- The main moderator is currently travelling in Salvador. Posts will start again in 2 weeks.
Empire - The New Scramble for Africa:Described by many as the ‘new scramble for Africa’, the US, China and other nations are attempting to consolidate their grip on Africa’s natural resources and its growing consumer class. Empire travels to Kenya, France and the USA to examine who is gaining, who is losing and what it means to Africans.
Google Doodle celebrating the birthday of tennis player Althea Gibson (1927-2003).
Althea broke the color barrier as the first black person to compete at Wimbledon and US Nationals (precursor to the US Open). She won a total of 11 Grand Slam tournaments, including repeated wins at US Nationals and Wimbledon.
The Nima You should Know!
This is how colourful the people of Nima, a predominantly muslim community in Ghana celebrated the Ramadan Mubarak festivities. The best of traditional Africa fashion were on display. Food and Music were the order of the day in this lively community. Nima is one of the communities many people hold erroneous perception about. People who have not even visited Nima think it is a hub for criminals and many other social vices. But a visit to the community reveals you to freedom of expression, respect for authority and the free will to explore talent. Nima has the best of Local African dishes like TZ, Tubani, + many more! The Nima market is one of the busiest markets in Ghana.
The community is also filled with religious and academic scholars. Some of the amazing crop of young artists in Accra can be located at Nima. The Nima Muhinmanchi Art organization has been a platform for training many young people who want to be artists. Through accradotalt's CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival, Some of the members of the group have been the brains behind the graffiti murals inside the Old Kingsway Building in James Town. And they are going to be at #ChaleWote2014 on August 23 & 24.
WE LOVE NIMA!
Photography by SELORMJAY
History of Laamb
Traditional wrestling, also known as “Laamb” in Wolof, is a centuries-old sport in Sénégal. In terms of form, it is very similar to the Greco-Roman style of wrestling; however, it is very typical of traditional, African wrestling.
There are two forms of Laamb: the first allows the wrestlers to strike each other with their bare hands, which can be painful; the second is more acrobatic, and hitting is not permitted. When a wrestler’s back touches the ground, the bout is over; he has lost.
Laamb is as much a spiritual activity as it is physical; and wrestlers engage in various rites and rituals preparatory to fighting. No wrestler, regardless of his strength, physical, or technical abilities, will ever dare to enter the ring, much less fight, without his “marabout” or without participating in his own pre-match ceremony. During the ceremony, the wrestler, accompanied by drummers and singers, dances around the arena; around his arms, legs, and waist are various kinds of esoteric pendants or amulets the purpose of which is to protect him against evil spirits and the witchcraft of other fighters. It is this aspect of the sport which elevates a wrestling match beyond the level of ordinary spectator sport. Many people attend as much for the enjoyment of the ceremony as for the sport.
It’s carries on centuries of traditions,full of rituals, highly magical, islamo-animist mystique, fighter wears Gri-Gri amulets,oil themselves with magic lotions prepared by each warrior appointed marabout, with milk also, band of Griots will beat the drums (called sabar) inciting wrestlers to fight!
In spite of the popularity of soccer, basketball, and other imported sports, traditional wrestling is still the national event for the people, and receives a lot of sponsorship dollars to advance its growth. National champions are crowned and praised as the subject of numerous songs.
It used to be practised in the countryside at the end of the harvest, amongst the Serer and Diola ethnic groups. Wrestlers face up to each other, and the winner is the one who causes his adversary to fall to the ground first. This jousting battle used to be a means of measuring the strength of men, to determine the champion of each village.
It was practiced to rejoice, perpetuate cultural folklore, and to designate the strongest man of the village who will become the champion wrestler until the next year.
During French colonization of Senegal, these fights continued to take place in the bush, without the occupiers really knowing much about them. However it was a Frenchman who organized the first official fights in the 1920’s in his cinema El Malik in the capital, Dakar. The wrestlers were paid thanks to ticket sales. It was around this time that a form of the sport began in which wrestlers could also hit their opponents (wrestling with strikes).
After independence, this form of the sport slowly became professional and took hold in towns and cities.
Michael Brown was an 18 year old that was killed by a Ferguson Police Officer on Saturday, August 9th. His family is now seeking justice for Michael’s death. Their pursuit for justice will be lengthy and hard but with the support of the community they will get justice. If you are willing to support Michael’s family please donate to Michael Brown’s Memorial Fund. These funds will assist his family with costs that they will acquire as they seek justice on Michael’s behalf. All funds will be given to the Michael Brown family. We appreciate your support.
This is a legitimate fundraiser confirmed by the family’s lawyer’s official twitter account and multiple news sources. This family has suffered so much, please help relieve one small worry from their life.
Ron Eglash: The fractals at the heart of African designs.
The impact of African mathematics brought to the world the binary system which has brought about digital technology and circuitry.
In this very Interesting talk Ron Eglash talks about how Africans made use of fractals mathematics in their village design and how this knowledge governs African Design and Architecture to date. Thankfully African Fractals are being used by schools in Africa and America to better teach mathematics and understanding of the binary system.
African Mathematics: History, Textbook and Classroom Lessons
Mathematics has an interesting history in Africa. The earliest known mathematical artefact in human history is the Lebombo Bone. Thought to be 37,000 years old, it was discovered by archaeologists in South Africa. Scholars believe that the number system carved into the bone represents a lunar calendar. Later mathematical evidence comes from the Ishango region of Central Africa, Ancient Egypt, Medieval North Africa, Ethiopia, Medieval West Africa and Medieval Central Africa.
This book covers the origin and evolution of mathematics in Africa and provides teachers/students with study materials that can be used in classrooms and workshops.
Click the link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/African-Mathematics-History-Textbook-Classroom/dp/1500667390
Casa de Africa in Havana, Cuba
Dance told story from one of the afro-cuban religions
per Dianna, this is Yemaya from the Yoruba pantheon.
A young “Miss Maggie” Walker, the daughter of a former slave, who in 1903 became the first woman of any race to found and become president of an American bank. She also founded a newspaper and a department store called “Saint Luke’s Emporium.”
In the very early days of the Christian era, long before England had assumed any importance, long even before her people had united into a nation, our ancestors had attained a great empire, which lasted until the eleventh century, when it fell before the attacks of the Moors of the North. At its height that empire stretched from Timbuktu to Bamako, and even as far as to the Atlantic. It is said that lawyers and scholars were much respected in that empire and that the inhabitants of Ghana wore garments of wool, cotton, silk and velvet. There was trade in copper, gold and textile fabrics, and jewels and weapons of gold and silver were carried.From Ghana: The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah (1957)
The Haitian Revolution - A short Reading List (of Anglophone scholars)
"More than two hundred years after Haitian independence was declared on January 1, 1804, it remains a challenge to perceive the spirit that fueled the first abolition of slavery in the New World and gave rise to the second independent nation in the Americas. As recently as ten years ago, the Haitian Revolution (1789-1804), which created “Haiti” out of the ashes of French Saint Domingue, was the least understood of the three great democratic revolutions that transformed the Atlantic world in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. That is no longer true. In the decade since the 2004 bicentennial, a genuine explosion of scholarship on the Saint-Domingue revolution has profoundly enriched our memory of what Hannah Arendt, in her comparative study of the American and French revolutions, called “the revolutionary tradition and its lost treasure”. It is not clear to what extent this development has affected broader public understandings of the Haitian predicament, however."
By Professor Malick W. Ghachem for the John Carter Brown Library online exposition: “The Other Revolution: Haiti 1789-1804.”
- The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by CLR James *
- The Making Haiti: Saint Domingue Revolution From Below by Carolyn E. Fick
- Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution by Laurent Dubois
- A Concise History of the Haitian Revolution by Jeremy D. Popkin
- Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, 1789-1804: A Brief History with Documents by Laurent Dubois and John D. Garrigus
- Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment by Nick Nesbitt
- Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History by Susan Buck-Morss
- The Old Regime and the Haitian Revolution by Malick W. Ghachem
- You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery by Jeremy D. Popkin
- The World of the Haitian Revolution by David Patrick Geggus and Norman Fiering
CultureSOUL: *Blues & Jazz men* - The Great Migration era (1930s-1940s)
- Willie Smith and Fats Waller, 1937. Photo by Charles Peterson
- Little Bill Gaither, Big Bill Broonzy and Memphis Slim, Chicago, 1940.
- Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, and Teddy Hill in front of Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, N.Y, 1947.