“Brazil is not ready for a black president”: Brazil’s Chief Justice of the Supreme Court speaks frankly about racism and other problems facing the country

Black Women of Brazil

Note from BW of Brazil:Back in the period between late 2008 and early 2009, when then Senator Barack Obama was elected and then assumed the post of the president of the United States, many black Brazilians began to ask the question of when Brazil, a country with a larger black population than that of the US, would elect a black president*. In a recent interview, the first black President (or Chief Justice) of Brazil’s Supreme Court expressed his opinion on this and other topics including a recent controversy in which he was accused of snubbing the Brazilian president, Dilma Rouseff, during a recent visit of the Pope. In this discussion, Barbosa speaks frankly on the topic of race and how black Brazilians are viewed in the society covering a range of topic that have been featured on this blog. Check out the interview below. 

Barbosa says Brazil not ready…

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African Diaspora

“We are not Africans because we are born in Africa we are Africans because Africa is born in us”
At the mention of Africa Diaspora what rush to most people mind is Africans forcefully taken out of Africa to the plantation through slavery It is wrong and unjust to tag badge of force movement to people of African descent found in other continents such believe is erroneous since force movement is just one out of other forms of diaspora movement Long before force movement there had been other forms of diaspora movement outside and within Africa in other words force movement of Diaspora Africa is at the bottom of the ladder of Africa Diaspora movement
In pyramidal order Free movement sit conveniently at the top followed by internal migration and lastly forced movement generally hyped and placed above other predating Diaspora movement For the sake of clarity it is pertinent I elucidate on each of the Diaspora movement starting with Free movement
Free movement at the proto-historical period is the first kind of Diaspora movement out of Africa this movement out of Africa took place at the Homo Sapiens Sapiens stage of evolution 40,000 years ago these were Africans that moved out of Africa to explore and by extension to populate other parts of world (it is part of these same Africans that moved out of Africa that later mutates to other race but as it is the combined duo of politics and racism has turn everything upside down) It should be borne in mind that at some point in history humanity was represented by Africans “Blacks” alone no other race to compete or share the large space on earth
This free movement account for people of African descent found in other places of the world with no history of slavery (it is also important to note that in the Americas there were Africans who migrated from Africa to America living and trading side by side with the natives centuries before the disastrous coming of the Europeans They came before Columbus by Ivan Van Sertima will throw more lights on that)
Africans belonging to this category are to be found in Australia, Oceania, Asia most especially India and Americas This account for some of the reasons why all gods worshiped in ancient times were of African type
Next is the second form of Diaspora movement Internal migration i.e movement or migration within Africa This form of migration is seldom talked about or not talked about at all It is a known fact that some of the ethnic groups of Western, Eastern and Southern Africa migrated to their present place of habitation from ancient Egypt (kemet) and Nubia or ancient Ethiopia (Meriotic Sudan) In their various traditions of origin they say they came by the way of the great river (river Nile) or they came from the East examples to be found among Yoruba, Dogon and others this tradition among the natives is often misinterpreted
Various scholarly works especially Eurocentric scholarship disconnects these people from their origin and places them in alien terrain such as Middle East, Atlantis and what have you all in effort to erase memory of “Black” Egypt (Kemet) the origin of civilization. It is the same prejudice view of African History that informs the demarcation of Africa into North and Sub-Sahara Africa to further comfort themselves with the obnoxious believe that “Black” Africa is the flip side of enlightenment. Nonetheless, through scientific approach to the study of African History it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that ancient Egyptians were “Blacks” and that their descendant populated other parts of Africa as a result of alien incursion Thanks to the works of Chiekh Anta Diop, TheophileObenga including non-African Historians of good faith who embraced the field of Egyptology
Next is the regrettable and painful Diaspora movement The force Movement This movement for various reasons is peculiar firstly it promote the “Negro Myth” that Africans from ancient times found in other parts of the world got there through slavery, secondly the period which this regrettable movement took place overturn the table of arrangement between races which has continue to set standard in modern times and dominate political and social affairs among African, European and other races. This period in history of humanity and African history was period of horror great tragedy (Maafa) as Pan African scholars rightly put it The African Holocaust
It was period of fear, pain and sorrow as people of great historical past and achievement, descendants of initiators of civilization (who late initiates other civilizations) were turn commodity of commerce to be bought and sold The obnoxious trade went on for centuries Africans were stripped off mother Africa and deposited in different plantations to be worked to death in order for the capitalist to ensure maximum profit Africans were stolen in their millions to the new world (home of the native Indians) It is estimated that 40-100 million people were directly affected by slavery via the Atlantic and Trans-Saharan routes Some historians conclude that the total loss in persons removed those who died on the arduous march to coastal slave marts and those killed in slave raids, exceeded 65-75 million inhabitants remaining Africa at the trade’s end Over 10 million died as direct consequences of the Atlantic slave trade alone. But no one knows the exact number many died in transport other died from disease or indirectly from social trauma left behind in Africa
Africans Diaspora in this category are to be found in North, South and Central America and Caribbean Islands
Some of the legacy of force movement are loss of cultural identity, crude falsification of African history disunity among Africans at home and in Diaspora as a result of vacuum created by forced movement of Africans and assimilation into other culture just to mention a few However, there are several Pan African groups worldwide working 24/7 to bridge the gap between people of African descent worldwide in order to guarantee brighter and rewarding future for Africa and Africans worldwide and to bring back home lost brothers and sisters to the motherland and ultimately to join hands together in slashing at the claws of imperialism and to free Africa from the suffocating embrace of neo-colonialism
Another form of Diaspora movement not included in the pyramid is the voluntary movement of Africans out of Africa in modern times This is Kind of movement whereby Africans willingly move out of Africa in search of greener pasture for educational purpose and for other reasons

Pan Africanism initiative that seeks to unlock the minds of the African people to realize their full potential At Project Pan-Africa we believe that all Africans share a common destiny and must therefore pursue a common vision
Our Vision:
We desire to see all Africans becoming confident in themselves and working together for the common good of the African people We crave for a continent where every African can be proud and feel at home no matter where he/she may be on the African soil We believe that African problems must be solved by Africans and with African resources
We are determined to:
Foster unity among Africans both home and abroad and to help instil confidence in the African personality
Liberate the minds of the African youth to take the destiny of Africa into their own hands
Look for all the hidden talents in Africa interview them and give them media exposure
Promote African innovations to the outside world to believe in Africa and to patronize African products and services
Create a revolution in the minds of every African to place the African picture above his political, religious, ethnical or national identity
Encourage the African people to believe in themselves and to patronize African technology, African innovations, goods and services
Create a mental revolution in the African woman to be proud of her natural beauty, and to portray the African fashion that reflects African norms and values
Inculcate in the youth a sense of patriotism and Pan-Africanism for the African unification project
Create a platform for dialogue and exchange of ideas between black people throughout the world to help solve African problems
Make resources available for the children of Africa to learn and to appreciate the dreams of the founding fathers of Pan-Africanism
Serve as the bridge that will connect and coordinate major programs of all Pan-African institutions across Africa and the African diaspora
Interview exceptional but hidden talents in Africa and give them media exposure
Frequently organize seminars/workshops for students across secondary schools, basic schools and the universities in Africa to stimulate a mental revolution among the youth
Occasionally organize seminars with African students in selected overseas universities to encourage them to return home and contribute to the development of Africa
Occasionally dialogue with local African governments on educational policies to implement policies that harness African values and culture
Acquire and distribute copies of Pan-African books to local African community libraries and schools where our seminars shall be held
Regularly interact with the media to get our message across to a wider audience
Pan-Africanism is a which fought to end slavery in the 19th century In the 20th century the Pan-African Movement overthrew the colonial regimes and gave the African people independence Today the Pan-African agenda is about owning the destiny of Africa by harnessing our cultural heritage and promoting unity among Africans taking control of our resources and resisting neo-colonialism and imperialism from all fronts The PPA seeks to create 1 million of Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Jomo Kenyatta,Steve Biko,Thomas Sankara and others to take Africa through the next stage of our economic independence We also seek to create a positive image about Africa to the outside world to visit Africa experience our values and appreciate our beautiful continent
This can however be achieved by unlocking the minds of Africans youth to take African destiny into their own hands We realize that Africa’s future depends on us the African people

July 25th is the International Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women Day: The day to celebrate the resistance to racism and sexism of black women in Latin American and the Caribbean

With the establishment of neoliberal capitalist development models and their policies of exclusion that only further degrade the living conditions of the oppressed in recent years people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean have seen their historically compromised status grow even worse As a result, poverty and marginalization increasingly affect this population even more severely, hindering their access to the resources needed to live in dignity and to participate in the benefits of development However, this discrimination tends to be hidden and ignored by the rest of the population and even by social movements claiming to defend the rights of all people
In fact black women endure an even greater impact compared to men of African descent as the factor of gender intersects with race/ethnicity worsening their situation of segregation And discovering proof of this double discrimination has led black women to raise their voices to demand that their agenda and social demands be met with specific and necessary remedies at appropriate levels including within the black movement African-descendant women have also brought their situation to the attention of the feminist movement urging their sisters to take up and endorse urgent priorities for black women
Recent decades have seen the emergence of many networks and coalitions of black women working to promote and establish strategies for action and collaborating efforts In this context following the First Meeting of Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women in the Dominican Republic in 1992 the date of July 25 was established as the International Day of Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women. Since then, this date has served as a mechanism for increasing awareness about the oppression of gender and race/ethnicity as experienced by millions of women in our region especially in those countries where African-descendant women constitute a high percentage of the total population. The most representative cases are Brazil and the Caribbean although there are populations of African descendants throughout in most of our region
Moreover on the international scene it is important to highlight the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban South Africa in 2001where the problems and needs of the African diaspora were recognized and explicitly linked to presence of a deeply engrained structural racism.At this international event led by the United Nations people of African descent and women in particular were identified as a priority sector in the fight against racism, xenophobia and all forms of intolerance
The International Day of Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women is an opportunity to evaluate the living conditions of black women, to demand redress for the inequality, racism, sexism and social exclusion that has affected them for thousands of years and to renew the commitment to ongoing efforts of solidarity and support call for their rights to respected in all areas

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Henry Sylvester-Williams

Organising the first Pan African conference was a unique achievement for which Williams is given little credit today When he formed the African Association as it was first called one of its aims was to promote and protect the interests of all subjects claiming African descent wholly or in part in British colonies and other places especially Africa by circulating accurate information on all subjects affecting their rights and privileges as subjects of the British Empire by direct appeals to the Imperial and local Governments
Williams was born on 19th February 1869 in the village of Arouca ten miles east of Port of Spain the eldest of five children An intelligent young man he qualified as a teacher at the age of 17 and was put in charge of a school a year later He left for New York when he was 22 because teachers in Trinidad were paid poorly After two years in the US, he enrolled in Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia to study law Three years later he came to London enrolling in King College He and three other Trinidadian lawyers read for the bar at Gray’s Inn Here he fell in love with Agnes Powell, daughter of a Royal Marines officer who fiercely opposed the match They were married in 1898 and had a son Henry Francis a year later
Williams lectured extensively on Trinidad and consistently denounced crown colony rule as a heartless system a synonym for racial contempt He led a deputation of Trinidadians to meet MPs and became the first person of African descent to speak in the House of Commons He was also instrumental in the creation of the African Association to promote and protect the interests of all subjects of African descent He had always had the idea of a world conference of black people the first occasion upon which black men would assemble in England to speak for themselves and endeavour to influence public opinion in their favour
The sessions of the conference were held in Westminster Town Hall on the 23rd 24th and 25th July 1900 There were 37 delegates and 10 other participants and observers The chair was taken by Bishop Alexander Walters a leader of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in the United States and president of National Afro-American Council The vice chairmen were representatives of independent African states Frederick Johnson former Attorney-General of Liberia and the Haitian Benito Sylvain aide-de-camp to the Ethiopian emperor
The conference discussed many issues among them the importance of preserving the identity of the black race attacking colonialism the need for the colonial powers to recognise the rights of indigenous people There should be no human power to halt Africans social and political development
The African Association renamed the Pan African Association The conference was reported in the leading London newspapers The Westminster Gazette observed that it marks the initiation of a remarkable movement on history the negro is at last awake to the potentialities of his future
After the conference Williams went to Jamaica Trinidad and the United States to set up branches of the Pan African Association He also launched a journal called The Pan African in 1901 It was designed to spread information ‘concerning the African and his descendants in the British Empire and to be ‘the mouthpiece of the millions of Africans and their descendants
Unfortunately the Pan African Association was short lived, due mainly in part to Williams not being able to devote all his time to the organization. He was probably the first black man to practice as a barrister and worked extensively in South Africa defending black people in the courts In 1906 he was elected to public office on Marylebone borough council He was denounced by the British consul in 1908 after going to Liberia and decided to move back to Trinidad He was in the process of building a successful law practice there when he fell ill toward the end of 1910 In March 1911 he died in hospital

Global Africans need to uplift each other instead of degrading each other One of my friends was talking to a Haitian male. She was just making fun of his country saying that it is poor and there is no water There is no infrastructure Instead of looking at the bad why not look at the good? Also why not talk about the history of Haiti and the imperialism in received over the past 400 years Did you know Haiti was the first country to abolish slavery? The Haitian Revolution kicked out the French and beat some of the strongest armies in the world to end slavery At the time Haiti was one o the richest countries in the Western Hemisphere Did you know the Haiti paid FRANCE reparations for about 120 years? Haiti paid France 90 million gold francs. France said they lost money on the slaves they invested in so they wanted reparations Did you know that in the early 1900’s America invaded Haiti and stole gold? It has also had a lot of neocolonialism such as Presidents being overthrown for puppets who serve foreign countries People like Papa Doc were installed and Aristede was overthrown twice So there are REASONS behind the poverty You need to look at the history to understand the present My friend shouldn’t have degraded Haiti like that she should have uplifted the country and talked about the goods We need to stop having such a negative outlook on ourselves