“They Lootin’!!! AHHHH!!! Made Ya Look!!!” – @NovaSankofa

Ferguson Mo Quiktrip

I send my condolences to Michael Brown’s family and all people worldwide feeling heartache as a result of police brutality.

Now, I have something to say about the looting at the protests… … …

Fuck those stores!

The bad guys aren’t the people looting those stores. The real bad guys are the people putting liquor stores & McD’s there in the first place. It shouldn’t even be there. Every hood you go to, you can’t find a library or community center, but there are liquor stores and poisonous foods in abundance. Parasites in the community. Then Black folks are proud of people for protecting these business that tranquilize (liquor) and poison (McD’s) their own neighborhood, while the media pits the “good negros” against the “bad negros”.

1) Those aren’t Black businesses

2) Protecting the financial interests of “community outsiders” isn’t a win to me

3) There are better things that can be there.

A Black neighborhood in which the Black dollar isn’t circulating and “others” set up businesses is basically a colony. There should be no surprise racist police are put in these places to protect the investors’ money. If you go to Chinatown in Philly, you don’t see chain stores, only Chinese business… and guess what? Chinatown also has a Chinese Police Dept, Chinese Fire Dept, a Chinese Bank, etc. Economic power IS power. It’s bigger than population, that is why there are whole Black communities that are powerless. For example, look at the Jewish community in this country. Small population but a lot of power, because economic power is a form of true power.

I’m not saying to loot or not. I’m saying that it doesn’t matter. Respectability politics won’t get us anywhere.

“Why didn’t you loot and you are protecting this store?”

“I wanted to show them we ain’t all ignorant niggas”


Getting beat upside the head, shot in the streets, and still trying to earn the favor of people who will treat you like less than a dog anyway. Risking your own wellbeing to protect a LIQUOR STORE, a parasite of the community, to “show them” you’re better than the rest of your people.

Cut the bullshit.

In the grand scheme of things, none of this takes away from the fact an unarmed Black man (Michael Brown) was murdered by a police officer last week. In the midst of all this media hoopla, let us keep that in mind (ironic I say this after this long post, but I didn’t intend for it to be this long. I didn’t even intend for it to be a whole post). No amount of liquor stores or hair supply shops can justify what happened to this young man. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.


-Nova Sankofa


Nova Sankofalogo

What do you think? Feel Free to comment.

Black Woman, I Apologize | Nova Sankofa


Black Woman,
I apologize for all the times you came with an issue and instead of listening, I combatted it with an issue of my own.

Black Woman,
I apologize for excusing or dismissing your feelings.

Black Woman,
I apologize for every time I justified in my head my own verbal abuse of Black women in the past.

Black Woman,
I apologize for every time you told me what bothered you and I argued semantics instead of the real issue at hand.

Black Woman,
I apologize for every time I stood idle while witnessing someone else mistreat you.

Black Woman,
I apologize for the influence I had over other brothers to perform the same ignorant acts I once performed that outlived my own ignorance.

I’m sorry.

If you don’t forgive me, I understand.

Black Woman,
I promise to try my best to love you better now and in the future.

I could go on and on… I have trespassed so many times against you that I can neither write it all down or ask for forgiveness.

I believe us as Black men sometimes get overwhelmed with our own struggles and injustices we don’t want to hear it from others, even if it is from people who support us the most… Black women.

When we are falsely imprisoned, killed, and/or abused, it is always Black women first on the scene to help.

It is time for us to do better, Black men.

-Nova Sankofa

Dedicated to my two Black daughters, my Black wife, and every Black woman.


We Don’t Want To Be Included. We Want To Be Equal. | Nova Sankofa


This should go without saying, but inclusion is not equality. If I had a nickel for every time I saw my Black brothers and sisters online, on television, or in magazines, in an outrage for not being included – I’d have enough to buy 40 acres and a mule. They say they want equality, but equality isn’t winning awards given out by Whites, being on television shows created by Whites, or not being included on a list of recognition constructed by Whites. Equality would be having our own outlets to better represent ourselves (we have a few).

Malcolm X said:

If you can’t do it for yourself, what the white man is doing for himself, don’t say you’re equal with the white man. If you can’t set up a factory like he sets up a factory don’t talk that old equality talk.”

I agree wholeheartedly. Equality isn’t us being able to play in a game they created, or to be a part of movements they created. We can fight and fight to be included (still not equal), and if we are finally let in, we still won’t be seen as equals. If anything, it will build animosity and/or have us looked at in pity, as charity cases. I don’t want to be pitied, I want to be respected.

Imagine yourself on the sideline of a basketball court all day. On this sideline, you’re watching Michael Jordan in his prime playing one on one basketball with all worthy contenders and beating them. You watch him as he plays against Dominique Wilkins, Reggie Miller, and Joe Dumars, all people who have earned their respect on their own basketball courts to play against him. Then you, the spectator, walks on the court and challenges Michael Jordan. You very well could be a better ball player than him, even though he doesn’t know it. Instead of you going to a different court and earning your own name and becoming a known contender, you whine and talk about how you’ve been watching him all day and deserve a shot. If he accepts your challenge, you still aren’t seen as equal to him or his other contenders. You didn’t earn equality, you only earned inclusion. Even if you win, you don’t win, because others will say you didn’t earn it, you were pitied. If you win, they most likely will say “he let you win to make things fair”. You may beat him, but it will still be his court and you still don’t have one of your own. What is fair? What is equality? What is inclusion?

I, Nova Sankofa, don’t want to be included. I want to be equal. I want to be equal in every way. You will never see me or anyone who thinks similarly to me in the cold, picketing to the White man to be hired and used by a job he created. You will never see me attach myself to a movement not designed for me to only cry to them because I’m being treated unfairly in that movement. You will never see me cry about schools being closed down that only poison our childrens’ minds with eurocentric and White supremacist teachings anyway. You will see me trying to align myself with others to create our own jobs that sustain our communities and families. You will see me working with other people and organizations that have my best interests at heart and I don’t have to compromise my integrity for. You will see me trying in each and every way to diversify curriculums being taught in schools and eventually creating our own schools.



Nova Sankofa


This is Part 2


Nelson Mandela: Legacy Kidnapped | Nova Sankofa | Man, Know Thyself Part 1

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela’s body isn’t even buried and historiographers as well as media rush to rewrite what is and what was. Nelson Mandela co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), a military of freedom fighters whom waged war on the system that oppressed them and other non-whites in South Africa. The media chooses not to report a big reason apartheid ended was through armed resistance and not by Nelson Mandela giving the white politicians who hated him hugs and handshakes.

Apartheid South Africa was run by a regime with no conscience, disenfranchising coloured voters, putting them in the worst of schools, forcefully removing millions  from their homes and into coloured zones, and other ridiculous and dehumanizing were taken. This same government passed laws that later became known as petty apartheid. Petty apartheid restricted where Blacks could go in the country, where they could work, where they could go to school (white students received 10 times more funding), where they could build businesses, where they could live, and even what they could buy. This was (is) indeed a government without a conscience.
Nelson Mandela made it clear many times in his biographies he preferred non-violent methods toward freedom over violent methods. Mandela joined African National Conference (ANC) in the 1940s because of their mission and dedication to putting an end to apartheid. In 1960, the ANC was banned and their non-violent tactics weren’t working so Mandela proposed the idea of starting a military wing of the branch. This led to him forming Umkhonto we Sizwe, an organization eventually in which eventually participated in bombings, firefights with opposing and oppressive armies, and executions.

Nelson Mandela never claimed to be the pacifist CNN, MSNBC, and every other news outlet is making him out to be. The media and historians attempting to give him this Gandhi-like image is doing him and us all a grave injustice. Perhaps they fear we will one day grow tired of our own oppression and the results being non-violent fails to yield to a system with no conscience. Perhaps they fear we will learn about Mandela and his true approach toward freedom in its entirety and draw inspiration from it all. Much like Martin Luther King’s legacy was kidnapped and whitewashed, Mandela’s legacy is undergoing that same process right before our eyes. Nelson Mandela was no Jesus, no Gandhi (neither of whom even shunned violence themselves), but he damn sure was and is a hero.

“A freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle, and the oppressed is often left no recourse but to use methods that mirror those of the oppressor. At a certain point, one can only fight fire with fire.” -Nelson Mandela

This is where the question is raised, “who will stand up and tell the truth?” History has always been written with an agenda, slave owners and rapists like Thomas Jefferson are painted as heroes; black liberators are either painted as passive, deranged, or ignored altogether. It is 2013 and oftentimes the wrong things are said while the right questions are never asked. Who will stand up and write history now? Shouldn’t it be us since we are living in it? Will we allow it to be written by those with something to gain by hiding certain facts, leading to it being taught wrong to our children in and grandchildren in schools, if taught at all. History isn’t just something we learn in school for a grade, it is something that stays with us and our knowledge (or lack thereof) is the key to how we view the world and ourselves. It isn’t a coincidence Europeans have conquered every foreign land they have through violence but instills it in us that isn’t the way for non-whites to gain independence. So these images of our leaders are pushed forth as peaceful, hand-holding, tree-hugging, non-threats, as if that is the only way we make progress.  We are subconsciously turned into passive punching bags. “Shoot me, cop. Beat me, white man. I’ll just create a petition, have a peaceful march about it, or hold a rally that won’t bring about any changes. We’ll take some pictures and make it look good though.I’ve never seen an example of any other way working anyway since it isn’t included in the history I studied.” Nova Knows.

“History is real; it brings real, tangible results. When we wish to negate it and not integrate it, when we wish to negate it and not affirm it, then it negates us in the end.” -Dr. Amos N. Wilson

Who is Nelson Mandela to me? Like popular media paints him, to me, he was a hero, forgiving, great world leader, and diplomat. Unlike popular media shows, he is also a warrior, freedom fighter, and someone who knew to fight fire with fire when non-violence wasn’t working. Long live Mandela, the real Mandela, in our hearts and in our minds. Knowing him is knowing a piece of ourselves.


Nova Sankofa

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.



Twitter: @NovaSankofa

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/NovaKnows

Blackface 101 by Nova Giovanni


Historically, blackface emerged in the mid-19th century, representing a combination of put-down, fear and morbid fascination with black culture. -TheGrio.com

“For those of us who were never told this history, never paid attention to this history, or totally missed the enormity of it all.”

In this fall season, with Halloween here and gone, we have seen a reemergence of an old concept… blackface. Julianna Hough (I had no idea who she was before) donned it, in a feeble attempt to recreate herself as a Black character from a hit television series. I’ve seen a group of young White men wear blackface dressed as their favorite rappers, then later say they didn’t mean any harm by it, which may be true. More appalling, people even wore blackface this year saying they were Trayvon Martin, a slain Black teen from Florida.

A lot of people in 2013 are offended by blackface without knowing the history behind it, and that is okay and understandable. Perhaps some are wearing blackface without knowing the hurt behind it, and that is understandable but not okay.

Black face wasn’t only disrespectful because of its blatant misrepresentation while attempting to portray Black people,but it boldly said, “we want to have black people as characters, but no black actor is competent enough to play the limited roles asked of them in film.”

The blackface roles in film portrayed Blacks as simple-minded, barbaric, less than human, among other deplorable things. Blair L.M. Kelley wrote on TheGrio.com:

Minstrel shows became hugely popular in the 1840s exposing white audiences in the North with their first exposure to any depiction of black life. They would often feature a broad cast of characters; from Zip Coon, the educated free black man who pronounced everything incorrectly, to Mammy, a fat, black faithful slave who was really just obviously played by a man in a dress. Black children were depicted as unkempt and ill raised pickaninnies. The running joke about pickaninnies was that they were disposable; they were easily killed because of their stupidity and the lack of parental supervision.

Minstrelsy desensitized Americans to horrors of chattel slavery. These performances were object lessons about the harmlessness of southern slavery. By encouraging audiences to laugh, they showed bondage as an appropriate answer for the lazy, ignorant slave. Why worry about the abolition of slavery when black life looked so fun, silly, and carefree? Even the violence of enslavement just became part of the joke.

Now, my question to the people who wear it without seeing the harm in it is, DO YOU STILL THINK IT’S A JOKE?!?!

-Nova Giovanni


Thinking Out Loud, the book, December 6, 2013.


You Are Not Special And That Is Okay by Nova Giovanni


In a world that tells us we are all unique and special and can be anything we want to be, it isn’t hard to tell that the world is lying. Look at how many people are into the same things, believe the same lies, aspire (and many times never become) the same person. Are you in denial about your mediocrity? There is nothing wrong with being normal. I know the trend is “weird is cool” right now, but is it really? To appear weird is cool, but most people really aren’t too accepting of those who REALLY are weird. I was once riding the DC Metro train (red line, for those curious) and saw a man in the back take a dump in the back of it and wipe his ass with a newspaper. That was weird, but very uncool. Why? Because there is a sense of normality most of us possess of what is acceptable and what isn’t. That is why we dress a certain way, speak a certain way, and even conduct ourselves a certain way. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with being normal. Who says you have to be this millionaire musician who will probably end up suffering from depression and become addicted to some hard drug? Who says you have to be this intellect that wears ankh and studies everything Egyptian even though your ancestry may not trace back to Egypt at all? Who says you have to be an entrepreneur in this flailing economy in which people are spending less and less because they have less to spend? Who made these rules to being part of the unruly? A lot of people force all of these things anyway… the musician that really doesn’t know music, the intellect that collects and takes pics of books but have never opened and actually read them, the entrepreneur that really isn’t very entrepreneurial. It is because a lot of the people projecting these images of themselves aren’t these people at all. Attention is a helluva drug. Amen.

Truth is, most people are very generic in their thinking, logic, goals, and aspirations. Most people think normally and will die very normally. No, you probably won’t do anything that those outside of your circle see as significant. That is okay. After your death, you will probably only be remembered by your immediate family for a few generations. That is okay. You will probably live a very mediocre life, most of us do. That is okay. I’m not saying not to try to excel or be different if that is who you are. However, if you’re not, don’t beat yourself up about how average your life is. Average is, well… Normal.


Nova Giovanni


“Thinking Out Loud” coming soon…

I Love Myself Too Much To Hate You by Nova Giovanni


I used to hold grudges. I’d like to think we all hold grudges from time to time. Maybe we all don’t and just me and those who continue to read this hold grudges. Either way this is for us.

Nowadays, I try my best not to hold grudges with anyone. I’m not saying there aren’t a few people I don’t still feel hate for to this day, I just mean I don’t hold a grudge to the point that I exert my energy in “getting even.” You see, the best you can show someone is love, worse is hate, but the VERY WORST is indifference. Love says “I care for you and want the best for you.” Hate says, “I don’t like you and let me show you I don’t like you.” However, indifference says, “I don’t like you so much that I don’t even value you enough to waste my time showing you how much I don’t like you.”

You see, when you hold a grudge openly with some people (especially people not used to attention), they can interpret you showing your dislike toward them as some sort of rivalry or it may give them the idea they are somehow worthy of something they may not be worthy of.

Forgiveness is freedom, but sometimes forgiveness isn’t realistic. In some cases forgetfulness is freedom also. Ignore and forget some people until you are free.

A Native American wisdom story tells of an old Cherokee who is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good–he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The fight is going on inside of you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one that you feed.”


Nova Giovanni


The book, Thinking Out Loud, soon come.