Funmilola Fagbamila

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Funmilola Fagbamila is an amazing woman. She can do it all. Funmilola Fagbamila is a Nigerian American scholar, activist, playwright and artist. While her artistry is multifaceted, including spoken word and hip hop, her current project, entitled The Intersection, is a stage play on the complexities of black identity and what she has coined the “black liberation ego”.
​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay-UA1d-N50

Having recently completed her graduate program at UCLA in Black Studies, Funmilola now serves as a professor of Pan African Studies at Cal State Los Angeles. As an original member of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement she has been organizing with BLM since its inception in 2013.
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In 2015, Funmilola was honored by the United States Congress and the Black Community, Clergy and Labor Alliance for her commendable activist scholarship, service and struggle. She frequently sits on community panels regarding police brutality, criminal justice and overall wellness in black communities; most recently presenting at a conference held by the UCLA School of Law. Her resume is pretty impressive.

Graduate Research Assistant Bunche Center, UCLA
Oct 2014 – Sept 2016
•    Assisted with quantitative and qualitative analysis of 2013-2014 Hollywood Diversity Report by Darnell Hunt, PhD and Ana Christina Ramon, PhD
•    Research examined relationship between racial and gender diversity and the bottom line in Hollywood entertainment industry •    Conducted literature reviews
•    Collected and analyzed data
•    Prepared material for submission to grant agencies
•    Summarized project results

Graduate Research Assistant                                                        Fall 2015 African American Studies Department, UCLA
•    Assisted with quantitative and qualitative analysis of research project on policing and federal prison systems by Bryonn Bain, PhD
•    Searched online for compelling images and articles related to topic •    Composed presentations on subject matter and overall project
•    Collected and analyzed data
•    Summarized project results

Undergraduate Research Assistant
Sociology Department, CSULA                                                      Spring 2012
•    Worked with a faculty member to create a study on contemporary public higher education in the United States and the emerging student and faculty movements seeking educational justice and transformation •    Created models for intervening in educational inequalities by building community awareness, organizing discussion forums, and initiating actions

Undergraduate Research Assistant                                             Fall 2011 Pan African Studies Department, CSULA
•    Worked with a faculty member on a grant aimed at obtaining funds for a study abroad program for CSULA Pan African Studies students
•    Conducted research on the effects of West African revolutionary hip hop on community consciousness
•    Grant was successfully funded and implemented in Fall 2012

My Skin is My Sin- Is it time to go underground?(Part 2 of 2)

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I’ve been on social media for over a decade. I have been in contact with black people on WordPress,Youtube and Twitter.  And I’ve had subscribers share my posts on Twitter,Tumblr and Facebook.  I have had some great conversations with black people here in the United States as well as Africa,Canada,London,Brazil and Jamaica.  We have talked about many subjects.  On my blog I have covered black power,black love,black families,African culture,black leaders,black business,survival skills,police brutality,politics,prison population,African history,racism,slavery,interracial marriage,biracial people,conspiracies and of courseEuropean global power. Through my years of research I realize that the government is spying on everyone.  The can track your whereabouts with your cellphone.  The FBI and CIA are also recording all your phone conversations.  And all your text messages are sent to a central database.  They also can hear your conversation at home with Smart TV’s.  They are constantly spying on us everywhere.

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All this unnecessary surveillance has gotten out of control. All of our information is being consumed by the government. We must keep in mind that most of the social media is owned by white people.  YouTube,Instagram,Twitter,Tumblr,Wordpress,Google,Snapchat and Facebook are all owned and controlled by Europeans.  With so much surveillance you can’t really make any moves without them watching you.  Not to mention they can find most people using their email.  At times it feels like you can’t go anywhere without a closed caption camera in your face. There are cameras in banks,schools,hotels,airports,hospitals,restaurants and bars.  We are really living in a prison planet.

And if all this surveillance wasn’t enough people you still have people willingly giving up their personal information.  They have trained us to give up our information voluntarily and can use that information to create a personal database about the person.  The video(above) is an Apple advertisement for the new iPhone X.  It shows that that you can unlock it with facial recognition.  Sounds pretty neat right?  I think it’s a bad idea.  The first iPhones could be unlocked with a password.  Then they had the iPhones that could be unlocked only with a person’s thumbprint.  Now they come out with phones with facial recognition.  It seems to me they are slowly collecting data on everyone.  I also would tell people to beware of these DNA tests that have become popular in the last few years.  Companies like MyHeritage,23andMe,AncestryDNA and Living DNA are not always accurate.  Just be mindful when using them.  I have a funny feeling they are collecting the DNA of people and studying their genes.  Who knows?  They could use your DNA to create a disease that only attacks people with certain DNA strands.

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So I just want to know your thoughts.  Do you think we need to go underground?  How can you have a movement without racist government agencies(FBI,CIA) watching your every move?  I know some people who have left Youtube because of all the restrictions.  Then there are others who have stopped blogging at WordPress due to frustration.  Some of our people feel so beat down and they’ve decided to give up.  I get frustrated just like anyone else.  I’ve thought about leaving WordPress and Youtube at times. Trying to wake people up can get very tiring and it starts to wear on you. It’s not that I want to give up it’s just I want some practical solutions. I want our people to be free mentally and physically.  And it seems black people don’t want to change.  Not all…..but too many of us.

Bloggers..

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Do we need our own social media?  I have heard black people mention sites like Blaqspot.com.  And the conscious black dating site Kemet Klique.  I don’t know if they are totally 100% Black operated.  If someone knows please tell me.  I still need to do research on these black social media sites.  But I’m asking all my fellow bloggers.  I know I have a lot of intelligent subscribers.  I know some of you have some great ideas.  So I’m asking Onitaset,Land of Kam,Hung Like Jesus,Negress,Cree,Shelby Courtland,Trojan Pam,Kelley,CC Saunders,Amos Magazine,OriginalBlackWoman,TruthAngel,BlackMyStory,Melanin Man,Lumumba Afrika,Sparks,1TawnyStranger,King Lo the Rastar,Kween Jasira,Malaika Mutere,Sunny Delyte,Clifford Green,M’Bwebe Ishangi,Roshumba Monique,FourthAngelsBowl,Moorbey,Nidotopian Warrior,Universal Jones and Tired Sista for your thoughts.  I’m open to any suggestions.  Should we leave YouTube and WordPress?  If we do,how do we communicate with each other?  Should we do it through email?  I ask because we need our own private spaces to communicate without outside interference. We are all being watched at every turn.   maybe we need to move in silence like ninjas. Any black person on social media that is trying liberate the minds of our people are seen as a threat. They don’t seem to care if you’re a Moor,Pan African,Hebrew Israelite or into Kemetic spirituality. All that matters is you’re trying to inform the black collective and open minds. They draw strength from our confusion.  Confusion is the enemy to revolution. We need some real solutions.  I’m open to hear anything at this point.  I’d love to hear your suggestions.

 

Mass Manipulation- We are being played

Getting played....

Halos and Horns- Paul Ifayomi Grant

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I have been thinking about how to conceptualise an idea that I think most of you will be aware of, either consciously or subconsciously, but which I sense that a large proportion of the younger generations have not grasped. Now, I should make it clear that I think this lack of awareness is not the fault of the under 30s but is attributable to my generation’s failure to adequately teach them about how racism works, as well as the very skilled way in which Europeans continuously adapt and refine the way they express and operationalise the ideology of white supremacy.

I have previously written about why the idea of ‘Black Firsts’ seems to be so important to Afrikan people and long ago came to conclusion that it is because of the heartfelt, deepseated, aching desire of so many Afrikans to be/feel accepted by Europeans as their ‘equals’. The underlying thinking is that each ‘Black First’ proves to Europeans that we are capable of performing some task; or performing in some arena of life, as competently as Europeans and hence they should abandon their ideology of racial superiority. Of course this theory has been tested to destruction and proven to be utterly without merit, as the ultimate Black First, the election (twice) of Barack Obama proved.

The reason that Black Firsts don’t change they way Afrikans are viewed, no matter how talented the ‘Firstee’ is; or how conspicous their achievement, is because it is an idea that runs completely counter to the fundamental nature of racism.  Racism is an irrational philosophy/ideology/religion, hence its operation is not impacted by evidence or rational arguments. Paradoxically, as well as being irrational racism is also  rational in the sense that it is instrumental, which is to say that it helps Europeans to achieve their primary group goal; which is to exercise power and domination over groups they classify as nonwhite.  Put these two things together and you can understand why Black Firsts never stood a chance as a tactic or strategy to defeat racism.

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The above image, from an infamous Benetton advert, almost perfectly depicts the idea I am seeking to convey.
The easiest way to conceptualise halos and horns is to understand that viewed through the lens of the religion/philosophy/ideology called white supremacy; every Afrikan child is metaphorically born with a pair of horns and every European child is born with a halo above their head. In other words all Afrikans are born guilty until proven innocent and all Europeans are born innocent until proven guilty. The practical ramifications of this are that an Afrikan can make one slip in an otherwise blameless life and be condemned to unforgiveable, irredeemable guilt, whereas as European can live a life of exploitative abuse, and except in the most extreme cases, always have the possibility of redemption.

What this means is that the positive things you do can only help yourself whilst the negative things you do will damage other Afrikans. That is to say that your positive deeds and achievements are never generalised to the wider group by Europeans – except in areas of stereotypical Afrikan achievement such as sport and music – however your negative deeds or failures can be; and are, attributed to being part of a group that is designated as inferior.

I will illustrate the above with a real life story. I have changed some of the details to protect people’s identities.
Once upon a time there was an intelligent young Afrikan woman named Adeola who wanted to be a solicitor. She grew up in humble financial circumstances and went to a very poor school, however she overcame these barriers as well as the ubiquitous racism and graduated well from University. She then had the task of securing a contract with a firm of solicitors to undertake her articles and after a relatively short period she was successful in this task. As was her wont she worked hard and qualified as a solicitor. She had been made aware by her boss that she was the first Afrikan trainee solicitor that the firm had ever recruited and thus felt a bit of added pressure in the sense that she did not want to ‘let the side down’. Anyway her boss was very pleased with her performance and two years after she was recruited, and just as she was qualifying, the firm recruited Femi, another hard working young Afrikan. Adeola gave Femi the ‘don’t let the side down’ pep talk and sure enough Femi prospered and qualified without any hiccups. Adeola’s line manager was pleased with both her and Femi and the following year recruited Tunde, who was not quite so focused and methodical as his predecessors. Tunde was not terrible but he was definitely not good and one day, after he had made a bit of a cock up, Adeola’s line manager turned to her in exasperation and said “If I had recruited Tunde first I would never have recruited another black trainee solicitor”. She thought it was a compliment to Adeola, however Adeola had an epiphany; and started to understand the subtleties of how racism works. She saw that whilst the halo is not transferable the horns definitely are!

The above story took place some years ago and of course in 2017 no white manager would be as honest as the manager in the above scenario. However just because someone does not say something does not mean they are not thinking it or acting upon it.

The moral of this story; and this article, is that our achievements should be motivated by the desire to help ourselves, our families and our community. Trying to get Europeans, as  a collective, to respect our humanity, intelligence etc. is a waste of time and psychological energy. The first respect is self-respect as an Afrikan and the ironic thing is that even those people who don’t like you will respect you if you have commitment and integrity. Remember, people can like you without respecting you whilst they can respect you without liking you and the latter is always preferable to the former, although in an ideal world most of us would choose to be both liked and respected. These are the things we need to teach our young people to prepare them for an anti-Afrikan world.

Article by Paul Ifayomi Grant