August 20, 2014

Rest in Peace: Stephanie Tubbs Jones (1949-2008)

We continue to be reminded that tomorrow is not promised to any of villager.

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first African-American woman to represent Ohio in Congress, died after suffering an aneurysm while driving her car on this date in 2008. She had limited brain function at the time of her death.

Tubbs Jones, 58, served as a Cuyahoga County judge and prosecutor before succeeding U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes. She has served five terms in Congress and is expected to easily win her sixth in November.

I didn't agree with her endorsement of Hillary Clinton. However, I respected her for being true to her word. She demonstrated loyalty to Hillary at a time when there was great pressure for her to move to another candidate. She always seemed like a 'happy warrior' whenever I saw her in action.

I encourage all villagers to say a prayer for her family. May she rest in peace!

August 17, 2014

Happy Birthday: Marcus Garvey (1887-1940)

Born in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, on August 17, 1887, Marcus Garvey was the youngest of 11 children. Garvey moved to Kingston at the age of 14, found work in a print shop, and became acquainted with the living conditions of the laboring class. He quickly involved himself in social reform, participating in the first Printers' Union strike in Jamaica in 1907 and in setting up the newspaper The Watchman. Leaving the island to earn money to finance his projects, he visited Central and South America, amassing evidence that black people everywhere were victims of discrimination. He visited the Panama Canal Zone and saw the conditions under which the West Indians lived and worked. He went to Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia and Venezuela. Everywhere, blacks were experiencing great hardships and discrimination.

Garvey returned to Jamaica distressed at the situation in Central America, and appealed to Jamaica's colonial government to help improve the plight of West Indian workers in Central America. His appeal fell on deaf ears. Garvey also began to lay the groundwork of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), to which he was to devote his life. Undaunted by lack of enthusiasm for his plans, Garvey left for England in 1912 in search of additional financial backing. While there, he met a Sudanese-Egyptian journalist, Duse Mohammed Ali. While working for Ali's publication African Times and Oriental Review, Garvey began to study the history of Africa, particularly, the exploitation of Black peoples by colonial powers. He read Booker T. Washington's “Up From Slavery”, which advocated black self-help.

In 1914 Garvey organized the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and its coordinating body, the African Communities League (ACL). In 1920 the organization held its first convention in New York. The convention opened with a parade down Harlem's Lenox Avenue. That evening, before a crowd of 25,000, Garvey outlined his plan to build an African nation-state. In New York City his ideas attracted popular support, and thousands enrolled in the UNIA. He began publishing the newspaper The Negro World and toured the United States preaching Black Nationalism to popular audiences. His efforts were successful, and soon, the association boasted over 1,100 branches in more than 40 countries. Most of these branches were located in the United States, which had become the UNIA's base of operations. There were, however, offices in several Caribbean countries, Cuba having the most. Branches also existed in places such as Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Namibia and South Africa. He also launched some ambitious business ventures, notably the Black Star Shipping Line.

Garvey promoted two new business organizations — the African Communities League and the Negro Factories Corporation. Financial betrayal by trusted aides and a host of legal entanglements (based on charges that he had used the U.S. mail to defraud prospective investors) eventually led to Garvey's imprisonment in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for a five-year term. In 1927 his half-served sentence was commuted, and he was deported to Jamaica by order of President Calvin Coolidge.

Garvey then turned his energies to Jamaican politics, campaigning on a platform of self-government, minimum wage laws, and land and judicial reform. He was soundly defeated at the polls, however, because most of his followers did not have the necessary voting qualifications. In 1935 Garvey left for England where, in near obscurity, he died on June 10, 1940, in a cottage in West Kensington.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey advocated that Africans control the wealth of Africa. He taught that control, control of resources, control of self, control of nation, requires preparation, Garveyism was about total preparation.


August 16, 2014

Technology Expresso Cafe Interviews Wayne 'Villager' Hicks

David Blackman and Jacqueline Sanders are the co-founders of Technology Expresso Cafe, a multimedia platform that promotes all aspects of the IT industry with a focus on BDPA programs, scholarships and services.

Wayne 'Villager' Hicks
An Internet radio interview was conducted with BDPA Education and Technology Foundation executive director Wayne Hicks, however, due to technical difficulties, the show was never archived. David and Jacqueline were kind enough to post a complete transcript of the interview on their website.

Click here to read Part 1 & 2 of the interview.

Click here to read Part 3 & 4 of the interview.

August 10, 2014

OURStory: George Crockett, Jr. (1909-1997)

On this date in 1909, George Crockett was born. He was an African American lawyer, State Judge, and a congressman from Michigan.

From Jacksonville, Duval County, Fla., George William Crockett Jr., attended the public schools, graduated with a B. A. from Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga. in 1931 and received his J.D., from the University of Michigan Law School in 1934. Admitted to the Florida bar in 1934 he began practicing in Jacksonville as a senior attorney. In 1939, Crockett worked with United States Department of Labor as a hearing officer, and with the Federal Fair Employment Practices Commission in 1943.

He was senior member of a law firm in Detroit from 1946 to 1966, after which he was elected judge of Recorder’s Court in Detroit serving from 1967 to 1979. While acting corporation counsel for the city of Detroit, Crockett was elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-sixth Congress, by special election in 1980, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Charles C. Diggs, Jr., and at the same time he was elected to the Ninety-seventh Congress.

While in the House of Representative, he served on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the select Committee on Aging. He used his seat on Foreign affairs to voice his opposition to the South African government’s policy of apartheid. Crockett was reelected to the four succeeding Congresses and served until January 3, 1991 and was not a candidate for re-nomination in 1990 to the One Hundred Second Congress. George Crockett died September 7, 1997.

Rest In Peace Granddaddy!

August 9, 2014

Rest in Peace: Bernie Mac (1957-2008)

Bernie Mac was a comedic genius. He took his stand-up comedy skills to the limit with concerts, movies and a top-rated television show.

Bernie Mac died on Aug. 9, 2008, at age 50, of heart failure during a bout of pneumonia. We still miss Bernie Mac ... may he rest in peace.

Many of us learned about Bernie Mac from Def Comedy Jam show that used to play on HBO. Here are clips from those early days when I first learned of his remarkable talent. Be warned: Bernie Mac's language and topics are RAW in this clip!

Bernie Mac was a once-in-a-generation entertainer. Don't you agree?

August 1, 2014

Introduce Yourself

Hotep! My vision for the Electronic Village is simple. I want you to feel that you have entered a warm and welcoming enclave where you can rest for a moment under our baobob tree and share libations with fellow villagers.

Just relax for a moment in your hectic surfing through cyberspace ... relax and enjoy the vibe of our Electronic Village.

We hope that our voice is a worthy one in the blogosphere. The Electronic Village strives to share information that uplifts people of African descent throughout the diaspora. There are a number of ways that you can hear our drumbeat in a timely manner. However, we realize that it is your drumbeat that makes us better. Please comment freely on any post that you read here in the Electronic Village.

If you have any questions, or want to promote your blog then you can do this here! Just leave a 'comment' to this post.

'Am I Not Human?' Blogging Campaign

Please let us know if you plan to participate in our monthly campaign. We seek bloggers interested in sharing information about human rights violations with their blog readers on the 27th of each month.

All of us need to do something. Protest. Meditate. Pray.

In the case of bloggers ... we want you to blog on the 27th of each month. Just share information on behalf of our human siblings in all suffering areas who are either barred from communication by their governments, or lacking in technology to ask: Am I Not Human?

Will you join us?

July 27, 2014

Am I Not Human? We Are All Born Free and Equal

This blog is going to return to its roots. On the 27th of each month we plan to blog about human rights.
Every person is entitled to certain fundamental rights, simply by the fact of being human. These are called “human rights” rather than a privilege (which can be taken away at someone’s whim).

They are “rights” because they are things you are allowed to be, to do or to have. These rights are there for your protection against people who might want to harm or hurt you. They are also there to help us get along with each other and live in peace.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt Reviews UDHR
Born out of the atrocities and enormous loss of life during World War II, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948 to provide a common understanding of what everyone’s rights are. It forms the basis for a world built on freedom, justice and peace.  This declaration provided a list of 30 specific human rights

The first of those 30 specific human rights is simple enough...

We are all born Free and Equal!

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Just because the nations of the world signed a declaration that defined and respected 'human rights' doesn't mean that abuses don't occur.  Human rights abuses are taking place in America and in most other nations of the world.  On the 27th of each month we are going to shine our blogging spotlight on human rights abuse ... and our hope is that other bloggers will do so as well.

Roots of Humanity feels that each of us can fight against human rights abuses in the world. We simply need to do something. Protest. Meditate. Pray. In the case of bloggers ... we want you to blog on the 27th of each month. Just share information on behalf of our human siblings in all suffering areas who are either barred from communication by their governments, or lacking in technology to ask: Am I Not Human?