Saturday, 2 August 2008

BE MY GUEST! (IV. VERONICA HENRY)

Women of The African Diaspora

Women. We are the nurturers, the supporters, the givers. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and mates. We are the beginning.It is in recognition of these most basic facts that I ponder our role as women of the African Diaspora.


In discovering my own shared African Ancestry with the people of Sierra Leone, my partner and I started the ‘My African Diaspora’ project.

We started this project because we recognized the strength of a united Diaspora - the combined knowledge, skills, history */and/* the struggles that bind us together, no matter how far and wide our blood has scattered. We hope to start a movement - one that will see us once again a united people. A people that can and will flourish if given the proper platform to bridge some of the gaps that exist between us today. I firmly believe that the women of the African Diaspora are not only critical to the success of this movement, but may in fact be the primary initiators. For without us, as the backbones of our societies, and also the first teacher of our children, no change can occur. We should stand side by side with our men - not behind in ensuring the success and the re-connection of our current and future generations.

What will change look like? I'm not altogether sure, but I believe communication is key. As a descendant of slaves in America , I can speak firsthand to the damaging effects of slavery that so many of us still suffer today. The negative attitudes about Africa have been fed to us since the day we stepped off (or rather, were dragged off) the boat. Some of those attitudes linger. And they must be addressed and abolished.In that same respect, it isn't difficult to believe that some of my brothers and sisters in the African Diaspora may have been fed similarly negative and erroneous images and information about African Americans. They too, must be confronted and dispelled. The truth is, while we do have issues - probably issues that are more alike than we know, only */we/* have the power to address them.

How do we start the movement? Same answer - communication. Reach out and talk to someone outside of your comfort zone. Someone in another part of the world that nonetheless has the same skin and the same blood as you. Teach, destroy the myths and become involved. Barter, trade and support black business, educate our children, visit another part of the world and see things for yourself. By inviting guest bloggers into her domain, our host at Koluki has already begun to do her part.I call on my sisters of the African Diaspora to join me and start the movement that will see us again united, again strong and again powerful.

Veronica Henry aka Exquisitely Black


[Veronica bloggs @ My African Diaspora]
Women of The African Diaspora

Women. We are the nurturers, the supporters, the givers. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and mates. We are the beginning.It is in recognition of these most basic facts that I ponder our role as women of the African Diaspora.


In discovering my own shared African Ancestry with the people of Sierra Leone, my partner and I started the ‘My African Diaspora’ project.

We started this project because we recognized the strength of a united Diaspora - the combined knowledge, skills, history */and/* the struggles that bind us together, no matter how far and wide our blood has scattered. We hope to start a movement - one that will see us once again a united people. A people that can and will flourish if given the proper platform to bridge some of the gaps that exist between us today. I firmly believe that the women of the African Diaspora are not only critical to the success of this movement, but may in fact be the primary initiators. For without us, as the backbones of our societies, and also the first teacher of our children, no change can occur. We should stand side by side with our men - not behind in ensuring the success and the re-connection of our current and future generations.

What will change look like? I'm not altogether sure, but I believe communication is key. As a descendant of slaves in America , I can speak firsthand to the damaging effects of slavery that so many of us still suffer today. The negative attitudes about Africa have been fed to us since the day we stepped off (or rather, were dragged off) the boat. Some of those attitudes linger. And they must be addressed and abolished.In that same respect, it isn't difficult to believe that some of my brothers and sisters in the African Diaspora may have been fed similarly negative and erroneous images and information about African Americans. They too, must be confronted and dispelled. The truth is, while we do have issues - probably issues that are more alike than we know, only */we/* have the power to address them.

How do we start the movement? Same answer - communication. Reach out and talk to someone outside of your comfort zone. Someone in another part of the world that nonetheless has the same skin and the same blood as you. Teach, destroy the myths and become involved. Barter, trade and support black business, educate our children, visit another part of the world and see things for yourself. By inviting guest bloggers into her domain, our host at Koluki has already begun to do her part.I call on my sisters of the African Diaspora to join me and start the movement that will see us again united, again strong and again powerful.

Veronica Henry aka Exquisitely Black


[Veronica bloggs @ My African Diaspora]

9 comments:

Koluki said...

My heartfelt thanks for Veronica's outstanding contribution to this series and her kind words towards this blog.
YES WE CAN CHANGE THINGS!

Jonathan McCharty said...

I think it's a very good initiative! I have lived abroad and I found out that unlike black people, other races (asians, whites, etc) easily get along, make things work together and form new communities! I felt like black people have some sense that they can go alone their own ways and achieve whatever they want. But, true is, together we can do those same things faster and better! Although I was happy to see black people and even great them freely, start a conversation, etc, I felt that there is suspicion, a sort of prejudice within the black community, something like, "this guy might be an illegal alien or engaging in illegal activities here"! But you never know! That guy like "you", that you're seeing, may be getting is higher education or doing a more decent job than you! In fact, we have to STOP that, and I'm glad that there are people out there like you, addressing these issues!

Koluki said...

Jonathan,

Thanks very much for your input as well.
I join my voice to Veronica's and yours on the need for an improvement of the relationships within black communities around the world.
But I sometimes have the impression that the difficulty is not so much in black people being able of starting a conversation or starting to get along, the issue seems to be in keeping that first contact going and evolving for the kind of working together that you say other communities do more easily (I am not even sure that this is totally true, but let's assume that it is for the time being).
At least in my experience, black people approach others with a predefined 'agenda', 'stereotype', or 'expectation' of some kind. And is these are frustrated for one reason or another, then things just stop there and, sometimes can even turn nasty... That's one of the things we need to address if we are to achieve common goals as a community, I think.

Jonathan McCharty said...

Koluki,

Sometimes I asked myself, why do we behave like that? I came to realize that maybe, in black-scarce environment, most people just get used to have nobody to count on and just do things their own way! It may also reveal a strong mind and fearless behavior that sometimes can be good but sometimes bad! "Together we are stronger"! We must understand that and put in in practice. But, for sure, there is also prejudice among us. Maybe, people trying to avoid "problems", assuming (without knowing) their fellow brothers n' sisters may cause him some sort of trouble!
What you have said is really true: the main problem is to "keep things going"! and I have a lot of stories that actually support your statement...!

Koluki said...

Do you know what I think black people's main problem is, Jonathan? BIG EGOS!!!
It is so rare to find a black person, especially in what you call 'black-scarce environments', who is genuinely amiable, humble and willing to learn from another black person, or teach other black person about something instead of being agressive towards them.
I think all this attitude stems from the inferiority complexes we've been generally harbouring because of the black experience since slavery and colonialism. Because of that we have a dire need to 'feel superior', to 'stand higher', to 'have more', to 'be more' than the next black folk... so we are constantly behaving agressively towards each other: be it openly or in other ways like not communicating even when others try to initiate a communication with us...
And I also have lots of stories to support that!

Jonathan McCharty said...

Koluki,
I couldnt agree more with you!
You just chose the right words!
Have a nice weekend!

Koluki said...

Thanks Jonathan!
Have a nice weekend too!

Exquisitely Black said...

Jonathan and Koluki, I think you both make good points. The first step in getting past a problem is to agree that there is one, next you identify the sources - we've done that, so next step is to do something.

Embrace the movement, keep the international lines of communication open, help, uplift, share and excel.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank Koluki for the opportunity to post.

Koluki said...

Totally agreed, Veronica, and you're most welcome!