Posts made in March 2023

The Long Road Of Being Woke

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

“Now the old men are folding their arms and going to sleep and the young men are Wide Awake.” – William H. Seward (1860)

The term “Woke”  may be wearing new clothes and taking on different meanings today, depending on which side of the political isle you’re claiming, but being “Woke” or “Wide-Awake” isn’t a new term or ideology. As a matter of fact, “Woke” has traveled a long way to meet the social media degenerates, I mean, generation intent on spinning the term to fit whatever cultural and political warfare they’re fighting from their keyboards and computer screens.

Historian and Curator Jon Grinspan captured some of the early movements of the Wide-Awakes in his piece for the Journal of American History titled, “Young Men for War”: The Wide Awakes and Lincolns 1860 Presidential Campaign:

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The Wide Awakes were against slavery when they marched with torches to galvanize Lincolns presidential campaign long before the Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and other white supremacists marched through Charlottesville over 5 years ago bearing torches and terrorizing folks with chants of “Blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.” 

Staying “Woke” has also been part of African American discourse, similar to how the Green Book was used as a guide for Black people to travel safely across America, the term was used to encourage vigilance against the onslaught of white oppression and domestic terrorism.

The Scottsboro Boys were nine African American young men accused of raping two white women aboard a southern railroad freight train in northern Alabama in 1931. The case, which lasted more than 80 years, helped to spur the Civil Rights Movement and helped to inspire several prominent activists and organizers, including being the inspiration behind To Kill a Mockingbird, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee. 

The landmark legal cases begotten from the Scottsboro Boys incident didn’t just deal with racism but the right to a fair trial. If you’re “anti-Woke” like the Chloroformers, whose opposing aim was to put the Wide Awakens asleep, you should consider this piece of America history before you rally behind the likes of a misguided and ill-informed Florida governor intent on killing truth simply because it goes against the blatant lies that feed his hate for the awaken ones who refuse to be silenced in the face of oppression, gender dysphoria and, or white supremacy.

The Scottsboro Boys collectively served more than 100 years in prison. This historical fact cannot be taken lightly. Black folks in America must be Woke in order to survive the permeating racism and discrimination that maintains its choke-hold on our nation.

When Lead Belly sang about the incident in his song titled “Scottsboro Boys” he encouraged Black folks to “Stay Woke” in the aftermath of the injustice.

It’s never too late to become a proud member of the Wide Awake Club because all people deserve to feel good in the world.

Successfully Speaking: Rules For American English Pronunciation

BY LYNDA KATZ WILNER

Are you proficient in English? How confident are you with the stress patterns and pronunciation of words? If you are learning to speak American English, there are several rules of stress and intonation that will help you be better understood. If you have spoken American English since birth, you may not even be aware of these rules! Perhaps you can assist your team members (if they are asking for help) to pronounce these so they are better understood.

These practical tips can make a significant difference in communication.
How do we say Proper Nouns?

First, let’s define proper nouns. They are nouns for specific names of people, places, monuments, teams, streets and roadways, magazines, holidays, etc. We capitalize the first letter of each word (unless it is a preposition or conjunction). For example, United States of America. If there is more than one word in the proper noun, we need to emphasize the correct part to be understood easily.

This is particularly noted when saying our names. Depending on our first language, we have a stress pattern and rhythm for first and last names. In American English, we stress the last part. If we use the stress pattern of our native language, people may have difficulty differentiating the first from the last name. Our name is our identity, and we want people to understand it and be able to use it.

Lynda-Katz-Wilner

My name is Lynda Katz Wilner. When I say it, I stress the last word, Wilner.
I live in Baltimore, Maryland.
I read the article in the Wall Street Journal.

What is the rule?
We stress the last word of proper nouns with a HIGHER PITCH, LOUDER VOLUME, and LONGER VOWEL. For example, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore Ravens, The New York Times, Washington Monument, New Jersey Turnpike, Easter Sunday, to name a few.

I’ll highlight more rules in future Tuesday Tips emails.

Check out the online training platform “Master the American Accent” and to watch video tutorials, receive tip sheets and learn more practical rules click HERE.

Reach out to me about accents, public speaking, or communication skills at LKWilner@Successfully-Speaking.com.

For more information about Successfully Speaking Click HERE.

Contact us to discuss bringing a training session to your team.

ePa Live: The Role Of Women & Sisterhood Today

This week on ePa Live:

Nana Malaya; Actress, Dancer, Singer, Storyteller, Poet & Writer Director and founder of the Nubian Institute. Malaya, also known as “The Dancing Diplomat,” is joining ePa Live to discuss her work, women and sisterhood today, as part of Women’s History Month commemoration.

Nana Malaya has been a featured performer in many major venues including The Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Institute, Discovery Theatre, The Historic Lincoln Theatre, The Aro, The Lianer, The Harlem National Black Theatre & many more! She has toured and graced the stage with Malcolm Jamal Warner, Phyliss Stickney, Phyliss Hyman, Stevie Wonder, Miriam Makeba, Bill T. Jones, Alice Coltrane & numerous others!

Nana Malaya is also a celebrity mom! Her son is Lamman Rucker who began his career on the daytime soap operas As the World Turns and All My Children, before roles in The Temptations, Tyler Perry’s films Why Did I Get Married?, Why Did I Get Married Too?, and Meet the Browns, and its television adaptation.

Sheila Brown, JD, Health & Wellness Coach and Garveyite also joined the talk to discuss the legacy of one of the most important women of the 20th century, Amy Jacques Garvey. Although much is known about her trailblazing husband, Black leader and Pan-Africanist, The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, not much is known about her own work alongside him that galvanized the Garvey movement and advanced the work of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) on a global level. amy jacques garvey

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amy jacques garvey

Amy Jacques Garvey: A Pioneer Of Pan-African Emancipation

BY SHEILA BROWN

You Probably Don’t Know Her Name, But She Was The Most Significant Woman Of The 20th Century.

It has been said that the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey was the first leader to change the global trajectory of his race. He did so by inculcating his people with a sense of destiny and dignity. Indeed, successive generations will echo that it was Garvey who unconditionally cared for the race and it was Garvey who represented its vocal cords. It would be difficult to find a greater hero. Garvey deserves the praise, recognition, and honor he receives for his unprecedented work, outpour of love, and sacrifice.

But, so does Amy Euphemia Jacques Garvey, the less known, even lesser celebrated leader who supported Garvey and helped him impact the world. This woman, whom Garvey himself confessed that he “neglected and cheated for the cause” of African liberation – a cause that he loved so much. She was a significant figure in her own right and deserves to be seated among the icons of liberation history. Therefore, this article is the first of three designed to educate readers about her fascinating life and contributions to the struggle for African liberation and political unity.

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These installments, which make up what shall be known as the Amy Jacques Garvey Project (AJGP), seek to raise awareness about Jacques Garvey through an in-depth analysis and discussion of her life and unparalleled work. When this petite, confident Jamaican woman stepped into Garvey’s shoes as the emergent leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League, she, too, possessed a world vision for the global African body politic to rise up as an independent and sovereign nation-one that motivated her completely. So, with the help of “The African Magazine,” the African diaspora aims to shine a light on the woman often described in terms of her relationship to Garvey, by finally recognizing that Jacques Garvey was also a major force of Black African independence and nationalism that she, too, should be recognized in her rightful place of history.

With an impressive career that spanned five decades (1919 to 1973), Jacques Garvey honed her skills as a Pan-African leader while serving as a UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) political analyst, business administrator, archivist, and journalist. Publishing more than two-hundred twenty-six writings, her articles, editorials, short stories, and speeches helped stretch the UNIA’s political influence to every major continent. Her sharp political analyses was mostly showcased in the Negro World, where, from 1923-1928, she issued political critiques of governments, presidents, and other foreign heads of state. She examined clergy and assessed the state of the church in a similar fashion. All of this, she accomplished without neglecting to voice concern over the issues that impacted the lives of women during her term as editor of the women’s page.

Naturally, Jacques Garvey interacted with many prominent people as any key figure would who was so intimately involved with a movement powerful enough to capture the imagination of the world. These figures included the royal King of Swaziland and the iconic Mahatma Gandhi. She once remarked after meeting with Dr. George Washington Carver, that he was “one of the most interesting persons to talk with, for, notwithstanding his marvelous discoveries, he lived humbly.”

The former president of Ghana, The Honorable Kwame Nkrumah, was ushered into the global Pan-African movement by Jacques Garvey herself. She also found time to nurture, consult and help inform other international heads of state about Garveyism. Nnamdi Azikiwe was her intellectual comrade. Her collaborations with historians John Henrick Clarke and Toni Martin helped to expand Garveyism to the world. She did all of this work with dedication and zeal till the day she passed in 1973. She passed away on the same day of her wedding anniversary. She and Garvey married on July 27, 1922. Long after he died, she remained devoted to him and perpetuated his work the remainder of her life.

marcus garvey-amy jacques garvey

Jacques Garvey is the most significant woman of the 20th century. But questions remain, why are there no movies, documentaries, or Broadway plays that tastefully portray her prolific story or reenact the political saga of her life? Why is she seldom mentioned during Black History Month? Why do so few people recognize her as the global Pan-African leader that she really was? Once, an esteemed educator was asked her opinion of Jacques Garvey. The response she gave was typical. She stated: “Although I am a lover of history, I’m afraid I don’t know much about the wife of Marcus Garvey.” That educator was not alone. She was just like potentially millions of other people who have little to no knowledge of this iconic woman. Yet, historian John Henrik Clarke noted that during Garvey’s absence, “Mrs. Amy Jacques Garvey and a few loyal followers of the Movement…held the organization together”.

Much of this ignorance can be blamed on the attitudes that some of the prominent race men held toward women. For instance, a remark by W.E.B. Dubois lends insight and perspective about the attitudes typical of women during the time. He once referred to a very powerful woman by the name of Mary McCloud Bethune as a ‘harmless nuisance’. For those who don’t know, Bethune was the president of the National Council of Black Women, a former member of President Roosevelt’s cabinet, and his co-consultant-hardly a nuisance and very influential.

Jacques Garvey would have known this. She would have carefully studied her contemporaries. She examined their attitudes toward women. She paid special attention to the position that men held toward women in leadership. Accustomed to combating the chauvinistic attitudes herself, she attempted to circumvent this obstacle in many ways. Sometimes she repeated herself several times over. Other times she took great pains to explain the things she said or what message she intended to convey. She wanted to be heard and understood. On occasions, this led her to convince some male counterparts that she was just as adept at political analysis and dialogue as were men. Such was the case in a letter she wrote to DuBois. “Now dear professor, perhaps you may misunderstand the tone of my letters, as I have been so accustomed to talk with M. G. and take part in conferences with men, as ‘man to man’ that I don’t think or act, as if I ‘were just a woman.’”

Regardless of how well she explained herself in the eyes of certain men, her being vocal meant that she was perceived by them as bossy, uncompromising, and worse, unfeminine. In Jamaica, for instance, women during that era seldom held leadership positions. In the 1900s, many men believed that political issues were their domain. They felt that women were suited exclusively for social issues and, of course, domesticity. In 1923, shortly after Garvey’s arrest, several men in leadership roles at the UNIA challenged Jacques Garvey by indirectly accusing her of attempting to usurp leadership from them. They wrote deceptively about the matter while positioning themselves as defenders of her honor and referring to her as helpless.

amy garveyThey proffered that: “Mrs. Garvey is not part of this committee. Mrs. Garvey is not an officer of the association. Mrs. Garvey doesn’t actively or passively control the organization,” they said before further adding, “It is beneath the dignity of common decency to attempt to drag the name of an innocent and helpless woman into an arena where she cannot properly defend herself.” Yet, Jacques Garvey was a leader. When DuBois invited her to be a co-convener–the only woman to hold this position–at the 5th Pan-African Congress in 1945, she smiled deep in her soul. Finally, she was being recognized by her colleagues for her political leadership. With her husband, she was free to express herself as an intellectual. Garvey welcomed her to exercise her wit, argue her points, and express her opinions if it clashed with his own. He did not mind her vocalizing an opinion or debating with him on political issues. She explained how debates transpired between them during their intimate moments as a couple, stating thus: “On topics of international or national importance which warranted discussion we often differed on points; and then we would argue–until we could compromise, or until he would say, ‘O.K., “Mopsie” you win.’”

In fact, the only time she was not welcomed or allowed to be “full of arguments and contradictions” with Garvey was when he took some time for himself and experimented in the kitchen. The “Garvey Special” was the outcome of blending fresh fruit and flavors, an activity he enjoyed doing so much he wished he’d taken chemistry courses early in life. Jacques Garvey was permitted to briefly come into the kitchen to taste his recipes; but she had to depart from him once that job was done.

Despite their heated differences, DuBois and Garvey had at least one thing in common. They both recognized that Jacques Garvey was too critical not to hold a leadership position in Pan-African movements. Whether it was the UNIA or the 5th Pan African Congress, she was too powerful and influential not to be instrumental in carrying out the mission of African liberation.
With her knowledge, sophistication in global politics, interpretation of national events, administration of business, and effective management of resources, she was clearly a leader of indispensable value. Therefore, the time has arrived for historical justice. It’s time to honor the legacy of Jacques Garvey. Doing this will require an examination of the times in which she lived; the people with whom she struggled against the attitudes that shaped, hindered and destroyed the work of the Garvey movement; the tremendous strain all of this placed on her back.

In 1925, the risks to Jacques Garvey increased exponentially when Garvey was arrested. The feds raided the UNIA headquarters; the media ran disparaging reports; people were being torn apart; and financial resources were depleted. At that moment, Jacques Garvey discovered her own power. Not only was she an excellent wife and possessed the potential to be a great mother, she was an agent of change, a courageous leader, a financier, an outspoken advocate, a critical thinker, and a woman deeply undervalued for her role as a leader of Pan-Africanism and immense contributions to the UNIA.

**This article was first published in The African Magazine

About The Author

sheila brownSheila Brown, JD, is a Divine Life Strategist, Health & Wellness Coach, Emergency Preparedness Consultant, and Garveyite. Her passion for revolutionary African global liberation and unity is what fuels her love and passion for the legendary ‘Queen Mother’ Amy Euphemia Jacques Garvey, as well as the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

Learn more about Sheila Brown’s books, artistic works, products, courses, public events, coaching programs and workshops online at QUEENDOMQARE.COM or SHEILABROWNSPEAKS.COM. She can be reached at 301-388-5273 or INFO@SHEILABROWNSPEAKS.COM.

black-exodus-back2africa

ePa Live: Seeking Black Autonomy & Happiness In Africa

This Saturday we heard from Professor Joseph Mbele on the recent uptick in Black folks returning to Africa. He discussed the benefits and the delusions of African Americans seeking autonomy and happiness in the Motherland.

Prof. Mbele teaches at St. Olaf, specializing in folklore and the connection between folklore and literature. He has done folklore fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania, and the USA, and given lectures and conference papers on folklore in Canada, Finland, India, Israel, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and USA. After earning a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and before coming to St. Olaf in 1990 to teach post-colonial and third-world literature, he taught in the Literature Department of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Over the years, he has taught courses such as Swahili Literature, Theory of Literature, African Literature, Sociology of Literature, Post-Colonial and Third World Literature, The Epic, and African-American Literature.

The full show can be found HERE.

Professor Mbele on Capitalism:

Question of the Day:

prime minister-mia mottley

Prime Minister Of Barbados To Address Global Conference In Baltimore On Reparations

Barbados Prime Minister, The Honorable Mia Amor Mottley To Deliver Major Address On Reparations

Don Rojas, Director of Communications and International Relations for the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) received confirmation today that the Honorable Mia Amor Mottley has confirmed to attend State of the Black World Conference V as a Special Guest to deliver a Keynote Address on reparations.  She will join His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana in addressing the Conference which is organized around the theme: Global Africans Rising, Empowerment Reparations and Healing. mia mottley-prime minister-barbados

Prime Minister Mottley has emerged as a major figure in the Caribbean advocating for stronger ties with the African Union and a global emphasis on reparatory justice with Africa playing a more active role. She has called for a global summit on reparations in collaboration with the CARICOM Reparations Commission, the African Union, National African American Reparations Commission and reparations commissions from various regions of the Global Black Diaspora.

“We are honored and delighted that Prime Minister Mia Mottley has accepted our invitation to play a major role in State of the Black World Conference V,” Dr. Ron Daniels, President of IBW stated. “She has shown an eagerness to work with President Addo of Ghana in expanding and strengthening the global reparations movement. Once Vice-President Francia Marquez from Colombia confirms, we will have a formidable trio of leaders embracing the cause of reparatory justice as the ‘human rights issue of the 21st Century’ as proclaimed by Professor Hilary Beckles.”

Mia Mottley will be presented the IBW Legacy Award at the Global Women’s Leadership Summit at the Conference for her historic role as the first woman Prime Minister of Barbados. Firsts are no stranger to this woman of distinction as noted in her bio. “Mia Amor Mottley has lived a public life of firsts – first female leader of the Barbados Labour Party and the Opposition; first female Attorney General, a post she held for five years; and youngest ever Queen’s Counsel in Barbados. On 25 May 2018, Mottley became the eighth Prime Minister of Barbados and the first woman to hold the post. prime minister-mia mottley

Registration Details can be found: HERE.

Media contact: Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW, IBW21)

naomi-beckwith-guggenheim

Guggenheim Appoints First Black Deputy Director & Chief Curator In Its 60-Year History

BY STATE POST NEWS

According to The New York Times, The Guggenheim recently recruited the first Black deputy director and head curator in the museum’s 60-year history. The first Black woman to hold the position, Naomi Beckwith was recently chosen deputy director and top curator at the storied Guggenheim Museum.

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Beckwith began her career as an associate curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem and earned a master’s degree from the esteemed Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She has held curatorial positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago since 2011, and in 2018 she was promoted to senior curator. Beckwith will now take Nancy Spector’s place as the Guggenheim’s new director and curator.

Beckwith’s former work includes multidisciplinary offerings exploring issues of identify and innovative exhibitions showcasing the work of avant-garde artist Howardena Pindell, in “The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now” and “Homebodies.” She also worked to spearhead a project with British-Nigerian sculptor Yinka Shonibare, exploring race, colonialism and cultural identity.

Naomi Beckwith Talks: https://oolitearts.org/video/talks-naomi-beckwith/ 

https://oolitearts.org/video/talks-naomi-beckwith/

The era of women is in full swing.

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ByBlack and EatOkra List Of Best Black-Owned Restaurants In America

USBC is excited to announce that ByBlack has partnered with EatOkra, an innovative new app for discovering Black-owned restaurants, to bring the best eateries in America to your fingertips. The curated list of over one thousand Black-owned restaurants in the United States is made up of hand-selected establishments that have been identified as some of the best in the country.

ByBlack and EatOkra have been working together to build a stronger community, and this partnership is a key demonstration of the importance of mission-aligned partnerships in achieving common goals. In addition, both ByBlack and EatOkra are demonstrating their commitment to empowering Black-owned businesses by growing their digital communities and providing quality resources for those businesses.

“As ByBlack continues to collaborate with other brands to build a world where Black businesses thrive, we are thrilled to be working alongside EatOkra, a ByBlack Certified business, to bring awareness to Black-owned restaurants that are often the heart of their communities. We know that this partnership will offer our users the most comprehensive and reliable information about the best places to eat.” says Alicea Gay, VP of External Affairs, ByBlack. 

EatOkra is a searchable database of more than 15,000 Black-owned restaurants across the country. It provides information about each establishment including location, hours of operation and menu items offered. Users can also rate their dining experience at each restaurant so other users can make informed decisions when deciding where they want to eat next time they visit a particular city or town. “EatOkra is excited to curate this list of Black-owned restaurants in partnership with ByBlack. By continuing to offer comprehensive resources for intentional customers seeking cultural food experiences, we see a future that supports the health and the wealth of the Black food community.” says Anthony Edwards, Co-Founder, EatOkra. 

The new partnership will allow consumers, foodies, and culinary aficionados to find restaurants on both EatOkra and ByBlack directories at www.usblackchambers.org/top1k.

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ABOUT U.S. BLACK CHAMBERS, INC.

The U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) is the voice of Black business owners and a top advocate for resources and policies that impact Black business owners. To learn more visit: usblackchambers.org. Follow our work and connect with us: https://www.facebook.com/usblackchambers and instagram.com/usblackchambers.

ABOUT BYBLACK

ByBlack is the first national certification program exclusively for Black-ownership designation. ByBlack provides businesses an approved accreditation trusted by customers and enables consumers and other companies to easily find U.S. based Black-owned businesses. Businesses can complete the ByBlack certification process or create a directory profile by visiting www.byblack.us. The ByBlack directory enables Black-owned businesses to network, partner with others in the community, increase their visibility and expand revenue opportunities. Learn more at www.byblack.us.

Media Contact: Tiffany Murphy | usbc@thecultureequity.com

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ePa Live: Opining On Our Culture Wars

ePa Live Panelist

  • Ron Carter of The Carter Agency is a Public Relations Consultant, Community Engagement Expert, Film Executive Producer, Marketing Strategist
  • Liyah Brown, Attorney & Advocate, Advancement Project
  • Victor Guildford, Comedian
  • Jeanette Lenoir, Host

TOPIC:

  • Chris Rock Netflix Special, Selective Outrage
  • Jonathan Majors on the cover of Ebony
  • Women’s Day Honorees

    QUESTION OF THE DAY:

    Should the LGBTQ+ community be allowed to march with their pride flags during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?

    Click the link below to watch the full broadcast:

    https://youtube.com/live/2doFLKJGVsQ?feature=share

    Sabine Becker Speaks:

    The Victor Guildford:

    Ron Carter:

    Liyah Brown, Esq.:

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    Creed III & The Spy vs. Spy Culture War It Symbolizes

    BY JEANETTE LENOIR

    sylvester_stallone_rockyThe highly anticipated installment of the Rocky film series, Creed III with Michael B. Jordan, came out in theaters last Friday and critics are already calling it a box-office hit. I agree, because it was a perfect artistic snapshot of our current social dilemmas. The storyline was strong and entertaining and the symbolism was expressive of the times we’re living in, especially through the two main characters. Their names, mannerisms, including the boxing colors and style worn by the protagonist and antagonist took a direct page from America’s social, political and cultural tug-of-war.

    Jordan in white gloves and all white American flag boxing shorts, against Majors in black gloves wearing red, black and green African flag colored shorts. Their character names, Adonis and Damian is also symbolic of the competing white and black narratives of modern American identity; one socially structured to be seen as good, the other to be seen as evil regardless of the truth of the matter. In Creed III, Adonis is offered as the hero even though he ran away from the fight he started that landed his friend Damian, the villain, in prison. This film directed by Michael B. Jordan who plays Adonis Creed, is skillfully cloaked as entertainment but if you go beyond its surface, you’ll see that it also encapsulates our American struggles. Creed III is a symbolic representation of our social battlegrounds and the internal strife between Black folks still struggling for their fair share of the American pie and rightful place in the annals of American history. In this film arena the dueling gladiators are both Black, but Adonis is team White Spy.

    spy_vs_spyIf you’re familiar with Mad Magazine’s iconic Spy vs. Spy cartoon of the never-ending battle between black and white spies, than you won’t have too far to venture for this comparative analysis to Creed III. It’s your typical good versus evil drama full of suspense, folklore and life lessons; however, Creed III also captured the conscientiousness of our nation that dialogue and protest has failed to do, and today’s PC and woke culture has stifled. The film discreetly exposes the cavern that continues to divide African Americans into different cultural, ideological and economic groups. There are those who embrace Africa as the Motherland and only see a prosperous and unified future nation with the issue of reparations resolved and justice reached, to those who have lost their connection to Africa and instead pledge allegiance to claim a nation their ancestors built through chattel slavery as their new aboriginal home. A recent example of this is actress Raven-Symoné declaring that she sees herself as an American, not African American or even Black, arguing she has no connection to Africa.

    Let me go further. It’s akin to the difference between Black folks in the north and Black folks in the south, the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, the ideology of Dr. Cornell West and Candace Owens, Jason Whitlock and Dick Gregory, Dr. Umar Johnson and Charleston White, 50 Cent and Oprah, Flame Monroe and Ts Madison, Jeffrey Star and Dylan Mulvaney. You get the gist. In Creed III the difference between Adonis and Damian is as stark as the opposing ideological paths traveled by Angela Davis and Julia Clarence Brown. Make no mistake, Creed III is not just harmless entertainment, it’s a folktale of the struggle for American identity and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis is no different than Samuel L. Jackson as Stephen Warren in Django Unchained. Both characters are fighting to preserve America’s white identity and white superiority. creed_damian

    The film ended in typical storytelling arc; the protagonist ends up on top maintaining his hero status and the antagonist ends up as most villains do in movies. Still, the symbolism and social tug-of-war didn’t end there. Creed III took up the gender debate as well after its release and the debut of Jonathan Majors (Damian) dressed in pink feminine frock on the cover of Ebony magazine, further fueling debate and the criticism that Black men in America are deliberately being emasculated by the entertainment industry. jonathan_majors_ebony_coverCreed III is parallel to the White Spy (Adonis) beating the Black Spy (Damian), and forcing him to wear women’s clothing and thigh-high boots on the cover of a Black magazine. And how ironic that Majors’, (Black Spy) last major movie role was titled, The Last Black Man in San Francisco.

    Regardless if you’re team White Spy or Black Spy, it’s time for us to stop fighting each other and other people’s battles, even if it’s for entertainment. Chris Rock in his timely Netflix special, Selective Outrage, said it best as he recounted his parents teachings, “Don’t fight in front of white people.”

    adonis_damian