Sunday, December 15, 2013

Shop Simply Netfah fr Kwanzaa

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Simply Netfah present 2014 Wall Calendar

              Help strengthen the ties that bind with the purchase of  "Beautifully Wrapped" Calendars.

**Proceeds from the sale of this calendar goes to support 10,000 Girls,
an education and empowerment program for girls based in Senegal. 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Life and Death of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, the legendary South African anti-apartheid leader who spent 27 unjust years in prison, led his country to democracy and became its first  president post the racist regime, died at his home at age 95.

Born on July 18, 1918, he was named Rolihlahla, which translated roughly – and prophetically – to “troublemaker.” Mandela was nine when his father died, and he was sent from his rural village to the provincial capital to be raised by a fellow chief. The first member of his family to get a formal education, he went to boarding school and then enrolled in South Africa’s elite Fort Hare University, where his activism unfurled with a student boycott.

Mandela began work on a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree at the University of Fort Hare, an elite black institution in Alice, Eastern Cape, with around 150 students. There he studied English, anthropology, politics, native administration, and Roman Dutch. Mandela was introduced to the realtor and ANC activist Walter Sisulu,it was through him he met first wife Evelyn Mase, an ANC activist from Engcobo, Transkei, who was training at the time to become a nurse.

As a young law scholar, he joined the resurgent African National Congress just a few years before the National Party – controlled by the white descendants of Dutch and French invaders – came to power on a platform of apartheid, in which the government enforced racial segregation and stripped non-whites of economic and political power.

Mandela was increasingly influenced by Sisulu, spending much time with other activists at Sisulu's Orlando house, including old friend Oliver Tambo.  In 1943, Mandela met Anton Lembede, an African nationalist virulently opposed to a racially united front against colonialism and imperialism or to an alliance with the communists. Despite his friendships with non-blacks and communists, Mandela supported Lembede's views, believing that black Africans should be entirely independent in their struggle for political self-determination. Mandela saw the South African people's struggle as being racially based rather than class warfare.

In the process of divorce proceedings from Evelyn, he began courting and politicizing a social worker named Winnie Madikizela, who he married in Bizana on 14 June 1958. She later became involved in ANC activities. In April 1959, militant Africanists dissatisfied with the ANC's united front approach founded the Pan-African Congress (PAC); Mandela's friend Mangaliso Sobukwe was elected president.

Both parties campaigned for an anti-pass campaign in May 1960, in which Africans burned the passes that they were legally obliged to carry. One of the PAC-organised demonstrations was fired upon by police, resulting in the deaths of 69 protesters known as the Sharpeville massacre. In solidarity, Mandela publicly burned his pass as rioting broke out across South Africa, leading the government to proclaim martial law. Under the State of Emergency measures, Mandela and other activists were arrested on 30 March and imprisoned without charge. They were placed in the unsanitary conditions of the Pretoria Local prison. Both the ANC and PAC were banned in April.

As an ANC leader, Mandela advocated peaceful resistance against government discrimination and oppression – until 1961, when he launched a military wing called Spear of the Nation and a campaign of sabotage. The next year, he was arrested and soon hit with treason charges.

At the opening of his trial in 1964, he said his adoption of armed struggle was a last resort born of bloody crackdowns by the government. “Fifty years of non-violence had brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation and fewer and few rights,” he said from the dock.
“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Released from prison in 1990 due in large part to the  activities and increasingly aggressive guerilla tactics of South Africa's Pan African Congressintense Mandela's name has become a rallying cry for the overthrow of apartheid and Afrakan freedom.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

West Indies: Les Negres Marrons De La Liberte: A must see film we haven't seen.

West Indies: Les Negres Marrons De La Liberte (West Indies: The Black Freedom Fighters, specifically the Maroons) was undoubtedly a landmark in African cinema; and it's also a film that many probably haven't heard of, and thus haven't seen, but really need to. Med Hondo’s hugely ambitious magnum opus was at the time the most expensive African film ever made (it cost $1.35 million). A work of scathing satire and mirthful anger, West Indies has remained largely out of circulation since its premiere in 1979. It’s a story of Western oppression told with the stylistic flourishes of big-budget Western cinema, a distinctly African take on the Hollywood musical, and a one-of-a-kind film primed for rediscovery

Hondo, by the way, is essentially one of African cinema's fathers. His directorial debut, Soleil O, was made in 1967, a year after Ousmane Sembene's first feature La Noire de. Soleil O screened at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival where it received critical acclaim. He went on to direct some 10 feature films, and acted in 18 other. West Indies: Les Negres Marrons De La Liberte, a project that took Hondo upwards of 7 years to get made, it's an absolutely stunning piece of work - a $1.35 million (about $4 million today) color musical epic film, made possible by an international cadre of investors - although much of it came from within the African continent.

Although the story it tells takes place primarily in the West Indies, as the title states, and France. In a nutshell, it documents the experience of African people, starting from the slave trade, to colonialism, to post-colonialism, to neocolonialism, and satirizes French imperialism in both Africa and the West Indies.The fact that it was adapted from a stage play (Les Negriers - The Slavers -by Daniel Boukman) makes sense, because it's filmed entirely on a stage set;

The film was released in 1979 in France, with Hondo a bit ambivalent about showing it to white French audiences who might not appreciate seeing themselves portrayed in an unflattering light. Initial reviews weren't stellar, not surprisingly, although it was reported at the time that black audiences loved and exalted not only the film, but also the Pan-Africanist spirit in which it was made - featuring a cast and crew from across the Diaspora.

But it's a technological and artistic achievement in African cinema history, and not even just continental Africa; the entire diaspora. And it's a shame that Hondo is largely unknown beyond maybe academic and cineaste circles, and that the film isn't widely available.It doesn't exist commercially on any home video formats; not even VHS apparently.

You can view this film in its entirety on Sat December 7 from 2pm to 5pm. BFI Southbank, Waterloo tube. Tkts 7 Pounds. 

text from

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Unknon Artwork of Miles Davis

One of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century, Miles Davis was a man of many talents. Around 1980, he turned to sketching and painting to, as he explained, keep his “mind occupied with something when [he was] not playing music.” This hobby quickly turned into a serious passion, and Davis approached it with the same obsessive creativity he applied to music. The result is an impressive archive of unique and evocative visual work showcasing the varied skill of this legendary artist.

Throughout the 1980s, Davis studied regularly with New York painter Jo Gelbard, developing a distinct graphic style. Incorporating bright colors and geometric shapes, his art is reminiscent of work by Pablo Picasso as well as African tribal art, the historical influences he cited during occasional interviews on the subject. Author Scott Gutterman sat down with Miles Davis himself before he died in 1991 and the artist’s own commentary accompanies this remarkable showcase of his work.

Following a series of art exhibitions throughout the USA, the family and special friends of the iconic trumpeter/composer/bandleader Miles Davis recently launched an exhibition of rare photographs and the release of a new art book titled Miles Davis The Collected Artwork at Mr. Musichead Gallery in Hollywood, CA.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Soldiers Speak Out"

Five-minute trailer for the "Soldiers Speak Out" documentary. A powerful first-hand testament to the reality of the military experience, told in the words of Americaan veterans who have been to war and now oppose it. An important counterpoint to the "stay the course" rhetoric of the Bush administration.

To order the DVD, or for more information:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

9-Year-Old Nigerian Becomes World’s Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional

Nigeria has come on the global scene in the information communication technology sector, as 9-year-old Jomiloju Tunde-Oladipo joined the community of achievers when he became one of the world’s youngest 2013 certified Microsoft Office specialists for Office Word 2010. Jomiloju, a primary 6 pupil of Role Model School, owned by DayStar Christian Centre, Oregun, Ikeja Lagos, broke the record created in 2012 by 10-year-old JSS1 student, Seyi-Ojo Anjolaoluwa, who was adjudged the youngest Nigerian and one of the youngest people in the world to have become a Microsoft certified professional. 

Jomiloju took the July 2013 examination while in primary 5, after passing all the preparatory stages leading to the final examinations following intense teachings in school and trainings he received from United Global Resources Ltd, an accredited ICT training firm.

Odion Oyakhire, the center manager in charge of the school noted that his firm, “encourages pupils to learn ICT and get certified.” Oyakhire explained that his firm coordinates the certification examinations for several schools and was proud to associate with Jomiloju and Role Model School on this feat. He said that the certification examination is an online, real-time test.

Before setting this new record in Nigeria for the certification examination, Jomiloju led his school to glory in June 2013, when they won an ICT quiz competition with 15 participating school in Lagos. The competition was put together by United Global Resources. The examination report showed Jomiloju scored 769 points, 69 points higher than the required 700 to be recognized as a Microsoft Office Specialist.

Source: Nigeria Tribune via

Visit the PKDG Science and Technology Initiative to read more on innovations across the Afrakan Diaspora.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Avengers, New Black Panther, New Black Power???

New Avengers #11 was good, very good in fact. As usual it was multifaceted but delivered on the primary purpose behind my reading the book, the Black Panther. This issue was a page turner for me. Hickman and Deodato are producing a well written and illustrated comic, no doubt. Hickman has been successful in giving characters like the Black Panther and Black Bolt along with their supporting cast an impacting and long ranging presence in the pages of New Avengers and Infinity.

Thanos's armies attack Wakanda's the Golden City. I love the reference Golden City to what I assume is Central Wakanda. Shuri and the Hatut Zaraze go full on against Proxima Midnight and her battalion at the wall protecting the city. They loose. PET PEEVE: Shuri only having a spear is ridiculous as Proxima Midnight points out. I will stand firm on the fact that Shuri should be the "armored" Panther. Technically speaking she and Tchalla both should wear armor during major fights and especially during war. Despite this Shuri is well represented.

I really appreciate the Hatut Zaraze's new look. I like how the Hatut Zaraze are getting a voice and are distinguished from other Wakandan soldiers. PET PEEVE: I didn't find it necessary for them to have to motivate a fallen Wakandan trooper. Wakanda is a warrior society no less. PET PEEVE: On the same note they don't have to be seen yelling "protect the queen!" With the exception of Tchalla, Shuri should be the most capable warrior in Wakanda. PET PEEVE: Finally I don't think a captured Hatut Zaraze would divulge information to the enemy so easily (unless he was setting them up for trap). These scenes could have bee written differently.

PET PEEVE: No defenses for the Necrpolis? Thanos and his people just casually stroll in. Walk into the unprotected facility that houses all the antimatter bombs constructed by Tchalla and Reed. PET PEEVE: To add insult to injury while war wages in the Golden City and the Necropolis is invaded, Tchalla the Black Panther seems totally unaware of these occurrences. There should have been some communication between Tchalla and Shuri to say the least. Again maybe it's all part of some master strategy that will unfold in upcoming issues.

The space adventure with the Aleph was well done. Hickman has a good grasp of the pertinent aspects of sci-fi needed to infuse into a superhero comic. Coupled with Deodato's art I find myself wanting for more. More Wakanda city scapes, more Wakandan battleships, more Wakandan tech and more Black Panther story.

Correcting the Sin and the Fear, a few technical missteps and some pet peeves; I can see Hickman writing a solo Black Panther with ease. New Avengers #11 was essentially a Black Panther comic as was the premiere issue. I believe Hickman has a successful format for writing a BP ongoing. The Black Panther displaying his genius and martial expertise, lots of sci-fi, a touch of mysticism, Wakanda front and center, BP supporting cast playing a pivotal role in events unfolding and plenty of guest stars. Hickman demonstrates Tchalla's prowess during a cosmic level event thus eliminating the false premise that the Black Panther is only a "street level" superhero.

I am looking forward to: Tchalla the Black Panther confronting Thanos with something off the chain and actually killing Namor; Wakanda's war machine in full effect (including warships , tanks, planes, etc...) successfully rallying and defeating of Thanos' invading armies and last but not least Shuri fighting and killing Proxima Midnight.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Namibia: Polikem On the Way to Becoming Fashion Powerhouse

This year's Big Brother Africa reality show may just prove to be the most successful to date if one looks at former housemates who are making it big after participating in the show. 'The Chase' has seen housemates like Zambian Sulu Banda receiving continental success with his hit song 'Ruby'.

Namibia's Maria Nepembe bagged a lucrative TV presenter gig in Ghana, while winner Dillish Mathews was named ambassador for GoTV. Musicians Cleo 'Ice Queen' and Feza Kessy are making big strides in their careers.Clearly, the platform offered by BBA is one that can propel participants to greater heights.

Another pair of ex-housemates using the BBA experience to maximum advantage are Pokello Nare from Zimbabwe and Ghana's Elikem Kumordzi. The two, who are also romantically involved, have partnered to sell and market Elikem's tailored masterpieces. The line, aptly called 'Tailored By Elikem,' is now available in Pokello's boutique, Pokello's Addicted to Shoes shop in Zimbabwe. The two also recently launched a joint fashion brand called 'Queen of Swag' and plans are underway to open a Pokello's Addicted To Shoes boutique in Ghana.

In an exclusive interview with The Namibian, Pokello revealed that the response towards their new ventures has been overwhelming. "The response is overwhelming with demand surpassing supply and distribution capacity at the moment. We have orders coming in from as far as Australia, America, United Kingdom, and Thailand," she said.

Even though it's still a new brand, Tailored By Elikem is an exclusive brand made with great attention to detail. With Africa as the inspiration, the garments have a West African feel and are adorned with hand-beading and embroidery, the key elements used in making them. "We have also incorporated Elikem's signature of the tape measure into the dresses as our conspicuous identification," said Pokello.

On the pressures of working as a couple, Pokello said it's not that difficult because of their mutual respect for each other. "When you share a vision, it doesn't feel like you have to balance romance and business. Our relationship is based on understanding and respect. Therefore, we treasure each other's ideas and improve on them. Romance is a part of our every communication whether business or pleasure," she said.

The pair also hinted at wedding bells possibly ringing soon. "All we can say is watch this space and there will be several garments worn at that occasion," they said. Namibian fans of the two are in for a treat as they have received an invitation to visit and will be making their way to Namibia in December.

The pair also have ambitious plans to make sure that their clothing lines will be available in most African countries within the next six months.

Article courtesy of  THE NAMIBIAN - ENTERTAINMENT - BIG BROTHER AFRICA | 2013-10-14

New Avengers, New Black Panther, New Black Power???

The Black Panther's rogues gallery needs more consistency and updating.

N'Jadaka the Killmonger,  mayor of one of the most advance cities (named after him) in the Wakandas second only to Central Wakanda. This is the only Wakandan city that mirrors Western cities like New York or Paris. A genius level intellect and strategist, independently wealthy and the first to be exposed to those "hellish rays" emanating from Resurrection Altar; imbuing him with incredible strength, hard skin and increased healing. Think Luke Cage.

M'Baku aka Silverback, high priest of the White Simian cult and leader of the Jabari community located in the Crystal Forrest region of Wakanda. The men and women of the Jabari grow larger than any other Wakandans (think Doc Samson and She Hulk). They choose not to use Wakanda's advanced technology and have developed and mastered alternative methods (think of them as the Amish of Wakanda). Through mystical means and by ingesting the flesh of the sacred white gorilla M'Baku has gained superhuman strength.

Klaw the master of sound, looks like ordinary human, no claw hand or costume (think RH version). Emits vocal energy like Black Bolt or Black Canary and can vibrate like the Flash. He fly at the speed of sound, move very fast in combat and can hear anything. He can manipulate sound waves to create various effects.

President Zanda - elected president of the advanced Afrakan nation of Narobia. A gifted scientist and a genius financier, she is the founder of Zanda World Net a corporate entity that is redefining agribusiness in Afraka. She views Wakandan Design Group as her primary competition and will stop at nothing to destroy it.

Solomon Prey the Gargoyle a scientist who worked with Tchalla on creating Nu Ta ShuWakanda's first modern floating city. inspired by the research he conducted on the ancient floating citie of Wakanda and its winged citizenry, Solomon had himself surgically altered to become the modern day image of those ancient people. Solomon posses wings, steel hard talons and super human strength. When he attempted to force others to undergo similar transformation he and the Black Panther became enemies.

The Supremacist a group of Azanian male and female elite super soldiers that embody the ideology of apartheid governance for the whole of Afraka (think Black Panther versus Call of Duty).

The Mutates - Since there are no mutants in Wakanda (in my fiction Wakanda is the only place on Earth were mutants did not emerge. This is due in large part to their environmental laws and lack of exposure to varying types of radiation) Killmonger decided to make his own. Resurrection Alter boarders on disputed land between Central Wakanda and N'Jadaka city. Killmonger and his scientist engaged in human experimentation and found the "rays"have an individualizing effect similar to the Terrigen Mist. He found that most of those he exposed died, but he was able to salvage...

- Sombre - who can transform into a gaseous state that ranges from a unconscious rendering vapor to a highly corrosive acidic mist.

- King Cadaver - who became endowed with telekinesis and telepathy

- Baron Macabre who became capable of reanimating the dead as zombies. He can also generate a bio-electric field and projectiles.

- Salamander K'Ruel - who gained mental control over all reptiles. Her skin also bristles with thorn like needles. (I changed the gender of this rogue)

- Malice - gained superhuman mental faculties, superhuman strength, superhuman speed, and superhuman agility to further enhance her already well trained mind and body.

I could go on but I feel I contributed enough ideas to demonstrate how easy it would be to utilize and update the Black Panther's rogues gallery. To me it all points back to the Sin and the Fear

I would be remiss if I did not mention the following... Achebe the Joker, Madame Slay the Cat woman and Nakia as Talia. I couldn't resist.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New Avengers, New Black Panther, New Black Power???

While Hickman's New Avengers is an entertaining read, his new Black Panther still suffers The Sin and the Fear. The Sin is there yet remains consistency in the necessary signatures that define the Black Panther. The Fear is those signatures have to be centered in and around an Afrakan and his culturally independent nation.

For characters to be and remain impactful they require defining traits (origin, abilities, powers, weapons, ideologies, sigils, tools, responsibilities, supporting characters, base of operation, etc...) to establish and maintain their uniqueness and identity. These signatures are immutable but adaptive to the zeitgeist of the real world. In addition to signatures characters need epic tales that invoke their Raison d'être.

Hickman is credited for introducing some new powers, abilities, tech and responsibilities to the Black Panther, yet their presence has not been seen or expanded on since Fantastic Four #s 607 & 608 and the first issue of New Avengers.

This is most evident in New Avenges #9 in which the battle between the Black Panther and the Black Dwarf occurs off panel. Comic books are about show and tell and that is predicated on consistency. This is how signatures remain permanent.

The Sin first reared it's ugly head soon after the Black Panther's introduction in FF # 52. Writers such as Roy Thomas, Larry Lieber, Gerry Conway, Don McGregor and even Jack Kirby himself ignored the defining traits inherent in the first appearance of the Black Panther.

This syndrome became virulent again post Priest as it was Priest who properly inoculated Tchalla during his run. Priest afforded the Black Panther a proper voice, mannerism, personal weaponry and equipment (based on a singularity inherent only to the character, that being vibranium), supporting characters and positioned Wakanda as a world power. In other words Priest endowed the Panther with all the signatures necessary.

Black Panther's next writer Hudlin ignored or only slightly touched on the signatures of Priest; instead choosing to focus on Afrakan (African American, so called blacks) political, historical and cultural indexes.

Hudlin also gave the Panther his most epic event, the marriage to Storm of the X Men. The first Sin committed by Hudlin was his having the Black Panther walk into an obvious trap and confront Dr.Doom without any offensive or defensive capabilities. The glaring contradiction is that Hudlin created some new signatures (i.e. the light armor first used against none other than Dr.Doom himself).Hudlin's second Sin was taking the mantle, the very title of Black Panther and the kingship of Wakanda away from Tchalla. The removal of these most vital of signatures were to have long felt consequences.

While I have had very little to say that was positive about Maberry's tenure as writer of the Black Panther as he too ignored the signatures of Priest; Maberry is to be given points for creating some interestingly potential signatures. Perhaps more contrivance for a single story than intended signatures the Nowhere Room, Shadow Physics, a new martial art that never uses the same move twice, the Caves of Basts, the Midnight Angels and Shuri's armor had potential. The ignored possibilities of these signatures is truly tragic. The armor as a mainstay for example would have helped distinguish Shuri physically and psychologically from Tchalla.

The Fear is first intoned in the very name Black Panther. For some it still conjures images of Afrakans (so called black) men and women who were intelligent, politically astute, organized and armed; engaged in warfare against the white world and its way of being.

The Fear is expressed in writing an Afrakan nation that is anything more than a primitively impoverished savage land, who's better days were under European colonial rule and enslavement. A cursory examination of Astonishing Tales: #s 6, 7 and Jungle Action #s 6 -18 clearly illustrates my point.

The Fear manifests as a belief that Afrakan people are nothing more than a minority incapable of managing their own affairs. The Fear also manifests as a deep rooted lack of appreciation for the inherent aesthetics and cultural nuances that earmark the Afrakan.

Ironically enough it was during the Priest era that the question Who Can Be The Black Panther? first came into being with his introduction of Casper Cole. The concept that the Black Panther could be someone other than Tchalla removes the most essential signature of all. The Fear was present in the fact that Casper Cole had to be bi-racial and be entrenched in an urban soap opera.

Priest is also responsible for creating the all so necessary prerequisite white characters (Nikki the white girlfriend, Hunter the white brother and Ross the omniscient white narrator) to assuage the Fear that white readers won't be interested in a book sans any white characters. A consideration not afforded to so called blacks for decades. So called blacks have been fans of white superheroes decades before tokenism, civil rights or minority representation came into effect. One didn't need so called black characters for so called black people to identify with white characters.

The next Fear was addressed under the pen of of writer David Liss, who arguably did more with less than many other Black Panther writers. This Fear revolved around the concept that the Black Panther was somehow too powerful. So to allay this particular Fear Tchalla was written as no longer being connected to the Panther spirit, stripped of his title as king, could no longer use the name Black Panther, no longer had access to the vast resources of his country, Wakanda and finally...had very limited contact with his wife.

I've no patience for cowardice masquerading as doing something new or different with the character. I am tired of seeing signaturesignored or forfeited. I do not wish to witness Hickman's Black Panther going into battle the same as McGregor's, Kirby's or Thomas' did. The concepts and ideas postulated by Hickman are pertinent enough to carry solo title, not to mention the art work by Epting and Deodato. Ever the optimist I remain grounded in the realization of the remoteness of a solo headed by such a creative team.

The Black Panther is over forty years old. The The Sin and the Fear curtails his ability to cross over into merchandising, video games and movies. His contemporaries Spider-man, Hulk, Iron Man and X-Men all have their signatures. The fact that Black Panther is sometimes seen as a Batman knock-off speaks volumes. If the primary writers and editors of the Black Panther do not agree on the signatures what chance does the character have of true growth and expansion?

Friday, October 11, 2013

We Mourn the Passing of Dr. Lomax

Dr. Lomax was our family physcian for three generations. He took care of my grandparents, mother and myself. Our going to his office on 18th and Wharton and being reassured was more family oriented than doctor/patient in terms of relationship. His staff was always courteous and we had the pleasure of meeting fellow doctor George Hayes. Dr Lomax did it all. He was a great asset to the Afrakan community in Philadelphia and will be missed.

Below is an article from By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer that expands on what I was saying.

Walter P. Lomax Jr., 81, of Hilltown, a prominent physician, entrepreneur, and leader in Philadelphia's black community and beyond, died Thursday, Oct. 10, of complications from a stroke at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

The announcement came from his daughter Sara Lomax-Reese, president and general manager of WURD Radio, which Dr. Lomax purchased in 1993 to give an ongoing voice to black living history and culture.
"It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Dr. Walter Lomax," the statement said. "A loving husband and father, he transitioned this morning at 8:30 a.m. after a brief but debilitating illness."

Thursday night's event at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, which was to have marked the 10th anniversary of the radio station, was quickly refocused to honor Dr. Lomax.
"The timing of Dr. Lomax's passing on the 10-year anniversary of 900-AM WURD, the voice of the black community in Philadelphia, is particularly tragic," City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said Thursday.

"Like so many, I was looking forward to helping the WURD family celebrate this important milestone. Instead, I join Dr. Lomax's wife, children, and all who knew and were inspired by him in mourning."
Mayor Nutter said he knew and respected Dr. Lomax for more than 30 years.
"He was an historical figure in Philadelphia and a skilled, compassionate doctor who improved the lives and health of many people," the mayor said in a statement.

"In addition to his work in the health-care field, Dr. Lomax was a great businessman, philanthropist, and supporter of many worthy causes: minority business development, educational attainment, and artistic and cultural institutions," the mayor said.

In a statement released Thursday evening, U.S. Rep. Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.) said: "Dr. Lomax was a successful physician, businessman, philanthropist, and lover of art who never forgot the community from which he came. He will be remembered for his constant support of his community. And he leaves a lasting legacy of service and good works."

Dr. Lomax was best known as chairman of the Lomax Cos., the corporate parent for four business entities: the real estate investment firm Lomax Real Estate Partners; the technology firms Prime Image and MyArtistDNA; and Wurd Radio, which runs WURD. The firm is based in Chalfont.

According to a biography posted on, Dr. Lomax was the youngest of four children born in South Philadelphia. Schooled at La Salle University and Hahnemann Medical College, he opened his first office at a rowhouse in his neighborhood in 1958; the practice grew over 30 years to include 22 physicians in six offices providing a range of medical care, the website said.

In 1983, Dr. Lomax was asked to help recruit doctors to work in Philadelphia's prison system, which led to the creation of the private health-care provider Correctional Healthcare Solutions, according to "The company rode the wave of privatization of medical care in prisons, and by the end of the 1990s, it provided health care to inmates in more than 70 correctional facilities in 10 states," the website said.

Dr. Lomax sold Correctional Healthcare Solutions in 2000. He ran AmeriChoice, which operated health maintenance organizations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, until selling it to United Health Group Co. in 2002, the website said.Dr. Lomax was also interested in other types of enterprises. He was a partner in PHL Local Gaming, a partnership trying to secure a license to operate a casino in South Philadelphia. His partner on that project, Casino Revolution, was Joseph Procacci, owner of Procacci Bros., a major fruit and vegetable wholesale business. Dr. Lomax would have controlled 12.3 percent of the project. Dr. Lomax opted to invest in the casino proposal "to assure our community had some ownership," she wrote.

"Over the past year, I have had the great opportunity to work very closely with Dr. Lomax," Procacci said. "He was a very special person who was blessed to have a wonderfully supportive family. He was a business leader, a pioneer in the medical profession, a philanthropist, and an acknowledged Philadelphia institution."
Nutter said he traveled with Dr. Lomax to West Africa on business in 1985.
"He was a great friend and an inspiration in my work," the mayor said. "His wife, Beverly, and their children represent the finest in community engagement and service to others. Dr. Lomax set a very high example for us all to follow, and I will miss him deeply."

Marilyn Kai Jewett, a principal in Progressive Images Marketing/Communications, called Dr. Lomax "a great man - humble, giving and, most of all, conscious" of his identity as an African American.
"When I was a reporter for the Philadelphia New Observer, I covered a meeting where he gave $10,000 to support the case for African American reparations," she said in an e-mail. "This was just one of the issues he supported.

"When Cody Anderson had problems keeping WURD afloat, Dr. Lomax stepped in and bought the station so we would continue to have an independent black talk voice on the air."

Acel Moore, Inquirer associate editor emeritus and a friend who knew Dr. Lomax from the old neighborhood, Point Breeze, said he came from humble roots and never forgot them. "He shined shoes on Point Breeze Avenue when I was a little boy," Moore recalled. Later, the two met for dinner and talked about "routine things." "I've met a lot of people, but I can't think of another person I respected more," Moore said.

His daughter said Dr. Lomax was "an amazing father and an amazing human being."
Survivors include his wife; daughters Sara, Claire, and Laura; and sons Bennett, W. Thomas, and Charles.
Funeral arrangements were pending.

Inquirer staff writers Jennifer Lin and Vernon Clark contributed to this article.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Day in Solidarity With African People - Oakland Event

The Day in Solidarity with African People salutes the African-led movement for self-determination to end the police violence, mass imprisonment, poverty and unemployment faced by African people everywhere in a system built on slavery and genocide.
Uniting African people on four continents, the Uhuru Movement builds self-reliance programs including infant and maternal wellness clinics, a fitness gym, community organizations and African media.

Speakers include Cephus Johnson, the uncle Oscar Grant; Umi Hagatani of the Japan Resource Center. Featuring Omali Yeshitela, Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, the Ghetto Prophet from the Onyx Organizing Committee, Umi Hagitani of the Japan Pacific Resource Network and spoken word artists. Sponsored by the Uhuru Solidarity Movement.

Come help us build the Oakland event!
Email to find out more.

When: Oct 13, 2013 1:00am - 5:00am
Where: 1300 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA
More Information:

The World African Martial Arts Conference

Come join the Tamerrian Institute and Ahati Kilindi Iyi at this years World African Martial Arts Conference. We will be adding new workshops and teachers so keep going to the web site. Only two weeks and left until the conference better get your tickets now. Details at

October 11, 2013 at 6:00pm until October 13, 2013 at 12:00pm in EDT
Aisha Shule W.E.B. Dubois 20119 Wisconsin Detroit Mi 48221

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun, directed by Ron Bobb-Semple

This groundbreaking play opened on Broadway in 1959. Set on Chicago’s South Side, the plot revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family. Sacrifice, trust and love among the Younger family and their heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration. ?It was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway.

When: Oct 3, 2013 - Oct 20, 2013
Where: Stageworks Theatre at Grand Central at Kennedy
Contact: Call 813-727-2708 to book your seats

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ubiquitous Artist Jamie Martinez at Galerie Richard

"I want to thank Jean Luc Richard for inviting me to participate at the artist talk with Dionisio Gonzalez which included Robert C. Morgan (superstar art critic), Ximena Ojeda, and El Kazan.  My fist panel discussion about #dionisiogonzalez @gallerierichard! Sweet!!! Here are photos of the event."

Friday, September 27, 2013

Greenpeace Activists Detained in Russia

Thom Hartmann discusses Russia's detainment of Greenpeace activists with Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace.

A Russian court has ordered that 10 Greenpeace activists, including an American ship captain, be held in custody for two months while the Russian authorities determine whether a protest last week at an offshore oil rig in the Arctic was an act of piracy. Russian border guards took control of the Arctic Sunrise, Greenpeace's ship with 30 activists aboard, in international waters last week. In this clip, the executive director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo, talks with Bill Moyers about the ongoing incident and his concerns for the crew, who are citizens of 18 countries.

Previously published on

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Artist Tim McFarlane Exhibition in its Final Days

My exhibition, "Presence", is a little over half-way over and the reception to the work and show, overall, has been very positive. My thanks to those who have been able to see it, so far.

"We Dance to Pray", my site-specific painting installation seen above, has been a favorite among visitors to the show and as a reminder, this is your only chance to experience this piece. Once the show is over, it will not be seen, except in reproduction perhaps, so if you haven't experienced it yet, you only have until October 5th do see it.

Tim McFarlane at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery

Saturday, September 28, 2013
709 Walnut Street, 1st Floor

Friday, August 16, 2013

Artist Tim McFarlane Unveils his Latest Creations At New Exhibition "Presence"


Tim McFarlane presents his new upcoming solo exhibition "Presence", which consists of works completed between 2012 and 2013. The new paintings explore themes related to physical and sensory experiences involved with identity and place.

Tim McFarlane: "Presence"
September 5-October 5, 2013

Opening reception:
Friday, September 6th

Bridgette Mayer Gallery
709 Walnut Street, 1st Floor
Philadelphia, PA, 19106

Image: Pink Mirror, 2012, acrylic on panel, 36" x 36"
Photo: Karen Mauch Photography

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Black Panther vs Wolverine

I will have to go on record and say that the Black Panther was not jobbed out in his guest appearance in Wolverine #8. The fight between the two feral combatants showcased the writer's insight on both their martial skills sets. Wolverine's berserker rage contrasted with the Black Panther's consummate tactical prowess; resulting in the nod for Tchalla. Always moves ahead the Black Panther was prepared well in advance for the true enemy of the tale, the viral entity from the Microverse. The Black Panther was not humiliated when he and ex-wife Storm crossed paths; in fact there was a mild reconciliation between the two. This comic demonstrated that at least one X-writer Paul Cornell, can write a story with both the Black Panther and the XMen present without one or the other being disrespected.

Overall a good read. Can we be witnessing the genesis of positive relations between the Wakandans and the mutants? Time will tell.

Monday, August 12, 2013

African World Festival: Friday - Sunday, August 16 - 18, 2013

After a successful 30th African World Festival that brought 100,000 attendees to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, AWF will be celebrated once again on the grounds of The Wright Museum with performances, poetry, arts and crafts, African drumming and dance, hundreds of vendors, ethnic foods, and events for all ages, including an expanded Watoto Village for the youngest among us!

This FREE, 3-day festival for the entire family takes place
Friday, August 16 through Sunday, August 18, 2013
from 11 AM to 11 PM daily.

Some info about the The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

It is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience!  The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History provides learning opportunities, exhibitions, programs and events based on collections and research that explore the diverse history and culture of African Americans and their African origins.

Founded in 1965 by Detroit obstetrician Dr. Charles Wright, this 125,000 square foot museum is located in the heart of Midtown Detroit's Cultural Center.  Key to the experience is And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture, the Museum's 22,000 square foot, interactive core exhibit, which attracts and enthralls thousands of visitors per year.  Thousands more enjoy a wide array of spectacular events including concerts, film screenings, lectures, performances, community health & fitness classes, and so much more!

An amazing adventure of history, art and achievement awaits you or your group at The Wright Museum™!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

New Avengers, New Black Panther, New Black Power??? - Diversity in the Marvel Universe

The thing about the Marvel universe is its diversity. Not just in the coloquial sense but in its unique origins and descriptions of their characters and they places they occupy. Look at the distinctiveness present among this sampling of superheroes; Spiderman, Hulk, Ironman, Daredevil, Silver Surfer, Punisher, Iron Fist, Captain America, Dr. Strange, the Fantastic Four, the X Men, Black Widow, Wasp, Ms Marvel, Red Sonja, Dazzler and Elektra, In addition to the fore mentioned, Marvel teams radiated interesting group dynamics. I cite the Avengers, the Defenders, the Inhumans, the Champions, the Invaders, Alpha Flight and S.H.I.E.L.D.

While the Daily Bugle, the Baxter Building and Stark International were cool hangouts, there were places that were extremely different and unique from New York city USA. Places like Atlantis, Asgard, Attilan, the Savage land, the worlds of the Kree, the Skrull and the Shi'ar. From the center of the earth with the Moleman to the moon with the Watcher; all the way across the galaxy with Galactus. From the negative zone to the dreaded dimension of Dormamu.

Marvel covered white men and white women. They covered Asian men (Shang Chi) and Asian women (Karma). They covered Hispanics (White Tiger) and Native Americans (Red Wolf). They covered gays with the outting of Northstar. The Jews were represented by Magneto. They explored the bounds of artificial life with robots (Ultron), androids (Vision) and cyborgs (Deathlok).

Last but far from the least Marvel addressed the precense of Afrakan so called black superheroes. Luke Cage, the Falcon, Storm, Brother Voodoo, Blade, Misty Knight, Black Goliath, Monica Rambeau, the Living Mummy, Night Thraser and War Machine. Through these and others, Marvel has explored interracial relationships; Misty Knight and Danny Rand, Cloak and Dagger, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones and newbies Storm and Wolverine. Marvel even explored inter-species relationships with Professor X and Princess Lilandra of the Shi'ar, Johnny Storm and the Skrull Lyja. They even breached the frontier of human and machine relations with the Scarlet Witch and the Vison.

It is plausible that all the above mentioned Marvel characters came with a certain familiarity and accessible resources for reference that facilitated the writings of each. This comfort allowed for the development as well as an almost organic evolution of these characters. This being self evident in the most popular among these creations. There is however one character that I've yet to mention where such may not have been the case. A character whose unique heritage and cultural depth was such that not even Lee and Kirby themselves could fathom it. This one character and his locale I appreciated above all those previously stated. That character is the Black Panther and his nation of Wakanda.

The Black Panther, a Wakandan male or female is the heriditary ruler of a highly advanced Afrakan nation. A polymath in the Afrakan spiritual, scientific, technological, political, social and economic arenas. Possesing super human mental disciplines, strength, speed and agility. Ritualistically connected to one of the oldest Afrakan deities in existence. Master strategist and tactician. Multilingual. Eidetic memory with the ability to tap the memories and experiences of all past Black Panthers. Martial artist par excellence.

Wakanda, an ever sovereign Afrakan nation at the pinnacle civilized development. Its citizens having never experienced the ill effects impoverishment, live crime and disease free. The people of Wakanda are licenced to pursue the arts and sciences to limits only imagined by other countries. Wakanda's culturel evolution earmarks the zenith of Afrakan society reflecting a socially mature, technologically advanced, resource rich, ecologically sound paradise.

This brings me bakc to JRCarter's post and the response he recieved while posting at Millarworld. The response in part said:

BP is to my mind a good Jack Of All Trades type, rather than a full on iconic dude for one archetype. He's got the tech, but also the athleticism, and the regal epicness. But that's basically him spending points in each of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor's talent pools.

This has some validity because they later said this:
Race aside, he doesn't bring anything new to the table...

Focusing on the bolden; this is the crux of the situation regarding the Black Panther. What he brings to the table is thoughtlessly cast aside. Downplaying, ignoring or intermintent casual references to race remove the defining essence, the essential trait that is the Black Panther and Wakanda. Thus absent of his unique heritage, cultural nuances and ethnicity I can see how he would bring nothing new to the table. Afrkans are constantly tasked and perpetually discouraged to assign any value to who they inherently are. The Black Panther giving up being Afrakan is analogous to the X-Men giving up being mutants.

In writing the Black Panther and Wakanda one has to deal with Afrakan civilizations, Afrakan culture, Afrakan history all prior to Asian, European or Arab influence. One has to write about racism, colonialism, captivity and enslavement. One has to write about the Afrakan autonomous societies, the Afrakan nations independent movements, the Black Power Movement, the Civil Rights Movement and the Afrocentric Movement. One has to write about the Afrakan experience.

This is why Priest came up so limp to me when he stated he wanted to be a writer not a "black" writer. There is no such thing as a writer, that's just shorthand for "white" writer. I have yet to hear or read about the white writer who doesn't want to write just white characters.

The Afrakan (so called "black") writer (or a writer who is not Afrakan but chooses to write an Afrakan character) has the responsibility to tell the truth. Truths like so called ancient Egypt was an Afrakan civilization, not founded by the current dominant ethnic group or by aliens and other such nonsense. Write the truth that Afrakans had ships and sailed around the world, that they had writing systems, advance religious teachings and lived in stone edifices with plumbing. They had beautiful and enticing sexual practices, and a multitude of indigenous aesthetics. Simply tell the truth.

Hip Hop culture (while a part of the Afrakan experience) is not enough for the breadth and scope of this character and the people he represents. The Wakandans are not African Americans, Black British, Jamaicans, Nigerians, Egyptians, Kenyans or Azanians; all of which have been under the yolk of enslavement, colonization and cultural imperialism. The Wakandans symbolically represent the unicity of all Afrakan people having achieved the pinnacle of Afrakan nationhood unfettered by those who would oppress them. There in lies the diffference. No mutations, no scientific mishap, no displaced alien. Just a group of powerful Afrakans.

There remains much hesitancy and apprehension in portraying Afrakan men and women under their own cultural auspices. In the universe of fiction (movies, tv, books, comics etc.) you can find so called black men and women as presidents, business persons, drug sellers, priests and priestesses, impoverished urban dwellers, gangsters, athletes, performers, pimps (can't forget the hoes), cowboys and aliens, war macines and mutants. They're available as gays and lesbians, geeks and nerds, Vulcans and vampires, gladiators and long as it is in the purview of European, American or Arab patronage.

Rare and next to impossible are we to find Afrakans ruling socially complex technologially advanced militarily protected, spiritually endowed nations. Rare and next to impossible are we to find the Afrakan male or female unbowed, uncompromising replete with the necessities of life, having derived such from their own wellspring. Rare and next to impossible are we to find Afrakans charting the stars and traversing among them under their own initiative and authority.

Ignorance and prejudice feature prominently in curtailing the expansion and exposure of this unique character. Fearing the potential of the Black Panther does nothing but fray the fabric of his being. The Black Panthers and their nation Wakanda while rare, are in the forefront of popular fiction. Witness how well his DVD sold. While they have yet to actualize their full potential it is often reward enough to view them properly and well written as a sigil of a sovereign Afrakan people. Unashamedly, unadulterated and unconquered.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

6th Africa Agriculture Science Week and FARA General Assembly

Every three years, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) convenes a continental gathering of all stakeholders involved in Africa agricultural development. This gathering has become known as the Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW). The Government of Ghana has graciously accepted to host the sixth (6th) AASW and the General Assembly of the FARA. The theme this year: Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural Science and Innovation
The AASW will bring together representatives of FARA's constituents including African and non-African institutions involved in African agricultural research and development such as the Sub-Regional Organizations (SROs) (ASARECA, CORAF/WECARD, CCARDESA and NASRO), Farmers' and Pastoralists' Organizations, the Agricultural Research Institutions, Agricultural Educational Institutions including universities. Others are Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working in agriculture, policy makers  and private enterprises that comprise the national agricultural research systems (NARS), non-African advanced research institutions (ARIs), the International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs), international NGOs, policy makers, private sector, Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Science and Technology, national and regional parliamentary sub-committees on agriculture and Africa’s development partners.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Africa Writes - Festival of African Literature

Africa Writes is the Royal African Society’s annual literature festival. Every year they showcase established and emerging talent from the African continent and its diaspora in what is now the UK’s biggest celebration of contemporary African writing taking place over an exciting summer weekend. The festival features book launches, readings, author appearances, panel discussions, youth and children’s workshops, and other activities.

Friday 5th - Sunday 7th July 2013 at The British Library, United Kingdom.

About the Royal African Society

The Royal African Society is Britain's prime African organisation. Now more than 100 years old, its in-depth, long-term knowledge of the continent and its peoples makes the Society the first stop for anyone wishing to know more. They foster a better understanding of Africa in the UK and throughout the world - namely its history, politics, culture, problems and potential.

The Royal African Society disseminates knowledge and insight to make a positive difference to Africa's development and celebrates the diversity and depth of African culture.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Shaman's Apprentice features Maroon Society

An inspiring film about ethnobotanist Dr. Mark Plotkin and his efforts to preserve the expertise of native healers in the depths of the Amazon rain forest. What is most auspices is the part on the the autonomous Afrakan (Maroon) society in Suriname and their medical wisdom.

watch at
The Shaman's Apprentice

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Adinkra - Defining Intelligent Design

"Doubly-even self-dual linear binary error-correcting block code," first invented by Claude Shannon in the 1940's, has been discovered embedded WITHIN the equations of superstring theory!

Why does nature have this? What errors does it need to correct? What is an 'error' for nature? More importantly what is the explanation for this freakish discovery?

The most obvious conclusion for this discovery is Intelligent Design

For more from Dr. Gates visit SciTech Media:
Dr. S. James Gates - Does Reality Have a Genetic Basis?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Afrakan Powerhouses Meet in Philly

                                                                                  (click to enlarge)

Philadelphia has long been a hot bed and center point for Afrakan cultural rebirth. From some of the earliest openings of Yoruba temples to the decades-spanning Odunde festival (which is upcoming next month), the African American Museum to numerous Afrakan centered schools Philly now hosts some of the biggest names in the Afrakan centered community. All to be held at the Imhotep Charter School, the Afrocentricity International conference promises to be an event of imapact.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Afrakan Landscape Ravaged by Climate Change

The effects of climate change in Afraka are clearly visible in the regions surrounding Lake Tukana. The damming up of the Omo River in Ethiopia, which once fed Lake Turkana, hastens the decline of the Lake which once provided wealth and nourishment. Moreover, climate change from the West's excessive carbon emissions results in rainfall that comes sparingly every two years. Drought and famine are causing wars between villages for scare resources, where once a lush environment provided for the regions inhabitants. Efforts to stop the complete disappearance of both the river and the people it once sustained are underway...

Friday, May 03, 2013

Afronauts-To Boldly Going Where no Afrakan has Gone Before...The Zambian Space Program.

The sixties was one of the most impactful decades for  Afrakan people the world over. Afrakans were seen  freeing their countries from colonial rule, fighting for Civil Rights, developing Black Power organizations and exploring the cultural mores that uniquely defined themselves. It was a time when Afrakans could reach for the stars and maybe even touch them.

Such was the case when Mkula Nkoloso a schoolteacher in Zambia declared "We're going to Mars!" Written in a 1964 newspaper article Nkoloso saw Afronauts beating Cosmonauts and even Astronauts in the space race. Here is an interesting article of what follows.

"Our rocket crew is ready," continued Nkoloso, explaining that his aspiring troupe of space explorers had been gearing up for their interstellar journey in the headquarters of the academy he'd set up on the outskirts of Zambian capital Lusaka.

From within what he called the "Academy of Sciences and Space Technology," Nkoloso had been studying Mars through telescopes and rigorously training his would-be Afronauts.

Still courtesy  "Afronauts" a film by Frances Bodomo  

Matha Mwambwa would be the first woman to go to space accompanied by an unnamed missionary and two specially trained cats informed Nkoloso, the director of the space academy.

The program failed to receive a $7 million grant Nkoloso had requested from UNESCO and as such was not taken seriously by the government of the newly independent Zambia.

In 2010, photographer Cristina De Middel was searching for "unbelievable stories" for a new personal project she was hoping to develop.

Fascinated by Nkoloso's visionary and dreamy perspective on life, De Middel set about creating an imaginary documentation of his elusive endeavors some 50 years ago.The result is "The Afronauts," an arresting photo book.

In the self-published book, De Middel self-consciously conjures up the story of the unofficial space program piece by piece. She uses a series of cinematographic images, including staged depictions of discarded oil barrels, makeshift spaceships, elephant-hugging spacemen and flying cats, as well as vintage-looking maps, documents and newspapers cuttings.

Throughout, facts and fiction are intertwined as part of an intriguing narrative which challenges viewers' perceptions about what's real and what's not.

Whilst playful, De Middel's dream-like images are not intended to make fun of Nkoloso's fantastical, yet high-flying, ambitions

Her speculative pictures exude a feeling of nostalgia and sympathy, celebrating the audacious and naive spirit of a past era where grandiose dreams were not limited by circumstances.

De Middel says, the extraordinary tale of the forgotten Zambian space program presented a chance to talk about Africa from a different perspective.

"The only honest approach I could do to that story was documenting my cliché, and that's what I really wanted to do, because, in a way, I was raising awareness of the existence of that cliché and what we expect from Africa," she says.

"Not only because the story is positive, in terms of African people having dreams, but also evidencing what we expect from Africa in terms of aesthetics and behavior."

edited and taken from a CNN article by Teo Kermeliotis

In related news: Frances Bodomo revisits the Zambian Space Program in the film entitled Afronauts. Heres the trailer...

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Culture-Conscious Animation Hits the Scene

Nigerian animator Adamu Wazi has produced an educational cartoon to teach children about African culture. Tired of African children watching only imported cartoons that didn't reflect their lives, Waziri decided to do something about it.

His creation is "Bino and Fino," a cartoon aimed at three to five year olds, about a brother and sister who live with their grandparents in an unnamed African city.

"I want to create a brand that's as good as Dora the Explorer, Charlie and Lola, quality wise, made in Nigeria, that is educational, and also shows positive aspects of Nigerian/African culture, not just to Nigerian or African kids but to kids everywhere," says Waziri.

The pilot episode celebrated Nigeria's Independence Day and looked at the issue of colonialism. The cartoon has also had segments teaching the numbers one to 10 in the Nigerian Igbo and Yoruba languages.

He adds that he wants the program to "teach kids and show that the stuff you see on TV of starving people isn't the only thing in Africa.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Afra-Centrifying Dolls for Afrakan Children

Nigerians Chris and Ada Ngoforo were keen for their children to stay connected with their West African heritage while living in London. The couple became concerned that their three young daughters didn't speak any Igbo, their mother tongue.

"We thought amongst ourselves what we can do to actually help them to learn Igbo more," says Chris Ngoforo.

This desire to encourage their children to connect with their roots, coupled with an increasing frustration with the difficulty in finding black dolls that resonated with their daughters, led the entrepreneurial couple to take matters into their hands.

What started as a way of helping their daughters engage with their heritage quickly became a business opportunity. Soon after, the couple launched their own range of toys, called Rooti Dolls, programmed to speak in several native African languages and promote positive self-images.

"We observed that over 90% of children born or living in the diaspora and millions in Africa do not speak or understand their mother tongues," says Ngoforo. "Our research made us understand that the reason for this is not because our children don't want to learn their mother tongues, but more because there are not many essential tools that can easily be both educational and fun at the same time."

So far, the couple has produced a range of 12 dolls from different African countries. Each one can speak a combination of languages, and each one has her own story.

Amongst them, there's Nina, a "vibrant girl" with Nigerian parents, who "loves watching Nollywood" and can interact in the Nigerian languages of Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, and Ibibio; there's Ama, a "bubbling dynamic girl" whose "dream is to be a doctor someday," and can speak the Ghanaian languages of Twi, Ga, Ewe and Krobo; and there's also Keza, with parents from Zimbabwe and Zambia. She "loves adventures, reading and listening to beautiful music" and can communicate in Shona, Ndebele, Bemba, and Nyanja.

"Over the years my wife and I have found it extremely hard finding real black dolls that can truly connect with our little daughters," he says. "The dolls out there in the market are nothing close to the real image of a black child in terms of features and other attributes -- they are either too thin, too light or chiseled-faced, and even the complexions of most of the dolls are kind of whitewashed," says Ngoforo.

"The unfortunate effect of this stereotypical misrepresentation is a case of low self-esteem among black children who have been directly or indirectly made to believe less in themselves as a black child. They have been made to believe that you have to look like a white doll to be accepted as beautiful or even good."

Debbie Behan Garrett, author of "The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls," says "a black child owning dolls and other playthings that positively reflect their image, exposure to literature, art and other positive images will aid in the development of a healthy cultural awareness and appreciation."

That was the inspiration behind the Queens of Africa project, an educational initiative developed by Nigerian entrepreneur Taofick Okoya. Using a mix of dolls, books, comics and music, Queens of Africa is aiming to help children in Nigeria and beyond to identify and appreciate their culture.

The Queens of Africa black dolls represent different tribes in the continent. Later on, he decided to expand the project by launching a series of fun and educational books, songs and cartoons based on the dolls' characters.

"The dolls will help the Nigerian/African children be better people because they would be proud and confident in who they are as a race," says Okoya. "The comics, books and animation stories is the medium we use to enlighten and educate children on our history and culture."

Garett says that exposure to this kind of information can help African children learn about their roots, as well as proudly pass on their heritage to future generations.

edited and taken from a CNN article by Teo Kermeliotis and Ann Colwell

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tim DeChristopher Climate Activist Freed!!!

It was December 19, 2008 when climate activist Tim DeChristopher staged a protest at the Bureau of Land Management where a lease auction of 116 parcels of public land in Utah's Redrock country was up for purchase. DeChristopher disrupted the process by successfully bidding on 14 parcels of land (totaling 22,500 acres) for $1.8 million with no intention to pay for them. DeChristopher was removed from the auction by federal agents, taken into custody, and questioned. Shortly after the auction and a subsequent court injunction, the Interior Department cancelled many of the leases, saying they had been rushed into auction with insufficient environmental and scientific review. DeChristopher served 21 months in prison, from July 2011 through April 2013.

Watch the vid below for more details

Video courtesy:

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Sankofa in Sumter

Afrakan culture is alive and attempting to flourish in the small town of Sumter South Carolina. Natilie Williams the founder and director of the Sankofa Connection hosts its 7th Annual Cultural Festival on Saturday April 6, 2013 from 11:00am til 5:00pm @ Mt Pisgah AME Church, 217 West Barlette St. The events include Presentation of Afrakan Queens, live performances, exhibits, vendors and food. Their mission is to promote cultural awareness and to stimulate historical learning. Their motto...Know Thyself.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Afrakan Vegan Cafe hosts Open Mic Night

Columbia SC's own Lamb's Bread will host the weekly event every Friday night starting at 8:00pm. All talents are welcome to participate; poets, singers, comedians and musicians. Lamb's Bread is located at 2338 Main St.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Reishi Mushroom for Radiation Protection

Here is an edited exert.

Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum, also called Ling Zhi, which means ‘spiritual fungus’) have a positive track record for safely reducing the damage done to the body by cancer therapies, and additionally have been highly regarded in Chinese medicine as a supreme longevity herb for centuries.  They are regarded as having significant anti-tumor properties.  Andrew Weil has promoted them as research-backed for protecting the bone marrow against the damages of radiation. Other effects of Reishi when taken as a dietary supplement include lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, improving respiratory and heart function.

One of the principles in nutrition such as the use of iodine to protect against radioactive iodine is that if the body’s mineral ‘holes’ are filled with the right mineral, it is less likely that they will grab on to the toxic or similar minerals.  The Cesium-137 with its 30 year half-life can be grabbed like Potassium in the body.  If someone is low on calcium, they will absorb more lead (Pb) which has a detrimental effect on behavior and brain function (lead poisoning decreases attention and social awareness, and leads to more anti-social criminal behavior such as theft, vandalism, and property damage)

One of the most useful steps in superior diet is to make sure you have a steady supply of good trace minerals. I like using Real Salt, the mined salt from Utah This salt has all of the trace minerals from the ocean of millions of years ago, without the cesium, plutonium, pesticides, mercury, etc., from modern times.  I also like eating Planter’s Deluxe Mixed Nuts–no peanuts, also made with sea salt.  Nuts have great fats, minerals, and amino acids.  Nuts are my favorite dietary supplement.  No mix of lab chemicals can match a nut,

The medicinal mushrooms, with Reishi being at the top of the list, offer the most protection from the myriad toxic influences we face, and from the specific current threat of multiple radioactive isotopes spreading from the multiple meltdown at Fukushima including the cesium, iodine, plutonium, and strontium.
With the serious multiple toxins we are all being exposed to today, the medicinal mushroom Reishi seems a wise tonic food/herb to add to almost any diet and take for a long time–like a couple half-lives of cesium 137..

Courtesy: Ancient Way Acupuncture Blog

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Surf The Net...

Are you being tricked into giving up your privacy? In an age of social networking, when people everywhere are sharing personal information in exchange for free services, are we over-looking the value of our personal data? We speak with Cory Doctorow, a self-proclaimed 'cyber-optimist' about the 'privacy bargain', the war on computer freedom, and his dreams of a 'techno-utopia'.


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Exhibition: Al Johnson NYC 2/7

Visual artist extraordinaire Al Johnson, featured in Aesthetics 6250 A.U. Insigne Tribus, will be having an exhibition this Thursday. If you are in NY come through. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Exhibition: Alien Architect 2/1

The multifaceted artist Alien Architect, featured in Aesthetics 6250 A.U. - Veritas, announces...

Cohen Asher/Devin Cohen/Alien Architect's First Friday Art Show

Friday, Feb. 1st
307 Market St Phila PA,
Stupid Easy Gallery,
(2nd floor, above the art store)

there will be wine and snackery

fantastic art

Here's the facebook event for it:¬if_t=plan_mall_activity

Friday, January 25, 2013

Baba Crowder Remembered

Baba Crowder

A world class drummer,  Baba Robert Crowder has made transition to ancestor on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. He was 82.
Baba Crowder began drumming as a child in North Philadelphia in the late 1930s. Africa attracted him even then, and he sought out every opportunity to hear the rhythms of home.Inspired by acclaimed percussionists from around the world, such as Ladji Camara of Guinea, Chano Pozo and Desi Arnaz of Cuba, and Saka Acquaye of Ghana, he began to to see commonalties between African music from different places, and began "searching for our lost heritage."

Courtesy: The Philadelphia Folklore Project

One of the first African American drummers in Philadelphia to study batá drumming, Crowder has long been in the vanguard of an African cultural renaissance in Philadelphia. BabaCrowder founded a dance and drum ensemble Kule Mele: African Dance and Drum Ensemble and played with many renowned musicians, including saxophonist John Coltrane and pianist McCoy Tyner.

Mr. Crowder dedicated his life to African drumming, leaving a vast legacy in Philadelphia.

A celebration of Baba Crowder will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2013, 2pm – 5pm. The Memorial Service will be held at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia 19106.

For more, see