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

Celebrating Olympic Aya

August 5, 2012

 

Runner design by Vector GraphicsThis week I have been blessed to be able to follow all the amazing physical feats of the athletes in London for  2012 Olympics.  Seeing the wonderful array of countries  represented has been a true treat for this “student of the world” !!  One of  the things we all admire about the Olympic athletes is how much they have gone thru and endured to get to the level of performance we see during the games. This concept of endurance and resourcefulness  is expressed in the Adinkra  symbols as Aya. If the Olympics had been developed in Ghana the medals probably would have  had the  Aya symbol engraved on them.   It is said that those who wear the symbol  have truly endured many adversaries and outlasted much difficulty – something I am sure the Olympians could easily discuss with us. 

Aya represents endurance

Adinkra symbol Aya represents endurance

 

I have  enjoyed seeing the tweets of support for these amazing athletes from around the world in my Twitter timeline.  This morning I received  several  RT ‘s  from @Afridiziak that she received via the UK Postal Service (@PostOffice) about the stamps they have created celebrating UK gold medalists.  Here is the stamp they have created for the UK Olympian Mo Farah.  He truly is an athlete that exemplifies  the concept of the Aya symbol during his career as a long distance runner. 

So this is a salute to celebrate the wonderful athletes and the strong message they tell the world  — Wave the flag of Aya over  all you do and you will see amazing results.

Visions of Freedom

June 13, 2012

Join the Freedom Link up

Visions of Freedom Blog Hop

Memorial Day, Juneteenth and Fourth of July are all American Holidays that commemorate historically significant days in our country centered around freedom. I have labeled this time of year Freedom Season because of all the celebrations and talk about freedom during this time of the year. Freedom is what our country was founded upon. This is sometimes incomprehensible because it is also the period in history that many Africans had their freedom taken.  There are so many historical dates around the globe that show what people have given to stand for freedom.  As we reflect on these amazing people and moments we can come together and share in the strength shown.  We can take the lessons learned and proceed into a future full of freedom for all persons around the world.

Over at KiaraBlu we have established a special place in celebration of “Freedom Season”. Kiarablu has partnered with Goddess Angelika to sponser a Blog Hop and ongoing conversation on twitter about Freedom. We would love to have you join the hop and conversation. What do you think Freedom looks like? What does it mean to you?

FREEDOM IS A ROAD T SHIRT
 
 
 
 
 
 
FREEDOM IS A ROAD T SHIRT by KAMAU66
 
 

 

Link up your blog post here: http://www.kiarablu.com/freedom

Or

Join us on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freedomsvision

One of the reasons I love Adinkra symbols and have committed to “studying” them is their long history.  It fascinates me that these symbols have been passed down for so many generations in Ghana. They are some what unique because they are a printed form of communication and historically many African traditions are oral.   This is not to say that there are not other traditional written or printed expression on the African continent because there are others for sure!!  I plan to one day explore those too!   

Available at Africancraft.com
Adinkra Stamps

The methods used to print the Adinkra symbols have been passed down too.   Traditionally the symbols are carved into calabash.  The symbol is then printed on fabric using beautiful dyes.   The cloth that is created is a beautiful expression from the printer.   We now have many ways to “create” the Adinkra symbols but it is really important to remember the traditional ways and not lose this knowledge.   One day soon I would like to try my hand at printing on some cloth –  I will be sure to share the fun here.   

Here is a video featuring the Adinkra printing tools with explanation of some of the symbols.  Unfortunately I could not embed the video but click the link and Enjoy!

L is for Lumumba

April 15, 2012

 

Adinkra symbol Sankofa

Adinkra symbol Sankofa - Return & Get what you left behind

As I complete week two  for the AtoZ  Challenge I would like to talk about the great African leader Patrice Lumumba. He was the first elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo today) after working to secure independence for his country from Belgium.  Lumumba was only in office for 12 weeks before his government was overturned, he was imprisoned and executed.   The series of tumultuous events that occurred in 1960 are referred to as the Congo Crisis.  

For such a short reign as leader of a country Mr Lumumba has left a tremendous legacy.  He was known for the determination that he led with to help  his countrymen gain independence. Also his  strong belief in Pan-Africanism  did not make him an African leader supported by the American or Belgium governments of the time.  There are some questions as to whether the US played a part in the execution and further disposal of his body.

We have to wonder whether The Democratic Republic of the Congo would be a much stronger Patrice Lumumbagovernment and world player if Patrice Lumumba had been allowed to continue his unifying  work after the  fragile period during which  this country gained its independence.  Having such a strong leader dedicated to positively connecting with other independent African countries clearly seems like it would have benefited the entire continent. 

These events lead me to ponder how wise it is for any country to interfere with the government and leadership of another.  Our current global community has several instances where this is occurring.  How will this affect the future of these nations positively or negatively??   I think we all can take a lesson from history!!

Shortly before his assassination, Lumumba penned the following words in a farewell letter: ‘

The only thing we wanted for our country was the right to a decent existence, to dignity without hypocrisy, to independence without restrictions. . . .  The day will come when history will have its say.’ — Patrice Lumumba 

Sankofa Art

March 7, 2012

The Adinkra symbol Sankofa is a powerful statement to many across the African Diaspora.  For many of us it represents  our strong desire to reach back…way back to our ancestral home and learn about the culture our forefathers and mothers had to leave behind.  We have much of that culture within us and we don’t even know it!

As a salute to this powerful symbol that stands as  a strong reminder of our journey to African knowledge I would like to share this photo of the artwork by Goddess Angelika   I am so happy to see my enlightened Brothers and Sisters sharing the knowledge of the beautiful Adinkra symbols. This trend of sharing is the key for us all to join the powerful Sankofa journey.

Sankofa by Goddess Angelika

Adinkra symbol Sankofa

For more African cultural expressions thru poetry and art visit Goddess Angelika Tumblr

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!!

I recently connected with the creaters of a fantastic cartoon series called Bino and Fino on my  Twitter timeline!   Bino and Fino is the name of an adorable  African children’s cartoon now available   that  offers up enriching African culture to our children.  This engaging cartoon is  designed to be an entertaining  teaching tool for kids across the Diapora which addresses topics like African history,  African culture,  African maps,  black history in Diaspora, Life skills, African songs,  African languages, and much more!  

Sankofa "Return and Get it"

 Through engaging stories the cartoon offers the children a fantastic vehicle for Sankofa –  they can connect with the African continent on a familiar media format.  I love this!!  My children were immediately engaged when they watched the video below and it led to a fantastic discussion about colonialism, independance, history, and geography.  We have been studying regions of Africa so the children were happy to look at the map and identify where Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Mali  (etc) are   after watching the cartoon!  

Hope you enjoy this  episode of Bino and Fino as they learn all about Nigerian Independence Day . I encourage you to order a DVD for the children in your life!   What other things are you doing to bring Sankofa to youth of your life?  

Nigerian Independence Design from Kiarablu
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.

October is the month  designated to celebrate the rich history of people of African descent in The United Kingdom.  At Kiarablu we celebrate this rich history all year long.   I would like to offer a few of our afrocentric designs.   These are created to offer our fantastic customers the opportunity to express their love and  respect for the beautiful continent of AFRICA!   Enjoy and please let us know your favorites !

SANKOFA IS THE ADINKRA SYMBOL THAT MEANS  “GO BACK AND GET WHAT HAS BEEN LEFT BEHIND”

Adinkra symbol Duafe represents Beauty

Adinkra symbol Duafe from Ghana West Africa

Afrocentric tee design

Afrocentric - Africa center of all

UK black history month

October is Black History month