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Is it me or does it irk you when non-Afrikanz choose to put themselves in positionz of leadership for Afrikan causes? I mean, if it's not at our most sacred of ritualz like the Ancestral Tribute at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY, they’re doin’ documentaries like ‘Rise!’, or hosting and/or DJin’ Hiphop concerts or poetry slamz.
What’s worse is I see most black folk have no problem with it (guess I’m the last of the tribe). But before you think "M’Bwebe’s on some “hate YT” -ish," consider this... it’s one thing to have them at our functionz, it’s another to let them takeover—and this is exactly what’s happenin’ ya’ll. It’s a takeover!
If you study the nature of YT, they simply can’t humble themselves enough to just be a bystander. They start out comin’ across all innocent and shit, next thing you know, they done bolted to the front of the line, tryin’ to house -ish! And most are able to ‘cause they see it differently than we do. They see opportunity, plus in many cases they’re able to fund this opportunity (not that we can’t, we just don’t see it this way). Picture a brotha comin’ to a KKK rally as a bystander, then eventually, bein’ the host or lead speaker at the rally... YT would see that would never happen!
Bottom line, if Afrikanz continue to allow non-Afrikanz to take control of Afrikan life, next think ya know, they gonna start namin’ themselves after Afrikanz... Oh wait, it’s already goin’ down!
Take this situation I had with a ‘Wafrikan’ (Wannabe Afrikan); a palestinian girl who chose to go by the name—now get this—Harrabic Tubman! I was sent an email from her, requesting to establish a working relationship via one of these social websites. Here’s my response:
[M'BWEBE'S RESPONSE TO FRIEND REQUEST FROM myspace.com/harrabictubman]
You should know the great responsibility that comes with choosing to name yourself after someone, especially as great a woman as my Ancestor Harriet Tubman! To what works have you done to measure up to the weight her name carries? You think 'cause you “adopted” Hiphop and hang around a few Afrikanz-in-America it validates you as one to take on such a name?!
Further, if you did just a little research, you’d know Afrikanz have not ever had a positive relationship with Arabz (nor europeanz for that matter), so you even FURTHER DISRESPECT Sis. Harriet by changin' it to Harrabic! I can't understand why you didn’t choose someone from your culture to name yourself after?! If you claim 'Palestine 4Ever', whynot further honor it by choosin' a Palestinian martyr?!!?
Now you may do with this message what you will. You may choose to disregard it totally and take this as some kind of hate mail, but it truly, truly isn't. It seemz obvious no one has ever pulled you aside to tell you this, and if they have... well let's just hope no one has... because that would further imply (since you still go by this name) your intent to disrespect!
You should also know that not every Afrikan here in America blindly supports those who further desecrate (consciously or subconsciously) our legacy by picking and choosing parts of our culture to benefit as they see fit—hence the reason for this email...
This all came about from you requesting to be a friend on one of these social networking sites. I can't see how I can at this time. Perhaps you can explain how and why you chose this name...
[HARRABIC TUBMAN RESPONSE]
I have been on underground radio for 7 years and trust me, it is not easy. I started on 91.9FM with my name "Nancy Mansour". They then wanted us to pay for our airtime. I refused and left the station. My name"Harrabic Tubman" is to represent the fact that I have been giving artists (slaves of this corrupted music industry) a chance to be heard by over half a million listeners world-wide with no pay-per-play nonsense. I do not get paid for what I do. I direct and produce the show. I am a very firm believer in the right to existance. It is an honor for me to explain to many many Afrikan-Americans who she is. You would be shocked to learn how many people do not know who she is. Therefore, I do not feel that I am disrespecting, I feel that I am educating along with keeping an extremely powerful/strong and respected woman's name alive.
I am aware of past issues between Arabs and Afrikans, mind you, most of North Afrika is of Arabic population (would they be Afrikan Arabs?). I believe that our"Struggle" is one. If you have done your research on Palestine and keep up with current affairs over there, then you are aware that Palestinians are treated in pretty much the same way as Afrikan slaves in the U.S. and have been for over 60 years. This is not to ever compare but just to explain that my people are still going through this...every day. It is my heritage and my education that makes me who I am today. Just know that the likes of William Lynch will never lead me to seperate myself from anyone that feels the pain I do when I think about my people. There's only one oppressor and as long as we know who that is...we are on the same side representing the same struggle.
I do not have a few "Afrikan-American" friends and I did not "adopt Hip-Hop" as you put it... I have been following Hip Hop from the days of Big Daddy Kane, Tribe Called Quest, Brand Nubian, X-Clan, Melly Mel—the list could go on and on (except not further back but forward as I am only 26!) but just trying to tell you that I didn't "adopt" anything, I educated myself on everything.
Oh yeah, my husband is Afrikan... I hope you are not too offended and maybe understand a little more as to why I name myself after the wonderful Harriet Tubman. Peace and blessings,
[M'BWEBE'S 2nd RESPONSE]
Now I appreciate the fact that you're willing to explain why you chose such a name, but I ask that you listen/re-read what you said... You say you wanted to provide an outlet for "slaves" of the corrupted music industry. Very bad choice of wordz, yo! This is one of the root's of the problem, why do you non-Afrikan people alwayz feel it is you who feel has been anointed to "free"or in your case, provide an outlet for us?!!?
The act isn't as problematic, providing an opportunity for hedz to be heard is to be commended, but when you add on your choice of name and the history behind my Ancestor Tubman, it becomes an issue. See, Sis. Harriet was enslaved and she chose to free those like her by actually leading them to freedom numerous tymz! You obviously are not of Afrikan Ancestry, more specifically, a descendant of those enslaved in america. Your actionz are no better than white libertarianz leading the Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s—perhaps callin' yourself the modern 'John Brown' is more accurate!
No, I'm not shocked that many of my people are not aware of Ancestor Tubman (and a host of other Afrikanz of antiquity) for various reasonz, obviously via the educational-entertainment system of america and their plight to continue the concealed history of Afrikan people and their contributionz to society. Most think Barack Obama is the 2nd black president of the united states, 2nd not to John Hanson (1781- 82), but Bill Clinton!
So, in my eyes, you are disrespecting; or more correct, in Black-face! It’s just a shame more of my people haven’t put you in check! And although your intent, again, is admirable, disrespect is disrespect... Impersonating is just like plagiarizm!
The issues between Afrikanz and arabic people is ONGOING! As said before, islam has been enforced on my people just like christianity and judaizm. You mention the Palestinian people, and although any form of forced deprivation is criminal, their plight doesn’t come close to the continued GLOBAL mental and physical enslavement descendants of Afrika have endured and continue to for some 6000 yearz! Palestinian people still have their culture, they have their nationality, they have their names; Afrikan people have had to recreate our culture (ie, Hiphop), many globally without a nationality and definitely not our Ancestral surnames. So you see, we are very different "victimz" if you will, indeed. To compare the two is like comparing organic to GMO'd (genetically modified organizm) fruit... it's an imposter!
And no, this isn't a "my people has caught more hell than yourz" tag, I'm just stating a fact. 60 yearz pales in comparison to 6000! Sayin' that, if it is your heritage and education that makes you who you are, why is your choice to impersonate the spirit of an Afrikan martyr rather than one of your own origin?!!? Would doin' so not bring honor to your people?? You even have next to your site name, “PALESTINE 4EVER” Are you aware arabic people were also involved in the (en)slaved trade of Afrikan people?! Can you tell me your ancestorz would not deprive Tubman of her natural god-given rights of freedom?!!? The name "Harrabic Tubman" is completely oxymoronic!
I agree (to some degree) that there is a"majority" oppressor. But everyone knowz out of all ethnicities in the world, Afrikan people ALWAYZ gets it the worse!! This may be hard for you to fathom but when you are a part of a people that constantly gets the short-end of the stick, it's madd difficult for someone who catches less hell, try to line up pleaing the same atrocities [no, I'm not gonna focus on the Maangamizi (the Middle Passage), there are many more recent atrocities against my people simply because we represent a simple fact most "in-the-know" knowz... that Afrikan people represent the genetic annihilation to those with less-melanin.
This is not to boost my peoples ego's, but you know we fly (you DID say you are married to an Afrikan, didn't you? Hmmm, interesting, as well as typical, ‘cause it probably makes you feel entitled to "save us"). The whole world basically does nothin' but take, steal and adopt (plagiarize) wayz of my people, from the dayz of and before the Nile Valley, Medu Neter aka heiroglyphs, the Moorz of the America's (here before the so-called 'Native Americanz'), inventionz (look up the countless black inventorz who still get no props today), art, dance, music—including jazz, rock'n'roll and yes, Hiphop...
Maybe if otherz who are oppressed realized that and instead of wanting to take positionz of leadership when it comes to OUR fight, instead used the same energy for their own causes, we COULD collab and fight the majority oppressor together.
I am a firm follower of cause and effect and I feel you reachin' out to me was s'posed to happen. At first I was just gonna deny your friend request. But I decided I needed to tell you what you’ve now read. So when I said you adopted Hiphop, it doesn't matter how long you been "down", you were not born into it. It was not a part of your culture. And even if it is now, it originated from Afrikan soulz, so yes, in termz of definition, you have adopted Hiphop, just as you've adopted our struggle (without Afrikan consent) and taken it as yourz instead of focusing on your own.
Educating yourself about Hiphop is even further proof of your adoption, for you had to learn it from somewhere outside of your culture just as you chose to annoint yourself with Ancestor Tubman's name. Is that not adoption?
And lastly, I just gotta comment on the statement you made on your marital status... as said, that's typical. Although I personally think it is important for an Afrikan man to be with an Afrikan woman and vice-versa, in these dayz, "love is love" and I gotta accept the fact that there are those who unfortunately may not wanna marry their own. But you need to know that just 'cause you married to a Black man doesn't give you a "Black card", aka an unlimited access to our struggle!
Again, you doin' somethin' to be a part of the movement is admirable, but there are many positionz in the struggle and I personally think you overstepped yourz jumpin’ to the front of the line when you chose the name you go by and your reasonz for doin’ so.
I realize you may not change your name, certainly not because of my request, but I do hope you take into account these wordz and realize you are bein' watched and when you put yourself "out there", you leave yourself open for criticizm. So I really do hope you reconsider and discontinue impersonating my Anceostor... still do the work, refrain from dishonoring your own people by focusing on their/your needz and change the name to one that honorz their/your legacy, for their memory needz to be preserved too...
By the way, friendship request denied...
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