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By Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
By Ezrah Aharone
Nate Parker’s movie The Birth of a Nation has revived the question: What caused Nat Turner’s 1831 uprising? Turner, first of all, was not a deranged misfit who acted outside of a historical context of previous African freedom fighters. Throughout slavery’s duration, resistance was not only constant and fatal, but twofold. Africans equally resisted both slavery and Americanization.
Contrary to popular “feel good” versions of history, the “fight against slavery” should not be presumed as a “fight to become American.” For enslaved Africans like Turner, Americanization was the obstacle — not the vehicle — to the freedom they sought.
A largely overlooked factor that forged Africans into Americans was their inability to muster enough weapons to militarily free themselves from Americanization. Along with the 2nd Amendment which allowed Whites to bear arms, slavery was also backed by America’s military, which is why 800 soldiers deployed against Turner. Within this context of warfare (which fomented at least 313 recorded armed uprisings), there is provable evidence that Africans became Americans — not by virtue of winning the Civil War — but by virtue of prior military defeats.
CNN’s Town Halls won’t discuss this, but numerous captives were already soldiers in Africa beforehand, who like Turner, held deep monotheistic beliefs. Once in America, these battle-tested troops launched guerilla forms of warfare whenever possible, using whatever weapons possible, with clear theological convictions that fused spirituality with revolution. Naturally, after being forcibly uprooted 5,000 miles from long-lived kingdoms and cultures, they deemed Euro-Americans as new adversaries, and Americanization was certainly not their goal.
This explains why tens of thousands of Africans militarily fought with the British against America during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Plus, another 100,000 fled or died fleeing to join British forces. Conclusive stats are unknown, but from a sheer combat perspective, the Revolutionary War could be framed as the largest uprising of Africans who ever unified to militarily free themselves from Americanization . . . including Africans reportedly owned by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Despite being defeated, it is still necessary to credit legitimacy to such Africans, beyond distorted narratives that label Turner an “African American” even though men like him sought America’s military downfall. Olaudah Equiano (an Ibo, captured at age 11, who published the first surviving “slave account” in 1789: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano) wrote, “When you make men slaves, you compel them to live with you in a State of War.” Once freed in 1792, he bolted like lightning to England.
Haiti’s independence (1804) ignited further military motivations. On July 4th, 1804, instead of recognizing US independence, hundreds of Blacks in Philadelphia stormed Independence Hall to live Haitian independence vicariously. Flanked in military formations, they carried swords and attacked Whites for two days, chanting “we will show them [whites] St. Domingo [bloodshed like Haiti].”
So, by the dawn of his 1831 uprising, Turner was just one cog in a long continuum of such idealists. Other notable military operations involved: Fort Mose in Florida (1738-1763); the Stono Uprising in South Carolina (1739); the German Coast Uprising in Louisiana (1811); Negro Fort in Florida (1815); and David Walker’s Appeal (1828) advocated revolution and religion (even though Walker was more an assimilationist than sovereignist).
Men like Turner also equated themselves to other hemispheric freedom fighters (in nations like Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Columbia) who gained independence . . . including Euro-Americans. For example, before being hanged for their 1800 planned uprising, one of Gabriel Prosser’s soldiers retorted, “I have nothing more to offer than what General [George] Washington would have had to offer, had he been taken by the British and put to trial. I have adventured my life in endeavouring to obtain the liberty of my countrymen, and am a willing sacrifice in their cause.” In translation, he meant, “Bring it; I stand upon universal principles of freedom that — just like you — I will never compromise.”
Interestingly, in a “60 Minutes” interview, Nate Parker paralleled Nat Turner to George Washington in terms of their shared idealisms to “Birth a Nation.” From this perspective, whether you agree or disagree with Turner’s guerilla tactics, his comparative cause to end tyranny was no less honorable than America’s founders.
Tyranny, however, can be a very peculiar and subjective creature, since “one man’s tyranny can be another man’s liberty.” Hence, George Washington, who enslaved and tyrannized over 300 Africans is deified on Mt. Rushmore as a hero, while conversely, Nat Turner who fought against slavery’s tyranny is demonized as a savage. To this contradiction, James Baldwin once quipped, “In the US, violence and heroism have been made synonymous . . . except when it comes to Blacks.”
This article was culled in part from “The Sovereign Psyche: Systems of Chattel Freedom vs. Self-Authentic Freedom” by Ezrah Aharone, who is an adjunct associate professor of political science at Delaware State University. He is also a political and business consultant on African Affairs, as well as the author of “Sovereign Evolution and Pawned Sovereignty.” He can be reached at www.EzrahSpeaks.com.Post Views: 929
Johnson & Johnson Reportedly Pushed Talcum Powder on Black Women After White Women Cease Use Due to Cancer RiskBy Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
For most women, it’s a normal part of their hygienic routine to sprinkle a little baby powder on themselves or in their underwear. The self-care practice is a normal one, specifically for women in the African-American community.
A St. Louis woman named Jacqueline Fox did so for over 40 years, dusting the lining of her panties with talcum powder each morning. It wasn’t until 2013 that she was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer and learned that the baby powder she had been using for so long might be to blame, CNN.com reports. Fox lost her battle with the disease in October 2015.
Now, the New Jersey-based company Johnson & Johnson is embroiled in a number of lawsuits claiming their baby powder products, made with talcum powder, cause cancer. According to Rolling Out, about 20 recent medical studies have found a connection between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
The company lost its second lawsuit on May 2, 2016 for the death of another Black woman named Gloria Ristesund. In that case, the jury awarded $5 million in damages and $50 million in punitive damages, Rolling Out reports. Fox was the first plaintiff to be compensated for damages however, according to CNN.com. Following her death, a St. Louis jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to award her family $72 million.
The company plans to appeal the latest ruling.
“Unfortunately, the jury’s decision goes against 30 years of studies by medical experts around the world that continue to support the safety of cosmetic talc,” Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement.
Thousands of other women have followed suit, suing the company for selling a product that would ultimately cause them to develop cancer. The Washington Post reports that Johnson & Johnson currently faces at least 1,200 pending talcum powder lawsuits, which includes around 1,000 in St. Louis and another 200 in New Jersey.
Goodrich disputes the claims and says that Johnson & Johnson has provided consumers with “a safe choice for cosmetic powder products” for the last 100 years.
Jim Onder, the attorney who represented Ristesund in her lawsuit, disagrees, however. Onder says that researchers first linked talcum powder and ovarian cancer in the 1970s and cites internal documents from Johnson & Johnson that show the company was familiar with those studies.
“The evidence is real clear that Johnson & Johnson has known about the dangers associated with talcum powder for over 30 years,” Onder said. “Instead of giving a warning, what they did was target the groups most at risk for developing ovarian cancer.”
On top of knowingly selling a carcinogenic product, the company is accused of marketing the powder to African-American women, encouraging them to purchase the product after use by their white counterparts dropped due to the risk of developing cancer.
In her article written for Time, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley suggests that Johnson & Johnson, along with other cosmetic companies, are guilty of profiting from the “myths of the excessive black vagina.”
“They’re willing to capitalize on our internalized misogynoir even if we die in the process,” Tinsley wrote.
Her article also states that African-American women douche and deodorize their genitals twice as much as white women, according to research conducted by Francesca Branch, Tracey J. Woodruff, Susanna D. Mitro and Ami R. Zota. Many of those products also contain human carcinogen and are linked to other health risks not visibly listed on labels.
An Atlanta lawyer is now making efforts to stop the unfortunate trend of Black women dying from cancer caused by the use of baby powder. Mawuli Mel Davis and his firm, Davis-Bozeman, are spearheading the initiative to inform African-American women in Georgia about the risks of using talcum powder and the possible legal action they could take against companies like Johnson & Johnson, Rolling Out reports. Davis calls the company’s plan to target Black women a “Corporate Tuskegee Experiment.”
Davis also revealed that his firm has recently taken up the case of a 34-year-old Georgia woman who died from ovarian cancer in 2015. While his team investigates the case, Davis says he wants to continue making women aware of the dangers of talcum powder.
“We say, ‘Don’t Wait! Stop Now!,’ ” he said. “We are calling on sororities, women’s health organizations and all activists to take part in this health movement. We must get the word out: remove this product from your home!”Post Views: 588
By Elliot Booker — 3 years ago
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It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys the listening audience out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832 & follow on Twitter, IG & Facebook @REVIVE_POC
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