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Revelations, Revelations: #TeachMeTuesday

pensive black woman in dark studio

So I remember telling you all last week that I had a revelation that made me cry. It seems that everything came full circle. I remember connecting the dots of the Igbo story and the bible, I said to myself, “wait a minute”, if white people have always hidden everything else about black people, what could they be hiding in one of the greatest stories ever told, the bible? Now, you all know I’ve read the bible from Genesis to revelation. We have to admit, even if people do not believe in it, it is one of the greatest and most influential stories evert told. Now, digging deep into it, you find the misinterpretations and additions of white males that created it into a European story, but one cannot deny it’s Africanness after fully investigating and comparing it to African narratives just as I did. People who have not read it tend to focus on the negative things, but don’t be fooled, white people, who had no God, could not have created that whole story by themselves, they needed something to rely on. They hid our identity and tried to make us hate ourselves simply because we are the people that they need to survive, we are the image of God, we are the powerful, the creators, everything about the earth comes from Africa. We are the originators, the chosen, the ones who if united would tear down everything set up against us. Igbo people are significant to the story because as they have tried to search for humanity in Kemet, I found overwhelming evidence of Igboness in the diaspora, it is beneficial to know our origin. Again, research says that at least 60% of African Americans have 1 Igbo ancestor, I talked about major caribbean themes that lead back to Igbo culture and are continued Igbo customs, such as the biggest Caribbean event every year, the carnival. I found overwhelming evidence of customs and traditions leading back to Igboness, we are the ones who have been scattered into the 4 corners of the earth. This does not eliminate any other African group, but, it gives more insight into the origin and continuation of customs that we see throughout the diaspora. I have written this how it came to me the day it came to me.

Igbo is Abraham.
Igbo is the mother of all nations.
Eri is the father of the Igbos who established a city in Nigeria 
Eri in Hebrew means my city. 
Igbos are literally Abraham 
Eri traveled by water to establish a new city in Aguleri, Anambra State
Eri was commanded to travel by a “Sky God” 
Abraham traveled from Ur to Canaan 
Abraham was commanded to travel from Ur to Canaan
Abraham was commanded to settle in a new land 
Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his children 
Eri was commanded to sacrifice his children 

Well, this information allowed me to complete part 4 of my book, and it honor of that, it will be available on June 4th, in the meantime, since I promised a Gullah Geechee post, I will post it tomorrow, but I wanted to share the revelation that I promised I’d share today. Obviously you all will have questions, so I recommend reading the entire book to see how I connected the dots!!!!!

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This Month in History: Igbo Landing in Georgia

And now we begin the Igbo story in the Americas, enjoy!

Igbo Landing is a historic site at Dunbar Creek on St. Simons Island, Glynn County, Georgia. It is where the Igbo people who had taken control of their slave ship refused to become captives of slavery in the United States. They took their lives in order to accomplish this resistance. This event marks a very important time in African American history as a strong symbol of resistance to slavery by Igbo people.

In May 1803 a ship arrived in the middle passage holding Africans that had been stolen from Igbo land; they were to be auctioned off at one of the slave markets in Savannah, Georgia. The ship included around 75 Igbo people from the bight of Biafra in West Africa. The Igbo were known for being fiercely independent and resistant to slavery.

During the journey, the Igbo slaves rose up in strength and took control of the ship, drowning their captors in the process causing the Monrovia ship to be grounded in Dunbar Creek at the site now known as Igbo Landing.

Floyd White, an elderly African-American interviewed in the 1930’s is recorded as saying:

“Heard about the Ibo’s Landing? That’s the place where they bring the Ibos
over in a slave ship and when they get here, they ain’t like it and so they all
start singing and they march right down in the river to march back to Africa,
but they ain’t able to get there. They gets drown”
.

The Gullah people, a people said to be descendants of Igbo’s, with many claiming their Igbo ancestry, live and dwell in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. They speak an Afro-Creole language and continue some Igbo customs as seen in their food and cultural traditions such as the Masquerade that I told you all about last week, deriving from Igbo culture and found in Caribbean cultures. I will talk more bout the Gullah Geechee next week, I just wanted to introduce the Igbo culture in the Americas, and not overfeed you! Here is an excerpt I found from a white woman describing the Gullah description of the Igbo experience. I mention white woman because as always, when they translate something, it may not always be the best, but I did like the excerpt enough to add it in my blog post…

“The West Africans upon their situation resolved to risk their
lives by walking home over the water rather than submit to the living death
that awaited them in American slavery. As the tale has it, the tribes people
disembark from the ship, and as a group, turned around and walked along the
water, traveling in the opposite direction from the arrival port. As they took
this march together, the West Africans joined in song. They are reported to
have sung a hymn in which the lyrics assert that the water spirits will take
them home. While versions of this story vary in nuance, all attest to the
courage in rebellion displayed by the enslaved Igbo.”

It’s important to know that, Igbo slaves, were most prone to be runaways. Why is it important? Because it shows strength, to resist evil and not succumb to the west and their divide and conquer tactics!

I find so much courage in this story. I thank my ancestors for their resistance….

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Igbo People of Awka, Anambra State: #TeachMeTuesdays

Hello All!

I wanted to revisit a blog post that I wrote about the Igbo people of Awka, in Anambra state, Nigeria.  I am a descendant of Awka people, my dad is from Umubuele in Awka. Although Anambra is the english name, the original name is Oma Mbala. According to oral tradition, “Oma Mbala was the name of the ancient goddess whose river runs from the Uzo-uwa-ani underworld to Anam and Onicha axis, where it connects with Nkisi & Niger-kwora/Mgbakili Rivers in their journey to the Atlantic Ocean.” Oma Mbala region extends to parts of  these states in Nigeria – Edo, Delta, Imo, Rivers, Abia, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau, Akwa Ibom, and Cross Rivers States, as well as the countries Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Mali, and Central African Republic. According to oral tradition, it is said that the father of the Igbo’s, Eri – a sky God, settled in Anambra after being sent to the earth by Chukwu – Supreme God, after having traveled by water from what is now known as the middle east. He is said to have had 2 wives and founded Nri and Aguleri, two cities currently in Anambra state. Anambra state is part of 5 main states in Igboland – Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo – and other states comprise of high numbers of Igbo people, such as Delta and Rivers states. It is said that Anambra is the wealthiest state in the southeast region of Nigeria. Anyway, I spoke about the Masquerades and Ekpe secret societies in Haiti and Cuba last week, and I just wanted to bring it back to the continent to regroup around Igbo culture in Nigeria, before continuing to America tomorrow. After we get to America, the Igbo revelations go continue o! I want you all to get ready for a complete story. Enjoy this blog post on the Igbo people of Awka, Anambra state! (All these pictures are pictures I took, and are of me and my family).

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CULTURAL AND ETHNIC GROUPS

Awka is the capital city in Anambra State in southeastern Nigeria, home of Igbo people. Before the 20th
century, the people of Awka were most famous for metal working and
their blacksmith skills throughout the region for making farming
implements, guns and tools. The Awka area in earlier times was the site
of the Nri Civilization that produced the earliest documented bronze
works in Sub-Saharan Africa around 800 AD.

Awka was governed by titled men known as Ozo and Ndichie who
were accomplished individuals in the community. Today, the tradition of
being a titled man still holds much importance. In typical Igbo
communities, people are not called or greeted by their names but rather
by their titles. Each title holds an important meaning. In Igbo land,
titles can be given through elaborate feasting and fulfilment of other
conditions. Historically, they held general meetings or “Izu Awka”
either at the residence of the oldest man (Otochal Awka) or at a place
designated by him. He was the Nne Uzu or master blacksmith, whether he
knew the trade or not, for the only master known to Awka people was the
master craftsman, the Nne Uzu. Overall, the average Igbo man by
tradition is expected to have a title, either given to him by his father
or one that he assumes and takes up himself.

Awka is currently divided into two local government areas; Awka
North and Awka South, with local representatives. However, it still
maintains traditional systems of governance with Ozo titled men often
consulted for village and community issues and a paramount cultural
ruler, the Eze Uzu who is elected by all Ozo titled men by rotation
amongst different villages to represent the city at state functions.

Awka comprises seven Igbo groups sharing common blood lineage
divided into two sections. Ifite Section, the senior section, comprises
four groups, Ayom-na-Okpala, Nkwelle, Amachalla, and Ifite-Oka followed
by Ezinator Section, which consists of three groups, Amikwo, Ezi-Oka and
Agulu. Each of these groups has a number of villages. All together,
Awka comprises 33 villages.

Awka people have always been and still are well travelled. In
earlier centuries, times demand for their skills as blacksmiths had Awka
people travelling throughout Nigeria making farming implements,
household tools, and guns. Each village had clearly defined trade
routes. For example, people from Umuogbu village plied their trade in
Benin and in the Urhobo and Itsekiri areas, people from Umubele (my
fathers land!) were stationed in the Igala areas in modern day Kogi
state, Umuike and Umuonaga in present day Abia and Rivers State,
Umuenechi in the Kwale and Isoko area of Delta state, and Umudiana,
Okperi, Ugwuogige stationed in Calabar area of today’s Cross Rivers
state.

The Imo-Oka festival is a week long festival of masquerades and
dances held in May at the beginning of the farming season in honor of a
female deity who it is hoped will make the land fertile and yield
boutiful crops. The festival starts with Awka natives visiting the
community of Umuokpu with masquerades and it ends with the visit of the
Imo-Oka stream on the final day which is heralded by a heavy rain that
falls in the late afternoon. There are four major events performed
during this festival.

Today, Awka people can be found all across the globe many
working as highly educated and skilled professionals in a wide range of
fields. As a result, there is a large Awka diaspora located primarily in
the U.K. and the U.S. There, they have formed social clubs like Awka
Union USA and Canada, Awka Town Social Community UK and Ireland, and
other community associations. These associations have been a positive
way for people to enjoy their culture as well as to engage in community
self-help projects.

Over the years Awka Town has attracted people from other states
in Nigeria and has a significant number of immigrants from northern
Nigeria, Delta and Enugu states, Cameroon and Ghana now comprising more
than 60% of residents in the town (http://naijasky.com/awka-south/114/people-of-awka/6416/).

World renown author, Chinua Achebe (author of ‘Things Fall
Apart’) says “Awka has a certain kind of aura about it, because it was
the place of the blacksmiths that created implements which made
agriculture possible.”

I’ve had fun educating you all on my people!

Remain Blessed loves ❤️.

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A Likkle More Igbo #WordyWednesdays

In the Caribbean islands 
what did I see?
I saw my reflection staring at me.

We spoke the same language
We sung the same songs
We shared the same secrets
We beat the same drum

We shared Nsibidi
We shared masquerade
We shared revolution
With former enslaved

They called me Red Eboe
I called them my heros
We broke Yam & strategized
Over calypso

Our sound traveled far
Across the diaspora
Africa heard us & sent their ships out to us

“My child has called
My child is suffering
How did she know that her symbols would come to me?”

Uncovered messages hidden in luxury
Cultural customs lead to our discovery
Nothing is hidden our spirits display
It’s only the ego that gets in the way.

Our masks held the answers
& covered our pain
Njoku & Ekpe & Haitian Vévé

“Revolt” said Bussa
I showed you the way
Lean on to my example
& make sure to pray

You have all the tools for freedom today
Don’t wait til’ tomorrow
Choose freedom today!

Check out this weeks blog posts on the Igbo Caribbean story and the other Igbo story posts by clicking here! & Read more of my poetry by purchasing Garden of Love: A Book of Poems today!