Coming to Tumblr really opened my eyes to a lot of things that I took for granted. To put it in perspective, I started really thinking about race (in terms of my own actions) when I started following the Troy Davis story about two weeks before his murder at the hands of the state. That’s not a very long time. I am a BABY when it comes to this stuff. Even growing up the way that I did didn’t prepare me to actively counter a thing that has always benefited me.
If I wasn’t white, I would be in jail. At the very least I would have a felony (maybe two, possibly three). A few years ago I was involved in something (I won’t go into it here because people have already tried to use my personal life against me in about every way possible) that ended with me being an inch from being arrested. To give you an idea, it was connected to a gun violation. Not only would this have left me with a felony on my record, but my gun rights would have been revoked. This would have ensured that I wouldn’t have been able to get the job I have today. I have a job and a clean record because a cop decided not to arrest me.
That was the third time a cop decided not to arrest me.
"All ethnic groups in this country understand that you have a nationality. Because you answer to such stupid words as colored, negro, and black. Black tells you how you look, not who you are. The name of a people must relate them instantaneously to land, history, and culture. There is no Blackland or Blackola. You belong to something big in the world.” _Grand Master John Henrik Clarke
I have to start off by saying it was a tough decision to make. I’ve never left my my friends and family to embark on a journey to a place where I knew no one. But my world as I knew it was too tiny and there’s so much out there I didn’t know of.
I visited Europe last month and stayed in this place next to what they call the Eiffel Tower. I loved it. such a strange architecture to symbolize the exotic beauty and power of its people. With my small backpack and my Nikon D7000 camera, I set off futher to explore Europe.
I took pictures along the way. there was a Tomato Festival going on at the time and I managed to get tickets to see a Bull Fighting! The sight was alarming and facinating all at once- a sport to symbolise the raw energy and passion that European people had were shown through this bull fighting. Beautiful!
I went to a shelter and saw some homeless people begging on the streets. It is such a shame how enriched, yet, so poor Europeans are. My heart weeps for Europeans; their courage and strength to survive is inspiring.
There were loud music playing and people in the streets all looking happy and joyful because they were celebrating ‘OktoberFest’, a day to mark their love of beer and to show that even Europeans have good things to celebrate in life to distract from their everyday pain. I was aware of my privilege so I asked to join this festival incase I upset the natives. What a blast!
I took so many pictures (will post on Facebook later) of the children dancing and smiling but some elders complained about this, they didn’t seem comfortable with a complete stranger touching their young children and taking photos of them to later put on the internet.
I suppose to them, I am a stranger in the midst but it was so joyful having pictures to show back home of my experiences! I am sure they won’t mind in the end. And the children were such wonders! They were so curious about my clothes (I don’t think Europeans have ever seen Nigerian clothes in their life, it must have been so strange for them to view my own culture! It just reminded me of how deprived they were)
After I stopped at the Leaning Tower of Pisa (a great art of their sort!) I went back to Arba Airport near Helsinki (after I spent a day at Trafalgar Square, pics coming soon) and borded my flight back home, having grown up a little from viewing European Life.
I am currently saving up to get a tatto of Europe on my shoulder , with a love heart located at the center to represent Belguim. As the Europeans say:
Τα καλά πράγματα έρχεται σε εκείνους που περιμένουν
Peace my friends <3
Europe. Is not. A country. For fuck’s sake.
now you know how Africans feel…… NOW YOU KNOW HOW AFRICANS FEEL
Tuskegee University President Gilbert Rochon met with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last week to discuss extended collaboration between the nation and the institution. It was the first visit to the country by Dr. Rochon, who met with officials from the Booker Washington Institute in Liberia, pledged more support for the research-based institution.
Rochon told Sirleaf that Tuskegee University’s relations with the institute started in 1924 and that the university would like to be part of efforts to help the institute improve. Sirleaf expressed disappointment at the negative impact that years of civil war in Liberia had on the institute, but shared her administration’s efforts and plans to restore the technical institute.
Tuskegee University has partnerships with universities in several African countries including: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Morocco and South Africa. And, Rochon would like to extend the chance to work together to Liberia as well. He said he will work toward establishing joint research opportunities, student exchange programs and help to strengthen architecture programs at Liberian universities. To that end, he told Sirleaf he has approached the president of the University of Liberia, Emmet A. Dennis, the administration and board of governors of Booker Washington Institute and representatives from Tubman University in Liberia.
Pay attention people. We need more of this. Looks like Tuskegee is doing it right!