Ama K. Abebrese

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Ama K. Abebrese was born May 3, 1980. She  is an award-winning British Ghanaian actress, television presenter and producer. She was born in Ghana and raised in West London in the United Kingdom. She won the 2011 Best Actress in a Leading Role at the AMAA Awards for her stellar performance in Sinking Sands. Her film credits includes the Netflix movie Beasts of No Nation directed by Cary Fukunaga and stars Idris Elba. She plays the mother to lead young actor Abraham Attah who plays Agu. Abebrese is listed among Africa’s Top 20 Actors and Actresses by FilmContacts.com. She was named among C Hub magazine’s 100 most influential  African Women Influencers’ of the era 2014/15. She was ranked the Number 1 Most Influential TV and Radio Host 2015 on the Ghana Social Media Rankings List.

She is an accomplished television presenter, having started hosting TV shows in her teens on YCTV in London, she has presented on BBC2, OBE TV, Viasat 1, TV3, Ebonylife TV and many more.

Abebrese started her training at YCTV (Youth Culture Television) in London, an organization started by Sabrina Guinness on the TV show Challenge Anneka. She was a presenter on BBC2 youth show Pass da Mic and a guest presenter on the English File educational series. She developed a love for acting after joining the Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith) Summer Company as a youth. Abebrese was a regular TV presenter on the now defunct OBE TV in London, hosting and producing on a number of shows including One Touch, and the entertainment chat show On The Sofa, where guests she has interviewed range from Akon to Ziggy Marley. She has interviewed the likes of Harrison Ford, Ne-Yo, Rihanna, and Star Wars director George Lucas among notable others.

Her film credits include the international multiple award-winning film Sinking Sands, directed by 2011 BAFTA LA and Pan African Film Festival prize winner Leila Djansi. The film received 12 nominations at the 2010 Ghana Movie Awards, including “Best Actress in a Leading Role”, the film won four awards, including “Best Film”. Others film credits are Revele film’s Elmina and London Get Problem. She starred and co-produced the movie Double-Cross, which won two awards for “Best Cinematography” and “Best Hair and Make Up” at the 2015 Ghana Movie Awards.

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She is the former Head of Own Productions at Viasat 1 television station in Ghana.She was the host of A Day in the Life TV show which aired on Viasat 1; she co hosted New Day on TV3 weekday mornings.In 2013, Abebrese alongside Nollywood actress Dakore and comedian Ayo Makun hosted the 2013 edition of the AMAA Awards.

 

Dim Your light Dark Girl: Invisibility and Black Femininity

Bria Myles...

After my first semester of teaching I was invited to meet with the department chair, a frumpy, middle aged- white woman who treated me like white retailers have my entire life–as if my presence depreciated the value of the company. She arrived over thirty minutes late for my meeting, a fact she would casually disregard when pushing me out of her office not even ten minutes later. Her actions stated that I did not belong, despite the fake and almost nervous smile worn as an effort to melt my stoic expression. In those ten minutes she’d gloat about what she considered “bad” student reviews— an attempt to break me down into a negro in need of a fictive white brilliance to step into the role of woman. This was the same woman who failed to provide me with the room number for my class and made it so that I received my first check shortly before midterms. I was invisible until something seemingly negative surfaced, then my black female body became a canvass for white shame, a means to bludgeon me until my  posture slouched in defeat. For white functionality is solely rooted in black inferiority, no matter how hard the white body must work to make their fictive superiority a reality.

The contemporary black female body exists in the shadow of her ancestors, only seen in instances of negativity, because to acknowledge her in her beauty and brilliance is to threaten the false esteem of her oppressors. Sadly, the same is true for the melanated individuals referenced interchangeably with those black in body and mind.  In conversations or simply in the presence of melanated folk, the black woman is ignored if not overtly deficient in one way or another.

In Black Looks, scholar and cultural critic bell hooks says the following of black female visibility:

Objectified in a manner similar to the block female slaves who stood on auction blocks while owners and overseers described their important, salable parts, the black woman whose naked bodies were displayed for whites out social function had no presence. They were reduced to mere spectacles. Their body parts were offered as evidence to support racist notions that black people were more a kin to animals than other humans (hooks 62).

Just like the Saartje Baartmans of the past, the black female body remains a dismembered presence that only becomes visible to prove white superiority. The black woman is commonly shoved, reached over and ignored in quotidian activities from riding the train to grocery shopping. However, if wearing a garment where her protruding backside is visible, or her breasts or legs are exposed, she assumes the hyper visibility of her ancestors cast along the auction block, dismembered by the white male gaze and itemized for white male consumption.

I write this post in hopes of enlightening the black female and even black males to embedded expectations that subconsciously recruit us as soldiers of white supremacy. Namely, many blacks have also grown comfortable with caricatures blackness and downcast their own for failing to embody the necessary imperfection to seem normal in our western setting. This imperfection is commonly conceptualized in labeling the black female body a “bitch” or “whore.”

Black bitch....

The Black “Bitch”

A student called me a bitch for the first time this semester. I’m actually pretty sure I, like my sisters throughout the diaspora,  have been called worse, but this was the first time a student had rendered an expletive to my face. Following hurling the expletive my way, the student proceeded to talk over me until storming out the classroom and reporting to the dean.

The cause of the altercation you ask? I simply asked the student a question.

Like clockwork the dean shows up a few minutes later asking to see me. An act that festered the very authority challenged by my student. After dismissing my class I went to visit this middle-aged white women with a foreign accent, short haircut and slightly abrasive attitude. She asked me what happens and becomes overtly agitated when I disclose that the student called me a bitch. She then rolls her eyes, sighs and asks me to prepare a written statement. Although I had been disrespected twice that morning, once by the student and again when the director came to remove me from the class like a misbehaved student, it was me who had burdened her. In producing a response to the query she asked me, I cast this poor woman as the victim  because she would now have to draft some paperwork.

“You have to be very careful how you address these students.”

I nodded indifferently.

“Be careful.” she said, with her eyes locking intensely with mine, embedding a slew of words she wished to say but could not.

The exchange was a vindictive display of power by a being disinterested in both my and my student’s well being. All the director saw was money. So instead of engaging my comfort in returning a student who blatantly disrespected me, my other students, and most importantly herself, it was without discussion that she would return to the class.To the director I was salt thrown in the would of a battered ego. I, like countless other black bodies cast throughout the diaspora, had become too visible in a space solely desiring my invisibility. To lure students into an invidious state, is to insult the white bodies who wish to be the sole source to evoke green from a black a gaze.

This is an unexpected example of black females being asked to be less of themselves to not fester insecurity in their counterparts, who must remain subjugated for whites domination.

Similar are the conversations that surround the black female body and romance. The black female body is commonly compartmentalized as “intimidating” if failing to exist as the a caricature, or controlling image like the mammy, jezebel, sapphire or tragic mulatto.

The strong black Woman is too independent to appease the male ego. The angry black Women too abrasive for the masculine pride. The beautiful woman is too high maintenance and too tenable, the educated woman too intellectually elevated to have her feet planted firmly on the ground.  The black woman can seemingly not win when it comes to possessing attributes that extinguish a caricatured identity and propel her into a state of hyper-visibility.

Just as the directors sought to admonish with the words “be careful” the black woman is often issued a similar warning in being told to re evaluate how she carries herself. She is to exist to make others seem bigger in comparison to her smallness. To other blacks she is to encourage them to aim low and garner some attribute of a subjugated being.

The black body, if not dwarfed by the ax of white supremacy is nurtured to bend in order to fit through doorways–rather than build their own structure to which she can strut through in her prodigious state. The only thing the black Women is, is too stereotyped. If too pretty, too smart or too successful the white and other persons of colors typically aim to discount blackness with other races or ethnicities to eschew diversifying their perspective on black people.

Seemingly a lifetime ago I worked as a customer service representative. I worked alongside a beautiful sun kissed woman, labeled difficult and unprofessional. She was helpful in teaching me the ropes and aiding me with difficult customers. The issue was not that she was difficult, or unprofessional, but that she refused to be invisible in instances of overt racism.  I recall an incident where a white “businessman” yelled at us to complete his task because “he had things to do.” He had dropped his item and demanded that I get on my knees in a dress to obtain his item. My coworker came to my defense and we were both reprimanded in consequence. To our oppressors were were not wronged, but in the wrong for refusing the demands of an oppressor. Where oppressors see green, the conscious gaze sees racism.

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The whore

The black female that escapes being labeled the bitch (or in addition to this label), is often compartmentalizes as a sexualized object. This is not to say that the black female body fully escapes the negative connotation as a difficult being, but that the white gaze conceptualizes her sexually. This may sound complimentary to those who falsely equate a sexual gaze to an appreciation of beauty. A sexualized gaze means black female bodies are seen in correspondence to sex, i.e. concubines or asexual beans. Beyonce, Rihanna, etc, are black women who maintain relevancy because they are seen as sexualized objects. All the hype surrounding Beyonce’s fertility, or Rihanna’a latest partner, both reflect a fascination with black female genitalia. This fascination also functions in the reverse. Black female bodies lacking conventional attributes that would deem them overtly sexual, become demonized. Examples are Serena Williams, Wendy Williams, Gabourey Sidibie, etc, women who because of unconventional features are deemed beasts by the true beasts of the western world. Whether hyper sexual, de-sexualized or a bitch, the black female body continues to surface as a female subjugate by her white male oppressors.

As a female subjugate, the western gaze validates not only murdering or incarcerating  the black female body, but resigning her to invisibility by default. By subjugating the black female body to a womanless being, the western gaze seeks to dim the light on a ethereal presence who shines in her sun kissed state– a state withheld from the white  experience.

The dark girl is continually required to dim her light to ensure the comfort of the world around her. If  the dark girl  fails to bow her head in the face of racism she is a “bitch” and “difficult,”  If the dark girl’s sensuality proves impossible to ignore in the western terrain, or she bears multiple children in the face of white female infertility she’s a whore, or welfare mother who’s untamable sexuality bills the white collar world. She is not to shine her light too brightly.  We are the stage, not the performer, the words not the song, the pedestal not the recipient.

To shrink to western expectation is to forfeit the “stand out” quality that is the black woman. White supremacy is quite similar to how the western world has been nurtured to conceptualize the moonlight– whiteness that illuminates along darkness. Without the dark sky the moon and the stars do not glow. Rather than be a beacon for those who glow against our background, it’s time that the black collective become entranced by our own glow.

Dark women are the true light of the western world. We are the moon, the sun, and the stars. Moreover, we need not look out the window to see the glow of the moon, we must simply look within.

Don’t dim your light black girl. Shine.

Black Power. ❤

Article by CC Saunders

23 Ways you can be Killed(Black Celebs speak out)

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I saw this video earlier today on YouTube.  It’s called 23 Ways you could be Killed being Black in America.  It’s from the organization We Are Here.  We are Here is singer Alicia Keys organization.

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I’ve checked out her site.  It says on her website that their issues are equality,justice,women  and climate issues.  watching the video(above)  I liked the fact they brought up the murders of Sean Bell,Tamir Rice,Rekia Boyd,Eric Garner and Sandra Bland..among others.  Although I do find it interesting that the video was released on the third anniversary of the Trayvon Martin not guilty verdict.  I also found it interesting that Alicia Keys is the one heading this group fighting for equality for blacks.  Considering that just a few weeks ago Jesse Williams (another biracial) person speaking against police brutality.  I think it’s nice that Beyoncé,Chris Rock,Rihanna,Common and Taraji P Henson decided to speak out against these murders.  And of course they had to put white singers like Bono,Pink and Adam Levine in there as well.  That was just so the public doesn’t think this is some type of Black Power movement.  They always have to add a few whites in the mix.  But my major difference with these celebs is I don’t want equality with my oppressors.  I want freedom from oppression and real liberation.  Liberation is different than integration.  So do you think these black celebs are legit?  Do you think they really care?  Or is this just more racial propaganda?  Watch the video and let me know your thoughts.

Are Black people walking Zombies?

Zombies

Genocide is real. We have seen it through Apartheid, all over Africa and in Germany prior to World War II. Eugenics (population control) is real. Ethnic BioWeapons are real. But all that being sad, what are you doing while the powers that be are trying to exterminate your entire “race” or ethnicity? Maybe you don’t worry about it, refuse to think about it, don’t know about it or simply pray about it and go on while it happens all around you. Maybe you think you are exempt or maybe you even feel there is nothing you can do. But every one of these thoughts is either inaccurate or incomplete. It’s time to wake up, get up, step up and speak up. Sticking your head in the sands of denial will not solve anything.

ARE YOU ASLEEP AND DON’T EVEN KNOW IT?

We are watching our children be poisoned by water filled with lead, and not just in Michigan. Many more of us should be purchasing a $10 water test kit from home depot and testing our water all around the country. But many of you will unfortunately do nothing because you are waiting on your white savior government to come rescue you instead. African Americans our health, safety and economic prosperity are up to US, not any government, doctor nor anybody of any other color. When our people realize that as a people, we will rise to what we should have already become. Stop waiting, stop hoping and start making things happen.

We are watching our families disintegrate from the infection of homosexuality, transgender nonsense, emasculation, broken relationships and abortion. We say we need Planned Parenthood without realizing that Margaret Sanger who created it was a strong believer in the “master race” theory that Hitler tried to create. Planned Parenthood was placed in the African American community to reduce our population by killing as many unborn African American babies as possible. Wake up.

African Americans are staying more informed on who won the game than who may be the next President, a position that will clearly impact our lives through healthcare, entitlement programs, race relations and police brutality.

You are either part of the solution or part of the problem – and if you do nothing while we are being exterminated, don’t complain about it when it arrives at your door.

A few years ago the CDC released a Zombie Control Plan and those who knew about it laughed. Those who did not know about it were likely many of the very people referenced in the plan. Take away the reanimation element of zombies in scary movies and what do you have left? A dumbed down, clueless human being whose mental faculties have been reduced to our most primitive state. The African American community is becoming and has largely become a bunch of zombies – passive, clueless and asleep or with little or no awareness of what is going on around us. Therefore our people as a whole stand by while we are being exterminated because they don’t have a clue it is happening. Wake up.

We eat slave food filled with grease (Ox Tails, Chitterlings, Pig Feet, Turkey Necks etc.). We smoke mind altering marijuana laced with rat poison and embalming fluid. We fight, shoot and kill each other. We pack the jails and prisons and courts and child support offices. Though is it not all African Americans, far too many of us rely on the government to fix our water or to provide food, housing, safety, baby formula and healthcare. And we blame the “white” man or the government or the job when we do not achieve. It’s time to wake up and stop being a zombie who is participating in our own extermination.

Our role models are rich adulterous comedians, unmarried, unfulfilled talk show hosts and grown men who play games by bouncing, throwing or catching a ball for a living. who have no idea who God is. Our children are angry, confused about their roles, their gender and their education. Quality family time is a relic of our past and we allow our children to be raised by Xbox, Playstation, Kim Kartrashian dysfunctional families, Kanye, glorified booty shakers for money like Beyonce’, Rihanna and Nikki Minaj and self destructive rap or hip hop that degrades our people through obscenity and materialism. This stuff has been planted into our communities to destroy us. Yet we make excuses and defend the right to be or stay ignorant, saggin (niggas spelled backwards) and lost. Yes the impact of being a zombie has set in. Is it any wonder that people of other ethnic groups see us as expendable? And if “black lives matter” as our people promote, then why do so many of us keep killing, bringing down and stealing from each other? Programmed zombies but identity is the cure.

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There are African American churches everywhere you turn but yet crime, poverty, divorce, homelessness, joblessness, infidelity and disease are everywhere too. Why?

Our people will come to a riot or a protest, not even really knowing what they are angry about. Our people will go to a game or an emasculated Tyler Perry play. Our people will show up to blame somebody else, whether it is the police officer who slammed the child we refused to discipline or the teacher who could not teach our children because we would not reinforce the value of education. But try to get those same people to peacefully join together for a cause, show up at a voting booth, listen to educational talk radio or support African American businesses in our own neighborhood. You will hear the sound of crickets.

 

It does not have to be this way and we can reverse the downward spiral of our people. When is the last time you sat down for dinner as a family – no cell phones allowed? Or did you just say you were too busy? When is the last time you pulled out your phone to look up the effects of marijuana, not just to get on Facebook? When is the last time you checked your children’s homework, or volunteered at the school? When is the last time you attended a community meeting to make your neighborhood safer without blaming somebody else? When is the last time you lifted someone up, built someone up or reached out when you did not have to? Or are you waiting on Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and others to come tell you to do it? Oh yes it’s time to wake up and make a difference.

If you don’t like the claims in this article, wake up and see for yourself.

The answer starts with identity and personal accountability. We have to know who we are as a people, not who we have been defined to be by others. We are not “black” people because black is the color of your car tires, not your skin. We are a great people with great potential but that has been hidden, forgotten and discarded. Physical slavery did a number on our people and mental slavery took the second shift to finish the job. But it’s time to wake up. We did not all come from the jungle and jump to the beat of the drums. Our people were all over this planet and impacted societies and cultures on every continent. We have forgotten who we are so we act the slaves American has made us to be. Wake up. Please wake up.

Article written by Marque Anthony

Are you sure you want to be an actor,rapper or athlete?


A lot of people want to be rich and famous. They grow up watching television and see all the “glitter and gold”. But you have to think very carefully about these type of dreams. There is a lot of deception out there and we can not be naïve. We must keep in mind that no one gives you something for nothing. Nothing in life is free. Many people think that if you have the looks and the talent you will automatically make it in Hollywood. These people are delusional. There is a price you must pay to make it as part of the elite. You could become a millionaire and world famous but not without a price.This goes for most actors,singers,rappers,athletes and many realitys-show stars. There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. This is a video by Black Child. The narrators in the film are Yash Qaraah and Sherry Shriner. This video may help those of you who are still “asleep” see a little more clearly. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

The Butler- Why are we still playing butlers and maids?

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On August 16 a new film will be released. The Butler is just the latest film in Hollywood propaganda. It’s the story of a butler(Cecil Gaines) who served eight presidents from 1952-1986.The producers made sure to put a lot of black celebrities in it so that black people will flock to the theaters in droves. It stars Forest Whitaker as the main character,Cecil Gaines. With Oprah Winfrey playing his wife.It also stars Lenny Kravitz,Cuba Gooding Jr,David Oyelowo,Terrence Howard and Yaya Alafia. Even Mariah Carey has a small cameo in the film. Don’t worry though,there are white people in the film as well. We don’t want people to think this is a “black film”. Most of the white men in the film are playing the Presidents. Actors like Alan Rickman,Liev Schreiber,Robin Williams and James Mardsen.And of course this film is by director Lee “Monster’s Ball” Daniels. This homosexual self-hating director is doing everything he can to degrade the image of black people. If Monster’s Ball and Precious weren’t enough,now we have this garbage in theaters. There are so many great uplifting stories to tell black children. There are great black heroes and African heroes in our history. We had civilizations long before we ever had contact with Europeans. Hollywood makes great films that put their history in a positive light. Stories about the Romans and Greek empires. They make films that give them a sense of pride showing themselves as great warriors. Films like Gladiator,Lords of the Rings,Alexander and 300. And what do we get. Think Like a Man? Booty Call? Barbershop? Madea Goes to Jail?? This is a disgrace! And Hollywood is very slick. They know black people will most likely see this film if they hype it up enough and put big black stars in it. Please do NOT spend your money on this film. We have to let our voices be heard. Let Hollywood know that we are hip to this game they’re playing with us. They keep making films like this to keep us in a subservient mindset. Don’t fall for it.
They keep telling us that times have changed. Have they really changed? Back in the 20’s and 30’s black women like Hattie McDaniel had to play maids. I realize the acting opportunities were limited back then.
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If that’s true then how do you explain films like The Help?
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We don’t want to admit it but nothing has really changed. This is nothing but the refinement of white supremacy. We are still playing maids,butlers,thugs,pimps,whores,gang members and drug dealers. What makes this film so bad is how they try to gloss it up like playing a butler is so regal and grand. I watched the trailer and they play this moving sentimental music in it. I had to hold back my laughter. I could hardly keep a straight face. And I’ve watched some of the interviews with the black actors in this film. Look at this video of Cuba Gooding Jr and Lenny Kravitz. It’s really funny watching these two clowns try to explain how playing a butler is such a honor. See how long you can watch it before you start laughing.

Another thing I noticed in the trailer is actor David Oyelowo plays the son of Forest Whitaker. He gets involved in the civil rights movement and eventually becomes militant and joins the Black Panthers. Needless to say,he and his father don’t see eye to eye politically. There’s a scene at the dinner table where he and his father get into an argument. He insults his father and then his mother(Oprah Winfrey) slaps him across the face! She then tells him “Everything you have is because of that butler!” It’s a very powerful scene. But it’s also very telling. By having the mother slap the militant son it’s telling black people to not fight back. The son is portrayed as the villain and is not following the “right path”. The film is telling black people to be more like the butler. In other words,black people should not fight back but just be quiet and obey your white oppressors. We should “suffer in silence”. This is white supremacy and Hollywood propaganda at it’s finest.
Some might say that I’m overreacting because I haven’t seen the film. But I don’t have to see it to know it’s propaganda. I’ve seen Hollywood do this time and time again. And I’m really quite sick of it. I’m tired of seeing my people portrayed this way. Films like this are nothing but mind control. And all these black actors know it as well. But they just want a paycheck. Here’s a video from a brother named Solomon on Youtube. I totally agree with his all his points about this film.

The truth is we need our own film studios. That way we can write and produce the stories we want to tell. And when I say studios I’m talking about black owned and operated film production companies. Tyler Perry has his own film company and Oprah Winfrey has her cable station OWN. But they are still backed by white/Jewish owners. Which means if Oprah or Tyler tried to tell a story that was too powerful,positive and uplifting about black people—their white slave owners could tell them not to make it. I must be telling the truth because look at the irrelevant material that Oprah and Tyler produce. Tyler with his silly sitcoms that reinforce negative black stereotypes. And Oprah doing her exclusive interviews with Lance Armstrong and Rihanna. These are topics that are totally irrelevant to the struggles of black people. We are facing unemployment,suicide,drug addiction,police brutality,genocide,AIDS and imprisonment. Meanwhile Oprah is interviewing Lindsay Lohan?! Come on Oprah, get with it!
Like I said that means we need independent studios so no one can tell us what stories to tell or how to tell it. There are so many stories about black doctors,teachers,inventors and scientists that could be told. Where are the big motion pictures about Ida B. Wells,Dred Scott,Booker T. Washington,Charles Drew,Adam Clayton Powell Jr,Martin Delaney,Kwame Ture,Althea Gibson,Marcus Garvey,Harriet Tubman,Madame C.J. Walker and Fannie Lou Hamer? Where are the films about great Africans like Askia Toure,Queen Tiye,Yaa Asantewa,Idris Alooma,Taharka,Funmilayo Ransome Kuti,Kwame Nkrumah,Queen Nzinga,Khufu and Queen Nefertiti? We should be proud of such a rich and beautiful history. We have a history of black men and women who fought for justice,truth and black liberation. We can’t expect our oppressors to tell the stories of our people in the correct manner. If anything they will most likely alter and distort the legacies of our great leaders,teachers and freedom fighters. Now after looking at this short list of great black people in history I ask you again…..Why are we still playing butlers and maids?