In Honor of Black History Month we are highlighting Patrice Lumumba – Civil Servant, Prime Minister, Activist (1925–1961)

patrice-lumumba-1925-1961-first-prime-everettPatrice Lumumba was the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, calling for national unity and overall African independence.

Synopsis
Born on July 2, 1925, in Onalua, Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Patrice Lumumba was a writer and civic organizer before co-founding the Congolese National Movement. He became the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo with the country’s independence; yet massive unrest followed with other leaders’ uprisings, along with U.S. and Belgian involvement. Lumumba was killed on January 17, 1961.

Background and Early Career
Future Prime Minister Patrice Émery Lumumba was born Élias Okit’Asombo on July 2, 1925, in the Kasai province of Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), in the village of Onalua. He was able to hone his love for literature and learning while attending missionary school and borrowing books to read.

After some travels within his country and acquiring different languages, Lumumba became a postal service clerk during the mid-1940s in what is now Kinshasa, later working as an accountant in another region. He also wrote poems and essays for publication, earning acclaim, and became increasingly involved in political movements, keeping in mind the oppression endured by Africans from the Belgian colonial system.

After having established himself as a leader in organizing unions, Lumumba co-established the Congolese National Movement in 1958. He called for countrywide unity, bringing together different ethnic backgrounds, and freedom from colonial atrocities, with major links to Pan-Africanist movements as well.

Becomes Prime Minister
On June 30, 1960, the Democratic Republic of Congo officially took its independence from Belgium, and, at 35 years old, Lumumba became the country’s first prime minister. However, nationwide disarray was to follow with various leaders vying for power, including a Belgian-fortified secession of the region of Katanga, headed by Moise Tshombe.

Lumumba called for United Nations aid to no avail and turned to the Soviet Union for military intervention, with the Congo thus caught in Cold War politics and Lumumba perceived by the U.S. as having communist ties. Years later it was revealed that a C.I.A. operative in the field during the Eisenhower administration was instructed to poison Lumumba; the agent recounted in a 2008 New York Times article he secretly chose not to do so, though some accounts clash with this.

Death and Legacy
With the country falling under the control of military leader Joseph Mobutu, Lumumba was captured and, though at one point escaping, was eventually taken to Katanga, where he was beaten and killed on January 17, 1961. His death ignited international outrage and years later continues to provoke dialogue on foreign investment in creating the turmoil seen after his rise to power and African independence in general. Congo soon endured the decades-long, highly-damaging reign of Joseph Mobutu, who would become known as Mobutu Sésé Seko.

Lumumba, his story and vision have been chronicled in a number of literary works and films, including the 2001 book The Assassination of Lumumba, by Ludo De Whitte, and the Raoul Peck movie released the same year, Lumumba. Peck had also directed a documentary on the leader.

Source: Biography.com

Jamaica Flag Flown Half-Mast Today In Tribute To Fidel Castro

Fidel Jamaica.pngThe Jamaican flag will fly at half-mast today (Dec. 2nd), on all government offices and national buildings as a tribute to the late former President of the Republic of Cuban Fidel Castro Ruz who died on Friday, November 25.

Jamaica will join the rest of Caricom in the symbolic gesture of condolence to mark Mr. Castro’s passing and mourn with the people of Cuba.

Prime Minister Holness expressed condolences to the people of Cuba and Mr. Castro’s family as he led a Jamaican delegation on Tuesday, November 29 to attend the official private mass for the former President in Havana, Cuba.

The Prime Minister said Mr. Castro was an outstanding leader who though coming from a Caribbean island developing state, has had the greatest impact on world history. He added that Castro will be remembered for his passionate speeches in defence of the right to self-determination.

Cuba is observing a period of national mourning which will end on December 4.

Jamaica and Cuba have strong bilateral relations particularly in the areas of education and health.

Artists react to the recent killing of 2 unarmed Black men in America

Article by Maria Jackson

00-terrence-and-keith
Terrence Crutcher (left) Keith Scott (right)

On Friday, September 16th, 2016, 40 year old Terrence Crutcher was killed by police officers in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was not armed nor was he breaking the law, he was simply standing next to his car which had stalled on the road. Terrence was a father, a husband, a churchgoing man and a college student; however, all the police officers saw was a “bad dude” – this is how they described him before they tasered and shot him.

A couple days later, in Charlotte, North Carolina, another unarmed Black man, Keith Lamont Scott was apparently sitting in his car with a book when police officers approached him, asked him to get out and shot him.

Both killings have gotten a lot of angry reaction from the public, this ofcourse includes members of the music industry. Via their social media, several artists gave their opinion.

Jamaican soul singer Etana tweeted: “I believe the shooting of innocent sun people is to drive fear into the hearts of the wiser younger ones.”

Hip-hop artist T.I. tweeted: “America continues to remind US this ain’t OUR country. It’s Theirs & they ain’t sharing it! Therefore. It’s #USorELSE #RIPTerenceCrutcher

2Chainz shared a picture of Terrence Clutcher and the officer that fired the shot that killed him and captioned it: “Looks like a bad dude and now he is dead based off his looks rest in peace brother

The fourth annual Caribbean Healthy Families and Fathers Conference 2016 will be held in Kingston on June 21st and 22nd

African father helping son with homework

Fathers & Families Coalition of America, a United States-based nonprofit organization is preparing for its fourth annual Caribbean Healthy Families and Fathers Conference 2016 in Kingston. The two-day event will be held on June 21st and 22nd.

The motive of this conference is to reemphasize the purpose of ‘Fatherhood’ and improve the relationship fathers have with their children. This being due to the absence of the traditional family unit that not many children are able to experience within the Caribbean. This event will deliver empowering and uplifting programs that can teach persons how to successfully execute their role as not only a father but as a role model. These are factors that will help with a child’s self-esteem and also give them a sense of purpose and belonging.

Jamaica holds generations and generations of absent fathers; which unfortunately has formed a stigma of being acceptable. This crucial dilemma is extremely overlooked and this conference will be able to make a difference. The growing trend throughout all the Caribbean of homes with children under 18 raised by mothers alone is a contributor of poverty, increased juvenile incarceration (and adults in prison), children in orphanages and child welfare-systems, low educational and vocational attainment of young adults (18-26), increased teen pregnancy and reduced long-term financial positive growth for Jamaica and other Caribbean sister nations. Dr. Roger Ball, Fordham University (native of Jamaica), Mr. Sheldon Smith, Loma Linda University (native of Jamaica), Professor Edwin Gonzalez Santin, Arizona State University (native of Puerto Rico) and other Caribbean rooted presenters as well as from the United States will provide training for parents and professionals over the 2-days…”This conference will help us bring services to children who have voids in their lives due to the absence of fathers,” said Dr. James C. Rodriguez. The President and CEO of the Fathers & Families Coalition of America and supporter of the Jamaica Affiliate points out that the gift of fatherhood is not often used to its full potential for children, families, and communities. Proceeds that will be collected from the Fathers & Families Coalition of America conference will go to benefit a local orphanage within Kingston and help to improve their conditions.

The prolific event will involve numerous workshops directed towards the development of the strong relationship that connects a father to their family. The topic of men being very quick to be fathers but not taking the roll as seriously is not heavily discussed here in Jamaica and has quite frankly continued to be the norm. This is an event that is very needed within this country and is a perfect opportunity for Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean to truly tap into all of what makes a father the key to a child’s development. Highlighting the attributes of being a provider, protector and supporter. The conference will be held at the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) at 17 Worthington Terrace, Kingston 5, Jamaica.

More information can be found by visiting
http://fathersandfamiliescoalition.org/policy-news/4thannual-caribbean-healthy-families-fathers-conference-open.html

Online registration is currently available by logging onto www.123signup.com/register?id=phpbr All Jamaicans and residents of Caribbean nations can attend at 75% off the regular attendee fee… Promotional Code is Jamaica2016. Contact the organizers today for free entrance opportunities as this is an event based on intention, foundation, change and hope for the future of children and families! Interview opportunities with Dr. James C. Rodriguez, president and CEO of Fathers & Families Coalition of America, are limited.

Call now to book your press availability. Media Contact:
For Dr. James C. Rodriguez
c/o Ms. Lydia Brown-Grant
Event Planner/Social Entrepreneur/Mediator & Coach
JMF Records/Caribbean Flava Event Planning
8 Aloe Avenue | Kingston 13 | Jamaica W.I.|
Mobile: (876)340-3021 | Mobile: (876) 575-5056 |
fathersandfamiliescoalitionja@gmail.com

Black Technology Week Set For February 15-20 In Miami, Florida (@BlackTechWeek)

00-BlackTechWeek
A pic from last year Black Tech Week

The 2nd annual Black Tech Week connects entrepreneurs with the people and tools they need to increase the number of startups that are founded by people of color and connect them with the resources to scale, deliver solutions for stronger partnerships, training and expand the technology blueprint and access to VC funding in the black community.

The weeklong series of events will be held during Black History Month, February 15-20, 2016 on the Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University providing impactful programming centered on innovation, technology and creativity. Black Tech Week includes interactive workshops for idea exchange, the Power Moves Early Stage and Series A Startup Bootcamps, a 3 Day Technology and Startup Conference, Women’s Innovation Brunch, Walker Legacy’s Women in Tech events, Pitch Competitions and VC Mentor Sessions. Attendees can register at http://blacktechweek.com/.

A Workshop To Foster Positive Interactions Between The Police And Inner-City Youths In NYC – Jan.13 (@AllStarsProject)

00-cops&kidsOperation Conversation: Cops & Kids, A Demonstration Workshop is an original production produced by the All Stars Project’s Castillo Theatre. The demonstration features All Stars Project co-founder, Lenora Fulani, Ph.D.; police officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD); and youth from New York’s inner city communities and will be performed to an audience of 1000, made up of NYPD probationary police officers and hundreds of members of the community.

Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids is a program of the All Stars Project, Inc., designed to foster positive interactions between the police and inner-city youth. It consists of a series of workshops that use performance, improvisation and conversation to help teenagers and police officers to develop and improve their relationship.

Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids is the recipient of a Special Achievement Award of the 2013 AUDELCO for excellence in Black theatre, as well as a 2015 CICSO Community Policing Award.

For more info on Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids click here: http://allstars.org/content/cops-and-kids-2

Konshens Sends Powerful Message To Fans, Celebrities & Members Of The Media (@KonshensSojah)

00-KONSHENS_MAIN“I hope all my followers and fans especially celebrities read this. Its going to be a little long but not aimless”- Konshens

Now just as Im looking at this Lamar Odom situation and watching the media parade him around while he is going through his struggle and noticing that most of them instead of highlighting his many great achievements in the midst they bring up all his past demons to add to the “appeal” of their story… I wake up to a message from a friend of mine with the story in the pic above. This is in Jamaica and they are reporting on what happened in Zimbabwe Africa… Now i don’t need to try to edit this reporters story and point out the many errors and wrong information because the persons that were there and YouTube and my social media know how it really went. But the more important issue is to highlight something to you Ive always known it but its always being reintroduced to me.

As an artiste i have a huge fan base in dancehall worldwide, I’ve been touring,selling out shows big and small songs on charts worldwide etc. Ive been doing countless charity ventures most recently back to school treats and paying tuition fees for students as well as taking part in several other charity ventures of my peers/co workers.

One could say that as artistes we don’t do enough to get out our own positive moves and then we expect the media to come and jump and put it on blast for us, that could be the case and we could be at fault… But I think its kinda funny that I can be on the other side of the world and representing Jamaica and our music in a stand up positive way leaving patrons and the promoters pleased regardless of technical difficulties that were no fault of mine. See their press report countless positive accounts of the night YET… The story that happened to find its way on the slave ship and venture across land and sea all the way to JAMAICA is one that is trying to paint a negative picture or highlight a misfortune. Not funny?

00-Konshens_0375We didn’t send home the positive but neither did we the negative. But it was searched for and put on blast though. Its obvious that putting down our own is much more interesting and appealing than building up our own. Im not attacking this reporter, maybe he/she hates Konshens or artistes or celebs or maybe he/she is just a hard nosed straight business person that is doing their job and reporting what sells. Who knows. This particular story is not that big a deal. The point is that the issue…

We are slaves to this mentality as fans and as the celebrities being paraded. We are so fascinated with negativity that we are beginning to lose interest in positivity!! You don’t think so?… Check it for yourself. Check the front page of the papers for the past months in JA count the headlines that weren’t about somebody’s misfortune or blunder. Last positive I remember was the athletes showing up at the last games and OMI Sterling contract, all things that make us all look good as a people but how quickly did we forget about all that??

Im here in Europe and somebody rescued a dog on a train line and I’ve been seeing it over and over and over… Might I add that the latest unrest on earth is happening in Europe right now too. Do the maths. I once requested some media coverage from a popular media house/program, when they showed up the host said.. “So who u having an issue with now” I said no one… He said your publicist said you have an issue thats why we are here!! Ok what else can we report about lol. He knows that some nice information wont be hot news but if Im upset with somebody and have some negative energy to start something its gonna be hot news!! We need to empower ourselves as fans if we are really fans… Demand,respect and support positivity!!

And as artistes and celebs we need to understand what we are getting into, most people don’t see us as regular human beings with regular human issues and emotions….Im sure if the average person could see the REAL LIFE (not the reality TV version) of some of the biggest stars they would NEVER trade their regular life. As artistes we need to look at the times we are in carefully… Amy Winehouse,Whitney,and now God forbid maybe Lamar Odom… Maybe they were just crackheads to some, but maybe it was really the great pressure that we will never know about unless we live it 1st hand. …

Its sad, there is a great talent somewhere in Jamaica right now desperate to be heard and contemplating drastic and dangerous measures to be seen so he can be heard. Or a struggling artiste watching the way the media parades the negative side of Vybz Kartel or Movado or Bounty Killa and think that its the main ingredient in their success and not talent and hard work nonstop…Contemplating to create his own negativity to step up. Sounds like fiction?? Imagine what the story would be like if I had the guy that hit me with the bottle killed instead of going in a different direction to set an example…Would be a much easier move and I actually lost respect for such an action.

We are so enslaved mentally that we not only expect negativity but we crave and respect it. As FANS and CELEBRITIES and as a PEOPLE we need to empower our MINDS and come out of slave mode. The early slave masters could not have achieved slavery if he did not gain control of the minds of influential individuals. Think about it.
-Konshens

Marlene Palmer’s Accurate Assessment Of Sandra Bland’s Murder & Cover Up

00-sandrabland001So what do you do after falsely arresting and imprisoning someone who vows to get justice, and they end up dead? As this sickening tragedy continues to unfold its becomes more and more apparent, that the powers that be will do whatever it takes, to ensure that those responsible for Sandra Bland’s murder are protected.

Those of us who really understands how this so called justice system works in regards to black people, knew and expected that those claiming to be investigating her death, would do whatever it takes to deflect and change the narrative, from the fact that she was unlawfully arrested, detained and subsequently found dead. To the fact that she was not only depressed she was suicidal. Ultimately taking her own life. This despite the fact that she has NEVER been clinically diagnosed.

Now we’re hearing from the investigation, allegations that go from her having previously attempted to commit suicide, to her self harming, to her having marijuana in her system. This is the investigation that their supposedly doing to see how Sandra Bland died. But even if that’s true what does that have to do with what happened to her? Why because this builds a bases for everything they will do going forward.

00-sandrabland002However for some strange reason the ONLY one that seem to be under investigation is Sandra Bland. We’ve heard nothing in regards to the investigation involving the bully boy thug with a badge Brian Encinia, who falsely accused and arrested Sandra Bland on trumped up charges, who both verbally and physically assaulted her both in and outside of the vehicle.

Who escalated a minor routine traffic stop from simply issuing her either a citation, warning, ticket and LET HER GO. Once it was deemed that there was no clear or present danger. To threatening to light her up with his taser, terrorizing this woman in the most despicable, cowardly and demeaning way.

Despite the fact that a preliminary investigation found that Encinia violated traffic stop & courtesy protocols. We seem to be unable to find out from DPS what exactly does ” violating traffic stop & courtesy protocols” really mean? Could they possibly be referring to his despicable, disgusting, aggressive, arrogant, egotistical, combative, abrasive, bullying behaviour? You think (sarcasm). What is the status with his investigation I wonder, if any?

00-sandra-bland003Hell even “DPS Director Steve McCraw stated that regardless of the situation, the DPS state trooper has an obligation to exhibit professionalism and be courteous,” “That did not happen in this situation.” When Texas State Senator Royce West was asked by reporters if Sandra Bland caused her own death, West said “no.” He also added that she didn’t deserve to be arrested in the first place.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it over, and over, and over again, were it NOT for the actions of bully boy thug with a badge Brian Encinia, Sandra Bland would still be alive today. SANDRA BLAND’S BLOOD IS ON BRIAN ENCINIA HANDS! So it begs the question who is actually being investigated? The woman that was profiled, targeted and subsequently FOUND DEAD or the individuals both directly and indirectly who came into contact with Sandra Bland?

Let us be very clear every effort and attempt WILL be made to smear, tarnish, impeach, discredit and destroy Sandra Bland’s character and credibility. They will dig up whatever dirt they can to sully her reputation. That strategy has proved effective in the past, so I see no reason for them to deviate from it now. This is something they MUST DO, in order to deflect from this disgusting tragedy, that should have never, ever happened in the first place, to it being about Sandra Bland herself.

00-sandrabland004This witch-hunt has absolutely nothing to do with getting justice for Sandra Bland, this is about protecting, concealing and covering-up, for all parties involved. After all if they really wanted justice for her she would have NEVER BEEN ARRESTED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

So whatever they do at this point will be a whitewash both figuratively and literally. The system will do whatever it takes to protect a corrupt dirty cop! Just ask Serpico. Because keeping the status quo and keeping law and order, is the most important thing they can and must do at this point. What Sandra Bland’s case shows is how as a black person in America you have NO RIGHTS.

And just in case you forget your place, you’ve not only got bully boy thugs with badges to contend with, but the entire legal system at their disposal to do their bidding for them. I continue to be astounded by the sheer level of ignorance, bigotry, hate and downright stupidity that many whites and even some blacks have as it relates to what is really happening in this country.

Again there are those that get it and those that don’t, Sandra Bland got it, and did her best to articulate it by using ‪#‎SandySpeaks‬ as a platform to share her views about the things that mattered to her. A beautiful and articulate woman, she was full of life outgoing, and mindful, who spoke truth to power based on what she saw, both as a passionate black woman as well as an activist.

00-sandrabland005A 28-year-old woman who made a decision to relocate to another state after having had being offered not one but two jobs, a woman who was looking forward to starting a new chapter in her life. Who loved her family and was in turn loved by them. Who now are having to deal with the horror of what happened to their loved one, their sister, daughter and aunt.

Trying to make sense of and understand how their sister who on the day she was arrested was on her way to a job interview with her former university, Prairie View A & M University. Ends up dead days later. How tragic and ironic that someone who felt compelled to speak out against racism and injustice, becomes a victim of it herself. Sandra Bland’s family has every reason to be sceptical in regards to anything authorities tell them whether it be the events before and after, the autopsy and everything in-between.

We will NOT allow this corrupt system that is rigged at every single solitary point, to put Sandra Bland on trial. The only ones that should be on trial is the bully boy thug with a badge Brian Encinia, and the other responding officers, individuals at the Waller County Jail as well as the entire judicial and criminal system itself.

The sad reality is that with a grand jury deciding whether Sandra Bland was murdered, or she died of a suicide. And with the long racist history of Waller County itself. The odds of anyone being criminally held accountable for her arrest, jail time, and death are slim to none. This is the reality of living in an institutionally racist white supremacist society where black lives don’t matter.

‪#‎SandraBland‬

‪#‎IfIDieInPoliceCustody‬

‪#‎BlackLivesMatters‬

‪#‎NowLegalizeBeingBlackInAmerica

Misty Copeland Becomes First Black Principal Dancer At American Ballet Theater

00-misty copelandMisty Copeland, a 32-year-old ballerina who starred in an Under Armour ad and appeared in a Prince video, was named the principle dancer at the American Ballet Theater, becoming the first African-American woman to hold the highest ranking in the company’s 75-year history.

“I had moments of doubting myself, and wanting to quit, because I didn’t know that there would be a future for an African-American woman to make it to this level,” she said at a news conference after the annoncement. “At the same time, it made me so hungry to push through, to carry the next generation. So it’s not me up here—and I’m constantly saying that—it’s everyone that came before me that got me to this position.”

Copeland has appeared on the cover of Time magaazine and garnered a larger profile, in parts to her extraordinary talent and her outspoken desire to hold the top spot at the American Ballet Theater.

What Are They Saying About Britain And Racism? (@BBMBMC)

00-british1So how is Britain dealing with racism, apart from its periodic use as a political football, or the broader issue of diversity? Last year, there was a loud and determined effort with government ministers roped in to address diversity within the broadcast and film industries.

The year before, in comparison, there was a more muted and internally-focused effort to do the same within music – all the major music industry bodies signed up to the Equality & Diversity For Music. RE:IMI (Race Equality: In Music Industry) would like to see this effort succeed, and during this year’s British Black Music Month, aims to galvanise stakeholders in redoubling their efforts in addressing equality issues.

An election year, is a particularly good time to be dealing with these issues. The major political parties have all issued their manifestos, some like Labour and Lib-Dem, have actually also issued mini-manifestos addressing the inequalities faced by Britain’s African, Asian and ethnic minority (AAEM) communities. Community organisations such as OBV (Operation Black Vote), BTEG (Black Training & Enterprise Group), and for the first time the ‘black’ church under the auspices of NCLF (National Church Leaders Forum), have also issued manifestos.

This election, like any since the notorious 1964 elections from which the victorious Labour government introduced the RRA, has had its fair share of ‘race’, racism, immigration and xenophobia stories.

All this is happening at a time when we should be marking the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the 1965 Race Relations Act (RRA), the bedrock of Britain’s equality laws. You would be forgiven if what should be a landmark legislation, which came about as a consequence of African-led activism with the support of progressive Europeans, has passed you by.

There’s been no fanfare, not even the merest mention anywhere. This is interesting, particularly at a time when some feel there’s been a roll-back of progress made in tackling racism in the intervening decades be it through entrenched institutional, the usual insidious or covert, or the occasional overt manifestations of racism 50 years on.

00-british2It’s against this backdrop that London community groups BTWSC and African Histories Revisited mark British History 50:70, on May 14, one week after the general election, with the launch of a documentary in Westminster in which over 50 people, drawn from diverse backgrounds opine on the state of racism in Britain.

Contributors to the ‘Look How Far We’ve Come: Commentaries On British Society And Racism?’ DVD, which will be launched at the Abbey Centre in Westminster, include the late politician Tony Benn, who was instrumental in the passage of the 1965 RRA. There are other politicians such as David Lammy, Keith Vaz, Diane Abbott, Ken Livingstone; ‘race’ activists Lord Herman Ouseley, Lord Anthony Lester, Linda Bellos, Dr Richard Stone; community and political activists Darcus & Leila Howe,Eric & Jessica Huntley, Lee Jasper, Marc Wadsworth, Toyin Agbetu; academics Prof Gus John, Prof Harry Goulbourne, Prof Paul Gilroy; trade unionists Lord Bill Morris, Zita Holbourne, Wilf Sullivan;and Bristol Bus Boycott leader Paul Stephenson. Contributors are also drawn from the Church, law, police, nursing, and broadcasting.

The guest of honour is educationalist Dame Jocelyn Barrow, a founding member of CARD (Campaign Against Racial Discrimination), one of the organisations whose work led to the 1968 amendment, which brought employment and housing under the purview of the RRA. The launch is preceded by a post-Easter presentation entitled ‘Is Jesus White?’.

A competition based on a teaser video consisting of snippets without sound posted on Youtube (http://bit.ly/1MyamSp) will run from May 1-9. Winners who decipher what’s being said by a particular contributor will receive a copy of the DVD, the ‘Look How Far We’ve Come: The Race/Racism Primer’, and two complimentary tickets to the launch. For more details or to book for launch: http://bit.ly/1xWMG1d.