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.

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Great African-Americans Who Were Once In Ghana

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Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay’s) visit to Ghana in 1964: In photo with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, first president of Ghana. 

Among all the West African countries, Ghana, the country formally called Gold Coast, is one of the famous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from being one of the peaceful countries in West Africa, Ghana has been one of the most visited countries in Africa by Africans in the Diaspora.

There is a reason Ghana is attracted to Africans in the Diaspora. Echoes of sad music in the air can be heard from Cape Coast, attracting thousands of tourists including African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to visit Ghana, where their ancestors were packed like sardine into ships for slavery.

Apart from the fact that many Africans in the Diaspora go to Ghana to trace their roots or find their ancestors, Ghana was once under one of Africa’s most powerful and intelligent leaders, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He was the first African statesman to achieve world recognition when he became president of the new Republic of Ghana in 1960, after Ghana attains its independence in 1957.

He campaigned ceaselessly for African solidarity and for the liberation of southern Africa from white settler rule. His greatest achievement was to win the right of black peoples in Africa, to have a vote and to determine their own destiny. Nkrumah’s popularity which was like a bush fire in the dry season, brought him fame and also created a lot of enemies against him.

Many famous African-Americans, including Malcolm X, W.E.B Du Bois, Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou etc. were all in Ghana. In the summer of 1964, Muhammad Ali took a trip to Ghana, a visit the boxer called “a return to the fatherland.” In the VIP room of the Accra Airport, he was greeted by Ghana’s Foreign Minister Kojo Botsio. According to report,  about 10,000 African Americans visit Ghana yearly, and almost 3,000 of them live in the capital, Accra.

On February 24th, 1966, Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup, master-minded by the CIA, after surviving many assassination attempts. He fled to Republic of Guinea to be with his friend Sekou Touré for a number of years and spent his later years in exile in Bucharest, Romania and  died on 27 April 1972.

Exploring Slave Dungeons At Cape Coast Castle

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Tourists exploring a slave dungeon at the Cape Coast castle

The mere mention of slavery brings bad memories, as it harboured unimaginable evil act, as thousands of Africans were captured under inhuman circumstances into overcrowded dungeons and transported across the Atlantic to the New World. Even though slavery is long abolished, the African still bears the psychological scars, as he fights to regain his lost identity and respect among mankind on the surface of the earth today.

The slave trade in Ghana mainly took place at coastal towns, but I wish to write about Cape Coast, my country of birth, which was the center of the British slave trade for almost 150 years. Cape Coast is located in the central region of Ghana. It was the capital of Gold Coast between 1700 until 1877 when the capital was shifted to Accra. Ghana replaced Gold Coast when the country achieved its independence in 1957.

Echoes of sad music in the air can be heard from Cape Coast, attracting thousands of tourists including African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to visit the place, where their ancestors were packed like a sardine into ships for slavery. There is a proverb in Ghana which says “Man doesn’t cry.” I’m beginning to question this proverb if it has any elements of truth because any African in the Diaspora who visits Cape Coast castle can’t hold back his tears.

The psychological effect and emotions over Cape Coast Castle, which still has the remnants of the  slave trade, are unbearable. President Obama, wife, Michelle and children can’t forget the experience of touring the preserved sites. One can’t escape the cold waves which go through the spine. Even though many Africans in the Diaspora haven’t been to Ghana to trace their roots or visit Cape Coast, others had. The Pan African Historical Festival, simply called PANAFEST is a cultural event which has brought thousands of African-Americans to visit Cape Coast.

Visiting Cape Coast Castle to understand the pain and suffering endured by the millions of slaves is an important step for African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to be closer to Africa. It is sad to note that many hate to be referred to as Africans, even though history about their origin isn’t a fabricated story. It seems that’s the way to help forget this bitter experience, but there is nothing satisfying than visiting the continent of your origin to discover the reality aspects of a sad journey.

Forts and castles built by Europeans between 1482 and 1786, serving as slave depots are still visible in Ghana. Apart from the Cape Coast Castle, are also Elmina and Christiansburg Castles.  Ghana invites you. Be part of other tourists to visit Cape Coast, to see the male dungeon, female dungeon, remnants and the reality of cruelty of slavery, committed by White Slave Masters.

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Tom Jones: Why Is He Getting DNA Test If He Has Black Ancestors?

Tom Jones is recovering in hospital after he fell ill and was forced to pull out of a concert in Monaco

Tom Jones has revealed that he wants to get his DNA tested to find out if he has any black ancestors, with the music legend admitting that he has “always wondered” if he is mixed race. The 75-year-old is keen to get the test done in the near future so that he can gain a better understanding of his heritage.

Speaking to Times magazine, the star explained: “A lot of people still think I’m black. When I first came to America, people who had heard me sing on the radio would be surprised that I was white when they saw me.  “Because of my hair, a lot of black people still tell me that I’m just passing as white.”

When Tom’s mother, Freda, who is of Welsh and English descent, gave birth to him doctors reportedly asked her if she had any “black blood” after she developed dark patches of skin following her labour.

Tom clarified: “When I was born, my mother came out in big dark patches all over her body.
“They [the doctors and midwives] asked if she had any black blood and she said she didn’t know. I’m going to get my DNA tested.

“I want to find out.”
Well, if the producers of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ are listening, we think we may just have nabbed their first star of the next series…

Article originally published in Yahoo News: https://uk.celebrity.yahoo.com/post/132396368359/tom-jones-is-getting-his-dna-tested-to-see-if-he

Morgan Heritage: A Family Of Talented Musicians

 

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The Jamaican Family Reggae Group Called Morgan Heritage

For some years now Morgan Heritage group has enjoyed considerable success with a string of quality albums. Their albums “Don’t Haffi Dread”, “Three in one” and “More Teachings” are masterpieces of contemporary reggae music.

Talent sometimes could be inherited and the man in charge of their success seems to be their father, Denroy Morgan. Way back in the sixties, Denroy emigrated to the US from Jamaica, where he raised his children.

Morgan Heritage, usually called “The royal family of reggae” have captured the hearts of their audience by utilizing live instruments such as guitars, horns and hand drums. Their music and impeccable harmonies add up to a truly uplifting spirits, where ever they play.

There is poverty, discrimination and criminality everywhere and this is where Morgan Heritage comes in because their message of peace, love and understanding is a key to solutions for a better world.

Last month, October 3, the siblings stormed Kenya for second time to entertain reggae fans at the Nyaho National Stadium. It’s great for the group to visit Africa, because many Jamaican musicians sing Africa, but only few have visited the continent of their ancestors.

“We are ready to come to any country in Africa we love you all and can’t wait to be in your country Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia, Ethiopia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Sierra Leone, Liberia. We are so ready but you must call your local radio stations or government and local promoters in your country and the Morgan family will be there ready,” read the Facebook post,” writes Gramps Morgan.

Listen to Morgan Heritage plays ‘More Teachings’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAwfD97vvI0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5wpbNdLVjs

Health: How Africans Survived On Traditional Medicine Long Before The White Man’s Medicine

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The magic tree called Neem

In 1832, the Scottish merchant McGregor Laird led an expedition to the Niger Valley and out of 48 people that accompanied on the expedition, 37 lost their lives. These experiences led to the belief that Europeans could not survive in coastal West Africa, which came to be known as ‘The White Man’s Grave.’ Because Europeans noticed that Africans survived much better in the region from these fevers. Despite malaria killing many Africans as well, they acquired resistance to malaria in their childhood, baffling European physicians.

The loss of 37 expeditioners not only revealed that Europeans can’t settle in Africa that time but also demanded how Africans had been able to survive on that harsh continent of deadly malaria? From generation to generation, ancestors pass on their expertise in herbal medicine preparations to families. One of Africa’s powerful concoctions against malaria is prepared from leaves of a neem tree.

The neem tree, biological name (Azadirachta indica) is a unique tree, and the leaves are the most complex leaves on the planet. The neem tree has over 130 different biologically an active compound. The trees grow in tropical and semi-tropical regions.

About the Neem Tree:

Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a tree in the mahogany family. Native to India and throughout Southeast Asia, neem trees grows in tropical and semi-tropical regions. The neem tree grows quickly and can reach heights over 100 ft tall. With its surprising variety of uses and benefits, the neem tree is known as the ‘cure of sickness’ in West Africa, because of its extreme bitterness.

The main components of neem leaves include protein (7.1%), carbohydrates (22.9%), minerals, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and carotene. But the leaves also contain glutamic acid, tyrosine, aspartic acid, alanine, praline, glutamine and cystine-like amino acids, and several fatty acids. Without toothpaste or brush, a piece of chewed neem tree gives a clean teeth brush and fresh mouth each morning. Another life-saving tree is the Kuntan tree (Uapacca Guiniensis.) The cover of the tree was used to treat fractured bones.

Enjoying corn porridge without sugar

Asaba

The miracle berry or fruit , known as Asaba in the central region of Ghana, serves sugar because it contains a protein called miraculin that tastes sweet enough to replicate the effect of sugar.

There was no sugar, yet our ancestors enjoyed herbal tea and corn meal porridge. A plant which bears small reddish fruit, called miracle fruit, serves as a substitute for sugar. The fruit contains a protein called miraculin that tastes sweet enough to replicate the effect of sugar. After eating berry fruit, everything sour, such as lemon or vinegar tastes sweet in the mouth.

Africa is endowed with many plants that can be used for medicinal. Some of the herbs heal high blood pressure, skin diseases, sore throat, arthritis, digestive problems etc. Many of the drugs consumed throughout the world for health purposes, were manufactured from herbs taken from Africa and Asia because those herbs grow in tropical countries. For example, African ginger is a very powerful medicine.

Many around the world wonder how Africans live, especially those in the villages without electricity. Frankly speaking, there is everything available to make life easy for them just like those living in modern cities. Before health centers were built our ancestors deliver babies at home successfully and the child’s umbilical cord was treated with herbal medicine.

Food Preservation in Africa

Have you ever wonder how Africans preserved food without electricity? If there is no electricity, there wouldn’t be any fridge or storage facilities but food is best preserved in such a way that it doesn’t get rotten. With smoldering wood, generating intensive heat, which adds a layer of desiccation to preserving qualities, fish, meat and other sea foods are smoked. The heat of the fire dehydrates all the liquid from the fish or meat and makes it last longer without rotten.

Salt and the sun also play a major role in traditional food preservation in Africa. For example, fish are well preserved with salt and Cocoa beans are spread in the sun to dry for many days, before they are exported or used to manufacture cocoa products, such as chocolates, drinks, beverages and body lotions consumed locally.

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Fish smoking is one of the oldest traditional ways of food preservation in Ghana.

The Palm Tree: The Subsistence Of Life In Africa

Below is a link to another article revealing the traditional life in Africa.

https://joelsavage1.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/the-palm-tree-the-subsistence-of-life-in-africa/

FEMALE CIRCUMCISION: Barbarism And Cruelty Against Young Girls

 

Female circumcision should be abolished

Female circumcision or female genital mutilation involves the cutting of the clitoris of young girls before getting married. This savage and barbarous acts are dominant in Islamic countries.

Female circumcision or female genital mutilation involves the cutting of the clitoris of young girls before getting married. This savage and barbarous acts are dominant in Islamic countries.

The Bible speaks about circumcision, but only for a male child. “And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.” Genesis 21:4 indicates that. To this day, many Christians around the world circumcised male children, but there is nowhere written in the Bible that female should be circumcised.

The question is ‘Where does female circumcision come from and what’s the significance behind this practice which has caused a health hazard to thousands of girls in countries mostly practiced? Every religion has its dos and doesn’t or built on certain principles but at times some principles or traditions followed by ancestors are meaningless. Female circumcision is one of them.

The idea behind this barbarous act is to “help” the woman to be faithful and stay with only her husband. It’s forbidden for a woman to marry two men or sleep with another man if married. That is the case, but nothing wrong for a man to marry ten women? This is greed than law or principle governing a religion.

Oppression and discrimination against women continue in many parts of the world, including Africa and Asia. Many women have become subject to all kinds of horrible situations, ranging from rape, sexual harassment, physical battering, acid attacks to psychological abuse. Unfortunately, female circumcision is now a threat. Non-sterilized dangerous implements are used daily to mutilate the genitals of women without ceasing, despite all the efforts by some organizations to stop this cruelty.

Scientifically and biologically, the isn’t any medical record indicating that male circumcision poses a health hazard, but hundreds medical reports confirming that female circumcision is a health hazard. This act has no significant health benefits for girls or women, instead, causes severe bleeding and injury to female genital organs. Many women, who have had severe complications after circumcision, end up in wheelchairs, crippled or barren. This cruelty also steals away their feeling and orgasm.

It is estimated that about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with disastrous effects of female circumcision. Horrific procedures have severely traumatized and psychologically affected thousands of women. Female circumcision is practiced in 26 countries across Africa. In the Republic of Sierra Leone, an ethnic group called “The Bondo Society” still carries this outdated tradition. Gambia launched a three-year program aimed to abolish Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The project captioned “Eradication harmful traditional practices through rights education” started from to 2010 to 2012. It will be very wise on health grounds when other countries practicing this inhuman act follow. FMG is a crime. The World Health Organization is against it. The world should, therefore, fight against this wicked act. It’s totally inhuman. Cases of female circumcision should be considered as a crime against women.

 

Female circumcision is a crime

A victim of the female circumcision who wants to prevent others from suffering