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Posted by J_72 
August 21, 2006 08:48PM
I apologize to the forum for disrupting the reggae/SNWMF discussions.

Who feels it knows it.


Re: SNWMF Forum
August 21, 2006 09:18PM
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 21, 2006 09:36PM
no need to apologize.

one love
jah bill
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 12:37AM
No, zoki, he's right. We should not allow our downpressive white ears to colonize his African music.

Therefore I resolve from this day forward to only listen to Gregorian chants, Lindisfarne, and John Cage.

Would've thrown flamenco in as well, but that whole Spanish/Moorish thing, a guy can't be too careful...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 01:09AM
dont forget yanni, michael bolton, an john adams...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 01:14AM
"dont forget yanni, michael bolton, an john adams..."

I thought I at least got to listen to actual music...

Can I swap John Adams for Terry Riley?

Post Edited (08-21-06 18:14)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 02:19AM
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 05:47AM
it just dont get any better than yanni inna the 'cropolis
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 06:24AM
Don't forget to add a blend of John Tesh
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 07:17AM
If any one cared to read my words carefully, I never said a single word about listening to any music. If you can find one sentence where I said white people cannot listen to any kind of music, please quote me. Maybe instead of gloating in your egos you could re-read my words and actually try and get what I was saying. But go ahead and float your egos...JAH see and know.


Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 07:17AM
Thank You Bill.

@lol at Zoki.


Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 07:24AM
Rasta don't beat a man down after he has tried to make ammends.


Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 12:13PM
I just figured since I'm being separated from my darker-skinned brothers when you all get on the boat to Africa that I should get used to my lighter-skinned people's fine musical contributions.

Lighten up J72, I'm just messing with you...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 01:55PM
And you weren't disrupting anything, we were HAVING a discussion.

Diversity applies to thought as well.

Just don't make me listen to "Who Stole the Provolone?"

A record I used to actually own...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 02:26PM
J72, I'd like to continue this discussion, but I am on dialup and have a nearly-antique computer and the MG thread is over 100 posts, some of which (yours, I think) are l-o-o-o-o-o-o-ng, so I will do so here.

The question you should have asked (I am very interested in the unasked question) was, "How do you think you would feel about all this if you [meaning me, bugman] were black?"

And I would've replied along the lines of, "I suppose I would be in total agreement with you."

Not that I would feel that I was any different inside as a black man rather than white. But I understand that people would see me differently, and that that might change a lot of things.

But maybe I would realize that segregation or repatriation would not help those people see me as equals; that it would make me seem even MORE different to them.

Some day we're all gonna die and learn something weird, like that there's one soul and we were all small parts of it in different bodies, or some other bizarre cosmic truth that makes us realize (too late) how stupid all of this was...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 03:32PM
I tried and I tried and I tried
To make them understand
I tried and I tried and I tried and I tried
But they just can't understand.

-Joseph Hill

Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 04:12PM
"When your gonna dig a pit i tell you my brother, Don't dig one always dig two!"

... for you jeff, wise words from Joe Hill.

as a friend of joe hill i can tell u most certainly jeff at the same moment you quote him he would rebuke you if he had the chance. dont think cause you spit words which are not your own that u have backing from such a source. You are the babylon which he fought against his whole life.. black man nah need a white man to carry him torch for him. zeeeeen

Post Edited (08-22-06 09:15)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 04:46PM
ganjah, you're a riot man. Do both of us a favor and stop responding to me, and I will do the same. I met Joseph Hill as well. By the way, did you get to ask him why he sang "Don't bother Blackman King white bowy...."? And the song I quoted was, if you look at the lyrics, DIRECTED AT BLACK PEOPLE.

denial truly is bliss.

I would never tell a black Rasta, or black people, what to do. You and bugman have already done that by insulting black leaders. I am directing my energy on my white brothers and sisters...that's what Rastafari is about. Can't cool this fiyah gan'jah'.

My last post to you. Please do not respond, and I will return the favor.

Post Edited (08-22-06 09:48)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 06:09PM
greetings J_72.

tried to find your myspace account to have a reasonment outside the board, but it said it has been removed.

I've seen you post for quite sometime on this board now, and it is clear what your objectives are, to uphold the precepts of humanity and to encourage & inspire racial equality all over.

But i think you are preaching to the choir here Jeff, as this is a conscious group of breddrin & sistren, many of whom are my key I-dren and who i know for a fact dont need to hear over and over, from someone of european ancestry no less, that they are the reason for black disenfranchisement.

i think your in depth arrangements or arguments would be much better served if they showed up on racist propagandist websites, in yahoo chatrooms and all together directed at the % of the population who are indeed............RACIST. PLenty of less-than-scrupulous websites out there to inject these reasonings into. Mek dem kno bredda.

it's getting to be ridiculous to see your viewpoint(a respectable viewpoint it is) directed at the people here on this board. By all accounts, they are not your enemy, and i think you know this, but for some reason you enjoy forwarding your 'racial equality for all' rants here. go burn out some pagon bwoy in their own backyard is what i'm saying.


Thank you j72..
August 22, 2006 07:58PM
for calling out the fraud !

Post Edited (08-25-06 13:02)

But I say... Some Never Even Plant yet want to Reap,
If you run, be careful, try to look before you leap;
Took a little walk from my Vineyard...
Now I'm on my own
Now I'm left alone..
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 09:05PM
is them same kinda man who run up the mouth who turn round and kiss our @$$ when we roll into town like we born family... i've ran almost all soundboard of every reggae show which has come through the midwest for about the last decade.. u name the band i have ran them sound. Lambsbread is what alot of people know me by if you wanna check that out. You say i disgrace black people by not agreeing with marcus garvey racial seperation idea's jeff but you know im glad that i dont think like you or i wouldnt be able to listen to folks like binghi ghost & whole heap of other non-black reggae artists.. you go say its all for black people only.. what about folks like adrian sherwood, oh thats right they are nothing to you and dont deserve to play reggae.. jeff you are a fuc%ing joke, dont care who u get to lick yer sack for ya.. u a sucker and i know it and u know it too.. so thats that. Also you love to quote i friend joe hill about him singing nah trouble blackman king, well that King is Haile Selassie not Marcus Garvey you retard and Selassie preached no racism so you are a double negative schmuckhole.. reason that.
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 09:19PM
1. Culture - [Too Long In Slavery #13] Citizen As A Peaceful Dub
a message to ganjah and others
August 22, 2006 09:19PM
This message board is a place for people to reason about reggae music and the SNWMF. Please be respectful of others and refrain from offensive posts, flaming...

cool it down or you're out of here.

one love
jah bill
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 09:31PM
ok JB. nuff said on that... i see you do the same thing, all though u dont say name callin i guess, practice what u preach, u can ban me for all i care. truth still coming out. /// we been being fought against for last 30 years man.. u think u can stop the fight? we never give it up. ... actually.. ban me, you will see how much u can stop it. Trod on JB.. trod on.

Post Edited (08-22-06 14:34)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 09:36PM
no you dont see me "do the same thing".

like i said earlier in another thread, we dont really play that "ban people" game here...i had something else in mind but i trust it isnt going to come to that. you dont need to call people "retard" to get your point across.

one love
jah bill
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 09:38PM
your right, i don't... but man how much can a person take?? it's like telling a child no no no no like a thousand times before you gotta break out the paddle.. but yes i know what u mean, and no i wont call names no more., forgivness iz heights
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 10:23PM
I've always assumed people here have worked thru & come to certain basic
understandings about what divides people and the lessons of history.
Yeah, a lot of things stated here seem redundant and might really be needed on say websites and chatboards given over to veneration of the Confederacy(!). GO DEH J 72!!
Lay it on them...

Regarding Garvey, I see him in an historical prospective, and that if alive, there would be a new reasoning in Garvey's opinion that would correspond to
the state of the world today, i.e. what would he have to say today about
what goes on in Darfur??
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 10:45PM
i think, for my life anyway, a much more fruitful endeavor.....would be coming together in a think-tank type reasoning to try to overturn the murderous bloodshed afflicting the impoverished locales...i.e.-east oakland, richmond, west oakland, etc etc.
everyday i am seeing another innocent youth shot dead for mistaken identity, wrong place wrong time, or just becoming victim to the many random initiation killings taking place.
how can a person, regardless if they're 15 or 45, willingly and for enjoyment, shoot and kill someone?

Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 11:03PM
fear=>>>hatred=>>>sensless killing

....InI don't want to die!

DUB IS TOO DREAD FOR WORDS.... binghi2digi
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 11:15PM

Getting shot at sucks. Trust me, I know!


rasta cruz reggae
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 22, 2006 11:42PM
The Bible teaches that the entire human family is descended from Adam & Eve, while slavemasters used to stress about one drop of "black" blood making someone "black". Guys like the dishonorable elijah muhammad teach how "white" people were created by some mad scientist

remember what the nyabinghi chant tells you, "somebody's wrong, but not the Bible".
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 02:45AM
All I was trying to do was defend myself against slander and sarcasm, as well as defend the principles of Rastafari and African history against those who have to use insulting words against them, comparing Garvey to Hitler. And now I am the bad man. That just seems crazy to me. No one here gonna call them on that?!

b_ghost, give thanks for the reasonings...Respect. I got rid of all my accounts except for my aol account...the gov doesn't need one more outernet account to follow. My email addy is JABergmann@aol.com

Peace Ya'll

Post Edited (08-22-06 22:00)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 02:58AM
papa_ray, JAH Bill, Spleece and Stevo....Respect and Love.


Post Edited (08-22-06 20:00)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 03:01AM
papa_ray, I also thought we come to this board with a basic overstanding, but when people come here with what seems like a lack of overstanding, i.e. Garvey, especially on a thread commemorating him, then it makes me wonder whether we all really do have an overstanding. Certain one's actions make it plain to me that they don't.


Post Edited (08-22-06 21:42)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 03:03AM
let me clear this up one last time. I comparred Marcus Garvey to Hitler for one reason and one reason only, Because BOTH of them preached Racial Seperation and that is all, i never said marcus garvey killed 10 million jews so no need to get all trippin on that. You ask people to call me out but let me ask this question... What is to call out? i said what i said and i mean the thing's i say or i won't say them, in hindsight sometime's i wish that i put thing's differently but i don't live in hindsight fulltime so that's that. You see jeff, i'm not slandering you.. i really think you have serious race issue's that you need to deal with and i have called them out at least 50 time's to you, and believe me man.. Anyone who get's called out that many time's in regard's to their racial ideology need's to seriously take a look at where they are coming from wether they think they are right or not. If people want to have intelligent conversation's and reason about thing's on a NON-superficial level then im all for that and that is truely my only intention's.. if anyone here disagree's with me on my comparrison of Marcus Garvey and Hitler then perhap's people should really take a look at what i've said on the matter. I said that it does no good to judge people after they are dead and that people can be remembered either by the good they do or the bad they do and that we should respect good deeds and shun the wicked deeds by everyone... including Marcus Garvey & Hitler..and guess what by you and me too. Now you can pick apart my words to suit your fantasy agenda's but it don't put me in the positions which you place me in, i walk freely as a free man. Jah Know

btw jeff, have you ever read "Every Negro Ashamed" written by Marcus Garvey slandering Haile Selassie which is the head of the "Rastafari" movement you are here to protect as a white man? lol... come on man dont get me really started.

Post Edited (08-22-06 20:14)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 03:42AM
ganjah, I asked you not to repsond to me, please respect my request. I did not type your name, nor did I address my last posts to you. Thank you.

Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 05:59AM
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 07:39AM
it sounds to i like there some serious head trip go on up there j_72.
ya cant play no political game with implications an what not, and expect for it not to be followed upon.
i know your a somewhat devout intellectual an therefor have a certain way wth your words, an inyouendo's but it gots to touch back to the ground one day.
as a nonpartial observer to some countless of your posts many times it gets very tricky navigating your fronts and backslides.
for someone that pulls up on so much religion, an religous teachings sometimes it makes it hard to reconnect again with what all the 'master' teachers forwarded.
calm the brain an mek sure ya livin in the heart with inity. bless
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 03:19PM
Precedents for Reparations

January 1865. General William T. Sherman promised the slaves "a plot of not more than forty acres of tillable ground" in Special Field Order #15. Three months later, President Andrew Johnson seized the land it had already given to 40,000 blacks in Florida and South Carolina. After making the US a major international trading power over the past 250 years, 4 million men, women, and children across the nation were freed without a cent and without a plot of land.

1974. The Indian Claims Commission decided in 1868 that the US government violated the 5th Amendment when it took land from the Lakota Sioux because it had not paid just compensation. The Commission awarded the Sioux $17.5 million (the estimated “value” of the land at the time it was misappropriated) plus 5% simple interest calculated annually since 1877 - for a total of $122.5 million. US government appealed; Court of Claims reversed the decision.

1978. Congress passed an act enabling the Court of Claims to rehear the case. Sioux argued that they should be
compensated on new grounds - "dishonorable dealings." The Court of Claims found that the US had taken the Black Hills
unconstitutionally and reinstated the $17.5 million plus 5% interest for a total of $122.5 million. The US government appealed.

1980 The US Supreme Court upheld the $122.5 million award. The Sioux then turned down the money, claiming, "The Black Hills are not for sale." Instead, they demanded that the US gov’t return the Black Hills and pay the money as compensation for the billions of dollars in wealth that had been extracted and the damages down while whites illegally occupied the Hills.

1988. Congress allocated $1.2 billion dollars to recompense Japanese Americans interned during WWII.

1994. The Florida legislature approved the payment of $2 million to survivors of the Rosewood race riots of 1923. Based upon evidence that the black settlement of Rosewood was destroyed by a white mob in 1923, Florida found that the state had failed to protect Rosewood residents at the time; the state must pay $150,000 to each of the nine survivors and $500,000 to heirs of Rosewood property owners; and the state would create a $100,000 scholarship fund for black residents.

Late 1990s. The US government reached a consent decree with more than 20,000 black farmers to compensate for years of discrimination by the Department of Agriculture. The compensation was over $1 billion and the judge began his opinion with the phrase: "Forty acres and a mule…"

2002. A complaint was filed on March 26th in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, naming Aetna Insurance Company and 16 other companies as defendants, alleging past involvement with pre-Civil War slavery and requesting reparations. On July 6, 2005, the defendants won dismissal of the federal lawsuit. In his order, U.S. District Court Judge Norgle said the plaintiffs failed to show any injury done to them that could be traced to the defendants and said too much time had passed since slavery existed to require reparations. He also wrote that the political branches of government, not the courts, should resolve such an issue.

2003. Chicago enacted a city law, the Business, Corporate and Slavery Era Insurance Ordinance, that requires companies doing business with the city to disclose any ties to slavery.

2005. In May, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. confirmed that between 1834-1861, two of its predecessor banks in Louisiana used more than 13,000 slaves as collateral and wound up owning about 1,250 slaves when borrowers defaulted. The bank issued a public apology and established a $5 million scholarship fund for African-American students from Louisiana.

In June, Wachovia - a financial holding company located in Chicago - disclosed that at least two of its predecessor banks were involved with the slave trade before the Civil War. The chairman and CEO, Ken Thompson, issued a press release in which he said he was “deeply saddened” by the discovery and apologized “especially to African-Americans and people of African descent.”


Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 03:57PM
dont forget, in 2004 arnold whazhisnegger called on the native americans to "pay their fair share".

he must have missed a couple of days in his american history course.

one love
jah bill
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 07:37PM
Well, you can't blame the Sioux for literally pissing off Mt. Rushmore every once in a while, that's for sure. Justice is going to have to be served eventually.


People & Events: Native Americans and Mount Rushmore

The creation of Mount Rushmore is a story of struggle -- and to some, desecration. The Black Hills are sacred to the Lakota Sioux, the original occupants of the area when white settlers arrived. For some, the four presidents carved in the hill are not without negative symbolism. The Sioux have never had much luck dealing with white men.

In the Treaty of 1868, the U.S. government promised the Sioux territory that included the Black Hills in perpetuity. Perpetuity lasted only until gold was found in the mountains and prospectors migrated there in the 1870s. The federal government then forced the Sioux to relinquish the Black Hills portion of their reservation.

These events fit the pattern of the late nineteenth century, a time of nearly constant conflict between the American government and Plains Indians. At his second presidential inauguration in 1873, Ulysses S. Grant reflected the attitudes of many whites when he said he favored a humane course to bring Native Americans "under the benign influences of education and civilization. It is either this or war of extermination." Many of the land's original occupants did not choose to assimilate; for them war, was the only option.

In South Dakota, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse led various Sioux tribes against the U.S. Army. They had a notable success against General George Armstrong Custer and his troops, but the army's defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn in America's centennial year, 1876, would cause the federal government to redouble its efforts. (Some of the area in which Rushmore stands was eventually purchased by the state of South Dakota and developed as Custer State Park; the rest was part of the Black Hills National Forest.) South Dakota was also the site of the last major defeat of Native Americans at the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890.

In his bestselling 1970 history of Native Americans' experiences in the West, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown explains that the "battle" was actually a massacre where hundreds of unarmed Sioux women, children, and men were shot and killed by U.S. troops. The history of Wounded Knee would spur American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) activists to occupy the site in 1973. They demanded the federal government honor the treaties made with various tribes. The FBI became involved in what became known as the Second Siege at Wounded Knee, and a tense standoff resulted in the death of two Native Americans and injury to others on both sides. Violence continued to erupt for several years, including a June 26, 1975 firefight on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota that ended with the death of two FBI agents and one Native American. In a case that continues to spur controversy, A.I.M. member Leonard Peltier was convicted of killing the FBI agents, and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in prison.

In 1927, with a history of turmoil as a background, a white man living in Connecticut came into the Black Hills and dynamited and drilled the faces of four white men onto Mount Rushmore. At the outset of the project, Gutzon Borglum had persuaded South Dakota state historian Doane Robinson the presidents would give the work national significance, rejecting Robinson's initial suggestion that the sculpture honor the West's greatest heroes, both Native Americans and pioneers.

The insult of Rushmore to some Sioux is at least three-fold:

1. It was built on land the government took from them.
2. The Black Hills in particular are considered sacred ground.
3. The monument celebrates the European settlers who killed so many Native Americans and appropriated their land.

To counter the white faces of Rushmore, in 1939 Sioux Chief Henry Standing Bear invited sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who worked briefly at Rushmore, to carve a memorial to the Sioux nation in the Black Hills. Perhaps wary of Borglum's troubles with financial administrators, Ziolkowski personally bought a mountain top with a granite ridge and financed the entire project privately. The statue, envisioned as a freestanding sculpture of the great Sioux chief Crazy Horse, will be much larger than any of the Rushmore figures. Korczak Ziolkowski died in 1982, but his family continues to work on this awesome undertaking; Crazy Horse's face was completed and dedicated in 1998. Although the subject of this work addresses one aspect of Rushmore's offenses, the land is still considered Sioux property, and the mountain that the Ziolkowskis are carving is still sacred. The Crazy Horse monument is not without its own dissenters and critics.


Re: SNWMF Forum
August 23, 2006 11:42PM
Words of Rt. Hon. Prince Emmanuel

Black People Forward Home to Afrika

The Black man's time has come now, long live Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey, John the Baptist the forerunner of Jes-us. We are Abraham's seed. Isaac and Jacob, Mary and Martha is our mother, The Black Mary.

"Black Ethiopians in Jamaica and the Western World, everything done, the reaper man pass through and all food is gone now. Jamaica has gone to Sport, no work, that is why the Government has fired over 10,000 people not white but Black. I ask my people what is going on." Marcus Garvey said you would not know yourself till your back is against the wall. It gone through the wall now.

If a man says he loves a people, he would not be killing them off daily. Brother Moses come to take you home when you are alive, not when you die. The world of today is the Black Man own, for only he have a heaven to go. Awake Black people, Zion awake us. We are not beggers nor jabbers but masters of Creation. We are King David's Royal sons and daughters.

Christ say the viler the sinner the richer the blood. Come unto me all that labour and I will give you rest. So give Christ your heart and he will give you his ever-living Kingdom. Food gone, work gone, America gone, Britain going. Only the Black Christ left. Only Black people have a heaven.

Africa is the Bread Basket of the world. Let us find back Africa, before they close the door on us. Remember the words of Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey. "I would rather be poor in Africa, than to be rich in the Western World. And I know we could not be poor for Africa is the wealth of the world. All gold, all diamonds, all goodness come from Africa. Who has more good than the Black House of Israelite, King David's Royal sons and daughters.

The world did Black before the white world. The Black world was before Queen Elizabeth. The Black woman is the mother of Queen Elizabeth and the Black man is her father. This is why they should be obedient to us and give us transportation to take us home. 7 or 9 miles of Black Starliner Ships (Isaiah 52 vs.3).

This is an Ethiopia Magazine coming out of Jamaica. I am asking the people now to see that there are drugs that are destroying people abroad, that the authorit-ies who make it have even banned it, yet Jamaica continues to import it. I therefore ask the people to go back to bush medicine; Go back to roasting a coco and roasting a banana. Hon. Marcus Garvey said the time will come and it is here now. They will pay the shop-keeper to poison the food. Go back and read Deuteronomy 28. The man say him bless you going into the city, for all obedient children and curse for the disobedient.

Black people should look to Africa, for Jamaica is Arawark Indian Land. We Black people belong to Ethiopia Africa. Remember we have a country, we have a continent. I therefore call for famine and pestilence on the land. Israelites prepare to meet your God and Gentile prepare for war.

Remember should there be a war between Black and White, Black would be alien of war. Black men and women where would you put yourself. The right teachment is the teachment of God. The wrong teachment is Satan's.

Hon. Marcus Garvey say, "They will teach the Black man to love other nations and not himself." He said Black people would not know themself until their back was against the wall. You are against the wall now. Happy happy Children of Jerusalem, awake we are not in 1998. When we are going up to the glory of the father, let us see the glory of ourselves.

There were 10 virgins, five were wise and five were foolish. They say we are the foolish because we say God is in flesh. It was for us who say God in flesh that the savior has come for St. John 14, 1st. Eps. John Chap. 4. God came and took us with him. The one who was wise had to go look oil, the oil was Salvation. Like today who is Bull of Bashan say they are wise and they live high above the people, and they don't want to sit in the dust to give Christ his right.

At the time of Repatriation they will not want to go home. Only I and I who they call foolish because we say man is God. We are God, and will continually say the Black Nation is the Royal House of God's. Remember the Sabbath. Africa is our Glory, Africa is our homeland. Africa was Black before the White World, Jerusalem My Happy Home, Jerusalem The Golden when shall I come to thee.

This is our glorious home of Negus our Shepard, let us give our Father the glory. Yet you old, yet you young. The first world was I and I. Christ was the first Dreadlocks man on this earth. This is why they kill him. The politician day is done. Hon. Marcus Garvey said time to come you will have the politician walking the street to do with them as the people see it fit.

Not what the world giveth, but what I Jes-us of Nazareth giveth true Divine Peace & Love.


Post Edited (08-23-06 16:43)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 12:01AM
Oppression and Resistance in
Jamaican Reggae and
Afro-Brazilian Music
A Comparative Study of Race in Music and Culture
Michael R. Dávila

Cultural expression frequently serves as a lens to the conditions, historical and contemporary, of a society. Film, music, and literature often serve as an extension of oral traditions and can provide us not only with a glimpse into history but can also share with us the cultural impact of the past and give us a greater understanding of the present. In the countries of Brazil and Jamaica with similar histories of oppression, from slavery, to genocide, to crushing poverty and systemic racism, it is not surprising to see a similarity in the heightened consciousness in their music. Through analysis of the histories of Brazil and Jamaica, from slavery to the institutionalized systems of oppression, one can understand how such seemingly different musical traditions frequently share a common theme, resistance.

"…a good part of the attraction of reggae music to its metropolitan audience is the anger and protest of the lyrics. We obviously face a contradiction between the message of urban poverty and protest which reggae conveys and that of pleasure and relaxation inherent in our holiday product.

In short, when we promote reggae music we are promoting an aspect of Jamaican culture which is bound to draw attention to some of the harsher circumstances of our lives."

-- Jamaica Tourist Board Memorandum, October 10, 1975 (Davis and Simon, 1977, p. 1)

Jamaican reggae is music of protest that carries an angry message of poverty. Listeners worldwide often simply enjoy the swaying upbeats and melodies of reggae while giving little thought to the importance of the lyrics or the ‘harsh circumstances’ that have given birth to the music. Similarly, the music of Brazil has been neglected. Musical prejudices commonly lead to the association of subtle rhythms and light, casual melodies with bland music and not profound expression (Byrne, 1989, p. 2-3). However, the music of both cultures caries with them strong traditions of resistance. They both pay homage to their leaders and mythic figures and work to carry on in their tradition of resistance.

The Maroon States

In contrast to the thirteen colonies which were to become the United States of America, which were colonized by settlers seeking a new life in the West, the majority of the new world colonies were established to be financial ventures based on the exploitation and exportation of natural resources and the running of massive plantations. In Brazil, there was no effort to settle the land in the same sense as in North American. While the northern settlers brought wives, few women traveled to Brazil. To support their efforts, the colonial population of Brazil was augmented through the mestiçagem (miscegenation) with indigenous women. The Portuguese essentially monopolized the slave trade, bringing approximately three and a half million African slaves to Brazil through the Middle Passage, six times the number to arrive in the United States and the single largest slave contingent in the New World (Stam, 1997, p. 4, 26, 44). Both the Brazilian and Jamaican colonies developed into commercial territories built on slave labor.

However, Jamaica is a rough island, "the stone the builder refused." The difficult geography and dense forests thwarted the efforts of the imperial powers to tame the island. The wild hill country was a beckoning sanctuary for the enslaved Africans working on the plantations. The Spaniards, fleeing from English conquest of the island in 1655, sailed from the island, leaving their slaves behind. Rather than idly await a new master, the slaves sought freedom in the hills. These escaped slaves became the Maroons of Jamaica (Barrett, 1988, p. 30).

Under the leadership of Juan de Bolas, the Jamaican Maroons engaged in skirmishes with the British in defending their territory. The colonial powers saw the Maroons as an obstacle to the profitable running of the island; not only were the Maroons impeding the expansion of the colony, their freedom enticed slaves to flee the plantations to join their brethren in the hills. After eight years of hostile cohabitation of the island, the British courted Juan de Bolas, offering him peace and a military title. The Maroons, however, did not trust the British offer and slaughtered their leader (Barrett, 1988, p. 31).

The Maroon guerilla war with the British continued for another seventy-five years. During this period, the Maroons grew in number with the steady exodus of "irrepressible spirits" within the Coromantee slaves. An Ashanti family rose out of the new Maroons to become prominent leaders. Cudjoe and Quaco became political and military leaders of the Maroons. Meanwhile, another group of Maroons from the east side of the island became organized under the mythical Nanny (of whom it is said that her broad hips were capable of knocking over whole lines of British troops). These legendary figures led decades of brutal campaigns against the British. It was truly a guerilla war, resorting to sudden and swift attacks and cunning ambushes. The Maroons provided a consistent rebellion that eventually drew the British to the bargaining table to sue for peace again in 1738.

After decades of hostility, the war-weary British and Maroons eventually agreed to a treaty, signed March 1, 1738. While the treaty guaranteed peace and granted land to the Maroons, it came at a great price to the burgeoning movement of resistance. The treaty subjugated the Maroons, turning them into an unpaid army for the colonial power. Following the signing of the treaty, the Maroons served in this role, suppressing the slave population from which they came (Barrett, 1988, p. 36).

Brazil, like Jamaica, represented a geographical challenge to the imperial colonists. Even to this day, a majority of the country remains ‘untamed’ and over 90% of the population lives strictly along the coastline. Sometime before 1606, escaped slaves made their way from the plantations of Alagoas and Pernambuco and fled to the interior, seeking sanctuary in the forested coastal mountains. The runaway slaves established a quilombo (maroon state) in a region that came to be known as ‘Palmares’ (Anderson, 1996, p. 550-1).

"[T]he most apparent significance of Palmares to African history is that an African political system could be transferred to a different content; that it could come to govern not only individuals from a variety of ethnic groups from Africa, but also those born in Brazil, pitch black or almost white, latinized or close to Amerindian roots; and that it could endure for almost a full century against two European powers, Holland and Portugal." (Kent, 1965, p. 163)

Not only was Palmares capable of surviving the ongoing invasions of Holland and Portugal, but it was able to experience a period of prosperity throughout which the Palmarinos lived with dignity and harmony. Palmares served as an early model for a utopian republic (Stam, 1997, p. 41) based on ‘fraternal equality’ (Freitas, 1982, p. 210). The story of Palmares even lead historian Oliveira Martins to state, "Of all of the historical examples of slave protest, Palmares is the most beautiful, the most heroic. It is a black Troy, and its story is an Iliad" (Freitas, 1982, p. 64). The history of the quilombo has become a romantic tale of a society that many modern Brazilians seek to restore.

The mocambos (maroon settlements or towns, from Kimbundu mukambo, ‘hide-out’) of Palmares were initially established by a trickle of runaway slaves. However, the area soon became home to increasing number of slave refugees from the Dutch invasion of northeastern Brazil in the 1630s. During the Dutch occupation, there were several efforts to probe into Palmares, none with any notable success. However, during the brief reign of the Dutch, the Portuguese presented a greater threat that eventually led to the expulsion of the Dutch from Pernambuco in 1654. Nevertheless, several of the Dutch incursions provide an early glimpse into the development of Palmares. During the Blaer-Reijmbach expedition of 1645 the area was dominated by at least one large mocambo. This mocambo was a settlement of 220 buildings including four smithies and a council house. The whole settlement was fortified by double palisade with a spike-lined trough and was inhabited by approximately 1,500 Palmarinos (Anderson, 1996, p. 551-2).

This early quilombo was also home to several other smaller settlements throughout the region. Palmares, aside from being militantly defensive, was also productive. During the twenty-seven years of internecine peace following expulsion of the Dutch, the Palmarinos traded with their Portuguese neighbors, frequently trading foodstuffs and crafts for arms and ammunition. Trade was so extensive that many of the colonials of the region opposed war with the Palmarinos, preferring the idea of granting sovereignty to Palmares in order to bring peace (Anderson, 1996, p. 552).

Palmares provided sanctuary for any of the refugees or outcasts of the colony, openly welcoming natives, mestiços, renegade whites, Jews, Muslims and heretics. Most critical to the Governor was the sanctuary provided for runaway slaves, a constant lure for the forced labor of the plantations. As well, Palmares served as an obstacle to the further expansion of the Portuguese colony and was a challenge to the white, European supremacy of the territory (Stam, 1997, p. 42-1). In response, the Portuguese waged continued military campaigns from the mid-1670s until the final conquest of Palmares in 1694 (Anderson, 1996, p. 552-3, 563).

At its peak, the population of Palmares was estimated to be roughly 20,000 strong (Stam, 1997, p. 41); a Brazilian quilombo based on the Angolan kilombo. Kilombo was originally a male military society in Angola. During the seventeenth century, Angola was in constant military turmoil. The coast was occupied by the Portuguese and dominated by slave trade, while neighboring African nation-states were constantly putting military pressure on the area through numerous invasions. The diverse people of central Angola came together under the name ‘Imbangala’ and formed a lineageless society in order to integrate the numerous cultures. In order to cope with the constant military conflict and political upheaval of the region, the Imbangala instituted kilombo, which they found to be a unifying social paradigm for a people under constant military alert. Amongst the burgeoning population of Palmares, there were numerous descendants of Angolan slaves and possibly recent arrivals of the Imbangala, leading to their naming of the region Angola Janga, ‘Little Angola’ (Anderson, 1996, p. 558-9).

The Portuguese launched their campaign for the destruction of the quilombo with an invasion led by militia captain Fernão Carrilho. Carrilho’s campaign of 1676-7, while devastating, also provides one of the few recorded primary accounts of the region. At the time of the invasion, Palmares was dominated by several mocambos including Zambi, Acotierene, Tabocas, Dambrabanga, Subupira, the royal compound of Macaco, Osenda, Amaro and Andalaquituche. Macaco was home to the Palmarino king, Ganga-Zumba, ‘Great Lord’. The whole compound was fortified, surrounded by a palisade with embrasures, a perimeter of iron caltrops and pitfalls and was comprised of more than 1,500 houses. As well, the compound had a chapel, complete with statues of the baby Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Blaise. While overtly a Christian structured, the Palmarinos practiced a syncretism of Christian and African beliefs. The capital of Palmares, however, was not the training ground for their warriors. The town of Subupira, under the governance of Zona, Ganga-Zumba’s brother, was the staging ground for assaults against the Portuguese. This mocambo of over 800 houses, much like the capital, was fortified with wood and stone as well as a perimeter of caltrops and pitfalls (Anderson, 1996, p. 553-5).

The quilombo of Palmares was well-fortified Maroon state of fiercely capable and determined people. Through guerilla warfare and military vigilance, the Palmarinos were able to withstand the direct Portuguese onslaught for over a decade. However, in 1678, the battle-wounded and war-weary chief Ganga-Zumba, accepted the terms of peace offered by the governor of Pernambuco. These terms of peace granted the sovereignty of the Palmarinos in exchange for the return of fugitive slaves and relocation from Palmares to the Cucaú Valley, closer to the scrutiny of the governor (Anderson, 1996, p. 563).

However, the treaty signed by Ganga-Zumba did not bring peace to the Palmarinos. A faction led by ‘Captain Zumbi’ and other rebels opposed relocation from Palmares. In 1680, Ganga-Zumba was killed in a palace revolt led by Zumbi. Ganga-Zumba’s death came by poison, either from Zumbi or his faction or by the African practice of sanctioned regicide, the grave penalty for weakness or abuse of power. Zumbi reunited the Palmarinos under his authority and immediately prepared for a new war against the Portuguese (Anderson, 1996, p. 563).

The Portuguese responded to the breaking of the treaty with the enlistment of ‘Bush Captain’ Domingos Jorge Velho. Velho and his irregulars joined the Portuguese militia force raised in the Northeast to prepare for a new assault on Palmares in 1692. The initial thrust was rejected and a new expeditionary force, augmented with new troops, was gathered in Porto Calvo in late 1693. This force eventually reached the capital of Macaco in early 1694 and laid siege to the royal compound for 22 days. On February 5th, 1694 the Palmarinos abandoned the fortifications of the mocambo, either to attack from the rear or flee through a break in the line of attackers. The battle over the next two days lead to the death of over 500 and the capture of another 500 Palmarinos (Anderson, 1996, p. 563-4). At the end of the battle, only women and children remained, many of whom chose to starve themselves to death rather than return to slavery (Stam, 1997, p. 43).

Zumbi escaped death at the battle in Macaco and continued to harass the Portuguese for over a year. However, late in 1695, one of his aides revealed his location to the Portuguese. Zumbi and his band of rebels were killed in the resulting ambush on November 20th, 1695. His body was taken to Porto Calvo for identification and his head later sent to Recife, the capital of Pernambuco. In Recife, the head of the "black Spartacus" was publicly displayed until it decomposed as proof against the claims of Zumbi’s immortality (Anderson, 1996, p. 564; Stam, 1997, p.43).

Refugees from Palmares continued their resistance, despite the death of their leader. Another quilombo was formed in Paraibe, called Cumbe. Cumbe successfully repelled numerous attacks before eventually being destroyed in 1731. Resistance in the area continued until 1797, almost two centuries after the refugee settlement of Palmares (Stam, 1997, p. 43). The region, even in the 20th century, has been an area of sporadic resistance, including several rebellious insurgencies during the totalitarian military regime of the 1960s and ‘70s.

To this day, Zumbi, the last leader of the quilombo of Palmares, is popularly regarded as a national hero. The day of Zumbis’s death, November 20th, is a national holiday, celebrated with numerous commemorative festivals. Initially called Zumbi Day, the holiday was rebaptized "National Black Consciousness Day" in 1978. In 1995, on the tercentenary of Zumbi’s death, or popularly recognized as the tercentenary of his immortality, carnaval chose to celebrate the mythic leader of Palmares. As well, numerous other events, including President Fernando Henrique Cardoso speaking in the Municipal Hall in União dos Palmares, the Congresso Continental dos Povos Negros das Américas in São Paulo, and the Movimento Negro Unificado’s march of Brasília (Anderson, 1996, p. 545-7), underscored the cultural importance of Zumbi. There is even a movement proposing that the commemoration of the end of slavery on May 13, 1888 (the day Princess Isabel signed the Lei Áurea, the Golden Law, enacting the emancipation) be replaced with the celebration of National Black Consciousness Day (Stam, 1997, p. 44).

The quilombos of Brazil are national symbols of black resistance. Half a million descendants of the Palmarinos were ceded land in Palmares by the quilombo clause of the recent Constitution. The clause has long been supported by contemporary musical groups from Bahia, including Olodum and Ilê Aiyê, with lyrics such as:

Quilombo, here we are

My only debt is to the quilombo

My only debt is to Zumbi

Additionally, black activist Paulinho da Viola founded a black consciousness carnaval group, the Quilombo Samba School (Stam, 1997, p. 44). Palmares was even the focus of major feature-fiction films, Ganga Zumba (1963) and Quilombo (1984), and a recent TV miniseries, Zumbi, O Rei dos Palmares (Zumbi: King of Palmares) (Stam, 1997, p. 41). Modern cinema and music have shown that the spirit of the quilombos and their leaders lives on in the hearts of much of Brazil.

Sewing the Seeds of Systemic Subjugation

Rarely in the New World did emancipation bring peace and prosperity for all blacks. The white plutocracy was loath to give moral and fiscal equality to people who had once been their slaves. In Jamaica, the abolition of slavery in 1834 threw the island into turmoil, while the Imperial Government aspired to incorporate freed slaves into the colony with an apprentice system, the Planters resented the orders from England and the slaves desired to simply work their provision grounds and enjoy their new found freedom (Barrett, 1988, p. 51).

The emancipation of the slaves in Jamaica ceded no land to the blacks. Essentially overnight, the slaves were homeless and jobless, given the choice to either return to the plantations and work for substandard wages or to fend for themselves as best as they saw fit. Of the 400,000 slaves freed, only 30,000 returned to the plantations to work and a handful integrating into the marketplaces in the towns and cities. The remaining 370,000 became destitute, turning to foraging for their meals. Unemployment became the subject of debate, frequently attributed to the mismanagement of the island’s economy by the government. A pointed letter sent by Edward Underhill in 1865 to England’s Secretary of the State for the Colonies addressed the dire situation on the island:

I shall say nothing of the course taken by the Jamaica Legislature; of their abortive immigration bills; of their unjust taxation of the coloured population; of their refusal of just tribunals; of their denial of political rights to the emancipated Negroes.

Underhill saw that the continuing paradigm of monoculture plantations was an underlying root cause of the economic and, accordingly, the social strife impacting the island (Barrett, 1988, p. 56-7). Underhill also saw that under the leadership of Governor Eyre, the island would continue to be economically depressed and the blacks socially oppressed. These factors, he believed, would ultimately lead to conflict unless the course of governance was changed (Barrett, 1988, p. 57).

The conditions on the island did eventually precipitate conflict, bringing attention both to the plight of the blacks and the heavy-handed tactics of the governor. On October 7th, 1865, a small army of two hundred men led by Paul Bogle marched on Morant Bay. More a demonstration than an assault, Bogle and his men only ‘roughed up’ a few police officers and the group eventually dissipated back to their homes in the hills. Three days later, Bogle and his army struck the town of Morant Bay, killing eighteen, including a prominent plantation owner. The army marched on, taking the town of Bath on the 12th. However, Governor Eyre was making preparations for confronting Bogle’s rebellion and declared martial law the following day. As well, the Maroons, abiding by their treaty, joined Governor Eyre’s forces against Bogle and his men. The courts of martial law, under Eyre’s direction, proceeded to accuse, convict, and execute citizens believed to be possible obstructions to the government. The militia, fifteen hundred strong, bolstered by the Maroons and the executions of the martial courts crushed the rebellion with the killing of close to a thousand people and the razing of over a thousand cottages while there were no recorded deaths of soldiers or militia men outside of the initial eighteen at Morant Bay (Barrett, 1998, p. 61-3).

While the Morant Bay rebellion ended with a crushing blow against Bogle and his supporters, it brought to attention the powder keg situation that the island’s socioeconomic situation and political oligarchy presented. Planters and politicians were ever fearful of another uprising. The aftershocks of the rebellion precipitated the declaration of Crown Colony status only months later (Barrett, 1988, p. 63).

The Morant Bay rebellion brought about the end (or at least, significant curtailing) of overt hostilities between whites and blacks on the island. This gave way to an institutionalized oppression of the population through socioeconomic exploitation. During Jamaica’s Crown Colony era from 1865 to 1962, the few local industries of the island, from cane to bauxite, were exploited to strip the resources of the island and never return the wealth generated. The labor force of Jamaica recognized the exploitation, leading to rage tempered with the "consciousness of nationality" preached by Black leaders such as Marcus Garvey. The result was violent labor uprisings in Westmoreland, Kingston and Spanish Town in 1938. The loss of life from the clash between the laborers and the armed police response drew the attention of the imperial government. The report of labor uprisings in the Crown Colony led to the development of a new constitution directed towards the eventual self-governance of the island (Barrett, 1988, p. 63-5).

The racism found in North America, including Jamaica and the United States, is a binary form, frequently pitting non-whites against whites or an unsympathetic government. In contrast, Brazil has developed a racial hegemony based on a spectrum of racial climes and lateral conflict amongst non-whites. Perpetuated since the practice mestiçagem in the initial colonization of Brazil, racial hegemony supplanted scientific racism, becoming the devious paradigm for oppressing a near racial majority.

The first wave of mestiçagem in the New World colony of Brazil may have come about by necessity, in response to the comparatively small numbers of European women, but it did also bring about a means by which the Europeans could diffuse the tension of their intended ethnic supremacy. Mestiçagem combined with the native practice of cunhadismo, the incorporation of strangers into a community by providing wives, generated the mass of the colonial population. The resultant mamelucos, the racially mixed descendants of the union of Europeans and natives, became an ambivalent intermediate between the Europeans and the natives. The colonists took advantage of the mamelucos facility with native customs and the environment and utilized them as expeditionary forces to expand the Lusitanian-dominated territories. However, this put them at a mutual conflict with the natives from which they descended. While sometimes the mamelucos allied with the indigenous populations, they frequently allied with the whites. Ultimately, the mamelucos, victims of "cultural disjunction", spread their ambivalence throughout Brazil. They were often torn between their allegiances to their indigenous counterparts, whom they frequently scorned, and their allegiances to the white Europeans, who despised them. In a sense, the mamelucos were the first victims of the "ideology of whitening" (Stam, 1997, p. 3-5).

The African slaves were also victims of ethnic division. The slave dealers of Brazil frequently bestowed arbitrary ethnic labels to groups of imported slaves. The slave owners would maintain these ethnic distinctions hoping to promote rivalries between the so-called African "nations" as a means to prevent slave resistance. Ethnic division amongst non-whites in Brazils continued on another level: between Creoles and Africans. The constitution of the 19th century permitted the naturalization of Brazilian-born slaves as second-class citizens while Africans were not given similar opportunities. This is an indicator of the greater social value given to Creoles over Africans by the free Brazilians. Unlike Jamaica, where blacks and mulattos fought side by side in rebellions, Brazilian rebellions were often segregated, as in the 1837 Sabinada Rebellion where only Creole slaves were permitted to fight. As a result of this racial caste system, animosity grew between the Creoles and the Africans. While the Creole-African rivalry did not overstep family ties, it was still powerful enough to impede uprising, to the benefit of the planters (Kraay, 1998, p. 12-13).

Following emancipation, Brazilians were left searching for a new paradigm of European supremacy to replace slavery. While many politicians and thinkers proposed scientific racism, with binary segregation, Brazil inevitably returned to mestiçagem. Scholars saw the amalgamation of race through the process of whitening to be the solution for issues of race in Brazil (Kraay, 1998, p. 16). Within the new racial spectrum pardos (people of mixed race) typically receive a higher social status than pretos (descendants of Africans). The abandonment of formal racial discrimination gave a handful of pardos the opportunity to rise into the social elite by rejecting their racial identity. Rarely do the handfuls of upper-class mulattos identify themselves as anything other than white, having utilized the "mulatto escape hatch." Many modern historians see these individuals as "tormented figures forced to deny or reject their racial identity to participate in white upper-class society." With the ascension of a handful of non-whites into the predominantly white upper class, Brazilian aristocrats are able to maintain that their country is a "racial democracy" (Kraay, 1998, p. 18).

The Modern Socio-Economic Stage

Despite more than a century of self-determinism, both Brazil and Jamaica maintain conditions of social and economic disparity. Both countries are still dominated by an aristocratic white upper class intent on maintaining their prosperity with little concern for the predominantly non-white poor. Slums and shantytowns encircle the metropolises of Jamaica and Brazil. For many the color of their skin assures their place in society and for a great many non-whites, a place in the lower echelons. The condition of the non-whites in Brazil and Jamaica is summed up by Bongo Sylly’s comment to author Stephen Davis: "You should not say that Jamaica is full of happy folks or fookery like that. Write it out that we’re in pain here. Ras clot! Write it out that we are in prison and we want to go home" (Davis and Simon, 1977, p. 60). Jamaica and Brazil have established façades of happiness and pleasure to support their tourist industries while sweeping the overwhelming poverty and despair under the rug.

The efforts of the Jamaican government since independence have had a slim impact on the plight of the lower class. Fiscal reform, while having curbed inflation and stabilized the exchange rate, has failed to compensate for the collapse of the bauxite industry in the 1970s. In 1992, 32.4% of the country lived below the poverty line and the economy was continuing on its downward spiral. The growth of the gross domestic product decreased from 1.5% in 1992 to 0.5% and the GDP posted a 1.4% decrease in 1996 and a subsequent 2% decrease in 1998. The country is also plagued with a US$1.1 billion trade deficit and a US$1.39 billion government spending deficit, further complicated with high interest rates (CIA, 1999). The end product of the floundering Jamaican economy is the increase of the urban poor, a population either unemployed or underpaid. The economic situation in Jamaica is exemplified in Trench Town, a shantytown built in a system of municipal trenches, and best characterized by the quality of life illustrated in The Harder They Come.

The economic situation for non-whites in Brazil is similarly desperate. In 1987, the median salary for whites was two and a half times that of blacks. The World Bank eventually declared the economic disparity "the most unequal distribution of income in the world" (Stam, 1997, p. 46-7). Furthermore, the economy as a whole was failing. In 1994, inflation soared to over 1,000%, devastating the meager savings of the lower and middle class (CIA, 1999). While the upper class was able to maintain wealth in hard foreign currency, the majority of the population was bankrupted by the loss of value of their money. The Plano Real, instituted in mid-1994, did eventually bring inflation under control, dropping it to 2% in 1998. However, the shockwaves of the Russian debt default threw Brazil into another economic decline leading to 50% interest rate hikes. In two months, US$30 billion of capital left Brazil spearheading a trend of global economic withdrawal.

However, the plight of Brazil is not solely economic. Brazilian non-whites are also the victims of racial hegemony, perpetuated by deep-seated social inequalities, racial dissolution, and police violence. Brazilian culture is a paradox in which some Afro-Brazilian traditions become national symbols, such as carnaval, and others become the targets of violent eradication campaigns, such as candomblé and capoeira. While a select few fight for racial identity and pride, most ascribe to the ideology of whitening. As the issues of racism in Brazil are complex and often subtle, those who work to affect change are hampered by general ignorance and apathy from the majority of the population.

The issues of race in Brazil often go unseen or are misread. In the 1950s, the self-proclaimed "racial democracy" of Brazil was hailed as so successful that the United Nations sponsored research on "race relations" to ascertain how Brazil escaped the overt racial tensions that plagued much of the world. The apparent socio-economic disparity was attributed to class, despite significant correlations between class and race (Kraay, 1998, p. 18). Kim D. Butler notes that Brazilian racism is not so much an overt effort against blacks but against black culture, giving way to both the cultural and phenotypic whitening of Brazil (Kraay, 1998, p. 20).

Candomblé, the popular and widespread Afro-Brazilian religion that is prominent in the Brazilian state of Bahia (often viewed as the black heart of Brazil), has been a persecuted practice for centuries. Candomblé practitioners were frequently the targets of police violence in unofficial eradication campaigns. For a period of time into the 1930s, candomblé grew despite waning pressure. Politicians in Bahia eventually turned to candomblé leaders as electoral brokers. However, the violent rise to power of Getúlio Vargas and the proclamation of his Estado Novo dictatorship brought an end to the fleeting period of tolerance towards Afro-Brazilian culture. Scholars studying candomblé were exiled for complacency towards to the Afro-Brazilian ‘communist’ threat and police violence was back on the rise (Kraay 1998, p. 21-2, 57).

It was not until the end of the dictatorship in 1945 that the Afro-Brazilian cultural organization could recommence. In 1949, candomblé re-emerged from obscurity with the formation of the afoxé (Carnival society) Filhos de Gandhi (Sons of Gandhi) which brought the rhythms and sounds of candomblé back to the masses. The 1970s saw the emergence of Brazil’s first modern black movement, spearheaded by the Movimento Negro Unificado Contra a Discriminação Racial (Unified Black Movement against Racial Discrimination, abbreviated to Movimento Negro Unificado or MNU) in 1978. The first bloco afro (Afro-centric Carnival society) Ilê Aiyê, founded in 1974, brought the message of black pride to the streets during festivities (Kraay, 1998, p. 22). While it was initially criticized as racist, as many other Afro-Brazilian organizations have been, Ilê Aiyê has become a fundamental component of Carnival. As well, the society has also started social and educational programs in the poor and predominantly black neighborhood where it is based. Other societies like Olodum have followed in the tradition of Ilê Aiyê, drawing attention to the poverty in the slums and working to affect change in their communities and the nation as a whole.

The system of oppression not only sought to deprive Afro-Brazilians of their culture but to deprive them of economic, social and political power. Illiteracy runs rampant, accounting for 40% of non-whites, twice the rate of whites. Only 1% of blacks identify themselves as patrãos (bosses/owners) while 79% of whites identify themselves as such. As well, non-whites filled only a dozen of the 559 parliamentary seats, many of which did not support black causes (Stam, 1997, p. 51-2). The general absence black representation in the upper echelons of society and government sets a standard of white superiority in Brazil.

Despite the constant reiteration of the racial democracy, skin color invariably dictates your social status. In "High Tech Violence", Disciplina Urbana sings that the police:

Go up into the favelas

Invade your home

Without shame

And the treatment you receive

Will depend on the color of your skin.

However, while the violence committed by the police and paramilitary is frequently against blacks and mulattos, those who commit the violence may also be people of color. The lack of clarity in the violence permits it to be dismissed as class based and not a part of the system of racial oppression (Stam, 1997, p. 54-5).

In the system of direct and inferential racism, the popularity of black pride is suppressed. Many choose to follow the apparent route of self-whitening in order to maintain or improve their social condition. A recent survey showed that nearly half of all blacks agree with the statement that a "good black is the black with a white soul." As Michael Hanchard said, "Racial hegemony has effectively neutralized racial identification among non-whites" (Stam, 1997, p. 48). The continued miseducation of the population cements the precepts of racial hegemony in Brazilian society.

The system of racism is so extensive that it, as Carlos Hasenbalg stated, "permeates every stage of the life cycle of blacks and mestiços. It is in the family, the first socializing unit; it is in the schools…it is in the labor market, in police violence. It affects all of daily life." If "the white man’s greatest crime was to make the black man hate himself," as Malcom X proclaims, it was done so in Brazil through the pervasive institutionalization of racism. This system of oppression has convinced almost half of polled Brazilian blacks that "blacks are only good at music and sports" (Stam, 1997, p. 48-50). Through racial hegemony, Brazilian society has diffused the overt tension of binary racism while maintaining black inferiority as the ad hoc standard.

The Music of Jamaica and Brazil

The music profession is one of the few in Jamaica and Brazil in which a person can become popular and financially successful without sacrificing cultural identity. As such, it seems that an underground culture percolates through society rising to popularity, telling a story that otherwise goes unheard. Reggae brings the harsh message of the streets and the slums out of obscurity in a stark contrast to the calypso that typically assails the tourists. As well, Afro-Brazilian music, often subtle, brings a similar message to the masses.

Jamaican roots reggae, in its purest form, free of the ‘slack’ that is frequently found on the airwaves, documents the struggles of the impoverished commoner. There is the constant fight against oppression, joblessness, hunger, and the lack of opportunity on the island. It is a music that shares the tales of the suffering in the ghettos, repatriation to Africa, worship of Haile Selassie as a deity, and the pressures of living with the shackles of slavery in Babylon (Barrow and Dalton, 1997, p. 129). Roots is best exemplified by Bob Marley, the late musical prophet of the Rastafarians. "Crazy Baldheads" spoke of the continued oppression of the blacks in Jamaica; once exploited as slaves, they are now exploited as free men. Songs like "Exodus" carry the message of Africanism and repatriation of Ethiopia as the final solution.

Recently, many dancehall artists are returning to roots traditions. While slack is still common, many musicians see their position as an opportunity to vocalize the resistance to the oppression in the neighborhoods they come from. Buju Banton’s "Til I’m Laid to Rest" perhaps best summarizes the plight of the Jamaican Rastafarian:

'Til I'm laid to rest

Yes, always be depressed

There's no living in the West

So, I know the East is the best

Lord, the propaganda them spread

Tongues will haffi confess

Oh, I'm in bondage living is a mess

And I've got to rise up alleviate the stress

No longer will I expose my weakness

He who seek knowledge begins with humbleness

Work 7 to 7 yet me still penniless

All the food upon my table Massa God Bless

Holler fi the needy and shelterless

Ethiopia awaits all prince and princess

Buju Banton preaches rising up against the economic despair of Jamaica, against the exploitation of the poor, and ultimately expatriation as the final solution.

Even in the United States, reggae coupled with Rastafarianism has taken root and begun to bear fruit. Artists like the dub-stylist Dr. Israel and the products of Lloyd Barnes temper the traditions of their Jamaican counterparts with their own inner-city experiences. Dr. Israel shares the strife of inner-city Philadelphia in "Armigideon Time":

I said enough of people can’t get no supper tonight

I said enough of people can’t get no justice tonight

But they’ll remember to praise Jah-hoviah

In this iration,

This armigideon time

All over Israel and we can’t get no supper tonight

All over Israel and we can’t get no justice tonight

As the battle

Waging harder

Jah will guide-I

To armigideon time

Dr. Israel’s song is one of many that draw attention to the poverty of the inner cities, the predominantly non-white slums in which people exist as second-class citizens.

Much of Brazil’s recent popular music also carries a similar message of black resistance. However, Afro-Brazilian music is often dismissed as bland or tame because of the subtle and light sound. Those who make this mistake dismiss a music that was deemed dangerous enough by the military regime of the 1960s and ‘70s to warrant the exiling of several popular artists like Gilberto Gil and Caetono Veloso (Byrne, 1989, p. 3-4, Lindsay, 1989, p. 6). Frequently musicians had to resort to double and triple entendre in order to stay out of the political prisons (Lindsay, 1989, p. 6) while still delivering their messages of African pride and resistance.

Afro-Brazilian music, whether pop music or traditional, is a modern celebration of the black identity and culture. Long repressed, only in the recent decades has it been able to benefit from a renaissance of popularity that enables the masses to enjoy its aesthetics and message. Bloco afro groups such as Olodum have gained global popularity, not only playing large venues worldwide but also being featured on releases by other popular artists (such as Olodum appearances on Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints and Michael Jackson’s His-story). Many Brazilian artists now benefit from a global musical community in which they can interact with their counterparts from other countries. The Noite disc of the CSNZ double-disc set from Chico Science e Nação Zumbi, featuring remixes by Mario C of the Beastie Boys, David Byrne of the Talking Heads, the Mad Professor, and Goldie, is a project that underscores the blossoming of Afro-Brazilian music from obscurity to global popularity.

The recently enjoyed freedom of musical expression that Brazil is experiencing is essential. As the issues of racial hegemony and systemic racism are otherwise confined to scholarly debate, music is the only forum that serves to inform and unite the masses. Accordingly, many musicians have accepted the moral mandate, as in Reggae, to use their positions to promote African pride and to draw attention to the appalling conditions of the favelas and slums.

The Salvador (the capital of Bahia) based samba school, Olodum, follows in the tradition of Ilê Aiyê both in music and social reform. Enjoying global popularity, they take their message of urban poverty and strife to Europe, Africa and North America, playing large venues such as the Montreux Jazz Festival in France and small venues including the Flynn Theater in Burlington, Vermont. Their anthem against the system of racism and oppression in Brazil, "Desabofo Olodum", details their experiences as a black consciousness group:

Ragga, ragga, ragga Oloddum

It's time to think

Of a way to bring down

The discrimination that

Reigns here

The wall of dishonesty

Will no longer bear fruit

The people are not stupid

They are beginning to protest

The union movement

Fights against

Those who serve themselves

And enrich their profits

The ghettos of the periphery

Each day worsen

The prices that we pay

Each day rise

I love my country

But I'm ashamed of the system

Retrograde politicians

Are its greatest problem

(I've been) Three times in Europe

My song echoing

And resolutely

I continue my protest

I'm going to fight, and I'm going to win

And I'm going to return to your love

The song describes the birth of black consciousness as a political movement in Brazil. It is a call to action, motivating others to join in their fight against the discrimination that has become commonplace.

Musicians also attempt to address the ideology of whitening by promoting black pride and identity. Fernando, from Disciplina Urbana, makes the extreme (by Brazilian standards) argument that Brazilians of mixed race should simply consider themselves "black" (Stam, 1997, p. 46). The current of black pride often runs strong at the surface or can be subtle, as in Caetono Veloso’s "O Leãozniho" (The Lion) or in his praise of Ilê Aiyê in "Um Canto de Afoxé Para O Bloco Do Ilê" (A Song of Afoxé For The Bloco Ilê). Musicians also frequently give praise to the national symbols of freedom and resistance, Zumbi and the quilombos. Chico Science e Nação Zumbi (Chico Science and Zumbi Nation) frequently sing both of Zumbi and Palmares as well as the current fight against poverty in the favelas. Gilberto Gil also sings of Palmares in "Quilombo, O El Dorado Negro:"

Once there was a black El Dorado in Brazil

There it was like a shaft of sunlight that liberty released

It was there, reflecting the divine light from the holy fire of Olorum

And there it relived the utopia of one for all and all for one

Quilombo — everyone built it, it took all the zeal of the saints

Quilombo — all of the waters of all of their tears irrigated it

Quilombo — all fell, loving and fighting

Quilombo — even today all of us still want so much.

Gilberto Gil’s song underscores the ultimate goal of bringing the multiracial utopia of Palmares back to modern Brazil.

Music is a powerful medium that transcends many of the barriers of society, including illiteracy and poverty. It gives a voice to people that frequently would go unheard or ignored. It is so powerful that totalitarian military regimes have worked to confine and suppress it. Musicians have become ad hoc political leaders weaving manifestos and history lessons into rhythms and melodies for both enjoyment and education. Reggae and Afro-Brazilian music, drawing from the vast experiences of their collective diaspora, have become a voice of resistance to institutions of oppression in power for centuries. Led by the irrepressible spirits of Marcus Garvey and Zumbi, these artists are a musical quilombo fighting for their utopia, their Zion.

Appendix A: Approximate Area of Palmares Control


Source: Political Map of Brazil — Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection

Area of Palmares (Anderson, 546)

Appendix B: Accompanying Music CD


Redemption Song — Bob Marley and the Wailers

The Harder They Come — Jimmy Cliff

Get Up Stand Up — Bob Marley and the Wailers

You Can Get It If You Really Want — Jimmy Cliff

Revolution — Toots and the Maytals

Armagideon Time — Dr. Israel

Til I’m Laid To Rest — Buju Banton

I Shot the Sheriff — Bob Marley and the Wailers

Life In The Ghetto — Dr. Israel

Many Rivers to Cross — Jimmy Cliff

Hills and Valleys — Buju Banton

Revolution — Dr. Israel

Coco Dub (Afrociberdelia) — Chico Science e Nação Zumbi, Remix: Mad Professor

Amor De Muito — Chico Science e Nação Zumbi, Remix: Mario Caldato

Quilombo, o el Dorado Negro — Gilberto Gil

O Leãozinho — Caetono Veloso

Um Canto de Afoxé Para O Bloco do Ilê Aiyê — Caetono Veloso

Zumbi Rei — Olodum

Maculelê — Nazare Pereira

Calice — Chico Buarque feat. Milton Nascimento

Works Cited

Anderson, Robert Nelson, ‘The Quilombo of Palmares: A New Overview of a Maroon State in Seventeenth-Century Brazil’, Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 28 (1996), p545-66

Barrett, Leonard E., Sr., The Rastafarians, (Boston, Beacon Press, 1988)

Barrow, Steve and Dalton, Peter, Reggae: The Rough Guide, (London, Rough Guides Ltd., 1997)

Byrne, David, Beleza Tropical, (Sire Records, 1989)

Davis, Stephen and Simon, Peter, Reggae Bloodlines: In Search of the Music and Culture of Jamaica, (1977)

Freitas, Décio, Palmares: a Guerra Dos Escravos, 5th ed. (Rio de Janeiro, 1982)

Kent, R. K., ‘Palmares: An African State in Brazil’, Journal of African History, vol. 6 (1965), p161-75

Kraay, Hendrik, Afro-Brazilian Culture and Politics: Bahia, 1790s to 1990s, (M. E. Sharp, Inc., 1998)

Lindsay, Arto, Beleza Tropical, (Sire Records, 1989)

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, www@lib.utexas.edu, April 4, 2000, [www.lib.utexas.edu], April, 2000

Stam, Robert, Tropical Multiculturalism: A Comparative History of Race In Brazilian Cinema and Culture, (Duke University Press, 1997)

The World Factbook 1999, Central Intelligence Agency, January, 1999, [www.cia.gov], April, 2000


Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 12:38AM
This stood out at me from the above article...

"Accordingly, many musicians have accepted the moral mandate, as in Reggae, to use their positions to promote African pride and to draw attention to the appalling conditions of the favelas and slums."

People get mad about white "trustafarians" and fake wannabes, but then righteous white Rastas get slack for fighting down racism and modern-day neo-colonialism.

Post Edited (08-23-06 17:42)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 12:45AM
i don't think that's the reason you get slack, if you promote fighting down racism which i see you do then that is good work's, no jeff, the reason you get slack from me even though you dont want me replying to you which really takes your whole "practicing rasta" thing right out the window is because you take my words and twist them up into some kind of weird fanatic fantasy of which you try your best to bring me down. Yes with you i get Power top Power battles for no reason, you seem to be unable to really reason with people about things, it's like you wanna WIN a conversation but to me it's not sport. dunno man, im hopin you will come around and one day and reason without all the fuss, till then
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 01:27AM
i am no slack white rasta, and am far from supportive of the neo-cons an neo-colons
i work hard to trod thru this f*ked mess of a society as do any other that stands thru the current an tide. an i got full luv an respects for your works j_72, an only put i and i two sense in because on times no man can stand alone. the intellectual weight of the world is a heavy burden to bear, an lord knows it can ovverrun the capacity of the mind an soul. only trying to say i feels it as well, an we all still in it presently for THIS time towards the future. i been working hard these days14 hours an on, sometimes it seems like an act of futility but to put the energy into physical reality an keep that fire burning sends sparks out an ignite maybe a little bush fire here or bush fire there. who knows what go on in the heart soul an mind of others? but dont carry the downpression of others ignorance pon your own head, cast way an live right bredrian cause thats the most for true we can achieve in these tumultous times.
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 04:02AM
"btw jeff, have you ever read "Every Negro Ashamed" written by Marcus Garvey slandering Haile Selassie which is the head of the "Rastafari" movement you are here to protect as a white man? lol... come on man dont get me really started."

"though you dont want me replying to you which really takes your whole "practicing rasta" thing right out the window "

"is them same kinda man who run up the mouth who turn round and kiss our @$$ when we roll into town like we born family..."

"jeff you are a fuc%ing joke, dont care who u get to lick yer sack for ya.. u a sucker and i know it and u know it too.."

"well that King is Haile Selassie not Marcus Garvey you retard and Selassie preached no racism"

gan"jah" these are the reasons why I asked you to not respond. I got tired of your continuous insults to both my thoughts and my Rasta practice. I did not come into this trod yesterday...I have been trodding Rastafari for 17-18 years now (as well as studying and searching other paths, but they truly are all of the same spirit). I know the difference between Haile Selassie I and Garvey, thank you very much. I also do not kiss people's ass just because they are a sound man or reggae man (I rarely go to shows). I worship JAH alone. As far as the last quote from you, here are the words of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, who was well aware of the racial discrimination and never denied the on-going struggle for African rights, and it is His Imperial Majesty that has invited all to partake of this work (quote gan"jah": black man nah need a white man to carry him torch for him. zeeeeen).....

"We seek to consolidate and guarantee our own precious liberty as independent nations.
We seek freedom for our still dependant brothers.
We seek Africa's economic growth and development, the betterment of the way of life of Africans and all men.
We seek the closest collaboration with those others - Asians, Europeans, North & South Americans who share our desires and who are willing to cooperate with us.
We seek that self-sufficiency which will enable us to play our rightful role in international affairs & live in full harmony with all men."


Africa Day 1963

"It has been five years since every year this day of April 15, was decreed to be celebrated as Africa's Independence Day. This day is celebrated throughout Africa. It reminds Us of the struggles for independence during the last twelve months and of our African brothers that are still engaged in the fight for freedom.

"For several years in the past, as must be remembered, a large part of the African continent was under colonial rule. In the course of that time, colonialists have stripped the Africans of their freedom and natural rights, and used their resources for the benefit and prosperity of their own country. Even today, colonial masters speak ill of Africans by exaggerating their poverty in the press. Africans are also blamed for the aid they receive. This aid cannot fill the needs of their peoples overnight. From under such humiliation, Africans rose up to safeguard their right and started to struggle to obtain their independence. This struggle began to bear fruit after World War II.

"The first African Independent States Conference was held in Africa in 1958. The independent states at that time were only eight. Nevertheless, the freedom fight in Africa continued with more vigour and fervour and today the number of independent states has reached 32. This is four times the size of those independent countries which participated in the Accra Conference. Last year alone Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Algeria achieved their independence and became members of the Independent African states. Although it had been duly extended at the appropriate time, we will again venture to express our congratulations to these friendly countries.

"In our neighbour country, Kenya, a new political trend is taking shape and elections are expected to be held soon. It is our earnest wish that Kenya achieves independence immediately after the conclusion of a successful election. That Kenya obtains her independence without the dismemberment of her regions is the policy that Ethiopia strongly supports. Ethiopia opposes all those who try to dismember Kenya under the claim of tribalism.

"Congo has been in turmoil after independence. It has been gratifying to Us to see Katanga reintegrated last year into the central government to form a united Congo Republic. We are especially pleased, because Ethiopia has sent her troops to Congo in the name of the United Nations and made substantial contribution to the unity of that country.

"In Central Africa too, political movement is quite encouraging. Under the eminent leadership of Dr. Kamuza Banda, Nyasaland achieved local government under its nationals and the day of her independence is anxiously being awaited in the very near future. It has also been made clear in a recent London Conference that Northern Rhodesia has secured its right of secession from the colonialist-run Federation, and it is fast marching towards independence.

"Meanwhile, the fate of Africans in Southern Rhodesia is in a precarious situation. Many Africans and their leaders are found arbitrarily imprisoned and consequently, the country is in chaos, We will not hesitate to remind the British Government to make use of its responsibility to hand over authority to the African majority so that Southern Rhodesia will also be independent. Until now the British Government has shown wisdom and sound judgment in providing independence for Africans, in a manner constructive and objective.

"The South African racial government apartheid policy has deteriorated instead of effecting leniency and improvement. A large number of Africans, fighting for their freedom, are from day-to-day hauled into jails without due process of law, and are made to suffer under severe conditions. Defying world opinion, breaking international laws and disrespecting the United Nations Charter, the South African government continues practicing its atrocious and odious policy. Nevertheless, Ethiopia will not deny assistance to our brother Africans who live in that unfortunate country.

"We shall not pass without expressing our regret to the Portuguese Government, that the fate of Africans in its colonies has not been up to now improved so as to have prepared them for independence. What We would again remind the Portuguese Government, is to prepare Africans in its colonial territories for self-government in order to curtail heavy blood-shed. Ethiopia will not refrain from endeavouring to assist in finding solutions by which Africans under Portuguese colonies will obtain independence.

"In general, We extend our good will greetings to all our African brethren who are still under the yoke of foreign rule, and wish that their struggle for freedom will bear fruit so that they would be masters of their own fate. Our help will also reach them.

"Finally, We would like to speak about the May Conference of African Heads of State to be held here in Addis Ababa. All the 32 heads of state in the entire continent have accepted our invitation and expressed their willingness to participate in the Conference. We are specially pleased by the response and co-operation shown by our neighbour sister, Somalia, for her reconsideration to take part in the conference following our recommendation and advice.

"The purpose of this conference is to strengthen African unity. Since Ethiopia's hospitality is historically known, it is the voluntary duty of every individual Ethiopian to extend the usual courtesies to our distinguished guests who will come for the conference. We entrust, therefore, to you all that each one of you extend the best reception to our honourable guests.

"Let Almighty God help us in the fulfillment of our wishes."


O.A.U. Seventh Session Opens

Mr. President,
Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished Delegates,

On behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia and on Our own, We extend to you greetings and warmest welcome. We also welcome His Excellency U Thant, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and We should like to express Our appreciation to him for being here with us despite his many and pressing international responsibilities that make heavy demand on his time. The city of Addis Ababa and its people, which have had the privilege of being host to the Heads of State and Government on similar occasions in the past, welcome you once more with pride and pleasure to your second home.

We are happy to note that the Seventh Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government is being convened in an atmosphere of increased understanding in Africa as well as in the rest of the world. In various parts of the world, efforts are being made to resolve some of the outstanding issues of our time by negotiation and conciliation, based on the understanding and accommodation of each other's interests. This new international climate of understanding is a development of the utmost importance to the peace, well-being and progress of mankind. It is, therefore, a golden opportunity for all men of goodwill to help the movement attain such a momentum as to make it bear the greatest possible result.

As we meet for the seventh time to deliberate on matters of vital importance to our continent, we cannot but be impressed by the fruits of our previous deliberations. We see these results in the ever-increasing role our Organization is playing in continental relations and the maturity with which it is conducting its affairs. The past year has seen the implementation of some of the principles and aims enshrined in the Charter of the Organization, especially with respect to the lessening of tension among Member States and the enhancement of the spirit of co-operation to seek solutions to their common problems.

The internal crisis in Nigeria has been completely resolved due to the perseverance of the Federal Government and the firm belief of Members of our Organization in the basic principles of our Charter. We must all be happy that this challenge has been courageously and wisely met. In this connection, We would like to beg the indulgence of the Assembly to thank the members of the Consultative Committee on Nigeria for their contribution to the resolution of this problem. Now that the crisis in Nigeria is over it is our fervent hope it shall leave no after-effect among the members of this family., We are convinced that it is in the interest of our beloved peoples to begin a new era of close and fraternal co-operation amongst all Member States by closing all aspects of crisis at this Session.

Total Reconciliation

It gives Us great pleasure and satisfaction to announce to the Assembly that total reconciliation was attained today between Nigeria, on the one hand, and Tanzania, Zambia, Ivory Coast and Gabon, on the other. We would like to thank many leaders of the O.A.U and especially President Jomo Kenyatta for the laudable efforts they have deployed to achieve reconciliation. We would also like to congratulate President Nyerere, President Kaunda, General Yakubu Gowon, head of the Federal Military government of Nigeria and the Presidents of the Ivory Coast and Gabon for the understanding and co-operation they have shown to make the reconciliation possible.

The restoration of brotherly relations between the People's Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is another achievement that we are all happy about. A new chapter has also been opened by the understanding reached between the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and the Kingdom of Morocco. The settlement of the border dispute between Algeria and Morocco has ushered in a new era of understanding and co-operation for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two sister states and of the Maghreb region. The signing of an agreement between Kenya and Ethiopia, demarcating their common borders, is another example of what can be achieved by peaceful means. It is in this light that We invite all the countries faced with similar problems to emulate the above-mentioned examples as a basis for solving their differences., One last example of co-operative effort which has achieved a satisfactory result is the case of Equatorial Guinea.. The assistance give by members of the Organization to Equatorial Guinea, while admittedly not much, has nevertheless been instrumental in meeting the initial difficulties of nationhood.

These achievements can serve as testimony of our respect and adherence to the covenant we entered into seven years ago, and it is only when we continue working along this successful path that we have charted for ourselves, that the spirit and aims of our Organization will be ever-more meaningful. Although it cannot be said that all the above-mentioned peaceful settlements were executed under the direct auspices of the Organization of African Unity, it is, nevertheless, true, that it has been fundamentally concerned with all those problems. Furthermore, the members of the Organization, in reaching these settlements, have been guided by the principles of the Charter, thus strengthening the Organization and cementing their unity.

Turning Deaf Ear

While this past year has been a year of co-operation and understanding among Member States, it has however been one of frustrations and set-backs in our attack on colonialism and racism. In Southern Africa, the pernicious alliance of colonialism and racism has created problems of ominous dimension. Ian Smith and his collaborators have consolidated their regime and have declared Zimbabwe a so-called Rhodesian Republic. South Africa has elevated its inhuman policy of racial discrimination and exploitation of the African people and has extended its apartheid policy to the international territory of Namibia. Portugal has intensified its colonial wars in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea Bissau. The Western Powers, who unfortunately support these regimes, have not, despite the avalanche of appeals from freedom-loving peoples of the world, thus far ceased from rendering material assistance to these regimes. As regards Portugal, despite the great efforts Africa has exerted to persuade this Government to abandon its colonial policy, the continued shedding of innocent blood has made the colonial war not only the concern of Africa but also of the entire world. In keeping, therefore, with the nature of the problems We cannot overemphasize the need to devise a new method by which these powers could be persuaded to desist from continuing such a policy, which is detrimental to the peace and security of the continent.

It will be recalled that H.E. the President of Cameroun presented the Lusaka Manifesto, on behalf of the African States, to the Twenty-Fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly for its serious consideration and adoption. As you all know this Manifesto was adopted by the overwhelming majority of the General Assembly with the exception of South Africa and Portugal. The rejection by the oppressors of the widely supported Manifesto showed the depth of the abyss to which they have dragged themselves.

The conspiracy of colonial and racist forces has gradually turned into a military pact, encompassing South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal. What then is Africa to do in the face of this far-flung conspiracy? There is only one answer - we must intensify our struggle. And in order to achieve our objectives, it is incumbent upon us all to wage a united struggle by all means available to us and, today more than ever before, the necessity of a co-ordinated and simultaneous assault by the liberation movement against their common enemies has become increasingly imperative. At this junction We should like to reiterate the paramount importance of increasing our assistance to freedom fighters in their struggle to regain their inalienable rights. To meet these challenges, We are convinced, no independent African country will take lightly its responsibility. In this regard, since we are not novices in the struggle for freedom, our continued endeavour will no doubt be crowned with success.


Post Edited (08-23-06 21:51)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 05:22AM
ganjah, I think our problems started here:

The answers lie in the law,Torah books Mosheh wrote. Our land Yisrael. We follow laws, dress, diet, and we know there was no "J" in Hebrew the true living ELohym(god) is
YHWH or Yahwah and the messiah is not a white man named
Jesus but the true messiah is Yohushua, Yeshua.
We brown people are so trodden under foot b/c we were and still are cursed for disobedience grinning smileyeuteronomy 28. You have everything to gain from finidng the truth. Many are called and truly few are choosen b/c just like when Yahoshua came the Israelites(not white Jews) truly denied and persecuted him, his own people. WIll you be one of those persecutors who will deny the true living Elohym YHWH. These are the beginning of the end of Dayz ...be sober,pay attention

Reply To This Message

Author: Ganjah (---.insightbb.com)
Date: 07-22-06 10:58

i dont know about all yer color rantings..i would say i agree with you about it being the beginning of the end of day's, but only to the extent that we are starting some New day's,.. meaning new times. i would agree to be sober and pay attention also, enough love to keep them clients walking like ghost.

Reply To This Message

Author: J_72 (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: 07-22-06 11:09


I am not trying to be confrontational, but why, when a man speaks from a racial perspective, is there a knee-jerk reaction like calling this man's reasoning "color rantings"?



Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 06:39AM
yeah i go overboard time to time in my insults, it is childish and stupid and im glad to see the insulting things i say all piled up together too, help's me to see just how much of a @$$hole i can be at time's. When people have insult folks to make a point then the point ISN'T worth making from there on. so yeh sorry for the name callin jeff, each one reach one each one teach one.
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 12:09PM
Reparations are a simplistic and ultimately divisive answer to a complicated problem.
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 03:04PM
I am not going to even go there with you bugman.

Peace Man

Post Edited (08-24-06 08:33)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 03:32PM
Peace ganjah. Did you gte my email?

Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 03:41PM
I'd actually like to hear what you have to say. Not a big cut-and-paste article though, please.

As a person who has worked for their money their entire life and has not gotten one bit ahead, and after 30 years of it finally learned to relax and enjoy their poverty, I am amused that you think some poor people are more entitled than others.

After all, we are ALL the enemy of Babylon, because of our struggle against it.

Having worked in the heart of the beast, as a messenger for corporate law firms and banks, I can tell you one thing. There are quite a few Babylonians of African descent...

Post Edited (08-24-06 08:45)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 04:08PM
No comment man. I've rubbed people on this forum raw already.

And as far as the cut and paste, I have made it clear on this forum that I usually cut and paste AFTER I speak my thoughts, so as to put substance to the things I say. This is known as referencing (of course you know that), a must in the academic world, especially in the area of study I am in, which is history /social science.


Post Edited (08-24-06 09:24)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 05:10PM

I have one question for you, as regards reparations: Where is the money going to come from?

To expand a bit, you gave examples above of financial institutions above. They're not in the business of giving away money, and any they do lose WILL be compensated for somewhere else. I'm guessing they'll raise interest rates on high-risk loans, such as mortgages, to low income borrowers. Comments?

Oh, yeah, the government. While they DO like to give money away, they DON'T particularly like to give it to regular folks, preferring instead their wealthy campaign contributors and lobbyist's clients. So if you force them to give some money to regular folks, where will it come from? I'm guessing those at the bottom of the budget heap: libraries, schools, community programs. What do you think?

I'm not attacking you, btw; I just like to debate these issues. Specifically because they are not simple issues with quick fixes. My personal preference would be for a slow fix from the ground up, through education of the young, while their minds are still open and ready for knowledge. And from the top, by throwing out the scum in government. Clearly ballots don't work; they appear to go uncounted. Possibly more extreme measures?

Btw, if I got an entitlement--not that I would, my wife and I are both totally Euro and post Civil War immigrants; she was actually born overseas--I'd spend it all at Ernie B's...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 05:40PM

I will give a few thoughts of my own, but honestly I feel the logistics of reparations needs to be worked on by African Americans, Native Americans, businesses that have benefited from slavery, and government leaders.

My first thought regarding reperations is this: this country would not exist for people to migrate to if it was not for slavery and the taking away of native population lands. Whether one immigrates to this country before or after the Civil War, or even today, the fact is there would be no United States if not for these dark stains on our history. Justice is eventually going to have to be served. You throw a ball up, it comes down...what goes around comes around, etc. What do modern day Americans think is going to happen? That these actions of earlier citizens are just going to go away? Reperations is a step towards racial reconciliation, imo.

Thought number two: reperations are meant to repair a very imbalanced power structure. People of African and Native descent are already born with disadvantages created by a racial-based power structure. I have provided adequate information in past threads that demonstrate the gap between white people and black people. All this tie in together, in order to create a wider picture of what is really going on in this country, and has been going on since it's conception. Republicans love to use the "work hard and become successful" platform (and I am no Democrat btw) but this is unrealistic in the eyes of many who are not afforded that luxury, especially non-white citizens of this country.

Where would the money come from? I would start with businesses that have benifited from slavery and native genocide to start with. And where does the money go? It's not like every black citizen would get a check in the mail. The money goes to programs, education, job training etc. My thoughts on Indian gaming is this: who are white politicians to tell native peoples what to do? They forfitted that right when they stuck them on the reservations to begin with.

Like I stated above, the logistics are not my area of expertise, these are only my personal thoughts regarding the matter.


Post Edited (08-24-06 10:44)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 06:18PM
I definitely am in 100% agreement with you on Indian gaming. I'd like to see more autonomy on the reservations in general. I knew you couldn't be wrong about everything... ;^)

As far as whether there would be a US without genocide and slavery. Was slavery even an economically feasible system? In the short run, was it an advantage for the South? In the long run it certainly was not.

I think I'm just arguing to argue now, sorry. Better stuff below...

I cannot argue that those of us here now should pay for the mistakes of the past, especially since I'm sure the money will be eventually coming from the bottom. Example: war in Iraq, oil supply shortages, prices go up. Rich people can afford it, poor people cannot. And oil companies still make record profits. Those at the top NEVER take the hit.

I lke the idea of programs, education, and job training. However we've had these kinds of programs around for years. Have they worked in the past? And if not, would it be better to fix and properly fund the old ones instead of just duplicating them with new ones?

Lastly, I am afraid of the resentment that the very word "reparations" invokes in poor whites. I'm not looking forward to the absolute sh*tstorm of controversy and political opportunism that would arise if we ever got near to a serious discussion of them.

On the other hand, I agree that something needs to be done to level all kinds of playing fields for all sorts of peoples affected by poverty and lack of opportunity. I agree that the worst examples occur among "minorities" (soon not to be--maybe THAT will change things for the better!), but to me the whole system is so fundamentally flawed that ANYTHING done within it is doomed to be flawed as well.

Post Edited (08-24-06 11:59)
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 06:24PM
Well, I posted that and read it and it sure doesn't look like I have any answers short of revolution. Chant down Babylon, or blow it up. Yikes! Get the cleaning ladies and the coffee servers and the secretaries and receptionists and janitors and fergodsake the messengers out of the buildings first though...

Oh, I'm no help at all today. Mind's on doing laundry, the first day it's cool enough to walk to the laundromat in a while. I'm wearing my "last clean dirty shirt out of the wardrobe-uh"...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 06:55PM
One more comment, and I hope this isn't taken the wrong way.

African people were brought here against their will, enslaved, and racism has consigned them (except for Russell Simmons) to a life of poverty in the ghetto.

What would their lives be like if they'd been left in West Africa?

I haven't met a person yet who'd be willing to swap the Bronx or Harlem or South Central or Compton or the Fillmore or Hunter's Point or East Oakland for the Ivory Coast or Nigeria or wherever.

Note that the US was not a colonial power and as such is not to blame for the current state of affairs in Africa, apart from its general role as a despoiler of every psrt of the world into which it exercises its economic sway.

Please take this statement in the spirit of debate; I feel funny even saying such a thing to people who don't know me well enough to know that I'll argue just about any damn point out of inner compulsions I still don't understand...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 08:00PM

>Note that the US was not a colonial power and as such is not to blame for the current state of affairs in Africa, apart from its general role as a despoiler of every psrt of the world into which it exercises its economic sway.

and I thought it couldn't get any worse than comparing Marcus to Hitler, even if just in a one way.
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 09:58PM
This might be a good place to start when thinking about reperations...



Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 10:02PM
What? I was just stating that the US was not actually running colonies in Africa. Apart from Liberia, ha ha. Did you think that they were?

The second half of the statement states that in their usual way as a mis-consumer of men and materials, that the US is and has been problematic for Africa, as it has been for everywhere.

But you want to really go after the ruiners of Africa, go after France, Britain, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Germany, etc. The US just bought what they were selling.

If it seems like I'm downplaying the US role in things, I am and I'm not. African-European relations started in the 15th century though, and there wasn't a US until the 18th.

I'm sorry if I sound a little flippant, it's been a long exhausting day. Hotter out than I thought, the laundry heavier than I remembered (haven't done it in months), the walk longer as well. Fingers too sore too type what I'm thinking or something...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 10:44PM
bugman i have large problems with what youve said in the above few posts.

to begin with you say you worked hard all your life and never got anywhere.

theres a saying i just made up: dont work hard, work smart.

then you say if you got a bunch of money you would spend it at ernie b. you may have been joking but just in case you werent let me point out the error of your ways. instead of splurging it on a cadillac or something how about you invest it in you or your familys future, like going to school and getting a law degree which will allow you to not work so "hard". or put it in the bank or investments to make sure your children dont have to work "hard" all their lives. or something other than support the "american way" of splurging money for material goods and being extended on credit out to 50 years from now.

its like this minimum wage business: the minimum wage was never meant to be lived on. it was meant for entry level jobs in entry level industries. people are then supposed to work to better themselves and leave the minimum wage behind. some people cant because of various disabilities but most people in the position of earning min wage after years have other issues like not really caring about their future or not really being willing to try to get somewhere else or choosing to have 4 kids before they are 20, or spending all their spare time in a herb haze or something.

that is part of the problem with reparations: they would largely go to people who cannot manage their money because they never had any; who cannot plan a future because they dont see one. some people, if you gave them a million dollars today, would have the worlds biggest party for a year and then be broke and be right back begging for money on the streets.

i dont mean to get personal but think about it. dont respond, think about it.

one love
jah bill
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 11:09PM

I don't have children, and won't. I'm 45 and it ain't happened yet--probably that vasectomy I got when I was 23 has something to do with it.

Right now I work for myself, selling books and postcards on the net. Scavenging, basically. I live in a small, poor town with few jobs and not a lot of good books to buy, so my wife and I make do on what we can.

Neither of us expects to live to a serious old age; we enjoy what we have now. Basically freedom from employment, freedom from family (both of us had seriously f*cked childhoods), freedom from what-have-you.

Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 11:16PM
>What? I was just stating that the US was not actually running colonies in Africa. Apart from Liberia, ha ha. Did you think that they were?

it's this part "is not to blame for the current state of affairs in Africa"

look at the "hot spots" or "resource regions" as they are sometimes called.

my uncle recently flew to Nigeria, but he couldn't leave the Chevron compound because they told him the rest of the country wasn't safe for Americans.
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 11:17PM
Btw, I have an alternative to reparations that I would like to see time and money devoted towards.

Fair Trade. Fair Labor. Everywhere. Now.

An example: I love coffee. Big coffee corporations have driven the price of coffee down to the point where small farmers cannot survive. Most Americans by Folger's or some other near-slave-labor coffee, without thinking, or having a choice. Wearing clothes produced in sweatshops by children at wages they'd be embarrassed to give their 5-year-olds as an allowance.

The poorest American is so much better off than the average person in most of the world. Let's think about the rest of the people we share this planet with for a change...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 11:21PM

"is not to blame for the current state of affairs in Africa"

You're right, my bad. Possibly the word "entirely" or even "mostly" should be in there, and maybe "current" wasn't the best choice. Mind on my laundry, laundry on my mind...

I am as anti-American as the next guy, but so much of the dirty work was done before 1776. Hey, we were busy, we had to finish killing off the Indians.

Mrs. Bugman says "Latin America is our Africa", and she might be right...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 11:39PM
Latin America is to Africa as North America is to Africa. For instance, hardly anyone was here when the Americas happened. What's the parallel otherwise? Mexicans working for peanuts here in the US, are migrant workers, not slaves.

DUB IS TOO DREAD FOR WORDS.... binghi2digi
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 11:39PM
>I am as anti-American

im not anti american; the complete opposite of that in fact.

i am anti american government and their decisions in most cases though.

as the bumper sticker says: i love my country but i fear my government

one love
jah bill
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 24, 2006 11:51PM
Stevo-Less of a slavery thing (slavery is not the only wrong) than a colonial thing. Fruit companies, sugar, canals, etc. Sneaky sort of colonialism, but there all the same. Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama...

JB-I dunno, I just see so many people with so much, not knowing or caring about what goes on elsewhere. We're Number One! The only free nation in the world! Ugh...

Maybe I've just been living in the boonies too long. What are people like in California these days? Prairie folk (I'm living in eastern Montana near the North Dakota border) are kinda out of it.

I suppose you're right. But this country needs a re-education, a wake-up call, an enema...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 25, 2006 12:31AM
>What are people like in California these days?

kinda hard to say. i live in california!

but a lot of overt materialism...far more than in the prairie areas i would guess but i could be completely wrong about that. lots of people chatting on cell phones while they are driving or walking down the street if thats any indication. its almost like they retreat to the virtual world so they dont have to make eye contact or deal with the reality in front of them.

and most (perhaps only "many"winking smiley seem to care nothing about anyone outside their immediate family or maybe their closest friends.

but from my perspective it seems like once you manage to break through that shell that many people surround themselves with, they remain good people who seem to care about others, its just many feel so overwhelmed by the lack of ability to do much on a grander scale than simply feed their family and their material wants.

you have to wonder how anything is going to progress when the local "big time" media devote a quarter of their front page to how tom cruise is getting the boot from his employer because of some crap. its like: isnt there a war or something you could be telling us about instead? you know, something important we need to know?

i hate to digress so much but it just seems to me people are eating up what the govt tells us (via the "liberal" media, ha! i must have missed the "liberal" part) or they are so repelled by it that they (we...) hide in the shell of materialism and pretend its all ok. thats why i say i love my country but fear my govt...because the govt can make the country awfully ugly in ways one might not imagine. it turns people against each other and fosters alienation and isolation because it fears people getting together and acting in unity.

thats why people need education and not just appeasement...the more educated you get the more you look at things and think they shouldnt be like that and the more you mistrust those we elect to run things for us.

by the way: prairie...its got "irie" in it.

one love
jah bill
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 25, 2006 05:19AM
"Mrs. Bugman says "Latin America is our Africa", and she might be right..."

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tell her she IS!!!

Consciousness cover the earth...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 25, 2006 07:50AM
you can forget what people are like in california when living there,
but when you have been working out in arizona like i have for the past week an a half people around you sure wont hesitate to tell you what people in california are like. its amazing to me the stereotypes and generalities that pervade even these imaginary statelines that help keep all of us divided to even the most minute degree. oh well, i suppose it is truly all a state of mind to some degree an untill the
flip is switched we can most effectively activate the surrounding matter that is navigated each day.
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 25, 2006 12:08PM
JB-"prairie...its got "irie" in it."

Very nice! I will try to remember that at all times...

Liberal media, ha, corporate media is what I call it. Why report on a war (NBC/General Electric) that you profit from? And do we really elect anyone these days? We just approve the choices given us by those who pay for our candidates. And it seems like we picked the wrong president twice in a row; Katherine Harris and the Diebold Corp had to correct our decisions.

Education is the key, which is why the worst leaders keep trying to undercut it. Edumicashun ain't the gubbermint's job, it's fer dem churches!
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 25, 2006 12:09PM
Blazeiyah-No dissing of Cali intended, I lived there most of my life. But moving out here, I told my friends, was like moving to a foreign country. At first it felt like I had moved into a "Leave It To Beaver" episode. Not a state line thing but something is different in the flyover zone.

People in Montana generally hate Californians (I do love telling them I'm from there--go ahead say something is my attitude), but mostly in the western half of the state, and because of the influx of wealth they represent. Ranchland becoming log cabin mansions.

I know all too well that not everyone in CA is wealthy, and that Californians from Visalia and Lodi and Bishop and Tule Lake and Alturas would have more in common with these people here than they think.

Divide and conquer--straight from the top. Blue states, red states. As long as fresh blood is shipped to DC for the ruling vampires to drink...
Re: SNWMF Forum
August 25, 2006 04:23PM
"to have everything but yet its never enough
thats the power of confusion"

bim sherman said that.

one love
jah bill
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