Monday, November 22, 2010

African Burial Lecture

The African Burial Ground is clearly labeled on an official 1755 plan of New York. 

So much for so little, is what the speech proved to me
My people deserved a lot more for what they proved to be
Taken from their home, and their family
Dropped off in a state that holds a statue of liberty
as a slave is supposed to do
granted with junk, my people continued to pull through
So sad to hear of the conditions and
their lack of human rights
So sad they've helped the British in
several of their fights
Happy that they were at least not thrown in the street, 
but buried in an area, thats a memorial cite for me

Today I can visit the area they held in their hands
today I can look in a white mans eyes and pre-view his plans
the plans from one non superior pest- to a great to the 10th power African ancest- or
maybe it was seemingly right to hinder a mans freedom and give him certain rights
From the looks of today, Im sure the past was wrong
Several changes made to the book, best described in song ...or a poem

The speech was moving, yet had me concerned for what who my people were
A group of intelligent Mrs.'s and a group of intelligent Sir's 

Perspectives: African Burial Ground

     To begin, I hadn't even known that there was an African Burial Ground in New York. All I've ever heard of was Time Share, and the Statue of Liberty, The Twin Towers, and the Gardens. Who knew the city of New York had such a sacred area for my ancestors. This place was rather amazing. For starters, the street name I happened to see"African Burial Way" was significant to me; like not only are we subtly recognized but they gave us a street name to go along. There was beautiful landscaping and artwork to complement the sacred ground. There was this mood of poignance that came over me. It was sad to see that this was all we had, after what Africans have done for the city, in spite of all the enslavement. However, there was this feeling of self- security. A feeling that even though we did not have much we had something.

     Moreover, I heard of all the famous black people who had visited the cite, given speeches, and reunited several young, black African American together with a part of their history. Since majority of them won't ever step foot in Africa, they can have a taste of that in which they are spawned. The memorial is circular (its blueprints) and I could only think that this was for peace. It was peaceful. When sitting in a group sharing a story, enjoying family/friends, camping out, playing cards- you sit in a circle. Its a form of comfortability and togetherness. I felt as if it keeps the spirits of the deceased African contained in one area, so that none are lost.

THIS place is different. Its specifically for us, not for Americans only, not for a certain religion, or group, but us Africans. We have a memorial. I like how we could reenact past jobs and services of our ancestors. We could see how it was to be a black African woman or man of that time. I don't like their work. I don't like the things they had to do for little payback. Its like less than minimal wage job- loathsome. But this sacred area given to my people is good. I like that.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Black Education (2nd groups' presentation)

Black education, should be the same as white, asian, or latina education, but of course, it isnt. Black education may be greater than others, or maybe even less. Black education isn't what it should be for a lot of people. Im black and my education is pretty damn good, from elementart to now, here at Howard but this group spoke on how black education is less, or not as good as it should be as compared to the education of a white person, or white schooling.

First of all there's this, No child left behind idea... bought to you by George Bush. They didn't mention the fine print though. But it was no need, they gave other details and opinions on this policy to convey its real meaning to a black student. This group feeled as if that policy wasn't of any use. Pretty much that teachers, who barely can teach, or who should teach better simply pass students on to get rid of them. Instead of actually helping them, or retaining them until they mastered the concept, they send their problem on to the next person. Thus, a 6th grade reading level black student is a senior with a major lack of knowledge in high school. THIS is detrimental. This helps no one in any way. That black student probably ends up on welfare or inconcerated or lost in the world. They never had actual help and here is a time when they began to realize they actually need it. Too late.

I dont remember if they mentioned it, but I would have added that if a young black child isn't smart or athletic/ talented they fit in no where. They can't pass test nor will they be accepted for any sports or clubs. It's sad. It's even more sad that teachers have this point of view- a black child can only make it through athletics or musical talent. Maybe we should rethink black education. Maybe it's not up to par in comparison with other educations. This is a problem in the black community and drastic measures are encouraged if there is to be any change.

Sex Sells (1st Groups' presentation)

The presentation was interesting. They did exactly what they needed to do to grab my attention. Post a few naked/ censored pictures up,  and BAM... I'm looking. Pretty much the basically spoke on how several black people make it in the acting/ music business solely off of their looks and how they portray themselves. They compared a two black woman who are very successful as of today, who took two very different routes. I must say the comparison was far off, and these two people have no correlation at all, but I understood their overall point.

They compared the one and only Queen Latifah with nascent rapper/singer Nikki Minaj. A powerful, respected black woman vs. a feign, commercialized young lady. While they both are black woman, who have of had rapping careers, they are on two totally different scales in my opinion. First of all, they come from 2 completely opposite generations. Back in the day, sex still was selling, but things were less obvious. For women, there wasnt any need to be naked- maybe show a little thigh, cleavage, wear make-up, or be seductive. However today, you ass, breast and legs must be out. A woman might as well not wear anything. The queen rapped about peace, unity, and good life. On the other hand, Minaj raps abouts money, women, men, sex, and drugs. They have two totally different goals.

I did like the presentation though, and I understood that they were simply trying to prove how its unnecessary to portray oneself is such a blunt, slutty manner. Basically, if she can do it, so can you. They mentioned that people who don't sell sex are less recognized. Yes it's sought of true. So people go where the money is- sex business. I think they should have compared people of this time and age, instead of a activist woman in her 40s with a young rapper repping Young Money. Good job though.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Self- Actualization

       Self- actualization is fulfillment of one's potential combined with the realization of who one is. I believe I have reached my level of self-actualization, that is, for this year of my life, because in my opinion, there is a new level one must achieve intermittently. Correlating with self- actualization is the name, Abraham Maslow. He is a humanistic psychologist who proposed that each soul has a hierarchy of needs. I agree with him. He simply says that in this hierarchial structure, one must first satisfy psychological needs including, breathing, food, water, sex, homeostasis, and excretion. Second on his list was to satisfy safety needs including, securement of the body, health, family, employment, morality, and property. Thirdly, one has to sate the feelings of love and belongingness, through friends, family, and sexual intimacy. With the first 3 levels satisfied one would go on to having esteem, meaning Self Confidence, achievement, and respect for and or by others. Finally, there is the level of self-actualization! One knows and controls morality, creativity, spontaneity, can solve problems, isn't prejudice, and can accept facts.
      But Maslow wasn't the first to have such an idea. Thoughts on self-actualization dates back in Africa. The land of the living. The dark continent, yet the start of bright ideas. I think back on my last lecture and remember Ma'at. The Ancient Greek god who represents the concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality and justice. He represented the ideas that Maslow expressed and conveys for us today. So I feel as though we come into this world with a purpose, a potential, that we must reach before the end of our days; to say that we are self-actualized. Along with wisdom and knowledge one must know that you must appreciate and learn how to use what you have in order to obtain what you want and or need. There's no time to envy, be jealous, hate, or put down others. You must focus on yourself and fulfill your life because in the end that is actually all that matters. Whether you take it from the perspective of Ancient African values or todays' psychologist, its necessary to understand and value these views to make something out of your life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More than strategic, Black Presidential Politics... Dr. R. Walters

      I would first like to give my condolences to the loved ones of Dr. Ronald Walters and may he rest in peace. Taken at age 72, he had much more living to do, but I'm sure God called him home for a reason. A reason that is very much noticeable to all who either know him or researched him. This amazing man has LIVED...learned, taught, changed, made, helped, succeeded, intrigued, and much more! From his protest on segregation to his becoming a leading scholar of the politics race, this man has done it all.

     There are numerous contributions from Dr. Walters that I could mention. Moreover, he has given an abundance of nourishment for today's society. I would certainly like to announce the fact that Walters has written 13 books and records of articles on racial politics. More specific, Dr. Walters is the author of a particular book titled, Black Presidential Politics in America: A Strategic Approach, written in 1988. The text essentially predicts a black presidency and states how it could possibly be executed. New York Times quoted Pat Walters, his lifetime partner saying, "...the night President Obama was elected.. we were stunned, elated and immediately fell into each other’s arms and started crying. My husband looked me in the eyes and said, ‘This is the vision I was trying to present when I wrote the book, that this was a great possibility.’ ”

    This starts to resemble a miracle; such an event that its considered as a work of God. Sometimes, I guess it is possible to predict the future. Dr. Walters explained in his book how black  people used presidential elections to increase their influence on politics, and it also observes the election process, primaries, and both the Democratic and Republican convention. I haven't yet read this book, but I've researched it and skimmed through the pages. I know its filled with deliciously juicy material and it has made it on my list of future readings. I wonder what exactly was said in the text about a black president and I would like to compare Dr. Walters's idea of having a black president to the reality of having a black president. My brief research has opened my eyes in a new direction, and I shall soon acquire more knowledge on the information.
           ~Zhurdii k

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Your Legacy, My Legacy, Our Legacy

Who are you? From where, did you come? Why are you here?

Above are 3 simple questions that a vast majority of the population would probably fail to answer correctly. Even the most knowledgeable person may find it arduous to reply to with facts. Reason being is that, to answer these questions, one needs not only knowledge, but wisdom. DEFINITIONS!!

  • Knowledge:  bodies of truth accumulated in the course of time
  • Wisdom: knowledge that is true and coupled with insight

  Though a person can be considered intelligent, smart, or bright, it doesn't mean they have the power to solve problems. You must learn to acquire wisdom in order to solve problems. One who lacks insight can not really help, and if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Moreover, each problem is a lack of knowledge. Neither of the two, knowledge nor wisdom is innate, or comes easily. Both come with time, patience, and experience, furthermore reading and watching. I was told that this is the "Problem Solving Generation". This is the "Knowledge Revolution". I am a part of it. As Obama once stated "This is OUR time, and yes, I am definitely including myself in the "our".
  Thanks to generations, past, I have the ability to learn easily, by listening and reading. I have access to technology, and access to the most sophisticated knowledge known to man, the Human Genome System. It is a highly advanced and prestigious system that has the ability to show the entirety of an organisms' hereditary composition. How amazing is that? We can actually trace our roots; find out who we are; where we are from, and in the end infer our reason for being here. Despite the period in time when separation and dislocation from African roots forced temporary abandonment of Wisdom as the ultimate goal of learning. It was the African way, to always be wise, and knowledgeable. However, Africans knew, that while knowledge is power, Wisdom is supreme.
  Howard University is a school that focuses on the "abandonment, dismemberment, and the reawakening of history, African history and ways of becoming better. Here at Howard we focus on the legacy of Africans. We take it back to the roots. The mother, her 23- chromosomes, the DNAs' imprinted on each chromosome that specifically directs how the body as a whole shall be made. It gets that deep. It science, and science is a tool for demonstrating the quality of the thoughts you have. The lecture today was rather different. It was about, what I'd consider the basics, but it was from a different point of view..more pedantic. As a result of the lecture, I realized that you aren't successful with just knowledge alone. It takes way more, which I've been new, but now I know delve more into it. I have a more precise route to take in everything I do.
I know who I am, where I've come from and as time goes on, I will show my reason for being.