Tales of An African; American

Writing this recently after attending an event many Africans; well at the very least Nigerians are familiar with.

Short Stories by Anonymous

A celebration of life, the quintessential 40th birthday party of some relative.

To my best knowledge, it doesn’t really have to be on your 40th per say. Nigerians love to party, the older ones?

They go even harder.

The party was supposed to start at 4:00pm. But we are Sub-Saharan; Black.

African Standard Time factors in at least a 1.5hr delay.

Okay, sure.

It’s terrible that we collectively make excuses for our tardiness. Worse even that we use our race as an excuse…but this isn’t that type of story.

Nevertheless, my African-American ass had me early & in there at 5pm.

Now, those of us who have been previously strong armed into assisting with the setup to an event like this, may be familiar with the setting I am trying to describe.

Setting up church related events are also sometimes parallel to it. It goes a little something like this.

The DJ is setting up.

Aluminum trays packed with steaming jollof rice are being brought in & placed in food chafers while some one tries to locate a lighter.

Usually, from the Uncle allegedly “quitting” smoking.

Cultural disclaimer!!!

Showing up early -or really on time- for an African event is tantamount to volunteering to help.

Women are automatic servers & the men lift things that need to be moved.

Ugh!

New faces get a guest pass. However, that quickly wears out the more familiar & acquainted you get.

At this point in my life, my hair is grown out & in braids; my favorite protective style. Also, a taboo to my parents & their Nigerian culture.

Since doing so, Nigerians have began to assume I am African American.

Which I am.

Catch my drift though.

They react to me as such.

Saying hello in an American accent. Shooting me the weird tight lipped foreigner smile & then proceeding to joke me in Yoruba to the nearest person that will listen.

This speaks to a bigger issue on Blackness & how we interact with one another within our own community. I can’t say the animosity shrouded in ‘jokes’ are strictly one-sided.

But this isn’t that type of story.

Since then I have realized how rude Nigerians naturally are.

As if growing up around them wasn’t enough of a longitudinal case study.

Right?

Anyways, upon arriving to the party, the hired photographer was; doing his job. Taking pictures behind me, he did not fail to say something slick in Yoruba about my ‘Akata’ hairstyle.

The word ‘Akata’ is vile. It has done so much damage within our community, affecting inter-cultural relations & it needs to die.

Talk-less of the fact that Nigerians don’t know their own history because before colonization we braided our hair regardless of gender.

Ah! Good ole western brainwashing.

I mean, ‘education’.

What’s even more absurd?

Sometimes, the jokes are so funny I laugh. Then they realize I understand my language; Yoruba & they begin to stare at me like I grew a third head.

Who are the parents of this miscreant?

How come they let him out into a public like this?

You can see the thoughts spinning in their puny minds.

Who cares though?

I’m grown.

Besides, my favorite part of the party has already commenced.

The prayer over the food which means it’s almost time to chow down!

& with that, mo lo jeun mehn!

Ready, Set, Grow!

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It’s No Longer Marketable to be An Asshole in this Society.

You will get shamed.

& you can see this through the recent spewing of –for lack of being bothered to find a better word– dumb shit, followed by an apology series from a plethora of your celebrity faves. Newly added on to the list; Jess Hilarious & Daniel Caesar.

Any person with an iota of influence seems to have the incessant need to get “on live” to express their undeveloped & most times bigoted thoughts. Then eventually, after receiving a well-deserved backlash; run back to the internet –on live–  apologizing for their foolish & reckless rhetoric. On most occasions, said persons of interest barely shows any initial inkling of remorse or care. When the bags start to stop & the pockets start to hurt, they finally string up a few words & conjure up some alligator tears for sacrifice, in form of “an apology”.

One can only wonder if they were ever honestly sorry, or if they’re sorry their career is about to be affected by the dumb sh#%t they willing spewed unprovoked.

However, We Digress.

To say this; being a good person is better. & now, society is actively pushing for that. Millennials –& under– are aggressively pushing to exist in a better world.

We are taking into account the consequences of our words & the effect they have on culture & society. If the recent tensions in the U.S -thanks to the salacious offensive & divisive words of the American President- doesn’t show you the power of terminology in real-time?

Then we don’t know how to help you sis!

Personal Growth is Beautiful.

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An individual experiencing growth &/or change in life is experiencing one of the most exhilarating things life has to offer & its free! …for the most part.

Suddenly, it all clicks in your head! You’re the author of your destiny & you’re fully capable of pushing & squeeze at life until you get the results you want.

No settling over here sis! The power of knowing this is second to none.

You no longer feel helpless or like a backseat driver in your reality. With this new-found trust in self, you wholeheartedly express yourself.

Engulf yourself in activities or hobbies you truly care about.

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Wonderful right?

Here’s the problem, your new growth, albeit wonderful & fully centered around you, also affects the people surrounding you. Your new spunk could be a catalyst or a point of encouragement for your friends to pursue their own goals & growth. The ideal reaction.

However, this is not always the case. Not everyone will respond to the developing you with positive feedback. Don’t take it personal, even if it hurts.

You see, there are people inherently insecure about the things they think can’t change in their lives;”stuck people”. Since you’re the one growing, you know there is no such thing a truly “stuck person”, the power lies within them. But, they don’t believe that for themselves. Due to these insecurities from within, stuck people feel the need to outwardly challenge their progressing friend.

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Negs. Not in the sexual –but just as toxic– “Pick-Up Artist” culture way.

Ohhhh, I didn’t know you’re into that”

You only started liking this because of …(insert whatever reason intended to discredit you “new” preference)”

When I began my journey with self growth & development, I was bombarded with statements starting exactly like that, every time I put new hobbies or my hidden talents in the forefront.

Some people are honestly simply curious; which doesn’t make it less triggering, but it does create understanding.

You have to protect your growth like it’s gold because it is. It’s the key to the path you have always prayed for, on the journey to a better you. You will keep on learning & changing, until you become the exact person you want to be.

Losing stubborn people on the way is fine too. Stuck people from your past seem to have a hard-on for any chance they get to remind you of your old self. Take it as a reflection of how far you have come. Block them out. They don’t matter.

Why Assist Someone else in Holding up a Reality You have Chosen No longer to Live?

When you first free fall into the never-ending journey of self discovery, it could be a scary & unfamiliar feat. A constant battle with imposter syndrome & reinforcing positivity in your mind, reminding yourself that you truly are, who you say you are.

You know this because you are finally allowing yourself to express the things you’ve always been naturally pulled towards. Friends & family who don’t give you the space to achieve this in their reality don’t deserve the space to be in yours.

& yes!

It is that deep.

Self growth doesn’t mean you can’t get mad or sad. Sometimes you’ll slip back into old habits. I find when these negative emotions try to engulf me & I begin to see myself as my worst possible self, redirecting that energy into the new interests that feed my soul quickly quells those mean thoughts.

Like Crissle –from the hit Podcast The Read– therapist’s roughly said;

If your life was a marathon would you rather have cheerleaders at the end of the race cheering you on & encouraging you, reminding you of power in self or would you want someone who constantly calls you a dumbass every time you misstep or trip?

Be patient & kind with yourself. Realise the power in your reactions & knowing you control your reality.

Keep striving for the best developed you & anyone who cannot accept this, is merely reflecting their own self-hate & personal insecurities.

Just remember, WhoToldYou.

Love On A Budget

Location Setting: West Africa; Nigeria

Short Stories With Anonymous

A salacious tale of passionate love & sexcapades, with a frugal millennial lacking a trust fund account. So naturally, i’m simply more creative.

& so the story goes; 

i had just graduated from University, ’twas a fun & innocent time. The world was my innocent oyster. I had accomplished a lot; or so I thought. Just earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.

I was on my direct path to being a millionaire, right? Wrong !

Maybe in the olden days not in this Baby Boomer’s economy. However, this isn’t a rant about the state of world global economics.

Every Nigerian with any intent of joining the workforce, has to participate in a compulsory programme called the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Nigeria is a multicultural country, with an estimation of about 250 ethnic groups. All with their unique culture & way of interaction. NYSC was an initiative created in 1973; aimed at bridging the gap between the different Nigerian ethnicities & developing Nigeria. Corp members (Nigerian graduates) are placed in states other than their state of origin to encourage intermingling between ethnicities. & learning about the culture of the location they are placed  in.

Now,

depending on your personal level of financial buoyancy –& or nepotism/cronyism– there are ways to jerk or finagle your way around the system. However, the process familiar with every Nigerian has become somewhat of a rite of passage. & you cannot run for President without an NYSC certificate, proving your service to your country.

The beginning of the programme starts with a scheduled 3 weeks “orientation” in a controlled military camp or base. It is usually the hardest part to get out of & most Nigerians would attend camp.

This is were most of the love stories & magic happens. I already had a boyfriend before I went to serve my country. Today’s story is about how I skipped camp to have some hot & ravenous sex with my –then– boyfriend.

‘Twas a hard time in the Nigerian economy -lol when has it not been though?- & there was a huge fuel scarcity. Nigeria as whole literally runs on fossil fuels, with barely any constant electricity.

Most “well-to-do” Nigerians have a generator in their backyard to combat this issue. Lack of constant electricity also kills many local business before they have the chance to truly take root, -buying diesel everyday to operate a generator may not be great for one’s bottomline.-

But yeah, basically the country was in a little bit of chaos. No fuel consequently led to an immediate spike in the prices of goods & services, creating an artificial ultra high inflation bubble…& I was broke.

Brokedt. On a budjet.

I had been placed in Calabar for my youth corps programme –i lived in Lagos– ,my boyfriend; Femi & I worked through the long distance. He was self employed for a while, so he already had a full-time job. Femi usually paid my air fares  from Calabar to see him in Lagos. I didn’t have a job, so I couldn’t afford the air fare. NYSC did pay, but it could only be considered a little stipend at best. After about 3 back & forth trips of Femi baring the financial brunt of our meetings, he became –expectedly– irritable.

You see, I was allegedly supposed to be from a well off family to his knowledge. & Femi couldn’t comprehend why I simply didn’t ask my dad for financial support. Little did he know my dad & I have always had a tumultuous relationship.

My parents were divorced & barely got along. At the time, I thought it necessary for my survival to keep a happy face of prosperity & enjoyment to the public. In Nigerian society you could be ostracized & liable for the sins of your problematic family. This creates a toxic cycle of victims barely addressing the real issues of what goes on behind closed doors or even seeking help in the first place.

Now, older & wiser, I realized it is all a facade & a game of “Keeping Up With the Jones”, most of the women in those marble houses are sad.

I didn’t think Femi would comprehend the concept of a father who seems to hate his own daughter. Nigerians are extremely family oriented, brainwashed to seldom question authority & take an ‘adult’s‘ word, as bond.  Although I trusted Femi, I wasn’t ready to be that vulnerable with him, this affair in my house was one of the biggest shames I carried around mentality. I was fine with his quick assumption of me being a spoilt rich brat, although…that hurt too.

My days in Calabar were coming to an end. It was the last week on camp, things were slowly winding down & I decided I was going to pay Femi one last visit before I travelled back home. I called his cell expressing my intentions & we almost immediately  go into a tiff over the airplane fees. In the heat of the moment, I hung up on him & he never called back.

3 days went by & still no call back from the love of my life. I then I devised the wonderful idea to just surprise him!

As I stated before; I was strapped for cash. A broke millennial, so I decided to be adventurous & creative. Taking public transportation cross country on the hunt for love & some bomb dick.

By bus, the trip from Calabar to Lagos was going to take 11 long hours. But that was nothing but a token of my love & appreciation.

I woke up early on Friday of the same week, packed my weekend to-go bag with my bus fare N6250;17.24USD; 15 EUROs, ready to surprise my prince charming. The fare was usually N4000, however due to fuel scarcity there was a sharp spike in prices.

At 6:00pm I get myself to the bus stop in Onitsha; a city located in Southern Nigeria, giddy & pent up with a plethora of emotions mostly; excitement.

This was my first real rodeo with public transportation in Nigeria. I was nervous but proud of myself for getting this far. I found myself a comfortable seat; next to the window & waited for the journey to commence.

Everything seems fine & dandy enough, I even ask myself why I had never considered this as a means of transportation. Yes, most of the connecting roads in Nigeria were dilapidated, yet the cost of this trip was making it look even more attractive as a viable option.

An hour into the bus ride I decided to give Femi a call, I did want to surprise him. However, I realized it wasn’t wise to doing some major long distance travelling without informing any of my loved ones of my whereabouts. I certainly wasn’t telling my family, so I told Femi I was on the way.

New flash! He didn’t believe me. There was no way in hell the boujee bitch he thought he knew, was inside a molue bus. He thought wrong, but I guess I could show him better than I could tell him. 6 hours into the bus ride & things had been pretty uneventful, little did I know I was in for a ride of my life.The bus randomly breaks down in Delta state in the middle of the night. S. O. S. & the freak out began.

Passengers started getting ansty, after hearing several empty promises from the bus conductor & his failing vehicle, most of them started to jump ship. Asking for their fare fees back, so as to join another bus & continue their journey to their perspective places. Multiple pleads & to no avail from the passengers after, the bus conductor gave in returning the fares to the passengers who requested them.

I wasn’t quite as bold, I was scared. Shook.

It was 1:00am in the morning!

& I had no idea where I was. I decided to do the safe thing –to some– & stay put! Commencing the journey in the morning like the bus driver promised. I call Femi to give him a heads up about my current state of affairs & ding! Ding! You guessed it ! He still didn’t believe me. It probably also didn’t help that we played a lot of pranks in our relationship.

Although at this point the doubt was getting tiresome & tedious. Especially since I wasn’t sure if my life was in danger or not.

However, I stayed put. After all, what was the alternative? Walking around in the dark? I’m also a woman, so my safety was even that much more important to me, living in a world where women are seen as an easy target.

The next day, just as the bus conductor promised the journey continued. & I arrived at my destination in Yaba, Lagos. I had called Femi in the morning telling him to be a the bus stop because this was no prank & I was exhausted. The journey that was supposed to be an estimated 11 hours took a whooping 24 hours! Almost double the duration.

Immediately I get out of the tin vehicle, I spot Femi; my tall dark bearded Yoruba adonis. & we immediately engulf each other in a passionate embrace. He was utterly gobsmacked that I had taken the bus to come see him. So was I. But I loved this man you see. Femi helped me load my bag into his car & we drive straight to his house.

You might ask me, was it worth it ?

& my answer was & always will be heck yes!

Here’s to bomb & steamy long distance make up sex. Femi paid for my flight back to Calabar & 2 weeks later he paid for me to come right back.

Guess who’s always worth it ?

Me!

 

 

 

We Are One Human Race But Do White People Know That?

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No, but for real?

You may have recently seen video snippets of a recorded conversation between writer, poet, educator & activist; Nikki Giovanni. & the belated, & extra-legendary writer; James Baldwin.

Your favorite conscious celebrities posted it on their perspective social media platforms;

Your black news platforms;

On twitter;

We have basically shown & proven to you, that you do in fact live under a rock.

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If rumblings of this conversation wasn’t in your ethos.

…on a more serious note.

Thanks Amanda Seales!

During this dialogue Nikki Giovanni & James Baldwin discussed valid issues still plaguing the human beings that inhabit the black skin.

Topics from diaspora relationships; or the lack thereof, at the time.

The continued hardships of the negro in America. The plight of the negro with self-love & worth, while living in a world trying to convince us for some arbitrary –& very stupid– reason, we are undeserving.

To the interrelated dynamics between the negro man & woman in romantic relationships.

The latter received the most publicity on social media. An important conservation telling black men to also do the work. However, what peaked today’s interest starts at: [11.44].

One Human Race

If white is just a state of mind. Why does it seem like everyone hates all things dark?

You probably learnt in Biology class, at Secondary or high school; depending on your geographic location, that the original humans on earth came from Africa. Kenya to be exact. & yes, she/he was black.

So why does everyone act like black people are from Mars?

Even more humorous ?

Negros in Africa actually believe they’re better. Sold the illusion that they somehow matter more that their “lazy” negro brothers from across the pond.

Sure, we are suddenly aware. Privy to our blackness when a Trap song comes on. Thirsty to proudly say “nigga”  & catch a vibe in camaraderie with our diaspora skin folk. We look to our negro American peers for direction in general pop culture & all things swaggy.

Because …let’s be real guys.

Tuh!

They are the coolest black people.

So when it’s time to stand in unison with all our negro issues, that’s not our African problem.

…. Right ?

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Proud Africans!

The biggest downfall of the negro would not only be the “white man” but also our own egos. Our ego is our defensive mechanism. Shielding us from all the hurt the world tries to constantly inflict. However, there’s also a downside; it separates us. Helping us somehow buy into the foolishness that the negro in America, is separate from the one in the West indies, & the one in Uganda. All Negros came from Africa.

& it’s all a classic game of;

Divide & Conquer

The media is a huge tool in pushing these dangerous ideologies & propaganda. Does the caucasian man in Russian, America or Spain not still consider him or herself “white”?

Down below is a video of everyday Korean people in Korean explain their preconceived notions regarding black people.

Majority of them have never actually seen or had direct contact with a black person.

Guess where all their data is from?

If you guessed “the media”, it’s your lucky day because…

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Some African Americans give personal accounts of imagining Africa to be a fly-infested-jungle-filled country.
Guess what implanted those sentiments?

 

 

 

We wish! The prejudice was only contained to Negros.

Lol.

Okay, we don’t.

However this strategy of painting & perpetuating a certain violent face about a group, race, or religion, in the media, is a time old tale. It then in turn normalizes the maltreatment of a said group or race.

A strategy that is repeatedly used & so cleverly perfected that only members of the group know they are being targeted.

& everyone on the outside simply thinks you’re whining.

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Take for example the genocide of the Mumirimina people.

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This included the “Oyster Bay” ethnic group, the largest “tribe” in Tasmania & the original inhibitors of Kutalayn. Now know to the West at the “Jordan River”. These people nomadic people roamed their lands freely, collecting reeds, making stone tools & eating shellfish of the coast.

Until their fertile land was too good, for the white man to pass up.

 

1804, was the first recorded massacre. It took place in Mumirimina at “Ridson” –we wonder if that was an eerie play on words– Cove.  Soldiers fired at a large groups of Tasmanian people hunting Kangaroos; including women & children.

This was when the first Tasmanian orphan boy  was kidnapped & taken in by the European invaders; colonizers.

In 1816 the people were ousted out of their native lands in order to create “Settled Districts” for the growing European population.

After multiple massacres & clashes between the two groups. The Europeans & their foreign deadly diseases, an extremely despicable “game” termed “catching black”; where public & private patrol teams lead by the police & prisoners, would essentially hunt for any Tasmanian people in the “Settled Districts”. Killing, raping, brutalizing or selling the people as they saw fit. In 1876 the last Tasmanian person to remain on earth died.

As if that wasn’t enough, against her wishes her body was set on display in a British museum until 1947.

It seems frightfully similiar to the story of the Native Americans of the United States. Were they any luckier?

Now one of the new hate buzzwords in the media is Islam; the religion.

The fear of it’s feigned inevitable “cause for violence” in a religion whose name directly translates to peace.

Watch this video down below of Hilary Clinton; former First Lady & United States Secretary of State.  Also 2016 Presidential candidate, literally admit the United States  started their own “terrorism” problem but promptly placed the blame on islam.

Extremely crusades-esque.

Remember when Asians where the face of terrorism?

No?

In 1942, February the 16th to be exact, an executive order was issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordering the internment of Japanese American citizens.

It was reported that up to 100,000 persons were displaced for reasons of “national security”.

Here’s the problem though; half of them were school-age children, infants & young adults that weren’t even of voting age. For 4 years, many Americans –albeit of Japanese descent- were locked up in remote camps that had high walls with barbed wires on them. Surrounded by armed guards & given little to no due process.

Many Americans were killed by military guards for allegedly resisting orders & some Americans died due to the lack of medical care in the camps.

Years later, it’s reminiscent of last years; 2018, unfortunate headlines.

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Essentially, we are all getting screwed. For this toxic cycle of a society to actually continue, someone has to be sold –& take comfort in– the illusion that they’re somehow better.

Who we have to thank for perpetrating all these screwed up thoughts?

Charles Darwin?

If you were in any western biology class, you’ve heard of this “great” British “hero”. But is his extremely problematic “science” the core of our problems today?

When an Australian Newspaper called “The Melbourne Review” used this racist controversial biologist teachings on natural selection & evolution to justify genocide of the indigenous Australians; the Tasmania people.

Arguing; “the inexorable law of natural selection [justifies] exterminating the inferior Australian and Maori races”—that “the world is better for it” since failure to do so would be “promoting the non-survival of the fittest, protecting the propagation of the imprudent, the diseased, the defective, and the criminal

Darwin curtly commented when asked;

“I do not know of a more striking instance of the comparative rate of increase of a civilized over a savage race.”

Charles Darwin is popularly known for his 1859 book titled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. However, in his considerable less popular follow up The Descent of Man, he explicitly makes known of his racist ideologies;

The Western nations of Europe . . . now so immeasurably surpass their former savage progenitors [that they] stand at the summit of civilization. . . . The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races through the world.

Some argue Darwin’s theory contributed to the devaluation of human-beings, forcing a division still being taught in classrooms today. 

If we are privy to all a man’s achievements, do we not deserve to also know his shortcomings?

This Way We Prevent History From Repeating Itself

As for the African negro who swears she is untouched by the perils of “the play” & ugly evil snarls of racism. Ask her why her country has borders & if it is named her Native tongue.

A brief history lesson on the genocide in Rwanda can give you a little window on how & why she has been affected.  Not to mention, the negros in the diaspora are her direct relatives; so she will always be affected.

africa-france-relationship-300x207While you’re at it, ask her if she knows right now, that as we read, 14 African countries, including Togo are obliged to put 85% of their foreign reserve in a French central bank under the French Minister of control.

 

 

The conclusion of this ponder is; what the heck is actually really going on in the world?

But meanwhile; Negro/Black/African(American)/N-word/Niggas!!!

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We are all one in the same. No matter where your blackself is located on this planet.

We are essentially one human race, but that’s not the black man’s prerogative for now. In a world where we are always shoved with the shorter end of the stick.

How much success have you had fighting the big bad wolf from separate angles negros?

We have all been dealing with the same issues, fighting from different sides, with a lesser population size.

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…because we have refused to unite.

We need another strategy.

Just remember, we told you.

Is “FEMINISM” Really Just For White Women?

It’s no secret how difficult it is to find in depth & tangible information not colored in Caucasian perspective when it comes to pre-colonial Africa or black history in general.

However, with the history provided it’s evident that multiple civilisations across Africa already believed in non-binary gender norms with “equality” – at least not in the Western sense– not necessarily being the main focus in our fight for human development.

Documents show that in Africa –West Africa to be exact–  contrary to today’s school of thought, the British actually reversed some of the developmental progress made in some African cultures.

Take for example the 1929 Ogu Umunwanyi (meaning Women’s War) -or in colonial books; the Aba Women’s Riot- where thousands of Igbo & Ibibio Women from the Bende District, Umuahia- & other regions in Eastern Nigeria– are led by the Oloko Trio in protest of the patriarchal British government who systematically removed women from political spheres. Traditionally; Igbo women- & men– participated in the political & domestic sectors in society, seeing value in both & not assigning any duties based on gender.

The British viewed these practises as “a manifestation of chaos and disorder”.

The first use of the word “feminism” was in 1890 -coined from the French word “feminisme” used by the utopian socialist Charles Fourier- & after this  historians identify three “waves”.

The First wave was from the 19th to 20th century. Emphasizing gaining legal equality for women through political power & the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the Second in the 60s & 70s; which mainly focused on ending discrimination in education, the workplace & society. Finally the Third wave, which began in the early 1990s as a response to the perceived failures of the First wave.

It’s hard to find what “historians” say about the trail blazing Black African women. The Women’s War happened in 1929; given the Igbo people’s history you do the math.

Now imagine all the information  & knowledge gaps we aren’t even privy to.

Back to alleged “First wave” of feminism –to keep you following, we have established the fact the Igbo & Ibibio women were already politically empowered before colonization. 

In 1848 the first –documented– women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York.

From July 19-20 an event organized for women by women set  to discuss the “social, civil, religious conditions and rights of women”  took place.  Historians say this was the spark that triggered solidarity within the Women’s Rights Movements in America.

So how come Frederick Douglasa prominent Abolitionist leader & all round African- American Negro badass– was the only person of color invited to this convention?

The irony was lost on the white women fighting for equality, but only giving a platform for Negro women issues to a man. Themes of this still happen today where Caucasian women will actively seek a Negro partner while upholding the patriarchy & assisting in the oppression of the Negro woman.

Among some of the revered  feminist that spoke during the Seneca Falls Convention was Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton is said to be the real originator of the movement although her more popular less problematic colleague; Susan B Anthony gets most of the acknowledgment, as she was also the first woman on an American silver coin.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton; who self identified as an abolitionist is documented saying ‘We educated, virtuous white women are more worthy of the vote.’

& even more colorful statements like:

‘What will we and our daughters suffer if these degraded black men are allowed to have the rights that would make them even worse than our Saxon fathers?’

During the First wave of feminism, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the feminist leaders who encouraged white women to leverage their whiteness for equal rights with their male counterparts.

There is evidence that the Suffragist Feminists also leveraged racism to their advantage in an effort to pander to the Southern States for support. State suffrage organizations were allowed to segregate & only push for the advancement of the white woman’s vote.

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The picture above is a Political cartoon “Just like the men!” from the New-York tribune, March 1, 1913, p. 9. Cartoon depicts a black suffragist being turned away by a white suffragist, with the caption “Votes for WHITE women.” Courtesy of South Central Regional Library Council.

In 1896 many of the Negro women blocked from obtaining membership to Caucasian women’s organization pulled together to form the National Association of Colored Women.

Prominent black women leaders like; Ida B. Wells-Barnett, & Mary Church Terrell denounced contemporary negative stereotypes about African-Americans & worked to increase public awareness of racial segregation, disfranchisement, & violence. 

A 89 year Old Alice Stokes Paul – a Caucasian American suffragist, feminist & women’s right activist–  recounted in her views the “greatest hurdle” at the Women’s Suffrage Parade held on March 3rd 1913 to a magazine in 1974.

She says it came when Mary Church Terrell wanted to bring a group from the National Association of Colored Women to join in the parade. Although all women were allegedly welcome, Paul knew the “racist members of the South won’t march”.

The compromise reached was for white women to march first, then the men’s section, & finally the Negro women’s section. Ida B. Wells-Barnett completely objected to this segregated parade & walked with the Illinois delegation. 

Fast forward to more recent times; in October 2018 legendary songwriter, actress, film producer & self proclaim white ally; Bette Midler issued out this tweet:

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After she receiving obvious –& well deserved– backlash served with a teaching on intersectionality from the actually “N- word” women of the world she claims to support, she immediately retracted her statement issuing out another tweet saying this:

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Fair enough.

Right?

but herein lies the problem;

with “feminism” or the manifestation thereof in a white world, it barely covers black women & their unique intersectionality, so for “white allies” we will always be an afterthought.

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The 2016 American Presidential election shocked the world –for obvious reasons–  but is also loosely supports this theory. Albeit the now American President had said so many disparaging things towards women like “grab her in the pussy” majority of the white women in America still voted on the side of their race.

 

 

 

 

 

Frankly speaking Negro -or women of color in general– women have much bigger fish to fry than symbolic equality with their male counterparts which seems is to be the crux of “White Feminism”.

Over 100 years later, the passionate “Ain’t I am Woman?” speech by Sojourners Truth is still relevant & still stands. In a world where the Negro woman is treated without regard to her femininity & then punished for the strength this injustice breeds through constant critiques like; not being “feminine” enough.

The Negro woman also fights for respect from her male counterparts. In a world where the Negro man is bred to be aggressively masculine, & hyper sexualized; so much so that a strong black women is either seen as an inconvenience to the Negro man or amusing; as something to be conquered, for entertainment, “refreshing” or cute.

A recently released Nollywood movie titled LIONHEART on Netflix gives incite to some of the complexities/themes Negro women go through fighting for equality & against the residue of patriarchy left behind in Africa.

The plot goes that a young & competent woman; Adaeze is overlooked from running her father’s ailing bus company based solely on her gender. Now Adaeze must find a way to work alongside her feckless uncle; Godswill –who is given the position to run because of his gender– in order to save her dad’s company.

“How would you stay in your husband’s house?”

“Where is your husband?”

“Don’t intervene between husband & wife”

“As a woman you must…(Insert whatever random task that isn’t gender based)”

Chances are if you were/are a biological woman born in the West of Africa you have heard one or more of the statements above.

These “teachings” or requirements for a woman are instilled in us from a tender age. How to keep a man, how a woman must “know” her place in society. The only thing consistently taught is that a woman’s place is always behind the African man. Intellect & wit is negligible along as you wield a penis.

“Don’t you know he’s a man?” another popular signal of a toxic cycle absolving  the man of wrongdoing &  accountability. It brands all his actions as gender based; masculine. Therefore he should be forgiven.

Many of these themes you find in the diaspora too. A recent Lifetime documentary called “Surviving R-Kelly” has social media in a storm, it explores the –once beloved– R’n’B singer’s lifestyle of allegedly sleeping with underage black girls.

Who were the singers biggest supporters you might ask?

Black women.

Due to our intersectionality we are also overtly sexualized,  viewed as more “promiscuous” although multiple studies already conclude otherwise. It is hard not to come to the conclusion that the voluptuous curves on our bodies makes the world project  & sexualize us, while simultaneously hating us for it.

Many Negro woman have internalized this hate, perpetuating the patriarchy while condemning any Negro woman who dares for more & challenges this toxic status quo.

So we present these questions?

What is the word or term for our specific Negro issues within  the black community?

If some of the earliest “feminists” didn’t see the value in the Negro woman fighting for equality why claim that title?

Is this just an argument based on semantics ?

In a Caucasian world where Negros are told to get in where they fit in, do we not deserve to reclaim our struggle & properly identify it; so we can begin to assess what toxic teachings we need to unlearn for personal development & the progression of the Negro family.

Some black Feminists agreed, & the “Womanism” movement was birth.  However it is still often described as a “form” of feminism for black women. African/Negro/Black women just want equality for ALL.

Also why call ourselves “Feminist” when half of the people who claim the title historically  do not –& probably will not– come out in support for us to fight for our black issues?

 

 

 

 

20’s Tips To Get Your Mind Right

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Exercise
We cannot over emphasize enough how important exercising is for the keys to success.

While you can read all the health benefits exercising provides here because this is just simply not that blog post. One very important confounding variable, living an active lifestyle brings that seems to get overlooked a lot is the self discipline it instills in you. This is the real key.

Once you have control & discipline of yourself/body it starts to trickle into all aspects of your life. Suddenly all the goals you had set for yourself; you find out that you have finally built up the discipline to achieve them. Aside from that; you also have an extra surplus of energy that you would need to channel into actualizing these goals.

When you push your physical body to the max in a workout you truly understand the concept of;

“Mind Over Matter”

Then you begin to push your goals & aspirations with that same new-found zeal; life is all a mind game.

A Good Support System

Emphasis on the GOOD. Whew chillay; sometimes people have the illusion of a good support system. 
What does that mean ? 
well,
you're about to find out.

You see a good support system should be a group of people –friends/family–  who hold space for you to be your true & authentic self. They don’t force their insecurities on your dreams, ask permeating question that make you uncomfortable or are threatened by your success.

A good support system should not be a competitive space, at least not within each other but together hand-in-hand against the journey of life.

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When you bring up the prospect of a new & exciting interesting thing you’re potentially getting into to, How does your support system react?

Are they excited for you?

ORRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

do they immediately discourage you by telling you why that goal in particular would be a hard one to attain without actual constructive critisism, do they attempt to “one-up” you? if your reply is anything but the former ?

That is okay

Because it leads us to the next tip;

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CUT IT!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Cut The Cancer 

This goes for family members as well; Nuclear or extended. They would literally hinder your growth & besides if you're truly "always going to be family" then what's a few necessary years away from them in the span of a lifetime?

Cutting the toxic people out of your life is a major tip.

You see sometime toxic people can’t help themselves. The lens in which they see the world is tainted; already broken & damaged. The issue with people like this is they generally tend to believe everyone is as basic as they are. Everyone’s life experiences & set backs have to be the exact same too to toxic people.

If you spend a little while longer on earth you will begin to see that is simply NOT the case.

Everyone’s journey is different.

img_4950While you’re in you 20s trying to navigate your purpose in life, you don’t need gloomy people who are locked in & dissatisfied in their lives trying to convince you to not want more for yours.

Bye ashy!

 

 

Get A Passion Project

How long does it take to master a skill? Well there's so much debate between 10,000 hours - 20 hours & so many factors like how quickly the individual themselves is at grasping new skills but one thing is for certain; it does take time.

Chances are you’re spending a copious amount of time right now working on someone else‘s passion project,

which is great !

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Here’s to earning a living & being a productive member of society. If you’re not here’s to celebrating you while you’re figuring out your journey in life !

Are you passionate about your job?

Is this all you ever dreamed of?

If so,

good on you!

However if you’re dissatisfied with your career path literally,

right now,

start working on your passion project A.K.A the next fortune 500 company!

Something as simple as brainstorming what you would like it to be –if you don’t already have an idea– is a step in the right direction.  If you are already gainfully employed you can invest in yourself.

How empowering is that?!

Everything takes time, so what you start off of as being a “rookie” in time you will become a master.

It’s a win, win.

You’re already working for someone, you might as well work yourself for yourself.

If you care.

Believe In Yourself

Looking for outside validation all the time would slow down your process.

You have to remember; most human beings are haters.

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It’s important for you alone to know how to fill up your confidence tank. Then you won’t have time to pay any mind to what anyone is or isn’t saying.

But how do you get to such a self-assured place?

By focusing on yourself. Hangout with yourself. Enjoy your own company.

It could be a  scary thought at first however, when you do get comfortable with yourself, you rediscover your essence.

You start to admire & value all the cool, strong, beautiful, sexy weird quirks about yourself. Maybe things you were even bullied about in highschool.  You may even find it funny; so you joke with yourself.

You start to build a huge level of self-respect yourself & you realize how truly resilient you really are.

When you know who you are, no one can tell you who you’re not. img_4961

From the strength in knowing that you can now take on the world like ambitious self-assured bull you truly are.

 

 

Remember To Dream 

& make sure you write them down.

Set goals for yourself; some realistic & others not so much.

Ever heard of the saying ;

Shoot for the stars & land on the clouds“?

If you knew no matter what you did you could never fail what would you do?

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Dream that big. You’re in your 20s; now is when you can afford to take risks, especially without your parents breathing down your neck.

This is the time to try everything you think would be necessary to get you to the next level in where you would like to be for your personal growth, success & happiness.

Dream big, set goals & when you achieve them reward yourself. When you fall short of your deadlines –because you’re human– remember to love yourself.

Get Financially Literate

Most millennials find this topic uneasy. For one; we all wonder why so much emphasis was placed on finding the proverbial "X" in hours spent in math class & not this. However, we digress.

As much as the baby boomers have made a shitshow of the world,  financial literacy is now even more important than ever.

giphyHow do you save?

What is budgeting?

Why does my credit score drop when I check it?!

Why is the exchange rate doing this?!

Is it realistic to by a house in this current market & economy?

All the information baby bloomers hoarded to themselves while we found “X”.

It’s a good thing the world’s biggest & mostly *coughs in net-neutrality* “free” encyclopedia “the internet” is readily available.

Research.

Inform yourself.

Empower yourself, don’t be afraid.

Be Inspired 

You can always learn from anyone. Older people don't always have all the answers & that is why innovation is at the feet of the youth.

All this won’t matter if you are unable to be inspired.

No matter how many self-help books you read, or positive reenforcement you get;  if you do not allow yourself to be inspired you would only see the circumstances surrounding you.

Most times when you’re trying to get ahead  this could be a bit discouraging so day-dream.

Inspire yourself & work towards it.

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Rome wasn’t built in a day & you’re just a youngin’ in your 20s.

Fear Of Missing Out

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In this new age of social media & big egos; a huge conservation that gets minimized a lot is the real anxiety that is “the fear of missing out“.

F.O.M.O.

You know the feeling; when you check your home girl’s snap story,

& suddenly it seems like all you friends planned an intended meetup/ hangout sesh without you in particular in mind.

Or maybe you did get an invite, but the way to the economy was set up by the Baby Bloomers –& adulting– it just simply wasn’t feasible.

Breathe & calm down crazy millennial, cause missing out on events is definitely not the worst thing that could happen.

Gather your coins! Save up your money. It’s never a bad idea not to spend more money, sitting out one event could get you closer to your New Years saving resolutions

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….& if you’re anything like us.

You know that was some sound advice.

 

 

 

 

Ma Wo Ago A La Go Sese 

Don’t look at another person’s watch to tell the time

– direct English translation from the Yoruba above.

This adage basically encourages you to wait your turn & focus on your own path.

You can’t tell your time with “someone else’s watch”  because they just don’t have the same life experiences as you. Therefore, comparing yourself to them would be robbing yourself of your own well deserved happiness.

Nothing is new under the sun but there will always be infinite possibilities.

So watch your friends Snaps or Insta story & be happy for them.

Moping for hours on end, in regret, due to the possible fun you think you could be having wouldn’t teleport you to the event. Spend your time being productive in your environment.

If you have that one friend you love to hate, who would constantly send you endless pictures of wholesome friendship fun & love happening in your absence?

BLOCK THEM!

WE SAID

WHAT WE

SAID

Your mental health is more important.

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BLOCKEDT!!!!!

It’s all love though you’ll unblock them later.

….Maybe.

Whenever you’re ready,  if you feel like it;

Hey…. no shame in your game though, if they actually planned a trip without you.

Don’t Be A Drama Queen But Remember That Your Feelings Are Valid

Let’s be real, not going on a trip with your friends isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. Especially since there are over 7.5bn people on planet earth, we are almost 100% certain you can absolutely make new ones. Ones that could possibly even be a better fit for your journey in life & your personal growth.

However do acknowledge your feelings –if they are hurt– to your friends.

A good friend or a friend that values your relationship should always take your feelings into consideration.

F.O.M.O Isn’t Contained To Missing Out On Trips

Due to social pressures telling us what a “normal” or regular timeline in life should look like. With certain milestones that have to be accomplished at a certain age –even though in all actuality; life is never that smooth sailing– when you’re not satisfied in your current position but extremely ambitious this could weight a lot on you mentally.

Even possibly stealing your motivation & smile.

But they say comparison is the thief of happiness & self growth. Instead of focusing on the personal progress you’ve made for yourself; as you alone know your story, you focus on someone else’s achievement that probably couldn’t walk a mile in your shoes/life experiences.

So just keep your head down & focus all your energy on you. People only really remember the last image projected in their faces. When you get to the promise land no one would remember the struggle you had to endure.

By then? It would be your story to share if you want.

Extrovert: an expressive person with an outgoing personality 

Don’t be too hard on yourself, There’s a long life ahead of you so many wins, victories & challenges that would be more worth your while & your stress

“Ever heard the phrase “absence makes the heart fonder” ?

As the extroverted “Beyoncé” of the group, we all know there’s no real party without you.

SO REMEMBER, EVERY DAY IS FOR THE THIEF & ONE DAY IS FOR THE OWNER.

That’s just a random Nigerian adage

Reminding thieves they will eventually get caught.

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absolutely nothing to do with F.O.M.O & the pressures from this fake popcorn society.