Thursday, December 10, 2009

Diet Resources Part 2- Basic Health Protocol Sheet for the P.E.A.C.E. Course

This piece was written in late 2007. Way before any copycat authors pulled a Greek and stole the original article. Sunez Allah asked me to contribute a second part to his science-philosophy based protocol on Diet which he was giving out and teaching to students interested in this aspect of the self. I agreed to do the piece with a focus on the application aspect of it. It is meant to start discussing the question: How can one eat right and exact living in the hood? The piece has a urban-NYC focus, but the information can be adapted to any City and/or even suburban, rural areas that have markets, supermarkets, etc. I wanted to share this with some of you whom I know we have spoken about this at one point or the other. Peace!

Starting a Living Foods Diet:

For most of us, the idea of eating right is a goal that becomes out of reach and a concept that cannot be actualized. One of the reasons is having no understanding of how to eat right and what foods are healthy for the individual. Even when one understands what eating right is the resources to undertake the process of healthy living lacks. Part one of the health protocol details the idea of “becoming an educated consumer,” a process that entails studying the foods that we have been accustomed to see as good. It also consists of studying the variety of food stores within our neighborhood and the kind of non-perishable and perishable provisions they carry.

In becoming the educated consumer and engaging into the ideal diet, not only to prevent food-related diseases, such as diabetes, high-blood pressure, arthritis, to name a few, from manifesting within our bodies, but to develop the lifestyle that leads into living the right and exact culture (4), one must first study what is a diet, as detailed in part one. In carrying out the proper culture, the diet component in our lives is essential because it will be one of the factors that will propel drawing out the natural talents each individual has to contribute to the world. Thus, the ideal diet is one that aids in full enlightenment (9) of self. We seldom think of the idea that all original people are dealing with war in different manifestations. War is not just physical fighting with guns where one party seeks the oppression of the other through a masquerade that gives advantageous reasoning of democracy. War is experienced in many levels, whether it is through the products that women use, such as lye burning relaxers, aluminum ridden deodorants, swine made lipsticks, pore-clogging perfumes, and fluoride filled toothpastes, the clothes that we choose to wear, or the foods that we choose to eat. One hardly thinks that food has something to do with being revolutionary. It is actual fact that indeed applying the right and exact eating habits into ourselves changes not only the cipher, environment of the person doing so, but causes a change in the society itself. While so many others are blind, deaf, and dumb to what they are being told to eat by the American Food and Drug Administration, those who have realized the atrocities being committed by that entity, to the food that arrives and we then purchase at the Grocery Store or Supermarket, will stop supporting an industry that is overwhelming Meat and Dairy based. Understanding the socio-political, economic, and environmental aspects of this issue is the first way in which to make the first step in changing an aspect of one self. The other must be to investigate and research the science and philosophical ideas of diet. What is the mentality of a diet? Why does my body need certain foods? What are the components of different foods I eat and how does my body assimilate them? These are questions addressed in the first part, which will help in adapting a diet that will aid in elevating the self. If one has an understanding of how the world works, who he or she really is, then with that must come a change in the elements that fuel the energy within our bodies. How can an individual have a high awareness of self is it not being lived out through all components? This includes one’s diet. Through this piece, it is my purpose to provide a thorough description on how to apply the ideal diet discussed in part one into our lives.

“What we choose to eat makes a powerful statement about our ethics and our view of the world -- about our very humanity.”- from www.veganoutreach.com


Navigating the Neighborhood:

The process of eating right and exact entails that one thinks about the relation of one’s neighborhood to foods. What kind of food stores are in my neighborhood? Which ones should I avoid and why? How do I pick and choose products from the supermarket? What are some of the products that are of best quality that I can consume from the corner store bodega? What are the actual ingredients in each of the foods I want to purchase? These are the fundamental questions that will guide an individual to properly transition to a healthier diet. An exploration of the prototypical ghetto will shed light into many of the answers.

Bodegas. These small overcrowded corner stores have had a historical link to the development of our cultural urban identity. From growing up and watching the recently-arrived jibaro, campesino men engage in a game of dominos or playing beautiful reminiscent island music, to watching the business crumpled as the owner is discovered for using the bodega as a front to the real business: the distribution of narcotics in our neighborhoods, these have always been a part of city life. They are smaller versions of supermarket and are more readily available, being that so many are at close proximity of people’s homes.

All in all, when one receives knowledge of self and starts to change their diet the corner store bodega is definitely an option that one must continue to use in regards to the consumption of our foods. However, the options of consumption are very limited, as these stores are a direct contributor to the health detriment of many of our original 85 brothers and sisters, in the very same manner that local fried chicken spots, liquor stores, and the Chinese take-out also perpetuate many of the health oppression of our people. It is the social manifestation of our people’s marginalization. One that is rooted in the study of food and slavery. It was the slave that was fed the unwanted part of the cow, chicken, and pig. While the slave master ate the chicken breast, the steak, or the pork chops, the slave eat the chicken feet, cow’s tail, and the chitlins. While science will prove meat is not for the consumption of man, it was the legacy the European brought, based on his own history, and passed it on to our people who were enslaved and therefore kept in an 85 state of mind.

Below is a list of the items that can be bought at the store. Careful analysis of their contents will show that these are the best and only product one should be buying from this type of food business.

What one can buy at the bodega?
• Canned goods, like Goya beans (of all kinds)
• Vegetable canned goods—like canned carrots, beats, and other vegetables.
• Canned tomato paste or tomato sauce
• Certain selection of juices, making sure that they do not contain high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, or dextrose, or natural caramel color.
• Natural plantain or yucca chips—the only healthy chips available at the store. The other chips contain hydrogenated oils, which cause high amounts of gas after consumption.
• Bottled Water, make sure it does not contain sodium, like Dasani.

Although, I include canned goods, it is preferable to buy beans in a bag, since in the cans omit its metal residue into the beans. However, if they don’t have bagged beans, the next best things are the cans. Bodegas also tend to carry very toxic foods, such as Twinkies, cakes, potato chips, and donuts. If you decide to consume these products, as stated by Sunez Allah in the first part of the protocol, study your body and the reaction it has to these foods. You will realize you were better off in the first place.

Neighborhood Supermarkets (C-Town, Fine Fare, Pathmark, Associated, etc):
Supermarkets have a much wider options of products that we can buy because they are bigger. However, this means that they carry more unhealthy ingredients. Study each lane and the products they carry and make the wisest choices. Below are some of the healthy options for each of the lanes within the supermarket:

• Produce Section: This should be the most visited section in the supermarket. Although not organic, one can purchase a wide variety of fruits (peaches, plums, pineapple, apples, pears, bananas, cantaloupes) and vegetables (like avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, red, green, yellow peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, etc) of the best quality. As well as root vegetables: plantains, yucca, yame, yautia, potatoes, garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, etc. These can be used for the many dishes prepared for dinner and lunch. The foods are high in chlorophyll (red and green) which rejuvenate and detoxify (8) your body. When preparing these one should purchase a fruit & vegetable wash from the health food store. Refer to Brief Notes on Preparation, 1st paragraph

• Frozen Foods Section: In this section of the supermarket, choose the frozen vegetables and frozen fruits. These are really good for you because they are not picked before they are ripe; rather, they are chosen at the right moment and frozen for longer-lasting use while preserving the phyto-nutrients of the fruit and/or vegetable. You can use the frozen vegetables for stir-fries, stews, soups, and other dishes. A plus is that the food already is pre-cut, which serves for faster cooking. Frozen fruits can be used for the preparation of desserts and fruit smoothies or shakes. This section of the supermarket contains high volumes of processed foods, where one can find the famous TV-Dinners harmful to oneself. Refer to Elimination for Detoxification, section 4, Processed

• Baked Goods Section: When exploring this section one should focus on certain breads. Virtually all bread contains high contents of sugar and salt combined with the artificial properties of the processing methods for these breads. If one looks closely, there are certain breads that can be purchased. Usually breads made out of unbleached wheat flour, and grain breads are really good. Some of these breads will contain a bit of sugar, but you are better off than buying wonder bread. Some breads contain enriched wheat flour, which means that the bread was initially rid of its nutrients and then weaker versions of them were added back into the bread. Regardless, they are of a higher health quality. Please do not buy breads that say “Wheat” on them. Just because they are labeled as wheat does not mean they are not made out of toxic ingredients.

In this section one can also study the cereals within the supermarket. Most cereals are GMO, meaning they are made from a genetically modified organism, in a lab! This on top of artificial sweeteners and milk added to the product. Not good and has no nutritional values. The best cereals to buy are those that say organic and ones you read the ingredients and contain organic cane sugar. The granola cereals that do not contain milk or toxic ingredients are good.

• Meat & Dairy Section: The least visited part of the supermarket; there are actually some products that can be purchased. As a result of gentrification (the movement of young professionals and college students of middle class background into low-income neighborhoods, resulting in the increase of rent and loss of culture) one can find products previously not available. In the dairy section, one can now find soy milk and yogurt. Most likely, the brand you will find is Silk strawberry, blueberry, raspberry yogurt and vanilla or very vanilla soy milk. The benefits of soy consumption are endless, especially for the reproductive system of the Earth. These include lowering risk of cancer, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases to easing the symptoms of menopause. In this section you will find butters that do not contain milk, but they still contain whey, which is the watery fluid found on the top of the milk. Others may contain casein, derivative of cow’s milk. Refer to Elimination for Detoxification, 2nd part

• Canned Goods and Condiments Section: One can extract many useful products from this area. All the canned beans and vegetables are good to use. However, preferably, one should deal with the bagged beans. These are found here. Look carefully through the condiments and try to find sea salt and organic ketchup. Most likely, you will not find it, but once in a while they do have it. Goya now produces brown rice. This is a good start, although it may not be of great quality, but it beats the bleached white rice.

Navigating Outside our Neighborhoods:

As one progresses in their knowledge of the consumption and purchase of living foods, one must explore outside of their territory. Unfortunately, most health food stores and health based restaurants are in predominantly white-middle class neighborhoods. The saying of “history repeats itself” is very relevant, especially when we are in tune with the mathematical patterns that expresses how oppression is exerted upon original populations. Healthy lifestyles and health movements tend to be associated with the colored man. Just as in the case of ancient Egyptian philosophy, close study of history shows that original people have been eating right and exact from as far back as it’s know in ancient history. This is an aspect of our lifestyle that was appropriated by the colored man. Thus, why the association between whiteness and health is made. What has kept our knowledge of this lifestyle and knowledge alive is the Rasta. Those who embrace (1, 2) aspects of the Rasta everyday life will realize (3) the right and exactness of their diet. Parts of certain Asian diets serve as a great reference as well. This is why one can find 1 or 2 restaurants in heavily original populated areas, as in the case of Harlem, Washington Heights, China Town, and Brooklyn. Below is a list of health food stores and health based restaurants that will sustain the living foods diet of God and Earth.

Westerly:
(54th Street & 8th Avenue)
It’s a health food store/supermarket, containing very expensive, but organic produce. There are many other products, such as healthy cereals, brown-rice pastas, soy or rice based ice-cream, organic frozen fruit and vegetables, organic frozen pre-made food, soy, rice, or almond based milk, soy butter and cheese, tofu, and some fake meats: like Tofurky sausages (very yummy). You can also find vegan mayonnaise and organic ketchup of great tasting quality. Ezekiel bread is a great bread to purchase as well because it is the only bread which contains live nutrients. Of major importance is that here you can purchase the antioxidants documented in Part 1.

Whole Foods:
(Various locations throughout New York City: 59th Street & Central Park West, 24th & 7th Avenue, 14th Street & Union Square),
This enterprise is masked by its association to health food; however, it’s really just a boughsie supermarket, which happens to contain health products. All supermarkets for the upper middle class will always contain health food. Regardless, there are some products that are really good and can only be found here (i.e. vegan French bread rolls- yummy )

Gary Null’s Whole Foods:
(89th Street & Broadway)
Gary Null is the creator of the most potent and effective green and red chlorophyll (Green Stuff & Red Stuff) with a number of additional health products that work wonders on the conditioning of the human body. He has his own health food store, which contains high quality, but expensive, organic produce. It is similar to Westerly in the products it carries. Their food bar is extremely delicious, but again, expensive. This store features delicious Gary Null chocolate (no milk) and products. This store contains all the antioxidants documented in Part 1.
For more information go to: www.garynull.com

Health Nuts:
(99th Street & Broadway)
Health Nuts is the only supermarket with vegan cheesecakes and soy whipped cream. Most of the products here are the same as Westerly and Gary Null’s whole foods.

Fairway:
(Located on 72nd Street & Broadway)
This store contains great cheaper produce and similar products as previously listed stores.

Perelandra:
(175 Remsen Street, in Downtown Brooklyn)
This store contains many similar items as other health food stores and it features great products for cooking vegan Mexican food.

May Wah:
(213 Hester Street, Chinatown)
Wholesale and retail store where one can become a member to buy products at reduced prices. This store features textured soy-protein “meats” for those in transitioning who still need to feel as if they are eating meats. The store has frozen tofu, which are great for stir-fries. In addition, there are veggie steak, fish, chicken, salami, ham, duck, shrimp, meatballs and others. These are all made out of soy. However, some contain milk or milk derivatives.

Hong-Kong Supermarket:
(135 E Broadway, Chinatown)
This supermarket is a great resource to find big bags of healthy rice, like Brown or Jasmine rice. One can also find non GMO tofu, and other healthy products.

Small Hidden Health Food Stores:
(All over the hoods)
Explore your neighborhoods; they contain small unseen health products, but sometimes at much more expensive rates than downtown stores. There’s one really good store in the corner of Hillside Ave & Broadway in Washington Heights, right by the post office.


* Note: Just because it’s a health food store, this does not mean that every product they carry is healthy. The consumer needs to be wise and continue to study the labels, ingredients even at this stage of their diet. Health food stories still contain products with massive amounts of sugar (even if it’s healthy sugar) or milk and its derivatives. There are many soy cheeses that have casein. Also, many potato chips have cheese or whey in them.

A list of restaurants to come later….


For those interested in Part One, notify Sunez Allah.

Peace Family!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Navigating Through the Righteous

As bright and shining as the sunset can be,
it is how her skin manifested the blackness within.
That the yellow was just as black as the other seeds,
was the scientific reasoning learned along with the meaning of P.E.A.C.E.

Knowledge God was one of the ways they seemed to teach
So she consulted her Enlightener to know of all the paths
taken by Earths through time
That led them into an understanding of living out their culture
Uniquely as part of One

She thought that finding her own path towards enlightenment
Would be just fine
That she would hold on to her Latin American roots and recognize them
It was precisely her background that she used and would not comprise
Not just to be called a“Power Ruler”, but to be just as Black as the African American
For which this knowledge was brought

Using her prior knowledge of powerful women warriors-scholars she had met
And learned about in the past
Would better make her the true and living Earth of this age and time
She sought to add-on to the many ideas of “HER”
That were built and expressed about dogmatically and religiously
through this way of truth known as the Nation of God and Earth
Truly examining the name, the way she is taught, and redefining her position to God,
By bringing forth ancient forms of viewing the original woman today
earned her insults as well as threats
But it would be her God that would open the path
So that others could really cee the understanding
Shared by a sister who is really just guided by LOVE

Her maneuverings and encounters with the women proved to be otherwise,
No welcome or warm gestures did she received
It was blank stares and dismissals that came from others within,
As if her phenotype did not match their way,
it was as if she was a walking challenge
To what was already in place
That she dressed 3/4ths without a hair wrap?
Indeed for she had found a different way of expressing Earth supremely

Or was it competition that many were threaten with?
For if anyone that truly understands her, knows that from the minute woken
She devotes herself at performing any task with the most humble intentions
Of sharing it all with her Nation
And she is thankful to those that truly share with her, for true knowledge lies
Within those that don’t deal with deception

It is this difficult, but rewarding path that she must walk …

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Unedited Thoughts/Notes about Cuban Hip Hop Music Part 1

The birth of hip hop in Cuba is very interesting, from Miami radio shows, Cubans picked up the radio waves that extended into their homes. This introduced them to the urban genre of music of hip hop in the mid nineties. What I feel is dangerous with the adoption of hip hop into Cuba is the ideas that are U.S. based, which infiltrate the reality of the Cuban youth, and make it their own. Their context of racism/prejudice is much more different than its development in the U.S. Instead of adopting the genre to portray a unique reality, they are recalling foreign themes & experiences and applying it to their lives. It's like they are trying to live a 60s civil rights movement of their own. Furthermore, if you notice a lot of Cuban rappers like to dress with jerseys and shit, like we do here. That's why I respect Seku (the taller one in the video) because if you notice his dressing style is much more relevant to his "identity" as a Black man in Cuba. Possibly the best hip hop duo in Cuba, Anonimo Consejo, have been together since the 90s. Notice how they biggin' up Pablo Herrera, the only first Cuban hip hop producer, he was Amenaza's producer, before they became Orishas and left Cuba. When you talk to a Cuban MC in Cuba, they'll tell you "we make music for Cubans, because this is where we live."I just finished watching an interview another great, but newer hip hop group, called "Los Aldeanos" and they were saying, that they are not concerned with making music about the U.S., or about Puerto Rico (not saying that politically, culturally they might feel an alliance b/t both countries), but more so that the focus on their music comes out from the Cuban reality and it will be nothing, but that, through their personal experiences that will be documented. The mistakes then that some groups make is talk about the Cuban experience, but through sociological, historical frameworks that are U.S. based. How can you apply the particularities of the issue of police brutality in the U.S. to however policing is manifested in Cuba. They'll make references to how the police looks at them a certain way, but describe exactly how policing occurs under the revolution and how people interact with that? It seems to me that sometimes they take cliches from English hip hop and incorporate it to their own, depending on the group of course.

Refer to video:

This is a great video by "Los Aldeanos" a group that started in Feb 2003, so very new, but very lyrical. This son entitled, "Miseria Humana, " or Human Misery, conveys the economic harsh realities of the Cuban people as well the social issues that have risen as the revolution, through Education, etc, has tried to rid of the mentality of Cubans. It's interesting how the themes portrayed are also universal themes because they occur is most poor original countries around the world. It is such a complex idea, the revolution has struggled economically, therefore we start seeing some of the issues, that as Fidel has eloquently stated in his newest autobiography, are associated with the lower classes. I hope they know this, but this music also applies to all over Latin America, Asia, and Africa. He said about the woman gone wrong, 'Sista, why the corner call you..you go from bed to bed with kid in belly and twenty fathers with none of them ever running to claim your blood…you’re not the inspiration for a relationship and I’ll tell you why you I’ll explain your situation. You open up your legs and close your heart’ That’s not even the best verse either. Sunez says that it doesn't matter language his style comes straight out of the Rakim school. This is the perfect song in the sense that it describes a universal theme, the way in which it happens in Cuba specifically. So he's talking about the concept of Human Misery and how it plays out in Cuba, but it is indeed a condition that occurs daily in others as well.

Refer to video:

Real 70 productions, right now is the largest producing group. Papa Humbertico, one of my personal favorite Cuban MCs, has put it together and all groups from all over the island go there to get their music recorded. People come from as far as Santiago de Cuba on the Eastern side of the island and the Isla de Juventud. This song is more an international message to all the different situations that go on around the different countries. My favorite quote is "Si mi comandante en Jefe por siempre pudiera existir." Also, I've noticed that content varies a bit depending on their skin manifestation of blackness. The yellow seeds tend to see things more political and social, while the darker seeds rhyme more about ethnicity/race. This has to do with the way in which the grafted man has manifested division amongst the Cuban people through its centuries of history. At the same time I think these perspectives blend in well together like pieces to a puzzle. We can't get the full picture if they are all rhyming about the same thing. It is the boxes in which all our different shades of black peoples have been put into that will bring about a part of the full perspective of the Asiatic black family of the world. In this case, let's just apply that idea to the reality of Cuban hip hop.

Refer to video:

In this next song, Papa Humbertico narrates creatively his experience growing up, but through every single political event that occurs. So he talks about the golden years in Cuba when people actually made money through their careers, his father being an Engineer. Everything then changes when on the TV they announce the fall of socialist camp in Europe, this leads to terrible economic conditions. It is then when he says his father has to go into another career, but regardless to this, the father doesn't leave Cuba like many do because he is faithful to the revolution because they are "pioneros con el comunismo, seremos como el Che." In Cuba when one talks about the ideal construction of man, a man who leads revolution with the purest and unbreakable ethical and moral standards, that is Che. He has been the model for the youth and continue to be. I have this amazing book called "Che Habla A La Juventud" and it is precisely his thoughts about man, morality, etc that he transcends to the new generations of revolutionary Cubans. I really like the portrayal of Cuba and the lives of the Cuban people of this song. It puts into context the many perspectives, through his own as well, of what happened. It is perhaps why like the title of his song, that kid that he was, could never dream in colors. This is also metaphorical in saying, that his generation was not able to see the prosperous years of the revolution. It is very realistic, and not accusatory. He's almost conveying that he understands why shit is the way it is now in Cuba.

Refer to video:

Peace, Earth Izayaa Allat.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Amor Sazón

This latest set of proses are dedicated to my mother, my teacher for many years, and although I was dormant to that reality, I now realize the many things she taught me...Peace to the Old Earth.



Muchos me preguntan como es que puedo cocinar
Una muchacha moderna, estudiada, no debería ser tan hábil en este aspecto cotidial
Ven mis fotos y me escriben que le manden la receta
Me alagan, me honoran, y me describen como sabia en el tema

Lo que muchos no saben es de donde viene mi inspiración
Fue en aquella cocina pequeña donde aprendí apreciar tu don
De mezclar las hierbas y pimientas para hacer un rico sazón
Que al aprobar la comida, se sentía en mi lengua
Y llegaba a tocar mi espíritu, como si voz estuviere en mi corazón

Muchas horas haciendo mi tarea, te miraba, y contemplaba
Haciendo la comida del día,
Que tú usualmente describías como la bandera Dominicana
Allí veía, porque me decías que solo se aprendía mirando, tu versión de “Como Agua Para Chocolate”
Cada bocado que aprobaba, provocaba una nueva sensación humana

Madre mía, gracias por heredarme el don
De poder compartir el más sagrado talento
Que herede de tu amor sazón…


Te quiero mucho mami, gracias por darme la vida, y aprender que si puedo compartir mis más profundos sentimientos a través de la escritura, unos de mis más desarrollados talentos. Unos de mis propósitos de vivir será nunca dejar de compartir la sabiduría, amor, y entendimiento de mi ser.”

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Teaching Philosophy Part 4


Promoting Consciousness/Change

"El pueblo en su sentido real, es decir, esa mayoría del pueblo que ha tenido que vivir en la explotación y en el olvido más cruel...Nuestra preocupación fundamental siempre serán las grandes mayorías del pueblo, es decir, las clases oprimidas y explotadas del pueblo...si no se piensa así...no se tiene una actitud revolucionaria...creo que esto está bien claro. Cuáles son los derechos de los escritores y de los artistas? Dentro de la Revolución todo; contra la Revolución ningún derecho." -Fidel Castro


In our current world order, it seems impossible to separate entirely from the existing educational framework. However, when one attains knowledge of self we learn how to navigate successfully through a civilization that has been co-opted by the grafted man. It would be very hard to go back to our previous civilizations that have been virtually destroyed and try to live the way we once did. It is what can be built with what's already in place that is of major importance. The essence of what education was & is can be adopted to change the condition of our original people. Of notable example, is the success of the Cuban revolution.

Cuba had an economical, social, and political revolution in 1959. This revolution sought the education of its people as the first remedy towards social justice and freedom. This anti-Yankee imperialism movement promoted the literacy of thousands of Cubans. Many younger literate students taught guajiros, people from the countryside. Many changes also occurred in other parts of society. Schools took different structures and many more teachers than ever had been produced. Not only did Cuba adopt physical changes, but it also adopted changes within the psyche of its people. This psyche is characterized as a White Supremacist Capitalist mentality, which is the same type of mentality that governs the United States. Which is what governs the schools, teachers (who the majority are white) and other sectors of society. A new form of ideology developed and Cubans began to adapt distinct ethical values that would lead their lives and decisions made. They started thinking in terms of a community, rather than as individuals. Schools, hospitals, companies, industries were all nationalized. From pre-school on, students were instructed under the ideology of the revolution and socialism. Students were taught about issues of racism, sexism, and classism, as well as history from other parts of the world, particularly the Soviet-Union, China, and Africa. This formented a pride in oneself for knowing true herstory and being able to make sense of the world. It is truly partial liberation of the mind.

Adapting this modern-model, students attaining knowledge of self will learn at their level of understanding. Some might first learn to read and write, while others might learn higher concepts of the origin of man and woman. In all, this educational space will be filled with an ever changing pedagogy. It is very much as Fidel, a true five percenter, has stated about everything that’s shared and presented should be for the ideals that can be proven to be most right and exact.

Peace!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Order your Copy of the Knowledge of Self Anthology


It is the gift that all of humanity deserves to be presented with. To know the self. To be imparted with the awareness to constantly explore one’s ideas in the most empowering manner. To delve into one’s nature truthfully and share in a way that betters all. To have the greatest weaponry available to identify and protect oneself from any enemy’s oppressive measures. This is done supremely with knowing oneself.

Knowledge of self, where we know we are the creators of our entire universe and subsequent reality, we are not the first. In the history of the world, many of our ancestral cultures and civilizations shared the idea of man as God and the infeasibility of a mysterious and/or unknown God. However, The Nation of God and Earth truly adds on a unique perspective in many enlightening ways.

Firstly, all of these great, poor, righteous teachers did not look for the right student to expose themselves and their ideas; rather, they presented themselves as God or Earth and allowed potential students from any and all walks of life to inquire. This is a departure from the nomadic Sufis imparting insight and safely vacating to see another day or the Taoist masters who lived as mountain men away from society. The Gods and Earths have openly shared their understanding regardless of the consequences. The consequences have been great from the contradictions and hypocrisies of not living it out, being ostracized from one’s family and community to the direct oppression and harassment of the oppressive governments and power structure to even fatal demise. Still, the Gods and Earths continued to teach.

Secondly, the foundation of the teachings, the supreme mathematics made such a complex subject, man’s reality as creator, into a detailed law and order of the universe and description of the Original people with a simple word(s) for each numeral. With this innovation of the science of everything in life so simply defined and ready for application by anyone, these teachings are vital to any age group. It also elevates the insightful teachings of the Nation of Islam, extracted and refined as our 120 lessons, into a mathematical system of study and development.

Thirdly, we are the truth we seek in each and every problem or inquiry of life. A knowledge of self becomes the most empowering tool known because it is an actualizing of statements proven true. The Original man is God/I am the Earth. I am this and I prove it true. What then is within me that enables me to survive and thrive with and for all? Knowing oneself the answer presents itself.

Nothing could be more empowering, beautiful and engrossing as the Knowledge of Self.

Peace,
Sunez Allah, Co-Editor
Order by clicking on the button below:





Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dominican Vegan: Featuring some of my Living Food Dishes Part 1



A popular American dish served in diners are home-fries, sliced potatoes that are sauteed in pan, for breakfast. I made my own dinner version, which included yam home fries and a Caribbean style veggie fish. The veggie fish itself is made out of soy protein and I seasoned with my Caribbean spices.



This dish is my own adaptation of Caribbean and Indian/Chinese flavors all in one. The Chinese broccoli was flavored with sesame oil, among other spices. The tofu was cubed and flavored with curry. The rice and beans were made with herbs from the Caribbean.


A popular Dominican dish (from the Dominican Republic) is to cook the rice and beans together in a pot, seasoned with flavors. It is common to serve it with chicken, but my version includes veggie chicken, made of out soy protein. I cooked it Dominican style. The side dish is potato salad, which includes vegan mayonnaise providing texture.


Yucca is a root vegetable used by the Tainos in their diet. It is still widely used today. I boiled some yucca cut it into pieces, topped it with some soy butter, and added my own tofu scrambled with soy salami. Scrambled eggs with pieces of salami, green italian peppers, tomatoes, and red onion are common plates. I made my vegan version.


Inspired by the West Indies (Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, etc) whose foods are very similar to the Spanish Caribbean, I made curried potatoes with an Asian style sauteed broccoli, spinach, and carrot dish.


Perhaps one of the most popular Dominican dishes to Dominicans is the Mangu. A dish that's made by mashing the platanos with soy butter, topping it with fried red onions, and eating it with whatever meat or dairy product you want. I, of course, made it with sauteed tofu and some leftover beans. Yummy!


I love Mexican food and I am learning more about their unique historical dishes. One of my favorites is the guacamole side dish. I made my own. The chips you can also make them yourself out of corn flour, but I bought them at the store.


I am a vegan, who stopped cold water fish after deciding to obtain Omega 3's and other important brain nutrients from plant sources, like Flaxseed. However, if you still want to eat cold water fish, they are very important because of the Omega 3 oils, which is an important element for the brain. I cooked the veggie bacalao with some brown rice, and as side dishes aguacate sprinkled with lime juice and fried sweet plantains.


My own Caribbean lentil soup.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Teaching Philosophy Part 3

Education as a way of Life

Lost-Found Lesson #2 1-40

18. “What is the duty of a civilized person?
Answer: The duty of a civilized person is to teach he who is savage civilization, righteousness, the knowledge of himself and the science of everything in life…”


The Egyptians of the later dynasties had educational systems deeply founded on oral traditions with high regards and respect to elders within the community. In his book, Ancient Future, Wayne B. Chandler, describes the process in which concepts of truth become mythologized. It is through the assigning of human qualities to abstract concepts that one can comprehend its meaning. This knowledge was learned through interactions between the older folks in the community with the younger folks. Unlike Western society, the educational world of the child was not separated from that of the adults'. Children laid a helping hand to the adults while gradually adapting the skills and knowledge necessary for their growth. All this acquired knowledge and skill came from the elders of the community. This clearly shows how elders, unlike Western society, where elders are regarded as useless and put into secluded homes, hold a very important role within native/ancient/indigenous civilizations. Basic education for youth started at the home. Parents were in charge of instilling within their kids moral attitudes and views of life. Parents taught their children their community's ideas about the world, their ethical values and principals, as well as the application of other concepts. Through the use of through the use of science and concepts studied in existing philosophical works, such as the Book of Instruction, which contains information about how to lead a good life and which details the different aspects of morality (justice, wisdom, obedience, humanity, and restraint), kids drew out their understanding and talents.

Going by the Egyptian example, one can see how education is not merely designated to an institution; rather it is a process in which all members of a community are involved. There are no set structures, no separation between teacher and students. Education here is seen as a way of life, rather than as a part of life. Once people start viewing education as a process that should extend beyond the dedicated 6 to 8 hours a day, real learning takes place. It is important that students are socialized with knowing that education is not confined to a building. Learning takes place in all places, at all times, with different people.

Learning the truth about ourselves, our birthright as God and Earth/Allat, leads us into a deepening of our reality. Within my concept of education, students will learn through writing, reading, physical/spiritual development, and creative enrichment. This will be done through specific classes as well as the independent application and study of the student. The student is to question reality at every turn so that they are able add understanding to their lives. Those who are ready will use the Supreme Mathematics to further prove their creative reality. In the end, the focus will be on the students deepening of understanding and the drawing out of their natural talents. Students should then be prepared to share & contribute a unique aspect to the living truth of the original man and woman.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Identities Misapplied

Back again
Land once occupied.
Unable to relive experiences,
nostalgic desires demanded fulfillment.
And grayer they became
by the amount of snow I’d seen fall;
the various coats worn to keep warm

Clouds no longer had shapes
Blinded stares of men and women I’d once met
The beach no longer glared the translucent stories of its depths
Artificial the earth felt,
as if I was standing on top of an extinct plant specie.
Reality and illusion intertwined.
Past and present merging into one.

Where is my homeland, I say?
Uprooted so young, is this fair?
Engulfed in wrath with identities misapplied,
but rightly learned within the foreign home.
An ironic destiny, she Zig Zag Zigs.
She is not just from one piece,
but of the whole.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Teaching Philosophy (Part 2)

Knowledge of Self: Knowing Your Roots


Lost-Found Lesson #2 1-40

14. Who is the 85%?
Answer: They are the uncivilized people, poison animal eaters, slaves of a mental death and power. People who do not know who the true and living God is or their origin in this world and worship that which they know not. Those who are easily led in the wrong direction but hard to lead in the right direction.


In Western society, education has been defined as exploring the basics of different existing subjects (Literature, Science, Mathematics, History) and focusing on one career of choice, whether it be law, medicine, or Architecture. Most of my life I was educated under this Eurocentric educational model in both the Dominican Republic and later on the United States. These systems of education have always been problematic. Starting with the way the subjects are taught. Schools seldom involved students in learning about the histories of peoples from earlier periods of time; civilizations that have far exceeded our levels of technology, science, and the humanities. Their knowledge of these subjects allowed for a better understanding of earth and themselves. As a result, their philosophies were deeply aligned with their nature and reality of mother earth. Although not an ancient civilization, but an original people with like minds as the old societies, this would explain why much of the earlier populations in the Caribbean, like the Taino, were a peaceful people with a deep connection to their environment. In regards to the Tainos Christopher Columbus wrote,

"so tractable, so peaceful, are these people, that I swear to your majesties there is not in the world a better nation. They love their neighbors as themselves, and their discourse is ever sweet and gentle..I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men, and govern them as I please."

Through the view of Christopher Columbus one can see that peace was part of the daily lives of the Tainos, so deeply ingrained into their civilization that it was a spiritual process as well. The sun, water, trees, moon, were respected and praised by designated gods named by the Tainos. The creation of their technology was to please and live in harmony as suppose to destroy and enter wars with other countries for economical, social, and political power. Under the language of Western thought, one can say the Tainos were living in a socialist society.

Nowadays many students, specifically those from the Caribbean, do not know this material because history classes have been designed to only teach the history of the conqueror, not the conquered. Students learn about European History, Western Civilization and Thought, as opposed to learning about the Aztecs, the Tainos, the Mayan, the Incas, the Dogon, the Egyptians, and many other original societies. This is particularly important for students who come from these backgrounds and have inherited traits that are vital in their daily life, but in their current context cannot adequately apply them. These might be reasons why Black and Latino students in contemporary times find it hard to navigate through the current nature of their oppression. They do not know who they are, and are not aware of their roots. Original youth cannot identify with the history because it is not taught to them with a balance to their existence. In other words, creating a pedagogical methodology that relates to the way in which these students learn best is how the youth will learn their immediate history, meaning history that dates from European colonization and after, to their ancient history, where one can study where all original people can from.

In the current educational structure, subjects of the immediate history are taught in a way that is distanced from the reality of the students’ background. Teaching in ways that correlate to the students' placement in the world today will start the mental liberation of the 85%. Students should explore questions like; What were the events in history that have led me to be living in the New York City as an African-American? How did I inherit this identity? What does all this mean to me? I am an advocate towards the use of herstory within curriculums of social studies/history. It is a start in promoting lost values and historical knowledge to working class, immigrant and/or non-immigrant original students. This will start to reconstruct much of the established information that is incorrect and continues to separate all original people. Within the Nation of God and Earth, one of the lessons we are taught deals with the concept of separation and disconnection of oneself with our reality. The 7th degree of 1-14, explores the question: "Why does the devil call our people Africans?" Devil refers to the white man and Africans to original people of the modern-day continent Africa. This degree explores the concepts of the many ways in which the grafted white man has adapted his divide and conquer methods into the minds of all original peoples. This degree uses the example of Africa as one that has been deemed filled with people that are savage living a "jungle way of life." The devil purposely named it Africa to differentiate it from Asia, the original name of the entire planet. Hence, the reason original people around the world see each other differently. History is definitively the tool used in the educational realm of our children to continue this disconnection.

In my vision of education, students will learn civilization and the science of everything in life, which entails the overall concept of gaining knowledge of oneself. Learning the concept of civilization entails understanding of history. When one comprehends and lives out their birthright as a supreme being we can discard information which we can show and proof is wrong to truly be amongst each other as a-alikes. Simultaneously, we can naturally bring out moral and ethical values that make the original man and woman supreme. It is also important for white students (both upper and working class) to be aware of this information. In the 2nd degree of the 1-14th, the purpose of civilization is stated in the last sentence, which is to teach knowledge and wisdom to all the human families of the world. This includes teaching civilization to those we know to be other than ourselves--the grafted man. Throughout history, there have been few, but exceptional righteous white men who have worked towards living harmoniously with original peoples. Only those that can truly understand their nature as weak and wicked can attain this level of civilization. Teaching all the human families is a priority of my educational thesis.

Peace!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Education Perspectives of an Earth: My Teaching Philosophy (Part 1)

“More than 70 percent of the nation's Black and Latino students attend predominantly minority schools that suffer from poor funding."

It has been 50 years since the United States's Supreme Court ruled in favor of Brown v. The Board of Education. Black and Latino students (Mexican mostly) were able to attend schools with white students. However, this call for change does not seem to reflect the current populations of schools. Today segregation still exists, as access to knowledge relates to economic status. An overwhelming majority of original students (Black and Latino) attend schools where they are the majority. Their schools are characterized as rundown, having over-crowded classrooms with teachers that do not understand the students' background and where a need for updated textbooks and technology is needed. These schools tend to be located in inner-cities as well as poor working-class regions of the rural South and the Southwest. Black and Latino students' district schools are very different from that of schools were the majority of students are white. More funding is provided to these institutions and there are characterized as boarding schools, private schools, or public schools located in upper-middle class suburbs. Only those original students who come from affluent economic backgrounds can afford to integrate themselves into schools that are predominantly white. These then become the token original students in those educational spaces.

The existing economic disparities between white and Black/Latino students result in varying educational experiences. It is estimated that the average Black and Latino 17 year-old student reads at the level of a white 13 year-old. This is a reflection of how the educational structure has not changed since Brown v. Board of Education. Policy makers continue to legislate in favor of maintaining an unequal national school system. In several states, federal court decisions helped to create a cultural divide within the schools. One example was in 1991when Oklahoma City’s district court judge ruled that local school districts, which had been ordered to desegregate the schools, would continue to be segregated if needed. An argument widely used by government officials and those in power.

Growing up in Washington Heights, NYC, the first largest concentration of Dominicans outside the island, I was educated within New York City's school District Six. These and other local districts within the city hold overwhelming amounts of original (Black and Latino) students. I personally attended a school where there was only one white (Irish) student. For most of the time in school, until about high school, I played school because most teachers just expected the students to do textbook work. The day consisted of silently reading from our textbooks and filling multiple choice sheets. We sat in rows and looked up at the board. We mostly had substitute teachers because our teachers were frequently absent. Not only were there problems with the institution itself, but it was very problematic for many of us because we had our own issues to deal with at home and society at large.

High School provided a different experience because it was not modeled after the traditional inner-city high schools. It was a new type of institution, one of the coalitions of essential schools; whose philosophy was constructed by white liberalists who sought to "improve" education through open classroom-based learning. These new teachers sought a freer learning environment where transferring of skills were not the focus, but rather through student-interest based learning. This method allowed students to explore their interests, learn through them by writing papers, engaging into discussion, and applying hands-on experiences to their learning. We worked on portfolios and projects that interested us, took internships, and didn't take exams. Teachers felt that the classroom environment also needed to change. Students in these new schools sat in circles instead of rows and communicated with teachers on first name basis. The aim was forming an academic environment that would be able to address students’ social aspects.

Although these new educational alternatives were partly successful, they faced many challenges. The few original teachers and professors in the field of education, such as Lisa Delpit and Sonia Sanchez argued that original students were not receiving the proper transferring of skills needed to succeed in the outside world. How could a kid be able to write a paper if they did not know the structure of a sentence? How would students truly benefit from an education that did not reflect the structure of the society? These and other questions were addressed that did not support the new movement of schools. In her book, Other People’s Children, Lisa Delpit describes that many of the original educators which favored traditional methods of teaching, argued that original kids had understanding (described as fluency), but the lacked skills (wisdom) that would allow them to properly present their ideas. It made sense that Liberal educators would support the open-classroom teaching methodology. Their kids had already learned the skills necessary for communication as they are reared in Standard English. Essentially, the arguments were based on an educational rat race with whites for success of original students in the current exploitative society. Deep research, however, will show how the focus on allowing kids to develop their understanding as opposed to the means of how to communicate them is an original idea. The Egyptians of the early dynasties took centuries to build their architectural structures. They focused on the understanding gained, rather than on the final product.

Aside from these valuable discussions amongst the traditional/original educators with white/liberal educators, these new schools did face many problems. The majority of the teachers remained white (in thinking and in skin), while many of us continued to drop out, and only a few were making it as tokens to higher education institutions. These new experimental schools (whether independent, public, small, non-exam taken), such as the Big Picture Schools and the Coalition of Essential Schools were not as successful at fully addressing kids' social problems. Few teachers were able to relate and truly make a difference in the lives in the kids (i.e. make them see what education is truly about, teach them about what manhood really is, etc). Due to these experiences I have been able to develop my own teaching philosophy. It is not based on any specific teaching pedagogy or curriculum, because I don't seek to build on white man's ideas of education. I don't intend to teach to reach some sort of educational equality for original students to that of white kids. To do this would be to continue to mental oppression that original people suffer today. However, I do seek to build and implement new ideas outside of the existing educational structure that is a based on a lifestyle of truth of the original man and woman.

Peace,
Izayaa Allat

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Dominican Republic

As a follow up to the critique I wrote about the Miami Herald Article posted some time ago, the following synopsis was written as I became inspired by the right and exactness of one of my favorite Dominican professors whom I know personally and have shared some many wonderful conversations with: Silvio Torres-Saillant. This piece I wrote before I attained a knowledge of self, thus the usage of some sociological language, although hardly used throughout. It expounds on the complex issue of identity and colonialism. It is at the level of understanding of those who do not understand race within a real science, like those who deal with a knowledge of self do. Those with a knowledge of self have come to understand (through historical, but mostly scientific facts) that everything within the Universe was created by thought and that thought is within the mind of man and woman. Therefore, we do not subscribe to a mysterious being as the entity who creates and dictates a sentence to heaven or hell. In addition, scientific data has proven that the original (meaning Asian, Latina, Black, Native American) peoples of all shades were the first to exist and in the end are all Black.


Torres-Saillant, Silvio. “The Dominican Republic” from No Longer Invisible: Afro-Latin Americans Today. Minority Rights Group: London, 1995.


In this essay, scholar Silvio Torres-Saillant discusses the complex racial history of Afro-Dominicans from colonial to contemporary times as a way of focusing on negrophobia’s role in the racial identity of Dominicans. In his analysis of the racial identity of Dominicans, Torres-Saillant points out and extensively discusses the historical black presence in the construction of the Dominican Republic and he argues that although negrophobia exists, black Dominicans, by holding positions of power, have still managed to greatly contribute to the formation of many of sectors in society. His argument is based in that “negrophobia and negrophilia...have historically coexisted in Dominican society”(110). In other words, although negrophobia has been implanted in Dominicans’ minds by the ruling class and other external forces (The United States1) from colonial times to the present, there is an undeniable black presence and power in all sectors of Dominican society. Professor Torres-Saillant then frames this to have caused very complex race relations in the island because Dominicans are aware of their African ancestry, but the imposed racist ideas promoted by the ruling class have not been fought against by the colored masses. Race relations is further problematized with the promotion of Eurocentric and White-supremacist ideas themselves by the yellow, brown and black seed Dominicans, such as Major General Enrique Perez y Perez, the young essayist Manuel Nuñez and secretary of education Jorge Tena Reyes. These are examples of Afro-Dominicans who promoted anti-black propaganda. Furthermore, the formation of a struggle based on racial oppression has not been experience by Dominicans because this has not been the visible form of repression, like in the United States where a racial binary has been enforced. This idea has puzzled observes that are from countries where this binary exists. In addition, the racial fusion that has occurred in the Dominican Republic has resulted in the fruition of offspring from the same nuclear family phenotypically different (one white and one black) which makes it problematic for Dominicans to identity solely with the racial binary. This is why Dominicans have failed to construct a black discourse/movement and have remained unarosed by the negrophobia of the elite.

In the general scheme of the essay what Torres-Saillant does is not so much emphasize solely on the relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic as the origins of Dominican’s negrophobic ideology, but rather place Haiti as one component of the contributing elements in the production of a Dominican racial identity. Contrary to some writings that depict Dominicans as Haitian bashers and oppressors, the article traces the relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic from the time of colonization to the present. The historical time frame is from early 17th century when Spain and France fight for the Eastern part of Hispaniola to the time when the first Haitian workers enter the Dominican Republic. Haitian workers first enter the Dominican Republic due to the United States occupation in 1916. North Americans had already invaded Haiti and they preferred black Haitians to do the work in the sugar plantations. As a result, there were already 28,258 Haitians by 1920. By 1980 there were 113,150 Haitian workers in the agricultural sector (117). The recruitment of Haitian workers to the bateyes (sugar plantations) was an arrangement between United States’ private capitalists and both Haitian and Dominican governments. While in these bateyes, Haitian workers endure a process that dehumanizes them to the extent that the conditions are like slavery. Due to this, Dominicans do not antagonize Haitians for taking jobs. Dominicans are aware that Haitians do the work that no one else in the island wants.

Is his argument about the ways in which Dominicans have adapted negrophobic attitudes, Professor Torres-Saillant discusses some of the most influencing elements. Official culture in the Dominican Republic is one that’s state-controlled and funded. They make sure that what’s presented to the masses is an aspect of culture that’s purely of Hispanic heritage. The Trujillo regime culminated and produced the most amounts of White supremacist and Eurocentric propaganda. The concept of race was manipulated by the Trujillo regime to promote anti-black affirmation. The word indio was taken as an official national category for Dominicans to define themselves. Indio describes a person of mixed Spanish and Taino descent, and it is used to describe even the darkest people. This word was perfect for the regime to use because it didn’t provide a connection to Africa or Haiti for that matter. The word originally applies to the indigenous populations of the D.R., which were all exterminated before Africans arrived to the island. Therefore, the word indio is one that was misused for promoting the ideas that Dominicans were not black.
Throughout his essay, Torres-Saillant provides many examples of the participation of blacks and their power (represented in different forms) all throughout the history of the Dominican Republic. In 1844, when the elite of Santo Domingo declared independence from Haiti an uncertainty emerged within the colored population as to what their future conditions as a community, especially since they noticed that the elite had leanings towards instituting after the example of the Spanish. The reaction of mulattos and blacks was an uprising in Monte Grande to confront the government. The rebels forced the leaders to reaffirm the abolition of slavery and to appoint one of their Afro-Dominican leaders by the name of Santiago Basora into the new government. This significantly contributed to the incorporation of blacks and mulattos into the restructuring of the new government which sought to develop the new republic. Afro-Dominicans had not only been influential in the formation of the republic, but they were involved in other issues pertaining to periods much later in Dominican history. Many Afro-Dominican leaders were prominent figures in movements that formed throughout the island for different causes. Ramon Natera was an Afro-Dominican nationalist who opposed the United States occupation of 1916 and started an aggressive guerrilla warfare movement. Another Afro-Dominican nationalist was Gregorio Urban Gilbert (1898-1920). He went on his own to fight the U.S. troops, killed a soldier, and fled to join the guerrilla movement of Vicente Evangelista. He was caught by the marines, sentenced to death, but he was released in 1922 where he left to Nicaragua to fight and join the Sandinista Movement. Maximiliano Gomez is another influential Afro-Dominican leader of the left-wing party, Movimiento Popular Dominicano. He was active during Balaguer’s “presidency” and his ideas consisted in that the revolutionary movement in the country needed to separate itself from the European model of socialist thought. He wanted the Dominican movement to be more critical of the incorporation of history, social, and cultural aspects of Dominicans when thinking about revolution. He was eventually incarcerated by the government in 1970 and killed in Brussels a year later. He was a clear threat to the government that promoted Eurocentric ideals because he wanted Dominicans to be conscious of their identity and the role of that characteristic into a social/political movement.

In thinking about the overwhelming representation of Afro-Dominicans in the shaping of their country one can say that there has existed a movement based on racial identification. It’s just one that has not been manifested as the Civil Rights Movement did in the United States due to the fact that segregation has not legally existed in the Dominican Republic. Therefore, one cannot see Dominican race relations and identity through the black and white binary as Professor Torres-Saillant points out. One has to observe the situation of Dominicans by looking at the development of slavery and its early disintegration. As well as the historical relations between Haitians and Dominicans, the participation of Afro-Dominicans in the formation of their country through social movements as well as mainstream politics in relation with the powerful forces that ingrain negrophobia to the rest of the Dominican population. What also needs to be examined, which Silvio has done, is looking at aspects of society which inevitable are correlated with Africa, such as language and spiritual expression. I would have liked for Professor Silvio Torres-Saillant to provide an extensive analysis of this aspect in Dominican society to show yet another strong force in the identity of Dominicans. It is obvious that Dominicans are black and they maintain this identity through their daily practices, language, food, and music, but although all these elements are present Dominicans emphasize their connection to Europe and not Africa. In other words, Africa is present and not omitted from the lives of Dominicans, but the problem lies in that they don’t verbally express their pride in their African roots due to the brainwashing they have endured. Dominicans don’t deny they are black, rather they choose not to be verbal about it and emphasize their European roots. If Dominicans were really not proud of their African roots wouldn’t voodoo practices totally been erased from their daily lives after Trujillo passed Executive Law 391, which prohibited anyone from participating in vodoun? It has not yet happened.

As eloquently presented above segregation was never a concern in Dominican society, but there has been a struggled characterized by race. This is especially so during the period of independence from Haiti where the “colored” population begins to questions the future conditions of their community with the new governmental structure. This is why they fought to have a representative for their community as well as for the abolition of slavery to remain so. This is tightly connected with the legacy of racial justice and equality that Haitian rule implanted into the minds of Dominicans and it served as a positive mode of thought after independence. Negrophobia did exist, but this did not stop Dominicans from being politically involved in changing and restructuring their country. In other words, although the denial of blackness existed, Afro-Dominicans were very important in forming resistance and social movements that incorporated issues of race. A prime example would be the maroon societies that existed in the Dominican Republic. It would be interesting to see if Professor Silvio Torres-Saillant explored the idea of negrophobia within these maroon communities to find out if they adopted any of the ideology although they were politically, socially, economically, religiously, independent from the country. It would have also been interesting if throughout his argument he would have expanded the argument by adding in how the African Americans and West Indians that came to the Dominican Republic to settle and to work contributed to the denial and/or affirmation of their racial identity.

In synthesizing Torres-Saillants argument I would agree that it is fair to say that after a strong racial brainwashing by the government and outside external forces the Dominican people maintain a degree of black consciousness. If they didn’t, Africa wouldn’t be so indirectly present within the society. One can also see this idea in Dominicans not collectively acting upon Haitians and also the fact that they recognize the hardships of the Haitians in their country. One way in which negrophobia can’t start to be broken down in the minds of Dominicans is when the conception of a new institution the can provide a different official national definition for Dominicans ethnic identity that truly represents who they are. A definition that recognizes their Africaness and a definition that doesn’t allow for Dominicans to view their blackness in relation to that of Haitians. I ask myself, is imposing another official ideology the only way? One can implant a different national definition, but how does one start to deconstruct a brainwashing that has been ingrained for many years? Showing the people a new construction and ideas of race through a true scientific basis would be a way to start deconstructing how they perceive themselves and others.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Soul of Izayaa @ Souled On

I want to thank my other half for writing such beautiful and insightful thoughts about me. I was left in awe and filled with emotions that describing would only lead to a blog about the soul songs that mostly describe Sunez.


The Soul of Izayaa


Peace,


"Soul, the natural essence of supremacy, that animating principle nameable yet unquantifiable, that actualizing reality of all, where creator and creation become one and the same. This Soul is Blackness, the biochemical nature of all my Original people ("High Yellow Gal…If your mind could really see you’d know your color the same as me" – Curtis Mayfield). This Soul is animated by the principle of mathematics where one knows self yet continues to wonderfully just understand. This Soul is the union of all that we are in all that we manifest in an ultimate expression of love. This love is the binding element of all creation and it fortifies the sublime word, the 180 martial moves of bian xing and the myriad notes of keys, bars and measures of song.

To honor the soul song is to honor the lady in my life, Izayaa Allat, that hand-in-hand we shall create the best part with...[Please continue at Souled On link below]..."


http://souledonmusic.blogspot.com/2009/02/love-lockdown-
lavoe-revolt-edition.html

Monday, January 12, 2009

Who Was Anacaona?



Anacaona is a Taino name that means, "Flor de Oro" or "Golden Flower" in English. Anacaona was a Taino woman of intelligence, graze, who possessed immeasurable beauty. So strong were her assets that she captured the eye of many of the Spanish colonizers upon their arrival who to them was the new world. She was the wife of Caonabo, who was the cacique of one of the 5 major cacicazgos, which was Managua (today modern day Dominican Republic). It is thought that Caonabo was of Carib origin, for his warrior-like nature. Hence, he became known for his exceptional governance. Equally as talented, Anacaona was considered the most famous and talented poet amongst the Tainos in Quisqueya. When she first encountered the Spanish she felt great admiration for them, thinking of them as a superior people. However, her thoughts changed with the daily continual abuse the indigenous people endured from the Spanish. Her admiration soon turned into hatred.

After the death of her brother (Bohechio), at the hands of the filthy Europeans, who at the time was cacique of Jaragua, she took over the cacicazgo. At the time of her reign as cacique of Jaragua, Ovendo, a Spanish colonizer, had just become governor of Santo Domingo. Supposedly, he received noticed that she wanted to attack him. Scholarly research points to the fabrication of such an excuse to rid themselves of one of the native regions. It is highly probable that the Spanish saw her as a threat to the continuance of the Tainos as a unified people. As a result, the Spanish made up their minds that they had to destroy her land and kill all indigenous folks inhabiting Jaragua, including her. 300 soldiers and 70 horsemen were sent to Jaragua. Anacaona thought it was just a peaceful visit. However, when the Spanish got there, it turned into one of the bloodiest massacres in the history of Tainos in Quisqueya. Some other caciques, who were helping Anacaona formulate a welcome party for the Spanish, were also murdered. Anacaona fought furiously, but she was captured, tortured, and later on was hanged in an area within her cacicazgo. The Tainos that were able to survive this massacre became the slaves of the Spanish.

Truly this Taina warrior was one that resisted Spanish colonization, but because of her peaceful nature, was captured and murdered. She truly is an inspiration to many women fighters in this world. She was one of the first ones. May she be remembered for her struggles, her talents, and the amazing leadership depicted through her historical importance. It is important that we are aware of our immediate history, and of those original women who were a part of it.

Peace to all Original Women, all Earths!

Friday, January 9, 2009

La Usurpación

I wrote the following piece as a historical-philosophical understanding. As history repeats itself, many of the descriptions have happened many a times…

Era una época de armonía entre los hombres, donde se creía que existía la felicidad eterna. La pena solamente era un sentimiento del pasado lejano que se llego a sentir cuando el hombre blanco, de costumbres salvajes, alcanzo tocar nuestras tierras, y una plaga de desavenencias se sintió. Estos eran los tiempos oscuros de nuestro pueblo, una civilización dedicada a la expansión, pero que por mucho tiempo se caracterizo por la dominación y la extorsión de todo lo que se habia creado. Me acuerdo de la sucesión de los eventos ocurrido.

Aquella tarde me encontraba sentada en la orilla de la playa, contemplando la belleza oceánica exaltada por el bailar de los delfines. La organización coreográfica de los delfines exaltaron un arco iris de luz al emergerse estos lucientes animales. Era mi costumbre venir todas las tardes a instruirme sobre la tierra que me daba frutos para nutrirme, aire para respirar, u otros elementos fundamentales para la sobrevivíencía de nuestro cuerpo y espíritu. Los de mi tribu se encontraban envueltos en sus tareas del día. Común era ver a los niños trabajando junto a los respetados abuelos. Algunos contaban historias, en formación circular, condensadas con los temas de la ética y el moral. Otros se involucraban en labores físicas, compuestas de la construcción o la cosecha. Estas actividades permitían el desarrollo mental, por el uso de de la imaginación e conexiones de ideas, y físico, con el ejercicio de los músculos u otras partes del cuerpo. La combinación de estos componentes en la progresión permitía una elevación de entendimiento que les abría un nuevo vínculo a la realización del conocimiento.

Muy lejanos habíamos oído hablar de una gente de un color transluciente, originando en el área fría del norte de la tierra, donde no existía el uso del agua higiénica y en el cual el sol no radiaba potentemente como la hacia en nuestra nación. Su alrededor ambiental era como un mar blanco el cual se extendía a lo largo de un territorio plano donde se respiraba un aire frió que al llegar a los pulmones se sentía como si mas de miles de alfileres penetraban el interior del cuerpo. El caminar por largo tiempo en esta región era firmar su muerte. La soledad era la común compañero del humano en este territorio, donde no existían eventos comunales y no se podía identificar una estructura gubernamental. Esta población vivía de la caza de animales que rondaban en los alrededores, no comían vegetales, su lengua era muy primitiva, al no haber decretado una gramática de escritura y lengua extensa.

Estos seres translucientes un día aparecieron en nuestro pueblo, con unos instrumentos que cargaban en sus manos y que usaban para quitarnos nuestra existencia carnal. Los sabios y líderes de nuestra civilización fueron los primeros en morir. Luego, nos robaron nuestros ornamentos, perfumes, u otros objetos sagrados. No sabíamos que buscaban esta gente y porque habían viajado desde tan lejos. Al pasar el tiempo, muchos otros territorios fueron tomado a posesión. Las bibliotecas inmensas, a las que yo había contribuido sobre el tópico de la naturaleza, habían sido tomadas por ellos. Todos nuestros secretos de la vida ética y moral, la naturaleza, la inmortalidad, u otros tópicos más habían sido documentados y puestos en nuestro sagrado archivo. Documentaciones, quienes los Maestros de nuestra sociedad solamente les enseñaban a una selección de nuestros miembros, desaparecieron. Aquella gente desastrosa, que se reunieron en números masivos, se apoderaron de nuestros secretos y se lo llevaron con ellos.

El cautiverio permaneció muchos años. El tiempo era un fragmento que se alargaba sin fin. Parecía como si estuviéramos en un constante día donde el anochecer no llegaba. La miseria guiada por la pena fue la condición que caracterizaba nuestras existencias al saber que nuestro reluciente imperio de igualdad y ética moral exacta ahora se encontraba entre las grises e húmedas tinieblas. La ocupación nos llevo a odiarnos unos con otros. Los animales desaparecían, los árboles y flores se secaban, y nosotros vivíamos contorno al lodo de las cuevas más frías y oscuras donde ni el más fuerte de los rayos del sol buscaba entrada. Todas nuestras creaciones habían sido usurpadas. Sin embargo, sabíamos que nuestros inventos no serian adaptados e usados a la perfección. También, nos alegraba que nuestros cuerpos tuvieran la capacidad de regenerarse gracias a la bioquímica. Conteníamos los elementos del universo, el que nos ayudaba a vivir en armonía con nuestra tierra, y el que proveía una conexión a la realidad de los cosmos. Éramos los creadores del universo y de todo lo que se definía con la vida.

Tantos años de aislamiento con nuestra realidad nos olvidamos de lo fundamental: que podíamos recuperar nuestras tierras y trabajar en construir una sociedad donde ningún pensamiento negativo se llegara a manifestar a un extremo real. Y así paso. Pudimos recuperar nuestro modo de vivir, la armonía con la tierra se concreto y todo regreso a su normalidad. Aquellos seres dejaron de existir cuando tomamos control físico y espiritual de nuestra realidad. Todo lo construido e usurpado retorno a nuestras manos.

Así fue como el ciclo de vida universal tomo su ruta natural...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Critique on Miami Herald Article on Dominican Racial Discourse

In college, I was going to write my senior thesis about the Development of the Current Racial Discourse in the Dominican Republic. However, due to lack of time I was not able to finish my research. Through the years I have been able to expound upon my ideas about the subject and will contribute some published material on it soon. Below is an analysis in response to an article written in Miami Herald by Frances Robles, a Cuban. This is the start of many of the topics I will tackle in my own understanding of the subject.

This is a piece to inform ourselves on the immediate history of original peoples from the Dominican Republic. When understanding the issues of race and ethnicity within this island, it's interesting to analyze the actualization of the divide and conquer tactic, best described in the 7th degree of the 1-14, a degree that describes how original peoples now belonging to different nations/tribes lost the connection between each other, resulting in the belief that they are different.

http://www.miamiherald.com/multimedia/news/afrolatin/part2/index.html

The Miami Herald, a newspaper circulated all over South Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America, which is owned by the McClatchy Company, a publishing company that started off with the Sacramento Bee mostly funded with money made during the California Gold Rush by the McClatchy family, which brutalized thousands of original workers, has recently published an article entitled "Afro-dominicanos pugnan por su identidad." Most of the information in this article is problematic and misleading due to the manipulative use of historical background to display Dominicans' anti-Haitian sentiments and the continual negation of a Black identity.

In the first section of this article, Frances Robles states that the Dominican Republic has been the only country in the Americas to have been liberated from a black colonial government. How can this be a colonial government if the abandonment of the few French that were in the island, left no riches, and hardly any weapons to make it possible for the Haitians to invade and control the Dominican Republic? More importantly, if Haitians established a colonial government in the Dominican Republic, what were the characteristics of the oppression imposed by the Haitians? He uses this event as one reason Dominicans are anti-Haitian and associate blackness with Haitians without furthering his research as to why this event is used to promote anti-Haitian reactions. He makes no mention of the interests Juan Pablo Duarte was serving when he was trying to "free" the Dominican Republic from the Haitians.

Frances Robles also says that the fall of the plantation economy in the Dominican Republic allowed for former slaves to rise up within the society. In turn, this allowed a mixing of the race. Although he does not deliberately state this idea, this is preliminary assumption that proceeds in the development of the next point. The previous point implies that the Dominican Republic is now visibly a "whiter" nation who then becomes dominated for 22 years by the Haitians, a visibly Black nation. Robles questions a scholar named Manuel Nuñez who gets to the next point of the journalist by saying, "the problem is the Haitians developed a policy of black centrism and…Dominicans don't respond to that." To use such a statement assumes that Haitians already tried, most likely violently, to impose a black identity upon the Dominicans who, in turn, rejected it. Does Frances Robles really understand what happened when Haiti and the Dominican Republic united? This statement also assumes that Haiti and the Dominican Republic had the same slave systems but the manifestations of Blackness and slavery occurred differently in the Dominican Republic. This can be justified by the statement Frances Robles makes in saying that the fall of the plantation economy in the Dominican Republic allowed for the slaves to now be in the same rank as their previous owners. He does not provide the historical difference in racial discourses originating in slavery and colonial rule. Thus, has Frances Robles done extensive history of slavery in the Dominican Republic? Does he understand the fundamental differences of slavery in Haiti and the Dominican Republic? When he says, that Haiti governed the Dominican Republic, does he say that they helped Dominicans abolish slavery on that side of the island? Does he make note that Haitians helped in the independence against the Spaniards? Did he research the centralization of the Dominican population in Santo Domingo, which left virtually, the rest of the island unpopulated?

In other parts of the article, Robles makes mentions of the different classifications as supplementary prove of the Trujillo regime as being the sole force in promoting anti-black sentiments on the island. Throughout the Trujillo regime, and later on, the Balaguer government become the focus in the promotion of strong anti-Haitian, and thus, anti-Black sentiments throughout the population. I wonder whether Frances Robles, thoroughly researched the complex topic of race and identity in the Dominican Republic. Distinguished scholarly work, such as that of Silvio Torres-Saillant and other Dominican scholars, show a big influence and collaboration of the United States in disseminating anti-Haitian feelings to the Dominican people. The research also sheds light to the close relationship of United States imperialist policies in the Dominican Republic and how anti-Haitian sentiments were used as a tool to further control the island economically and politically. Furthermore, has Frances Robles researched the interests of more well-off Dominicans and industrialized nations, like the United States, who wanted the Dominican Republic to be separate from Haiti? Has Robles looked at the favoritism the United States had when implementing clever, but exploitative policies unto the Dominican Republic for purposes of economic advancement, and using race as a tool to advance the disassociation against the poorer and "blacker" side of the island: Haiti? In the article, there is no mention of the accomplice acts of the United States government with Trujillo (a puppet dictator they themselves help put into power) to control the racial and ethnic history of the island. Trujillo, at one point, hired the best historians of the country so they a new racial discourse would be written and taught in the schooling system of the Dominican Republic. United States publications regularly had statements on the whiteness of the Dominican Republic juxtaposed to the blackness in Haiti. Instead of focusing on these important concepts of Dominican racial discourse and history, he decides to focus on daily examples of the denial of blackness, which just adds to the depictions of Dominicans as enraged racists.

It is disturbing to read the many measures Dominicans take to negate any relation with blackness, such as getting screamed at on the bus because the hair is not hot-combed and blow dried, without noting that this is the psychological and social impact anti-blackness rhetoric throughout the island has had on the Dominican population. Frances Robles makes no note of this. Instead, he quotes important researchers like Ginetta Candelario and Ramona Hernandez who do not really talk about the effects in the psyche due to the negation of Dominican blackness, but rather describe the denial of blackness and the actions taken due to this, as a nationalistic manifestation. He is truly manipulating the research of these two scholars to prove an invalid point. The point here is that Dominican nationalism is based on a negation of blackness. While this is just one point in the complex spectrum of Dominican racial and ethnic discourse, does he even make mention, when he interviews Juan Rodriguez Acosta, curator of the Museum of the Dominican Man, that the whole purpose of the existence of the museum is to help in the promotion of the term "Indian" as the proper national ethnic identity and that the museum was established by Trujillo? No, he does not and instead focuses on the desire of the curator in wanting to change the current situation.

He ends the article in a very negative light by describing anti-Dominican sentiment by an African-American who visited the Dominican Republic and was criticized for standing in the sun for too long and was even told that if she wanted to study origins of Africa-ness that she should go to Haiti to do that. The journalist posed this experience without giving it a proper background. Is he aware of the essential difference between the racial history in the United States to that of the Dominican Republic?, where in the United States the direct negation of you as a person or even human for being black, leads you to a more rapid association with blackness, or a black movement for that matter. Does he understand that the Dominican Republic did not experience segregation like in the United States? These are differences he does not take into account when evoking the essence of the experience of an African-American in the Dominican Republic. Was Dawn Stinchcomb even aware herself of the racial and ethnic historical discourse in the Dominican Republic? Like any scholar, before traveling to a country to do research on a certain topic, one must inform oneself of what's already been written in regards to that study.

The article was based on some adequate information. The problem lies in the misuse of the information, which supposes a quarrel between two countries without extensive historical background. The writer uses bits and pieces of information to consolidate his argument without giving a proper context that can validate his point. By not providing information on the involvement of the United States in the dissemination of an anti-black discourse, by having limited knowledge on colonial Haiti & Dominican Republic, and by simply stating facts of self-hatred in the Dominican people without stating these as psychological and social results/conditions of anti-Haitian/Black sentiment, the author is not providing the whole truth, therefore, distorting the argument about anti-Hatian sentiments on the island.

Peace!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

La Historia de la Tierra y el Sol

In his book, Ancient Future, Wayne B. Chandler, describes the connection between philosophy mythology in forming understandings amongst the people. In the later Egyptian dynasties, it was through the formation of stories that different understandings were preserved. I wrote my own on the elements of creation.

Acababa de llover, las tormentas habían sido fuertes, tan fuertes que el sol lucho forzosamente contra los vientos violentos que mantenían la vasta destrucción de la naturaleza, los árboles, y las flores, que proveían la belleza a la isla en la que había crecido toda mi vida. El sol, con sus poderosas y radiantes luces de carbón, combatió en salir mientras los vientos forjaban corrientes de aire haciendo caer árboles con centurias de existencia, destruyendo hierbas sagradas usadas por los Tainos, y todo el fruto producido por la tierra. Aquella tierra, madre de todo aquello existiendo dentro y encima de ella.

Ese día me encontraba sentada debajo de una palma comiéndome un coco. El sol me había fatigado un poco y necesitaba refrescarme. Estaba estudiando, más bien tratando de interpretar, de hacer algún tipo de observación que me ayudara entender, el comportamiento de las cosas vivientes. Desde niña me fascinaba diferentes especies de animales, empezando con las lagartijas. Con tremenda curiosidad de aprender mas sobre esas criaturas, que causaban ocasionales gritos de terror por esposas en sus que haceres cotídiales, y usando mi sortija pude obtener mi primer extenso análisis de estos reptiles. Desde ese día pude entender que al igual que los humanos, muchos de los otros seres vivientes necesitan el aire para vivir. Esto fue lo más fascinante. Pues antes solo creía que los seres humanos éramos los únicos que necesitábamos aire para existir.

No pude terminar de sintetizar mis ideas porque abruptamente la fuerza del viento me lanzo hacia un hoyo dentro de la tierra. Posiblemente una trampa puesto por los colonizadores europeos, para casar hutias, una clase de mamífero nocturno. Aunque sentí mucho miedo al caer en lo que creía ser un abismo, aprecié lo sucedido ya que el viento, los truenos, y las lluvias cada vez se hacían mas persistentes e intensa. Fue aquí, durante mi estancia dentro del hoyo que pude sentir y oír los llantos de la tierra.

La tierra pasaba por un sufrimiento intenso. Los patrones irregulares en el clima, habían surgido circunstancias que solamente aceleraban su debilitación. Ahora ella estaba triste y sin fuerza. Se encontraba abandonada y sin poder refortalecerse. La tremenda tristeza que sentía no la permitía mantenerse en condiciones de constante renovación. Las poblaciones de buitres creaban un desequilibrio dentro de ella, una condición no necesaria para su sostenimiento. Ese balance no se mantuvo porque ellos la usaban hasta el extremo de ella no volver a regenerarse. Le hacían promesas falsas de cultivar para que volviera a dar frutos y así permanecer el círculo de la vida. Ninguna de estas promesas fue verdad. Había ocurrido una mutación dentro de esta especie de aves. No solamente comían animales ya muertos. Se habían convertido en aves destructoras de todas las especies habitando la tierra, incluyendo los múltiples mares verdes de plantas recorriendo gran parte del planeta.

Me encontraba sumergida del miedo dentro del hoyo, cuando un gran sentimiento de dolor comenzó a recorrer por lo más profundo de mí ser. Entendí todo lo que ocurría dentro de la cuna que proporcionaba vida. Ella me comunico sus penas y desilusión por haber sido abusada. Su pena se extendía demasiados años. Había soportado maltratos, abusos, y una explotación tremenda de su cuerpo. Todas las especies, especialmente los buitres, solo tomaban sin darle nada de regreso. El constante tomar sin regresar, causo desastre dentro de ella. Llego a un nivel de vulnerabilidad donde no sabía tomar decisiones adecuadas para su mejoramiento espiritual y físico. Tanto, que por esta razón, ya no podía controlar el patrón del clima. Su dolor y pena tocaban una profundidad imposible de penetrar. Ya no le importaba su destino. Hubo un tiempo donde permitió que la explotaran sin importarle el desastre y las consecuencias de estos actos. Quizás hasta se quería convertir como las propias entidades que le hacían daño. Solamente deseaba su destrucción total y la desaparición de todos aquellos que le mintieron prometiéndole una falsa promesa del continuamente de la vida.

Aunque no lo sabia, ella tenía el poder de regenerarse, de curarse, y transformarse de nuevo a su estado original. Donde el cielo siempre esta azul, el sol penetrando las bellas capas de oceano, con todas las especies viviendo en armonía y respetando a la tierra. Un mañana, durante esos días que permanecí dentro del hoyo, oía al sol que trataba de penetrar a esas tormentas malignas que continuaban de circular el grave, pero hermosísimo ambiente de la tierra. Ella le decía al sol que se marchara, que ya no había remedio, que el debiera dejar que la destrucción de su ser llegara a un final. El sol, no se daba por vencido, y poco a poco siguió luchando de la manera que nadie lo había hecho. Con todo su amor, el sol le enseño a la tierra, que todo lo es posible. Que ella es perfecta y que dentro de ella cargaba la capacidad de volver a nacer.

Gracias a la persistencia del sol, la tierra pudo darse cuenta de su increíble poder y potencial. Entre los dos organismos universales surgió lo más bello de los fenómenos en la historia cósmica. Este fue un eterno romance entro el sol, que con sus reacciones químicas ayuda a nutrir a la tierra para que ella continué a dar vida. Esta dependencia de amor entre dos esencias tan fuertes fue lo que permitió que la tierra por fin entendiera su naturaleza. Fue muy importante en mi vida haber sido testigo de esta gran lucha y nacimiento de amor. Los buitres ya no existen y los humanos han aprendido a mantener un balance.

Esta fue la historia de la tierra y el sol….hasta hoy en día, los dos cuerpos continúan girando alrededor de cada una, en un eterno baile de creacion...