Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter
Yesterday, it was a mantra
Today, it’s a plea

To escape oppression, the oppressed must become superhuman, angelic, without fault, without blemish…
Because anything you say or do will be magnified out of proportion. It will become the excuse the oppressors use. They will be blind to their own faults and expect you somehow to magically transcend the limits of human perfection.

Woe betide you if you act human.

For the moment that you make a mistake even they themselves make, all their oppression will be justified.

You think education, nobility and respect will save you from racism… till you find yourself standing in shock by a street in New York… wearing a three-piece suit and horn-rimmed glasses…all your degrees and awards flashing before your eyes as you stare at the hateful white guy who just passed by you and called you “fucking nigger”.

When did you realize you were black?
It was the moment I started to read and understand histories of slavery… of PanAfricanism… Of Apartheid
That’s when I knew.

I’m still in mourning.

Black Lives Matter
Yesterday, it was a mantra
Today, it’s a plea

It’s so hard to live in this world that old white men created

It’s so hard to live in this world that old white men created – especially if you’re just an ordinary black person.

The extraordinary ones have got it good – the stooges and their descendants, you know, the ones that sold their own brothers into slavery, the warrant chiefs, the zealous christian converts who went to destroy their people’s temples etc… and the nice noble savages, the women who had kids with white men..etc And the rich black people – the rappers and athletes, the theiving heads of states, government officials and their friends and families.. see where I’m going with this?

First the white men came to our lands in Africa where we were minding our own damn business, looted our gold and art (some spent decades trying to prove we didn’t make such fine art that they were incapable of making themselves) Then they destroyed our cities and stole our people away to Europe & the Americas and forced them to be slaves in the most inhumane… most evil… most horrendous circumstances.

These white people, they whipped our people, treated them like animals, they killed them.

Hundreds of years later and they are still doing this to our people and it hurts so damn much.

I’m reading news and tweets from Ferguson and I’m tired all all this crap. Like, you won’t make reparations, okay fine. Just let us live in peace then. It’s so unfair that young black men get killed for holding a toy gun but a young white man gets calmly talked to and asked to lay down his weapon after shooting up a cinema.

I’m so tired of it all and it hurts so much because I know it will never end. Like, why didn’t they just leave us alone in our continent in the first place. Why enslave us, steal from us, destroy our monuments and colonise us. What the fuck did we do to deserve this shit? How can all this just be because we were created/born with a different skin colour?

You can’t escape this world that old white men created. If they left you in Africa, they left you in countries that they carved up because of natural resources… with no fucking concern for the peoples and clans they separated. They left you in countries poised to fail at independence because they had stolen so much from them and they controlled the markets and EVERYTHING. And if you got a president that wasn’t a fucking stooge and looked like he was leading the country to some semblance of dignity, they killed him and/or guided your country gently into civil war.

If you’re an ordinary black person, once you step outside your continent (except parts of North Africa & South Africa… and Trassaco Valley), everywhere you go in this world your chances of being treated like an animal increase exponentially. Even in India, where the people were colonised and enslaved too, because they have fairer skin and straighter hair, they feel they’re better than you and they might kill you.

They love our buttocks and penises and music and clothes and athletisicm and our “black culture”, but they never loved us, charley.

And if you die & you were bad, you go to hell and suffer. If you die a good person, you go to heaven with old white God where you’re still a second class citizen because everybody knows white people sit closer to Old White God on his right hand side.

PS: If you feel the need to tell me about “agency” and “exceptions”, can you not see that I’m mourning? Go blog about it on your own blog, you kwasia.

RIP Prof. Karel Bakker. Of brief interactions & lasting memories

archiafrika conference

Professor Karel Bakker was a voice of clarity in the chaos of my early explorations of what it meant to be an African architect. I met him at an ArchiAfrika Educational Network conference in Accra, and he left a lasting impression. I’m sad I will not get to meet him again.

Recently I’ve been thinking of perhaps doing my PhD closer to home, and South Africa came to mind when I remembered Prof. Bakker telling my friends and I about funding opportunities at his University of Pretoria.

At the that conference , he said something’s that have stayed with me – about being African and loving Africa being deeper than the colour of your skin. About how diverse the peoples and architectures of Africa are, and how that meant an African architecture had to go beyond the visual… A sentiment I agree wholeheartedly with as I search for my identity and place(s) as an African architect in this world.

His death also reminds me of one of my biggest failings as a person, something I’m always saying I’ll fix… which is keeping in touch with people I’ve met and liked/ admired. At that same conference, I rubbed shoulders with giants of academia in the field of the architecture of Africa.  I promised to write, and I haven’t. I’m fixing that tonight.


Heavy thoughts…

Thoughts and prayers with the family in these difficult times.

Use Your Brain.

Many many years ago, someone came to your land and decided that you were less human because of your dark skin, and because God said so. The person said you descended from Ham so were cursed to be a slave for eternity.

Today, you have decided that someone is less human because she has a vagina. You said a woman is destined to serve you because God said so.

This same God gave you a brain. Perhaps you should use it every now and then.