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Grillz, for those who don't know, are cosmetic dental devices that fit over

the teeth, like caps or a continuous frontal bridge. High-end grillz made

of platinum and other precious metals, often inlaid with diamonds and created

from an individual mold of the wearer's teeth are worn by rappers, entertainers

and wannabes with excessive amounts of money to spend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Andy Young                                                                                                                       Richard Simmons



Motherland Grillz Venture

Andy Young, Obasanjo Kin, &  Russell Simmons Announce

Joint Venture to Bring Economic Development and Hip-Hop Culture to Africa

By W. E. B. Blingen 


"At Good Works International we specialize in brokering free market, win-win solutions that empower people and communities in the developing world. Motherland Grillz is truly a pathbreaking initiative, and we are proud to be associated with it," announced international business consultant, ex-ambassador and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young.

"The age-old cycle of foreign capital extracting African resources, shipping them overseas for processing and selling finished products back to Africans is about to be broken. That is the real significance of the Motherland Grillz project, chimed in Dr. Oleoseun Obasanjo, a principal partner in the venture and reportedly a relative of the president of Nigeria.

"Our market research shows there is an insatiable demand on the part of African youth to be part of hip-hop culture," according to entertainment mogul Richard Simmons. "Motherland Grillz is important because will fill that void. African youth want the same things white and black youth in America want. They know no self-respecting rapper would step on a stage here without his grill."

With these remarks last week, Young, Obasanjo and Russell Simmons kicked off a slickly produced transatlantic internet press conference announcing Motherland Grillz from their respective offices in Atlanta, Abuja, Nigeria and Manhattan.

Reporters who questioned the project's value as an economic development measure were answered by Atlanta's Andrew Young.

"The way out of desperation and dependence for Africa lies in mobilizing African capital to invest in African businesses that serve the African consumer market," continued Young. "It's not as though there are no Africans with money to invest. As one of the world's largest oil producers, Nigeria has investment capital to burn. Our part at Good Works International was reaching out to some of those stakeholders, and helping them partner with hip-hop visionary and entrepreneur Russell Simmons, and challenging them to invest locally instead of taking their money overseas. ‘Motherland Grillz’ is just the first fruit of that partnership, and I expect we'll see more very soon."

Grillz, for those who don't know, are cosmetic dental devices that fit over the teeth, like caps or a continuous frontal bridge. High-end grillz made of platinum and other precious metals, often inlaid with diamonds and created from an individual mold of the wearer's teeth are worn by rappers, entertainers and wannabes with excessive amounts of money to spend. Less pricey versions are made from inexpensive materials, and may be mass produced rather than individualized.

Obasanjo addressed one reporter's question about quality. "As a materials engineer I can assure you that all our Motherland Grillz are made from the finest African platinum, diamonds, silver and gold, mined and refined in African-owned facilities outside the conflict zones, in workplaces where employees are entitled to trade union representation. They will be custom fitted by qualified technicians and sold at the finest locally owned jewelers at select locations, initially in seven African nations and eventually throughout the continent."

Other reporters queried Simmons on his connections to DeBeers and other diamond mining interests, who paid for a nine day "fact finding" mission to several African companies late in 2006, and returned to the US to encourage Americans not to worry, but to buy more diamonds. This happened at a time of mounting concerns over the connections between diamond mining and smuggling, the exploitation of children as soldiers and near-slaves. The trade in "conflict diamonds" as they are called is said to have been vital to the continuation of murderous civil wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and play a part in the continuing Congolese war, which has claimed more than five million Africans lives. Simmons stoutly defended his own businesses ethics.

"We're entrepreneurs, making a legitimate profit by giving consumers what they want. Freedom is about them being able to express these needs, and us being able to satisfy them. Africans want this stuff, same as our people in America do. It's the American way, using hip-hop culture to serve as a bridge between our people in America and our people in the Motherland, a movement we are proud to be at the forefront of. Believe it and look for it, mister. Motherland Grillz and accessories will be part of our all new Mutha Phat and Afro Phat lines of clothing and accessories which will be previewed in numerous music videos on both sides of the Atlantic, and which will be available to the public in fine jewelry outlets and clothiers in Africa by the end of February, and in the states by midsummer."

When this reporter inquired whether pimp cups, spinners and canes will be included in the catalogs of the new product line, the connection went dead. Our efforts to reach the offices of Mr. Obasanjo in Nigeria, Andrew Young in Atlanta, and Russell Simmons in Manhattan have so far been unsuccessful, but we will keep trying.

Bruce Dixon, BAR Managing Editor. insists that he does not know the meaning of the word satire, and that he is not W. E. B. Blingen, even though they sound the same on the phone and appear to have the same cell number. Nonetheless, Mr. Dixon has graciously agreed to forward emails regarding this article sent to him at

Source: Black Agenda Report

posted 24 January 2007 

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

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#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


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#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
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#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today.   The Economy

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Debt: The First 5,000 Years

By David Graeber

Before there was money, there was debt. Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.  Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 4 May 2012




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