Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

2014 Freedom Now Awards

April 21, 2014

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It is that of the year! For those who believe in social justice and fighting for the human rights of homeless people and those who live on the margins of society, Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) is having their 4th annual Freedom Now awards on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at the California African American Museum.

Take advantage of the early bird special which ends on May 14. The event will be a great one filled with couple surprises so I highly recommend people get their tickets early.

For those are not from Los Angeles but support the work of LA CAN (www.cangress.org/cangress.wordpress.com), please consider donating. $5, $10, $20 or any other amount will help our tremendous work. Those who want to make a donation can check LA CAN’s website.  Below is information on our sponsorship package where one can sponsor a community member or make any contribution.

2014 Freedom Now_Sponsorship Package

Spread the word! It is going to be a great event!

The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

April 4, 2014


Today is the death anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. To remember his legacy I came across this well done documentary that explains how the FBI assassinated MLK. Check it out and share it to those who may find it useful.

We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest

November 5, 2013

This song by Sweet Honey in the Rock is a tribute to Ella Baker. This song gives me the chills!
Here are the lyrics by Bernice Johnson Reagon:

Refrain:
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

Verses
Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons
Is as important as the killing of White men, White mothers’ sons

And that which touches we most is that I had a chance to work with people
Passing on to others that which was passed on to me

To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail
And if I can shed some light as they carry us through the gale

The older I get the better I know that the secret of my going on
Is when the reins are in the hand of the young who dare to run against the storm

Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me
I need to be just one in the number as we stand against tyranny

Struggling myself don’t mean a whole lot I come to realize
That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survive

I’m a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard
At time I can be quite difficult, I’ll bow to no man’s word

Remembering Paulo Freire

September 19, 2013

Today is Paulo Freire’s birthday. He would have been 92 years old today. Instead of writing my thoughts on Paulo, I leave you all with these great videos. May we continue to carry out the legacy of Paulo Freire whether we are teachers, counselors, therapist, or simply in our relationships with our loved ones.



Here are my top 10 Paulo Freire quotes:
1.”Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”
2.”[T]he more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled. This person is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into a dialogue with them. This person does not consider himself or herself the proprietor of history or of all people, or the liberator of the oppressed; but he or she does commit himself or herself, within history, to fight at their side.”
3. “…the fact that certain members of the oppressor class join the oppressed in their struggle for liberation, thus moving from one pole of the contradiction to the other… Theirs is a fundamental role, and has been throughout the history of this struggle. It happens, however, that as they cease to be exploiters or indifferent spectators or simply the heirs of exploitation and move to the side of the exploited, they almost always bring with them the marks of their origin: their prejudices and their deformations, which include a lack of confidence in the people’s ability to think, to want, and to know. Accordingly, these adherents to the people’s cause constantly run the risk of falling into a type of generosity as malefic as that of the oppressors. The generosity of the oppressors is nourished by an unjust order, which must be maintained in order to justify that generosity. Our converts, on the other hand, truly desire to transform the unjust order; but because of their background they believe that they must be the executors of the transformation. They talk about the people, but they do not trust them; and trusting the people is the indispensable precondition for revolutionary change. A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, than by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.”
4.”One cannot expect positive results from an educational or political action program which fails to respect the particular view of the world held by the people. Such a program constitutes cultural invasion.”
5. “[T]he interests of the oppressors lie in ‘changing the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which oppresses them.”
6. “If the structure does not permit dialogue the structure must be changed”
7. “The conviction of the oppressed that they must fight in their liberation is not a gift bestowed by the revolutionary leadership, but the result of their own conscientização.”
8. “Those truly committed to liberation must reject the banking concept in its entirety, adopting instead a concept of women and men as conscious beings, and consciousness as consciousness intent upon the world. They must abandon the educational goal of deposit-making and replace it with the posing of the problems of human beings in their relations with the world.”
9. “The object of a dialogical-libertarian action is not to ‘dislodge’ the oppressed from a mythological reality in order to ‘bind’ them to another reality. On the contrary, the object of dialogical action is to make it possible for the oppressed, by perceiving their adhesion, to opt to transform an unjust reality.”
10. “For if the people join to their presence in the historical process critical thinking about that process, the threat of their emergence materializes in a revolution. Whether one calls this correct thinking ‘revolutionary consciousness’ or ‘class consciousness,’ it is an indispensable precondition of revolution. The dominant elites are so well aware of this fact that they instinctively use all means, including physical violence, to keep people from thinking.”

Happy Birthday Paulo Freire!!!

September 20, 2011

Today is Paulo Freire’s birthday. He would have been 90 years old today. Instead of writing my thoughts on Paulo, I leave you all with these great videos. May we continue to carry out the legacy of Paulo Freire whether we are teachers, counselors, therapist, or simply in our relationships with our loved ones.

Here are my top 10 Paulo Freire quotes:

1.”Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”
2.”[T]he more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled. This person is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into a dialogue with them. This person does not consider himself or herself the proprietor of history or of all people, or the liberator of the oppressed; but he or she does commit himself or herself, within history, to fight at their side.”
3. “…the fact that certain members of the oppressor class join the oppressed in their struggle for liberation, thus moving from one pole of the contradiction to the other… Theirs is a fundamental role, and has been throughout the history of this struggle. It happens, however, that as they cease to be exploiters or indifferent spectators or simply the heirs of exploitation and move to the side of the exploited, they almost always bring with them the marks of their origin: their prejudices and their deformations, which include a lack of confidence in the people’s ability to think, to want, and to know. Accordingly, these adherents to the people’s cause constantly run the risk of falling into a type of generosity as malefic as that of the oppressors. The generosity of the oppressors is nourished by an unjust order, which must be maintained in order to justify that generosity. Our converts, on the other hand, truly desire to transform the unjust order; but because of their background they believe that they must be the executors of the transformation. They talk about the people, but they do not trust them; and trusting the people is the indispensable precondition for revolutionary change. A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, than by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.”  
4.”One cannot expect positive results from an educational or political action program which fails to respect the particular view of the world held by the people. Such a program constitutes cultural invasion.”
5. “[T]he interests of the oppressors lie in ‘changing the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which oppresses them.”
6. “If the structure does not permit dialogue the structure must be changed”
7. “The conviction of the oppressed that they must fight in their liberation is not a gift bestowed by the revolutionary leadership, but the result of their own conscientização”
8. “Those truly committed to liberation must reject the banking concept in its entirety, adopting instead a concept of women and men as conscious beings, and consciousness as consciousness intent upon the world. They must abandon the educational goal of deposit-making and replace it with the posing of the problems of human beings in their relations with the world.”
9. “The object of a dialogical-libertarian action is not to ‘dislodge’ the oppressed from a mythological reality in order to ‘bind’ them to another reality. On the contrary, the object of dialogical action is to make it possible for the oppressed, by perceiving their adhesion, to opt to transform an unjust reality.”
10. “For if the people join to their presence in the historical process critical thinking about that process, the threat of their emergence materializes in a revolution. Whether one calls this correct thinking ‘revolutionary consciousness’ or ‘class consciousness,’ it is an indispensable precondition of revolution. The dominant elites are so well aware of this fact that they instinctively use all means, including physical violence, to keep people from thinking.”

Remembering Chief Albert Luthuli

July 21, 2011

Today is the 44th death anniversary of Albert Luthuli. He died as he was crossing some railroad tracks and got struck by a train and died. Chief Albert Luthuli was the first South African to win a Nobel Peace Price for his nonviolent anti-apartheid activism in 1960. He was a very respected and charismatic leader within the ANC. I admired him for the amazing man that he was.

Here is a link to read a biography on Chief Albert Luthuli
Here is a link of several of Luthuli’s famous speeches. Check them out. You will definately be inspired.

Here are some of Chief Albert Luthuli’s quotes. Enjoy.
PEACE

“In Africa , as our contribution to peace, we are resolved to end such evils as oppression, white supremacy and racial discrimination, all of which are incompatible with world peace and security.”

“But now the revolutionary strings of our continent are setting the past aside. Our people everywhere, from north to south of the continent are reclaiming their land, their right to participate in government, their dignity as men, their nationhood. Thus in the turmoil of revolution, the basis for peace and brotherhood in Africa being restored by the resurrection of national sovereignty and independence, of equality and the dignity of man.”

“The world is now a neighbourhood, although unfortunately, people are not sufficiently neighbourly. We suffer at the present time from an over stress nationalism. Each such ultra-nationalist group seeks domination over others. I would like to see a South Africa that takes a serious interest in establishing peace and friendship in the world and not merely paying lip service to these important needs of man.”  

“Humanity longs for the time when the great Powers of the world will become great at heart and curb their ambitions, and pave the way for the settling of their differences in a statesman-like manner and so remove the threat of war.”

“no true peace and progress can be secured in any country as long as there are others in that country denied full democratic rights and duties.”

NON-VIOLENCE

“As for myself, with a full sense of responsibility and a clear conviction, I decided to remain in the struggle for extending democratic rights and responsibilities to all sections of the South African community. I have embraced the non-violent Passive Resistance technique in fighting for freedom because I am convinced it is the only non-revolutionary, legitimate and humane way that could be used by people denied, as we are, effective constitutional means to further aspirations.”

 “We must fight on in all fronts along the path of non-violence and when, at times, the human weakness of despondency assails us, let us gain courage and inspiration, not only in the justice of our cause, but in its universality in all ages. We should be stirred to greater effort by the knowledge that it is our undeserved honour and privilege to be numbered among the followers of the heroes of freedom of all lands and ages: men and women who have so meritoriously championed the cause of freedom.”

 “Non-violent resistance in any provocative situation is our best instrument. Our strongest weapon is to acquaint our people and the world with the facts of our situation. No doubt we shall be accused of inciting the people and labelled as agitators and communists. We should never be deterred from our path of duty to our people and our country by these accusations. We should rest content in the conviction that we are here performing a divine duty when we struggle for freedom.”  

“Africa likes to enjoy peace, prosperity and freedom and would like to day itself with those forces of peace and freedom and so, does not like to be made a war zone in any war that warmongers may plunge the world in.”

 “We can assure the world that it is our intention to keep on the non-violent plane. We would earnestly request the powers that be to make it possible for us to keep our people in this mood.”

 JUSTICE

“Laws and conditions that tend to debase human personality – a God-given force – be they brought about by the State or other individuals, must be relentlessly opposed in the spirit of defiance shown by St. Peter when he said to the rulers of his day. “Shall we obey God or Man?”

“Let us set our spirit and conscience attune with the spirit of Divine Discontent that is within us and together with freedom-loving people elsewhere serve faithfully the cause of Freedom in the world in general, and in South Africa in particular, and so help our beloved South Africa to March honourably with the rest of the democratic world to the final liberation of all mankind.”

“It may well be that South Africa ‘s social system is a monument to racialism and race oppression, but its people are living testimony to the unconquerable spirit of mankind. Down the years, against, seemingly overwhelming odds, they have sought the goals of fuller life and liberty, striving with incredible determination and fortitude for the right to live as men – free men.”

“A regime that flouts world opinion cannot last. Nor will such a regime endure, when many of it’s own citizens are resolute and pledged to work for that end even at the cost of limitless sacrifice. For we are steeled by oppression and the daily sight of human values being ground underfoot only makes us cherish even more those values.”

FREEDOM

“The germ of freedom is in every individual, in anyone who is a human being. In fact the history of mankind is the history of man struggling and striving for freedom, indeed the very apex of human achievement is FREEDOM and not slavery.”

“Friends, let us make no mistake, the road to freedom is always full of difficulties. Before we reach the summit of freedom, many will have fallen by the wayside as a result of enemy action, and others as through personal despondency may abandon the fight. But I call upon you as the true son of South Africa to be true to Africa , and count no sacrifice too great for her redemption.”

‘Let us march together to freedom saying: The road to freedom may be long and thorny but because our cause is just, the glorious end – Freedom – is ours”.

“Our interest in freedom is not confined to ourselves only. We are interested in the liberation of the oppressed in the whole of Africa and in the world as a whole.”

“Those of us who are in the freedom struggle in this country have really only one gospel. We may possibly shade it in different ways, but it is a gospel of democracy and freedom.”

 Source: scnc.udw.ac.za/doc/TEXTS/dc/dclutuli.htm (Accessed 8 March 2004)

 

This last song is called Nongqongqo and is performed by the late Miriam Makeba. It is the name of a prison in South Africa. I am including this song not only because I love it but because it makes reference of Albert Luthuli.
Here are the lyrics to the song. Thanks to my friend Akhona for the translation.

 

Bahleli bonke etilongweni, (they are together/they are sitting together in prison) 
Bahleli bonke kwa Nongqongqo  (they are sitting together at Nongqongqo)
[repeat] 
Hi, hi, hi, ( ‘hi’, which in English would be pronounced or sounds like hee, is just a sound to mimick the idea of crying or pain. It’s like onomatopeia)

halala (‘halala’ is an exclamation of, usually, joy. I think in this context it’s just to exclaim the cry) 

Nanku X 2 (here he is)

Nanku uSobukhwe (here is Sobukwe)

Nanku, nanku etilongweni (here he is in prison)

 [repeat]

 hi bawo Luthuli (‘bawo’, in Xhosa, means father/sir, and the equivalent in Zulu is ‘baba’; Luthuli was the president of the African National Congress and the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize recipient)

hayi uzotheni, uzotheni (‘hayi’ means no; ‘uzotheni’ is a word I’m not familiar with, but it sounds ambiguous and may mean ‘why do you deserve this?’ or ‘what have you done wrong?’/ ‘what is your sin?’) 

[repeated]

Nanko X2  (there he is) 

Nanko uMandela (there is Mandela)

nanko, nanko etilongweni (there he is, there he is in prison)

Nanko X2  (there he is)

Nanko uSisulu (there is Sisulu)

nanko, nanko etilongweni (there he is, there he is in prison)

yini wema-Afrika? (‘yini’ means what is it; ma-Afrika means people of Africa; “what is it Africans?” is used as a rhetorical question implying ‘what’s wrong with us Africans?’)

hayi uzotheni? uzotheni? (no, what have you done wrong, what have you done wrong?)

Bahleli bonke etilongweni, (they are together/they are sitting together in prison) 

Bahleli bonke kwa Nongqongqo  (they are sitting together at Nongqongqo)

Chief Albert Luthuli….PRESENTE!!!
AHORA…Y….SIEMPRE!!!