Tag Archives: south africa

The Atlantic Features: The Case for Reparations

Carlos Javier Ortiz

Two hundred and fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.


May 21, 2014

And if thy brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing today.— Deuteronomy 15: 12–15Besides the crime which consists in violating the law, and varying from the right rule of reason, whereby a man so far becomes degenerate, and declares himself to quit the principles of human nature, and to be a noxious creature, there is commonly injury done to some person or other, and some other man receives damage by his transgression: in which case he who hath received any damage, has, besides the right of punishment common to him with other men, a particular right to seek reparation.— John Locke, “Second Treatise”By our unpaid labor and suffering, we have earned the right to the soil, many times over and over, and now we are determined to have it. — Anonymous, 1861

I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”

Clyde Ross was born in 1923, the seventh of 13 children, near Clarksdale, Mississippi, the home of the blues. Ross’s parents owned and farmed a 40-acre tract of land, flush with cows, hogs, and mules. Ross’s mother would drive to Clarksdale to do her shopping in a horse and buggy, in which she invested all the pride one might place in a Cadillac. The family owned another horse, with a red coat, which they gave to Clyde. The Ross family wanted for little, save that which all black families in the Deep South then desperately desired—the protection of the law.

Clyde Ross, photographed in November 2013 in his home in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, where he has lived for more than 50 years. When he first tried to get a legitimate mortgage, he was denied; mortgages were effectively not available to black people. (Carlos Javier Ortiz)

In the 1920s, Jim Crow Mississippi was, in all facets of society, a kleptocracy. The majority of the people in the state were perpetually robbed of the vote—a hijacking engineered through the trickery of the poll tax and the muscle of the lynch mob. Between 1882 and 1968, more black people were lynched in Mississippi than in any other state. “You and I know what’s the best way to keep the nigger from voting,” blustered Theodore Bilbo, a Mississippi senator and a proud Klansman. “You do it the night before the election.”

The state’s regime partnered robbery of the franchise with robbery of the purse. Many of Mississippi’s black farmers lived in debt peonage, under the sway of cotton kings who were at once their landlords, their employers, and their primary merchants. Tools and necessities were advanced against the return on the crop, which was determined by the employer. When farmers were deemed to be in debt—and they often were—the negative balance was then carried over to the next season. A man or woman who protested this arrangement did so at the risk of grave injury or death. Refusing to work meant arrest under vagrancy laws and forced labor under the state’s penal system.

Well into the 20th century, black people spoke of their flight from Mississippi in much the same manner as their runagate ancestors had. In her 2010 book, The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson tells the story of Eddie Earvin, a spinach picker who fled Mississippi in 1963, after being made to work at gunpoint. “You didn’t talk about it or tell nobody,” Earvin said. “You had to sneak away.”

When Clyde Ross was still a child, Mississippi authorities claimed his father owed $3,000 in back taxes. The elder Ross could not read. He did not have a lawyer. He did not know anyone at the local courthouse. He could not expect the police to be impartial. Effectively, the Ross family had no way to contest the claim and no protection under the law. The authorities seized the land. They seized the buggy. They took the cows, hogs, and mules. And so for the upkeep of separate but equal, the entire Ross family was reduced to sharecropping.

This was hardly unusual. In 2001, the Associated Press published a three-part investigation into the theft of black-owned land stretching back to the antebellum period. The series documented some 406 victims and 24,000 acres of land valued at tens of millions of dollars. The land was taken through means ranging from legal chicanery to terrorism. “Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia,” the AP reported, as well as “oil fields in Mississippi” and “a baseball spring training facility in Florida.”

Clyde Ross was a smart child. His teacher thought he should attend a more challenging school. There was very little support for educating black people in Mississippi. But Julius Rosenwald, a part owner of Sears, Roebuck, had begun an ambitious effort to build schools for black children throughout the South. Ross’s teacher believed he should attend the local Rosenwald school. It was too far for Ross to walk and get back in time to work in the fields. Local white children had a school bus. Clyde Ross did not, and thus lost the chance to better his education.

Then, when Ross was 10 years old, a group of white men demanded his only childhood possession—the horse with the red coat. “You can’t have this horse. We want it,” one of the white men said. They gave Ross’s father $17.

“I did everything for that horse,” Ross told me. “Everything. And they took him. Put him on the racetrack. I never did know what happened to him after that, but I know they didn’t bring him back. So that’s just one of my losses.”

Sharecropper boys in 1936 (Carly Mydans/Library of Congress)

The losses mounted. As sharecroppers, the Ross family saw their wages treated as the landlord’s slush fund. Landowners were supposed to split the profits from the cotton fields with sharecroppers. But bales would often disappear during the count, or the split might be altered on a whim. If cotton was selling for 50 cents a pound, the Ross family might get 15 cents, or only five. One year Ross’s mother promised to buy him a $7 suit for a summer program at their church. She ordered the suit by mail. But that year Ross’s family was paid only five cents a pound for cotton. The mailman arrived with the suit. The Rosses could not pay. The suit was sent back. Clyde Ross did not go to the church program.

It was in these early years that Ross began to understand himself as an American—he did not live under the blind decree of justice, but under the heel of a regime that elevated armed robbery to a governing principle. He thought about fighting. “Just be quiet,” his father told him. “Because they’ll come and kill us all.”

Clyde Ross grew. He was drafted into the Army. The draft officials offered him an exemption if he stayed home and worked. He preferred to take his chances with war. He was stationed in California. He found that he could go into stores without being bothered. He could walk the streets without being harassed. He could go into a restaurant and receive service.

Ross was shipped off to Guam. He fought in World War II to save the world from tyranny. But when he returned to Clarksdale, he found that tyranny had followed…”;  Read more 


Falsification of African Consciousness

Seeing RED!

Re-blogged from: ThoughtLeader

AUTHOR: Gillian Schutte

“What is the Red October movement hoping to achieve through its hate-based hodgepodge discourse that is a bizarre combination of radical left communist speak and backward racist doctrine, peppered with obtuse analysis and expedient misinterpretation of social statistics. No really — what do they see at the end of this tunnel vision? Do they think that if they send out enough verbal hate missiles the black population will simply disappear into thin air and they can get on with running the country along with workable roads, clean hospitals and job reservations for whites only?

The recipient of their vitriol is the black South African population, the members of which, it seems, are stealing all the jobs, torturing and murdering up to 17 white people a month and raping whites by the minute (and God knows they are not used to being raped by ethnics — as Steve Hofmeyr was quick to point out). Not only this, they (the blacks) simply cannot run a country and as a result all the hospitals are “filthy”, all the roads are up to shit, the entire country is falling to pieces and this is apparently, solely because white people are no longer in power.

But the discursive cherry on the top is the fact that genocide is being perpetrated against the white population in South Africa — barring the libtards, the communists, and shameless black-loving whites (like me) … because we are, according to this bunch — actively encouraging this genocide.


**for TRANSLATION see END OF POST 2013/10/FB1e.jpg


**for TRANSLATION see END OF POST 2013/10/FB1e.jpg

But as Facebook friend Alcide Herveaux points out: “The genocide story is ridiculous. 1.2% of the murders happening in SA annually are white according to 2009 Medical Research council stats. Whites make up almost 9% of population. According to Sunette’s stats of 17 murders per month it is around 200 white murdered per year. The rest of the 15 000 are other races.”

When asked about their claim that white Afrikaners are undergoing level six genocide in South Africa, Sunette Bridges is quick to say that is not about the numbers of people being killed — genocide takes on all forms of oppression, which lead to final genocide. This includes it seems “giving jobs to black people” and “renaming the cities and towns after African indigenous names”. Getting rid of the names of apartheid oppressors is genocide? Really? This document cites the South African government as being active in the encouragement of the genocide of white farmers in South Africa.

it does not seem to matter to them that we are all sympathetic to murder of any kind but that we cannot support the fabrication of facts and figures to present one group as being the victims of a genocide, which cannot be proved to actually exist.

Apparently as Bridges told radio presenter Rowena Baird in an interview on SAfm, it is also about the president once singing Umshini Wami — to which Bridges has liberally added the words — “rape the dogs”. When it was pointed out to her by Baird that we would clearly hear the word izinja in the song if it were indeed there, Bridges raised her voice to an imperious attack that implied that Baird, a mere black, had no right to question her truth. Her tone was indeed, a metaphorical sjambok and Baird had to grit her teeth and get through the tense interview without losing it — kudos to her for such fortitude.

You can listen to the podcast here.

After the radio interview this commentary was to be found on Bridges Facebook site in relation to Baird.

**for TRANSLATION see END OF POST 2013/10/FB5.jpg


**for TRANSLATION see END OF POST 2013/10/FB5.jpg

Then came the Aljazeera show about Red October, which I was invited to participate in. I turned it down based on my understanding that it is useless to argue against their irrational racism — I prefer to write at them than go blue in the face on a public podium about it. Besides which I think it is black people to whom they must answer, not fight with me about what sort of white I am.

In the show both Dan Roodt and Bridges were strident and confident that the pearls of swine wisdom that fell from their lips was the God’s honest truth. The rest of us were “pathetic libtards” as some tweeted during the show. But this comes as no surprise as according to them some of us are even “black-cock-loving social terrorist morons” among other delightful multi-epithets.

During the show Roodt and Bridges claimed they are “human-rights activists” and it was implied — after the show on social media — that we “the communists”, are actively working to rob them of their rights to cultural expression. More likely though is that we are actively working to reflect back to them their sense of entitlement at their so-called God-given right to be white, arrogant, superior, hateful and sanctimonious. Why? Because some of us do in fact respect and celebrate diversity and will not stand idly by while the right wing create a propaganda machinery of prejudice and anti-black hate mongering while also attributing this malice to all whites.

(I do have to add though, that at least with this lot we know what we are dealing with and they do not have the arrogant temerity to say dubious things like “I agree with the content but will punish her for tone”. Get over yourselves. If you agreed with the content you would not inadvertently feed right-wing supremacy by fighting about tone.)

**Translation exists in image itself


**Translation exists in image itself

Anyway, moving on from liberal hypocrisy back to white supremacy …

I asked the question in my video contribution on the Aljazeera The Stream show (click here to see the show) what the systemic machinery is that the right-wing discourse seeks to create or feed into with their homily of fear and the demonisation of blackness. Though I have written about this before it became very clear to me while listening to their ludicrously constructed arguments, that what they seek to do first and foremost is discredit and demonise black South Africans — but mostly black South African men. It is black South African men who they perceive as the biggest threat to their wealth, privilege and status quo. Thus everything they put out, from xenophobia to crime, to baby rape, to corrective rape, to women abuse, to corruption, is placed squarely at the feet of black men. They spend a lot of their time and resources feeding this myth through curating stories of black male crime and corruption — totally overlooking white crime of course. This is the war of patriarchs. It is the discursive space in which the white Afrikaans patriarchs of the right wing pit themselves against those whom they perceive as the next wave of patriarchal power players.

The terms in which they speak of “the blacks” are disgusting and dehumanising. The right wing will “plagiarise” the language of many ideologies and appropriate anyone else’s struggle vocabulary, as long as it suits their discourse of demonising the black SA male. They will use African foreigner’s concerns about xenophobia and black lesbian narratives about corrective rape (without their consent) to push their own white anti-black male propaganda. See video in this article.

They even refer to our government as “a communist government and the ANC a far left-wing terrorist group”. And President Zuma is referred to as a “Kaffer Dog” in one of the screen shots that has been doing the rounds this week.

Besides being really obtuse and even infantile, this is pure hate speech and defamation. But where is the outrage? Besides a handful of mostly Afrikaans protestors the white middle class has been particularly silent over this furore.

**Translation exists in image itself


**Translation exists in image itself

We know though that largely the white middle class and their gatekeepers choose to get outraged over things that insult them directly, like utterances made by Zuma about how whites “treat dogs better than their gardeners”, or the banning of The Spear — yet they remain silent when movements that host up to 40 000 white followers insult the entire black population with heinous public invectives. What’s up with that? Is this elitism, hypocrisy or just plain indifference? One would imagine that it is important to take on the wave of hate speech that has hit our public spaces and that some have said “reeks of possible treason and defames an entire nation of people”, based on their skin tone.

There are of course white people who care enough to make a stand and some Afrikaans anti-racist activists have been actively lobbying against the Red October campaign and infiltrating right-wing sites with satire, parody and mockery to destabilise the ongoing narrative. One such group is Suid Afrikaners op wie ons Trots is en vir wie ons Skaam kry, the initiator of which, Hendrik Potgeiter, has been recording hate speech found on the sites of Bridges, Hofmeyr and Roodt.

Here is a link to an album that has screen grabs of the most heinous examples of the hate speech that permeates our public spaces right now. (You will need to register to see pics in full size.)

You can follow their campaign on Facebook here.

At the end of the day though it is black people who these white supremacists are attacking and attempting to dehumanise with their discourse of hate — and it is black people to who they must answer. There are rumours afoot of a group of black activists beginning a movement called The People vs Red October, in which they plan to start a class action suit against the Red October group for defamation of the entire black South African population. They also plan to call on the government to take this hate speech seriously and begin to find ways to deal with it through the judicial system.

Perhaps it is also time for the right wing to reflect on the manner in which they are being manipulated by the leaders of Red October into becoming their own worst enemies as they buy into the construct of an imaginary genocide and declare a hate-filled discursive war against the entire black population.

And perhaps it is also time for many more white South Africans to also openly and publicly join the call to stop racism.”; view original post on Thoughtleader

** TRANSLATION of 2013/10/FB1e.jpg: Nou mak dit als sin” – Now it all makes sense.  “Maak my siek!!!!!!!!!” – Makes me sick!!!!!!!!! “Vieslik. Wens ek kon op haar kots.” – Disgusting.  Wish I could throw up on her.  “Shame, so ‘n pragtige paartjie, so fotogenies, so rasig,somooi want mens mag mos nou nie meer ‘n rassis wees, lekker man lekker” – Shame, such a beautiful couple, so photogenic, so ‘racial’, so pretty because we’re not allowed to be racist anymore, nice man nice. “lol”lol  “ugh”ugh (meaning ‘yuck’/not good/disgusting).

** TRANSLATION of 2013/10/FB5.jpg:  Sy lyk soos Malemmer se sussie” she looks like Malema’s (referring to Julius Malema)  sister.  “Dis mos kamstig waar ons vandaan kom. lmga”Thats apparently where we come from. Laughing my ass off.  “Nee Carlo dis mos ‘n subspesie soos Buks gese het” – No Carlos thats a sub-specie like Buks said.  “Is dit ‘n man of ‘n vrou wonder maar net” –  Is it a man or a woman. Just wondering.  “bccsa@nabsa dit is die organisasie waaran ‘n mens skryf om ‘n klagte te le teen die meid se rassisme maar ek glo nie hulle verstaan baie Afrikaans nie alhoewel hulle elke klagte na die saBC aanstuur” – bccsa@nabsa.co.za thats the organisation one writes to in order to lay a charge against the maid’s racism but I dont think they understand Afrikaans.   woze Rowena..die medem soek bietjie koffie! En jy maak dit ordentlik of ek wetter vir jou terug katnong toe!  (Dis al wat Rowena vir goed is!  Moet dit nooit vergeet nie!” – Woza (mocking black people) Rowena… the madam (“Madam” Apartheid/racist slur meaning ‘your white boss’ refers to female) wants coffee! And you better make it a decent cup or I swear I’ll send you back to Katnong!  (thats all Rowena is good for! Don’t ever forget that!!).


ORIGINAL ARTICLE by @JAY GAINZ http://www.authoritysong.co.za




‘Election Night 2000′

George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the U.S.A – according to FoxNews, anyway – on the
antiquated television set of a dancehall in a favela of Rio de Janeiro.

Len’s finger lifts a rusted blind and he peers out the window. Outside, down the road, a convoy of
buses head down toward the club.

Bass begins to throb, sexy and menacing. He takes a long drag from the blunt between his
fingers. Exhales


“Let’s roll…”

A convoy of buses rolling through township dust. SOWETO, South Africa. 1976. School kids and
placard-waving activists disembark and head towards a school.

Streams of chiselled young men and Giselle-like women, early teens and older stream past me,
Lenny and the camera crew, and into the hall.

The activists are confronted by a cordon of apartheid cops. German Shepherds straining on their
leashes. Guns gleaming in the sunlight.

A revolver is slammed down on the cloakroom counter. Its owner reluctantly hands it over. A
truly honest soul checks in a stun grenade. The cloakroom clerk disinterestedly shrugs and makes out a receipt.

The revellers head into the club. We set up our cameras. The dancefloor is cleared. On
opposite banks stand two tribes.

There is a tense stand-off between the cops and the chanting activists.

The massive statue of Christ the Redeemer watches over us.

“Welcome to the Big Show…”

Four revellers – a guy and a girl from each side – step forward onto the dancefloor. A
brass-knuckled punch is thrown.

A teargas canister silently loops through the air. The crowd surges forward, unafraid anymore.

The intended target of the punch dodges it. The game is on. To the beat of themusic, the other
revellers begin to square up, each picking a partner, a target.

A schoolgirl rushes ahead, distancing herself, for a moment, from her comrades. A rubber bullet is

A punch connects. To the beat, combat is joined.

Mayhem as bullets and dogs and batons and dust and teargas swirl amidst the choking township

The battle on the dancefloor swings into full effect. Girls on roller-skates surge in with knives
then retreat.

The famous black and white snapshot of Hector Pietersen, mortally wounded, being rushed to

“This shall be the birth of our free nation…”

Behind a corrugated iron shack, two schoolboys dressed in khaki school uniforms stand. One holds
a Molotov Cocktail in his shaky hands. His friend asks,

“Mandla, what are you doing?”

Mandla lights the firebomb. Nonchalantly hurls it towards the armoured vehicles


“Sparking things off…”

This is the story of another of us Struggle kids. It’s also part of the series ’9 Dances Of Struggle, Vice and Ghosts.” Names and certain situations have been fictionalized.


So The Kid was there.

He was there in Soweto.

16 year-old kid on the streets on his way to class on June 16.

To be fair, The Kid was no model student.

As soon as shit hits the fan him and his crew head straight to the

local bottle store.

Loot the shit outta the place.

The Kid downed his first bomb of Smirmnoff on June 16, 1976.

See, for all the tragedy and the glory, we had two actual choices,

militarily when up against the Apartheid Machine


Blow the shit outta planes miles high in the sky over foreign lands


Arafat and crew.

Or. Take back the streets of home.

Make the townships ungovernable.

Make ‘em our areas.

The establishment wouldn’t be welcome here.

The greying hair is being scratched furiously now.

You’ve just slapped this schizo’s paw from your ass and he’s saying, Oh Kid.

If only we’d met then, dear boy.

The guy was a terrorist, Kid.

Don’t be fooled, ma comrade.

“Mandela was a terrorist.

Sat up there on that stand and preached communism.”

Crazy Hair looks bored as he purses his lips


“So we gave him 27 years to think about it…”

You’ve found yourself at this refuge 4 the lonely the and lost, mostly

broken down men, like yurself, now.

Guys – like Gary the DJ ex-cop who who was there in Soweto.

Guys like Marx, rehab escapee thinkin’ about making a run up North to the wilds

of Zimbabwe.

Mustachioed Inspector Cleauseau over there – his wife fleecing him outta

his final savings.

Slip off your sandals and tip-toe past burn-outs, aslumber.

Make you way to the back, to your nest.

The fluorescent light’s still on.

Slight ‘neath your covers.

Wring off your blue jeans.

The cot above you vibrates to the rhythm of the furiously masturbating AIDS volunteer

from Merseyside.

You bury yourself under your quilt.

All that remains of you.


Is a naked hand, reaching for light.

Henry, the stroke victim in the top bunk opposite yours stutters that

tomorrow’s Sunday, you should come join God’s choir.

The fluorescent bulb goes silent and the guy above you explodes into his

waiting tissue.


In our shared darkness, the room calms itself and begins to breathe in sync with the

science of sleep.

Sleeping with ghosts, us all under the covers now.”

“What happened is that the gangstas were the only ones to be able to handle the cops.

We killed pigs that day, there were SABC cameramen but between our mobs and the


Cameras got stolen…

There were many more dead on both sides than were shown.

As per usual the Regime thought that they could suppress things quickly.

But things had spiralled.

We’d moered them, given them a fucking black eye.

And the kids who died that day – they are heroes to this nation, J, no doubt at all –

but the guys who burnt the cops. These were gangsters.”

On the way back home that day everything was engulfed in smoke.

As I crossed the bridge to my part of town, I saw dead school-mates, unarmed.

Their faces half-blown off, gnawed by cop dogs.

And next to these dead school kids lay the occasional black or white man,

in police – and especially military fatigues.

Their throats slit.

Burning tyres around some of their necks.

My brother’s shoes.

I recognized my brother’s shoes.

He was months away from graduating.

He was better than me.

I joined Umkhonto the next day.

The Party was banned and – after what had transpired – nowhere to be seen.

The guys who signed us up were the same gangstas who’d moer’d the boers.


It was crazy times to be a kid, J.

Crazy times.

They guided us through Lesotho, sometimes Mozambique or Botswana, Angola.

We traveled there in smart hijacked cars which were untraceable.

Because that what’s in demand over the border.

And on the return trip, our tyres were bulging with Mandrax.

‘Cos that’s what’s in demand down South.

The drugs are always quick cash in SA.

And cash = guns.

“Sanctions – busting.”

One Good Cop throws up his hands.

Smith and the Rhodesians had Unilaterally Declared Independence to avoid a hand over

to black power.

The world had cut us off.

Men like Trevor, were the guys who kept Rhodesia ticking.

He’s sardonic, resigned as he bows his head, chin in hand.

“And these new sanctions blockades from the same people who did

it to the previous rulers, who do you think, J? our present chiefs turn to for

their loot


“Comrade XXXX has been accused of

improper conduct

with the partner of Comrade XXXXXX…”

TK smiles, grips you, holding you back. Stage. He wants you two to hear

for yourselves what you’re getting into.

Not that either of you can no longer pontificate, nor object.

Nor. Reverse.

Given your own, uh-hmm, circumstances…

You’ve spent 14 million Rand on this friggin’ shindig.

2 X the price each of your homes.

Minus that piece-of-shit Mazowe barnhouse.

+++Kid’s love affair with the Cape Property.

From which she’s now fled.


An ole’ fogie named Richard Armour – with a name like that how the heck wasn’t he

playing for our side? –

“Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long. Has been concerned with left or right

instead of right or wrong…”

As the futures of the revolution bare their (admittedly) pert buttocks.

For bald eagles from the media, you turn to TK


“So this is what’s going to win it for us?”

The weariness, as J’ll point out.

Which The Kid ran away from.

All you can do is grip the laaitie’s designer shoulder pad, giggle, though you don’t really

mean it.

This was your play Ruben, you’ll never remind the kid.

And then. Smile. Re-assure. With humility


“This time, Ruben. This wins it for us. This time, I guess…”



And then there’s Rock ‘n’ this 20-something kid on stage who’s name also started with

a J.

AND the bloody mines thing.

Which we’d all fought for.

Which was always part of the plan.




“You’re doing this because of this girl aren’t you, J?

“Made a promise…”

“And Trevor knows you’re writing a book about it?”

“Yup -”

“You’re writing a book about politics and sex and crime?!


That’s a sure way to get shot, esse!” : Bull.

The Kid spent most of the 80′s drunk and high and a foot soldier in the armed struggle.

He lived the high life, he has this great story about him and

Brenda Fassie in Libya.

Gaddafi had a thing for Brenda and flew her and the crew over for an arms deal and a

music concert.

Muammar surrounds himself with these hijab-ed female commandos concealing

sub-machine guns made by his sworn enemy.

Brenda’s high as a kite and Gaddafi’s introducing his distinguished music guest

and Brenda grabs one of the concealed commandos and

lofts up the gun, like a trophy.

Gaddafi Laughed.

Guns are being aimed directly at this crazy, beautiful South African’s head,

but all she wants to do is. Dance.

And so, Muammar obliges.

In golden rays of sunlight, the Mad Dog of the Middle East and the Wild Girl of

South African protest song.


As sixty-thousand Arabs look on.

It all catches up, you know?

Funnily enough, when you returned to Banksy’s next time round, the Sopranos was on.

The epic saga was heading into it’s death spiral and there was Christopher being

smothered out by Big Tony’s love to Van Morrison doing Pink Floyd


“The child has grown

The dream is gone…”

The Kid managed to dodge the law all through the struggle.

Hosted guys like the current Prez, strategized with guys like my dad, took

his orders directly from



The Kid was no hypocrite.

Saw himself as a thug, fighting a war.

Got picked up time and time again – once, and this is how small the circles run –

by XXXX XX XXXX, head of hit squad CCB (Citizens. Co-operation. Bureau.)

and cousin to…u guessed it


Uncle Trevor XXXXX XX XXXX.

Anyhow, The Kid always turned down legal help from the Party.

Stood up for himself to expressionless grey old white judges.

And got off. Every time.

So, on the Soprano’s reality’s setting in.

The final showdown looming.

Tony’s crew is decimated and as he lays in bed, shotgun in hand,

the quote by the same guy who raged against the dying of the light.

Plays is in his – and my – mind.

Something about the ceremony of innocence, lost or something.

The blood-dimmed tide…

The Kid’s Struggle came to an end on the day he’d fought for all his life.

You’re having to be held up as they guide you to the voting booth.

So this is the day.

This is the day.

Your first vote as a Free South African.

Yet in this moment of triumph. Ultimate.

You can’t even make out the letters on the form.

But, still, you’re determined to have your say, in this new booze-rayed Nation.

But it’s all just so bloody blurred.

You finally manage an ‘X’ in a box, clearest.

They found you collapsed in that voting booth.

In your hand is gripped the culmination of your Struggle.

With an X, your vote etched for the Party of Apartheid.

You’d voted National Party.

Before passing flat-out,


“Collateral damage…” The Kid smirks, strolling off into that dusty Yeoville eve.

“Perhaps I Was Addicted To The Dark Side…”

Images play silently on a large Sony Trinetron T.V. screen. The ticker at the bottom of the screen describes the latest details relating to the images being viewed
The L.A. Riots.

Rodney King’s lips mutely ask why can’t we all just get along?

Reginald Denny steps out of his truck on live television. Helicopters circle – closing in for the money shot – as a brick violently knocks the blood red cap off his head.

The three of us look up from the plush green velvet couch we sit on. Beside the television, J carefully slides a shiny black vinyl record from its angry-looking sleeve.


A group of school kids – me, Sizwe, Rock included – are lined up at the edge of manicured green lawn on a sports field at Saints’.

An LAPD cop, mirrored Ray-Bans ‘n all, tracks a rioter through the sights of his high-powered assault rifle.

Us school kids dig the spikes of our running shoes into the white chalk of the starting line.

Aforementioned LAPD cop is being tracked down the stubby barrel of MAC-10 sub-machine gun.

The Sports Master holds up a starter pistol.

J places the shiny black disc into a vintage phonograph.

The solid wood-cased speakers of J’s sound system stare out at those gathered in his oak-panelled office – or ‘THE LAB’ – as it will come to be known in legend.

The stylus arm rises. The vinyl record begins to spin as the needle hovers over it.

The cop’s finger makes contact with the trigger as the stylus head gently drops down. Soft crackling.

The needle finds the record’s grooves and spins towards sound.

Then the cop squeezes the trigger.

The starter pistol lets off a “POP!”

The sound of gunfire. From a cop’s rifle, as the MAC-10 bursts into life.

NWA’s “Fuck Tha Police” gets the race started. Again.

SOWETO UPRISINGS: Tiyang Primary School: Meadowlands

re-blogged from AUTHORITY SONG @Jay Gainz

Maki Lekaba was a standard five student at Tiyang Primary School. On Wednesday June 16 1976, Maki went to school not knowing that anything out of the ordinary was being planned.


She was surprised when addressed by high school pupils from nearby Meadwolands High School at the school gates. The older pupils were attempting to recruit younger pupils in the march against oppression. Maki had no idea that Afrikaans was being used as an instrument of oppression by the apartheid government. She joined the march against Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, in solidarity with other school pupils.

Maki followed the older pupils through Meadowlands. Along the way she witnessed the destruction of offices and liquor outlets related to the West Rand Administration Board (WRAB).


The house above is the former site of a WRAB rental office. On June 16 1976, this WRAB office was set alight and destroyed along with all its records and documentation. The students continued on a path of destruction, robbing a furniture truck and bread delivery truck before destroying a bar associated with the apartheid regime.


The two-storey structure pictured above is a former WRAB Beer Hall (Bareng). The destruction of this beer hall was the final act of destruction by students from Meadowlands. Students were forced to scatter into nearby homes as police converged into the area.

This is where Maki’s march ended. She returned to her home and was glad not be in school for the next few days.


SOWETO UPRISING SPECIAL : The Kid Who Had His First Drink On June 16 1976

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http://authoritysong.co.za @Jay Gainz

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The Kings of Africa: 18 Portraits by Daniel Laine

Re-blogged from:  The African Renaissance

joseph-langanfin-benin-portrait-kings-of-africa-daniel-laine    oni-of-ife-nigeria  ngie-kamga-joseph-e28093-fon-of-bandjun-cameroon   halidou-sali-e28093-lamido-of-bibemi-cameroon          oseadeeyo-addo-dankwa-iii-king-of-akropong-akuapem-ghana      abubakar-sidiq-e28093-sultan-of-sokoto-nigeria 

hapi-iv-e28093-king-of-bana-cameroon          nyimi-kok-mabiintsh-iii-e28093-king-of-kuba-d-r-congo (1)     igwe-kenneth-nnaji-onyemaeke-orizu-iii-e28093-obi-of-nnewi-nigeria

isienwenro-james-iyoha-inneh-e28093-ekegbian-of-bc3a9nin-nigeria      el-hadj-seidou-njimoluh-njoya-e28093-sultan-of-fumban-and-mfon-of-the-bamun-cameroon     agboli-agbo-dedjlani-e28093-king-of-abomey-benin

goodwill-zwelethini-e28093-king-of-zulu-south-africa (1)   el-hadj-mamadou-kabir-usman-e28093-emir-of-katsina-nigeria (1)

Click on each image below for a short bibliography of each King

“From 1988 to 1991, French photographer Daniel Laine photographed 70 African monarchs, “whose dynasties marked the history of Africa until the middle of the twentieth century.” With hundreds of monarchs to choose from, Laine focused on those who continued to “retain a traditional and spiritual authority that is difficult for the Western mind to comprehend.”

Laine recalls the difficulties of getting permission for the photographs, the sensitive diplomatic negotiations involved in many cases. A war in Sudan prevented Laine from photographing the king of Shiluk, a descendant of black dynasties that ruled Egypt. Others, including the king of Swaziland, declined to be photographed. With each striking photograph, Laine provides a brief biography and historical notes about the tribe and its rituals. Among those photographed are Chukumela Nnam Obi II, the Oba of Ogba, Nigeria; El Hadj Sheehu Idris, emir of Zaria, Nigeria; and Goodwill Zwelethini, king of the Zulu, South Africa. The book includes historical background by Pierre Alexandre on the origins and significance of African kingdoms.

The hardcover book (no longer in print) is 160 pages. It was published in 2000 by Ten Speed Press (ISBN-10: 1580082246, ISBN-13: 978-1580082242). For some reviews and additional information, you can check out the book’s page on Amazon. There you can also find links to online stores selling copies of the book (both new and used).

Please keep in mind the pictures and descriptions are from over 20 years ago. It is likely much has changed and some of these Kings may no longer be alive. I attempted to find some recent information on some of these individuals but updates were sparse and it was difficult to validate any of the information I did find. If any history buffs have moredetails, please let us know in the comments below!


The Destruction of Black Civilisation

“… I eagerly read new books covering contemporary topics; We must be informed about current events and trends in order to affect change and speak intelligently about the present. Yet my father and countless other mentors I’ve been blessed to have, helped me develop a healthy appreciation for classic books that addressed historical themes. Such books they suggested, provide the framework for understanding how we arrived at present circumstances. So according to my mentors, it was completely inexcusable to call oneself well-read if one did not ingest The Miseducation of the Negro,The Souls of Black Folk, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, From Superman to Man,Wretched of the EarthPedagogy of the OppressedThey Came Before Columbus,Capitalism and SlaveryThe Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus GarveyNeo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialismand so many other works. both non-fiction and fiction.


One such work I often don’t hear people talking about is Chancellor Williams‘ The Destruction of Black CivilizationThe late historian and sociologist was an unapologetic “race man,” concerned with addressing and solving problems pertaining to Black people. This classic does just that, using clear language and ample evidence to explain how Europeans and Arabs conquered our people historically until the present today.

Williams lists several factors in our demise including natural (Africa’s unfortunate transformation of fertile areas to desert, cultural (the European’s hegemonic use of religion and dishonest scholarship), and economic ( land, labor and wealth theft via colonialism, enslavement and imperialism). In addition, he cites racial amalgamation (interbreeding and racial reclassification), as a key factor to disrupting our cultural integrity and identity.

Of course, the foregoing represent external contributors to Africa’s decline. What I find most relevant however is Williams’ premise that internal factors  (African fragmentation and disunity) played an equal role in African conquest!  In fact, he suggests that this unfortunate dynamic still exists:

Just as it is in the case of Africa and Black people everywhere, the central problem of over 30 million Blacks in America is unity…The picture of several thousand Black organizations, each independent and vying for leadership, is substantially the same picture of fragmentation and disunity in Africa that led to the downfall of the entire race. We have often seen that even in earlier times very often all that was involved was that somebody wanted to be the “head,” was not getting there fast enough, and therefore, organized his own little state. Most of them perished, picked off one by one. The same thing will happen to any Black organizations, standing alone, that disturb the white mind. (341)

As disturbing as this is, Williams was not lying. How many times have you witnessed someone initiate a project for Black advancement only to have it undermined by another person who started their own identical or similar project soon afterwards, causing two people to compete for scarce funding and support? How many times has a Black organization started only to be shortchanged by rival elements who’ve gone on to start another organization not due to serious ideological disagreement, but to jealousy and a selfish desire be in charge? Both Marcus Garvey’s UNIA, and Elijah Muhammad’s NOI suffered from this dynamic.

On a much smaller scale,  a good friend shared with me how he started a Facebook discussion group with a large membership. Just months later, three members left to begin three separate discussion groups of their own not radically different ( only in name) from the group he originally started! I have witnessed this firsthand, as I wonder why 10 different groups can’t work together on one common project and see it through to completion.

Those that know me will bear witness that I’m one of the first people to decry white supremacy and external challenges to Black liberation. However, I’m equally critical of our internal challenges as well. We cannot scatter our scarce energy, resources and support in a thousand different directions and be effective  Hopefully, we’ll conquer these demons and learn to work together in meaningful ways. At this point, we’ve sadly proven Chancellor Williams’ 1977 prophesy true:

The main obstacles which confronted us in the past and are with us today will still be with us in the year 2000 and after….and for the rest of this century it is very likely that Blacks will still be meeting, listening to and applauding fiery speeches, protesting and denouncing injustices, or happily relying on politics as the ultimate solution of our problems. The frustrations, confusions of goals, and a sense of helplessness are likely to continue into the next century…”

Re-blogged from:  mytruesense.org

About the Author:

“From Apartheid Pass Laws to Stop and Frisk; Africans Must Resist Colonial Repression”

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