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Over Troubled Water

Strengthening the relationships between all African ancestored descendants

Sunday, July 31, 2011 0 comments

We are a strong people. We will be greatly empowered when we realize that we have already overcome one of the greatest travesties known to man, American chattel slavery. I have often considered the emotional impact that slavery would have had on my ancestors. I never really anticipated I would ever really be able to remotely understand what that was like until now. After slavery, a new system of labor, sharecropping became the chosen way of harnessing the labor of the former freedman. The economic systems of labor were identical, and so were the behaviors and effects of those behaviors upon the hearts and minds of those who survived both systems.

Those families who stayed and spent their lives trapped on plantations and in labor camps suffer the effects even more so. It is time we identify the ways we are yet doing the slave master's bidding so long after he has been forgotten. I am struck by the following account of Sheba's search for love to make up for the things that were done to her, and the inability of those around her to provide the true nurturing she needed. It is a miracle she is here to provide this insight. I hope it helps us to take a second look at what slavery did to us and what we are doing to each other. First and foremost, we should do what is in the best interests of the children around us. They are the future.

Robin Foster
Over Troubled Water

What slavery did to us
By Queen Sheba

In the arms of the black man, I became a tool to be used and abused as I searched for love from the people that came in to my life to full the void left by not having a relationship with my father. Once I thought I had found it. I met a man who was very kind to me. I was about fifteen he was around twenty-five. I was crazy about this guy. He drove a black and white car with a fish tail on back. The things I took my mom through with this man I regret today and beg her forgiveness. 

Once she came and tried to get me to leave and go with her to the field to pick limes. She even had a talk with him. He told her that he had tried to get me to go home, but I would not. If anyone would bother with me, he would go to them and have a talk, and they would leave me alone. I felt protected by him. Life felt good to me. He was living in a trailer park and he would let me go down to the store and get what food I wanted to eat on credit. At the end of the week, he would pay for it. At home with mom there was never food to go around with her having so many kids.

One day things came to a halt, and he made me go home. He got very mean to me, and said he did not want me anymore because his wife was coming back. He had never said anything to me about a wife. She was in what they called the “crazy house” and she was coming home. My whole world fell apart for days. I did not know what to do. I did not want to leave this man. I was out of my head. I would go around and just hang around the trail park just to get a look at him.

One day I went off the deep end and went to talk to her. This lady could have killed me and not done a day in jail because of her condition. She said he was not worth it and that I was young and forgetting about him would be the best thing for me.

My life seemed as if it was over for me at that time, and everything started falling apart around me. Around this time, there was group of girls threatening to double team my sister. I was sitting on the stairs when my mom tried to get me up to help her. I could not move. My twin sister was a fighter. She would cut you in a minute and beat the mess out of you or whatever it took to get you off her. As for me, I hated fighting. I was a coward and very afraid.

That’s when they all started calling me crazy, but they had been calling me crazy all the time. I do believe that is when it seemed my whole family turned on me. That was the day I decided to end it all. I made plans for doing so, and I carried out my plan.

After I went into the kitchen where they all were sitting around being happy, I sat at the table not saying anything. The next thing I remember was waking up at the hospital with my head hurting and sore all over. I was taken home and never got any kind of therapy. Back then they just did not do that for black people. We escaped through drinking. While writing this, I called my mom to speak to her about it. She said she should have gotten some help for me. My mom did what she was taught. She kept on moving thinking, “this too will pass.”

Looking back on what I went through as a young girl, I realize that I wanted someone to love me, but I did not know what love was. What I have found out is that you first must learn to love yourself. This is something that I was not taught. When we come into this life, we must be taught by the way we are treated by our parents and the people that are around us. This is something that was taken from us during slavery. We were not allowed to care for each other and we were deprived of the opportunity and the memory of establishing a family.

                                                                  See Dear Daddy

We began to treat each other the way we were treated. This behavior was encouraged by those who held us in bondage, and generations later there are those who still are trapped in this cycle. Everyday a young girl matures and goes out searching to fill the emptiness in the same ways. In today's world, that could mean the loss her life. Like a wounded bird, she is lulled away by one promising false security, basic needs, and a substitute for love. When she comes to, she realizes too late she is in for more than she bargained for, and the cycle continues. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 0 comments

For the last few weeks I have been working on my life story, a book I hope to finish before my birthday in February of 2012. During the week of July 18th, I went down to South Florida to touch on my past. Sometimes you need to face your past in order to make a better future. Homestead, Florida and Florida City, Florida hold lots of bad memories for me. For some reason I always come back looking for the part of me I that I left there. Homestead, Florida is where my mom came after leaving Mississippi. 

My first stop was on Fourth Street where the buses drop off most of the migrant workers. I was around 12 years old. While standing there, I remembered my mom telling me how our new daddy acted when he saw all of us coming off the bus. As number one child came off the bus, he was smiling all the way until number four. When number five came off, the man started to cry. At number eight, he walked away. She found him later at somebody's bar and brought him home. He stayed and helped my mom with all of us, and he put a number (my baby sister) in there for himself .
First place I lived after my mom brought us to Florida from Mississippi.

I have always wondered why people don’t talk about all the people that left Mississippi and came down to South Florida. They always talk about Chicago or other places. The way people were thrown on top of one each other back then was a shame. I do believe that’s why there was so much killing going on. I went to the first house that we lived in. I could not believe how small this place was. It was a two story building that had two apartments up stairs, and two downstairs. There was only two rooms, a living room, a bedroom, a very small kitchen, and a little bathroom with a shower. Seven of us kids slept in the bedroom, and the grown-ups had the living room.
Homestead, Florida in 2011.

After about a year, my mom moved us to a place called China Camp/Golden Nugget off of Fourth Street. This place was made up the same way just with more apartments; it had to be about forty of them. The new place still had just two rooms, but we had a bathroom that had a bathtub and a bigger kitchen where some of us slept. At this time, I was around thirteen or fourteen years old. A lot of things went on here: drinking, gambling, fighting, killing. You name it, and it was there. I found out from my mom that a white lady owned it at that time in 1965. This is where I went wild and this is the place we stayed until we moved to Miami three or four years later.  


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Friday, July 22, 2011 0 comments


The following is an excerpt from Sheba's childhood experience in Homestead and Florida City, Florida. A few years prior to her arrival, an article appeared in the March 2, 1961 edition of The Miami News entitled Migrants Back in Hovels. The article mentions the sanitation inspector, Samuel Fields who had inspected 11 different labor camps.

He called the plight of the migrant worker pathetic stemming from the over-crowding brought on by “A new racket worked by the crew leaders who led migrants around the country to various harvesting jobs.” See Migrants Back in Hovels. This article reveals the plight of generations descendants of former slaves. There labor was a commodity still, and still little thought was given to helping them overcome the effects of many years of being enslaved.

Hovels of Hatred in Homestead and Florida City
By Queen Sheba

We came to in 1965, South Florida on a migrant worker bus, the same bus that would take us to the field to pick tomatoes, beans, or limes in the grove for the next three to four years. When my mom took us from Mississippi to Florida, my life was in for a big change not only in the type of work we did but also in how I really got to see how black people hate each other.

Homestead and Florida City, Florida were cutthroat places where black people killed each other on a daily basis. On the weekend, the killing seem to double. When we would go to work, there were always some drunks on the bus and working the field. They would make just the money made to keep the wine flowing.

When I look back, I can see these men were carrying heavy burdens, and the only release they got was through drinking. Some of them had to leave their whole family knowing they would never see them again, and some had to do whatever they could to get away from Mississippi and other places. Lots of these men and some women I never got to know because they just would not talk. Most of them went to their graves with this pain never to let it go.

One time, a lady that lived in front of us had a man that used to come to her house when her husband was not at home. He had told this man to stay away from his house. One day he came home and this man was walking out of his house with a slice of bread in his mouth. He killed him right there with that bread in his mouth. I saw this and they let that man lay there all night.

They did not care that the little black kids were looking at or listening to this, and this has stayed with me all my life. This is something that came from slavery when the kids had to watch all kinds of hanging, burning, lynching designed to keep them in line. Black people in Homestead never thought about what this would do to a child's mind and did not care.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011 0 comments

"Afro-Latinos: The Untaught Story" is a documentary television series independently produced by Creador Pictures, LLC. The film will be a seven part series covering segments such as: history, language, religion, food, identity, art, music and social issues.

Who are Afro-Latinos?
Afro-Latinos are the descendents of the enslaved Africans who were forcibly taken from their land and
dispersed throughout Latin America.

There are an estimated 200 million Afro-descendants throughout Latin America; yet the majority, have no
political or economic power. Afro-Latinos: The Untaught Story will take you on a journey to meet AfroLatinos throughout Spanish and Portuguese speaking nations of Central and South America and the
Caribbean.  It is the story of a shared history not found in textbooks. This film gives a voice to communities
who have been invisible until now.

Be the first to view the official website for Afro-Latino's: La Historia Que Nunca Nos Contaron. This site is
the one stop shop for all information on Afro Latinos in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
Viewers will be able to live the producer's journeys through pictures and videos. There you can learn more
about the history that was never taught and the people who live in these Afro-Latino communities.
Visit www.Afrolatinos.tv to download free screensavers with images shot during filming. Check out the
trailer on the main page for an inside look at the television series.

Visitors will also be able to download radio shows containing Afro-Latino tunes, Latin Reggae and African beats that have inspired Latin music. There are links to organizations for each country that inform communities where to go if they are discriminated against, as well as resources to encourage viewers to continue to investigate history and a collection of books the crew picked up during their travels.

Learn more:

Afrolatinos TV
Thanks for sharing Vince Cushite!

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The flag of the United Nations, flying at Unit...Image via Wikipedia

How many realize the United Nations has designated 2011 as the International Year of People of African Descent?  I have provided an introduction, video, and resources below.  See also Discrimination Curriculum.

After you have reviewed the items below, please share your thoughts, and let me know how you plan to commemorate the rest of the year.  If you are just finding out, you have missed half it so far.  How can we bring awareness to the resolution, and what can we do to enjoy "economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights as well as participate in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and promote a greater knowledge of and respect for our diverse heritage and culture?"  We will continue this conversation in the discussion section of the Over Troubled Water Facebook Community.

"On 18 December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year beginning on 1 January 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent. The Year aims at strengthening national action and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent. This includes their full enjoyment of economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture.
Around 200 million people who identify themselves as being of African descent live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent. In proclaiming this International Year, the international community is recognising that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.
The main objective of the Year is to raise awareness of the challenges facing people of African descent. It is hoped that the Year will foster discussions that will generate proposals for solutions to tackle these challenges." See International Year of People of African Descent.

March 21, 2011 was International Day of Elimination of Racial Discrimination:

Integrating People of African Descent in Bolivian Society:

Calendar of events
29-30 April - Conference "Sur la route d'Afrique" (On the Road to Africa)
CHRS Armée du Salut, Paris, France
More details (PDF - in French)

18-20 April - Interregional Philosophical Dialogue between Africa and the Americas - "Africa and its Diaspora"
Purdue University, Indiana, United States of America
More details

28 March- 1 April - Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent/ 10th session
Palais des Nations room XVIII, Geneva, Switzerland
More details

21-23 March – SEPHIS Workshop "Equity, Justice, Development: People of African Descent in Latin America in comparative Perspective"
University of Cartagena, Colombia
Contact: milanes58@gmail.com
More details (PDF)

21 March – International Day against Racial Discrimination – Film Screening: "Defensa 1464"
Palais des Nations room XII, Geneva, Switzerland
More details (PDF)

7 March - Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD): Thematic Discussion on racial discrimination against people of African descent
Palais des Nations room XVIII, Geneva, Switzerland
More details

2 March - Human Rights Council/ 16th session: Panel on the enjoyment of the HRs of people of African descent
Palais des Nations room XX, Geneva, Switzerland

20 October - Panel discussion on "The Causes and Consequences of Racism"
Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti , Michigan, United States of America
Contact: vokafor@emich.edu
More details (PDF)

9 October - 16th Annual Maafa event to commemorate the enslavement of Africans
San Francisco, California, United States of America
Contact: woseOAK@aol.com; mail@maafasfbayarea.com; wandasabir@gmail.com

3-7 October – World Afro-descendant Youth Summit
Radisson Europa Hotel & Conference Center San José, Costa Rica
Contact: cumbre@proyectocaribe.org, circuloafro@gmail.com
More details (PDF)

22-24 September - 7th International African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference
World Trade and Convention Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact: ansa_newsletter@gov.ns.ca

18-21 August – Cumbre Mundial de Afrodescendientes (World Summit on Afro-descendants)
La Ceiba, Honduras
Contact: cumbremundialafro@gmail.com

11-13 August – Pan-African Women’s Action Summit
Minneapolis Community and Technological College, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America
Contact: pawas@copelandcarson.net

6-12 June – Afro-Brazilian Arts and Cultural Heritage Festival
Washington DC, United States of America
Contact: zangada@capoeiradc.com
More details (PDF)

5 June 2011 - Launch of a series of events for the International Year for People of African Descent -St Thomas
University of Virgin Islands, St Thomas Campus, Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands
Contact: ludlowebailey@gmail.com

18-20 May - Colloque "Enseigner les traites, esclavages, leurs abolitions et leurs héritages" (Seminar on aducation programme on the slave trades)
Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, Paris, France
Contact: marie-albane.desuremain@paris7.jussieu.fr
More details (PDF)

5-7 May - Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of African Studies "Africa Here, Africa There"
York University, Toronto, Canada
More details (PDF)

4-11 May – Black International Cinema Festival
Fountainhead Tanz Theatre, Berlin, Germany
Contact: bicdance@aol.com

Note: This calendar of events is provided for information only and not all are official UN events. OHCHR only takes responsibility for the organization and outcome of its own events.
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Monday, July 18, 2011 0 comments

Mijok Lang fled Sudan for his life. He does not know his birthday, and he never saw his people again.  He wrote a letter to God and it became a song of hope.

I follow African Perspectives on Facebook.  Thank you for sharing, African Perspectives!

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Cover of "The Help"Cover of The HelpNo song resonates more with Over Troubled Water than the song from the soundtrack of "The Help" by Mary J. Blige entitled "Living Proof."  You can listen for yourself below.  Our stories whether oral or gleaned from the annals of history validate who we are, where we come from, and what we have been through.

We have a personal history and so do our ancestors.  We simply cannot make it unless we acknowledge these stories. Our experiences have not been easy and we bare the scars.  A great measure of our pain comes from the secrets and the denial of what we have endured personally and as a people.

We owe it to ourselves, to those who did not make it, to those who did, and to our children to document and tell the stories so that history cannot be questioned, changed, denied, or repeated.  Gathering and preserving the history qualifies us.

Talk to our people and we all will continue to identify ways to heal, to be strengthened, and to grow.  Herein lies the power:  In the story!  How can we know which way to go if we do not know where we have been?

"The Help"  will come to a theater near you on August 12.  It is a story in the words of African American maids in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960's.  They left for work walking or perhaps on buses to the homes of white people where they cleaned, fed, and took care of another household. We will see the treatment they endured, and my goodness I learned that they even nursed the babies from my daughter who recently read the book.

The maids in this community got together to tell their story against all odds.  I am anxious to learn of the impact it had on their lives and community.  After August 12th, that impact will more than likely become even more immeasurable.  Then again, that is the power of a story. Are you ready?

Thanks to African Traced Descendants of the Diaspora for posting!

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Friday, July 15, 2011 2 comments

  Be true to...............Loyalty
  Exercise patience with..........Tolerance
  Seek to understand..............................Open Mindedness
  Set aside time to help.........................................................Flexibility

Documentary available at  http://cincinnatiiptv.com

"The Vanishing Black Male" is a documentary produced by young men who seek advice from leaders in their community and young women concerning the many issues and obstacles they face today.  Told from the perspective of black men, "The Vanishing Black Male" will help you to identify ways to help in this crisis.

You will want to have your pen and note pad handy to jot down issues and ideas that come to you. Some of the issues addressed are:

1.  Mother's put sons in the position of feeling responsible to fill the shoes of the absent father at a young age. They worry about filling that role and taking care of their mother and miss out on a healthy mother-son relationship. They are not mothered and subconsciously begin to resent women. This adversely effects relationships with girl friends and wives.

2.  The media is a resource for the rich who exploit women and black men in particular.  Negative images and  music are big business.  This scheme is a another form of oppression (mind control), and young black males exposed to it emulate it until it  becomes reality.  He acts it out.  Shooting and going to jail become a right of passage. He has not identified positive ways to prove his manhood.

3. Black men carry the scars of parents and behaviors learned during slavery. No one ever cared to discuss his issues in the past, so he has held it all inside.  It festers.  Anger was channeled into devising ways to run away from the issue. That was one way to survive during slavery. It even even appeased those who never actually obtained freedom. All the thought was, "How to I get away from this place?" It was a means of survival all through Jim Crow when you were hung from trees, beaten, and humiliated.

Now the descendants of those who had him on the run back then have forgotten why he started running in the first place.  They have even taught his own women to hate him and his seed.  They all stand today ready to point out every way they perceive he falls short. Their solution is to just incarcerate him because they do not feel he is human anyway.  They prefer the control they had over him in slavery. Hence: Some Republicans Say Children Were Better Off in Slavery.

Anger arises quickly and he is ready to fight or flee.  Well, the answer to the black man's demise today must be different.  He needs to ask a new question: "How do I stick to this thing and work it out?"  We need him to stay home and and in school long enough to develop skills to one day stand by his wife and take care of his children and stay on that job!  He can do it if he comes to understand there is no quick-fix in life and that we have a whole community waiting to embrace him if he will put anger in check and stop running away into the arms of devices designed to enslave him.

The issues of language, dress, and respect for women are obvious. Some of the language in the video reflects this.  We must understand that all of the behaviors addressed above were learned during slavery. They are the behaviors that others attribute to being a part of our culture.  We had a culture well before slavery which reflects our true heritage.  The decision is our now to embrace our true heritage.  Do we want to continue to adopt the ones forced upon us by an oppressor?

Thank you to Conscious Media Productions for making this documentary available at  Cincinnati IPTV.  After you reach the site you will be able to locate the documentary in the black menu box attached to the video:

"The Vanishing Black Male" at CincinnatiIPTV

After you watch the documentary, please share you thoughts in our Facebook community, Over Trouble Water Discussions section.  There is a topic there entitled "What is your social commitment to the vanishing black male?"  Please post your feedback about the documentary there.  
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011 0 comments

Chances are that most of us may have never heard of the Sidis. They are a community in India whose roots lie in Africa. They were brought to India beginning in the 12th Century as slaves.  See Sidis and Scholars:  Essays on African Indians by Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy.

Not all Sidi ancestors were slaves.  Some were sailors, servants, and merchants who came as the result of the "sea trade through East Africa and the Gulf."  See The Lost Africans of India.  Much of the history of the Sidis is lost to them, however, a study of their music and dance bares resemblance to Africa.  Also, their hair and complexions and features are distinctly African.

At least two communities of Sidi people can be found in Gujarat and Karnataka. Thousands live in poverty along the West coast of India. See African Tribe Lost in India.

See The Story of Africa, and for more on African slaves in India, see

Gazetteer, Volume 11

 By Bombay (India : State) below:

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Sunday, July 10, 2011 1 comments

1st Afromexican Queen in La Costa Chica  by AfroMexico

If you think we know too little about African ancestored people in the United States, you would probably agree that we a totally ignorant to the experience of Africans of the Diaspora in a place like Mexico.  Many people do not realize that Africans were also brought to Mexico by slave ships.  Over Troubled Water was created to strengthen relationships between all African ancestored people.  In order to do that, we must learn about the history and the culture of African people everywhere.

Colonial Mexico

"In fact, during the colonial era, there were more Africans than Europeans in Mexico, according to Aguirre Beltrán's pioneering 1946 book, "The Black Population in Mexico." And he said they didn't disappear, but in fact took part in forging the great racial mixture that is today Mexico.

"There were blacks in Mexico from the moment of the Conquest....In Mexico, Blacks were a minority group. representing between 0.1% and 2% of the colonial population; the total number introduced by the slave trade was not much more than 250,000, over a period of three centuries.  But there were fewer Spanish than Blacks in New Spain.  On the other hand, the products of racial mixture, with Blacks as well as Spanish, were numerous: at the end of foreign domination in Mexico they represented 40% of the population, of which 10% were considered clearly Afro-metizo. ...The first contacts among Blacks, Indians, and Spanish took place by means of the Islamic Blacks from the Congo cultural area,...followed by contact with a few Black groups from the gulf of Guinea at the beginning of the last colonial century,"  said Gonzalo Aguirre Beltran to sum up the African presence in Mexico.  See The Garland handbook of Latin American Music, Volume 1 (Included at the end of this article.)

"Because of race mixture, much of the African presence is no longer discernible except in a few places such as Veracruz and the Costa Chica in Guerrero and Oaxaca," wrote Aguirre Beltrán.

"In Mexico, many of the Africans that entered came to what are now the states of Yucatan, Michoacan, Tlaxcala, Mexico, Chiapas, Veracruz, Guerrero and Oaxaca. Contrary to popular thought, they did not remain in the south but migrated throughout the whole of Mexico, where they were employed in occupations such as mining, the textile industry, ranching, fishing and agriculture. Blacks in Mexico weren't simply slaves. Many were explorers and cofounders of settlements as far north as Los Angeles and other parts of what is today the Southwest United States." See African Roots Stretch Deep Into Mexico.

Image at Wikipedia

Gaspar Yanga, el libertador de Yanga, el Prime...Image via Wikipedia
Gaspar Yanga, from West Africa, worked on a sugarcane plantation in colonial Mexico in Veracruz, Mexico.  In 1570, he escaped to the mountains where he and those who followed him were able to elude his captors for four decades.  He was even able to defeat the Spanish militia in 1609.

Eventually, they were given their freedom and the community they had established became the first black free town established on the American continent in 1630. See Black Past.

The name of the town in Veracruz was originally called San Lorenzo de los Negros de Cerralvo but it was later changed to Yanga.

"The name comes from an African language that means "Príncipe" Yanga was an enslaved African son of the king of the tribe Yang-Bara.  Every mid August, the carnival to celebrate the formerly enslaved African Gaspar Yanga take place. The celebration is to commemorate the defeating of the Spanish, and creating what is advertised as the 1st free city in the Americas in 1609. The 400 year anniversary was in August 2009."  See Yanga, Veracruz.

                       The Garland handbook of Latin American Music, Volume 1

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Saturday, July 9, 2011 0 comments

It did not take long for the drafter of the Marriage Vow to figure out that it made strange bedfellows with the "slavery passage."

"Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President."

I guess that's what happens when you jump into things without thinking.  They solicited an additional signer in Rick Santorum before dropping the passage which now reads: click here.  Also, without the slavery passage, there is no need to embellish it with the following study which did not support or verify the slavery passage in the first place:  The Consequences of Marriage for African American Families.

I was able to determine this on my own because things are a lot different now than when were in 1860.  I can read, form my own perspectives, and write and share my opinions.  We are the Frederick Douglasses of our day.

Malcolm would be proud.  He once explained that we had become a different people than we were in slavery. We have become more educated, more conscious, and are making better decisions.  Thank you to George Geder for also writing about this topic. See Michele Bachmann Thinks Slavery Times Were Better for Black Children.  I appreciate all my followers on Facebook and Twitter for reading and sharing as well.

I am especially appreciative to Jason Linkins at the Huffington Post who said:

"Didn't want to stay together for the children, The Family Leader? Oh well, it may have disappeared from the pledge, but the internet never forgets." See "The Family Leader Drops Controversial Section From Marriage Vow Pledge."

We have separation of church and state so that no one religious group can force their doctrines upon any citizens of this country.  The false belief that people of a darker race were put on this earth here to serve the others because they were somehow perceived to be inferior or generally less than human and in need of direction of other races is a doctrine used to justify the enslavement of African people for hundreds of years.

It is impossible to form an alliance with anyone who sees you as less than equal.  Years of European and American Colonialism rested in the belief that we needed to be conquered and forced to be subservient to be considered acceptable.  When you begin to exercise your agency which is a purely human characteristic, you are interfering with some who still hold to this old frame of reference, and the reaction will many times be aggression,  control, and contempt.

It is wonderful that the slave passage has been blotted out, however, when will we see the perceptions that put it there in the first place blotted out as well?  Until then, it behooves us not to forget:

Michele Bachmann Official Photo circa 2007Image via Wikipedia
Michele Bachmann, 1st signer of original Marriage Vow

United States Senator Rick Santorum, sponsor o...
                                     Image via Wikipedia                                                  Rick Santorum,                                   2nd signer of original Marriage Vow

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The video, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, that Queen Sheba speaks about has been made available by Conscious Media Productions at Cincinnati IPTV. Please click on the drop down menu for“Education” in the blue drop down box. See example to the right.

Who will heal the people? Let them that have ears listen and be healed.

There have been a lot of things on my mind like what happened to us doing slavery and after. I want to know why. I have been writing about it, talking about it, and dreaming about it. Robin Foster, Host of Over Troubled Water, told me about Dr. Joy DeGruy-Leary who wrote a book called Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. I looked at some of the things about her on Over Troubled Water, and I said, “This describes a lot of what is going on with me, and it sounds like what is and has gone on with most black people I know.”

 Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, made available by Conscious Media Productions at Cincinnati IPTV

I ordered the book. Before the book came, Robin sent me an old program that Dr Joy had done in 2004. I sat up all night and listened to this lady and did not want to stop. This is a powerful woman, and what she has to say, every black and white person needs to hear. What she teaches would heal us both black and white. This video has made everything that has happened in my life make sense. Our kids need this. Grownups need this, and the world needs Dr. Joy and what she has to say. For my people, if you ever buy another book and if you want to be healed, please listen to and follow Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary.

Friday, July 8, 2011 0 comments

Imagine you are a child living in a little one room shack. It is night, and the only light you see is the moonlight coming through the window. You hear you mom and dad. Mom is crying, and Dad is scared because these people are coming to the house to kill him. There is no place nor no one for him to go to. You hear a lot noise outside. Then you see lots of light and hear a voice say, “Nigger come out!” Your mom begs your dad not to go, then a voice says, “If you don’t come out, we will burn the house down.”

Your dad looks over at you and your other brothers and sisters. He looks you in your eyes, and you see the fear in his eyes. He knows he is going to die. You are the oldest, and he knows you will understand because when you and he were alone hunting or fishing, he had told you that one day this might happen. That look that you see is him telling you, “Son, one day you or your sons, please defend your dad for what they are going to do to me and what they have done to so many more.”

Your dad walks outside in hope that they will make it quick. The only thing is these people do not want it quick. The slower you die the better it makes them feel. They come into the house and get you and your other brothers so this can be a lesson. Just as you look, your dad looks around, and his eyes lock on you for one last time hoping you will get a chance one day to pay back for what is going to happen to him. Then you see them put a rope around him and pull him away. For a very long time you can hear the scream of his voice in your head as you see the arms and legs come off his body. When they are finished with your dad, some of the men come into the house and rape your mom and your sisters and leave.

We need to think about all of those that have gone before us, in hope that one day somebody will stand up for them and for all the blood that was shed in the Mississippi mud, the Georgia red clay, Alabama, Florida, and all over the US. What about those that were lying in that dark ship so close to each other they could not move or turn over for that long trip from home to hell? There was no one to turn to.

Deal with it

There was only hope that one day these people will pay for what they were doing. No, but you do not want to think about those things because they are old. Those old things are in your blood. That pain and that fear is in you, and you must face it. If not today, tomorrow it is going to show up in your kids your grandkids. Somewhere it will come out. You can be the one to stop this pain in your bloodline only by admitting it happened, being willing to face it, and dealing with what happened to our people.

Also shared by African Traced Descendants.

Making peace

We must forgive ourselves for letting this happen to us. We must forgive those that did this to us. If you take a look at your self, you will find you are a new people. We were once a powerful people, but we started serving other gods instead the living God that is within us. We were told that this was going to happen to us. The seer of old said people were coming with smoking sticks and would take us a way in chains where we would be made to serve in a land not of our own for four hundred years. Everything was taken from us. We became a new people. We are not who we were in the days of old. It was said that God will redeem His people. He will bring us back to where we belonged standing next to Him. This should be taught in the churches, in the schools, and at home not only during black history month, but this should be taught twenty-four seven.


Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X meet bef...Image via WikipediaIf you just watch and listen long enough, people reveal who they truly are.  Given  a certain measure of influence and power, humility subsides, and tongues yield revealing anger, hate, and pride.  Conservative Bob Vander Plaats through his organization, Family Leader released a vow on marriage and the family. As complex as our social and economic issues are that we face, he complicated things even further by including slavery:

"Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President." Learn more.
Now in case you were to assume he would not be able get someone else to sign something so atrocious, Michele Bachmann, GOP candidate for President, wanted to be the first one to step forward to sign!  Either she did not read it, or is just as insensitive herself.  Either way, neither makes her Presidential material. Unfortuately, she believes that "Thomas Jefferson was the exception" as one of the Founding Forefathers who owned slaves.  No mention is made here about George Washington:  Michele Bachmann. I did take the liberty to post this article on her Facebook page, however, she probably is not interested in a open dialog on the subject. They removed my post.  That speaks volumes in and of itself.

If they really cared about the plight of African American children in particular, they would not say they were better off enslaved, neither would they infer that single African American parents are not as equipped to rear their children as slaves were.

If they were really sensitive to the plight of the African American family, they would consider the effects of the evil practices forced upon slave families.   During slavery, the African American male had no say as to what happened to his wife or children.  He was made a breeder and forced to impregnate slave women of all ages who were ready to have children with no regard to whether he was related to the women or not.

At any moment of the day or night, the sanctity of the relationship he had with his wife fell victim to his master and overseer as he helplessly stood by while they had their way.  Many sought wives from different plantations so they did not have to witness these events.  The birth of a daughter brought bought both joy and pain as mothers and fathers feared the approach of a day they could not keep from dawning.

 To insinuate that African Americans were better off during slavery, also implies that they were better off suffering the cruelty and violence that accompanied slavery. Would they dare tell a Jewish brother or sister that the terrible Holocaust was good for them?  I should say not!  I do not have to strain too hard to hear what Martin  Luther King Jr or Malcolm X would have to say today.  Come 2012, let's not be what Malcolm called Chumps!


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Wednesday, July 6, 2011 0 comments

I follow the Facebook page, African Traced Descendants of the Diaspora, and I saw the video that they posted today and was happy to see the news about the statehood of South Sudan:

It should be pointed out here that it was Britain that divided the North from the South.  This rule by division in 1886 has crippled the economy and overall growth of the region.  To learn more, see Roots of Sudanese conflict are in the  British colonial policies.

These are the lyrics to the South Sudan's National Anthem:
Oh God,
We praise and glorify you
For your grace on South Sudan
Land of great abundance
Uphold us united in peace and harmony.

Oh motherland
Arise! Raise your flag with the guiding star
And sing songs of freedom with joy,
For justice, liberty and prosperity
Shall forever more reign.

Oh great patriots!
Let us stand up in silence and respect
Saluting our martyrs whose blood
Cemented our national foundation,
We vow to protect our nation.
God bless South Sudan.

Learn more:

Introducing South Sudan’s National Anthem
South Sudan News Agency

Related articles

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 0 comments

In order for you to sing the Blues, you must learn what the Blues is all about, and to do it right, you must live the Blues. At one point, I did not want anything to do with the Blues because I was ashamed of it. Blues did not want anything to do with me because I was not ready for it. My whole life was grooming me to sing the blues and I had to learn that. Now I can standup proudly and sing the Blues from my soul because I earned it.

As children, we would sing in the cotton field to make the day go by. The work was very hard, and singing was a way to keep our mind off how hard it ready was. During the wintertime when it was so cool, we would just sit around the strove or fireplace and sing. There was a lot of singing around me. Anytime I would feel sad about something, I would go and be by myself and sing until I felt better. This is something I picked from my grandmother. When she was down, she would do a lot of mourning. One place she would always go was in her back yard by the peach tree and mourn and cry.

I have had lots of heartaches in my life, and most of them came from men. Every song on "Butter on My Roll" tells a story of something going right or wrong in my life just like the songs I sang when I was a kid. When I put things to music, it keeps me away from drinking, drugs and the doctor.

Dance Jump,” is what I called a happy Blues; lots of people think that all Blues are sad. This song reminds me of being worked all week and just want to blow off some steam. “Real Good Woman” is the song of my heart. It is what I have been looking for all my life, a real good man. Every man I have had has played me for a fool, cheated on me, or beat the hell out of me. 

This does not include my last husband. He showed me kindness, gentleness, and true love. He really helped me to heal. In “Big Man,” I am sing about a man that has a big heart and knows how to love. Some people might think that is old fashioned.

If you have ever been in love, “Can’t Help Loving My Man” is it. The man I was in love with help me to write this song. I was a fool in love, then I found out that I was not the only one in love with him. He had me and three others that were in love with him and the kids to go along with it. I left with my heart ripped out and eye about near hanging out because I spoke up.

Oh So Good,” is another one of those happy blues songs about how the way my man made me feel at the moment. “Pouring Rain” is a song that someone wrote for me, and I was feeling like standing alone in the rain crying at the time. “Blues of My Soul” is all about my mom getting us out of that hell hole, Mississippi. It is kind of hard for me to believe that we lived like that.

Someone wrote “Butter on My Roll,” for me, and I just love the feeling of that song. “Tell Me Why,” is about me asking all the people in my life not only the men but everyone, “Why do you treat me so bad? What did I do to you for you to treat me so bad?” “Don’t Say Goodbye” is a song I wrote when I was around twenty-five years old. I was filled with fear and dependent on a man that was beating me and had me traveling down a bad road. I was saying goodbye to all my family and friends because he had taking me a long way from home. For eight years, my family did not know where I was.

I wrote “Hey Girlfriend” because I was mad at my man and the women he had. I was telling them that I was his biggest fool and wanted to keep it that way. He took everything from me. “Ms Good -n- Plenty” is a song I wrote for all the big ladies saying that we are very passionate and know how to please our man because we put a lot into it. In our heads we feel the same as anyone else. We are the same with just more of us to love, and if you don’t know how to love a big lady we will show you how. 

 “Good, Good Loving” really drives it home. This is why I love the blues you can really put your heart and soul into it. The Blues can be happy, sad, or full of passion. The Blues helps you express how you feel, but most of all, you must live it. The Blues picked me because it knew we would be good for each other.

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"At the bus station in Durham, North Caro...Image via Wikipedia "At the bus station on Durham, NC,"  May 1940, Jack Delano

If you really pay attention and study the lyrics of Blues songs, you will learn a great deal about the struggles on Southern plantations which gave birth to this form of music. Slavery, sharecropping, and oppression during the Jim Crow and Civil Rights Eras inspired African Americans to tell their story in song.  No one person invented the Blues.  It sprung out of gospel music.

Each song is a varied as the personal experiences of African Americans coming from slavery and involuntary servitude.  Music was the only of the only things they had to bring joy and to ease a troubled mind. This is the reason it may sound mournful to some who do not understand its origins.  The Blues has influenced Jazz, R&B, and  Rock 'n Roll.

People sang the Blues for themselves long before it was commercialized.  It started to become popular in the early 1900's.  The Mississippi Delta is recognized as the place that produced the greatest Blues artists.  Blues was also popular in the Carolinas and Texas.

Blues songs should become a major resource as we study African American history.  See this neglected art form as oral history put to song increases our appreciation for it.  From the Blues, we can gain great insights about the history of our ancestors in these rural areas.  Blues songs help to supplement the missing oral history in our own families.  Sheba, the Mississippi Queen, escaped with her mother and siblings from Sunflower Mississippi in 1965.  She grew up singing the Blues in the cotton fields.

The following video was shared by Sheba and Miami Dade College. Instructor, Robert Moore gathers a few of his friends to teach his students about the history of the Blues.  Listen especially to the words of the song Sheba dedicates to her mother and grandmother.  Sheba will share an article with us soon about the history of the songs included on her album, "Butter on My Roll."

A 2010 Black History Month production
at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus.

Hosted by Robert Moore.
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010

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With the blessings of technology, all African ancestored descendants can develop an online haven where healing can take place. Let's recite and relish in our history. Let's come together to identify the principles that help us to enjoy freedom and happiness. Hopefully, "Over Troubled Water" will be the beginning of that for you. We welcome contributors who will share their history and perspectives that we may all learn and benefit.
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"I believe that all men, black and brown and white, are brothers, varying in time and opportunity, in form and gift and feature, but differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and the possibility of infinite development." --W.E.B. Dubois
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The village is coming together! We are from many diverse groups from around the world. We invite you to use Over Trouble Water as an avenue that will spark much needed dialog. This dialog can lead to great enlightenment and healing. Every effort will be made to supplement using historical resources for further study, however, opinions or views expressed in articles reflect the contributor's life experiences and are the responsibility of the respective contributor. Comments should be addressed to the respective contributor.

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