Thursday, March 15, 2018

Black Panther Movie: NB Commentary (VIDEOS)

Black Panther Movie: NB Commentary

In this video, I wish to present to you, my commentary on the movie, Black Panther.  Many of my thoughts presented in this video have been derived from my initial impressions, articles that I have read, videos I have watch pro and con and a host of other comments from folks in the comment sections under articles, videos and reviews pertaining to this movie.

My commentary will present an alternative view. I think that it is important for alternative voices and commentary to be heard for the purpose of balance and introspection.  Indeed, it is clear that the vote is in, and Black Panther has taken the world by storm and has surprised even its makers.  The amount of support, particularly from the Black community has been astounding which implies that more folks are geared up to support this movie than there are those who wish to present an alternate and maybe a somewhat counter perspective on the benefit of this movie to Black folks in general and the image of Black folks, particularly here in America, in general.

Let me begin by saying, now that Africans have a fictitious super hero show, akin to Superman, Batman, and the Green Hornet, please show me how even the slightest correlation will help elevate black consciousness. I.e., how many of these movie goers will boycott during the scandalous Christmas season, starting with Black Friday. In fact, what have the super heroes done for white folks besides give them the "illusion" of grandeur. I don't think we need any more super heroes. We have enough Real ones to celebrate. Malcolm X birthday, almost became a national holiday, now folks at the movies are giving the white man they money. Feeling empowered by fiction. Am I being a kill joy or what?

I really don't care about the celebrity engagement. 
Or the celebrity involvement. 
Or how much money the actors will make, or even how much the movie makers, movie houses, movie concession stands, movie ticket sellers, movie uber drivers, movie dress makers, movie drummers and stilt walkers, movie advertisers and pundits. I don't even care about the fact that people feel that the closed shows were seeped in racist fears that black folks may riot or feel empowered or both.

I don't care if people literally call me a Hater for spreading this hateration. 
What I care about is that this is science fiction. And what I would like to know is how does science fiction seep into the consciousness of white supremacist and change their minds.

I want to know how science fiction will stop cops from killing black children, Monsanto from poisoning our food, big oil from poisoning us with plastics, and pharmaceuticals from poisoning us by selling us legalized drugs. 

How will this hype over shadow our true hero's who lost their lives fighting for freedom and justice like Malcolm X.

Our children are resonating with comics but hey, they don't know who Stockley Carmichael, Marcus Garvey, Huey Newton, Sojourner Truth, Dr. Ben, Ivan Van Sertima, Benjamin Banneker, and a host of real people who made real changes.

I would also like to add a comment that I found in the comment section beneath a video about the Black Panther movie.  Unfortuanately, I do not remember which video it was but I think it is important to share these dates with you.

And I quote "Philly Phil" here.

"The movie was strategically released smack dab in the middle of Black History Month for the end game of DISRUPTING the study by 40 Million Negros of REAL Black superheros. 

2/7 death of Anta Diop,
2/15 birth of H. Sylvester Williams,
2/17 birth of Huey Newton,
2/20 death of Frederick Douglas,
2/21 death of Malcolm X,
2/23 birth of Amos Wilson,
2/23 birth of WEB Dubois,
2/25 death of Elijah Muhammad. 

The comics present a false reality. It's the fallaciousness of this whole thing. Even the movie "The Butler" about that guy who spent decades working in the white house was more historically correct. We don't need more fantasy, we need the real truth, that's all I'm saying. Do the young folks know that there are Black Panthers languishing right now in federal prisons. Do they know about Assata Shakur?

I mean seriously, doesn't it say something that finally Marvel Comics can give a nod to a Black Super hero? When there are African comics and animation creators who can get no backing, but this will?
They knew exactly how to pull this wool over the eyes of the masses for sure.

And if imagery is everything, how can one Black movie change the massive amount of imagery that has been spoon fed to the masses depicting white supremacy? I'm confused. On the other hand, we just came through a season where white supremacy was at its zenith, i.e., a white Jesus born to save the entire world, and not one person, except me, said anything about that image. White Jesus in black churches still tells black folks, that white is supreme and savior, and one movie cannot change what has been indelibly placed in the minds of the people, white and black. White folks have had a ton of white super heroes.. are we saying that their super heroes have and will have the same impact, that is, they will continue to see themselves as superior? It would follow logically that they would if we are going to assume that the imagery in a movie has the effect of changing the image of a people, real or contrived.

It is truly unfortunate that a people has been relegated to such a level of self esteem that they would need a fantasy movie to boost their image of themselves.

What I am trying to say here is this. If one black superhero can change the mindset of a people toward empowerment, than surely all the tons of white heroes and saviors in the media, have certainly done their job in promoting and sustaining white supremacy. So to me, this movie is just a drop in the bucket compared to the avalanche of white themed movies since movies even became something to watch. And we are gonna need more than one black movie to change the predominance of white supremacy in the culture and minds of people globally.

 Why can't they tell true stories of real heroes who really did something. Like the Black inventors who's inventions were co-opted to the point that nobody knows who invented simple things like the stop light. During black history month, we need real history, not a fantasy. I don't care if the fantasy was created by a black man and directed by one.

Make a movie showing Africa for real, this movie is fantasy. If folks go to Africa looking for what they saw in this movie they will be sorely disappointed. 

Black people need reality after being brainwashed for hundreds of years.  They need their real history not a made up fairy tale of "could be some how might have been".  If we were not such a broken people, we could take the risk of a few fairy tales, but we are, and we need to heal, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

 This movie will only lure more and more people into some pseudo empowerment, but when they are looking down the barrel of a gun held by a police officer trained to see "black people" as dangerous, even if they are unarmed, they will not be able to pull "vibranium" out of their pockets. 

We live in real times that are dangerous, and being socially engineered to sleep through a movie such as this one, is like pumping massive amounts of sedatives into the hearts and minds of a people who can not take the risk of even blinking much less, going off to sleep.

If it truly mattered and would actually make a difference in the consciousness of African descendant folks, it would not have gotten past "go."

Think about it. When have they lauded any real freedom fighters.

Superman ain't real.
Batman ain't real.
Ninja Turtles are not real.
But the Matrix is. 

And this is social engineering and a major distraction that people are actually in national TV fighting over.

Once they mainstream it, it loses its power, like how they mainstreamed Mandela. People don't see how they do this over and over again. It's their way of rewriting history. Where is this done except with Santa Claus and the tooth fairy?  When the babies grow up will they know about the Real Black Panthers or believe this fiction?

I have always been one to wonder about the hidden agenda. Storytelling since the beginning of human experience on this planet has been used to mold and shape or socially engineer the masses. I proceed with great caution when it is mainstream. 

Time will tell what the impact will be, however, the "escape" to the movies and this one in particular, will certainly line some pockets.

Will they simply be inspired to wear the Black panther costume and purchase memorabilia that I am sure they have all ready, and lined up for sale. 

We need discretionary spending, and less unwashed consumerism. Can we get these folks to study African History, read books about Africa's real contributions. Or will they just fill their houses with more fanciful junk!

One thing's for sure this movie is bringing forth a lot of dialogue and that's a good thing.

I love sci-fi, however I realize that it's the imaginings of a mind guided by a creative spirit. 
I also am aware that movies and the media, just like ancient story telling have design and purpose. 
I simply don't trust Hollyweird.

There's a serious and nasty underbelly that paints a skewed reality over the lives closely and not so closely connected to Hollyweird. 

To me supporting it needs to be done with knowledge of the true intent. Are these folks really about empowering black folks and divesting the hundreds of years of racist overtones that have been injected into the film industry thus far?

Are they really about taking that step towards equanimity or is this being used to pacify the masses? As they have done time and time again. Give the "darky" a little limelight here and there but never enough to release him from mental slavery.

Why do people, like lemmings, buy into stuff that is put forth to exploit them. Is there no resistance to the con? All of a sudden after decades of ridicule, harassment and abuse, now Black Panther is something to celebrate. 

This is how they normalize and trivialize threats, especially those of Black Empowerment. 
I just shake my head and wonder why. Then it comes to me, clearly we are in a matrix that is constantly remolding and shaping us to remain, blind, deaf and dumb to the mockery.

Did they use an all black starstudded cast to reel in the unsuspected? Or was there a sincere intent?
It certainly has some revealing overtones but again, I just don't trust Hollyweird, I don't trust Disney and I don't read comics. I also am a very round peg who does not fit into a square hole too well. 
But I thank all of you for your comments.


Minkah Makalani – Rutgers University


Dr. Amos N. Wilson



Here Are The Black People Behind The Scenes Who Made ‘Black Panther’ A Reality

The Black Panther and African Sovereignty

Marvel’s Black Panther: A Comicbook Biography (EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Black Panther Exposed: Was It Witchcraft? (Videos)

Black Panther Exposed: Was It Witchcraft?

In this video I wish to share my commentary on a YouTube video called "BLACK PANTHER EXPOSED: Witchcraft Served to the Black Community" posted by a YouTube channel by called Truthunedited.  The video was Published on Feb 23, 2018.  The link to this video is in the description below. My commentary is in no way a defense of the Disney/Marvel movie, I simply wish to express my thoughts on the concepts presented in this video as a rebuttal to the premise that this movie, like so many others, contain what is commonly called by Christians "witchcraft".  I wish to express some of the obvious parallels between commonly held Christian precepts and dogma that are enshrouded in so-called pre-Christian practices.

The Movie, Black Panther has served its purpose of creating debate, controversy, disgust, disbelief and even the loss of friends, family and associates.  Like in the political spectrum, one is hard pressed to speak against it as it will garner outrage that one would be so deft as to not see the historical impact and paradigm shift it has and will continue to create. It has aptly captivated the minds of those who were seemingly awake and brought them back to slumber and the minds of those already slumbering into an even deeper slumber.  Along with that is has topped box office expectations within the first two weeks reaching the 1 billion dollar record for any Marvel Comic Universe movie. It has been creatively marketed to entice and has altered the minds of those who view it. 

This fantasy has created a paradigm shift towards the support and acceptance of what Hollyweird can do to change the image of a people from powerless to powerful, all amidst the backlash of Hollyweird scandals. People who heretofore were reticent to support anything "Hollywood" have changed their minds and now support Hollywood's attempt to create a so called better image of Africans and African descendant folk.  Even the most skeptical have reached into their pockets to pay the piper for this hypnotic song. They argue that while they are aware that it is just a fantasy, that it can still have an impact on how Hollywood will treat its People of Color with more respect, dignity and adulation, thus opening the door for more People of Color to advance beyond the racist epithet that is Hollywood, hands down.  They argue that now People of color can have more opportunities to be in the limelight, when heretofore, they conveyed a deep concern for the Hollyweird lifestyle, its extravagance, its discrimination, its scandals and its misrepresentations of People of Color.

I will not go further on this aspect but will now shift my focus to the video mentioned previously and that is,  "BLACK PANTHER EXPOSED: Witchcraft Served to the Black Community" posted by a YouTube channel called Truthunedited.

Let me start by saying that your video was very well done. It contains a lot of truths that resonate with me. The depictions and graphics were well placed and the message carried through until the end.

However, when you began to discuss witchcraft and how the movie was leading people away from the Bible and towards the ancient spiritual customs of Africans… it took me aback.

I find it quite interesting that anyone of African descent in Africa or in the Diaspora can take the religion of the oppressor.  The imposition of Christianity into the African experience was brought by "white missionaries" and the black guns of the imperialistic invasion of the colonizers, who all over Africa are seen erected and honored in Churches in the face of a "White Jesus."  The colonizers skillfully duped the Africans into believing that a White Jesus, not their indigenous gods, ancestors or nature spirits, would save them from their "sins" which were only sinful in the eyes of the European colonizers.  They brought the concept of "sin" to Africa and the need to eradicate it through their pre-ordained notion that a "White Jesus" could do this for them.

Christianity as it is brought to us in which it warns against witchcraft in my estimation, is patently disingenuous. The very thing that is supposedly "evil", against "God and his ordinances", spawned by Satan himself… are all done in the Bible by people of God, prophets of God and even "Jesus" himself.  I find it quite ironic that while pointing a finger at other religions who worship idols and who acknowledge the Ancestors, that Christians find a departure from doing the same when they do it. 

Christians often separate themselves in their piety from the rest of humanity while turning a blind eye to their very own customs, rituals and beliefs. Just doing some background research on some of the most popular Christian Holidays, should draw a conclusion that 1) Christianity has borrowed much from its "pagan" counterparts and 2) the miracles are magic, slights of hand, indisposed superstition, and tricks that are akin to pagan practices, not a departure from it.  Placing a Christian mantle over a pagan ritual, holiday, custom, practice etc., does not make it less pagan. It actually gives it a cover, ingratiates it, protects it, honors it and sustains it.
Pre-Christian Pagan roots can be seen in many contemporary Christian holidays.

"No matter which holidays you celebrate, most holidays on the calendar have a history behind it. Most of these histories are steeped in debated origins; most with at least some minor link or curious similarity to pagan tradition." 
25 Popular Holidays With Surprisingly Pagan Origins

Christmas=the birth of Mithra;   pagans celebrated the sun god, Odin
Easter=the festival of Ishtar; The spring equinox;
The Christmas Tree; Celebration of Nimrod. Evergreen trees were important fertility emblems for pre-Christian ceremonies marking the winter solstice.
Halloween; celebration of Samhain. It was the end of the harvest season
New Years Day; the victory of the sky god Marduk over the sea goddess Tiamat.
Ash Wednesday;  protection of the Norse god Odin

I could go on and on with the many depictions of magic and witchcraft featured in the Bible and connect them to pagan practices that predate Christianity.

The idea that a "Savior" is needed to save humanity from their sins is the most deep rooted ploy played "against" humanity in whatever religion it manifests, because it takes sovereignty from the individual and places it in the hands of someone else who then becomes responsible for the individuals behavior.  Thus Kings, and rulers and gods are herald as the salvation of the people instead of the people taking responsibility for their own behavior.  This is  a trap of incessant control over the masses as the masses will become entrapped in a vicious cycle of shirking their responsibility, falling into guilt, being redeemed and then continuing in the same vain, again and again.

With all the outstanding research that you have done and the many correlations that you provide in your video, it astonishes me that you have not come upon, or if you have, you have not expressed, the many correlations between what happens in the Bible as it relates to what you refer to as "Witchcraft" in the movie Black Panther and the blatant exemplary depictions of "witchcraft" in the religion called "Christianity."

One of the problems with this type of docu-video-info-research, is the mixing of things in such a way that the truth is so apparent and blatant, the untruths or lack of research become veiled.  This methodology has the viewer in such a state of "belief" they miss the disinfo.  This methodology is very, very dangerous, I might add.

I will conclude my comment with a reference to my video where I analyze the correlations between what Christians call "witchcraft" and what their "Savior" did.

Are You Involved In Witchcraft and don't Even Know It?

More Reading:
"BLACK PANTHER EXPOSED: Witchcraft Served to the Black Community"
25 Popular Holidays With Surprisingly Pagan Origins

Evergreen trees were important fertility emblems for pre-Christian ceremonies marking the winter solstice

Kristan goes over the ancient origins of the Christian holiday of Christmas and holiday traditions including December 25th, Winter Solstice, Three kings, Eastern Star, Sun worship, Wicked ruler Nimrod, Tammuz, Semiramis, Evergreen Tree, History of the Christmas Tree, Holly Bush, Gifting, History of the crown, sun disc, Osiris, Isis, Horus, Buddah, Hercules, Attis, History of the Yule Log, Santa Klaus, History of Santa Klaus, Babylonian tradition, Christmas Traditions, Son of God or Sun of God?


Here Are The Black People Behind The Scenes Who Made ‘Black Panther’ A Reality

The Black Panther and African Sovereignty

Marvel’s Black Panther: A Comicbook Biography (EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

"Get Me Out of Wakanda": Articles & Analysis of Black Panther Movie (Videos)

"Get Me Out of Wakanda": Articles and Analysis of Black Panther Movie

It's been at least a week now that the hype over Wakanda has crescendoed.  The movie seems to have taken the world by storm, and I do mean the entire world.  However, we do know that what is reported is not necessarily what is really happening, all we gotta do is look at the last US presidential election cycle to see that numbers and polls can be flubbed and flipped to fit a narrative.  What we can be sure of is that with the amount of support pouring in from the Black American community, Disney/Marvel are rolling in some serious bucks.  Along with all the memorabilia, that is probably trademarked, along with felony restrictions on the copyright, this film will make money for the producers, hand over fist. And Disney's investment will sky rocket in its returns.

Meanwhile the debate ensues as to the merit of this film. As for myself, whenever it feels like there some hype behind it, I am skeptical.  The mere fact that a film showing black people in positions of power or having powerful impact has always been minimized in Hollyweird, and the crumbs that dropped from the table always seemed to be just enough to keep the recipients of these crumbs engaged in the "pie in the sky" ideal that one day, some day, Hollyweird would recognize the wealth of Black talent right in their stock rooms.

Hollyweird has always shown its underbelly when it comes to black actors in starring roles.  They have gone so far as to blacken the faces of white actors so they could ignorantly represent black folk.  They have consistently denied awarding black actors in varying degrees when it came to the Oscars, and have also denied directors and producers of color.  To the point where Jada and Will Smith were complaining about the poor representation in the Oscars of Black folk. Now we have a spectacular film  that has reached record heights in what it has brought to the theaters around the globe.  But will it receive accolades at the next grammy awards? And if it does, why?

Personally, I don't trust Hollyweird and I certainly don't trust Disney.  I have left a link to my blog post in the description below, check out the links in the blog, see for yourself what Disney and Hollyweird have been up to.  I don't want to make this video too long, so I will move on.

In this video I will share with you a few articles discussing the Black Panther movie.

I will admit, that I have not watched it, and after seeing the previews and having dreams flash in my head from just watching the previews, I am reticent to watch it now, because it feels like it will be quite hypnotic and I am trying to stay woke as much as possible. So, if you are not interested in watching this any further because I have not seen the movie, that's fine. The social engineering persists through the film industry, it is designed that way to project into the minds of those who watch it subliminally and overly, the marching orders.  I'd rather not march with the crowd.  If that makes me a hater or someone who should not even say anything, well, it's my channel and like those who are "pro" black panther movie.. I believe the alternative voices should be heard and that is what I wish to express.

So I will continue to share with you a few articles with a somewhat different perspective.

Get Me Outa Wakanda!
Bruce A. Dixon, BAR managing editor

The Panther Movie: Why is It Dangerous? Why Do We Fall for It?

Abdul Alkalimat is a native of Chicago, Illinois and received his PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago. He is currently a Professor in African American Studies and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Go to his website to find out more about his lifelong history of activism, with a focus on

‘Black Panther’ Is Not the Movie We Deserve
Chris Lebron is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University and author of The Making Of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea.
This article previously appeared in Boston Review .

On the Black Panther Movie and the Limits of Our Imagination
Bruce A. Dixon, BAR managing editor

Here Are The Black People Behind The Scenes Who Made ‘Black Panther’ A Reality
Taryn Finley
Black Voices Editor, HuffPost
Taryn Finley is a Black Voices Editor at HuffPost, based in New York City. Previously she has worked at The Root, ESSENCE magazine, NBC Universal, DC Modern Luxury and Radio One. She has a masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is a graduate of Howard University. Taryn can be reached at

More Reading:


Here Are The Black People Behind The Scenes Who Made ‘Black Panther’ A Reality

The Black Panther and African Sovereignty

Marvel’s Black Panther: A Comicbook Biography (EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Hidden Meaning of African Attire (Videos)

The Hidden Meanings Of African Attire

I am drawing this title from an article that I read that I wish to share with you. However, I want to make a few comments before I share the article with you.
One of the things that I find most interesting about how people talk about Africa is that they tend to think that Africa and its people are homogeneous.  While they may share many similarities, they are not exactly homogeneous.  In fact, there are many cultures and subcultures in Africa.  First off Africa is a continent made of many countries.  The African Union recognizes 54 countries.  These countries vary in so many ways that it is virtually impossible to put them all together in one description.  Many times people who take a cursory look at Africa tend to think they can apply what they learn about one region, country or community to the entire continent.  This approach leads many people in a direction that is incompatible with the true essence of Africa, Africans and their way of life.

The African continent contains communities that are very industrialized to communities that still live isolated from the world.  There are innumerable languages and dialects. There are innumerable lifestyles, religious practices and cultures.  Africa as a continent is not a melting pot, but a place of differentiation and cultural mores. 

There are some things that are intrinsic to the African experience, that is, the importance of family and community, deep spirituality, an appreciation for nature and an honoring of the Ancestors.  Depending on the region, climate and weather, there are festivals that acknowledge the harvest, the weather changes, and various other customs that signify the African's awareness of their environment and their connection to it.

There are people who are nomadic and they tend to adapt to the environment or are nomadic because the environment is not sustainable enough to inhabit for long periods of time.  Even the hunting styles vary from community, village, country to country.

Again, Africa is not homogeneous, and while researchers and pundits may wish to identify Africa as one conglomerate of people, some often don't even realize that Africa is a continent and not a country, it is virtually impossible to place Africa and its people under one umbrella.

One thing that is certain, everything that they do has purpose and meaning.  Masks are made for specific purposes, certain words are used to describe certain things for a purpose.  Relationships are purposeful and leadership is accountable.
Before the advance of western civilization into the African experience, the elders were revered and the children belonged to the entire community, every adult male is a father and every adult female is a mother to all the children.  Extended families and polygamy (polygny) is quite ordinary in most societies and there is also a smattering of polyandry where the women have more than one husband.
The priests and priestess, elders and wise men and women have a high position in African society across the board, and are respected.

Beyond that the customary way that these social norms are displayed vary from community to community, village to village and in some instance country to country, although, that is even stretching it a bit too far.

When people begin to discuss and even study African culture, they are remiss to attribute a general broad brush to Africa, because it simply is impossible to do so.  Over the past few years there have been several African leaders who wanted to Unite Africa under one umbrella, calling it the united States of Africa.  Muamar Gaddaffi had that in mind as well, but, without understanding the extreme diversity of the many peoples who inhabit the African continent, what you typically get is an elite group of elite officials who decide what is best for "ALL" of the African people.  History has shown even with institutions like the UN or the EU, that it is still very difficult to place a single umbrella over a very diverse group of people.

I would also like to mention that, in regard to this article, the focus is more on West African style of dress.  As you can see in my slideshow, that there are different styles of dress across the continent, and while West African style may be prominent or even more popular it does not represent the entire scope of African attire.  It simply has become more popular in the eyes of the Western World who view it, with the same lens they tend to view most things, that is, they tend to pigeon hole and homogenize their perspective rather than take a look at the diversity.  For some reason this diversity, makes it hard for them to understand what they are looking at so they make it easier for them to digest by painting the continent with a broad brush.

The Africans in Diaspora throughout the world also represent a hodgepodge of diverse cultural practices, languages and lifestyles. Then when they migrate to other countries they tend to imbue some of the cultural norms of their new homes, while attempting to hold on to that which they have left behind.

African people from all over the continent have been the brunt of ridicule and racism for at least the past 400 years.  This was primarily done to justify slavery.  But as I have stated before, if anyone wishes to build an empire they would not enlist the services of non-skilled labor to help them do so.  So to think that the Africans that were brought out of Africa to build the "new land" were ignorant and unskilled is a misnomer that needs to be eradicated from the annals of history.  Unfortunately, the Western society and its educational systems have done their level best to perpetrate the falsity that African people were ignorant savages, who knew nothing and had to be trained like animals.  But, quite the contrary, they had to be divested of what they already knew and implanted with the spurious belief that African civilization, culture and mores were inferior to that of the European.

Even in some of the commentary that I receive under some of my videos, it is plain and obvious that people are simply ignorant of the facts and the contributions that Africans and Africa have given to the world.  But that is another video and I won't go into that right here.  But, instead, I will acknowledge that their ignorance is not really their fault, if they were not taught any different, than how can they know any different?  Therefore it's imperative for Black History, African History to be taught all year round as a significant part of the educational curriculum in the schools so that they can be informed of the true contributions that Africa and its people have given to the world.

The invaders found artisans, craftsmen, iron workers, gold smelters, brick layers, masons, farmers, mathematicians, scientists, herbalists, educators, ministers, priests, astronomers, and even magicians when they came to Africa. The idea that the Africans they encountered there were ignorant and uneducated has altered the world view of the African over the past 4-500 years and has cause a great deal of ignorance to prevail around the subject of Africa and its people.

Today, a certain curiosity has developed when it comes to understanding Africa and its people.  However, as it becomes  more and more mainstream, my concern is that even this curiosity will devolve into the same pattern of painting Africa and its people with a broad brush. To understand the African, you must immerse yourself in their culture, social mores and lifestyles.  But, it has to be a specific attribution to a specific territory or region rather than using the "melting pot" scenario. It's a big bite and a long chew, but I would suggest a more localized study of a particular region and especially through their native tongue if you wish to understand them. Otherwise, you will make many mistakes and in some instances offend the indigenous African who knows full well his own culture and that what they do in Swaziland is not what they do in Nigeria!  With that being said, let's go on to the article.

"The Hidden Meanings of African Clothing"

"The Dashiki: The History of a Radical Garment"
Here it is important to note that the term "dashiki"  is a Yoruba word references to the garment worn by men.  The garment that is worn by women is called a Buba.  The man's garment is longer while the women's garment is shorter.  Cultural appropriation of this garment can be scene across the African landscape and the diaspora in a variety of patterns and fabrics with the Angelina print reaching its hayday in the 1960's and having a resurgence in the late first decade of the 21 century.  In fact, various African prints have been used to accentuate several fashion styles and modeling runways.  The customary styles found most prominently in Nigeria and Ghana have become forerunners as their acceptance as traditional African garments are most popular.  

It was once noted to me from an indigenous African, that the garment and patterns themselves mean nothing compared to the individual who's wearing them.  That is, at certain festivals one may notice that everyone is wearing the same or similar print garments.  The individuals wearing these garments are empowered by their own essence and do not squabble about how another may be wearing the same print. The uniformity may have Westerners shying away from "looking like" or wearing something that is the same as another.  Vying for their own uniqueness, they often miss that it is the wearer and not the garment that is unique.

Also, the larger more flowing garment worn by men in Nigeria is called "Agbada" or if worn by women is called the "grand Buba" and the "Ntoma" or large wrapped garment is worn by both men and women in Ghana West Africa.  The shorter version of Dashiki in Ghana has been referred to as "batakari" but Ghanaians will also call the men's top a Dashiki. Additionally, the wrap cloth worn by women is called a "lapa" by many Ghanaians or in their language "atade" or small cloth.
Once you align yourself with the style it is also important to know the country from which it is herald.  Africans among themselves are quite aware of the distinctions between cultures and styles. They can identify one another based on what they are wearing.  However, within the confines of cultural appropriation and a bit of naiveté, a mixing of cultural styles of dress will be seen particular in popular modern fashions.

Moving on to the next article 
"The Dashiki: The History of a Radical Garment"

African Head wear
Again we see a variety of head wear or coverings that bespeak a continent of diverse customs and styles.  The customs vary and may demonstrate the various stations in life of the individual who is wearing them. For example, a married man or woman may wear their head covering in a certain way.  This lets the community know that they are married.  The same is true with those who are unmarried or single.
The head wear symbolizes the complete look, in other words, you are not completely dressed until you have place a "crown" upon your head.  Special occasions, festivals and the like will have the attendees wearing a variety of head wear from simple to extravagant.

In fact, in Ghana, West Africa as well as in Nigeria, a single woman will not wear an over garment or "apron" while the married or elder women will do so.

When indigenous Africans see their cultural garments worn by those who are not indigenous they make certain assumptions about the wearer.  It is only natural that seeing someone wear your cultural garments in a manner that would be inappropriate within the cultural confines of your particular country, community or village would garner a certain aversion from the observer.  In some cases, the observer may even attempt to explain the "appropriate" manner and occasion when such garments should or should not be worn, or simply, shake their heads at the ignorance of the wearer.  Some may even go so far as to be offended.

Recently there was a huge outcry about men wearing "skirts" or "dresses" as it was seen through the Western lens, that these garments were mainly worn by women.  However, if you go back into human history, and take a look at the clothing styles worn by men, you will find that men have been wearing what appeared to be "skirts" or "dresses" for quite some time. The "pants" as a style strictly for men was introduced over the past few centuries while something wrapped around the waist of a man was more often seen.

In Africa, the idea of using a pattern also was outside of the norm. Men and women sewed and were all considered tailors.  In fact, it is quite common to see men sewing particular when it came to the patterns of embroidery that are seen accenting many African prints. It takes a very special skill to create these beautiful "free hand" patterns of embroidery.

The advancement of Islamic or Arabic culture into the African continent has its impact as well in the style of dress and head wear for the men and the women. Interestingly enough, the particular style that is/was worn by the Islamists has much to do with climate and environment. Face coverings, in particular, have been worn by many desert dwellers who are covering their faces to guard against the hot sun and sand.  Over time, this style became equated with "Islamic garb" when in fact it is more the garb of a desert dweller or nomadic person.

Huge debates have been waged as to what is and what is not "Islamic" garb and how and who should wear what. But further study and research will bring to mind, that much of what is worn by a people is indigenous to their surroundings and environment and not necessarily due to their religion.  Do not be confused by this.  There are many people who are Islamic and are quite comfortable wearing Islamic garb in any environment.  The Arabic style has become the Islamic style and many will find no difficulty donning these garments proudly and with great reverence.  To them, it represents what they stand for and has a unifying effect on those who call themselves followers of the Islamic faith.

What I wish to present in this video is the importance of "knowing" what you are wearing and in that way you can avoid erroneous cultural appropriation.  It may seem insignificant to the Western or modern mind, but it means much more than can be stated in a short video on the topic.  Take a moment and do your own research.  Be aware of the political, economic, cultural and even spiritual significance of the African garments you chose to wear.  Educate yourself about the history and purpose of the garments.  Empower yourself with this knowledge.  And share this knowledge with others.

It is one thing to celebrate African History during Black history month by wearing African garb but I feel that it is most important, that we wear Africa in our hearts instead of simply displaying Africa in our styles and fashions.  Let's preserve the significance, meaning and power behind the garb and revel in the knowledge of the diversity as well as the commonality that we find on the African continent and the African Diaspora.

More Reading:

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List of countries in Africa

The AU does have 54 members
Working out how many members there are of the African Union is indeed quite easy.
As set out on this list, it has 54 members. One of them – the Central African Republic – though still a member is suspended, or “under political sanction” following a coup.
So is that the answer? Africa comprises 54 countries, all members of the AU.
Well no, because not all Africa’s countries are in fact AU members.

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