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Check Out DiasporAfri’s RBG Freedom Collection!

Hey Y’all! I am so excited to share with you all the Melanated Gem RBG Freedom Collection™️. Many of you know that the Pan-African colors of freedom are Red, Black, and Green. Many of you may know that Marcus Garvey is my hero, I have learned a lot from him, and I model some of my thoughts after him. He was the person I latched on to in graduate school when I was studying for my Master of Arts in Africana Studies, and I took a class on Pan-Africanism. Well, Marcus Garvey is the father of Pan-Africanism. Besides that, I have been studying my authentic audience, it was my goal to build an authentic audience using my authentic voice, and I found that the majority of my social media followers and supporters follow Pan-Africanism, and the majority of my supporters that actively support DiasporAfri are also Black Males, at least 90%! I also have lovely, strong, ladies that support DiasporAfri, LLC, and honestly, I love you all. I decided to dedicate this collection to my dedicated supporters, I thank all of you for your support over the years. This set represents freedom and unity, this set represents the Global Black Diaspora, and those dedicated to liberating us. We are Afrikans not because we were born in Africa, but Africa was born in us. Pan-Africans identify as African because we do not take on the title that was given to us brutally, we reclaim our original title. In the words of Marcus Garvey, “Africa for the Africans!”

  1. The Afrikan Man™️ Bracelet is for the melanated kings that continuously have shown love, supported, purchased, shared, and encouraged DiasporAfri, LLC. The word “King” is featured with Bronze Metal letters. The ends are tied twice and sewn several times for extra security.
  2. The Melanated Gem RBG Freedom Set™️ is for the ladies, it features the same items as the Melanated Bundle™️, with the Pan-African RBG colors. A handmade headband that is sewn and glued for extra security, and features the word “Afrikan” in gold acrylic letters. The bracelet features the RBG colors, and a pop of gold glass beads to make you sparkled like a gem, featuring the word “Gem” with Bronze Metal Letters (if you want the word “Afrikan”, the letters will be gold acrylic). The waist beads feature RBG colored stones and the words “Afrikan Gem” with Bronze Metal Letters. This is offered in a set only.
  3. The RBG Queen & King: Freedom set™️ is for the lovely Melanated couples! DiasporAfri is all about Black love and building strong Black families. This set comes with similar style bracelets; one catering to men, the other catering to ladies, with the words “Queen” and “King” respectively, with Bronze Metal letters.

Thank you all for your support! Be sure to check out the entire Melanated Gem™️collection by clicking here, see you soon!

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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!