Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Celebrating Nappturality

I have recently discovered this website and these excellent blogs that celebrate natural hair and nappturality.

Nappturality includes advice on styling and transitioning. It also gives you the opportunity to blog.

Holistic Locs contains amazing photos plus uplifting, inspiring and sometimes amusing videos, like "Can I Touch Your Hair?".

Napptural Beauties celebrates sistas with napptural hair.

I remember when someone slammed me on Facebook because I used the word "nappy", which she somehow found offensive.

We need to unlearn all the negative stuff we have been taught about our hair, our appearance and ourselves. We need to celebrate ourselvs in all of our nappiness, naturalness and nappturality. I'm so glad to see these sistas doing that.

See also: The Key to Confidence

Why We Need to Heal

Monday, April 26, 2010

Free Advice for Black Businesses

We have loads of articles about how to build your successful Black-owned business in More Black Success.

For example, MBS 5 contains an article by Mercy Gilbert of Art Connoisseur about how to build your business. She talks about her work as a business advisor. Plus check out the article by Basmatie Littles about how she started and built her Karma Kidz fashion business.

In MBS 3, Shola Arewa talks about how to help and inspire your customers to find the money they need to pay for your services.

To get your free copies, go to More Black Success.

For more information, or If you would like to submit an article, go to Books for Truth-Seekers.

Come Back Africa: Two Early Anti-Apartheid Films

On Saturday, I attended a screening of two erly anti-apartheid films at the BFI.

"Come Back Africa" is an extraordinary film set in Johannesburg and Sophiatown in 1950. It features a cameo by Miriam Makeba.

The documentary "The End of the Dialogue" was made in 1959. We were fortunate to have two of the filmmakers at the screening.

These were the two earliest anti-apartheid films. "Come Back Africa" was made at a time when no one outside of South Africa was interested in apartheid.

Both of these films were made in secrecy and exposed the evils of apartheid to international audiences.

These films broke my heart. They didn't really tell or show me anything I didn't already know about apartheid. But seeing how Black people were treated, the patronising attitudes of the white people, the abuse, the poverty, the sense of helplessness as Black people tried to live normal lives under this appalling system, made this a very strong experience.

One thing that particuarly struck me was the level of resources, in terms of time, money and energy, the apartheid regime was willing to invest in breaking up African families.

These films remind us that not only were we stolen from Africa, Africa was stolen from us.

To read more, see ANC Welcomes Ruling.

To read more about the psychological effects of apartheid, racial discrimination and caste oppression see Dr. Ambedkar, Visionary.

See also: Why We Need to Heal.

Black Film: Babylon

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Black Author Interviews

I am particularly excited about the new More Black Success Volume 7. For the first time, I have devoted the entire volume to interviews with fiction and nonfiction authors.

Allyson Campbell has written a number of books. Her novel Chained and Bound describes what it is like for a woman to survive an abusive relationship.

Antwan McCLean's book Your Greater Self: An A-Z Guide to Becoming the Person You Most Admire encourages people to fulfil their highest potential.

Nahisha McCoy's novel Sweetest Revenge serves as a warning to young women not to let a man or a relationship dominate your life.

Plus loads of resources.

To get your free copy, go to More Black Success.

If you would like to be interviewed, or for more information, go to Books for Truth-Seekers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Black Film: "Babylon"

I recently attended a screening of "Babylon" at the NFT.

As you probably know, "Babylon" depicts life for young Black men in South London in1980, the year before the Brixton riots.

The film shows Black youth being hunted by their white neighbours and the police, who were eager to brutally beat them.

In "Operation Swamp", the police stopped a thousand Black men in Brixton in three days. Boys were stopped going to school as well as in school, beaten up and taken to jail.

In his novel East of Acre Lane, author Alex Wheatle described his experiences of living in Brixton before and during the riots, being pressured by the police and being thrown into a prison cell. To read more, visit: Alex Wheatle, Brixton Bard

At the same screening, the NFT showed a short film made by a group of Black and white young people called "Some Other Way Forward", about the "stop-and-search" procedure by the police.

Sir Paul Condon, former head of the Metropolitan Police, in 1999 justified the targeting of young Black men with stop-and-search, stating that these are the people most likely to commit street crime.

One thing he failed to mention is that young white men are those most likely to be involved in public order offences.

This fascinating film was made by the young people. It depicted them being stopped, sometimes four or five times a day, by police officers demanding their ID.

What this reminded me of the most were scenes from "Schindler's List" in which the Nazis patrolled the Jewish ghettoes, stopping the inhabitants four or five times a day and demanding their ID. People would be on their way to work or to the shops when they were stopped. They were often then made to perform menial tasis such as shovelling snow.

What most interested me was that, a few weeks earlier, I had attended a discussion about President Obama's success. We were shown film clips about what happened in Philadelphia in the 1970s and '80s, when the police targeted the MOVE organisation. In 1978, the police bombed the home of the MOVE members, killing 11 people including five children, and destroying an African American neighbourhood.

The fire department allowed the fire to burn for hours. The bodies which were recovered afterwards were really just ash. People said they looked like bodies from Beirut. They were also found to have bullets lodged inside of them.

During the discussion, I asked the question, "Is stop and search any different, in practice, from the old 'Sus' laws?"

These laws were used in the 1970s and early '80s to stop - you guessed it - young Black men on suspicion of committing pcrimes and throw them into prison cells. Often, there was no evidence of any crime having been committed.

People in the audience assured me that things are differeent now because you can take down the ID of the officers involved, and report them if necessary. But on the basis of this film, I would have to say, things are not that different now.

One of the very positive things about the NFT screening was the discussion that followed. I will blog more about this soon.

See also: What Are the Police Up To?