The Rhythm of the Heavens

A must read!!

Teach. Run. Write

The first thing that strikes me about Kenya are the sounds.

From landing in Nairobi at the airport, to the village we stayed in, it’s the sounds the pop up in my mind: brightly-colored, bustling matatus honk as their exhausts loudly blare and swerve through streets; men dressed in bright pink shirts play trumpets on a truck bed as they drive down the street. Even the language— rich, velvety accents that transformed European English into something beautiful and unique— reminds you that this place is musical and special. Kenya is an audiophiles dream.

I don’t mean to say Kenya is “loud.” First off, it’s a big country that I saw a very small part of. Even then, my experience wasn’t that it was “noisy,” with all the negative connotations that espouses. Instead, it is a space where sound resonates deeply. In the city, it’s urban rhythms of street vendors and…

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Lack of social references harms black children: under-representation of ethnic diversity in childhood influences the construction of adult identity

Black Women Of Brazil

Yasmin, 13, relies on the example of self-affirmation of her mother, Miria Alves, 34 Yasmin, 13, has the example of self-assertion of her mother Miria Alves, 34 – (Photo: Adilton Venegeroles)

Note from BW of BrazilArticles such as the one below supports what has been my view for several years now when the inevitable question comes up: Between the US and Brazil, which country is more racist? For decades, while images of black people being sprayed with water hoses, attacked by police dogs, legal segregation and race riots in the US were broadcast around the world, Brazil kept treatment its black population out of the media, even going as far as to flat out deny that racism even existed. This even as a number of Brazilian, American and European social scientists were conclusively showing that Brazil indeed had a race problem.

But the fact is that today, in many ways, the two countries practice both the subtle forms of racist behavior as…

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Read Poem: Wet Dreams, by Atandi Anyona

POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film.

Fear blinks endlessly from both her eyes
what kind of soul does this to a child
a love suffocated while still so young
when she sleeps you can hear her dreams cry.

Assigned a mentor exemplary at his work
every teacher recommended him to their class
all she wanted was to be better, to learn, work hard
he pinned her to the dusty chalk board
ripped her skirt and innocence apart.

Her friends dream daily of falling in love
with those tall handsome knights
she can’t stand the sight of a man
can she ever be touched as a wife?

Tonight there’s a knife tucked under her pillow
there’s a feel he’ll appear in her nightmare
she prays she’ll wake in sheets wet with
his blood
she will begin to heal
at last.

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“I don’t wanna be your friend”: The precarious state of black women’s love lives

Black Women Of Brazil

Ojo Agi Shop Photo courtesy of the Ojo Agi Shop

Note from BW of Brazil: It’s been a topic that’s intrigued me for a number of years. In any social network in which black Brazilians discuss issues that are important to their community, inevitably, this topic will emerge. Beyond the regular battle that goes down when the topic is how many black Brazilian men are flocking to white women and black men countering that they cannot complain as so many black women are doing the same, what I have noticed is that is quite easy to come across single black women in their prime years for developing long-lasting relationships. On the other hand, I don’t know many black men complaining of slim pickings in the dating arena and not being able to find “the one”. In recent years, there have been a number of articles mostly by black women, but increasingly…

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“My God, Is Slavery Extinct?”: With stinging criticism of political elites, samba school invokes Brazil’s slave past as commentary on modern condition of the people

Black Women Of Brazil


Note from BW of Brazil: As I took a pause in the action for some days of much needed relaxation, I mostly tuned out of this year’s Carnaval festivities. But thanks to YouTube, I was able to finally sit and watch and find out what all the fuss was about in regards to this year’s parades. After watching the show put on by the Paraíso do Tuiuti and Beija-Flor samba schools, I figured I needed to feature this story, even as the Carnaval season officially ended nearly two weeks ago.This is because, in their parade, the two schools brought to the fore numerous issues that are discussed on this blog.Brazil’s slavery past and the way that black Brazilians are to this day treated as if they are still living in the senzalas (slave quarters).Labor reform that, in effect, has chipped away at many rights of all Brazilian workers

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25 curious facts about slavery in Brazil

Black Women Of Brazil


Note from BW of Brazil: Whenever discussing the experiences of African descendants in the Americas, the topic will inevitably turn to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade at some point in the discussion. This blog has touched on a few aspects about slavery in Brazil over the past few years, mostly dealing with the sheer numbers of Africans brought to Brazil and the vast racial inequalities that continue even 125 years after the abolition of this institution. Today, in a very intriguing post, we present a little more background about slavery from the Brazilian perspective and shed light on some interesting details. 

Main slave traffic routes between Africa and Brazil Main slave traffic routes between Africa and Brazil

25 curiosities about slavery in Brazil

by Michel Goulart

The Golden Law signed by Princess Isabel on May 13, 1888, ended slavery in Brazil The Golden Law signed by Princess Isabel on May 13, 1888, ended slavery in Brazil

On May 13th the abolition of slavery is commemorated in Brazil. The fact occurred in 1888, through…

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The Black Prayer

This is deep, so take your time. The Black Prayer Why Did You Make Me Black Lord Lord .. Why did you make me black? Why did you make someone the world would hold back?… Black is the color of dirty clothes, of grimy hands and feet…… Black is the color of darkness, of tired beaten streets… Why did you give me thick lips, a broad nose and kinky hair? Why did you create someone who receives the hated stare? Black is the color of the bruised eye when someone gets hurt… Black is the color of darkness, black is the color of dirt. Why is my bone structure so thick, my hips and cheeks so high? Why are my eyes brown, and not the color of the sky? Why do people think I’m useless? How come I feel so used? Why do people see my skin and think I should be abused? Lord, I just don’t understand… What is it about my skin? Why is it some people want to hate me and not know the person within? Black is what people are “Labeled” when others want to keep them away… Black is the color of shadows cast… Black is the end of the day. Lord you know my own people mistreat me, and you know this just ain’t right… They don’t like my hair, they don’t like my skin, as they say I’m too dark or too light! Lord, don’t you think it’s time to make a change? Why don’t you redo creation and make everyone the same? God’s Reply: Why did I make you black? Why did I make you black? I made you in the color of coal from which beautiful diamonds are formed… I made you in the color of oil, the black gold which keeps people warm. Your color is the same as the rich dark soil that grows the food you need… Your color is the same as the black stallion and panther, Oh what majestic creatures indeed! All colors of the heavenly rainbow can be found throughout every nation… When all these colors are blended, you become my greatest creation! Your hair is the texture of lamb’s wool, such a beautiful creature is he… I am the shepherd who watches them, I will ALWAYS watch over thee! You are the color of the midnight sky, I put star glitter in your eyes… There’s a beautiful smile hidden behind your pain… That’s why your cheeks are so high! You are the color of dark clouds from the hurricanes I create in September… I made your lips so full and thick, so when you kiss…they will remember! Your stature is strong, your bone structure thick to withstand the burden of time… The reflection you see in the mirror, that image that looks back, that is MINE! So get off your knees, look in the mirror and tell me what you see? I didn’t make you in the image of darkness… I made you in the image of ME!nakia lupita nyongo black panther 1