8 Steps Marginalized Citizens Can Take to Defend Themselves in the Trump Era

Posted on: December 6th, 2016 | by:

 

Chants at corner of 5th and Pike St during the Black Lives Matter protest, in Seattle, WA, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015.  (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Step 1: Understand that you are a target

Individually, and most practically, you must first understand and accept that you are a target for hatred and violence. This can be a difficult leap to take for those who have invested a great deal of psychological space into the American dream.

Step 2: Protect yourself from psychological harm

As a target, you must find a way to defend yourself both individually and collectively. If these feelings of anger and vulnerability are new to you, know that you can find comfort in places of togetherness. Go with friends and visit mosques and community centers, particularly if you are from a vulnerable group.

While it’s important for one’s self preservation to embrace self-defense, this realization also can negatively impact mental and physical health.

There are many great sources of empowerment. Authors such as Audre Lorde, Isabel Allende, Leslie Marmon Silko, and James Baldwin provide much thought and inspiration for marginalized people living through difficult times. My personal favorite is the Autobiography of Malcolm X because it posits a defensive globally conscious mind-state that is sensitive to the injustices of all people while being harshly critical of white supremacy.

Many of the social movements in America relied on religion for fuel in the face of deeply egoistic antagonisms. While spiritual force can be individual, its power can be used collectively to reinforce or challenge predominant narratives in society. Meditation is also a very powerful tool for self-preservation and community building.

Step 3: Defend your body from physical harm

Taking self-defense classes and lifting weights are ways to learn practical techniques for opposing physical violence, but also empowering oneself in the face of aggression. Carrying pepper spray and mace, depending on the jurisdiction, is also recommended.

All marginalized people should exercise their Second Amendment right, openly, proudly, and without fear. This includes learning how to use a weapon at a firing range, taking a course on gun safety, and possibly forming rifle clubs in your local communities.

If you are worried about potential backlash from asserting the right to bear arms, then you have not accepted the reality that many in America already view your existential presence as a threat. It is not necessary to publicly show gun-ownership, but it is necessary to at least psychologically accept this right and assert it when you feel comfortable doing so.

Step 4: Be vigilant

More than anything we must develop a proactive, vigilant and assertive mentality. Tools for defense are useless unless we are ready to competently employ them.

Step 5: Stand in solidarity with others

On a communal level all marginalized people should express solidarity with each other in the face of basic human rights abuses. As a Muslim, I hold beliefs that I believe prevent me from endorsing certain positions. I can and I will, however, endorse anyone fighting for their right to exist as full human beings/members of society. I will work with anyone looking to create a fair and just society.

Step 6: Organize

On an organizational level we should prepare for a massive legal and public relations battle aimed at plugging up many of the proposals that will come forth under a Trump presidency. The proposed hijab-ban in Georgia was defeated before it even hit paper because of sustained and organized public outrage.

We each should get to know someone who is undocumented. Listen to their stories and provide emotional support. There will be legal battles over DACA and other such executive action that may be overturned by the Trump administration.

Reach out to your local ACLU and pro bono legal services provider for “know your rights” information.

A nationwide directory of legal aid services is available here.

University groups and working professionals can conduct “know your rights” sessions in vulnerable communities using this information with the assistance of legal aid providers and community organizations.

We must reject all American exceptionalism. We must build coalitions with other marginalized groups around the world, both to show that Americans do not endorse this government, and for psychological comfort in the face of aggression. There is a great deal of room for solidarity and collaboration with populations facing right-wing backlash in Europe. We must reflect critically on the ways acting in self-interest has harmed others, particularly in the global south. We must envision ourselves as belonging to a global community.

Different communities that will be harmed by this administration must get to know each other and build strategic bridges based on community organizations and personal relationships. How this looks will be different in different places.

Step 7: Reach across the aisle

When we feel comfortable, we should begin a campaign to reach out to some Trump supporters–particularly those who are working class. This should be a part of a mass grassroots campaign.

A society cannot exist without shared interests and goals.

A genuine movement aimed at countering rightwing extremism cannot be based on crushing the voices of white working class people in response to their injurious support for Trump.

All the socially induced hatreds of white supremacy must be confronted, even and especially at the risk of violent backlash. However, we must remember that ideas can only be overcome by ideas.

Visioning a public good, where we, people ostensibly interested in making change, abandon toxic self-interest in no way means accepting our own oppression or the oppression of those who are casualties of our lifestyle and consumption habits. Changing our own personal narratives about our role in American society does not equate to abandoning aggressive confrontation of injustice in all its forms.

Step 8: Create a new society based on fulfilling mutual needs

Organizing and envisioning a different society not based on exploitation will require people to embrace a deeply anti-establishment, anti-capitalist, pro-community, anti-individualism, almost religious ethos that transcends our lives at every level.

We must face the possibility that there will be tremendous pain and sadness because of the damage that will be done. Our work may be co-opted by the forces of consumerism and empire. We must hold strong together to resist these forces and build even more authentic bonds in the face of increasing hostility.

Let this moment be one of critical self-reflection and community building. The enemy is the same disease that all of us struggle with, unrestrained self-interest. Now we have a dire reason to struggle against it within ourselves and in our world.


Ismaail Qaiyim is a freelance writer with an interest in politics, global affairs, religion, philosophy, and genuine critical engagement. He currently attends law school in New York. Follow him on Twitter @ismaailqaiyim.

These Illustrations of Solange Janelle Monáe & Malcolm X Will Brighten Your Day

Posted on: December 6th, 2016 | by:

On certain days you just need some bright colors in your life, and at times like that,
Prince Eric Nichols has got you.

His vibrant illustrations of black public figures are uplifting and engaging; flashy enough to catch your eye, but full of detail to hold your attention. He may not actually be a prince, but he’s certainly familiar with the features of royalty.

While he creates images whenever he sees fit, some even get the blessings of his subjects once they’re done, like Janelle Monae, who reposted her portrait last year.  If you want to buy a print, just DM him on the Gram and he’ll hook you up.

Solange

Soalnge colorful illustration

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae black and white illustration

Versace, Versace, Versace

Versace illustration, black, white, and gold digital digital

Jay Z

Jaz Z Roman grey digital illustration

2Chainz

2Chainz colorful digital illustration

Malcolm X

Malcolm X United People of Africa Currency Illustration


5 Sports Films About African Athletes You Need to Watch

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016 | by:

All eyes have been on #Rio2016, where African athletes continue to kill it earning medals in long jump, running, fencing and swimming. All eyes have been on #Rio2016, where African athletes continue to kill it earning medals in long jump, running, fencing and swimming.

With the Olympics coming to an end on August 21, we thought we’d share five films about African athletes that you can watch when the Olympic nostalgia kicks in.

The Athlete

Before there was Haile Gebre Selassie, there was Abebe Bikila. The son of a shepherd, he moved to Addis Ababa and worked as a bodyguard before he was spotted by a Swedish trainer and became part of the Ethiopian team that travelled to Rome in 1960 where running barefoot, he won the gold medal in the marathon. ‘The Athlete (Atletu)’ recounts the 1960 and 1964 olympic win, as well as the car accident that ended his running career and started the next chapter in his life as a Paralympian. Directed by Davey Frankel Rasselas Lakew, ‘The Athlete’ was released in 2009.

Between The Rings

Two female boxing stars—Catherine Phiri and Esther Phiri (unrelated)—emerged in Zambia in recent years. Esther Phiri sold vegetables before becoming a seven-time world champion. ‘Between The Rings,’ a documentary by Jessi Chissi and Salla Sori, tells the story of how Phiri overcame the challenges in her life to become a champion. Catch the film when it airs on August 17 as ‘Zambia’s Boxing Star’ on August 17 at 20:00 GMT/21:00 WAT/22:00 CAT on Al Jazeera network.

Eighteam

In 2012, Zambia’s soccer team Chipolopolo beat the favorites Ivory Coast to become the Africa Cup of Nations champions in Gabon, the same country where nine years earlier, arguably the best outfit of Zambian soccer players died en route to Senegal to compete in a World Cup Qualifier. ‘Eighteam’ is a documentary by Ngosa Chungu and Juan Rodriguez-Briso that combines interviews with journalists who covered the Gabon Disaster, former skipper and African Footballer of the Year Kalusha Bwalya and more to tell the fascinating story of how Chipolopolo went from tragedy to triumph. Released in 2014, it was the first Zambian film to be screened at the special screenings at the Cannes Film Festival. It has since won awards in Nigeria, Barcelona and Silicon Valley.

Town of Runners

This documentary tells the story of young runners in the Ethiopian highlands of Bekoji, the town that produced Olympic medalists Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele. It follows three children as they move from school track to national competition. Released in 2012, it was directed by Jerry Rothwell.

Zoom Zoom: The Professor

Azumah ‘Zoom Zoom’ Nelson is a former Ghanaian boxer who some regard as the best boxer ever to come out of the continent. ‘Zoom Zoom’ is a documentary that combines archival footage and interviews with the boxer to tell his story from the slums of Bukom to holding the World Boxing Champion in the featherweight, lightweight and superweight categories for a decade. Released in 2010, the film was directed by Sam Kessie.

Mazuba Kapambwe is a freelance writer, social media consultant and a lifestyle and travel blogger who founded the Zed Blog and Social Media Awards. She is also the co-host of docu-reality webseries, ‘The Fest Gurus.’ Follow up with her on Twitter @afrosocialite and @TheFestGurus.


Backstage at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg Spring/Summer 2016

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016 | by:

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg Spring/Summer wrapped up Saturday night after four days of runway action at Nelson Mandela Square. We teamed up with Botswana-based photographer Uyapo Ketogetswe to bring us behind the scenes. Here, he takes us backstage at MBFWJ SS16.Photo by Uyapo Ketogetswe.

 

Photo by Uyapo Ketogetswe.

Photo by Uyapo Ketogetswe.

 

Photo by Uyapo Ketogetswe.

 

Photo by Uyapo Ketogetswe.

 

Photo by Uyapo Ketogetswe.Photo by Uyapo Ketogetswe.

 

Photo by Uyapo Ketogetswe.


Heres What Went Down When Kanye Wests The Life Of Pablo Pop-Up Shop Came to Cape Town

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016 | by:

By now you should know that Cape Town was the only city in Africa – out of 21 worldwide – where Kanye West brought his Pablo pop-up shop this weekend. The queue to the shop, which was on Bree Street, snaked all the way to Loop Street. On Friday, the first day of the store, hypebeasts, fashionistas and cool kids were there as early as 6am.

Only ten people were allowed in the shop at a time, which meant a longer queuing period. So, after every 30 minutes, people emerged with shopping bags full of Pablo merchandise.

Inside, there were a few rules: no fitting before purchase, no removing of clothes from display racks. And the security guards’ favorite – if you were only there to take pictures and not buy, then you must leave.

Items available included t-shirts, crew neck sweaters, caps and jackets, which all featured printed phrases from The Life Of Pablo album in gothic letters. The cheapest item was the Cape Town cap (R485). The most expensive, the military jacket, set you back R3654. The t-shirts, sweaters and caps were all inscribed Cape Town, just like they would be inscribed “New York” if the store was there.

Shoppers – who came in all ages, but were mostly young adults and teenagers – browsed around to tracks from TLOP. There wasn’t much variety in product, and some shoppers felt a bit letdown. “This is stuff from Season 1,” I heard someone scream as he left the shop.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

 

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

 

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

 

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

 

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

 

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Sabelo Mkhabela is a writer from Swaziland, currently based in Cape Town. He also drops award-winning tweets as @SabzaMK.


Jidenna Is a Chief, Cop, Worker & Victim in the New Video for Chief Dont Run

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016 | by:

Jidenna follows up the video for his afrobeats-influenced single “Little Bit More” with the somber visuals for “Chief Don’t Run.”

The new Alan Ferguson-directed video follows Jidenna from his humble beginnings, sleeping next to oven doors for heat, through his quick rise to fame.

The “emotion picture,” as Jidenna puts it, sees the singer/rapper showing off some acting chops as he cycles through roles as the ‘chief,’ police officer, construction worker and a victim of police harassment.

Still no formal word on when we can expect the drop of Jidenna’s debut album Long Live the Chief—but this should hold you over.


 

Watch the video for “Chief Don’t Run” above.


CAESAR COUTURE AND MEME BETE TO SHOWCASE AT AFRICA FASHION WEEK LONDON 2016

Posted on: August 17th, 2016 | by:

CAESAR COUTURE

]

Caesar Couture is known for its exquisite tailoring services and refined design silhouettes of tuxedos, patterned suits, single breasted and double-breasted suits as well as traditional clothing. It was established in the year 2000 by owner and designer, Esosa Ogedegbe. The label currently makes clothing for men, but has plans to diversify into female clothing in the near future.

The collections are perfect for the sophisticated gentleman that wants a classic look for black-tie events, weddings and business meetings. The suits are timeless, yet incorporate some bold colours like shades of red, yellow, orange and green and can even be dressed down (when worn as a jacket) to a more casual look with sneakers and/or jeans.

MEME BETE

Même Bête is a St. Lucian design company by Taribba do Nascimento who began designing bags 5 years ago while working in Ethiopia.

The company specializes in leather handbags. Its signature look is African Print mixed with leather, however many other materials are used to create unique designs such as burlap, madras and Indian saris.

A lover of life and an avid traveller, do Nascimento marries eclectic style with her ethnocentric eye to create unique pieces. The concept behind her bags is to make simple styles that are offset by vibrant colour. Her bags infuse style and fashion into practicality, introducing every woman to the vibrant chic life.

 

 

Venue – West Hall Olympia London Earls Court W14 8UX

AFWL 2016 Will Include 5 Catwalk Shows | 60 Designers | AFWL Expo & Entertainment.

  • FRIDAY THE 9TH OF SEPTEMBER – Fashion Show and Exhibition
  • SATURDAY THE 10TH OF SEPTEMBER – Fashion Show and Exhibition

 


AGATHA MORENO AND VICTORIA GRACE TO SHOWCASE AT AFRICA FASHION WEEK LONDON 2016

Posted on: August 11th, 2016 | by:

AGATHA MORENO

Agatha Moreno is a ready-to-wear fashion brand that is established to take care of everyone’s fashion need from average to elite, slim, big, curvy, short or tall, dark skinned or light; with funky and high-end casuals, blends of haute couture, red carpet wears, bridals, e.t.c. The brand has clothed series of celebrities and top models. And has been featured on the cover of top lifestyle magazines.
Agatha Moreno debuted at ECOWAS fashion week and has since featured in A-Class fashion events.

VICTORIA GRACE

Victoria Grace is an elegant fashion brand.  The brand aims to dress women who love elegance, timeless style and luxury, blending either the East or the West with Africa. All Victoria Grace pieces speak elegance. The label closes the taste gap between cultures by creating a unique style; it is the ultimate taste of European-African joie de vivre.

Victoria Grace is an inimitable state of the art fashion label. Most pieces are limited and bespoke with an aesthetic towards couture-creation.

        

 

WELCOME TO  AFRICA FASHION WEEK LONDON 2016 
Venue – West Hall Olympia London Earls Court W14 8UX


AFWL 2016 Will Include 5 Catwalk Shows | 60 Designers | AFWL Expo & Entertainment.


  • FRIDAY THE 9TH OF SEPTEMBER – Fashion Show and Exhibition

 

  • SATURDAY THE 10TH OF SEPTEMBER – Fashion Show and Exhibition

 


Africax5 Covers Black Lives Matter Protest in the UK

Posted on: August 7th, 2016 | by:

 

Despite heat levels reaching 25 degrees in London, The black lives matter protests are still  going strong.
Although there was a shaky start,  hundreds of young people marched from Southwark  Park to parliament.  Twitter played a significant part in directing lost protestors to the bigger group which not only rose awareness to the #black lives matter protest but  proved there’s strength in numbers when it comes to issues regarding black communities.

 

 

CpMvGOKXgAAElh2.jpg_large

Today’s protest was pleasantly positive and powerful as drivers, and foreigners throughout the city showed support by beeping there cars or chanting along to show that #blacklivematter is open to all races from all walks of life.

Currently  #blacklivesmatter is still dominating social media  and communities not only in the US but also the UK. The issues regarding equality and racial discrimination is still well and truly active  but the question is, will change be on the horizon ?

 

 

By Natalie Da Silva


The First Airline Founded By A Black Woman Is Going International This Month

Posted on: August 7th, 2016 | by:

Last year, Air Zimbabwe and Ethiopian Airlines made major strides towards the inclusion of women in the aviation world with the launch of their all-women flight crews. Women continue to be at the forefront of African-based air travel with the establishment of South Africa’s Fly Blue Crane, the first airline to be founded by a black woman.

fly-blue-crane-airline-south-africaFly Blue Crane, which has been operating domestically within South Africa since its inception last September, will be conducting its very first international flight when it launches its service from Cape Town to Windhoek on May 13. The airline is under the leadership of CEO, Sizakele Mzimela, who’s also the first black executive vice president of South African Airways and the first woman to be selected to the Board of the International Air Transport AssociationAFKInsider reports.

Mzimela has previously been vocal about her desire to expand the airline outside of South African borders, with specific mention of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and the DRC.

The airline exec, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry, shared some words of wisdom for female aviators in an interview with Runway Girl Network:

“You have to accept up front that your road will be more difficult than the pale white male sitting next to you,” she mentions. “It’s your job to say ‘nothing will stop me. I’m going to make it.’”

by Damola Durosomo