Category Archives: Current Events

Between The World And Me, And Every Other Black Man.

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More times than others, I read books that compliment my moods. If I am happy, I will not even think to touch a Toni Morrison, but rather consider some work from Maya. When I want to feel hopeful, Ill grab Zora Neale. And on a rainy day, shade is usually being thrown from Richard Wright and Audre Lorde.

But I didn’t get a chance to choose this book, it just happened. And I realized that I not only read the book at the right time, but so did everyone else. And that was because we had no choice.

I took my seat on the Ta-Nehisi Coates’ bandwagon and I don’t think that I will ever get off. In fact, I might have to bully someone for their front seat  because his new book, Between The World and Me, helped heal my temporal fury.

The overall purpose, a letter to his son, was more than I can bare. The thought of constructing a letter that contained all the problems to Black male existence and not even giving a solution, because there is none that you can possibly provide, shows me all the revolutionary steps needed in the awakening  process.

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The idea of the body; existing physically, biologically, politically, and socially, was extremely necessary to digest. The consequences of not living  causes disembodiment. Both self-inflicted and inflicted, in which you have no control over. The tennis game of Coates analyzing his manhood versus raising a child to challenge manhood was extremely striking.

And the responsibility of mustering up a narrative that share Black America’s grief has already been acknowledged by one of the finest American writers ever, Toni Morrison.

‘The modern-day James Baldwin’ comparison straps this author with an extreme high award of valor, because someone has to fill the shoes. And Coates, with his blunt references and his bold opinions does nothing less than remind you of our Uncle Baldwin himself.

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This is no ordinary book review, because this is no ordinary book. I usually include fancy quotes and witty remarks, but it is nearly impossible to choose quotes that are more important than others.

I found myself in a salsa of emotions during my time reading because it is reflective of the current happenings in the world. This book does not put you in some kind of fairy tale land that you are able to get away from once you close the book. The reality is, the book is just as dark as the world we share.

Go ahead, it is safe to pick up.

U.S and Cuba Relations Reflections.

“50 years of isolating Cuba has not worked and it is time for a new approach.” -Obama

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After a 45 minute negotiation, U.S President Obama and Castro confirmed relations between Cuba and the United States. The rival countries plan to open up embassies in both countries, along with opening business access and trading spaces.

You might look at this and think that Obama’s plan might be progressive and liberal for the Cuban citizens and more opportunities for the American economy, but it is NOT. AfroMadu is going to give you a small run down of why this is a very strategic plan and how it can affect this upcoming movement. We will try to stay away from any conspiracies or falsified information.

  • Cuban Revolution and its after effects: A small history lesson; in the early 50’s, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara lead a remarkable movement to end government control against Cuban citizens. Under the Batista regime, Cuba was corrupted and lacked resources for the Cuban citizens. The overthrow of the government ran Batista out of presidency, but divided any political affiliation between the two countries. After 50 years of exiling a country from any political support from the U.S, things begin to reshape. HOW AWKWARD IS THAT? Do you expect Cuban citizens to NOT have vendettas against a POWERFUL system that turn their backs on them?

 

America has completely isolated Cuba after the Cuban revolution making it very hard to try live in a society that glorifies the American opinion. Cuban-Americans have a hard time traveling, sending money, and even contacting family back in Cuba because of the exile with the two countries.

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  • Assata Shakur: I think this aspect of this new finding might be the most important component in this entire post. Assata Shakur, in my opinion, was the most successful person in the entire world that gave the U.S criminal justice system a run for their money and honestly made them an entire joke. Her tactics of escaping prison and fleeing to Cuba was astonishing and memorable in African-American history. Opening the doors and barriers of Cuba and the United States is going to simply heighten the stakes of America trying to capture and gain possession of leaders that once flee their countries and ran to Cuba.

As far as longevity works and how history has already defined the newest movement, gaining access to a prominent Black leader will be very devastating for what is currently brewing up in America. However, Politics and business might be ahead for the two countries, and there might be great opportunities for Cubans to come to America and make a decent living.

 

AfroMadu will have the latest coverage of this new U.S/ Cuba relation. Stay tuned for any updates from this current event.

What’s Going On: A Glimpse of Black Consciousness and Reflections on Ferguson

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The story of 18­-year­old Mike Brown is a story our community knows all too well; Rodney King, Trayvon Martin and Eric Gardner are names of only a few victims who have gained national attention. Little to nothing has changed over the course of the years. It is disheartening to say nothing has no action has taken place over the course of the last few months in the Mike Brown case. Racism is still very much alive and martial law has become a reality in our country. As a response to the resistance in Ferguson, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri has declared a State of Emergency and activated the National Guard in anticipation of civil unrest. The FBI expressed
concern for the Ferguson Decision and explains that it ‘will likely’ lead to violence, which would
seem to be a very valid claim since the the governor is sending an aggressive message.

Just last Wednesday, November 12, the parents of Mike Brown, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., spoke to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in hopes to receive assistance in the matter. But, despite the fact that people from around the world have rallied and protested around the events in Ferguson, the United Nations has denied any type of intervention. Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. have expressed that the received no answer and no remorse from the committee.

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The murder of Mike Brown has left our community devastated by the harsh reality that we, as a people, are still very much oppressed by the system, and police are not here for the benefit of the Black community. There are too many instances of profiling that have led to be fatal. Malcolm X once declared “our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary”. It is through the unification of our communities that we will find our strength to rise above such tragedies. Mike Brown is one of many, Black men face more fatalities now than they did during the times of lynching. So what can we do to save us? The case of Mike Brown is not only a case of racism, classism, but it is a case of human rights. We all have the divine right to life and happiness.

So what will you do to protect yours?

Stay connected! As we would try to bring you the latest from Ferguson and the verdict of Mike Brown’s shooting.

Livestrong: Why the Cancer of Injustice Lives On

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Everything hidden in darkness must come to light. This seems to be a relevant saying, considering the recent phenomenon of racial and gender scandals in the media. That means bigotry in the NBA, new domestic violence reports, and growing evidence of racist police forces. But when light shines on an issue, do we look for the roots of the issue or do we just just follow the headlines?

Follow the patterns. We are fooled into thinking justice has taken place, when time and time again systems are simply punishing behaviors and people who got caught, instead of the thinking and philosophies that led to those behaviors. Instead of healing, we treat symptoms. We medicate. In a similar way, when we correct people–racists, abusers, etc–all we tend to correct is behavior. People then adopt rules: don’t say nigger, don’t hit a woman, don’t do this, don’t do that. We never correct the way the dominating culture thinks. There are systems of thought and control laced in our political, economic, and religious culture.  The monster you see peeking its head in recent scandals is only a symptom of the great cancer that lies in our systems of thought. If we never plan on attacking a way of thinking, that monstrous cancer continues to live–police brutality, racism (in the economic, judicial, and political world),  domestic violence, even so called abortion rights. The root of all our issues seems to be the ancient storyline: one group of people thinks it is superior than another, and essentially that they are more human–or that they are the real humans, and the others are not. The self perceived superior group either cannot see the others’ humanity or they undervalue that humanity.

Some people only see  only race, gender, or ethnic group. Today, whole systems of governance and socialization have normalized this view. The cancer seems to have been dormant, with a few complaints from its underclass. Today, however, the evidence is in the blood on our streets. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Renisha McBride, Janay Rice, and so many more.

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In pursuing the cause for these atrocities, we point to all the wrong things: the victims themselves, the racist cop, the scared neighborhood watch, etc. For me it boils down to one thing: were these victims seen as people. On the contrary, the personhood of each of these people seems to have been in question, or at the very least it had to be proven.

They tried to show Trayvon Martin was sweet and made good grades. They said Michael was going to college. Every one of those efforts is to make the victim more relateable, more human to the average white public–as if them being human was not enough! There is a gap in the viewed personhood of a white 17 year old and a black 17 year old, in a beaten woman and the man who beat her, in a daughter from the Hamptons and a daughter from Detroit. I will skip the cute stuff, and say why. The measure of humanity and personhood is often dictated by a few things:
1. Whiteness, and one’s relation to it
2. The male sex, and one’s relation to it
3. Economic stability

Somehow, if you fail in anyway to have a father, or to come from an economically sound background, or you look a little too different–you lose the function of the mass culture’s ability to relate to you as a person. Your personhood erodes. Your humanity is in question. Tommy, we see. Rachel we can vouch for, but Tamika must prove to me that she is deserving.

Some of the greatest atrocities done to people happened because some one  thought the other was a little less human. Once you are capable of thinking someone else is less than human, then you are the one capable of great inhumanities towards people. The Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, and so much more. Each of the people group victimized were thought less, just a little less, than full human beings.

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There is something particularly sick with a society that cannot see the humanity of those different from their perceived selves. The symptoms of that sickness shows itself in the numerous displays of injustice towards black men and women in this country. Yet, we have an opportunity. A major light is shining on issues we have always known, all too well in fact, but were unable to protest due to lack of evidence and following.

Now we have all the evidence of the cancer inside our country.  We have all the following of the general public. What do we do? We point only to the symptoms. We take a little tylenol for the runny nose. We point at the thinning hair here and there. We cut breats off. We tell the weak parts of the body that the cancer is their own fault. “Finger, you must let go of the past.” “Foot, well If you just looked like the hand, you know not so threatening.” We don’t get healing, we get quick fixes. We don’t call for justice, we call for  sacrifice. We sacrifice all the wrong people.

We let the cancer survive. We let the erroneous thinking, that is, the root of injustice live. We forget that it is living inside us. We do not attack the cancer itself, the harmful thinking that is the cause of the deaths of young people, the oppression of women, the imprisonment of minorities, etc. We let the cancer live. We bill it and we let it give commentary on the news.

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For Colored Girls Who Decide to Reflect and Not Mourn The Loss Of A Giant.

I know why the caged bird sings. She sings for hope. She sings so her sound can be heard. She also sings, because if she doesn’t, her song will only be a faint memory. And the memory of once singing will be lost and trapped inside of her. What does that perfect melody do for the bird that once wanted to sing? Most importantly, how can that suppressed melody potentially effect the other caged birds into breaking free? We wouldn’t know. The caged bird has to sing first…. 

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Yesterday, I woke up to the tragic news of Maya’s death. Just like any unfortunate news of that degreeSixty million and more
I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved., we often become sad and frustrated about death in general and how people die. I had to rethink this news of Maya’s death and reevaluate the meaning of death. I didn’t feel as if Maya left the world and took the impact that she left on me and other Black women, but it was as if a bigger message that was sent to us: the time is now.

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

We always rely on civil right activists to continue the fight for justice, but can they really continue the fight by themselves? why does it take our elders to die to realize that we must keep on? Why does Maya have to leave the earth so my passion for writing and truth-telling becomes reestablished?

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

We live on the backs of  giants. We are the branches of a strong oak tree. Yet we continue to not live through our fullest potential. Our ancestors are tired of lifting us up. We must nurture our own minds and circumstances and continue the fight. The fight of our liberation. Opening that small gate so that we can become free birds. This starts by picking up where they left off and keep it going!

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As far as Maya’s fight? She showed me that it was ok to be flawed. That my story can illuminate the entire world and allow other women to tell theirs. She was willing to sacrifice her small pride and gained an abundance of humility from standing firm in what she believed, regardless of her adversities and struggles. We lost flesh, but we gained her spirit. Her spirit will forever live and her intrinsic motivations, to allow the to coincide with her extrinsic ones will be my motivation to sing my melody and help others become free of their cages.

I will not mourn Maya’s life. I will use her legacy to continue to build mine. Thank you for everything that you did. Your patrimony will forever live on.

Atlanta: Whose fault is it?

With the recent snow storm that hit Georgia and Atlanta specifically, many were stranded in cars, schools, random road stop stores, and even outside. This may seem very strange to bloggers in the tri-state area where snow is very common at this time, but that strengthens the argument, here. Knowing that there were such terrible climate change occurring, whose fault was it to make sure that the residents of Georgia, and Atlanta in particularly, were well prepared and safe? Was this this fault of the people or the local and state officials? 

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It is clear that society works off of influence. Whether it is the media or institutional influences, we as people act off of the news and information we receive. In saying this, being notified about a snowstorm approximately 21 hours prior to the first snowflake falling leaves NO one  time to prepare, especially if you dealing with people WHO NEVER PREPARED FOR A SNOW STORM BEFORE. For the government to not expect people to get in a shock or panic in what is going on, does help your leadership position in a state of, well, emergency. People were stranded at gas stations and rest stops for crying out loud!

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And to now enforce state laws and rules, giving people parking tickets and leaving the homeless without shelter is blasphemous. News coverage is showing that streets aren’t properly shoveled and salted, but have workers place tickets on people’s cars?!?!?

The biggest problem here is the fact that the government hasn’t owned up to the fact that they screwed up. Issuing tickets and trying to continue functioning a society that has no idea what hit them is terrible and has very bad consequences. The people loose faith in their elected officials! 

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Atlanta, AfroMadu prayed for you. But it is up to these local officials to have you back at peace with the storm that just hit.