Ghood Folk
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from synergizehiphop. Make your own badge here.

  • Ebony Elle
  • DNA (Baltimore's Mixtape King)
  • Ike Carter
  • Rob @ Brownstyle.net
  • Jeff
  • That Kid RADIO
  • DJ Reddz
  • DJ Lil Mic
  • Kelly (Photographer/Editor/PR)
  • MelaniN. (Photographer)
  • Missy
  • Moccaa Banks (OG)
  • Samir (Producer)
  • Tasha of Urban Voices
  • Ro Brooks (SNH)
  • Crushforce Promotions

  • UPDATED SITE *COMING SOON!!! Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    New Releases
    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    Blogs I Read
  • HipHop-Blogs(dot)com
  • Pro Hip Hop
  • Government Names
  • Meandering Assholicism
  • Lynne D. Johnson
  • The 411 on the 410
  • Micki's Blog
  • Missy's Mental Musings
  • A Dirty South Perspective
  • Nah Right
  • Hip Hop Politics
  • Concrete Loop
  • George Bush's Blog
  • Grandma's Basement
  • The Kween
  • Hip Hop Ruckus
  • Street Fame (NEW BOOK)
  • Dino Mom
  • Straight outta NYC
  • Ghetto Manga
  • Música para Todos
  • Cool Links
  • C Love on MYSPACE
  • St. Frances Academy
  • datpiff(*FREE*) Mixtapes
  • Baltimore City Paper
  • AllHipHop.com
  • SOHH.com
  • BUST
  • WHU DAT?
  • Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
  • Hip Hop Press Releases
  • Part I (WYPR - 3.24.06)
  • Part II (WYPR - 3.24.06)
  • Part III (WYPR - 3.24.06)
  • Baltimore City Paper - Super Style Warz feedback (3.8.2006)
  • Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
  • Baltimore Sun LIVE - "Battles, Not Violence" (11.24.05)
  • ughh.com (9.26.05)
  • illmuzik.com (7.28.05)
  • Baltimore City Paper - "She's All That" (6.29.2005)
  • Videos I love
    May 4, 2007
    Community Betterment Plan - What is it?
    Published Friday April 27, 2007
    Empower Omaha! unveils new community betterment plan

    Black Omahans have the intellectual and financial resources to take the lead in solving problems such as poverty and the educational achievement gap.

    That was the message today from a broad coalition of black Omahans known as the African-American Empowerment Network.

    In a show of unity, more than two dozen network members stood together inside the community cafe at 24th and Lake Streets to unveil the first phase of a community betterment plan. More than 100 people were expected for a day of activities, including a speech by George C. Fraser, a national authority on black networking.

    "Our goal is to transform the city of Omaha," said Willie Barney, who works in Omaha as a private consultant and convened the network of volunteers more than seven months ago.

    Teresa Hunter, director of the nonprofit Family Housing Advisory Services, discusses upcoming Empower Omaha! events with consultant Willie Barney, right, and George C. Fraser, a national authority on black networking. Empower Omaha! was created by the African-American Empowerment Network.The resulting plan dovetails with the best-selling 2006 book "The Covenant with Black America," in which national experts outline both the problems confronting blacks today and strategies to address those problems.

    The local plan - called Empower Omaha! - involves 13 areas of focus, offering strategies for commitment by individuals as well as at the community level.

    Gladys Harrison, for example, is a longtime Qwest Communications employee and mother of three who is launching a community walk beginning Monday at 6 p.m. at 24th and Seward Streets. Harrison wants to improve her health and more.

    "We can walk down 24th Street, the heart of north Omaha, help dispel the myths, get some garbage bags and then, most importantly, draw people together," she said.

    Dick Davis, an insurance executive, is seeking matching funds for Omaha 20/20, a five-part economic development plan.

    "We have the power within ourselves," Davis said.

    What's next?
    African-American Empowerment Network
    members are meeting today with national black networking expert George C. Fraser, author of "Success Runs in Our Race: The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the Black Community."

    The network plans to roll out a second phase of its plan in mid-May.Self-help is the cornerstone philosophy of the network, but the impact is expected to reach beyond the black community.

    "If we make a measurable difference in north Omaha, it's going to bring up Omaha," said the Rev. Jeremiah McGhee, president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

    Barney and others long had talked about the financial, educational and social gaps that exist between blacks and whites in Omaha and the need for solutions.

    Those talks gained momentum and urgency in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and the first round of debate on what to do about Omaha's still-segregated public school system.

    Then, in 2006, the 240-page "Covenant" book hit shelves, offering a road map to communities seeking change.

    Empower Omaha!
    The local plan focuses on 13 areas. The individual empowerment covenants include:
    1. Live our faith
    2. Strengthen our families
    3. Prepare our children
    4. Embrace our culture
    5. Build our wealth
    6. Protect our health
    7. Raise our vote
    8. Own our homes
    9. Clean our neighborhoods
    10. Love our neighbor! Stop the hate!
    11. Stand for justice
    12. Improve our communications
    13. Cross the digital divide

    Barney asked north Omaha bookstore owner Marshall Taylor to stock up on "The Covenant" and urged everyone to buy it.

    "We have been called for this purpose and for this time," Barney said, describing a process of convening small groups, which became larger groups that eventually drew more than 400 people representing some 200 organizations.

    The first formal network meeting was in September. Participants outlined areas in need of attention, including faith, education, voting and economics.

    Network members met routinely, devoting Saturday mornings to hashing out strategies and approaches.

    The network is not promoting a strictly black-only approach to solving black problems. Members either already are contributing to or are planning to pitch in on other projects under way.

    "We don't want to reinvent things," said Dr. Rubens Pamies, vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

    But it is important, Pamies said, that the black community show that it, too, has a plan.

    "All too often, what most of us have said is that we've always been relying on the outside to help with issues that we have," Pamies said. "The question always comes up: 'What have you done yourselves?'"

    That answer, network members discovered over months of meetings, was: quite a lot.

    Gladys Harrison, right, is launching a community walk on Monday. Getting a jump-start with Harrison at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha on Thursday are, from left, Briannah Harrison, 16; Elijah Harrison, 15; and Karen Bradley.First, although the Omaha area has the nation's third-highest rate of poverty among blacks, not all black Omahans are in dire straits and some are well-positioned to make changes. Second, a host of service providers, community activists, neighborhood groups and others long have worked to chip away at problems affecting the black community.

    The stumbling block until now, network members concluded, was that many operated on their own without coordination. Plus, conflicting ideologies, power struggles or a lack of sustainability hindered past efforts.

    This group is different, the members say.

    For one, it has drawn an array of black Omahans from all over the city. Among them are teachers, doctors, principals, social service agency workers, nonprofit directors, city officials, business owners, activists, church pastors, retirees and elected officials.

    "I've not seen an effort like this, I've not heard of an effort like this in north Omaha with African-Americans," said Paul Bryant, a fifth-generation Omahan who directs Wesley House.

    The movement bolsters his faith that Omaha can turn around its dismal standard of living for blacks and perhaps stop driving away those looking for better opportunities.

    "This effort is a group of African-Americans saying, 'We want to stay, and we want to change these numbers,'" Bryant said.

    The volunteer network involves 67 "regulars" who have attended most of the weekend meetings. They include blacks who live in suburban Omaha, though more than half came from the north Omaha neighborhoods where most of the city's black population resides.

    Bookstore owner Taylor is onboard. He has seen community improvement efforts come and go without great success. The network could be different, he said, citing the group's talent pool, diversity and focus on solutions instead of blame.

    "It's upbeat," Taylor said. "It requires the individual to look at the self as opposed to looking at what other people are doing against us or for us. It is just the thing I think we need to be doing right now."


    I think blue prints like this could assist us with starting a similar movement in Baltimore. These folks are all about owning the land so they have a say in what becomes of their community. There's calls for a paradigm shift ....in POC's collective consciousness. I for one welcome this

    ....do you think this program could be applied here as well. I met one of the people involved in this on topix......(Made my day....I AM NOT ALONE!!!).....these folks are about their biz.
    For more info:
    posted by C Love "The Rap Addict" @ 5/04/2007 04:08:00 PM   0 comments
    May 3, 2007
    1. The human race is of African origin. The oldest known skeletal remains of anatomically modern humans (or homo sapiens) were excavated at sites in East Africa. Human remains were discovered at Omo in Ethiopia that were dated at 195,000 years old, the oldest known in the world.

    2. Skeletons of pre-humans have been found in Africa that date back between 4 and 5 million years. The oldest known ancestral type of humanity is thought to have been the australopithecus ramidus, who lived at least 4.4 million years ago.

    3. Africans were the first to organise fishing expeditions 90,000 years ago. At Katanda, a region in northeastern Zaïre (now Congo), was recovered a finely wrought series of harpoon points, all elaborately polished and barbed. Also uncovered was a tool, equally well crafted, believed to be a dagger. The discoveries suggested the existence of an early aquatic or fishing based culture.

    4. Africans were the first to engage in mining 43,000 years ago. In 1964 a hematite mine was found in Swaziland at Bomvu Ridge in the Ngwenya mountain range. Ultimately 300,000 artefacts were recovered including thousands of stone-made mining tools. Adrian Boshier, one of the archaeologists on the site, dated the mine to a staggering 43,200 years old.

    5. Africans pioneered basic arithmetic 25,000 years ago. The Ishango bone is a tool handle with notches carved into it found in the Ishango region of Zaïre (now called Congo) near Lake Edward. The bone tool was originally thought to have been over 8,000 years old, but a more sensitive recent dating has given dates of 25,000 years old. On the tool are 3 rows of notches. Row 1 shows three notches carved next to six, four carved next to eight, ten carved next to two fives and finally a seven. The 3 and 6, 4 and 8, and 10 and 5, represent the process of doubling. Row 2 shows eleven notches carved next to twenty-one notches, and nineteen notches carved next to nine notches. This represents 10 + 1, 20 + 1, 20 - 1 and 10 - 1. Finally, Row 3 shows eleven notches, thirteen notches, seventeen notches and nineteen notches. 11, 13, 17 and 19 are the prime numbers between 10 and 20.

    6. Africans cultivated crops 12,000 years ago, the first known advances in agriculture. Professor Fred Wendorf discovered that people in Egypt’s Western Desert cultivated crops of barley, capers, chick-peas, dates, legumes, lentils and wheat. Their ancient tools were also recovered. There were grindstones, milling stones, cutting blades, hide scrapers, engraving burins, and mortars and pestles.

    7. Africans mummified their dead 9,000 years ago. A mummified infant was found under the Uan Muhuggiag rock shelter in south western Libya. The infant was buried in the foetal position and was mummified using a very sophisticated technique that must have taken hundreds of years to evolve. The technique predates the earliest mummies known in Ancient Egypt by at least 1,000 years. Carbon dating is controversial but the mummy may date from 7438 (±220) BC.

    8. Africans carved the world’s first colossal sculpture 7,000 or more years ago. The Great Sphinx of Giza was fashioned with the head of a man combined with the body of a lion. A key and important question raised by this monument was: How old is it? In October 1991 Professor Robert Schoch, a geologist from Boston University, demonstrated that the Sphinx was sculpted between 5000 BC and 7000 BC, dates that he considered conservative.

    9. On the 1 March 1979, the New York Times carried an article on its front page also page sixteen that was entitled Nubian Monarchy called Oldest. In this article we were assured that: “Evidence of the oldest recognizable monarchy in human history, preceding the rise of the earliest Egyptian kings by several generations, has been discovered in artifacts from ancient Nubia” (i.e. the territory of the northern Sudan and the southern portion of modern Egypt.)

    10. The ancient Egyptians had the same type of tropically adapted skeletal proportions as modern Black Africans. A 2003 paper appeared in American Journal of Physical Anthropology by Dr Sonia Zakrzewski entitled Variation in Ancient Egyptian Stature and Body Proportions where she states that: “The raw values in Table 6 suggest that Egyptians had the ‘super-Negroid’ body plan described by Robins (1983). The values for the brachial and crural indices show that the distal segments of each limb are longer relative to the proximal segments than in many ‘African’ populations.”

    11. The ancient Egyptians had Afro combs. One writer tells us that the Egyptians “manufactured a very striking range of combs in ivory: the shape of these is distinctly African and is like the combs used even today by Africans and those of African descent.”

    12. The Funerary Complex in the ancient Egyptian city of Saqqara is the oldest building that tourists regularly visit today. An outer wall, now mostly in ruins, surrounded the whole structure. Through the entrance are a series of columns, the first stone-built columns known to historians. The North House also has ornamental columns built into the walls that have papyrus-like capitals. Also inside the complex is the Ceremonial Court, made of limestone blocks that have been quarried and then shaped. In the centre of the complex is the Step Pyramid, the first of 90 Egyptian pyramids.

    13. The first Great Pyramid of Giza, the most extraordinary building in history, was a staggering 481 feet tall - the equivalent of a 40-storey building. It was made of 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite, some weighing 100 tons.

    14. The ancient Egyptian city of Kahun was the world’s first planned city. Rectangular and walled, the city was divided into two parts. One part housed the wealthier inhabitants – the scribes, officials and foremen. The other part housed the ordinary people. The streets of the western section in particular, were straight, laid out on a grid, and crossed each other at right angles. A stone gutter, over half a metre wide, ran down the centre of every street.

    15. Egyptian mansions were discovered in Kahun - each boasting 70 rooms, divided into four sections or quarters. There was a master’s quarter, quarters for women and servants, quarters for offices and finally, quarters for granaries, each facing a central courtyard. The master’s quarters had an open court with a stone water tank for bathing. Surrounding this was a colonnade.

    16 The Labyrinth in the Egyptian city of Hawara with its massive layout, multiple courtyards, chambers and halls, was the very largest building in antiquity. Boasting three thousand rooms, 1,500 of them were above ground and the other 1,500 were underground.

    17. Toilets and sewerage systems existed in ancient Egypt. One of the pharaohs built a city now known as Amarna. An American urban planner noted that: “Great importance was attached to cleanliness in Amarna as in other Egyptian cities. Toilets and sewers were in use to dispose waste. Soap was made for washing the body. Perfumes and essences were popular against body odour. A solution of natron was used to keep insects from houses . . . Amarna may have been the first planned ‘garden city’.”

    18. Sudan has more pyramids than any other country on earth - even more than Egypt. There are at least 223 pyramids in the Sudanese cities of Al Kurru, Nuri, Gebel Barkal and Meroë. They are generally 20 to 30 metres high and steep sided.

    19. The Sudanese city of Meroë is rich in surviving monuments. Becoming the capital of the Kushite Empire between 590 BC until AD 350, there are 84 pyramids in this city alone, many built with their own miniature temple. In addition, there are ruins of a bath house sharing affinities with those of the Romans. Its central feature is a large pool approached by a flight of steps with waterspouts decorated with lion heads.

    20. Bling culture has a long and interesting history. Gold was used to decorate ancient Sudanese temples. One writer reported that: “Recent excavations at Meroe and Mussawwarat es-Sufra revealed temples with walls and statues covered with gold leaf”.

    21. In around 300 BC, the Sudanese invented a writing script that had twenty-three letters of which four were vowels and there was also a word divider. Hundreds of ancient texts have survived that were in this script. Some are on display in the British Museum.

    22. In central Nigeria, West Africa’s oldest civilisation flourished between 1000 BC and 300 BC. Discovered in 1928, the ancient culture was called the Nok Civilisation, named after the village in which the early artefacts were discovered. Two modern scholars, declare that “[a]fter calibration, the period of Nok art spans from 1000 BC until 300 BC”. The site itself is much older going back as early as 4580 or 4290 BC.

    23. West Africans built in stone by 1100 BC. In the Tichitt-Walata region of Mauritania, archaeologists have found “large stone masonry villages” that date back to 1100 BC. The villages consisted of roughly circular compounds connected by “well-defined streets”.

    24. By 250 BC, the foundations of West Africa’s oldest cities were established such as Old Djenné in Mali.

    25. Kumbi Saleh, the capital of Ancient Ghana, flourished from 300 to 1240 AD. Located in modern day Mauritania, archaeological excavations have revealed houses, almost habitable today, for want of renovation and several storeys high. They had underground rooms, staircases and connecting halls. Some had nine rooms. One part of the city alone is estimated to have housed 30,000 people.

    26. West Africa had walled towns and cities in the pre-colonial period. Winwood Reade, an English historian visited West Africa in the nineteenth century and commented that: “There are . . . thousands of large walled cities resembling those of Europe in the Middle Ages, or of ancient Greece.”

    27. Lord Lugard, an English official, estimated in 1904 that there were 170 walled towns still in existence in the whole of just the Kano province of northern Nigeria.

    28. Cheques are not quite as new an invention as we were led to believe. In the tenth century, an Arab geographer, Ibn Haukal, visited a fringe region of Ancient Ghana. Writing in 951 AD, he told of a cheque for 42,000 golden dinars written to a merchant in the city of Audoghast by his partner in Sidjilmessa.

    29. Ibn Haukal, writing in 951 AD, informs us that the King of Ghana was “the richest king on the face of the earth” whose pre-eminence was due to the quantity of gold nuggets that had been amassed by himself and by his predecessors.

    30. The Nigerian city of Ile-Ife was paved in 1000 AD on the orders of a female ruler with decorations that originated in Ancient America. Naturally, no-one wants to explain how this took place approximately 500 years before the time of Christopher Columbus!

    31. West Africa had bling culture in 1067 AD. One source mentions that when the Emperor of Ghana gives audience to his people: “he sits in a pavilion around which stand his horses caparisoned in cloth of gold: behind him stand ten pages holding shields and gold-mounted swords: and on his right hand are the sons of the princes of his empire, splendidly clad and with gold plaited into their hair . . . The gate of the chamber is guarded by dogs of an excellent breed . . . they wear collars of gold and silver.”

    32. Glass windows existed at that time. The residence of the Ghanaian Emperor in 1116 AD was: “A well-built castle, thoroughly fortified, decorated inside with sculptures and pictures, and having glass windows.”

    33. The Grand Mosque in the Malian city of Djenné, described as “the largest adobe [clay] building in the world”, was first raised in 1204 AD. It was built on a square plan where each side is 56 metres in length. It has three large towers on one side, each with projecting wooden buttresses.

    34. One of the great achievements of the Yoruba was their urban culture. “By the year A.D. 1300,” says a modern scholar, “the Yoruba people built numerous walled cities surrounded by farms”. The cities were Owu, Oyo, Ijebu, Ijesa, Ketu, Popo, Egba, Sabe, Dassa, Egbado, Igbomina, the sixteen Ekiti principalities, Owo and Ondo.

    35. Yoruba metal art of the mediaeval period was of world class. One scholar wrote that Yoruba art “would stand comparison with anything which Ancient Egypt, Classical Greece and Rome, or Renaissance Europe had to offer.”

    36. In the Malian city of Gao stands the Mausoleum of Askia the Great, a weird sixteenth century edifice that resembles a step pyramid.

    37. Thousands of mediaeval tumuli have been found across West Africa. Nearly 7,000 were discovered in north-west Senegal alone spread over nearly 1,500 sites. They were probably built between 1000 and 1300 AD.

    38. Excavations at the Malian city of Gao carried out by Cambridge University revealed glass windows. One of the finds was entitled: “Fragments of alabaster window surrounds and a piece of pink window glass, Gao 10th – 14th century.”

    39. In 1999 the BBC produced a television series entitled Millennium. The programme devoted to the fourteenth century opens with the following disclosure: “In the fourteenth century, the century of the scythe, natural disasters threatened civilisations with extinction. The Black Death kills more people in Europe, Asia and North Africa than any catastrophe has before. Civilisations which avoid the plague thrive. In West Africa the Empire of Mali becomes the richest in the world.”

    40. Malian sailors got to America in 1311 AD, 181 years before Columbus. An Egyptian scholar, Ibn Fadl Al-Umari, published on this sometime around 1342. In the tenth chapter of his book, there is an account of two large maritime voyages ordered by the predecessor of Mansa Musa, a king who inherited the Malian throne in 1312. This mariner king is not named by Al-Umari, but modern writers identify him as Mansa Abubakari II.

    41. On a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 AD, a Malian ruler, Mansa Musa, brought so much money with him that his visit resulted in the collapse of gold prices in Egypt and Arabia. It took twelve years for the economies of the region to normalise.

    42. West African gold mining took place on a vast scale. One modern writer said that: “It is estimated that the total amount of gold mined in West Africa up to 1500 was 3,500 tons, worth more than $****30 billion in today’s market.”

    43. The old Malian capital of Niani had a 14th century building called the Hall of Audience. It was an surmounted by a dome, adorned with arabesques of striking colours. The windows of an upper floor were plated with wood and framed in silver; those of a lower floor were plated with wood, framed in gold.

    44. Mali in the 14th century was highly urbanised. Sergio Domian, an Italian art and architecture scholar, wrote the following about this period: “Thus was laid the foundation of an urban civilisation. At the height of its power, Mali had at least 400 cities, and the interior of the Niger Delta was very densely populated”.

    45. The Malian city of Timbuktu had a 14th century population of 115,000 - 5 times larger than mediaeval London. Mansa Musa, built the Djinguerebere Mosque in the fourteenth century. There was the University Mosque in which 25,000 students studied and the Oratory of Sidi Yayia. There were over 150 Koran schools in which 20,000 children were instructed. London, by contrast, had a total 14th century population of 20,000 people.

    46. National Geographic recently described Timbuktu as the Paris of the mediaeval world, on account of its intellectual culture. According to Professor Henry Louis Gates, 25,000 university students studied there.

    47. Many old West African families have private library collections that go back hundreds of years. The Mauritanian cities of Chinguetti and Oudane have a total of 3,450 hand written mediaeval books. There may be another 6,000 books still surviving in the other city of Walata. Some date back to the 8th century AD. There are 11,000 books in private collections in Niger. Finally, in Timbuktu, Mali, there are about 700,000 surviving books.

    48. A collection of one thousand six hundred books was considered a small library for a West African scholar of the 16th century. Professor Ahmed Baba of Timbuktu is recorded as saying that he had the smallest library of any of his friends - he had only 1600 volumes.

    49. Concerning these old manuscripts, Michael Palin, in his TV series Sahara, said the imam of Timbuktu “has a collection of scientific texts that clearly show the planets circling the sun. They date back hundreds of years . . . Its convincing evidence that the scholars of Timbuktu knew a lot more than their counterparts in Europe. In the fifteenth century in Timbuktu the mathematicians knew about the rotation of the planets, knew about the details of the eclipse, they knew things which we had to wait for 150 almost 200 years to know in Europe when Galileo and Copernicus came up with these same calculations and were given a very hard time for it.”

    50. The Songhai Empire of 16th century West Africa had a government position called Minister for Etiquette and Protocol.

    51. The mediaeval Nigerian city of Benin was built to “a scale comparable with the Great Wall of China”. There was a vast system of defensive walling totalling 10,000 miles in all. Even before the full extent of the city walling had become apparent the Guinness Book of Records carried an entry in the 1974 edition that described the city as: “The largest earthworks in the world carried out prior to the mechanical era.”

    52. Benin art of the Middle Ages was of the highest quality. An official of the Berlin Museum für Völkerkunde once stated that: “These works from Benin are equal to the very finest examples of European casting technique. Benvenuto Cellini could not have cast them better, nor could anyone else before or after him . . . Technically, these bronzes represent the very highest possible achievement.”

    53. Winwood Reade described his visit to the Ashanti Royal Palace of Kumasi in 1874: “We went to the king’s palace, which consists of many courtyards, each surrounded with alcoves and verandahs, and having two gates or doors, so that each yard was a thoroughfare . . . But the part of the palace fronting the street was a stone house, Moorish in its style . . . with a flat roof and a parapet, and suites of apartments on the first floor. It was built by Fanti masons many years ago. The rooms upstairs remind me of Wardour Street. Each was a perfect Old Curiosity Shop. Books in many languages, Bohemian glass, clocks, silver plate, old furniture, Persian rugs, Kidderminster carpets, pictures and engravings, numberless chests and coffers. A sword bearing the inscription From Queen Victoria to the King of Ashantee. A copy of the Times, 17 October 1843. With these were many specimens of Moorish and Ashanti handicraft.”

    54. In the mid-nineteenth century, William Clarke, an English visitor to Nigeria, remarked that: “As good an article of cloth can be woven by the Yoruba weavers as by any people . . . in durability, their cloths far excel the prints and home-spuns of Manchester.”

    55. The recently discovered 9th century Nigerian city of Eredo was found to be surrounded by a wall that was 100 miles long and seventy feet high in places. The internal area was a staggering 400 square miles.

    56. On the subject of cloth, Kongolese textiles were also distinguished. Various European writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries wrote of the delicate crafts of the peoples living in eastern Kongo and adjacent regions who manufactured damasks, sarcenets, satins, taffeta, cloth of tissue and velvet. Professor DeGraft-Johnson made the curious observation that: “Their brocades, both high and low, were far more valuable than the Italian.”

    57. On Kongolese metallurgy of the Middle Ages, one modern scholar wrote that: “There is no doubting . . . the existence of an expert metallurgical art in the ancient Kongo . . . The Bakongo were aware of the toxicity of lead vapours. They devised preventative and curative methods, both pharmacological (massive doses of pawpaw and palm oil) and mechanical (exerting of pressure to free the digestive tract), for combating lead poisoning.”

    58. In Nigeria, the royal palace in the city of Kano dates back to the fifteenth century. Begun by Muhammad Rumfa (ruled 1463-99) it has gradually evolved over generations into a very imposing complex. A colonial report of the city from 1902, described it as “a network of buildings covering an area of 33 acres and surrounded by a wall 20 to 30 feet high outside and 15 feet inside . . . in itself no mean citadel”.

    59. A sixteenth century traveller visited the central African civilisation of Kanem-Borno and commented that the emperor’s cavalry had golden “stirrups, spurs, bits and buckles.” Even the ruler’s dogs had “chains of the finest gold”.

    60. One of the government positions in mediaeval Kanem-Borno was Astronomer Royal.

    61. Ngazargamu, the capital city of Kanem-Borno, became one of the largest cities in the seventeenth century world. By 1658 AD, the metropolis, according to an architectural scholar housed “about quarter of a million people”. It had 660 streets. Many were wide and unbending, reflective of town planning.

    62. The Nigerian city of Surame flourished in the sixteenth century. Even in ruin it was an impressive sight, built on a horizontal vertical grid. A modern scholar describes it thus: “The walls of Surame are about 10 miles in circumference and include many large bastions or walled suburbs running out at right angles to the main wall. The large compound at Kanta is still visible in the centre, with ruins of many buildings, one of which is said to have been two-storied. The striking feature of the walls and whole ruins is the extensive use of stone and tsokuwa (laterite gravel) or very hard red building mud, evidently brought from a distance. There is a big mound of this near the north gate about 8 feet in height. The walls show regular courses of masonry to a height of 20 feet and more in several places. The best preserved portion is that known as sirati (the bridge) a little north of the eastern gate . . . The main city walls here appear to have provided a very strongly guarded entrance about 30 feet wide.”

    63. The Nigerian city of Kano in 1851 produced an estimated 10 million pairs of sandals and 5 million hides each year for export.

    64. In 1246 AD Dunama II of Kanem-Borno exchanged embassies with Al-Mustansir, the king of Tunis. He sent the North African court a costly present, which apparently included a giraffe. An old chronicle noted that the rare animal “created a sensation in Tunis”.

    65. By the third century BC the city of Carthage on the coast of Tunisia was opulent and impressive. It had a population of 700,000 and may even have approached a million. Lining both sides of three streets were rows of tall houses six storeys high.

    66. The Ethiopian city of Axum has a series of 7 giant obelisks that date from perhaps 300 BC to 300 AD. They have details carved into them that represent windows and doorways of several storeys. The largest obelisk, now fallen, is in fact “the largest monolith ever made anywhere in the world”. It is 108 feet long, weighs a staggering 500 tons, and represents a thirteen-storey building.

    67. Ethiopia minted its own coins over 1,500 years ago. One scholar wrote that: “Almost no other contemporary state anywhere in the world could issue in gold, a statement of sovereignty achieved only by Rome, Persia, and the Kushan kingdom in northern India at the time.”

    68. The Ethiopian script of the 4th century AD influenced the writing script of Armenia. A Russian historian noted that: “Soon after its creation, the Ethiopic vocalised script began to influence the scripts of Armenia and Georgia. D. A. Olderogge suggested that Mesrop Mashtotz used the vocalised Ethiopic script when he invented the Armenian alphabet.”

    69. “In the first half of the first millennium CE,” says a modern scholar, Ethiopia “was ranked as one of the world’s greatest empires”. A Persian cleric of the third century AD identified it as the third most important state in the world after Persia and Rome.

    70. Ethiopia has 11 underground mediaeval churches built by being carved out of the ground. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries AD, Roha became the new capital of the Ethiopians. Conceived as a New Jerusalem by its founder, Emperor Lalibela (c.1150-1230), it contains 11 churches, all carved out of the rock of the mountains by hammer and chisel. All of the temples were carved to a depth of 11 metres or so below ground level. The largest is the House of the Redeemer, a staggering 33.7 metres long, 23.7 metres wide and 11.5 metres deep.

    71. Lalibela is not the only place in Ethiopia to have such wonders. A cotemporary archaeologist reports research that was conducted in the region in the early 1970’s when: “startling numbers of churches built in caves or partially or completely cut from the living rock were revealed not only in Tigre and Lalibela but as far south as Addis Ababa. Soon at least 1,500 were known. At least as many more probably await revelation.”

    72. In 1209 AD Emperor Lalibela of Ethiopia sent an embassy to Cairo bringing the sultan unusual gifts including an elephant, a hyena, a zebra, and a giraffe.

    73. In Southern Africa, there are at least 600 stone built ruins in the regions of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. These ruins are called Mazimbabwe in Shona, the Bantu language of the builders, and means great revered house and “signifies court”.

    74. The Great Zimbabwe was the largest of these ruins. It consists of 12 clusters of buildings, spread over 3 square miles. Its outer walls were made from 100,000 tons of granite bricks. In the fourteenth century, the city housed 18,000 people, comparable in size to that of London of the same period.

    75. Bling culture existed in this region. At the time of our last visit, the Horniman Museum in London had exhibits of headrests with the caption: “Headrests have been used in Africa since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Remains of some headrests, once covered in gold foil, have been found in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe and burial sites like Mapungubwe dating to the twelfth century after Christ.”

    76. Dr Albert Churchward, author of Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, pointed out that writing was found in one of the stone built ruins: “Lt.-Col. E. L. de Cordes . . . who was in South Africa for three years, informed the writer that in one of the ‘Ruins’ there is a ‘stone-chamber,’ with a vast quantity of Papyri, covered with old Egyptian hieroglyphics. A Boer hunter discovered this, and a large quantity was used to light a fire with, and yet still a larger quantity remained there now.”

    77. On bling culture, one seventeenth century visitor to southern African empire of Monomotapa, that ruled over this vast region, wrote that: “The people dress in various ways: at court of the Kings their grandees wear cloths of rich silk, damask, satin, gold and silk cloth; these are three widths of satin, each width four covados [2.64m], each sewn to the next, sometimes with gold lace in between, trimmed on two sides, like a carpet, with a gold and silk fringe, sewn in place with a two fingers’ wide ribbon, woven with gold roses on silk.”

    78. Southern Africans mined gold on an epic scale. One modern writer tells us that: “The estimated amount of gold ore mined from the entire region by the ancients was staggering, exceeding 43 million tons. The ore yielded nearly 700 tons of pure gold which today would be valued at over $******7.5 billion.”

    79. Apparently the Monomotapan royal palace at Mount Fura had chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. An eighteenth century geography book provided the following data: “The inside consists of a great variety of sumptuous apartments, spacious and lofty halls, all adorned with a magnificent cotton tapestry, the manufacture of the country. The floors, cielings [sic], beams and rafters are all either gilt or plated with gold curiously wrought, as are also the chairs of state, tables, benches &c. The candle-sticks and branches are made of ivory inlaid with gold, and hang from the cieling by chains of the same metal, or of silver gilt.”

    80. Monomotapa had a social welfare system. Antonio Bocarro, a Portuguese contemporary, informs us that the Emperor: “shows great charity to the blind and maimed, for these are called the king’s poor, and have land and revenues for their subsistence, and when they wish to pass through the kingdoms, wherever they come food and drinks are given to them at the public cost as long as they remain there, and when they leave that place to go to another they are provided with what is necessary for their journey, and a guide, and some one to carry their wallet to the next village. In every place where they come there is the same obligation.”

    81. Many southern Africans have indigenous and pre-colonial words for ‘gun’. Scholars have generally been reluctant to investigate or explain this fact.

    82. Evidence discovered in 1978 showed that East Africans were making steel for more than 1,500 years: “Assistant Professor of Anthropology Peter Schmidt and Professor of Engineering Donald H. Avery have found as long as 2,000 years ago Africans living on the western shores of Lake Victoria had produced carbon steel in preheated forced draft furnaces, a method that was technologically more sophisticated than any developed in Europe until the mid-nineteenth century.”

    83. Ruins of a 300 BC astronomical observatory was found at Namoratunga in Kenya. Africans were mapping the movements of stars such as Triangulum, Aldebaran, Bellatrix, Central Orion, etcetera, as well as the moon, in order to create a lunar calendar of 354 days.

    84. Autopsies and caesarean operations were routinely and effectively carried out by surgeons in pre-colonial Uganda. The surgeons routinely used antiseptics, anaesthetics and cautery iron. Commenting on a Ugandan caesarean operation that appeared in the Edinburgh Medical Journal in 1884, one author wrote: “The whole conduct of the operation . . . suggests a skilled long-practiced surgical team at work conducting a well-tried and familiar operation with smooth efficiency.”

    85. Sudan in the mediaeval period had churches, cathedrals, monasteries and castles. Their ruins still exist today.

    86. The mediaeval Nubian Kingdoms kept archives. From the site of Qasr Ibrim legal texts, documents and correspondence were discovered. An archaeologist informs us that: “On the site are preserved thousands of documents in Meroitic, Latin, Greek, Coptic, Old Nubian, Arabic and Turkish.”

    87. Glass windows existed in mediaeval Sudan. Archaeologists found evidence of window glass at the Sudanese cities of Old Dongola and Hambukol.

    88. Bling culture existed in the mediaeval Sudan. Archaeologists found an individual buried at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in the city of Old Dongola. He was clad in an extremely elaborate garb consisting of costly textiles of various fabrics including gold thread. At the city of Soba East, there were individuals buried in fine clothing, including items with golden thread.

    89. Style and fashion existed in mediaeval Sudan. A dignitary at Jebel Adda in the late thirteenth century AD was interned with a long coat of red and yellow patterned damask folded over his body. Underneath, he wore plain cotton trousers of long and baggy cut. A pair of red leather slippers with turned up toes lay at the foot of the coffin. The body was wrapped in enormous pieces of gold brocaded striped silk.

    90. Sudan in the ninth century AD had housing complexes with bath rooms and piped water. An archaeologist wrote that Old Dongola, the capital of Makuria, had: “a[n] . . . eighth to . . . ninth century housing complex. The houses discovered here differ in their hitherto unencountered spatial layout as well as their functional programme (water supply installation, bathroom with heating system) and interiors decorated with murals.”

    91. In 619 AD, the Nubians sent a gift of a giraffe to the Persians.

    92. The East Coast, from Somalia to Mozambique, has ruins of well over 50 towns and cities. They flourished from the ninth to the sixteenth centuries AD.

    93. Chinese records of the fifteenth century AD note that Mogadishu had houses of “four or five storeys high”.

    94. Gedi, near the coast of Kenya, is one of the East African ghost towns. Its ruins, dating from the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries, include the city walls, the palace, private houses, the Great Mosque, seven smaller mosques, and three pillar tombs.

    95. The ruined mosque in the Kenyan city of Gedi had a water purifier made of limestone for recycling water.

    96. The palace in the Kenyan city of Gedi contains evidence of piped water controlled by taps. In addition it had bathrooms and indoor toilets.

    97. A visitor in 1331 AD considered the Tanzanian city of Kilwa to be of world class. He wrote that it was the “principal city on the coast the greater part of whose inhabitants are Zanj of very black complexion.” Later on he says that: “Kilwa is one of the most beautiful and well-constructed cities in the world. The whole of it is elegantly built.”

    98. Bling culture existed in early Tanzania. A Portuguese chronicler of the sixteenth century wrote that: “They are finely clad in many rich garments of gold and silk and cotton, and the women as well; also with much gold and silver chains and bracelets, which they wear on their legs and arms, and many jewelled earrings in their ears”.

    99. In 1961 a British archaeologist, found the ruins of Husuni Kubwa, the royal palace of the Tanzanian city of Kilwa. It had over a hundred rooms, including a reception hall, galleries, courtyards, terraces and an octagonal swimming pool.

    100. In 1414 the Kenyan city of Malindi sent ambassadors to China carrying a gift that created a sensation at the Imperial Court. It was, of course, a giraffe.

    check me out on MYSPACE @ www.myspace.com/clove
    posted by C Love "The Rap Addict" @ 5/03/2007 04:31:00 PM   0 comments
    Baltimore, Get Up Stand Up! Don't Give Up the Fight!
    Although I know the same is probably true all over the world.....I'm in Baltimore.....some im going to speak on that! Please walk with me......

    I am college educated, no kids, socially conscious and TRULY want to make a difference in my community.

    I sometimes feel so lost when it comes to how to actually go about doing this.

    I've attended prominent historically black schools all my life ....so I am versed in my history, but now all I have is the anger, mistrust, and fears of my parents....& very little insight on how to create possibilities for people less fortunate than I. There is no blue print.
    Because black people are so disconnected on so many levels (we still have light skin vs dark skin arguments)....its very hard to find other people like myself who want more. People who are tired of POC being seen as lazy, shiftless, dumb, ignorant, moraless, etc. I know this is not true, but it seems as though the ignorance is the only aspect of the black american existence that is given a worldwide platform.

    I know like minded people are out here, but unfortunately....there really are no systems into place which make it easier for people to link up and build on a local level.

    I've been courted by the black nationalists ....and while I FEEL them on many levels.....they were scary and their ideas seem a bit dated (sorry)......& the "YBP-type" events are all lipgloss and chocolate martinis...very pretentious (and fake - this is a blue collar city....LOL!) and offer no practical solutions to everyday problems (i.e schools, crime, housing, trash, landscaping, pollution, etc.) No real dialogue occurs.


    My city is and always has been racially segregated. I so rather deal with the reality than fuss about how racist the city government's policies are day in and day out. There is very little motivation to change the status quo.

    Most of the poor people (most of whom are AA) live on the "tubercular " West Side of the City and most of the white city dwellers are flocking to the newer developments in the East and the historically white encloves elsewhere with very little mixing .

    The difference is astounding when you drive through the streets of Baltimore. IN SOME AREAS ITS DOWN RIGHT DISRESPECTFUL!!!
    Listen..... lemme be clear: I'm not even mad that non-POC have chosen not to invest in the predominantly black communities....I'm upset that my people spend so much money in other areas and aren't mad that they have to go outside of their neighbors to get basic necessities (i.e. produce)and that my people are not more motivated to come together and create our own legacy in this city.

    Please don't think I'm judging anyone....I too have work, bills and responsibilities, but at this point in the game we have absolutely no choice but to dig deep and give more of ourselves for the betterment of all mankind and the success of future generations. All the heathens out here causing havoc today will be the grown up that try to knock me down when I'm elderly. We cannot run away from the problem of the inner cities any longer.
    No one is going to make our communities better. Most non-POC in Baltimore see the problems in our communities as ours...and many think that the condition of our communities further prove that we are animals or sub human.
    All kinds of REAL, Large scale development is going on everywhere but in the black community. Why is that? I'm not talking about opening hair salons, barber shops, chicken shacks, corner sanctuaries......where are the family restaurants.....the internet cafes.....the playground....credit counseling organizations...clinics...starbucks?

    I for one am tired of waiting for somebody ...ANYBODY (usually a white man) to come and build up my community.....to come save my community.....that's what my parents did and you see where we are now......

    I want to do more...I want to be part of changing the landscape of my city, but there is no way I can do it alone. There is more money in the hood than ANYWHERE!! We have ENORMOUS buying power as a people. There is a reason Mondawnmin is the richest mall in MD.
    Let's stop acting like someone else is going to treat us better than we treat ourselves. LET'S JUST GET REAL!!!
    That's all Im saying.

    I am the 2nd person in my family to graduate from college....no one has left me a house ....or money in trust....I don't have a dad to help me start a new biz....I was born a credit risk......I make ok money, but I am just barely paying my bills....I don't see how I alone can get ahead. I can't get AHEAD..... The system is not set up for me and you to. So what can we do? Wait to die?

    Now....my question to the world:

    How can we get to a place (as a people) where we love one another as black people if we are wasting so much time arguing who's theories of how we got here (2007) is the most correct?

    How can we progress when the black people who have a little more can no longer identify with thier bredren and sistren who have been unable to get off the exercise wheel of ooverty?

    How can we get ahead when....we can't even agree that the word "N*GGA" is not a must have in our vocabulary? There are some blacks that want to argue their right to keep it, but won't fight about being denied the right to vote. And by the way.....Our right to vote is not a law, people.

    I've been reading some pretty assinine dialougue online lately....one thing I found particularly troubling was this idea that says there are 3 types of black people (AA, Black and N*GGA).

    Why do WE say such stupid things all the time.....all this talk about 3 types of black ppl further causes the divide. It all boils down to a lack of exposure. The "n*gga" type has decided that he does not want to be a contributing member of society. Regardless of his color (& no WE as a society are not at a place where we can equally apply that label to anyone and everyone be okay with it and understand your intention) should be dealt with accordingly, but as long as we continue to say hurtful things about each other, particularly in the presence of others...we will contiue to give those who DO NOT have our best interest the upperhand. Quit with the name calling. Let's try this one on for size: Most black ppl are habitual followers (even the ones that won't admit it)...let's make loving each other slick.....stop spreading hate and trying to divide us like they did when they grouped us by who was built to be the best slave......stop calling this kind of dialogue progress....its does nothing but alienate people (the n*ggas as well as the the ppl that want to help everyone).


    Baltimore is anchored by 2 HBCUs (Morgan State U and Coppin U).....how can we build on that? Several thousands of college educated POC graduate every year........??? What kind of programs or legistlature can we come up with that will interest young black professionals in homesteading or at least make the idea of homeownership less scary? What about Co-ops for people that aren't ready to jump out and buy on their own initially? There is no good reason why we start thinking about building wealth so late in life. Plus.....Baltimore needs more positive examples in the commmunity to balance the crap....How do we make the city government see that they are sitting on a wealth of potential......potentially motivating citizens and tax contributors.

    How do you motivate ppl and get them to understand that it makes no sense to spend all of your money in a neighborhood where you are not wanted??... My friends work all hard to get a house in the burbs......only to have all of their white neighbors move shortly after because they think more than one black family on a block means trouble "Honey, there goes the neighborhood" & there goes YOUR property value..... I know others who spend 20 + years paying for a house in the county only for them to make the city prime real estate in 2007 and all the ppl that used to inhabit the "revitalized" area (which was the hood when you lived there as a child) are now your neighors....the very people you ran from initially.
    Where are my HBCU grads....is there any pride or connectedness in that?
    Until rap starts to really address what's going on in the hood and not just the debauchury (drugs, murder, sex, ect.) ....I'ma let yall have it! All these rappers like to holla out that they keep it real.....mmmmmmmmmh Im starting to wonder. Rap is becoming so played to this 80's baby. I live Hip Hop...I don't have to do anything more than breathe.

    check me out on MYSPACE @ www.myspace.com/clove
    posted by C Love "The Rap Addict" @ 5/03/2007 02:13:00 PM   0 comments
    About Me

    Name: C Love "The Rap Addict"
    Home: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, United States
    See my complete profile
    Recent Posts
    Chatter Box
    "Fire and Brimstone" Video Shoot
    Rap / Hip Hop
    Spoken Word
  • 5th L
  • Olu Butterfly
  • HGE
  • E the Poet Emcee (TLE)
  • Rebecca Dupas
  • LOVE (TLE)
  • My Life
    Template by

    Free Blogger Templates