Celebrate Duafe Dallas TX  on Sept !

naturally Isis Presents 2nd annual Natural Hair Parade

Duafe is the Adinkra Symbol for beauty and this morning I  was sooooo honored to be able to speak with a true pioneer and ambassador for African Beauty across the Diaspora–

 

the amazing Naturally Isis.  

For the second year Isis Brantley of  Naturally Isis brings us the Natural Hair Parade and Festival  in Dallas/Fort Worth Texas.    

 This parade and festival is the first of it kind celebrating African Beauty. Naturally Isis is always teaching and  sharing concepts of empowerment thru self love being a huge focus of  this parade and festival.  

If you are  anywhere close to Dallas Metro area I encourage you to head over and join the fun

 ….. on Saturday, September 1st  to be a part of this amazing event.

Listen in below to my chat with this amazing lady and learn more about Naturally Isis, her  inspiration  to host this special event – truly a beautiful  labor of love and about all the special activities planned for September 1st.

Here is a link to the chat we enjoyed

 I encourage you to consider offering donations to this amazing event to assist with the education and empowerment of women through DUAFE

Please contact the Outreach Coordinator at (404) 944-6439

or visit Naturally Isis Natural Hair Online 

 

Passing down the Traditions - So Important

Naturally Isis teaching about the tradition of Duafe

Mate Masie Symbol represents wisdom and knowledge

Mate Masie Adinkra symbol represents Wisdom and Knowledge

The African American Literature Book Club has issued  several  recommendations for great reading for Black History Month!  Featured in Episode 7 of  the Book Look is Manning Marable’sMalcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” which examines the life of  Freedom Fighter Malcom X  from a different perspective than we have seen in previous biographies.   Check out the Book Look Episode 7 below and then drop over to the AALBC for more great recommendations for wonderful reading!!

Montford Point Marines design from Kiarablu

Sankofa Salute to the brave men - Montford Point Marines

Reblog: Digital Diaspora…by Kamu Ujuzi

The Montford Point Marines, like most African-American soldiers faced many enemies abroad as well as at home. The U.S Marines did not accept black recruits until 1941. Though ordered to integrate by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, black Marines were segregated into a separate unit stationed near Jacksonville, NC’s Camp Lejeune. Over 19,168 black Marines trained at Camp Montford Point from 1942-49. The Montford Point recruits weren’t allowed to enter nearby Camp Lejeune, unless accompanied by a white officer. The food, water and shelter at Montford Point were inferior to that of their white counterparts. When allowed to serve, only token or menial roles were assigned. They received assignments such as cleaning up the ash after the atomic bomb was dropped over Nagasaki, Japan. Fifty years later, the Montford Point Marines have been recognized for courage and dedication, even in the face of discrimination and intolerance. Like the Buffalo Soldiers and Tuskegee Airmen, they have been awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, The Congressional Medal of Honor. After a presentation ceremony, at which the surviving 200-300 alumni are expected to be present, the medal will go on permanent display at the Smithsonian.Though fifty years late, this is an honor appropriate for men who have made this country a better place for all Americans.

HBCU Proud Legcy tee by Kiarablu

HBCU Proud Legacy

During this week and next many Historically Black Colleges and Universities will be taking time out to celebrate their membership in the HBCU collective.  These schools have offered education and scholarship to African American students since the early 1800’s.

HBCUs  have continuously provided a place for African American students to increase their knowledge and scholarship despite lack of funding  or adequate  public support for over 170 years.  The original instructors and students were very commited to establishing and maintaining schools for the enrichment of the African-American community.  Early students  worked hard just to physically get to these schools –   Book T. Washington walked from West Virginia  to  Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) located  in  SE Virginia.  Another example of the students dedication to this same  institution was the funding that the Hampton Institute Choir obtained to build Virginia-Clevlend  Dormitory. The sung for groups around the country to raise money to build their  womens dorm! The faculty and students in the 19th century did not let the limitations of social stigma, lack of abundant funding or politics stop them from building these schools.  

Founder of Tuskeegee

Booker T. Washington

These determined men and women have left us an amazing legacy.   We must re-examine the current state of education within the African-American community and re-establish this “education warrior” attitude.   The Malcom X quote of  ” By any means necessay!” comes to mind when looking at how to implement this “warrior” attitude in modern times.   As a community we must come together to educate our students from the elementary level through post graduate.  Without a strong education, the foundation of the community is weak and that can only lead to an unempowered community in the future.   

As we celebrate the beautiful legacy of the HBCU’s,  we must also strongly encourage faculty, students and alumni of these great insitutions to take a critical look around for what they can contribute today to education within our community. These institutions should be creating an abundance of  “education warriors” who then reach out to others and elevate the community through teaching!   Every graduate should feel obligated to becoming a reading buddy, establishing a math club or developing a local  “Black History center” !  The completion of an undergraduate degree should be  look upon as the begining of a journey of enlightenment instead of the “end” of school!  One of the greatest examples of  how this type of attitude can make a difference is the building of Tuskeegee Institute.   The brilliant Booker T. Washington established  Tuskegee Institute in Alabama  using the education he received  Hampton Institute.   He did not take his education and go back home …..find a good job ….live the “good life”. He took  his knowledge, applied it and worked  to help others in the community reach this same level of scholarship!  

Adinkra symbol Akoben - Horn used to sound the Battle Cry!

Educational Warriors - Sound the Battle Cry!!

The time has come for the African-American community take education of   OUR community back into our own hands….we can not rely on local school boards, school systems etc to provide our children with knowledge.  Educational warriors are despeartely needed today…. to change the path so many children are on.   I offer this challenge to not only HBCU alumni, faculty and students but to everyone who can…..go out and become an educational warrior…..teach the youth  so they become better citizens which will give  our  community and our country a better future.  Stand on this beautiful HBCU legacy and help build a solid future  for the African-American community. 

19th century history class @ Tuskegee Institute

"Educational Warriors"

Do you know of some modern day “educational Warriors”?  I would LOVE to hear about them! So Please share here!

As we march into the patriotic holidays for our great nation over the next two months I would like to share some thoughts, memories and photos.  Memorial Day, Juneteenth and The 4th of July are generally a time of celebration and a time to remember our brave men and women that have fought for true freedom!

Sankofa - memories of WW I

Sankofa - Patriotic thoughts of WW I 369th Infantry

This beautiful photo was taken of the families celebrating the return of the brave soldiers of the 369th Infantry as they marched uptown  in NYC! The soldiers were returning from their service in France. I love the smiles on the faces…so proud of these brave men! The African-American community has offered many citizens who served bravely in all the wars this nation has engaged in. We must continue to remember ALL  the men and women who have served bravely to defend this nation. Sharing these old photos and stories with the next generation will give them a clear picture about the contributions many Black men and women have made to US history! I believe this is the spirit of SANKOFA….helping the next generations reach back and hold onto their history.

I have been privileged to have many stories and pictures passed on to me throughout my life.
Who are the people who have served our great nation in your family?  Do you share stories with the youth? 

Do you have a member of the family serving now?   I would love to hear about them!!


"By God's grace, all will be well"

Adinkra symbol - By God's grace all will be well

ONYANKOPON ADOM NTI BIRIBIARA BEYE YIE

This is the Adinkra symbol that represents hope providence and faith.

I came across this beautiful video for the song “Somewhere in Heaven”  by the Master Musician SANTANA which I think could be looked at as a  musical interpretation of the symbol.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


The United States  has  elected a President of African descent —-

There are no longer laws  that confine or restrict the places  where African-Americans can go……


so many people ask the question……”Why do we need Black History Month”?

Represents strength

Adinkra symbol Wawa Aba

I believe we MUST continue to remember, celebrate and pass on the legacy of resilience that Africans  in American have lived.   Understanding the difficult past of our African ancestors and how they stood strong, believed in God for their freedom and never gave up is extremely important as we look to the future.   Our children need to understand that they are free because their ancestors NEVER gave up or gave in. Despite the evidence of any chance that things would change …….they continued on with the belief that if not their children, then their children’s children or great-grandchildren WOULD BE FREE!   And here we are …….their beliefs realized…..how beautiful!!!

The Adinkra symbol WAWA ABA  means seed of a wawa tree and represents hardiness, toughness and perseverance.   Black history month is a salute to our ancestors who kept these principles in their heart and minds.   We have to continue the walk ….standing just as tall and strong!   Celebrate Black history month this year with a vision of Wawa

Wawa Aba -show your strength

Wawa Aba embroidered cap from Kiarablu

Be Strong…….Be Proud…….Always Remember!

Adinkra symbol that represents Patience and Tolerence

Akoma represents tolerance and Patience

Akoma is the beautiful  Adinkra symbol that represents tolerance and patience.   The United Nations has declared 2011 the International Year of Peoples of African Descent.   This is a call to countries around the world to focus on the historical,  social, economic, civil and political   contributions of People of African Descent to their nation.  The major focus of the UN is to strengthen national actions and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent.   The {UN}  General Assembly is  encouraging Member States and  specialized agencies of the United Nations  to make preparations for and identify possible initiatives that can contribute to the success of the Year.

This history making proclamation from the United Nations will go a LONG way to moving the ball forward in creating a more tolerant world!  Take a look at the  official proclamations  by the United Nations below.

UN Proclamation of 2011 as The Year of People of African Descent

As we remember the life and work of  Dr. Martin Luther King,  I wonder what he would think about this proclamation.  I believe he would see it as a beautiful step forward to the peaceful world he dreamed of.  He knew that if each of us reached out just a little further and showed “AKOMA” to another, the world would be a lot better.

So take a minute today and think about how you can reach out with AKOMA!

peace and blessings

Let me know what you are doing to share AKOMA  today!

Bob Johnson living Sankofa

September 22, 2010

Just saw a CNN news report that Bob Johnson, founder of BET cable station and former owner of the Charlotte Bob Cats, is investing in the country of Liberia. He is planning to develop a spa resort on the coast of Liberia. I am so happy to see this happening. He has expressed a desire to see an increase in African-Americans connecting with Africa and Liberia in particular. During the interview today he expressed that he feels Liberia has great potential for African-American business development. I applaud this investment in a country that really needs the support by a man who can truly make a difference. I don’t know if Mr. Johnson would see this as an expression of the concept of Sankofa but I see this as a positive foundation that will encourage more connections between the Mother Land and African-Americans. That is what Sankofa is all about. Sure there have been many, many others that have invested in Africa but Mr. Johnson stands out, because his name is so well-known across this country. His example will catch the attention of others and I pray be a practice that is repeated by many!

Spa Hotel built by Bob Johnson

Here is a link to a July  CNN interview with Bob Johnson:

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=international/2010/07/15/mpa.johnson.africa.hotel.bk.b.cnn

Happy National HBCU Week!

September 17, 2010

This is National HBCU week……..a time to celebrate  the Historically Black Colleges  and Universities of our great nation.  As a graduate of Hampton University  I think it is great to hear the President speaking  about  and bringing focus  to these historic institutions.  We have to continue the tradition of HBCU’s and emphasize the importance of education to the youth of our country.   They must understand that higher education will make a significant difference in what path their future takes.    The work that each student puts in to obtain a solid education will offer them many life opportunities that they could never imagine.   I have been able to  travel all across our great nation because of  the solid education I received at Hampton.   My education has opened doors that would have been solidly shut to me without out my degree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HBCU t-shirt

HBCU t-shirt "Educating Future Leaders"

I am truly thankful for the encouragement I received from family and friends while I worked to obtain a higher education degree.  I challenge each of you to encourage and support the young people in your life to aim high and pursue not just an undergraduate degree but also a graduate level education.

The adinkra symbol Nea Onnim No  Sua A Ohu  represents knowledge & life long

 

 

 

NEA ONNIM NO SUA A, OHU

HBCU s are shining a bright light on life long learning

learning. HBCU s have offered students a fantastic educational foundation for their life journey  since 1837, when Cheyney University was founded.  The importance of life long learning was not lost on the Akan nor the original students of HBCU s. It is our job now to continue to support these institutions in their mission and encourage our youth to learn as much as they can everyday!

Did you attend a HBCU ?  Please give a shoutout here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HBCU kids tee

Show your little ones they are headed for greatness!