So there’s a long running debate on cultural practices that we shared in precolonial Africa. I’d like to say upfront that I don’t believe that how we practice our marriages have any bearing on unity as a people. I believe that as long as we are engaging in healthy, life-giving (man and woman), relationships, we will be able to build families around strong bloodlines and generational wealth building as we move towards liberation. The foundation of societies are strong families, but I want to use this blog post and video to debunk that all of precolonial Africa practiced patriarchy and submission.
This is part 1 because, I want to go way more in depth about this. In this video is use 3 models: my Igbo culture (Nigeria), the Himba people of Namibia that I lived with when I was teaching there, and Ghanaian culture based on accounts from Ghanaian friends to show that women were honored as the life giving vessel, seen as closer to God because of our ability to give birth, and esteemed amongst society. God was also genderless as a being, I’ll get into that in part 2. Let me know what you think of this video!
Hello All! I had the privilege of interviewing Jerrell Sweetgrass, he is a professional Chef with his own catering company, former military personnel, filmmaker, and all around entrepreneur with a WEALTH of knowledge on Global Black/African culture. The reason I chose to post his interview for #ForwardFridays is because he is a forward moving man with many ideas & well thought out initiatives for the Global African/Black Diaspora. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him teach me and break down aspects of culture through hip hop that I had never even thought of or heard explained that way. Jerrell is also a Gullah Geechee man, an ethnic group native to Georgia and the Carolinas, that I’ve written on many times, but I actually got to hear him explain the culture from his own lived experience. I believe you’ll love the interview as much as I did, and this is why I do what I do, to give authentic voices to the diaspora. It’s one thing to study, but to hear people give their authentic stories from lived experiences is what we need as a people. No more false narratives, we tell our own narratives from now on. Watch the video below, and connect with Jerrell for authentic Gullah Geechee food that he works so hard to share within his culinary creations. Thank you so much, Jerrell, DiasporAfri celebrates you!
Follow Jerrell on IG: @SweetgrassFoods @GullahCoast @Dkc_Experience @SinceElementary
Hello All! Time, we all have it, we all know it, and to an extent, we all see it; but what lens are we seeing it through?
Let me backtrack, so, did you know that in Ethiopia right now it’s technically 2013? This is true; when I lived in Washington, DC; I met a lot of Ethiopians, and I served Ethiopians as clients who would teach me a lot. The one thing I learned was, Ethiopian New Year is in September! It is celebrated on September 11th. You see, like many African nations, Ethiopia has their own calendar that precedes the Gregorian calendar. Even Igbos, of present day Nigeria, had a calendar based on 4 market days, the 4th day being the Sabbath (prior to Hebrew concept), with 7 weeks in one month – if we can even call it months – as these are all western interpretations of Africa’s superior time system.
The Ethiopian calendar is 13 months, and did I mention that Ethiopia was never colonized? I always find that interesting, that where we can find traditions not tainted by western civilization, is in a place that was never colonized. Also, when I was in Namibia, the Himba people specifically who were not colonized, lived life outside of time. They did not use clocks, or even western interpretations of age. My students told me that their grandmother would say “she was born in the year of lots of rain”, and they were named after events. I watched the Himba people live a sophisticated, simple life; and they were wealthy because they shared their resources amongst Himba people, despite the narrative of them being “poor” due to their non-western systems, and their traditional attire of less clothing.
Back to Ethiopians, I was using my knowledge of other non-colonial African systems to make my point on why the Ethiopian time system is important, because it represents what would have been if we were able to keep the systems that are inherent to us as Global African People; that includes, every person of African descent. We hear things like “black don’t crack” and “colored people’s time (CPT)” or “African Time”, or “Caribbean time”, you know! You see where I’m going? We have always separated our idea of time from what is mainstream, even if it is a joke, we still somehow know that our concept of time is different.
We live outside of time, inherently, things of importance came first. When I was earning my Master of Arts in Africana studies, one of the first things Dr. Sutherland taught us was that, in African worldview, if you are on the way somewhere and you see a person, you take time with them, you greet them, you don’t rush to go somewhere else, what is in front of you is important; everyone will meet up at the appointed time. I tried that for a week, after I came back from Namibia, and it worked! I remember saying, “I’m not going to use my phone for a week, and I want to see what it’s like”. I kid you not, every person I thought about that I needed to see, I met up with, randomly (well, not random but you get it). If I thought about them, the next thing, they were walking past me, and we got to talk about things of importance! I remember the culmination of the week being, meeting with everyone I needed to see at once, we all met up, naturally, no prior conversation, and we chatted for like an hour. We stood in the middle of campus, it was like 10 of us, and that had never happened before. All that was important to me happened that week without a phone.
When things are not aligning, we naturally won’t vibe with it, it is good not to force things. When we force things, especially if it does not feel right or natural, I feel like we hold up time. Once we begin to break free and allow things to happen naturally, I believe that is when time is on our side, and things begin to flow naturally. I believe this concept applies to the Global Black Diaspora as well, our concept of time was replaced with something else, and I believe we are breaking free of it and rejecting it. I am seeing it in the moves we are making, the reclaiming of African identities that we are not even realizing are African, and other concepts that are African, we just don’t have the proper name for it. We are literally getting back to a place of peace for us; one of alignment, one of purpose, and rejecting systems that have been traumatic to us. It is my observation, as the universe realigns, and I feel that we as a people are gaining back our youth, especially for all we’ve been through as a people, our youth was robbed form us as many of us understood and felt the realities of white supremacy (which I now will refer to as an inferior system) from a young age, despite income or status.
I started off talking about Ethiopian time, and tying it into other concepts of time amongst the African diaspora. I then moved into why it is important to maintain aspects of our concept of time the best way we can. I then talked about the revolution and reclaiming of African concepts of time. I think that we should deeply interrogate ourselves, and get down to what brings us peace, living outside of constructed time the best way we can as a solution. When we open up to our true selves and true systems, we allow life to flow naturally. I think we should investigate concepts of African time, and give it a try! This will truly help us become free and begin to unite with those aligned with our designed purpose, just as it did the week I had no use of my phone. Be blessed, Melanated Gems!
Hello All! I’m glad to have you. As you can see, DiasporAfri, LLC is growing. I really want DiasporAfri to feel like a family, a journey, and that is why I like to give life to Black people’s actual voices and stories. So give me feedback, what would you like to see? What is important to you? As DiasporAfri grows, I’d like to tell you what is next, and what I am currently working on to catch you all up.
Dear Black People™ Webinar Series will be back at the end of March! I am taking the time to refine it using the feedback from the first round, and giving life to specific narratives. This series is liberating minds. I will use part of the proceeds to provide free workshops for youth on a mass scale, that has always been the plan, but now it is revealed!
Melanated Gem™ Handmade Accessories to uplift and empower the Global Black Diaspora are now on sale! These waist beads, headbands, and bracelets are special y’all! I made them with the colorful character of the Global Black Diaspora in mind, they are themed, they are powerful, they are bright, and you’ll have a reminder everyday of who you are!
Garden of Love: A Book of Poems is being updated to reflect the poems I have written this year that you all love, thanks for the feedback! The updated book will be available next Wednesday, right on time for Wordy Wednesdays! Please support, this book features poems that I have written from 2009 until now, yes 2009! when I was just in undergrad, you can definitely see the evolution of my mind through the poems.
The DiasporAfri, LLC App is in pitch mode, and development mode, so I am using feedback to create a product that will really speak to my audience the way you all need to be spoken to, it’ll be great this time around!
The Day I learned to Cook Oatmeal: A Journey of Faith, Love, and Redemption is being updated as well to reflect part 4, it has been off of the bookstore for a few months now, but I have ten copies at home, it sold pretty well the first time around, but with the change of events in the world, I am updating it to add some more advice for the times! That will be available in April.
Check out the brand new events calendar page to see when the next event or workshop is, and when I’ll be featured as a guest speaker. I have an event coming up on Sunday 11/14/2021 as I’ll be presenting for the Africanidad community, the same one featured in this blog post.
As always, you can subscribe to this blog to read uplifting and forward moving content everyday, and I’ll be working on new music soon as well, but as you can see, I’m very busy!
Last but not least, I am doing my 2nd round of reaching out to members of Congress and the Senate, for a full list of initiatives on behalf of the Black Community. This is to create one authentic sound and due our duty of accountability as citizens! This time, I am also reaching out to partner with liberated organizations as well. Check out a meeting from the first round of meetings!
The purpose of DiasporAfri, LLC is to educate, uplift, and entertain the Global Black Diaspora for the purpose of unity! No division over here, if we notice an issue, we address it with forward moving solutions. We reject white supremacy and we free our minds to be fully confident and dependent on ourselves, as every united people should be. We have no time to waste, Black people’s safety and well being is on the line, and people are falling victim to 400 year old tactics. At DiasporAfri divide and conquer is demolished, and we support our sistren and brethren across the diaspora unapologetically. Consider donating as well, as I use the opportunity to reach as many people as I can, a donation form can be found below, especially for the development of the DiasporAfri app! With the many initiatives you see above, I kindly ask for your support and wish to partner with other liberated organizations doing the same!
Have a wonderful day! Any donation of $15 or above, you can receive a choice of a bracelet or a copy of my book of poems!