“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”

SHOW WHO?!

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.

Peace.

-Nova Sankofa

www.NovaSankofa.com

Nova Sankofalogo

What do you think? Feel Free to comment.

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Black Woman, I Apologize | Nova Sankofa

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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.

Peace

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

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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.

WE DON’T WANT TO BE INCLUDED. WE WANT TO BE EQUAL.

Peace.

Nova Sankofa

www.NovaGiovanni.com

This is Part 2

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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.

Peace.

Nova Sankofa

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.

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http://www.NovaGiovanni.com

Twitter: @NovaSankofa

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/NovaKnows

Blackface 101 by Nova Giovanni

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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

www.NovaGiovanni.com

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

 

Guns Don’t Kill Black Boys. Hate Does. : Why Gun Reform Won’t Help The Hood.

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by Nova Giovanni

Caution: I will use the word “hate” a lot. Reader discretion is advised.

Guns don’t kill Black boys. Hate kills Black boys, whether through police violence murdering innocent Black youth or Black youth killing each other. It is all hate. Hate causing an environment of prejudices which justifies police and non-Blacks taking authority into their own hands killing our young brothers because they are seen as disposable. Hate causing our young brothers to kill each other because they don’t value themselves or their futures. What will gun control do to fix that? Not a thing. If there were no guns, hate will pick up a knife and kill. Hate will throw each other off of balconies. Hate will suffocate, poison, sabotoge, or kill through vehicular homicide. It isn’t the tools that are to blame, it is the person that minds need to be changed so they don’t feel a want or need to kill. Besides, gun reform would only control those already looking to buy guns in a legal way. How many 16 year old shooters in the hood bought their gun legally? It won’t even keep guns out of the hoods, some of these guns are just as old as the people shooting them. Instead of getting rid of the guns, let’s get rid of the inclination to want to even use those guns.

We need to work on our culture and create an environment of love and self-control. If a 17 year old runs into the streets of a “rival neighborhood” and shoots at other young Black men, that isn’t just murder (or attempted murder), it is assisted suicide. It is assisted suicide because by committing that action he is also showing he doesn’t care about his own life or future and he is willing to deal with the consequences of his reckless actions. Self hate will have you less patient with those who resemble you, it will have you doing drugs and poisoning your body, self hate will have you kill. Self love will have you more patient with those who resemble you, it will make you take care of your body better, it will have you preparing for your future. We create self love by valuing ourselves. We value ourselves by knowing ourselves. We know ourselves by knowing our history and our capabilities. After knowing our history and capabilities, we create higher expectations for ourselves. With self love, value, knowledge of self, and high expectations, the things we can achieve are endless.

Guns Don’t Kill Black Boys. Hate Kills Black Boys.

I Love You.

Nova Giovanni

www.NovaGiovanni.com

What are your thoughts?

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The Top 5 Reasons Why I PREFER Black Women by Nova Giovanni

 

Hello, loyal reader. Before I begin this list, I’d like to state the fact that it is possible to like one thing without disliking the other and I am fully capable of this feat. Therefore, my reasons for preferring Black women in no way automatically means I dislike women of other races.

The following is only five of MANY reasons why I (Nova Giovanni) prefer to date Black women. I’m sure there are a lot of men who share the very same sentiments:

1. A Black Woman Can Relate to “The Black Experience: As a Black man, there are certain things we experience that other races don’t. Even our thinking is different, and a Black woman can relate to it. If I’m driving and a police car is behind me, I get nervous. A Black woman won’t ask a seemingly (to me) dumb question like, “why do the police make you nervous if you aren’t breaking the law?

2. Black Women Season Their Food: Most Black women season their food in a way that is pleasing to my taste buds. Before you accuse me of perpetuating a stereotype, remember that there is a bit of truth sprinkled in most stereotypes (sprinkle, seasoning – you see what I did there? Lol). Furthermore, coming from a multicultural family, I’ve seen this stereotype proven true time and time again. Put a blindfold on me, sit me at a cookout table, and witness me taste the difference between my White aunt’s and my Black aunt’s potato salad.

3. Black Women Have Brown Nipples: I prefer brown nipples (remember, this article is about my preferences). Pink nipples remind me of pepperonis. I hate pork!!! Enough said.

4. I Love Black women’s Hair: I love it all, ever texture and length. I love every kink, curl, and hue. Even if it is weave. You paid for it, lady. Mix and match it, glue and stitch it, show off your arts and crafts skills. Show the world you creativity has no limitations, Black woman!

5. I Love a Black Woman’s Strength: Going back and reiterating the point made in the foreword, this doesn’t mean women of other races aren’t strong. However, Black women emit a different kind of strength. Turning on the television, logging onto the internet, or opening a magazine and seeing that the world isn’t playing fair when it comes to you is enough to hurt the average person’s self-esteem. Not a Black woman though. Most of the Black women media broadcasts is the image of an obnoxious, lazy, and/or dumbed down woman. In my personal life, I know and have dated way more professional, intelligent, and career having Black women than what popular culture depicts. I’m not even going to speak in depth about the slew of Black men who attempt to make Black women feel uncomfortable in their own skin (that would be a whole separate article.) Brothers, we can prefer to date outside of our race without attempting to hurt the egos of Black women in the process. Nova Knows.

I Love You (even if you’re not Black),

Nova Giovanni

Nova Giovanni is owner and head writer at www.NovaGiovanni.com and also the author of the underground classic “Ramen Noodle Soup for the Soul”, available at www.NovaGiovanni.com/bookfor only $2.99

Twitter – @NovaGiovanni

Facebook – Facebook.com/NovaKnows