Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Black Britain, Dumb America, Elections, South Africa

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*** Oxfamming the word [via No Longer at Ease] from Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina who gave us the wonderful How To Write About Africa.

“Would you like an Oxfam biscuit? Can we fly 103 of you to France to be loved? We can breastfeed you. We can save you from yourself. We can save ourselves from our terrible selves. Help us to Oxfam the whole black world, to make it a better place. We will shut all your industries and build our organic Jeffery Sachs-designed school inside your national parks, where you can commune with nature, grow ecologically friendly crops, trade fairly with eco-tourists and receive visitors from the United Nations every month who will clap when you dance. Instead of sweatshops, we will have Ubuntu shops where you can arrive in biodegradable loincloths to make bone jewellery for caring people who earn $1million a year, live in San Francisco or Cape Town and feel bad about this. In our future world you will have three balanced meals a day. Trust us. You can’t do it yourselves. We have dedicated our lives to you. Come kitties, come to mummy”.

*** White South African blogger, Inside Candy wonders where all the Black bloggers are and wonders if it has anything to do “with access, not enough interest or exposure” – A look at the last census statistics from 2001 should give her some clues although there has been some increase in numbers of Black Middle classes since then and there have been increases in mobile phone ownership and computers.

I realise that this is a potentially loaded question, but where the hell are all the black bloggers hiding? To date, I’ve only met one (I repeat, one) black South African blogger – Obakeng, “The Chief” of ONC Today.

Black Africans (BA) make up 79% of the population v whites (W) at 9%.
BA with higher education – 5% v W 29%
BA with landline or mobile phone -31% v W 95%
BA with own computer 1.8% v W 97%
Unemployment of Black Africans 28% (has risen since 2001) v 4% of whites
Medium annual income of Black Africans 12,000 Rands v 65,400 Rands for whites.

So yes, there are issues of access, cost and time – if it takes you up to 4 hours to get to work and back then blogging is not going to be a priority even if you could afford to have your own computer or access an internet cafe.

Admittedly there are not many but here are some of the blogs by South African POC but I am sure there are many more and as one comment states .

My Realities by the late Busi Sigasa
Loudrastress by Pumla Gqola
Abahlali baseMjondola The Durban Shackdweller Movement
My Haven by Matuba Mahlatjie
Lesbian Rules by Marda Butler
Clement Nyirenda’s Blog World
Township Vibes
Lavina Live

*** Speaking of Black bloggers, I am looking for some here in the Britain (recent memories of colonialism leave me choking over the “great” and the “kingdom”). Meanwhile British immigration legislation regresses “ and feeds into the myths and racist assumptions about immigrants living of the state and taking “our jobs. The Labour government plans to introduce more “tests to prove their worth” for anyone wanting to become British fortunately there is resistance from some back benchers.

Ms Smith said migrants from outside the European Economic Area [ Political speak for unwanted especially Muslims] would be encouraged to “move on” through a system that leads to citizenship – or choose ultimately to leave the country.

The package of measures includes:

* Raising visa fees for a special “transitional impact” fund

* More English language testing ahead of nationality

* Requirements to prove integration into communities

* Increasing how long it takes to become British

*** The Zimbabwe elections are due to take place on the 29th March and the big question is how “free and fair” they will be. Sokwanele reports on the recent jeering by crowds as Mugabe celebrated his 84th birthday

While the protestors danced and sang, a helium-filled blimp was raised 100 metres above the bridge with a banner that cast doubt on the integrity of elections due for March 29. “Free and fair or just hot air,” ran the slogan on one side of the balloon while the other called on President Mugabe to, “Have your cake… and beat it!”

*** Larry Pinkney of the Black Commentator continues to be one of the few and in my opinion rational voices in the midst of the Obama bandwagon and the myths of the “change” rhetoric. In Goose Stepping Behind Obama: The Absense of Critical Thinking Pinkney writes:

Resigning one’s self to voting for the so-called “lesser of the two evils” plays right into calculated corporate hands of media manipulations and the disempowering Democrat and Republican Parties. By the same token, euphorically goose-stepping behind the candidacy of Barack Obama, or any other Democrat or Republican, is tantamount to choosing death by hanging as opposed to death by firing squad. This is not exercising a choice. It is dangerous and ridiculous non-choice, especially in America – the so-called bastion of democracy.

Finally, Passing Thoughts by Kameelah reflects on the politics of race, passing, Islam in the US and South Africa

This choice almost immediately flung me into the forever foreigner stages whereby everyone I encountered while living in Washington D.C. to living in Cape Town, South Africa saw me not as Black but as “something else” because of course there are no Black Muslims, only African Muslims and because of course only real Muslims wore full hijab. As I learned, quite interestingly, the hijab had the power to erase elements of indigenous Blackness in favor of a more “authentic” international Blackness associated with African countries like the Sudan,


1 Comment

  1. ::sheesh:: I just received an education! Thank you! I’m inspired by the reaction to my question – which was posed to draw attention to the fact that generally white faces still dominate the net – and of course, for good reason – as you state so clearly in this post. I’m glad that there are many more black bloggers out there than I had originally realised. I’m a fan. (And thank you for taking notice of one small voice in the crowd.)