WETATi Next Generation is a non-profit organization that seeks to empower undergraduate and graduate collegiate women through financial literacy. WETATi works towards equipping young women with the tools needed to start and run their own business, providing financial freedom and self-empowerment.
I reached out to the President of WETATi Next Generation, Angel Dureke a native of Nigeria to ask about the mission, vision, and core programs of WETATi. Here is what she had to say…
Yasuke African Samurai of the Japanese Warlord Nobunaga Oda.
“Japan is not a place one would usually associate with immigrants from Africa or the Caribbean. Yet in the late 16th century Japan’s most powerful warlord, Oda Nobunaga, had a African page named Yasuke it is belived that Yasuke was either a Makua originally from Mozambique or from somewhere in the Congo region. Yasuke was not only a cultural curiosity but also served as Nobunaga’s bodyguard and was granted the prestigious rank of Samurai.
Yasuke arrived in Japan in 1579 as the servant of the Italian Jesuit Alessandro Valignano, who had been appointed the Visitor (inspector) of the Jesuit missions in the Indies, i.e. S. and E. Asia, an extremely high position, so Yasuke must have been quite trustworthy. He accompanied Valignano when the latter came to the capital area in March 1581 and caused something of a sensation. In one event, several people were crushed to death while clamouring to get a look at him. Nobunaga heard about him and expressed a desire to see him. Suspecting the black color of his skin to be paint, Nobunaga had him strip from the waist up and made him scrub his skin.
We do not know this Yasuke’s original Makua name but the Japanese called him Yasuke (彌介), the reason for this name is unknown as it does not have a clear meaning and that it is most likely a “Japanization” of his actual name.
He was apparently 6ft 2in and would have towered over the Japanese of the day. Nobunaga first heard of Yasuke when the news reached him in 1581 of the great crush that had occurred when Valignano had brought him to Kyoto where his skin colour and height attracted a huge crowd. Nobunaga ordered the Jesuit to bring Yasuke to his court so that he could see this sensation in the flesh.
Upon seeing Yasuke, Nobunaga allegedly ordered him stripped to the waist and scrubbed believing that his skin was painted. Japanese sources described Yasuke as “looking between the age of 24 or 25, black like an ox, healthy and good looking, and possessing the strength of 10 men. Nobunaga was further intrigued by the fact that Yasuke could speak Japanese (albeit not perfectly) and ordered Valignano to leave Yasuke in his care when the Jesuit prepared to leave again.
Yasuke became a permanent fixture in Nobunaga’s retinue, his size and strength acting as a deterrent to assassination not to mention a flavour of exoticism to accompany the warlord’s other Western possessions. Apparently Nobunaga became so fond of Yasuke that rumours abounded that the slave was going to be made a Daimyo (a Japanese land-owning lord). These rumours were proven wrong, however, Yasuke was given the honour of being made a member of the samurai class, a rare honour among foreigners. “
You can read more about Yasuke here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasuke
Important note: Obviously this is not a 16th century photo because there weren’t any cameras back then. The people in this photo were just stage actors who posed for this shot.
Promises of Freedom Book Project
You are invited to submit an autobiographical essay or creative nonfiction story for this anthology (African Immigrant Literature).
This book will focus on how Africa-born youth is impacted by immigration, American race/racial relations, Americana socio-economic-cultural dynamics, and familial dislocation/adjustments.
African-born immigrants (whether USA citizens or not) and first generation born Africans are invited to send autobiographical stories and first-person creative nonfiction (essays/memoirs).
The POF book project is spearheaded by Mr. Malcolm Cash, Lecturer in the Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University and Instructor of English & English Composition at Central State University.
The aim of POF is to create a book comprised of narratives from young adults within the African diaspora who either immigrated to the United States as a child/teenager or are apart of the first-generation experience. Our goal with Promises of Freedom is to build a collection of narratives (5-10 pages each) that reflect the diverse experiences of young adults, one which could be used to better understand the complexity, challenges, and beauty of growing up African in America.
If you are interested in working with the POF team, the following criteria shall be met:
Writers can be from the ages of 18-30 years;
Are first-generation Americans (one or both parents immigrated to the U.S.); or
Immigrated as children or teenagers (no later than the beginning of high school
If interested please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and a copy of our writers’ guidelines. We will be accepting submissions until January 5, 2014.
Please feel free to share this post as you please. I am truly blessed to be working on a project such as this and I am driven by its potential. With much work and dedication, this can be turned into something phenomenal.
All the best,
Neo-Colonialism the Last Stage of Imperialism by Kwame Nkrumah
When Kwame Nkrumah published this book in 1965, it was banned in the United States. A year after, on February 24, 1966, he was overthrown in a coup d’tat, which according to declassified files or documents, was sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. During this period several African nationalists were assassinated. And the UN’s attitude, especially in the Lumumba case, is there for all to see. Thus, even then, the UN has only worked to help a handful of countries and individuals.
Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism is a step by step guide to unveiling, exposing, denuding, the factors, individuals, countries, and corporations working against Africa’s development and unity. From chapters such as Africa’s Resources, Obstacles to Economic Progress, Imperialist Finance, Monopoly Capitalism and the American Dollar, The Truth Behind the Headlines, The Oppenheimer Empire, The Diamond Groups, Mining Interests in Central Africa, Union Miniere du Haut Katanga, Economic Pressures in the Congo Republic, The Mechanisms of Neo-Colonialism, among others, Nkrumah sought to make the world know the kind of forces we are facing as Africans (and non-Africans) on the path towards development (and the people that rule our world).
Corporations, which stole Africa’s resources from the beginning by making chiefs sign papers they know very well they cannot read and in most cases papers which talk of a different contract only to turn out that these chiefs have signed off their resources, have come to control Africa’s extractive industries, or broadly, Africa’s primary resources and have enriched themselves - creating empires - through colonisation. These corporations, even after independence, had done everything necessary to keep the status quo. Through vertical and horizontal integrations they have formed monopolies that control the production of the raw materials, its transport outside the country, its transformation or value addition, its price on the international market and the manufacture of the finished products. In effect, they control the demand and supply of products. And consequently, prices.
Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, did a diligent job with this book in unmasking the demons against Africa’s development and unity with hard facts. Appropriately, the book opens with ‘Africa’s Resources’, where the author shows the volume of Africa’s raw materials and those who control it. The chapter opens with the paradox that even though the continent is rich its resources go to enrich, mainly, non-Africans.
'Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neo-colonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below her soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly, but groups of and individuals who operate to Africa's impoverishment. (Chapter 1, Page 1)',
The Fatimid Dynasty in Egypt & the return of Europe
Historian Basil Davidson looks at the splendour of Old Cairo under the Shia Fatimid dynasty. He details how the return of Europe to prominance following its long period of poverty and slumber (aka the Dark Ages) was founded upon the economic stability of Africa - as seen in the fact that European gold coins were mindted in African gold. We also see how Euroepan Renaissance art depicted Africans as dignified equals, much as the ancient Greeks had.
GREAT BLACK LEADERS: PEMULWUY (1750-1802) OF AUSTRALIA, By RUNOKO RASHIDI
The great Black leader that we celebrate today is Pemulwuy of Australia. Pemulwuy, born around 1750, was an Aboriginal Australian man born in the area around what is now Botany Bay in New South Wales. He is believed to have been a member of the Bidjigal clan of the Eora people (a coastal Aboriginal people). He was the fiercest resistance leader to the European invasion of Australia, which began with the arrival of what is called the First Fleet in 1788.
Reacting to the murders of Aboriginal people the Bidjigal clan, led by Pemulwuy, became the most aggressive opponents to the British invaders. In 1790 Pemulwuy speared a European to death.
Pemulwuy persuaded other Aboriginal people to join his campaign against the British and for ten years led a guerilla war against the British from the settlement of Parramatta.
In March 1797, Pemulwuy led a hundred armed Aboriginal men and confronted the British troops in Parramatta. In the fight Pemulwuy was shot seven times and taken seriously wounded to a hospital. This engagement is now as the Battle of Parramatta. In spite of the buckshot in his head and body, and wearing a leg-iron, Pemulwuy escaped from the hospital. This escape has added immeasurably to the legend of Pemulwuy.
Governor Philip Gidley King issued an order on November 22, 1801 for the capture of Pemulwuy, dead or alive. Pemulwuy was made an outlaw, and in 1802 was shot and killed by British sailor Henry Hacking. For the next eight years Pemulwuy’s son continued the Aboriginal resistance to the British until he too was killed.
Pemulwuy’s head was removed from his body, preserved in alcohol and sent to England, where it remains to this day.
Repatriation of the skull of has been requested by Sydney Aboriginal people but “has not yet been located in order to be repatriated.”
Today, the Sydney suburb of Pemulwuy, in New South Wales, is named after him, as well as Pemulwuy Park in Redfern, New South Wales. On my first visit to Australia in 1998 I concluded my journey with a visit to Redfern.
Pemulwuy is the epitome of the Black resistance in Australia to the British invasion. Without a doubt he was truly great Black leader!
Most people are aware of the devastating impact that mass enslavement had on Africa and African descended peoples. However, this inspiring presentation addresses a rarely told story - one of Black resistance to and independence from the enslavers. In other words, Caribbean history is much more than just the whip, the chains and the plantation!Black peoples throughout the Americas rose in rebellion against the enslavers.Moreover, African escapees sought to set up mini-African states of their own quite separate from those of the enslavers. This lecture tells their story in Brazil, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, the United States and Haiti.Robin Walker ‘the Black History Man’ presents research from his recently reprinted book When We Ruled 2nd edition, whichwill be available for sale. Also available on the day is the indispensable When We Ruled Study Guide & Reading plan.
Come along to the lecture, discussion, and book launch. You will learn about:
- How enslaved Africans became independent of their enslavers
- What we know about life in these mini-Africas
- Why these achievements have been hidden from the general story of history
- The lessons we can learn and what you can teach your children
IMPORTANT *** Please send a note to email@example.com to CONFIRM your attendance *** IMPORTANTCost: £5.00 (and £3.00 for children)Event: Slavery is not our history.Venue: Learie Constantine, 43-47 Dudden Hill Lane, NW10 2ET - Near Willesden Bus GarageWhen: Thursday 5 December 2013 at 7pm sharpNearest tube: Dollis HillBuses: 302, 297, 260, 266
How did the Haitian Revolution get “silenced” in Western academia?
SILENCING THE PAST is a philosophy of history, that is, a book about how history is created by historians. Reality, what is, is created by events and processes. But history is the human narration of that reality as seen by the historian. On Trouillot’s view the serious and honest historian tries to tell the story as accurately as possible from the data — the various records left in time. But, it is a crucial part of Trouillot’s thesis that much of the past, even the past which is preserved in records, gets “silenced,” gets passed over or pushed to the background. This scholarly book is the story of how history is produced and how this selective “silencing” occurs. Of course, the flip side is there too — history is the story of what is not silenced, of what is broadcast and generally accepted as “history,” the general narrative of the past that most of us learn and internalize.
ON THIS DAY, 1 DECEMBER IN 1955 MS. ROSA PARKS, AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN, REFUSED TO GIVE UP HER SEAT TO A WHITE MAN ON A MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA BUS. THIS ACTION LED TO THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT—ONE OF THE OUTSTANDING DEVELOPMENTS THAT PRECIPITATED THE US CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.