Envisioning a Liberated African Experience {Philadelphia}

Students from the Amhara Nation:

"What we can do to be free is we can stop letting the white man control us. And we need to start our own businesses, we can show them that we are smarter than them; we were the first geniuses. Africans are good people and we have a lot of advantages over the white man…The white man doesn’t like us and they look at us like, Negroes are not going to accomplish anything in life. They are saying that because we walk on the streets killing our Black brothers and sisters instead of being one (unity)."
{Steven Boyd}

"The status of Afrikans living in the U.S. causes us not to pay our contribution to our ancestors and the motherland. Everyone just forgets about where they came from and who made changes for them. You may think everyone is like, ‘Ooh yeah, I’m from the Motherland’ but there are people in the U.S. who say, ‘Me, from Africa? What, I’m Black or something?’" Something that can be done is to bring all the Blacks together five days of each year and pray and pour libations and affirmation to all the people and things that changed our lives."
{Aigner Dorsey}

"What needs to happen is that African-American men need to get off the corner and stop selling drugs. What also needs to happen is African Americans need to step their game up and do better with their lives. If we really want freedom we have to stand up for what’s right but also doing that, we have to do the right thing. What needs to happen to gain freedom is we need to do what we need to do to gain respect from other cultures and we’ll be on top."
{Randi Walston}

"The problem with Black people in the U.S. today is that we don’t want to stick together as one, as Black people. If something were to happen we would be like, ‘Well, that ain’t happening over here so I don’t care’. I’m not going to lie, I have done that before but I don’t want to be faced with these problems. As a whole, as one race we can overcome anything, solve any problem if we band together. What can be done to solve this problem is in every state or country people should come together and have meetings, go over the problems and see what we can do to solve them and free our people. Free our minds. If everyone were to go to school and actually try to learn something, want to learn (it's hard but it can be done) imagine the leaders we would have in our community. It can be done but we need caring parents and leaders to push us so we can learn to be strong, to be leaders in our communities and in our families. That would be the first step in solving our problems."
{Sean Burton}

"We African people can create a liberated experience by doing the best we can do. For example, we need to start taking school seriously, like getting all our homework done, and turning in projects and other important things in school. We can start doing things that are important ahead of time. For example, when adults have to pay their bills they should be ready when they’re due or have the money ready to pay for their bills. There are lots of things African people have to do to create experiences, by doing our best and doing what we have to do and getting there on time."
{Symone Brown}

"Africans in the U.S. are a rejected race. We are used as a trash bag. We think that people own us as a race, but the truth is no one owns us; we don’t stick together as a race. On the Katrina catastrophe, everyone’s expecting the white people to share some of their money and give some to the victims. But they’re always forgetting Blacks make money too. We are rappers, doctors, and many more of us have a lot of money. They want the whites to give up money, but how about you? I mean Blacks can give up at least $100 each, who do they chose to share their money with? Who knows? Blacks are mistreated because we don’t stick together. If we stuck together we could own a whole town. The Chinese have Chinatown; Blacks can get a town. Something a Black person can do is stand up for their people. You know, one for all, all for one. As a race in the U.S. we can love and care for not just our family and friends but others we don’t know as well. Respect and honor our ancestors and the elders all around us. Let’s all be a family again, as one big happy nation.
{Ifetaya Brown}

"The status of Africans in the United States is pretty much being strong and standing up for our culture. Africans are all about working together. We are about getting things done on our own and letting no one stop us. We are always willing to learn something new. What can be done to create a liberated experience for us would be to carry ourselves better. Always be respectful and always have something to say. Also, give back to the community and make sure that your community is not infested with litter. Treat your community as your temple and the place where you come from. Honor yourself and be proud of who you are. Even with Hurricane Katrina we still made it out strong, without food, without a place to live. We should appreciate our culture no matter what."
{Amber Wyatt}

Students from the Luo Nation:

"I think the status of our Black people is very poor. For us to succeed and become people well known we would need to make the news. To do that we can make a [demonstration] by gathering up a bunch of African Americans and walking around the whole city so people can hear us and see we need to put a stop to this politically-racist world. I also believe if we (Black people) can do that maybe for once in history there can be a Black, African-American president. For once there just might be a Black person in the Supreme Court that can give this a ruling. For just once in this 21st century I just hope someone hears us out."
{Donte Rook}

"We Black people can create a liberated experience by just having better homes for African Americans. African Americans should rebuild their homes and provide a community so they can live in a better environment. Also, schools. Have you noticed ever since segregation their schools have been in better condition than ours with better education and the reason why more Black people are dropping out? Some of the dropouts are smart but maybe it’s the environment in the schools. We have lower PSSAs and test scores because they don’t teach us as much as white kids. And if you compare the schools Blacks have schools falling apart in a bad environment. Me, I think about the president issue and it probably needs to change because it seems they will choose any white person for the job. Bush had F’s and D’s in his education and it seems like they will pick a low-academic white president that messes up America, than a Black person who is smart and wants to make America a better place."
{Nia Torres}

"We can create a liberated experience by being the best we can be, learning from our mistakes, thinking first before doing anything, not being hard-headed, but being wise. Turning your life around to become a better person if you started off on the wrong track, start all over again if you’re already on track, stay that way cause 'you gonna be ready.' We also can create a liberated experience by speaking up when we think we are getting treated wrong or someone needs to know how we feel. Don’t stay quiet because you’re going to wish you said something in the future."
{Gabrielle Sims}

"The status of Africans today isn’t very good. Since Bush has been in power it feels like racism is back. The first sign was how slow he reacted to the Katrina incident and the second is that in New Orleans, Black people are being accused of looting and being shot while white people are being let off as getting food. If Black people learned to speak for themselves we could change this."
{Raymond Ryland}

"We as Black people need many things to support our African culture. We need our own Black doctors and our own Black schools so that we can learn better around our own. We need these things especially in the U.S. because we are surrounded by prejudice white people who don’t want to give us an education. That’s why we need our own government and civilization to succeed as Blacks. The majority of whites really don’t need our help."
{Kira Basiege}

{liberatormagazine.com exclusive feature}
by Stephanie Joy Tisdale (& her 9th grade class from Imhotep Charter High School)
{The Liberator Magazine 4.5 #13, 2005}

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{artwork by Zenobia Morrow, The Liberator Magazine}