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GATHER TOGETHER IN MY NAME- MAYA ANGELOU

Gather Together In My Name – Maya Angelou’s autobiography. VOLUME 2.

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Maya Angelou. God Bless Her Soul!

 It is mesmerizing how this author would take you through a series of her American past as though it were your own.

I have to read, but I have to admit. Maya Angelou is, if not the best I have read. [That woman was the definition of Narration and talent.]

 So I grabbed this book Wednesday Morning at 10AM and it kept me all but pinned down to my seat until I finished it at 2pm. There is an aura in her literature. The narratives are excellent, and I would be lying if I claimed to have words to describe it.

PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE BOOK DESCRIPTION BELOW


 [Gather Together in My Name continues Maya Angelou’s personal story, begun so unforgettably in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The time is the end of World War II and there is a sense of optimism everywhere. Maya Angelou, still in her teens, has given birth to a son. But the next few years are difficult ones as she tries to find a place in the world for herself and her child. She goes from job to job–and from man to man. She tries to return home–back to Stamps, Arkansas–but discovers that she is no longer part of that world. Then Maya’s life takes a dramatic turn, and she faces new challenges and temptations.

In this second volume of her poignant autobiographical series, Maya Angelou powerfully captures the struggles and triumphs of her passionate life with dignity, wisdom, humor, and humanity..


Now you’ve read about it. I suggest you grab the copy as soon as possible and if you’re already a reader, you sure by now should be aware of Maya’s enormous significance in Global literature. 

Enjoy your reads,.. Remember,     images you can share your opinion about the book in the comment section below!  

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Why Britain’s forgotten slave owners?

 

BRITAIN’S FORGOTTEN SLAVE OWNERS

PROCUDER & DIRECTOR:  BEN CHRISTON

DAVID OLUSOGA as Writer and Presenter.

#Prompt# Did this documentary challenge any preconceived notions you had about the subject matter of this film? What were they and where did they stem from?

I barely had any notions before watching this documentary. To be honest I know slavery has existed, and it is still arguable that it still exists today, but I had never thought about it in the way that David Olusoga, the writer of this film, presented it.

When I think of slavery, what comes to mind is usually the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, plus of course the slavery in America. I had never really focused on slavery in Britain and how it must have been even though that I know chunks of enslavement had been there. Neither did I know that the extent to which slavery in Britain had been practiced was as large as the revelation that I got when I watched the film.

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I have always known slavery is an evil, that it was horrible, but I had never fully understood its depths. It was the vastness of the archives that shocked me however. The huge number of slave owners around Britain, and how many slaves these owners had.

My team and I did the topic ‘The Trans-Atlantic’ slave trade in my African Philosophical Thought class last year. The experience was great. The lessons enormous. But barely in our research did we come across Britain. Most of the videos and literature we came across was American. So we did not really delve deeper into Britain. Watching this video has however opened my eyes to these realities. Learning that even after the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was abolished, slavery still existed. This gave me insights on themes like Trans-Atlantic slave trade Abolition versus The Abolition of slavery as a whole.

It was also amazing to learn that the slave owners had to be compensated for, but what was even more amusing was the fact that they invested their money in huge national projects, sparking a new wave of development. Which makes me wonder. Were the slave owners/traders inherently aggressive and enterprising? After all, when the slavery was being abolished, they fought. When they were at losing ends, they filed for a compensation and when they got the money, they invested it in even more productive or rewarding activities.

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The thirst and drive at which these men ran the country was mesmerizing. They were boisterous, aggressive, and influential. They were powerful. They had an overwhelming thirst for prosperity and wealth. They prospered at everything they did despite the cost. No wonder men like George Hibbert defended slavery as much as they could. It is not surprising that one woman in Jamaica, had to completely devalue her slaves, in order to make it clear to the Royal government that the compensation they were making was not enough whatsoever.

Watch Video Here…

Academia, Other, Stories..., Tours and travels, Ugandan in Ghana

Using tech to make a greener Ghana.

So the campaign is on. Advocating for a greener Ghana.  Akyaa and her team come to Ashesi this morning running the ‘Creating Green Citizens: Our responsibility” Campaign.

The National Eco Clubs Tour.

Ashesi students discussing the problems with Ghana’s environment and what they they would like to change about it.

 

#What is Climate change? What does it mean to Ghana today?

If you one day happen to walk on the streets of Ghana, you will perhaps notice the disheartening yet recurring manners of the citizenry. No offense. But it is hardly likely that you will walk and not meet at least one adult male peeing by the road. Last week I met a woman who stood with her legs apart, doing this act to perfection. (I am still recovering). The gutters are exhausted. The trenches, not to mention those in National Institutions as well, are full of rubbish and decay…

Passionate or dispassionate? Let’s try to make a change.

You may want to check these out if you’re interested.(Food for thought)

#SeaLevel Rights

#GreenGhanaian

#GGIEcoTour

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BBC 4’s LOST KINGDOMS OF AFRICA – THE GREAT ZIMBABWE. A Documentary Journal.

I am back with my one pager Documentary Journal for Dr.Gus’ BBC Films. I mentioned in one of my previous posts that this a task I am doing for my Social Theory class. More of analysing history and several philosophical thoughts. 

Prompt #. How do you think the title of this film relates to its content? Discuss.

Even though the title is ‘The Great Zimbabwe’, I found the content highly unrelated to the title. Perhaps the documentary could have been named ‘The Swahili,’ Or the Eastern Coast, The rituals of Manyikeni or even Mapungubwe, since in my opinion, these are the topics the film covers. Up to half way through the film, Dr. Gus is still taking his audience around the Eastern African Coast, Mozambique, and the interior while Zimbabwe itself is barely in there. One could  defend that BBC had been earlier denied the opportunity to film in Zimbabwe but seems to make totally no difference as even when permission was finally granted, the audience could have heard the tales from the people of Zimbabwe as a nation. Not the representation of a country’s history by a group of less than twenty people.

Despite the fact that Zimbabwe was mentioned, that the documentary covered at least the eleven meters tall Great wall of Zimbabwe, I found a very small relationship between the title and the content.

WATCH VIDEO HERE…

From the beginning, Dr. Gus travels around Kilwa, in Tanzania, unveiling the hidden wealth and history of the East African coast. He unveils how Kilwa was a gateway to the coast through its Gold market, its major supplier being the Great Zimbabwe, likewise the filming of Manyikeni in Mozambique. In my opinion, this documentary was not about Zimbabwe and neither was it about Tanzania or Mozambique.

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A corridor in the Great Zimbabwe wall…

It was rather about specific places in these particular countries. The film was about Kilwa and its Gold trade, it was about The Great Mosque of Kilwa, and it was about the Manyikeni in Mozambique, about the rituals of ‘spiritual blessings’ at both Manyikeni and the Zimbabwe Highlands. These were the only detailed places and the film seemed largely focused about them. The documentary lacked the richness of the evidently missing people and culture of the Great Zimbabwe. There was very little evidence even in making the connections. This documentary, in comparison to others like that of ‘the lost Kingdoms of Africa: West Africa or Ethiopia’ where the evidence was floating before the viewer’s eyes, was way not detailed at all. It seemed to have touched the surface instead of the core, unfortunately for me since the title of the documentary had triggered a lot of excitement and expectations.

WATCH VIDEO HERE OR ABOVE…

BBC 4’s Lost Kingdoms of Africa: The Great Zimbabwe

Feel free to leave your thoughts on the video after you’ve watched it… Enjoy!

 

Academia, book reviews, Books, Stories...

HOMEGOING : Yaa Gyasi

If you are a lover of literature, and you’ve not yet read HOMEGOING, then I suggest you grab yourself a copy as soon as possible. This one will keep you awake. It is sad but thrilling. It will touch you heart. It  will teach you.

The book is overwhelmingly beautiful. Well, I don’t really know how the author Yaa Gyasi does it,  it is heard to explain. But it is beautiful. So I have not been reading much literature these days, but this book has got me on my toes. Certainly one of my best.

The book covers a series of stories about two sisters “Effia and Esi, with two different destinies. One is sold into slavery; one is a slaver trader’s wife. The consequences of their fates reverberate through the generations that follow” download-1

What constantly surprises me is the fact that you don’t have to necessarily read the book in order. Any  chapter you open will give you an ultimate experience. Well, who knows what your thoughts on it will be. Better you Grab your copy and share the experience.

download

 

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The Lost Kingdoms Of Africa: Ethiopia A Documentary Journal: by Lunkuse.B.Paulls.

I am once again watching Dr. Gus Casely Hayford’s BBC 4’s Series. The lost kingdoms of Africa. This time it is Ethiopia and this is my take on it.

Prompt#. What was the most profound scene from this film and why do you think so?

The camera shifts, a sight is revealed in all its magnificence. The painting has lasted for thousands of centuries. Yet its beauty still shimmers, as though the piece has not been touched before. Dr. Gus’s jaw drops, his eyes shift in wonder with awe. He is marveling at the sight before him. I am breathless. My eyes pinned on the screen. Yes, it is the painting of priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant. I thought this masterpiece was supposed to be in Jerusalem! Except, it is in Ethiopia.ethiopia1

Yes! The most profound scene for me  is the scene where Dr. Gus Casely-Hayford is talking to the high priest His Highness Abune Paulos, inquiring about the true ancestry of the Ethiopian and the Orthodox church and on the priest’s right side, a painting of Ancient Ethiopians lifting ‘The Ark of the Covenant’! It is the sight of this art, seeming so real, orthodox, Old Testament that I found most profound.ethiopia2

This to me was not only shocking and overwhelming but it also left me breathless. I am a lover of history and I have particularly been interested in the Ethiopian Religious Doctrines earlier. However, I had no idea that this Ethiopian culture was built on a history so deep it includes The Ark of the Covenant or Old testament Solomon and Queen Sheba’s son Emperor Mulzac. This is still the most shocking revelation I got from the video. To me it was like a completion of a puzzle that has been for long unsolved.images-1150416172202-ethiopia-ark-of-the-covenant-super-169

I also think this scene is very crucial as everything else in the film revolves around it. This includes the religious norms including Judaism and Orthodox, the temple in which the ‘Ark of the covenant’ is kept, to be specific, the symbolism and embellishments that are incorporated in almost all architecture. From the star of David, the wooden roof patterns, the symbol of the rising sun, the crescent moon and the sun and the temples that stand as long as skyscrapers and as Guy Casely mentioned in the narration, some of this buildings are older or even as old as the ancient Greek temples in Rome and Greece.

It is the revelation of the ‘Ark of the Covenant’ that sets the temple for the entire video, research. The fact that the Ethiopians believe their culture was founded on this, that their religious beliefs revolve around this concept, the culture and isolation from external civilizations, all liking back to the first emperor believed to have been the son of Solomon and Sheba,  makes this scene even more profound.

Academia, Stories...

BBC 4’s The lost Kingdoms Of Africa: WestAfrica. A Documentary Journal… by Lunkuse.B.Paulls

Hello, so this week I am going to be posting a series of Historical academia. These are Documentary Journals I write after watching a series of Documentaries by Dr.Gus Casely Hayford. He made documentaries about several African kingdoms, and what I am posting here are my written journals for each documentary. Enjoy!

West Africa.

Prompt #1. What was the most profound scene from this film and why do you think so?

The most profound scene for me in the film was ‘the Dogon Animist Dance Scene’. This was very intriguing for me. Something that I have not seen anywhere before. There is not even a slight likeness of this scene in any Art I have come across, except that this scene reminded me of Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things fall Apart’, the scene where the villagers are witnessing spirit dance during a village celebration when one of the masked spirits, like the narrator’s voice recognized, danced with a limp similar to Okonkwo’s very own.

dogon-danceI felt like it was the most mesmerizing thing in the whole film, despite the fact that the narrator was focused on finding the relationship between the Malian communities and the Beninese.  It is indicated in the film that Benin is highly animist basing on their art, especially the bronze Benin Plaques and the symbolism in sculptures of Leopards and snakes like that on the roof of the Oba’s court. There was a revelation that this form of art could not be found in the Djenne jeno parts of Mali, even though they were found in the Dogon Parts. What was even more striking was the fact that even though the residents of Djenne are mostly moslem, they still have a lot of animist traditions like the spirit bricks inserted at the corners and center of the house when it is being built, making it clear that the only reason they had no sculptures was because Islam forbids it.

Throughout the film, from Dr. Gus’ arrival in Dogon land, evidence of these animist beliefs became even more recurring, some architecture almost similar to that in Benin. This is indicated through the roofing, the iron-smelting, designs on walls for children among others. But this is mostly depicted through the Dogon dance. The most appealing of these includes the Haran dance, not to mention the snake and Lizard dances.

The tendency to practice these animist deeds in architecture seems not to be a matter of only West Africa, but other parts of Africa as well like the East. In Uganda for example, the act of putting a spirit at the foundation and corners of the house before its full establishment is practiced, even though in a direr way, where people cut off animals and birds’ necks to fill these places with blood, lest it would sacrifice on its own. Like in Benin, some animals are respected and treated as totems, forbidding people from endangering them, lest it causes harm to their future. The similarity of these facts to me was most profound, thus more evidence that Africa is indeed a land with full traditions that cannot be easily erased, and that boarders are indeed imaginary lines only created by the colonialists, for nothing in the African culture can really be changed.

WATCH DOCUMENTARY HERE  BBC4’s LOST KINGDOMS OF AFRICA: WEST AFRICA