Expert Voices

Food Sovereignty And The Divided State Of BIPOC In America

Our Panelists:

  • Omowale Afrika
  • Earlier this year, Filmmakers Omowale Afrika & Frank Edwards, traveled to Mississippi in search of information about, Baba Hannibal Tirus Afrik, a profound Black educational activist, to reintroduce his mission and vision to this generation. In June, on what would have been Baba Hannibal’s 88th birthday, the filmmakers released their findings in an article titled, Reparations, Food Sovereignty, and Starvation in America. Omowale and Frank are now in the pre-production phase for their new film project, Hannibal: The Fight for Food Sovereignty in the South. The goal of this new project is to heighten the level of awareness around the global food crisis, and to make it clear to Black America that food self-sufficiency is our only path to sustaining and protecting our freedom.
  • Sonia Martinez

The State Of American Culture And Our Politics

GUESTS:

  • Wuhan Dansby
    • Lives in DC | Owner of DRE Partners | DRE Partners offers a range of consulting services including providing expert advice, assistance, guidance or counseling in support of agencies’ management.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors NCBA/NCBA Housing Management Corporation, (affordable housing for seniors).
  • Maya Valentine
    • Congressional staff | Leadership | Washington, DC insider, trend-setter and influencer | her background also includes her work for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s internship program. And Maya also serves as the Communications Director for the Congressional Black Associates, a Congressional staff association on Capitol Hill.

The Red Wave That Couldn’t Make A Splash

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

Join us! My guests this Saturday are: Billy Buntin, Storyteller and former CNN Producer; Bradford Kane, Author, Pitchfork Populism and Ron Carter, NABJ Treasurer, The Carter Agency.

Our discussion will focus on the following hot topics: 2022 Midterm Elections, Elon’s Twitter,  Censoring Kyrie & Ye, Tiffany Cross Firing, and JLo Choosing JAff.

Mother: The Happy Warrior

The Happy Warrior

“Who is the happy Warrior? Who is she that every man in arms should wish to be? It is the generous Spirit, who, when brought among the tasks of real life, hath wrought upon the plan that pleased her girlish thought; Whose high endeavors are an inward light that makes the path before her always bright; Who, with a natural instinct to discern what knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn; Abides by this resolve, and stops not there, but makes her moral being her prime care; Who, doomed to go in company with pain, and fear, and bloodshed, miserable train! Turns her necessity to glorious gain; In face of these doth exercise a power which is our human nature’s highest dower; Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves of their bad influence, and their good receives; By objects, which might force the soul to abate her feelings, rendered more compassionate; Is placable—because occasions rise so often that demand such sacrifice.” – William Wordsworth

Dear Mima,

I’ve been meaning to write, I’m sorry. Perhaps it was my fear. I was afraid to make real your death with written words. Even so, as I commit to this dreadful journey of acceptance, I hold on to my faith and my deep love for you to guide me.

So, what does your number one fan say about you? How can I adequately capture all the bends and curves that make up the 77 years of your travels on Gaia, mother to all life? Truthfully, I could never capture all of you like a child and firefly in a glass jar. Because you are free and always have been. And you made me free, too. Free to believe I can fly and shine my light like a firefly despite the dangers even a child with a glass jar can pose. I fly free, fearlessly, because of you.

Mom, there’s so much more I wanted to say. So much more I wanted to experience with you. Is it unfair to be angry; perhaps, but I am. However, your wisdom has anchored me to solid ground. You faced life with fear, fearlessly. You were truly a magic woman, Mom. Life was harsh but somehow you forged ahead, making new paths that others continue to follow. You were an entrepreneur in a time and place that deliberately stunted your growth as the rare flower you were born to be. And yet, you forged ahead with fear, fearlessly. I’m still entranced by your magic, Mom. You sprouted unique roots and rose to meet your calling apart from the people around you. You loved a stranger with fear, fearlessly. For love, you chose to disobey your teachings and forged ahead, with fear, fearlessly. When you bore children, you carried each one of them to solid ground despite the rising waters threatening you. You cared for us with great lack and fear, and you did it fearlessly. I can never repay you for all you did for us, but I can show you through my own life how much you have shaped and inspired me.

Mom, when I think back to old days, I regret that I could not come to your rescue sooner. You suffered tremendously. Mom, you suffered for years right under the noses and in clear view of those who speak of their love for you. Many were even comforted by your state of despair and hurt. And yet, you forged ahead. You moved mountains despite it all. You lived a life exemplary of dignity, kindness, respect, duty, loyalty and most of all, love. You gave love freely and fearlessly, even to those undeserving of your grace and mercy. This is your legacy, magic woman. You didn’t just teach us to always love and forgive, you taught us why. Maar neem me niet kwalijk, Mima, the why is still an uphill battle for me.

Mom, despite your illness, I am comforted by the life you got to experience in America. You said I gave you relief. I wish I could have brought it to you sooner. We went to Canada, made new friends and discovered a world previously closed to you. Our mutual appreciation for the spirits made the ride that much more memorable. You fell in love with George. I’ll never forget the twinkle he put in your eyes that night you two danced like long lost lovers reunited. It was beautiful Mom, and I’m so grateful you got to dance and feel a love only shared by lovers.

We kept a garden, raised chickens and fished with PJ. You danced with Nick and was there for his graduation. Open hearted and full of grace. I will always remember you surrounded by the love you so deserved all along the way of your incredible life. Mima, I have no words to comfort myself let alone all those you left behind. Your passing has left me shattered. Unhooked from the dock of your safety and anchored to a pain I have never experienced. I want to accept but it’s simply too final. And so, I will remember you, always. I will remember your laughter, your kind and sweet smile that spoke of a love so pure, it can only be supernatural. Mom, you were infectious. Mysterious and beautiful, inside and out.

Mima, I will miss you and forever regret your physical departure. You left me standing as the strong woman you nurtured, protected and loved. And in your giant footsteps, I will forge ahead with love and kindness, fearlessly. May you Rest in Power, Queen Mother.

Mother; Noun: Secret keeper, friend, peace maker, teacher; Keeper of the family, angel, saint.

Maroon Day: A Celebration Of Ignorance And Black Subjugation

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

Today is “Maroon Day” in Suriname.  At display, a moral paradox of a nation that chooses to celebrate Black people as subhuman. A so called Caribbean nation sits atop this despicable display of ignorance and inhumanity. Make no mistake, today’s “celebration” is to further demote us, Tribal people; descents of escaped enslaved Africans, to the level of cattle, hogs and chicken. With guidance from those who uphold the system of white supremacy, Suriname is still forcing the “Maroon” identity upon a certain group of Black people.

“The word ‘Maroon’ — Marron to the French — has come to be used as a generic term to designate fugitive slaves from plantations in the New World, although the Iberians had their own designations. The etymology is uncertain, but consensus opinion would seem to accept the view that it derives from the Spanish word cimarron, which originally referred to domestic cattle that had escaped to a wild existence. In the course of time, however, the term lost its faunal connotation to embrace runaway slaves almost exclusively. As cimarron would seem to be a peculiarly New World term, first applied in Hispaniola, so also is its derivative, Maroon when applied to runaway slaves. As far as Jamaica is concerned, the official documents, as well as early works on the island, did not make use of the term until well into the eighteenth century. – Mavis C. Campbell wrote in her book, The Maroons Of Jamaica 1655 – 1796.

There’s no doubt, today’s so called celebration in Suriname is a display of white might and supremacy in the western world carried out by misguided Black people and other POC. This display of national ignorance is a stark and unfortunate reminder that we, Black people, still live separately: in the fields and in the masters’ house, symbolically. And as long as our minds stay chained to the lies told of our people and their contributions to civilization as we know it, true freedom will remain an asterisk in our fight to regain our rightful place on earth.

The assault on our humanity is a global effort. In America this white supremacist language was spoken with the Three-fifths Compromise in the Constitution and in subsequent laws that still govern this land. Americans are still working to overcome and write a new chapter in our human story, with persistent pushback and a death grip on our fruitful racism. It’s high time to stop using the term, Maroon, its meaning clearly inhumane and deeply offensive, to identify an ancient people, my African people, all over the world. In America James Baldwin cried out, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO. In Suriname African Tribal people are echoing the same sentiment; I AM NOT YOUR MAROON.

Dr. John Henrik Clarke said, “Africans brought the world its first humanity.” And, though a heavy burden, it’s clear we must continue to remind the world what it means to be human and not a “Maroon.”

Before George Floyd There Was The Uncommon Case Of Daniel Brown

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

“Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself.” – Jane Addams

It took a tragic incident during a festive gathering in 1875 to bring about change in American policing. And Daniel Brown, like George Floyd, was the catalyst that shifted the relationship between citizens and police in Baltimore; citizens concerned for their civil rights and the police for their authority to enter private homes.

Brown, a proud freeman and home owner, “provided the context in which [he] confronted Officer McDonald,” Shufelt writes, in an effort to find justification or make sense of the racial circumstances that led to him being clubbed and shot to death by the officer.  Brown, through the lens of the white immigrant cop from Ireland, forgot his place in America’s social order when he defended his humanity after the officer came knocking on his door for a noise complaint. And because of deep-rooted and long-standing racial conflicts in America Brown is portrayed in the media and the pages of history as a “too proud Black man” partly responsible for his death.

“But Daniel Brown’s individual response to a situation he perceived as an affront to his dignity as a freeman and the proprietor of his own home played a role in the tragedy,” writes Shufelt, and,  “The evidence shows that in his daily life Daniel Brown was in the habit of standing up for his rights with enough self-assurance to get the attention of his white acquaintances.”

This is the story of Daniel Brown. A proud American who knew his civil rights, stood up for himself and others, and was brutally beaten and shot to death for it by a police officer sworn to defend these rights. Nonetheless, the unjustified and brutal murder of Brown by Officer McDonald changed the course in American history when the white police officer was convicted of killing him.

Although the small gathering at this proud freeman’s home proved to be fatal for him, ending the life he’d diligently planned for himself and his wife, Keziah, Daniel Brown left behind a powerful legacy we see in civil rights movements like The Black Panther Party and Black Lives Matter.  And that’s a life well-lived, no matter how it ended.

A conversation with the author, Gordon H. Shufelt:

In The Uncommon Case of Daniel Brown, readers travel through praiseworthy hills and deplorable valleys of our American culture, landing squarely on a pivotal societal curve, when a white police officer gets convicted of killing a Black citizen.

The Uncommon Case of Daniel Brown can be purchased on Amazon or via the link below:

https://www.kentstateuniversitypress.com/2020/uncommon-case-of-daniel-brown/

Catch-A-Pig 5K Race For The Boys & Girls Club

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

On your mark, get set, chase the piglets!

Rod Bourn is rolling out the 9th annual Catch-A-Pig 5K Race to benefit The Boys & Girls Club of Harford and Cecil Counties. The highly anticipated event raises money to support local kids, as well as provide an opportunity for families to come together for some much needed fun and of course, bacon.

All you need to know can be found by clicking the links below:

Catch A Pig Details

Sun, Aug 29, 8 AM – 12 PM

Ma & Pa Heritage Trail, Bel Air, MD

ePa spoke with Rod Bourn, the event organizer, about the importance of the race that’s more of a chase.

The Lineage And Mechanism Of The U.S. Constitution

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

The Olympics have been a much-needed distraction from America’s political battle ground, ongoing culture wars and countless social struggles. However, in the midst of all this family drama, are we missing something crucial? Australian attorney and author, James D. R. Philips thinks we are. He points to the global power and impact of the U.S. Constitution and shares his historical, and outside perspective in his book: Two Revolutions And The American Constitution: How the English and American Revolutions Produced the American Constitution.

Philips says to fully understand how America works, you need to understand its system of government and laws, and for that you must understand the Constitution. In his book, Philips highlights the lineage and mechanics of this living document that continues to shape and guide America and the rest of the world.

To purchase Philips’ book, click here 👉 https://amzn.to/37dISQv

The 8th Deadly Sin

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

Humanity’s woe is the 8th deadly sin named, Media.

Simone Biles pulling out of the Olympics is exactly what media wants. And Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush and the rest of these “talking experts” do their due diligence to speak with double-edged sword tongues, anxiously waiting for a shoe to drop so the real show can begin: riding their media inflicted trauma like the 100 foot wave.

They start with praise; continue with pressure and high expectations, heaping all the weight of the world’s woes and wants on these young athletes. Then when they falter, slip, or aren’t performing perfectly to appease the immense pressure put on them by these “talking experts” … the same “talking experts” benefit. This is what they work for. They benefit from the juicy gossip and lip smacking among the masses that flock to their social media sites to join in and raise their traffic. The ultimate goal of media is your attention. Regardless if the price is the head of their “darling” Simone Biles, a young athlete facing tremendous pressure and scrutiny from the media shredder whose soldiers look like proud dork queen, Hoda Kotb, high-level privileged employee Jenna Bush and the cut-throat, “news” at any price Savannah Guthrie. Desperate to be judged as perfect porcelain and unbothered by Black people’s reality in America, Lester Holt, is equally culpable of inflicting this kind of trauma on people.

Then they all get to post grossly disingenuous images like this IG post from Hoda Kotb feigning support and love for Simone Biles, when all her news crew wanted was this outcome for their own storytelling benefit  and ratings. Not all praise is good praise. Some come with gnashed teeth, salivating for the glory that will come with the downfall of an athletes career.

These media people ride your wave up and then celebrate that they get to tell the world that you didn’t live up to expectations. They get to praise and scrutinize these young athletes into mental disorders without impunity. Recent case in point: Naomi Osaka pulling out of the French Open due to the intense media pressure. What happened next–Naomi Osaka vilified in the press–is simply par for their course.

Media loves this traumatic cycle. It keeps NBC in business, Hoda and Jenna paid and Savannah popular among media bosses and shareholders. The media operates as an enemy of We The People, too. And Simone Biles is yet another example and victim of the media business that functions without responsibility as perpetrator, savior and victim. Media must be held accountable for this destructive practice. Man bites dog makes the news. Not because it’s true, but because it’s sensational. And that’s what sells, unfortunately. They work for ratings, not us. The solution? Turn your TV off and accept that each of us carry a responsibility when it comes to our collective humanity. If we want better, we must do better. It starts with acknowledging humanity’s 8th deadly sin is the media that fuels good and bad for profit.