I’ll never understand black people who still ask & say stuff like ” what is your daughter European name? She will have hard time in school. She might not find a job later ect…” My child is not a donation to the City Council, & we are really sick !!! 1. She has her grandmother name & what other name with that type of direct connection to her origin is out there?? 2. Zbigniew Brzezinski turned out pretty well (check him)!!! 3. Barack Hussein Obama (president), Nayyira Waheed (Writer), Warsan Shire (Poet), Chinua Achebe (novelist), Idris Elba (actor), Djimon Hounsou (actor), Koffi Annan (ex Secretary General of the UN), Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (he gave up Joseph, ex president of Zaire), Cheikh Anta Diop (historian), Wendo Kolosoy (musician), Fela Kuti (musician), Asamoah Gyan (footballer/ soccer) ect… If you go back in my family tree before 1870 you’ll find no European names & those of my family who were born after that era for them a European name became the requirement to get a job, go to school, go to heaven… A name like George was far better than Mutombo & in those days we were treated like furniture & we belonged to Europe.
Plus why should I teach my child to go look for a job when she can CREATE one?? The day we will rise above all the nonsense that we have internalized through the years we will see change.” I & I (via africa-will-unite)
7.12.13 | abstract.
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” - Nelson Mandela.
RIP Madiba. Hamba kahle, Tata Madiba. Go well.
“How you vibrate is what the universe echoes back to you.”Panache (via ignitingenergy)
“Do not judge me based on my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
R.I.P. December 5, 2013
Dear revisionists, Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view. Right now, you are anxiously pacing the corridors of your condos and country estates, looking for the right words, the right tributes, the right-wing tributes. You will say that Mandela was not about race. You will say that Mandela was not about politics. You will say that Mandela was about nothing but one love, you will try to reduce him to a lilting reggae tune. ‘Let’s get together, and feel alright.’ Yes, you will do that. You will make out that apartheid was just some sort of evil mystical space disease that suddenly fell from the heavens and settled on all of us, had us all, black or white, in its thrall, until Mandela appeared from the ether to redeem us. You will try to make Mandela a Magic Negro and you will fail. You will say that Mandela stood above all for forgiveness whilst scuttling swiftly over the details of the perversity that he had the grace to forgive.
Nelson Mandela was not a god, floating elegantly above us and saving us. He was utterly, thoroughly human, and he did all he did in spite of people like you. There is no need to name you because you know who you are, we know who you are, and you know we know that too. You didn’t break him in life, and you won’t shape him in death.”
Excerpts from his brilliant essay Mandela Will Never, Ever Be Your Minstrel. I love that he included Bob Marley’s lyrics, because he too like so many very much so human yet very much so remarkable people have been turned into memes and reframed to serve White supremacy and make the status quo and the State comfortable, literally what these people were fighting or singing or marching or writing or speaking etc. against.
When sentiment doesn’t allow for complexity and seeks to serve White supremacy, it cannot respect Mandela’s legacy. It cannot respect Black lives. It cannot be truthful in relation to justice—the justice still needed today for the racism and oppression that still thrives today.
Nelson Mandela was a human being and a complex one who fought with people, not alone, for a justice that cannot be separated from both the desire for peace and the necessity of self-defense from the State, both unity and the reality of racism so virulent and so pungent that we still smell and experience that stench today. His enemies—people who wanted him imprisoned or dead—are the same ones (literally, by name, in some cases) who are desperate and thirsty to reframe his life and legacy in a way where “peaceful” means “sought White approval; didn’t believe in self-defense.” Let’s remember him for who he actually was and what he did, with all of its complicated, difficult, radical and glorious complexity.
"I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended."
― Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013)