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To prove that it is fire / Our elders used to advise / Advise us not to turn our backs
Turn our backs to a bed of fire / A bed of fire which is hot / Which is hot because of embers?



Zimbabwe: In The House of Stone

By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima


My father once told me, my son, “we may be poor, but we are not powerless. And we may be in distress, but we are not hopeless.” His words echoed in my head. He always believed that things would be better, even when the doctor said he would not survive.

I saw many long faces on the street.

Contorted and distorted faces of hungry neighbours tired of queuing for loaves of bread. They reminded me of the famished Israelites waiting for manna in the wilderness. And they rebelled against Moses when they were languishing in the desert on their way to the Promised Land.  But my mother reminded me that Jesus said, “man shall not live by bread alone”.

An old man twisted his wrinkled face in an ugly grimace. He was really showing his misery on his cheerless face.

As I was walking on the street, I was humming Tuku’s Moto Moto in ChiShona.

Moto moto
Kana vunze chairo moto
Sei kumirira kuti ritange rave rimi
Kuti uti moto
Usamirire kuti ritange rave rimi
Kuti uti moto
Bva zvawausika ndiwe
Kuzvisikira mbune
Kuti zvinzi moto
Bva zvawakwenya jisa
Kuzvikwenyera mbune
Kuti zvinzi moto
Inga vakuru vakare vaiyambira
Kuyambira musapira gotsi
Kupira gotsi rufuse
Rufuse rune kakudziya
Kudziya kwakabva pavunze
Vunze rinenge rasha
Hezvo ndisu tinenge tausika
Kuusika tibike bike
Kubika kana kudziya
Kuudziya nevaranda
Navaranda tovarairwa
Pedzezvo topisa usavi.

*   *   *   *   *

Fire is fire
Even embers are fire
Why wait until it's a huge flame
To accept that it's fire
Don't wait until it's a huge flame
To accept that it's fire
You have made the fire
Making it on your own
To prove that it is fire
You lit the matches
Lighting it on your own
To prove that it is fire
Our elders used to advise
Advise us not to turn our backs
Turn our backs to a bed of fire
A bed of fire which is hot
Which is hot because of embers?
Embers, which are burning
We make the fire
For cooking or for warmth
Then we sit around the fire with servants
And we get carried away

*   *   *   *   *

I saw the long train of human traffic on the road and the long queue of vehicles at the BP Budiriro filling station.  I saw human scavengers rummaging the refuse dumps with the stray dogs.  What a spectacle of the wretched of the earth.  They were the homeless victims of "Operation Murambatsvina".  They were refugees in their own country.  I thought refugees were those displaced and dispossessed of their homes and possessions during wars.  But Zimba Remabwe was not at war.  

I met three old men at the T-Junction.  They were white priests.  They turned to me and were complaining about a problem.  
"We wanted to serve free rations of food to the starving millions of Zimbabweans across the country, but Pa Mugabe turned us away," one of them said.

“Go to the millions of starving Americans in Logan who throng the food pantries and soup kitchens run by Smith Chapel United Methodist Church.  Over 34 million Americans live on the free rations of your soup kitchens,” he told us.
“Pa Mugabe was proud to show us his seven academic degrees, and in addition, he said he has a "degree in violence”.  And he has been using his "degree in violence" brutally," said another.

“His messenger of death, Perence Shiri the 'Black Jesus' led the massacre in Matebeleland in the 1980s.  Pa Mugabe has left many of his rivals and those opposed to his reign of terror in tears and blood," the third one said.

I did not say a word.  I sighed and left them.

I was following an elder in black and white cassock and black shoes.  He led me to a hut surrounded by anthills.  And there, I met Pa Joshua Nkomo sitting on a log of wood and holding a long walking stick.  

“Is this the same Great Zimba Remabwe of your dream?”  I asked Pa Joshua Nkomo, the old man from Kalanga.  He regarded me silently and turned to my guide, Bishop Abel Muzorewa.  Both of them shook their heads.

“Since I left on July 1, 1999, I have been weeping by the Zambezi and Limpopo.  I do not want anyone to see my tears.  Zambezi and Limpopo know my tears and the earth knows the taste of my bitter tears.  Even Lobengula Kumalo cannot console me.”

“Pa Mugabe is sick and Senile dementia is still curable,” I said.

“Come my son”, he said and led me to the peak of the Nyangani.We stood with our heads in the clouds.

“Mugabe said Shona would no longer kiss the feet of Ndebele.  But does that mean Ndebele should eat the excreta of Shona?  Fie!  God forbid”, the old man spat.

“See there, where the sun kisses the Tanganyika; the spirit of New Zimbabwe is rising from the ripples.  It was Lobengula Kumalo who showed me the future and told me to rest in peace.”

I was still looking at the place where the sun was kissing the Tanganyika and did not know that the old man was no longer with me.  When I turned around, I woke up inside the Zimba Remabwe.  

“Here,” Nkosi said handing me a flyer.

“What is it?”  I asked before looking at it.

“The Slum of all Fears, starring Ben Affleck and Pa Mugabe,” she said.

I looked at the flyer and sighed.  It was another Western joke on our President.  Uncle Bob would not be defeated by negative Western propaganda.  Because, as he once retorted, ha’ndina basa nazvo!  He did not care.  And I was bored of the daily critical commentaries I was proofreading for the Zimbabwean Times.  Africans must not dance to the tune of the Western media to hate our own leaders.  Uncle Bob had done some horrible and terrible things, because he was listening to bad advisers.  No ruler rules alone.

Most of my fellow bloggers have also joined the Muagabe haters in the mainstream media, including those who never set foot on Zimbabwe.  One annoying statement online often echoed in my head. The British blogger said:, The difference between Zimbabwe today and the Rhodesia of yesterday is the difference between hell and heaven.  And if I have to be honest to God, Pa Robert Mugabe looks like the devil when compared to Ian Smith.

What an irrational hyperbolic comparison. Rhodesia was hell. We were slaves in our own homeland until we overthrew the taskmasters and slave drivers of the racist Ian Smith.

My beloved Nkosi was also pessimistic and had come to comfort me and persuade me to follow her to Johannesburg.

“I had a dream.  It was so real.  I saw Joshua Nkomo.”

“You saw Joshua Nkomo?” Nkosi asked.

I nodded.

Part Two

Tune me the gwan,” Nkosi said.

She sat down on the bench beside my mattress and listened as I recalled everything I saw in the dream.
She sighed at the end of it.

“Will you still go to Bulawayo?”  Nkosi asked.

I looked at the bare floor and then looked at the things in our single room.

The pile of car batteries from which we have been getting our electricity, the broken shelf of my books, the wall clock, the table against the wall with the table lamp and transistor radio on it.  Then I looked at Nkosi.  She looked cheerless.

Sha, I have got jack kites ek se, “ I said, and held her hands to comfort her.

Thomas Nyilika, the Zanu-PF councilor gave me Z$800,000 to join the Green Bombers.  And the cash would be very useful if I agreed to follow Nkosi and head south across the Limpopo River into South Africa.  But fleeing to Johannesburg would make me a coward.  I did not want to leave my family in the lurch.

Nkosi always followed me anywhere I went, because she felt she would be safer with me than being left alone in my bed-sitter or with my neighbours.  So, she was with me when I went to Tengenenge to visit my old uncle Pa Ludidi Ntzombone as he was whittling a purple coloured cobalt stone with a chisel and a hammer in his shed.  He was squatting and his regular shake shake was in a small brown plastic keg by his side and his drinking mug was placed on a small stool beside him.  My old uncle loved his Chibuku and would not sculpt without gulps of it.

Maskati, Maswerasei?”  We greeted him.

Taswera, Maswerao,” he replied.

Taswera,” We nodded.

He paused to pay attention to us.  I looked at the stone he was working on.

“The heart of stone,” he said and rubbed it with his palms.

Nkosi stooped to look at it closely on the ground.  It was about a foot high.

“I am trying to shape it into the hard face of your Uncle Bob,” he said and looked at me, to see how I would react to his uncomplimentary remark on President Robert Mugabe.  But I only nodded.

“This sculpture will soon leave Tengenenge for Chapungu,” he said.

“But, I know that you won’t carve the name of Mugabe on it,” I said and smirked.

“Wait and see,” he grunted.

He knew I was not in the league of those who would even be glad to see Mugabe kick the bucket.  God forbid. We sat down on a wooden bench on which he placed the sheet of paper for his drawings of the objects of his sculpture.  Many young and old men and even some women were making money from Shona sculpture.  Chapungu was the tourist center for stone sculpture and the foreign collectors have taken some of our accomplished Shona sculptures to America, Britain, France, and other Western countries for art exhibitions.  I have seen an engineer who left his construction site for Tengenenge and an attorney who removed his wig and gown and became a stone carver, because, as Pa Ntozombone said, “Shona sculpture pays more than monthly salaries.”

He gulped some Chibuku in the mug and belched.“If not for these precious stones of our ancestors, I would be joining the long queues for bread,” he told me as he showed me one Butter Jade of six and seven hardness on Moh’s scale.

“The white woman in Chapungu said, this butter stone is 50 million years old,” Pa Ntozombone said. I looked at the rock and did not want to dispute what he said.  It would be impolite to argue with him over the age of a sedimentary rock. He was already four-five years old before my mother gave birth to me.

Only God knows the age of the earth, no matter what the white people claim. I told him that Thomas Nyilika was harassing me and if I continue to rebuff him, he would accuse me of being anti-Mugabe.  

“Domboramwari, you have to come to Mandluntsha, where we can discuss more,” he said.I nodded and left with Nkosi.
Pa Ludidi Ntzombone said leaving was the best way to escape from Thomas Nyilika if I did not want to join the Green Bombers.  “You saw the bloodied face of Morgan Tsvangirai after they nearly killed him in detention?” I nodded.

“Mugabe said Morgan Tsvangirai is a Marxist,” I said.I did not join the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), because I did not want to end up like Morgan Tsvangirai and his stubborn comrades.  We should not play politics with innocent lives.  Countless children have died from the terrible things happening in Zimbabwe and the ruthless politicians would be judged for shedding innocent blood.

Pa Ntzombone regarded me and shook his head sorrowfully.”I should remind Mugabe that when he named his late baby boy, Nhanodzenyika, which means "our country has problems", things were even better then than now. The white devil Ian Smith jailed me for 11 years during our guerrilla days.  But how did Mugabe reward me after our victory?  That black devil jailed me for four years.  And when Ian Smith was in power, we had surplus maize and there was enough tobacco for my snuff.  But today, the white farmers have been robbed of their farmlands and we are starving, because my kinsfolk cannot grow enough maize and tobacco.  Mugabe, anopenga,” he said plaintively.
More wrinkles appeared as he contorted his 88 years old face.

Nkosi was with me that night as I sat with the old warrior in front of his dilapidated house in Mandluntsha.
“But Johannesburg is not paradise,” I said.
Nkosi eyed me in disapproval of my statement.

“But I am yet to get my passport, “ I said. Pa Ntzombone winced and smirked. “So, you need a passport to enter Azania?  What a lame excuse.  You are lucky you even have the fortune of a God sent daughter, Nkosi, who is offering you her home in Johannesburg,” he said.

Nkosi nodded and I swallowed a lump of saliva. “Only the enemies of Mugabe are suffering,” I said.
“Domboramwari, you disappoint me!”  Pa Ntzombone said curtly, raising his husky voice for the first time.
“Even Thomas Nyilika told me that over 300,000 people have been waiting for their passports, because there was no ink or paper to print new copies. No, harvest of maize this year and no export of tobacco.  Our best doctors and tutors have left since 1999.  And thousands are leaving daily for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola and just anywhere to escape from suffering and dying in misery and penury in Zimbabwe.  When Ian Smith was ruling, there were enough rations for all, whether Mashona or Matabele.  Thousands are dying daily in our hospitals from lack of common drip and the mortuaries are filled up with corpses abandoned in the corridors,” Pa Ntzombone lamented and shook his bald head.

He rose from his wooden chair and that meant he had given me enough time.

The foreign press reported that Life expectancy in Zimbabwe was 34 years for women and 37 years for men.  I could not deny the horrible and terrible things in my country.

“Robert Mugabe cruises through Harare in his bulletproof limousine, Mugabemobile, a seven-tonne Mercedes-Benz S600L.  It was custom-built in Germany at a cost of 550,000 US dollars.  I heard the armour can withstand AK-47 bullets, rocket-grenades and landmines, and with his juju, he feels 100% secure,“ Nkosi said.

The old warrior was just shaking his head. 
“Goodnight Sir,”  I said. Nkosi also said goodnight.
“God bless you my daughter,” Pa Ntzombone said and patted her right shoulder.
“Goodnight, Domboramwari.  I know you are not Dwass, so you are wise enough not to make a terrible mistake.  Fambai zvakanaka,” he said and I nodded.

It was a humid night.  And it was a long trek back to my place, because there was no public transport in sight.  “Nkosi, Ek se, I have to see my mother before I make up my mind,” I said as we walked hand-in-hand along a sidewalk.

“All right Domboramwari, everything will be fine,” she said.I was restless in bed as I thought of the dangers of running away with Thomas Nyilika's money.

The following day, as Nkosi was serving our usual breakfast of sadza with some smoked fish, one of Thomas Nyilika’s errand boys was knocking at our door.  He said the councilor was waiting for me in town.

“I would be there after my breakfast,” I said.
“Let me wait for you, so that you will come with me,” he said.
“No.  Just go and tell him what I said,” I insisted. He left reluctantly and Nkosi hissed in contempt. My mind was made up to leave for Johannesburg after seeing my mother.  But who would provide for her in my absence? When we got to my mother’s home, she was not in.  But my only brother Tafadzwa was there.

“Where is Amai vedu?” I asked.

“Come and see,” he said rising from a wooden seat and looking in the direction of the nearby cemetery.  Tafadzwa was only seven and would be glad to add some flesh here and there, because he was thin. He led us into the cemetery and we saw my mother and another woman digging. What were they digging?

“Amai,” Tafadzwa called her. She looked up and stopped digging.As we got closer, I saw that they were digging a grave.

“Amai,” I hugged her.
“Domboramwari,” she held me wholeheartedly.
“What is wrong Amai?”  I asked.

“Mbira is dead,” she said in tears and I turned to look at the other old woman I knew was the grandmother of Mbira.  But Mbira was only seven and was all right the last time I visited our village.  And that was a week ago.  His parents died of AIDS in 2003 and his grandmother had to care for him.

The grieving mother broke down weeping and clutching the shovel in her hands. My mother said Mbira died from diarrhea.There was no medicine to treat him at home and when they wheel-barrowed him to the health center, there was no more drip there.  Mbira died on their way back home. 

“But why do you have to dig the grave?  Where are the gravediggers,” Nkosi asked. I saw that she was shocked. “The gravediggers left when we could not pay them,” my mother said. I took the shovel from my mother, rolled up my long sleeves and my trousers. I could dig faster and deeper. I was digging with annoyance.“Sha, that evil Mugabe going to peg," my mother cursed.

How the terrible things happening in Zimbabwe have changed my mother who fondly sang songs in praise of Uncle Bob at pungwes, and when Mugabe was elected the President of Zimbabwe.  But she now wished him dead.  Because, their former liberator was now their tormentor.Nkosi wanted to join me with the other shovel.

“No.  I can finish it,” I said.

It was not a six feet grave.  Graves for the thousands of the kids dying weekly in Zimbabwe were shallow graves.  But the one I dug for Mbira was deep enough for a seven-year-old child.I heard the voices of women singing nearby. They were coming with a small coffin.  Another child was going to be buried.  They were chanting in Shona.

Oh grandmothers,
Oh mothers, oh boys,
There’s a snake in the forest,
Mothers take hoes,
Grandmothers take hoes,
Boys take axes.

The snake was Mugabe.Then, they sang another song.

Ma ulemali eningi besuhlupa abantu uzotholani
ngalokho, Uzophelelaphi wo Uzophelelaphi
Kuzvirova dundundu
Tozvinzwa kuti ndisu tiri pano
Magumo acho chii?
Tingazvirova matundundu
Kushambadza kuti tiri apo
Magumo acho chii?
Todadira vamwe, kutsvinya
Kuvaona sevasi vanhu
Magumo acho chii?
Kusatya Mwari
Mhedzisiro yacho chii?
Magumo acho chii?
Ungangodaro une simba, simba rakawanda
Ukadzvanya akaota
Magumo acho chii?
Ma ulamandla amakhulu besuhlupa abantu
uzotholani ngalokho
Ugodaro une mari, mari yakawanda
Ukadzvanya akaota
Magumo acho chii?
Ma ulemali eningi besuhlupa abantu
uzotholani ngalokho
Kudadira vamwe, kutsvinya
Kuona sevasi vanhu
Magumo acho chii?

*   *   *   *   *

You beat your chest
Feeling all your importance
How will it all end?
You may beat your chest
Screaming that you're important
How will it all end?
You look down upon others, despising,
As if they are not human beings
How will it all end?
You don't respect God
What will be the end?
How will it all end?
You may have power, much power,
And you oppress those who are weak
How will it all end?
You may have money, much money,
And you oppress those who are weak
How will it all end?

*   *   *   *   *

It was around 8.30 am and most of the young people were gone.  Millions were hustling for survival in Bulawayo and Highfield and millions of others were in self-exile in South Africa and other neighbouring countries.  Only the aged were left.  But most of the old folk were widows.  My mother and her friend were among the oldest widows in the village.

I dug the grave aggressively, because I wanted to get over it and leave.
Nkosi and I had an appointment with a cab driver named Fungai, who would drive us to the Limpopo waterside.  Then we would join others taking boats across the river and trek across the border into South Africa.  So, we did not wait to witness them say "Azorora" over the grave of Mbira.  Over four thousand people were dying weekly in Zimbabwe.  And most of them were innocent children.

The night before our departure, I saw President Robert Mugabe in a dream.  We were in waiting room. But I did not know what we were waiting for as we all sitting on long benches in a single row.  Mugabe was there with a young girl who looked like his daughter.  Then, he stood up with the girl and walked to another part of the very large room.  Some minutes later, Mugabe returned with the girl, but there was no space for them to sit, because others sat where they were sitting before.  I regarded him and got up for him to sit down in my space.  He looked at me gratefully, sat down quietly, and motioned the girl to sit on his lap.  He was looking younger than his 83 years on earth.
“You don’t look old.  You look like twenty years younger,” I remarked in a complimentary tone.

Mugabe smiled.

I wanted to ask him the secret of his longevity and vigor, but I woke up to go and urinate.  I did not tell Nkosi about it. I was worried about Uncle Bob.  I looked at the black and white photograph of him lifting up his right hand with the clenched fist of our revolutionary Black Power salute and big Joshua Nkomo was standing by his side, smiling happily.  The unforgettable memories of the Second Chimurenga when ZANLA and ZIPRA was the double-edged sword of our liberation struggle always flashed across my mind.  I missed those good old days after our victory over Ian Smith.  When the late Bob Marley came to perform his hit song Zimbabwe to celebrate our independence and it echoed all over Africa.  The colourful parades, colourful festoons, and fireworks made that day one of the best days of my youth.  What happened to Mugabe?

When First Lady Sally died on that fateful Monday of January 27, 1992, Mugabe became melancholic and when he married Grace in 1996, he became worse.

Jacob Holdt even said, “Sally was incredibly popular, but after her death Mugabe turned into a more and more despotic and homophobic direction.  Today I am glad that my son is not called Mugabe.”  So, the death of his beloved Sally must have done terrible things to his mentality. Sally was the heart and soul of Mugabe. A Mugabe without Sally was like a depressed old man with no heart and no soul.

I did not join the border jumpers and did not risk my life with the thousands who have to crawl under the 2m high razor-wire fence and play hide and seek with the border police and the robbers lurking in the wings. Fungai and I were strange bedfellows during the guerilla days when we drank from the same hari Yamadzisakwira.  When we met him, he did not disappoint me.

“Inga wakataura wani, kuti munhamo tiri tose, did you not say to me that we would help each other?”  Fungai said. I nodded and we embraced.

I did not have any big load, except some of my best books in a sports bag and the money in my purse.  Nkosi was carrying only her brown handbag. I did not want anyone to know that I was leaving Zimbabwe.  When some people asked Fungai, where I was going to, he said, “Domboramwari, vari kuenda ku Harare.”  And they thought I was really going to Harare.

After we have crossed the Limpopo, Nkosi knew the safest route and we did not take long before we entered South Africa. Later Fungai called me and told me that he saw Thomas Nyilika on his way back to Bulawayo.  But he dodged him and his Green Bombers.  My mother’s letter came two days later and she was glad I escaped from Thomas Nyilika.

My Dear Son,

I thank God you arrived Johannesburg safely. May God bless my beloved daughter in-law, Nkosi-sikelela, for taking care of you. I hope you are no longer limping?

I could not save your property.  Because, there was nothing left to save.

As I was getting to your house, I saw it engulfed in fire from a distance.  I saw that, the vulture Nyilika and his dogs had set your small house on fire and destroyed everything they thought was valuable.  Your neighbours only gathered to watch your things go up in flames. Nobody could stand in his way.  He was shouting that you were a thief who ran away with his money.

When, I got there, Nyilika came to me and said, you ran away with his money.  And I told him that it was news to me.  That, how would you leave without your belongings? He laughed and waved me off in dismissal.Is it true?

My son, did you run away with Nyilika’s money?  And how much is the money? But, I thank God; you escaped from Nyilika, because, if he had seen you at home, he would have done something terrible to you.  Mugabe and his executioners have no heart.

Do not worry about me. My brother Ludidi is a worthy brother and he has been providing for Tafadzwa and me.  So, we are all right.

Hug Nkosi-sikelela for me. Your mother

I knew that Thomas Nyilika would go mad, but I did not know that he would be so wicked to raze my house and destroy my property.  And I prayed he would still be alive when Mugabe would have gone.  Then he would face my wrath.

*   *   *   *   *

Launching the Pedagogical History of Africa Project in Harare yesterday [5 September 2011] , President Mugabe said . . . "The history that must be written by our African scholars and academics here is the history that focuses on African people in struggle as creators of their own destiny rather than mere consumers of stories written about them by passive on-lookers who oftentimes happen to be non-African outsiders . . . . Real history belongs to a people in struggle and not to the interpreters of history. The people themselves are the makers of history and therefore the real historians. The interpreters are mere raconteurs of history and not the actual history-makers as is often wrongly implied . . . Only this way can we avoid history written by colonialists as 'winners'. Our real winners are the people, whose real history or struggle the so-called winners would like to distort and suppress . . . You cannot be a historian of African people if you do not share their cry or their laughter. No. The African sensibility, reflected in African culture and worldview, is the only accurate compass to guide a historian who is genuine about writing African history. . . . Slavery and colonisation do not themselves constitute African history. They disrupt and falsify the trajectory of African history. They dehumanise Africans to fit into the scheme of European capital. The ideology of racism is created as a parallel process to rationalise the oppression of Africans. . . . I need not stress that it is imperative to edify educational systems, which embody the African and universal values so as to ensure the rooting of youth in African culture in the context of a sustainable and participatory development. This way we continue to foster the spirit of unity in Africa as embodied in the African Unity Charter”AllAfrica

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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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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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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posted 24 August 2007 / update 3 February 2012




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