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We all know how far Nigerian men would have all gotten in life if not for

the devilish ways that our women have tempted us and diverted our attention

away from pursuing more important matters aided by their bottom power 

Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde

 

 

Women We Hate

By Uche Nworah

 

I am not sure that Folasayo  quite realises the trouble she wants to start in people’s homes, else she wouldn’t have written the Gettysburg war declaration that she did a while ago.  http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/content/view/2653/55/

Now I can imagine hordes of Nigerian women getting ready to hang her ‘speech’ in golden frames as reference points during future family feuds. Brothers, better get ready. If you need lessons in kung-fu and kick boxing to enable you to bring down the hung frames from their weak pedestals, just let me know. I’m sure I can easily link you up with the nearest expert in your area. We must be ready to claim or rather re-claim our turf. If they want to play rough, sure we will meet them at the turf. Let’s see who will back down first.

The last time we experienced such ‘effrontery’ was in the days of May Ellen-Ezekiel (MEE) when she used her MEE column in Quality and later Classique magazine to propagate women liberation and feminist ideals. As if on cue, Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD), her husband at the time wrote a counter column in his Mister Magazine aptly titled women we hate, a parody of sorts of his wife and her ilk whom their professional success seemed to be getting into their heads.  

MEE’s unfortunate death carried with it and swept aside her women revolution and the men ruled again. We were also helped by the fact that Amma Ogan (the editor of the Guardian on Sunday) at the time had in pursuit of love, and also in the spirit of time - honoured tradition followed her husband (Dele Olojede) and migrated to America, Folake Doherty, another MEE disciple, MEE-ist and foot soldier succumbed to the charms of a Nobel prize and was harvested by the Kongi (Wole Soyinka), she rightfully claimed her place in his kitchen and there was peace in the land.

Helen Obviagele, the weather-beaten agony aunt of the Vanguard newspaper, just couldn’t fight the battles alone. The other women at this time who ventured but were obviously relegated to their places included Julia Oku (creative director and co-founder of SO & U), The NTA big girls notably Jennifer Madike who succumbed to Abubakar Atiku's 'charms', Ruth Benamaisa-Opia who married the fugitive billionaire Prof. Eric Opia.

Grace Alele-Williams (ex - Vice Chancellor of Uniben) and 'double chief' Mrs. Kuforiji Olubi (former UBA chairman) stood miles apart, obviously because they were from a different generation and still cherished their womanly roles and values. They sure didn't want those female chauvinists to stop by their different homes on the way to their protest rally knowing what Oga would say.  

See who is complaining of oppression and marginalization, if anything it is Nigerian men that should indeed be considering a class action suit against women at the United Nations Court of Human Rights, for all the decades of ‘abuse’, manipulation and emotional blackmail; they are the ones that have been marginalizing us. All these who talk about oppression don’t hold water with me.

We all know how far Nigerian men would have all gotten in life if not for the devilish ways that our women have tempted us and diverted our attention away from pursuing more important matters aided by their bottom power. How many meetings have we cancelled, how many football games have we missed, how many girls’ telephone numbers have we passed, how many boys night out have we given up to please them? I don’t even want to recount all the investments we have sunk in their bottomless well, more than enough to complete a 5 storey building in the village. 

You guys have played us enough; you pick and choose when to fly either your weaker sex or equality argument, when in reality you have always been operating in the shadows, shaping and manipulating men, and by so doing the course of history. No thanks to you, Man almost lost his destiny through your serpentine relationships, and you claim that we don’t consult you when taking decisions nor listen to your counsel, the few occasions in history when we did, see where that left us.

Which man has not fallen under your wicked charms and spell? Name them: Samson had Delilah on his heels, Hitler had Eva Braun, Solomon had Bathsheba, closer home Jennifer Madike became Fidelis Oyakhilome’s archiles heel, what of Oga Sani Abacha? The dark goggled one allegedly met his doom on top of a Russian prostitute.

How sly can women be? With their pretences and stories, oh! I need to fix my hair, oh! I need to recharge my phone, oh! this, oh! that. How come they don’t throw in the equality argument at such occasions? And to think that we used to forgo our lunch or dinner back in the university to please them, opting rather to go for the innovative 0-1-0 feeding formula, and see what we are getting back from them, what nonsense. They should start getting ready to pay us back our money if they want peace.

So you see why we are the ones that should be attempting to free ourselves from your paws and claws, you are indeed living up to your woman calling, which have been variously interpreted to also mean ‘to woo man’ or woe unto man forever’.   

And should all the dowry and stuffs we spent to marry them be in vain, so on that day when they were jiggling their waist to traditional music, accented by the jigida tied around their waist and rejoicing at their new status and change of name, why didn’t they throw in the equality argument before the elders, let them do that and then we shall see how the marriage expenses will be worked out, equally then.

I am chivalrous and would gladly champion women causes but still I am one to know as a traditional Igbo man, (a titled one at that) that men and women have their traditional roles. I have accepted with gladness my own role, based on my understanding of it, as handed down by my tradition, forefathers and religion. I will continue to work hard to provide for my family. The same way I expect my wife to also fulfill her ordained roles. This argument is beyond who cooks food for the family, that I think is trivializing it, rather I think it is about the wider issue of attitude and motives which both the man and woman bring into the relationship.

Any rebellious and selfish up-front gung-ho attitude smacking of suspicion and mistrust from day one is obviously brewing a recipe for disaster. Any day a woman’s salary, professional or social standing starts getting in the way of her other commitments to her family and at home, such that the man now suddenly seems so little, and becomes simply Mr X, and the honey/darling prefix/suffix flies out of the window, that day the woman should as well call her mother in the village and ask her to make place for her in her husband’s (the girl’s father’s) house because she is coming home that day. 

To all the sisters feeling empowered by Folasayo’s article, not so fast. Remember that you are still women and not men, unless you are all contemplating sex change operations. Sure you can buy sperms, toy boys, sex toys and all that, but you still need a man to ruffle those hairs that you have spent hours and a fortune fixing at the salon, paid for by the brother usually.

This new war of the sexes obviously is on. The men, where are you?

Uche Nworah is freelance writer, lecturer and brand strategist. He studied communications arts at the University of Uyo, Nigeria and graduated with a second class honours degree (upper division). He also holds an M.Sc degree in marketing from the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus and obtained his PGCE (post-graduate certificate in education) from the University of Greenwich where he is currently enrolled as a doctoral candidate. His articles have been published by several websites and leading Nigerian newspapers. He received the ChickenBones Journalist of the Year award in 2006. Uche can be contacted through www.uchenworah.com and info@uchenworah.com.

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Responses

Obviously, the letter is offensive. Its veiled threats of violence against women make it more so. And it is complicated by the fact the writer is no longer a Nigerian living a 'traditional' life, instead he has left Nigeria for the UK. Obviously he will have to make adaptations to the adopted country of his choosing. If he cannot, he will end up the worse for it. (I cannot really comment on the content of the letter as it relates to traditional African practices as I am not familiar with same).

And of course someone should clean up the writing.

However, whether to post it is another question entirely. Unpopular stuff can breed controversy, and controversy is always good for business, and web business depends on page views, advertising, and donations, etc. Right? Leaving that aside, there's always the 'sunshine' rule, whereby odious and unpopular ideas are brought out to the light of day so they may be discussed and aired out and disinfected, as it were.
Denton

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This sounds like hate mail to me. If posted, I think it should be labeled as such.Daniel Minter

 

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This “article”, with hate in the title…hmmm…ok…. Before you print, consider these points:

1.    On the list of women who betrayed men, he placed: “Hitler had Eva Braun” That is just crazy talk.
2.    Second there are several other articles of more substantive value on the blog his article had links to.
3.    IF you were to print this, I might recommend putting a counterpoint article, or more aptly, place it in the context of other articles on African women leaders. I would really like to see a Nigerian brave enough to break down to us all the strange relationship between so-called traditions, money and power in that society as represented in that article.—
Andrea R. Roberts, University of Pennsylvania, MGA Candidate

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Rudy,

I just read the piece you sent and honestly do not think ChickenBones should provide a space for what is clearly a domestic battle between Nigerian Women andMen.  The battle is clearly down and dirty at this point and as a woman (specifically African American) I find the misogynistic posture of the entire piece offensive.  The writer should be told to seek another venue for his diatribe.Alice Deck, Associate Prof. English Dept. U of Illinois

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Dear Rudy: Post it.

One thing I treasure about ChickenBones is the variety of stances within its pages, whether I agree with the stances or not. I especially appreciate that these different perceptions are from, predominately, people of color. I am always entertained and horrified at the same time when I read black relationship articles, however. Where in the world do these people come from, is usually my first question. I thought that this article was clearly written by a boy, not a mature man.

However, I think you should post it. A grown black manhowever ill-informed and bargain-basement educated as I think this man is -- has taken the time to talk, something black men do not do easily. We need to hear these things, just like we needed to have read and argue about and analyze THE COLOR PURPLEand to see the beauty in that novel and experience the human development of the characters -- and we need to read such letters and articles as these you hold in question, from obviously irate black African men, about their feelings on the sisterhood, black womanhood, how the black nation will progress, domestically, from where we are. How else are we going to know what black people think ? At my high school I was not privy to such discussions and opinions because I was surrounded by white literature (Melville and
Dickinson), conservative white daily newspapers (The StarLedger that we now call The StarLiar) and black newspapers (NJ Afro) that published bucket-of-blood headline stories, and did not analyze any situations.

I, for one, want to know what black folk think. Even if you have to add a disclaimer to the article. I direct my students to ChickenBones and the kinds of articles that you currently hold in question because I feel deeply the power of self-education. Self-education is an African American tradition that I hope to keep alive.

I read conservative periodicals such as Ebony and Positive Community Magazine and will continue to do so. But ChickenBones is also among my reading material. All are equally important to me, and my personal development.

Because I am a ChickenBones supporter, I know that my students will read opinions in this journal that they will not read in their conservative campus newspapers or white daily home newspapers. Therefore, I recommend you post the article.

The prolific Langston Hughes said that we were beautiful and ugly too, as this article denotes. So be it. If readers disagree to what this man says, they can send in their petitions. But, to put a muzzle on his mouth/pen -- especially when he is speaking of something so critical as how black men and women relate to each other and how they actually un-love one another -- would be more criminal than the excruciating pain I felt as I read his words on the page.Sandra L. West
New Jersey

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Hey, Rudy, the article is absolutely the product of male chauvinism, but it is so well written and is funny as hell, so, sure, go ahead and post it—along with the reference to her article.  I'm wondering, though, why he didn't post it on The African Village in direct rebuttal to her article.  I read hers (and his) very quickly.  Hers, too, is well written and right on target;  she takes to task women as well as men who buy into that traditional nonsense.  I'd like to take her on on a couple of her statements, but what I'd really like is to duke it out with the guy . . . except I don't have time.  Too bad.Miriam

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Hi Rudolph,

Simply put, this sounds like some 'hateration' to me, as well, but I don't think my opinion here should silence useful or critical discussion.  I guess my first question, Rudolph, is what is your editorial mission for ChickenBones: A Journal, and why do you post some material vs. others? What would you hope to create in the world by posting this side of a discussion you admittedly know very little about?  I wouldn't feel comfortable doing so, unless I had an informed perspective on both sides, and included both sides or (multiple sides) of the discussion for my readers. Providing a coherent socio-political context seems key, otherwise, you could be stepping on a minefield and not know why things blew out of proportion..  Have you researched the women this writer discusses in his article? Just some initial thoughtsSRT

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If Nigeria is like many other countries where a dowry is required, the dowry is the only thing she will get from her husband besides the humiliation of having a second wife brought into the house.Linda

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Did this fellow not read Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde's statement that precedes her observations? What can we say, except"If the shoe fits,..."? It's only those whose feet comfortably slip into the shoe who complain.Mackie

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Rudy - First of all, I admire your journal, and hope to submit some essays and other items.  Secondly, I am a scholar in African traditional systems, particularly ancient Egypt & the Yoruba system Ifa, which I have practiced for several years.  Please note that I have not read [0nly scanned] the article you posted below, though I have read the responses.  I say this for a reason, because the more of your responses I read, the more I realized this was not so much about what the author wrote, but how he wrote it, and you seem to be grappling with the principle of fairness-in-presentation as much as fairness to women.  Some people on this list have known me on the AFAM list for years, and I have been proud to be considered by some progressive women I have know as a feminist/womanistit is one of the highest compliments I have ever received.  I feel these points are a necessary precursor to my following comments.

First of all, I agree with, Ms. Deck, in that I believe, this is a in-country, intra-ethnic argument, but, perhaps more telling is it is NOT an American/Western argument.  Let me be clear:  the abuse of women in Africa
from subincision/circumcision to the twisting of laws and traditions to serve neocolonial/patrifocal needsis heinous and legion, but this is true worldwide...it is only a question of degree.  The misogyny of the premise is self-evident in the article below.

We are at a fairly unique historical juncture.  In ham-handed profit-driven arrogant blindness, the West seems in a rush to FORCE the rest of the planet to accept its principles, its moral systems, its sense of justice as the ONLY righteous path, no matter the rampant inequities in their applications on their home soil, in dealings with their own people, their women and poor in particular.

Like the healing of a medical patient, much must be understood about the specific components of their existing systems
to what extent are they out of alignment &/or compromisedby their own standards;  to what extent do these issues arise from outside meddling &/or virulent self-consumption.  Treat a vegetarian for some ailments as though she were a meat eater, and you exacerbate the problem.  The analogy applies here.  In many African countries, there is a system, a network of women who promote female circumcision as the perpetuation of a revenue & power base -- the abuse of their own gender for greed and twisted traditions...even if you examine the reasoning.

If your goal is an open conversation, then at least two things are true:  1.  you will need to present more than just the obvious two sides, but provide some of the essential back story & infrastructure which support these practices -- an examination of the historical precedence & shifts which led to present circumstances, particularly the salient issues of culpability;  2.  There is no way to avoid controversy, even hurt feelings, but there should be some basic ground rules of simply human decency & dignity which must be upheld at all costs, or, those who most need to be heard will be squashed.  An appropriate African proverb here:  "When elephants fight, it is the grass which suffers."

As editor, given your queries, it may behoove you to research some of the aforementioned aspects of this issue.  Of interest, you may find female sources who support the present system, and male sources who feel it is vilely oppressive can provide insights from their vantage points which are highly instructive, and seldom heard or seen.

The West is shocked when accused of high cultural arrogance in presuming they have the right to judge another and tell a sovereign people what they should do & how they should live an ethical life in their own country.  If, along with recognizing these last points, folks can sustain a detachment -- which we find so much easier with other cultures, like China/Japan/Korea -- they may, finally, achieve some true insight into the internal dynamic of these other cultures.  Some have existed for thousands of years.

When you lunge to suggest certain rights are inalienable, think of how the vegetarian Hindu nearby feels when they see you eat a steak.  Would we be willing to accept someone else's dictate of what THEY felt was an 'enlightened' life when it so clearly collides with our own sense of correctness?  This is not a simple or easy thing.  Oppression is wrong wherever it occurs.  Yet, how can we so vociferously protest these issues in other nations when we cannot clean up our own?  What better message of support could there be than effecting such change here?  Look at what the Black Power movement did around the globe.  If we cannot fix us, how can we hope to heal anyone else?  It's substance abuse counseling offered by practicing drug addicts.  Makes sense in a Bushite sort of way. I hope this is helpful...in peace & respect
Jamal Ali

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Rudy, Well, I think the essay does reflect a "male chauvinist" stance, and I am not sure if it would be a "good fit" for ChickenBones.  To me, the tone of the essay is rather retro in its politics and, as other people on the list have commented, it is offensive--at least from my Black American male viewpoint.

One of the things that I admire and like about ChickenBones is its progressive and, sorry for the lack of a better word so early in the morning, almost grassroots sensibility.  I don't think that Nworah's piece is reflective of that.PEACE, Andre

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"If you miss Governor Wallace, and you can't find him nowhere, Just come on over to the crazy house, he'll be resting over there, Hallalujah! Now, if you miss Jim Clark, and you can't find him nowhere, Just come on over to the graveyard, he'll be laying over there. Hallalujah!"

"IF YOU MISS ME FROM THE BACK OF THE BUS" Sung by Betty Mae Fikes and the Selma Youth Freedom Choir Recorded in Selma, Alabama 1963

What is this? I didn't even continue to read this article because it sounds like some one's self
victimization trying to justify himself for doing so. Just creates another wall around himself and others. At times like these we need to focus on what we can do to grow stronger and how to work together to benefit our future generations, especially in Africa. Let us not forget Rawanda. Speech like that is outdated and reminds me of the Willy Lynch recipe for how white slaveowners could maintain their slave population. 

We have just lost a very wonderful female writer, Octavia Butler" and I feel that the mere fact that we are discussing this ?article? is an injustice to her honor. Let's refocus our attention into something more fruitful and positive.
Angelique

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Rahim-Peace!

I have just read Uche's article. I am appalled. Are African women really our enemies? The BBC reported that 10 thousand Black women were raped by militia's in the Congo. It is reports like these that make me wonder if Africa will ever amount to anything in the world. Uche would have been better served to garner support for these women than to write such a foolishly conceived article.


But as you know, I have been critical of much that is going on in Africa for awhile. This does not mean that I am totally unsympathetic to the plight of the poor of Africa. On the contrary, there suffering is made all the more real to me when I am confronted by the statistics of 10 thousand women raped!!! Or when, I know that Nigeria has given refuge to a war criminal. Now there is a subject I like to see Uche tackle.

All of this homophobia and sexism is beyond my comprehension. While globalization is attempting to grind the poor of the world beneath its heels, are these issues the most pressing?amin sharif

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Rudy, the essay by Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde is actually very well-written, very intelligently and compassionately argued.  It is also fair and balanced.  All of the issues about which she is concerned are actually treated exhaustively in Women in Chains: Abandonment in Love Relationships in the Fiction of Selected West African Writers (Black Academy Press, 1994)the book is already in featured in the web page you created of my writings in Nathanielturner.com.  Rather than lopsided, Folasayo's essay also pinpoints the areas in which Yoruba / Nigerian women ( who could somewhat be extended to mean African  women) sell themselves short, and become willing victims of their own oppression.

On the other hand, the rejoining essay (and I really do not care to get into its polemics) trivializes really serious cultural and personal attitudes and issues that determine the happiness or misery of many unfortunate womeneducated or illiterate, urbanized or rural.  His light / frivolous style reminds me of that of the Nigerian writer Chinweizu.

Generally, African male / female relationships have, and will continue to sustain in-depth exploration by all humanist writers / theorists who want a change - indeed an obliterationof those negative features of African culture promoted by male attitudes, dictated by an overblown ego, and by an unjust but entrenched sense of male entitlement.  So much harm is done in the name of culture whereas it is actually all about what is right, human and godly.

Concerned women and empathetic men called gynandristssee  writings by the Kenyan Ngugi wa Thiong'o, the Congolese Henri Lopez, the Camerounian Mongo Beti, Nigerian Isidore Okpewho, and especially Senegalese Ousmane Sembene (moderately Chinua Achebe, and by many other more modern and younger socio-cultural writers)are actually striving to change the retrogressive aspects of the traditional status quo, while retaining the good features that will usher Africa into a period of progress, peace, tolerance and prosperity.  Such revisionists ideas (no doubt to be opposed by the self-indulging male)  are grounded on an equitable treatment of the female population encouraged in ways that will not only empower women but contribute to the maintenance of a stable, family structure - which is the bedrock of African humanism.  Women in Chains . . .  and A History of Africana Women's Literature  (BAP 2004) deal exhaustively with all these.  In all the arguments, enlightened men who are secure in their maleness because thery are successful as well as just have nothing to fear, and everything to gain from any female educated or not who is happy, respected and secure in her womanhood.  Man and woman - African or otherwise - deserve to be happy in relationship to each other. Take care.Dr. Rose Ure Mezu

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Rudy, African culture is not what we see nowadays.  The real culture is hidden below the surface, very much as it persisted during the history of our country.  The culture that, ironically, best represented the continuation of African culture was that which persisted throughout the post enslavement period of segregation and continued oppression that went on.  It made us have to be a community.  The values that my grandparents passed on were counter to the European mode of oppression that gave Grand Dragons, Wizards and White Citizens Councils and other organizations the right to think that they were "better".  We had to counter the teachings of the oppressor though we tended, too much, to mimic him via the adoption of social and religious attitudes that were not about benefitting us as a people.

The African tradition that I adhere to is one that I've gleaned from the teachings of history and encounters with such great teachers and John Henrik Clarke, Charshee McIntyre, Clarence Munford, Ben Swinson and others who demand that one peers beneath the surface.  John Mbiti, in his writings, talk about how Africans "africanized" their religions.  The key is understanding what comes out of African tradition and what has been imposed on the culture by the oppressor, including the history.

We also have to understand that African history is world history.  We start with (and now and before) Dinquinesh (Lucy) and move forward thru the many diaspora that have taken place since the first place had more people that it could provide for leading to migration and new settlements.

We have to understand the psychological positions imposed by environmental circumstance which reacted and created the phenotypic variety that exists around the planet. 

The patriarchial murder cults that have called themselves religions are another governmental device (The Holy Roman Church government, for example) that continue the ecclestical model which has continued to "dumb down" mankind for the benefit of those who would live well, wear expensives robes, live as princes in palaces and sometimes wear the latest variation on the double crown of Kemet.  All this while their subjects are allowed to starve and barely exist in the name of some Diety that only speaks to the few who are privileged to have conversations with Our father whosomever.

Our parents who survived the subjugation did so (as we do) because of an African moral foundation that helped us (even with religion) by provided psychical fortification from the social abuses that occured daily.  My grandfather rode a bicycle to work for years to avoid having to put up with paying his money to ride on a segregated bus. It was his form of protest.  When I went to jail and some family members wanted me shipped to California (or somewhere) for their own good, it was my grandmother who made them understand that my effort wasn't personal but for them. 

My search for truth began with my dissatisfaction with a clergy that expected me to believe blindly and accept willing that which was not good for my spiritual development, leading me to search for answers.  Ultimately, those answers were provided by historians who looked like me. 

I am of African descent.  I have Native American, French and Irish blood but I've never been treated as anything but African.

Therefore, it's fine with me being an American African as long as I can maintain my beliefs and don't have to cater to the ignorance that stem from ahistorical perspectives. I reconciled my spiritual views via my effort to understand what motivated people to religion in the first place.  I had to position my own conceptions against other just to see if they worked.  I discovered  that I'm closer to the Kemetic conception that is gnostic which is about knowledge based spirituality as opposed to ecclesiastical or faith-based.

The complexity of all this is created by the fact that European history has to deny its role in the destruction of a number of civilisations that were about to blossom but were cut off by bad attitudes and new diseases brought by those people from the icy north.

The environments that created these cultures were harsh and unforgiving.  Cheikh anta Diop makes the case very well in his "African Origins of Civilisation" and "Civilisation or Barbarism".  He also used his knowledge of history and science to produce a plan that would work for the continent were it to be accepted and put into play.  This, again, produces information that the puppet masters consider dangerous to the strings that they've spent so much time attaching to their subjects.

We can't understand all of what bombards us but we can glean from that what is best and what represents us.  I would wonder what would have happened if even  half the genius that was wasted in cotton and other fields in this hemisphere (...for whose benefit?).  I think of the genius that is being wasted now because of the broken lines of cultural continuity that keep up adhering to the "Willie Lynch Conception" that keeps us at one anothers throats just for the sake of being "mo' lak massa".

We have been burdened with alien cultural chains.  I hate mysogynists as much as anyone who has the time to think and question the relationship between men and women.  I have been there and outgrown that to understand that we, in order to move forward, have to look deep into the past and use the history and understanding of world cultural development to eliminate the negatives and bring forward the positives that work.

Hang in, brother. Hotep.Chuck

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yuck.  I don't think you want to go here.  This is down, dirty, ugly and beneath us.one loveEkere

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This is hilarious. I think Rudy should post that reply. Afterall, there is freedom of speech and people have a right to differ in opinions. It is very funny, though... and the writer is no different from any traditional African male.Olachi Mezu Ndubuisi, O.D, M.D.

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Rudy,  The e-mail just sent out to you contains some corrections to the text (for posting).  As you repost Fola's essay, my response and  the comments of  one of my daughters which I sent to you could be included. In the interest of fairness and freedom of speech, Nworah's diatribe to Fola's essay deserves to be posted side by side, accompanied and balanced  with the said commentaries.  There will be no lack of comments on either side of the argument.  Take careDr. Rose Ure Mezu

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#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#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
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#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
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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Weep Not, Child

By Ngugi wa Thiong'o

This is a powerful, moving story that details the effects of the infamous Mau Mau war, the African nationalist revolt against colonial oppression in Kenya, on the lives of ordinary men and women, and on one family in particular. Two brothers, Njoroge and Kamau, stand on a rubbish heap and look into their futures. Njoroge is excited; his family has decided that he will attend school, while Kamau will train to be a carpenter. Together they will serve their countrythe teacher and the craftsman. But this is Kenya and the times are against them. In the forests, the Mau Mau is waging war against the white government, and the two brothers and their family need to decide where their loyalties lie. For the practical Kamau the choice is simple, but for Njoroge the scholar, the dream of progress through learning is a hard one to give up.—Penguin 

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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 / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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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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posted13 May 2006

 

 

 

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Related file: Equality in African Relationships