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Aba Women’s Riot – #TeachMeTuesdays

The Aba Women’s Riot. Let’s change the language here, the Aba Women’s Uprising, ok, that’s better. In 1929, Igbo women fought against colonizer imposed policies and as a result, they won, and were appointed to high courts. It is described as the “launching of the most serious challenge to British rule… it became a historic example of feminist and anti-colonial protest”.

Ok that was a summary, but let’s give a little background. The Aba women’s riot, or Ogu Umunwanyi in Igbo, was one of the most significant historical events during British inferiority in Nigeria. Remember, we are no longer giving life to colonization in a positive light, it’s inferior behavior. So, the Igbo women were challenging the inferior behavior, and they organized around Owerri and Calabar, in the eastern part of Nigeria also known as Igbo Land, and involved a population of two million people. The organizing arose in the palm-oil belt of Southern Nigeria. The Igbo’s largely occupied and lived in mini-states where men and women exercised varying degrees of political power. Village council meetings involved men and were held in the habitat (community centers) of the Igbo earth-goddess known as Ala (the most important deity according to Odinani – Igbo religion). To make it plain, just like someone may go to church or a mosque to enter the presence of God, these centers held the presence of Ala.

Women had their own sociopolitical organization. They held weekly meetings on the market day of their community (there were 4 market days in Igbo Land), where they created and enforced laws that they mutually decided on. However, British colonialism changed the fundamental structure of precolonial Igbo societies which eliminated women’s political roles. Igbo Women saw themselves as the moral guardians and defenders of the taboos of the earth-goddess, understanding that they naturally embodied its productive forces. This helps understand the outrage that Igbo women had against the destruction of society by British colonizers.

The initial protest started against a British imposed tax that created an increased inability to buy food and goods necessary for survival. They called an emergency meeting and engaged in a traditional practice of dancing around a man and chanting until he becomes miserable and feeds into their demands. The British submitted to their demands for fear that it may get out of hand. Protests spread as the situations got worse, and a British soldier harmed two women. The Igbo women raided their factories and banks, and were eventually killed by British policeman. With all the protests, British eventually conceded and hence, the first paragraph of this blog posts. These women’s protests were modeled throughout 1930s and 1940s against the introduction of factories that took away from the interests of the people but only benefitted the wealth of British colonizers.

Let us be like our ancestors and continue to understand our power as women, we are warriors too! So many men inbox me to say that only men are warriors, and tell me I should focus on helping the children, I laugh in various laughs because I know my history as an Igbo woman, and I know my strength as a woman. When we have one common enemy we bring out the people who are willing, based on skills and qualifications. Save the submission stuff for the colonizers. Peace!

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Bussa’s Rebellion: Throwback Black History Month Post

Hello all! Today’s #TeachMeTuesday blog post is on my laptop, and the power hasn’t been on long enough to edit and schedule it, so the time I had to send out a proper post, I sent out an update on the webinar. I have WordPress on my phone, and I have to use the data on my phone to manage today’s #Throwback Black History Month post, which is fine. As the order of the earth right now, today’s posts will be a bit out of order 🤣; I hope you don’t mind! Today’s post is about a special Igbo man who led a slave revolt to freedom in Barbados. I hate to say a slave rebellion, rebellion is a child who doesn’t listen to their parents; fighting for freedom is just that. Today’s Teach Me Tuesday blog post is about something special as it relates to Igbo enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, so here’s a write up on a particular enslaved African who led a revolt to freedom in the Caribbean. Fun fact, Igbo slaves were known for revolting the most, we were never a docile people, we’ve been fighting from 1619 until now! I’ve always wanted to visit Barbados to meet these great people; one day, one day. Enjoy the blog post below, and don’t forget, Dear Black People™ Webinar Series last 2 classes have been rescheduled to next week due to unpredictable Texas power outages. Stay safe!


THIS MONTH IN HISTORY

Barbados, a country in the Caribbean, saw the biggest slave revolt in History. Led by African born Slave, Bussa, it was the first of three large scale slave revolts in the British West Indies that caused people to doubt the effectiveness of slavery. This revolt is famously known as “Bussa’s Rebellion”. *I dislike the use of the word rebellion, because is implies that they were rebelling against something good. When I think of rebel, I think of a child who doesn’t listen, not slaves that want to be free, but that’s just me.*

Bussa is believed to be from Nigeria and of Igbo descent. He was captured and transported to Barbados in the late eighteenth century. Bussa began planning the revolt after realizing that the British parliament had no intention of freeing the slaves after slavery had already been abolished. After much planning and coordination for about a year, Bussa, along with a few other slaves that were tired of mistreatment, led the slaves into battle at Baileys Plantation on April 14, 1816. He commanded about 400 freedom fighters, both men and women whom were born in the islands. By his side were a few people worthy of being mentioned Washington Franklin, John and Nanny Grigg, a senior domestic slave, and Jackey. Nanny Griggs was a domestic or “house slave” who could read and told her followers that “the only way to obtain freedom was to fight for it.” By April 15, martial law had been declared on the entire island and was not lifted for three months. Martial law is an extreme and rare measure used to control society during war or periods of civil unrest or chaos (legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com).

Bussa’s rebellion did not succeed in freeing the Afro-Bajans, but, as mentioned before, it was the first of three slave revolts named the “Late Slave Rebellions”. The second revolt took place in Demerara (now Guyana) in 1823, and lastly, in Jamaica in 1831-32. The British government finally abolished slaveholding in 1834.

We can learn a lot from Bussa, his success did not happen overnight. He planned for one year along with like-minded people to carry out a task that would set the foundation for Carribbean slaves in the future who would use the same model. His legacy still lives on because of his tenacity to see his people be free and hold the British Parliament accountable.

According to Wikipedia:

• Bussa remains a popular figure in Barbados.
• In 1985, 169 years after his rebellion, the Emancipation Statue, created by Karl Broodhagen, was unveiled in Haggatt Hall, in the parish of St Michael.
• 1998, the Parliament named Bussa as one of the ten National Heroes of Barbados.

We should take a few notes from him and plan accordingly in all that we do! We never know who we’re laying the foundation for, victory shall be seen in this generation!

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#Throwback Black History Month post – The Free African Society

Hello All! So I originally wrote this blog post on January 29, 2018, about the Free African Society. As I’ve stated before, even last week, I know that Black people come from all backgrounds, religions, incomes, and ways of life, but our unity is our fight. That’s what the Free African Society of 1781 did, brought Black people together from all religions and backgrounds to strategize and provide aid to build up leaders in the Black community, so it can be done! I’m not the type of person who looks at the thousands who can’t, I focus on the ones who can, and have, and are; because I’m a doer. As a doer, I do, and I will, and I’m bringing people along with me. Check out the throwback Black History Month blog post below, and let’s have a dialogue! Also, register to join me for week 3 of the Dear Black People Webinar series, by clicking here. Enjoy!


I visited the African American Museum again last week, and I found myself asking the question “where is the Church’s place in our ongoing civil rights movement?” I am a Christian, and what I realized is that the church was unapologetic about fighting for freedom after slavery, and throughout the civil rights movement. Churches were the places where people organized, and used faith to bring the message of freedom and equality to the masses. We have to get back to that point. We can no longer apologize for using our faith to fight for freedom. The two go hand in hand, it’s relevant. I found this article on the Free African Society of Philadelphia, which was founded on January 28th, 1787. Check out the article below!

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After Richard Allen secured his freedom, he was a circuit preacher and attended meetings in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. When Allen came to the Philadelphia in 1786, he was approached by the minister of St. George’s United Methodist Church to preach to the small number of African Americans who attended. It was here that Allen met Absalom Jones, a former worshiper at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The two men, along with other black community leaders, talked about forming their own religious society. However, since they came from many different backgrounds and religions, they instead formed the Free African Society in 1787.

Among the first organizations of its kind in America, the Free African Society’s main goal was to provide aid to newly freed blacks so that they could gather strength and develop leaders in the community. The Society soon became too large to meet in Richard Allen’s house and its meetings moved to the Quaker African School House. In 1789, the Society more closely aligned itself with the Quaker faith and its meetings began to mimick Quaker services. That prompted Allen, who was a Methodist, and many who were loyal to him to leave the organization.

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#Throwback Black History Blog Post: West African Storytelling

Hello All! So on social media, I have been sharing throwback Black History blog posts for Black History Month. The early days of my blog were focused on educating solely about cultures in the Global Black Diaspora from America, to the Caribbean Islands, Latin America, Africa of course, and even parts of Pakistan, we are everywhere! Well, I want to share this luxury with you all as well, my loyal subscribers. I do not want to overflood your inboxes, so I’ll share 1 Black History Post a day for Black History Month, and I encourage you to use the archives button at the bottom of the page to scroll through my posts from 2012-2017, for more culture rich posts on history and the many black ways of life around the globe. Also, let me know what you want to learn about in terms of Black culture; we are so diverse, we must celebrate all our ways of life! Check out this throwback blog post on West African Storytelling, check out the original post, here. Enjoy!

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CULTURE TUESDAYS

West African Storytelling: Seen Throughout Black Culture Today

A West African storyteller, also known as a Griot, historically has been responsible for passing down oral tradition. The Griot is society’s historian, storyteller, musician, and poet.

Griots memorized and recited stories of important events and people. Wise sayings often come from Griots, such as “it takes a village to raise a child.” Storytelling was and is used both to teach and to entertain.

Storytelling is a community practice, and calls for participation. The practice of “call and response”, as we still see in Black cultures all over the world today, originated in storytelling. The storyteller makes a call, and the audience responds according to the call. That can be seen a lot in Black music today as well.

Many times, African storytelling uses multiple references to animals and earthly things. Many times the animals have the characteristic of the moral lesson they are trying to get across. For example, a fox that ruins a vineyard can represent an evil person trying to ruin a relationship.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson about African storytelling. This is a practice still seen in much of Black culture and was essential when passing down history through slavery. We should hold on to the stories our ancestors have told us!

Enjoy Loves! ❤️