23 January 2010

L’union Fait La Force...The African Agenda

by Nana B.

The heart and soul of the African world is crying. Our mother Haiti is in need of help and as Africans, it is our duty to hold our hands around Haiti. Who else but Africans can know the needs of our people (whether they be dietary, spiritual, or physical)? While volunteering at the Haitian embassy, the lack of connectivity in the African body became evermore present to me. On my way to the Haitian Embassy I passed the embassies of Kenya, Egypt, Colombia, the Bahamas, Morocco, Chile…all of which remained closed shut in the sight of the confusion of overflowing donations and frail leadership. With all Haiti has done for Latin American, African, and West Indian nations, would it have been too much for these embassies to assist in the packaging and storage of aid? While sifting through the toiletries donated, I saw practically no African hair and skin products nor feminine hygiene products aside from those I and my friends donated. How long will we continue to let our children look to help from pale faces? F*** the differences in language, nationalities, boundaries and borders. Without Haiti, there would be no Ghana, Brazil, Jamaica, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Panama, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and any other politically free nation that is a part of the African World. The words of Peter Tosh couldn’t be any more relevant than they are now. “No matter where you come from, as long as you’re a Black man [or woman], you are an African”.

The media continues to portray our people as poor and helpless, using Haiti for headlines. And as the weeks pass and the lure of suffering Africans dies down in the hearts of the consumers, what will we do to help our own? We need to help each other, plain and simple. The time of waiting for celebrities and politicians to help us is coming to an end. The usage of pretty, ornamental language is unnecessary during times like these. Our people in Haiti and all around the African world are dying and they need our help. Let the words of the Haitian motto resounding in your heart and inspire you as we reclaim and take pride in our roles as the chosen children of the creator. L’union fait la force (With Unity there is Strength).

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