Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Come one, come all to our special OPEN HOUSE for teachers.
Please join us on Sunday, July 22nd if you are in the market to teach in the areas of LANGUAGE ARTS AND SCIENCE.
You do not have to reside in ATL. Our full-day African-centered curriculum is taught via the web, and you can reside anywhere in the world where there is a sufficient internet connection.
Come and see our engaging, real-time platforms, LMS (learning management system, curriculum and schedule for this fall, 2018
Sunday, July 22nd
8 PM EST
Click here to join.
Meeting ID: 404-292-9002
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16465588656,,4042929002# or +16699006833,,4042929002#
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833
Meeting ID: 404 292 9002
Hope to see you there,
Afiya Madzimoyo, MSW
Friday, July 6, 2018
Thursday, December 28, 2017
For Ujima, I offer you John Coltrane’s Equinox. This original rendition with over 7 million views/listens on YouTube alone may help us move the principle Ujima which calls for collective work and responsibility into action. The strong percussive piano of McCoy Tyner, the drums of Elvin Jones and the vibrations of Ron Carter’s bass reminds me of how we used rhythm to stimulate Ujima. In Equinox, I hear “Berta, Berta” - the work song: “Be my woman, and I’ll be your man…”
Hear it? Elvin Jones - the drummer - is playing “Let Your Hammer Ring.” Don’t get it twisted, we didn’t just use work songs to help us get through imposed work, we created and used them to help us complete work of our own choosing. It was healing, bonding, spiritual.
There was a caller, but no star. We all responded. The call and response process bound us together while taking us higher in a way that affirmed each other’s worth. This higher, mutually affirming place is the birthplace of trust - the cornerstone of our working and building together.
The rhythm of both Equinox and Berta Berta keeps us in time while letting us get lost in time - individually and together at the same time. The rhythmic trance of such work opens the door for responsibility symbolized by Coltrane’s spiritual saxophone.
Like the caller in Berta Berta, Trane calls to our Afrikan DNA, his sound takes us way back home and calls our ancestors forward. In that great cosmic meeting, Afrikan identity and accountability are reborn. These are the roots of collective responsibility.
Equinox can remind us to take care to organize our work in rhythmic and mutually affirming ways. It reminds us to make sure our work (not just our words or libation) calls the ancestors forward while affirming our Afrikan identity and thus sending us back to meet them.
If this seems too esoteric, try these things while bathing in our spiritually affirming music:
1. Ask for help. Then take it. You deserve it. Yes, this is Ujima. This is the most powerful way to combat the Eurocentric rugged individualism mythology and its deadly silent message that if you need help or ask for help, you’re weak, inadequate, unworthy, etc. Ask for help sometimes even when you can do it alone. We have far to go, so we need each other. This is also the doorway to collective responsibility because it asking and receiving creates an attachment and obligation to each other.
2. Return the favor. Offer and give help (an ear, a hand, a ride, a dollar) where you see us working for what’s good for our families, our community and for Afrikan people - including what’s good for the person or family. Be aware of how you’re lifted by lifting our people. Sing while you give. Don't just join what's already going well, help someone get started and rolling.
3. If you see a good fight where a family or our people are fighting oppression (even if it’s not your preferred way to fight), get in it, or get inspired to fight it your way and ask others to join you.
4. Exercise, eat well and take care of yourself to become physically and emotionally strong. You can't help much if you're sick.
5. Become good at many things, and greatly skilled at a few things. Actually, helping others will help you do this.
Now, make sure you listen to, sing, dance and work to our music together.
Ujima will follow.
Let Your Hammer Ring:
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
In the spirit of kujichagulia (self-determination), I offer you Gil Scott Heron's remake of the Marvin Gaye classic- Inner City Blues. Makes you wanna "holla" and throw up both of your hands. See, most don't understand the role of the blues to take us through despair. Gil helps the uninitiated, guiding us like the blues so that we throw up both our hands - not in despair, in Black liberation and Afrikan sovereignty.
Listen to the end. He'll take you back to the block and back to New Orleans, back the future!
Kujichagulia is not something that will be given by those who profit financially and psychically from your misery. Self-determination is not something that you beg for. It's not a concept as much as it is a verb - both an action and a state of being!If you're going to determine the education of your children, you don't beg others for permission to shape their course or method of study. You do it.
Of course, there is a price to pay, for over the years since New Orleans and before, we have accumulated lots of equity in our escapism.
Hear the sounds of trinkets falling to the ground - the rattling of our shiny chains dropping with each step of kujichagulia!
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Don't you get it? It's comedy to them - tragic comedy. So are we. It can't be a horror film, they hypnotize us to believe ourselves powerless to serve our own interest and only to serve them daily. What's horrible about that?
One got away, this time. So what?
From their perspective, the doctor's Frankenstein-like efforts are laughable when the vehicle of story and the very viewing medium (movies, media, etc.) generate far less resistance and often garner voluntary life-long commitments to servitude from Black bodies and Black brains.
For survival and physical prowess, dipping into the more African gene pool is a far more elegant solution than messy neurological transplants. See the classic movie "Rabbit-Proof Fence" or view Serena's wedding!
Black, loud, race-conscious, father Richard is gone. See image in comments. Resistance is gone. Retreat has devolved into surrender.
The brains and the brawn of the next generation will be used in service of white aspirations, fears, and their compensatory dominating agenda. A blacker body controlled by a white mindset is running faster, swinging harder, living longer - just like in the movie only with less blood and the nasty side effects of physical brain surgery. Identity surgery is cleaner.
In this light, the surgeon/father's actions are clunky and laughable and given our care about how whites label, award, reward the movie, so are our efforts to GET OUT!
The sound of the spoon in the teacup is the sound of their approval.
Tragedy for us.
Comedy for them.
Ha, Ha, Ha.
Friday, November 24, 2017
Thanks-no-Thanks reflection from 2011 that may be relevant to you and your family today. Wow, how time flies.
November 24, 2011 (with some dialogue added at the bottom)
Thanksgiving? This is always such a push-and-pull day. I relish any opportunity to pause, feel, and express my gratitude to the Creator, my ancestors, my family, friends, and the thousands of people who have touched me over the years. At the same time, I loathe celebrating the near extinction of a people by white supremacy- domination, and the reminder that we and Africa are on a similar trajectory
The sweet potato pie, the hugs from Aunt Annie Mae, and the love rituals of this day are grounding, they pull us together. At the same time, they usually separate us from the reality (then and now) of the active oppression of native peoples and our OWN people.
In too many instances, what becomes sacred is our praising God and celebrating family IN ISOLATION of challenging the evils of those who dominate us and other indigenous people.
This dichotomy doesn't have to be. We could dedicate this time off “from the plantation” to build family ties for us to become better warriors, healers, and builders. We could ask, as did Harriet Tubman, for God to be the wind at our backs to support our efforts to fight, heal, and build.
I know we need a break. We deserve relief. A break from the racism at work or school, from the put-downs, and the pressure is a breath of fresh air.
When that well-deserved retreat becomes surrender, then our praises and family hugs become a form of escapism. Our apparently nurturing celebration become a way for us to hide from ourselves that we are surrendering succeeding generations to evils worse than those from which are now we are trying to escape.
Surrender is not relief; it is a DELUSION, for as Frederick Douglass reminded us: "The limits of tyrants are prescribed by those they oppress."
We could flip the script. We could use this family time to heal so that we can fight so that we can build. We could be thankful that we have lived to fight, heal and build another day. We could also learn some true stories of the native peoples of this land. Even better we could learn and fill the day telling our own native warrior-healer-builder stories from the inside out, not the outside in.
Here's a snippet from a mythical conversation that may serve as a small example to get us started. Imagine a dinner gathering everybody 'round the table, everybody speaking with and over each other...
Pass the potatoes.
Did granddad, uncle Hervey or anyone in the family ever fight racism at any time?
Little more gravy, please. How did they do it?
Can we celebrate that?
May I have some collard greens. Yes, a little more, please.
Who was the trust-builder in the family?
Would y'all turn that football game down or off?!
Now, tell me again how did grandma 'nem stay clothed in their right (Black) minds during more overt racist times?
Okra? someone told me that we brought that with us from Afrika. Is that true?
Young people, what's the subtle and overt racism you face today?
Don't hog the chow-chow.
Y'all remember having to shell peas?!
Pass the pepper. You know Daddy Chisulu (Cornell) always wanted some hot pepper with his greens. If he were here, I'd ask him: "What do we need to develop and reward among our family to become what we need to be to remove people from power over us?"
Get the picture? That may get you started. Keep going, and keep going deeper.
That’s my personal solution to the push and pull. Flip the script!
Its a request that my family and our family use the time to work through the PAIN of past relationships that SEPARATE us; that we create a safe place to ask for help and to give it; that we use our COLLECTIVE eyes to see the dangers that we face more clearly; that we use the collective minds to plan our family’s counter to the inimical forces that threaten our family and our people; that we use the collective hands to reassure us that we can and will vanquish those who oppress us and other indigenous peoples - in that order!
For that kind of reunion and renewal, I truly do give thanks.
(c) Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
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