Welcome to the
Haitian Pumpkin Soup
This is the season for pumpkin: the big orange squash is everywhere, in stores, drinks, fragrances, decorations. It’s Halloween tradition. But there’s another pumpkin tradition with which you may not be familiar. Haitians celebrate New Year’s Day with soup joumou, a concoction of pumpkin, beef, onions, garlic and more. Why? “Liberty in a Soup,” a documentary premiering Oct. 9, explains. Filmmaker Dudley Alexis says the project was inspired four years ago by a chatty Las Vegas cab driver. “He asked where I was from, I said I was from Haiti,” says Alexis, 32, who moved to South Florida in 1999. “We started to talk about the Haitian revolution.He was talking about how he was a big fan of Haitian culture. Surprisingly, he knew about the soup.” Before 1804, soup joumou was a forbidden delicacy, prepared by enslaved people but only to be consumed by their owners. A successful struggle for independence changed that.
Student Debt Slavery
The lending business is heavily stacked against student borrowers. Bigger players can borrow for almost nothing, and if their investments don’t work out, they can put their corporate shells through bankruptcy and walk away. Not so with students. Their loan rates are high and if they cannot pay, their debts are not normally dischargeable in bankruptcy. Rather, the debts compound and can dog them for life, compromising not only their own futures but the economy itself. “Students should not be asked to pay more on their debt than they can afford,” said Donald Trump on the presidential campaign trail in October 2016. “And the debt should not be an albatross around their necks for the rest of their lives.”
A Lot Wrong with the
Queen’s visit to Ghana
The "Crown on Netflix" is a show about the life of Queen Elizabeth II, rich with period detail. Rich, that is, until the first scene in episode eight of the second season, which opens in an ersatz orientalist fantasy palace that’s supposed to be in Accra, Ghana. Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah (played ably by British actor Danny Sapani—at least until the soul-curdling moment he tries to speak Twi) stands at a podium talking about forging new alliances among African states. A confederation of African stereotypes looks on approvingly.
Al Sharpton torches Trump in MLK Day op-ed
Rev. Al Sharpton heavily criticized President Trump in an op-ed marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day, accusing his administration of “undoing the progress” of the civil rights movement and emboldening racist ideologies.“A half-century ago King led a movement — a movement that was predicated upon securing voting rights, job opportunities, fair housing, educational opportunities, an end to racial discrimination and ending income inequality,” Sharpton in an op-ed published Monday by NBC News. “Today, in 2018, we find ourselves at a crossroads: Everything King fought so tirelessly for is under attack once again.”
What Kwanzaa means for BLack Americans
On Dec. 26, millions throughout the world’s African community will start weeklong celebrations of Kwanzaa. There will be daily ceremonies with food, decorations and other cultural objects, such as the kinara, which holds seven candles. At many Kwanzaa ceremonies, there is also African drumming and dancing. It is a time of communal self-affirmation – when famous black heroes and heroines, as well as late family members – are celebrated. As a scholar who has written about racially motivated violence against blacks, directed black cultural centers on college campuses and sponsored numerous Kwanzaa celebrations, I understand the importance of this holiday.
Jamaicans reeling from death of ‘Patty King’
Howell Hawthorne (right), president & CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, collects the 2010 Observer Business Leader Award from Observer Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart at an awards ceremony held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica. Jamaicans residing throughout the USA are reeling from the Dec. 2 afternoon shocker that Lowell Hawthorne had committed suicide. Disbelief temporarily pacified many who could not grasp the reality that the acclaimed Patty King and founder and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill died from two self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
Fashion brand H&M apologizes for ad of black boy in 'Coolest Monkey' hoodie
Swedish fashion brand, H&M have attracted a strong social media backlash after what most people considered a racist photo appeared on their website.The said photo showed two boys wearing hoodies on H&M’s United Kingdom store website. It turned out that the inscription on the respective apparels was the source of the Twitter outrage. Whereas the white boy’s hoodie read: “Mangrove Jungle Survival Expert,” that of the black boy was “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle.” CNN quotes a company spokesperson as saying H&M was sorry if the ad offended people: “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended.” That has done little to appease persons angered at the photos.
Uhuru blew chance to apologize for poll killings,
tackle debt and corruption
When my father died, I stopped believing in God. I was 15 years old, and it was 2009. He passed away from a heart attack on the front porch of our home. My family tried to comfort me with sayings like "the Lord has called him home," but these words offered me no solace. I couldn't understand God's plan as I grappled with how empty I felt. I missed him so much. I'd call his cell phone just to hear him on voicemail.
Before my dad transitioned, I was a part of the vast majority of African Americans in this country who belong to the Christian religion. My dad grew up in Hampton, Virginia, and was a Christian man. Our house was built around the church—Bible quotes were plastered on the walls and my dad would play gospel music by artists like Marvin Sapp on Sunday mornings. Unfortunately, his death left me with so many questions that I felt Christianity wasn't able to answer. How could I believe in the Father after losing mine?
The Writing Systems in Africa
The neocolonial school system has taught and keeps teaching the Africans that orally is the only mean by which Africks used to give knowledge and memory. This is completely untrue because Africa offered writing to humanity but also different types of writing were created all over the continent since the antiquity until today.
Jean Jacques Dessalines
Jean Jacques Dessalines was born on a sugarcane plantation in the Grande Riviere du Nord from enslaved African parents whose countries of birthplace are still unknown. The only early family members he had that history has kept, are his aunt whom he affectionately called Mantou and, two brothers: Louis and Joseph Duclos who would later adopt the last name Dessalines, after Haiti's Independence. Jean Jacques Dessalines, just like the rest of children born from two enslaved parents at the time, was also a slave. He worked under the extremely harsh conditions of a white French man named Henry Duclos, until he was sold to a freed slave who treated him much better. About 30 years old, Dessalines escaped and joined the slave revolution that was sparked by Bookman, after the Bois Caiman Ceremony in 1791. He joined François Papillon and Georges Biassou in the mountains who were already training a few escaped slaves.