Once Born Black, You Have An Extra Mountain To Climb

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There is no easy walk to freedom, the great Mandela could tell you the truth. He knew the rough road ahead of him was tough as a black man. He was denied his family, friends, wife, books and after 27 years in a notorious prison, he became the head of state of the country he fought for all his life.

African-Americans didn’t call for slavery. They were stolen from Africa, dragged in chains and loaded onto slave ships, under terrific sub-human conditions. Traded and profited, they worked from morning till evening on plantations and used to build America with sweat, blood and tears.

It’s unfortunate that after all these years, relationship between African-Americans and White Americans in many states in America is very poor. If there is any blame, it should be on the greedy and merciless slave masters but not the blacks in America.

Slavery is abolished, Apartheid bowed to democracy in South Africa, but racism still exists. Why? That can’t be. The world needs peace, love and the only way to achieve this is to love your brother as thy self and to let the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. stay alive.

Burning Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was one of the most influential novels of its time. However, reading the classic today brings to light stereotypes and plot issues. But rather than write off this classic, author Carl Waters re-imagines and remixes the story into a four-book series that builds from the world and characters Stowe created and expands on the good she intended.

In Burning Uncle Tom’s Cabin, young slave George Harris is a self-taught inventor whose owner despises him. His wife Eliza, however, belongs to another slave owner, along with their three-year-old son Harry.

While George dreams of the day when he can escape to Canada and work to earn enough money so he can buy his family’s freedom, Eliza tries to see the best in her situation. But when her owner falls into financial troubles and plans to offer up Harry as payment against his debt, Eliza runs north with her son.

Suddenly, George must forget his careful planning and immediately go after his family if he has any hope of finding them before the slave hunters capture them. Can the runaway slave, George, find his family and save them? Can he navigate the Underground Railroad and get to Canada? Can he finally gain his freedom?

An innovative retelling that offers fresh insight into America’s past, Burning Uncle Tom’s Cabin is sure to spark as much conversation as the original classic itself. Stowe created the first slavery fiction world and Waters plans to make that world bigger. Most slavery books aim to teach the reader about the dark days of American slavery. Instead, the Burning Uncle Tom’s Cabin series will show the reader what could have happened.

The Author

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Carl Waters, born and raised in Miami, Florida, grew up reading comic books and dreamed of being a new kind of superhero. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
Waters never forgot his childhood dreams, which over the years transformed into a desire to create new heroes, particularly African-American male heroes, through writing. His debut offering is Burning Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the first book in a four-part series that re-imagines Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic novel, featuring strong characters who break out of the old stereotypes.

http://www.amazon.com/Carl-Waters/e/B00L05RJ76/

A Crab Doesn’t Beget A Bird: Intriguing African Proverb

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A crab and a bird: photo credit: Alan Murphy

Proverbs are full of wisdom. It’s part of the lives of Africans, as they are used daily. Proverbs educate, warns, and reminds everyone in whatever we do. There are thousands of proverbs in Africa. For example, these are few Ghanaian proverbs.

  • A calf that is sucking does not bellow.
  • 2. A child does not laugh at the ugliness of his mother.
  • 3. A child who is to be successful is not reared exclusively on a bed of down.
  • 4. A crab does not beget a bird.
  • 5. A cracked bell can never sound well.
  • 6. A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to a generous farmer.
  • 7. A knife does not know who is its master.
  • 8. A powerful deity is the one to whom sacrifices are offered.
  • 9. A slave does not choose his master.
  • 10. A stranger dances – he does not sing.

But I like the proverb ” A Crab doesn’t beget a bird.” This proverb is somehow translated or means “Like father like son, or like mother like daughter.”Children look at what their parents do. If a father loves and plays with a gun, he could follow his passion to commit murder.

Along the line, it happens that his son has also inherits the passion of his father, and becomes a gun lover, leading him to commit murder like his father. That’s where the proverb ‘A crab doesn’t beget a bird’ comes in. Yes! Just like the father, he has also committed murder.

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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