“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

I Love Myself Too Much To Hate You by Nova Giovanni

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grudgefist

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.”

Peace.

Nova Giovanni

www.NovaGiovanni.com

The book, Thinking Out Loud, soon come.

Do We Hate Ourselves?! by Nova Giovanni

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I was driving through West Philadelphia last week listening to a song promoting drug use, rape culture, and random acts of violence. Which song? I can’t remember the title of it, but I’m sure you can think of at least a thousand rap songs that fit the description and use it in place of the example I have given. It was a perfect 72 degrees out, so I rolled down my windows, and turned the music up like I’ve done a hundred times in the past. However, this time was different. I actually LISTENED to the lyrics and felt irresponsible and enabling by projecting this message on others by turning up the volume. This is in no way an assault on rap music, I have been listening to it since I can remember. I know rap has provided a lot of opportunities and jobs to people who wouldn’t have had it if it wasn’t for the music genre. Furthermore, I know the message in these songs are only an outward manifestation of what is happening inside of the artists and/or the success it garners reflects the mindsets of the people liking and buying it.

There are all types of rap music, but which is most popular and why? It is the rap music promoting drug use, rape culture, random acts of violence, and everything else detestable to the tune of a catchy hook and nice instrumental. Some will give a conspiracy theory like, “that is all the White man signs record deals for and promotes.” Even if that claim is the case (which I’m not debating or supporting), there is no denying that it is popular. Why would such filth be so popular unless we are in a way filthy ourselves? When we really think about it with an analytical mind, we may see things differently than before. Don’t you find it kind of uncivilized to go to a nightclub and dance to music and have “a good time” to music telling us to kill ourselves and each other? DO WE HATE OURSELVES?! Of course we don’t (I hope we don’t), but our actions sometimes say otherwise. I’m not saying we should stop listening to this type of music, but with a new way of thinking comes a new way of walking. Hopefully, we can put (or keep) this kind of entertainment where it belongs and see it for what it is – entertainment. We should allow no rapper or entertainer spewing self-defeating rhymes provide us with a melodic blueprint for how to live righteously or right. Nova Knows.

We have to see the bigger picture when looking at smaller issues. I won’t make this a long and detailed post by going into detail about why and how self-defeating behavior and self-hatred is promoted and popular among us (see video below). However, let us look at what purpose it serves. When we use drugs, kill each other, and demean women, someone gets paid in some way. Whether it is the drug dealers (not talking the young man you see on the corner, but the millionaire businessman with the boats and connections), the criminal justice system (police, lawyers, judges, correctional officers, etc.), and so on and so forth. Enslaving our minds has proven to be just as profitable as enslaving our bodies.

We are only free in this country to do the wrong things. We say freedom is being able to do what we want to do-but ask yourself – What makes you want to do a thing? Your wants and desires have been induced. What we want and desire maintain the system of domination and destroy us as a people. Our problems, behavior etc. have a political and economic function. – Dr. Amos N. Wilson

Peace.

Nova Giovanni

http://www.NovaGiovanni.com

Loose Lips Sink RelationSHIPS by @mirafen

 

LOOSE LIPS, SINK RelationSHIPS

Who do you turn to when things get confusing or down right frustrating in your LOVE life? God, Your Mom, cousin, best friend? All of the above? Or, how many times have you heard something like this in your voice mail, over drinks or in your text inbox: “Girl, call me as SOON as you get off, let me tell you what (insert on and off again boyfriend’s name here) did THIS time”.

The listener and the deliverer of the “news” has a responsibility to uphold certain boundaries in all relationships concerned. The bearer of the news should stray from demonizing the subject of concern, and the listener should not be openly accepting of slander. Regardless of the fact that this is your friend or family, keep in mind, that some people are only searching for an ally outside of their situation. This behavior is simply not healthy for anyone involved.

HONOR THE CODE:

Before you runteldat, ask yourself; “with whom does my loyalty lie?”  Is it with yourself, your friends, or your man? Lets make it easy for you: Loyalty to your relationship should be a PRIMARY concern of yours, otherwise why are you in it?  Yes, he is frustrating and yes you are confused about some of the things involving this person you love so much. However, he is the one you chose! Running to anyone BUT him about the issues you have concerning him wont resolve anything. When you communicate that you need to resolve the said issue with him and he doesn’t respond in a compromising way. It is then up to YOU to make a decision regarding the direction you want to take it.

Too often, we as women revert to this victim role while dealing with a disagreement with the men in our lives. We sometimes feel a need to find an “ally” in our best friends, moms, and THE INTERNET! Have some loyalty about you! You’re sitting here telling EVERYBODY about the issue BUT the person you have the issue with!

DO NOT DEMONIZE HIM!:

You demonize him, exaggerate, or tell straight up true details of a situation that you were trusted with to keep to yourself. Now, after the dust of your lovers quarrel settles, you are back with the love of your life! Not with out injury however, to his image, in the eyes of all those people who sided with you when you were playing the “victim”. Now, if you are at all a considerate person, you have to worry about how your family and friends view your “boo”.   Just because you were quick to forgive him because he bought you some “I’m sorry” flowers, shoes, or jewelry doesn’t mean your friends or family will be.  I know you’re thinking “well, its not their business” or ” They are my friends they should just be happy and support my decisions” yes, that is all well and good and yes, to an extent, THAT  is what friends are for, to listen to your problems. Just not painful details about your relationship!

YOU’VE BLURRED THE BOUNDARIES:

Once you have shared this information and sought guidance about it, it gives them a sense of “ownership” and or “stock” in your situation. What you are doing is blurring level of trust between you and your significant other. Your friends and family will see the lack of respect you have for your relationship and they will respect it less and less the more you bring your issues to them.  As you continuously bring to them your issues and you are not realizing the detriment you could ultimately be causing between you and your significant other.

Who is to say that one of your more aggressive friends wont get fed up with the things you are telling them and decide to confront your man for you about his behavior. Now, he knows that you aren’t loyal to the relationship you two share. Although he may not show it, realizing you have been sharing his and your personal information with other people may leave him embarrassed, betrayed, and disgusted.

CONSIDER EVERYONE:

Your friends and family care about you and the last thing they want to see is you hurt. So, constantly coming to them with ALL the ways (insert on and off again boyfriend’s name here) has hurt you is going to weigh on their emotional state as well. After depicting him as such a monster, how could you expect your “ally” to give you an unbiased opinion or suggestion? Eventually, the love they feel for you will have them tell you “Leave that devil alone if he’s causing you such pain”

EXPECT BACKLASH:

From who? EVERYONE that you involved!! Your “boo” who made “Po lil Tink Tink” (You) mad will feel angry and betrayed because you put him out on the streets as the devil himself so you could get victim points. Your friends and family(the ones who love and care for you) will feel burdened, saddened, and frustrated that you didn’t follow their advice. They won’t be able to help feeling some kind of hurt knowing the(miserable) situation you are walking back into.  Lets not forget the INTERNET!  Well, they are all gonna laugh at you…. b/c you spilling your issues online was a spectator sport for them because they don’t CARE and don’t wish the best for you anyway! Stop doing that!!!

BE REALISTIC:

To avoid all of these issues, remember that no two people will ever agree on everything everytime. and the ones we love the most have the power to push us to new limits we never knew we even had. When we do have disagreements with the ones we love, we tend to feel very alone. Embrace this moment of being alone as a blessing. Think, clear your mind to YOURSELF and examine your judgement. Remind yourself of what role YOU played in the current situation and examine whether or not he has your best interest at heart.

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY:

Keep your relationship afloat! Running into this instant victim mode will NOT satisfy the situation you are faced with. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of both of you to be happy or miserable in your relationship. Stop spreading your misery to others!!!! Especially when you KNOW you either have a good thing or you know that you will more than likely go back!!

With Much <3, Your Girl, Mira!!

www.SleepingOnSaturn.com

Twitter – @mirafen