Trying To Live In The Mind Of A Slave

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Circa 1910: Three Abyssinian slaves in iron collars and chains. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Who knows how it feels to be a slave? It’s only a slave who can vividly tell someone his or her ordeal. Years after the abolition of slavery, if Africans and African-Americans, are still fruitlessly  struggling to regain their lost identity, then what did their ancestors went through as slaves outside Africa, in the period of slavery?

If I look at the picture above, I see probably a mother and her two sons. The inability of the woman to help her sons has put pressure on her, taking her into a state of hopelessness, insecurity, and bewilderment.

I don’t think they requested to take this image because slave owners don’t listen to the cry of slaves, yet the older boy puts a little smile on his face, whole the younger one shows a face of defiance, as his family becomes a subject of humiliation and ridicule.

Recorded facts about slavery are that over the period of the Atlantic Slave Trade, from approximately 1526 to 1867, about 12.5 million slaves shipped from Africa, only 10.7 million had arrived in the America and the Caribbean. The Atlantic Slave Trade, therefore, was likely to be the most costly in human life of all of the long-distance global migrations.

On February 1, 1865, Abraham Lincoln who was then president of the United States of America, signed a resolution and outlawed slavery, since then National Freedom Day is annually observed on February 1, but years after the abolition, the scars and remnants of slavery are still haunting African-Americans or the Black man today.

They say we should forgive and forget, but certain things can’t be forgotten, because it’s like a picture hanging on the wall. We see it every day.

Why Do Some People Risk It All To Cheat To Be Famous?

Johnson 5Cyclist Lance Armstrong, athlete Ben Johnson and author E.J. Ellory, deceived the world to the top, before their cups were full.

Do you feel restless and uneasy at times, because you want to achieve something but you feel lacking behind? Do you feel scared of failure in whatever you want to achieve in life sometimes, because things are not moving in your favour? Do you feel stagnant without progress in whatever project you are handling? It is part of life since people are passionate about things and as human beings we are likely to feel this way sometimes.

The question is: When engulfed in such times of uncertainty and fear, how do we handle it? People are dying to be famous. In pursuit of fame and success many take certain short routes which put them into shameful situations they have to live with it for the rest of their lives. No easy way to success. Success usually comes through hard work and sacrifice but why do some people prefer to cheat?

Ben Johnson

In 1988, Ben ‘The Bullet’ Johnson recorded one of the fastest times in athletic history in Seoul Olympic Games, after winning 100m gold medal.   The Canadian was stripped of his 100m gold medal after testing positive for drugs. Johnson claimed that herbal drink he consumed before the race caused his downfall, but the Olympic Committee didn’t accept this.

Samples of Johnson’s urine were tested for drugs immediately the third day after the 100m final which he won in a world record time of 9.79 seconds. Olympic officials confirmed that traces of the anabolic steroid, Stanozol, were found in his system. “A tragedy for Johnson and a great sadness for all Canadians,” said Canada’s Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Ben Johnson’s drug scandal was neither the first nor the last. Many athletes failed drug tests, including Marion Jones, who used banned substances.

Lance Armstrong has hundreds of fans worldwide, because great people inspire others. At the peak of his successful career, he placed eleventh in the World Championship Road Race with the best time of any American since 1976. From 1999 to 2005, Lance Armstrong consecutively won seven Tour de France titles, giving hope to other cancer patients as a cancer survivor. After a successful career, the US Anti-Doping Agency stripped him of his seven tour titles he had won and banned him from competing in cycling for life.

According to the Anti-Doping Agency, Lance Armstrong had used banned performance enhancing substances during the years of his career. Armstrong prior has vehemently denied the claims until January 2013, admitted to doping throughout his entire cycling career., leaving his fans miserably disappointed, as he steps down as chairman of the Livestrong cancer-awareness charity he founded. What a sad situation Armstrong and family have to live with entire lives?

E.J. Ellory admitted using fake identities to write about his work on Amazon. He writes glowing reviews for his own books, giving himself five-star ratings and slamming his competitors’ books. Why an author in the caliber of Ellory chose to live like that without any guilty conscience, while simultaneously criticising his rivals? “The earth provides much to satisfy every man’s need but not to satisfy every man’s greed,” great quote from Mahatma Gandhi.

While cheating is fundamental and part of human behavior many will do it. However, wickedness, evil, cheating and every negative activities men apply to enhance careers, would prevail but only for a little while. When the cup is full they shall be exposed.  Whoever thought R J Ellory, one of British leading authors will fake reviews?  The Birmingham based author, whose novels have sold more than a million copies admitted to cheating.

I don’t blame any of these men, for deceive the public. We are in a society many competing against others, so people are desperate to do anything which could take them to the top. We are in a world if one doesn’t come on television or radio; you are seen as nobody. Many feel comfortable with that but others can’t stand it, that’s where the cheating starts.

If people would take some few minutes to think of some wise proverbs and quotes, they would have saved themselves from disgrace. Yes! “God’s time is the best,” wait patiently and work hard for that success. Again, whatever one sows in life, the same he will reap and so whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. Finally, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” – Abraham Lincoln.

When Will African-Americans Learn?

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Pharrell Williams, he does what a Jew won’t do because he doesn’t respect himself.

The problem with many African-Americans is they hate to be referred to as Africans, even though they didn’t miraculously land in America from heaven. Every race has a history. If African-Americans will continue to support Africa and show respect and love for the continent of their ancestors, they will fully enjoy America and be respected like all Americans. Before someone gives you respect, first you need to respect yourself. That’s what many African-Americans lack, the reason from the time of slavery they continue to suffer without end in America.

Both Jews and African-Americans have sad, distasteful, disgraceful and unpleasant historical stories, but the Jews are more respected than African-Americans because they don’t do what African-Americans do. While a Jew proudly wears his skull-cap to identify himself as Jew, African-American wouldn’t like to hear or to be called an African. “I am an American not an African,” he will tell you. It’s very sad indeed. Such statement is taken as ignorance than intelligence.

Let’s face the fact: Can any Jewish singer, perform in a country that has the statue of Adolf Hitler? Even in many countries, holding any material of Adolf Hitler is an offense. You may face fine or end up in prison. Why then should Lionel Richie, Beyonce, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna Chris Brown etc; come to perform in Belgium, a country that has statues of a King, who maimed, tortured and brutally killed over ten million Africans, including children in Congo? Besides, there are so many streets named after him in the country.

Black people have been taken for granted, used, abused, mocked, scorned, hanged and sold into slavery, because of cheap labour and the colour of the skin. Unfortunately, black people are still sleeping without any effort to change the situation and history. All over Belgium’s television, advert of Pharrell Williams coming to perform in Belgium is being shown.

Do African-Americans who perform in Belgium think the Belgians love or care about them? They mustn’t deceive themselves. Belgium doesn’t care about them as human beings, but only use them to make money. If Belgium cares about them, they wouldn’t have built statues and name streets after someone who disgraced, humiliated and killed over ten million of their ancestors, including children in Africa.

How can African-Americans change history and make things better for themselves, when they ignore their own institutionalized or created disgrace and yield to people who don’t care about their welfare but only money?  If black people are still sleeping then I will remind them of the words of the ‘The Father of Black Consciousness’ the great Steve Biko of South Africa.

He writes “Black consciousness seeks to talk to the black man, in a language of his own. It is only by making familiar with the basic set up in the black world, that one will be aware of the urgent need for the reawakening of the sleeping masses.” He stressed, “It urges black people to judge themselves as human beings and not to be fooled by the white society, which has white-washed itself to enjoy privileges at the expense of blacks.”

If all Blacks, including African-Americans, want to be respected, they should let all the numerous statues of King Leopold II in Belgium come down, before ever setting their feet in Belgium to perform. “No one drinks medicine on behalf of a sick person.” We need to fight for ourselves. Those fight long started by Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey, J. F Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln etc; have to be continued.

No black artist, including African-American musicians, should perform in Belgium if they really respect themselves. That’s the only way we can change history to bring respect and comfort for our children in the future. The statues of King Leopold II must come down! How do you expect Belgium to respect the black man when they don’t respect their own people, French speaking ‘Walloon,’ causing a big division between them and the Flemish in such a small country?

Time for the black man to wake up is overdue, we have slept for too long.

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Were Lincoln and Nixon gay? The ‘history’ book that is dividing America

Award-winning author and gay-rights activist Larry Kramer’s new book aims to counter the exclusion of homosexuality from history.

Gay-rights activist and award-winning author Larry Kramer is 79 and in failing health, but that won’t defuse the impact of his latest bombshell project: the first 800-page instalment of a two-part history of America that tells of the secret gay life of figures from Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to Mark Twain, Herman Melville and Richard Nixon.

Larry

The American People: Volume 1, subtitled Search for My Heart, has taken nearly 40 years to complete and may prove to be one of the most provocative historical, or pseudo-historical, accounts of American history.

Kramer, who is co-founder of Aids services group Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (Act Up), as well as a chronicler of queer life with plays including The Normal Heart and The Destiny of Me, said the book is a labour of love designed to counter what he feels to be the exclusion of gays – or gay life – from history books.

Abraham Lincoln, left and Richard Nixon

Abraham Lincoln and Richard Nixon.

“It may look like fiction, but to me, it’s not,” Kramer said last week. “Most histories have been written by straight people. There has never been any history book written where the gay people have been in the history from the beginning.It’s ridiculous to think we haven’t been here for ever.”  http://goo.gl/XYHHxI

The Author

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Controversial writer and activist Larry Kramer (born 1935), is known primarily for his criticism of political figures, media, and medical organizations for their poor response to the AIDS epidemic. Through his writing and speaking he has stirred controversy within the gay community, by chastising those who proclaim a right to promiscuity as irresponsible and ultimately self-defeating. Both supporters and detractors are likely to agree that Kramer is a colorful, forceful and strong-willed voice in American culture.

The son of a Bridgeport attorney, George L. Kramer, and his wife, Rea Wishengrad Kramer, a social worker, Larry entered Yale in 1953 and was plagued by health problems including a persistent cough that soon landed him in the infirmary. Before his first semester ended, Kramer had attempted suicide, perhaps gleaning what his sexual orientation was and being terrified by the prospect. When one of his professors seduced him, a new world opened to the unhappy youth, who then was able to settle into his studies and complete his undergraduate degree at Yale.

Upon graduation, Kramer entered the United States Army for one year, after which he joined a training program with the William Morris Agency, often a step that led talented young people into pursuits in film or theater. This program helped land Kramer at Columbia Pictures in 1958. By 1960, he had become an assistant story editor in New York City for that corporation. He was promoted and transferred to London as a production executive, where he served from 1961 until 1965. In 1965, he became an assistant to the president of the United Artists Film Company.

His career as screenwriter and producer proceeded with his production of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush in 1967 and his celebrated screenplay of D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, a controversial film that received considerable attention and several awards. Kramer’s screenwriting continued until the publication of his novel Faggots in 1978 brought him to the attention of the homosexual community nationally. He then devoted himself to working with the problems of gays and lesbians in contemporary American society.

This concern broadened and deepened in the years following 1981, when AIDS began to cast its long and intimidating shadow over gay enclaves across the nation. With AIDS emerging as a national threat, Kramer was outraged at public and governmental indifference to the illness, which was at that time viewed as a gay disease unworthy…

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Larry%20Kramer&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank