Oct 31, 2007

Kôniginnen Afrikas dishonors Reines d'Afrique" et héroines de la diaspora noire by Sylvia Serbin

We, Black women from 16 -EU member states, attending the first Black European Women's Congress in Vienna from 27-29 of September 2007, vehemently refuse the distorted translation and edition of Sylvia SERBIN's book "Kôniginnen Afrikas" published by Peter Hammer Verlag (original title: "Reines d'Afrique" et héroines de la diaspora noire). The translation of the original text has used racist terminology as well as manipulated information, which changed the content of the book without the consent of the author. This consequently presents a false colonial picture of the history of Black people, especially that of Black Women.
The credibility of the author's work and that of black history have been negated and misrepresented in a form that we, as Black European Women and our organisations, find unacceptable.

We insist that the German edition is immediately retracted from the market!

Wir Schwarze Frauen aus 16 EU Mitgliedsstaaten, ais Teilnehmerinnen des ersten Europaischen Schwarzen Frauenkongresses in Wien vom 27.- 29. September 2007 lehnen die verzerrte Übersetzung und Herausgabe von Sylvia SERBINs Buch "Kôniginnen Afrikas" (Originaltitel: "Reines d'Afrique" et héroines de la diaspora noire) - y_- erschienen im Peter Hammer_Verlag vehement ab. "ln der Übersetzung des Originaltextes werden rassistische Termini verwendet und ohne Zustimmung der Autorin inhaltliche Manipulationen vorgenommen. ln der deutschen Version wird daher ein kolonial gepragtes Bild der Geschichte Schwarzer Menschen insbesondere Schwarzer Frauen prasentiert. Die Authentizitat und die Glaubwürdigkeit der Autorin und die der Schwarzer Geschichte werden negiert und in einer Art und Weise falsch wiedergegeben, die wir ais Schwarze Europaische Frauen und Organisationen nicht akzeptieren.

Wir bestehen darauf, dass die deutsche Ausgabe sofort vom Markt genommen werden.

Oct 30, 2007

Freedom Technology Christmas

AfroSpear bloggers are encouraging Blacks to give "the gift of technology" to their children, parents and others, to empower them to communicate in the Internet Age, with recommended gifts of computers, digicams, broadband and open source software.

This Christmas, the same AfroSpear Black bloggers who organized the March on Jena are spear-heading the "AfroSpear Freedom Technology Christmas" (FTC) campaign.

One hundred AfroSpear bloggers in forty US states and five countries are mobilizing their readers to give Christmas presents that increase citizen journalism within the Black community.

"When you have a blog, what happens to you in a small town can become international news, said Field Negro, who won a Black Weblog Award this year. He cited the case of Shaquanda Cotton, a 14 year-old who was unfairly sentenced to 7 years in prison for pushing a high school hall monitor, but who was released when her Freedom Blog caught national attention.

"We're going to teach our children to communicate with the world and give them the tools to do it," said Eddie G. Griffin (BASG), an ex-Black Panther who helps lead the group's outreach to Blacks in the criminal justice system.

Shawn Williams, of the AfroSpear's Dallas South blog, featured on MSNBC and in the Chicago Tribune for his Jena Six advocacy, says the success of the March on Jena has convinced Black bloggers that "Freedom Technology" is essential to their movement. He said, "This Christmas, our children and families need modern communication tools, like 24-hour broadband connections and digital cameras. These tools can be used to document injustices like the Jena nooses, while at the same time help to narrow the technology divide that continues to widen."

"The gift of communication technology like computers and webcams is the best gift that you can give your children and family, because it empowers them to educate and advocate for the Black community and for themselves," said the African American Political Pundit. "Black blogging encourages writing skills and critical thinking, which are precisely the skills our children need," said the African American Political Pundit.

“Black children are going to jail at a rate 6 times higher than that of white children in America”, said Eddie G. Griffin (BASG), a leader of the AfroSpear's Black Accused Support Groups movement.

"We are expanding the national Black media that focuses on the needs of black people in the context of America and the world. And AfroSpear bloggers will announce the ways in which Freedom Technology Christmas presents have dramatically improved communication among AfroSpear bloggers in five countries and four continents," said Atty. Holland.

Freedom Technology Christmas recommended gifts are laptop or home computers, headphones with microphones and webcams (for computer- to-computer conversations), digital cameras and camera "memory sticks," "pen drives" for saving documents, photographs and music, foreign language software, music production software and writing skills software.

Many excellent Christmas computer software presents are available for free. Open Source alternatives are abundant. For example, the cost of Microsoft Vista Home Premium at Amazon: $219.99, Cost of Ubuntu Linux: $0; Cost of Adobe Photoshop CS3 at Amazon: $619.99, Cost of Gimp: $0; Cost of Microsoft Office Standard 2007 at Amazon: $324.99, Cost of Open Office: $0, and Cost of Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 at Amazon: 398.99, Cost of Nvu: $0.

Many communication programs are available for free download and include Skype (free computer telephone), ooVoo (free televideo communication) Yahoo and MSN (e-mail and instant messages), all available at Download.Com.

“I wholeheartedly support the Freedom Technology Christmas as a way not only to give a gift with meaning, but also to encourage black youth to hone their computer, writing, analysis, critical thinking, photography and other skills. New talents will be unearthed and encouraged to grow”, says Adrianne from the Black Women in Europe blog.
Contact: Francis L. Holland francisholland@yahoo.com
AfroSpear Freedom Technology Blog http://afrospear-ftc.blogspot.com
AfroSpear Bloggers in the News http://afrospear-news.blogspot.com
AfroSpear Think Tank Blog http://afrospear.wordpress.com

Oct 29, 2007

A Look At Audrey Vreugd - Co-Organizer of the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Audrey Vreugd co-organized the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna. She is a project manager at Tiye International in the Netherlands and a Dutch Board Member of the European Women's Lobby.

Oct 25, 2007

A Look At Claudia Unterweger A Workshop Moderator At The 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Claudia Unterweger moderated the "Combined workshops disucssion on overlapping methods and strategies" workshop at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna. She is a member of Pamoja, the Movement of the Young African Diaspora in Austria. She hosts the Connected radio show on FM4 Austria and is also a member of the Black Austrian History research group.

Oct 24, 2007

Neighborhood Walkabout and 24 October Day of Action for Darfur

Help Amnesty get more signatures for their Global Petition on Darfur! There are 6 weeks left and only 50,000 more signatures to go to make it to half a million.

Sign the petition.

Call on UN Security Council presidents to get UNAMID on the Ground in Darfur.

Contact the European Commission and ask them to take action against the atrocities in Darfur.

Oct 23, 2007

A Look At Daphne Sandberg - A Workshop Facilitator at the 1st Black European Women's Congress

Daphne Sandberg facilitated the "Preparing for the Way Forward-The Importance of Networking" workshop, and moderated the question and answer session following the "European Black Womens' Perspectives: Claiming a space for Gender and Identity through Empowerment" panel presentation at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna. Daphne sits on the Executive Board of the Swedish Women's Lobby and is a representative of Roks.

Daphne is very active in promoting women's rights and has spoken on numerous occassions on different topics including "The Influence of Women and Girls' Exploitation on the Internet" at the 2006 UNESCO Chair International Symposium - World Wide Women "The Currents and Prospects of Women's Movement in the Cyber World".

Listen to an interview with Daphne on FM4 Austria radio, and read what they Swedish papers say about her here.

Oct 22, 2007

A Look At Veye Tatah - A Plenary Moderator At The 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Veyea Tatah was a plenary moderator at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna. She is a computer scientist, journalist and a co editor and chief of the Africa Positive magazine printed in Germany. Read an interview with her here.

Africa Positive is a German language magazine with a positive angle on the African continent. The project was founded by Veye Tatah when she became tired of people only relating to war and famine when talking about Africa. The magazine has existed since 1999 and covers politics, culture, sport, tourism, fashion and music.

Oct 19, 2007

Lucky Dube Shot and Killed in South Africa

Me with Lucky Dube in the US

Dube, 43, was shot dead in a hijacking while dropping off his son and daughter, aged 15 and 16, in Rosettenville, Johannesburg.

I had the pleasure and the honor of meeting Lucky Dube when I worked with Shanachie Entertainment. He came to perform at a reggae festival in the Washington, DC area and as the regional marketing representative in the area, I went to the show, spent time with him and his band back stage, and got to know a super talented and beloved musician. Contrary to sterotypes of musicians and especially reggae musicians, Lucky Dube did not smoke marijuana, nor drink, and would not let his band drink until after they had performed.

From Lucky's website:
Lucky Dube has been hailed as 'The shining star of African reggae (afropop.com) and 'South Africa's biggest selling contemporary artist' (Mail & Guardian). However, he isn't merely this, he's a modern day hero with a message that has touched millions of people's hearts around the world. With an incredible 21 albums under his musical belt, he has proved himself one of not only South Africa's, but also the world's greatest reggae superstars. A man with superb musical taste and genuis, an artist with a message, with a reason and a rhyme behind everything he does.

As one can judge by listening to his music, he has a message on every album. His songs are based on three main things - political issues, social issues and personal issues - things that play an important role in everyone's lives. When asked what inspires him (Lucky), he humbly notes - 'People! Looking at people, watching people's movements, the things they do. My songs are based on real life situations and experiences.'

From the release of his first reggae album in 1984, to his present superstar status today, Lucky has maintained the humble nature that brings him closer to the people that so inspire his music. He has toured the world more times over than anyone could dream of and shared stages with names such as Maxi Priest, Sinead O-Connor, Peter Gabriel, Michael Jackson, Seal, Ziggy Marley, Celine Dion, Sting and many, many others. He has raked in over 20 local and international awards for his music and videos, yet as a person he is unaffected by his success. Still living in the country that gave him birth, he records with his original sound engineer and belongs to the same record comany. A true gentleman, Lucky's down-to-earth nature is one of his finest qualities.

His music is riddled with the desire to make the world a better place.

Massive hits such as Taxman, Prisoner, The Way It Is, Victims, Trinity and many others have catapulted him into the homes and hearts of people all over the world. He sees through the ridiculous, the injustices, the everyday problems we all have to deal with as human beings, and slices through to the heart of it. His incredible repertoire is a cornucopia of mixed emotions, questioning attitudes and a simple love of a good melody and a good vibe.

Classic Reggae interview:
CR: "Can you give us some examples about how sad it was to live in a South Africa?"
LD: "Well my life basically when growing up as a child during the Apartheid era was generally a sad life. We didn´t have like, good education and stuff like that..."
CR: "...'they only build prison, prison'...". *
LD: Yeah. (laughing)
Listen to Lucky Dube! (180 K)

* Quotation from the Lucky Dube´s song "Prisoner": 'They won´t build no schools anymore. All they build were prison, prison...'

Prisoner is my favorite Lucky Dube song.

Oct 18, 2007

A Look At Beatrice Achaleke - An Organizer of the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Beatrice Achaleke was one of the organizers of the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna. She chaired several question and answer sessions with presenters, held press conferences, attended to conference attendees needs and generally was the glue that held everything and everyone together.

She is the director of AFRA, the International Center for Black Women's Perspectives in Vienna. She is an activist, anti-racism and intercultural communications trainer, and a member of the Black Austria team.

Beatrice is often invited to speak at seminars including the European Network Againt Racism Seminar titled Promoting Integration held in Brussels. She spoke about Migrant women and was quoted saying:

“Measures need to be taken not only to tackle discrimination but to address the disadvantage that has been created by years upon years of discrimination”

“Migrants create jobs; it is time for the jobs that they create start benefiting them”.

Click here to read an interview of Beatrice in German.

She also writes as part of her activism, including the article "Anti-Rassismus in der Praxis aus Schwarzer migrantischer Sicht".

Oct 17, 2007

A Look At Virginia Wangare-Greiner - A Workshop Facilitator At The 1st Black European Women's Congress

Virginia Wangare-Greiner facilitated the second round of the "Political Participation" workshop at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna. She is the founder of Maisha. Among her other duties, she leads a weekly Mother and Child Get together for young African women at Maisha. Maisha is a registered non-profit NGO for African Women in Germany. We came together in 1996 and our aim is to improve the situation of these women. We are a grass-root-organisation and we support each other in times of crisis, in dealing with German authorities and organisations. Our topics of interest are women issues like child education, health education, financial and career management and psychological counseling. The concept is to empower each other in these areas to become a proud and active part of German society but at the same time remain firmly rooted in our African background culture that provides us with a special kind of strength.. We encourage each woman to become active in her own community and manage her very own life.

Maisha ist ein gemeinnütziger eingetragener Verein für afrikanische Frauen in Deutschland. Wir haben uns 1996 gegründet. Unser Ziel ist die Verbesserung der Lebensumstände dieser Frauen. Wir sind eine Selbsthilfegruppe und unterstützen uns gegenseitig in Krisensituationen, im Umgang mit deutschen Behörden und Autoritätspersonen. Wir befassen uns mit Themen wie Kindererziehung, Gesundheitsaufklärung Finanzplanung, Karriere, und psychologischen Problemen. Indem wir uns auf diesen Gebieten fit machen, entwickeln wir uns zu stolzen und aktiven Mitgliedern der deutschen Gesellschaft. Gleichzeitig wollen wir aber den Spagat schaffen und Kraft aus unseren afrikanischen Wurzel schöpfen. Wir wollen durch Vermittlung dieser Lebenseinstellung jede von uns in die Lage versetzen, aktiv ihr Leben in die Hand zu nehmen und zu gestalten.

Oct 16, 2007

A Look At Beate Hammond - A Workshop Facilitator at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Beate Hammond facilitated the second round of the "Challenges faced by young black communities" workshop at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna. She is a writer, economist, and member of the Black Austrian History Research Group.

Beate Hammond erzählte über die Geschichte eines Musikers, die mit der Geburt in eine rassistischen SklavenhalterInnen-Gesellschaft begann. Sein Vater ermöglichte ihm den Weg in die Freiheit. Er ging nach Frankreich, wo er sich zur anerkannten Größe hinaufarbeitete. Die Position eines Operndirektors wurde ihm jedoch aufgrund der rassistischen Vorurteile in der französischen Gesellschaft verwehrt. Seine Polpularität konnte dadurch nicht verhindern werden. Read the full article here.

Beate is involved with causes like this: The trail of the ten persons (6 police officers, 3 paramedics, and 1 physician) accused over the death on 15 July 2003, of a black African, Mr. Cheibani Wague from Mauritania

Saint George in memoriam Seibane Wague. Konzertabend mit Vortrag "Joseph Boulogne Le Chevalier Saint George. Der Schwarze Mozart" von Beate Hammond am 15. Juli 2006

Samstag, 15. Juli 2006, 19.00 Uhr, im Brick 5, Fünfhausgasse 5, 1150 Wien

Vortrag: "Joseph Boulogne Le Chevalier Saint George. Der Schwarze Mozart" von Beate Hammond

Konzert: Donka Angatcheva: Klavier, Christoph Ehrenfellner: Violine

Zur Aufführung gerät das 1774/75 entstandene Violinkonzert in C-Dur, op 5 Nr. 1, einer der frühen Werke Saint Georges.

Read the full program here.

Oct 15, 2007

A Look At Abisara Machold - A Workshop Facilitator At The 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Abisara is pictured on the front row, second from the left.

Abisara Machold led the second round of the "Identity and Empowerment" workshop at the 1st Black Women European's Congress in Vienna. She did so with great enthusiasm, often enjecting poetry that reflected a point that was raised, and ended by asking all of the participants to hold hands and, one-by-one, to state what the congress meant to them. It was a powerful moment, and I was moved to tears as I was overwhelmed with emotion as I listened to my sisters express what was in my heart: the 1st Black European Women's Congress created a safe space for us to meet, strategize, share, confirm and validate.

Abisara lives in Berlin and is active in the music world. She participated in popkomm, and participated in the Pressekonferenz gegen Gewalt im HipHop:

MANNHEIM, 17.09.2007 (bro). Brothers Keepers e.V. und Musikwoche laden am 21. September 2007 im Rahmen der Popkomm zu einer Pressekonferenz ein. Thema wird sein: "Hip Hop - Quo Vadis?".

Anlässlich der aktuellen Diskussion um das Album des Aggro Berlin-Rappers B-Tight ("Neger Neger"), wollen sich die Brothers Keepers von den rassistischen und sexuellen Texten ihrer "Kollegen" distanzieren und haben auf ihre Webside eine Petition gestellt. "Das Schweigen brechen" heißt diese, bei der sich seit der Veröffentlichung im Juli 2007 über 3.000 Leute eingetragen haben. Darunter auch zahlreiche Prominente, wie, der sich seit Jahren gegen Rechtsradikalismus einsetzende, Smudo (Fantastischen Vier): "Bei Rassismus hört die künstlerische Freiheit auf. Jeder Künstler hat eine gesellschaftliche Verantwortung." Read more here.

Abisara is involved in the GEGEN RASSISMUS IM DEUTSCHEN HIPHOP campaign:

„Bei Rassismus hört die künstlerische Freiheit auf“, fordert der Brothers Keepers e.V., ein Zusammenschluss von afrodeutschen Künstlern, der sich gegen Rassismus engagiert. Im Rahmen der größten deutschen Musikmesse Popkomm haben sie ihre Kampagne „Das Schweigen brechen – Rassismus und Sexismus im deutschen HipHop“ mit Unterstützung der Amadeu Antonio Stiftung vorgestellt. Zu offensichtlich sind die gewaltverherrlichenden und rassistischen Tendenzen in der Musik. Die jüngste Veröffentlichung des HipHop-Labels Aggroberlin brachte das Fass zum Überlaufen. Die Veröffentlichung des neuen Albums „Neger, Neger“ des Rapper B-Tight entfachte bereits erneut die hitzige Diskussion über die Verwendung rassistischer Etikette bzw. Klischees, selbst wenn sie angeblich nur „provozieren“ sollten. Protagonisten der deutschen Hip Hop Szene wie Torch, Ramin Bozorgzadeh, Adé Bantu, Abisara Machold, Marcus Staiger und Noah Sow diskutierten über Fragen wie „Hip Hop als kreative Ausdrucksform einer politischen Widerstandskultur“ und „Deutscher Rap macht Anleihen beim amerikanischen HipHop - aber antisemitische und antiamerikanische Töne gehören bei vielen MCs mittlerweile zum Standardrepertoire“. Mehr zur Kampagne.

Oct 13, 2007

Being a Black Woman in Europe

Being a Black Woman in Europe
By Adrianne George - Guest writer at FM4 and award-winning blogger: blackwomenineurope.blogspot.com

People ask me why I left the US to live in Europe. I had Josephine Baker dreams.
I wanted to make my mark in an environment that nurtured Black Women.
Well I can't say that Paris is that place, but I do know that Rama Yade is making her mark on French society through her political achievements in the Sarkozy vein.

Read more here. Listen to the poscast here.

Oct 11, 2007

Black Women in Europe on FM4 Radio Austria this Saturday!

Read here more details.

Check the podcast after Saturday's show.

A Look At Belinda Kazeem - A Workshop Facilitator at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Belinda Kazeem led the "Challenges faced by young black communities" working group at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna. She studies International Relations and Afrikanistics. She's a member of the Black Austrian History research group and is an activist, film producer, and is active in the theater.

Belinda has participated in, and contributed to numerous discussions, courses, and exhibitions on topics that include, "Concepts and Practices of Countereducation in Black European Spaces", "HERMES Summer Course 2006: Heritage on display-Investigating museums in the context of local and regional development", producing a video installation on Josephine Soliman 2006, and "Hidden Histories-remapping Mozart".

Here is an excerpt of an interview with Belinda from Malmoe - regieren - Politik der Spaltung:

Was erwartet ihr euch von einem Regierungswechsel?

B.K. : Ich frage mich auch, was sich dann wirklich verändert. Wir haben gesehen, dass auch die SPÖ bereit ist, Gesetze zu unterschreiben, die absolut restriktiv sind. Das ist eine Frage, die für mich offen bleibt. Egal, wie sich diese Regierung dann zusammenstellt, unsere Stimme ist wichtig, weil wir mit dem leben müssen, was bei den Wahlen rauskommt. Ich glaube, dass die Politik von z.B. Rot-Grün viel ändern würde, aber ich weiß nicht, ob man dann der österreichischen Bevölkerung sagt, Zuwanderung ist okay, wenn man weiß, dass die Mehrheit der Bevölkerung das nicht mitträgt. Man will ja schließlich wieder gewählt werden.

Read more here.

Oct 10, 2007

It's Freedom Technology Christmas in the AfroSpear!

It feels good to give for the AfroShpere!

Note from Francis: When Francis Holland first talked about the AfroSpear's Freedom Technology Christmas, I had no idea that I would be the first recipient of a Freedom Technology Christmas present. But Adrianne R. George of the Black Women in Europe Blog became aware that my lack of a webcam was preventing me from participating fully in AfroSpear meetings and dialogue, so she decided to have a webcam shipped to me, from a United States mail order company and all the way to Brazil!

Today, that webcam has arrived in Brazil and Adrianne R. George is officially and, for the sake of history, the first person in the world to give an AfroSpear Freedom Technology Christmas (FTC) present!

But, Adrianne R. George won't be the last, because we all recognize the role technology has played in the AfroSpear -- linking, coordinating and mobilizing Blacks in the 50 states, five countries and four continents -- to free Shaquanda Cotton, stop the execution of Kenneth Foster in Texas, and free Mychal D. Bell from prison in Jena, Louisiana.

The work of the AfroSpear has only started and Freedom Technology Christmas has only just gotten underway as well. We still have three months left to make thi the best AfroSpear Freedom Technology Christmas that we've ever had, with more AfroSpear brothers and sisters linked together technologically in more ways than was ever dreamed possible just as few short decades ago.

So, celebrate Christmas, my kinfolk, and give the gift of AfroSpear Freedom Technology, including webcams, celular telephones with 7 Megapixel cameras, digital cameras, computers and audio headsets, and all sorts of Black communication tools to your brothers and sisters, to your children and parents!

The AfroSpear's Freedom Technology Christmas started today, with the gift of a webcam from Adrianne George of the Black Women in Europe blog. Thank you Adrianne and Merry AfroSpear Freedom Technology Christmas!

Francis L. Holland
The Francis L. Holland Blog

Francis L. Holland, Esq.

NOTE: The purpose of the Black Accused Support Groups is to publicize cases of unjust treatment of Blacks at the hands of legal systems while building on this advocacy to promote fundamental and systemic change, so that Blacks will, for the first time, be treated equally before the law.

Oct 8, 2007

A Look At Hellen Felter-A Speaker and Organizer of the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Hellen Felter is an award winning scholar, activist, anti-racism trainer and student mentor. Her work focuses on issues of government policies, race, gender and discrimination.

Hellen works at Tiye international, the umbrella NGO of 21 National Organisations of Black, Migrant and Refugee (BMR) women in the Netherlands, which was established officially in 1994 by the Chamber of Commerce. Tiye enjoys Special Consultative Status with de Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations since 1998. Among other roles, Hellen is a Board Member of the EWL, the largest coalition of women’s organisations in the EU.

Hellen is a sought after speaker and has addressed audiences on numerous topics including "The cultural interaction and adjustments of writers in exile and writers who have immigrated to other locations", the "Launching of the European Campaign on Women Asylum seekers", "How to combat racism in Europe today", "Bridging the Gap: Overbrug de Kloof tussen Beleid en Praktijk" and "Black Rights, Social Exclusion and the Dutch Government".

Oct 5, 2007

A Look At Dr. Ama Mazama - Speaker at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Dr. Mazama flew in from the United States, where she is a professor at Temple University, to address the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna. She has 6 university degrees, has taught at 5 universities, has authored or co-authored 11 books, and has written over one dozen articles. Dr. Mazama spoke to us about Equality, Equal opportunities and Challenges for the Black Community in Europe.

Ama Mazama est une afro-caribéenne originaire de la Guadeloupe. Spécialiste en linguistique, en religions africaines et historienne, elle s’est formée successivement aux Antilles (Académie Antilles-Guyane), à l’Université de Bordeaux, puis à la Sorbonne où elle passa brillamment en 1987 son Doctorat avec pour sujet d’étude, le kréyol parlé en Guadeloupe. Elle enseigne aujourd’hui à l’université de Temple aux USA. Elle tient à la main sur cette photo, notre revue scientifique : afrik@raîbes magazine.

Après avoir publié en 1991 "Une introduction au Créole Guadeloupéen", elle s’est surtout fait connaître du public en 1997 en publiant un ouvrage qui allait saper l’herbe abondant sous les pieds des Créolistes désireux d’enterrer au plus vite l’Afrique dans la culture de Gwada : "Langue et identité en Guadeloupe : Une perspective afrocentrique".

Puis en 2003, elle affirme sa vision philosophico-culturelle avec "L’impératif afrocentrique", publiée aux éd. Menaibuc. Attachée à son île, elle garde toujours une oreille attentive à la jeunesse des Antilles qui apprécie énormément ses travaux.

Oct 4, 2007

A Look At Sylvia Serbin - Speaker at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Sylvia Serbin is a journalist, historian and author. She was born in Africa, raised in the West Indies, and lives in France. In her address to the 1st Black European Women's Congress she presented her book, Reines d'Afrique et héroïnes de la disaspora noire. [Queens and heroines of the black diaspora].

Sylvia SERBIN est née en Afrique de parents antillais, et a vécu en Côte d'Ivoire et au Sénégal. En elle, une âme noire aux confluences de l'Afrique, des Antilles et de la Métropole. Elle a étudié l'Histoire à Paris. Journaliste spécialisée en communication d'entreprise et historienne, elle a fait partager son implication historique dans des émissions radio et des articles presse. Depuis 2001, elle s'investit à Fontenay-le-Fleury comme Conseillère Municipale.

Avec son ouvrage Reines d'Afrique et Héroïnes de la diaspora noire, elle nous offre le fruit de passionnantes recherches sur ces Femmes noires méconnues. Rendre à ces femmes l'honneur et l'hommage de leur contribution historique. Des tracées de vie qui ne peuvent tomber dans le silence et l'oubli. Sylvia SERBIN met ainsi à jour un héroïsme féminin noir: reines, guerrières-amazones mais aussi victimes.

22 portraits de femmes nourris de cette volonté de l'auteure de mettre en lumière ces figures fortes d'Afrique (Néfertiti en Egypte, la reine Pokou en Côte d'Ivoire), des Antilles (la mulâtresse résistante Solitude) et des Etats-Unis (Harriet TUBMAN). Des destinées de femmes libres. Une étendue historique et géographique pour que nous tentions de mesurer l'ampleur de cette mémoire noire au Féminin.

Oct 3, 2007

A Look At Zeedah Meierhofer Mangeli - Speaker at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Zeedah Meierhofer Mangeli is the Director of the Meeting Place and Resource Center for Black Women in Zurich Switzerland. Her address to the congress on the opening day was inspiring, funny and uplifting.

While she has crated a place for Black Women in Zurich, she also works to improve the perception of Black Women in Switzerland. In the true African style of community, she organizes a African-Lunch buffet that is open to the public every last Friday of the month to promote integration. The center is open for women each Friday and here is what they do:

Our Center caters for Black Women from all the 5 Continents, living in Switzerland. We offer counseling, translation; act as “buffers” and intercultural mediation for Black women and their families in crisis situations. We work with the courts, the social services and with psychiatric institutions. We are an information post for individuals, schools, and other educational institutions. We offer services which assist the women in their integration process. We are well linked with other migrant and non migrant women’s NGOs in Switzerland. We are linked with other Black Women’s groups in the Diaspora, working and linking with them for internship, training and information exchange.

A safe space: We offer Black Women encouragement, active support mechanisms, and also a safe place where they can meet, be on their own and articulate their own priorities. Black women can support each other and develop their own voice, thus empowering themselves to combat social injustices and marginalisation. Many Black and Migrant women are socially isolated; the Center offers possibilities for contact with other Black women and other support groups or persons, which serves to support the process of integration.

Advocacy: We provide a forum for dialogue with policy makers and promote public awareness and consciousness on issues concerning Black and migrant women and their families. We do this through advocacy, by organizing regular workshops, and by participating or facilitating information exchange platforms.

Mobilising, Empowering, sensitising: One of our priorities is to encourage Voice and Visibility of Black Migrant women living in Switzerland.

There is a permanent gallery on display at the Center; The Photographic and Educational Exhibition to Promote Positive Images of Black Women.

Language Translations in 27 African and European languages, Counseling, Mediation Work, Platform for Intercultural Dialogue, Newsletter, and Youth Forum Facilitation.

For more information find it here.

Oct 2, 2007

Brother's support of the Vienna Declaration from the 1st Black European Women's Congress

I must say that the support from my brothers of the Vienna Declaration has moved me. Villager (more love from Villager), James, Asabanga, AAPP , and Bill have all given their support. Here's a note from Eddie:

Adrianne, I wish to do more than congratulate the Black European Women Congress. Your recommendations to the European Union are powerful and revolutionary. I am also proud of the span of the sisters' network overseas.

Although we are separated geographically, we have another powerful voice in the international arena, and that gives us more power, collectively.

In the past, when we found it impossible to break the silence of the US media, we took our stories overseas and sisters and brothers took up our cause and published our stories in the European media. When we engaged in phone-in campaigns, it was the phone calls from our European brothers and sisters that had the greatest impact.

When we finalize our ties with Africa, South and Central America, and the isles, we will have come full circle with the African Diaspora. We will no longer need white intermediaries to convey for us what we can communicate amongst ourselves.

More power to the Black European Women Congress. I look forward to the day when we will speak with one voice from around the globe.

Eddie Griffin

And here's what the African American Political Pundit said so concisely:

Go Black European Women's Congress, I love it! Powerful work coming out of of Europe.

Vienna Declatation from the 1st Black European Women's Congress

Declaration of the Black European Women´s Congress
Vienna, 27 – 29th September 2007

We Black European Women from 16 EU Member States, and Switzerland, gathered in Vienna from 27 – 29th September 2007 within the framework of the European Year for Equal Opportunities for All; under the initiative of AFRA – International Center for Black Women’s Perspectives (Austria) and coorganised by Tiye International, (The Netherlands) hereby announce the creation of the Black European Womens Network (BEWNET).

We, Black European Women, insist on the recognition of the crucial role played by Black Women economically, politically, culturally and socially in the European context. We are determined to implement and mainstream Black Women´s Empowerment in Europe as a core policy issue.

Our gathering here is an indication of the necessity for the EU to dialog with Black Women’s Organisations EU-wide. The European Year for Intercultural Dialog therefore presents an opportunity to initiate and strengthen partnerships and alliances. We welcome purposeful efforts to engage with the EU in the implementation and in consequence in the securing and exercising of our Rights as full citizens of the EU and EEA.

Black European Women Congress 2007 Recommendations to the EU

1. Identity and Empowerment
• Despite the legal framework, forms of multiple discrimination, including gendered racism, continue to exist. The Black European Women Congress recommends the enforcement and implementation of Article 13 to eradicate all forms of discrimination across all member states.

2. Challenges faced by Black youths
• Educational System and Civil Services must incorporate Anti-Racism training and qualification for personnel at all levels and recruit Black professionals. In addition, we recommend to set up legal guidelines for all public and corporate educational institutions to offer anti-racist material, services and curriculum.

3. Psychological conflicts affecting black communities especially Black women and children
• The Black European Women Congress recognizes mental health as a primary issue pertaining to Black communities dealing with racism. Government must provide financial and structural means to allow the establishment of autonomous institutions that provide mental health care for Black people dealing with the effects of racism.

4. Current Barriers of Black Women to the European Labour Market
• Companies and employers are required to implement Human Resources measures and tools designed to recruit Black personnel reflecting the diversity they express in their mission statements.

5. Political Participation
• Development of programs which assure, support and include appropriate political representation and participation of Black women.

Saturday, Sep 29, 2007

A Look At Brenda King-Speaker at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Hopefully you watched the video of Brenda King's opening remarks at the 1st Black European Women's Congress last week in Vienna. Brenda emphasised that when she was invited to attend the Congress she made sure that she wrote her abstract personally.

Now I want to give you a look at her role in Brussels on the EU level. Brenda is the President of the Specialised Section "Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship" of the European Economic and Social Committee. She communtes to Brussels from the UK.

According to their website: The SOC Section covers a broad range of policy formulation including employment, working conditions, occupational health, social protection, social security, social inclusion, gender equality, combating discrimination, improving free movement, immigration/integration and asylum, education and training, citizens' rights, and participatory democracy in the EU.

The SOC Section's activities cover the work of several European Parliamentary committees and Commission Directorates-General, giving a comprehensive input to the social dimension of the Lisbon agenda.

Key themes recently highlighted in the SOC Section programme include job growth and quality employment, lifelong learning, training and productivity, occupational health and safety in the new Member States, healthcare for the elderly, women's representation, people with disabilities, and EU 'civic citizenship'.

Hearings on such themes are regularly held with experts and civil society organisations.

Brenda is the only black person in this section and leads a bureau comprised of representatives from Greece, Hungary, Poland, Malta, Austria, Spain, Czech Republic, Estonia, and France.

Here is what Brenda is up to today:

European Economic and Social Committee

Section's 88th
2 October 2007

The draft agenda is as follows:

1. Adoption of the draft agenda

2. Approval of the minutes of the 87th meeting held on 17 July 2007 (CESE 1173/2007)

3. Statement by the President

4. SOC/275
Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics on public health and health and safety at work
COM(2007) 46 final – 2007/0020 (COD)
Rapporteur: Mr Retureau (CESE 1176/2007)

5. SOC/265
Opinion on Credit and social exclusion in an affluent society
(own-initiative opinion)
Rapporteur: Mr Pegado Liz (CESE 858/2007)

6. SOC/268
Opinion on EU immigration and cooperation policy with countries of origin to foster development
(own-initiative opinion)
Rapporteur: Mr Pariza Castaños (CESE 1106/2007)

7. SOC/267
Opinion on Entrepreneurship mindsets and the Lisbon Agenda
(own-initiative opinion)
Rapporteur: Ms Sharma
Co-rapporteur: Mr Olsson (CESE 892/2007)

8. SOC/279
Opinion on Abuse of elderly people
(exploratory opinion)
Rapporteur: Ms Heinisch (CESE 1156/2007)

9. Organisation of section work

10. Any other business
- Discussion of own-initiative proposals

11. Confirmation of the date of the next section meeting: 14 November 2007.

In addition to her duties in Brussels, Brenda helps youth in London. I'll tell you more about that important work in a future post.

Oct 1, 2007

Vienna Declaration following the 1st Black European Women's Congress

Wiener Deklaration der Kongresses europäischer Schwarzer Frauen 27. bis
29. September 2007, Wien

Wir Schwarzen europäischen Frauen aus sechzehn europäischen Mitgliedsstaaten, und der Schweiz, sind von 27. bis 29. September 2007 in Wien, unter der Initiative von AFRA- International Center fort Black Women’s Perspectives in Zusammenarbeit mit Tiye International (Niederlande) im Rahmen des europäischen Jahres der "Chancengleichheit für Alle", zusammen gekommen. Wir verkünden die Gründung eines Netzwerks europäischer Schwarzer Frauen (BEWNET).

Wir Schwarzen europäischen Frauen bestehen auf die Anerkennung der bedeutenden Rolle, die wir, in wirtschaftlicher, politischer, kultureller und sozialer Hinsicht, in Europa innehaben. Wir betrachten es als unsere Aufgabe das Empowerment Schwarzer europäischer Frauen als politisches Kernthema zu implementieren.

Unsere Zusammenkunft unterstreicht die Notwendigkeit des Dialogs der Europäischen Union mit Organisationen Schwarzer Frauen innerhalb Europas. Das kommende Jahr des interkulturellen Austausches bietet also eine Möglichkeit, entsprechende Partnerschaften zu begründen und zu stärken. Wir begrüßen alle Initiativen zur Zusammenarbeit mit der Europäischen Union zur Umsetzung von Sicherstellung und Gewährleistung unserer Rechte als vollwertige Bürgerinnen der EU und Europa.

Forderungen des Kongresses Schwarzer europäischer Frauen an die EU
1. Identität und Empowerment
• Trotz vorhandener rechtlicher Rahmenbedingungen existieren weiterhin unterschiedlichste Formen von Diskriminierung wie zB. Sexismus. Der Kongress Europäischer Schwarzer Frauen empfiehlt die Stärkung und Umsetzung des Artikels 13 , um alle Formen von Diskriminierung in allen europäischen Mitgliedsstaaten zu eliminieren.

2. Schwierigkeiten, denen schwarze Jugendliche gegenüberstehen
• Das Bildungssystem und die öffentliche Hand müssen verpflichtend Antirassismustrainings für ihr Personal abhalten und zusätzlich qualifizierte schwarze Fachkräfte einstellen. Zusätzlich empfehlen wir gesetzliche Richtlinien für alle öffentlichen und privaten Bildungseinrichtungen dazu zu verpflichten ihre Schüler in antirassistischem Gedankengut zu unterrichten und dafür Materialien und Workshops anzubieten.

3.Psychologische Probleme von welchen schwarze Frauen und Kinder betroffen sind
• Der Kongress Schwarzer Europäischer Frauen fordert von der Regierung ausreichende finanzielle und strukturelle Mittel bereitzustellen, die es autonomen Institutionen, welche sich für die mentale Gesundheit der von den Auswirkungen des Rassismus betroffenen schwarzen Frauen und Kindern einsetzen, ermöglichen effektiv zu arbeiten.

4. Hindernisse für Schwarze Frauen auf dem europäischen Arbeitsmarkt
• Wir fordern Firmen und Arbeitgeber auf eine Absichtserklärung zu unterzeichnen, welche im Sinne der Diversität, die Beschäftigung qualifizierter schwarzer Arbeitnehmerinnen festlegt.

5.Politische Partizipation
• Die Entwicklung von Programmen, welche angemessene politische Repräsentation und Partizipation beinhalten und gewährleisten

Samstag, 29.September 2007

What the media articles won't tell you about what happened at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

1. Each Black European Woman attending felt a bond with each other. We were all sisters together regardless of our African origin or European location.

2. Every woman at the Congress made a personal and/or financial committment to be in Vienna and each one made a committment to reach out to other Black European women in their respective countries to spread the word about our network.

3. Emotions ran high as discussions and debates revealed our deep desire to participate in a dialogue about what it means to be a Black Women in Europe. I wept because I was so overwhelmed at the amount of abounding love, and the intense feeling of belonging. This is something Black Women in Europe seldom feel.

4. We left the congress feeling optimistic, stonger and empowered having set our agenda at the EU level. The presence of MEP's, national and local politicians, and our very own Brenda King validated the need for such a forum.

5. The fact that our congress was covered by the Austrian and international media is joyful as it is one step in the direction of countering negative images of Black European Women.

Black European women at Vienna congress urge recognition, equality

VIENNA, Austria: Black women play a crucial role across the EU and deserve to be recognized and respected, and have equal opportunities, organizers of a black European women's congress said Saturday.

The three-day gathering, which ended Saturday afternoon, drew more than 80 black women from 16 European Union countries, as well as from Switzerland and the United States.

The conference was deemed the first of its kind by the co-organizers, the Vienna-based, nonprofit International Center for Black Women's Perspectives, also known as AFRA, and Tiye International, a Dutch umbrella NGO aimed at promoting equal opportunities for effective participation of black and migrant women. It was held under the patronage of Barbara Prammer, the speaker of Austria's parliament.

"I think one of our messages is that we don't want to be invisible," Hellen Felter, director of Tiye International, said at a news conference at a Vienna hotel.

Conference delegates — including activists, academics and other black women of all ages — focused on themes such as identity and empowerment, challenges faced by the young, political participation and access to the labor market.

AFRA Director Beatrice Achaleke said black women looking for jobs were often discriminated against because of their skin color, negative stereotypes and the general population's unwillingness to accept them.

"It doesn't matter if I speak German perfectly or not — we have to take into consideration that we are a visible minority," Achaleke said.

On Saturday, delegates adopted a series of recommendations to the EU, including one that stated companies and employers should be required to implement human resource measures and tools designed to recruit black personnel, reflecting the diversity expressed in their missions statements.

"We are demanding equal access, we want to enjoy our full rights as citizens of Europe," Achaleke said, adding that the EU had designated 2007 as the "European Year of Equal Opportunities for All."

Both Felter and Achaleke also said a direct dialogue with, and specifically focused on, black European women was necessary and has been lacking.

"When people talk about women in Europe, they mean white women," Felter said.

In an effort to initiate a dialogue with European lawmakers, delegates planned to launch a network in 2008, the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

"We don't want to protest, we want to participate," Achaleke said.

Source: IHT