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Release the Tension #TeachMeTuesdays

You know, when you have two people building a house, I’m sure it would take longer to build the house. Imagine if 20 people were building that same house, how long do you think it will take? As Africana people all over the world, without realizing, we have internalized the “every man for himself” mentality. Coupled with that, we have internalized that we need to fight for or compete with each other for resources because that is what we were taught by capitalism. Meanwhile, the people that created capitalism and taught us to fight for resources, unified to gain their resources, and now they pretend to fight with one another when they really have each other‘s back, which is the basis of white inferiority (what some call white supremacy).

Now I don’t care if you’re rich or poor, wealthy or modest, old money or new money; this is something that we face around the whole entire global African community. What we need to realize is, the quicker we each stand up for our truth we will naturally begin to join together with others who are willing to build this house. When we depend on and look to 1 or 2 leaders to do all the work, the tension rises, that is why each Black leader we have is criticized and scrutinized on every level. It’s similar to how people look at God, we were taught that all we have to do is believe in God, and somehow that would make everything better. But I ask people, where is the faith piece? You can believe in anything that you wanna believe in, but if you don’t act, then nothing will get done – “faith without works is dead”. That is why we pray, ask for direction, then move with that direction. In the Global Black Diaspora, we have treated our leaders the same way. That is why even though a lot of people call me a leader, I always encourage people to think for themselves, because I never want to be the person who everyone is looking to, to the point where they forget who they are. I believe true leadership is allowing the people who follow you to create their own paths. This is a journey for all of us, whatever I do will benefit all Black people. That is why I created my courses. As a teacher first, my goal was to always make sure my students understood for themselves, and then I made sure that they were able to teach each other what I taught them. So if I had just gotten done teaching a concept, and maybe 1 or 2 children still had questions, I would ask the students who know and gained a grasp of the concept to please help their fellow student. I would like to add that the majority of the time it was the “misbehaved” students who grasped the concepts, and the ones that I asked to help the other students. It made them feel important that I asked them to help their fellow classmate. Anyway back to what I was saying. We need to help each other release the tension, there is this inherent fear constantly running in our mind about “what if?”, but I guarantee you that once you begin to live out your true calling, the work will get done.

Again, as I sat there and called each of the Congress and Senate members, each and every time I thought I would be rejected, because again, they kept reminding me that they usually don’t talk to non-constituents. I didn’t tell you guys, but I just finished round 2 of my letter sending to Senate and Congress, this time around I still didn’t ask people to help me because I said, “let me just get it done”. The next time though, I will be asking people to come forth and help me. This is not about begging the government to do anything for us as a people, it is creating a sound of unity with each other, and noncompliance with the government, while making everyone aware that we are fighting for our own change. Anyway, back to what I was saying again. We are the generation that is not going to be comfortable until we get it right. Even those who think they live comfortably, when the weight of the world is on the shoulders of people who look like you, I truly don’t believe you can really be satisfied. I know all of what I accomplished in my life, but each and every time I keep thinking I want the majority of people who look like me to be freely able to accomplish the same things. I say majority because even if you have 100 people who can benefit from something, there may be 1 or 2 that’s still choose otherwise. I think there is a running myth that the majority of Black people don’t want something different than what we have right now, but when I was a case manager I had hundreds of clients (99% Black) over the years and I will say that only a sliver of them truly didn’t want to make change in their lives, but then again they had more deeper rooted issues than I could get to in the position I was in. Now I do understand also that my upbringing required excellence out of me, but that is why I wish to gift that excellence to those who may not have had access to the encouragement I received. I just feel honored to be able to share that with people, I have never been the type to keep it to myself, the encouragement that I received is the encouragement that I give to others and that is why I believe it was given to me, so that I can share it genuinely with the people that I am looking to help achieve greatness. Needless to say, I’m doing my part, and I truly just wish to help others get to their part, so let us all release the tension of each other and do our parts, to get to global Black freedom as we all desire. Amen.

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Time, African Time, and just… Time #TeachMeTuesday

concentrated young black businesswoman having coffee break in cafeteria

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.

Himba People of Namibia, picture taken by me – Ndidi Love

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!

~Ndidi Love~

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400, 400, 400 #MusicMondays

Hello All! So glad to have you, thank you for your patience today as I have rearranged m website. I upgraded to be able to sell my new merchandise, and had to get it back in order! But it’s here, so check it out & please support Melanated Gem!!! Custom made headbands, waist beads, and bracelets with positive messages geared towards uplifting the Global Black Diaspora! I can’t wait to empower you! Well, today is music Monday so let’s commence class, students.

I wrote the song 400 based on the history of the Global Black Diaspora in this world and provided advice for the future. It is a song where each 16 bars has double or triple meanings, and I want to talk about that. The song tells a story of our history and our current situation at the same time. If you look at the sharp contrasts of our history as original Hebrews, it is the same exact story of what is happening now. We are the only living people with a 400 year story, and a story that mimics the 400 year story of the past. With that, we can learn so much on how to move forward from how the Hebrews of the past moved forward, if we just listen! Anyway, check out the song! I wrote it for us! I wrote and produced the beat as well. Enjoy!

https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/idKVxASeaP9Tgg5j8

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#MusicMonday: Siddi Music

Hello All! Happy Black History continuation! So, today I wanted to talk about music that I have never heard of before. I was searching and searching, and googled Ancient Bantu Music. Everyone knows Bantu people are one of the original tribes in Africa with descendants in many countries. Well, suddenly an article comes up of how Siddi people have thrived through music. Remember I wrote a blog post about the Black Siddi people of Pakistan last week? Read it here. Well, the Siddi are descendants of Bantu people.

Siddi Dhamal, is an expressive form of dance that represents the Siddi spirit of community. Dhamal, originally a celebratory dance, was performed when community members returned from a successful battle. Women sing repetitive song patterns, and the men play a dammam; a percussive instrument made of wood and deerskin on the sides. They proceed to participate in call and response by repeating what the lead singer is singing.

Dammam instrument: Courtesy or Irancultura.it

The Siddis respect nature and often make songs based on their everyday current experiences. Meaning, if they are cooking fish, they will make a song about cooking fish as they are cooking fish. In that case I must be related to the Siddi’s because I do that too. I’ll make up a song about eggs, which I have LOL. Check out this video of the Siddi, descendants of Bantus, do their thing while dancing and singing to Dhamal music; enjoy!