Sep
20
2011
4

What’s an Apology Between Slaves and Masters

Slavery
Gerald, the African-American
Should the current Administration, by Congressional decree, have apologized in 2009 to African-Americans for slavery and Jim Crow Laws (on behalf of America)? I say no, at least to the slavery part. The fact the current President is African-American makes him no more or no less obligated to do so. I say not this Administration, any in the future, or any of the past Administrations should have to make such an apology.

Slavery existed long before there was a United States of America. It was practiced millenniums before the American Colonies utilized it to transform this nation. Peonage is as old as the “oldest profession” (prostitution), which some argue is also a form of slavery – whether the provider does so willingly or not.
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Written by IBé in: AtlanticDivide | Tags: , , , ,
Aug
14
2011
9

The Rise and Fall of Affirmative Action

Workplace Diversity
IBé, The African-in-America
Here is joke for you in the style of “two [whatever] walk into a bar…”: Two Africans walk into a place of employment looking for a job, who do you think is going to get hired? Take your time. Any guesses? Give up? Okay, I’ll tell you. The one whose uncle is a boss there, or whose father is a bigger boss in a bigger office down the road.

In many parts of Africa, you can have all the accolades school can afford you, you can have the best resume that would make you the envy of any unemployed person in America, but…if you don’t know somebody who knows somebody, forget it; you would probably never get that job you can do with your eyes closed and one arm tied behind you.

I wish there was an Affirmative Action for that. (more…)

Written by IBé in: AtlanticDivide |
Jul
13
2011
5

Columbus and the New Indians

Columbus, Ohio

IBé, The African-in-America
Columbus has been sort of a weird city for me to wrap my mind around. Before this July 4th weekend, I had been there perhaps three times. My cousin lives there with his family. And from my first visit there, I have always been surprised at the number of Guineans (and other Africans) living there. For some reason, when I think of Columbus, I think of it as a small town in the middle of Ohio. Yes, a small town. If it’s in Ohio and it’s not Cleveland or Cincinnati, it’s got to be small. At least I thought so. Yes, it is the state’s capital. But Americans have a weird way of making capitals out of sleepy towns in the middle of nowhere. Like Chicago is not the capital of Illinois. Maybe it makes sense, because New York is not the nation’s capital. Where I’m from, the biggest and most populous city is always the capital. Like Conakry is the capital of Guinea, Freetown of Sierra Leone, Abidjan of Cote D’Ivoire (forget what Houphouet tried to do with Yamoussoukro; or Nigerians tried to do with Abuja when they knew damn well, you cannot just move Lagos and call it something else). (more…)

Written by IBé in: AtlanticDivide | Tags: , , ,
Jun
09
2011
8

Africa – The Mother, the Witch and the Shaman

African Maps

Gerald, the African-American
It is so easy for African-Americans to get caught up in our own oppression that we fail to see the suffering of others. As an adolescent I had no idea African nations, some, were being run by “Europeans.” Rather ironic when you stop to think about it. So-called Negroes were periodically told to “go back home” while [Black] Africans were told by their European-ran governments the countries they called home belonged to the Dutch or British, etc. Which begs the question; where is the African at home, if not in Africa? And I thought we had it bad as the Diaspora in America. (more…)

Written by IBé in: AtlanticDivide | Tags: , ,
May
02
2011
19

AtlanticDivide: Nigger, Nigga and The N-Word

The N Words
::IBé, The African-in-America
I remember when I was first called a nigger. It was my second year in St. Cloud. Around 1am after the bars were closed. I was walking home with some friends when a visibly drunk white guy said something to us. (I can’t remember exactly what.) I laughed and said something to the effect that he should take his drunk self home, without breaking my stride. That’s when he said, “what did you say nigger?” I took my next step, and was going to take the next, but I quickly remembered the story of that word, what it means when a white person says it to a black person. I turned around and charged at him. (more…)

Apr
01
2011
8

Growing Up Black

::Gerald Montgomery, The African-American
How REAL do you want it? By sharing how I and a significant number of other African-Americans grew up I am in no way implying this is par for the course, i.e. standard for the majority. Far from ideal, a child’s social development under such conditions is certainly not conventional nor is it the preferred “Plan B.” But it is not uncommon to encounter African-Americans below the ages of 43 who were raised in single-parent homes; typically headed by women. Even more common is for this fatherless upbringing to take place in Public Housing, thus the reason I wholeheartedly concede to the correlation between fatherlessness and poverty in America. (more…)

Written by IBé in: AtlanticDivide |
Mar
02
2011
9

AtlanticDivide: First Encounter

Black Phases

::IBé, The African-in-America
I remember Eddie Murphy. For playing the prince in “Coming to America”, he was one of my favorite actors. Bob Marley or Michael Jackson I don’t know who I like more. But though I didn’t dread my hair until America, I tried to perm (or was it jerry curled) my hair and nearly lost my head; in the scorching Sierra Leonean heat, I still rocked a replica of the twenty zipper jacket (just like the one in “Beat It”). Hell, I use to walk to school with a single glove on and white socks that rested above my ankles. When hip hop came to our door steps Curtis Blow took his place on our paper mural.

With this, you would think I knew all about African-Americans, or at least very familiar with them as a group. You would be wrong. I didn’t know anything about their existence. I knew there were Black people in America alright. I knew those people I admired, the ones mentioned above, lived in America. But as far as I understood they were Africans living in America, in the same vein as me today. In other word, Africans-in-America. They had to be. Descendants of slaves? They couldn’t be. We were taught in our history classes that the British ended slavery and returned the slaves to Freetown. Those are the Krios. The still live in Freetown. (more…)

Written by IBé in: AtlanticDivide |
Feb
01
2011
6

AtlanticDivide: Black History Month

::IBé, The African-in-America
Where I am from, we don’t have “black history”, let alone Black History Month. What we have is history. And it is very black. Every day we are taught it, every day we celebrate it, every day we are taught to make it. In fact world history exists only as it relates to us: Europe because of colonization, America because of slavery, Asia because of Islam and legendary pilgrimages some of our forefathers took to Mecca. We learn about Mansa Kankan Moussa, Sundiata Keita, Bai Bureh, Samory Toure, Sekou Toure and the story continues…everyday! (more…)

Written by IBé in: AtlanticDivide | Tags:
Jan
01
2011
53

AtlanticDivide: Black Through Black Eyes

::IBé, The African-in-America
It is no surprise the rift between Africans-in-America and African-Americans. Our kids navigate it at schools, their parents do at their workplaces; and we all do everywhere we come face-to-face with each other. The worst of us–which maybe a lot of us–think African-Americans are lazy; those people are ghetto, they are wild, irresponsible, unreliable, conniving, always complaining about racism…when everything has been (and continues to be) handed to them…and have the audacity to think they are better than us. (more…)

Dec
01
2010
9

AtlanticDivide: On the Achievement Gap

This is a new AtlanticRock series where two friends (one an African in America and the other an African-American) discuss current issues from their respective point of views. what’s this?

Ondeck: Educational Achievement Gap

Achievement Gap

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