Learning about peace from Afrocentric traditions

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AfroHealer
Learning about peace from Afrocentric traditions

 

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AfroHealer

quote:


In this deeply personal talk, novelist and poet Chris Abani searches for the heart of Africa through poetry and narrative -- including his own story of artistic and political awakening, which began with an inventive teacher who taught him the forbidden history of his own people. How, he asks, can we reconcile stories of terror, war and corruption with one's enduring sense of pure wonder?

Or you can click here [url=http://tinyurl.com/3azggc]Chri Abani:Learning from stories of Africa[/url]

Maysie Maysie's picture

I just finished watching the video and it was wonderful, amazing, and reminded me how Western-centric I am, getting caught up in the either/or and the idea of "the enemy". What an eloquent speaker. It's just under 20 minutes and I recommend to everyone to take the time and listen.

While Chris was talking I remembered a book I purchased and read only a few chapters. The book is called "A Human Being Died that Night" by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela. The subtitle is "A South African Woman Confronts the Legacy of Apartheid". What I did read of this book I didn't understand, and I think it's time for me to return.

Not forgiveness, not understanding and not revenge. Horrific acts of atrocity have happened in the past, and continue now today. What can we do differently that hasn't been done? In Chris' talk he makes an allusion to the answer, which is to see the humanity in the face of one's enemy, who isn't really your enemy.

That's a huge task. The truth is, I can't do it. I'm unable to. Right now anyways. But what a challenge.

Thank you, AfroHealer, very much. I will share the clip with Chris Abani with others in my life.

AfroHealer

I'm glad the message touch you.

You can see the continuation of the Afrocentric traditions in the Buddhist's teachings.

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_Interbeing]http://en.wikipedia.org...

Thich Nhat Hanh: Peace is Every step

AfroHealer

Where is the love? Wondering why nobody else is talk about peace.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Thank you AfroHealer. I really enjoyed watching that.
It reminded me about the importance of narrative, story and words. Words create the world and not the other way around.
Interestingly enough it caused me to have a flashback. In highschool I was in a alternative english clash that spent a goodly amount of time reading literature from other culture and places Included was "Things Fall Apart" which he mentioned. I remember now my teacher at the time saying that to really gain a true understanding of people and culture that literature, narrative and things like poetry are vastly more important then just reading facts and figures. Story matters.
I think I only had a vague understanding back then as to what she was talking about. Get it now and its good for me to have a reminder.

As he continued on I couldn't help but think about here and now...and the 'stories' and 'narratives' that are mainstream and where they are transfered on a widespread basis. Of course that made me think of TV. Lots of stories there.

Then it made me think about what some of the most popular shows on TV are these days and I couldn't help but think of all of the crime shows that are so popular. Law and Order, CSI etc etc.
Then of course there is the news and the filter it puts on the stories of day to day life.

What do those narratives say in reference to the idea of peace? Law, order, justice...getting the bad guy. Good vs bad.

Not sure if this actually says anything about your question about where is the talk of peace? The love. It's just some thoughts.

Perhaps though it has something to do with the mainstream narrative that surrounds us daily is devoid of any real talk of what exactly peace means in real terms. It's been simplified to a place where its all about law and order.

Both of your videos brought me to think about the philosophy and narrative of the Haudensaunee Great Law of Peace...or Great Way of Peace. Something that I've recently developed some familiarity with.
It's not afrocentric so I hope you don't mind me posting this but I thinks it speaks to some of the things your're getting at around looking at peace and relations between people from a different viewpoint, not euro-centric. Would love to know what you think.

[url=http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=1170]The Warriors the Turned to Peace[/url]

Oh and if you have any recommendations on literature that would be great.

AfroHealer

quote:


Originally posted by ElizaQ:
[b]Thank you AfroHealer. I really enjoyed watching that.
It's not afrocentric so I hope you don't mind me posting this but I thinks it speaks to some of the things your're getting at around looking at peace and relations between people from a different viewpoint, not euro-centric. Would love to know what you think.
[url=http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=1170]The Warriors the Turned to Peace[/url]

Oh and if you have any recommendations on literature that would be great.[/b]


Thanks. for sharing .. I;m glad that the stories created those flash backs and help you to connect your past with the present.

If you do a internet search for "sankofa" you will find lots of stuff related, to the principle of using the knowledge of the past, to ground us in the present, and prepare us for the future.

Just for clarification. It the great law of peace is Afrocentric. Afrocentric thought is not segregated the way eurocentric world view is.

Our ancestors have taught us about our shared history. It is the European schools that miseducate kids, who later grow up into adults who misunderstand that we are all one.

Afrocentricty is initately aboriginal, and the peoples of Turtle island, migrated here from the east & west coast of Africa.

The medicine wheel is the same here, as it is in most of Africa.

Those are the stories our ancestors have told us, its only recently that DNA has proven that what our ancestors taught us were not just fairy tales.

I grew up minutes away from the author of "things fall apart". I think he went to University with my father.

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Things_Fall_Apart]http://en.wikipedia.org/w...

[ 14 February 2008: Message edited by: AfroHealer ]

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Thanks! Oodles of things to peruse and read now. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]
Think I might reread Things Fall Apart as well. Something tells me I'll get way more out of it now.

I also wanted to comment about Abani's talk about learning about his own country and issue through the stories from 'outside.'
I actually learned this as a valuable teaching tool in a youth group I worked with for a while. In one case I brought in the film "Rabbit Proof Fence" a story about Australia's version of residential schools. The kids loved it a it really spoke to them and afterwards we had a serious but lively discussion based on talking about 'them and they'...the outside. Of course they were appalled and horrified, and it wasn't fair etc etc. It was actually quite emotional for some of them. There's a certain safety in that I think.
Then all I had to say was..."So...I think you all know that Canada has a history of Residential Schools as well..." Could actually hear the brains clicking as they made the connection.
Most of these kids, knew a bit about them, it happened, it was wrong, heard some of the stories but I'm not sure if they really had connected with it on a level more then just history.

So yeah I agree with him story can be a really powerful way to gain insight.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by ElizaQ:
[b] In one case I brought in the film "Rabbit Proof Fence" a story about Australia's version of residential schools. The kids loved it a it really spoke to them and afterwards we had a serious but lively discussion based on talking about 'them and they'...the outside.[/b]

I saw that movie awhile back on APTN and thought it was a great film. Another Aussie film I saw a couple of decades ago was I think called BBQ Pit Nation or something similar. It was a hilariously serious anti-racism film that begins with Aborigines arriving at a BBQ pit were a bunch of white Aussies are. They land and claim the land for their nation and when they ask where they are the reply is at the BBQ pit and that then becomes the name given to the country. This is of course a complete turning upside down of the real history and is both funny and informative. It really allowed many of my fellow classmates to see the absurdity of the colonial mentality.

If anyone knows the proper name I would appreciate it since I would like to get a copy.

Elysium

He's quite an excellent poet.

Too bad Nigeria has some of the harshest antigay laws in the world, but it's good to see that some folks like Abani are open minded.

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by AfroHealer:
[b]Afrocentricty is initately aboriginal, and the peoples of Turtle island, migrated here from the east & west coast of Africa.

The medicine wheel is the same here, as it is in most of Africa.

Those are the stories our ancestors have told us, its only recently that DNA has proven that what our ancestors taught us were not just fairy tales.[/b]


Thank you so much for sharing this teaching, AfroH. Our Cree teachings tell us that we were brought here to Turtle Island by the Stone People by the direction of he who is not named for the stewardship of Turtle Island. Because of our understanding of the medicine wheel encompassing peoples of red (north), yellow (east), black (south) and white (west) ancestors, we are led to understand that we originally came from the lands of the south, i.e. Africa. Perhaps others with better understanding of the teachings of the medicine wheel can corect me, sorry for my poor learning. In any case, I have talked to a few people skilled in African medicine and have always been impressed in how similar many ceremonies are, i.e the sacred pipe, sacred herbs, etc. Similarly, it can not to my mind be accidental how similar traditions are for our sisters and brothers of Aotearoa. Despite the dominant tropes of 'guns, germs and steel', there is likely many more interesting stories to tell, some of which have been encapsulated in the oral traditions of many different peoples who do not populate university chairs.

AfroHealer

If you do a google search for Afrohealer.

You will find some of my posting on Tribe.net & other online resources, related to the very issue you are talking about.

You can see which groups i post to on tribe by going to.
[url=http://people.tribe.net/afrohealer]http://people.tribe.net/afrohealer[/url]

In this topic I discuss the reconection of THe aboriginal spirituality in this hemispher, which happend as a result of the African Holocaust. Which brought the practisionaer of Afrocentric traditions, in contect with thier long lost brothers and sisters in the so-called New world.
[url=http://orisha.tribe.net/thread/16e633ea-2c7e-47ce-905b-d36f51596aa2]Roads to Orisha[/url]

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I've watched almost the first 10 minutes and I'm not impressed. His indulgences about Cork, Ireland and his obvious appetite have me wary.

But his initial inflectives carry no weight in my eyes.

paolo

Transforming anger into nonviolent power

Anger is reasonable and justified in the face of abuse and exploitation. What matters is what we do with it


Members of “Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace.” Credit: Clair MacDougall: http://crossingtheatlantic.blogspot.com. All rights reserved.

As Leymah Gbowee stood in front of a crowd of women at her church in Monrovia, praying for an end to the civil war that was raging in Liberia, she had no idea of the consequences that were about to unfold.

A specialist in healing from trauma, Gbowee and her allies had spent months visiting mosques, markets and churches in order to mobilize a nascent peace movement. By the late summer of 2002, she had become recognized as the leader of Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which held daily non-violent demonstrations and sit-ins in defiance of orders from Charles Taylor, the Liberian President at the time.

Eighteen months later, in August 2003, the war was brought to an end. Gbowee’s efforts, along with those of newly-elected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, were recognized by the award of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. I heard Gbowee speak at an interfaith conference in North Carolina in 2012, where she emphasized that the main challenge she had faced was not apathy. Liberians were already angry.

The real issue was how to keep well-intentioned people from exacerbating an already-cruel situation with more violence. Why? Because the more violence there is, the more abuses there will be against women and other people.  Anger is reasonable and justified in the face of abuse and exploitation, but what really matters is what we do with it. According to Gbowee, anger is neutral. We can choose to use it as a fuel for violence or nonviolence. Liberian women chose the latter, and transformed a civil war into a lasting peace.....

http://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/stephanie-van-hook/transform...

 

paolo

quote:

The victory of the African National Congress is rightly celebrated, but it succeeded in dislodging one system of violence in South Africa and not violence itself.  Structural violence that feeds through into direct violence - like poverty, inequality and exploitation - remains largely unaffected. Apartheid means “apartness,” and that’s what all forms of violence do, by pulling people apart. The balance between armed struggle and nonviolence as forces that led to the overthrow of Apartheid has been debated for more than twenty years. Nelson Mandela, who died on December 5th, internalized this debate in his embrace of both strategies simultaneously.

For every celebration of armed confrontation there are many more nonviolent victories in the “anti-apartheid” struggles of today. The story of Budrus, in the West Bank, is one. By remaining committed to nonviolence and launching a “women’s contingent” to join the struggle, Palestinian activist Ayed Morrar and his fifteen-year old daughter Iltezam were able to unite members of both Fatah and Hamas in a successful attempt to protect their village from destruction by Israel’s “Separation Barrier.”...