 1512, in front of the council of Burgos of the Spanish Courts. He fought for the freedom of the natives and was able to secure thier rights.

The Spanish colonists, who feared losing their labor force, protested before the courts. The colonists in Puerto Rico complained that they not only needed the manpower to work the mines and on the fortifications, but also in the thriving sugar industry. As an alternative, Las Casas suggested the importation and use of African slaves. In 1517, the Spanish Crown permitted its subjects to import twelve slaves each in what became the beginning of the African slave trade in the World.

The fact that the Spaniard was unable to annhilate the African slave, as he did the Indian slave; the fact that the African had a sense of identity; the fact that the African demonstrated resistance against the Spanish by revolting at times; the fact that they sought freedom in the rural interior, and mountain sides are all a reflection of the strong independent civilizations from which they came

According to histrian Luis M Diaz, the largest contingent of Africans came from the Gold Coast(Ghana), Nigeria and Dahomey(Benin), or the region known as the area of Guineas, the Slave Coast. However, the vast majority came from the Yorubas and Igbo people from Nigeria and the Africans of Guineas.

There were elements of Fantes, Baules, Mandingo, Mande and Wolog people too. It is interesting to note the Church felt that by Christianizing the slaves, it would render them with a set culture. It worked the other way round too, since the Africans slaves came to Puerto Rico with a rich and deep culture of their own, which the indigenous Indians readily imitated, creating a common bond between them.

The fact that the Spaniards was unable to annihilate the African slave as he did the Indian slave; the fact that the African had a sense of identity; the fact that the African demonstrated resistance against the Spanish by revolting at times; the fact that they sought freedom in the rural interior and mountain sides are all a reflection of the strong and independent civilization from which they come.

As the Africans arrived, they imposed themselves numerically in many regions of the Island and contributed a vigorous "cultural force,"

To understand jpw the African ,an contributed his cultural inputs and too a place withinin the Puerto Rican culture, one need examine the very institution of slavery as it existed in Puerto Rico. It is then that one sees the natural evolution of social and ethnic forces that become incorporated into the modern Puerto Rican personality.

The number of slaves in Puerto Rico rose from 1,500 in 1530 to 15,000 by 1955. Slaves were branded on the forehead with a stamp so people would know they were brought in legally and that way they couldn't be kidnapped The cruelty of hot branding was stopped in 1784.

African slaves were sent to work the gold mines, as a replacement of the lost Taino manpower, or to work in the fields in the Islands ginger and sugar industries. They were allowed to live with family in a 'bohio'(hut) on the master's land and was given a patch of land where they could plant and grow vegetables and fruits. Africans had little or no opportunity for advancement and faced discrimination from Spaniards. The slave was educated by his of her master and soon learned to speak his language.

They enriched the "Puerto Rican and Spanish" languages by adding some words of their own and educated their children with what they had learned from their masters. The Spaniards considered the Africans superior to the Tainos, since the Tainos were unwilling to assimilate their ways. The slave had no choice but to convert to Christianity, they were baptized by the Catholic Church and assumed the surnames of their masters. It should be noted that many slaves were subject to harsh treatment which in cases included rape.

The majority of the Conquistadors and farmers who settled the Island had arrived without women and most of them intermarried with Africans or Tainos, creating a mixture of races that was to become known as the "mestizos" or "Mulattos". This mixture was to become the bases of the Puerto Rican people.

The Puerto Rican personality is also influenced by the African's imprint on the language. some African slaves spoke "Bozal" Spanish, a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, and the language spoken in the Congo. the African influence in the Spanish spoken in the Island can be traced to the many words from African languages that have become a permanent part of the Puerto Rican Spanish (and, in some cases, English).

Words like name, Shango, Bembe, Mango, rumba, etc., are part of the Puerto Rican everyday speech. The up and down speech intonations in Puerto Rican Spanish typically African as well as the grammatical practice of cutting endings (para nada become p'na), transforming or dropping consonants and various phonetic implications in the vernacular.

The African influence is no less evident in Puerto Rico's music. The African is by instinct and experience a music-maker. If one examines the African cultures carefully we find that some clans had full orchestra with rather sophisticated instrument, Africans in Puerto Rico did not only become their musical performers, but also the teachers and composers.

Puerto Rican musical instruments such as l'la clave' (also known as par de palos or "two sticks"), drums with stretched animal skin such as bongos or congas, timbales, marimbas and Puerto rican music-dance forms such as 'la bomba' or 'la danza/la plena, are likewise rooted in Africa.

The Bomba represents the strong African influence in Puerto Rico. Bomba is a music, rhythm and dance that was brought by West African slaves to the Island of Puerto Rico. The Plena is another form of flolkoric music of Puerto Rico of African origin. the Plena was brought to Ponce by Africans who immigrated north from the English-speaking Islands south of Puerto rico. the plena is a rhythm that is clearly African and very similar to Calypso, Soca, Reggae and Dance Hall music from Trinidad and Jamaica.

The Bomba and Plena were played during the Festival of Santiago (St. James), since slaves were not allowed to worship their own Gods, and soon developed into countless style based on the kind of dance intended to be used at the same time; these include 'Lero', 'Yuba', 'Cunya', 'Babu and Belen'.

The slaves celebrated baptisms, weddings, and births with the "bailes de Bomba". Slave owners, for fear of a rebellion, allowed the dances on Sundays.

When one goes into a typical Puerto Rican home, he will see along with statues of Christian saints and Virgin, a Shango or Black African God to whom, i many cases, offerings of fruit, wine or other items are present. this mixture of Christian worship with traditional African gods is called Santeria.

Santeria is a religion between the diverse images drawn from the Catholic church and the Representational deities of the African Yoruba people of Nigeria.

Santeria, also known as La Regla de Lukumi(Lukumi's Rule) and "the Way of the Saints," is a religious tradition derived from traditional beliefs of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The Santeria/Yoruba tradition comprises of a hierarchical structure according to priesthood level and authority.

Orisha "ile" or temples are usually governed by Orisha Priests known as Babalorishas, "fathers of Orisha," or "Iyalorishas" "Mothers of Orisha", and serve as the Junior "ile" is the second in the hierarchical religious structure. In 'Santeria' there are many deities who responded to one "top" or "head" God. These deities, which are said to have descended from heaven to help console their followers, are known as "Orishas". According to Santeria the Orishas are the ones who chooses the person whom it will watch over.


Afro Colombian Dressed In Traditional

Xiomara - Afro-Colombian Dance...

Afro-Colombian Kids in Traditional Garb

Colombian Afro Caribbean Music - July, 2016...

Africans In Colombia...

Afro Colombians make up the second largest African descent population in Latin America, after Brazil. Afro Colombians have impacted immensely on Colombian culture and the general socio-economic milieu. The largest populations of Afro-Colombians live in the departments on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts where they constitute as much as 80% of populace DANE, Colombia: The nacion multicultural). Afro-Colombians are the African descendants whose diverse culture reflect almost every African ethnic group.

Nevertheless, as anthropologist Nina de Friedemann argues, Afro-Colombians remain 'invisible' in national public life, their self-affirmation as a group complicated by numerous long-term historical, cultural representation, where Afro-Colombians have either occupied reified positions or lived an absence as presence in the national cultural imagination.

Notable Afro-Colombians include Colombian scientists like Raul Cuero, writers like Manuel Zapata Olivella and politicians: Piedad Cordoba, Paula Marcela Moreno Zapata, and luis Gilberto Murillo, Miss Colombia 2001, winner and fashion model, Vanessa Alexandra Mendoza Bustos, first Olympic Gold Medal winner to the country Maria Isabel Urrutia, and Major League Baseball player Edgar Renteria.

Despite their significant contributions and population numbers, it was not until 1991 that Afro-Colombians were, for the first time, recognized as an ethnic group by the Colombian Constitution through Transitory Article 55 of 1991(T55). Afro-descendants can be found in regions such as Choco, Buenaventura,Cali, Cartegena, San Andres Island, and throughout the country.

African people in Colombia are defined in many ways. Colombians do not define race as 'Black' or 'White,' but ,' degrees of Black, White, and Indian, with numerous constructs in between. Africans in the Island of Sand Andres, Providencis, Santa Catalina are oriented to Caribbean cultures. The term, "Negro," is rarely used in Colombia and can be taken as disparaging. Moreno(Brown), Gente de color(People of Color), Libres (Free People), Costeno (Coastal dweLlers) are terms used to describe Afro-Colombians. After increased political gains in the 1980s, the terms Afro-Colombiano, La Comuniado Negras(Blsck/African Community) are used by the government. 61% of Afro-Colombians live below the poverty line.

The country's African Diaspora is descended from Slaves that began to be brought to what was then called Nueva Granada in the early sixteenth century. Enslaved Africans were made to toil in industrial sectors ranging from plantations and ranches to gold mines and commercial fishing boats… The Colombian governments National Department of Statistics(DANE), has identified four representative groups of Afro-descendants in the country: Afro-

colombians from the Pacific who mainly are peasants, fishermen, and traditional miners, mainly located on collectively owned territories; Raizal communitites from the Caribbean Islands of San Andres and Providence; Afro-Clombians from the "Pak=lenque" of San Basilio, in the Bolivar government.; Afro-Colombians living in municipalities and Colombian cities.

Historically, Afro-Colombians have been socially marginalized and politically excluded. Beginning in the early 1500s, African slaves labor was applied to cattle raising, transportation, construction, and domestic service(Arocha, 1998), with a later focus on Gold and Platinum mining. Due to the scattering of slave concentrations throughout the country, ethnic identity formations.

Arocha notes that Afro-Colombians were made invisible by the Christianization of African slaves, wherein names were altered or placed to match masters' family names. Additionally, a shift towards a new caste system abandoned racial terminology, instead tying in whiteness directly to authenticity and "rationality".

The concept of progress became inextricably tied to race, with Afro-Colombians at the far end of the spectrum. To this day, some academics and political officials still consider Afro-Colombians history as "Fake" or invented when compared to that of the indigenous people, mestizos, and Spanish inhabitants It should be noted that in Colombia, Afro-descended populations outnumber indigenous populations, and have been living in Columbia, over one million reside in the Pacific Coastal region, the majority being in Quibdo, Buenaventura, Tumaco, and Guapi, with around forty-percent living in smaller, and more rural areas.

The Pacific coastal region of Colombia covers ten million hectares, eighty percent of which is still covered by tropical forests. The region is isolated from the rest of the country by the Western Andean Mountain chain, with little more than three roads leading to the area. In the early 1900s, paramilitaries had yet to infiltrate the Pacific coast (Asher, 2007)

In fact, the government had considered Afro-Colombians and indigenous groups on the coast to be "guardians" of the rainforests. However, the idea of protection that was prominent that was prominent in the early 1990s was soon transformed by the intrusion of paramilitary forces seeking to establish African Palm Oil plantations(Oslender, 2007)

Since then, thousands of Afro-Colombians have been driven out by armed groups. The first in a series of violent happened on December 20, 1996. Under the pretense they were combating FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces Of Colombia), the Colombian army and paramilitaries carried carried out an offensive attack in the area of Afro-Colombians in Northern Choco.

It is important to note that the national media outlets and journalists never addressed nor confirmed the impetus behind this offensive. As a result of these attacks, over twenty-thousand Afro-Colombians were forcibly displaced from their homes during January and February of 1997.

The purported reasoning behind the attacks is misguided at best. Evidence found in the wake of the offensive points to displacement as a development strategy for African Palm Oil production, which flourishes in the bio-diverse region of the Pacific coast. Because of paramilitary encroachments, Afro-Colombians have become one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world.

Afro-Colombian Culture

The evidence of Africa in Afro-Colombian culture can be visibly seen in their music. In Colombian music, there are many evidences of African culture.

It is understood that Currulao, Abosao, Champeta, Bullerengue and Mapale are African-based musical genres, and there is ample proof that there is African an African genre in other musical genres. The word "Cumbia" comes from an African word "Nkumbi," which means drums.

Porro comes from a secret society in Western Africa. Bambuco has a format that resembles music from Bambuko region in Senegal. Villancicos are musical adaptations of African chants. In Vallenato, two of the rhythms have pronounced African influences. Merengue brings its name and rhythm from the Muserengue, an African culture in Colombia.. Puya, the most difficult rhythm in Vallenato is structured on African Rhythms

Afro Colombian Girl And Her Hair-Do..

Palos Music: Dominican Republic

Confradia de los Congos del Espiritu Santo de Villa Mella...

Dominican Ladies In Their Traditional Wear

Blaks/Africans In Latin America: Haiti And The Dominican Republic - The Roots Of Division

Afro-Domincan Spiritual Life And Celebrations

According to Silvio Torres-Saillant, a leading Dominican Studies scholar, "Africans and Mulattoes make nearly 90% of the contemporary Dominican population; Yet, no other country in the hemisphere exhibits greater indeterminacy regarding the population's sense of racial identity.

The Dominican Republic was the first port of entry of slaves in the Americas, and the site of the first slave revolt in the Americas. Although Dominicans have this historical African heritage, it is denied and neglected in contemporary Dominican society. For example, in text books and museums, Spanish and Indigenous lineages are praised for their contributions to Dominican society, while African Identities are given little or no space.This lack of public space for African ancestries, manifests itself in the Dominican racial identity. Most of the Afro-Dominicans trace their African ancestry to West Africa and Congo.

Dominican identity is built on three principles. The first is Hispanidad or Hispanicity, an appreciation of Spanish culture, Catholicism and Whiteness… The second principle is the appreciation of the indigenous Taino culture and people o within Dominican identity.

After the Spanish arrived on the Island in 1492, the native Arawak population, The Tainos, were decimated by Spanish diseases and the slave labor system, leaving the Spanish settlers and African slaves. Contrary to this history, Dominicans assert that they are mostly Indian and European ancestry only.

According to Frank Moyans, preference for use of Indio or Indian as a racial category has enabled Dominicans to avoid being African. "By calling themselves Indians, Dominicans have been able to provisionally resolve the profound drama that filled most of their history: that of being a Colored nation ruled by quasi-White elite that did not want to accept the reality of its color and history as a Dominican peoples."

The final component of Dominican identity is the concept of not being Haitian. Haiti was the first African people's Republic in the Americas. When Haiti invaded the Dominican Republic from 1822-1844, it established rule for 22 years, thus fostering resentment among Dominicans. Dominicans defiantly fought to topple Haitian rule, and as newly Independent nation, the Dominican Republic sought to distinguish itself from its African neighbor. Building on the feelings towards Haitians, Dominican leaders such as Trujillo, distanced the Dominican Republic from Haiti by establishing anti-Haitian rhetoric, which negatively painted Haiti as the Poor, Ugly neighbor

Being Haitian was equated with being Black/African, therefore Dominicans have been indoctrinated not to see themselves as Black/African.

Dominican society is the cradle of Blackness/Africanness in the Americas. The Island of Hispaniola or Santo Domingo, which Dominicans share with Haitians, served as port of entry to the first African slaves to set foot on Spain's newly conquered territories. Following Christopher Columbus's eventful transatlantic voyage in 1492.

Nine years into the conquest of what thenceforward became known as the New World. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella appointed Fray de Ovando, governor of Santo Domingo, authorizing him to bring "African Slaves" to their colony. Marking the start of the African Experience in the Western Hemisphere.

The arrival of Ovando's fleet in July 1502 ushered in a social and demographic history that would lead in the course of five centuries, to the overwhelming presence of people of African descent in the Dominican Republic.

Africans and Mulattoes make up nearly 90 percent of the contemporary Dominican population. Yet, no other country in the Hemisphere exhibits greater indeterminacy regarding the population's sense of racial identity. To the bewilderment of outside observers, Afro-Dominicans have traditionally failed to flaunt their "Blackness/Africanness" as a collective banner to advance economic, cultural, or political causes. Some commentators contend, in effect, that Dominicans have, for the most part, denied their Blackness/Africanness.

Faced with the population's tolerance of official claims asserting the moral and intellectual superiority of Caucasians by White Supremacist ideologues, analysts of racial identity in Dominican society-have often imputed to Dominicans heavy doses of "Backwardness," "Ignorance," or "Confusion" regarding their race and ethnicity.(Fenema, 1989)

Here's a side-bar on the complexity of racial thinking and racial discourses among the Dominicans with the purpose of urging the adoption of discrete paradigms in attempts to explicate the place of Black Consciousness in Dominican society and culture.A large part of the problem of racial identity among Dominicans stems from the fact that from its inception, their country had to negotiate the racial paradigms of their North American and European overseers.

The Dominican came into being as a sovereign state on February 27, 1844, when the political leaders of eastern Hispaniola proclaimed their juridical separation from the Republic of Haiti, putting an end to 22 years of unification under an African controlled government with its seat in Port-au-Prince. The Haitian leadership originally resisted the idea of relinquishing authority over the whole Island and made successive attempts to regain the eastern territory, which resulted in sporadic armed clashes between Haitian and Dominican forces until 1855.(Torres-Saillant)

As the newly created Caribbean Republic sought to insert into an economic order dominated by Western powers, among which "the radical imagination" had long since taken a firm hold, the race of Dominicans quickly became an issue of concern, near the end of President Tyler's administration, US Secretary of State John C. Calhoun spoke of the need for the fledgling Dominican State to receive formal recognition from the United States, France, and Spain to prevent "the further spread of Negro/African influence in the West Indies(Welles)

When in 1845 American Agent John Hogan arrived in Santo Domingo with the mandate of assessing the country for eventual recognition of its independence, he sided with Dominicans in their conflicts with Haitians and therefore soon became concerned over predominance of people of African descent in the country.

. Hogan wondered whether "the prince in the Republic of so large a proportion of the colored race" would weaken the government's efforts to fend off Haitian aggression. Bobadilla assuaged his fears by replying that, "Among the Dominicans, preoccupations regarding color have never held much sway," and that even former "Slaves have fought and would again fight against Haitians" on account of the oppressiveness of the latter's former regime."(Welles)

In a dispatch dated October 24, 1849, John M. Clayton, American Commissioner in Santo Domingo, it was reported by Jonathan E. Green that Haitian violence had given
force and universality to the feeling in favor of the Whites in the Dominican Republic, to the point that an African "When taunted with his Color" could conceivably remark, "I am Black?African, but White Black/African."

Given the fluctuating pronouncements on Dominicans and race, the mixed testimony in the late 1920s of yet another American commentator Welles, should come as no surprise. While asserting that, "Race discrimination in the Dominican Republic is unknown," he deemed it "one of the most noteworthy peculiarities of the Dominican people that among all shades, there is a universal desire that the Black/African be obliterated by the White"..

The stimulation of White immigration carried "similar forced.(Welles) Welles described what proponents of structural causes for attitudes about race would characterize as a contradiction, since his scenario insinuates that "Negrophobia" can exist independent of racial oppression.

It is not surprising that this inquiry should come from statements of Welles and the other North Americans, for Dominican identity consists not only of how Dominicans see themselves, but also of how they are seen by the powerful nations with which the Dominican Republic has been linked in a relationship of political and economic dependence.

It is not inconceivable, [And I think it is so], for instance, that the texture of "Negrophobic and anti-Haitian nationalist discourse sponsored by official spokespersons in the Dominican State drew significantly on North American sources dating back to the first years of the Republic.


Consistent with their large presence, Dominicans of African descent have played an active and decisive political role in their country. The black or mulatto Francisco del Rosario Sanchez (1817-1861), one of the founding fathers of the Dominican nation, and the black general Jose Joaquin Puello (1808-1847) were important in bringing the dream of Dominican independence to fruition. Beyond this, blacks and mulattos, by defying the original separatist movement, ensured the republic’s formally espousing democratic ideals. Blacks had valid reasons for hesitating to support the separation from Haiti espoused by a liberal elite from Santo Domingo; they owed their freedom to their brethren from the western territory. Slavery had been restricted in 1801, under (Alfau Duran, 1994: 370). Moreover, the leadership of the

separatist movement had proposed a national anthem written by the poet Felix Maria Del Monte (1819-1899) that emboldened the patriots with the exhortation "Rise up in arms

Since an association of the nascent republic with imperial
Spain, which still enslaved blacks in Cuba and Puerto Rico, would have imperiled the freedom of many Dominicans, within hours of the independence proclamation, an uprising of people of African descent led by Santiago Basora in the Santo Domingo section of

Monte Grande challenged the new government. The rebellion forced the leaders of the in
Basora into the country’s governing structure (Franco, 1984: 161-162). The very first decree promulgated by the Junta Central that first governed the country, on March 1, 1844, was the abolition of slavery (Alfau Duran, 1994: 13).

And mulattos, the Dominican government went on to reaffirm its commitment to abolition in several decrees that, apart from stressing the finality of abolition, made slave trafficking of any kind a capital crime and ruled that slaves from any provenance would instantly gain their freedom on setting foot on the territory of the Dominican Republic (And Dominicana, "Esclavitud").

Enciclopedia Moreover, the leadership of the separatist movement had proposed a national anthem written by the poet Felix Maria Del Monte (1819-1899) that

emboldened the patriots with the exhortation "Rise up in arms, oh Spaniards!" (Franco, 1984: 160-161).

Since an association of the nascent republic with imperial Spain, which still enslaved blacks in Cuba and Puerto Rico, would have imperiled the freedom of many Dominicans, within hours of the independence proclamation, an uprising of people of African descent led by Santiago Basora in the Santo Domingo section of Monte Grande challenged the new government.

The rebellion forced the leaders of the incipient nation to reaffirm the abolition of slavery and to integrate the black Basora into the country’s governing structure (Franco, 1984: 161-162). The very first decree promulgated by the Junta Central that first governed the country, on March 1, 1844, was the abolition of slavery (Alfau Duran, 1994: 13).

Among various gestures to allay the concerns of blacks and mulattos, the Dominican government went on to reaffirm its commitment to abolition in several decrees that, apart from stressing the finality of abolition, made slave trafficking of any kind a capital crime and ruled that slaves from any provenance would instantly gain their freedom on setting foot on the territory of the Dominican Republic (Enciclopedia Dominicana, "Esclavitud").

When, less than 20 years after independence, an unpatriotic elite negotiated the annexation of the Dominican Republic to Spain, an armed rebellion to recover its lost sovereignty promptly ensued, and the black General Gregorio Luperon outshone all others as the guardian of national liberation.

The participation of people of African descent in that chapter of Dominican history, known as the War of Restoration, was significant both in the high command and in the rank and file. The nationalist resistance leaders, aware of the decisive importance of blacks and mulattos, launched a campaign calling attention to Spain’s plans to restore slavery with a document known as the St. Thomas Manifesto of March 30, 1861.

Pressured by this campaign, Brigadier Antonio Pelaez, commander of the occupation forces, hastened to issue a decree of April 8, 1861, whereby Spain assured Dominicans that slavery would never return to the land (Alfau Duran, 1994: 12). Even so, the color of the invaders contrasted sharply with that of the creoles, giving the war racial overtones. With the "massive integration" of the peasant population, "which consisted mainly of blacks and mulattos," the armed struggle soon became a "racial war" against a white supremacist power that preserved slavery and "a truly popular war, as it directed all the energies of the nation toward achieving independence and restoring sovereignty" (Franco, 1992: 277; Moya Pons, 1995: 213).

Afro Dominican Music

Afro-Dominican music is some of the least-known sounds coming from the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic is best known for Merengue and Bachata, two essential parts of the mainstream Latin music scape. Both styles have heavy African influences, but aren't considered "Afro-Dominican" music — that term is reserved for the 60 some-odd rhythms found on the Island, deeply African sounds that make the complex grooves of Salsa or Merengue look like beginner's stuff. There is an astounding musical diversity. Whole music traditions can change from one town to the next, each with its own choir of unique instruments.

Although there are secular styles as well, most Afro-Dominican music is deeply integrated with Afro-Dominican religion, syncretic practices that fuse the Catholic saints to African deities, much like "Cuban-Santeria" or Haitian Vaduz. From energetic Saint's Day parties to private ceremonies to mass pilgrimages, Afro-syncretic spiritual activities play a major part in the lives of man Dominicans, and music is always there at the center, providing an ecstatic, transcendent, communal way of interacting with the divine.

Afro-Dominican music is a well-kept secret thanks to a long and complicated relationship between Dominicans and their strong African heritage, further nuanced by the 31-year dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, who actively persecuted the country;s African cultural manifestations in an obsessive quest to Europeanize the country. Even though Afro-Dominican music is played everyday, it is rarely discussed in public — it's almost taboo.

Nevertheless, the traditions are strong-this is living, breathing folklore. Whereas in some countries, traditional music is dead except for nostalgic recreations by folkloric ensembles, this music is thriving with virtually no support of any kind.

Salve

Palos and Salve are the most common styles of Afro-dominican music. In fact, some ethnomusicologists say that Palos should be the true Dominican music, rather than Merengue, since it's found in some form virtually everywhere on the Island.

Palos, which means "sticks," gets its name from the trio of tall, skinny drums it is played on. The drummers are accompanied by the omnipresent Dominican : Guitar metal scraper, and singers who venerate the Catholic Church saints and their syncretized African counterparts with call-and-response style melodies and improvised verses.

Fiesta de Palo

The music is an essential part of Afro-Dominican spiritual life. Popular religious celebrations are often referred to as Fiesta de Palo, or Palos party, descendants after the dominant role of the drum. Ceremonies usually occur on the Saint's Days of the Catholic devotional calendar.

For example, October 20 is Santa Mart's Day, so her devotees might arrange a party in her honor. In towns or neighborhoods where she is the patron saint, there will likely be a "Novena," in which festivities occur for nine straight nights, culminating in an all-night party on the actual Saint's Day.

In either case, an altar will be made and Palos drummers will play, often for hours on end. As the music intensifies, worshipers may undergo possession, in which the deity descendants to the earth to give advice, relay messages from deceased relatives, or sometimes just to have fun. Once the possession stops, the person often has little or no recollection of what just happened.

These may be religious events, but they aren't staid affairs in any sense — people drink, dance, sing, and have a good time, and it's all about bringing the community together. While most Palo songs are about the virtues and exploit of the Saints and Gods, many are just festive songs with secular topics.

Salve is a related genre that is played in a lot of the same contexts, but with different instruments and rhythms. The name comes from the Salve Regina, a Catholic psalm, and many still sing a sacred, Acapella-Salve that preserves the medieval modes of old Spanish hymns.

The ecstatic Salve played at religious parties, however, is all about percussion — featuring large numbers of tambourines playing interlocking rhythm alters the pitch by applying pressure with his foot.

Congos

Congos is a unique musical phenomenon that has intrigued Anthropologists both at home and abroad for decades. It's played by a group called Cofradia de los Congos del Espiritu Santo de Villa Mella

African Haitian Women In Their Traditional Dress

Traditional Haitian Folk Dance - " Santiago de Cuba"...

Greatest African Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution (1791-1803)

Professor Bayinnah Bello - "Completing The Haitian Revolution Pt. 1 of 2..

Here's Looking Into The History Of Haiti..

In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on an Island known to its indigenous Taino inhabitants as Ayiti, or "Land of the Mountains." Columbus re-named this Island Hispaniola, or "Little Spain." Colonists arrived, building plantations that became rich sources of crops like Sugar, Coffee and Indigo. To make these plantations profitable, colonists relied heavily on slave labor. Eventually, Hispaniola became a country known as Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Many of the slaves brought to Hispaniola from northern and central Africa in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries practiced Voodoo. But the colony's slave code required all slaves be baptized as Christians. This forced conversion had a big influence Voodoo. Since slaves could not observe their religion openly, they borrowed many elements from Catholicism to protect their own spiritual practice. This process, known as syncretization, strongly influenced Voodoo in Haiti.

The names of Catholic Saint became the names of "Loa's" role reflected that of the Saints. Fro example, Saint Peter holds the keys to the kingdom of Heaven, and corresponds to the 'Loa Papa Legba,' who is the spirit world's gatekeeper.

Catholic religious holidays became Voodoo holidays for the corresponding 'Loa". For instance, celebration for a family of Spirits called the 'Gedes', who are personifications of dead ancestors, take place on All Saint's Day and all Soul's Day.

Christian crosses became symbols for the crossroads, which represents life-altering choices and steps in the spiritual path for followers of Voodoo.

Catholic hymns and prayers became part of Voodoo Services

Several other influences affected Voodoo as we, including the traditions of the local Taino people. The story and history of Voodoo is part of the Haitian history that will be addressed Fully elsewhere in some forthcoming articles.

What remains important is the fact that the Bif families in Haiti played a big role in the business of managing the economy, the structure of the military, and also, worth noting, is the role of the American economic assistance programs, along with the American efforts to inculcate "democracy" in Haiti…

For many Americans, Haiti appears to be just another mixed-up Third World country which, because of its poverty and backward political system, drives thousands of refugees to flee to US shores every year-and occasionally requires the United States, with its superior civic values and skills. To go down and sort out the mess.

But there is another side to the story of Haiti-US relations. In fact, Haiti inhabits a small part of a little-understood and seldom-seen hemispheric hinterland that has become more and more the focus of US foreign policy, especially in the post-Cold War era. Haiti, like all other small Caribbean and Latin America, Haiti has become s focal point of expanding US commerce-the new workplace for American-owned industries.When American companies shut down factories in the US, they export them to places like Haiti to take advantage of the dramatically reduced wages…

So that, is another place of well-placed and extensively chronicled American expansionism. This expansionism has historically not only contributed to the destruction of these countries, it totally destroyed Haiti. What is rarely mentioned within the parameters of this American expansionism, which has been an ongoing intervention, for over a hundred years, in Haiti, and has never benefited the Haitian peoples…

A Brief History of Haiti:

The Native population of Haiti, after have been wiped out, following the conquest of Hispaniola by the Spanish, a unique culture has developed, with strong roots in the heritage of the hundreds of Africans brought to the country as slaves, which has kept on going during the rule of the Spaniards.

Included in this history are the French, British, and American colonialism endured. Creole, the language spoken by all (Although French also remains the official language), draws on seventeenth and eighteenth century French, on Spanish and English, and on syntax of African languages, but is as a whole uniquely Haitian.

Bernard Diederich wrote:

In a Hemisphere where mostly Spanish or English is spoken, the uniqueness of the Haitian tongue-as with Haiti's other main cultural attributes-sets it attractively apart in some ways and in others merely isolates it. In its Voodoo, its Blackness, its extraordinary problems brought on by the inheritance of a system of small farms, lie both a freshness and a despair.

The land and water of Haiti have been exploited to the point of exhaustion, and parts of the country verge on becoming a wasteland. The vast forests that were once covering 75% of Haiti were destroyed long ago, due to a century's half exploitative use land use policy, and a growing population's desperate need for fuel. Today, less that 7% of Haiti remains forested.(Burt)

Haiti's once tillable land is now saline, or badly eroded, the small farmers tend to push their crops onto marginal lands, often moving up the slopes of the craggy mountains, deforesting what remains of the mountain slopes, inducing more more erosion, and producing lower yields as they move higher.

Today, less than 11 percent of Haiti's land is considered "arable" (although about 43 percent remains under cultivation). What was once called "The Pearl of the Antilles"-the richest and most fertile colony in the New World-has become a near-desert, where the vast majority of the population lives in dire poverty.

Over 1 million of the country's six million people cram into the slum of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Despite the fact that most of the city has virtually no sewage, the most precarious of water supplies, a few employment opportunities, and meanwhile, the population of Port-au-Prince is growing as people seek escape from starvation in rural areas.

Many observers maintain that the spirit of the country remains in the countryside, and that the money is in Port-au-Prince. Yet, this wealth is distributed according to strict class system, determined by economic power and family position, and to a lesser extent, by skin color.

Prof. Bayinna Bello - "Completing Haitian Revolution

Indepth View Of The History Of Haiti..

In Léogâne in 1772, a Haitian woman named Zabeth, her story recorded, lived a not uncommon life and death. Rebellious, like many, from childhood, she was chained for years when not working, chased and attacked by dogs when she escaped, her cheek branded with a fleur de lis.

Zabeth was locked up in a sugar mill for punishment. She stuck her fingers in the grinder, then later bit off the bandages which stopped the flow of blood. She was then tied, her open wounds against the grinder, where particles of iron dust poisoned her blood before she died. Her owner lived unconcerned across the sea in Nantes.

For five years, the French Revolution, consumed with the struggle for human rights ignored the slaves of Haiti even over the protests of Marat and Robespierre and the words of the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

The Following piece was written by Ramsey Clark:

On August 14, 1791, the slaves of St. Domingue rebelled. News of the insurrection sent electrifying waves of fear throughout the hemisphere. The slave states and slave owners in all parts of the US and elsewhere in the Americas were forced to face what they had long dreaded, that the cruelty of their deeds would turn on them in violent slave rebellions.

Their fear produced hatred and greater cruelty toward the slaves that led to the barbarity of lynchings in the late 19th and early decades of the 20th centuries and the excessive force employed with zeal by police in race riots into the 1960s in the US

The struggle of the Haitian slaves for freedom dragged on for more than a decade, the French army caring less and less about the destructiveness of their arms and about the lives of the Haitian people.

President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, both slave owners, supported France in its efforts to suppress the slaves of St. Domingue. Their successors have consistently acted against the rights and well-being of Haitians ever since.

In 1794, after fighting both Spain and Great Britain to control St. Domingue, harassed by the slave insurrection led by Pierre-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, and in need of troops easily recruited from freedman before the rebellion, France declared the abolition of slavery in its colonies.

Frightened by the freedom of slaves in Haiti, the next year the King of Spain ceded the rest of the island, Spain's first colony in America, to France. The island was once again, temporarily, united.

By 1801, Toussaint Louverture, a slave himself before the insurrection, proclaimed a constitution for Haiti, which named him governor-general for life. Napoleon was not consulted.

Later that year, Bonaparte sent General Charles Leclerc with a veteran force of 20,000 trained soldiers, including Haitian military officers, among them Alexandre Pétion, to crush the "First of the Blacks." In 1802, Napoleon ordered the reinstatement of slavery. Toussaint was captured by ruse and sent to France where he died a prisoner on April 7, 1803. Fearful that Napoleon would succeed in restoring slavery, African and mulatto generals in the French Army joined the bitter revolt against France. US merchants sold arms and supplies to the former slave forces, while the US government supported France.

The French army of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by Haitian former slaves. It surrendered in November 1803 and agreed to a complete withdrawal.

Haiti lay in ruins, nearly half its population lost. The African slaves of Haiti had defeated the army of Napoleon Bonaparte. The 12-year war for liberation had destroyed most of the irrigation systems and machinery that, with slave labor, had created France's richest colony and were the foundation of the island's economy.

On January 1, 1804, independence was declared for the entire island in the aboriginal name preferred by the former slaves: Haiti. In September 1804, Dessalines was proclaimed Emperor Jacques I.

Nearly all whites who survived the long violence fled the island before, or with, the departing French army.

Profound fear spread among white peoples throughout the Americas wherever Africans were held in slavery. In the US slave states, news from Haiti of the slave rebellion, the emancipation, the imprisonment and death of Toussaint Louverture in France, the failure of Napoleon's effort to reestablish slavery after sending 20,000 professional soldiers for the task, and their final defeat sent shock waves infinitely greater than those of 9-11-2001 two centuries later. Years before Nat Turner and even the earlier slave rebellions in the United States, the fear of slave rebellion became a brooding omnipresence.

As word spread among slave populations, exaltation embraced its people who could now believe their day of freedom too would come. The conflict between fear and newborn faith sharpened the edge of hostility that separated slave and master, creating greater tension and more violence.

Dessalines' nationalization and democratic distribution of land led to his assassination in 1806 by jealous elements of a new ruling class, both black and mulatto, emerging from the ranks of the Haitian generals. The alliance between the formerly freed the freedmen or affranchis and the newly freed and the former slaves was dissolved with Dessalines' murder. A new ruling class of big landowners and a merchant bourgeoisie supplanted their colonialist predecessors. There ensued civil war primarily between the mulatto Pétion, who was elected president in Port-au-Prince over the South, and Christophe, a full-blooded African, who was proclaimed King Henry I in the North. Christophe committed suicide in 1820 after a major revolt against his rule. Jean Pierre Boyer, who had succeeded Pétion in the South in 1818, then became president of a united Haiti.

Haiti was reviled and feared by all the rich nations of the world precisely for its successful slave revolt which represented a threat not only in nations where slavery was legal, but in all countries, because of their large under-classes living in economic servitude. The strategy of the nations primarily affected, including the US, was to further impoverish Haiti, to make it an example.

Racism in the hemisphere added a painful edge to the treatment of Haiti, which has remained the poorest country, with the darkest skin, the most isolated nation in the Americas. Even its language, spoken by so few beyond its borders, made Haiti the least accessible of countries and peoples.

In one grand commitment, Haiti, through President Pétion, contributed more to the liberation of the Americans from European colonial powers than any other nation. Twice Haiti, poor as it was, provided Simon Bolívar with men, arms and supplies that enabled the Great Liberator to free half the nations of South America from the Spanish yoke.

On New Year's Day 1816, Pétion, his country still in ruins, blockaded by France and isolated from all rich nations, met with Bolívar, who had sold even his watch in Jamaica, seeking funds. He promised seven ships, 250 of his best soldiers, muskets, powder, provisions, funds, and even a printing press. Haiti asked only one act in repayment: Free the slaves.

Bolívar surely intended to fulfill his promise and achieved some proclamations of emancipation, but at the time of his death in 1831, not even his own Venezuela had achieved de facto freedom for all of its slaves.

Thus Haiti had achieved the first successful slave rebellion of an entire colony, the defeat of veterans of Europe's most effective fighting force at the time Napoleon's legions and made perhaps the decisive contribution to the liberation from European colonial governments of six nations, all larger and with more people than Haiti. Each act was a sin for which there would be no forgiveness.

Spain retained effective control over the eastern part of the island after its concession to France in 1795. The Dominicans revolted against Spain in 1822, joining nearly all the Spanish colonies in the Americas. President Boyer blocked Europe's counter-revolutionary designs against Haiti by laying claim to the Spanish lands where he abolished slavery, but Haitian control was never consolidated. The Dominicans declared independence in 1844 which, after a decade of continuing struggle, was finally achieved.

In 1825, France was the first nation to recognize Haiti, from which it had profited so richly, but at a huge expense to Haiti through a more sophisticated form of exploitation. Haiti agreed to pay France 150,000,000 gold francs in "indemnity." The US permitted limited trade with Haiti, but did not recognize it until 1862, the second year of the US Civil War.

Haiti, true to its struggle against slavery, permitted Union warships to refuel and repair in its harbors during the Civil War. In 1891, the US sought to obtain Môle Saint-Nicolas on the Northwest tip of Haiti as a coaling station by force, but failed. A decade later, the US obtained Guantanamo Bay from Cuba after the Spanish-American war. Môle Saint-Nicolas and Guantanamo are strategically located on the Windward Passage between Haiti and Cuba, the best route from the Atlantic to the Panama Canal. First France, then the US, coveted the notion of a base at Môle Saint-Nicolas.

Between 1843 and 1911, sixteen persons held the highest government office in Haiti, an average of four years, three months each, but eleven were removed by force and its threat from a still revolutionary people.

During the period from August 1911 to July 1915, in which many Haitians believed their country was being taken over by US capital, one president was blown up in the Presidential Palace, another died of poison, three were forced out by revolution, and on July 27, 1915, President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam was taken by force from the French legation where he had sought sanctuary and killed.

The next day US Marines landed in Haiti and began an occupation that lasted nineteen years. The US invoked the Monroe Doctrine and humanitarianism to justify a criminal occupation. Haiti was forced to sign a ten-year treaty, later extended, which made Haiti a US political and financial protectorate.

Shortly before World War I, US bankers, in the most debilitating form of intervention, obtained shares in the Haitian Bank which controlled the government's fiscal policies and participated in a huge loan to the Haitian government, again placing the people in servitude to a foreign master. US capitalists were quickly given concessions to build a railroad and develop plantations. As the Panama Canal neared completion, US interests in Haiti grew.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, than assistant secretary of the Navy, drafted a constitution for Haiti, something Toussaint Louverture had been capable of one hundred and fourteen years earlier. In 1920, while campaigning for the vice-presidency, Roosevelt boasted of his authorship accomplished on the deck of a US Navy destroyer off the coast of Cap Haïtien. Such is the certainty of the US in its natural superiority and right in matters of governance.

In 1918, US Marines supervised a "farcical" plebiscite for the new constitution. Among other new rights, it permitted aliens for the first time to own land in Haiti.

Haiti paid dearly. US intervention in education emphasized vocational training at the expense of the French intellectual tradition. The racist implications were clear to the people. The national debt was funded with expensive US loans. The occupying force imposed harsh police practices to protect property and maintain order, but with little concern for injuries it inflicted, or protection for the public. In the spirit of democracy, Haitians were virtually excluded from the government of their own people.

Over the years, opposition to the occupation grew, and slowly Americans joined Haitians in protest against it. In 1930, after student and peasant uprisings, President Hoover sent missions to study ending the occupation and improving the education system. The first election of a national assembly since the occupation was permitted that year. In turn, it elected Stenio Joseph Vincent president. Vincent opposed the occupation, and Haitians quickly took control of public works, public health, and agricultural services.

In August 1934, Franklin Roosevelt, now president of the US, to confirm his celebrated Good Neighbor Policy, ended the occupation and withdrew the Marines. When the occupation was over, Haiti was as poor as ever and deep in debt. The US continued its direct control of fiscal affairs in Haiti until 1941, and indirect control until 1947, to protect its loans and business interests.

Haitian Art..

Contemporary Haitian Story And History..

Ramsey Clark further adds:

Among accomplishments the US proclaimed for its long governance was a unified, organized, trained and militarized police force. Called the Garde d'Haïti, it guarded Haitians less than it guarded over them.

In 1937, Haiti was weakened by nearly two decades of foreign occupation and subjugation and a huge part of its unemployed work force was in the Dominican Republic laboring under cruel conditions at subsistence wages. The Dominican dictator, President Rafael Trujillo, directed the purge of Haitian farm workers and laborers in an overtly racist campaign of government violence to keep his country "white."

As many as 40,000 Haitians were killed. The Organization of American States interceded and forced the Dominican Republic to acknowledge 18,000 deaths for which it paid $522,000 in restitution with no other consequence than an angry neighbor. A Haitian life was worth $29 to the OAS, with most lives unrecognized.

Art flourished in Haiti in the late 1930s. By the mid-1940s, there was a "Renaissance in Haiti." Artists painted furiously on any surface that offered the opportunity. Haitian artists gained international reputations and fame: Philomé Obin, André Pierre, Castera Bazile, Wilson Bigaud, Rigaud Benoit, Hector Hippolyte, and others. Their work commanded prices unimaginable to the poor of Haiti. With the painting, the richness of Haitian culture burst out in music, poetry, literature and cuisine. But more tragedy lay ahead.

Vincent served until 1939 when, under U.S. pressure, he retired in favor of Elie Lescot. When he sought to run for a second term, Lescot was forced from office by student strikes and ultimately mob violence in 1946. A military triumvirate directed a new election of the National Assembly in 1946.

The Assembly elected Dumarsais Estimé president. Near the end of his term in 1950, the same military triumvirate seized power, forcing Estimé to leave Haiti. Col. Paul E. Magloire, a member of the triumvirate, was then chosen to direct public elections as president. Magloire was in turn forced to resign and leave the country as his term expired in December 1956.

After a period of turmoil, strikes and mob violence, during which several men, then an Executive Council and an Army commander served briefly as provisional leadership, François Duvalier, a physician, was elected president, with Army approval, on September 22, 1957.

The brutality, capriciousness, and arbitrary exercise of power and violence by Duvalier provides a classic study of dictatorship in poor countries.

In 1960, he forced the Catholic Archbishop François Poirier into exile to prevent interference and opposition by the Church of Haiti's official religion. Duvalier organized and licensed the notorious Tonton Macoutes from among his core supporters to terrorize the people to accept his rule.

The terror of Duvalier's long reign is described nowhere better for non-Haitians than in Graham Greene's classic,The Comedians, published in 1966. Greene knew Haiti before Duvalier. He loved the people. He thought they were beautiful. When he returned in 1963, he found the Tonton Macoutes, searches, road blocks, a place where "terror rides and death comes at night." Rebels were in the hills.

He stayed long enough to develop material for a book. Before he could return for a last impression, he was warned he should not. He had written a harsh profile of Duvalier in the English press.

Instead he flew to the Dominican Republic, traveled to the border to observe and walked "along the edge of the country we loved and exchanged hopes for a happier future." The Comedians ends on the border, but it contains a testament to the misery and the beauty of the Haitian people and the power of the committed among them.

In 1964, Duvalier imposed a new constitution on Haiti which made him president-for-life. To please the US, show he knew how to handle problems, and unintentionally confirm the accuracy of the sobriquet Comedians, the death penalty was decreed in 1969 for the "propagation of communist or anarchist doctrines through lectures, speeches, or conversations" and for accomplices in such propagation and persons who merely received or listened to such doctrines.

In 1971, "Papa Doc" Duvalier caused the constitution to be amended to empower him to name his successor and lower the age requirement for the presidency to age 18. He named his son, Jean-Claude, then 19, and died, having extended his dynasty by another 15 years.

Baby Doc's regime was as brutal as his father's, if somewhat more subtle. When President Carter criticized Haiti's human rights record in 1977, a few token prisoners were released. But arrests and disappearances continued. A young Haitian-American, the son of a former officer in Papa Doc's air force who had fled into exile, was arrested for public criticism of the Duvalier dynasty and held in cells under the Presidential Palace where the president could witness the discomfort of people he did not like. A barrage of entreaties for his release were ignored until the eve of the first visit in 1983 of a pope to Haiti. The prisoner was released, taken to the airport with his lawyer, provided first-class seats on an Air France flight to Miami without explanation, or apology.

By 1980, there was a mass exodus from Haiti by sea. The US Coast Guard policy was to interdict boatloads of Haitians fleeing at great risk toward freedom. When it caught boats close to Haiti, it forced them back to what could be death for some. Others caught in the Windward Passage were taken to prison at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo, where they were held as early patrons of a cruel experience which was later refined for Muslims, usually never named or charged, but treated with a cruelty that would make Baby Doc blush.

Other Haitians reached Florida's waters. The bodies of some washed up in the surf on Ft. Lauderdale beaches. Local residents were outraged, or horrified, depending on their character. Other Haitians caught on land or sea were taken to the Krome Avenue Detention Center in Miami. The treatment they endured there caused many Haitians to yearn for the free, if impoverished life, of Cité Soleil or Haiti's northwest, from which they had fled.

As opposition to Baby Doc grew and his hold on power weakened, vibrations of rebellion in Brooklyn, Queens, Miami, and other Haitian communities in the US, resonant with those throughout Haiti, rose and fell with conditions in the beloved country.

The Duvalier signature means of intimidation and bodies of its most recent victims left casually in the streets and byways to remind the people the next morning of the price of disobedience became daily fare.

The US, to defuse outcry and support for revolution, sent recruiters and agents provocateurs house-to-house and through the streets, to find and recruit young men identified by US intelligence as hostile to the Duvalier regime. Many were escorted to an airfield on Long Island to see a plane without markings loaded with guns to be used, they were told, in the overthrow of the Duvalier regime. A planeload of eager recruits was flown to New Orleans. They were promised training to participate in an invasion of Haiti.

Among these was the youngest son of fourteen children in the Perpignon family, who escaped separately with their mother from Haiti after their father, a prominent lawyer, was murdered by Duvalier in his first days as President. Duvalier had his body dragged through the streets of Port-au-Prince behind a mule for a week.

The men were set up in rooms in a motel and questioned in front of a concealed camera. They were asked why they wanted to overthrow the government of Haiti and encouraged to boast about what they would do when they captured Duvalier.

More than 40 Haitians and Haitian-Americans were then arrested in New Orleans, far from their homes, and charged with violations of the Neutrality Act of 1797, an act U.S. agents and paid assets violate every day. Most were released within a few days when lawyers retained by their families showed up to meet with them. Despite the criminality of the entrapment, and the fact that all freely admitted they were not in condition to capture a Boy Scout camp, some remained in jail for several months. This was late 1985: The last year for Duvalier.

Within the US, editors in the flourishing Haitian exile media, risked assassination as befell the courageous anti-Duvalierist Firmin Joseph, a founder of Haïti Progrès, in front of his home in Brooklyn in 1983. Thirteen years later, Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, who headed a U.S.- supported death-squad called FRAPH before and after the U.S. invasion in 1994, found asylum in New York. For other leaders of the 1991-94 coup d'état in Haiti, Washington arranged golden exiles in countries like Panama, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic.

Finally, after nearly 30 years under the heel of the Duvaliers, condoned, if not protected, by the U.S. government, the end had come. On February 7, 1986, Jean-Claude Duvalier and his family, with most of their possessions, flew on a U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane to France, where he has lived safe and comforted by the spoils from the toils of countless Haitians he abused so badly.

The question must be asked: how could the heirs of slaves who defeated Napoleon and who founded freedom in the hemisphere be subjugated to such petit tyranny? This book will help find the answer and the means of ending its furtherance.

A liberation theology priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, trusted because the people had witnessed him share their danger and privation, ran for President in the first real post-Duvalier elections in 1990 over the muted but fierce opposition of the U.S. The U.S. choice, Marc Bazin, who had served at the World Bank in Washington, was provided millions of dollars in direct support and assistance and highly touted in the subservient US media. Aristide with no resources, soft-spoken, but honest, won by a huge margin, with some 67% of the vote. Bazin, who came in second, bought 14% of the vote.

Aristide, despite support from the overwhelming majority of the people of Haiti was driven from office within nine months by the US organized, armed and trained military and police. At least twice he had escaped attempts on his life. Finally on September 30, 1991, with only a handful of Haitian security officers trained by the Presidential Protection Service of France, bearing just side arms and rifles,

President Aristide was trapped inside the Presidential Palace. Outside thousands of loyal supporters, a huge Haitian throng, unarmed but offering their bodies as protection, faced an army with overwhelming firepower. The dreaded Colonel Michel François in his red jeep led his police force in assaulting the Palace and the crowd. President Aristide faced the end.

Hundreds of Tonton Macoutes long alleged to have been disbanded, could be seen in their blue jeans and red bandannas milling about the center of the city, a warning to the wary.

President Aristide was saved by the intrepid ambassador of France, Rafael Dufour, who with perfect timing drove to the Presidential Palace, placed President Aristide in his limousine, drove to the diplomatic departures area at the international airport, and escorted the president to a plane ready to depart for Venezuela.

Duvalier was flown to life on the French Riviera by the US Air Force. The US, fully aware of Aristide's peril, did nothing to protect him.

Faces of Afro-South Americans

Afro-Central Americans Part 1

Ancient Africans in the Americas

Faces Afro-Central Americans Part 2

Garifuna Woman...

Ballet Garifuna de Honduras

A Story About the Garifuna Documentary

Afro-Ecuadoran Dancers...

Afro Uruguayans: Candomble

The following account by the University of Pittsburgh historian George Reid Andrews provides an introduction to the history of the population of African ancestry in Uruguay.

When we think of the great nations of the African Diaspora-Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, The United States, the United States—the South American republic of Uruguay is not one of the first names to come to mind. To the contrary: the recipient of almost 600,000 European immigrants between 1880 and 1930, Uruguay has long presented itself to the world as one of the two “white republics” of South America (its neighbor Argentina is the other).

In the national household survey of 1996, 93 percent of its citizens classified themselves as white, a figure significantly higher than in the United States (where 75 percent of the population classified itself as white in the 2000 census).

Yet in common with other Latin American countries, during the last 25 years Uruguay has experienced a significant upsurge in black civic and political mobilization. Organizations such as Mundo Afro (Afro World), the Asociación Cultural y Social Uruguay Negro, the Centro Cultural por la Paz y la Integración, Africanía, and others have pressed the nation to acknowledge its black past and present and to work toward the full integration of its black and indigenous minorities into national life.

These recent organizations are the latest chapter in a long history of black mobilization that began in the early 1800s with the salas de nación, mutual aid societies organized on the basis of members’ African origins. Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, was a required port of call for slave ships bringing Africans to the Río de la Plata region.

Most of those Africans continued on to Argentina, but during the late 1700s and early 1800s some 20,000 disembarked in Montevideo and remained in Uruguay. By 1800 the national population was an estimated 25 percent African and Afro-Uruguayan.

A list from the 1830s of thirteen salas de naciónin Montevideo shows six from West Africa, five from the Congo and Angola, and two from East Africa. The salas bought or rented plots of land outside the city walls, on which they built headquarters to house their religious observances, meetings, and dances. They collected money for emancipation funds to buy the freedom of slave members, lobbied public officials, and provided assistance in disputes and conflicts between slaves and their owners.

Free and slave Africans and Afro-Uruguayans served in large numbers in the independence wars of the 1810s and 20s and in the civil wars of the 1830s, 1840s, and the second half of the 1800s. Slave military service was rewarded first by the Free Womb law of 1825 (under which children of slave mothers were born free, though obligated to serve their mother’s master until they reached the age of majority) and then the final abolition of slavery in 1842.

Once free, Africans and Afro-Uruguayans demanded the full civic and legal equality guaranteed by the Constitution of 1830. In theory, these rights applied equally to all citizens; but in practice, Afro-Uruguayans faced pervasive discrimination and racial prejudice. In response, Afro-Uruguayans created the most active (on a per capita basis) Black Press anywhere in Latin America. Between 1870 and 1950 black journalists and intellectuals published at least twenty-five newspapers and magazines in Montevideo and other cities.

This compares to between forty and fifty black-oriented periodicals during the same period in Brazil, where the black population is today some 400 times larger than Uruguay’s; and fourteen in Cuba (black population twenty times larger than Uruguay’s).

This flourishing of Afro-Uruguayan journalism was at least in part a reflection of the country’s economic and educational achievements during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Exports of meat and wool formed the basis of one of South America’s most successful national economies.

By 1913, Uruguay had the highest per capita GNP and tax receipts, the lowest birth and death rates, and the highest rates of literacy and newspaper readership, anywhere in Latin America. National educational reforms in the 1870s and early 1900s made Uruguay a regional leader in educational achievement; under these conditions, Afro-Uruguayans were far more literate than their counterparts in, for example, Brazil.

Relatively high educational achievement in Uruguay provided favorable conditions for an active black press, as well as for Afro-Uruguayan social and civic organizations more generally. Afro-Uruguayans formed social clubs, political clubs, dancing and recreational groups, Literary and drama societies, civic organizations, and in 1936 a black political party, the Partido Autóctono Negro (PAN).

The PAN was one of three such parties in Latin America, the other two being in Cuba (the Partido Independiente de Color, 1908-12) and Brazil (the Frente Negra Brasileira, 1931-38). The PIC and FNB were both eventually outlawed by their respective national governments; the PAN, by contrast, was permitted to function freely but never succeeded in attracting significant electoral support.

During the 1800s and most of the 1900s, Uruguayan politics was dominated by two main parties, the Blancos and Colorados. Afro-Uruguayan voters split their allegiances between those parties, with most favoring the Colorados. Unable to make any inroads into that two-party system, the PAN disbanded in 1944.

During the 1940s and 1950s Uruguay experienced its most intense period of economic growth and expansion. Exports to the Allies during World War II, to a shattered Europe in the years after the war, and to the US during the Korean War, sustained a boom period remembered today as a golden age, the years of “como Uruguay no hay” (there’s no place like Uruguay), a semi-official slogan at the time.

Those years should have provided ideal conditions for black upward mobility; but prejudice and discrimination continued to obstruct black advancement. A celebrated case of discrimination in 1956, in which an Afro-Uruguayan schoolteacher suffered blatant harassment from two principals at schools to which she was assigned, provoked a national debate on racial conditions in the country.

A journalist investigating employment conditions in Montevideo at that time found that of 15,000 service workers (hairdressers, waiters, hotel chambermaids, bus drivers, etc.) in the city, only eleven were Afro-Uruguayan—less than one per thousand in a city that was probably 5-6 percent Afro-Uruguayan. The country’s leading university, the publicly funded Universidad de la República, was found to have awarded degrees to only five Afro-Uruguayans between 1900 and 1950.

Conditions had apparently changed little by 1980, when an Uruguayan writer reported that in the downtown commercial districts of Montevideo, “In dozens and dozens of shops, the total number of black employees does not reach ten… There are no black hairdressers… Except for very low-class bars, there are no black waiters, nor in hotels, restaurants, or cafes.”

During the 1980s and 90s, however, Uruguay experienced the same wave of black civic mobilization that swept over much of Latin America at that time. In Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Peru, and other countries, Afro-Latin Americans organized to combat racism and discrimination. The most important such group in Uruguay was Mundo Afro, founded in 1988.

Demanding that Uruguay recognize its black minority as an equal member of the national community, Mundo Afro successfully lobbied the national government to gather racial data (for the first time since 1852) in the national household surveys of 1996 and 2006. Those surveys showed Afro-Uruguayans constituting either 6 percent (1996) or 9 percent (2006) of the national population (3.3 million in 2006).

And as in Brazil and the United States, where racial data are routinely included in national censuses, the two surveys left no doubt concerning levels of racial inequality in the country. Afro-Uruguayan incomes are on average 60 percent of white earnings; whites are twice as likely as blacks to have a university degree; black poverty rates are double those of whites; black unemployment rates are 50 percent higher; and so on.

In the face of such conclusive data, and in preparation for the 2001 UN Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Xenophobia, held in South Africa, Uruguay’s government committed itself to policies aimed at combating racial discrimination and inequality.

In 2003 the municipal government of Montevideo created an advisory Unit for Afro-Descendent Rights; at the national level, President Tabaré Vázquez (2005-10) appointed a presidential advisor for Afro-Uruguayan affairs and created programs for Afro-Uruguayan women and Afro-Uruguayan youth in the Ministry of Social Development.

Paralleling and at times converging with the history of Afro-Uruguayan civic mobilization is the history of Afro-Uruguayans’ role in creating Uruguayan popular culture. To summarize very briefly, one of the principal functions carried out by the African salas de nación in the first half of the 1800s was to hold candombles, public dances for their members.

In the 1860s and 1870s, the Africans’ Uruguayan-born children and grandchildren combined African musical elements (particularly the use of African drums and other percussion instruments) with instruments, chords, and rhythms from Europe and the Caribbean (especially Cuba) to create a new musical form called both tango and candomble.

This new, syncopated music proved wildly popular—so popular that young white men wanted to get into the act as well, creating their own tangos and candombes. The vehicle through which they did so were the comparsas: musical groups that paraded in Carnival each February and March, playing music composed especially for those events.

Seeking to imitate their black models, the white comparsas paraded in blackface make-up and “African” costumes. The result was a “troubling hall of mirrors,” to quote historian John Chasteen, in which white performers imitated blacks while black performers in turn imitated whites’ imitation of blacks.

By 1900, previously segregated black and white comparsas had fused into racially integrated groups that in most cases were, and are today, majority white in composition. They present themselves to the Montevideo public associedades de negros, “Black” drummers, singers, and dancers performing the “black” music of candomble.

In so doing, they have become the most popular and applauded element of Montevideo’s Carnival. But the images of black life that they present hark back a century or more to racial stereotypes dating from the late 1800s. Blackness is presented in highly sexualized ways and as having a special relationship to primitive powers of rhythm, dance, magic, and sex.

The worlds of politics and candomble have often intersected. Some of the best-known comparsas have been closely tied to the Colorado party; in the 1960s groups of Candomble drummers appeared with Afro-Uruguayan Senator Alba Roballo in her electoral campaigns. In 2006, Afro-Uruguayan Congressman Edgardo Ortuño proposed the creation of a national holiday, the Day of Candomble.

Uruguayan Culture, and Racial Equality.

Conceived as an Uruguayan version of similar commemorations in the United States ( Day) and Brazil (Black Consciousness Day), the Day of Candomble(celebrated on December 3) is intended to provide space for a day of reflection on racial conditions in Uruguay and the road remaining to be traveled to achieve true racial equality.

Whether the holiday will serve that purpose remains to be seen; but certainly it provides clear evidence, if any were needed, of the centrality of Candomble and Afro-Uruguayan culture in Uruguayan national life.

Huracándombe: An Exploration of Afro-Uruguayan Music and Culture

Afro-Ecuador Culture

Je suis un Boni - Aluku - French Guiana - African Music tv

Caribbean Beauty part 1

Caribbean Beauty part 2

Caribbean Beauty part 3

Caribbean Beauty part 4

Black Beauty in Suriname

The Maroon Africans of Suriname

We are informed by Kwekudee:

The Saramaka or Saramacca are one of the six Maroon(African slaves who had escaped from slavery and set up independent communities beyond colonists control). Samaraccan Atlantic Creole-speaking peoples in the Republic of Suriname. The Saramaka people are one of the largest Maroon groups in Suriname were formerly called "Bush Negroes".

On the beginning of mid-2010, the people then known as "Saramaka" began calling themselves, in their official documents in English, "Saamaka," to conform to their own pronunciation. This was after the clan gained international prominence when the won international right to settle on their indigenous land case against the Republic of Suriname at IACtHR.

Since 1990, especially, some of the Saramaka have migrated Guiana, the Saramaka form the largest group in the world of Maroon people of African descent. The Saramaka people are mostly Fon/Gbe and Kikongo speaking people as well as some Akan people(Fantes).

Since their escape from slavery in the 17 and 18 century, the Samara have lived chiefly along the upper Suriname River and its tributaries, the Gaanlio and the Pikilio. Since the 1960s, they also live along the lower Suriname River. Today, about one-third of the Saramaka live in French Guiana, most having migrated the since 1990, after the war in Suriname.

The Saramaka people speak Samaraccan. The Samaraccan lexicon is derived largely from Portuguese, English, Dutch, and Niger-Congo languages of West Africa, especially Fon and other Gbe languages as well as Akan. The African component accounts for about 5% of the total. Saramaccan phonology has traits similar to languages of west Africa, and even has developed tones, which are common in Africa…

Black Beauty Bolivia..

Afro Bolivians

Afro Bolivians are Bolivians of African Ancestry-Afro-Bolivians. Most, if not all, were brought as slaves to work for European colonizers. African slaves may even have been a part of Francisco Pizzaro's expeditions in Upper and Lower Peru.

The originated from different areas of Africa, including Congo, Angola, Senegal, Mozambique, Ivory coast, and Ghana, and in most cases were brought to upper Peru from Lima or Buenes Aires, cities that did a lively trade with slave merchants. Afro-Bolivians have always had a strong sense of being "Negros",(their preferred term), and of possessing cultural and linguistic values that set them apart from the remainder of their compatriots, indigenous and mestizo.

The history of Africans in Bolivia dates from colonial-era Peru, when Africans were imported as slaves to labor in the silver mines of Peruvian viceroyalty. By the turn of the seventeenth century, hundreds of thousands of Africans had been imported into Spanish America(Bowser)

And by 1611, some 6,000 African and Mulato slaves worked the upper Peruvian mines of Potosi(Klein). Africans were also imported as slave labor to work coca-leaf plantations in the semitropical provinces of Nor Yungas and Sud Ungas(M. Leons). Emancipation was legislated in Bolivia's constitution on 19 December 1827; political debates delayed its enforcement until 1851.

Afro-Bolivians like to refer to themselves as "Negros"(Blacks), to a later a term introduced by Black intellectuals 'Afro-Boliviano' in the last quarter of the twentieth century, and by the 1990s the term was used by Africans migrants living in La Paz and among the Intelligentsia of Bolivia.

"Negritos" (Little Black) and "Moreno" (Brown are terms used by Bolivians when referring to Africans; however, Africans find the diminutive very offensive. Afro-Bolivians use the term "Mulato" to refer to an African of a lighter skin color. "Mulato" in its more common usage in Bolivia refers to the offspring of Whites or Hispanics and African people. "Zambo" refers to someone of mixed Indian and African parentage, and it is mainly mostly derogatorily.

There are Afro-Bolivian communities throughout Bolivia, especially in the semitropical climates of the departments of La Paz, Santa Cruz, Beni, and Cochabamba. the largest concentrations of Africans are found in the lowland provinces of Nor Yungas and Sud Yungas in the department of La Paz. Several communities of African agriculturists are located in each of these province, such as Chicaloloma and Chulumani in Sud Yungas and Murarata and Tocana in Nor Yungas. the Bolivian Yungas are characterized by heavy rainfall and a mean temperature of 23 degrees Celsius.

Afro-Bolivians , both migrant and rural agricultural people live in all major cities in Bolivian. A majority of the Afro-Bolivian live mainly on the outskirts of La Paz, an in the rapidly growing areas of El Alto and Vila Fatima.

In reality, there are well-defined Afro-Bolivian neighborhoods in La Paz. Participation in social activities, music ensembles being most important, is central to Afro-Bolivian establishment of a subjective sense of community. These groups are based on common origin, as in the province of Nor Yungas. They chose a central location within the city to meet, thus keeping transportation costs and accessibility approximately equal for all members.

Estimates of the population of Afro-Bolivians range as low as 6,000 to as high as 158,000, or 2 percent of Bolivia's population. These estimates vary widely because census figures for Bolivia do not include racial differentiations.

Afro-Bolivians throughout Bolivia speak mostly Spanish. The Spanish spoken by rural African agriculturists, is a dialect, and Afro-Bolivians maintain a small vocabulary of words of African origin. In the province of Dud Yungas and, to a lesser extent, Nor Yungas, Africans also speak the Aymara language.

In the city of La Paz, Afro-Bolivian migrants live throughout the poorest neighborhoods. If they have a house, it sits on a small plot of land (less than one-tenth of a hectare) and is typically of brick and enclosed by a brick wall.

The central living and dining area is one large room, with the sleeping area separated by a wall or a curtain. The kitchen is often separated from the house. As of 1992, most migrant Afro-Bolivian families lacked necessities such as electricity and adequate sanitation.

The African agriculturalists in Nor Yunga farm cash crops, coca leaf, coffee, citrus fruits, cacao, and many varieties of bananas and plantains. Coca leaf is the primary crop. It is a durable plant, and the same field can be harvested several times each year. Coca leaves are hand-picked and dried in the sun before being bagged. Afro-Bolivians refer to each 30-pound bag as a 'sexto,' and these bags are brought to regional markets, such as those in the Caranavi and Coroico, where they exchanged for cash.

The cash value of coca leaves fluctuates dramatically throughout the year, depending on the size, color, and quality of the leaves. During the harvest of citrus fruits and coffee, trucks arrive directly from La Paz to carry the produce to markets. Truck owners act as middlemen, paying Afro-Bolivians a small fraction of what the produce sells for in the city.

Rural Afro-Bolivians subsist on their crops and the chickens they raise. Men hunt wild game, and to further complement their diet and add variety, both men and women travel regularly by truck to large regional markets. Besides food, they purchase clothing and household, agricultural, school, and other supplies.

Because of racism, Afro-Bolivian migrants have a difficult time finding decent jobs in the city of La Paz. Both men and women are often able to get work as domestic servants; however, it is more difficult for men to secure this type of employment. Some men find jobs as shop clerks or professional drivers.

Afro-Bolivian migrants maintain their links with the relatives in the lowland Yungas villages. When they travel back to the villages, they work in the fields during harvests, and trading and sharing trading-store goods with their friends and relatives, and when they return to the city, they bring along agricultural produce such as citrus fruits, bananas, and plantains.

They divide their labor in that, adults and children work year-round at agricultural tasks. Men organize themselves in groups of two and six and work their different fields on a rotating basis. The work includes chopping, thrashing, and burning of trees and large brushes; clearing fields' and tilling so that the fields can be planted.

Both men and women inherit land, and each family often has several different plots that they work. Ideally, each family will have plots in different environments on the mountain. Most families have coca leaf fields on the sunny side of the mountain, and other fields in the denser jungle where they grow bananas and plantains.

Afro-Bolivians recofginze kinship bilaterally. They refer to one another by endearing nicknames (e.g., "Mastuco," meaning 'large' of 'full-bodied'), by relkationship-'abuel'(Grandmother). 'Tio'(Uncle'), 'Suerga' Mother-inlaw0, and the like-and by fictive or ritual kinship terms such as 'comrade (co-mother) and 'compadre'(co-father". Compadrazgo is an important fictive-kinship institution among Afro-Bolivians, and such relationships are fromed for the sponsorship o f weddings, baptisms, the raising of a roof, and even the purchase of an automobile.

Although legal marriage is common among Afro-Bolivians, many couples often live together and have children before they can even afford to marry. Divorce and serial polygamy are not uncommon among Afro-bolivians. After Divorce, women often remain single and raise children, whereas men migrate to another part of the country in search of work and sometimes remarry.

Aymara-speaking Africans of south Yungas frequently intermarry with Aymara, Indians and Mestizos, a strategy to elevate the social status of their children (M. Leons)

Afro-Bolivians of Nor Yungas, however, are by-and-large endogamous. Inter-ethnic relations between Africans and Aymara are quite different in Nor Yungas.

Another form of political organization pertains to social activities, such as sports and music. These organizations form the basis for community solidarity. The officers of these groups-presidents, vice presidents, secretaries of conflicts, and treasurers-are called "dirigentes"(Dicrectors). Although there are local and national governmental organizations. In 1992, women held most of these offices through which they both organized social life and addressed economic concerns.

In Sud Yungas, Africans rejected the syndicate political system. The Samall sizes of their settlements were not conducive to the syndicate organization, and, additionally, Africans viewed the syndicate as an Indian institution. In Chicaloma, Afro-Bolivians replaced the local 'hacienda' administration with a junta, a cooperative group.

This allowed them political autonomy such as the Aymara have through syndicates and was commensurate with the dispersed nature of Afro-Bolivian settlements. Juntas draw their membership from a cross section of groups(Lions, 1977).

There is competition and racial tension between the Aymara and Afro-Bolivians in La Paz and, to a lesser degree, between the Aymara and rural Afro-Bolivians. In the city of La , Afro-Bolivians face heightened forms of racism and discrimination in their daily live. Afro-Bolivians are in direct competition for jobs with Aymara Indians, who are the largest ethnic group on La Paz.

As early as the days of colonial slavery, in the highland mines of Potosi, the Aymara mocked African cultural traditions, especially in a dance (performed in 'blackface' drumming and singing) called 'Saya' or 'Tundiki''.

These Aymara dance practices continued into the 1990s, and are one source of racial tensions between the Afro-Bolivians and Aymara Indians in La Paz. Migrants attend informal public forums they call 'debates', where they openly address their grievances with the Aymara and express their experiences of being a small "African minority in a country dominated Afro-Bolivians [e,g. seeing an African person or offering one glass of mild can bring good luck].

The 'Saya' or "Tundiki' occassions such resentment. At debates, held in 1992, Afro-Bolivians said they felt marginalized and that they believed that Aymara migrants had better job opportunities than did African people.

Most Afro-Bolivians are Christians. Most rural Afro-Bolivians of Nor Ungas, however, attend the regional catholic church and town of Coroico only for baptisms and other life-cycle ceremonies. A priest from Coroico occasionally visits outlying agricultural communities such as "Tocana" and "Mururata" to say Mass. Like most Bolivian villages, each Afro-Bolivian village has a patron saint, and communities celebrate their patron saints with fiestas lasting up to several days.

Among the Afro-Bolivians of Nor Yungas , and those Afro-Bolivians in La Paz, music, dance, and poetry are the most important forms of artistic expression. In 1992 Afro-Bolivians of Nor Yungas revitalized much of their traditional music. Before this, they participated in the brass-band tradition that became so important to Bolivians during the mid-to late twentieth century.

Among the revitalized traditions are 'Saya', a song genre that serves Afro-Bolivians as a means of maintaining and transmitting their oral history; "Mauchi"(funeral music)' "Baile de Tierra"(Traditional wedding music); and "Zemba", a lively combination of drumming and dance that was formerly associated with the Afro-Bolivian monarchy(Pizarroso-1977)

Singing is the most prominent aspect of Afro-Bolivians. All of the genres, except "Mauchi", include accompaniment by several drums, and "Saya" adds bells and scrapers...

The most important are"Saya" drums, long bamboo scrapers called 'cuanhas', and colorful drum mallets called 'haucahas (an Aymara term). There are three different types 'Saya' drums , and each plays a unique rhythm that interlocks with the other two.

The largest drums are the "Asentadores', and, as the name suggests, they 'set' the beat. Second are the "Cambidores', which interlock a priplet pattern with the basic 'duple' established by the 'Asentadores'. The smallest drum is the "Gangengo", which interlocks an upbeat pattern with the ';Asentador'.

Both writing and reciting of poetry are highly valued forms of artisic expression. In Tocana and La Paz, community poets recite during brief interludes at public performances. Their poetry often addresses Afro-Bolivians' struggles against racism and discrimination

Black Beauty in Colombia Part 2

Black Beauty- Somali Women Are Gorgeous

A Trip to Africa with African Beauties

THE BEAUTY WITHIN AFRICA Part 1: The Africa Media Doesn't Show You

Africa: The American Media Doesn't Show pt 2

THE REAL AFRICA series, Part 3: What African People REALLY Look Like

Africa: The American Media Doesn't Show pt 5

Afro-Veracruz/Afro-Mexico....Africans In Mexico)...

Saya Afroboliviana

The biggest African influence in Bolivian culture is Saya music or La Saya. Saya, which is growing in popularity in Bolivia, is still very misunderstood. The reason for this lack of understanding of Saya is because the interpretation of the instruments as well as the rhythm is very peculiar. It involves Andean instruments incorporated with African percussion.The primary instrument is the drum, which was passed on by their African ancestors.

The Yungas: After their emancipation in the 19th century, Afro-Bolivians would relocate to a place called the Yungas, which is not far north from the city of La Paz and where most of the country's coca is grown. In parts of the Yungas such as Coroico, Mururata, Chicaloma, Calacala - Coscoma, and Irupana are a large number of Bolivians of African heritage.

Saya Afroboliviana Danza Tradicional Bolivia - Qolqe T'hikas - Bolivian Folklore...

Brazil Afro Music...

Zulu Homestead And Cultural Village...

Let's Talk About Culture-Our Own Cultural Performances Of Mzantsi

Africans in South Africa are facing a war against them and their culture, history and customs from many fronts. One of these I always am dealing with and writing Hubs about is the cultural, historical and customary front. In this Hub Above, when it comes to South Africa, I would direct the reader to check out some of my Hubs, already published, on the story and history of African people in south, the history of their music, culture, politics and so forth.

In this Hub, I would like to pictorially and musically explore their achievements, to date, despite the vicissitudes of Apartheid, that the Africans in Mzantsi are still practicing and observing their own African culture. In the Hubs I have recommended above, I have gone into detail about how this cultural music evolved in the cities, but even today, with all the modern genres that were the off spin of African people going to live in the modern cities, one still sees and observes the cultural ramification of African South African culture today in South Africa, and this is important that as a chronicler, I highlight and give as much as I can about African Culture in South Africa.

I have written in-depth about other cultures of the Caribbean, South America, and those of Latin and North America, that is, the mostly African cultural retention in these places, and therefore, this one on South Africa will not be a historical account, but a celebration of South African cultural music , dance and cultural dress. My aim is just to showcase this culture and let it show-off and speak for itself to the reader.

Within the African community, in Johannesburg/Soweto and other cities, people participate in performances and other family and community events, attending rehearsals, recording sessions, plays, clubs, concerts, interviews, cultural events and celebrations, and dress up for it as relevant to their cultural group.

This is the nub of the issue: that African people are tribes, as derivatively dubbed so by the former Apartheid slavers This Hub, in this part about South Africa, is an attempt to place contemporary African performed culture in the context of the historical process and social forced that shaped it.

The reader of this part of South African Culture, has to understand the application of cultural principles of performance and composition. The thing that needs tone understood about African cultural music is that it is composed and performed by groups or village and so on. People, altogether compose about their social world that is their immediate arena of artistic development. Also, the rule of Apartheid contributed, negatively or otherwise, the genre's spawned by their censorship and Apartheid laws enacted to retard African musical and cultural development.

Also, for Africans of South Africa, it should be our job and concerted effort to write about our own culture and history as we have experienced it, not as we have been told by White writers what our music and culture is all about. Our own people, artists and so on, are able and capable of explaining to us, their chroniclers, as to how and why they play music the way they do, and this offers perspectives on cultural patterns of Africans, associated with the changing forms of the African forms of various communities.

There has always been music, from an African cultural perspective, that was music of resistance to the rule of the White people that has and is still being performed by many artists and musicians. The impact of resistance music has been written about in many books and talked about in many musical forums. What I am onto in this Hub, is to try and present the diverse cultural performances of African people of South Africa. Whilst at it, try and work into it a consistent consciousness about the fact that, the power of authentic indigenous music, holds swayer all aspects of African people's lives in south Africa.

Why my emphasis and such great interest in Our African SouthAfrican Culture? Well, this is clarified by Asa below:



Lesedi Cultural Village in South Africa - Traditional dances...

man and wife, the couple in beautiful traditional Zulu outfits
man and wife, the couple in beautiful traditional Zulu outfits

Cultural Action And Transmission

A core part of our mission today is to study and transfer the valuable information about our cultural traditions to our people. This will serve, in part, to reconnect many Africans who are far removed from our ancient and traditional intergenerational cultural transmission processes. And practices. Traditionally, our socialization was under the independent control of knowing and wise African elders, who are and were legitimate representatives of the African community.

While many people are exposed to all sorts of propaganda via television, radio, and newspapers, few of us have been exposed to the wisdom of elders right in our own communities; let alone the wisdom of those who practiced our best traditions. We have lost our understanding of the indispensable role that control of socialization plays in our survival and destiny and thus, we have failed to ensure proper intergenerational cultural transmission.

We have a vital responsibility to our children to our community for intergenerational cultural transmission. Our survival and our enhancement as a people are dependent upon our embrace of this responsibility and our release of total dependency on European Systems. We must mobilize to think and to act to restore this vital function of intergenerational cultural transmission to all of our community.

The authority for and leadership of our intergenerational cultural transmission process myst be a part of a structure that is led by Wise leaders and elders, who act with community authority and an unwavering commitment to students, to families, to communities, to ethnic identity, to valuing relationships, to character, to purpose, to spirit, to passion, to discipline, and to acting for prosperity and posterity.

How can we continue to learn more about traditional African Socialization? Aren't they gone forever? Are they buried in the distant past? What is the source of authentic knowledge about African traditional processes?

Although few communities in Africa and the African Diaspora, continue to maintain authentic traditional structures for intergenerational cultural transmission today, there are still many sources from which we may recover much of what was left behind.

We Must study our African Indigenous traditions in order to understand and to evaluate our cultural situation now. Many of us remain African at a deep structural level. A study our traditions will reveal that they rival any tradition past of present, and that we have valid options for world view,values, and practices, which are suitable for us today, with an appropriate modifications.

Years ago, Carter G. Woodson (1968) warned against an oppressor-imposed miseducation, that alienated us from our people and traditions. W. E. B. DuBois skillfully outlined the details of the "double consciousness" that causes African people to themselves through the eyes of other people (1969)

He understood that European hegemony is established through miseducation and alien cultural socialization. Some oppressed people join with their oppressors to make the European system of oppression more efficient, becoming against in the oppression of Africans, as was true of some of us during the slave trade, meaning those who betrayed their own people.

Africans must meet, study and write and produce. There is no short cut. We must reconnect to our traditions and propel ourselves forward in a direction of our own choosing. We must reclaim our continent, our children, and ourselves

What Asa has just talked about above, is precisely what this whole Hub is about. Not only that, but that is the part of this part of the South African culture should be about. This display and showing off can bee seen in the different colorful garb of the Zulu people above in different cultural ceremonies.

Zuu Man In His Cultural Gear

Cultural Transmital Intergration

South African culture, like any other culture of African peoples around the globe, still survives, no matter how emaciated it looks today. I could easily write a long and monotonous historical rehashing about the History of South Africa, but I choose not to. Instead, I would like to give some flesh to the culture and traditions of South Africa as a tool for intergenerational communication.

This is clearly articulated by Boating below:

The increasing interdependence among nations of the world and the influence of modern technology and wester education on Human development have brought growth for some countries, but have raised serious problems and questions for others.

In Africa, the introduction of Western formal education has oftentimes served as an obstacle to the process of cultural transmission and intergenerational communication, which are viewed culturally as some of the functions of school. It is an accepted fact in educational circles that the school must participate in the process of passing on to the young the nation's heritage ad in developing the skills needed for its upkeep.

Unfortunately, as an indispensable agent of colonialism in Africa, Western formal education did not consider cultural transmission as a goal to the educative process for Africans. Needless to say, the increasing deterioration of intergenerational communication in Africa has been attributed to systems of education introduced by Western colonial powers.

The traditional role of African cultural education-bridging the gap between the adult generation and youth-is gradually giving way to the development of the so-called creative individual who is completely removed from his tradition, thanks for Western education. Many have called for a return to more traditional education in Africa.

However, there is wide disagreement as to what the values of traditional African education can do and cannot do today and whether the essence of this educative process has any implications for Africa's development. Some even favor a complete rejection of the pas and advice a total concentration on and exploitation of modern opportunities to unsure the acquisition of optional benefits for Africa and her people.

But as David Scanlon points out in Traditions of African Education, in education 'tradition is inescapable, whether one reaffirms it or repudiates it'.

In Africa's continuous search for the decolonization of her societies, it may be necessary to recall the caution of Ralph Perry's dictum: The past as embodied in contemporary adults is both the bed of reactionaries and the springboard of innovations. It provides a man's working capital whether he squanders it, lives on the interest, or invests it in new enterprises.

Africa's heritage in education is what has come to be referred to as 'traditional African education.' It is the eduction of African before the coming of the European-an informal education that prepared youth for their responsibilities as adults in the community.

My take from all the cited material is that, Our African culture in South Africa was school, yes, but in effect, it was a way of life. The life, the dictates of society, and customs, music, dances, dresses, languages, of us the people of Mzantsi, is such that it is what we lived and learned. There was no separation of the two, of a school where one would put on a uniform and go and write something from the Blackboard posted by the teacher.

Life lived was cultural and customary.

Zulu Artful Presentation of Village Life

Cultural Speak and The Malaise It Is Suffering

How people see South African culture and, tradition and custom, has been through the pen and eyes of their European conquerors. In this part of the HubHub I am onto here about South Africa, I am going to pretty much try to describe the culture and custom, not in-depth, but rather than talk about the history of Africans in Mzantsi.

Our African culture in Mzantsi is what we lived and were. Our culture is US. We have to come at this juncture to an understanding that our culture is , was and still is our 'way of life'. Built into it were our mores, morals, values and beingness to our existence and realities. This is important. How we lived, talked, acted and danced and sung, ate and dressed was what our whole culture was about, as an African people of Mzantsi.

The pictures and the music in this Hub are just but highlights of our celebrating our own culture, today. It has survived, not unscathed, but still standing and a living a breathing testament of our selves as an African people of Mzantsi. It was more than dance, dress, and music, but it was they way we lived with one another and cared for each other that made our culture unique to ourselves. This has gotten lost as Apartheid and the present-day ANC have steadily excoriated and chipped away at its core even up to this day as I am onto this Hub.

When the reader views the picture of the different 10 people of African descent in South Africa, what should be borne in mind is that the Afrikaner rulers imposed an inferior complex onto us that we accepted and viewed ourselves as 'tribes' that have never been a whole Nation, to this day-as promulgated upon us. It is amazing how many of our people still are lingering under this falsity, because, many of us African peoples of Mzantsi have not given ourselves time to study, know, view and understand our culture for what it s: A nation Of Mzantsi with a varied and diverse culture, not different from itself in any way whatsoever.

The last sentence is germane to the discourse on South Africa at this point in this Hub. I am using imagery and music to transit and transmit our African culture to the oncoming generations after I am gone. It is important they find such Hubs that begin to showcase our culture from An African Centered perspective. Also, I would like to touch up on some points I think will be relevant in presenting, explaining whilst showcasing our culture-so that our African children can in the future learn the history of their stories as they are, not according to some Colonizers-whether International or local.

Understanding African culture of South Africa, one has to accept and know the way it functioned prior to coming of the Europeans, and during, and post-Apartheid rule. The British ruled South Africa and implemented racial segregation. The Afrikaners came and imposed Apartheid on Africans to this day, even though their lackeys, the ANC, are just carrying out further orders from the Boers, and still not serving the African people. What the ANC did not do, was allow and help the African masses to Mature politically, and they accepted to rule South African Politics through the dictates of their former Masters.

This is the conundrum we are facing today as the oppressed people of South Africa. We have a collusion of the Boers and the people we elected into parliament working in tandem, and the poor discarded into the dustbin of poverty crime and ignorance. The ANC knew it had to work and help our African poor people develop and form a nation. Instead, they came with their exile-selected crews and divisions and implemented them in our midst. They created an even wider chasm amongst the poor and starved them further, made them even more sicker… absolutely ignorant and desolately forlorn.

In fact, the ANC has it's own vested interests in ruling over the poor. The ghetto schools have been neglected; people have no work in millions; there is even much more hunger through the rising Petrol/Gas prices and division of the very rich and very poor in south Africa today. Abject poverty and sickness have become the norm. Corruption is rife and rules, and the whole social fabric of the Africans of Mzantsi has been shredded and trashed by the ruling ANC. Ignorance is at its zenith, and our children and elderly are not being taught and have no sport or other such activities that they can indulge in. This is the state of the African nation in South Africa today.

It is because the ANC has sold our people for a song. The county's mies are yielding much less gold, and has become difficult to find since the mines have to be dug even much more deeper, and not much comes out of them. The economy is in shambles, and foodstuffs have to be imported from overseas. Farms are failing, and the recent 20115 drought has exacerbated the poverty of the people and medicines are scarce.

In talking about these issues, below, in the following section, I would like to explore a topic near and dear to my heart-Mass Political Maturity of our people, and I will be citing in-depth on this matter to make the case for why our people should pay attention to their History culture, customs, traditions, music, and so. I would like to impart the knowledge much meed by our people as to how and why we are at the cross-roads of being wiped out-through some form of genocide, we the indigenous of Mzantsi, and why I think it is important for me to discuss the need for the 'maturity and healing of our people from the vicissitudes of serrated.Apartheid underdevelopment and suffering.

It is important to for me to bring into awareness what the ANC should have learnt and implemented in South Africa when they took over, and I know that most of their cadres have gathered that knowledge, but the ANC, today, has in fact become a reactionary and very dangerous organization in government, worse than many African kept governments throughout Africa and the so-called Third World. What I am about to cite, will help make my point even much more clearer.

Zulu Sangomas And Customary Healers...

Political Maturity Of The Masses: The Fulcrum And Foundation For National Liberation And Nation-Building/Unity

This is what we learn from Maulana Karenga:

Finally, it must be admitted that regardless of the original commitment of leaders-revolutionary, reformist, or reactionary-they are not bound to keep them if the masses themselves have neither the consciousness nor the capacity to hold them responsible for their action. This is why Cabral stresses the dual educational process-one not only for the cadres, but for the masses. Through the Party's political education, the masses "lose the complexes which constrained them in their relations" with each other and the Party. Moreover, "They realize their crucial role in the struggle [and] break the bonds of the village universe to integrate progressively into country and the world."

Finally, Cabral observes, "They acquired an infinite amount of new knowledge useful for their immediate and future activity within the framework of the struggle and they strengthen their political awareness by assimilating principles of national and social revolution postulated by the struggle,

This enables them not only to play a decisive role during the struggle, but also after the struggle when the question of social commitment is ultimately answered or betrayed.(The ANC has betrayed our struggle, as I have briefly touched upon above).

Fanon also stressed political preparation and education of the masses so that they themselves can define, defend and develop their own interests and hold the intellectual responsible. To him:

"...Political education means opening their minds, awakening them, and allowing the birth of their intelligence; as Cesaire said. 'It is to invent the soul.' To educate the masses politically does not mean, cannot mean, making a political speech. What it means is that everything depends on them; that if we stagnate, it is their responsibility, and that if we go forward it is due to them, too, that there is no such thing as demiurge, that there is no famous man who will take the responsibility for everything, but that the demiurge i the people themselves and the magic hands are finally only the hands of the people."

"Speaking of the struggle in Algeria, Fanon notes the bringing into being 'a new, positive, efficient personality,' whose richness is provided less by the rial of strength that he engages in than by his certainty that he embodies a decisive moment of the national consciousness.The liberation of the individual does not follow national liberation. An Authentic national liberation exists only to the precise degree to which the individual has irreversibly begun his own liberation. That is why the Algerian combatant is not only up in arms against the torturing parachutists. Most of the time he has to face problems of building, or organizing, or inventing the new society that must come into being…"

Nyerere also realizes the need for dual education and transformation. He contends that political or technical education cannot be imposed:

"If real development is to take place, the people have to be involved. Educated people can give a lead-and should do so. They can show what can be done, and how. But they can only succeed in effecting changes in the society if they work from a position within the society… Educated people, in other words, can only be effective when they are full members of the society they are trying to change, involved in its good and gad fortune, and committed to it whatever happens… In order to do this the educated people of Africa have to identify themselves with the uneducated, and do so without reservation.

Thus he instructs the intellectual:

"We have to be part of the society which we are changing; we have to work from within it, and not try to descend like ancient gods, do something, and disappear again. A country, or a village, or a community, cannot be developed; it can only develop itself. For real development means the development, the growth, of people."

This, he argues, is not to suggest living exactly like the masses, but of patiently and thoroughly working to raise them to the level of their own capacity to know and "Liberate" themselves and their society

Finally, Toure stresses again that no class or stratum is above the people and that once the people have attained a certain level of consciousness and political capacity, they will guard their power and win the liberation struggle. As he sates:

"No social strata, no group of workers, no proletarian category can pretend to be more revolutionary than the people, because the people are highly conscious of their needs and aspirations, determined to transform the conditions of their existence, jealous of their sovereignty and resolved to affect their complete emancipation/liberation.

"People of Africa, from now on you reborn in history, because you mobilize yourself in the struggle and because the struggle restores you own eyes and renders to you, justice in the eyes of the world."

Gramsci sums up the dialectics between intellectual and mass development when he states:

"The process of development is tied to a dialectic between the intellectuals and the masses. The intellectual stratum develops both quantitatively and qualitatively , but every leap forward towards a new breadth and complexity of the intellectual stratum is tied to an analogous movement on the part of the mass of the "simple," who raise themselves to higher levels of culture and at the same time extend their circle of influence towards the stratum of specialized intellectuals, producing outstanding individuals and groups of greater or less importance."

But He Warns:

"The process of creating intellectuals is long, difficult, full of contradictions, advances and retreats, dispersals and regrouping, in which the loyalty of the masses is often sorely tied."

- Fanon observed:

The future will have no pity for those men who, possessing the exceptional privilege of being able to speak words of truth to their oppressors, have taken refuge in an attitude of passivity, of mute indifference, and sometimes cold complicity.

But in reality, it is the masses who are the makers of history and forgers of the future and it is they, who having become self conscious agents of their own 'liberation, must and will defend their gains-even against those who claim class suicide and similarity and attempt to speak in their name.

Trusting the people, believing in them, down or up, is but one way we can begin to work our way towards retiring, controlling and disseminating our own culture, traditions, customs, languages, music, dances, dresses, food and lives....

KIBA 2 - Bapedi Cultural Traditional Dance And Customary songs...

The Way Of The Culture, Traditions and Customs Of Africans Of South Africa

We have to know our present state and condition, which will be informed by our past in order to form and create a new society. We cannot willy-nilly assume that we have 'arrived', when we have hardly moved as a people. Our culture is still around for us to cull from it those positive aspects of it to cement our cohesion as a people forming a 21 century modern African culture.

Our present South African African culture and its customs and traditions, has survived, in some scathed form, into Y2K. What needs to be done is to try and explain it as I have posted it here. Our modus operandi within it has been blocked from us all the years of British and Afrikaner rule, that it is about time we sutured it to our present state and condition. What I am saying is that, as the reader views the cultural dresses of the 10 people of Mzantsi in this Hub, notice should be taken as to what it all means.

We dress for different occasions and celebrations. As a people, we are still clinging to the vestiges of our past in many tarter forms. But what it is that, there is significant meaning and symbolism that goes hand in hand like when we are celebrating for the whole group, nation, or family unit. It is interesting to know that our customary traditional practices that whenever we consult with the ancestors, it is as the same done to celebrate with our neighbors and so on. Everything is shared. All are welcome, to act out the culture from different perspectives and reasons that are related to event at hand.

In this mix, is the recognition of others' humanity and human-beingness, relativeness, related very closely as part of the family, and the respect of all and the event for the benefit of those present and not present-nor yet born. We acknowledge each other and the fact that we belong to similar cultures, diverse in their manifestations, and common, in more cases, as one culture of the Africans of Mzantsi.

The Aesthetics Of Our African Culture

We all know that our year starts in August(Phato). This is at the end of Winder, in Jul, that early Spring Sets in. In our once well-ordered societies, we followed the season; our activities were wrapped around these changing seasonal changes, and our culture provided for such a life-style… for now, this has been skewed by the English and the Boers, that our year starts on January. We have as yet to wrap our African centered-selves around.

The problem that is dragging us back is that we no longer know how our culture functions; what all that means for us. This is the most debilitating set-back we face today in South Africa as an African people. Many of us think and believe that we are a European people. The eloquently twist their tongues trying to pronounce difficult foreign sounding names and phrases, that in doing so, have lost ourselves as an African people. Many are sure that doing so means they are advanced and modern when they speak, albeit unconsciously. With their own Africa people.

The ignorance of our intellectuals, and their exposing Western values and praying at the alter of Western Academia, and yet what they still do not realize is that they have to be masters of their own culture first, then the knowing about the rest can follow. I have utilized the African cultural model I am about to talk about in my articles of culture of Mzantsi, here on HubPages.

But at least, we ought to know that we have rules and paths to follow hen when women marry, the upbringing of children, and many aspects of this practice found generally amongst all the groups of South Africa. The rules and laws as to how married when should carry themselves, how they should dress to indicate their status, how to be respectful, and becoming a nurturing human being, and many more.

Initiation, which today is being destroyed by opportunist and cultural pirates, Africans, is a very important key to growing our boys and girls into manhood and womanhood. The cultural practices that have already been enumerated as to what is to be done, and so on.(This can be updated, today, to suit present-day realities, and social direction-if we are to create a new society).

When people are sick/ill and are disturbed by debilitating diseases, there are laws and rules as to what could be done. The importance of ones respect of ones ancestors has its customary traditions and practices to go with it, that we could study and learn about ourselves as Africans of Mzantsi. These go hand in hand with ways and means of utilizing our culture to heal and how to pray for rain and so forth, that are some of the things we could look into in the 10 diverse African people of South Africa.

Many African women do not bear children, and the cultures of the African of Mzantsi address and deal with issue in various ways. We have the information as to how to go about solving tis and making life better, or help women bear children. There are many other cultural and customary practices that deal with body cleanliness, different celebrations of a group, how deal with tilling and keep the planting field fertile, why African Beer is made, and the reason for it being brewed.

There are laws that govern and are set for Kings, and these differ, but are the same of the 10 people of South Africa. Economics and wealth have rules and protocol that has to be followed, as I have been explaining above, could be adjusted to meet the needs of modern times, but retain the basic structures and policing grinding and informing this type of business dealing.

There are many trips African people took, and these too, have their cultural observances when this happens. We also have Praises, Poetry,, Dances, that are still being practiced elsewhere throughout the land. When we speak of the Seasons and moths, they too have a connectedness and relevance to all other cultural traditions, customary practices and so on.

We have Games for children, youth and young adults. And this reinforced social cohesion and many other aspects of gluing us as a people tightly together. We used to have rules for herders, and their games and many other such things. These could be brought around to suit contemporary modern African cultures, traditions and customs without losing any to the cultural originality and intentions.

Shangaan Soweto Dance Party 01 (HD)...

African Culture and the Culture of Africa In The Diaspora Are Siamese Twins

An African education process is anchored in a from an African view of the world, and a shared understanding of our environment and our existence in it. That world view is itself derived from our African community's response to its challenges in our environment in general, and our response to political and economic challenges in particular.

We must study and try to understand the core elements of our indigenous systems which have thousands of years of independent development behind them. We need to take these elements, evaluate them, and utilize those that can be of value to us as we continue to develop and grow as a people.

As we continue our mission of socializing ourselves with the use of our own systems, we must begin with the understanding that African people laid the foundations for education and socialization. Some of the principles and practices that were outlined thousands of years ago, continue to influence people today. Late derived European systems diverged in important ways from the African value based system, but key approaches were directly influenced by African Master Teachers from the past.

In spite of centuries of attempts at ethnic cleansing and miseducation, there are ancient independent systems of indigenous African socialization that are still in operation today, on the continent and in the Diaspora. These systems are not familiar to most of us anymore. Some of our socialization retentions are watered down versions of what we once had, while some have changed little since ancient times. These retentions provide opportunities to observe and learn about some of the indigenous socialization practices.(Asa Hilliard)

What Asa is talking about above is what I have dealt with, albeit briefly, above, with the breakdown of our culture and what it has and how it can work for us. This might be a section of Africans in South Africa I am dealing with here in this part of the Hub. But I would like to add a bit of data about Africans in Africa and the Diaspora as explained below by Asa:

"The task of reclaiming even a portion of the best indigenous socialization practices in Africa/Diaspora, is enormous. The continent of Africa is some 11,608,000 square miles; twenty percent of the earth's land. Over 771,000,000 African people populate the continent. Add Africans in the Diaspora and that brings the total of Africans in the world to more than a billion and a half. Africans speak at least 1000 different languages, practice a variety of customs, rituals and traditions, and foster distinct cultures.

"But in even with the variety on the continent and in the Diaspora, Africans possess many basic cultural connections that extend beyond individual, tribal distinctions. They include similar socialization practices, rituals, and perceptions of community, the ancestors, and A Higher Being."

"Some African socialization retentions have been modified and can be recognized only by well-prepared observers. Examples of African cultural retentions abound. Africans in Suriname,located on the North coast of south America, have managed to maintain traditional African culture; even more so than many contemporary Africans in Ghana. They are able to maintain these traditions after almost four hundred years of physical separation from Ghana"(Evans)

"Traditionally, varied rituals address every occasion in African traditional life. The rituals provide individuals with an opportunity to stand before the community for naming, ceremonies, enstoolment ceremonies, initiation rites, harvest festivals and other times to link and collectively give thanks to the Higher-Up(God), the Ancestors, and Nature.

"These rituals and the purposes for them are common in Africa and the Diaspora. They provide an opportunity to promote community unity, to outline purposes and expectations, to reinforce the positive aspects of the culture, and to acknowledge the power of The Creator. Most of the ceremonies give validation to the elders, the children, the leadership, and to any links that contribute to community health. Ceremonial practices help communities to affirm community ties and values."(Asa)

As I have stated in the section above, about how and why our African culture functions the way it does, so does Asa buttress my points here in this piece I am onto here. It is very important for us to recognize and talk about ourselves, culturally historically customarily and traditionally in the best way that explains to other people of the world who and what we are who we are…

This has been the intent of their part of the Hub, and hope it gives the reader a better idea about the pictures and music that have been displayed in their section about African south African culture, and the similarities our African Culture in South Africa bears along with that of the whole of Africa and the Diaspora.

South Africa @ Swaziland...

Fake Africans In Mzantsi

Facing Our Past and Refurbishing the Present-For a United National Pride in the Future...

Theoretical Revolutionary Theory Will Come from the Assessment and Concrete Reality of the Poor Masses

I am an ardent advocate of Anything South African culture and its and am not backing off my stance. Why? It seems like few people really understand what is happening to us here in Mzantsi [A place down South of The Continent Of Africa] as the Africans fondly call their country.

Well, I am editorializing about things South African and why it is so important to air these points of view the Web and Social Media. Africans are currently facing a crisis amongst in their midst as African South Africans. I am not talking on behalf of those who have taken the responsibility that they are the middle class of South Africa. I am talking on behalf of the army of the poor and ignored. In the Townships, there are people who drink bails of water just to go to sleep; people who cannot receive medical help or never know when the next meal is coming from.

People are still suffering the devastating effects of alcoholism, malnutrition, mental illnesses; freezing and unheated houses; drug abuses and multiple devastating diseases. People used to bury on weekends only now they do so everyday-the cemeteries are already full and other space is being sought; they suffer unemployment, messed-up education.

they live with rats, rodents and some big and larger than cats; there are still many people living in shacks; the government is not taking care of the meek, weak, sick and poor as it should; Africans in Mzantsi are jeered at by everyone as being lazy, won't works; they still have to fight against the undercurrent maneuvers of their past enslavers who are manipulating foreign labor at the expense of local workers; enforced ignorance; women being raped; men being killed, drugged-In sum, Africans are worse-off than during the Apartheid era- and the people themselves say so too.

Then, when I defend the defenseless of South Africa, some people who are African accuse me of being only about South Africa. Well, Africans in South Africa are about to loose their current population and land, humanity, and facing extinction-albeit creeping up slowly, but consistently wiping them out in a myriad ways...

They see their land being parceled away to the highest bidders, amidst corruption. I am talking here, not about the rich and comfortable, but what is going on in the poor's lives... everything that they thought was theirs, is not.

At the same time they have to fight against a relentless and determined enemy which has all the resources available like those with money, so that when the oppressed raise their voices in disgruntlement they are told that they have to remember that they are more free than the whole of Africa. An old Apartheid logic-trumpeted by the presently ANC-led government today.

But we forget that Africa was not liberated in one swoop. It went on over many years, and still those that were free such a long time ago, still have not resolved their internal contradictions in their respective countries.

South Africans are talking here of a mere 20 years and instead, they, the supposed-owners of South Africa and its wealth, are the wretched of the earth. How can Africans talk in terms of the continental unity when they still have to battle the West and the rest of those who think Africans in Africa and African South Africans should not complain, protest in trying to push their national agenda, [of which none of these things have been accomplished], and should not protect themselves and their lands with their natural wealth and abundance?

Africans are still reeling from the 48 straight years of the worst form of Naziism(Apartheid) with its presently continuing effort to eliminate, confuse, and oppress/depress/suppress and dehumanize Africans..

Africans in South Africa are facing a predatory and gendarme rogue government bent on fleecing and enriching/deepening their pockets at the expense of the locals. Some people think that South Africa is New York, and they have the right to do as they please... Others act like they're fighting for issues and that South African is not fighting for Africa! Preposterous!

Some of our South African brothers think that they are white, and you can tell from the way they are talk, act, behave and plan their lives and ignore their culture, tradition,customs, practices,languages and sacred rites. They quickly run away from the present morbid and dreadful conditions of their bleak existence with the hope that if they concentrate elsewhere, they might find respite from the present harsh realities of their witnessing and facing their extinction.

Thus far, what the people of Mzantsi see there is nothing that they can be proud of or claim as theirs — therefore, my insistence on the preservation of South Africa culture, custom, traditions, languages and practices and rites is not because they have any handle on it, but because they are barely recognizable, nor most of them acknowledge it. Poor education is disempowering people, that is, unless one has money to send their child to better schools, those who cannot afford it, are doomed are doomed.

Without knowing,practicing and respecting their cultures, customs, traditions, history, music and dance, there is now a proliferation of mental illness and total amnesia about what as Africans they should be doing, or what their identity means to them and how to move on with it into the burgeoning future, the 21st century and beyond.

This calamity and dysfunction is eroding the true social fabric of our people; it's disappearing millions of people due to HIV-AIDS, TB; cholera; high blood pressure, sugar diabetes, kidney failure; depression, repression; genocidal attrition... Everyday of their liver lives... Ignoring Culture and all else I mentioned above are the real course of the present dysfunction and working towards elevating the cultures, traditions, customs, history, languages, practices of sacred rites will alleviate the suffering the africans are facing today in Mzantsi.

South Africa is in Africa but it is run by everybody except the African masses of Africans in South Africa. You cannot talk of fixing your neighbors houses before you put yours in order. One cannot overlook the importance of building ones' Street, Township, Province without first taking care of and hold of all that which is local. How can these leaders talk of fixing Africa which has so many different countries run by the West and the East?

Why pretend like we can take on this mammoth task whilst the city states within Africa are dependencies of the West and the Rest of the Capitalist vultures lurking within and owning African and Africa's mines, farms, railway system, African land, all the metropolitan towns and our labor power? It really does not add up.

How can this lack of control and ownership help in the reunification of Africa if the Africans of South Africa are not even having a smidgen of unity; a semblance of a nation; neither controllers of their economy, media, sports, arts, dance,music, culture, tradition, custom, practices, languages manufacturing, you name it. Africans in South Africa, as a collective, are not holders of rights to everything that is enclosed within the borders of that country as a nation or the indigenous rightful owners of all that is in and within South Africa?.

These questions still linger on, and African people are dying by their millions from a myriad of ailments in this putrid and decrepit South Africa… yearly... all the time… And they are going crazy in many numbers than before; and their cultures, customs, traditions, history, languages, dance,music and all is not in their service nor made to work for them-instead it is owned and controlled by outsiders more than the African people themselves.

Some of these foreign Cultural hawkers claim that they have Intellectual property ownership and rights to what is not theirs but that of Africans in South Africa.

Nobody has asked Africans of South Africa as to what is really going on here in Mzantsi. Everyone knows that they can get a piece of action, but as to the locals, they are dismissed and are not even listened to… I am raising this issue knowing that it is going to raise the ire of some people-so be it.

What do I have to loose but raise pertinent issues of nation, custom, culture, traditions, languages, practice and rites and their being African South African and for them and should be run and controlled and owned by Africans of South Africa-I see nothing wrong with that...?

What do Africans have to lose but their already lost land, its resources and all that is contained in it? Africans need to fight even harder, irk some people, maybe find some allies, if possible, but fight this war which has morphed into many differentiated fronts.

I am identifying those fronts here, and I do not want any compensation for it. But I will use this viral media to get my point across- and I am using many new technologies to get this type of message-through Blogs, Internet radio, journal posts and writing; FM and Television-Worldwide to make our concern to be at the forefront of the global purview. Below I will be going deeper and making the points above more clearer and I embarked on a project which I will be discussing in a short while below

Everyone comes to South Africa and African South Africans cannot go out as they please for many reasons. African People have been purposefully kept ignorant, penniless, poor and oppressed up to this day; books are hard to come bye; the media is white-owned; Malls are white-owned; Whites still own 83% of the land; if you ask the locals what's going on, they will tell you that the sad thing is that really nothing is going on, or nothing has changed, but instead, they are now living in hell without a choice of changing the order of things inside the country.

The say, as matter of fact and conviction that, "Our brothers are our enemies; our children disrespect us elders; our social mores and norms have been sacked, flaunted and discarded. We really never had 'freedom of speech', economic self sufficiency nor educational development where teaching and learning should take place.

We do not own our own businesses and are attacked from any imaginable angle; we are the most deprived on knowledge, information and at the tail-end of this modern era as a technologically come up as a disempowered people, and they always answer in one or the many ways I have pointed out above and more.

To have people decry the fact that they should not be living under such conditions in the land of their birth, and have begun to see their lives ebb away because of corruption and other things, is to see how disconcerting it is for them; but mainly because they see to be losing the "The Cultural War", and it has never be attacked in a way that utilizes the present technology and relaying information that can get to the people; or conversely, get under the skin of the roving capitalists vulture of all stripes and ethnicities within their midst.

The people have stopped being proactive, and have not had time to ameliorate their present condition; or to seriously begin to mount a revolutionary path towards addressing and setting all these social maladjustments and maladaptive societies and individuals. If I have to advocate for South Africa, I will do so with gusto and much energy. I approach the issue of Africa from many points of view, and will mostly attack it, as in the case of this Hub, from a historical cultural point of view.

Some of us are fake...

Swazi Dancing...

Young Zulu Girls

Zulu Dancing...

Elderly Zulu Women

Our People; Ourselves; Our Nation Of African People Of Mzantsi

We still cling to the past era of our disempowerment by apartheid.. Many of us still abuse the word culture, to further there own ends.. Others are using culture to hide their being vulture capitalist.. Many claim to belong to "Tribes, what I have been arguing now for years on the Viral stream that it;'s all Rubbish. Some use the word culture to oontracit themselves, using double-speak- On e end they are are cultural purists; whilst on the other end of their mouths they are modernized Africans..

They want to have their cake and eat it. I do not care for such glib utterance and I attack them mercilessly and relentlessly. some of our brothers want to claim that we use the english language, which is the Masters Language and address this issue using the English language. Many people when they realize they they cannot hack it intellectually-in an african centered way.. resort to trying to uphold the values which run contrary to their present existential reality. the sad and worst one are those who claim to have a culture and and a lineage and come from a cultural place that really does not exist anymore.. what am I talking about here? Well..

I f one were to go, for instance into the Eastern cape, many houses hanse been abandoned, in the North and west of ur countries, our so-called village lie fallow and empty and houses and land are unoccupied. Many people come to the Areas of Gauteng(mainly present-day Johannesburg and Tshwane, present-day Pretoria and such like metropolis escaping the poverty of the rural areas, and when they get settled, and buy cars and computers and live a lavish life-style in these centers, the they, her on the web, claim that they still have those farm areas, which is a lie, and that their communities are still intact, another lie, face and hypocrisy.

They have followers on these social media like Twitter, Facebok and so forth wherein they sell these bogus claims, and these followers are just the same groupie who want to reinforce a lie and none-existent cultures. They really ignore their own culture, languages, music, and all what that entails. for instance, post anything America of=r european, they flock with false 'likes' to that a article or post. Post anything, as in my case south Africa.. Only few respond, but the false howlers of culture themselves, you'll never see them comment or 'like' anything that has to do with South African Culture. Al these educated Africans who know not their history culture, customs traditions and so fort, especially the men, they are the one who abuse women, who claim to be men because , according to, that is our culture, and many falsities that are the bane of their modus operandi.

Then we have this very opportunistic and unconscious class who say that they are 'workers' whilst employed in whet people's establishments of all type.. these sell-outs, cabals, turncoats, and quislings, hosts about their accumulated wealth, their acquired technological toys, and ability to travel overseas to import all the cute things thy purchase overseas, houses in suburban enclaves, they are even scared to visit the Townships.

Even those who were born in tees ghetto hovels now living in opulence!!, they say, "Oh! hen I get off work, I will back home to the 'village' and live my culture.. Na! This is all handkerchief head talk. They go back there to show off, talk like big shots"(small 'b')…

I am not going to castigate White people on this pice, but us African people. A lot of us quote Biko(hardly even understanding either him or Biko, and myriad books just for show off not having read a sentence of those books. We are living a lie, many of us here in Mzantsi and want to be given accolades here on FB by our similarly misled followers and hangers on/groupies. Many wax political even when they do not even know jack! A lot of these people who are employed are the stabling block to the progress of Africans in south Africa.

A Review Of The Posted Cultural Videos Of The People Of Mzantsi..

I have just finished a series of videos that I had started by posting first with an article articulating my objectives(See Older Posts): to create a format and structural form of our music and culture and frame it such that it has a National body and appearance.

What I mean by this is that, I made some means of collating our 'different,' 'variegated,' 'variable' and 'diverse' culture, which up to the point before I started posting it in that manner, and having written a preface to my intentions, had never been done like so. Also, what I did was create the bios or small histories of each of the musicians, performers and bands so's to lay out a matrix that most of the South Africans on FB, might get a glimpse of it holistically.

This exercise in Cultural defense is not a "practice in Promoting My music " as has been claimed by those who are left behind in what I was doing. It seems there is culture of obfuscating the 'right' things for our people in order to "Dumb Them Down". Our people of Mzantsi are prohibited by a new species of "Censurers" and "Gatekeepers". Not on the TV and radio only, but viciously here on these social media that can reach millions of people in Mzantsi and the world over.

Some of us are patently ignorant of these new, burgeoning, emerging, converging, moving-at-the-speed-of-viral-data phenomenon and gizmos. Our people who are in different privileged position are scared of an Independent African South African, who has the potential to learn, and become better, if not different from the.

Some of these leaders are cloaked in Pan Africanism of a "Type". The Pan Africanism that cannot even recognize Africanism in the efforts some of us are trying to disseminate, without us being crass and ignorant about what we are posting and how we are posting it-as African peoples.

The response might not have been an earth shaking event when I posted all the videos, short histories of the 11 people of Mzantsi, namely: The Zulus, Pedis, South Sothos, Shangaans, Vendas, Ndebeles,Swazis, Xhosas, Tswanas, Vendas, Colored and the Khoisan. The main thrust of posting such music, was not, and I still emphasize, to "Promote My music/videos" on the Pan African Sites on FB.

Apparently there are people working as spooks and moles of the FB owners, and the present ANC government, of which they are on its pay and beckon-and-call. The aim of laying these viral videos was specifically to, in a coordinated and structured way(that of choosing relevant 'cultural ' videos with as much 'authentic' dances and live videos as such as possible), to help us beginning to learn much more better and in a 20/20 way the breadth and depth of our cultural matrix and mosaic as it has manifested itself in our daily realities.

And, undergirding this first aim, was the second one, wherein I was trying to parlay an ideas, way of seeing, and conceptual ability of our people to begin to see that we are really one people, as opposed to the Apartheidized way of seeing, thinking and being that we are a different disunited collectives of "TRIBES". A Term I have consistently rejected, until we end up having a "French Tribe", "British, Italian, Danish," and so forth tribes, then I might reconsider.

But, since that is not what I am talking about, we need certain perceptive ways and perspective of beginning to realize ourselves not as a collection of different "Tribes", but a nation with a diverse, vibrant,energetic, similar and one culture. Even if we were to try and interrogate or investigate the notion that our languages are different and not the same, and that they emerged from our trekking South from the north, is utter balderdash!

We have always been here in Mzantsi for eons, and now there is proof of 'supposedly' disappeared civilization of here in Mzantsi, and it can be traced back to 170,000 B.C, and there is a lot of physical material proof that we have been here since the formation of the earth!

So that, when I use our music, culture, customs, dances, languages and their practices, techniques and uniqueness, I am working toward reconstructing our Nation (through all the mentioned building blocks, and making them real through our Music, Dance and interpretation of our Culture) and that they should be viewed as being one, not different or unrelated to one another-but one National Culture, etc.

Traditional Dance and Gumboot Competition, South Africa...

Culture Is US Here In Mzantsi

For us to see ourselves as a Nation of Africans in Mzantsi, we need to see ourselves, in some shape of form, as one people who are having a diverse culture, which is in essence, one culture. It is one culture when one starts listening to the music, which we can group into Mbaqanga and those songs unique to different groups in various regions throughout South Africa. We need to have a sense and way of seeing our different cultures as they seemingly are different, but see them for their commonalities, originality, energy, similar dances, hand-clapping, rhythmic foot-stomping, movements of all kinds.

From the gyration of the Shangaan women, to the active and energetic synchronic dances of their men; to the smooth foot-shuffling ad gentle stepping Batswana , Swazis mass singing, and for the men Zulu-type of dancing; up to the easy, steady and deliberate dance of the Basotho men, with their "kotos" always held high and the foot-stamping well calculated and seemingly off rhythm, but on the beat; to the 'mokgibo' of their women kneeling on the ground, chest-vibrating to their musical rhythm-along with the Xhosa mix of the Batswanas, Khoi, Zulu and Sotho cultural dance nuances.

As in the case of the "Xhosa" who perform the "Mtjitjimbo" same as the Basotho women, but in a Xhosa male stylistic fanfare(and of the older Xhosa women generation, more akin to the Basothos) in dance, actions and technique; and the Khoisan animistic dance, projecting the action of different animals(they hunt) in a dance form and which too is related in style and presentation to the Zulus, Xhosas, Pedis and all the other groups.

We saw children put up their best efforts, imitating their parents, in dance and song and style(which promises continuity). That in the final analysis, what I am saying here, is not quoted or cited from some book, but what we are creating through viewing the Music I have been posting, and I do not get paid a cent, and do not own these videos, nor composed anything in them, or am I gaining in any way, shape or form. This is part of my contribution to our struggle, and am using much needed innovative ways of teaching all and reaching all-through creating, form the old, new ideas and ways of seeing for our self on our own.

I intensely dislike our detractors, whether they be Africans of Mzantsi or from anywhere else. I have a passionate and offensive attitude when it comes to us and now we are blocked by those ignoramuses who are in service of deep vested fiscal pockets. Nobody said I should do what I am doing. I am doing it because we need many different ways of executing and making sure our struggle survives, but we will not get this from those who Police The Pan Africanist Walls, which are humming and howling for revolution, and the truth is that there is not one way to making a revolution/:

Ask the Zimbabweans with their Chimurenga; learn from the Angolans and their MPLS; Frelimo; I mean, from all revolutionaries if whether in executing their revolutions, they listened and worked on one single idea. That is an inexact way of making a revolution. A revolution uses all that is relevant to it to succeed. Not a prescribed panacea from some Facebook revolutionaries who are really out of touch with the people in the country, and how we should be trying, our darnest, to liberate them- By Any Means Necessary [a la Malcolm X).

I have been viciously attacked here on face book on different sites and in my in-box. I can be just as vicious too, but I do so tactfully. I cannot stand Bullies and Ignoramuses. Most of us are in position that prevent our people from dreaming big, and bettering themselves. It does not mean that posting here on FB is not "Free". No, according to the minions that are in service of Big Capital and they themselves vulture-capitalist and self-serving-morons, they do so at the expense and to the detriment of people learning and yearning to becoming much more better. I beg down to no such quislings! These gendarmes tell us of "Bottom Line" as they have been instructed to trumpet that by their handlers in various places, institutions and the whole bit!

They attack our culture that I am working on here on FB with venomous vengeance, and multiple 'exclamation marks" to drive their point home. The Defend the Master's wish that our people should remain dumb, not made to be awake, by anyone. If some of us remember, when the ANC and some of the PAC people came out, I have the press cuttings, many of the revolutionary ANC cadre and PAC cadre were mercilessly murdered by goons of the Death and torture squads of the mode of the Vlakplaas executioners, and they worked with some of our brother(terrorists) who made it their business to eliminate all fierce and what they considered to be vexatious elements amongst our worthwhile and erstwhile stalwarts.

Is it not then a wonder that some of them(african quislings) have morphed into the FB police, when we should now be working with our people to create a Sane Society and an independent and well-self-willed and developed polity. No! We have people telling us that they are "Guarding some Walls," and they are the first ones to eat up what they claim to dislike… I am not really scared of such quirks, but I will use the FB too, to go for their tainted and fattened jugulars.

Venda women perform Malende traditional dance... Notice the Drummers are the Venda women themselves..

Time To Talk About Our Culture On The Viral Stream

Our African Cultures, Customs, Traditions, Languages, Rites, Histories and Practices, they too need Warriors. They need fearless and very culturally self-loving and defending Warriors. It is not only the gun "revolution" that has have to be monitored, but our cultural revolution, too. This methodology I have carved up in laying out our culture Bare and bringing them to the fore, with their own structure they already have, but am giving form, meaning and dignity, is what ought to preoccupy us.

Or attaining power will be the one way that will be made realistic by relearning, and developing 'new ways of seeing and looking,' shedding off the Apartheid blinkers in the process, will be what might do for us in moving the struggle forward our own culture of which we live-daily-by our knowledge, control and ownership of our culture.... Our struggle is lined to the International African diaspora and Africa itself. I have posted music of Africans from Cape to Cairo; from South America to North America-and throughout the world, to show how same-in its matrix and mosaic-in all genres-that in actual reality(in the Garvey-ite mode and sense), are the same.

I posted all the different nations of Mzantsi to show the 'similarities,' 'commonalities' and 'converging' points of performance, technique and style(both musically and dance-wise) to be of one people-one nation. We are one nation, but we have not yet even ready to energetically defend and protect it, if not develop what we have as a culture because, as I usually say, most of us have been 'edumacated into ignorance,' and 'we are running away from ourselves'. If fact, there are still people in our midst who are still ashamed of, and deride our culture as backward, because they have been conditioned to be so by their masters whom they now serve with zeal and gusto.

They go out of their way to please the master-they might as soon take the disease plaguing their controllers/master and have it manifest itself on them-on his behalf. There are some who attack the way I use this foreign language of English. Well, my take is that, if we ever do anything, we better do it well, and good. This will not and does not take away from me being an African of Mzantsi. It is just like presenting the videos that I have been posting or have posted thus, I still hold on to the belief that we need to do our own things right. We need to taken control, shape and form, mold and design our cultures, customs, traditions, history, music, dance and all its styles and techniques fully and correctly.

It is amazing that going through YouTube, one discerns the way the Cultural imperialists are using all manners of obfuscation, censorship, and licensing and holding on to information pertaining to our music, cultures, dances-patterned to be released at their own discretion. When researchers like me come and look for the music, artist, it's either there's limited information of the bio, or the music has not yet been uploaded or are ignored, or we have not yet developed ourselves to be in a position to really own, control and disseminate our culture as we see fit: to be able and be also in a position to disseminate our data in any form we wish to.

I hope the thrust of the small idea I have implemented on all the PAC Walls should be seen as me 'showcasing our music. I put a lot of short history for the listener/reader to get an idea about what they are listening to, and I posted it en-masse as I did because I was swelling the viral stream with positive vibes and dances. On some other far flung and rare FB Walls, our music rules; our music rocks; our music makes people all over the world come back wanting more- whether it is contemporary music, or traditional/cultural music we make. For people who think that I have backed off from posting music and originally written articles about various, they have got another think coming..

We are much better than this-"Ons is nice 'Moegoes', and have never been di-Bari,(We are not dummies either are we punks)-never! for me, I post what I like, and like what I post, and if anyone on any site needs to block me, go ahead, make my cultural day! I will post, if not create my own Wall on various topics and keep on working for our people for no Renumeration.. None at all..

All I have done was collate a culture of music and dance that has already survived for itself without me doing what I am doing, so what I did was that I made sure that it becomes well structured and well-formed for the world to see that we are who we say we are; we have a powerful, colorful, variegated, diverse and same and one culture here in Mzantsi. And I thought that my presenting it as I did by posting it on the Pan Africanists Walls, will be seen for what it is-and yet, what does one see, cultural quislings who have no regard or use for their own culture, and personalize their dimwitted-myopic and narrow-minded selves and work assiduously to prevent its being made too look as great as it is.

Look for yourself, without ass-licking anyone, at all the different posts I have brought forth… Is that a culture that should be oppressed(apparently this has not worked with the Boers-but our brothers are working around the clock to suppress and depress it). Well, so long as I do not have arthritis, I will type and post; I will use "Word" and "Image" to put out Culture of Mzantsi of the Global Cultural Map-and put it up to speed with the spreading and speed of the viral stream. For me, to Date! ... there is no other better culture than our culture in Mzantsi...

National Arts Festival 2012 - Umxhentso wabaThembu...

Ubuhle Be Afrika Entertainers cc.: Xhosa Dance...

Xhosa Traditional Dancers.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAAWutRu7EY Xhosa Dancers Traditional Xhosa dancers, at the Red Location. Without me getting pull

Nzesileni Group (Mkonjona, Xhosa)..

AmaMpondomise Heritage Celebrations...

We Run Thin Things, And Things Do Not Run We

It would have been easy for me to break down the individual nations of Mzantsi and try to describe each, one by one, maintaining the divide and conquer analysis and strategy that has been done by the Aprtheidizers, thus far. I do acknowledge, at some point that the ANC has tried to do a few things, and one thing for certain the old victims of Apartheid abound, and will vote for any type of ANC, anytime there are elections. Well, this Hub is about the culture of African people being restored and resuscitated in Mzantsi-and how we can go about doing just that.

Carter G. Woodson writes:

No people can go forward when the majority of when the majority of those who should know better have chosen to go backward, but this is exactly what most off our misleaders do. Not being learned in the history and background of the race, they figure out that thee is no hope for the masses; and they decide, then, that he best thing they can do is to exploit these people for all they can and use the accumulation selfishly. Such persons have no vision and therefore perish.

It is an injustice to the Africans, however, to mis-educate him and suffer his manners to be corrupted from infancy unto old age and then blame him for making mistakes which such guidance necessitates. People who have been restricted and held down naturally condescend to the lower levels of delinquency.

When education has been entirely neglected or improperly managed we see the worst passions ruling with uncontrolled and incessant sway. Good sense degenerates into craft, anger wrangles into malignity, restraint which is thought most solitary comes too late, and the most judicial admonitions are urged in vain.

As Diop once averred:

"African intellectuals, if they are to be free from self negation, must deconstruct, invalidate and reconstruct…"

This is what I have been saying in this piece above, that, we need to begin to look at our own culture afresh, learn how we go about building a New African Modern Culture, and Society We already have the vestiges of our original culture,there is enough in our own culture to begin to work out how we would like to fashion and design our culture to be like in Y2K.

If we begin to realize that we can run our own culture the way we want, our own educational system how we decide and dictate what hd how it should be like, we will then be in control of the pedagogy of our own people, and the dissemination of our own culture on the Viral Stream to the whole world, from an African-centered perspective.

This whole Hub is a reconstruction of an awareness of African historiography, culturally, of Africans in The Diaspora and the African continent. I have used a multidisciplinary approach to write our African Social and Cultural history, and would like to have this enforced for our children to read here in …. There are too many forces that have vested interest in keeping the Africans of South Africa ignorant and self immolating in many ways than one. This Hub is designed not only to wake the consciousness of Africans in South Africa and Africa alone, but those Africans in the Diaspora and so forth.

Present-Day African scholarship only knows the chronological history of Kings, Queens and conquest, since our schools and colleges, social history is hardly taught, we Zalsohave no grassroots history from the bottom and the history of our indigenous social institutions … how then can we begin to build and African-centered history and unity without this knowledge?

That is why I have made the best attempt to write about different cultures, customs and practices, music and dance, traditional dress and so forth of Africans in Africa and in the Diaspora here on this Hub.

Many off our people seem to miss the point and mark when it comes the acknowledgement of African spiritualism, history, custom and traditions. Our authentic cultures and customs plus their traditions are still being sideline by many people around the world, yet they steal as much as they can from the very Africans they look down upon.

If we can learn from what we are now, how we got to be who we are today, this will somehow compels us to look into our past, and only then, can we really begin to fashion and formulate the future. This cannot happen in a vacuum, but in a concerted effort to begin to talk much more clearly about our cultures in Africa and the Diaspora, and do so from our own African-centered outlook and perspectives.

For African people to be able to do so, some modicum of unity needs to be set afoot. To even begin to put together African cultures, traditions and traditions under attack now for many centuries, will take a long time, But this should not dissuade those who attempt this unity from doing so. As for the cultures and traditions/customs of the African peoples of South Africa, a concerted effort should be made to awaken and disseminate it amongst ourselves and the world, in a clear and robust fashion. This culture of Africans in South Africa still lives-all we need to do is to take control of all aspects of its being there for us, make sure it continues into the upcoming millenniums and further down into historical infinity.

In our fas e in South African, Ubuntu/Botho and Respect are some of the basis of our cultures which helped us deal with and understand our traditional spiritual values, families, cultures, land and its people. At this juncture in our lives as African people, we know that we have been killed for practicing traditional religions, speaking traditional languages, using African names, and more. And this can be seen and read above in this Hub about all Africans in Africa and the Diaspora

By the time Africans had gained a semblance of freedom and to reclaim traditional practices, anti-African propaganda machines had already succeeded in enforcing a mental disengagement between Africans and anything African. That is why I have written a Hub of this magnitude, depth and breadth, in order to begin the process of writing and presenting our cultures, traditions and custom to ourselves as African people, and the world.

Traditional Lesotho: Basotho Women Song and Dance...

IPI NTOMBI - Cape Town 1997

We Need To Pay Close Attention To The Culture Wars Against Africans, Globally...

This section on South African culture as part of the African cultures world-wide is important to add some dimension to the Historiography of Africans, and at the same time, this is an attempting to link the sameness of the African cultures worldwide and in Africa. The 10 peoples of Mzantsi, at present, have as yet to recover from the hanging vicissitudes of the Apartheid regime, and the ANC is not really helping people to mature politically or otherwise.

If, at the least, this Hub can help educate all the African people in Africa, South Africa and the world, I would have started an idea that many of our African Historical and Cultural Master teachers, elders and ancestors would like to see us do for ourselves: reclaim and revive our cultures, traditions and customs. I have attempted to showcase the African South Africa cultures, traditions, music, dances, traditional and so forth for the world to see how we Africans of South Africa view our local culture, as being the same as the cultures of all Africans throughout Africa and the Diaspora.

Many of the aspects and element of the cultures, customs and traditions, along with their collective histories, reveal a people under siege for over 500 centuries, and today, with access to the viral stream, ours is to utilize the best means at our exposed of researches and begin to write from our own African-centered perspective, the true and real history of African people anywhere in the world. This might not be an exhaustive research on the History cultures, traditions, customs, music, traditional dresses of Africans throughout the Globe, but it is at least a beginning to put in one article/Hub this effort, and hope that at least it will meet some basic understanding about Africans world-wide.

We should and can use our own South African culture to begin to understand many same issues and historical precedents that have affected us here in South Africa and in Africa and the Diaspora Many of us in the African world know, as characterized by Asa:

Africa is the mother of civilization, and the land where the very foundations of socialization practices were laid; influencing cultures all over the world. When Europeans, Asians, and members of most major religions traveled to Africa, they found fully functioning cultures of people who were in control of their own destiny.

"Unfortunately, the mission of the outsiders was, typically, to steal the natural resources and/or people, to control the land, and o dominate and control the people. In 2016, the mission of the descendants of those "outsiders" is the same.

"To justify the brutal, greedy, and inhumane behavior directed at Africans, oppressors instituted and fostered slanderous propaganda campaigns to paint a picture of Africans as culture less, ignorant, and evil people. These campaigns included diverse international codes, messages and signals which were used to produce the same result; the full scale degradation of African people wherever they exist in the world. The goal was and is to encourage everyone, but especially Africans, to resist Africa and speak about European imperialism against Africans around the world.

"Fortunately, there are Africans around the world who act in defiance of the numerous institutions and individuals committed to suppressing all traces of African consciousness. These Africans stand tall and continue to teach, speak, and act in truth. Discourse and active organization strategies intended to lead African people to command their own socialization process, must build and improve upon distinct African indigenous traditions.

"Numerous documents and oral histories outline the vast traditions which were practiced by our ancestors and passed down through the generations. We must critique these traditions and, when needed, improve upon them so that Africans face around the world. We must also understand our indigenous socialization practices can help us to clarify our purpose and vision as an African Family.

"Today, as we continue to face the culture wars against African people, we must not surrender or neglect our mission and vision of an appropriate destiny that derives from who we are as a people. It is a vision that points to our survival and maps the steps that lead to a reclamation of our African [culture, customs, traditions, music, dances, traditional] power."

It is important to recognize all what Asa has touched upon above. I have already started the ball rolling, and hope that future generation will pick up the cudgel and head on into the distant future and millennial...





Gullah Folks

"The Old Plantation," South Carolina, about 1790. This famous painting shows Gullah slaves dancing and playing musical instruments derived from Africa. Scholars unaware of the Sierra Leone slave trade connection have interpreted the two female figure
"The Old Plantation," South Carolina, about 1790. This famous painting shows Gullah slaves dancing and playing musical instruments derived from Africa. Scholars unaware of the Sierra Leone slave trade connection have interpreted the two female figure

The Gullah: Rice, Slavery, And The Sierra-Leone-American Connection

Joseph A. Opala Gives us this History Lesson about the Gullah African people off the Island of South Carolina and Georgia:

The Gullah people are the descendants of the slaves who worked on the rice plantations in South Carolina and Georgia. They still live in rural communities in the coastal region and on the Sea Islands of those two states, and they still retain many elements of African language and culture. Anyone interested in the Gullah must ask how they have managed to keep their special identity and so much more of their African cultural heritage than any other group of Black Americans.

The answer is to be found in the warm, semitropical climate of coastal South Carolina and Georgia; in the system of rice agriculture adopted there in the 1700s; and in a disease environment imported unintentionally from Africa. These factors combined almost three hundred years ago to produce an atmosphere of geographical and social isolation among the Gullah which has lasted, to some extent, up until the present day.

The climate of coastal South Carolina and Georgia was excellent for the cultivation of rice, but it proved equally suitable for the spread of tropical diseases. The African slaves brought malaria and yellow fever which thrived on the swampy coastal plain and especially around the flooded rice plantations. The slaves had some inherited resistance to these tropical diseases, but their masters were extremely vulnerable.

The white planters moved their houses away from the rice fields and adopted the custom of leaving their farms altogether during the rainy summer and autumn months when fever ran rampant. The plantations were run on a day-to-day basis by a few white managers assisted, quite often, by certain talented and trusted slaves working as foreman or "drivers."

The white population in the region stayed relatively low, but the importation of African slaves increased as the rice plantation system expanded and generated more and more profits. By 1708, there was a black majority in South Carolina, a unique situation among the North American Colonies. A European arriving in Charlestown in the 1730s remarked that, "Carolina looks more like a negro country than a country settled by white people."

The Gullah slaves in coastal South Carolina and Georgia lived in a very different situation from that of slaves in other North American colonies. The Gullahs had little contact with whites. They experienced a largely isolated community life on the rice plantations, and their isolation and numerical strength enabled them to preserve a great many African cultural traditions.

By the early 1700s the Gullah slaves were already bringing together distinctive language, rituals, customs, music, crafts, and diet drawing on the cultures of the various African tribes they represented. The emergence of the Gullah was due, above all, to the isolation of black slaves in a disease environment hostile to whites and to their numerical predominance in the region—but another important factor was the continuing importation of slaves directly from Africa, and especially from the rice-growing areas along the West Coast.

The South Carolina and Georgia planters realized that the specialized nature of their crop required a constant influx of slaves born in Africa, not in the West Indies or in the neighboring colonies. So, a black community, already isolated from whites, was being constantly renewed by forced immigration from Africa.

The isolation of the Gullah community lasted throughout the period of slavery and continued even after the U.S. Civil War (1860-65) and the emancipation of the slaves. The Gullahs on the mainland continued to work on the rice plantations as wage laborers after gaining their freedom, but the rice economy of South Carolina and Georgia collapsed after about 1890 due to competition with rice farmers farther west in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.

By 1900, the rice plantations were all abandoned, and the fields were returning to swampland. The Gullah people were left in an area of little commercial importance and of little interest to the outside world. On the Sea Islands, the rice and cotton plantations were abandoned after the Civil War, leaving the Gullahs there in one of the most geographically isolated regions in the United States.

The first bridges were not built until the 1920s, and a decade later there were still adults on the islands who had never visited the US mainland. But World War II and the great changes in American life since then have had a profound impact on the Gullah community. Many people have found economic opportunities outside the area, and return only occasionally for holidays and family gatherings.

The Gullah people are no longer as isolated, and there is increasing influence through the media of American popular culture. But the Gullah continue to regard themselves as a distinct community, and they continue to cherish their unique heritage.


Gullah Cultural Customs And Traditons

South Carolina Gullahs, about 1900. Men using a mortar and pestle.
South Carolina Gullahs, about 1900. Men using a mortar and pestle.
South Carolina Gullah, about 1900. Charleston street Vendor.
South Carolina Gullah, about 1900. Charleston street Vendor.

Way Of Life Of The Gullah: Customs And Tradtions

Gullah Customs And Traditions

Gullah culture seems to emphasize elements shared by Africans from different areas. The Gullahs' ancestors were, after all, coming from many different tribes, or ethnic groups, in Africa. Those from the Rice Coast, the largest group, included the Wolof, Mandinka, Fula, Baga, Susu, Limba, Temne, Mende, Vai, Kissi, Kpelle, etc.—but there were also slaves brought from the Gold Coast, Calabar, Congo, and Angola.

The Gullah slaves adopted beliefs and practices that were familiar to Africans from these widely separated regions. In most cases, therefore, we cannot say that a particular Gullah custom is from a particular African tribe; but we can often point more generally to West Africa, the Western Sudan, the Rice Coast, etc. And Gullah traditions are not, of course, all purely African. The Gullah slaves borrowed practices from their white masters, but they always gave these an African spirit.

The Gullah became Christians, for instance, but their style of worship reflected their African heritage. In slavery days they developed a ceremony called "ring shout" in which participants danced in a ritual fashion in a circle amidst the rhythmical pounding of sticks and then, at the culminating moment, experienced possession by the Holy Spirit while shouting expressions of praise and thanksgiving.

The ring shout raises the subject of cultural change among the Gullah, as this custom, like some other Gullah practices, seems to have completely died out. Most of what we know about Gullah customs and traditions comes from studies done in the 1930s and 1940s before the isolation of the Gullah community began to break down.

Some of the customs reported then have, no doubt, disappeared like the ring shout; but others, quite clearly, have not. Visitors to the South Carolina Sea Islands still find the Gullahs' doors and windows painted blue to ward off witches and evil spirits. And tourists traveling by car through coastal South Carolina and Georgia on their way south to Florida still encounter Gullah women selling their traditional baskets on the roadsides. These handsome baskets greatly resemble the Sierra Leonean shukublay.

A few examples of Gullah customs and traditions are sufficient to convey their distinctive African spirit.

Gullah burial customs begin with a drum beat to inform people that someone in town has died. Mirrors are turned to the wall so the corpse cannot be reflected. The funeral party takes the body to the cemetery, but waits at the gate to ask permission of the ancestors to enter. Participants dance around the grave, singing and praying, then smash bottles and dishes over the site to "break the chain" so that no one else in the same family will soon die. Then, the funeral group returns to town and cooks a large meal, leaving a portion on the veranda for the departed soul. In slavery days some Gullahs called this cooking ceremony saraka, a term derived from Arabic and familiar to most West Africans.


The Gullah believe in witchcraft, which they call wudu, wanga, joso, or juju. They say that witches can cast a spell by putting powerful herbs or, roots under a person's pillow or at a place where he usually walks. There are special individuals called "Root Doctor" or "Doctor Buzzard" who can provide protection against witchcraft or withdraw the effects of a curse. The Gullah also believe in dangerous spirits capable of enslaving a person by controlling his will. They sometimes paper the walls of their houses with newsprint or put a folded bit of newspaper inside a shoe, believing that the spirit must first read each and every word before taking action. This custom is clearly derived from the common West African practice of wearing a protective amulet, called sebeh or grigri, containing written passages from the Koran.

The Gullah possess a rich collection of animal fables with such stock characters as Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear, and Brer Snake. The plots of these stories always involve competition among the animals, which have distinctly human personalities; and the situations and predicaments are virtually identical to those in stories told in Africa. The main character in the Gullah tales is Brer Rabbit, a clever figure who often outwits his bigger and stronger animal opponents, but whose dishonest tactics sometimes lead him into serious trouble. Brer Rabbit is analogous to the "trickster" found in animal stories throughout Africa and represented in Mende, Temne, and Limba tales as the spider and, in Krio stories, as "Koni Rabbit." The Gullah story-telling tradition is the only part of Gullah culture widely known in the United States. The writer Joel Chandler Harris popularized Gullah stories a hundred years ago in his books on the tales of "Uncle Remus."

Gullah arts and crafts are also distinctly African in spirit. During slavery times and the decades of isolation that followed, the Gullah made a wide assortment of artifacts, some indistinguishable from West African crafts. In museums in South Carolina and Georgia one can see wooden mortars and pestles, rice "farmers," clay pots, calabash containers, baskets, palm leaf brooms, drums, and hand-woven cotton blankets dyed with indigo. In modern times Gullah men have continued their wood carving tradition, making elaborate grave monuments, human figures, and walking sticks. Gullah women sew quilts organized in strips like African country cloth, and still make their finely crafted baskets.

Finally, the Gullah diet is still based heavily on rice, reflecting the Rice Coast origins of many of their ancestors. Two traditional dishes are "rice and greens" and "rice and okra," similar to Sierra Leone's plasas and rice and okra soup. The Gullah (and other South Carolinians) also make "red rice" which, when served with a "gumbo" containing okra, fish, tomatoes, and hot peppers, greatly resembles West African jollof rice. In fact, one South Carolina writer, who has visited West Africa, refers to jollof rice as a "typical South Carolina meal." In remote rural areas the Gullahs have also traditionally made a boiled corn paste served in leaves, similar to Sierra Leonean agidi, and a heavy porridge of wheat flour which they call fufu.

Okeyo Jumal: Gullah Geechee Festival Sept. 2012

WIKITONGUES: Caroline speaking Gullah and English

Georgia Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters, Part 1

African Gullahs

Sea Island Gullahs, about 1930.
Sea Island Gullahs, about 1930.

The Language Of the Gullah As They Speak It

The Gullah Language

The Gullah language is what linguists call an English-based creole language. Creoles arise in the context of trade, colonialism, and slavery when people of diverse backgrounds are thrown together and must forge a common means of communication. According to one view, creole languages are essentially hybrids that blend linguistic influences from a variety of different sources.

In the case of Gullah, the vocabulary is largely from the English "target language," the speech of the socially and economically dominant group; but the African "substrate languages" have altered the pronunciation of almost all the English words, influenced the grammar and sentence structure, and provided a sizable minority of the vocabulary.

Many early scholars made the mistake of viewing the Gullah language as "broken English," because they failed to recognize the strong underlying influence of African languages. But linguists today view Gullah, and other creoles, as full and complete languages with their own systematic grammatical structures.

The British dominated the slave trade in the 18 century, and during that period an English-based creole spread along the West African coast from Senegal to Nigeria. This hybrid language served as a means of communication between British slave traders and local African traders, but it also served as a lingua franca, or common language, among Africans of different tribes.

Some of the slaves taken to America must have known creole English before they left Africa, and on the plantations their speech seems to have served as a model for the other slaves. Many linguists argue that this early West African Creole English was the ancestral language that gave rise to the modern English-based creoles in West Africa (Sierra Leone Krio, Nigerian Pidgin, etc.) as well as to the English-based creoles spoken by black populations in the Americas (Gullah, Jamaican Creole, Guyana Creole, etc.).


All of these modern creole languages would, thus, fall into the same broad family group, which linguist Ian Hancock has called the "English-based Atlantic Creoles." This theory explains the striking similarities found among these many languages spoken in scattered areas on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. It also shows that the slaves brought the rudiments of the Gullah language directly from Africa.

The first scholar to make a serious study of the Gullah language was the late Dr. Lorenzo Turner, who published his findings in 1949. As a Black American, Dr. Turner was able to win the confidence of the Gullah people, and he revealed many aspects of their language that were previously unknown.

Dr. Turner found that Gullah men and women all have African nicknames or "basket names" in addition to their English names for official use; and he showed that the Gullah language, like other Atlantic Creoles, contains a substantial minority of vocabulary words borrowed directly from African substrate languages.

Altogether, Dr. Turner was able to identify more than four thousand words and personal names of African origin and to assign these, on an individual basis, to specific African languages. But Dr. Turner also made the spectacular discovery that certain Gullah men and women, living in isolated rural areas of South Carolina and Georgia in the 1940s, could still recall simple texts in various African languages—texts passed from generation to generation and still intelligible!

He identified Mende and Vai phrases embedded in Gullah songs; Mende passages in Gullah stories; and an entire Mende song, apparently a funeral dirge. Dr. Turner also found some Gullah people who could count from one of nineteen in the Guinea/Sierra Leone dialect of Fula. Although his Gullah informants knew that these expressions were in African languages, and in some cases knew the proper translation, they did not know which specific African languages they were reciting.

P. E. H. Hair, a British historian, later published a review of Dr. Turner's work in which he noted that Sierra Leone languages have made a "major contribution" to the development of the Gullah language.

Dr. Hair pointed to the "astonishing" fact that all of the African texts known to be preserved by the Gullah are in languages spoken in Sierra Leone. Mende, which accounts for most of the African passages collected by Turner, is spoken almost entirely in Sierra Leone, while Vai and the specific dialect of Fula are found on the borders with Liberia and Guinea.

But Dr. Hair also noted that a "remarkably large proportion" of the four thousand African personal names and loanwords in the Gullah language come from Sierra Leone. He calculated that twenty-five percent of the African names and twenty percent of the African vocabulary words are from Sierra Leonean languages, principally Mende and Vai. Dr. Hair concluded that South Carolina and Georgia is the only place in the Americas where Sierra Leonean languages have exerted "anything like" this degree of influence.

The Gullahs' African personal names and African vocabulary words include many items that are familiar in Sierra Leone today. The Gullah have drawn their African nicknames from various sources, including African first, or given, names; clan names; and the African tribal names of their ancestors.

They use the masculine names Bala, Sorie, Salifu, Jah, and Lomboi; and the feminine names Mariama, Fatu, Hawa, and Jilo. The Gullah also use as nicknames the clan names Bangura, Kalawa, Sesay, Sankoh, Marah, Koroma, and Bah; and the Sierra Leonean tribal names Limba, Loko, Yalunka, Susu, Kissi, and Kono. Gullah loanwords from Sierra Leonean languages, used in everyday speech, include: joso, "witchcraft" (Mende njoso, forest spirit); gafa, "evil spirit" (Mende ngafa, masked "devil"); wanga, "charm" (Temne an-wanka, fetish or "swear"); bento, "coffin" (Temne an-bento, bier); defu, "rice flour" (Vai defu, rice flour); do, "child" (Mende ndo, child); and kome, "to gather" (Mende Kome, a meeting).

The Gullah language, considered as a whole, is also remarkably similar to Sierra Leone Krio—so similar that the two languages are probably mutually intelligible. Krio is, of course, the native language of the Krios, the descendants of freed slaves; but it is also the national lingua franca, the most commonly spoken language in Sierra Leone today.

The West African Creole English of the slave trade era gave rise to both Krio and Gullah, as well as to many other English-based Creoles in West Africa and the West Indies. All of these languages, it must be said, share many common elements of vocabulary and grammar. Sierra Leone Krio expressions such as bigyai (greedy), pantap (on top of) udat (who?), and usai (where?) are found in almost identical form in Gullah, as well as in many other related Creoles.

But the linguist Ian Hancock has also pointed to unique similarities between Krio and Gullah—features of vocabulary, grammar, and the sound system found in these two languages, but in none of the other Atlantic Creoles. These common elements include, among others, the Krio expressions bohboh (boy), titi (girl), enti (not so?), and blant (a verb auxiliary) which appear in Gullah as buhbuh, tittuh, enty, and blang.

Dr. Hancock has argued, reasonably enough, that these unique similarities, as well as the many loanwords in Gullah from Sierra Leonean indigenous languages, must reflect a significant slave trade connection between Sierra Leone and the Gullah area.

We are now in a position to draw a clear picture of the language connection between Sierra Leone and South Carolina and Georgia. By about 1750 there was probably a local creole dialect spoken in Sierra Leone and, perhaps, on neighboring parts of the Rice Coast—a variant of the broader West African Creole English, but with its own unique forms and expressions.

Some of the Rice Coast slaves taken to South Carolina and Georgia already spoke this Rice Coast dialect, and on the rice plantations their creole speech became a model for the other slaves. The Gullah language, thus, developed directly from this distinctive Rice Coast creole, acquiring loanwords from the "substrate languages" of the African slaves from Sierra Leone and elsewhere.

In Sierra Leone, itself, the Rice Coast creole continued to flourish throughout the late 1700s, so that when the freed slaves, ancestors of the Krios, arrived at the end of the century, they found the language already widely spoken among the indigenous peoples along the coast. Indeed, slave traders' accounts from before the founding of Freetown make it clear that a form of creole English was already being spoken in Sierra Leone.

The emerging Krio community adopted the local creole as its native speech, enriching it with new expressions reflecting the diverse backgrounds of the freed slaves. So, Krio and Gullah both derive from an early slave trade era Rice Coast creole dialect. Each language has gone its separate way over the past two hundred and fifty years, but even now the similarities are astonishing to linguists and laymen alike.

Finally, the word "Gullah," itself, seems to reflect the Rice Coast origins of many of the slaves imported into South Carolina and Georgia. Lorenzo Turner attributed "Gullah" to Gola, a small tribe on the Sierra Leone-Liberia border where the Mende and Vai territories come together. But "Gullah" may also derive from Gallinas, another name for the Vai, or from Galo, the Mende word for the Vai people.

The Gullah also call themselves "Geechee," which Dr. Turner attributed to the Kissi tribe (pronounced geezee), which inhabits a large area adjoining the Mende, where modern Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea converge. Given the Mende and Vai texts preserved by the Gullah, and the significant percentages of Mende and Vai names and loanwords in the Gullah language, these interpretations seem to have considerable merit.

McIntosh County Shouters: Gullah-Geechee Ring Shout from Georgia

African Gullah Seminole

Abraham, a Black Seminole Leader in the Second Seminole War (1835-1842). The Indians called him "Souanaffe Tustenukke," a title indicating membership in the highest of the three ranks of war leaders. He is wearing typical Seminole dress and holding a
Abraham, a Black Seminole Leader in the Second Seminole War (1835-1842). The Indians called him "Souanaffe Tustenukke," a title indicating membership in the highest of the three ranks of war leaders. He is wearing typical Seminole dress and holding a

African Gullah Seminoles

The Black Seminoles are a small offshoot of the Gullah who escaped from the rice plantations in South Carolina and Georgia. They built their own settlements on the Florida frontier, fought a series of wars to preserve their freedom, and were scattered across North America. They have played a significant role in American history, but have never received the recognition they deserve.

Some Gullah slaves managed to escape from coastal South Carolina and Georgia south into the Florida peninsula. In the 18 century Florida was a vast tropical wilderness, covered with jungles and malaria-ridden swamps. The Spanish claimed Florida, but they used it only as a buffer between the British Colonies and their own settled territories farther south.

They wanted to keep Florida as a dangerous wilderness frontier, so they offered a refuge to escaped slaves and renegade Indians from neighboring South Carolina and Georgia. The Gullahs were establishing their own free settlements in the Florida wilderness by at least the late 1700s. They built separate villages of thatched-roof houses surrounded by fields of corn and swamp rice, and they maintained friendly relations with the mixed population of refugee Indians.

In time, the two groups came to view themselves as parts of the same loosely organized tribe, in which blacks held important positions of leadership. The Gullahs adopted Indian clothing, while the Indians acquired a taste for rice and appreciation for Gullah music and folklore. But the Gullahs were physically more suited to the tropical climate and possessed an indispensable knowledge of tropical agriculture; and, without their assistance, the Indians would not have been able to cope effectively with the Florida environment.

The two groups led an independent life in the wilderness of northern Florida, rearing several generations of children in freedom—and they recognized the American settlers and slave owners as their common enemy. The Americans called the Florida Indians "Seminoles," from the Spanish word cimarron, meaning "wild" or "untamed"; and they called the runaway Gullahs "Seminole Negroes" or "Indian Negroes." Modern historians have called these free Gullah frontiersmen the "Black Seminoles."

The Seminole settlements in Spanish Florida increased as more and more runaway slaves and renegade Indians escaped south—and conflict with the Americans was, sooner or later, inevitable. There were skirmishes in 1812 and 1816. In 1818, General Andrew Jackson led an American army into Florida to claim it for the United States, and war finally erupted.

The blacks and Indians fought side-by-side in a desperate struggle to stop the American advance, but they were defeated and driven south into the more remote wilderness of central and southern Florida. General Jackson (later President) referred to this First Seminole War as an "Indian and Negro War."

In 1835, the Second Seminole War broke out, and this full-scale guerrilla war would last for six years and claim the lives of 1,500 American soldiers. The Black Seminoles waged the fiercest resistance, as they feared that capture or surrender meant death or return to slavery—and they were more adept at living and fighting in the jungles than their Indian comrades.

The American commander, General Jesup, informed the War Department that, "This, you may be assured, is a negro and not an Indian war"; and a US Congressman of the period commented that these black fighters were "contending against the whole military power of the United States."

When the Army finally captured the Black Seminoles, officers refused to return them to slavery—fearing that these seasoned warriors, accustomed to their freedom, would wreak havoc on the Southern plantations. In 1842, the Army forcibly removed them, along with their Indian comrades, to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in the unsettled West.

The Black Seminoles, exiled from their Florida strongholds, were forced to continue their struggle for freedom on the Western frontier. In Oklahoma, the Government put them under the authority of the Creek Indians, slave owners who tried to curb their freedom; and white slave traders came at night to kidnap their women and children.

In 1850, a group of Black Seminoles and Seminole Indians escaped south across Texas to the desert badlands of northern Mexico. They established a free settlement and, as in Florida, began to attract runaway slaves from across the border. In 1855, a heavily armed band of Texas Rangers rode into Mexico to destroy the Seminole settlement, but the blacks and Indians stopped them and forced them back into the US

The Indians soon returned to Oklahoma, but the Black Seminoles remained in Mexico, fighting constantly to protect their settlement from the marauding Comanche and Apache Indians. In 1870, after emancipation of the slaves in the United States, the US Cavalry in southern Texas invited some of the Black Seminoles to return and join the Army—and it officially established the "Seminole Negro Indian Scouts."

In 1875, three of the Scouts won the Congressional Medal of Honor—America's highest military decoration—in a single engagement with the Comanche Indians on the Pecos River. The Black Seminoles had fled the rice plantations, built their own free settlements in the Florida wilderness, and then fought almost continuously for fifty years to preserve their freedom. It is little wonder they should provide some of the finest soldiers in the US Cavalry.

Today, there are still small Black Seminole communities scattered by war across North America and the West Indies. The "Black Indians" live on Andros Island in the Bahamas where their ancestors escaped from Florida after the First Seminole War. The "Seminole Freedmen," the largest group, live in rural Seminole County, Oklahoma where they are still official members of the Seminole Indian Nation.

The "Mascogos" dwell in the dusty desert town of Nacimiento in the State of Coahuila in Northern Mexico. And, finally, the "Scouts" live in Brackettville, Texas outside the walls of the old fort where their grandfathers served in the US Cavalry. These groups have lost almost all contact with one another, but they have all retained the memory of their ancestors' gallant fight for freedom in the Florida wilderness.

In 1978, Dr. Ian Hancock discovered that elders among the Texas Scouts still speak a dialect of Gullah—140 years after their ancestors were exiled from Florida and as much as 200 years after their early ancestors escaped from rice plantations in South Carolina and Georgia! In 1980, this writer found that elderly people among the Oklahoma Seminole Freedmen also speak Gullah, while many younger people remember words and phrases once used by their grandparents.

Both the Oklahoma and Texas groups, though deeply conscious of their Florida heritage, were unaware of their connection with the Gullah in South Carolina and Georgia. They did not know precisely where their slave ancestors had come from before fleeing into the Florida wilderness.

The Oklahoma Seminole Freedmen still possess a rich traditional culture combining both African and American Indian elements. They continue to eat rice as a characteristic part of their diet, sometimes applying a sauce of okra or spinach leaves—like the Gullah, and like their distant relatives in West Africa.

The Black Seminoles are a small offshoot of the Gullah who escaped from the rice plantations in South Carolina and Georgia. They built their own settlements on the Florida frontier, fought a series of wars to preserve their freedom, and were scattered across North America. They have played a significant role in American history, but have never received the recognition they deserve.

Some Gullah slaves managed to escape from coastal South Carolina and Georgia south into the Florida peninsula. In the 18th century Florida was a vast tropical wilderness, covered with jungles and malaria-ridden swamps. The Spanish claimed Florida, but they used it only as a buffer between the British Colonies and their own settled territories farther south.

They wanted to keep Florida as a dangerous wilderness frontier, so they offered a refuge to escaped slaves and renegade Indians from neighboring South Carolina and Georgia. The Gullahs were establishing their own free settlements in the Florida wilderness by at least the late 1700s.

They built separate villages of thatched-roof houses surrounded by fields of corn and swamp rice, and they maintained friendly relations with the mixed population of refugee Indians. In time, the two groups came to view themselves as parts of the same loosely organized tribe, in which blacks held important positions of leadership.

The Gullahs adopted Indian clothing, while the Indians acquired a taste for rice and appreciation for Gullah music and folklore. But the Gullahs were physically more suited to the tropical climate and possessed an indispensable knowledge of tropical agriculture; and, without their assistance, the Indians would not have been able to cope effectively with the Florida environment.

The two groups led an independent life in the wilderness of northern Florida, rearing several generations of children in freedom—and they recognized the American settlers and slave owners as their common enemy. The Americans called the Florida Indians "Seminoles," from the Spanish word cimarron, meaning "wild" or "untamed"; and they called the runaway Gullahs "Seminole Negroes" or "Indian Negroes." Modern historians have called these free Gullah frontiersmen the "Black Seminoles."

The Seminole settlements in Spanish Florida increased as more and more runaway slaves and renegade Indians escaped south—and conflict with the Americans was, sooner or later, inevitable. There were skirmishes in 1812 and 1816. In 1818, General Andrew Jackson led an American army into Florida to claim it for the United States, and war finally erupted.

The blacks and Indians fought side-by-side in a desperate struggle to stop the American advance, but they were defeated and driven south into the more remote wilderness of central and southern Florida. General Jackson (later President) referred to this First Seminole War as an "Indian and Negro War."

In 1835, the Second Seminole War broke out, and this full-scale guerrilla war would last for six years and claim the lives of 1,500 American soldiers. The Black Seminoles waged the fiercest resistance, as they feared that capture or surrender meant death or return to slavery—and they were more adept at living and fighting in the jungles than their Indian comrades.

The American commander, General Jesup, informed the War Department that, "This, you may be assured, is a negro and not an Indian war"; and a U.S. Congressman of the period commented that these black fighters were "contending against the whole military power of the United States."

When the Army finally captured the Black Seminoles, officers refused to return them to slavery—fearing that these seasoned warriors, accustomed to their freedom, would wreak havoc on the Southern plantations. In 1842, the Army forcibly removed them, along with their Indian comrades, to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in the unsettled West.

The Black Seminoles, exiled from their Florida strongholds, were forced to continue their struggle for freedom on the Western frontier. In Oklahoma, the Government put them under the authority of the Creek Indians, slave owners who tried to curb their freedom; and white slave traders came at night to kidnap their women and children.

In 1850, a group of Black Seminoles and Seminole Indians escaped south across Texas to the desert badlands of northern Mexico. They established a free settlement and, as in Florida, began to attract runaway slaves from across the border. In 1855, a heavily armed band of Texas Rangers rode into Mexico to destroy the Seminole settlement, but the blacks and Indians stopped them and forced them back into the US

The Indians soon returned to Oklahoma, but the Black Seminoles remained in Mexico, fighting constantly to protect their settlement from the marauding Comanche and Apache Indians. In 1870, after emancipation of the slaves in the United States, the US Cavalry in southern Texas invited some of the Black Seminoles to return and join the Army—and it officially established the "Seminole Negro Indian Scouts."

In 1875, three of the Scouts won the Congressional Medal of Honor—America's highest military decoration—in a single engagement with the Comanche Indians on the Pecos River. The Black Seminoles had fled the rice plantations, built their own free settlements in the Florida wilderness, and then fought almost continuously for fifty years to preserve their freedom. It is little wonder they should provide some of the finest soldiers in the US Cavalry.

Today, there are still small Black Seminole communities scattered by war across North America and the West Indies. The "Black Indians" live on Andros Island in the Bahamas where their ancestors escaped from Florida after the First Seminole War. The "Seminole Freedmen," the largest group, live in rural Seminole County, Oklahoma where they are still official members of the Seminole Indian Nation.

The "Mascogos" dwell in the dusty desert town of Nacimiento in the State of Coahuila in Northern Mexico. And, finally, the "Scouts" live in Brackettville, Texas outside the walls of the old fort where their grandfathers served in the US Cavalry.

These groups have lost almost all contact with one another, but they have all retained the memory of their ancestors' gallant fight for freedom in the Florida wilderness. In 1978, Dr. Ian Hancock discovered that elders among the Texas Scouts still speak a dialect of Gullah—140 years after their ancestors were exiled from Florida and as much as 200 years after their early ancestors escaped from rice plantations in South Carolina and Georgia!

In 1980, this writer found that elderly people among the Oklahoma Seminole Freedmen also speak Gullah, while many younger people remember words and phrases once used by their grandparents. Both the Oklahoma and Texas groups, though deeply conscious of their Florida heritage, were unaware of their connection with the Gullah in South Carolina and Georgia.

They did not know precisely where their slave ancestors had come from before fleeing into the Florida wilderness. The Oklahoma Seminole Freedmen still possess a rich traditional culture combining both African and American Indian elements. They continue to eat rice as a characteristic part of their diet, sometimes applying a sauce of okra or spinach leaves—like the Gullah, and like their distant relatives in West Africa.

Modern Gullah People Today

Mrs. Ida Wilson, coastal South Carolina, 1965. Gullah women still offer their baskets for sale along Route 17 north of Charleston. These baskets are constructed almost exactly like the Sierra Leone shukublay.
Mrs. Ida Wilson, coastal South Carolina, 1965. Gullah women still offer their baskets for sale along Route 17 north of Charleston. These baskets are constructed almost exactly like the Sierra Leone shukublay.

Modern-Day Gullah

The Gullah Today

The Gullah still form a strong, cohesive community in South Carolina and Georgia. It is true that their isolation has been breaking down for the past forty years. Many have left the rural areas for jobs in the cities. Young people are attending university and finding professional positions away from home.

Television, telephones, bridges, good roads, and ferries have come to the once, most remote parts of the Gullah area—and many "old-fashioned" customs have been lost. But the Gullah still hold to their special identity, and they still take pride in their common heritage. Those who have moved away often return for family gatherings to expose their children to grandparents, to Gullah lore, and to the local life. Indeed, Gullah traditions still continue in many rural areas of coastal South Carolina and Georgia.

In 1979, representatives of the Summer Institute of Linguistics conducted a survey in the region to determine how many people still speak the Gullah language. To their amazement, they found over one hundred thousand Gullah speakers, of whom ten thousand spoke only Gullah—no English at all.

The Institute concluded that the Gullah community and the Gullah language are viable and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future; and it has embarked on a ten-year project to devise a system of writing for Gullah, to translate the New Testament into Gullah, and to teach Gullah people to read and write their own language.

The Gullah are also showing an increasing spirit of community service and self-help. There have been problems in recent years on the Sea Islands, once the most remote part of Gullah country, where land developers have made huge profits constructing tourist resorts, luxury housing, golf courses, and country clubs for wealthy people attracted to the mild climate and island scenery.

Land values jumped from a few hundred dollars an acre to many thousands; and some Gullah people, who sold their land, felt that they had not been paid the fair market value. But educated Gullahs have established Penn Center on the site of an early mission school on St. Helena Island, South Carolina.

The Center is devoted to community service—to advising Gullah people about their legal rights and the economic problems confronting them. The Center has also established a museum displaying Gullah arts and crafts, and has recently begun a project to collect and preserve Gullah folklore and oral traditions.

The Oklahoma Seminole Freedmen, the largest of the scattered Black Seminole groups, have also shown a high level of community spirit. The Freedmen, numbering about two thousand, form two of the fourteen "bands" of the Seminole Indian Nation of Oklahoma and, by tradition, have controlled six of the forty-two seats on the Tribal Council.

They have always participated keenly in Seminole tribal affairs, but in recent years those affairs have become more and more controversial. In 1977, the Seminoles won a $17 million judgment in the courts as compensation for the lands their ancestors lost in Florida during the Second Seminole War (1835-42).

Some factions among the Seminole Indians objected to sharing the award with the Seminole Freedmen, but the Freedmen obtained a Federal Court injunction halting disbursement of the funds until the issue is fairly resolved. The Feedmen are maintaining that the Black Seminoles were pioneers in Florida; that they were part of the Seminole tribe; that they shed their blood in defense of the Florida lands; and that, like the Indians, their descendants deserve compensation for the seizure of that land.

The Freedmen are now trying to settle the issue through consultation within the tribe, rather than through divisive legal action. They have also made efforts to contact other Black Seminole groups which, although no longer in contact with the tribe, they feel have the right to share in the award.

Summary

American historians now recognize that the Gullah people of South Carolina and Georgia have come in large measure from the rice-growing region of West Africa—but they have not placed enough specific emphasis on Sierra Leone. Scholars have looked at shipping records on the American side which refer only very generally to the "Rice Coast" or "Windward Coast" as the origins of the slave cargoes, but they have not yet examined the histories of specific slave trading bases in West Africa, like Bance Island.

They have also failed to look beyond documentary evidence, to the language and culture of the Gullah people. They have ignored the remarkable similarities between Gullah and Sierra Leone Krio, the high percentage of Gullah names and loanwords from Sierra Leonean languages; and the fact that all of the African texts remembered by modern Gullahs are in languages spoken in Sierra Leone, especially Mende.

It is now up to students of Sierra Leone to review the record of slave trading on both sides of the Atlantic for more evidence of the connection with South Carolina and Georgia. They must also examine the language and culture of the Gullah people against their own detailed knowledge of the languages and cultures of Sierra Leone. Studies of this sort will, no doubt, reveal even more evidence of significant historical and cultural connections.

The Black Seminoles are another subject requiring serious attention. We must recognize that 18 century Florida was, in many ways, an African frontier. The Gullah runaways were the only people capable of taming the Florida wilderness at that time. They possessed resistance to tropical diseases, knowledge of tropical agriculture, and a way of life remarkably unchanged from Africa.

While the white American frontier was expanding west and south into a temperate climate suited to Europeans, an African frontier was developing in the swamps and jungles of Florida. When the two finally collided, there was a series of conflicts resulting in a full-scale "Negro War" lasting for six years and claiming hundreds of American lives.

Scholars must examine the whole chain of events leading from the Rice Coast of Africa; to the rice plantations of South Carolina and Georgia; to the Florida wilderness, where rice agriculture and resistance to tropical diseases made possible a successful and independent life.

Many US soldiers died of malaria and yellow fever in the Florida Wars, but an American medical doctor of the period remarked that the Black Seminoles were "the finest looking people I have ever seen." In a land deadly to whites, the Gullah frontiersmen not only survived, but prospered.

There is an enduring kinship between the Gullah people and the people of Sierra Leone. The modern Gullahs and Black Seminoles are especially interested in their African origins and proud of their African cultural heritage.

Sierra Leoneans, on their part, have every reason to feel proud that a Black American community has been able to preserve so much Sierra Leonean cultural heritage, and that a portion of them waged the longest and fiercest struggle against slavery in United States history.

It would be fitting for exchanges to take place between Sierra Leoneans and the Gullahs or Black Seminoles, and it seems certain that the two sides would have much to say to one another. A Sierra Leonean woman, doing graduate study at the University of South Carolina several years ago, chanced to meet some Gullah people on a brief holiday to the South Carolina sea shore.

Recalling the experience much later, she remarked with amazement: "They speak our language!"

Stories Of The Gullah

Many people around the world and within the Gullah/Geechee Nation itself have only become aware of the various aspects of history that have been pages written through the endurance and overcoming of Gullah/Geechees once they are adults.  There have b
Many people around the world and within the Gullah/Geechee Nation itself have only become aware of the various aspects of history that have been pages written through the endurance and overcoming of Gullah/Geechees once they are adults. There have b

The Gullah's Homegrown Folklore Stories

"De Fox en de Crow"

This story was recorded in South Carolina about 1923 by the writer Ambrose Gonzales, and published in his collection With Aesop along the Black Border. The Gullah language at that time was "deeper" or more conservative than that generally spoken today. The excerpts that appear below are reproduced in the spelling system devised by Gonzales, while the Krio translations are in a system developed by the Sierra Leonean writer Thomas Decker.

If universal linguistic symbols (IPA) were used, the Gullah and Krio texts would appear even more similar. The Gullah and Krio words de/di (the), ooman/uman (woman), enty/enti (not so?), tief/tif (steal), teet/tit (teeth), and yez/yeys (ears) are, in fact, pronounced in almost exactly the same ways.

The reader should also note that the sentence structures are almost identical and that many grammatical elements are the same. Both languages employ fuh/foh, bin fuh/bin foh, and duh/dey as pre-verbal markers to indicate the infinitive, conditional, and progressive.

De Fox en de Crow tells the story of a crafty fox who manages to trick a lady crow into dropping a piece of meat clenched firmly in her jaws. The crow stole the meat from a white man, who was going to give it to his dog, and then flew to safety on the limb of a nearby tree.

The fox reasons that, as a woman, the crow must like to talk; and, if he can persuade her to open her mouth and speak, she will have to drop the prize. The fox flatters the crow in various ways, praising her theft of the meat, her flying abilities, her "stylish" plumage, etc.—but the crow pretends not to listen and holds on tightly to the meat.

The fox finally discovers the bird's weakness when he praises her singing voice, notoriously bad in crows. The crow lets out a long, ugly screech, trying to impress her suitor, and drops her prize to the ground. The fox picks it up and says: "Tengky fuh de meat, tittuh"... "your voice is very good because it's my breakfast bell, but, as for your common sense, it ain't worth much."

I give full credit for the history and story of the Gullah above to the Author, Joseph A. Opala, and this whole has been culled from his Blog by the same heading as the one proided above for he whole article.

Translations by the author.

Gullah

Den, Fox staat fuh talk. E say to eself, a say, "Dish yuh Crow duh ooman, enty? Ef a kin suade um fuh talk, him haffuh op'n e mout, enty? En ef e op'n e mout, enty de meat fuh drop out?"

Fox call to de Crow: "Mawnin tittuh, " e say. "Uh so glad you tief da meat fum de buckruh, cause him bin fuh trow-um-way pan de dog... E mek me bex fuh see man do shishuh ting lukkuh dat."

Crow nebbuh crack a teet! All-time Fox duh talk, Crow mout shet tight pan de meat, en a yez cock fuh lissin.

Sierra Leone Krio

Den, Fohx stat foh tohk. I sey to insef, i sey, "Dis Kro ya na uman, enti? If a kin pasweyd am foh tohk; i get foh opin in moht, enti? En if i opin in moht, enti di mit go fohdohm?"

Fohx kohl di Kro: "Mohnin titi, " i sey. A so gladi you tif da mit frohm di weytman, bikohs i bin foh trowey am to di dohg... I meyk a vex foh si man du tin leke dat."

Kro nohba opin in tit! Ohl di tem Fohx dey tohlx, Kro moht set tait pan di mit, en in yeys kak foh lisin.

English

Then, Fox started to talk. He said to himself, he said, "This here Crow is a woman, not so? If I can persuade her to talk, she has to open her mouth, not so? And if she opens her mouth, isn't it true the meat will drop out?"

Fox called to the Crow: "Morning girl," he said. "I am so glad you stole that meat from the white man, because he would have thrown it away to the dog... It makes me vexed to see a man do such a thing as that."

Crow never cracked open her teeth! All the time Fox was talking, Crow's mouth was shut tight on the meat, and her ears were cocked to listen.

Songs Of The Gullah People

Music Of The Gullah

A Gullah Song in Mende

Dr. Lorenzo Turner recorded this song in Harris Neck, Georgia in the early 1930s from a Gullah woman named Amelia Dawley. The original version contained ten lines, as some were repeated once or twice. Over the years, the Gullah people who preserved this song changed the pronunciation slightly and deleted a number of one-syllable words, but the text is still understandable to a modern Mende speaker.

In fact, the song contains a number of dialectal features characteristic of the Wanjama Mende who dwell in Pujehun District in far southern Sierra Leone, where the Mende and Vai regions border. This is a typical Mende funeral song (finya wulo) performed by women as they pound rice into flour for a sacrifice to the dead. Mende women traditionally remain in town preparing for the sacrifice while the men are in the cemetery preparing the grave. This song was probably handed down among the Gullah from mother to daughter, mother to daughter, through the generations.

The Mende spelling is somewhat altered, as the Mende alphabet contains some special linguistic symbols which cannot be used here. Translations by Momoh Koroma and the author.

Gullah Version

A wohkoh, mu mohne; kambei ya le; li leei tohmbe.
A wohkoh, mu mohne; kambei ya le; li leei ka.
Ha sa wuli nggo, sihan; kpangga li lee.
Ha sa wuli nggo; ndeli, ndi, ka.
Ha sa wuli nggo, sihan; huhan ndayia.

Modern Mende

A wa kaka, mu mohne; kambei ya le'i; lii i lei tambee.
A wa kaka, mu mohne; kambei ya le'i; lii i lei ka.
So ha a guli wohloh, i sihan; yey kpanggaa a lolohhu lee.
So ha a guli wohloh; ndi lei; ndi let, kaka.
So ha a guli wohloh, i sihan; kuhan ma wo ndayia ley.

English

Come quickly, let us work hard; the grave is not yet finished; his heart (the deceased's) is not yet perfectly cool (at peace).

Come quickly, let us work hard; the grave is not yet finished; let his heart be cool at once.

Sudden death cuts down the trees, borrows them; the remains disappear slowly.

Sudden death cuts down the trees; let it (death) be satisfied, let it be satisfied, at once.

Sudden death cuts down the trees, borrows them; a voice speaks from afar.

Meso-Afro-Mexicans

 Monument 1, one of the four Olmec colossal heads at La Venta. This one measures nearly 3 meters (9 ft.) tall.
Monument 1, one of the four Olmec colossal heads at La Venta. This one measures nearly 3 meters (9 ft.) tall.
Massive Olmec Head
Massive Olmec Head

African-Mexicans

Last year, a bilingual exhibition, The African Presence in México: Yanga to the Present, was mounted by the Oakland Museum and the DuSable Museum on both sides of the Mexican border – in the US and Mexico itself. It traced how Africans – fewer than 2% of colonial Mexico’s (1521-1810) population – significantly enriched Mexican culture through their art, music, language, cuisine, and dance. The African Presence in México invited Mexican-Americans and African-Americans to look at their identities in light of their shared histories in Mexico and the United States.

The Spanish first brought Africans to Mexico in 1519 to work in the agrarian and silver industries, under often brutal conditions. There were constant slave protests and runaways (cimarrónes) who established settlements in the mountains of Orizaba. In January 1609, Gasper Yanga, a runaway slave elder, led the cimarrónes (or maroons) to a successful resistance against a special army sent by the Spanish Crown to crush their several Cimarrón victories, the Spanish acquiesced to the slaves’ demand for land and freedom. Yanga founded the first free African township in the Americas, San Lorenzo de los Negros, near Veracruz. It was renamed in his honour in the 1930s.

Slavery in Mexico was abolished in 1810 by Jose María Morelos y Pavón, leader of the Mexican War of Independence. As a mulatto (Spanish and African), Morelos was directly affected by Mexico’s prejudices. Racial mixes were seen as undesirable by a society that aspired to purity of race and blood (ie,, Spanish only).

In 1992, as part of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Spanish in the Americas, the Mexican government officially acknowledged that African culture in the country represented la tercera raiz (the third root) of Mexican culture, with the Spanish and indigenous peoples. But the plight of Afro-Mexicans has not improved much since the recognition of 1992.

As Alexis Okeowo, a black journalist in the Mexican capital, Mexico City, attests, when she visited Yanga, her heart broke. “As I arrived in town,” she reported, “I peered out of my taxi window at the pastel-painted storefronts and the brown-skinned residents walking along the wide streets. ‘Where are the black Mexicans?’ I wondered. A central sign proclaimed Yanga’s role as the first Mexican town to be free from slavery, yet the descendants of these former slaves were nowhere to be found. I would later learn that most live in dilapidated settlements outside of town.”

The next morning when she went searching for the Afro-Mexicans, Okeowo found that though she had grown used to the rarity of black people in Mexico City, it was different at Yanga, where she was not only stared at but also pointed at.

“The stares were cold and unfriendly, and especially unnerving in a town named for an African revolutionary,” Okeowo recalled. “ ‘Mira, negra,’ I heard people whisper to one another. ‘Look, a black woman.’ ‘Negra!’, taunted an old man with a shock of white hair under a tan sombrero.

“Surrounded by a group of men, [the old man] gazed at me with a big, toothy grin. He seemed to be waiting for me to come over and talk to him. Shocked, I shot him a dirty look and headed into [a] library’s courtyard.”

Okeowo continued: “The notion of race in Mexico is frustratingly complex. This is a country where many are proud to claim African blood, yet discriminate against their darker countrymen. Black Mexicans complain that such bigotry makes it especially hard for them to find work. Still, I was surprised to feel like such an alien intruder in a town where I had hoped to feel something like familiarity. Afro-Mexicans are among the poorest in the nation. Many are shunted to remote shantytowns, well out of reach of basic public services, such as schools and hospitals.

“Activists for Afro-Mexicans face an uphill battle for government recognition and economic development. They have long petitioned to be counted in Mexico’s national census, alongside the country’s 56 other official ethnic groups, but to little avail. Unofficial records put their number at one million.”

The Xi People (misnamed Olmecs): The African Presence In Ancient Mexico | Mathu Ater

Third Root Consort, Afro-Mexican Music #1 (Casa Arjona 2014)

Statue of Afro-Mexican leader and Mexican National Hero Gaspar Yanga. He was slave rebel that formed the first free black community (palenque) in Latin America known as Yanga. Today, the town reportedly hosts the "Carnival of Negritude" every August
Statue of Afro-Mexican leader and Mexican National Hero Gaspar Yanga. He was slave rebel that formed the first free black community (palenque) in Latin America known as Yanga. Today, the town reportedly hosts the "Carnival of Negritude" every August

African Peoples Of Mexico...

Afro-Mexicans (mexicanos negros) are Mexicans who are mostly of African ancestry. Afro-Mexicans who used to be found in every part of Mexico now exists in certain parts of Mexico such as the Costa Chica of Oaxaca and Guerrero, Veracruz and in some cities in northern Mexico.
They now constitute about only 2% of Mexico`s total population and numbering about 900,000.

Robert McCaan wrote, "Afro-Mexicans, who numbered one-half million in 1810, more or less vanished, thoroughly intermingled and unidentifiable by 1895 if the official discourse is accepted at face value."

In Terms of History of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the early African presence in the Americas is normally associated with the slave trade in the United States, the Caribbean, Brazil, Central America, Colombia and Peru. What is not generally taught in history textbooks is that Mexico was also a key port of entry for slave ships and consequently had a large African population.

In fact, during the colonial era, there were more Africans than Europeans in Mexico, according to Aguirre Beltrán's pioneering 1946 book, "The Black Population in Mexico." And he said they didn't disappear, but in fact took part in forging the great racial mixture that is today Mexico. "Because of race mixture, much of the African presence is no longer discernible except in a few places such as Veracruz and the Costa Chica in Guerrero and Oaxaca," wrote Aguirre Beltrán.

What most people do not know is that Afro-Mexicans were the first enslaved Africans in the Latin America to form the first community of free blacks. This settlement called Yanga (formerly San Lorenzo de los Negros) was formed out of the rebellion which occurred in Veracruz in 1537. Runaway slaves (Cimarrones), who mostly fled to the highlands between Veracruz and Puebla with others made their way to the Costa Chica region in what are now Guerrero and Oaxaca. The Runaways in Veracruz formed settlements called “palenques” led by the famous Gaspar Yanga (Nyanga), a Gabon slave who fought off Spanish authorities for forty years until the Spanish recognized their autonomy in 1608, making San Lorenzo de los Negros (today Yanga) the first community of free blacks in the Americas.

The existence of blacks in Mexico is deliberately made unknown, denied or diminished in both Mexico and abroad for a number of reasons: their small numbers, heavy intermarriage with other ethnic groups and Mexico’s tradition of defining itself as a “mestizaje” or mixing.

Colonel Carmen Amelia Robles Avila, an Afro Mexican woman who was a leader in the Mexican Revolution. She fought alongside Emiliano Zapata. Legend has it that she participated in many battles and that she would shoot her pistol with her right hand an
Colonel Carmen Amelia Robles Avila, an Afro Mexican woman who was a leader in the Mexican Revolution. She fought alongside Emiliano Zapata. Legend has it that she participated in many battles and that she would shoot her pistol with her right hand an

The History And Stories Of The Afro-Mexican Peoples

I am going to cull heavily from the Blogger calling himself 'Kwekudee' who work is impeccable, and very extensive to create and narrate the story and history of the Afro-Mexicans. I have even used his photos, from his Blog to give the reader some sense of what I am constructing here: African History And Its Global Extensions.

What many ignorant racist and avid supporters of "mestizo" people -- a mixture of Spaniards and Indians -- officially referred to as "La Raza" or "The Race, do not know is that the early Mexican governments appreciated the role of Africans in their independence struggles and abhorred any form of slavery thereby given sanctuaries to runaway slaves from United states.

Colonial Mexico had the highest numbers of African slaves. Of the over one million casualties during the Mexican war of independence, most of them were Afro-Mexicans. It was in the view of this that Mexico’s commitment to harbor Black fugitive slaves triggered the Mexican-American war; which Mexico lost nearly 50 percent of her territory. After the war, Mexico undeterred, included in her constitution and continued her commitment to harbor fugitive slave.

In fact, when in 1857 James Frisby, a “Negro” seaman jumped ship in Veracruz and claimed to have been a slave in New Orleans “whose master had signed him on board the Metacomet as crew"; the port captain refused to turn him over. US Representative in Mexico John Forsyth resorted to arm-twisting Mexico even to the point of declaring that Mexico extended a privilege to the seaman because of the “ebony color of his skin.”

Forsyth berated Mexico for letting a Black get away with what those of “pure white blood … the master blood of the earth … blood which has conquered and civilized and Christianized the world.” Forsyth in his rage declared, “If Mexico is so deeply imbued with the mania of negrophilism [love of 'Negroes”] … imprisoning our White Citizens and making free our Slaves, as fast as they put foot on Mexican soil, cannot long endure consistently with peace and harmony between the two countries.” Forsyth failed to intimidate Mexico, and she remained adamant in her defense and protection of fugitive Black slaves.

The real history of Mexico which now pride itself as a "mestizo" people -- a mixture of Spaniards and Indians -- officially referred to as "La" or "The Race," is that African ancestors were on the Mexican land even before the Mayan and Aztec civilization. The Olmec civilization (1200-400 BC) which was founded by Africans and had its capital in La Venta in Mexico affirms a prolonged presence of African ancestors who laid the ancient foundation of America long before Christopher Columbus’ great, great, great, grandfather whom Mexicans claim to have mixed ancestry with was born. Columbus is said in European history to have discovered America in 1492.

Without going deep into Olmec civilization and African presence in America before Columbus, it must be emphasized that the first blacks (Africans) to have landed in Mexico were free men (Moors) from Spain, who came along with the Spanish Conquistadors and explorers. Later, many slaves were imported from Africa through the Portuguese slave traders. These dark skinned slaves "the first true blacks were extracted from Arguin," i.e Maure people of Anguin in Mauritania, West Africa.

In the sixteenth century black slaves (Africans) were also brought from Bran (Bono, and other Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast), Biafadas (Mandika and other Senegambians), Gelofe (Wolofs of Cape Verde) and later Bantu people were also extracted from Angola and Canary Islands. Other blacks from United States also fled from slave states to seek sanctuary in Mexico.

In fact, in the summer of 1850, the Mascogos, composed of runaway slaves and free blacks from Florida, along with Seminoles and Kikapus, fled south from the United States, to the Mexican border state of Coahuila. Accompanying the Seminoles were also 'Black Seminoles' -- slaves who had been freed by the tribe after battles against white settlers in Florida. The three groups eventually settled the town of El Nacimiento, Coahuila, where many of their descendants remained.

faces Of Afro-Mexicans...

Afro-Mexican Beauty...
Afro-Mexican Beauty...
Afro-Mexican Man.. Called the "Charro"...
Afro-Mexican Man.. Called the "Charro"...

Dr. Ivan Van Sertima-They Came Before Columbus

The Struggles Of African Mexicans

Despite the fact that Afro-Mexicans have a small population, the truth however, is that most of the so-called Mestizo or "La Raza" ("The Race") or white Latinos of Mexico have more black ancestry in their gene pool than they ever know. During the war of independence 1810-1821, about 30 to 40 percent of mixed race Mexicans had African in their mix and were more likely to be militant.
The apparent assimilation of Mexico's ex-slaves into the overall gene pool is in marked contrast to America's experience, where the black race has remained relatively distinct. In the average self-declared white American's family tree, there is only the equivalent of one black out of every 128 ancestors, according to the ongoing research of molecular anthropologist Mark D. Shriver of Penn State University and his colleagues.

In fact, Mexico even differs from the rest of Latin America, where distinct black populations remain genetically unassimilated. "Mexico is unique in this regard," commented population geneticist Ricardo M. Cerda-Flores of the Mexico's Autonomous University in Nuevo Leon.

Cerda-Flores' team found that a sample of Mexicans living around Monterrey in Northeast Mexico averaged around 5 percent African by ancestry, according to its genetic markers. In other words, if you could accurately trace the typical family tree back until before the first Spaniards and their African slaves arrived in Mexico in 1519, you would find that about one out of twenty of the subjects' forebears were Africans.

Cerda-Flores and his colleagues also examined the DNA of Mexican-Americans in Texas, who came out as about 6 percent black. Other studies of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans by molecular anthropologists have come up with black admixture rates ranging from 3 percent to 8 percent.

By way of contrast, this appears to be, very roughly, something like half of the black ancestry level of the overall American population, as implied by Shriver's studies. Of course, most of the African ancestors of Americans are visibly concentrated among African-Americans, who average 82 percent to 83 percent black, according to Shriver. Among Mexicans, however, African genes appeared to be spread more broadly and evenly.

Recently, Mexican-American TV host and comedian George Lopez was handed his DNA ancestry results by Mariah Carey – after the question was posed as to whether he would fall under the proverbial one-drop (African) racial classification. Lopez’s results showed a 4 percent African blood. “Texican” actress and a member of hit TV series Desperate Housewives, Eva Longoria’s 3 percent African ancestry surfaced in DNA taken by PBS series Faces of America (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.).

And National Geographic’s Genographic Mexican-American reference population attributes a 4 percent African contribution to the “La Raza” pool. The “Mestizo” — the proverbial “La Raza” Mexicano – customarily extols his Indian roots, and laments and or praises his Spanish roots — but rarely is the African part acknowledged.

The Global African - Mexican Afro-descendants

Africans In Mexico...

Afro-Mexican student of Princeton in USA
Afro-Mexican student of Princeton in USA
Afro-Mexican Woman...
Afro-Mexican Woman...

Black in Latin America E03, Mexico and Peru: The Black Grandma in the Closet

Afro-Veracruz/Afro-Mexico

krispy kreme wrote:

I myself am Mexican from African descent & am proud to call myself a black Mexican and am proud of my rich African & indigenous roots from Veracruz but Reading through these comments & it's kind of upsetting because of the fact that most people don't know that "Mexican" is not a race it's a nationality & it's composed majority of native indigenous blood & Spanish but in areas like Veracruz & The costa chica are people from African descent that were brought over by the Spanish (not from Cuba) to work on sugar cane plantations from the shortage of workers since the indigenous people were dying due to famine from the Spanish

Mexicans Were Black

The slave trade that changed the demographic face of Mexico began when King Carlos V began issuing more and more asientos, or contracts between the Crown and private slavers, in order to expedite the Trans-Atlantic Trade. At this point, after 1519, the New World received bozales, or slaves brought directly from Africa without being Christianized.

The Spanish Crown would issue these contracts to foreign slavers, who would then make deals with the Portuguese, for they controlled the slave posts on the West African coast. In addition, the Crown would grant slaving licenses to merchants, government officials, conquistadores, and settlers who requested the privilege of importing slaves to the Americas.

The crown granted the right for importation of slaves following the devastation brought about by the inherent diseases of the Europeans, which infected and almost completely wiped out indigenous Mexicans. Having no natural immunity against smallpox, measles, typhoid, venereal diseases and other infectious maladies, natives were victims of ferocious epidemics in 1520, 1548, 1576-1579, and 1595-1596. Another Spanish conquistador, Pánfilo de Narváez, is said to have brought an African slave who was blamed for the smallpox epidemic of 1520.

It is estimated that when Conquistador Hernan Cortes arrived in Mexico in 1519, the indigenous population was about 27.6 million inhabitants. By 1605 only 1.7 million indigenous people had survived, a population decrease mulattoes; 15,000 Spaniards, and 80,000 Indians. Slaves were therefore imported from Africa through the Portuguese slave traders to replace the disappearing indigenous Indians.

These dark skinned slaves "the first true blacks were extracted from Arguin," i.e Maure people of Anguin in Mauritania, West Africa. In the sixteenth century black slaves (Africans) were also brought from Bran (Bono, and other Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast), Biafadas (Mandika and other Senegambians), Gelofe (Wolofs of Cape Verde) and later Bantu people were also extracted from Angola and Canary Islands. Soon the Mexico had a lot of black workforce.

Blacks slaves were classified into several types, depending on their abundance, origin and mostly physical characteristics. The first, called Retintos, also called swarthy, came from Sudan and the Guinea Coast. The second type were amulatados or amembrillados of lighter skin color, when compared with other blacks were indistinguishable in their skin yellow hues.

The slaves were involved in an important economic sectors such as sugar production and mining. Most slaves worked in sugar production and textile mills, which were the two sectors that needed a large, stable workforce, which could not pay enough to attract free laborers to its arduous work.

Other sector of slave labor was generally restricted to Mexico City, where they were domestic servants such as maids, coachmen, personal service or armed bodyguards. However, they were more of a status symbol rather than an economic necessity.

Africans fought alongside Mexicans Against America...

Afro-Mexican Soldier with a Mexican Soldier friend..
Afro-Mexican Soldier with a Mexican Soldier friend..

Third Root Consort, Afro-Mexican Music #2 (Casa Arjona 2014)

African Percussions And Music In Mexico..

Afro-Mexicans have also greatly contributed to Mexico`s rich heritage of dance, music and song. The famous carnival celebrated in Coyolillo in Veracruz has African origins. Mexico`s food, language and spiritual practices have been influenced by the descendants of black slaves. Black immigrants to the country must be recognized and included in this equation as well.

Mexican music, for example, has deep roots in West Africa. "La Bamba," the famous Mexican folk song that was given a rock beat by Ritchie Valens and a classic interpretation by Los Lobos, has been traced back to the Bamba district of Angola.

To better understand the music’s origins, researcher and expert on Mexican percussive instruments Arturo Chamorro states: "African traces are not present in an obvious manner in traditional Mexican music and those that have such traces are found in levels less obvious. One can argue that through traditional oral music, the panorama of African heritage is much more optimistic than that of strong documents."

The friction drum (tambor de fricción) isa percussion instrument consisting of a single membrane stretched over an open-ended hollow sound box. The player produces sound by causing the membrane to vibrate by friction. The membrane vibrates by 1) being rubbed with the fingers or with the use of acloth, stick or cord that is attached to its center, or by 2) spinning the drum around a pivot to produce friction.

To vary the pitch, the membrane may be depressed with the thumb while playing. The friction drum was primarily used for religious ceremonies and associated with groups descending from the Yoruba and Bantu cultures. The tambor de fricciónis also known as the bote de diabloor tirera in Mexico. As Chamorro states: “Theuse of the friction drum, which is recognized as also having African aspects in its manufacture, appears to have extended itself among various indigenous and mixed communities from the Costa Chica region.”

Afro-Mexican Musicians...

Afro-Mexican Abraham-Laboriel-Sr “The most widely used session bassist of our time” according to Guitar Player magazine.
Afro-Mexican Abraham-Laboriel-Sr “The most widely used session bassist of our time” according to Guitar Player magazine.

Abraham Laboriel Sr., "Listen to Your Brother" - live at Berklee

Among these communities is the Amuzgo, the Amerindians who called the instrument teconte. Bill Jenkinsconcurs with Chamorro’s statements,that “many friction drums in the New World were of Africa origin.”The marimbais currently a prominent folk instrument in the state of Oaxaca and also apparent in the state of Veracruz(Jenkins). The instrument has been manifested in different parts of the world and is referred to by different names. Marimba, which means “voice of wood,” is a wood or metal instrument whose sound is generated by thin tongues known as lamellae. A derivative of the gyil, the marimba has fourteen wooden keys that are fastened by leather and antelope sinew with calabash gourds beneath the keys. The marimba is not used as a solo instrument, but functions as an accompanying instrument. It also provides the harmonic background in addition to setting the tempo for the band.

Afro-Mexican - Yanga

Statue of Gaspar Yanga
Statue of Gaspar Yanga

Third Root Consort, Afro-Mexican Music #3 (Casa Arjona 2014)

Food Of African Mexicans

he phenomena of runaways and slave rebellions began early in Veracruz with many escaping to the mountainous areas in the west of the state, near Orizaba and the Puebla border. Here groups of escaped slaves established defiant communities called “palenques” to resist Spanish authorities.

The most important Palenque was established in 1570 by Gaspar Yanga and stood against the Spanish for about forty years until the Spanish were forced to recognize it as a free community in 1609, with the name of San Lorenzo de los Negros. It was renamed Yanga in 1932. Yanga was the first municipality of freed slaves in the Americas. However, the town proper has almost no people of obvious African heritage. These live in the smaller, more rural communities.

Because African descendants dispersed widely into the general population, African and Afro-Cuban influence can be seen in Veracruz’s music dance, improvised poetry, magical practices and especially food. Veracruz son music, best known through the popularity of the hit “La Bamba” has African origins. Veracruz cooking commonly contains Spanish, indigenous and African ingredients and cooking techniques.

One defining African influence is the use of peanuts. Even though peanuts are native to the Americas, there is little evidence of their widespread use in the pre Hispanic period. Peanuts were brought to Africa by the Europeans and the Africans adopted them, using them in stews, sauces and many other dishes. The slaves that came later would bring this new cooking with the legume to Mexico.

They can be found in regional dishes such as encacahuatado, an alcoholic drink called the torito, candies (especially in Tlacotalpan), salsa macha and even in mole poblano from the neighboring state of Puebla. This influence can be seen as far west as Puebla, where peanuts are an ingredient in mole poblano.

Another important ingredient introduced by African cooking is the plantain, which came from Africa via the Canary Islands. In Veracruz, they are heavily used breads, empanadas, desserts, mole, barbacoa and much more. One other defining ingredient in Veracruz cooking is the use of starchy tropical roots, called viandas. They include cassava, malanga, taro and sweet potatoes.


Third Root Consort, Afro-Mexican Music #2 (Casa Arjona 2014)

African Mexican Woman

Race As A factor For African Mexicans

As Alexis Okeowo, a black journalist in the Mexican capital, Mexico City, attests, when she visited Yanga, her heart broke. “As I arrived in town,” she reported, “I peered out of my taxi window at the pastel-painted storefronts and the brown-skinned residents walking along the wide streets. ‘Where are the black Mexicans?’

I wondered. A central sign proclaimed Yanga’s role as the first Mexican town to be free from slavery, yet the descendants of these former slaves were nowhere to be found. I would later learn that most live in dilapidated settlements outside of town.”

The next morning when she went searching for the Afro-Mexicans, Okeowo found that though she had grown used to the rarity of black people in Mexico City, it was different at Yanga, where she was not only stared at but also pointed at.

“The stares were cold and unfriendly, and especially unnerving in a town named for an African revolutionary,” Okeowo recalled. “ ‘Mira, una negra,’ I heard people whisper to one another. ‘Look, a black woman.’ ‘Negra! Negra!’, taunted an old man with a shock of white hair under a tan sombrero.

“Surrounded by a group of men, [the old man] gazed at me with a big, toothy grin. He seemed to be waiting for me to come over and talk to him. Shocked, I shot him a dirty look and headed into [a] library’s courtyard.”

Okeowo continued: “The notion of race in Mexico is frustratingly complex. This is a country where many are proud to claim African blood, yet discriminate against their darker countrymen. Black Mexicans complain that such bigotry makes it especially hard for them to find work. Still, I was surprised to feel like such an alien intruder in a town where I had hoped to feel something like familiarity.

Afro-Mexicans are among the poorest in the nation. Many are shunted to remote shantytowns, well out of reach of basic public services, such as schools and hospitals.

“Activists for Afro-Mexicans face an uphill battle for government recognition and economic development. They have long petitioned to be counted in Mexico’s national census, alongside the country’s 56 other official ethnic groups, but to little avail. Unofficial records put their number at one million.”

Okeowo continued: “If you have not heard of Mexico’s native blacks, you are not alone. The story that has been passed down through generations is that their ancestors arrived on a slave boat filled with Cubans and Haitians, which sank off Mexico’s Pacific coast. The survivors hid away in fishing villages on the shore.

The story is a myth: Spanish colonialists trafficked African slaves into ports on the opposite Gulf coast, and slaves were distributed further inland. The persistence of this story explains the reluctance of many black Mexicans to embrace the label ‘Afro’, and why many Mexicans assume black nationals hail from the Caribbean.

African Mexican Kids...

DR. IVAN VAN SERTIMA: "Let's Break Down The Christopher Columbus Myth!! LACC 1986

African Olmec Head In Mexico..

The Meaning Of "They Came Before Columbus."

Professor Ivan van Sertima, They Came before Columbus

A review by Femi Akomolafe, 19 January 1995

History, as taught in the Western and Western-dominated world, gives the impression that the first Africans to reach the Americas were brought as slaves, in shackles on slaves-ships. So total is the Euro-Americans onslaught on black people that all military, missionary, scholarship, academic forces are mobilized to paint the picture of the African as an eternal slave of the white man.

In order to justify their crimes of slavery and colonialism, Europeans have constructed a web of lies and prevarications and passed them as historical truth. How else do we explain the Western historians deliberate distortion of the truth to paint the picture of a Caucasian master and an African slave—even in the Americas, where evidence abounded that black people were respected, even venerated, by the old Americans (Occidental Indians)?

So complete was the Europeans falsification of history that several people, both black and white, will be shocked to know that there were historical, archaeological, even botanical evidence of Africans contact with the New World in Pre-Colombian times. As usual, Western scholarship popularized the myth that the history of the Indians started with their ‘discovery,’ by the pirate, ego-tripster and genius of mass-murder, Christopher Columbus.

Happily, one by one, these edifices of distortions, constructed by white-supremacists posing as scholars, historians, anthropologists, even scientists, are being knocked down.

In his They Came Before Columbus, Professor Ivan Van Sertima of Rutgers University assembled an impressive array of evidence to challenge one of the most persistent of these historical distortions. His argument are so compelling that very many high-calibre scholars, who have maintained the prejudiced line of history, are bound to fall flat from their pedestal. The style of the book is very engaging, almost novel-like—this makes a very good reading.

The first evidence of a black presence in the America was given to Columbus by the Indians themselves: they gave concrete proof to the Spanish that they were trading with black people. “The Indians of this Espanola said there had come to Espanola a black people who have the tops of their spears made of a metal which they called gua-nin, of which he [Columbus] had sent samples to the Sovereigns to have them assayed, when it was found that of 32 parts, 18 were of gold, 6 of silver and 8 of copper. The origin of the word guanin may be tracked down in the Mande languages of West Africa, through Mandigo, Kabunga, Toronka, Kankanka, Banbara, Mande and Vei. In Vei, we have the form of the word ka-ni which, transliterated into native phonetics, would give us gua-nin.” p.11. This was just one of the numerous instances, cited by Professor [van] Sertima, where the names, cultures and rituals of the Mandigos confluenced with those of the ancient Americans.

Thus we have the Bambara werewolf cult whose head is known as amantigi (heads of faith) appeared in Mexican rituals as amanteca. The ceremonies accompanying these rituals are too identical to have been independently evolved among peoples who have had no previous encounter. Talking devil is called Hore in Mandigo, and Haure in Carib. In the American language of Nahuatl a waistcloth is called maxtli, in Malinke it's masiti. The female loincloth is nagua in Mexico, it is nagba in Mande.

Why would the Indians claimed to have traded with black people if they haven't? Why would their faith and language have so much infusion of West African influence if these people haven't had any contact? These might not be sufficient, in themselves, to justify the claims that Africans have been visiting the Americas in pre-Colombian times. But there are witnesses.

In 1513 Vasco Nunez de Balboa, another Spanish usurper came upon a group of African war captives in an Indian settlement. He was told that the blacks lived nearby and were constantly waging wars. A priest, Fray Gregoria Garcia wrote an account of another encounter in a book that was silenced by the inquisition: “Here we found slaves of the lord - Negroes-who were the first our people saw in the Indies,” p.22. (It should be noted that in pre-European slavery, slaves are what we called ‘Prisoners of wars’ today. Thus, the Yorubas have the same name, ERU, for both slaves and POWs.)

Aside from these confirmed sightings, there are also an abundance archeological evidence of an Africa presence in pre-Colombian times. These were in the form of realistic portraitures of Negro-Africans in clay, gold, and stone unearthed in pre-Colombian strata in Central and South America.-pp.23-24. Moved by these overwhelming evidence, the Society of American Archeology at a conference in 1968, Professor [van] Sertima reported, concluded: “Surely there cannot now be any question but that there were visitors to the New World from the Old in historic or even prehistoric time before 1492.”

Then there is the oral history of the two peoples. The Griots—traditional historians and masters of orature—‘Oral Literature’ in Mali, have stories about their King, Abubakari the second, grandson of Sundiata, the founder of the Mali Empire (larger than the Holy Roman Empire), who set out on a great expedition of large boats in 1311. None of the boats returned to Mali, but curiously around this time evidence of contact between West Africans and Mexicans appear in strata in America in an overwhelming combination of artifacts and cultural parallels.

A black-haired, black-bearded figure in white robes, one of the representations of Quetzalcoatl, modeled on a dark-skinned outsider, appears in paintings in the valley of Mexico... while the Aztecs begin to worship a Negroid figure mistaken for their god Tezcatlipoca because he had the right ceremonial color. Negroid skeletons are found in this time stratum in the Caribbean... ‘A notable tale is recorded in the Peruvian traditions ... of how black men coming from the east had been able to penetrate the Andes Mountains.’ p.26

The voyage of Abubakari, Professor [van] Sertima pointed out, may not be as daunting as it seems for anyone who understand the Ocean currents. These currents, which traverse the World's oceans, serves as natural marine conveyor belts. “Once you enter them you are transported (even against your will, even with no navigational skill) from one bank of the ocean to the other,” pp.22-23. Several successful attempts have been made to demonstrate that it was possible to cross the Atlantic from the Equator to South America, even in small boat.

To the scholars, blinded by racial prejudice, who maintained that the blacks were brought into the Americas as slaves by Phoenicians, Professor [van] Sertima posed the question: “Why would a people as sophisticated as the Indians built temples, shrines and statues to honor slaves, and none to the supposed masters? Indeed why would a people considered so lowly be venerated at all?” The people who were host to these Negro-African figures are known as the Olmecs ... In all, eleven colossal Negroid heads appear in the Olmec heartland, pp.30-31. The artifacts have been carbon-dated and it is beyond question that they predates the Columbus era.

Banana, yam, beans and gourd are Old World plants that predates Columbus in the Americas. How did they get there? While the last [gourd] could have been transported by the ocean currents, the first three cannot survive such prolonged exposure. “The African word for banana runs right through these American languages.” p199.

Pipe smoking was another African pastime that found its way into the Americas. “The Malinke words meaning to smoke are dyamba and dyemba. These can account for South American smoke words such as the Guipinavi, dema; Traiana, iema; Maypures, jema; Guahiba, sema; Caberi, scema; Baniva, djeema; and so on.

The Mandigo word duli (to smoke) which also occurs in the same form in Toma and Bambara, and in its variant forms nduli and luli in Mende, can be found among the American languages Carb, Arawak, Chavantes, Baniva, Acroamirin, and Goajira.” p. 217. On page 252 through 253, there were several citations of ethnic American names duplicated only among the Berbers, and nowhere else in the world.

Professor [van] Sertima cited several authorities to buttress his forceful arguments that there were African presence in the Americas before Columbus came. He showed evidence to support his views that these blacks were not slaves but traders and priests who were honored and venerated by the Indians—who built statues in their honors.

In the closing of the book, he declaimed the notion of 'discovery.' In his own words: “It would be an irony, indeed, to find that Americans ‘discovered’ Europe many centuries before Europeans ‘discovered‘ America. But the whole notion of any race (European, African or American) discovering a full-blown civilization is absurd.

They presume some innate superiority in the ‘discoverer’ and something inferior and barbaric in the people ‘discovered.’... What I have sought to prove is not that Africans ‘discovered’ America, but that they made contact on at least half a dozen occasions, two of which were culturally significant for Americans.”

THEY CAME BEFORE COLUMBUS is a must read for anyone seeking knowledge about Africa of old, before slavery and colonialism reduced the black man to the object of ridicule and humiliation. It is also imperative for those Europeans who will like to know the true relation of Europe to World civilization, untainted by the lies and vain-glories of their popular history books, to read it.

United Africa And The African Diaspora

African people Are One: One Love

This Hub is about one African Culture globally, though diverse, but the same from its antecedents, and in its present manifestations. A synergized synthesis of the Culture of African people in Africa and the Diaspora, written as one article and attempting to show the sameness of African culture, is still to be written, This is my first attempt at such a mammoth task, and this will be followed by one or more article dealing with other people not talked about , those of African .

Interspersed within the matrix, is the history, traditions and customs of these African people, wherever this was possible. It is important in these times of the Viral stream, we make aa concerted effort to capture and write about the cultures of African people from an African-centered perspective. This Hub gives a visual, historical and cultural picture of the African people in the world.

It would be instructive here to cite from Chinweizu:

"When a quest for dignity and glory degenerates into a mere hankering after foreign notice, every African concerned about the health of his culture and society must take alarm. When we seek rehabilitation in the eyes of our oppressors; when our elite deserts its obvious duties and instead dances happy harlot to foreign acclaim. when it does not do what it must do to win the hearts of our people-namely, feed their hunger, raise their political consciousness, make them more aware of the ultimate causes and hidden modes of perpetuating their impoverishment, and raise their power and self-esteem in practical ways; wen the nation's interests are, with ravenous greed, sacrificed for the false grandeur of a few, it is time for profound concern. Such quislings tendencies in her elite are a manifest danger to the welfare of Africa."

One of the most debilitating and discouraging obstacles we face as an African people, are our own people, our own African elites… As in the case of South Africa and also in the Diaspora, have bought hook and sink in the western values and mores. Unabashedly. Then Chinweizu advises:

"To understand the historical origins of such behavior is not at all to condone it. To know that it is a result of complexes inflicted by the experience of colonialism and slavery, is no reason to preserve in it. We must then take proper measures to cure ourselves. We must escape these complexes, eliminate whatever created and perpetuates them.

"The human contribution to the backwardness of Africa is, for the imperialists, the dirty topic of all dirty topics, not to be mentioned in the polite and learned discourse, a topic centered from their propaganda.

"The whole machinery for plunder might well come apart if too many people know it exists, if too many people realize that it was put together by men, and is managed and maintained by men, for the benefit of only some men...

"By various malicious portrayals and misleading accounts, all turning upon the matter of race, the imperialists have sought to inflict permanent complexes upon us, and to divert us from effective investigations that would help us eliminate our condition."

Many people do not really know what happened to the/in the destruction of African people and their civilizations in Africa and globally.

In writing tis Hub, I made it my concern to ry as best as I can, given the limited number of words allocated, to try and present the cultural side of African people in Africa and globally. One thing I still need to deal with is the whole of African culture, customs, music, languages, cultural traditions and garb, in order to complete this story and historical culture of Africans in the Whole world, in another Hub. Having said this, it is also important to know how this great African culture was systematically dismembered from continent to continent, and how, under attack, it defended and kept on breathing, living, singing and dancing the African way and their African selves.

I will be covering vast areas of African culture in the African continent in t my next Hub, all dealing with history and cultures of different peoples of African. In the Hub above, I had to cover mostly the South American and , Caribbean and Latin American , along with the Gullah of North America so that at least one can gets to see and learn about Africans and their African cultures in the Western Hemisphere.

The forthcoming article about Africans in Africa and their cultures, customs and traditions, will highlight these African cultures and histories, and attempt to show that they can be even found in the Diaspora. Same cultures, in both Africa and the Diaspora. The Hub above was an attempt to show that the cultures in many of the places touched upon above, are the same with the African cultures in Africa. This means therefore, we, of African descent, globally, are one. One Love.

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junko 7 weeks ago

Very very Interesting I will be back to read and see more again and again, thanks for taking the time to create this wealth of information.


ixwa profile image

ixwa 7 weeks ago Author

Thank you very much, Junko... I am glad you commented and will continue to visit these Hubs... I appreciate this very much.. Thanks...

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