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.


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!!

Happy Kwanzaa 2011!!

December 26, 2011

Sending warm wishes for 7 days of

 beautiful family and community


Happy Kwanzaa!!



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 !


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

Adinkra symbol Sankofa

Adinkra symbol Sankofa - Return & Get what you left behind

October is Black History Month in the United Kingdom!   I just learned last year that our UK Brothers and Sisters do not celebrate their season of Sankofa during the same month as we do here in the United States.   This news is VERY exciting to me because I have “discovered” another area to research in Black History ( as if I don’t have a WIDE field here in the US!)

Learning about Black History UK has been such a beautiful discovory……many facts I did not know about. (be sure to follow our twitter timeline for more @kiarablu)  The video I have included below is a wonderful interview with Mia Morris.  She is the founder of Black-History-Month.co.uk – a web site devoted to Black History in the United Kingdom.   This fantastic site is a treasure trove of historical information from past and modern times.   Be sure to hop over for a visit.    

If you are celebrating the month of October as Black History month PLEASE leave us a note about your event, family time, teaching or artistic expressions.   Links are VERY welcome so that I can learn MORE!! 

Sending beautiful Sankofa wishes to all the beautiful

ppl celebrating their amazing history this

month in the United Kingdom!

Sankofa Games

July 27, 2011

Sankofa is the Adinkra symbol that reminds us to return and get what was left behind.  I believe this is a powerful concept for those of us who are descendants of enslaved Africans. Our ancestors worked hard to pass on history and cultural traditions but unfortunately much was lost.   We all must work together to “find” and reclaim the  history  and traditions that were left behind.  

The Africa Memory Game is  a wonderful way to learn about the  beautiful continent of Africa.  It offers players an opportunity  to test and increase their knowledge of the African continent while “traveling” through different

African Memory Game

African Memory Game

regions answering questions.   The first player to reach the heart of Africa wins!   What a great way for families to spend time together enhancing their knowledge of Africa.  



Another game that I would recommend is Mancala or the African Rock game.  This is a traditional game from the African continent.  Two players challenge each other to empty their side of the board of stones.   This is a game that I have

Mancala - African stone game

Great Family Fun

played since childhood and recently pulled out for my children.  Many hot summer days were happily spent challenging my cousins again and again. What a nice feeling to pass on this traditional game to the next generation.  



Do you have a African centered or Traditional African game you love to play? Or maybe some great childhood memories  – Please share in the comment section below!

Sankofa thoughts

July 14, 2011

Sankofa Adinkra symbol

Sankofa- return and obtain what was left behind

Beautiful words to remind us about

the importance of embracing the concept of


For Africa to me… is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth

  No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been

and exactly how he arrived at his present place”

………Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

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!!