Wednesday 30 November 2016

The History of African Women and their Hair [HomeTeam History Vid]

I found this video quite interesting and informative!
I came across it whilst looking into a history of African hair styles after reading about the slave history of African head wraps.
The intricate hair styles of African women forced into slavery, were banned by slave/plantation owners and their wives, and the women were therefore ordered to cover their hair, as a way to mask their beauty.
However, the women found a way to make the head coverings look beautiful, and continue to do so, to this day.

The Head Wrap, such an intrinsic part of African culture has a very interesting history

A Writer?.. Are You Serious?

African and Caribbean parents have more in common than some realise. Anyone who knows African or Caribbean people will tell you that. Especially, parents of a certain age.

My parents, wanted me to become a Lawyer.
Apparently I was very inquisitive.
In fact, they were convinced I would become a Lawyer, up until the point that they were convinced that I'd become a world class athlete. Lol.
I will give them credit for this; although they had their preferences, in fact, whatever I presented to them career wise (within reason) they appeared willing to support.
Their only fear (or slight concern) was my slightly 'rebellious' and questioning nature, my cultural awareness, and my attachment to retaining my culture amidst a society which would rather you render it. (Or at least.. cool it down a bit).
Not my British culture.. no that I can propagate freely.
But the other two :)
I guess they had genuine reason/s to be fearful.
(based as it was..on experience, and that wisdom of the elders)

There is still a desire among many African families to have Doctors and Lawyers in the family, and there always will be
And why not?, they remain honourable professions
Plus anything which suggests 'upwardly mobile' and may induce a minute or two fun bar bragging rights perhaps, will always appeal to some, but in the end, what's really important, is the child's well being and mental health; as too much stress or pressure to comply or succeed, can be a hard bolder to carry on young shoulders.

But I understand it.
Ultimately, what parents want, is for their children to be well educated, and find a source of legal income whether employment or in business which will grant them a wonderful quality of life, and the ability to care for their families.
Of course!
But give writers a break abeg!
as the irony is that no degree would be possible without... reading
..and there would be nothing to read... without writers
Respect writers I say

Trust me, without out the 'Arts'
I do believe that the world would be a much duller, and poorer place

Vanessa Bongo - One Day at a Time

Maleek Berry - Lost In The World

Always loving this track Maleek

What Nice Men Don’t Say To Nice Women - Sch of Life Vid

Jollof Wars: Ghana vs Nigeria, The Official Taste Test

Foe me...One is hotter with more Pepe than the other.. guess which one....

I wonder which Caribbean island thinks they makes the best Rice n Peas....

All things being equal

To celebrate your achievements is a good thing. To recognise the progress you make in this journey called life, and to be thankful for your blessings will serve you well.
Let it be your armour, your motivation, your solace

There is a cliche that us 'Brits' are quite subdued, yet that's not really as true as one may beleive.
It's certainly subjective, as Brits are certainly no homogenous group,
Whilst the British class system may 'subdue', 'Brits' are not as subdued as one may think

Watch PM ( Prime Minister's) questions on a Wednesday.
There, amidst the policy and decision makers you will see no shortage of arrogance, self assurance and that undeniable sense of entitlement.
I love watching whenever I can. It's theatre, it's comedy.
but it's also a window into how our 'leaders' operate within, and amidst positions that denfine and redefine what they consider should take priority with regards to what's important to the masses.
It's a lesson in how to maintain order the status quo.

However... if you look closely enough, you will see those lessons.. all around us

I found this short video ( below) quite interesting. Do you agree with it?
It certainly makes sense.
Yet I still favour democracy.
There are issues across Sub Saharan Africa regarding elections and democracy.
The question often raised of 'Can democracy really work in Africa' is an interesting one
How are those with very little political knowledge or education really able to make an informed decision?. Desperate people will vote for whoever promises the most, and that's is true everywhere.. for the desperate and not so desperate to be fair.
Yet promises alone are not the only reason why many people, living in some of Africa's 'poorest' countries will vote the way that they do
Developing countries have an increasing wealth and class divide, add a sprinkle of culture tribalism and loyalty and it makes for an interesting blend.
I respect organisations like OBV who work hard to provide civic and political awareness. It's non partisan, and all things being equal, a political education should really be deemed one of our must have basic skills.
Granted as much importance as Maths or English.
The ability to cook many would consider also an essential basic skill.
I digress.. that's another post entirely

Good night x

Saturday 26 November 2016

Fidel. "A Revolution is Not a Bed of Roses".

"A revolution, is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.
They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?
I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating... because it causes war, hypocrisy and competition".

"Men do not shape destiny.
Destiny Produces the man for the hour"

"Quality of life lies in knowledge, in culture. Values are what constitute true quality of life, the supreme quality of life, even above food, shelter and clothing".


For Aljazeera news on Fidel click [here]

Friday 25 November 2016

He Taught Me How to Fight

Rather.. how to BE, a Fighter
My brother and I.
We are so different, yet similar.
We will both stand up for what we believe in.

Of all my brother's he's really the only one I've ever had conflict with, and by conflict I mean conflicting views

I think it would be fair to say that he was a bit of a bully towards me growing up, and if he's honest he would admit it
He has an amazing intellect and doesn't hesitate to beat anyone with that particular stick, in fact, he totally enjoys it.
( A 'bug bear' of mine. One is best served I feel, when one uses their education to build.. not destroy, to comfort.. not ridicule, to unite and not divide)
Apologies...I digress.

My point is, that he may have actually have given me a very useful gift
and that is..
He taught me how to be a Fighter, and he doesn't even know it

Being the youngest of five, you learn a thing or two
My crime, if you can call it that, was 'to be the youngest'. To be cared for or adored in some circles is also to be considered somewhat ..'spoilt'

To be considered 'spoilt', growing up in a Caribbean household, can make one a target
yet targets... quickly learn how to fight back

Funnily enough, he's actually very funny, and very unique
He still insists on telling me what to do.. and what to think
I know... he really should know better

Our chats look like this at times..
Him: Feminism is crock of shit, women have been conned into the myth of Feminism and have been suffering ever since
Me: I'm a Feminist
Him: Sheeeeet.. you're crazy!
Me: No, but I'm not referring to Feminism as you know it
Him: Bell Hooks can't save you
Me: I don't need Bell Hooks to tell me what my own experiences have been
Him: I can tear feminism apart in seconds
Me: I'm busy
Him: Dont run
Him: Black women need to understand that Feminism was never about them

Me: I'm a Pan Africanist
Him: I love you Sis, but Sheeeet

and so it goes on...

On that particular day, our conversation ended up in all honesty being rather fun and a very interesting debate, until it got personal lol
But it ended well... and wonderfully respectful
He has my back. He's my big bro.

My point.. (and I do have one) is that the people around us really can shape us, those who like us and agree with us, but especially those who don't
Like a Diamond, our true beauty is exposed when we are scraped and robbed of our outer. Only when we go deeper, do we find what's real.
Not everyone may be deserving of that, but to be able to live that way, authentically, is worth it in so many ways.

Fighters tend not to fight for fun
Only when they need to
What a fighter must learn however, is which battles are worth fighting... and those which.. are not
I'm no 'General' ... but I'm learning.

He Taught Me How to Fight - but God Taught Me How to Love

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Malawi Hyena's. music by Don Jazzy & P Square

Now I came across this video awhile back. I didn't actually think much would be done about it, other than it being another tale of rural life in country in Africa for us (rightly or wrongly) to frown upon. Wondering how, why, etc etc.
Anyway, something was done

Started in 1985 104 women? ( where's Dr Maggie when you need her)

No, seriously since the appearance of this interview this 'Male Hyena has recently been given a 2yr jail sentence, and women's rights groups are 'outraged'
Whilst I understand their outrage, the reality is that these are practices which are embedded deep within the culture in which he operated. He was paid. It is not outrageous to those who believe it.
To them, it's not wrong, or they remain simply unaware of the potential impact
and rural life?, rural life will always differ

Therefore, to have achieved any sentence is possibly a step in the right direction. As whilst the law can help to influence behaviours, the work, the work of 'change' of 'evolution', that will be required is possibly best undertaken right within the communities.

What do you think?

Widow cleansing?

Something a little lighter?

Signing out.
Goodnight x
Don Jazzy!!! Holla Baby

Guardian Video - Beautiful equations: E=mc² explained in two minutes – Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

What did she say?

I'm kidding. I love this woman. If she was my teacher at anytime growing up, guaranteed I would have been the 1st in class and last to leave. Even now.
Cool lady
Ermm. say that again.. I drifted somewhere between atoms or light or something ( It's that big meal!):)

Duncan Mighty - Oburukwelem Oma (Video Teaser)

patiently awaiting more...

Nigerians Reactions To Trump's Victory

Size 10 no give or take - ft Infinite Waters

Well.. I've lost my love handles. I wasn't even trying. I'm size 10 and fine with it.
I suspect my aim now will be to gain a little weight :\

It may have something to do with not actually having a full meal for two days! ( didn't even feel hungry) why?
I've been so busy including decorating, that I honestly haven't had time. That said.. I've just eaten a plate possibly unseemly for a lady I'm sure
Who said anyway?
The plate was big, and now ..its gone, and yes.. I'm feeling much better.

I remember back when I ate no fish, then got pregnant and craved it.
So.. I've been on the fish ever since
For you foodies out there , you may enjoy this
I can definitely do much better. I'll watch this every so often for tips
It's a life style change, more and more people are embracing

Can I say.. I really cannot eat and drink at the same time, I thought it was weird but apparently its a pretty good thing to do

Justine Skye - U Don't Know ft. Wizkid Official Video

"You don't know "...


Merry Christmas...

Of course!... I know, it' not quite Christmas yet.. but I wanted to be the 1st to say it
For those of you who don't celebrate Christmas
Merry.. merry.. end of year approaching :)

This has been one hell of a year
Two roller coaster years back to back, which if I were to summarise in one word ( which may be a real disservice but i'll do it anyway) , that word.. would be CHANGE.
But I complain not
god knows what she knows

As you all know, not all change is 'bad', and even that which may appear unappealing may actually in many cases turn out to be a blessing, and just what one may need. So, what is it about change, that can often unsettle?.. I ponder as I type, and the answer that comes to mind is.. it's not change itself, but rather 'unplanned change'.
Which then leads me to further explore why 'unplanned change', may unnerve even the strongest and steadfast individual
The answer that presents itself, again as I type is
out of ones control ( and the impact)

Astrologers have been highlighting recently that 'change' has possibly been a key feature of the lives of many.

Have there been many changes in your life? and if so.. have you welcomed them?

Capitalism or socialism?
Come on, own up :)
Which do you prefer?
Perhaps compassionate capitalism is your thing, which I like to call responsible capitalism, which inhabits all the benefits of socialism yet also caters to our ambitious and at times somewhat greedy natures

some serious symptoms outlined there..
homelessness, unemployment, poverty, hunger, feelings of powerlessness, fear, apathy, boredom, cultural decay, loss of identity extreme self consciousnesses, loss of free speech revolutionary thought and more..

Peace x

Friday 18 November 2016

Feel Good Friday - ft Rihanna What's My Name?

Happy Friday to you all.

I've had a fairly late start pondering the list that needs attending to, however, Im aware that what needs doing will only get done once done
On the agenda today is to begin decorating, further creative endeavours, and whatever else requires attending to.

All whilst enjoying this old Rihanna track

"Oh na na.... what's my name"

Stay blessed stay safe be you
Universal children x

Thursday 17 November 2016

Bucie - Not Fade

African Feminism

There's Feminism, and then there's' Feminism
African Feminism.
Feminism for African women, women of African decent, is an inclusive affair; it does not shy away from the reality of racial bias that many liberal Feminists may find slightly difficult to acknowledge or even come to grips with.
Perhaps African Feminism isn't even Feminism at all, just simply human beings of the female gender saying 'hey, get your shit together, and don't take the piss'.
I... my somebody too.

'Besides, I gave birth to you buddy.. and don't you forget it'.

I jest of course.

But I have thought about women's rights a great deal lately. I watched the tears of Hilary supporters who were yearning to see a women in office.

I then I thought about Dr Isatu Turay, the 1st female candidate ever to run for the Presidency in the Gambia

A woman who will never receive the type of support or recognition that a Clinton may get.
A woman, who nonetheless, clearly possesses much strength of character to go up against current President; Yahya Jammeh.

In truth, there are many women working hard in the political arena across Africa, who face far more obstacles than us law protected ( and some may feel, pampered - thanks) women in the West

Yet, Liberal Feminists rarely give them the time of day

I myself watched Finding Fela this evening. If you watch it, you may cry too.
A very moving and insightful documentary, featuring a wonderful array of interviews with friends, colleagues, family, and indeed, the man himself
Wow Fela. Fela na easy o

The 'Hypocrisy' of Skin Bleaching

I think it's time to end the hypocritical condemnation of women who bleach their skin.
Whilst I personally am not a fan of skin bleaching, I am even less of a fan of the hypocrisy that is highlighted within each critical statement against women's choices.

Firstly, for many women, skin bleaching (aka rubbing) is not the 'choice' that many may think it is.
Believe it or not, in many parts of the world ( even in 2016) darker skinned women remain vilified, ostractcized and marginalised in areas of marriage, employment and other life opportunities in favour of their lighter skinned counterparts.
In many parts of the 'developing world', women are reliant on finding a husband to provide an income for the family. For some, an unmarried women is a source of pain and shame on a family, hoping as they often are, to benefit from the marriage of their daughters, and any subsequent grandchildren.

In some parts of the world, including across the Carribean, historically, lighter skinned women ( and men) occupied the best jobs, and held powerful positions in society, over their darker counterparts, much in the same way that we in Europe experience institutional racism.
Across the Caribbean, 'Ghettos', (economically poor areas) are rarely occupied by lighter skinned individuals, and more often than not, it is also where you will find that 'bleaching' is more prevalent.

Now, If we can accept that racism remains an issue across Europe, and that discrmantion exists with regards to societal and political racial bias which actively works against black and other ethnic minority people, then surely we can come to grips with the reality of bleaching also.

Whilst many countries across Africa have now begun to ban skin bleaching products, In truth, I fear it will have little impact.
Because the issue is not with the actions of women, or the purchasing and rubbing of bleaching creams.
Skin bleaching is a physical manifestation of our all too often combined and collective belief systems, which when practiced long enough, become an established fixture within our numerous African and Caribbean cultures.

Changing the law alone will not change those long standing beliefs.
and the issue, I repeat, is not the women

It remans true that despite the 'bans', Skin Bleaching across Africa Is as common as the selling of yams in Ridley Road Market.

In fact, skin bleaching although rooted in ideas of whiteness and racial purity, expressed further during colonialism and slavery remains deeply embedded across many African and Caribbean cultures, despite earliest tales of use being by Elizabethan women way back in the 1500's.


Recent pictures of the African American rapper Lil Kim, have prompted much opinions.

Why did she do that? how could she do that? and so on...Yet I fail to be able to recall much (if any) disapproving comments made, when she posed seductively with her legs spread eagled.

Lil Kim aside, I also haven't heard much said about men who bleach.
Now my argument that many women bleach for marital, socialpolitical reasons may not hold much sway with regards to men who bleach, but it remains possible however, that their reasons for bleaching are actually, quite similar.
Little, if anything, has ever been said about the President of Congo Brazzaville, the esteemed Denis Sassou Nguesso

or the numerous Jamaican men ( usually dancehall fans who occupy a lower social class ) who also proudly bleach.

Well, clearly the issue of bleaching is gendered, and is another 'stick' to beat women with, and as such, appears to be an additional form of oppression against women who seek to overcome oppression. ( whether they themselves realise it or not)

Advocates of bleaching may say ..'it's simply style'.. 'just fashion', just like 'changing your shoes', or earrings
but what we cannot do, or run away from, is our history, and the story of colourism, which remains ever present in our society.

Whilst I'm no advocate of finger pointing, I would suggest that if there is any pointing to be done.. it is now time for that finger, to be directed squarely at.. men
The real question ( which we tend to avoid asking) is not; 'Why do women bleach?', rather, 'Why do some men continue to make the choices they make, if, or when, clearly steeped in racial ignorance?'.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

I missed my blog

As a blogger, I felt slightly lost without my tools of the trade to say the least
I'm really happy to be back.
I'll be checking out your blogs to find out what's been happening in your world/s. I tried to comment using my phone but to know avail.

I wish that people working in customer services were a lot kinder to older people. Hostility rudeness and bullying really is a form of abuse.

Vershon - Dangerous

Featuring one of the biggest artists in dancehall music right now.
love him or not, his voice carries well over a dancehall track.

An 'Un-united Kingdom'

I love movies.
I love films which move me, challenge me, make me laugh.. rom-coms, you name it.
I recently watched the Netfilx film entitled 'The African Doctor, which I loved so much I may watch it again later. ( with a glass of Irish)

I cannot say that about the much hyped 'A United Kingdom'

In fact, ( not that anyone will notice) but I almost want to boycott the film. Why?, for pretending that this 'story' is a new story. This 'story' is as old as Jesus Christ, and to be honest, I'm trying to work out why people are so enthralled by it. If you know.. feel free to tell me. Only then.. may I give it a peep.
To be honest ( and fair) I may watch it purely for research purposes, and if so, I will definitely provide you with an honest review.

I remember reading once that if you have a black protagonist in a film, that the film is often subsequently deemed less accessible to wider audiences, which is why film makers may strive to ensure that there is also a white protagonist alongside.
I shake my head at such shortsighted absurdity.
I hope you do too:)

Anyway, If you fancy a nice feel good movie, feel free to check out 'The African Doctor'.
It certainly gets my vote.

Black is the new Black

Will Britain ever have a Black Prime Minister?. was the title.

Oh, and feel free to say hello by the way, and be upstanding for my new baby. I hope we will have a most enjoyable time together. Like all new things I'm still feeling my way around, but say hi, to my new Laptop. ( yet to be named)

Yes indeed, new beginnings and all that.

Right, back to the question.
The question itself masks a host of other issues, many of which were addressed in this slightly depressing yet never-the-less well presented programme.
It's a loaded question, which one could never truly answer without looking racism squarely in the eye, and admitting that racism, continues to thrive in many of the institutions we know and love.

It could have easily have been retitled; How institutional racism and how a white supremacist ideology continues to impact on the lives of black people, but a title like that wouldn't get past editing.

Whats useful about a programme like this, in addition to the accompanying research is that it provides further evidence of the all too familiar lived reality for many, who in some cases, could be viewed as falsifying the expereince of racism, or at worst, having a chip on their shoulder aka 'a difficult attitude'.
Also useful about a programme like this is that it highlights the sheer tenacity and strength of character of many people, who despite all, continue to aspire, strive succeed, and overcome the obstacles often set before them.

The programme does not address historical generational wealth, which lets face it, has certainly benefited our 'elite' and non elite classes. But then to do so, would require looking at the not so pleasant aspects of British society including its involvement in the Slave trade.
Its okay. There's only so much one can fit in within the hour.

I'm sure there were no surprises for those of us who are Black British African Caribbean, especially those of us of the second and 3rd generation of migrants, who were born and raised here. ( we have seen and experienced much)
No, it's an old story. Yet its a story that will always require telling.
Never mind 'Trump'. we have our own issues here, and always have done.

Good morning x