Saturday, June 21, 2014

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: Nigeria - Africa's New Economic Giant!

June 21, 2014 - NIGERIA - It is not like we did not know it was going to happen. When Ghana rebased in 2010, it doubled its GDP, so it is hardly surprising that Nigeria, having experienced a boom decade and not having rebased since 1994 or so, would have great growth numbers.

Nigeria’s rebasing puts the country’s 2013 GDP at US$ 509.9bn (about ZAR 5 trillion,) compared with SA’s GDP of US$ 370.3bn. This effectively leapfrogs Nigeria to the position of most prosperous country in Africa, and displaces South Africa from that title for the first time.

Simply put, GDP is a figure calculated by statisticians within certain parameters, and uses data to estimate the value of all sectors within a country. GDP is basically the market value of the recognized goods and services produced in a country for a particular period of time, normally a year.

But can we trust these numbers? Economist Morten Jerven, writing for African Arguments, asks the question, “How good are the numbers actually?” And his own answer to the question, “Not very good, but adequate.” He elaborates, “The new GDP number is made up from lot of guesses,” adding, “It is better than the previous guess, but it still has a big margin of error attached to it.”

The previous GDP figures for Nigeria did not include mobile phones and the local film industry (aka ‘Nollywood,’) for example. These numbers have been added in this time. It had also previously been assumed that 75% of the labour force was employed in agriculture, which was wrong.

The informal economy, in which many Nigerians work to survive, has now been included in the numbers, although it only includes those with fixed premises. The street vendors who sell from car to car are not included: there seems to be no way yet of accurately counting them. Nonetheless, after telecoms, trading makes up the biggest share of the revision.

The service industry is also estimated to have grown, from half of industrial value added, to a figure that places it as larger than agriculture and industry combined, some 50% of the total GDP. Jerven finds this worrying, saying, “For most countries (apart from India,) the service sector has been a poor engine of growth.

Secondly, the quality of numbers on production, value and intermediate consumption on small and medium scale services is very poor.” This may also come as a surprise to those who thought Nigeria was an oil-based economy.

The real issue, echoed by many South African economists, is poverty and inequality. Nigeria is known for its huge wealth gap, with a military-based power-elite controlling oil, a very small middle class population and the majority of people living below the poverty line. In 2013, the Economist Intelligence Unit rated Nigeria as the worst place for a child to be born, out of 80 countries surveyed. So although the Nigerian pie is bigger, there are many more who need to eat from it.

Nigeria’s strength is in its huge population. “Size matters,” says Oscar Onyema, chief executive of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. “Size means you will be able to do… projects you would not have considered in smaller economies.”

For Kenyan industrialist Manu Chandaria, the chairman of Comcraft Group, which sells ironware, including corrugated roofs and pots and pans, Nigeria has massive potential. “Nigeria is just colossal,” he told the Reuters Africa Summit in Nairobi in April 2014. “Everybody needs to eat. Everybody needs shelter. Anybody who brings in money needs a pot to cook in, they need a roof – so we are in the right place.”

The fear amongst local commentators is that investors who may have preferred to invest in South Africa would now be more inclined to put their dollars into Nigeria. But there are other factors to take into account. South Africa, with its large middle class and lower poverty figures, is considered a more advanced consumer society, with superior infrastructure and better financial systems.

At the World Economic Forum’s 2013-14 global competitiveness report, Nigeria was ranked 120th, whereas South Africa stood at 53rd out of 148 countries. But if Nigeria can build its middle class, by improving infrastructure and creating a more diversified economy, it may be able to realise its full potential as a mass market.

If anything, Nigeria’s crown of ‘largest economy in Africa’ could be good for South Africa, says Rob Davies, SA’s Minister of Trade and Industry. “It’s a good thing because our future is inextricably linked to that of the African continent,” says Davies, adding, “Very concretely and very directly, we are involved in a number of potential projects with Nigeria, resulting from Nigeria’s attempts to industrialise, which could be of mutual benefit to both our countries.”

For example, South Africa is helping Nigeria to develop its automotive industry. Davies explains, “They are launching an automotive programme and we are discussing with them the possibility of an agreement which would support the development of their automotive programme,” adding, “South Africa is already among the largest foreign investors in Nigeria.”

Other South African analysts believe that what’s good for Nigeria is good for Africa, and indirectly that South Africa can benefit, especially if good trade channels are maintained between the two countries.

Morten Jerven, author of “Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to do About it” (Cornell University Press) provides a summary, “The bottom line is that Africa and Nigeria are no longer the bottom billion. There is growth, and while investors, journalists, scholars and others want to know how much and how fast, the short answer is that we do not know… The gaps in information are too large to be filled overnight. GDP in Nigeria doubled on a Sunday afternoon and that is an accurate diagnosis of our knowledge problem.”

The problem of accurate figures will challenge Africa until they are resolved, but growing markets will no doubt help this to be corrected and that this will influence investment and further growth. Ironically, growth will mean more funds for more data, and more accurate data at that.

The big question, though, is whether Nigeria will enter that group of twenty finance ministers and central bank governors known as the G20. This is an extremely powerful organisation, given G20 members represent some 85.5% of global GDP, over 75% of global trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population.

Government leaders and analysts are now calling for Nigeria’s inclusion. Ellis Mnyandu, editor of Business Report, says the SA Trade & Industries minister is pushing for Nigeria’s inclusion in the G20 and other influential global bodies, because it would give Africa a bigger voice.

With Africa’s star rising, it only makes sense that the continent has greater influence in those organisations that set the global agenda. - African Globe.

ELECTRIC BODY: The Electric Food For The People Of The Sun - NASA Confirms Super Human Abilities Gained From Sun Gazing!

June 21, 2014 - THE SUN, FOOD & HEALTH - Ever wanted to be in more than one place at a time?  That’s right, I’m talking about the super-human abilities that can be gained by those who follow the protocol for what’s known as sun-gazing, a valid practice recently confirmed by NASA.  Many proponents of this ancient technique, used by many cultures such as Mayan, Egyptian, Aztec, Tibetian and Indian yoga, report not only healing benefits to common illnesses, but obtaining super-human abilities such as advanced telepathy and going completely without the need for food.

What is Sun Gazing?

Sun gazing (also known as sun-eating) is a strict practice of gradually introducing sunlight into your eyes at the lowest ultraviolet-index times of day – sunrise and sunset.  Those who teach the practice say there are several rules to the practice.  First, it must be done within the hour after sunrise or before sunset to avoid damaging the eyes.  Second, you must be barefoot, in contact with the actual earth – sand, dirt or mud; and finally, you must begin with only 10 seconds the first day, increasing by 10 second intervals each day you practice.  Following these rules make the practice safe, says sources.

Nikolai Dolgoruky of the Ukraine calls himself a ‘sun-eater’.  He has been practicing sun gazing for the past 12 years and has largely subsisted off solar energy since he began.  Others have reported losing the need for food after only 9 months of sun gazing (by which time the practitioner has worked up to a maximum of 44 minutes).  After 9 months of practice, you need only walk barefoot on the earth for 45 minutes per day, 6 days in a row to further the process of what has been initiated by sun gazing.

Sun-gazing is a practice also called the HRM phenomenom, coined as such after Hira Ratan Manek, the man who submitted himself to NASA for scientific testing to confirm that he does indeed possess the almost ‘super-human’ ability of not eating, gained through his dedication to this interesting marvel.  Funded by NASA, a team of medical doctors at the University of Pennsylvania observed Hira 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 100 days.   NASA confirmed that he was indeed able to survive largely on light with occasionally a small amount of buttermilk or water during this time.

What happens to the body during Sun Gazing?

During your first 3 months of practice, the suns energy is moving through the eyes and charging the hypothalamus tract, says those who have studied this technique and used it.  The hypothalamus tract is the pathway to the rear of the retina which leads to the brain.  The brain then, over time, becomes activated by the energy supply being received by the sun.  You will first experience a relief of mental tension and worry, since most worry is fueled by the energy received by the foods we eat.  Since food gets it’s energy from the sun, it is said to be readily available to sun-eaters without the trouble of digestion.  Though hunger is said to eventually cease, it is fine to continue eating regularly during initial stages, until appetite disappears naturally.

Another benefit early on is said to be an increase in confidence and an ability to easily solve your problems, as you are without tension.  Everyone has at least a bit of psychosis, but during the first few months of sun gazing practice, it is reported that these attitudes go away and a positive nature gracefully replaces the old persona full of fears.  By the end of 3 months, the gazing time will have increased to 15 minutes per day.

Reports on sun gazing say that the bad qualities normally associated with any person will gradually disappear and good qualities will remain, explaining that ‘bad qualities’ only develop in the absence of sunlight.  Bad qualities like anger, fear, jealousy, lust – are said to disappear – and be replaced by a certain confidence and ‘spiritual knowing’ that senses more purely the heart of an issue.

At 3-6 months of gazing, the studies show that physical diseases start to disappear.  They say that by the time one is gazing 30 minutes per day (building up 10 seconds per day) all the colors of the sun will have reached the brain.  Color therapists attribute their healing of certain diseases to flooding the body and brain with the particular color that is lacking – depending on the ailment.  For example, in liver disease, the color green is deficient.  The kidneys need red, and the heart, yellow.  All of the organs and all of the systems are said to respond to different colors of the rainbow, which is why it is also recommended to eat a diet rich in a variety of colors.  It is recommended during the 3-4 month period that you use autosuggestion to see your body already healed of any perceived weakness or disease.  This action will facilitate the process of returning to wholeness.

As you continue the process, it is reported that after 6 months, the energy stored from the technique is no longer being used for repairing the body or the mind and can move now into supporting you in gaining more super-human abilities.

What’s Beyond Healing?

By seven and a half months of gazing, now at 35 minutes, need and desire for food is dwindling.  According to sun gazing experts, food is not actually needed to maintain the body, only energy – and ‘sun-eating’ provides that energy.  By 9 months, all taste for food, including aroma, all hunger pains and cravings disappear.  Those who make it this far say that they report a noticeable ‘change’ in the way their brain feels – like it’s “charged up.”  After 9 months of sun-gazing – reaching a maximum of 44 minutes – it is advised that you give up sun-gazing and redirect your attention now to the Earth.

For 6 days straight, one is to walk barefoot on the earth, 45 minutes per day.  During this barefoot walking, the pineal gland is said to become activated.  Professional sun gazers and those researching the science say that each toe is connected to a specific gland, and by walking barefoot on the Earth, you activate these glands.  The big toe is thought to be aligned with the pineal gland, the second toe with the pituitary, then the hypothalamus, thalamus and finally the pinky toe correlates to the amygdala.  Walking barefoot, with the sun now falling on the top of your head, practitioners claim to create a sort of magnetic field in and around your body that recharges you and your brain.

Apparently this walking barefoot part is the most important aspect of the practice.   As you continue walking on the Earth, this is when the magic really begins.  The pineal gland is activated more and more by this walking  procedure.  Intellect is said to increase, along with memory. The pineal gland has navigational and psychic capabilities, meaning telepathy, the possibility of flight… now we are getting somewhere!  Have you ever thought you would like to have your body in more than one place at a time?  Well, sun-gazing is said to be the magical key to such abilities.

If you can barefoot walk 45 minutes every day for a year – you are golden.  At that point, only a maintenance of 3-4 days a week is necessary to maintain the capabilities you have acquired.

Are there any dangers?

Doctors and  eye care professionals caution against looking directly at the sun, saying that it will damage the retina.  However, if done correctly, sun-gazing at the correct times of day, studies show there is no risk of damaging the eyes.  Those who have been sun gazing for many years have had their eyes checked to show no damage, though it is advised that you have your eyes checked in the first few weeks of your practice, so you can know for yourself.

To sum it all up…

Remember, it’s 10 seconds the first day, at sunrise or sunset, adding 10 seconds per day each day there after.  After 90 days of accumulative gazing equaling 44 minutes, you cease the gazing and start the barefoot walking 45 minutes per day for 6 days.  At this point, I could imagine, hey – if you made it this far, what’s a year of barefoot walking an hour per day to keep it all?  You will have to try it out and see for yourself. - Guardian Liberty Voice.

Friday, June 20, 2014

DARK MATTER PARADIGM: Rise Of The Moors - Master Teacher Ali Muhammad Presents Law Classes On Nationality, Family Remedy, Fraud And The Establishment Of Our Indigenous Government!

June 20, 2014 - UNITED STATES - In a wide-ranging presentation on Google+ Hangouts, master teacher and founder of the International Society of Indigenous Sovereigns (ISIS), Dr. Ali Muhammad discuss the nationality of the Moors and law in the United States.

Dr. Muhammad goes in-depth on the following topics in the video presentations:

Tax Issues and Family Remedy;
Indigenous Government vs Democratic Deception and Dysfunctional Fictions;
Mortgage and Debt Fraud Investigation, Lawsuits.

Dr. Muhammad also continue his examination of the true history of the indigenous peoples in the Americas, the  pervasive European deception of Indians as the true native Americans and the loss of our cultural identity in the modern world.

The presentations are required listening and watching, as we continue to balance knowledge of our ancient mysteries, history, culture and identity with the initiatives for financial development in a modern era.

  WATCH:  Law Class - Nationality.

  WATCH:  Law Class - Tax Issues and Family Remedy.

  WATCH:  Law Class - Indigenous Government vs Democratic Deception and Dysfunctional Fictions.

  WATCH:  Law Class - Mortgage and Debt Fraud Investigation, Lawsuits.

For more on Dr. Muhammad, visit his website HERE.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

INSIDE AFRICA: The WSSP Project - World Bank Pumps $44.9 U.S. MILLION Into Tanzania Water Projects!

June 19, 2014 - TANZANIA - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved 44.9 US million dollars (about 74bn/-) support to Tanzania to help expand access to safe water and sanitation services for the poor in rural and urban communities.

According to a statement to the media from World Bank Tanzania offices, the funds will also be used to improve the management of the country's natural water resources.

"The new 44.9 million dollar credit from the International Development Association (IDA) provides additional funds to primarily scale-up the components of the ongoing Water Sector Support Project (WSSP)," the statement read in part.

The WSSP project is designed to provide safe water and sanitation facilities to rural and urban residents and support institutions to facilitate efficient, integrated management of the country's water resources.

Approved by the Board in 2007, the WSSP is contributing to the first phase of the Tanzania Water Sector Development Programme (WSDP) which spans a 20- year period from 2006 to 2025.

The programme is supported by the Government of Tanzania, multiple development partners and other stakeholders and has already delivered key development results, such as the completion (or ongoing completion) of sub-projects in 918 villages.

These sub-projects include 26,468 new or rehabilitated water points to benefit 6.7 million rural people, support to water utilities to increase access to 2.8 million urban dwellers and support to local governments to improve sanitation for 180,000 households or approximately 900,000 people.

To ensure adequate water resources management the project will help establish basin-wide water resources management plans and strengthen key institutions.

"The WSSP is providing equitable access to water and sanitation facilities, which are key factors for better health and improved quality of life for poor people in rural and urban communities in Tanzania," World Bank Country Director for Tanzania Philippe Dongier, said.

He added that after a slow start, implementation of this priority programme has significantly accelerated during the last two years, now producing impressive results in increasing access to water supply in both rural and urban areas.

The scaling up of the WSSP will enable the WSDP benefit eight million rural and three million urban people in the entire Tanzania. In particular the WSSP is expected to improve water service through the construction of 5,279 additional water points in 628 villages.

This will include 49 multi village schemes or about 938 new water points and will provide water to 234,624 rural people.

"By bringing water services to poor communities in villages and urban centres, the WSDP will enable girls and women to spend less time fetching water for their families and more time being involved in education and economic activities," World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project Yitbarek Tessema, noted.

Tessema added that the end result of the project will be improved health and vitality and new opportunities to create income, reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity for Tanzania's many poor families. - Tanzania Daily News.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

THE AGE OF OBAMA: #WhatKindOfBlackAreYou - Howard University Professor Isn’t Super Impressed With Pharrell Williams’ "New Black" Comments?!

June 18, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Pharrell Williams raised a few eyebrows over his statements about race in a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, particularly his use of a term “the new black” — and a prominent professor at Howard University isn’t really buying it.

Pharrell Williams (Fred Dufour/Getty Images)

The superstar said in the Winfrey interview that “The new black doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The new black dreams and realizes that it’s not a pigmentation; it’s a mentality. And it’s either going to work for you, or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re gonna be on.”

He discussed this same topic in his GQ cover story: “This is the new black. Oprah Winfrey: That’s the new black. She’s a black billionaire. President Obama: He is a black American president. Regardless of what you think about him, this is his second term. That’s the new black. LeBron James: the first black man ever shot on a Vogue cover, a black man. Me: a guy that’s written a song at 40! Nominated for an Oscar, four GRAMMY awards — at 40! That’s the new black!”

Response to his term “the new black” has been strong, inspiring the twitter hashtag #whatkindofblackareyou, and The Root offering “25 Alternatives to Pharrell (or Any Other Celeb) for Insights Into ‘the New Black,’” listing links to people and organizations “Who care about these things, study these things, talk and report and write and educate on these things all the time — not just when Oprah asks.”

Dr. Greg Carr, Howard University associate professor & chair of the department of Afro-American Studies, reacted to Pharrell’s “new black” theory in a new interview (via HBCBuzz) — and doesn’t seem impressed.

“My first impression is, this is a young man who is an excellent marketer,” Carr said. “I don’t think that Pharrell believes that there’s a ‘new black.’ Perhaps there’s a new opportunity. If he thinks there’s a ‘new black,’ I think a quick perusal of history, particularly style makers and culture keepers in black communities in this country, will reveal very quickly that that’s been an ongoing conversation since enslavement. 

“It’d be interesting to visit Pharrell — and others — in, say, 30 years from now… and see if perhaps he might be more conservative.”

Dr. Carr was asked if it is possible for African-Americans to be aware of the past and not have it have a major influence on life today — and he says it’s not structurally possible.

“For every heroic individual who succeeds, there are countless others who continue to struggle and be oppressed in their system,” he said. And he points out that while there are successful African-Americans, that has been the case for a long time: “Even during enslavement, you had a tiny fraction of black folks who had negotiated some space for themselves, to exist in the system. Same thing during Jim Crow. Same thing today.”

He poses a question to those who have tasted success on Pharrell’s level: “Are you really attempting to live a life that improves conditions for other people, beginning with the people that you come from? Or, are you just trying to enjoy your life, provide for yourself and your family, and have some fun before you close your eyes?

“The spectacle of blackness has always been something that society has grasped and wanted,” he continued. “We can go back to the 1840s. One of the leading performers in this country was a guy named Thomas ‘Daddy’ Rice, who used to blacken his face, he called himself ‘Jim Crow.’ He was one of the biggest performers in this country for doing dances that he said black people did.

“Fast forward 170 years, and you go on the Billboard charts. Is there anyone bigger than Robin Thicke? No! Do we see Miley Cyrus twerking? Yes! What does that mean? Blackness has always been a commodity. And there have always been individuals who represented that kind of titilating proximity to blackness that people have wanted. So us being on GQ covers and being billionaires, that’s almost predictable. As Greg Tate wrote, ‘The thing about blackness, people want everything from blackness… but the burden.” Pharrell is saying, ‘Look at Obama.’ Yeah, look at Obama! And look at education. Look at Obama, and look at the prison-industrial complex. Look at Barack Obama and ask yourself a question: what has improved for the masses of black people in the six years of the Obama presidency. But people like his style! They love his wife’s style! The kids of beautiful, the mother-in-law’s in the White House. That’s improved the life of one family.”

Pharrell has not responded to Dr. Carr’s comments. - Radio.

AFRICAN START-UPS: Surreal And Striking - Enter The "Alien Cartoon" Universe!

"I am addicted to everything that makes me leave Earth and discover other things, other realities." - Selly Raby Kane, Fashion Designer.

June 18, 2014 - SENEGAL - Centuries rolled forward and outfits got quirkier in the heart of Dakar late last month as Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane showed off her futuristic creations for her latest collection, "Alien Cartoon."

Born and raised in Dakar, Kane is part of an exciting generation of Senegalese artists
making waves locally and internationally.

Set in 2244, the dazzling show transformed Dakar's 100-year-old deserted train station into a whimsical space where humans co-existed alongside strange and mysterious creatures -- from alien invaders and giant metallic insects to a massive inflatable octopus whose glowing tentacles stretched throughout the historic building.

"Alien Cartoon is a story about an African invaded city where weird, fantastic and sci-fi creatures evolve among human beings," says Kane. "My collection is an answer to what the consequences of the invasion would be on women's and men's wardrobes, on music, on architecture -- what would that city look like? What would its inhabitants wear?"

'Surreal universe'

The answers were both eye-catching and grandiose. More than just a fashion show, "Alien Cartoon" brought together nearly 120 models, actors, musicians and art performers who created an otherworldly experience for some 2,000 spectators.

Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane transformed Dakar's 100-year-old
train station into an alien base for her latest collection.

"Alien Cartoon is a story about an African invaded city where weird, fantastic
and sci-fi creatures evolve among human beings," says Kane, pictured here.

The futuristic event, which took place on May 24, was set in the year 2244.

The show was an attempt to explore how these creatures would influence fashion, music and urban spaces.

Amid the giant installations, streams of models in translucent parkas, quilted tops, full-length jumpsuits, leather prints and LED accessories paced up and down the runway to the sound of hypnotic electronic beats. Blending urban culture with strong pop art influences, Kane's structured creations nodded to the fantasy worlds staged by directors like Tim Burton, while being firmly rooted in Dakar.

"It was important to confront the Senegalese audience with a fashion point of view that is alternative, playful and inhabited by that surreal universe," says Kane.

Passion for fashion

The talented designer is part of an exciting and ambitious generation of young Senegalese artists that want to share their creative visions both locally and internationally.

A member of the artistic collective "Les Petites Pierres," Kane first started drawing clothes at a young age while growing up in Dakar. After high school, she went on to study business and law but her love for fashion never wavered -- in 2008, Kane created her first collection and two years later she headed to France for fashion studies. She then returned to Senegal and in 2012 Kane presented her "Be Street" collection, a massive urban decor production that paid tribute to street art through music and cinema.

Structured suits, quilted tops, leather prints and full-length jumpsuits with embroidered braided hair
extensions caught the eye of the 1,800 people attending the show.

More than a simple fashion show, "Alien Cartoon" was an art performace that brought together
nearly 120 models, actors and musicians.

The large-scale installations created for the show remained in the train station for two weeks,
allowing the public to explore the "Alien Cartoon" universe.

She produced her first collection in 2008 and since then her creations have blend popular
culture and street art in a distinctive way.

"I have very strong cinematographic references," says the young designer on a hot May afternoon, sitting inside the Les Petites Pierres compound in a dusty neighborhood of southwestern Dakar.

"I am addicted to everything that makes me leave Earth and discover other things, other realities," adds Kane. "From my first fashion show and the first time I've presented my collection there has been a small evolution and everything is going to that path; that fantastic and surreal approach of what a garment is."

'This is who I am'

That journey culminated last month with "Alien Cartoon" and now Kane says she's determined to continue developing her brand and collaborating with other artists.

Yet, the road has not always been free of hurdles. "Fashion in other countries is more organized," says Kane. "When you are a young designer [abroad] you know where you have to go, where you have to produce your pieces, where you can distribute it. Everything is organized, and here you have to do it yourself."

Heavily influenced by directors like Tim Burton, Kane says her evolution as an artist has centered
around the"fantastic and surreal approach of what a garment is."

The octopus installation inside Dakar's old train station.
Jean Baptiste Joire

Selly Raby Kane's eye-catching creations lit up the catwalk
Jean Baptiste Joire

She quickly adds, however, that these challenges only serve to motivate her to push her boundaries and work harder.

"This is who I am, this is where I live and it's important for me to do it here," says Kane. "I have the feeling it really matters -- it really inspires other people and I am inspired as well by the people surrounding me," she says. "It makes sense to do it here, on the continent, and after, maybe when we get bigger, go somewhere [else] -- but we have a duty to develop things from here." - CNN.

ANCESTRAL RETURN: Pioneering Jazz Pianist Horace Silver Transcends To The Spiritual Realm After 85 Years - Influenced Generations Of Jazzmen With His Distinctive Hard Bop Sound!

June 18, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Horace Silver, a pianist, composer and band leader with a tireless inventiveness who influenced generations of jazzmen with his distinctive hard bop sound, has died. He was 85.

This undated image released by the National Endowment for the Arts shows musician Horace Silver. Silver, a pianist,
composer and band leader with a tireless inventiveness who influenced generations of jazzmen with his distinctive
hard bop sound, died Wednesday, June 18, 2014. He was 85. (AP Photo/National Endowment for the Arts, Tom Pich)

The Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Silver died Wednesday in New Rochelle, New York, but had no other information.

"Horace Silver was one of the hardest swinging piano players in jazz, both as a section player and a soloist," said Ramsey Lewis, a pianist influenced by Silver. "Moreover, he was one of the finest human beings that walked the earth."

And one of the most influential, carving a sizeable wake through the jazz world in a career that seemed special from the start.

The pianist was something of a prodigy and moved to New York at the insistence of Stan Getz in the early 1950s after the famed saxophone player hired a rhythm section that included Silver for a one-off in Hartford, Connecticut. Silver was just 21.

He played with Getz for a while — Getz would record some of his early compositions — and other towering pioneers like Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. He soon began a series of collaborations and recordings that remain highly influential in jazz a half-century later — starting with his partnership with drummer Art Blakey that led to the seminal hard bop album "Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers" in 1955.

Though he eventually left the Messengers, Silver continued a string of milestone albums for Blue Note, a label he recorded for until 1980, which are still referenced often, including "Six Pieces of Silver" in 1956 and "Blowin' The Blues Away" in 1959.

WATCH: Horace Silver 5tet - Song for my Father (1968).

Silver's father was born in Cape Verde and the folk music of that island nation was always part of his influences. An innately funky player with a keen sense of style, he also incorporated the blues and gospel into his compositions, modernizing jazz at the same time those sounds were transforming other genres like rock 'n' roll and R&B.

"It's like making a stew," Silver said in a 2003 All About Jazz interview. "You put all these various ingredients in it. You season it with this. You put that in it. You put the other in it. You mix it all up and it comes out something neat, something that you created."

Songs like "The Preacher," ''Song for My Father" and the evocatively titled "Filthy McNasty" showed the possibilities of jazz when leavened with other sounds, and his experimentation would not end there. He eventually began to include lyrics with his works and explored social and political themes in his music in the 1960s and '70s, even dabbling in what he described as cosmic philosophy.

"Horace Silver's music has always represented what jazz musicians preach but don't necessarily practice, and that's simplicity," bassist Christian McBride told NPR in 2008. "It sticks to the memory. It's very singable. It gets in your blood easily. You can comprehend it easily. It's very rooted, very soulful."

Silver, born Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva in 1928 in Norwalk, Connecticut, moved to Los Angeles later in his career. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1995 for his album "Hard Bop Grandpop" and in 2005 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave him its president's merit award.

His most widely heard composition, however, was not one he recorded himself. The rock group Steely Dan borrowed a riff from "Song for My Father" for their 1974 hit "Rikki, Don't Lose That Number," a song that remains in heavy rotation on classic rock and oldies stations. - Huffington Post.

AFRICAN FASHION: "Informal Sector Will Help Stimulate The Textile Industry" - 25 Countries For Fashion Summit In Abuja, Nigeria!

June 18, 2014 - AFRICA - Twenty five countries will participate in the African fashion summit scheduled to take place in Abuja first week of July.

Africa Fashion

Information Minister Labaran Maku disclosed this in Abuja today while briefing State House journalists on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

He explained that the council received a report from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation to host a summit on a world fashion industry on July 2 to 5.

According to Maku, after the just concluded World Economic Forum, the world is returning again to Abuja for the world fashion summit.

Also speaking, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Eden Duke, said the World Fashion Organisation decided to embark on the African fashion summit after considering Nigeria the best out of five countries that bided for hosting the event.

Duke, who said Nigerian fashion designers had made impact globally, said 25 countries had confirmed their participation in the summit which, he added, would also be attended by 30 fashion journalists from 17 countries as well as judges from Canada, Italy and South Africa.

According to the minister, one thousand delegates are expected at the summit.

He further disclosed that with the endorsement of the African Union (AU), not only would Nigeria host the summit, but has also been identified as the country to host the first fashion university and a garment industry.

Duke said the institution would certificate fashion designers that were making impact all over the world.

He said while the fashion university would graduate 1,000 ‎students annually; the garment industry would employ 1,800 people

The minister said: "This informal sector will help stimulate the textile industry which has been moribund, which before now, was a major employer of labour".Twenty five countries will participate in the African fashion summit scheduled to take place in Abuja first week of July.

Information Minister Labaran Maku disclosed this in Abuja today while briefing State House journalists on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

He explained that the council received a report from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation to host a summit on a world fashion industry on July 2 to 5.

According to Maku, after the just concluded World Economic Forum, the world is returning again to Abuja for the world fashion summit.

Also speaking, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Eden Duke, said the World Fashion Organisation decided to embark on the African fashion summit after considering Nigeria the best out of five countries that bided for hosting the event.

Duke, who said Nigerian fashion designers had made impact globally, said 25 countries had confirmed their participation in the summit which, he added, would also be attended by 30 fashion journalists from 17 countries as well as judges from Canada, Italy and South Africa.

According to the minister, one thousand delegates are expected at the summit.

He further disclosed that with the endorsement of the African Union (AU), not only would Nigeria host the summit, but has also been identified as the country to host the first fashion university and a garment industry.

Duke said the institution would certificate fashion designers that were making impact all over the world.

He said while the fashion university would graduate 1,000 ‎students annually; the garment industry would employ 1,800 people

The minister said: "This informal sector will help stimulate the textile industry which has been moribund, which before now, was a major employer of labour". - Daily Trust.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF: "Africa Rising" - Not Really, Unless We Invest More In Girls?!

"By not investing in girls' education, we are telling our women that we do not care." - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian President.

June 17, 2014 - AFRICA
- What factor has the power to transform individual lives, communities, nations and the world? The answer to this complex question is a simple one: education. While it is widely accepted that there is no one solution to lift the millions across our globe out of poverty, it is also equally accepted that a key cornerstone of addressing some of the world's most pressing challenges is through providing a quality education to all children, especially girls.

Children pose in a classroom at the Friendship Primary school in Zinder, Niger, on June 1, 2012.

Despite increasing numbers attending school in recent years, 126 million children remain out of primary school and lower secondary school around the world. Some 65 million of these children are girls.

The highest rate of girls not in school is across the African continent, where in sub-Saharan Africa nearly four out of five poor rural girls are not completing primary school. There are an estimated 250 million children worldwide of primary school age who can't read, write or do basic math -- more than half of whom have completed four years of schooling.

"Some countries lose more than $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys." - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian President.

It is unacceptable that in 2014 -- less than a year away from the deadline the international community agreed to get all children into school -- that 30 million girls in Africa are denied their basic human right to a quality education. Ensuring that every child goes to school, stays in school and learns something of value while there will require firm commitments and action by governments to invest in education and prioritize the education of its girls.

Africa's economy has grown at more than 5% annually over the past decade -- some of the highest economic growth in the world -- leading many to use the phrase of "Africa Rising" when describing its countries. However, a country's economic growth does not always lead to development or improvement for its poorest citizens. To truly rise as a nation by building an equitable, sustainable and peaceful society, governments must ensure that spending on education is prioritized and used well.

Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
According to recent research, the estimated economic gain from achieving universal primary education exceeds the estimated increase in public spending required to achieve it. One extra year of schooling can increase an individual's earnings by 10%. Girls who complete a primary education are likely to increase their earnings by 5 to 15% over their lifetimes.

Each additional year of schooling could raise average annual gross domestic product growth by 0.37%. If all women had a primary education, child marriages and child mortality could fall by a sixth, and maternal deaths by two-thirds. Investing in girls' education could boost sub-Saharan Africa's agricultural output by up to 25%.

Some countries lose more than $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys. Without education, how can a country's future citizens take part in growing their economy and reap benefits? Without education how can a country grow?

It is however, not good enough to only increase the number of children receiving education. Children and young people must learn basic knowledge, skills and competencies, such as reading, writing, critical thinking, problem solving and math, that are needed to live healthy, safe and productive lives.

In Liberia, across the African continent and, indeed, around the world, it is becoming increasingly apparent that going to school is not the same as learning. This is of grave concern given that many of the social and economic returns from an education are found to come from learning outcomes rather than number of years in school.

To accomplish this, more financial resources that are better spent are needed to build a strong education system capable of improving both access and learning for all. But making informed decisions about those resources requires good data.

Information on teachers, how to best support them to do their jobs, and information on how students are learning are crucial for knowing what policies and programs will be effective. By using our resources more effectively and focusing them on those children that are currently left behind, we can have some of the best educated citizens in the world -- citizens who will be responsible for building a peaceful and prosperous future.

At current rates, the poorest girls in sub-Saharan Africa will only achieve universal primary completion in 2086. To not invest in and prioritize girls' education, we as African leaders are telling our women that we do not care about you and your child's future. As one of those women, I will not accept this and I urge all our leaders to invest in our children's future. Investing in girls' education is not only a moral imperative, it is a smart investment.

On the 16th of June, the Day of the African Child, young people from across Africa will stand at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, and across Africa, to call on their governments to dedicate more resources -- the recommended 20% of national budgets -- to education and develop strong and transparent monitoring systems to track effectiveness and impact.

Better information on learning outcomes and public spending is key to achieving our goals. These young people want a brighter reality and they demand that their governments stand up to meet their responsibilities and commitments, in order to build a future for their children, a future for their country.

When nearly 60 developing countries come together in Brussels at the end of June, as part of the Global Partnership for Education, they will be asked to commit to increase education spending. If they do, we will know if they have listened to these young people, and then the phrase, "Africa Rising," can be used in all truthfulness.

Plan International's Because I Am A Girl campaign announces its #10DaysToAct initiative, beginning on June 16 at the African Union meeting in Addis Ababa.

- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf/CNN.

Monday, June 16, 2014

SPACE: The Final Frontier - Ethiopia Shoots For The Stars And Galaxies As It Aims To Become Space Science Hub!

June 16, 2014 - ETHIOPIA - High up in the eucalyptus-strewn Entoto Mountains, which overlook the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, work is nearly complete on the country's first observatory. Studying the stars and the galaxies will be vital for this Horn of Africa nation's development and will hopefully also go a long way to developing brotherly love, say scientists who are part of the project.

"Space technology is often considered a luxury only for developed countries," Solomon Belay, director of the Entoto Observatory and Research Centre, tells IPS. "But it's actually a basic and vital need for development."

He points out that space science technology and research can be applied to many basic necessities of life including health, energy, food security and environmental management.

Ethiopia's highland topography -- the observatory sits at 3,200m -- and the ideal climate here, which includes the thin air and minimal cloud cover for most of the year, make it ideal for housing observatories from where you can observe the stars and galaxies.

Already another observatory is planned to be built near Lalibela, home to Ethiopia's famous rock-hewn churches. It would be even higher at about 4,200m.

It is hoped that the observatories will kick start a scientific culture in Ethiopia, an important boost to socio-economic development, those involved tell IPS, as space science has applications in myriad areas in the public and private sectors.

Josef Huber, a systems engineer with German-based Astelco Systems that built and installed the Entoto Observatory's telescopes, who volunteers at a public observatory in Munich, Germany, points out that studying the stars is more than just about development.

"When people see Saturn for the first time, and it's not just a picture, they're really impressed," he tells IPS.

"For many people their world is their home and neighbours -- when you see beyond that, you will never fight with your neighbour, especially if you realise a star could explode and wipe out a galaxy."

The observatories will also provide training and research facilities for students at 33 Ethiopian universities, and will serve to attract international academia and scientists. It is hoped that Ethiopia will one day become the African version of Chile, a global hub for astronomy and research.

There are those who don't share the enthusiasm, however. Recent media criticism has focused on donor countries continuing to provide millions of dollars of aid to African countries -- Ethiopia remains a major recipient of foreign aid -- that are embarking on aerospace adventures while many inhabitants continue to suffer in urban slums and rural villages.

"Ethiopian politicians have recognised the role space science can play in helping Ethiopia's development, and are supporting generating investment in the country's new observatories and space programme." -- Abinet Ezra, the Ethiopian Space Science Society

It's estimated that nearly 70 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa still live on less than two dollars a day. In Ethiopia it's estimated that 29 percent of the population live below the poverty line.

Nevertheless, Ethiopia now has its four-million-dollar Entoto Observatory, housing two one-metre class telescopes, each of which weighs six tonnes and cost about 1.5 million dollars. It is the result of work by the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS), which was founded 10 years ago to address the lack of space science activity and interest in Ethiopia.

At ESSS's inception, "most Ethiopian politicians were not ready for space science," Abinet Ezra, communications director for ESSS, tells IPS.

In its early days ESSS had to import telescopes from the U.S., but that proved difficult due to foreign exchange rates, Abinet says.

The Entoto Mountains, site of the nearly complete country's observatory.
Photo: Wikipedia
"Science development is not easy in Africa," Solomon adds. "Science needs political visibility otherwise it is not deemed important enough or allocated a budget." He adds that economic strategies often weren't linked to science and technology, with attention given instead to small-scale agriculture.

So far only a handful of African countries -- such as South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco -- have space programmes that have launched satellites. But they're likely to have company soon. In addition to Ethiopia's efforts, Ghana and Uganda recently established space research programmes and are thought to be several years from putting satellites into space.

"Ethiopian politicians have recognised the role space science can play in helping Ethiopia's development, and are supporting generating investment in the country's new observatories and space programme," Abinet says.

Currently very little astronomy is taught in sub-Saharan Africa outside South Africa, which the Entoto Observatory seeks to address by facilitating Masters and Ph.D. training in observational and theoretical astronomy, space science, and earth observation.

There could be also be financial rewards from a planned visitor centre and the observatory selling information garnered, such as real-time weather forecasting and trend data.

But it's the intangible benefits that those involved seem most passionate about.

"Astronomy gets the young to embrace science and technology," Solomon says. "And a space programme is an important tool to inspire students to enjoy physics and chemistry."

"When I was a child I became interested in space science but couldn't find anywhere to study it," says 24-year-old Eyoas Ergetu, a mechanical engineer graduate student at Addis Ababa University, and part of the observatory's team. "So it's very exciting to be working here."

ESSS wants Ethiopia to catch up with African countries that have launched satellites, and is lobbying the government to focus on getting Ethiopian satellites in space within the next decade.

These could help improve telecommunications, and the monitoring of activities such as mining and farming, and construction of major infrastructure like the Renaissance Millennium Dam Project. The dam project has been beset by controversy regarding its potential environmental impact since it was announced in 2011.

Already Ethiopia is using foreign-owned satellites for such purposes -- while having to pay to do so.

Eyoas says he will start a graduate degree in aerospace engineering: "If Ethiopia is to launch satellites it will need experts to design them -- I want to be one of those people."

The signs are encouraging: next year a small satellite designed and constructed at Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT) will become the first Ethiopian satellite in space, sent into space with another 49 satellites from various international organisations in a single rocket launch, as part of the European-based QB50 project.

This initiative aims to achieve sustained and affordable access to space for small-scale research space missions and planetary exploration. AAiT was the first African institute selected to participate.

And this year the International Astronomical Union (IAU) signed an important agreement with Ethiopian partners to host an East African regional node of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development. This is the first regional node to be established on the African continent as part of the IAU's strategy to realise global societal benefits of astronomy.

"Development is not always sustainable," Solomon says. "But if it comes through science and technology it is sustainable."IPS.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

EUROPEAN VAMPIRISM: Analyst - Imperialists Spreading War Across Africa, Under The Guise Of Fighting Terrorism!

June 15, 2014 - AFRICA - Colonialist governments are spreading war across the African continent under the cover of battling terrorism, an analyst writes for Press TV.

This file photo shows American soldiers engaged in foreign operations.

“Since 2008, both the US and EU member countries have been heavily involved in the region under the guise of fighting a so-called war on terrorism,” Abayomi Azikiwe wrote in a column for the Press TV website.

He said the most recent example is the move by the French and US governments to move their intelligence and military apparatuses into Nigeria to fight the Boko Haram Takfiri militants.

The analyst described the “growing intervention” of imperialist states as the “most overlooked aspect of the militarist policies” of the US and the EU.

He said the Western governments are boosting their presence in Africa by repeatedly warning that the continent has become a “major source of international terrorism.”
“Drones stations are being constructed all over Africa from Somalia and Djibouti in the East to Niger in the West,” wrote Azikiwe.
He said that Africa would see “no genuine peace, independence, sovereignty or development” so long as the “increased militarization of Africa” is not challenged.

Azikiwe said more media revelations on the “US and European imperialist interference” will bring about solidarity among Africans.

The US has also been intervening militarily in Somalia, under the pretext of annihilating terrorist fighters.

In February, the Canada-based Center for Research on Globalization said in a report that Washington’s intervention in Africa is driven by its “desire to secure valuable natural resources and political influence that will ensure the longevity of America’s capitalist system, military industrial complex, and global economic superiority.” - Press TV.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

BLACK EDUCATION: In The Highest And Finest Traditions Of Marcus Garvey And Frederick Douglas - Dr. Umar Johnson Seeks To Purchase St. Paul's College And Establish A High Education School System For Black Boys!

Dr. Umar Johnson
June 14, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Black boys were gifted with an all-new G.E.D. test for the 2014 school year, which will make it even more difficult for them to escape the trappings of low expectations, as the only alternative to a high school diploma, the G.E.D., has now been made just as difficult to obtain as the diploma itself. Why a new G.E.D.? Politically-speaking, keeping Black boys from having a gambler’s chance at a decent life in this country seems to have become a fetish of the American Social Order.

As states scramble to find more dollars to incarcerate young Black males, a quiet but very powerful sense of hopelessness is settling in among the Black boy population in America. In quiet protest, many have dropped out of school and have taken to the street corners, not necessarily to participate in the underground economy, but to puff their life away and daydream amidst the purple haze of marijuana.While educational racism and economic castration suck the life out of Black boys in America, the Black community sits distracted by American foreign policy initiatives, reality television shows, and professional sports. As neighborhood violence increasingly becomes a fact of life in Black communities, many are at a loss for what to do.

However, we know exactly what must be done. If we want to reverse the special education, ADHD, psychotropic drug, juvenile incarceration, and premature extermination wars against Black boys then we will have to build schools that are uniquely designed to teach Black boys, not only how to succeed in a racially-biased society, but also how to avoid the trappings of a racist criminal justice system. Unfortunately, historically Black colleges have been under attack as well.

Many state higher education systems are underfunding HBCUs in an attempt to force mergers will larger White universities who are not sympathetic to the needs of Black youth. Other private HBCUs have struggled with financial difficulties and a lack of support from the larger African-American community. One such college is the historic St.Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. Founded by a contemporary of the legendary Booker T. Washington, the great James Solomon Russell, St. Paul’s would be the perfect location for a residential school for Black boys. Located in a rural section of southern Virginia, not far from the North Carolina border, St.Paul’s campus is reclusive enough and sizeable enough to be the perfect psycho-academic training camp for the current generation of Black boys.

America’s foremost school psychologist and kinsman to Frederick Douglass, Dr. Umar Johnson, is attempting to purchase the St. Paul’s College to be transformed into the Frederick Douglass and Marcus Garvey RBG International Leadership Academy for Black Boys.

This academy will be based on a global business model that prepares Black boys for self-employment and entrepreneurship, not merely acceptance into college. The banking establishment and the higher education systems of America are in collaboration to put more African-Americans into financial debt in the name of a collegiate education. This is a collegiate education that is increasingly becoming useless in the face of an economy that is becoming more global, while it does nearly nothing to ensure that enough jobs remain in the United States for college-educated young adults. This situation is sending devastating numbers of Black children with college degrees to the homeless shelter and soup kitchens of America.

Our children have to be taught how to make a living anywhere in this world regardless of the circumstances of the political economy in which they live. The FDMG Academy will teach our children to be masters of Agricultural/Agronomical Science, Economic/Financial Science, Political/Military Science, Nutritional/Dietary Science, Family/Community Science, and African-Centered Spiritual/Cosmological Science. In addition to these six core sciences, and the three “R’s,” our boys will be taught to master at least two building trades (i.e., electrical, cosmetology, plumbing, auto, carpentry, HVAC, computer network/design, masonry, etc).

Why the trades? A man’s bread and butter are only guaranteed when he can work for them. During the 1970s America’s public school system began working in concert with the racist building trade unions to systematically see to the removal of the trade building programs from predominately Black high schools, which created a blue-collar skills gap in Black communities, particularly in the inner-cities, which was then quickly monopolized by White labor. With Black parents brainwashing their children into thinking that their is no hope without college, we have seen generation after generation of Black youth turn their backs on the building trades only to end up graduating Magna Cum Laude with a doctoral degree that has no marketability in the competitive job pool.

Why a residential academy? Black boys are disproportionately raised by single Black mothers, who oftentimes struggle escorting their sons safely and successfully into manhood. Although some Black mothers, blinded by the influence of Eurocentric feminism would argue that their sons don’t need fathers, many know otherwise. The crisis in Black male education isn’t really about education at all: it’s about the lack of masculine energy in the schoolhouse leaving our boys hungry for guidance from male role models that they rarely get to spend time with.

Our residential academy will provide our boys with the discipline, structure and masculine energy needed from strong caring Black men. A heaven on earth, a home away from home, is what we have in store for our boys. A powerhouse academy where they love coming to school and never have to worry about being mis-diagnosed and thrown into special education for “invisible” disabilities like ADHD and Emotional Disturbances (ED). This would be the first residential academy in U.S. history for boys based upon the principles of traditional African culture.

The African-American community must change its paradigm and approach to education if our children are to have a fighting chance in this world. With White racism using the charter school movement as a front for its ethnic cleaning campaign, thereby gentrifying every major Black inner-city in America, public school will soon be a distant memory.If you care about the future of Black boys, and of all African-Americans please donate to help Dr. Umar Johnson acquire the historic St. Paul’s College, to be used as the FDMG Academy, before it is purchased by those not interested in the welfare of our children. Visit for more information on the school project and to make your much needed donation to this critical fundraiser. We must raise $5M by August 21, 2014 and need your immediate help. Resumes are now being accepted at

Dr. Umar Johnson is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Certified School Psychologist & Certified School Principal. He is one of the most requested speakers in the world and has lectured in North America, South America, Europe, Afrika, and the Caribbean. He is author of the best-selling book “Psycho-Academic Holocaust: The Special Education & ADHD Wars Against Black Boys photo.” As a private-practicing school psychologist he works with parents, educators, superintendents, attorneys and mental health professionals to better serve the needs of African-American children. He is a descendant of both the great Frederick Douglass and Bishop Alexander Wayman , 7th Bishop under Richard Allen’s AME Church. Dr. Johnson can be reached at or 215-989-9858. He welcomes correspondence from parents with issues protecting and educating their children from special education abuse and ADHD exploitation.

WATCH: Dr. Umar Johnson’s Vision For St. Paul’s College.

- African Globe.

ANCESTRAL RETURN: Award-Winning Screen, Stage Legend And Activist Ruby Dee Transcends To The Spiritual Realm After 91 Years - A Formidable Force On Film And In The Civil Rights Movement!

June 14, 2014 - HOLLYWOOD - Ruby Dee, the award-winning actress whose seven-decade career included triumphs on stage and screen, has died. She was 91.

Paving the way: Ruby blazed a trail for future generations.

Dee died peacefully Wednesday at her New Rochelle, New York, home, according to her representative, Michael Livingston.

Dee -- often with her late husband, Ossie Davis -- was a formidable force in both the performing arts community and the civil rights movement. The couple were master and mistress of ceremonies at the 1963 March on Washingon, and she was friends with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Dee received the Frederick Douglass Award in 1970 from the New York Urban League.

As an actress, her film credits included "The Jackie Robinson Story" (1950), "A Raisin in the Sun" (1961), "Buck and the Preacher" (1972), "Do the Right Thing" (1989) and "American Gangster" (2007).

Dee earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in "Gangster." She won an Emmy and Grammy for other work.

 WATCH:  The life and times of Ruby Dee.

Broadway star Audra McDonald paid tribute to Dee when she accepted a Tony Award on Sunday, crediting Dee, Maya Angelou, Diahann Carroll and Billie Holiday for making her career possible. McDonald won a best actress Tony in 2004 for playing the same role Dee created on Broadway in 1959 and in the 1961 film version of "Raisin."

In a statement, Gil Robertson IV of the African American Film Critics Association praised Dee's contributions.

"The members of the African American Film Critics Association are deeply saddened at the loss of actress and humanitarian Ruby Dee," said Robertson. "Throughout her seven-decade career, Ms. Dee embraced different creative platforms with her various interpretations of black womanhood and also used her gifts to champion for Human Rights. Her strength, courage and beauty will be greatly missed."

Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1922, and moved to New York's Harlem as a child. She took the surname Dee after marrying blues singer Frankie Dee two decades later. She divorced Dee after a short marriage and was wedded to Davis in 1948. Davis preceded his wife in death in 2005.

'With Ossie and Ruby'

Her acting career started in New York in the 1940s, first appearing onscreen in the 1946 musical "That Man of Mine." A role in "The Jackie Robinson Story" brought her national attention.

Dee became known to a younger generation with roles in two Spike Lee films. She co-starred with Davis in Lee's "Do the Right Thing" and in his 1991 film "Jungle Fever."

First lady Michelle Obama tweeted that she was "deeply saddened" by Dee's death. "I'll never forget seeing her in 'Do the Right Thing' on my first date with Barack."

Dee's television work included 20 episodes of "Peyton Place" in 1969 and the role of Queen Haley in the 1979 miniseries "Roots: The Next Generation."

'The finest performance I have ever seen'

She was regularly praised for her acting.

In the 1961 film version of "Raisin," Lorraine Hansberry's play about a working-class black family trying to move up in the world, she played Ruth Younger, the wife of Sidney Poitier's striving Walter.

Breaking down barriers: The actress pictured with Sidney Poitier in 1961's A Raisin In The Sun.

"Miss Dee is quietly magnificent as the angry young man's hard-working wife," wrote Bosley Crowther in The New York Times.

Her stage work was equally lauded.

"Ruby Dee as Lena is giving the finest performance I have ever seen," wrote The New York Times' Clive Barnes in 1970 of Dee in Athol Fugard's play "Boesman and Lena." "Never for a moment do you think she is acting."

She won an Obie for that performance in 1971.

Other awards included a 1972 Drama Desk award for "Wedding Band," a 1991 Emmy for "Decoration Day," a 2007 Grammy for spoken-word album and a Golden Globe for "American Gangster."

Actor Samuel L. Jackson, who was in "Jungle Fever" and "Do the Right Thing" with Dee, tweeted: "We Lost A Jewel Today, Mrs Ruby Dee, So Great, So Loved! R.I.P. All sympathy to her family."

Director Spike Lee tweeted that he was "crushed" by the loss of Dee, whom he called "'spiritual mother."

Always an activist

Dee and Davis -- the two, who were married 56 years, always seemed connected -- were an odd couple in some ways: She from New York, he from Waycross, Georgia. She was small and stylish, he was big and bluff. But their beliefs were often as one, and they practiced what they preached.

"We shared a great deal in common; we didn't have any distractions as to where we stood in society. We were black activists. We had a common understanding," she told Ebony in 1988.

Dee and Davis met while acting in the 1945 Broadway play "Jeb" in 1945. He proposed three years later with a telegram he sent from Chicago, where he was touring in a play, according to their joint autobiography "With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together," published near their 50th anniversary. The telegram to his girlfriend said he "might as well marry" her. Dee wrote back, "Don't do me any favors."

Their book revealed the challenges of their long marriage, including a phase in the 1960s in which they agreed they could sleep with others when work separated them. The arrangement lasted only a short time, they said. "We ultimately decided that what we had chosen as a possibility didn't really work for us," Davis said in 1999.

"You have to learn how to be married," Dee said. "You have to learn to love somebody."

There was no television in their home for years, The New York Times observed in a 1995 profile, because "television represented an industry that refused to hire black people in significant numbers or in anything other than stereotypical roles."

They appeared at protest rallies and took their children with them. She admitted to a fiery temperament: In a famous "American Gangster" scene, she slaps star Denzel Washington across the face, noting she put everything into the motion.

"It's not far from my nature to whack," she told USA Today. "There's a streak in me."

Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis arrested at protest

Activists: Dee and her husband, who passed in 2005, were dedicated to the
civil rights movement, pictured in Washting D.C. in December 2004.

Dee and Davis were arrested in 1999 while protesting outside New York City police headquarters against the police shooting of an unarmed African immigrant, Amadou Diallo. Dee told reporters the shooting "reminds me of when there were lynchings all over the country."

"We've got to start saying 'No further. This must stop,' " Dee said.

Even before the appearances in Spike Lee movies made them famous faces again, Dee and Davis were always working, always pushing, whether it was producing a 1986 PBS special on King or creating a two-person show drawing on the work of African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston.

The two also shared a lot of laughter.

"The life is the fun," she told the Times in 1995.

"We walk in the middle of humor every day, and we laugh," Davis responded.

"And we fight, too," Dee replied. "Yeah. I win."

Dee is survived by three children, Guy Davis, Hasna Muhammad Davis and Nora Day Davis. - CNN.

Friday, June 13, 2014

EUROPEAN RACISM: In Honor Of Father's Day - 5 Lies We Should Stop Telling About Black Fatherhood!

June 13, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Oftentimes, when we discuss fatherhood we assume that African-American men aren't part of that conversation, largely because a number of studies and reports have repeatedly told us that black fathers are overwhelmingly absent from their children's lives.

Henk Badenhorst via Getty Images

However, while these numbers are nothing to ignore, they contribute to a damaging narrative about black men and negate the achievements of the number of black men who play an active role in their children's lives. In honor of Father's Day, here are five lies we should stop telling about black fatherhood.

Black Fathers Aren't Involved In Their Children's Lives

Recent data published by the Center for Disease Control reveal that African-American fathers spend more time in their children's day-to-day lives than dads from other racial groups, defying stereotypes about black fatherhood. The Pew Research Center has found similar evidence that black dads don't differ from white dads in any significant way, and that there isn't the expected disparity found in so many other reports. Although black fathers are more likely to live in separate households, Pew estimates that 67 percent of black dads who don’t live with their kids see them at least once a month, compared to 59 percent of white dads and just 32 percent of Hispanic dads.

The Increasing Number of Single-Parent Homes Is Exclusively A Black Problem

The increase in number of single-parent homes has repeatedly been painted as a problem exclusively rooted in the black community. However, that fact couldn't be further from the truth. The number of single-parent American households has tripled in number since 1960, and while an overwhelming majority of these households are likely to be led by black or Hispanic women, the number of black, single-father households is also on the rise.

The Number Of Un-wed Mothers Is a Statement on Morality In The Black Community

According to a 2010 study, 72 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers, a sharp contrast to the 24 percent detailed in the 1965 Moynihan Report.
Some have taken this number and cited it as a contributing factor to a large portion of black America's present-day plight. However, many have taken issue with how this statistic has been used with respect to the black community's moral standing. In an article for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates broke down the numbers in an effort to give a more accurate depiction...
But while the number of unmarried black women has substantially grown, the actual birthrate (measured by births per 1000) for black women is it the lowest point that its ever documented.
So while a larger number of black women are choosing not to marry, many of those women are also choosing not to bring kids into the world. But there is something else.

As you can see the drop in the birthrate for unmarried black women is mirrored by an even steeper drop among married black women. Indeed, whereas at one point married black women were having more kids than married white women, they are now having less.

I point this out to show that the idea that the idea that, somehow, the black community has fallen into a morass of cultural pathology is convenient nostalgia. There is nothing "immoral" or "pathological" about deciding not to marry.
Men Who Didn't Have Fathers Won't Make Good Fathers
There's no disputing the effect fatherlessness has on children's lives. Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor, and being raised without a father raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree. However, men who didn't grow up with their fathers are not incapable of being good fathers themselves -- an assumption disproportionately assigned to black men who are more likely to be raised by single mothers.

Black Fathers Are An Anomaly

Black fathers do exist, a message that entrepreneur William K. Middlebrooks hopes to spread with his book "Dare To Be Extraordinary: A Collection of Positive Life Lessons from African American Fathers." Part chapter-memoir, part call-to-action and part inspiration, the book recognizes and honors the wisdom and teachings of African-American fathers passed down to sons and daughters. Among them: Cultural icon and entrepreneur Russell Simmons, NBA veteran Allan Houston, ABC News broadcaster Robin Roberts and the authors themselves. - Huffington Post.

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