It’s time for black Americans to put the “We are all Immigrants” belief in proper perspective. African Americans are an ethnic group to which the cliché does not factually apply. Politely nodding in agreement to their own marginalization has become fully acceptable in black leadership circles. And since they don’t oppose the idea, rank and file blacks accept the idea as gospel truth too. But everyone capable of historical reasoning, clearly understands that ancestral blacks did not migrate to the U.S. Facts will reveal the truth. Now, there is some truth in the belief that America is a nation of immigrants. The problem is that this often repeated idea is only partially true! There is no question that various immigrant groups are the foundational populations to which most Americans can trace their ancestry. A slightly different scenario emerges however, when the myth is examined through the lens of the African American experience in the American “melting pot.” Very quickly an ominous sense of foreboding descends on the entire matter. The situation is succinctly described by a highly respected source who was familiar with the complexities of black’s presence and position in the human collage that is America.
On Saturday March 4, 1865, the 16th President of the United States delivered his Second Inaugural Address to an adoring crowd. Thousands were present in front of the East Portico of the White House to witness the momentous speech containing only 701 words. Mr. Abraham Lincoln devoted a portion of those words to a topic familiar to most Americans. In the third paragraph of the Address he writes that…”One eight of the whole population (at the time of the Civil War) were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by War; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it…Each (northerners and southerners) looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding.”
Data from the eighth U.S. Census in 1860 determined the total population to be 31,443,321 Americans. Within that population was 3,953,761 slaves or 12.6% of the general population. Freed blacks were apparently not included in the count. Allowing for the natural increase in human populations, the generally accepted number of blacks in America at the time of Mr. Lincoln’s second presidential address, some five years after the 1860 general census, is 4 million. These are blacks who arrived in America in bondage and at gunpoint between 1619 and 1810 and their American-born children. After 1810 the importation of African slaves was banned in the United States thereby making all increases in the slave population to that point, the result of live births. It’s a relatively safe assumption then that none of the +4 million blacks in antebellum America considered himself or herself an immigrant…and President Lincoln did not consider them as such either. These Africans and their progeny were by law and custom, considered imported property.
There is no attempt here to deliberately revise a time honored and universally cherished national slogan just to be hateful or malicious. It should be pointed out that no nation-loving American sets out to deliberately dismantle a time-honored and cherished national belief without sufficient cause. There has to exist compelling rational grounds to rebuke an iconic ideal’s core message. And in this case there are such justifications. Its seems that there are major historio-cultural weaknesses in the idea that merit a critique ; 1) the presence of factual ambiguity; 2) absence of historical correctness; and 3) the desire to project unfettered generosity as a national characteristic. In the effort to manufacture this charitable principle and to then tout it for national consumption, the proponents overshot their mark and instead imprinted a credo onto the psyche of the American public that is essentially a stylized overstatement of factual evidence bordering on deception by omission.
Even more baffling than the campaign to popularize the “We are all immigrants” maxim, is that the notion as presented seems inviolable, and is therefore elevated above contestation, challenge or opposition. Undisputed. Unchallenged. Unopposed. That the lofty status of this belief has made it impervious to criticism or re-examination says a great deal about the power of the media and perhaps even more about the state of mind of the American public. As a result of its rise to dominance, this cliché makes progress in the deadlocked national discussion on immigration virtually impossible. It’s very easy to label anyone who does not go along with the myth a bigot or worse. Consequently, African American political pundits cautiously, if ever engage in the immigration argument with any conviction unless they willfully and callously are willing to reject the dreadful start their ancestors got off to in America. Leading blacks simply genuflect symbolically in the direction of the Statue of Liberty by concurring with the myth and then moving on to less contentious discussions. Several imbedded assumptions however are consistently implied as a result of the predictable impasse that these quarrelsome debates reach. At the conclusion of these discussions it can be reliably predicted that ; 1) no decisive action is going to be taken by either the Democrats or the Republicans to stem the massive influx of foreigner nationals from South America, 2) to oppose unrestricted illegal immigration is somehow antithetical to American ideals, 3) the rule of law must be suspended in the case of illegal immigrants because their presence in America is now irreversible, 4) immigrants are arbitrarily assumed to be a revitalizing force for the nation, 5) borders are artificial constructs that impede the natural movement of humans and suppresses their predilection to seek and follow road signs that lead to greater material and social opportunity, and 6) America is a nation of immigrants.
The first five of these assumptions are arguable on the grounds of their being vague and unsubstantiated. They lack evidence of theoretical integrity and sociological validity making them easily refuted by careful, objective analysis. It’s the sixth assumption however, that is most resistant to criticism and least subject to change; that is because it is partially true, highly regarded and inherently desirable… and hence, the perfect rhetorical bomb to drop in a serious, televised immigration debate. Nonetheless, no one dare challenge this assumption due to the reverence with which it is held and because of the almost magical power that it acquires when spoken. That “America is a nation of immigrants” is a mantra that’s used to bludgeon immigration control advocates into, at a minimum, neutrality. Today, proponents on both sides of the debate consider the notion that “America = immigrant” to practically be axiomatic. The notion plays well with the public, creates great sound bites for politicians, resonates with all demographics… but is in stark contrast to the authentic history of a people who never migrated to the United States; black Americans.
As any clear thinking, informed, black American will admit, their ancestors were never considered “immigrants.” Yet, they withhold their misgivings out of a peculiar reluctance to not be perceived as someone outside of the mainstream ideology. Nonetheless, the definition of an immigrant is “a person who voluntarily comes to a country where they were not born in order to settle there.” Would the operative word, voluntarily, in the description of an immigrant be suitable for a Kunta Kinte, the character in the epic 1977 TV miniseries “ROOTS” who easily personified the 4 million black slaves in America in 1860?? Of course not; and the label “immigrant” if it were applied to Kunta Kinte, would be a fraudulent, grotesque exaggeration. Mr. Kinte did not immigrate…he came to America in chains. He was forced at gunpoint into the hold of a ship anchored off the coast of his native land and then forcibly and involuntarily relocated to America to work/labor under horrific conditions without compensation, until he died.
Obviously the cliché that “America is a nation of immigrants” has little if any viable application to the real world existence of 21st century black Americans who are aware of the full arc of their history on this continent. Yet the idea remains one of America’s most venerated and frequently repeated platitudes. The reason for the stubborn insistence that this myth is a national truism is in part due to the desire of liberal ideologues and the irrational “open-borders” crowd, to mythologize the peopling of America to their advantage. The intent is to assuage the sensibilities of Americans who would prefer not to delve into the harsh reality of chattel slavery in our nation’s founding.
The fact of the matter is that black people arrived in America early and in great numbers. No reception center welcomed the arrival of these dazed, frightened men, women and children. Immediately upon arrival they were subjected to the dehumanizing “seasoning” process. From that point forward, their general conditions deteriorated rapidly. Only deliberate historical amnesia can account for any other description of the introduction of blacks to their new lives in America. And the historical record is filled with accounts of the lives of black slaves in America going back for hundreds of years describing the horrific conditions under which they worked and lived. It is nonsense to believe that 4 million immigrants would trade their native land, family, culture and freedom …to be a slave in a foreign land in perpetuity. But the myth survives, facts notwithstanding. How can this be?
Well, in a delusional, secular America, truth is irrelevant…right and wrong are passé. So if, America is NOT a nation of immigrants exclusively and in the truest sense, never was…who cares?? The situation is way beyond seeking the truth at this point. It is being used as some sort of psychological salve that allows the user to find comfort in what can only be described as a kind of historical magnanimity. In an America that is allegedly beyond “race” everyone is anxious to bask in the glow of espoused cultural and racial progress while its anathema to revisit the calamitous racial situation at the dawn of the nation. As a result, repetition over time has made the myth an apparent highly self-evident fact. The only way to reverse the myth is for Black Americans to politely, but insistently denounce it as it applies to them at every opportunity. If not, the myth will continue to be injurious to the black American historical presence in the U.S., to the extent that our children may one day think that the American slaves were grateful for being transported to these shores.
Ironically, as the great expanses of land in our nation beckoned for waves of Oriental, European and Latin American immigrants to join the grand experiment in democracy, a roiling mass of blacks were already here, under extreme hardships and trying desperately to escape. Today in America, the “welcome wagon” greets immigrants at our borders whether they are legals or illegals. These transnationals are granted and fully expect to receive subsidies, medical care, job opportunities and in many cases, the unofficial extension of the right to U.S. citizenship. For African Americans though, those same privileges of citizenship took a Civil War to acquire and later a constitutional amendment to guarantee, though they had already been in America for generations. Obviously, the contrast between the arrival circumstances of blacks and other ethnic groups is then, palpable to the extreme. One thing is however, for sure…early American blacks were never, never, ever immigrants.
Fresh from Ellis Island, Stavros gets a job shining shoes at Grand Central Terminal. It is the last scene of Elia Kazan’s film America, America, the story of a young Greek’s fierce determination to immigrate to America. Quickly, but as casually as an afterthought, a young black man, also a shoe shiner, enters and tries to solicit a customer. He is run off the screen — “Get out of here! We’re doing business here!” — and silently disappears.
This interloper into Stavros’ workplace is crucial in the mix of signs that make up the movie’s
happy-ending immigrant story: a job, a straw hat, an infectious smile — and a scorned black. It
is the act of racial contempt that transforms this charming Greek into an entitled white. Without it, Stavros’ future as an American is not at all assured.
This is race talk, the explicit insertion into everyday life of racial signs and symbols that have no meaning other than pressing African Americans to the lowest level of the racial hierarchy. Popular culture, shaped by film, theater, advertising, the press, television and literature, is heavily engaged in race talk. It participates freely in this most enduring and efficient rite of passage into American culture: negative appraisals of the native-born black population. Only when the lesson of racial estrangement is learned is assimilation complete. Whatever the lived experience of immigrants with African Americans — pleasant, beneficial or bruising — the rhetorical experience renders blacks as noncitizens, already discredited outlaws.
All immigrants fight for jobs and space, and who is there to fight but those who have both? As in the fishing ground struggle between Texas and Vietnamese shrimpers, they displace what and whom they can. Although U.S. history is awash in labor battles, political fights and property
wars among all religious and ethnic groups, their struggles are persistently framed as struggles
between recent arrivals and blacks. In race talk the move into mainstream America always
means buying into the notion of American blacks as the real aliens. Whatever the ethnicity or
nationality of the immigrant, his nemesis is understood to be African American.
Current attention to immigration has reached levels of panic not seen since the turn of the
century. To whip up this panic, modern race talk must be revised downward into obscurity and
nonsense if antiblack hostility is to remain the drug of choice, giving headlines their kick.
PATTERNS OF IMMIGRATION FOLLOWED BY WHITE FLIGHT, screams the Star-Ledger in Newark. The message we are meant to get is that disorderly newcomers are dangerous to stable (white) residents. Stability is white. Disorder is black. Nowhere do we learn what stable middle-class blacks think or do to cope with the “breaking waves of immigration.” The overwhelming majority of African Americans, hardworking and stable, are out of the loop, disappeared except in their less than covert function of defining whites as the “true” Americans.
So addictive is this ploy that the fact of blackness has been abandoned for the theory of
blackness. It doesn’t matter anymore what shade the newcomer’s skin is. A hostile posture
toward resident blacks must be struck at the Americanizing door before it will open. The public
is asked to accept American blacks as the common denominator in each conflict between an
immigrant and a job or between a wannabe and status. It hardly matters what complexities,
contexts and misinformation accompany these conflicts. They can all be subsumed as the
equation of brand X vs. blacks.
But more than a job is at stake in this surrender to whiteness, more even than what the black
intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois called the “psychological wage” — the bonus of whiteness. Racist
strategies unify. Savvy politicians always include in the opening salvos of their campaigns a
quick clarification of their position on race. It is a mistake to think that Bush’s Willie Horton or Clinton’s Sister Souljah was anything but a candidate’s obligatory response to the demands of a contentious electorate unable to understand itself in any terms other than race. Warring
interests, nationalities and classes can be merged with the greatest economy under that racial
Race talk as bonding mechanism is powerfully on display in American literature. When Nick in
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby leaves West Egg to dine in fashionable East Egg, his host
conducts a kind of class audition into WASP-dom by soliciting Nick’s support for the “science”
of racism. “If we don’t look out the white race will be . . . utterly submerged,” he says. “It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.” It makes Nick uneasy, but he does not question or refute his host’s convictions.
The best clue to what the country might be like without race as the nail upon which American
identity is hung comes from Pap, in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, who upon learning a
Negro could vote in Ohio, “drawed out. I says I’ll never vote ag’in.” Without his glowing white
mask he is not American; he is Faulkner’s character Wash, in Absalom, Absalom!, who, stripped
of the mask and treated like a “nigger,” drives a scythe into the heart of the rich white man he
has loved and served so completely.
For Pap, for Wash, the possibility that race talk might signify nothing was frightening. Which
may be why the harder it is to speak race talk convincingly, the more people seem to need it. As
American blacks occupy more and more groups no longer formed along racial lines, the
pressure accelerates to figure out what white interests really are. The enlisted military is almost one-quarter black; police forces are blackening in large urban areas. But welfare is nearly two-thirds white; affirmative-action beneficiaries are overwhelmingly white women;
dysfunctional white families jam the talk shows and court TV.
The old stereotypes fail to connote, and race talk is forced to invent new, increasingly mindless
ones. There is virtually no movement up — for blacks or whites, established classes or arrivistes — that is not accompanied by race talk. Refusing, negotiating or fulfilling this demand is the real stuff, the organizing principle of becoming an American. Star spangled. Race strangled.
Martin Luther King Jr., is a celebrated American icon. His wife, Coretta, was a beloved American public figure. President Lyndon Johnson was a colorful Texan, and Governor George Wallace was a good ol’ boy son of the South from Alabama.
In director Ava DuVernay’s Best Picture nominee about the 1965 Selma civil-rights march, however, they’re portrayed by David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, and Tim Roth, respectively, who share at least one thing in common: They’re British.
Selma isn’t an exception—rather, the Brits seem to be everywhere lately. Last year’s Best Picture winner, 12 Years a Slave, about a 19th-century free black man tricked and trafficked into Southern bondage, starred multiple British actors, including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch, and German-born, Irish-raised Michael Fassbender. (The biggest American star in the film, Brad Pitt, played a Canadian.)
12 Years was directed by a Brit—Steve McQueen—which could be one possible explanation for his film’s British-heavy cast. But the same can’t be said for several other high-profile recent and upcoming films. The American hero in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, for example, is played by Jack O’Connell, an Englishman. David Fincher selected English actress Rosamund Pike as his Amazing Amy in Gone Girl. Fifty Shades’ Christian Grey was initially going to be played by Charlie Hunnam, an Englishman; when he dropped out, he was quickly replaced by Jamie Dornan, an Irishman. “I went to see a movie,” says Richard Hicks, president of the Casting Society of America, “and four casting directors were sitting around talking about, ‘What’s up with all the Brits and Australian actors snagging all the leads?’”
Of course, no one’s entitled to a role because of their accent or where they’re born. That’s always been true, even before Vivien Leigh won the role of Scarlett O’Hara. But recently, there’s been a visible surge in the number of British—and the occasional Aussie—actors and actresses winning plum roles in many of Hollywood’s most prestigious films (as well as many of the biggest franchise blockbusters). In 2011, British director Stephen Frears (The Queen) told an interviewer, “There is some sort of crisis in American acting“—and suggested this could be due to a lack of proper training, specifically theater training. Calling it a ”crisis” might be a bit drastic, but with an English Superman, a British-bred Spider-Man, an English Daisy Buchanan, a British Mad Max, a German-Irish Steve Jobs—to say nothing of the current British invasion that’s raised the quality of American television—it seems like a good time to at least contemplate whether the roots of this recent trend can be found in how both sides of the Atlantic are prepping its talent for Hollywood casting calls.
For decades, there were two major schools of thought when it came to acting: the Classical, which was best epitomized by Laurence Olivier, and the Method, which revolutionized the art form in America once James Dean and Marlon Brando brought it to the big screen. Classical was more of an outside-in approach, which emphasized a more presentational style associated with the stage. Method, rooted in Constantin Stanislavski’s theories, was more naturalistic, more inside-out. “For many years, there was a schism,” says James Lipton, a pupil of Stella Adler’s teachings and the longtime host of Inside the Actors Studio. “The British stressed training in voice and posture and the physical attributes, whereas the American training is deep rooted in the actor’s emotions.”
But in 2015, what was once a contentious rivalry is no longer an either/or proposition, as both schools implement elements of the other’s philosophies into their own training. Why then, do the Brits seem to have an edge? ”There is a lot of stage work in a lot of British drama school training, but I think it’s more to do with how we ask them to think about characters, how we ask them to be imaginative, and to change themselves,” says Joanna Read, describing the dramatic skills that current students are taught at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, which counts Cumberbatch, Ejiofor, and Oyelowo among its scores of famous alums and where she has been principal since 2010. “Our training will ask an actor to really play against type at times, to play a role that they wouldn’t necessarily be cast in in the profession, in order to work out and transform how they move towards that character. It’s almost like putting on a second skin.”
That academic challenge of portraying characters that aren’t obviously suited to an actor might be an essential building block that pays off down the road. “If you look at these English actors—David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth—they’re accustomed to playing character-actor roles,” says Lipton. “Which is to say, they are very good at playing roles that are quite distant from themselves, physically, even emotionally. They are able to find, in those strangers, a core that resonated with themselves, so they are just as truthful playing that as they would be playing someone just like themselves on screen.”
Avy Kaufman, the casting director who discovered Andrew Garfield for Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs and recruited Oyelowo to play the eloquent Union soldier who recites the Gettysburg Address to Daniel Day-Lewis in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, thinks a shrinking world has opened the doors for all sorts of international talent. “It’s not that all these actors are better than the American actors, but I think we’re just opening up to more—and we’re all excited to find something new and different,” she says. “Lincoln was a very American story, but I just felt like I should say, ‘This guy’s the best for this.’ It doesn’t matter that he’s not American. He’s got the accent down. May the best man win.”
Nowadays, the best man doesn’t even have to be in Los Angeles to audition. “Instead of meeting an actor or having to see the actor audition in the room, I can audition them via Skype and have nearly the same experience,” says Hicks. “Quality acting is quality acting, and you can recognize that even when you’re thousands of miles away.”
Lipton believes, however, that the Brits do enjoy at least one built-in advantage—one that’s also a product of geography. While American actors generally have to chose between going to New York to work in the theater or settling in Los Angeles to find fame on television and the movies, the British dramatic community—film/TV/theater—is mostly centrally located around London. “The English have the advantage of being able to go back and forth, from Downton Abbey to a stage production,” he says.
But perhaps the biggest factor leading to the perception that American actors are falling behind is that the path to Hollywood fame in this country doesn’t necessarily go through the Actors Studio or Juilliard or the Yale School of Drama. Though Hollywood has its share of Jessica Chastains and Mark Ruffalos, well-trained professionals who studied at revered dramatic institutions, the difference might lie in the other cases, in which actors get a break in Hollywood with limited training or acting background. “I think our culture, in which we take reality-show fame as a measure of success, means that we feel like, ‘Oh, it just happens to you and then you’re famous,” says Hicks.
It might be even more subtle and widespread than the reality-show mentality Hicks mentions. In a Hollywood that feeds on young stars—many of which are groomed as kids on television—early success can stunt artistic growth. “The kids that start out as stars when they’re 19 or 20, they never had a chance to learn their craft, and because they become stars, there’s never a chance to catch up,” says Lipton. “They’re not going to knock off for a year and study. They’re going to keep on making movies, as many as they can, as fast as they can. Some learn on the job. Some are geniuses, so they figure it out.”
But for every Jennifer Lawrence or Leonardo DiCaprio—instinctual wunderkinds whose talent and work ethic keep them at the top—there is a huge middle class of popular American actors who reach the age of 30 and suddenly find themselves overmatched by more disciplined foreign-educated artists. Actors who spent three years in their early twenties, for example, just learning how to properly speak and move while their American counterparts were auditioning for a Coke commercial and the new fall pilot. Cumberbatch was 30 before anyone in America knew who he was. Tom Hiddleston, a 2005 graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, was about the same age when he landed the role of Loki. “The demand for what we’re offering is something that is universally wanted,” says Read. “Their skills are very good technically, so that whether they’re on set, on location, or stage, they’re ready and able to hit the ground running.”
In other words, the British are coming… because Hollywood needs them.
Note from BW of Brazil: Whenever discussing the experiences of African descendants in the Americas, the topic will inevitably turn to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade at some point in the discussion. This blog has touched on a few aspects about slavery in Brazil over the past few years, mostly dealing with the sheer numbers of Africans brought to Brazil and the vast racial inequalities that continue even 125 years after the abolition of this institution. Today, in a very intriguing post, we present a little more background about slavery from the Brazilian perspective and shed light on some interesting details.
25 curiosities about slavery in Brazil
by Michel Goulart
On May 13th the abolition of slavery is commemorated in Brazil. The fact occurred in 1888, through the signing of the famous Lei Áurea (Golden Law), at the hands of Princess Isabel. Since then, this fact has created divisions among those celebrating the liberation of slaves and those who think the Lei Áurea did not include blacks in Brazilian society and maintained inequalities. On this issue, we will discuss in another post. In this post, we will point out 25 curiosities about slavery in Brazil.
Please note: we understand that the matter posted below is delicate and provokes different feelings in different segments of the Brazilian population. The goal is not to idealize the subject or make it a caricature, but just address the facts. We chose also to use the term negro (black), which is more utilized today rather than Afro-Brazilian.
1. The first slave ships were brought by the Portuguese Martim Afonso de Sousa in 1532. The official account estimates that between that date and 1850, something like 5 million black slaves entered Brazil. However, some historians estimate that there could have been twice that number.
2. The slave ships that brought slaves from Africa to Brazil were called “tumbeiros” due to the death of thousands of Africans during the crossing. These deaths were due to abuse suffered by slaves, the poor hygienic conditions and diseases caused by lack of vitamins as in the case of scurvy.
3. It is possible to trace the origin of slaves into three groups: those from modern day Sudan in which the Yoruba, also called nagôs, dominate the region and those who came from the northern tribes of Nigeria, mostly Muslims, called malês or alufás , and the group of the Bantus, captured in the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique.
4. When arriving in Brazil, African was called the peça (piece) and sold at leilões públicos (public auctions) as a good commodity: they polished their teeth, shaved their hair, applied oils to hide the body diseases and make the skin shine as they were fattened to ensure a good price.
5. A slave was worth more when he was male and adult. A slave was considered an adult when he was between 12 and 30 years of age. They worked on average from 6am to 10pm, almost without rest, and aged very quickly. At 35, they already had white hair and toothless mouths.
6. The captives received, once a day, only a serving of bean broth. To enrich the mixture a bit, they made use of the parts of the pig that the lords despised: the tongue, tail, feet and ears. It was from this practice that came, according to tradition, the Brazilian dish known as feijoada (1).
7. The Festa de Nossa Senhora do Rosário (Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary), the patron saint of slaves in colonial Brazil, was first celebrated in Olinda, Pernambuco (northeastern Brazil) in the year 1645. The saint was already worshiped in Africa, and taken by the Portuguese as a way to Christianize blacks. They were baptized when they left Africa, or when they came to Brazil.
8. Most of all feasts in honor of the saint take place in the city of Serro, Minas Gerais (southeastern Brazil) in July since 1720. According to legend, one day Our Lady of the Rosary came out of the sea. Being called the Indians, they didn’t deal with it. The same happened with white sailors. The saint answered only to slaves, who loudly played their drums.
9. White and black children walked around naked and played until 5 or 6 years of age. They had the same games, based on fantasy characters of African folklore. But at age 7, the black child was faced his/her condition and needed to start working.
10. Each planter was allowed to import 120 slaves per year from Africa. And there was a law that stipulated 50 as the maximum number of lashes that a slave could take a day.
11. The kitchen was very appreciated in the casa grande (big house). Dishes of African origin such as vatapá and caruru, common on the patriarchal table in the northeast, captured European and Brazilian tastes. The kitchen was in an annex of the house, separated from the main rooms by storage or internal rooms.
12. Normally, internal divisions of the slave quarters separated men and women. But, sometimes, some accepted couples were permitted by the master to live in separate shacks, huts covered with banana leaves.
13. On Sundays, the slaves were entitled to cultivate cassava and vegetables for their own consumption. They could even sell the surplus in the city. The measure combated hunger in the field because the monoculture of exportation made no room for subsistence products.
14. When night fell, the sound of drumming and dance moves dominated the slave quarters. Festivals and other cultural events were admitted because most of the masters believed it diminished the chances of revolt.
15. With the expansion of cities, urban slaves multiplied in skilled trades such as bricklayers, chicken vendors, barbers and lace makers. Porters wandered from one side to another, carrying chests, barrels, furniture and, of course, white people.
16. Escravos de ganho (vendor slaves) were slaves who had permission to sell or provide services on the street. In exchange, the slave had to give a percentage of profits to his/her owner.
17. In some regions, African slaves were divided into three categories: the “boçal” , who refused to speak Portuguese, resisting European culture, the “ladino”, who spoke Portuguese, and the “crioulo”, the slave who was born in Brazil. Generally, ladinos and crioulos received better treatment, milder work and prospect of social mobility.
18. Negros never had a passive attitude toward slavery. Many broke working tools and set senzalas (slave quarters) on fire. Others committed suicide, often eating dirt. Still others succumbed to feelings of banzo, great sadness that could lead to death by starvation. A common form of rebellion, however, was escape.
19. According to some historians, capoeira was born of an Angolan ritual called n’golo (zebra dance), a competition that the boys from villages would do to see who would get the girl who reached the age for marriage. Over time, the practice transformed itself into a display of skill and dexterity.
20. The word capoeira (2) is not of African origin. It comes from the Tupi Indian (kapu’era). Brought to Brazil via the slave ships, capoeira was developed in quilombos (3) (maroon societies) of Pernambuco in the sixteenth century. The characteristics of fight and dance acquired in the country can classify it as a genuinely Brazilian cultural manifestation.
21. The berimbau is a percussion instrument brought from Africa (mbirimbau). It only entered into the history of capoeira in the twentieth century. Before, the instrument was used by street vendors to attract customers. The bow comes from the stem of a shrub called biriba, common in the Northeast, which is easy to wear.
22. Until the abolition of slavery, the law punished practitioners of capoeira punishable by up to 300 lashes and the dungeon. From 1889 to 1937, capoeira was a crime under the Penal Code. A simple demonstration resulted in six months in jail. In 1937, President Getúlio Vargas went to see a show, liked it and ended the ban.
23. After independence from Portugal in 1822, one of the first measures of the government was to prohibit black students from attending the same schools as whites. One of these reasons was that they feared they could transmit diseases.
24. The abolitionist movement had existed for more than 60 years when the Lei Áurea was signed in 1888. It mobilized many intellectuals of the time, such as writers, politicians, lawyers, and also the population in general.
25. In 1823, Dom Pedro I drew up a paper advocating the end of slavery in Brazil, but liberation would only occur 65 years later.
Source: História Digital
1. Feijoada is a stew of beans with beef and pork, which is a typical dish in Portugal and former Portuguese colonies, such as Brazil, Macau, Angola, Mozambique and Goa. Modern variants of the dish are based on ancient Feijoada recipes from the Portuguese regions of Beira, Estremadura, and Trás-os-Montes. In Brazil, feijoada (feijoada brasileira) is often considered the national dish. The name comes from feijão, Portuguese for “beans.” The basic ingredients of feijoada are beans with fresh pork or beef. In northwest Portugal (chiefly Minho and Douro Litoral), it is usually made with white beans; in the northeast (Trás-os-Montes), it is generally prepared with kidney beans, and includes other vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, and cabbage. The stew is best prepared over low heat in a thick clay pot. It is usually served with rice and assorted sausages, such as chouriço, morcela (blood sausage), farinheira, and others, which may or may not be cooked in the stew. Source
2. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and is sometimes referred to as a game. It was developed in Brazil mainly by African descendants with native Brazilian influences, probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known by quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for a wide variety of kicks, spins, and highly mobile techniques; at heart is the ginga, the back-and-forth, foot-to-foot movement that serves as the starting point for such leverage. Capoeira used in genuine self-defense situations incorporates many sweeps and low moves, whereas when played as a game there is more emphasis on high moves, demonstrations of acrobatics, full cartwheels (called au) for evasion, and flips or other exotic techniques by mestres (masters), and performing an entertaining match for the audience. Source
3. A quilombo is a Brazilian hinterland settlement founded by people of African origin including the Quilombolas, or Maroons. Most of the inhabitants of quilombos (called quilombolas) were escaped slaves and, in some cases, later these escaped African slaves would help provide shelter and homes to other minorities of marginalised Portuguese, Brazilian aboriginals, Jews and Arabs, and/or other non-black, non-slave Brazilians who experienced oppression during colonization. However, the documentation on runaway slave communities typically uses the term mocambo to describe the settlements. “Mocambo” is an Ambundu word that means “hideout”, and is typically much smaller than a quilombo. Quilombo was not used until the 1670s and then primarily in more southerly parts of Brazil. A similar settlement exists in other Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, and is called a palenque. Its inhabitants are palenqueros who speak various Spanish-African-based creole languages. Quilombos are identified as one of three basic forms of active resistance by slaves. The other two are attempts to seize power and armed insurrections for amelioration. Typically, quilombos are a “pre-19th century phenomenon”. The prevalence of the last two increased in the first half of 19th-century Brazil, which was undergoing both political transition and increased slave trade at the time.
Pop singer Michael Jackson’s features changed and the color of his skin lightened dramatically during the final decades of his life. Jackson denied changing his skin color to improve his appearance and claimed that he suffered from vitiligo, a condition in which the immune system attacks cells that produce melanin, which determines an individual’s skin color. Jackson said he was not trying to look “White,” but observers wondered, if that were so, what was the motivation for his straightened hair and the many operations to change the shape of his nose, chin and cheekbones?
In 2010, former Chicago Cubs baseball player Sammy Sosa was photographed at the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas with noticeably whiter skin. Sosa originally had a very brown complexion but appeared to be nearly White in photographs. He told reporters that a cosmetic cream *76 he used to soften his skin caused the lighter tone. He said he had been using the cream for some time and it made his face look whiter than it actually was, but claimed he was not trying to look like Michael Jackson, nor was he suffering from any skin illness.
“Color Struck” is an old saying among African-Americans that refers to individuals who believe that a lighter complexion and European features represent the epitome of beauty and desirability. Color discrimination is often masked by a combination of subjective notions of attractiveness and unconscious stereotypes. Michael Jackson and Sammy Sosa were probably not consciously attempting to look White; it is more likely they were simply color struck.
Racism involves discrimination against individuals based on their racial category. Colorism, in contrast, involves discrimination against dark-complexioned African-Americans on the basis of their color. The hierarchy employed in colorism is the same as the one that governs racism; a light complexion and European features are considered to be more valuable and attractive than dark skin and African features. Color distinctions among African-Americans have never been recognized in the formal ways they were in the Caribbean and South America. However, among African-Americans, the distinctions are usually unstated but well understood. Lighter complexions and European features are more desirable than darker complexions and African features. A person is considered light-skinned by an application of the “paper bag test,” which looks to whether the person’s complexion is the color of a grocery bag or lighter.
*77 Although formal racial classifications were developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the preference for white skin, blonde hair and European features is rooted in antiquity. Beginning with Greek sculptures of Aphrodite and Roman depictions of Venus, and into the European Renaissance, pale complexions, blue eyes, and flowing blonde hair have been the gold standard for feminine beauty. When Europeans colonized Asia, Africa, and the Americas, they imposed their standards of beauty on the indigenous groups and on the Africans they imported and enslaved. Today, the European norm for beauty and attractiveness is ubiquitous and constantly reinforced in movies, magazines, television programs, online and elsewhere. Young children assimilate these conceptions at an early age, and they remain embedded in their psyches as they mature into adults.
African-Americans, South Asians, Latin Americans, and other people of color have, for many generations, internalized this Eurocentric standard of attractiveness. Using hair straighteners and skin-lightening creams, they attempt to look white without consciously realizing they are doing so. The evidence indicates that in America, socioeconomic disparities resulting from colorism can be as severe as those traditionally attributed to racism. As America becomes a more multi-racial society, old fashioned “Jim Crow” racism has slowly diminished, while color bias persists.
Leland Ware, Louis L. Redding Professor of Law & Public Policy, University of Delaware.
II. Color Discrimination
Discrimination on the basis of color, rather than race, has long been documented by researchers. In The Philadelphia Negro, W.E.B. Du Bois *78 described intra-racial colorism when he commented on that city’s “Aristocracy of the Negro population” in the late 1890s. Du Bois observed, “[t]hey are largely Philadelphia born, and being descended from the house servant class, contain many mulattoes.” Du Bois noted that Philadelphia’s Black elites did not interact with their less affluent counterparts in ordinary assemblages or promenading places. The insular and elitist nature of the group was reflected in Du Bois’ observation that “[s]trangers secure entrance to this circle with difficulty and only by introduction.” Decades later in the landmark study, An American Dilemma, Gunnar Myrdal wrote: “without a doubt a Negro with light skin and other European features has in the North an advantage with white people.”
In 1957, Sociologist E. Franklin Frazier made a similar observation in Black Bourgeoisie. He wrote: “a light complexion resulting from racial mixture raised a mulatto above the level of an unmixed Negro.” Frazier explained that “[p]artly because of the differential treatment accorded to the mulattoes, but more especially because of the general degradation of the Negro as a human being, the Negro of mixed ancestry thought of himself as superior to the unmixed Negro. His light complexion became his most precious possession.”
Over the last two decades, a large body of scholarship examining the detrimental effects of color discrimination has been produced by scholars representing a range of academic disciplines. In general, the research shows that dark-skinned Blacks are treated differently and less favorably than their lighter-complexioned counterparts. Legal scholars have complained about the courts’ reluctance to acknowledge color discrimination. In Colorism: A Darker Shade of Pale, Taunya Banks explored the history of color discrimination in America and analyzed the *79 problems it has posed in employment discrimination cases. Skin tone discrimination, she wrote, is an aspect of employment discrimination that courts have been hesitant to recognize. She found that judges are more willing to acknowledge color discrimination in cases involving ethnic Whites and Latinos, but are hesitant to do so when Black claimants are involved. Courts are skeptical of claims involving intra-racial discrimination as it does not fit the traditional paradigm of Whites discriminating against Blacks. Banks concluded that courts possess the legal authority to redress claims under existing antidiscrimination laws and should be more willing to recognize claims of color discrimination when African-Americans assert them.
Other scholars have made similar observations. In Shades of Brown: the Law of Skin Color, Trina Jones examines the history of colorism in America and the discrimination against individuals based on skin color. She distinguishes intra-group colorism from cross-racial colorism and traditional discrimination: the first involves lighter-skinned African-Americans and Whites disfavoring darker-skinned Blacks; the second involves Whites discriminating against all Blacks. In both cases, darker-complexioned Blacks are the victims. Jones complains that courts tend to minimize the significance of this distinction using a flawed interpretation of antidiscrimination laws. Jones argues that a more nuanced understanding of discrimination is needed to recognize color discrimination. In Title VII: What’s Hair (and Other Race Based Characteristics) Got to Do With It, D. Wendy Greene conducted a similar analysis and reached the same conclusion: color-based discrimination claims made by Black complainants are misunderstood and should be recognized, given that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and color.
*80 Leonard Baynes examined the “Dark-Light Paradigm” of African-American and Latino colorism. He determined that an entrenched color hierarchy among non-White ethnic groups operates to the detriment of dark- complexioned Blacks and Latinos. Baynes bolstered his analysis with data that showed darker-skinned Blacks and Latinos tend to have smaller incomes, lower levels of educational attainment, and less prestigious employment positions than lighter-skinned Blacks and Latinos.
Colorism has even infected the criminal justice system. Research has shown that dark-skinned Blacks receive longer prison sentences than their lighter-complexioned counterparts. An article examining racial disparities in the criminal justice system cited a study of 67,000 male felons incarcerated in Georgia for a first offense from 1995 through 2002. The data showed that dark-skinned Black defendants received longer sentences than light-skinned Blacks.
In another article, the authors examined discrimination on the basis of what they called “Afrocentric” features, which they defined as darker skin color, fuller lips and broader noses. The authors collected and analyzed data that showed that Black defendants in Florida who had prominent African features tended to receive longer sentences than other Blacks whose racial physiognomy was less distinctive. Using photographs and other information about inmates, including the offenses for which they were convicted and their criminal records, the authors found that among African-American inmates, those with prominent African features tended *81 to receive longer sentences than others whose African features were not as prominent. The researchers concluded that Afrocentric features activated an unconscious stereotype of Blacks as dangerous criminals, which influenced the decisionmaking process and caused the imposition of longer sentences when dark-skinned defendants were convicted.
The disparities are not limited to male defendants. A recent study found that Black female offenders who are light-skinned received shorter prison sentences than darker-complexioned offenders. The authors collected data on 12,158 imprisoned Black women in North Carolina between 1995 and 2009. The study showed that women with light skin were sentenced to approximately 12% less prison time than their darker-skinned counterparts. The study examined factors such as prior records, conviction dates, misconduct while incarcerated, and having low body weight, as well as whether the women were convicted of homicide or robbery since these crimes carry heavier prison terms. The authors concluded that colorism demonstrates the complexity of racism in our society and added that “it is no longer sufficient to understand racial discrimination solely in terms of the relative advantages of Whites compared to non-Whites. Among Blacks, characteristics associated with Whiteness appear to have a significant impact on important life outcomes.”
Color discrimination affects a wide range of activities. Using a longitudinal design method that linked a sample of African-American men raised in the South to their census records, Mark Hill examined the influence of skin color on the socioeconomic attainment of African-American men. His findings showed the importance of skin color in directing the socioeconomic progress of African-American men. Individuals who identified as mulatto in the study had a higher adult socioeconomic status than Blacks with dark complexions. Hill’s analysis indicated that differences in social origins were responsible for only 10 to 20% of the color gap in adult attainment levels. Hill’s findings indicated *82 that color bias, rather than family background, was responsible for most of the color differences in the socioeconomic status of African-American men.
In The Skin Color Paradox and the American Racial Order, the authors used surveys to develop an empirical analysis that found:
[D]ark-skinned blacks have lower levels of education, income and job status. They are less likely to own homes or to marry; and dark-skinned blacks’ prison sentences are longer. Dark-skin discrimination occurs within as well as across races. Some evidence suggests, in fact, that intra-racial disparities are as detrimental to a person’s life chances as are disparities traditionally associated with racial divisions. . . . With some exceptions, most Americans prefer lighter to darker skin aesthetically, normatively and culturally. Film-makers, novelists, advertisers, modeling agencies, matchmaking websites-all demonstrate how much the power of a fair complexion, along with straight hair and Eurocentric facial features, appeals to Americans.
The discussion in this section shows that a large body of theoretical and empirical research demonstrates conclusively that color bias is real and has an adverse effect on the lives of dark-complexioned African-Americans.
III. The Geography of Colorism
Colorism operates on a global scale. There is a worldwide market for chemicals that lighten skin tones. Asia has the largest market for skin-whitening creams. In India and Pakistan, women are socialized to believe that a fair complexion equates to beauty and is the key to success in life, marriage, and work. During the colonial era, the idea that Indians *83 with fair skin were superior was usually unstated but well understood. The belief that a light complexion is superior to a darker one is embedded deeply within the Indian psyche, since skin color is an important consideration in marriage. Research conducted by a matrimonial website in three northern Indian states confirmed that skin tone is the most important criteria when selecting a partner.
A journalist wrote: “it is being called ‘Snow White syndrome’ in India, a market where sales of whitening creams are far outstripping those of Coca-Cola and tea.” According to Imani Perry, this practice exemplifies the perverse objectification of the female body in sexual partnering.
Colorism is also evident in advertisements. For instance, a television ad for the cream Fair & Lovely reinforces the idea that girls seeking a prospective groom should utilize skin-lightening creams in order to become more marketable for marriage. Beyond the simple advertisement for a flawless skin, it is implied that using this cream is also necessary to advance in all relevant aspects of life. But the use of lightening creams is not restricted to women. The popularity of these products is increasing among men and the availability of products for male consumers is highly advertised. A commercial shown on Indian satellite channels featured Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan promoting a skin cream called Fair and Handsome. In it, a glum, dark-skinned Indian man used the skin-lightening cream to become many shades lighter. At the end of the commercial he is shown smiling and walking confidently with a lovely woman at his side. L’Oreal hired Bollywood actor John Abraham to pitch its Garnier for Men skin-whitening lotion in an effort to challenge the *84 market leader, Fair and Handsome. Another skin-lightening cream, Unilever’s Vaseline Healthy White Body, is currently the most advertised cosmetic brand on Indian television. Unilever’s cream created great controversy with its Internet marketing strategy, which appeared to be racist, because it showed a distinct preference for lighter skin. Recently, further concerns have been raised regarding the dissemination of other desirable physical characteristics for young Indians. The homogeneity of color is becoming a new social expectation in order to overcome self-consciousness. Therefore, young Indians are being encouraged to start using deodorants and intimate wash products containing skin-lightening ingredients.
Skin-lightening creams increased $432 million in sales in South Asia during the first nine months of 2008, and the industry expects to continue growing as the levels of urbanization and affordability augment their target populations by expanding the market for men in the following decade. However, this phenomenon is not limited to South Asia. An increasing number of East Asians are using their rising incomes to purchase skin-lightening products. In Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan, four of every ten women use a whitening cream. And, as is the case elsewhere, the cosmetics industry is reaping enormous profits. In Hong Kong, pale Asian models dominate the flat-screens and multimedia billboards of public transit. They appear on the pages of glossy magazines and cinema advertisements promoting such products as Blanc Expert, White-Plus, White Light, Future White Day, Active White, and Snow UV. Skin lightening has a long history in Asia. In ancient *85 China and Japan, a saying, “one white covers up three ugliness,” has been passed down through the generations. These attitudes are largely the same among many Asian Americans.
Colorism is also pervasive in Latin America. Unlike America’s “one-drop rule” in which any amount of African ancestry classifies an individual as Black, Latin America exhibits a more fluid classification system based on color gradations and appearance. Racial distinctions are based on phenotypes that focus more on physiognomy than ancestry. The flexibility in Latin America’s racial designation system is limited to those whose lighter complexions and European phenotypes allow them to distinguish themselves from darker-complexioned Blacks, since Blackness is subjectively perceived as an offensive racial category in the social hierarchy. In Latin America, individuals are valued by how closely their appearances, status, and progeny approach whiteness.
Mexico’s colonization illustrates how discrimination on the basis of color influenced the creation of a racialized hierarchy, which continues to affect the socioeconomic and political systems at present. Spanish colonizers imposed a stratified status system in Mexico where Whites were the elites and Native Mexicans the slaves. These groups intermingled creating a large population of mixed-race mestizos that resulted in the creation of a color hierarchy. Light-complexioned persons occupied the upper rungs of the social strata. The darkest persons were relegated to the lowest levels.
Colorism has concerned the Mexican-American columnist Ruben Navarrette since his childhood, when he realized his skin tone was different compared with the rest of the children in a United States kindergarten. Now, as an adult, Navarrette stresses that, a century after the Mexican Revolution, the division between urban and rural Mexico continues, along with the silent wars between the wealthy and poor, and *86 the light and dark-skinned individuals. He remarked that it is very common to find light-colored people in television, politics and academia, but it is unlikely to find persons from this racial category working at construction sites or kitchens, where darker-colored people prevail.
There is a conspicuous absence of dark-skinned Mexicans in telenovelas, commercials, and other forms of advertising, which are an inadequate representation of the country’s inhabitants. A study that examined the content of six Spanish-language telelenovelas and a drama on three Spanish-language television networks in the United States (Telemundo, Univision, and Azteca America) found that “lighter skin characters were more likely to play major roles, were more fit and younger, and more likely to be upper class than their darker skin counterparts.” A promotion for Televisa’s popular program, “Destilando Amor” (Distilling Love), presents an example of how color status is portrayed. In one scene, an upscale woman with blonde hair sits at a dinner table expressing her displeasure with a family member for falling in love with a working-class woman. As the fair-skinned woman speaks, a servant with dark, indigenous features stands silently in the background.
Colorism can be found elsewhere in Latin America. In Brazil, individuals are assigned to racial groups based on physical appearance rather than ancestry. This criterion of racial self-identification has resulted in ambiguous and numerous color categories. Many of the terms Brazilians use to describe racial mixtures are vague, and there is no consistent agreement on their meaning or to whom they should be applied. For instance, a 1976 census collected 135 popular terms, including “purple, dark chocolate, or Pele colored.”
Given the focus on phenotypical characteristics, some individuals may be identified in varying racial terms at various times by different people, and some parents and full siblings in the same family may be assigned to different racial groups. One article explained:
*87 Brazilian racial classification schemes defining a person based on the slightest variation of physical characteristics presumably associated with Black ancestry and/or white ancestry could either elevate or demote an individual on the racial ladder. The implementation of such a highly stratified method of categorizing race evidences an extreme effort on behalf of the white minority to preserve their economic, social, and political dominance over masses of people of mixed and unmixed African descent. Additionally, because of its relatively relaxed approach to manumission, which contributed to the rapid growth of free people of color, it was imperative for Brazil to develop a racial taxonomy based on infinite physical distinctions that simultaneously maintained its racial hierarchy and recognized the country’s widespread miscegenation.
The current official categories used by the Brazilian census are White (Branco), Brown (Pardo), Black (Preto), Asian/Yellow (Amarelo), and Indigenous (Indigena). It is estimated that the first three categories account for 99% of Brazilians. In 2010, a majority (50.7%) of the population identified themselves as Afro-Brazilians, a classification that includes both Black (7.6%) and mix-raced Brazilians (43.1%). In a 2010 census, more individuals identified themselves as Black than in 2000.
Despite the Brazilian efforts to project a racially neutral structure through what is known as a racial democracy, scholars have shown that a racial hierarchy composed of a graduated scale of color persists. The data shows that Afro-Brazilians are more economically, socially, and politically disadvantaged than their lighter-skinned counterparts. According to Seth Racusen, “all key socioeconomic variables demonstrate this wide gap between ‘Whites’ compared to ‘Browns’ and ‘Blacks.”‘
Brazilian media also reinforces the social preference for Whites by portraying them as symbols of “beauty, happiness, and middle-class success.” The concept portrayed in television seems consistent with the perception of reality. As indicated by Patricia de Santana Pinho, “the power of whiteness is lived by everyone in Brazil, and it is always operating either in opening or closing doors of opportunity and achievement.”
Given the strong negative stereotypes against dark-colored people and, on the other hand, the potential incentives that could be derived from affirmative action policies, individuals may have personal motivations to alter the designation of their race.
How individuals are classified does not depend solely on their physical appearance. The saying “money whitens” reminds Brazilians that the apparent wealth and status of a person, as well as the immediate social company, are important considerations for the observer who determines their race. Therefore, as individuals accumulate wealth they also gain color status. The ambiguity of race categories along with the deficiencies of the self-identification system makes it feasible for individuals to change their racial identities by becoming better educated or more affluent.
These attitudes can be found in other Latin American countries. Tanya Hernandez examined racial attitudes in Puerto Rico and Cuba, given the acceptance of race fluidity in the former country and the formal rejection of the concept of race in the latter. She found that, despite the apparent respect for social fluidity and flexible racial labeling, racial identity and identification are neither completely fluid nor neutral. For example, like in Mexico and Brazil, Cubans and Puerto Ricans also exercised the plasticity of race labeling in order to avoid Black designation in social status and self-identification. Today, many Puerto Ricans of mixed ancestry (usually called “triguenos” and “morenos”) prefer to classify *89 themselves as White rather than Black on census forms. This response, however, underestimates the long history of miscegenation and African ancestry of much of Puerto Rico’s population. Prejudice and discrimination against people of African descent are the principal reasons for this preference, since African ancestry is associated with slavery and extreme poverty.
Puerto Ricans perceive that having lighter skin and European features increases an individual’s socioeconomic opportunities. Darker complexions and African features severely limit an individual’s economic and social mobility. According to Wendy D. Roth, medium skin tones confer upon people a certain amount of status compared to those further toward the dark end of the color spectrum.
Research suggests that being discriminated against on the basis of color produces feelings of shame and embarrassment. Many Latin American Blacks harbor internalized attitudes about color and phenotype. Skin color, nose width, lip thickness, and hair texture weigh heavily on the self-esteem of Afro-Latinos, since these are considered racial signifiers of denigrated African ancestry. The belief exists among some Latin Americans that color is something that can be controlled by utilizing whitening creams and to “‘improve the race”‘ of their children.
Marrying someone with a lighter complexion is referred to as adelantando la raza (improving the race) under the theory of blanqueamiento. The concept of blanqueamiento refers to ethnic, cultural, and racial “whitening.” It is an ideology and a social practice that places a higher value on White culture while implicitly devaluing non- *90 White cultural norms. Blanqueamiento perpetuates a social hierarchy based on race by linking whiteness to status, wealth, power, modernity, and development, while implicitly associating blackness with a lack of cultural refinement, ambition, and civilization.
Despite the national ideologies of racial democracy, mestizaje, and racial blindness in Latin America, skin tone is a major marker of status and a form of symbolic capital. Light complexions and European features are highly valued; the darker, more African an individual appears, the lower that person is likely to be on the socioeconomic scale.
IV. Colorism in America
In America, skin color is an important signifier of beauty and social status. African-Americans’ preference for light complexions and European features dates back to the antebellum era when skin color determined an enslaved person’s work assignments. Dark-skinned slaves worked in the fields, while light-complexioned slaves worked in the slave owner’s home. James Stirling, a British writer who visited the American South in 1857, observed conditions on Southern plantations and wrote:
In judging of the welfare of the slaves, it is necessary to distinguish the different conditions of slavery. The most important distinction, both as regards numbers and its influence on the wellbeing of the slave, is that between houseservants and farm or fieldhands. The houseservant is comparatively well off. He is frequently born and bred in the family he belongs to; and even when this is not the case, the constant association of the slave and his master, *91 and master’s family, naturally leads to such an attachment as ensures good treatment. There are not wanting instances of devoted attachment on both sides in such cases. . . . The position of the fieldhands is very different; of those, especially, who labour on large plantations. Here there are none of those humanizing influences at work which temper the rigour of the system, nor is there the same check of public opinion to control abuse. The ‘force’ is worked en masse, as a great human mechanism; or, if you will, as a drove of human cattle.
The Hemingses of Monticello provides an example of how slaves with familial ties to their owners lived and worked during the antebellum period. Elizabeth Hemings was the daughter of an African woman and a White sea captain. She had 12 children, half of them by her owner, John Wayles whose legitimate daughter, Martha Wayles Skelton, married President Thomas Jefferson in 1772. After her father’s death, Martha inherited Elizabeth Hemings and her children and brought them to serve at Monticello. The Hemings were treated differently than other slaves at Monticello plantation. None of them worked in the fields. The women were considered a relatively privileged caste compared to others, and worked as house servants performing chores like sewing, mending clothes, looking after children, and baking cakes. The men served as valets, coach drivers, and butlers. Jefferson paid some of the men wages and gratuities, and others were allowed to hire themselves out to other employers of their choice. Sally Hemings, the young daughter of Elizabeth Hemings and John Wayles, was Martha’s half-sister and it was *92 said that the two bore a physical resemblance. Most historians now agree that Sally Hemings became Jefferson’s mistress and bore six of his children.
Lalita Tademy’s novel, Cane River, describes the intimate relationships among slave owners and female slaves that produced racially-mixed offspring. The characters are based on Tademy’s ancestors who she discovered after years of researching her family’s history. It is a narrative about four generations of women born into slavery along the Cane River in Louisiana. One character, Great-grandmother Elisabeth, had a daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter who bore the offspring of the French planters. In many cases, the children’s paternity was widely known and acknowledged by their fathers; but, since Louisiana’s laws did not allow slaves to be legally entitled to any property or money, these children were not allowed to inherit anything.
Prior to the Civil War, mixed-race Creoles in Louisiana had a social status that set them above enslaved persons. After the War, they were subjected to the “one-drop” rule, but they maintained family and community ties that distanced them from darker-skinned African-Americans. They were, as a Creole documentary put it, “too white to be black and too black to be white.”
After emancipation, the dark/light division was perpetuated by African-Americans who constructed social classes based on skin color. Blacks created “blue vein societies,” social clubs to which individuals were admitted only if their skin tone was light enough to make their veins visible on the underside of their arms. Color differences continued to *93 play an important role in the Black community. Mixed race individuals attempted to maintain the privileged status they had acquired during slavery. Separate communities were established in which access was based on skin color. Examples include Chatham and East Hyde Park in Chicago, and the Striver’s Row and Sugar Hill neighborhoods of New York.
Charles Waddell Chesnutt’s 1899 short story, The Wife of His Youth, satirized the pretensions of light-skinned African-Americans at the end of the nineteenth century. The protagonist of the story, Mr. Ryder, was the leader of the local “Blue Vein Society” who was dating a fair-skinned female member of the organization. Ryder claimed that he was free born and the product of a respected family, as this was a requirement for Blue Vein membership. He was confronted with a dilemma when a woman appeared in the community. She was an illiterate, dark-complexioned former slave who had spent years looking for her husband. Ryder initially denied knowing the woman. Eventually, his guilty conscious forced him to admit that he had lied about his background. Ryder acknowledged his marriage and reunited with the dark-skinned woman who was “the wife of his youth.”
Researchers have documented the ways in which many Black teachers in segregated schools during the pre-Brown v. Board of Education era were infected with the attitudes that preferred lighter-skinned children over darker-skinned students. Light-skinned students were selected as leads in plays and pageants, called on first in classroom discussions, and visibly favored by teachers. An example of this can be found in a recollection published by J. Saunders Redding, a writer and literary critic who was the first African-American to hold a faculty position at an Ivy League *94 university. Redding was the product of an influential Black family in Wilmington, Delaware. His brother, Louis L. Redding, was the attorney who represented the Delaware students in the consolidated cases remembered as Brown. In No Day of Triumph, Saunders Redding describes his experiences with colorism during his childhood. Wilmington’s Black population grew rapidly during and after the World War I years. A large number of Black families were moving from the rural South to work in factory jobs that were available in rapidly industrializing northern communities. The recent arrivals were poorer, less educated and often darker-complexioned than Wilmington’s Black middle class. To Saunders’ mother and grandmother, the new neighbors were perceived as a threat.
Redding recalled a public speaking contest in which he competed with a dark-skinned student. He was so nervous that he mumbled a few words before bursting into tears. In contrast, the dark-complexioned student’s performance was outstanding. Redding, who was lighter-complexioned and socially connected, was awarded first prize despite his dismal performance. A few years later, when Redding was in high school, the light-skinned, female principal discouraged him from maintaining a romantic relationship because the girl was poor and dark-skinned.
Wallace Thurman’s Harlem Renaissance novel, The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life, is a satire in which the theme is colorism in the 1920s New York. The novel’s dark-skinned protagonist, Emma Lou Morgan, internalized biases against dark-complexioned people. She grew up in Boise, Idaho, where she experienced discrimination by the lighter- *95 complexioned African-Americans throughout her childhood. She left Boise to attend to college in Los Angeles. From there, Emma Lou moved to Harlem where she worked as a maid and later as a teacher. Throughout the novel, Emma Lou is plagued by anxieties about her dark complexion. Her obsession with color prevented her from enjoying Harlem’s excitement. In New York, Emma Lou encountered discrimination from Blacks and Whites. At a Harlem party, a character explained intra-racial discrimination, stating, “people have to feel superior to something,” and expounded that light-complexioned African-Americans who look down on darker-skinned African-Americans were perpetuating a hierarchy of discrimination imposed by the White majority. After some romantic disappointments with light-complexioned men, Emma Lou finally accepted her appearance. The book’s title is derived from an old saying: “the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.”
In the early decades of the twentieth century, colorism fueled conflicts among African-American leaders, including Marcus Garvey, who was the head of the Universal Negro Improvement Organization. The organization attracted at least a half-million members, and it competed for a time with the NAACP for the position of the premier African-American advocacy group. Many of the NAACP’s members were educated and middle class. Garvey’s group appealed to the masses. Unlike the NAACP, which fought for integration, Garvey proposed *96 migration to Africa as the answer to the “Negro problem.” In 1931, Garvey, who had a very dark complexion and African features, claimed that W.E.B. Du Bois and the NAACP practiced colorism:
It is no wonder that Du Bois seeks the company of white people, because he hates black as being ugly . . . Yet this professor, who sees ugliness in being black, essays to be a leader of the Negro people and has been trying for over fourteen years to deceive them through his connection with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Now what does he mean by advancing colored people if he hates black so much? In what direction must we expect his advancement? We can conclude in no other way than that it is in the direction of losing our black identity and becoming, as nearly as possible, the lowest whites by assimilation and miscegenation.
Du Bois fervently denied Garvey’s claim, but there was some truth to it. Walter White was the head of the NAACP from the mid-1930s until his death in 1955. White’s light skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes did not display a hint of his African ancestry. He took advantage of his appearance to pass for White while conducting undercover investigations of lynchings and other hate crimes in the South. White’s colorism was reflected in the image of African-American women he actively promoted in Crisis, a periodical published by the NAACP. In the 1940s, Crisis was the most important magazine of opinion among African-Americans. The editors used photographs of predominantly light-skinned, college-educated women in an effort to displace entrenched notions of Black women as “Jezebels” or sexual victims. The editors wanted to refashion the image of Black women, but in doing so they promoted colorism. During the World War II years, the light-skinned, African-American actress Lena Horne was featured on two Crisis covers to promote a new *97 image of Black women. As one scholar explained:
The magazine preferred headshots of well-dressed, light-skinned African American women who were college-educated ladies, beauty-contest winners, soldiers’ wives, or celebrated entertainers, over photographs of dark-skinned women engaged in war-production work. Jane Cooke Wright (August 1942), Barbara Gonzales (March 1944), and Katheryn M. Davenport (August 1944) represent the Crisis’s typical war era cover girl. All three women avert their eyes from the photographer; the photograph showcases their upper torsos, shoulders, and faces, highlighting their light skin and carefully coiffed hair.
Alluding to the organization’s perceived elitism, some Blacks joked that the letters “NAACP” actually stood for the National Association for the Advancement of Certain People.
Colorism lives on. Today, African-American entertainers and actors are far more likely to have light coloring than dark complexions. With the exception of an occasional dark-skinned exotic, most Black models can easily pass the “paper bag” test, and many have racially ambiguous coloring and features. African-American news anchors and reporters rarely have dark complexions. Female entertainers, in particular, tend to have light skin and hair that is dyed blonde and made longer with hair extensions. Consider Halle Berry, Rihanna, and Alicia Keys. In her hit song, “Creole,” Beyonce Knowles sings about her Creole heritage and being an attractive combination of “red bone” and “yellow bone” (terms that refer to light-skinned Black women).
Pop singer Fantasia Barrino rose to fame as the 2004 winner on the popular television show, American Idol. She was the object of a barrage *98 of negative publicity surrounding her affair with a married man and the lawsuit his wife filed against her. Barinno attempted suicide and later told reporters that the media criticism was based on her dark skin and ethnic features. She said: “[w]hen I did [American] Idol, it seemed like everybody there was Barbied out. Slim, long hair, light eyes, light-skinned. And here I come with my dark skin, full nose, short hair and full lips-it was hard.” “Barbied out” referred to the appearance represented by the Barbie doll, one of the most successful toys of the twentieth century. Barbies are grown-up looking dolls that allow girls to reflect their personality and dreams in the roles imagined for them. Their appearance is an icon of female beauty and the American dream. The classic thin figure, blonde hair, and blue eyes reflect the Eurocentric ideal, a look that a dark-skinned person with African features could never achieve. Interestingly, when Barbies were introduced at the 1959 Toy Fair, blonde dolls outnumbered brunettes two to one.
V. Importing European Standards of Beauty
The modern definition of race did not appear until the middle of the eighteenth century. During that century, European publications shifted from identifying groups on the basis of their nationality to a preoccupation with race. By the mid-nineteenth century the classification of individuals by race was ubiquitous. However, the current standards for beauty, which reflect and perpetuate colorism, can be traced back into antiquity.
A pale complexion, fine facial features, and light-colored hair became the social construct of feminine beauty during the Classical period *99 of Ancient Greece (ca. 480-323 BC). For example, a female Greek portrait from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is described as possessing finely shaped features: large almond-shaped eyes, beautifully arching eyebrows, a full rounded mouth with a plump and bow-shaped upper lip. During this period, Greek artists made a dramatic advance in the execution of their craft. They learned to express the human body in a life-like and naturalistic manner, characterized by a system of proportions. Their statues were detailed, and with anatomically accurate forms. Consider the nude Aphrodite of Cnidos, by the Athenian sculptor Praxiteles, as an example. Expertly crafted presentations of the human anatomy and musculature were depicted in marble, stone, or bronze.
Africans, known as Ethiopians by the ancient Greeks, were present in the Hellenic world and were considered exotic. African images of athletes and entertainers were displayed in pottery and vases by utilizing an attractive black glaze. Noticeably, they were not shown in heroic roles or as aesthetic symbols, since the Classic ideal of beauty was entirely Eurocentric. Angela Harris articulated with conciseness the perceptions of whiteness and Eurocentrism that have informed both art and history: “more white is more European, and more European is more refined; less European is more primitive, and more primitive is more dark.”
The Romans adopted the Greek standard of beauty. The goddess Venus represented love and beauty and was considered the quintessence of feminine beauty and harmony. The famous statue, Venus de Milo, is exhibited in Paris at the Louvre. Her naked torso has an elongated silhouette and a sensual nudity that contrasts with an impassive expression. The nose is a continuation of the forehead forming the *100 classic “Greek profile.” Along with other interpretations of Venus, this image sets the standard by which feminine beauty is measured.
During the Renaissance (ca. 1300-1600), the aesthetics of the Classical period were revived. Botticelli’s Birth of Venus depicts the goddess emerging from the sea as a full-grown woman. Her cascading blonde hair accentuates her slender body and alabaster complexion. In another Botticelli, Venus and Mars, Venus lies opposite her lover Mars, god of war, who has fallen asleep apparently after making love to her. Her alertness, as the goddess of love, represents the triumph of love over war. Although it is believed that Simonetta Vespucci inspired the work of Boticelli, Venus was the expression of the artist’s ideal perception of beauty. During the Renaissance, realistic interpretation was avoided and positive attributes were highlighted. Venus has perfect skin, a high forehead, and a sharply defined chin. Her hair is strawberry blonde, she has delicate eyebrows, a strong nose, narrow mouth, and full lips. This idealized depiction shows the conception of perfect beauty that prevailed during the Italian Renaissance.
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Titian’s Venus with a Mirror and Tintoretto’s Leda and the Swan are examples of art that celebrate beauty in the “whiteness” of European women. Other Renaissance expressions of feminine beauty were along the same lines: Caucasian women with pale complexions and fine features.
*101 With the advent of the Atlantic slave trade in the fifteenth century and the colonization of the Americas, Asia, and Africa, black skin became the personification of the undesirable. By the early nineteenth century, theories of scientific racism were developed and widely accepted. Samuel Morton, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, published Crania Americana in 1839. In general, Morton claimed that differences in head shapes could predict a racial group’s intelligence and other personality traits. An appendix written by George Combe expanded upon the relationship between the natural talents and dispositions of nations and the development of their brains. Based on Morton’s findings, Combe highlighted the tendency of the Caucasian race to exhibit moral and intellectual improvement, while referring to the African race situation as one unbroken scene of moral and intellectual desolation, with the exception of some tribes. Combe’s opinion about the Native American race was even more critical: the author could not justify the miserable and savage conditions of these individuals, despite the long-term exposure of natives to European knowledge, enterprise, and energy.
Morton’s theory of Polygenesis hypothesized that racial groups did not share a common origin. This provided a “scientific” basis for viewing African-descended people as a different and inferior species, thus requiring interbreeding to improve the race. A lexicon emerged that equated “blackness” with negative traits. “Black,” “dark,” and “sinister” are considered adjectives stemming from the word “evil.” Common examples include “black hearts,” “black deeds,” and “black magic,” as well as referring to Satan as the “Prince of Darkness.”
*102 Whites expressed what it meant to be Black by portraying negative stereotypes of Blacks in entertainment and popular culture throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the late nineteenth century, White performers darkened their faces with burnt cork, painted exaggerated White mouths, donned woolly wigs, and performed minstrel shows. The common themes in these performances were jokes highlighting laziness, ignorance, and other negative traits using crude versions of the Black dialect. Characters such as Jim Crow, a na ve and clumsy slave, exemplify this stereotype. With the advent of motion pictures in the early twentieth century, negative depictions of African-Americans moved to the screen. Furthermore, the negative connotation against Blacks became available to children through cartoons. For instance, the 1941 animation, Scrub Me Mamma with a Boogie Beat, depicts the life of a Black river community called Lazytown. With the exception of some Mammies, all men and animals appear sleeping or slacking during the day. The crude scenes of laziness and abandonment are suddenly changed when a modern riverboat arrives and the beautiful White ladies from the crew bring their energy and good manners to the town. This cartoon highlights the cultural preferences of Whites and displays many of the negative stereotypes of Blacks described so far.
In Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks, Donald Bogle identified other stereotypes depicted in popular films. Toms were always loyal, never turning against their White masters or employers. Coons, in contrast, were irresponsible, lazy, and dishonest. The Mammy was depicted as outspoken, overweight, and cantankerous. The Black Buck was a large, fearsome, dark-skinned, and hyper-sexualized male. The *103 Tragic Mulatto was a fair-skinned female attempting to pass for White. She was a sympathetic character confused by a divided racial heritage. More recently, the “Jezebel” was depicted as seductive, promiscuous, and predatory. Racial stereotypes were a staple of films, cartoons, comic books, and novels well into the 1960s.
In the 1960s, the Civil Rights movement altered the legal status of African-Americans. The official regime of state-sponsored discrimination was eliminated by Civil Rights legislation. For a brief period during the Black Power era, Blacks embraced their African heritage. A rejection of Eurocentric standards of beauty and the establishment of the politics of representation were encouraged. Women were urged to abandon hair strengtheners and skin-lightening creams. The “Afro” hairstyle became fashionable, and African-inspired clothing communicated the wearer’s racial consciousness. The prevailing sentiment was captured in James Brown’s popular song, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.”
The Black Arts movement introduced a “Black Aesthetic” to art, music, and literature. A revolution took place, which allowed Black artists to look at their social order from their own perspective. The 1960s were a time of protests, demonstrations, and urban riots; a *104 turning point in the way African-Americans perceived themselves. However, their hopes for a permanent transformation were too optimistic. By the late 1970s, the Black Power Movement declined. Opposition to Eurocentric standards survives today in the Black Studies Departments at Universities and in some “Afrocentric” organizations and charter schools, but it has largely disappeared from popular culture.
The commercialization of negative stereotypes has re-emerged and the entertainment industry is exploiting them for profit. Rap music is a multi-billion dollar industry. In the 1990s, “gangster rap” glamorized a ghetto subculture. This was reflected in behavior and attitudes that rejected mainstream values and glamorized dangerous and self-destructive behavior. Conspicuous consumption, ostentatious displays of jewelry, fast cars, and scantily clad women are the images that still predominate in music videos and magazines. Complexion Obsession: A Hip Hop Documentary is a two-part documentary created by Joy Daily. Using filmed interviews of several entertainers, the documentary shows how deeply colorism is embedded in the ethos of hip hop.
In a contemporary representation, the “Jezebel” character is the video vixen, a prominent character in gangster rap songs. Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj are current manifestations of this stereotype: they employ exaggerated expressions of femininity and sexuality in their performances; they present images that commodify Black female sexuality; and they are bound by an old stereotype in which Black women are predisposed to *105 sexual deviance and lewdness.
Rap’s product is an extravagant image of life in inner-city neighborhoods. Tough ghetto youths are shown driving luxury cars and wearing oversized shirts and baggy pants while displaying a menacing visage. The “thug” image that many rappers project is merely an updated version of the “Buck” character: a large, threatening, and hyper-sexualized Black male. The old expression “I don’t want nothing black but a Cadillac” conveyed African-American males’ preference for light-skinned women. This attitude persists in hip-hop culture. According to Patricia Hill Collins, the values of individualism, personal expression, and material well-being have prevailed in the hip-hop culture, while issues of racial failure have been overlooked.
VI. Internalized Stereotypes
In the 1970 novel The Bluest Eye, the celebrated author, Toni Morrison, deconstructed Eurocentric standards of beauty. Morrison’s novel conveyed the psychic damage that some Black women suffer as a result of the construction of beauty and desirability in a racially coded society. The story portrays the tragic lives of an impoverished Black family in 1940s America. The eleven-year-old protagonist, Pecola Breedlove, believes she is ugly because her conception of beauty is based on the Eurocentric standard. The title, The Bluest Eye, is derived from Pecola’s intense desire for blue eyes for which she prays every night. Pecola’s obsession and traumatic experiences eventually drive her insane. Pecola’s predicament was caused by internalized attitudes about what was considered attractive and desirable in her immediate reality.
*106 Since 1939, Kenneth and Mamie Clark developed research about self-identification in young children. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, they conducted a series of studies that became known as the “doll tests.” Their studies found differences among children attending segregated schools in Washington D.C. compared to those in integrated schools in New York City. They found that Black children often preferred to play with White dolls over Black ones. When asked to fill in a human figure with the color of their own skin, they frequently chose a lighter shade than was accurate. The children gave the color “White” attributes such as good and pretty, but “Black” was seen bad and ugly. The test was used to show the harm that segregation inflicted on young children, contributing to a sense of inferiority and self-hatred. The Clarks testified as expert witnesses in several of the NAACP’s school desegregation cases and their studies were relied on by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education.
Over the last two decades, a substantial body of empirical and theoretical work in cognitive psychology has confirmed that the causes of discriminatory actions often operate at an unconscious level without the individual’s awareness of the source. Discrimination is an interaction of social cognitions about race and behavioral outlets that bring congruence to a person’s racial preferences and social settings. Many of these beliefs are formed during the early childhood years, and they serve as a basis for judgments about events, groups, and ideas during their adult years. Socialized beliefs can provoke negative sentiments when individuals make judgments about issues that activate stereotypes.
*107 Overt racism has diminished considerably in the years since the Civil Rights laws were enacted, but unconscious stereotypes about color persist, and they are triggered by the ways in which the brain processes information. “Categorization” allows the brain to quickly process large amounts of information. It operates at a level independent of conscious attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions. Categorization is an essential cognitive activity enabling individuals to reduce the enormous diversity in the world to a manageable level. Categorization is the process of understanding something based on an individual’s knowledge of that which is similar and that which is different. It allows individuals to relate new experiences to old experiences; the unfamiliar becomes familiar. Each object and event in the world is perceived, remembered, and utilized for predicting the future, inferring the existence of unobservable traits or properties, and attributing the causation of events. The process is spontaneous and measured in milliseconds.
According to Frances Aboud, who conducted research on prejudice in young children, categorization develops at an early age. In one of her studies with young children aged 3 to 5, volunteers were given a half-dozen positive adjectives such as “good,” “kind,” and “clean” and an equal number of negative adjectives such as “mean,” “cruel” and “bad.” They asked children to match each adjective to one of the two drawings. One drawing depicted a White person; the other showed a Black person. The *108 results showed that 70% of the children assigned nearly every positive adjective to the White faces and nearly every negative adjective to the Black faces. A subsequent study, also conducted by Aboud, demonstrated that these attitudes were not taught by the children’s parents or teachers. Commenting on Aboud’s research, Shankar Vedantam explained that children’s racial attitudes are the products of unspoken messages emanating from the environments in which they reside. Young children experience a world in which most people who live in nice houses are White. Most people on television are White, especially the people who are shown in positions of authority, dignity, and power. Most of the storybook characters they see are White, and it is the White children who perform heroic, clever, and generous things. Young children conclude that there must be an unspoken rule in society that forces Whites to marry Whites because everywhere they look White husbands are be married to White wives. Young children who are trying rapidly to orient themselves in their environments receive messages about race and color, not once or twice, but thousands of times. Everywhere a child looks, whether it is on television, in movies, in books, or online, their inferences are confirmed. As they grow older, these messages remain in their unconscious psyches and can be triggered by the categorization process.
Unconscious stereotyping is associated with the categorization process. According to Quadflieg and Macrae, upon the perception of a target, social categorization is expected to occur, which in turn activates stereotypical knowledge that is then used to evaluate, judge, or predict a person’s personality or behavior. Attitudes about African-Americans are internalized at an early age and retained into adulthood. This may explain why dark-skinned Black defendants get longer prison sentences than their lighter-complexioned counterparts and why most Americans prefer lighter to darker skin tones.
*109 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other laws protect against discrimination based on color, but courts have been less receptive to claims alleging intra-racial discrimination. Legal scholars have argued that courts should be more receptive to cases alleging discrimination based on color. These are accurate conclusions and important recommendations, but the color problem is much larger. Successful employment claims will not stop individuals from straightening their hair, donning blonde wigs, or wearing blue contact lenses. Laws will not diminish the worldwide, multi-million dollar market for skin-lightening creams. Court cases will not end the preference for light-complexioned models and entertainers. Regulations will not change the images we see in television, movies, magazines, online, and elsewhere that reinforce colorism every day.
In the classic jazz song What Did I Do To Be So Black and Blue, composed by Fats Waller in 1929 and interpreted by Louis Armstrong, a lonely, dark-skinned woman laments her inability to attract male attention:
Cold empty bed . . . springs hurt my head
Feels like ole ned . . . wished I was dead
What did I do . . . to be so black and blue
Even the mouse . . . ran from my house
They laugh at you . . . and all that you do
What did I do . . . to be so black and blue
I’m white . . . inside . . . but, that don’t help my case
That’s life . . . can’t hide . . . what is in my face
How would it end . . . ain’t got a friend
My only sin . . . is in my skin
What did I do . . . to be so black and blue.
*110 Colorism is a vestige of the colonial era when European countries invaded Africa, Asia, and the Americas and imposed their standards on the indigenous populations along with the Africans they imported and enslaved. Perhaps unconsciously, Michael Jackson and Sammy Sosa wanted to make themselves more physically attractive, which to them meant having a light complexion, European features, and straightened hair.
Colorism is well documented in academic research but largely ignored by policymakers. It is as alive today as it was a century ago. Dark-skinned African-Americans and other minorities do not have the same opportunities for advancement as those with light complexions. This form of discrimination is as injurious as invidious racism. Colorism is a combination of overt and unconscious discrimination that places a high value on light complexions and European features while devaluing dark skin and African phenotypes. As America becomes a more multi-racial society, old-fashioned racism is declining, but colorism and unconscious bias persist. If this trend does not change, it will mean that the darkest-complexioned, most African-looking people will continue to receive the worst treatment.
Brazil was the last country in the Americas to outlaw slavery, and it imported more slaves than any other country in the region. Some 4 million Africans were enslaved in Brazil.
Some ran away from the brutal treatment, forming hidden communities all over the country known as quilombos. Their descendants — called the quilombolas — were granted land rights in 1988. That was exactly a century after slavery was outlawed. But to this day, very few have actually gotten legal ownership of the land where their families have lived for generations.
One such community is in the heart of the Mata Atlantica, a tropical coastal forest, in between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The very remoteness of this community tells you a lot about the origins of the quilombos themselves.
Laura de Jesus Braga is a 57-year-old leader of the community here. She explains that land rights are so important to the quilombo communities because of what their ancestors suffered.
“I think that if we recover the land, the culture, everything they liked to do, that’s the way to show them — wherever they are — that we are fine,” she says in Portuguese. “They had nothing, but we are fine.”
We drive on a bumpy pitted road, a lush forest canopy arching overhead until we come to a clearing by a wide shallow river. A large wooden water wheel — partially reconstructed after the original was stolen in the 1980s — is what remains of a slave coffee and sugar plantation.
Jose Viera is in his late 70s. He sits next to the water wheel every day and talks to the tourists who occasionally stop by to take a dip in the river. His daughter sells snacks and drinks. In the oral tradition of the Afro-Brazilian, he tells me the story of his community.
“In fact it is like this,” he says in Portuguese. “When the Portuguese came to Brazil, there were Indians already here. Then they brought people in from Africa to work. They didn’t bring them as human beings but work tools. Those were my people. This here was a place for them to work. They were beaten so badly some formed a group and ran away into the forest, the quilombo, their refuge.”
Forming Communities, But Without Land Rights
Once the slaves were freed they no longer had to hide, he says, so they grouped together to live off the land — fishing, hunting, whatever they could to survive. They settled, he says, but they did not own the land.
Brazil has some of the most unequal land distribution in the world. Forty percent of Brazil’s rural area is owned by 1.4 percent of landholders.
There are some 3,000 communities that recognize themselves as quilombo, but only a few hundred have actual titles to the places they inhabit despite the constitution’s granting them land rights.
Rosana Schwartz, a historian and sociologist at Mackenzie University in San Paulo, specializes in the quilombo. She says they have created communities where they pass on their traditional oral culture, their African ancestry. She says they reframe their own culture — and this is very important to Brazil, she says. It’s why the country is so culturally rich and varied today.
“Because they were initially hidden communities the areas they settled in were remote and they were taken over by the state eventually — parks, beaches, areas that the cities appropriated when they were expanding,” Schwartz says in Portuguese.
Getting Kicked Off The Land
And that’s exactly what happened at Fazenda Picinguaba. The quilombo communities here now lie smack in the middle of a national park.
Jesus Braga says when the park was created in the late 1970s, dozens of families lived here, but they were all kicked off the land. Her house was even demolished.
“They said the land now was state owned. It was theirs and we couldn’t stay here anymore. I was five months pregnant and had five small children,” she says. “They put me onto the street. We lost our culture; the youth went away; the families went away because they couldn’t plant, fish or build. So, everything was taken from us. But some people resisted, like me. I stood and resisted because I knew my rights. I knew I had an origin, an identity, so I stood. I didn’t go away.”
Despite repeated attempts, the park authorities refused to speak to NPR about the situation of the quilombos here, citing ongoing legal issues.
Slave Anastacia, a figure venerated by many as a saint in Brazil,
decorates a public space in the Quilombo Sacopa in Rio de Janeiro.
Victor R. Caivano/AP
The quilombolas who live here got electricity only in 2010. Before that, the state refused to allow them any connection to services, saying it was a national park.
Jesus Braga says after an agreement, the park has now allowed them to make money by working at the park’s snack shack and collecting money from tourists at the parking lot. She was also allowed to rebuild her home right near the beach. A few other families have moved back into the area.
But when she dies, she won’t be able to pass on the house she built with her own money to her children because she is still technically considered a squatter. She says she wants her community to have its claim to this land legally acknowledged.
“When they made the park, they saw the wonderful Mata Atlantica forest. It is really beautiful — a clean beach — but it was preserved by those who have lived here,” Braga says. “I like it here and it strengthens me to fight, to win, to conquer.”
He’s something like a preacher who knows that you’ll leave his sermon sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost—except Banner isn’t focused on saving souls, he’s interested in saving your mind from the constraints that society has placed upon us as Black women, Black men, and the Black race as a whole.
The David Banner that I spoke with on a Friday afternoon isn’t much different than the Banner that I was introduced to years ago when his first hit single “Like A Pimp” hit the airwaves, and later the more thought-provoking “Cadillac on 22s.” He’s still unapologetically blunt, still speaking his mind, and still delivering messages that reflect all aspects of life—from sex and relationships to spirituality and racial disparity.
But he’s definitely an evolved man. After all, if you’re not growing, you’re dying—and Banner is letting us know through glimpses into the next chapter of his life that his mission isn’t fulfilled until his last exhale.
His latest single, “Marry Me,” has been greeted with open arms by those tired of the same old “f-ck love” narrative of broken relationships, promiscuity, and empty intimacy that a seemingly loveless generation has brought to the forefront. It dispels the myth that Black men and marriage are mutually exclusive, and shifts the conversation from one of hopelessness and despair to one of progression and possibilities.
“This song is for [all] Black women, but it’s especially for the dark-skinned black women,” says Banner. “If you look at our culture, our women don’t feel protected. They don’t feel wanted. You look at most of who so-called people of success cater to—nine times out of 10 it may not be a Black woman at all. And if it is, it’s definitely not ones that look like our cousins or our great-grandmothers. And I said man, if nobody in the world says that they love them and that they respect them and that they want them, it’ll be me.”
While the song may be geared towards women, there’s a lesson in it for everybody in that in order to change our families and our communities we have to change the stories that we’re telling, and change how we treat and speak to one another.
To get more insight into how David Banner is using his platform to shift the culture, we sat down with the Mississippi artist to discuss the idea of marriage and relationships in the Black community, rebranding himself as not just another artist contributing to the problem, and how he plans to be a part of the solution.
I listened to your “Marry Me” track when it first dropped and I really loved it. I was just talking to somebody about how we don’t really have that kind of music that celebrates love and relationships like back in the day when we had The Isley Brothers, and when men and women were actually celebrating love and marriage. So how did the track come about, what made you want to do a song about marriage?
There were a couple things. One of the things that happened was 9th Wonder was actually producing, and the reason why I made the song because he asked me a question. He said that most of the rappers that really pushed the culture forward–and who are making a whole lot of money–are over the age of 35. But have you ever noticed they never talk about men’s subjects?
One of the reasons why I let my beard grow out is because I wanted young men to see a successful Black man grow one. I wanted them to see the wisdom. Another thing is that this song is for Black women, but it’s especially for dark-skinned black women.
“If you look at our culture, our women don’t feel protected. They don’t feel wanted.”
You look at most of who so-called people of success cater to—nine times out of 10 it may not be a Black woman at all. And if it is, it’s definitely not ones that look like our great grandmothers. And I said man, if nobody in the world says that they love them and that they respect them and that they want them, it’ll be me.
And lastly, and the most important thing about this song, one of my friends told me, “David Banner, I know you want to save the world, I know you want to help Black people and the revolution and all of that, but in order for you to do any of those things, you have to mend the relationships with our families—with our women.” He told me until I build the family back together, none of this will work. He said in slavery, our families were ripped apart and we never healed them. We always blame it on Black on Black, but before we were ever so-called “set free,” we never mended our relationships with our family and with our women.
That’s actually a good point. I see a lot of people who are hurt and responding from places of pain, and we’re not really getting to the root of the problem. We’re so busy pointing fingers at the opposite sex. It’s not only about healing the family, but healing ourselves personally.
There’s no way that a man can raise a female child by himself and expect for her to be mentally functional. Just because a woman can raise a man that is successful in the United States doesn’t mean that you properly raised a man. This is my personal opinion. We cannot make a proper child–a proper relationship–without a union of God, woman, and man. And what’s sad about it is, they have degraded the role of a woman so much. We need balance, and that doesn’t mean that the man is more important than woman or the woman more important than man, but we need both roles to properly raise anything.
It is very important for me to say that I’ve done enough degrading of our women myself. So, in no way is this downgrading any other rappers or saying what any other black man should do, this is for me. I have some making up to do. I have forgotten myself. With “Play,” even though I really enjoyed it and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that [song] in its proper place, there is no balance.
For “Marry Me” to even be looked at as the type of song that it is shows the problem—the fact that it’s so special. “Marry Me” shouldn’t be special. There should be a million songs like that. And the fact that it is so special and that women are crying all over the world because of this record, shows that it’s a problem, and shows that there is no balance.
And honestly love, that is the reason why I made “Marry Me.” And it’s so funny, all of these people sit back and criticize men and rap music and all of this different stuff, now you have it, now you have the “Marry Me” song, now you have the strong black man who don’t take no shit singing the type of songs that you were talking about, but let’s see if we’re going to get that story. Let’s see if you’re going talk about that as bad as you talk about black men.
“As bad as you criticize black men, are you now going to hold the ones up who are doing what you say we don’t do?”
Are we going to go as hard for “Marry Me” the song as we do when we criticize black men and women in general? People always talk about what black men are not doing, but when we do it, it’s just like, we even had somebody to say is it even going to even matter? These are the types of things that we’re going to have to analyze.
You’ve talked on a variety of topics in your songs over the years, including love and relationships, but everyone likes to touch back to your song “Play.” Can you speak to the process of your rebranding and what initiated that?
First of all, and people laugh when I tell them this, “Play” was actually a very powerful song, I just didn’t articulate what I meant by it well enough. If you listen to “Play” it was a song where the man was telling the woman I want you to be happy. I want you to get yours, this is about you. What do you want me to do? Do you want me to touch you? This is strictly for you.
When [Mr.] Collipark gave me the concept of it, he was like Banner don’t scream because you’re so aggressive. He told me to say the stuff that women really want to hear. I have a song on my new album that’s called “Cleopatra Jones,” and it talks about a very conscious, smart woman who still loves to get her freak on, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I had so many women that said they love “Play” but they don’t listen to it [out]loud; it’s sort of like a guilty pleasure.
I think part of it is in the Black community anything very sexual gets a lot of backlash from people.
And these are the same folks that’ll be going to the bathroom at their jobs getting it on.
Right, and I think, when I heard “Play,” I wasn’t offended. I was younger so maybe that was part of it, but I’m looking at the lyrics now and you really don’t degrade a woman in terms of calling them out their name or anything; it’s really just more of a sexual song. Maybe if it was in the context of marriage it would’ve came off different, but even then…
That’s not what I wanted to say. That’s not the reality of where we live and what we’re doing right now. We have to research. One of the other things that happened to American society in the late 1800’s, they became enthralled with romance novels and we got into romanticism, and romanticism is not real. You’re not going to meet Fabio. He’s not going to be on top of the mountain and you’re not going to be on the mountain climbing and bump into Fabio. That shit is not realistic. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the reasons why we have so many divorces and have so many problems in relationships, it’s because we’re not real. We try to be romantic, and that’s not real life.
I’m not saying that your man shouldn’t be kind to you, that’s not saying that your woman should not do things for you, but most of the stuff that we want from people, you never got that in real life anyway. And if you did get it, you got from some motherfucker who barely had money, don’t work everyday or he a gigolo or that’s what he do for a living is to run women, most men or women don’t have time for that shit. And it doesn’t exist.
One of your tweets a few months ago was that “if you want a man that respects the way you think then show more mind than ass,” and a lot of people kind of went off about that. I find that, especially in this day and age, it’s just really hard to get certain messages across. Do you think that’s part of what’s prohibiting positive and loving relationships amongst Black men and women?
That situation that you are talking about was one of the most confusing things that has ever happened to me in my life. The thing is, when a woman tells me about how a woman looks at a black man, I listen whether I agree or not. I’m telling you how a man thinks, and you’re going to tell me something? That’s like me commenting on pregnancy. I’m never going to comment, for the most part, on what a woman should do with her private parts or pregnancy, because I don’t know anything about that! So, when I made that comment, I made that comment to heal and to help. If you don’t agree with it then keep it moving.
The thing is, if we don’t have real conversations with each other we’re never going to heal. What’s funny about it is, I actually learned about that from a scientific standpoint. If a man sees flesh and ass, he can’t see anyway because his dick’s hard. And when his dick gets hard, the blood rushes from his feet and from his head. So we can’t walk and we can’t see. Even from a scientific standpoint, when we see ass and titties we can’t see!
It’s definitely good to hear a man speak on that because a lot of times that message gets lost and misconstrued. I can’t personally speak on what a man is thinking, so it’s good to either confirm or understand where that mentality is at.
And that’s one thing that I would like to say to women as it pertains to that comment that there was such a big uproar about. I see this on Twitter all the time, I’ll say something and three seconds after I say it people are commenting on it. You haven’t even taken a minute to digest the thought. Have you ever noticed that when stuff happens to Black people in the community, it usually takes me about a week, for the most part, to speak on it. And people get mad at me, why hasn’t David Banner spoken on this? Well, I haven’t gotten all the facts first. I haven’t meditated on it. Even if I don’t agree with it, I haven’t even tried to assess why this person thinks that way. Even if it’s wrong, sometimes we have to figure out, ok, well there has to be something that, unless they’re trying to socialize you or lie to you, there’s a reason why this person thinks this way. Let me assess that.
What I learned as a man, and I think this is one of the things that helped me with my relationship with women in general, it that a lot of times as men we want to just be right. What I found out is when we love a person, and they are hurting, even if they are wrong, we being right doesn’t matter. My dad and my mom—before my dad died—they started getting along really well. My mom had like a two-year patch in their marriage where it was really bad, then all of a sudden they started getting along. I went to my dad and I was like “what’s going on, are y’all alright?! What’s wrong, there’s peace in this house!” and my dad said, “Look, if the decisions that your mom makes, if it doesn’t hurt our underlying finance or it doesn’t put the family in danger, she’s right.” He said at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. If it doesn’t affect the family, it’s emotion; it doesn’t matter.
Are you married?
No I’m not married. I just want to be the man that most Black women want to marry. I want to be a Black man that stands strong. I’m not perfect, but [I want to be the man] women want to marry and that kids want to be their father. I want to be that man. [When I die] I want people to say that that’s a strong African man, I am proud that he’s a part of my culture.
So is it that you don’t want to be married or it just hasn’t happened for you yet?
Well this is what I believe, people pray so much for an angel, but then we’re demons. I’m glad I didn’t get married before. I couldn’t have been the man that I’m going to be to whomever my wife will be, wherever she is.
Another reason is that I’ve always been so driven. I am now getting to a point where my businesses can sustain themselves on their own. People don’t know this, but I own a multimedia company called A Banner Vision. A friend of mine was talking yesterday about how there’s so many positive things going on with black people but nobody wants to do stories about them. You know, about Chris Brown owning 30 Burger Kings, about what Nipsey Hustle is doing with his business, about me running a multimedia company. I did Gaterade for the World Cup. I did music for Pepsi two years ago for the NFL, except the Superbowl. I’ve scored video games and movies—Marvel vs. Capcom. I run successful businesses, and there is no way that I could’ve been a great father or a great husband with all of these things. I had to be selfish. Something had to be sacrificed. But, as much as I want to have kids, I just didn’t have the time to do that properly.
You talk about silence a lot on your Instagram page. Can you speak to the importance of silence and how it helped you when you were building out the project for the God Box?
Silence has saved my whole entire life. It is in my belief that evil is just a bunch of noise and distractions, and silence is Godly. It’s hard for us to even hear God because our spirit is bombarded with telephones and destructive information. We’ve got a million channels, the Internet, all this information, and if you look at any religion, if people wanted to get, for the most part, close to God, what are the three things they need? First of all they got somewhere silent. Then when they fasted, they got by themselves, they fasted, they prayed, and they shut the hell up. And they got still. And what’s crazy is, one of my friends told me something. He said everybody always talk about Jesus, but you never do the stuff Jesus did. If you fasted for 40 days and 40 nights you would probably have clarity about your life, too. You might be able to walk on water!
What would you say to your 25-year-old self?
Nothing. Because if I said something to the 25-year-old self, I wouldn’t be who I am now. People get pain and mistakes wrong. Pain and mistakes are what help you grow. When you do stuff right the first time, you don’t know how you did it. It is the mistakes that make us better people.
I also think it is very important for us to love ourselves. And that’s one of the reasons why, I can’t say that I don’t get down and the things that people say about me don’t upset me at all, but I love me. And people say that’s arrogant, but it’s not; I like me. I’m cleaning me up on the inside. I love meditating. Most people hate meditating because they don’t love themselves—they’re not comfortable with their own self. So they’re thinking about the wrong shit. Meditation allows me to face my fears, face who I am on the inside. God is just waiting on you. God is waiting on you in you.
Is marriage for white people? That question has been asked in one form or another in a series of news reports about the black marriage “crisis.” On the surface, such stories seem to be concerned about black women in search of love, but these media reports have largely served to fuel stereotypes about African Americans. Moreover, by suggesting that too few black men are available to wed, news stories on black marriage have done little more than predict doom and gloom for African-American women who hope to marry. In reality, black marriage isn’t reserved for the likes of Barack and Michelle Obama. Analysis of census data and other figures has debunked much of the misinformation floating around in the media about the black marriage rate.
Black Women Don’t Marry
The barrage of news reports about the black marriage rate gives the impression that African-American women’s chances of walking down the aisle are bleak. A Yale University study found that just 42 percent of black women are married, and a variety of high profile news networks such as CNN and ABC picked that figure up and ran with it.
But researchers Ivory A. Toldson of Howard University and Bryant Marks of Morehouse College question the accuracy of this finding. “The often-cited figure of 42 percent of black women never marrying includes all black women 18 and older,” Toldson told the Root.com. “Raising this age in an analysis eliminates age groups we don’t really expect to be married and gives a more accurate estimate of true marriage rates.”
Toldson and Marks found that 75 percent of black women marry before they turn age 35 after examining census data from 2005 to 2009. Moreover, black women in small towns have higher marriage rates than white women in urban centers such as New York and Los Angeles, Toldson remarked in the New York Times.
Educated Black Women Have it Harder
Getting a college degree is just about the worst thing a black woman can do if she wants to get married, right? Not exactly. News stories about black marriage often mention that more black women pursue higher education than black men—by a 2-to-1 ratio according to some reports. But what these pieces leave out is that white women also earn college degrees more than white men do, and this gender imbalance hasn’t hurt white women’s chances at matrimony. What’s more, black women who finish college actually improve their chances of marrying rather than lower them. “Among black women, 70 percent of college graduates are married by 40, whereas only about 60 percent of black high school graduates are married by that age,” Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times reported. The same trend is at play for black men. In 2008, 76 percent of black men with a college degree married by age 40. In contrast, only 63 percent of black men with just a high school diploma tied the knot. So education increases the likelihood of marriage for both African-American men and women. Moreover, Toldson points out that black women with college degrees are more likely to marry than white female high school dropouts.
Rich Black Men Marry Out
Black men drop black women as soon as they reach a certain level of success, don’t they? While plenty of rap stars, athletes and musicians may choose to date or marry interracially when they achieve fame, the same is not true for the bulk of successful black men. By analyzing census data Toldson and Marks found that 83 percent of married black men who earned at least $100,000 annually got hitched to black women. The same is the case for educated black men of all incomes. Eighty-five percent of black male college graduates married black women. Generally, 88 percent of married black men (no matter their income or educational background) have black wives. This means that interracial marriage should not be held responsible for the singleness of black women.
Black Men Don’t Earn as Much as Black Women
Just because black women are more likely to graduate from college than their male counterparts doesn’t mean that they out-earn black men. Actually, black men are more likely than black women to bring home at least $75,000 annually. Plus, double the number of black men than women make at least $250,000 annually. Because of pervasive gender gaps in income, black men remain the breadwinners in the African-American community.
These numbers indicate that there are more than enough financially successful black men to go around for black women. Of course, not every black woman is looking for a breadwinner. Not every black woman is even seeking marriage. Some black women are happily single. Others are gay, lesbian or bisexual and unable to legally wed those they love. For heterosexual black women in search of marriage, however, the forecast is not nearly as gloomy as has been portrayed in the media.
Feminism was never meant to include women of color.
Black women are beautiful.
That sentence can be read in two different ways. The first, “Black women are beautiful.” The second, “Black women are beautiful, and by default, women of every other race aren’t.” For those who read it the first way — aren’t they? And for those who read it the second way — don’t you get tired of making something out of the simplest things?
I run into this sort of tactful misinterpretation whenever I have to explain that no, I’m not a feminist, I’m a womanist. It’s hard to explain the construct of womanism, especially considering the term has yet to be fully developed into a definition that encompasses all of its ideals. So for the sake of argument: Womanism is a social theory that focuses on the oppression of women of color and their exclusion from classic or “white” feminism.
This is usually the point where someone defensively says that by being a womanist, I purposely show prejudice in my exclusion of white issues; but feminism does the same to black women. In law, there is De Jure and De Facto. De Jure is what the law is, while De Facto is how the law is actually used and what happens because of it. Feminism, in a De Jure sense, is a need for equality between men and women. However, considering De Facto implications, feminism urges women to surpass men and hold a sense of entitlement over the opposite sex. If they truly cared for equality, why do feminists not protest for the male victims that no one can argue do not exist? Oppression exists everywhere, and yet feminists do not fight for who they claim are their equal counterparts in the same way they do not fight for the black woman.
Womanism does not lie about what it is. Womanism openly acknowledges that its focus is not on the white woman, but women of color, which by result makes it far more inclusive than white feminism. I cannot stress enough how this does not mean that the ideas of womanism harbor resentment or a form of reverse racism against white women; it simply fights for those who need a little more help — in the same way breast cancer runs have no intent to take money for funding other health researches.
Feminism was never meant to include the black woman. From the very beginning, when slave masters raped the black woman, her humanity was never considered. Hazel V. Carby argues in her book “Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist” that because of the social standards of their time, white women were meant to be seen as virtuous and Christian, pure and pristine. The white man wanted a wife who was pale and frail because it would prove his economic standing, suggesting she never had to be out in the sun working. A white woman of this time was meant to care for the home and make sure her family went to church. Once a white woman has sex, her purity is gone, and the only way to regain it was to have a child — to prove her sin as strictly procreational. The white man, as a result, must not go to her for pleasure and instead is “forced” to misplace his repressed sexuality on his black female slaves; his lack of consideration for their purity suggests not only that they are not held to the same standard as the white woman, but that he does not consider them women at all; they are simply an outlet.
Though slavery may have ended, black women are still severely fetishized. According to raiin.org (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), women of color are 87.7 percent more likely to be victims of rape, underage sexual assault, and campus sexual violence. Compared to white women, black women are 45.2 percent more likely to never be married, according to Black Demographics. We are less likely to graduate, receive proper education, or get a job. We are 44 percent more likely to die from cancer than white women and more likely to go missing or be abused in police custody.
I am a womanist, not a feminist, because I don’t mask my passion in the rhetoric of hypocrisy.
Shock Alliance: Farrakhan Praises Integration of Scientology Into Nation of Islam Theology, Says Whites Should Use it to Become ‘Civilized’ & to Avoid Being ‘Devil Christians’ & ‘Satan Jews’
- The Minister Louis Farrakhan has integrated Scientology into National of Islam theology
- Farrakhan continues to praise L. Ron Hubbard, the allegedly racist, white founder of the Church of Scientology
- The radical faith leader is training hundreds of NOI adherents in controversial “auditing” and Dianetics techniques used in Scientology to help blacks overcome trauma in their past
- He believes adopting Scientology will help whites avoid being ”devil Christians” and “Satan Jews.”
Last week, we told you about the Minister Louis Farrakhan’s bizarre commentary about the “fall of the United States.” In that same sermon, which spanned well over two hours in length, the fiery faith leader also issued praise for the Church of Scientology — yet another endorsement and public proclamation surrounding a relationship that the Nation of Islam (NOI) has apparently been courting for years.
Considering the increased media coverage of Scientology amid Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ divorce, Farrakhan’s comments are particularly timely. Additionally, they create a plethora of questions, especially considering the allegedly racist past of Scientology’s founder Lafayette Ron Hubbard, NOI’s ethnocentric theology and the controversial elements inherent in both belief systems.
Last week, CNN recently broke down the central tenets of Scientology and explained its appeal to celebrities:
A brief look at the equally controversial ideals that NOI embraces is warranted as well. Founded in Detroit, Michigan, in the 1930s by Wali Farad (Wallace Fard Muhammad), the relatively new religion embraces the Koran and preaches that whites are “devils” who were created by a black scientist named Yacub who lived 6,000 years ago (presumably the biblical “Jacob”). Farad eventually disappeared — a mystery that has yet to be solved to this day.
Beliefnet has more about what happened next in terms of NOI’s complex growth and development:
Fard passed the torch to Elijah Muhammad, who formulated NOI’s most controversial tenets, including that he [Elijah Muhammad] was Allah’s prophet and that Caucasians were racially inferior. After the death of Elijah Muhammad, his son Warith Deen Muhammad steered the movement away from its previous beliefs to mainstream Islam. Another branch, under Louis Farrakhan, split off and retained the Nation of Islam’s more controversial creed.
It is this splinter group, led by Farrakhan, that is forging a connection with Scientology. An in-depth look at the history of the relationship, especially considering the controversial ideals accepted by adherents, is certainly warranted. According to media accounts, it was only a few years ago that Farrakhan first began promoting Scientology, the religion founded by Hubbard, a science fiction writer who died in 1986 (some sources, though, claim that the relationship’s roots were set in the late 1990s).
Regardless of when the connection took form, the public connection between the two parties didn’t solidify, the Tampa Bay Times notes, until after Scientologists honored Farrakhan at the 2006 Ebony Awakening Awards. The annual ceremony provides accolades to African Americans and is run by Ebony Awakening, a group that was founded in 1982 by jazz performer Amanda Ambrose (Ebony Awakening also has ties to the Church of Scientology’s founder and admits as much in its materials).
Based on 2006 media coverage of the growing relationship between NOI and Scientology, it’s evident that the latter group has been looking for an inroads to the black community for quite some time. With African American membership in the Church of Scientology purportedly low, the partnership with NOI could prove useful to both parties.
Based on the Times initial reporting, the affiliation between the two faith systems initially focused on Scientology’s controversial drug rehabilitation program, which was first brought to NOI mosques in Los Angeles around that same time (the drug program is known as Narconon).
NOI Minister Tony Muhammad had much to say in 2006 about the growing Scientologist influence in the NOI. He claimed that the connection comes from Farrakhan’s deep interest in any programs or ideas that will advance African Americans and that Scientology is simply one mechanism that will truly enhance the NOI community.
“I found some validity in some of the L. Ron Hubbard work. They have one of the best drug rehabilitation programs in the country,” Muhammad explained. ”We like the drug treatment program and we at least want to collaborate on that.”
According to the Times, these drug treatment programs — which have gained widespread criticism — are known for their harsh methodologies. The program, based on Hubbard’s detoxification methodology, claims to remove harmful toxins through intense exercise, hours in a sauna and the ingestion of minerals, oils and vitamins. On its web site, the church describes the program as follows: “The Narconon program not only addresses the mental and physical debilitation precipitated by drug abuse, but also the reasons why an individual turns to drugs in the first place.”
An Australian television special also delves into the treatment, in detail, while highlighting the criticisms that have been waged against it:
In 2006, Alfreddie Johnson, a preacher out of California, also touted Scientology’s teachings, while explaining the attraction that NOI and some members of the black community have to the controversial doctrines. Johnson, who founded World Literacy Crusade, a tutoring program that relies upon Hubbard’s teachings, sees no conflict between other faiths using Scientology materials. He also maintains that African Americans are very open to new ideas — more open than white churches and conservatives (a factor that may add to the reasoning behind Farrakhan’s usage of the tools).
“In my opinion, most white churches are run by conservatives who have not been locked out of society,” Johnson told the Times. “When you go in and try to share new ideas with people who are conservative in their thinking, they are not as open as African-Americans, who historically have been locked out of the mainstream of society.”
Flash forward a few years and this openness can be seen in full bloom. In 2010, the Times dug into the elements and teachings that Farrakhan was already infusing into NOI trainings. It was during that same year that the faith leader chose to hold NOI’s annual convention in Tampa, Florida, an interesting choice considering that Scientology’s home base is in nearby Clearwater.
During the convention, the Times reported that NOI members were invited to attend a “study tech” workshop (student study mechanisms) and they were also encouraged to purchase books from World Literacy Crusade, Johnson’s program that relies upon Hubbard’s teachings. Farrakhan’s followers were, thus, trained to use Hubbard’s study techniques and drug treatment ideals.
This, of course, is only one example of the connections between the two faith groups. At various times, Farrakhan and his associates have reportedly visited Scientology establishments and the fiery preacher has touted the benefits of Hubbard’s techniques during numerous sermons. The relationship is so tight-knit that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a leftist group that explores the “radical right,” extensively documented it in a blog post back in June 2011.
While it initially seemed as though drug treatment would be the only connective tissue between NOI and Scientology, Farrakhan has spoken openly about the use of “Dianetics.” This is a pseudoscience that Hubbard described as a “spiritual-healing technology” that aims to help people overcome their subconscious and, thus, ease personal issues pertaining to physical, mental and moral health.
SPLC writer Leah Nelson explained that Farrakhan’s support for Scientology is rooted in his rhetoric that it will help NOI adherents get closer to perfection in preparation for the end times. Nelson also noted that, in a May 31, 2011 article, The Final Call, NOI’s official newspaper, reported that around 700 of the church’s members had already become Certified Hubbard Dianetics Auditors (other NOI reports claim that 1,000 were trained as of 2011). Auditors, as she explained, are supposedly able to help people achieve higher levels of consciousness.
David Sessions of The Daily Beast explained auditing in an extensive guide to Scientology that the outlet published last week. The practice of delving into one’s consciousness is a central component of Scientology. Auditing, he writes, is a phenomenon “reassembling a blend of confession, psychotherapy, and hypnosis.” Auditors are trained to ask questions that apparently get into the nitty gritty of subjects’ subconscience memories (the so-called root of trauma, addiction and other barriers). He continues:
An auditor asks the person being audited sets of questions directed at uncovering subconscious memories believed to be the root of trauma, addiction, or other obstructions to happy, ethical living. Auditing is an integral part of advancement in the ranks of Scientology. The contents of auditing sessions are said to be confidential, except in cases where the church has reportedly allowed them to be used to blackmail disaffected members (see Fair Game, below). (The church denies virtually all accusations made by ex-members and journalists who have questioned Scientology regarding the incidents the defectors describe.)
Here’s a video that showcases how the process unfolds:
In a recent Daily Mail article, writer Kerry Hiatt describes a bizarre experience she had on July 4 while visiting the Clearwater Scientology headquarters with a relative who was once an employee of the church. Hiatt describes a process through which she was “tested and assessed” by a Scientologist. She writes:
At the centre, after a short DVD introduction to Scientology, I was hooked up to the infamous ‘e-meter’, an electronic device used during ‘auditing’. The e-meter is supposed to indicate whether a person has been cleared of the spiritual impediment of past experiences.
To illustrate how I was holding on to bad experiences, I was pinched and told to recall the pinch over and over again. Instead, to see what would happen, I silently recalled scenes from The Sound Of Music. Unsurprisingly, the e-meter did what was expected and I was told I was carrying painful memories that were holding me back in life. […]
I spent the next hour under observation by Sea Org members – elite Scientologists – while I answered hundreds of questions such as ‘Do you smile much?’ and ‘Does life seem vague and unreal to you?’ […]
The test results were analysed by computer – yet more data to be stored away, no doubt – and I was told that I’d tested as extremely nervous and irresponsible. ‘Are you nervous?’ the woman asked. ‘Do you take too much on in life and feel as though you can’t cope?’
I’m usually a private person but I opened up by talking about my occasional feelings of inadequacy and my need to strive for perfection.
Why was I telling her things, I wondered? I remembered reading that many Sea Org members use hypnosis techniques when communicating. I didn’t believe I’d been hypnotised but I’d certainly said much more than I’d intended.
While at the center, Hiatt was also told that she would need to purify her body by sitting in a sauna for hours each day and by also taking specialized vitamins (the latter fact seems to corroborate the Times’ coverage of how drug treatment plans are implemented). This purification process was said to cost thousands of dollars and the woman who was asking questions of Hiatt told her that it was possible to begin treatments that very day. Hiatt ended up fleeing the facility.
Farrakhan, of course, is apparently looking to use similar tools to reach scores of adherents through hundreds of his Scientology-trained members. As he has publicly stated, he hopes to help alleviate the emotional pain he believes African Americans hold within. Considering Farrakhan’s anti-white and anti-Semitic rhetoric that is deeply rooted in his interpretation of past events, Dianetics serves as a useful fit for his theological inclinations.
However, there are some glaring differences between the two religious constructs that beg to be noted. While Nelson highlights some of the similarities between NOI and Scientology, the incongruent tenets seem too profound for the groups to hold a viable partnership. Yet, Nelson explains that this is exactly what seems to be happening:
Although both the Nation of Islam and Scientology embrace extraterrestrial theories as well as self-improvement programs aimed at lifting members to higher and higher levels, they nevertheless make for extremely surprising partners. NOI is a racist hate group that holds that white people are intrinsically, biologically evil — “blue-eyed devils,” in the group’s parlance. Scientology’s followers, who include several well-known celebrities and other wealthy people, are overwhelmingly white (although membership is open to all) and its founder reportedly was a racist who long defended South African apartheid.
It’s difficult to delve into the exact details or to discern exactly what this partnership looks like, but there is at least one NOI member who has spoken about his personal experience utilizing Scientology’s teachings. “Brother Jesse Muhammad,” a member of NOI Muhammad Mosque No. 45 in Houston, Texas, and a writer for The Final Call, described his experience with Scientology in detail.
He explained, in a blog post for the Houston Chronicle last year, that he became convinced that Dianetics was worth pursuing after Farrakhan told adherents in 2010 that it would help African Americans to get past all of the horrific crimes that have been committed against them.
“It leaked out and some became rattled, confused and even upset by the fact that Minister Farrakhan would bring to his body of followers a teaching from a White man,” wrote Muhammad. “I have been a student under the leadership of Minister Farrakhan for sixteen years now, and he has yet to lead me astray.”
Rather than joining in the angst, Mohammad, one of Farrakhan’s devoted NOI adherents, decided to pick up Hubbard’s “Dianetics” book and to check into all that Farrakhan was touting. He continues, describing what happened next:
That summer, Minister Farrakhan started sending groups of student officials to the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles. A few of them were from Houston and I was personally hearing their testimonies about what they were learning ,seeing, feeling and experiencing as a result of the rigorous study regime and Dianetics auditing process.
In August he called for another conference in Rosemont, Illinois centered on the NOI’s new relationship with the Church of Scientology. This time I was blessed to be among the over 800 invited to experience it for ourselves. Before going we were required to read the book “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” by L. Ron Hubbard.
I was intrigued and impressed by what I read in that book plus, I read other pamphlets regarding the teaching methodologies they use in the field of education.
So, Mohammad went to the conference, watched videos about Dianetics and auditing and learned everything that goes into the process. He was so moved that he decided to further embed himself in the teachings. He describes “co-auditing” with a “twin or partner” at the conference and claims that he is a witness that auditing works.
In his post, Mohammad goes on to claim that the experience helped him cope with horrible memories from his childhood that have previously held him down; he also reports shedding tears in the process. As a result of the experience, he decided to become a registered auditor – a process the NOI member describes as a three-week string of reading, sketching drawings, listening to audio messages from Hubbard, writing essays and “passing auditing drills.” He claims that he was “mentally fatigued” at times but that he was overjoyed at his ability to finish the process. His is only one story out of a great many.
While he hasn’t given many specific details, Farrakhan has been more than open about the overarching relationship. In an April 2011 article, The Final Call proudly touted its connections to the Church of Scientology, claiming that Farrakhan has “introduced Black America and the world to modern equipment.” This “equipment,” of course, is the use of Dianetics and auditing — tools that NOI claims will “help in the salvation and liberation of Black people in America and others who are poor, downtrodden and oppressed.”
Farrakhan believes that the use of these elements will bring NOI members closer to their savior Wallace Fard Muhammad. Additionally, he believes that Dianetics can help Christians get closer to their savior — Jesus Christ.
“We are Muslims but if Scientology will help us be better, then I want the technology of this to help us to be better Muslims. Christians can accept it and be better Christians. I don’t care who gets it. Just get it and be better at who you say you are,” Farrakhan proclaimed.
“I hate spiritual cowards who don’t want to look at things and who feel that because I have something great I can’t improve what I have by finding something that will make me a better representative of what I represent,” he added.
In a 2011 speech, Farrakhan said something similar, but took his rhetoric even further saying that Hubbard “civilizes” white people and that whites should flock to them. Doing so, he said, would prevent them from being “devil Christians” and “Satan Jews.” Watch this particular speech, below:
But what about Hubbard’s allegedly racist past? Wouldn’t it be too much for Farrakhan to bear? Nelson continues, providing more background on the odd nature of Farrakhan’s support for the father of Scientology (and here’s a list of allegedly racist comments that Hubbard once purportedly uttered):
Astoundingly, L. Ron Hubbard, the late Scientology founder for whom Farrakhan has nothing by praise, reportedly was a notorious racist who supported South African apartheid and described black Africans as barbarous, savage and primitive, and once allegedly wrote his wife, “You shouldn’t be scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees. Get yourself a nigger; that’s what they’re born for.”
Somehow, Farrakhan is tuning this out – along with the fact that Hubbard himself was white, which should be an insurmountable problem in itself. Central to NOI theology is the idea that whites are devils, created 6,000 years ago by an evil scientist for the sole purpose of oppressing blacks. They are seen by NOI members as so inherently evil that they cannot be redeemed unless they commit “mental suicide” and “erase the mentality of white supremacy,” according to scholar Mattias Gardell, author of the 1996 book, In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
While many believe Farrakhan truly embraces Scientology as a means to help his people, there is also the factor of control — something that he may be able to exercise more fervently by integrating Hubbard’s theories. Nelson also mentions a theory that is advanced by Chip Berlet, a senior analyst at Political Research Associates. According to Berlet, Farrakhan may see Scientology as a quicker avenue to help prepare his people for a journey to the “Mother Wheel,” a massive spaceship (artificial planet) that he believes those who will be “saved” will live on.
The final thing is the destruction. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us of a giant Mother Plane that is made like the universe, spheres within spheres. White people call them unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Ezekiel, in the Old Testament, saw a wheel that looked like a cloud by day, but a pillar of fire by night. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad said that that wheel was built on the island of Nippon, which is now called Japan, by some of the original scientists. It took 15 billion dollars in gold at that time to build it. It is made of the toughest steel. America does not yet know the composition of the steel used to make an instrument like it. It is a circular plane, and the Bible says that it never makes turns. Because of its circular nature it can stop and travel in all directions at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. He said there are 1,500 small wheels in this Mother Wheel, which is a half mile by-a-half-mile. This Mother Wheel is like a small human built planet. Each one of these small planes carry three bombs.
Oddly, this is somewhat similar to the themes described by Hubbard and embraced by Scientology — creating a noteworthy ideology relationship characterized by similar ideals. The Los Angeles Times described Scientology’s take on earth’s formation in detail back in a 1990 article:
Seventy-five million years ago a tyrant named Xenu (pronounced Zee-new) ruled the Galactic Confederation, an alliance of 76 planets, including Earth, then called Teegeeack.
To control overpopulation and solidify his power, Xenu instructed his loyal officers to capture beings of all shapes and sizes from the various planets, freeze them in a compound of alcohol and glycol and fly them by the billions to Earth in planes resembling DC-8s. Some of the beings were captured after they were duped into showing up for a phony tax investigation.
The beings were deposited or chained near 10 volcanoes scattered around the planet. After hydrogen bombs were dropped on them, their thetans were captured by Xenu’s forces and implanted with sexual perversion, religion and other notions to obscure their memory of what Xenu had done.
Soon after, a revolt erupted. Xenu was imprisoned in a wire cage within a mountain, where he remains today. […]
During the last 75 million years, these implanted thetans have affixed themselves by the thousands to people on Earth. Called “body thetans,” they overwhelm the main thetan who resides within a person, causing confusion and internal conflict.
In the Operating Thetan III course, Scientologists are taught to scan their bodies for “pressure points,” indicating the presence of these bad thetans. Using techniques prescribed by Hubbard, church members make telepathic contact with these thetans and remind them of Xenu’s treachery. With that, Hubbard said, the thetans detach themselves.
Farrakhan may be desperate to prepare his people for the aforementioned Mother Ship journey before he dies. Considering that he’s already 79, time may be of the essence. Perhaps he truly believes that clarity will help his people advance to the level needed for this journey to outer space to unfold as planned. Either way, it’s clear that the faith leader sees Scientology as a key element to helping African Americans and the downtrodden mentally advance.
Last Sunday, July 1, Farrakhan doubled-down on his support for Scientology’s teaching, dismissing critics and denying that he has convoluted NOI theology through his Dianetics endorsement. He also addressed claims that Hubbard, a Caucasian, was racist, while also dismissing any critics who would see it as a conflict of interest that he would be using a white man’s teachings.
“You know the critics are saying ‘Aww, Farrakhan talking all this black talk and went over to that white man L. Ron Hubbard’…if it weren’t so silly. I am you,” he told his audience. “I haven’t changed my religion. You know all the prophets taught us to seek truth from the cradle to the grave. They said wherever knowledge is you should seek to be a possessor of it.”
Here, he was clearly attempting to convince his audience that they are on a never-ending path to discovering truth. Scientology, it seems, is merely a part of the process, in his view, and a piece of the knowledge that they are meant to pick up.
Here’s a transcript of a portion of his comments, in which he defends the integration of Hubbard’s teaching into NOI theology. Notice, he talks about the “demons” that auditing can help bring out (one wonders if these are the “thetans” that Scientologists embrace):
“Islam is magnificent. It’s beautiful. We search the scriptures…and we come up with wonderful teachings from the honorable Elijah Muhammad and God himself has guided us — but I found something in the teaching of Dianetics of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard that I saw could bring up from the depth of our subconscious mind things that we would prefer to lie dormant. But the auditing process brings it up and it’s like bringing up demons out of us and just as this book Bible says that was the work of Jesus. How can you say you love Jesus the Christ when he was an exorcizar of demons out of the people? And when the demons were coming out, they were screaming. They didn’t just come out peacefully.”
How could I see something that valuable and know the hurt and sickness of my people and not offer it to them. So the criticism ’Mr. Hubbard was a racist.’ I don’t know that…and I wouldn’t care. You don’t have a good understanding of racism — you don’t. So, I found a tool that I know can help us and I thank God for Mr. L. Ron Hubbard and I thank God for his research and teaching.
He’s gone on now. So if he was a racist, that went in the ground. But I didn’t find racism in his book. If he was a hater, that went in the ground, but I didn’t find hate in his books. If he wanted nothing to do with black people, well maybe that’s in the ground. But his word was that this teaching that he had would find prominence once it was exposed to black people and black people lay hold to it. I’m not in disagreement with that. So you can continue to criticize me…all evil said and done to Farrakhan does not bother me”
Watch this portion of the sermon, below:
Farrakhan has made his alliance with Scientology clear. Rather than denouncing Hubbard, he’s embracing a portion of the religion that he believes will help his followers on their path to the so-called “Mother Wheel.” And there’s no telling where the alliance will go next.
Good Black Men are indeed all around us. We pass them on the streets, in the malls, and the halls at work. Most we can’t see because we don’t know what a good man really looks like. He usually isn’t flashy enough or rich enough to turn our heads. He might not wear a suit or push a Lexus. He might not have a body like Tyson with a Denzel face. But, as you mature, you realize it’s better to find someone who’s got your back rather than someone who turns your head.
A good man doesn’t agree wholeheartedly with everything you say. He doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear and do the opposite. He doesn’t declare how sensitive, sweet, caring, sincere, etc. he is (he won’t have to because it shows). He has his own opinions and yours may clash, but he doesn’t have to degrade you to prove he’s right. He even admits at times to being wrong, especially if you are willing to do the same.
A good man is not going to meet every item on your checklist. He is human with frailties and faults mixed in with all of his wonderful, strong attributes. He needs your love and respect. He needs to feel that you don’t live to catch him doing something wrong so you can declare, “Aha! I knew you were a dog!”
A good man isn’t insecure about his woman having great achievements. In fact, he is her number one supporter and becomes disappointed with her when she begins to lose herself, especially for the sake of not hurting his feelings, or only wanting to make him happy. His happiness comes with seeing her excel in her dreams and accomplishing her goals. For as she excels and is exalted, a good woman will bring her good man right along with her.
A good man doesn’t necessarily give you a huge birthday or Valentine’s gift. He shows his love in the ways that are comfortable to him. Don’t judge him by TV standards. No one is really living a fairy tale. You’ll miss out on your own fairy tale by buying into the myth that our men are no good. It’s just not true.
A good black man is a man of his word. He says what he means and means what he says. His word is his bond. He never leaves you wondering if he is going to call or show up – he is dependable. A good black man has a love and a heart for God. As his relationship and love with and for God grows so will his relationship and love with and for you grow… Our beautiful black men we salute you, appreciate you and thank you for who you are and all you’ve done.
Pass this along to some of the Good Black Men you know and a few women that need to read it … So that they can recognize a good black man.
Recently in China, a missing 6-year-old boy was found alone in a field, crying. Upon closer inspection, both eyes had been removed, presumably for the corneas.
In 2012, a young African girl was kidnapped and brought to the UK for the sole purpose of harvesting her organs. She was one of the lucky ones—rescued before she went under the knife. Authorities feel this is just the tip of the iceberg.
This isn’t just an international occurrence. Kendrick Johnson , a Georgia teen, died at school January 2013. The local sheriff quickly determined the death was a freak accident, that he suffocated after getting stuck in a rolled up mat in the school gym. Johnson’s parents however, could not—would not—accept that. Six months after his death, they obtained a court order to have the body exhumed for an independent autopsy.
The pathologist was stunned when he found the corpse stuffed with newspaper. The brain, heart, lungs and liver were missing. He also discovered Johnson’s death was due to blunt force trauma to the right side of his neck. The FBI is now involved in this disturbing case with potentially shattering reverberations.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes has spent over ten years studying the dark side of organ harvesting and trafficking which is driven by greedy middle men and desperate, wealthy recipients. Black market organs are being transplanted in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles at $150,000 a pop. She reports there are “broker-friendly” US hospitals, complete with surgeons who either don’t know or don’t care where the organs come from.
Organ donation is only possible if the organ in question has blood and oxygen flowing through it until the time of harvesting. A living donor can give a whole kidney, a portion of their liver, lung, intestine or pancreas. Otherwise, the donor must be declared brain dead while circulation and oxygenation remain intact.
Today, 120,771 people are waiting for an organ, and 18 will die every day while waiting. Just one donor has the ability to save up to 8 lives. Where there’s a demand, there’s a way. And for the wealthy money is no object when it comes to a vitally needed body part.
Organ donation is strictly regulated in the US, yet a black market is alive and well. Typically a broker will team up with a funeral home director, forging consent forms and a death certificate to harvest human tissue before the body is cremated or buried. Sometimes organs are harvested from a living victim for compensation. In the worst case it involves kidnapping for the purpose of organ harvesting. Always at the end of the chain is a wealthy recipient, willing to pay big bucks with no questions asked.
In some countries, impoverished villagers may sell an organ for several hundred dollars. In others, organ harvesting is tied to human trafficking. Children sold into slavery or a life of sexual abuse are also used for their organs.
There’s a black market for hearts, lungs, and livers, but the kidney is the most sought after. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 7,000 kidneys are illegally harvested annually by traffickers worldwide and the prices vary widely by country.
The average buyer spends $150,000 (though prices in excess of $200,000 are common) while the average donor gets $5,000 . The big profits go the the middle men and “organ brokers”. In the US 98,463 individuals are waiting for a kidney as of October 25, 2013. Of those, about half will die before they receive one.
The profits are huge, and money is a temptation many brokers and doctors just cannot resist. In 2010 WHO estimated about 11,000 organs were obtained on the black market . WHO also claims that an organ is sold every hour of every day, 365/7.
What is your kidney worth to you? A broker located in China openly advertised “Donate a kidney, buy a new iPad!” In addition, the donor would be compensated $4,000 and it could be harvested quickly and easily in as little as 10 days.
There’s an enormous demand for organs, and whenever there’s gap between supply and demand desperate buyers and desperate sellers will dictate a black market. Now organized crime is involved, sometimes leaving the poor victim without their organ and quite possibly without being paid.
Even here in the U.S., there have been accusations (no proof) of allowing patients on life support to die in order to remove the organs while the heart is still beating. This is a multi-million dollar industry, and as the wealth gap continues to widen , it’s only expected to get worse.
Scientists used genome sequencing and analysed DNA of 5000-year-old remains found in what is now Ireland.
The Irish are descended from early Middle East farmers and from bronze metalworkers on the steppes around the Black Sea, scientists have found.
Genome sequencing and DNA analysis of the remains of people living 5,000 years ago in what is now Ireland uncovered the origins of its population.
The effects of migration on discoveries in archaeology divides experts. Some argue the great switch in the British Isles from hunter-gatherers to farming and from the stone to metal ages was due to local adoption of new ways.
Others claim the influences were derived from the arrival of migrants. By sequencing the first genomes from Irish people of different eras, scientists found unequivocal evidence of mass migration into Ireland.
These genetic influxes brought cultural change such as moving to settled farmsteads, bronze metalworking – and may have even been the origin of western Celtic language.
Geneticists from Trinity College, Dublin and archaeologists from Queen’s University Belfast studied the genome of a woman farmer who lived 5,200 years ago near what is now Belfast. They also carried out DNA analysis of three men on Rathlin Island from 4,000 years ago in the Bronze Age after metalworking began.
Ireland has intriguing genetics with several important diseases including excessive iron retention, or haemochromatosis.
The origin of this heritage had been unknown.
The early farmer’s ancestry originated ultimately in the Middle East, where agriculture started. She had black hair and brown eyes – like current south Europeans – and her head was reconstructed, left.
The Bronze Age male genomes are different again with one-third of their ancestry from the Pontic Steppe. They had the most common Irish Y chromosome type, the blue eye gene variant.
Dan Bradley, Trinity professor of population genetics, said: “There was a great wave of genome change that swept into Europe from above the Black Sea into Bronze Age Europe. It washed all the way to the shores of its most westerly island.”
The study was published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Racial Paradigm Shift
Europe’s Obsession to historically transforming all things African into all things European in order to promote the system of White Supremacy-White genetic survival.
‘To gain the ear of those who are thus deceived it is necessary for them to believe that the speaker has a superior knowledge of the subject.’
~Richard Fox Young~
Who are we listening to? Who are we learning from? What are we learning?
When we examine the Bible. Koran, Torah and World History we must scrutinize the information and seek the accurate and truthful historical, anthropological, genealogical and cultural truths. Without accurate information we will be swayed by erroneous conclusions intentionally launched at us for the sole purpose of our complete deception.
- The use of deceit.
- The fact or state of being deceived.
- A ruse; a trick.
What does the Bible say about deceit?
‘These are six thing the Lord hates; yea even seven are an abomination to Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaks (breaths out) lies, and he that sows discord among the brethren.’ Proverbs 6:16-19.
A lying tongue and a false witness that breaths out lies. Those are an abomination to the Lord. But why?
- Because you can not trust a lie or false witness. They are worst than a crooked foundation.
- When you teach and the teacher is lying then you learn a lie.
- When you love and your lover is lying then you love a lie.
- When you speak and speak lies then he people depend upon the lie and can not recognize the truth even if it sits next to them.
- All lies eventually led to death of mind, body and spirit.
Deception derailed the truth.
Deception has succeeded in usurping the truth for the last 3500 years. Ironically, if the new interpretation of the scripture below is used, then this present age is truly the ‘Age of the Gentiles’. We will discuss the veracity and fallacy of three sons representing three races in the upcoming essay Shem, Ham and Japheth.
One Blood, One God, One People, One Race.
“The sons of Japheth…Gomer and Magog and the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz…By these were the Isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; everyone after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” Genesis 10:2-5.
“The word Gentile has come to mean in the most common or modern usage a non-Jew. The word is derived from the Latin term gens (meaning “clan” or a “group of families” as in genus, and it is often employed in the plural. In late Latin gentilis meant “pagan” and the term gentile has sometimes been used in the past as a synonym for “heathen” or “pagan”; this usage is archaic.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentiles
The term Gentle has come to mean: Those outside the Hebraic covenant with God. Those unfortunate Ones who did not adhere to the prescribed Hebrew faith. This has not always been the case, this is the story formed in Occidental religion.
The term Gentile has come to mean: Those who are of the Caucasian race–specifically the Biblical Japhetic tribe, from the son of Noah. Japheth has come to mean: The progenitor of the European people. But is that true? NO! But this recent racial expression will be discussed in length in another essay.
The term Jew is also a recent expression, and has come to signify all inside the Biblical covenant of the Hebrew God. The term has also come to represent the 12 tribes of Israel instead of just the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi, who at the time of Jesus, were called Yehudites, then later Jews. According to the Bible after the splitting of the nations under the rulership of Rehaboam and Jereboham, the tribes divided into ten [who were dispersed to the nations] and three [who remained in and around the land of what was then Africa] with the Priestly tribe [Levi] going with Judah and Benjamin. The term Jew or Jewish was now been applied to all those who were of the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This term has been used divisively by the European along with the terms Semite and anti-Semite.
Now, let’s just do a common study with common logic. If we use the suffix “ish” as in black-ish, neb-ish, hungry-ish, quiet-ish, imp-ish, fifty-ish, what it means is kind of, or somewhat, approximately, almost, nearly or roughly. So if you are Jew-ish, then what are you? Are you completely what you say you are or what has been imputed to you?
So, they may be almost or nearly Jews?
There was a lot of conversions going on in the Hebrew religion over the centuries, the biggest when the religion was sent to Europe 1100 years ago. Massive amounts of Europeans from Western and Eastern Europe to what is now Russia, converted. But who taught them? Who helped them in their conversion? And, who were the original people of the Book? How did the ISH become the original? What does it mean to be JEW-ish?
Do we have Black-ish, Japanese-ish, European-ish, Catholic-ish, Protestant-ish, Buddha-ish or Islam-ish? No, we don’t. This, as I always say, is not to castigate anyone, but we need to look deeply at what language means and what it is trying to convey. Language and definitions of that language can put us in History or remove us from it.
It was not until the European gained complete control of written African history, culture, and the original Egyptian scriptures, that the plan of changing Black to White was put into play. After perfecting the printing press they began a systematic plan to excise the positive and historic image of Africa and the African from the world knowledge and history.
Side bar: We were taught that Guttenberg was the first man to print a book, but this is erroneous, again the ‘system’ at work. He only printed movable type in 1500AD. Although if you would look in any encyclopedia you could read he invented movable type and could print ‘cheap’ books at a volume. But, in the ‘system’ we are fed sound bytes of history and we form conclusions based on this image and sound bytes. So, in the minds of ordinary people there was no Bible or printed word before Germany and Guttenberg. Why? We don’t read and the power that are depend on our ignorance or confusion.
The earliest dated printed book known is the “Diamond Sutra”, printed in China in 868 CE. However, it is suspected that book printing may have occurred long before this date. http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions/a/printing.htm
First Western Book
Now back to the point: This ‘new’ plan of taking African truths and remaking [coalesing]them into Western Culture and Civilization is a plan aided by the printing press. By its mass publishing of certain books, and the ideas that held African inventions were now attributed to Europe. Implementation and absorption was the new paradigm and has wreaked havoc, causing destruction in everyone’s history including that of the European, by giving them a false résumé.
The Wars in European, one setting the stage for the next and the second implementing the wholesale slaying of Jews, Serbians, Polish, Gypsies, Russians, homosexuals, mentally disabled and others, was based in a white supremacist attitude and was funded part and parcel by the system of white supremacy and its offshoots [Fascism, Nazism, Communism and all the other isms].
This also included the allies of the Germans during WWII which were Japan and Italy. Now, white supremacy includes the annihilation of some white folks that the system, and it architects and its purveyors’, don’t view as purely white. Some Eastern Europeans including the Jews, fall into that category.
Japan saw the Chinese, Filipino, Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese and others as inferior. The Italian looked at those from North Africa as inferior, but all of it was based in a system that later became dominated by Hitler.
This System is infectious and will pit other nations [3rd world] against one another by exalting one nations almost whiteness over another’s, but don’t be fooled the ULTIMATE goal is for the European to be on top as the leader. It is just divide and conquer. “Almost Whiteness” manifest itself as color, status, religion, class or whatever can cause a wedge. The biggest one is the suggestion of color. The Jews during WWI were looked on as close to black, so were the Filipinos, and Southeast Asians. Those in the southernmost parts of Europe [Spain, Portugal, parts of southern Italy] were viewed as too close to northern Africa to be all white. That system is used to keep those who was not blue-eyed with blond hair off balanced and in constant flux.
When the Architects of this system has applied this convoluted falsification to archeology and other historic disciplines, they are purposely misinterpreted and misrepresented and shaved down to fit the falsification. This deception attained its zenith in the early 1900’s when Imperialism and Colonialism was the vehicle for European genetic survival. This manifestation on Africa and it progeny [India, Asia, and the Americas] made those nations more ‘British, French, Portuguese, Spanish and American’ in there lands than the nations that colonized them. It is said an African is more British than the British and so it the Indian.
“Perhaps one of the most popular national heroes of the late 19th century in Victorian Britain, Livingstone had a mythic status, which operated on a number of interconnected levels: that of Protestant missionary martyr, that of working-class “rags to riches” inspirational story, that of scientific investigator and explorer, that of imperial reformer, anti-slavery crusader, and advocate of commercial empire.” Wiki
How can you be an anti-slavery crusader and advocate of commercial empire? The word Empire means enslavement. We still suffer from that fact today… Tea-time anyone?
~Burn Baby Burn~
With the sacking of the great libraries in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia and the Americas, and the rise of Nuevo-philosophical Hellenistic thought, the dominance of western philosophies has decimated the original African truth, replacing it with European myths. In addition, Rome added to this Greek admixture, then Germany and England with eventually America bring up the rears causing a mélange of lies to be swallowed by the world.
This tactic was also used in ancient history by the modern Ashkenaz [eastern European] Jews quoted by Sigmund Freud from another author :
“Jewish tradition, however, behaved later on as if it were oppressed by the sequence of ideas we have just developed [to deny its African nativity] To admit that circumcision was an Egyptian custom introduced [to the Hebrew] by Moses would be almost [hard-pressed] to recognize that the religion handed down to them from Moses was also Egyptian. But, Jews had good reason to deny this fact; therefore the truth about circumcision also had to be contradicted.”
“What ever gave by the way, the Jewish poet Heine in the 19th century the idea of complaining about his religion as ‘the language trailing along from the valley of the Nile, the sickly beliefs of ancient Egyptians?” Moses and Monotheism-Sigmund Freud.
Wow, somebody is maa-d!
What Sigmund Freud was trying to express by excerpting this statement from some the medieval Jewish writers was, they had to find a way to distance the Egyptian religion they ‘adopted’ from the Universal mother and the original Hebrew or Jewish, therefore becoming Jew-ish. The modern Jew of European has no real claim to the African-ness of the religion and culture they now possess. Nor, do they have the right and entitlement to the history of God’s Chosen people] they claim.
In order to make all things white/European they have to sucked the essence of the Black experience out of the Biblical and extra-biblical stories and apply their own myths to those stories as Freud cited and understood.
So who are the people in modern Israel? Who are the Palestinians? Are they related? Is this a slight on the Jew? No! Just the facts Yochannan!
One of the many modern European architects of this change was Georg Hegel. In the 17th and 18th century European instituted a new paradigm completely shifting the truths of Africa to Europe. Hegel believed Africans had no history and did not contribute to anything what mankind enjoyed. Why was Hegel important in viewing today’s society and political landscape? European/American culture has adopted his theories. Whether they consider themselves to the Left (Socialist, Communist, Progressive) or the Right (Fundamentalists, Conservative, Capitalists) both sides look to Hegel for insight into social and political strategies to rule the world, both are the same side of the same coin.
Same side of the same coin!
In this paradigm each archeological discovery was re-routed to become a European discovery, about European ancestry, shown through a European lens. The plan was to change ALL that is African into all that is European. This is the history we find ourselves adapting in every aspect of our lives and we have been ‘hoodwinked’ .
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1770-1831), German philosopher, who became one of the modern most influential thinkers of the 19th century.
Hegel was an eighteenth century philosopher who believed in European history and white supremacy and aided it by moving in stages toward that new position n which the ideas of the current period negated those of the previous one. Hegel’s racist consciousness comes out most explicitly in his descriptions of Africans:
“It is characteristic of the blacks that their consciousness has not yet even arrived at the intuition of any objectivity, as for example, of God or the law, in which humanity relates to the world and intuits its essence. …He [the black person] is a human being in the rough.”
A ‘human being in the rough? Obviously Hegel feigned ignorance to the fact that the Blackman was the original human being and developer of all culture and was the sperma for every high culture, religion and thought.
He completely ignore the truths that had been written on the pages of history. His ‘replacement theology’ was aimed to disenfranchise the original truth-tellers.
‘Hegel’s aim was to set forth a philosophical system so comprehensive that it would encompass the ideas of his predecessors and create a conceptual framework in terms of which both the past and future could be philosophically understood. ‘Such an aim would require nothing short of a full account of reality itself. Thus, Hegel conceived the subject matter of philosophy to be reality as a whole. This reality, or the total developmental process of everything that is, he referred to as the Absolute, or Absolute Spirit. 
The European wanted to be God, so Hegel made up a term called the ‘Absolute Spirit’. The Bible calls it ‘having a form of godliness but denying the power of that godliness.’ Hegel looked into the face of the children of God on his many trips to Africa/Egypt and refused to see the light. He saw theses undeniable truths in the Americas and Asia. Each high culture understood that they were not God but his special creation and found a way to communicate worship and enjoy that fellowship. The European did not fancy this notion – this is one of the reasons Darwin had to come up with an alternative for Creation – The Ape-man theory to justify the Europeans slow development and their blatant misunderstanding of the worlds. Although this theory was used to justify white supremacy and the White man’s burden and quest to bring the ‘savages’ to the foot of God What arrogance and stupidity!
This is what they think about the rest of the world:
Take up the White Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.
This is why they will go to any lengths to conquer and discredit the nations of the world and the ‘old’ civilizations. This is why they push evolution because it puts us as the UNFORMED PEOPLE. THE HUMANS in the ROUGH and those that are half-devil, half-child. How can a people who believe this be honest?
Now don’t get it twisted. The Adam and Eve Story is from Egypt and we should all know that, and it is my contention that we weren’t “knuckle draggers”. We were sentient beings from the word go. Beings that came into life with a sense of the divine and the divine occupied us.
In all advanced cultures of the world KNEW there was a Supreme Being and He/She/It was One – The Uncaused Cause, The Uncreated Creator, The Creator of all things manifested as one or many. But, Europe had to come up with a philosophy that put man [specifically the white man] at the epicenter of world history starting it 6000 years ago. He not only made himself the prima sperma, but imaged God the Creator as himself. This is contrary to any original model found anywhere in the world. This was another change from the true African world reality into the contrived European world reality and it was done through Philosophy. Philosophy is said to be defined as one who is a lover of wisdom, but who’s?
The love of, inducing the search after, wisdom; in actual usage, the knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws. The Greeks came up with the so-called western form of Philosophy, but it was not rooted in the wisdom of the ages that originated in Africa.
Branches of Philosophy:
- Metaphysics (or ontology) is the study of reality.
2. Epistemology is the study of knowledge.
3. Ethics is the study of right and wrong in human action.
4. Aesthetics is the study of beauty.
5. Logic is the study of the principles of right reasoning. Logic is the basic tool that philosophers use to investigate reality.
This may sound good, but when your ideas are based in a Euro-Centric view, when the world was not made in that image the answers to these questions will be wrong.
Let’s give a common example: If a million years from now everything is wiped out and there are only a few people that survived, and they start believing a man is was the only one capable of having a baby, because they saw a picture of transgendered man giving birth. Their natural view although steeped in belief is wrong, and when a woman gives birth she is either killed or held up as an anomaly. Now, all the Philosophy–religion, cultures, science, astrology, astronomy, economics is based in man as mother. Then women who are pregnant were guilty of a sin. The knowledge is skewed. hat is the intro to Hegel.
AKA: The LIE
A Simple Example of the lengths the European went through set up and alternative system that defies nature.
- The Thesis: Man was created in the image of his Creator. The man that was created came from Africa.
- The Antithesis. Man is derived from the Ape. A conflicting idea or movement. Such an idea or movement contains within itself incompleteness that gives rise to opposition.
- The Synthesis, which overcomes the conflict by reconciling the information contained in both the thesis and antithesis. As a result of the conflict a third point of view arises.
“Mankind was seeded and evolved in Africa as a primitive (Black) spread out to all parts of the world and was refined in the European.”
This brings on the false implication that all modern civilization was birthed by the higher European or if not that Europe refined civilization and was the vanguard of change from primitive to sophisticated. With this equation punched into Hegel’s dialectic then everything can be melted together and then change Black into White.
The true origins of mankind and the first Human civilizations is obscured and the culture that prompted all philosophy, religion, culture, science, law, economics and family structure has been systematically replaced by a counterfeit. With this reconstruction as the shift in the paradigm thus making all African ideas, philosophy, religion, culture, science, law, economics and family structure have an origin in Greece, Rome or anywhere else other than Africa and calling it the Aryan Model.
Ultimately, this synthesis becomes a New Thesis that generates another antithesis, giving rise to a new synthesis and in such a fashion the process of intellectual or historical development is continually degenerated. This fueled modern Europe’s needed to make all history white and with that power make all other darker nations ripe for invasions because those areas now ‘black and heathen, are ready for conquest and subjugation…it was the Whiteman’s Burden.
Then as they flooded us with their form of African religion who could resist the occupation of God if they came with a book that gave them the right to invade and subjugate and imagery that showed they have the mark of his complexion [whiter than snow].
Remember, Hegel has a wide influence of Western political, ethical, religious and cultural thought, conservative and liberal.
“As the Bible became popular and the Hebrews began to migrate and settle in different areas of the world, the scriptures were translated for the Greeks and Hellenized Hebrews. It was in Europe that these Hellenized documents first became the scared books of religion, the ones devoid of their original roots. As a result, most of the controversies, confusion, and misery caused from this Bible in Europe. It is evident from this that the Europeans have never understood the Bible because they have never known it place of origin, who wrote these documents, or the purpose it was intended.” excerpted from: ‘The African who wrote the Bible.’ Professor Nana. B. Darkwah
The preeminent racist and historian and philosopher of England, David Hume (1711-1776) published most of His-STORY of history between 1734 and 1760. In this historical context of eighteenth century slavery and colonialism, he theorizing on racial matters when Europe was confronted with the moral dilemma posed by its exploitive relationship with Africa, China, and later the Americas.
This is when Egypt was rediscovered, and they had to claim the Egyptians as tanned and categorize them as Caucasians, or at the least, mixed race people as to explain the high culture they found there, even now to take the African out of his home, some would say, a RACE of Aliens gave the Egyptian all their knowledge…so sad!
This is what Hume said:
‘I am apt to suspect the Negroes, and in general all other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites. There never was a civilized nation of any other complexion than white, nor even any individual eminent either in action or speculation. No ingenious manufacturers among them, no arts, no science.”
” There never was a civilized nation of any other complexion than white, nor even any individual eminent either in action or speculation.
On the other hand, the most rude and barbarous of the whites, such as the ancient GERMANS, the present TARTARS, have still something eminent about them, in their valor, form of government, or some other particular. Such a uniform and constant difference could not happen, in so many countries and ages, if nature had not made an original distinction betwixt these breeds of men.
‘Not to mention our colonies, there are Negro slaves dispersed all over EUROPE, of which none ever discovered any symptoms of ingenuity; tho’ low people, without education, will start up amongst us, and distinguish themselves in every profession. In JAMAICA indeed they talk of one Negro as a man of parts and learning; but ‘tis likely he is admired for very slender accomplishments, like a parrot, who speaks a few words plainly.’
But, let the truth be known!
“There are a people now forgotten discovered while others were yet barbarians, the element of the arts and sciences. A race of men now rejected for their sable skins and frizzled hair, founded on the study of the laws of nature those civil and religious systems which still govern the Universe.” Ruins of Empires 1789 1st edition -Count Volney
Sable defined: The term ranges in color from tan to black, black being the most prized. In heraldry term is, The heraldic term for black.
In the Thesaurus the word sable means: Coal black, ebony, jet black, pitch black, soot black, black, blackness – the quality or state of the achromatic color of least lightness (bearing the least resemblance to white).
We can then assume when Volney uses the term ‘sable’ he is referring to the Blackness of the people. It seems during the 17-19the centuries there was a definite shift from truth telling individuals t liars when it came to reporting history. It is an obvious attempt on the part of Hegel, Hume and others to discredit those who gave them culture and religion. In other words it was hatred of the originals from those who were counterfeit.
This sad and racist point of view of Hegel, Hume and other so-called European savants of the day, in their supremacist diatribes concerning Africa and Africans, became the ‘Gospel of Racism’ which was passed down throughout centuries and shows up in the laws, politics, commentaries, and attitudes of western society until today which includes conservative and progressive thought. These notions became the foundational pillars of the western civilization, effecting the interpretation of history secular and scriptural. With these beliefs, they pointed to Greece as the cradle of modern civilization. But, the Greeks stole everything from the Egyptians!
‘The term Greek Philosophy, to begin with is a misnomer, for there is not such philosophy in existence.
George G. M James – Stolen Legacy.
Why is that statement important? Because Greek Philosophy is the foundation of Western Culture, so if there is no Greek philosophy then what was their cultural bases? Western culture includes what and how the Bible is translated and interpreted by the religious pulpiteers.
Contrary to modern beliefs, the wisdom found in the Biblical scriptures is not colorless or Caucasian, but AFRICAN. This is true of the Koran, Vedas, Bagvad-gita and others. For ages we have heard the chants: ‘Does it matter if the images look like white people? God is God isn’t He?’ Yes, it does matter! If it did not why change it? Here is why it was so important for them to tamper with the African religious system and its excerpt that we now refer to as the Bible.
‘A colonial or European education…annihilates a peoples belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of non-achievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from that wasteland. It makes them want to identify with that which is furthest removed from themselves’ – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, (Kenya, Decolonising the Mind)
The Europeans as the new GOD and Man
For two millennia the image of truth has conformed to the image and likeness of a European man. It has changed from the original African image into one commissioned by the Catholic Church through the hands of Michelangelo. Michelangelo’s portraits of Biblical characters were either his own family, or the ‘boys’ with whom he was in love. Yes, he was a pedophile.
‘Michelangelo was in his late sixties when he met Cecchino dei Bracci, the charming and beautiful fifteen-year-old nephew of one of his friends. Of the boy’s beauty, he wrote: “With his face God wished to correct nature.” When Bracci died in 1544, at the age of sixteen, Michelangelo designed the boy’s tomb and wrote no fewer than fifty poems mourning his passing.’ The Biography of Michelangelo
The Creation of Adam out of the mind of God
Oh! White heaven!!!! My… my…what a big medulla!
The depictions of Michelangelo’s family and young ‘men’ as biblical characters and angelic beings is culturally inaccurate and spiritually appalling. God is depicted as the Roman Caesar’s or Pontifus Maximus and Adam and Eve as pale creations living in a landscape that mimics Rome.
The creation of man and woman [Aka Adam and Eve]
This act was a strategic move by Rome to conquer the minds of the world. Rome was good at it. Its mentality was to steal and conquer. These seemingly innocent pictures were in fact one of the lynchpins for the perpetuation of the system of White Supremacy via Catholicism. It was the best propaganda in the world. Millions of people visit the Sistine Chapel everyday and this image is seared into their brains….million more black folks flock to Rome to kiss the ring of the Pope, if they can. We are all brainwashed. Although, archeology and history has long supporting the fact that the people who wrote, starred in and distributed the all the worlds truths, culture thought in and outside of the Bible were non-European and non-white. There was no European in the known world at that time of this creation story or any other that was not genetically black African.
‘The Assyrian invasion of 871 B.C. drove the Kushite (Ethiopian) forces to the south and began the harshness and misrule that destroyed the grandeur that once was Egypt. Egypt continued to decline while a young nation on the other side of the Mediterranean—Greece—began to gather, its power around 500 B.C. In the year 332 B.C.’
‘Alexander the Great, a student of Aristotle, invaded Egypt. This was the first purely European invasion of Africa. The aftermath of this invasion, and the new European interest in dominating the trade of the Mediterranean world, led to the Punic Wars and the invasion by the Romans.’ Dr. John Henrik Clarke
‘In every country that one visits and where one is drawn into a conversation about Africa, the question is regularly asked, by people who should know better: “But what has Africa contributed to world progress?” The critics of Africa forget that men of science today, with few exceptions, are satisfied that Africa was the birthplace of man himself, and that for many hundreds of centuries thereafter, Africa was in the forefront of all human progress.’ The Progress and Evolution of Man in Africa, Dr. L.S.B. Leakey.
In the system of White Supremacy everything is political. Everything including music, art, history, writings, poetry, and theater.
The debate of the ethnicity of the first people – as other than African peoples should now falls on deaf ears, but it doesn’t. Simply because a picture is worth a thousand words and a lie travels around the world, before the truth gets it’s boots on.
‘Are you not as the Ethiopian unto me, O children of Israel?’ Amos 9:7
Why would God compare Israel to the Ethiopians? Is this not a term of endearment? Is this not putting the Israelite on a higher plane? The term translated to mean Ethiopian referred to all of Africa not just a portion.
So what is God saying?
“Are you not like your brothers the Africans to me, O children of Is-Ra-El? ”
Hummm…Is Ra El…sounds like an Egyptian Nerteru in the woodshed to me!
‘Everyone knows that Abraham was an Ethiopian’.
Everyone like who? All the people who could read and understand and that have traveled Modern historians say that Tacitus, Strabo and Herodotus were liars and they did not chronicle the accounts of their travels correctly. but did they lie about the ethnicity of the people they met? Could they tell a black person from a white one? Were they color blind? Did they not know what country was in subjection to another? It would have served the cause of Greece or Rome to paint the people all white.
“Strabo mentioned the importance of migrations in history and, believing that this particular migration had proceeded from Egypt to Ethiopia, remarks: “Egyptians settled Ethiopia and Colchis.” endnote 6: Bk. 1, Chap. 3, par. 10.
Once again, it is a Greek, despite his chauvinism, who informs us that the Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Colchians belong to the same race, thereby confirming what Herodotus had said about the Colchians. The Colchians formed a cluster of Negroes among white populations near the Black Sea.”
Gaston Maspero (1846-1916): “By the almost unanimous testimony of ancient historians, they belonged to an African race [read: Negro] which first settled in Ethiopia, on the Middle Nile; following the course of the river, they gradually reached the sea. … Moreover, the Bible states that Mesraim [Egypt], son of Ham, brother of Chus (Kush) the Ethiopian, and of Canaan [Israel], came from Mesopotamia to settle with his children on the banks of the Nile.” endnote 8: Gaston Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l’Orient. Paris: Hachette, 1917, p. 15, 12th ed. (Translated as: The Dawn of Civilization. London, 1894; reprinted, New York: Frederick Ungar, 1968.)} “http://www.raceandhistory.com/cgi-bin/forum/webbbs_config.pl/noframes/read/1624.
“Abraham is the father of Who?
According to he Bible he was the first gentile turned Hebrew and the father of the nation of many nations. Romans 4:18
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2-4.
He came from an African region with an African sister-wife, Sari and African cousin-mistress, Hagar. Ur of the Chaldees was a suburb of Abyssinia (Kush/Ehiopia) although when we read it as a part of Assyria. Ash is meaning Fire which relates back to Anu or On in Egypt. Ur It is preached about we are given some mumbo-jumbo explanations. Ur is fire like Pyro the root of Pyramids and Pharaoh the children of the sun and fire. Ur in Hebrew means fire or light [sun].
When we stick to the notion that there is only one type of ethnic African people we will be lost. The Family of Africa consists of people of varying facial features, hair textures and colorations. We range from almost White to coal Blue-black. But we must remember the stock of all mankind has come from the original blue-black African.
‘The historical consensus is that the word was derived from the Greek for
burnt, which was Ethios, and the word for face was Ops. In other words,
Ethios plus Ops became Ethiopian. The Greeks reasoned that these people
developed their dark complexion because they were closer to the sun than were the lighter inhabitants of Europe. This climatic explanation for dark and
light complexions did not, at the time, transfer itself into a biological or
racial classification. In fact, the Greeks used the word barbarian to
distinguish between Greeks and non-Greeks.
European Racism in the first centuries –
‘It was Pliny who postulated that heat was responsible for the scorched
complexion, curly beards and hair, and tall stature of the Ethiopians, and
the mutability of climate explained their source of knowledge. For Pliny,
moisture in the opposite region of the world accounted for the tall men of
the North with their white frosty skin and straight, yellow hair. Their
fierceness resulted from the frigid climate. These fairer skinned people
were called Scythians.’
What did the Bible say about the Scythians? The Scythians were gentiles and were mentioned in Colossians 3:11 in the context of a savage:
‘And put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him; Where there is neither Greek or Yehuite, circumcision or uncircumcision, Barbarian or Scythian, bond or free, but Messiah is all and in all.’
Here the word is referring to the extremes of mankind. Strong concordance confirms this #4658 Scythian means SAVAGE.Syntians are consider the Germanic people of who Hegel is a member.
Scythians included Germans, Thracians, and Gauls. Classical literature reveals that for a significant period of time, Scythians and Ethiopians were cited as identifiable examples of racial extremes that differed from the Greeks and later the Romans. In later periods, the Gauls and what is today called the Germans were substituted for Scythians, or added to the traditional contrast.
“the tattooed chieftian is that his penis was tattooed. The Soviets never published this information, but it was revealed by one Russian archaeologist from that dig in a private conversation with a very diligent and highly respected American researcher, an expert on the Scythians. http://www.tattooheaven.com/CentAsia.html
Can I say it? Ouch! Penis tattoos? That’s a long way to make a point don’t you think?
There was no need for Rome to commission any other paintings of Biblical characters when they already existed. Today the Catholic Church has the larges collection of Biblical African iconography (The Catholic Church also has the largest collection of ancient pornography) that was acquired from the Greeks during the looting and burning of the African continents Libraries. http://www.nbufront.org/html/MastersMuseums/JHClarke/WorldHistoryOverview/Chapter11.html
Black Madonna and Child
Godfrey Higgins -Anacalypsis states:
“…in all the Romish countries of Europe, in France, Italy, Germany, etc., the God Christ, as well as his mother, are described in their old pictures and statues to be black. The infant God in the arms of his black mother, his eyes and drapery white, is himself perfectly black. If the reader doubt my word, he may go to the cathedral at Moulins -to the famous chapel of the Virgin at Loretto …the whiteness of the eyes and teeth, and the studied redness of the lips, are very observable… There is scarcely an old church in Italy where some remains of the worship of the BLACK VIRGIN and BLACK CHILD are not to be met with. Very often the black figures have given way to white ones, and in these cases the black ones, as being held sacred, were put into retired places in the churches, but were not destroyed…
It wasn’t until the Renaissance that they begin to have paintings of Jesus and Mary with alabaster skin, blue eyes and blond hair. Previously, all religious artwork reflected the olive skin, black or brown hair and eyes of the Holy Family and the Apostles. Christian Iconography. There was only a Renaissance because the people were in contact with Africa, prior to that there was only the Dark Ages…The Age of Enlightenment came when Europeans met and were taught by Africans.
Original Madonna and child
Note: Some say all of the Black Madonna’s are Black in coloration because of candle smoke throughout the years or worship to her changed the coloration of the paint. But, that doesn’t wash….Too many of them – why aren’t there cloths black too?
In Catholicism, the first three popes were African as were most of the bishops. They were instrumental in instituting the Egyptian Religious system and conform it into the Catholic framework.
Black Madonna and child -Nigeria
There is a modern day perpetuation of the western worlds need for a European patriarch and Savior in order to further the aims of White Supremacy. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Moslems, Christians and Jews claim him as their father.
The European Savior
The Greeks and the Romans associated white with light, the day and Mount Olympus. It also meant in their oppinion, good character and good omens. Dark or Black, on the other hand, was associated with night and darkness, with the underworld, death, and bad character, and ill omens. Okay…enough already!
A picture is worth 1000 words
As the original Sons and Daughters of Yah, we possess the sum total of all that is known in this planet and it is our job to tell the truth.
‘God (Yah) the sum total of the known and the unknown.’
Each year either Time or Newsweek or some other national magazine will have the picture of Adam and Eve on the cover. A few years ago, on the cover of Time Magazine, Adam wand his wife were African, albeit with Jheri curls and light skin, but African nonetheless. This year in Newsweek magazine, Adam is again pictured as a puny black-haired white man of seemingly eastern European descent, and his mate Eve – resembles this Halle Barry
Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with Halle Barry – but she is no the root of the African woman. She like the Ptolemy’s ( Cleopatra) and the Greeks and Italians are mixed Africans. She should not be the only standard of African beauty for t the world. Until we can accept Whoppi Goldberg as beautiful then we are still mentally enslaved.
‘Further discussion on this theory of the white male -black woman, Adam-Eve combination was published in Newsweek Magazine, January 11, 1988, in an article is called “The Search for Adam & Eve.” The subject was about the collection and testing of a global assortment of genes. A trail of mitochondrial DNA was found that led them to one single African woman from whom we all descended. Now if all of humanity came from this so-called ‘Mitochondrial Eve, then who was her husband? Not a European….!
The evidence indicates that Eve lived in Sub-Saharan Africa, between 80,000 and 200,000 years ago. These descendants began migrating from their original homeland, inhabiting the whole world.’ Dr. John Henrik Clarke.
This yearly homage by Time and Newsweek magazines are executed in the wild pursuit to cover-up the truth, while hurling another generation into the cauldron of error. Each evening for the past year the History, Discovery, TLC and other cable channels have poured through the history of Egypt. Each time we see the photos, electronic images or actors who play the Egyptians busily building the pyramids or carving the hieroglyphs they look European.
But, in actuality the Egyptians/Africans looked like this:
Kiya – 2nd wife of Akhenaton
Notice here coloring is missing – again, but her Sisterliness is still apparent!
Akhenaten and Nefertiti his first wife
Here is the most recent drawing of King Tutankhamen based on archeological and genetic evidence. Fine young man … looks like your son or nephew or cousin or even YOU!
Here is an article that shows the whitewashing of his original image.
Here is the Lie!
Here is how the people of his day really saw him.
Recreation of the real King Tut -Son of Akhenaton
Fine ain’t he?
Tut’s Mama – Nefertiti – recreation
If this is her, then we can see who were the original Egyptians!
The Egyptian Princess Au’Shead one of Tut’s relatives possibly his Aunti.
A tomb drawing of the ancient Egyptian Princess AU-Shead. She was the daughter of Pharaoh Mentuhotep II. This painting was taken from the wall of her father’s tomb.
She looks like a typical African whether on the Continent from the Americas from the islands or elsewhere. And here is her father in all of his royal splendor.
Pharoah Mentuhotep II
They all look like your cousin don’t they Black man and woman?! They look like Nana, Nan-Titi, Big Mama, Big Daddy, Uncie John, or Paw-Paw.
When I went to the continent all I saw was the family tree. I saw all my neighbors and teachers and friends on ever corner. When you look at ancient Egypt/Sudan/Ethiopia all the way down to the south you see yourself. If you can’t go to the museum then look in the mirror.
The system of White Supremacy has an overriding need to change the color of history. Why? They believe it is for their own political, economic, religious, entertainment, labor, law and justice, war, imperialistic and genetic survival. The historical, political, social and emotional point is, to replace the image of the first humans and first civilization. This is done in order to replace the original image and replace that image with one that fits in with White Supremacy, in order to continue to perpetuate their image in the minds of all non-Europeans.
It does make a difference Who’s Who in the pages of the Bible. Just as it makes a difference who’s who in the tombs of the Pyramids, just as it makes a difference everywhere. It always has made a difference; otherwise it would be no need to change the images or the story.
Why? They did not want to accept that the founders of all we know came from Africa. Three of the world’s religions use a Bible as a foundation in spiritual education. It does matter. Again, if it didn’t, it would not have been necessary for the European to obliterate the geographical, cultural and ethnographical truths from real history, in order to construct an alternative history, made in their image and likeness.
Example: It you were given an instruction book and in it were the people that could explain what was hidden in the scriptures. You would need the book and the instructors of the book wouldn’t you? They would be the key to understanding those texts. Yah has left a record of a certain section of history – the Bible in its original form is the word of Yah. In addition to that he commissioned a people to correctly interpret that word to the nations. A Royal Priesthood.
‘But ye are a royal priesthood a holy nation, a peculiar people; that your should show forth the praises of him who have called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; Which in time past you were not a people, but are now the people of Yah; which have not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.’ 1Peter 2:9-10.
The Apostle Peter was writing to the dispersed Israelites in other countries. He called the Lo-Ammi (not a people), which is the reference to the book of Hosea. Hosea (meaning Salvation) had married a whore, Gomer. Gomer was Yah’s example of Israel, the 10 tribes that were soon dispersed and considered Lo-Ammi, not a people. Lo-Ammi was the name of the 3rd child of Gomer conceived in her fornication, he was not Hoses (salvations) child.
‘The first is named Jezrahel–the reigning dynasty is about to expiate the blood shed by its ancestor Jehu in the valley of Jezrahel. The second is a daughter, Lô-Ruhamah, “disgraced“–Yahve will be gracious no more to his people. The third is called Lô-Ammi, “not my people”–Yahve will no longer recognize the children of Israel as his people. However, mercy will have the last word.’
Peter was telling the Hebrews that were in other counties that had adopted the ways of the gentiles, that Messiah had come – The stone that the builder rejected the CAPSTONE (which is at the head of the pyramid). The ones that were not my people because of the rejection of Yah- Lo-Ammi, became again a royal priesthood, a chosen people, and a holy nation.
We are the royal priesthood, the holy nation, we who have the insight into scripture. But instead the Greeks stole everything from the land they learned truth…Africa. They were ignorant, dealing in myths and superstitions before they crossed the burning sands.
‘The absurdity however, is easily recognized when we remember that Greek language was used to translate several systems of teaching which Greeks could not succeed in claiming. Such were the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek called the Septuagint (LXX); and the translation of the Christian Gospels, Acts and the Epistles in Greek, still called the New Testament.’ Stolen Legacy – George G.M. James
Moses’ Alma Mater
It took 40 years for Moses to be ‘Schooled in all the ways of the Egyptians.’ Moses was an initiate in the Egyptian concealed religious systems – As a Neophyte Hierogrammat
“A hierogrammat is one of the six order of Egyptian Priest. The Hierogrammat has a feather in his head, and a book in his hand, and a rectangular case of writing materials, i.e. the writing of ink and reed (see Zipporah). He has to know hieroglyphs, cosmography, geography ( so much for Moses wandering in the desert) Astronomy, the topography of Egypt, and the sacred utensils and measurements, the temple furniture and the lands. Stolen Legacy – by George G.M. James
Moses graduated from this prestigious school and them interned with his Father-in-law Jethro (Reu’el) in the land below the Sinai.
But, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle never graduated from that school! They contrived a theory and later the Gnostics, Essenes (the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and the church Fathers and 4th century Christians try to adapt that system into Christianity. As did many of the Hebrews (Jews) who believe in Hermes Trismegistus.
Moses the Hebrew Savior
It’s only when the original truth is revealed that all people with be freed from the burden of White Supremacy. In understanding White Supremacy, it is necessary to note that all classes of white folks are not aware of the nuances of the system, or how it affects them. Even if they benefit from the perpetuation and oppression within the system. Although, in some cases, the darker-skinned (miscegenated) whites, i.e. Italian, eastern European, some Jews, Russians, Mongols and Spanish are considered the ‘mongrels’ by their lighter brothers; the British, Germanic, Celtic, Nordic and Scandinavian peoples.
This may come as a surprise to most of them, but it is true. The system of White Supremacy can, and has, cut like a 2-edged sword, against their own people. When necessary (an example of it was the Nazi hatred and murder of the Ashkenazi and Shephardic Jews) a white person is ostracized and murdered in this system because of their historic association with Africans. This is an example of the feelings about Jews and Africans in Nazi Germany before World War II.
Caption: The Jew in his element: With Blacks in a Parisian Night Club. The Jew brings people the glittering world of perversion (black culture) as a way of unnerving and enslaving them. He seems to worry as little about it, as the rats worry about the plague they carry (p. 97).
Photo Background below: These are eight of the 265 photographs in a book called The Eternal Jew, published by the Nazi Party’s publishing house in 1937. The book consists entirely of photographs with brief captions. The photos chosen generally make Jews (and Blacks) look as unpleasant as possible.
Caption: Now and again, the magazine considered other races. This is from the March 1942 issue, and shows Gypsies from East Prussia. Articles in the issue included: “German Farmers in the Southeast Danube Regions,” “France’s Battle Against a Declining Birth Rate,” and “Gypsies and Mixed-Race Gypsies in East Prussia.”
Crazy ain’t it, deadly too! In the Europeans quest to wipe out any traces of the African. The truth that the original Hebrew is African resonates in the Germany propaganda machine. This was also the climate of White Supremacy in Europe was an effort to divide it’s own people into categories. The Nazi mentality was to uphold the Nordic image of their race and reclaim their pagan heritage. Although they called themselves Christians, they believed in the occult and human sacrifice.
Note: Let me say here that all Jews (Hebrews) that lived in Europe were not Khazar coverts. It would be ignorant to make that statement. Based on the Scriptures that the Lord would call his people from the North -South -East and West of the world and HE is return them to Israel. I do not believe however, this was fulfilled in 1947 when Israel was occupied by the majority Ashkenazi or Europeans. A number of African Hebrew Family must have traveled to Europe and inter married with the Europeans there, and kept the traditions of Moses. If that was not true then it would be no need for Shakespeare to write of Shylock in the Merchant of Venice – that dark swarthy man.
There are many Hebrews who have taken on the title of Jew, that have migrated to America and over the course of time have lost their African identity, culture and physicality through inter- marriage.
Madame C.J. Walker and Harlem – The sister who invented the straightening iron (comb) did not just make her millions on Black woman, but Jewish women too!.
A famous statement by Barbra Streisand in a movie about Socialism in America -‘The way we Were” when meeting her ex-husband a WASP played by Robert Redford –
He said: ‘your hair – what did you do with your hair?
She replied; ‘Oh – I go to Harlem and get it IRONED!
Before the iron
After the pressin’
We must put the European migration of the true Hebrew into a few epochs – I will get into that in a latter issue. But the reason why the Jews were killed was because they related themselves religiously and culturally with Africa. The best way to discredit anyone in the System of White Supremacy (racism) is to relate them as and to Africans. In their estimation is the highest insult and that was what the European Jew did not want to be related to, because most were not true Yehudite, but Ashkenazi (Gentiles) Jews. The word Jew was not included in the writing of the King James Bible of 1611 or any of the previous Biblical manuscripts. The word ‘Jew is new. The word that was used prior to this the name was Yehudite or Yehudim (Judah) to relate back to the 12 tribes. Israel represented 10 tribes (nation) and Yehudim represented 3 tribes (including the Levites) that split after the death of Solomon.
But there was a whole lot of mixin’ goin’ on…and a whole lot of ‘Jews’ going to Harlem to get their hair ironed….
Row of heads
But, the Muslims called the western Sudan (West Africa) Yahoodee, which means: The Tribes of Israel.
‘According to tradition the seventy Jews who came into Egypt increased to 600,000 by the time of their flight from Egypt four hundred years later, indicating extensive intermingling between the Jews and the Africans. No matter who the original Jews were who came into Egypt, when they left four hundred years later, they were ethnically, culturally, and religiously an African people.’ Dr. John Henrik Clarke.
Let’s look at the definitions of the system of White Supremacy:
‘White Supremacy is the systematic global domination of world history, human thought and economic exploitation of natural resources employing the tactics of subjugation, annihilation and the subsequent replacement of that history for the purpose of self exaltation on their part, and the physical and mental slavery on everyone else’s part. European supremacy includes, but is not limited to the promulgation of the Caucasian mindset placed upon people that are not classified as Caucasian and the demoralization of the rest of the world who do not fit into the plan to Europeanize the planet. Neely Fuller, Jr. The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concepts.
‘If you don’t understand White Supremacy (Racism) – what it is and how it works – everything else you understand, will only confuse you.”
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing:
‘The local a global power system structured and maintained by persons who classify themselves as white, whether consciously or subconsciously determined; this system consists of patterns, perceptions, logic, symbol, formation, thought, speech, action, and emotional response, as conducted simultaneously in all areas of people activity (economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex, war).
The ultimate purpose of this system is to prevent white genetic annihilation on the Earth – a planet in which the overwhelming majority of people are classified as non-white (black, brown, red, yellow) by white-skinned people. All of the non-white people are genetically dominate (in terms of coloration) compared to the genetically recessive white skinned people.’
Like the strategy the adversary employed in the garden of Eden, first by taking on a shape of a serpent, then asking the question to disarm ‘Did God say…’ and finally the LIE, which still resonates through the ages, ‘You will be like gods’ The system of lying and the falsification of European history is being employed globally by the few, to disenfranchise the many.
Here is an excerpt from the book: The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept by Neely Fuller, Jr.
‘The motivating Factors in peoples behavior in the known Universe –
- Re-action to Racism.
- Sexual Expression.
- Re-action to Sexual Expression.
Racism in the form of White Supremacy is the greatest motivating force, by people, that exist among the people of the known universe. Every person in the known universe is either practicing White Supremacy (Racism) or, he or she is compelled, at all times to re-act to those persons who are practicing it. Both the practice of White Supremacy, and the re-action to it, affects all people, in all areas of activity, including economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war.
Sexual intercourse, and/or ‘sexual play’ is the second greatest motivating force, by people, that exist among the people in the known universe. Every person in the known universe is either engaging in or acts of sexual intercourse and or ‘sex play’ or he or she is, at all times directly or indirectly re-acting to those who are so engaged.
Both the acts of sexual intercourse and/or ‘sex play’ and the re-actions to such acts, affects all people, in all areas of activity, including economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex, and war.
Summary: No other socio-material forces, by people, affect so many people in so many places, so much, in so many areas of activity, as the factors of race (Racism), and sex. (End quote).
Please! Do not email me saying that this tutorial is not necessary. Just the fact that you believe it isn’t doesn’t make any difference.
Please! Do not email me saying you are not a racist or supremacist. I am talking about a system that had been put in place to keep all people in a ‘Ball of Confusion.’
PLEASE! Get Brother Neely Fuller’s book.
‘We are just actors on the stage of life.’
Or, as the soul-singers of the 1970’s put it:
‘The whole world is a stage…and everybody plays a part…’
Hegelian process of change in which a concept or its realization passes over into and is preserved and fulfilled by its opposite.
Thesis: Hegel believed that White-folks were ruler ordained by God! The aboriginal peoples (non-white) were to be ruled the Antithesis. But, the union of the two entities would come together and make the Synthesis.
Hegel states; “Historical movement in it- that is its northern part- belong to the Asiatic or European world… Egypt will be considered in reference to its western phase, but it does not belong to the African spirit.”
Several decades after the founding of the concept of white supremacy George Wilhelm Friedreich Hegel supplied the solution of this latter difficulty when at the beginning of the 19th century, he asserted that Africa was ‘not a historical part of the world.”‘
In the nineteenth century, Karl Marx used the same structure, but turned Hegel upside down, asserting that our ideas are entirely formed by the material world–that they are derived from the clash between opposing classes. But it was opposing white classes.
Thus for Marxists, dialectical refers to “development through the stages of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis in accordance with the laws of dialectical materialism.” From a broader point of view, dialectical can refer to “any systematic reasoning, exposition, or argument that juxtaposes opposed or contradictory ideas and usually seeks to resolve their conflict by amalgamation.”
That is why we have a System of Diversity and Affirmative Action that negates slavery and the reparations. The system that was implemented in the diversity movement and even in the Affirmative action movement, never intended to speak to the question of repairing the broken African ‘mainframe’. What has happened is a few Africans were let into the door, and the majority of us were left out in the cold.
White Women, Jews and other minorities (Asians, Latino) and now Homosexuals benefited from a system that was to be exclusively for the children of slaves. That is what the Civil rights movement was all about – The descendants of Slaves.
The Search of eternal Paradise and
co-opting of the African model.
When the European came to Africa he came for a few reasons…he was uneducated, he was spiritual and culturally blind, he needed a teacher (parent). Their proclivities for conquest is due to their harsh environment, starvation and filthy conditions that eventually brought on the Black-plague. Those environs propelled him to seek a better and agriculturally sustainable climate. In the frigid Northlands they lived the life of lack, filth, and hunger. They only dreamed of a better life in the ‘afterlife’ Valhalla, Olympus, Fortunate Isles or the Elysian Fields…Paradise.
Fortunate Isles in classical and Celtic legend, islands in the Western Ocean. There the souls of favored mortals were received by the gods and lived happily in a paradise. Belief in the islands long persisted, and the Canaries and the Madeira Islands were sometimes identified with them.
Elysian Fields in Greek religion is the happy other world for heroes favored by the gods. Identified with the Fortunate Isles or Isles of the Blest, Elysium was situated in the distant west, at the edge of the world. In later tradition and in Vergil, Elysium is a part of the underworld and a pleasant abode for the righteous dead.
Valhalla in Norse mythology is Odin’s hall for slain heroes. This martial paradise was one of the most beautiful halls of Asgard. The dead warriors, brought to Valhalla by the Valkyries, fought during the day and feasted at night. In Norse mythology, home of the gods, also known as Aesir. It consisted of luxurious palaces and halls, in which the gods (whose chief was Odin) dwelled, conferred, and banqueted. One of the most beautiful of these halls was Valhalla. Entrance to Asgard could be gained only by crossing the rainbow bridge Bifrost, which was guarded by Heimdall, the watchman of the gods.
The African lived in the true Paradise. Eden and the garden was in Ethiopia (The land of the sons of Kham) – which extended to the Fertile Crescent. When the worlds collided the European wanted to possess what they saw in Africa. After a few hundred years of trade and study they stole the only culture that was innovative, spiritual and sustainable. With a serious cultural encounter with the African, the European went through a Renaissance. While the European was going through the Renaissance period Africa was in its 3rd Golden Age as chronicled by Dr. John Henrik Clarke. http://www.nbufront.org/html/MastersMuseums/JHClarke/ArticlesEssays/PassingOfGoldenAge.html
Unfortunately, the African was gracious enough to show the European the real Paradise. Eventually looking was not enough…the European decided he must claim this heritage for himself. We must reclaim our heritage and position and we must do it for the good of this modern world.
Now! How do you see yourself? It is not until we claim all of our history, archeological, cultural, geographical, religious and scientific that we will be able to lead the world to Messiah once again.
African History is World History
Spreading the gospel of African Religion
“It is a contradiction to the most elementary logic and to all artistic experience that an Indian[American] could depict in a masterly way the head a Negro without missing a single racial characteristic, unless he had actually seen such a person. the types of people depicted must have lived in America…The Negro element is well proven by the large Olmec stones monuments as well as the terracotta items and therefore cannot be excluded from the Pre-Columbian history of the Americas.” Alexander Von Wuthenau, The Art of Terracotta pottery in Pre-Columbian South and Central America -Excerpted from Chapter 2 of They Came Before Columbus by Ivan Van Sertima.
Go through your family picture book to see if you can find this man
Or this woman
African History is World History!
America’s ancient Indian’s called it the “Cliff of the Strange Writings”. It has been named Phoenician Rock or the Commandment Stone. It is called today Inscription rock. Located west of Los Lunas, New Mexico at the base of Mystery Mountain (also called Hidden Mountain) this rock has been raising some eyebrows.
The strange chiseled characters on the volcanic basalt rock were undecipherable by America’s early European settlers and to the “native” Indians. (Hence, the mountain’s name – Mystery). The local residents had been made aware, by the Indians, of the unusual inscription as early as the year 1800. Why is this rock causing such excitement?
The stone preserves an abbreviated form of the Ten Commandments as written in Exodus 20, which is very exciting, but what makes this stone an enigma is the fact that the writing is clearly semitic in origin. The ancient Hebrew inscriptions were once thought to be a combination of Greek, Hebrew and Phoenician characters but now are clearly seen as a form of Hebrew writing dating to approximately 1000 B.C.! The Greeks “borrowed” from the Phonetic alphabet so the characters would be familiar. The Hebrews and the Phoenicians were neighbors which, in their trading environment, shared the same language and alphabet. The style of the characters is strikingly similar, almost identical, to that used on the Moabite Stone in the days of the Israelite kings Omri and Ahab. The Moab stone was engraved by captive Israelites for the Moabite king, Mescha, as per its own inscription. After examining the Los lunas site geologist, George Morehouse, estimated the placement of this Decalogue inscription up to 3000 years ago, which would, again, date it around 1000 B.C. Just how were historians to explain how a seventy ton boulder with Hebrew inscription appeared on this mountain landscape in North America around 1000 B.C.?
Over two thousand years before Columbus “discovered” America there were people of semitic origin in New Mexico worshipping the God of Israel. How can this possibly be reconciled with known history? It is seemingly apparent that the financial backing to launch a Hebrew-Phoenician voyage of world exploration could have readily occurred during the reign of King Solomon of Israel. Solomon worshipped the true God of Israel and had the means to fund explorative voyages to other lands. With Solomon’s main port being located on the Red Sea it would be difficult to explain how his fleet would have entered America through the Atlantic drainage. ( Reference note:1Kings 9:26 And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom.27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.)
Tarshish , however, had access to the Atlantic. The reign of Solomon was enveloping the entire world. Israel’s close neighbor, Phonecia, and their expert navigators were working with the servants of Solomon from both countries ports. The ships of Tarshish sailed extremely long voyages to bring back all kinds of raw materials and items (copper & other ores, flora & fauna samples, “exotic” animals, etc.). ( Reference note:2Ch 9:21 For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.)It would help explain the need of three year journeys if the seamen had to cross the ocean to come to these far off isles in America. The fact that the trading ships of Phoenicia did have docks in ancient America can be proved from inscriptions they left behind. ( See Dr. Barry Fell’s book America B.C. and also reading Steven M. Collins The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found! is highly recommended) The Los Lunas site is located along the Puerco River which is tributary of the Rio Grande River. The Rio Grande is definitely in the Atlantic drainage. It would have been entirely possible for the Hebrew-Phonecian sailors to access the area of the stone.
We must realize that our history was written by the Greeks (and Romans) and is told entirely from their self-glorifying viewpoint which sometimes tends to omit other nations contributions to the world. Columbus didn’t discover America. How is it that there were people (some of semitic features) already living in America for centuries before Columbus? Ancient colonists and prospectors? Why is it that some of the words and alphabet characters of these ancients also resemble Hebrew or Ibunic-Phoenician? How is it that some of the same pagan gods and symbols were worshipped on both ends of the earth simultaneously? And is there any other explanation why the commandments of the God of Israel would be written in the middle of the North American continent in Hebrew characters?
The inscription has been translated by the Epigraphic Society as follows:
I (am) Jehovah [the Eternal] Eloah [your God] who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim[Mizraim or the two Egypts] out of the house of bondages. You shall not have other [foreign]gods in place of \(me). You shall not make for yourself molded (or carved) idols [graven images]. You shall not lift up your voice to connect the name of Jehovah in hate. Remember you (the) Sabbath to make it holy. Honor your father and your mother to make long your existence upon the land which Jehovah Eloah [the Eternal your God] gave to you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery (or idolatry). You shall not steal (or deceive). You shall not bear witness against your neighbor, testimony for a bribe. You shall not covet (the) wife of your neighbor and all which belongs to your neighbor.
The Los Lunas Commandment Stone is one of several proofs that exist in America that the ancients of Israel, including both the worshippers of the false gods such as Baal and of the True Eternal God, walked on this continent long before Columbus or any of the 14th century European explorers. It is also another proof that biblical history is accurate. In the past, when a “new” world kingdom came into power they had the option of re-writing how their history and the history of those in subjection to them would be remembered. It was not uncommon to strike out the good things acheived by a former power that was now in subjection or exile. Or even to ascribe the glory of the former powers conquests to themselves. The bible, and the history of Israel that it contains, is refreshingly honest in its history of battles won and lost. It does not cover up Israel’s mistakes or captivities. God’s word is truth. History’s word is questionable. It is obvious that the writers of world history knew of these ancient travellers but neglected to tell the story of history from a neutral standpoint. Reality to each of us is what we are taught. Truth is what is absolute, beyond the perception of men and their “reality”. History has some explaining to do.
This is a witness of our faith as in Joshua 24:27 :
And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.
As new information comes down the pike, it is necessary to rethink theories that were once in place. The origin and labeling of the “so called” Caucasian, Negroid, and Mongoloid Races by 19th Century scientists, started racial groupings based on skin color by naturalists and anthropologists like Johann F. Blumenbach, JA Gobineau and HS Chamberlain. These men also equated skin color to psychological value and importance to race. Blumenbach named whites after the Caucasus Mountains because he thought the purest white people originated there. He didn’t seem to realize the following:
Russia, Chechens, Armenians, and other Southern Russians are considered to have Black Negro origins and Caucasus Mountains people are classified as “black” and are discriminated against. Blacks have lived in Southern Russia since prehistoric times and have occupied the Black Sea Region since the time of Senwosret/Sesostris (2000 BC) when Africans dominated the region. (SEE ‘HERODOTUS’ ON THE COLCHIANS).
FROM AFRICA – NOT TO AFRICA!
Reference: White and Albinism http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEvvtt3-eBI
Today The American Anthropological Association declares there is no such thing as race which is merely a “social construct.” If that is the new scientific principle, then….There are plenty of scientific facts to back up this principle. According to The South African Institute for Medical Research in review – Journal of South African Science, THE HIGH FREQUENCY OF ALBINISM IN AFRICA provides more clues to early African history. The Department of Human Genetics at the SAIMR is currently involved with numerous research projects, most related to human genetic disorders and population origins–one of these, ‘Albinism in African peoples’ having received particular attention because it offers new insights into the historical movement of peoples in sub-Saharan Africa.
The albinism syndrome shows parallels with sickle cell anemia. The carrier of the sickle cell mutation is at an advantage in regions where malaria is hyperendemic, which includes large areas of Africa.
About one in 35 southern African blacks is a carrier of an albinism mutation, a surprisingly high prevalence for a genetic disorder where the homozygote is at a survival disadvantage. It is postulated that the albinism carrier may actually be at an advantage, possibly also with malaria as the selective agent. It has been suggested that mosquitoes are less likely to alight and take blood from a lighter-skinned person and thus the albinism carrier may be at an advantage over darker-skinned people. The testing of this hypothesis is opening up a new line of research into malaria studies, which may yet show some other selective agent may be responsible for the high frequency of albinism in Africa.
The new scientific genetic information derived from the Human Genome Project, an international effort to decode the information embedded in the human genome, confirmed to the world by scientists in the East Room of the White House (June, 2000). We all evolved in the last 100,000 years from the same small number of tribes that migrated out of Africa and colonized the world”. “All human beings are 99.99% the same at the DNA level and the remaining 0.1% genetic variation that exist seldom segregate in a manner that confirms to the racial boundaries constructed by social political means.”
Many years before the Human Genome’s Project announcement of its historical DNA findings on so called “race” (in June of 2000), historians have revealed that human beings, during the primitive era in ancient/antiquity Africa – The Origin of Humankind/Humanity states that due to the lack of knowledge about inbreeding (between closely related parents) they did not understand why their off spring were born with “white skin.” Scientists say “white skin” is a form of Albinism (a genetic defected offspring — lacking melanin).
Cystic Fibrosis was thought to be a disease that affects mostly Europeans, but there are studies that now confirm that the most likely origin of the mutation is the African Continent.
The CF studies also tie-in with population migration investigations. Since the common African mutation has also been found in Zambia and Cameroun, it too supports the Bantu Expansion Hypothesis. It is worth noting that the mutation has also been found in African-Americans, in Saudi Arabia and in Greece on the same chromosome background (haplotype), suggesting a single origin. The most likely origin of the mutation is indeed the African Continent.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) was first described in Europe in the late 1930s. It was later shown to be surprisingly common with, on average, one in 20 individuals of European origin carrying a CF mutation. It was widely believed to be absent or very rare in Black Africans and was taught as such to generations of medical students. Only a handful of cases were described in African Blacks in a period of over thirty years, although it was well documented among African-Americans. CF was originally thought to be present in the latter because of admixture with individuals of European descent.
Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is a rare, genetically inherited condition passed on by both parents to their offspring, resulting in a significant reduction in or absence of pigmentation in the hair, skin, and eyes at birth. Individuals with albinism are very fair-skinned and fair-haired, with (most often) blue eyes that can take on tones of purple or red in bright lighting.
But due to such lack of knowledge as to why their “white skinned” off springs came about, African mothers and fathers became more and more fearful and suspicions and began to separate their growing number of “white skinned” off springs away from the “black skinned” (pigmented) population.
Eventually most of the “white skinned” off springs of “African” mothers and fathers formed several groups and began to migrate northward through Egypt to another area of Africa which is now called Europe, seeking a more hospitable living environment and to escape the intensity of the equatorial hot climate of the great river valleys and great lakes region of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa which was then and still is South of what is now called Egypt.
The “albino” group moved up in the mountainous area during the Ice Age or Glaciations period that lasted thousands of years further isolating themselves from their original parent population in Africa. And by being in such isolated living condition for such a prolonged period they also interbred (within the existing parent groups) thereby creating additional “albino” offspring from “albino” mothers and fathers who were then and still are direct descendents of African mothers and fathers.
A mutation results in a change of the DNA sequence within a gene or chromosome of an organism resulting in the creation of a new character or trait not found in the parental type. There is blonde hair among the black Australian aborigines. That is an example of a mutation. Albinism is a good example of a mutation. Other examples of mutations are blondism or whiteness among monkeys, apes, and chimpanzees.
Biblical Evidence of White Skin
There are many cases of individuals turning white in Jewish biblical history. When God wanted to show Moses a miracle, he turned his hand “white as snow;” then God turned his hand back again to its original color of black. In ancient Israel when a man had a white spot on his skin or white or yellow hair, or white skin somewhat reddish, he was pronounced unclean. All people who were victims of this shameful disease were isolated outside of the camp or city and segregated.
Some theories equate Albinos with the origin of the Caucasian Race. This website has many validations for the origin of the Negroid Race, but what about the Caucasian Race? Certainly Frances Cress Welsing hit the nail on the head with her book, The IsisPapers (1991).
The White Race has the genetic inability and absence of melanin to produce the different skin pigments seen throughout the world. That absence of skin pigment creates the inability to produce colors. As a result, uncolored or white skin is produced. White Race genes are at a recessive global juncture. Recessive genes delineate body characteristics that are masked or not expressed when a contrasting dominant black or brown gene or trait is present. The black/brown genes create people who have curly hair and whose skin is easily tanned.
As the recessive gene disappears, anthropologists are rushing to reclassify the world’s Black and Brown Races. Through “Caucasian racial engineering” some Brown Races have become hypothetically “White.” It has increased the White Race totals with a lopsided apportionment numbering system. The system has been designed to expand and extend White Race counts, which only amount to 8 percent worldwide (United Nations Population Division, 1+).
In “Echoes of the Old Darkland” by Charles Finch III, MD by a doctor of medicine (Yale) the following is quoted: “We propose that the … population that survived the last glaciations in southwestern Eurasia was largely a group of albinoids who were better adapted to the ecology than their darker relatives who had originally colonized the area. These latter were gradually replaced by albinoids, though small groups of African aboriginal types long persisted on the North Atlantic seaboard because of the availability of Vitamin-D-rich salt-water fish. This “goodness-of-fit” of the albinoids in this northern environment was due to the more efficient Vitamin D production and utilization in the whitened skin in these sunlight-deficient latitudes and better cold resistance.
The Ice Age had the practical effect of isolating this marginal group from other populations for a prolonged period, promoting a consanguinity that would have allowed the recessive albinoid genes to express and propagate themselves. Creation of a new race via de-pigmentation is consistent with the tendency in nature of new species and subspecies to form out of marginal groups that have become isolated from their “parent” populations and subjected more or less abruptly to extreme environmental conditions, which generate intense selection pressure.” (Op. cit. p. 35) Albinoid mutation seems as good a speculation since the fossil data and genetic data both seem to rule in favor of a common, Black African ancestry for all mankind.
People with Natural Blonde Hair are Disappearing and will be Extinct in 200 Years.
New research suggests that people with blonde hair will be completely extinct in 200 years. Blonde hair occurs only in people from northern Europe. The blonde gene that causes blonde hair color must be on both sides of the family, and according to the World Health Organization, there is now too few people who carry it.
Professor Jonathan Rees from Edinburgh University is leading a two-year study into the genetics of blondes. Scientists say blondes will survive longest in Scandinavia where they are most concentrated, and they predict the last one alive will be from Finland.
Globally, the White Race risks “genetic color elimination.” Caucasians /8 per centers are rapidly presenting the world with a conjured-up system of so-called “statistical numbers of non-truth” as a way to implant new suppositions and beliefs. The non-truth firepower has the ability to deliver psyche-up, illusory gunfire amounting to numerical warheads on the target of more Caucasian deceit. The duplicity will end up fabricating a sort of actuality–statistical ballistic weaponry warfare to MAXIMIZE the dwindling White Race group numbers.
The original Indo-Europeans referred to, as Aryans were nomads who herded animals in the steppes north of the Black Sea, in what is now the Ukraine. Between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, the Aryans migrated into Europe on horseback and conquered a series of cultures. The Encyclopedia Britannica concurs with British historians. When trying to trace pre-historic man to Europeans, it was found that Indo-Iranian languages make up a major branch of the Indo-European family of languages (Bower, 120+).
The Sinhalese Language is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Aryan family. The earliest surviving specimens of the language are brief inscriptions on rocks in Brahmi Letters from 200 BC. The most considerable amount of dated Aryan language dates to about AD 1000 (Encyclopedia Britannica, 567).
Linguistics link the Iranian language to African languages. Iranian languages include the Arabic language. Arabic belongs to the Semitic language group. Semitic includes Ethiopic and Hebrew–people who lived in one of Black Africa’s greatest civilizations. The implication being made is the following: Caucasians cannot validate their rudiment White civilization. It has been proven that civilization started in the great river valleys of Africa in the Fertile Crescent. The human race was born in Africa, and it is only logical that the evolution of White men started in Africa.
The EncyclopediaBritannia outlines the lack of or absence of historical sources to trace the process of Swedish Expansion and the Viking Era around AD 400. The same is true for Denmark. It is written–The first trustworthy written evidence of a kingdom of Denmark belongs to the early Viking Period. Roman knowledge of this country was fragmentary and unreliable. The same is said for the other Scandinavian countries.
Currently, the Smithsonian Museum is inviting people to examine the Atlantic Saga of the well-known culture of the Scandinavian Viking Age (AD750-1050) as they discover America. They landed in Newfoundland, Canada exactly 1,000 years ago. It is being hailed as a “discovery.” An endnote has been added that there is generous support from the Nordic Council and Ministers of Volvo.
The Caucasoid/8 per centers’ numerical deficiency has created a sort of numerical abundance because White groups now have psychologically increased their numbers with the many different White classifications of: German White Race, English White Race, French White Race, and Russian White Race. This justifiably amounts to many White Races even though theoretically there has been a three-race theory staunchly in place since the 19th Century.
The same psychological numerology works to minimize black/brown groups and forms the White “labeled minority classifications” geneticists refer to when “feeling their oats on the genetic highway to a White majority.” Dividing black/brown people into groups and referring to the groups as “non-white” or “people of color,” presents a purely natural tendency to think of black/brown people as lesser because of the fewest number of numerical classifications. Therefore, Black and Brown people have become minorities in the mastermind scheme when the statistical numbers of abundant craftiness are presented globally.
From sea-to-shining-sea. History shows that discrimination in this country occurs in all races that are not considered Caucasian. Asians, for example, have experienced a long history of discrimination even though the Asian Race is coined as the “Prototype Minority” worthy enough to grace the White American dominion. In 1854 the California Supreme Court ruled that Chinese citizens were not permitted to testify against Whites. In 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act banned all immigration from China.
In 1913, California declared Asians ineligible for citizenship and prohibited property ownership. In 1924 the National Origins Act excluded most Asians from migrating to the US. With the outbreak of World War II one hundred and ten thousand (110,000) Japanese Americans were relocated to internment camps. It was only in 1952 that Asians born outside the US were permitted to become citizens–but now have been termed the “ideal minority.” Today most Blacks and Latinos continue to be subjected to extreme economic and social discrimination; whereas, most Asian Americans are not. Asian Americans have been labeled the “ideal minority.”
King James invented “discrimination of the divine” when he and his team of 47 European interpreters translated the King James Version of The Holy Bible. Purity, virtue, and goodness spew from every pictorial page of White European Biblical characters. The Bible reveals a blue-eyed White Jesus hanging on a cross, a golden-haired White Moses showing the “Tablets of Law to the People,” and praying at Mt. Sinai upon every turn of a page.
I am King James, and I proclaim “Ham, the youngest son of Noah, to be the father of the Black Race.”
Ham is the father of the Black Race because he was cursed and “condemned to Hell” states King James and his team of European Interpreters. In Gen. 9:18-29 Ham is the recipient of a curse–“Let Canaan be cursed.”
Hey, that means Canaanites were Black. What do ya know!!! Berber describes the indigenous Caucasoid people of Northern Africa in the scholarly White dictionary and encyclopedia, but Berber is defined as people who speak Hammitic/Semitic Languages. Hey, does that mean Berbers were Black? The Cushite (Ethiopian) and ancient Egyptian also spoke Semitic Languages.
Ham–the Originator of the Black Race “the accursed” and all of his descendants will be damned. Eurocentric church officials developed a mind-set of “heathen Blacks” to devise and formulate deceptive historical attitudes and viewpoints.
The Aryan Nation believes its group does the on-going work of Jesus the Christ in re-gathering His people, calling His people to a state for their nation to ring in His Kingdom. The Aryan Nation believes that Adam, man of Genesis, is the placing of the White Race upon this Earth. Not all races descend from Adam. Adam is the father of the White Race only. (Adam in the original Hebrew language is translated: “to show blood in the face; turn rosy.” Genesis 5:1).
The Book of Enoch Hamitic/Ethiopic Authorship: The Book of Enoch–which is considered to be the earliest biblical record of antiquity and the earliest book of Hamitic authorship is widely quoted throughout the King James Version of the Bible. The Book of Enoch was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls in the caves of the Qumran. Enoch was Noah’s grandfather and Methuselah’s father. Methuselah was the oldest man in the Bible living to be 969.
After reading the Book of Enoch, it is evident that the entire Creation of Heaven and Earth depicted by King James and his translators has not been taught in America’s churches. Why? Did King James and his translators use manipulatives to gain control and purposely hide Hamitic/Ethiopic authorship? If this book was written before the book of Genesis, and is Hamitic–aren’t we back-to-Black? Webster’s Warped Dictionary verifies that Ham was the Originator of the Black Race. (Brown, Ronald K. BOOK OF ENOCH, San Antonio, Texas 78210).
According to the Enoch–one of the Lost Books of the Bible, there were a Race of Angels numbering 200 who were sent to Earth to watch over mankind. The “Watchers” looked upon the women of the Earth and found them fair and pleasing to the eye. The women gave birth to what is known as (Nephilims) Giants of the Earth. The Book of Enoch comprises the following topics:
- Second Coming of Jesus Christ and Judgment
- Skills and Knowledge Taught by the Fallen Angels
- Children of Angels to be destroyed
- Disobedient Angels Incarcerated Till Judgment Day
- Prophecy of A New Heaven and A New Earth
- MESSIANIC REVELATIONS
- PROPHECIES OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
- GOD Promises to Dwell with the Saints
The King James Version of the Bible starts with Genesis and the creation of Heaven and Earth. In Genesis 4:15 God orders Cain out of the Garden of Eden. Cain goes out from the presence of the LORD, and dwells in the land of Nod, on the East of Eden. There he knew his wife and conceived. “The Land of Nod” appears right there in the Fourth Chapter of Genesis. If Adam and Eve were the first two people on earth, what was the Land of Nod? The word “Genesis” is be-rasheet in Hebrew, an African/Edenic language that Western philologists in the 18th Century classified as part of the family of languages. Be-rasheet means “in the beginning” in a time when God created all things. (African Heritage Bible, 1).
Leprosy among the Hebrews and Snow White Miriam
In 14th century B.C., plagues were endemic through the Middle East and Egypt. The Book of Numbers tells us that Miriam and Aaron, sister and brother to Moses, revolted against their brother’s leadership. Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only to Moses? Hath eh not spoken also by us?” Their challenge to Moses angered God. As a punishment “Miriam became leprous, white as snow” (Greenberg, 197).
The original man can be linked directly to the “Neanderthal” and “Cro-Magnon” Man 10,000 years ago through archeological measurements in size and stature to the Bushmen-Hottentot population of South Africa. Any US or European research book or encyclopedia show the reader a White man who is half man and half animal. Charles Darwin (Mr. Charlie) and other evolutionists would rather have the world believe man evolved from apes than from a Black man.
As Europeans were busy labeling the entire Black Race as cursed and accursed, a fair-haired English physicist came up with the color spectrum in 1666 that disputes the “White European Hamitic Theory.” The theory clearly denotes that if Noah and his wife were Caucasoid, it would have been impossible to produce three different races of people. The Keys to the Colors Theory was proven by Newton over 300 years ago, but Warped Webster’s Dictionary still defines Ham as the “Father of the Black Race.”
Reference books will tell you the majestic Sir Isaac Newton was credited with the discovery of the color spectrum. The theory presents solid proof that black is the foundation or base for all colors. Newton was the celebrated White English physicist who took a glass prism and passed a beam of sunlight through it. When the light passed through the prism, it formed a rainbow he later called the color spectrum.
By mixing the three primary colors of red, blue, and yellow together, the color black is produced. Black is the color from which all other colors are produced and is dominant. White, on the other hand, is the color of maximal lightness from which no other colors can be produced and is recessive. Just because white reflects all colors does not mean it is possible to get all colors from white. A little every day thing like the exalted Sir Isaac Newton’s so called discovery of the color spectrum shows more validity as it points to an African origin than the many years of research and long drawn out scientific theories to disparage and dismiss Black culture and history.
While scientists interpret, record, and test their theories, all they need is a small box of Crayola Crayons containing three crayons and a sheet of paper to prove the Keys to the colors.
Albinos occur in all races of mankind and in all animal groups. The albionotic condition arises from a distinct hereditary interference with the normal function of melanocytes. The enzyme tyrosinase is necessary for the formation of melanin and determines the color of the skin, hair, and eyes. Most children with albinism are born to parents who have normal hair and eye color for their ethnic backgrounds.
White skin is a form of albinism. There is no difference, microscopically speaking, between the white skin of a Caucasoid person and the skin of a person designated as an Albino. Black people with albinism tend to have hair of a deep bright yellow, cream-colored skin, and green or hazel eyes. The social problems of Blacks are compounded if a child is born and is an Albino. In the Caucasian Race blonde hair, blue eyes, and alabaster skin are considered so highly desirable that brunettes often bleach their hair or wear colored contacts to look like Albinos.
One of the most glorious periods of English History was that of the reign of Queen Victoria (1819-1901). The Victorians wore white wigs and powdered their skin to a chalky white probably in awe of their ancestors. Similarly, the powdered white wig worn by American colonial era illuminati reflected the wearer’s ability to afford luxury items and identified him as one of the educated elite.
In Biblical times people with albinism were banished or thrown out, and forced to live in colonies just as people with leprosaria or Hansen’s Disease were forced to live in leper colonies and away from other people. The Black Race believed that God was delivering judgment on a family with albinism and that the individual with albinism is cursed or is the embodiment of sin.
White-skinned people came into existence thousands of years ago as the Albino mutant offspring of black-skinned mothers and fathers in Africa. A sizable number of these Black parents produced, rejected and then cast out of the community their genetic defective albino offspring to live away from the normal black skin-pigmented population. There were colonies of albinos formed which eventually migrated northward to Europe, to escape the intensity of the equatorial sun of the Southern hemisphere (Welsing, 23).
During Biblical times Albinos were ostracized. The same thing is happening today when Albinism occurs in society. Albinos are ostracized by their own families–especially in Black families where the difference in skin color is more distinct. The ostracizing of Albinos during Biblical times is the only logical explanation of how the White Race came into existence. The Albino colonies produced more and more Albinos until there was an Albino Race.
The Finnish, Swedish, and Danish people are “as White as pure driven show” with blonde hair that is almost White. The two groups of people show a strong evidence they were part of the composition of the Albinic/White Race that moved northward. White European geneticists that the union of two albinos will produce children that are affected with albinism have validated it. The parents of albinos are often consanguineous since it increases the likelihood that both will possess the same gene. The Albion tic condition creates an extreme sensitivity of eyes and skin to the sunlight.
There was a migration of the African Albinos northward to what the world recognizes as Europe. During Biblical times Europe was part of Africa. Europeans themselves designated and divided Africa into the regions of the “Middle East” and “Europe.”
Skin color is determined by melanin. The large molecule of the pigment melanin is formed in the skin cells from a much smaller molecule called tyrosine. Tyrosine is colorless and is present in all cells. In the skin cells of most human beings there is at least one gene whose job is to manufacture tyrosine. If the gene is of a type that can form considerable quantities of tyrosinase, the skin cell is like a well-staffed factory.
Considerable quantities of melanin are formed, and the person possessing that gene has dark-brown skin, black hair, and dark-brown eyes. If the gene were a type that manufactured only a small amount of tyrosinase, the reverse would be true. Little melanin would be formed, and the person would have fair skin, light hair, and light eyes.
An Albino’s genes do not form tyrosinase at all. No tyrosinase occurs in their cells and no melanin can be formed. Such people have very fair skin, white hair, and no pigment at all in their eyes. The eyes look reddish because small blood vessels can be seen through the transparent colorless iris of the eye (Boyd & Asimov, 72).
The Scandinavian countries Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland make up the Nordic people. Nordic traits include long slim bodies, long oval faces, White alabaster skin, straight blond hair, and blue or gray eyes. Nordic people have thick yellow-white eyebrows, and facial hair. The Nordic traits clearly distinguish and identify Albino traits or visa versa–take your pick.
“They betrayed everything we worked for,” says Jocelyn Cooper, 84, her delicate voice firm with rage. With yet another Black politician indicted for corruption, she, like so many others, wonders if the community will ever realize its full political potential.
Mrs. Cooper remembers when she and her husband, Andy Cooper, took out a third mortgage on their home to finance a lawsuit challenging the voting districts in Brooklyn. It was Cooper v. Power that led to Brooklyn’s first African-American in the House of Representatives, Shirley Chisholm. Chisholm, also the first African-American female in Congress, would go on to run for President. The district she represented was created as a result of Cooper v. Power.
However, the legacy of Black political gains is tarnished by images of revered Black politicians admitting to abuse of power, bribery, and extortion. Jessie Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) pled guilty to a felony charge of using $750,000 in campaign funds for extravagant purchases, including a stuffed animal head. Jackson, son of civil rights activist, Jesse Jackson, Sr, may serve 46 to 57 months in Federal prison.
All communities have experienced corrupt politicians. However, the Black community with its special vulnerabilities can least afford such scandals among its politicians. For example, Tom DeLay (R-TX), White, and former Majority Whip, was convicted in 2011 of laundering political contributions and sentenced to three years in prison. Perhaps politicians in other communities may not be as dependent on a single elected official for political representation.
The Civil Rights Movement served as a springboard for Black political careers. Moving from protest to politics, Sharpe James, an educator, was Mayor of Newark, NJ, from 1986 to 2006. Then, James was brought down by fraud convictions and sentenced to 27 months in Federal prison. Charles Diggs (D-MI), a civil rights activist who worked to end apartheid in South Africa, was the first Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. He was censured by Congress. Diggs, convicted of mail fraud in 1980, served 14 months in Federal prison. He died maintaining his innocence of all charges.
Black politicians have long claimed a double-standard convicts them for conduct others do freely. In 1967, when Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (D-NY), was stripped of his power and Congressional seat for allegedly abusing campaign funds he said: “I will always do just what every other Congressman and committee chairman has done and is doing.” Powell was censured, the most severe sanction Congress can administer short of expulsion.
Powell, a Harlem legend, filed a lawsuit to regain his seat against House Speaker John McCormack. The case, Powell v. McCormack went to the U.S. Supreme Court. Powell was victorious. However, the damage was done. A young Charlie Rangel defeated Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. for that Harlem seat.
Charles Rangel (D-NY), now 82, is suing John Boehner, Speaker of the House, to overturn a 2010 censure for tax improprieties. Rangel chaired the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. He lost that post when the House voted 333 to 79 to censure him. Rangel claims his constitutional rights were violated.
However, corruption charges against certain Black politicians are a matter of greed, not discrimination. Former Representative William Jefferson (D-LA), a Harvard Law School graduate, stashed $90,000 in bribe money in his freezer. Jefferson was convicted of taking bribes from businesses wanting to invest in Africa. Jack B. Johnson, Prince George’s County Executive, charged with taking over $1 million in bribes, and his wife, a County Councilperson, were both sentenced to Federal prison. Leslie Johnson tried to hide $80,000 in her blouse when the FBI arrived to search their house.
When Kwame Kilpatrick was elected Mayor of Detroit, at age 31, his youth was a sign of hope and rejuvenation. Now, as Detroit’s unemployment rises to 18 percent and population falls by 25 percent, Kilpatrick, 42, is going to prison. In March, Kilpatrick was convicted on 24 counts, including racketeering conspiracy and extortion. That same month, bankrupt Detroit was taken over by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder who then appointed a manager.
Communities of all sizes are reeling from political corruption scandals. In Milwaukee, Michael McGee, Jr., former Milwaukee Alderman, was imprisoned for corruption. In Georgia, Fidelis Ogbu, 60, DeKalb County Department of Public Works engineering supervisor was sentenced to 3 years in Federal prison for extortion. Brooklyn’s Clarence Norman lost leadership of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, the biggest Democratic organization east of Chicago, when he was convicted of extortion. Norman was stripped of an Assembly seat he held for 23 years.
When Jocelyn Cooper, a retired social worker, remembers voting drives, stuffing envelopes, going door to door, she sighs deeply. “We sacrificed so much for future generations to have more than we did,” says Cooper. She wonders if some Black politicians truly understand the struggle that created the opportunity for them to run. “They betrayed the trust.”
Hope lies with those politicians who never forget they are public servants.
One has to wonder how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would respond to the state of black America in 2013. From the nonsense that regularly spews from the mouth of rappers like Lil Wayne to the black-on-black violence that continues to plague many black urban and rural neighborhoods, we are moving further away from King’s dream. Did MLK die so that rappers like Lil Wayne could saturate their music with misogyny and materialism? Did MLK die so that young black males could sabotage their lives and the lives of others in their neighborhoods? Moreover, what continues to baffle many of us is the curious absence of a discussion about the promotion of moral values in low-income communities as a way to undermine the mass incarceration epidemic in the black community because of the government’s failed drug policies.
Maria Lloyd, Business Manager for Your Black World Network, recently wrote a column outlining a few of the social consequences of the mass incarceration of African American men resulting from failed federal drug policy including the proliferation of HIV/AIDS, unemployment, and mass incarceration. In fact, a December 2012 recent Justice Department report observes that “nearly half (48%) of inmates in federal prison were serving time for drug offenses in 2011, while slightly more than a third (35%) were incarcerated for public-order crimes.” Lloyd continues,
Among African-Americans who have grown up during the era of mass incarceration, one in four has had a parent locked up at some point during childhood. For black men in their 20s and early 30s without a high school diploma, the incarceration rate is so high — nearly 40 percent nationwide — that they’re more likely to be behind bars than to have a job.
The war on drugs, like the war on poverty, has been lost and many argue that both “wars” need to be called off. The resultant mass incarceration of black males has had a significant impact on cycles of poverty, family breakdown in the black community, and the removal of able bodied men from the labor market. While these issues are true, what also needs to be addressed is state of moral virtue in black America. We have to wonder what would happen if moral virtue hailed supreme in low-income black neighborhoods that were vulnerable to failed drug war policies. Given the known consequences of federal drug policy, what would happen if people chose not to put themselves in positions to get busted on a drug charge? What if black leaders decided to undermine the prison industrial complex by providing a vision for a virtuous black America where incarceration rates plummeted not because laws changed in the short-term, although that needs to happen, but because men and women in black communities across this country protested and resisted the government’s “war” by living more virtuously?
This is what the Bible means by living above reproach (1 Timothy 3:1-7). As legislators work to change federal drug policy, it seems that the best short-term strategy to deal with the mass incarceration of black men is the promotion and practice of a lifestyle where there would be no cause or occasion of criminal activity connected to drug use or distribution. No drugs, no arrests. No arrests, no mass incarceration. This proposal will sound fanciful to some but it only sounds unreasonable if you believe that black men are not capable of virtuous living. This is the moral elephant in the room. It might be time to subvert the inconsistency of federal drug policy by taking the high moral road that is often less traveled. While we call for needed changes in federal drug policy we also need to call black men and women to virtuous living.
Muslims make up about 6% of the population in the United States. The majority of conversions to this growing religion is occurring within the African-American community (a little over 11% of America’s population).
Many African-Americans view Christianity as the White man’s religion and associate conversion to Islam with recovering their ethnic heritage. Thus, to effectively evangelize African-American Muslims, it is crucial to understand the development of the American Muslim movement. The following study examines the rise of the movement and traces its history and theological development.
Like the struggle for freedom and dignity, historic African-American theology developed along two streams, northern and southern. In both cases an over-arching Biblical pattern and theme (paradigm) developed for doing ministry.
Of course, like all other Bible-believing communities, the historic African-American church preached Christ crucified and risen, as well as the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. The ministry paradigm came in the way the church worked out and applied its faith to the surrounding community.
In the ante-bellum North where slavery died out, the theological paradigm was the ‘Exile’. The freedmen saw the hand of God at work in terms of a special calling they sensed to bring the gospel of Christ to the rest of the ‘African Diaspora’, people of African descent living in the South, Canada, the Caribbean, and Africa. Had it fully developed, this would have been a theology addressing the issues of dignity, African identity, and global significance.
With the official end of slavery in 1865, the former slaves were devastated and confused about their identity in the economy of God. Yet the indigenous African-American church experienced explosive growth. A major contributing factor was the fact that the church in the North and the South adequately addressed the need for a true identity. This was achieved when the church adopted the Northern ‘exilic’ theological paradigm. They called it ‘Pan-Africanism’. Under this banner the African-American church became actively involved in cultural and economic development in the United States and in missions, especially in Africa.
However, three events radically altered the theological direction of the African-American church. They were 1) the end of the post-Civil War Reconstruction in the South in 1877, 2) the Industrial Revolution in the North, and 3) the consolidation of European colonialism in Africa as the result of the Congress of Berlin (1878) and the Conference of Berlin (1884-85).
With the end of Reconstruction in the South, the former slaves were subject to racist terrorism and intimidation as White supremacy was re-established. Concurrent with the industrial revolution in the North was a massive wave of European immigration. This led to the rise of the White-only trade unions. The result was the elimination of African-Americans from the skilled labor force.
The consolidation of colonialism in Africa decimated the missions movement of the African-American church.
These traumas forced the church to abandon the Pan-African approach to ministry and revert to the old survival approach which had emerged in the context of slavery. This created a theological vacuum in the areas of dignity, African identity, and global significance.
Several non-Christian attempts were made to fill this vacuum. Among them were 1) W. E. B. Dubois and his advocacy of solidarity through education, 2) a few Black Jewish sects, 3) Marcus Garvey and the United Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.), and 4) several Black nationalist oriented Islamic sects. Islam’s attempt to fill the vacuum is discussed in the following pages.
A Religion of Separatism
The first actual African-American Muslim sect was the Moorish Science Temple Divine and National Movement of North America, founded in Newark, New Jersey by Timothy Drew (Noble Drew Ali) in 1913. In 1925, the name of the sect was changed to the Moorish Temple of Science. Drew Ali developed the ‘Koran of the Moorish Holy Temple of Science’ and taught that Allah had ordained him as his prophet to the dark people of America. Ali stated that Negro and Black signified death and Colored signified something painted. Therefore, the terms Asiatic, Moor or Moorish-American must be used. Ali taught that salvation was found by discovering national origin and refusing to be called Negro, Black, Colored, Ethiopian, etc.
Noble Drew Ali died in 1929, and two of his disciples claimed to be his reincarnation and heir to the leadership of the sect. The first of these disciples was Sheik Timothy Givins El who established a faction called Moorish Temple of Science headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. In 1975, Grand Sheik Richardson Dingle-El founded a splinter group and reverted to the original name.
The second of these disciples was Wali D. Fard, a mysterious White man of Turkish origins, also known as Aka Wali Fard Muhammad. Fard established the Temple of Islam headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. He appeared in the Paradise Valley of Detroit, declaring himself to be the leader of the Nation of Islam. He claimed to have remedies for the social and economic problems facing Americans of African descent. He asserted that he had come to gain freedom, justice, and equality for them.
Fard made his living peddling silks and other artifacts door to door, presenting them as African. In this way, Fard gained access to African-American homes and began propagating his doctrine. Since his audience was familiar with the Bible, he used it as a springboard for his teachings. He then slowly introduced them to the text of the Quran. Fard’s message was this
Christianity is a tool in the hands of the White slave masters to control the minds of Black people.
White people are devils, the embodiment of evil.
The only hope for Black people in America is total separation and self-reliance.
Between 1930 and 1933, Fard recruited 8,000 followers among Detroit Blacks.(1) As a result of the organization’s rapid growth, Fard found it necessary to train several ministers to help him. Among these was an unemployed auto worker named Robert Poole.
As the son of a Baptist minister, Poole knew the Bible quite well. Poole, later known as Elijah Muhammad, became the chief minister of the Temple of Islam and Fard’s eventual successor. In 1932 , Elijah Muhammad moved to Chicago and founded Temple #2. However, he returned to Detroit to aid Fard, who had been imprisoned. Later, Fard joined Elijah Muhammad at Temple #2 in Chicago, but he was soon arrested there as well. Under the pressure of continued conflict with police, Fard eventually mysteriously disappeared.
Later, the Temple of Islam divided into two factions. One faction, led by Abdul Muhammad, believed that Fard was a prophet of Allah and kept the name Temple of Islam. The most prominent faction was the Chicago-based Nation of Islam led by Elijah Muhammad. He believed that Fard was Allah in person. Eventually, Abdul Muhammad’s faction was reabsorbed into the Nation of Islam.
Elijah Muhammad expounded his doctrine in the book Message to the Black Man in America. Fard’s disappearance made his image as a Christ-figure more marketable. Also, Muhammad used his familiarity with the Scriptures to present Fard as the fulfillment of prophecy. ‘You must forget about ever seeing the return of Jesus who was here 2000 years ago. Set your heart on seeing the one that he said would come at the end of the present world’s time (the White race’s time). He is called the ‘Son of Man’, the ‘Christ’, the ‘Comforter.”(2) Muhammad argued that Jesus did not know the day or the hour of the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 2436), thus he could not have been predicting his own return. Muhammad asserted that Fard was the Mahdi spoken of in the Quran.
Elijah Muhammad taught that the ultimate solution to the problem facing the African-American community was total separation from White society and the establishment of a Black Muslim state somewhere in North America or elsewhere. Furthermore, Muhammad taught that integration was a hypocritical and deceptive offer. Its intention was to deceive Black people into believing the opponents of freedom, justice, and equality were now their friends. Elijah Muhammad despised the Christian doctrine of loving one’s enemy. In fact, his thinking concurred with W. D. Fard’s hostile view of Christianity. Moreover, he saw the Black preacher as the greatest impediment to the progress of the Black race.
The allegation that ‘Christianity’ had been used to subjugate Black people is undeniable. Although the Quakers opposed slavery early on, staging the first anti-slavery demonstration in 1688, most churches either defended slavery, ignored it, or were divided over the issue.(3) In light of this fact, the teachings of Elijah Muhammad fell upon eager ears. He was preaching to people who were waiting for a claim to dignity and self-sufficiency, as well as for spiritual fulfillment. He convinced them that the answers to their problems were found only in Islam.
A New Theology
Elijah Muhammad’s teachings were by no means orthodox Islam. He taught that Allah was a man, W. D. Fard, whom he knew personally. He taught that Black people created and owned the universe and founded the city of Mecca. He also taught that a mad scientist named Yacub created the White race 6000 years ago.
According to Muhammad, Yacub was an exile from Mecca. He determined to take revenge on Allah and on those who exiled him and his 59,999 followers to the island of Patmos. Hence, through crude genetic engineering, he created a race of white devils. After Yacub’s death, this devil race returned to Arabia. They began to turn the peaceful society into a hell torn by quarreling and fighting. They were eventually exiled to Europe and penned in to keep them from spreading.
Muhammad also asserted that there are 24 scientists who rule the universe and write a prophetic book of history prior to each 25,000 years. They predicted Yacub would create this race of devils, who would rule the earth for 6000 years. According to Elijah Muhammad, those 6000 years are over. The battle of Armageddon between Blacks and Whites, Muslims and Christians is about to occur.(4)
For the most part, Elijah Muhammad was preaching to uneducated people, unfamiliar with Islam. Just as he twisted passages of the Bible to suit his purpose, he concocted a version of Islam to address what he saw were the needs of Black Americans. The appeal of his new religion was its emphasis on Black self-awareness, self-sufficiency, and the promise that God was on the side of African-Americans in their struggle against racial oppression in America.
The Appeal of the Movement
A demographic study of Black Muslims by C. Eric Lincoln (5) revealed some startling insights into who responded to Elijah Muhammad’s message. The majority of those who joined the Nation of Islam were young, economically disadvantaged, African-American males from Christian backgrounds. Up to 80% of a typical congregation were between the ages of 17 and 35. Traditionally, the church in the Black community has had difficulty attracting young males. In an article entitled, ‘Why Most Black Men Won’t Go to Church,’ Reverend William Harris attributes the primary reason to economics
‘Many Black males won’t go to church because today’s church does not address their needs. The Black male needs money, job opportunities, business resources, and relevant skills training. The church collects money, but does little to create opportunities through which he can make more money. Jesus understood the need to feed people before preaching to them. Today’s church must likewise set the table for the Black man before asking him to pay to have the dishes done.(6)
Elijah Muhammad’s program for economic development played a crucial role in the rapid growth of the Nation of Islam. With the money donated by members, Muhammad purchased land for farms, store fronts, bakeries, apartment buildings and schools. The economic base of the organization grew in proportion to numerical growth. By owning businesses and land, Elijah Muhammad was able to provide both housing and employment for needy followers. Furthermore, the members had the added pride of sharing in the ownership of these various enterprises and being, to a great extent, independent of the broader society. Scarcity of employment for young Black males offers one explanation of why they were drawn to the Nation of Islam in such large numbers.
Men were also drawn to the Nation of Islam because of the emphasis placed on male leadership. African-American churches tend to be dominated by women, with one central male figure, the pastor in the pulpit. As a result, many men do not feel affirmed in the church environment. They see the pastor as a threat and even a rival. Elijah Muhammad was able to criticize the Black male while affirming his role. Thus he challenged men to take the lead, and they responded. ‘Unlike the typical Christian church, the Muslim temples attract many more men than women, and men assume the full management of temple affairs. Women are honored and they perform important functions within a defined role.'(7)
The role of women consists of teaching other women and managing the affairs of the home. Ironically, women were also attracted to the Nation of Islam because they appreciated the strength of the men and the protective posture they took towards Black women. As C. Eric Lincoln noted in his research, the Nation of Islam appeals to the young regardless of gender.
‘A surprising number of young people are attracted by the Muslims’ redefinition of the roles men and women should play in the home and in the religious life of the sect. There is a strong emphasis on the equality of individuals irrespective of sex, but each sex is assigned a role considered proper for itself. The trend in our larger society seems to be towards blurring the distinct line between the traditional social roles of men and women. The Muslims, on the other hand, claim to have restored the women to a place of dignity and respect…Muslim women seem to welcome the security and protection implicit in this arrangement….Children seem to profit most, for among Muslim children, delinquency is unheard of.’ (8)
Among people who were not accustomed to the security of a strong nuclear family with well-defined roles, the Nation of Islam provided welcomed structure. The underlying message of the Nation was that the disorder they had experienced up until then had been caused by outside forces beyond their control, evil influences they were now to avoid at all cost.
‘Muslim women particularly are forbidden contact with either sex of the White race, on the theory that, 1) ‘no White man has honorable intentions toward any Black women’, and 2) White women are immoral by nature. White women are said to corrupt the minds of Black women, who then try to imitate them by ‘displaying their bodies, neglecting their children and abandoning their men’.(9) Just as Adolf Hitler salved the consciences of the Germans by blaming the Jews for all their economic and political woes, Elijah Muhammad found in the White race the source of every ill within the Black community, especially with regard to the family. Thus the causes for the growth of the movement were both economic and psychological.
A Dynamic Young Spokesman
The greatest period of growth in the Nation of Islam cannot be directly attributed to Elijah Muhammad. In 1948, while serving a prison sentence in Massachusetts, a young man by the name of Malcolm Little became acquainted with the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and was converted. Upon release from prison, Malcolm Little, a former pimp, drug pusher, armed robber, and numbers man, returned to Detroit and began aggressively recruiting for Detroit Temple #1. He received recognition for his efforts from Elijah Muhammad, who changed his name to Malcolm X. ‘X’ symbolized his original African name, which he never knew, and replaced the slave master’s name, Little.(10) This individual bearing the name ‘X’ would soon make both the name and organization it represented a symbol of freedom for some and fear for others.
Malcolm X frequently visited Elijah Muhammad in his home in Chicago to talk for hours. Because of his aggressive recruiting, new ideas and unyielding devotion to Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm was appointed as national spokesman. ‘He was…crisscrossing North America, sometimes as often as four times a week. From Detroit, Malcolm was sent to organize Temple #11. In March 1954, Malcolm moved from Boston to Philadelphia, and in three months Temple #12 was opened….From Philadelphia, Malcolm moved to New York City and became minister of Temple #7.(11) In fact, Malcolm X was instrumental in the establishment of most of the temples in North America, and he took credit for the increase in membership from 400 to 40,000 that occurred within a few years after he joined the Nation of Islam.
Even today, Malcolm X looms larger than life in the African-American quest for the elusive prize of freedom and dignity. He attracted tens of thousands with his emphasis on cultural concerns, discipline, solidarity of the brotherhood, and African identity.
It seems these factors will continue to be a strong draw for young African-American males in the foreseeable future. It is also unlikely that the church will make any significant headway among these young men until it addresses these concerns. The Bible more than adequately addresses these issues, and it is time for Christians to apply God’s word.
In 1950, Khalifa Hamaas Abdul Khaalis (Ernest T. McGee) joined the Nation of Islam in an attempt to bring the sect into line with orthodox Sunni Islam. By 1956, he had become national secretary. His efforts proved unsuccessful, so in 1958, he broke with Elijah Muhammad and founded the Al-Hanif, Hanafi, Madh-Hob Center, Islam Faith, United States of America, American Mussulmans. Based in Washington DC, the Hanafis still adhere to the basic tenets of Sunni Islam.
The Hanafi Muslims gained notoriety in 1973 when five members of the Philadelphia Nation of Islam brutally murdered seven Hanafis, including five members of Khalifa Hamaas Abdul Khaalis’ immediate family. Again in 1977, the Hanafis captured national headlines when they tried to stop the screening of the movie Mohammed Messenger of God. They did this by seizing three buildings in Washington, D.C., the District Building (City Hall), the B’nai B’rith Building and the Islamic Center. They took several hostages. Several were injured and one was killed. Khalifa Hamaas Abdul Khaalis was sentenced to 21 to 120 years for his role in these seizures.
The Five Percenters
Clarence 13X was a member in the Nation of Islam’s Temple #7. He began to teach that the Black man was the god of the universe and had his origins in Mecca. His iconoclastic teachings resulted in his suspension from the Nation of Islam. In 1964, he founded the ‘Five Percent Nation of Islam’. In 1969, Clarence 13X died of suspicious causes. Those who followed him referred to him as ‘Father Allah’.
The Five Percenters agree with Elijah Muhammad’s teaching that the White man is the devil. However, they also include all unscrupulous and deceitful people in this category, regardless of color. They believe that the Black race was the original race and the creator of civilization. For the Five Percenters, the demographics of the African-American community break down as follows
85% – the masses who are ignorant of true ‘divine self’
10% – the corrupt rulers over the 85%
5% – the truly righteous followers of Father Allah
The Five Percenters are very influential in today’s youth pop culture. Many of the most influential ‘Rap’ artists today are Five Percenters. Among the rappers who propagate the doctrine of the Five Percenters are King Sun, The Supreme Team, Lakim Shabazz, Rakim Allah, Brand Nubian and The Poor Righteous Teachers.
Malcolm on His Own
With his platform as national spokesman, Malcolm X became an international figure. He was a coveted lecturer at universities, mosques and churches throughout the country. He recruited new leaders to the Nation. He even had a profound influence upon Elijah Muhammad’s son, Wallace D. Muhammad (also known as Warith D. Muhammad). For many other leaders of the movement, however, Malcolm was gaining too much prominence too quickly. Many began to view him as a threat to Elijah Muhammad’s leadership. He frequently made statements that went beyond the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and was often reprimanded.
There were those within the Nation of Islam who believed that Malcolm was trying to build a financial empire for himself. They began to leave him out of every edition of Muhammad Speaks, the organization’s newspaper. Ironically, it was Malcolm who was instrumental in creating the paper. Aware of the controversy surrounding him, Malcolm began refusing interviews. He frequently told reporters, ‘Please use Mr. Muhammad’s picture instead of mine’.
The tension reached its apex when Elijah Muhammad was implicated by two former secretaries in a paternity suit. Disillusioned, Malcolm X began searching the Bible and Quran for some prophetic explanation for what was happening. This he did with the help of Warith D. Muhammad. He then conducted his own investigation into the allegations, and finally questioned Elijah Muhammad himself. ‘I’m David’, Elijah Muhammad replied. ‘When you read in the Bible how David took another man’s wife, I’m David….You read about Lot who went and laid up with his own daughter. I have fulfilled all those things.(12) Malcolm’s directness in questioning the ‘messenger of Allah’ was perceived as overstepping his bounds.
Shortly after that incident, President Kennedy was assassinated. Elijah Muhammad commanded all ministers of the Nation of Islam to refrain from commenting on Kennedy’s death. However, when asked his opinion of the assassination, Malcolm X replied, ‘I saw it as a case of the chickens coming home to roost’.(13) Warith D. Muhammad and Malcolm X were subsequently suspended from the Nation of Islam. Reflecting upon that time, Warith remarked, ‘I was charged with trying to influence Malcolm’s theological thinking. I was also charged with giving him personal, private knowledge of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s living, which was a lie’.(14)
Actually, Warith D. Muhammad did have an effect on Malcolm X’s theological views. Both men began to lean more toward orthodox Islam. The more Warith read the writings of W. D. Fard, the more he questioned his father’s claim to be the ‘messenger of Allah’. Warith and Malcolm both concluded that Fard could not have been Allah himself.
Malcolm’s ideas were further broadened by his travels. He went on the Hajj and changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El Shabazz. He met with various African leaders and discussed the conditions in their respective countries. Malcolm’s ideological shift was drastic. His intention was to broaden his scope from American Black nationalism to global human rights. He intended to take the case of racism in the United States before the United Nations for action.(15)
On March 8, 1964, while still on suspension, Malcolm X announced that he was leaving the Nation of Islam and forming his own organization. Actually, he started two organizations, Muslim Mosque Incorporated (MMI) and the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). MMI was based upon the principles of orthodox Islam. OAAU was an all Black, non-sectarian organization dedicated to creating a society where Blacks and Whites could live in brotherhood. Malcolm contended that Black/White brotherhood could not occur until Black people themselves were united. At that stage Black and White coalitions would be possible. He encouraged Whites to fight racism and was willing to accept aid from White donors.
However, Malcolm’s new vision didn’t have a chance to take root. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated. He was speaking to a group of about 500 people in the Audubon Ballroom in New York City. Several gunmen opened fire on him from the third row. Three former members of the Nation of Islam were convicted of the crime. One of them, Talmadge Hayer, confessed and implicated the other two. Later he claimed that these two men were innocent, but that four active members of the Nation of Islam had actually helped him. (16)
A New Leader with New Ideas
After a series of suspensions, Warith D. Muhammad was restored to the Nation of Islam in 1969. His father, Elijah Muhammad, restored him to ministry in 1974, giving him freedom to preach what he pleased. On February 25, 1975, Elijah Muhammad died of congestive heart failure. The following day the Nation held its annual Savior’s Day Rally in honor of Elijah Muhammad. There they pronounced Warith D. Muhammad as the new leader. W. D. Fard had actually chosen Warith before he was born, by predicting that Elijah Muhammad’s next child would be a boy and would succeed his father.
Under the leadership of Warith D. Muhammad, the former Nation of Islam has become an orthodox community of Sunni Muslims. From the moment he took over as leader, he sought to align the doctrine of the organization with the Quran. He did away with Elijah Muhammad’s doctrine of racial separation. He struggled to dismantle the cult-like structure. He also restored Malcolm X to a position of honor, naming a mosque after him. Warith began honoring the Constitution and encouraging participation in the political process. Most of the real estate holdings were quickly sold off. He redefined W.D. Fard as a ‘wise man’, and began to teach the five pillars of orthodox Islam. The name of the organization was changed to the Bilillian Community and later to the World Community Al-Islam in the West (WCIW). Although Warith opened the WCIW to people of all races, its membership remained predominantly Black. They continue to be known as Bilillians. Billal was an Ethiopian Muslim who was born in Circa in 600 AD. Billal was so firm in his convictions that when punished by his slave master after refusing to denounce Islam, he cried, ‘Ahad, Ahad’ (One, only one God).(17)
Imam Warith D. Muhammad made greater attempts to foster better relations with the United States government and foreign Islamic governments. His most comprehensive changes were in the realm of the family and the roles of women.
In a 1979 interview with Clifton Marsh, Warith D. Muhammad explained some of his views on women in Islam. ‘Women in the Nation of Islam had a subordinate role to men. Warith D. Muhammad has changed that role, and in many cases, women are placed over men in administrative roles’.(18) The new structure in the WCIW does not make distinctions based on sex. In the mind of the imam, there was no religious justification for such rigid divisions between men and women. Imam Muhammad studied the role of women in Arabia during the time of the prophet Muhammad. He concluded that the right of women to equal education was protected under Islamic law. He justified the new status of women in the WCIW by saying, ‘We cannot make any distinction between men and women in terms of intelligence, spirituality or moral nature. Women are equal to men and they are not to be treated any differently’.(19)
Girls’ training courses were changed from home economics to general intellectual development. Women were free to seek employment outside of the home. ‘I have looked at the role of women…in the light of what the prophet Muhammad did, to give more freedom, more equality to women’. He noted that women at the time of the prophet owned businesses, employed men, and had equal rights to education. He added that if women pursue higher education, ‘how can we expect them to stay home? What is all this education for? You can’t keep her at home nursing babies’.(20) This new teaching was a radical departure from the teachings of the Nation of Islam. It also deviated from the traditional expression of Islam in the Middle East.
When asked where he saw the WCIW in the year 2000, Imam Muhammad replied, ‘I hope Muslims will be so comfortable in America that they won’t have to introduce any structure or anything, just be American Muslims’. This vision has been fulfilled. The structure of the WCIW continued to diminish in scope. The name of the sect was changed to the American Muslim Mission. Their publication The American Muslim Journal was discontinued in 1984. The group was decentralized and absorbed into a larger body of Muslims in 1985, and Warith D. Muhammad became recognized as an Islamic leader by Muslim people of all national origins.
The Old Time Religion
In 1970, toward the closing years of Elijah Muhammad’s leadership, a splinter group broke with the Nation of Islam and founded Calistron. This first group saw the need to be more nationalistic than the parent group. However, by 1980, Calistron had disintegrated.
In spite of the restructuring which took place under Warith Muhammad, four reactionary factions within the Bilillian Community remained. They resisted the changes and held to the doctrine of Elijah Muhammad, ‘the old time religion’.
The leader of the second splinter group was Silas Muhammad. In 1976 he broke with Warith Muhammad and founded the Lost, Found Nation of Islam. He restored all of Elijah Muhammad’s myths and teachings.
The leader of the third splinter group was a former national spokesman for the WCIW, Louis Adul Farrakhan. Farrakhan broke with Warith Muhammad in December of 1977. He now refers to himself as the national spokesman for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. His Black separatist organization first used the name Original Nation of Islam, but is now also known as the Nation of Islam. Minister Farrakhan has received a great deal of media attention for his inflammatory statements. Reporters continue to ask Mr. Farrakhan about his alleged anti-Semitism. In reality, the doctrine to which Farrakhan subscribes classifies all White people, Jews and Gentiles, as devils.
The leader of the fourth splinter group was John Muhammad. In 1978 he broke with Warith Muhammad and founded another Nation of Islam.
The leader of the fifth splinter group was Caliph Emanuel. In 1978 he broke with Warith Muhammad and founded yet another Nation of Islam.
Other Islamic Groups
Some Islamic groups sprang up without growing out of the Moorish Temple of Science. Among them are the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, USA and the Nubian Islamic Hebrews. The Nubians generally address themselves to issues of African-American identity, while the Ahmadiyya generally do not.
The Ahmadiyya Movement itself started in India in 1889. Its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, saw himself as the Madhi (the Messianic savior of Islam). His aim was to bring reformation and revival to Islam. Ahmad’s beliefs were expressed in his book Barahim-i-Ahmadtah.
Dr. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq brought the Ahmadiyya movement to the United States in 1921. Muhammad’s original intention was to convert Islamic immigrants to the movement, but he experienced great success among African-Americans.
In terms of evangelism, the Ahmadiyyas are among the most aggressive Islamic denomination. Because of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s claim to be the Madhi, the Ahmadiyyas are not regarded as truly Islamic by orthodox sects.
The Nubian Islamic Hebrews were founded in New York City in 1970 by Muhammad Ahmed ibn Abd’ullah. He was Sudanese and his followers believed him to be the Khaliyfa, the expected successor to the prophet Muhammad.
The Nubian Islamic Hebrews believe that the origin of the Nubian [Black] race goes back to Adam and Eve [Hawwah]. They have developed their own twist on ‘the curse of Ham myth’. For them, Ham tried to commit sodomy with his drunk and naked father, Noah. The result was Noah’s curse upon Canaan, which turned his skin pale. Thus the Canaanites became the father of all pale-skinned races. Some Nubians intermarried with the outcast children of Canaan and produced the Chinese, East Indians, Eskimos, Indonesians, Japanese, Koreans, Malayans, Pakistanis, and Sicilians. Though these races are mixed, they are regarded as Black.
The Nubian Islamic Hebrews also believe that two additional nations came from Ibraahiym [Abraham]. They were the descendants of Ishmael (the Ishmaelites) and the decedents of Isaac (the Israelites). Like the Israelites who were in Egyptian bondage, the Ishmaelites were held in American bondage for over 400 years. Out of this experience came the Nubians [Black people] of North America and the Caribbean. Because of their parallel experience with the Israelites, the American Nubians consider themselves to be Hebrews.
They believe that the beginning of their sect in 1970 was the opening of the seventh seal in Revelation 81. Basically the theology of the Nubian Islamic Hebrews is a mix of Christian, Islamic, and Jewish beliefs. Their current leader is As Siddid Al Imaan, Isa Al Haahi Al Madhi, the great-grandson of the founder Muhammad Ahmed ibn Abd’ullah.
The Present Situation
Today the Islamic sects are all challenging the African-American church for the minds of the next generation. Because of Islam’s emphasis on external religious practices, African-American adherents tend to operate on their internal instincts, which are essentially Christian. If the church takes the Muslim challenge seriously and theologically addresses the issues of dignity, African identity and global significance, then there is the potential of a great harvest among these Muslims. If the church fails to take the challenge seriously, then the Muslim presence will become a Muslim dominance and this will be a scourge upon the church.
After the end of the American War of Independence, Britain had to find new territory to send its convicts. New South Wales (N.S.W) was selected as a suitable penal colony. Legislation permitting transportation from Britain to N.S.W. was passed in 1784, and the Irish Act followed in 1786.
The Irish Statute provided for”removal to some of His Majesty’s plantations in America, or to such place out of Europe”. Whereas the British Act did not name the destination, merely saying “beyond the sea, either within His Majesty’s dominions or elsewhere outside His Majesty’s Dominion’s”. This difference in the Acts appears to have allowed for transportation to Australia from England, to start in 1787, while there were problems with the Irish Act. Further legislation passed in 1790, designed “to render the transportation of such felons and vagabonds more easy and effectual”, rectified matters.
At the beginning of the 17th Century, in the reign of James I of England, England faced a problem: what to do with the Irish. They had been practicing genocide against the Irish since the reign of Elizabeth, but they couldn’t kill them all. Some had been banished, and some had gone into voluntary exile, but there were still just too many of them.
So James I encouraged the sale of the Irish as slaves to the New World colonies, not only America but Barbados and South America. The first recorded sale of Irish slaves was to a settlement along the Amazon in South America in 1612. However, before that there were probably many unofficial arrangements, since the Irish were of no importance and details of how they were dealt with were not deemed necessary.
In 1625, the King issued a proclamation that all Irish political prisoners were to be transported to the West Indies and sold as slave labor to the planters there. In 1637, a census showed that 69% of the inhabitants of Monsarrat in the West Indies were Irish slaves. The Irish had a tendency to die in the heat, and were not as well suited to the work as African slaves, but African slaves had to be bought. Irish slaves could be kidnapped if there weren’t enough prisoners, and of course, it was easy enough to make Irish prisoners by manufacturing some petty crime or other. This made the Irish the preferred “livestock” for English slave traders for 200 years.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — For years, varied and sometimes wild claims have been made about the origins of a group of dark-skinned Appalachian residents once known derisively as the Melungeons. Some speculated they were descended from Portuguese explorers, or perhaps from Turkish slaves or Gypsies.
Now a new DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy attempts to separate truth from oral tradition and wishful thinking. The study found the truth to be somewhat less exotic: Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.
And that report, which was published in April in the peer-reviewed journal, doesn’t sit comfortably with some people who claim Melungeon ancestry.
“There were a whole lot of people upset by this study,” lead researcher Roberta Estes said. “They just knew they were Portuguese, or Native American.”
The History Channel miniseries “The Bible” is one of the most popular TV shows in recent memory. “The greatest story ever told” seems to have much life left in i
During an age of economic uncertainty (and even more so among Christian Dominionist evangelicals who believe Barack Obama is the anti-Christ) it makes sense that a retreat to a popularized version of the underpinnings of Christian faith, tailor-made for cable TV, has proven to be popular.
“The Bible” will likely draw more viewers following the controversy generated by a recent episode that offered up a vision of “Satan” whose facial features are almost identical to those of President Barack Obama.
There are a great many K/Cavanaughs in North America who trace their ancestry back to a Charles Cavanaugh, who arrived in Virginia, with a brother or cousin named Philemon Cavanagh (Felim or Phelim), on or about 1700. Their descendants most often spell their name with a C, although a variety of both C and K spellings are found, even within the same immediate family. They were originally concentrated in the Southeastern United States, particularly Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, but now spread to everywhere. Although long standing family traditions trace Charles and Philemon of 1700 arrival back to Colonel Charles Cavanaugh of Carrickduff and Clonmullen, (the son of Sir Morgan Cavanagh, the son of Donnal Spanaigh Cavanagh), a recorded link still evades researchers.
A possible link, however, was found in Barbados, where the birth of a Charles Cavanaugh, son of Charles Cavanaugh, was registered there in January 1679. At the same time, another Cavanagh was registered as inbound on a ship to Barbados from Liverpool. And further complicating the entry is the same registry records the death of a Charles Cavanaugh, son of Charles at the same time. So the questions: was the dead Charles the new born baby; or perhaps the father of the baby; or maybe the inbound Cavanagh who may have died on the trip to Barbados, with his death recorded upon arrival; or another Charles; or….?
When Crystle Stewart was named Miss USA, one of the few black winners of either Miss USA or Miss America, I found myself contemplating the history of colorism in black culture. Specifically my history of colorism.Growing up no one in my house talked about skin color. It wasn’t an issue. We were told we were all black and based on the fact that I was not treated nicely at school, not as nicely as the two lightest girls in my class were, I concluded that I was not light-skinned.
I was, and still am, very proud of being black. But even at the age of 10 I was disturbed at how my peers were expressing their views of blackness.
I can remember waiting in line for lunch and hearing girls go on and on about how they were going to marry a white man so they could have “pretty babies.”
Everyone was obsessed with skin tone, which I’d say is black America’s number three obsession behind racism and class. It’s not entirely our fault. We all knew the rhyme.
If you’re white, you’re all right
If you’re yellow, you’re mellow
If you’re brown, stick around
If you’re black, get back!
This isn’t just some fantasy. It’s burned into our DNA from birth. We are told our value is in our skin tone, that it is a signifier.
Four years after the “pretty babies” talk, I learned that I was not as dark as I thought I was. I was friends with a girl who I thought was “high yellow” and one day we compared our arms on the bus. I was horrified to find our arms were almost the same color. So I suffered from a junior high color complex. I was caught between hating the fact that I was not, in fact, brown, yet at the same time coveting the hair of a biracial girl who had perfect, brown ringlets. When she straighted them with a relaxer I was horrified. How could she destroy what I always wanted?
But there was nothing wrong with my own hair. It was long. Easy to straighten and thick. And I became obsessed with the length and thickness as more and more people commented on it, loving it and coveting it themselves. I later developed a severe hair complex to go with my skin complex.
In junior high, high school and even college people wondered if I was biracial because they only saw my mother and she, despite having two black parents, could look very South Asian at times. They assumed my dad, with his forever afro and dark skin must be white since they’d never seen him. And a few people assumed he was our gardener because he worked in our yard so much.
Because my mother immersed me in black culture and history as a toddler and beyond, I was rather militant and protective when it came to what I thought people should know about my people. I was also militant about what I was/am. On one hand, I pinned for a West African culture that was alien to me. On the other, I pinned for the esteemed blacks who strove for intellect and excellence in spite of a racist society. But I also wondered why I had to be stuck on the color continuum. If I couldn’t be blacker than black, why weren’t I as pale as my great-great aunts, who I had the pleasure of knowing before they passed. Educated and proud of being black, they both looked like white women and had long, wavy hair. But they were from the same family that produced my dark father. It was confusing to me at the time, further agitating my conflicting feelings about skin color and hair.
When I went to college, I was mentally a militant. When someone told me that the rumor on campus was that I was a light Puerto Rican or some form of tragic mulatto, I snapped. They’d meant it as a compliment. But I took it as an insult. I wrote an editor’s column at my college newspaper about this racial confusion declaring that if anyone ever again asked me if I was mixed I would answer that I was mixed with “slave master.”
And I did just that, freaking out quite a few people.
But my militancy did not prepare me for love. My first serious boyfriend was very light and overly enamored with himself. He only liked other light skinned people. He was proud of his straight hair. He bashed “lower class” blacks. Calling people in the ghetto lazy, welfare miscreants. And he had little sympathy for anyone and anger at being lumped in with the lot of blackness.
He hated black history, even though he went to Morehouse University, arguing that the slaves were “stupid” because they did not fight for their freedom, but waited to be freed. I remember getting into an argument with him about it and actually started crying because I was so hurt, in pain for ancestors I’d never known. And it stung especially so, as I loved him and he was so ignorantly wrong.
He told me how much he loved my hair. He hated it when I didn’t wear it down. He hated it when I wore it natural. He hated to see me without make up. I was a trophy he showed off to his friends. But I felt awful. I didn’t feel any pride in being light complexioned. In my family I did not become this way because of loving relationships between white and black people. Both sides of my family were marked with rape. How could I be proud when I knew this was the end result of my ancestors being taken against their will, repeatedly, only to bare “white” children? Where was the pride in that?
But he didn’t care. We were “light.” We were better than other black people. And he said he’d dump me if I ever cut my hair.
I’d like to say my drama with black men and my hair/skin tone died after I dumped Mr. Light Bright And Almost White. My next boyfriend was very dark, but he too was obsessed. He was controlling and strangely jealous, angry at me because he felt white people treated me differently. Going on and on about the beauty of dark women, but dating me. Then later one day, in a moment of weakness, he talked about his crush on a white girl as a child and his youthful dream of one day having a light skinned girlfriend with long hair. This was a stark contradiction from a man who was going on and on about my “processed” hair and how I should cut it off and go natural.
When I later did cut my hair and go natural, something I’d been wanting to do since I became aware that my hair obsession was unhealthy, he balked. I was not pretty to him anymore. He still went on and on about the beauty of India Aire and bashed Halle Berry, said people were unjustified in saying Whoopi Goldberg was ugly, yet he was with me.
Needless to say, we aren’t together anymore either.
But that’s how bizarre we are. How divorced we are from ourselves. How we tell ourselves that we love dark women and that they are beautiful. But when you open magazines, they are not there. When you turn on the television, they are not there. When you go to the movies, look at the runways, turn on the music videos, they are not there. You’re lucky if you even see a girl with two black parents like myself. It is almost always a mixed girl, that perfect blend of light skin and the “right” kind of curly hair.
We say we love one thing, but then we do another. And it’s because it is so ingrained, beginning with that first black skin doll my mother bought for my sister in the 1970s. The one that was “for us.” The only one she could find to buy. How that doll was us and we should embrace her, but when we went out into the world everything said reject her. Reject that black doll. Reject the black skin. Reject the black girl. Reject black people.
I know that I suffer from this dual consciousness. This pathology. And if others are honest, they will recognize that they suffer from it as well. This is something that must be unlearned by everyone. There should not be dark black girls pinning for “pretty babies.” There should not be light skinned people proud of their paleness as if it made them better or special. There should not be dark skinned men swearing their allegiance to dark women, but marrying the lightest woman they could find.
I had a younger cousin call me and my sisters “white” because we were the lightest people he knew. I had a little girl in Arkansas beg to touch and comb my hair. She told me how she did this to the white girls in her class and how she wished she had long, straight hair like them. I felt ashamed of who I was, of my hair. I wished for the days back when I didn’t know this because my parents didn’t make it an issue. My grandparents didn’t make it an issue.
When I was very little, my father saw me coloring all the Barbies in my Barbie coloring book white. He didn’t scold me. He asked if he could color with me and he colored his Barbie brown with black hair. It blew my five-year-old mind. It never occurred to me that I didn’t have to color Barbie white. And my father’s Barbie was so different and so beautiful that I colored nothing but black people from then on. When I noticed my baby sister doing the same thing, I did for her what my father did for me. I didn’t tell her she was wrong. I simply showed her that she had other options. People, dolls, toys, beauty could look like her. She had the option and she took it. Like me, it was only black people to draw from then on.
My parents corrected me. They reeducated me. They did the best they could before the ignorance of the world enveloped me, looking like Vanessa Williams with straighted noses like Janet Jackson. Before the snow on television became so blinding that I’d too want to look like Jennifer Aniston and shun anyone darker than a paper bag.
I wish more black people would talk about this. It is such a scarring pathology and all the “black is beautiful” slogans in the world can’t over power a hatred that runs so deep we deny it’s even there. The love/hate towards light skinned people. Light skinned people bashing dark skinned people. Dark skinned people bashing the light skinned people. And everyone hating everyone. Everyone looking for racial qualifiers, for proof that they are truly “down.”
This shouldn’t be happening. We try to hide it but the self-hatred still shows.
Until we deal with that pathology, “black is beautiful” is a myth. The children’s rhyme remains true. And a river of people will claim to love a black girl, pine for a mulatto and eventually drop all pretenses and wrap their arms around whiteness, hoping it will rub off and finally make them pretty and clean. Finding light women attractive, liking spiral curls or straight hair, marrying a white person does not make you less black. But looking down on and denying the beauty of black does.
We need a mental immolation to cleanse ourselves of these demons. To set the pains of the past ablaze and watch those plantation gradations turn to ash. We need to destroy the racism within the black race. We need to take our ancestral hatreds, lock them in the plantation house and watch as Tara burns to the ground.
Skin-lightening/bleaching is a problem, but it’s only really a sign of much deeper inter-related issues, namely, self-hatred, a race-based identity crisis, and the internalisation of western-created cultural ideas that are inimical to the mental health of black people everywhere. At least with hair weaves and fake accents (other manifestations of an identity crisis), no one is in danger of kidney damage, or damage to the nervous system, or skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring, or reduction in the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections. And, rather than the practice dying out as African economies boom, it is reportedly on the rise (partly thanks to increasing urbanization). According to the World Health Organisation,77% of Nigerian women use skin lightening products on a regular basis (I suspect the study was done among Yoruba women), as do 59% in Togo, 35% in South Africa, 27% in Senegal and 25% in Mali. These products are also used in Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Gambia and Tanzania. These figures seem unusually high, but even if they’re overblown, the problem is more than just cosmetic, it is culturally destructive.
Will we manage to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery (in the words of Bob Marley) or will the problem eventually just go away as the world turns beige from increased interracial marriage? It’s going to take a long time for the latter to happen, so we’ve got no choice but to do the former because most Africans are dark-skinned, and we have to see the beauty in that for our own psychological well-being.
Our thinking seems to be: the darker we are the more “African” we are, which wouldn’t be a problem if some of us didn’t think there was something wrong with being African. Why do we think that? Malcolm X once asked, “Who taught you to hate yourself? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the colour of your skin?”
We were taught to hate ourselves through centuries of the slave trade (Arab and trans-Atlantic) and the colonial period that followed, and we are still being taught to hate ourselves through a western consumer culture that is sold through today’s global media. And many of those who don’t go in for skin-lightening also tacitly accept the idea that lighter is better (particularly if it comes with European, rather than African, features), so we’re all part of a system that promotes self-hate. When people defend skin-lightening/bleaching by saying what people do to their skin is their own business, it’s usually a sign that they too value lighter skin over dark skin, whatever their own skin tone.
Does self-hatred sound too strong a term? What else is one to conclude when you have someone like South African kwaito star Mshoza proudly stating that she started undergoing skin-lightening and plastic surgery because she was “tired of being ugly”?
This internalised form of racism is an invisible presence in our psyches, and some of us don’t even realise it’s a factor in how we perceive ourselves and others. Thus, for instance, black guys (not only in Africa) think their attraction to light-skinned girls is just a matter of taste, and some who lighten their skin can’t articulate why they do so beyond saying that it’s just prettier, as though skin lightening were akin to putting on lipstick. It’s a matter of identity, self-worth and self-acceptance, that, in some respects, is even existential.
The legacy of slavery and colonialism
Colonization of Africa
There is some evidence of colorism (system of privilege, discrimination and hierarchies based on social meanings attached to skin tone) in Africa before contact with Europeans in the 16th century, but by and large, Africans used shared culture, language and traditions, rather than skin tone, as a means of identification. But part of the process of creating an European empire was to define the European self in contrast to everyone else. How could you justify dominating and enslaving other people if you didn’t tell yourself you were better in every way? Europeans placed themselves at the pinnacle of the human race and dark-skinned Africans at the very bottom. To be black was to be primitive, backward, inferior, dirty, ugly, evil, devilish, deviant, corrupt and unappealing, while to be white was to be virtuous, beautiful, refined, humane, intelligent and godly.
By the nineteenth century, spurious scientific “evidence” was being produced to support this dichotomy, thereby providing an ideological justification for colonialism. It also provided a means of control: tell the lighter-skinned black Africans that they are more beautiful, intelligent and industrious than their darker-skinned brothers and sisters, and soon you will create divisions that make control easier. A 1930 French ad for Dirtoff showed a dark African man washing his hands, with the soap washing away his blackness. Such ads were common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Blackness had become a pathological condition – there was something fundamentally wrong with you if you were black – while whiteness became the paradigm, the standard, the ideal, and who doesn’t want to be ideal?
Meanwhile, in America, skin tone was also used to control and sow divisions among black people, and, as a side bonus, to warp their minds. Bi-racial offspring of white masters and black slaves were made house slaves and separated from their darker-skinned counterparts, who remained in the fields. Thus the feelings of inferiority created by the condition of being enslaved permeated even deeper. Black people in America were repeatedly told that everything about them was evil, ugly and unwanted. There were even debates among white Americans questioning whether or not black people were human beings with souls. This would be irrelevant to what was, and still is, going on in Africa if it weren’t for the fact that colorism is very much alive in America (and Europe) today, and is manifested in the images from America (and Europe) that many Africans use to assess and define themselves.
After centuries of pushing this way of seeing the world, Caucasian features and white skin became established as the hallmarks of beauty and status, and it is such an intrinsic part of the global system of capitalism today that it is taken for granted: white, or light, is right.
Colonial mentality in the post-colonial world
Colonialism didn’t end that long ago. If you are reading this, then your parents or grandparents either suffered from or benefited directly from colonialism. As Africans, we freed ourselves and won our independence, but psychologically we continued to view ourselves through the lens of whiteness. In other words, we were left with the shackles of colonial mentality.
According to Wikipedia, colonial mentality occurs “when a foreign colonial or imperial power is too strong to be effectively resisted, the colonised population often has no other immediate option than to accept the rule of the foreigners as an inescapable reality of life. As time progresses, the colonised indigenous people-natives would perceive the differences between the foreigners and themselves, between the foreigners’ ways and the native ways. This would then sometimes lead the natives to mimic the foreigners that are in power as they began to associate that power and success with the foreigners’ ways. This eventually leads to the foreigners’ ways being regarded as the better way and being held in a higher esteem than previous indigenous ways.
In much the same fashion, and with the same reasoning of better-ness, the colonised soon equates the foreigners’ racial strain itself as being responsible for their superiority. The native soon strives to that strain to give their children a better standing in life than just their native genes.”
So there were parents who, after colonial rule, would compliment their light-skinned kids on their “beautiful, light skin”, unaware to the potential psychological damage their comments might be causing. Suddenly the kid is made conscious of something he/she needs to maintain in order to be liked. Meanwhile, any dark-skinned kids overhearing the compliment start to have a complex about their skin tone. And their skin tone, they grow up with particular ideas about standards of beauty. You still hear such compliments today, parents complimenting kids, men complimenting women, and women commenting on other women’s skin tone.
“Who taught you to hate the colour of your skin?” Arab slave traders, then Europeans, and now we’re continuing the work ourselves (with some assistance from afar).
Reinforcing the message a thousand times a day
Thus the idea of lighter being better is reinforced by some parents today, but the most powerful way this message is reinforced is through consumer culture and global mass media. The mass media form for us our image of the world. The images they present and how these images are presented subliminally and yet profoundly affect the way in which we interpret what we see or hear. Even our images of ourselves is greatly influenced by what media shows us about our own group. People who lighten their skin and those who associate light skin with positive virtues and dark skin with negative ones aren’t stupid. They just don’t have the psychological resources to withstand and deluge of images they are
presented with every day. Thousands of images from magazines, TV, film, ads, and the news, all equating light skin with beauty, affluence,
happiness and success, and portraying dark-skinned black people as aggressive, unintelligent, criminals, crude, lazy, etc.
Even black-owned media do this. There was a brief period during the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and its accompanying Black is Beautiful campaign when dark-skinned women graced the pages of the popular and influential magazine Ebony, but by the eighties it had gone back to featuring predominantly light-skinned black stars, and this was particularly so for the women it featured. This practice is common across all media, so dark-skinned women are hugely underrepresented on the catwalk, in the fashion press, in cinema and on TV.
There is no conspiracy that says this is how we want to represent the world, but there is a unconscious mindset of racial superiority that determines what gets promoted as beautiful and desirable, and in that mindset there is no room for the idea of dark-skinned beauty. Or hardly any room. Alek Wek (South Sudan/UK), Ajuma Nasenyana (Kenya), Naomi Campbell (UK) and Eunice Olumide (Nigeria) are among the tiny handful of high-profile dark-skinned models on the international stage, but as Eunice says, “… it is still rare to see a very dark-skinned model on the cover of a magazine. I’d love that to change.”
Skin lightening ad, Kumasi, Ghana
Most of the foreign media and movies consumed in sub-Saharan Africa are from America and Europe, so we take in these images and mimic the practice of colorism in our own ads and magazines. We see which black women are considered beautiful by the mass media, we see that the black models and singers who are making it are mostly lighter-skinned – Rihanna, Beyoncé, etc., we see which actresses get to play love-interest roles and which ones get relegated to bit parts, and we see which ones make it onto those Top 100 lists. We echo the message we receive and perpetuate the system that excludes dark skin from the spectrum of beauty. We see pictures of Obama and we see don’t just see a black man, but a mixed-race, light-skinned black man. Some argue that the beauty ideal is shifting from white to a more cafe-au-lait-complexion, and that this is demonstrated by the fact that women like Beyoncé, Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez now routinely top some of these “most beautiful” lists. But what seems to have happened there is that the previous practice of promoting only white women as beautiful was simply not sustainable when a significant proportion of the American population was clearly non-white, so the parameters were widened to include a handful of non-white women who are not too many skin tones away from being white. Now black people everywhere can feel they’re included in the international beauty spectrum without really being included. Might it have been better for black people if the old unspoken pollcy of “whites only” had been allowed to continue? If the mass media really wanted to include black people, there would be no need to lighten the skin of the already light-skinned black women, as L’Oreal did with Beyoncé in its 2008 campaign, and as many magazines continue to do. Google “most beautiful women in the world” and try to spot any dark-skinned black women on any of the lists you find.
When you look at the Nigerian film industry (to take the largest of its kind in Africa), you find that its lead characters tend to be light-skinned. Fela’s condemnation of the practice in Yellow Fever (1976) doesn’t seem to have done much good. Check the Ghanaian film industry and you’ll find the same.
For dark-skinned black people, being excluded in this manner says black is not beautiful, and the epitome of beauty is a light-skinned person, so this is what you should aspire to if you’re dark-skinned. It says it from every billboard, magazine cover, TV ad, packaged product on the shelf, and film thousands of times a day. Every day. So we continue to be socialised into accepting light skin (and straight hair) as defining standards of black beauty. We continue to succumb to – and create – images that reinforce a psychologically-damaging message. And some of us go to great lengths to achieve the beauty ideal of black people as defined by Europeans and people of European descent, people who look nothing like black Africans.
A woman in Senegal holding photos of herself when she was lighter.
If women in Africa are more susceptible to this than men, it is merely because women are judged much more heavily on the basis of appearance. Men are more likely to be considered valuable when they have wealth, education and other forms of human capital, while women are considered valuable when they are physically attractive, even if they lack other capital. Flick through those magazines and you’ll find that the women featured are almost always a few shades lighter than the men. Black men don’t need to be light-skinned to be worth paying any attention, but black women do. In one Tanzanian study, women claimed Tanzanian men preferred white, soft-skinned girls. Thus, skin-lightening was of utmost importance in attracting men. And once you’ve got a guy, you wanna hang on to him: another woman in the study explained that she used skin-lightening products to prevent her husband from being attracted to other girls, while yet another, a 25 year old, reported that she “started bleaching to be beautiful and to look like Arabians or Europeans and attractive to people, especially men.” We are all competing for mates, and we do whatever we can to give ourselves an advantage over the next person. Men would probably be content to live in caves if they didn’t have to acquire the trappings necessary to compete for the most desirable women, and there would be less incentive for women to lighten their skin if men didn’t keep valuing lighter skinned sisters over darker skinned ones.
The women in the study also said they lightened their skin to enhance opportunities in life (especially job opportunities), and to reduce the experience of negative stereotypes that are applied to dark skinned people. Negative stereotypes. It puts one in mind of the associations with skin colour drawn out from black American kids by black American filmmaker Kiri Davis when she recreated the 1940’s “doll experiment” a few years ago in A Girl Like Me:
Another study found that women in Senegal associate fair skin tone with elegance, beauty and a higher social status. And in the Tanzanian study, many participants felt that their lighter skinned peers have higher status, income, education, job opportunities, as well as more friends. These women are not deluded; misguided, definitely, but not deluded. They see the evidence around them. It is not surprising then that some “darker skinned people are often envious of those with lighter skin and attempt to achieve the same status by engaging in skin-lightening practices.”
So, predominantly women, but not solely women. Skin-lightening is practiced by men in the Democratic Republic of Congo, too. The most high-profile case so far is probably that of soukous singer Koffi Olomide, but Google “Congo” and “skin-lightening” or skin bleaching” and you’ll find others who’ve done the same, to general approval.
Koffi Olomide before
A global problem
It isn’t only African Americans and Africans who are yet to free their minds. Jamaicans don’t seem to have heeded Bob Marley’s words any more than Nigerians did Fela’s. In 2007, the Jamaican government had to run a campaign called ‘Don’t Kill The Skin‘ to highlight the dangers of using skin-lightening products because the practice was becoming increasingly commonplace, so commonplace in fact that some people started holding bleaching contests.
The same year, former Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga stated: There is no greater sin of slavery than the systematic brain-washing that occurred for over 300 years that instilled a belief in the second class character of the people of African descent…. This distorted image received by people of African descent continues to haunt their psyche until today as an en-during sin of slavery.
Meanwhile, Jamaican celebrities continue to line up to endorse these products. Last year, one well-known dancehall artist, MOBO-nominated artist of the year Vybz Kartel, even launched his own range of men’s cosmetics including a variety of “skin-brightening” items.
The Surinamese take a different approach to skin lightening. Instead of chemicals, some parents advice their kids to marry a white person to “tone down the black”. Such parents have been known to pinch and massage the nostrils of their babies to prevent them from becoming flared. Marry lighter, get better hair and a finer nose. You will find this sort of thinking among the descendants of city Creoles, the ones who lived close to their previous colonial masters, the Dutch. Interestingly, the descendants of the Lowermang, which means “runaway slaves” remain proud of their culture, traditions, and African roots. They’re the ones who still understand the dialect of their forefathers, and would be able to converse with Ghanaians if you dropped them in the middle of Accra today. This group of Surinamese don’t go in for any of that “tone down the black” nonsense. Marry lighter. There are dark-skinned people everywhere, men and women, who subscribe to this. Do people understand that if a dark-skinned person has a kid with someone whose skin is pale due to skin-bleaching, that their kid probably won’t be light-skinned? Perhaps those who lighten their skin feel they’ll cross that bridge when they come to it. First get the man and the job opportunities. Until then, they’ll support the global skin lightening industry, which is projected to be worth $10 billion USD by 2015. The products cost anywhere between 50 cents and $150, so almost everyone can afford to do it, if they really want to.
In Brazil, individuals with lighter skin and who are racially mixed generally have higher rates of social mobility, and dark skinned people are more likely to be discriminated against. Most South American actors and actresses have mostly European features – light or light-mixed eyes, protruding narrow noses, straight hair and/or pale skin. So there’s pressure for dark-skinned Brazilians to lighten their skin, too. Colonial mentality reigns across Asia, too. Most Indian actors and actresses have light skin, and the Indian obsession with light skin recently reached a new low with a campaign for a product to lighten the skin around your vagina.
Can we do anything about this?
Ajuma Nasenyana, Kenyan model who is vocal about the need to educate against skin lightening
When Alek Wek appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, the host confided: “If you had been on the cover [of a magazine] when I was growing up, I would have had a different concept of who I was.” If we wait for the global mass media to routinely include dark-skinned black people with African features in their spectrum of beauty, we will wait a long time to develop a healthy concept of who we are.
The video at the top of this article is an exploration of race, gender and beauty by graduate student Ng’endo Mukii who said of her film, Yellow Fever:
I am interested in the concept of skin and race, and what they imply; in the ideas and theories sown into our flesh that change with the arc of time. The idea of beauty has become globalised, creating homogenous aspirations, and distorting people’s self-image across the planet. In my film, I focus on African women’s self-image, through memories and interviews; using mixed media to describe this almost schizophrenic self-visualization that I and many others have grown up with. (Full interview with the director HERE)
Indeed, until we re-educate ourselves, we will remain alienated from ourselves, and, in a sense, live schizophrenic lives: being black, being seen as black yet hating black.
“If we really want to control the spread of the skin-bleaching virus, we first have to admit that there’s an epidemic of color prejudice in our society,” said Carolyn Cooper, a professor of literary and cultural studies at the University of the West Indies, writing in The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper. A similar acknowledgement needs to happen across sub-Saharan Africa (and America, Europe and Asia). The mindset starts in the home, so we first need to work on ourselves in order to reject the “lighter is better” mindset at an individual level. No one can force anyone else to start seeing and appreciating dark-skinned beauty, but it wouldn’t hurt for us to start questioning our beliefs about race, beauty and skin tone. Recognise that those who created the dominant cultural ideas we’ve internalised did so for their benefit, not ours, and that the psychological conflict this internalisation causes is self-destructive. Self-hatred continues the cycle of self-degradation, and we can’t teach our kids about their self worth, and get them to take their history seriously, if our own sense of self is distorted through a white lens. Kiri Davis, director of A Girl Like Me, said that at the age of five, her eldest sister told her that she was ‘young, gifted and black’ and should not let anyone convince her otherwise. That positive affirmation of her blackness carried her throughout her life and served as a shield of resistance against any negativity she encountered as a result of her ebony hue. This is what we need to be telling our kids, and our grand kids, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, grannies and pretty much everyone we know who is black. Because they need to be able to resist the “beauty is light-skinned” message. But more importantly, we need to show what we believe through our actions, through what we celebrate and how we present ourselves. If we don’t feel comfortable in our skin, it won’t go unnoticed by our kids. You can’t get up in the face of strangers, but if someone in your peer group starts to lighten their skin, have a chat with them about self-hatred.
The above is only relevant to people who are already know there’s something deeply wrong with skin-lightening, though. The practice doesn’t exist independently of the wider system that places a higher value on light skin than on dark skin and encourages people to lighten their skin, so
we’re unlikely to get far if we don’t simultaneously work towards altering the system.
There are enough black people in America, Europe and Africa who are discomfited by the skin-lightening phenomenon, so, people, stop using your money to support the system! Stop buying those magazines that perpetuate the idea that beauty is only light-skinned. Write to stations, TV producers, magazines to let them have a piece of your mind.
Become more vocal about musicians who only feature light-skinned models in their videos, and call out magazines ad agencies and fashion designers who do the same.
The Black Pride movement celebrating heritage, personal pride, authenticity and afro-centricism needs to be consciously and actively injected into expressions of pop culture by artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers. It doesn’t mean uncritically celebrating anything by dark-skinned black people, but it does mean seeking out and recognising things that are worth celebrating.
Most effective of all, though, would be a global movement similar to the American Black Power Movement of the 1960s and its accompanying Black is Beautiful campaign. Rather than wait for America to lead the way again, this one would need to start in Africa. If the continent’s economic boom continues as predicted, perhaps that will give us the self-confidence to start such a movement of mental emancipation. A movement about pride on its own won’t work; it needs to be connected to something concrete like true economic independence.
Various governments have banned the sale of skin-lightening products and run campaigns about the health risks of using these products, but those won’t be nearly enough. Most of those who lighten their skin know they’re running serious health risks, so clearly, for some people, the perceived benefits of skin-lightening outweigh the risks. This doesn’t mean the governments running those campaigns should stop. It just means they have to reconsider their message. Are their campaigns based on the underlying reasons we think light skin is preferable to dark skin? It’s a bit like the anti-smoking campaigns that have been running across Europe for years. They didn’t abandon the health-risk message, but they changed things up by also running campaigns to make smoking socially-unacceptable/very uncool.
In the end, though, most of the work is down to each of us. The shackles of self-hatred were forged centuries ago, so freeing ourselves from them won’t happen overnight or easily, but it is possible. It has to be, for our own sakes.
On the anniversary of Nasser’s death, Gamal Nkrumah considers Nasserism’s Pan-African legacy
Whenever Arab-African ties come into question, one cannot help remembering the days when colonialism was the threat closer to home and one Arab leader was always at hand to lend support to those Africans who wished to throw off its yoke. That was the time of solidarity, of a common Arab-African dream, of nations taking their first steps to freedom. That was Nasser’s time.
The solidarity between Arab and non-Arab Africans is not a historic accident. It is rooted in a common vision, drawn from a common cause. It all started in the late 50s and early 60s, when Africa’s leaders-to-be were still freedom fighters, and Nasser was their closest ally.
The following article with preface may be distributed. If used, please contact the author before editing and publication. The author has written and researched for the New York Times, the Miami Herald, the St. Petersburg Times, and the Jewish Information Network, among others.
Synopsis: The author opens citing the work of Mr. Richard Cohen of the Washington Post. Mr. Cohen’s columns about the “composites,” rearranged timelines, and complete fabrication of events in Sen. Obama’s autobiography are the basis for a further investigation into Mr. Obama’s claim to be “African-American.”
The O-man, Barack Hussein Obama, is an eloquently tailored empty suit. No resume, no accomplishments, no experience, no original ideas, no understanding of how the economy works, no understanding of how the world works, no balls, nothing but abstract, empty rhetoric devoid of real substance.
He has no real identity. He is half-white, which he rejects. The rest of him is mostly Arab, which he hides but is disclosed by his non-African Arabic surname and his Arabic first and middle names as a way to triply proclaim his Arabic parentage to people in Kenya. Only a small part of him is African Black from his Luo grandmother, which he pretends he is exclusively.
What he isn’t, not a genetic drop of, is ‘African-American,’ the descendant of enslaved Africans brought to America chained in slave ships. He hasn’t a single ancestor who was a slave. Instead, his Arab ancestors were slave owners. Slave-trading was the main Arab business in East Africa for centuries until the British ended it.
Let that sink in: Obama is not the descendant of slaves, he is the descendant of slave owners. Thus he makes the perfect Liberal Messiah.
It’s something Hillary doesn’t understand – how some complete neophyte came out of the blue and stole the Dem nomination from her. I think Hillary didn’t win because of the garbage – I mean baggage she was carrying with her back into the White House which he had sullied when he was in office.
Obamamania is beyond politics and reason. It is a true religious cult, whose adherents reject Christianity yet still believe in Original Sin, transferring it from the evil of being human to the evil of being white.
Thus Obama has become the white liberals’ Christ, offering absolution from the Sin of Being White. There is no reason or logic behind it, no faults or flaws of his can diminish it, no arguments Hillary could make of any kind can be effective against it. The absurdity of Hypocrisy Clothed In Human Flesh being their Savior is all the more cause for liberals to worship him:
Credo quia absurdum, I believe it because it is absurd.
Thank heavens that the voting majority of Americans remain Christian and are in no desperate need of a phony savior.
His candidacy is ridiculous and should not be taken seriously by any thinking American.
Had Americans been able to stop obsessing over the color of Barack Obama’s skin and instead paid more attention to his cultural identity, maybe he would not be in the White House today. The key to understanding him lies with his identification with his father, and his adoption of a cultural and political mindset rooted in postcolonial Africa.
Like many educated intellectuals in postcolonial Africa, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was enraged at the transformation of his native land by its colonial conqueror. But instead of embracing the traditional values of his own tribal cultural past, he embraced an imported Western ideology, Marxism. I call such frustrated and angry modern Africans who embrace various foreign “isms”, instead of looking homeward for repair of societies that are broken, African Colonials. They are Africans who serve foreign ideas.
The emergence of Barack Obama, the African-American presidential aspirant in the U.S., has overcome many doubts about the feasibility of a Black person actually ruling that once profoundly racist nation.
The young man isn’t just a formal candidate, but given the events of recent weeks he seems poised to mount a real challenge to the concept of dynastic political inheritance in the so-called “home of modern democracy.” The main challenge he poses is to Hillary Clinton, whose major asset – let no one doubt it – is the fact that she was Bill Clinton’s wife, serving in the unelected position of “First Lady,” before becoming a Senator.
This challenge is based largely on Barack’s belief that a fundamental change in the conduct of government is needed. His diagnosis is that Hilary represents the status quo, although as a woman she could also be regarded as a harbinger of change. As a consequence of Barack Obama’s articulation of these doubts, Hilary’s assumed push-over victory is now far from assured.
James Charles Stuart was born on June 19, 1566 at Edinburg Castle in Scotland. His father, Lord Darnley, was murdered in early 1567 before young James was 1 year old. His mother, Mary Queen of Scots, was soon afterwards forced to abdicate the Scottish throne due to her suspected involvement in the murder. Little James was crowned King James VI of Scotland at the tender age of 13 months. Reformation leader John Knox preached the sermon at his coronation.
James’ mother, Mary, was imprisoned in England by her cousin Queen Elizabeth and 19 years later, in February of 1587, was executed for her part in a Roman Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Queen Elizabeth.
Alba is the ancient and modern Gaelic name for the country of Scotland.
Kenneth MacAlpin (c. 810 – 858; Cinaed mac Ailpin) was king of the Picts and the first king of Scotland. The myth called ‘MacAlpin’s Treason’ tells how Alba was born when the Dalriadan Kenneth MacAlpin conquered the Picts. However, modern studies dispute Kenneth’s Dalriadan roots and consider Kenneth and his successors to be Pictish Kings. Kenneth’s son Constantine had the ‘Series Longoir’ written to show his family’s claim to the throne of a united Pictland. The triumph of Gaelic over Pictish and the change from Pictland to Alba is placed in the half-century reign of Constantine mac Aeda. The reasons are not known.
At first this new kingdom corresponded to Scotland north of the Rivers Forth and Clyde. Southwest Scotland remained under the control of the Strathclyde Britons. Southeast Scotland was under the control from around 638 CE of the proto-English kingdom of Bernicia, then of the Kingdom of Northumbria. This portion of Scotland was contested from the time of Constantine II and finally fell into Scottish hands in 1018, when Malcolm II pushed the border as far south as the River Tweed. This remains the south-eastern border to this day (except around Berwick-upon-Tweed).
Scotland, in the geographical sense it has retained for nearly a millennium, completed its expansion by the gradual incorporation of the Britons’ kingdom of Strathclyde into Alba. In 1034, Duncan I, who had been appointed to the (Briton) Crown of Strathclyde some years earlier, inherited Alba from his maternal grandfather, Malcolm II. With the exception of Orkney, the Western Isles, Caithness and Sutherland, which had come under the sway of the Norse, Scotland stood unified.
Macbeth, the ‘Cenel Loairn’ candidate for the throne whose family had been suppressed by Malcolm II, defeated Duncan in battle in 1040. Macbeth then ruled for seventeen years before Duncan’s son Malcolm III, more commonly known as Malcolm Canmore (Scottish Gaelic: Ceann mor meaning ‘Big Head’), overthrew him and, after killing his step-son Lulach, became king.
The Black Scots
A curious aspect of this early history concerns various stories around Kenneth.
King Kenneth was also known as ‘Kenneth the Niger’ or Kenneth Dubh, a surname which means ‘the black man’. It is a matter of history that many seafaring warriors were North African, travelled via Iberia into Europe, and joined in many cultures and held power and position. Niger Val Dubh lived and reigned over certain black divisions in Scotland, and some histories state that a race known as ‘the sons of the blacks’ succeeded him. (e.g. see JA Rogers, Sex and Race).
Kenneth III was king of Scotland from 997 to 1005. He was the son of King Dubh (Dub mac Mail Choluim – 962-967), fourth cousin of the previous king Constantine III, and first cousin of his successor Malcolm II. Kenneth was the last king of Scotland to succeed to the throne through the tanistry system, whereby the succession was shared between two family lines and the dying king named his successor from the other family line. This system led to constant struggle between the ruling families and was abandoned. Kenneth and his son Giric were both killed at Monzievaird, Tayside in 1005. His first cousin Malcolm succeeded him and abolished the tanistry system by killing all of his male descendants. However Kenneth had a granddaughter, Gruoch, via his daughter Boite, whose first husband was Gillacomgain. They had a son called Lulach. She then married King Macbeth I of Scotland (becoming Lady Macbeth). On the death of Macbeth her son via her first marriage, Kenneth III’s great grandson, succeeded to the throne, to become King Lulach of Scotland. According to this history, the blood of Kenneth flows through the royal houses of Scotland.
Whether Dubh meant black or dark, as in north-African / southern-European, we may never know for sure. But the story captures a curious fact about the Gaels from Gallicia – some were dark and have left many traces in Irish, Welsh and Scots clans.