Africans Living in China

Most Africans living in Guangzhou are from Nigeria and Mali but there are others from Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, and Senegal. While most Africans are in China for business opportunities, others are looking to work and set up residency in the country. Even though some Africans face visa problems in China, on average it is easier for an African to get a visa to China than to most western countries. More »

Forgotten History: Businessman Reginald F Lewis

Reginald F. Lewis, born December 7, 1942 in East Baltimore was the wealthiest black man in the United States during the 1980s. In the 1980s, he had an estimated net worth of $400 million. More »

Bodoma’s Remittances v. Moyo’s Aid: Solutions for Africa

Hong Kong based Professor Adam Bodomo like most researchers has been studying Africa and is the director of the African Studies program at the university of Hon Kong. Bodomo’s studies using World Bank data shows that Africa’s story is about remittances not aid spurring growth in these emerging African economies. More »

Empire’s Dysfunction Celebrated as Art

Why has it become a competition to see which black producer will produce the most morally depraved black character? Rupert Murdoch’s Fox and Lee Daniels are not good for black people, yet we celebrate them for producing the most stereotypical show on television. What a shame! More »

The Race of Jesus Christ

The idea of the black Jesus was started during the black consciousness era where black Christians decided that they wanted to portray a Jesus who looked like them. The prevailing Jesus portraits are of a blonde hair blue eyed Jesus with very European features based on early portraits commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church. More »

 

Empire’s Dysfunction Celebrated as Art

empireNow that the first season of Empire is over its time to reflect on the new TV drama and what it means for black people. Time Magazine also recently featured Lee Daniels in its list of the 100 most influential people. The new TV show has received a lot of praises among critics as its rating soared. However, there are some things worth noting about this television series. Its time to review just how much of anything has come out of this charade.

The Good

Fox seems to have invested a reasonable amount of money that makes this show look real. At least the actors look like they have money and their lifestyle somewhat mirrors that of a wealthy family. Secondly, Fox did a great job with their casting because they chose of the best actors and actresses in Hollywood like Terence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.

The Bad

These wealthy black people just had to be into music and particularly hip hop. How much more stereotypical can that be? They couldn’t have a real estate firm, an investment firm, a construction business or a restaurant like most normal black people. Come on. And in speaking of their business, how come they had to get their initial capital from selling drugs. Are drugs the only way black people make money when they are poor? Our wealth is not always ill gotten and I think this TV drama serves to spread the narrative that black people only care about drugs and music.

Lucius and Cookie have three children together. All extremely dysfunctional. The first born who is an Ivy League graduate seems to be normal in the beginning, he is married and his demeanor seems normal, at least he doesn’t actually sing, only wish the writers would have kept him that way. The second son is not necessarily singing hip hop but he is dealing with sexual dysfunction. It seems that most jobs in Hollywood for black men always include sexual dysfunction. The third son is the typical hood rat who is obnoxious, sings hip hop music, is promiscuous. All three children are not positive role models for black men. The very culture the whole family is selling smells of extreme dysfunction.

The mother went to prison because she loved money so much. She spent 17 years behind bars just so that they could have a record label. When she comes out, none of her children can connect with her. She is always dressing inappropriately for a mother and a businesswoman. By the way, who calls themselves, ‘Cookie’. She seems to be willing to do anything for a dollar. She is not in anyway a good depicition of black women on television. Both father and mother don’t seem to have any moral fibre in their bones. They will chase money at any cost. Lucious will even kill the people closest to him for money. What message does this send about black people.

Throughout the show there are no redeeming characters. Everything about this show sends the message that black people are drug dealing thugs, murderers, bad mothers, hood rats and so forth who have no morality or ethics. The show does not invoke any themes about the things black people value such as education, strong families, good fathers, Christianity and so forth.

By the way

empire2TheGrio.com denigrated Tyler Perry so they could praise Lee Daniels. This tactic of divide and conquer comes from slave days as devised by the likes of  Willie Lynch where two black people could not exist in the same space together. The fact of the matter is that the black experience as a wise person once said is not a monolithic experience and there is enough room in the entertainment space for Perry, Daniels and then some. After all this is capitalism where the laws of supply and demand determine value; and Perry is the half a billion dollar man who is controlling his empire on both the small and big screen. Perry unlike Daniels owns the means of production.

The fact of the matter is that Lee may be talented but he is still a worker. In the same way that the slaves were glad that there some of them living in the big house but at the end of the day they were still slaves. Lee is helping build Murdoch’s empire. Yes that Murdoch who is famous for butchering the image of the black man, yes him. It is disturbing perhaps in the same way that people would celebrate the man who works for someone else at the expense of one who is actually expanding economic freedom for black people.

When Keiffer Sutherland created the character of President Palmer in TV drama ’24’ he gave us a competent black man in the office of the Presidency and made the Obama presidency attainable at least from a perception perspective. Perception has an influence on reality. Many people believed a black man could lead these United States because President Palmer on 24 was believable, competent and commanding of respect due to the black man. It was a good break from the stereotypical rapper or drug dealer that America had been accustomed to whenever black men had been cast in the media.

Why has it become a competition to see which black producer will produce the most morally depraved black character?  Rupert Murdoch’s Fox and Lee Daniels are not good for black people, yet we celebrate them for producing the most stereotypical show on television. What a shame!

Bodoma’s Remittances v. Moyo’s Aid: Solutions for Africa

On its road to world dominance China has embarked on a pioneering initiative which is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). China as the founding member has deposited $100B. This is sure to become a game changer in the development banking world as IMF and World Bank are no longer the only option for emerging markets. To understand how this is going to affect Africa we look at two African doctors; Dambisa Moyo of the western ideology and Bodomo with his statistics and Chinese based experience.

Moyo wrote a controversial book whose tale centered on the usual main stream western  media narrative of Africa. She made her rounds on the speaking circuit as she patronized Africa and declared that it was time for a new model since all Africans did was to sit in around waiting for hand outs from the western world. She was applauded by the likes of Steve Forbes and all those media outlets who had finally found a black face to sell their story. Her book was well received in the backdrop of the insurgency of what is known as the tea party in the US. The tea party is a group of people who aspire to engage the world with the idea of American domination and despise collaboration or recognition of the global world with emerging markets.

Moyo, is a Harvard trained economist who has worked for Goldman Sachs from where she got her ideas. Moyo’s theories in a nutshell are about advocating for African countries to borrow from private banks and investment firms like Goldman Sachs rather than development banks. Moyo’s measure of success for African economies is foreign investment by western investors and bond markets and indebtedness to westerners in the name of development.

dambisa-moyoOn the other hand, Hong Kong based Professor Adam Bodomo like most researchers has been studying Africa and is the director of the African Studies program at the university of Hon Kong. Bodomo’s studies using World Bank data shows that Africa’s story is about remittances not aid spurring growth in these emerging African economies. This fact is corroborated by the fact that when the tea party started to control the Congress in the United States they wanted to flex their muscles since they hold the purse strings in the US governement. Undoubtedly they had drank Moyo’s kool aid and wanted to teach these dependent, irresponsible Africans a lesson or two.  To their amazement aid was only a measly 1% of the US budget and unlikely to make the dramatic impact that they had been hoping for. The reality was that countries such as Japan were bigger aid donors to the African continent, how about that?

In Egypt still believing in Moyo’s aid theories the US tried to flex its muscle by threatening to take aid from Egypt unless it complied with certain requests. Saudi Arabia stepped in and offered the same aid package to Egypt. This move changed the balance of power and the US quickly realized that their aid was not sufficient to control Egypt and have since reversed their decision. They learned a powerful new word called mutual dependency.

Bodomo found from World Bank Statistics created by westerners that remittances rather than aid is the major resource in Africa. Though Moyo’s aid cheerleaders say numbers do not lie they do not believe World Bank data and instead focus on  baseless narratives that are not affected by facts. Certailny, people are entitled to their opinions but certainly not to their own facts. World Bank Statistics used by Bodomo show that Africans in the Chinese diaspora contributed between $800M & $8BN to Africa. Worldwide in 2010 Moyo’s aid was $43BN compared to remittances of $51.8BN. In 2012 the amount of remittance grew to $60BN and are expected to keep growing.

The answer to Africa according to Bodomo is how to engage the diaspora to contribute more actively in democratic process of their native countries. Creation of more businesses and African governments engaging those in the diaspora to bring their expertise back to Africa and start more businesses on the continent and increasing intra- continent trade area to be explored to spur development. Reducing cost of sending money is an urgent concern because according to Bodomo Africans pay the most in money transfer fees compared to any other group in the world.

In the US where Moyo has lived and was educated; the backbone of that strong economy are small businesses which make up 89% of the businesses in that country. Moyo and her western backers know this fact after all they are economists yet when they preach to African their prescription is big business. The West looks at Africa through the lens of Moyo and sees people relying on aid and handouts and do not want to change their own situation because they are too corrupt and lazy. China views Africans as a potential partner whose own people are empowering themselves to make a difference in their own lives and grab the bull by the horn and change their own destinies.

A few years from now Moyo and Forbes will undoubtedly still be speaking about Africa. Moyo trying to figure out how China surpassed the West in African investment. Forbes compiling its 100 wealthiest Africans list while China and Africa are making things happe.

The Race of Jesus Christ

Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified

Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified

This past weekend Christians and well wishers celebrated the life of Jesus Christ of whom the christian religion is based. Jesus Christ was born in what is present day Israel to Jewish parents during a time when his people were ruled by the colonial regime of the Roman empire under the reign of Caesar Augustus. Since time immemorial believers and skeptics alike have wanted to explore the life of Jesus Christ either to prove that he really existed or to disprove his teachings.

Controversies about Jesus’ identity are not new but portraits of a black Jesus is a very surprising and very different idea. The idea of the black Jesus was started during the black consciousness era where black Christians decided that they wanted to portray a Jesus who looked like them. The prevailing Jesus portraits are of a blonde hair blue eyed Jesus with very European features based on early portraits commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church.

The black consciousness leaders viewed these portraits as yet another means to further European supremacy. Portraying the savior of the world as European suggested that white was perfect while everything else was imperfect like people of other races. This thinking gave rise to the teaching that justified slavery, colonialism and repressive regimes such as apartheid.

A leading Christian scholar stated, “The race of Jesus Christ is not the most important piece of the life of Jesus, what is important is that he came to save the world and that he was truly the Son of God.”

However, if anyone would still like to dwell on this, the fact of the matter is Jesus Christ was a Jew and the Jewish people are from the Middle East. The Jewish people of Jesus’ day had black hair and olive skin. Jesus in following the custom of that day wore short hair because as Paul says it was unnatural for a man to have long hair. There is no historical portrait of Jesus Christ and every image that people claim to have is just a figment of their imagination.

Africans Living in China

Globalization continuously transforms the things we thought we knew or valued. Most stories we hear are about the Chinese doing business in Africa but now more stories are emerging about Africans consistently going to China to work, for education, business and so forth. Focus tends to lean more on the Chinese presence in Africa than on the African presence in China. Chinese companies have set up huge mining operations, built stadiums, hospitals and infrastructure on the African continent. In 2012, China-Africa trade climbed to a record $200 billion. Now, thousands of Africans call China home and more come every month to seek opportunities.

Most Africans living in Guangzhou are from Nigeria and Mali but there are others from Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, and Senegal. While most Africans are in China for business opportunities, others are looking to work and set up residency in the country. Even though some Africans face visa problems in China, on average it is easier for an African to get a visa to China than to most western countries. Despite the challenges that some Africans face in migrating to China, some young people have found success like Vimbayi Kajese who worked as an anchor for CCTV and a Congolese DJ who has gained popularity in Shanghai.