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Ken's Art

Afrikan family in the spot light (Ken and Nathalie)
(By Don Payne)

To be Afrikan

Afrikan Business in the spot light

JAKU OF THE MONTH - Jaku family of the month

Building strong families must be at the top of the agenda for re-building Afrikan communities and nations. For this reason Jaku Konbit celebrate strong Afrikan families by profiling once per month, a family in the Ottawa area community that sets an example of the kind of family life and community conducive to our collective advancement. This month we feature the family of Kenneth and Nathalie Campbell. ken and Nathalie are proud parents of two sons, Joshua (11yrs.) and Kerdeem (5yrs.) and have been married for 11 years. What distinguishes the Campbell family is their ability to strike a successful balance between their family life and work in their community. Ken is the current president and member of the Board of Director of Jaku Konbit and Nathalie is also a Board member and the Chair of the organizations Revenue Generation Committee.

Ken has worked hard since becoming president to establish the Organization as one ready and willing to work constructively with other organizations by engaging personally with community members and leaders around town. The success of his work can be seen in the number of organizations and Individually increasingly turning to Jaku konbit for support and cooperation. Not to be out done by her husband, Nathalie works tirelessly to raise money to pay for the work of the organization. She is responsible for an Afrikan -based membership saving program called "Susu" and the sale of organizational merchandise, such as shirts, mugs and basked goods. Natahlie is straight shooting, competent and pragmatic builder of the organization wealth with the highest level professionalism.

Joshua and Kerdeem have been around the organization paticiapting in all of our activities while witnessing the tremendous deidcation of their parents to ensuring that the community they inherited is one that can fulfill their dreams. In fact, it is widely believed that Kerdeem's first word but definetley his third was "Jaku Konbit". For Joshau he can not wiat to turn twelve, when he officially allowed to join the organization and possibly become a youth member of the Circle of Representatives. Kerdeem, however, will have somewhat longer wait.
In the Afrikan centered world view of JakuKonbit, the community and Nation is an extension of the family. The Afrikan identity cannot be Disconnected from its concept of its extended family bridging ancestors and elders to youth for intergenerational communication that preserves the nation' traditions- pratices and values. As family is the basic unit of nation, join the JakuKonbit in honoring The Campbells as nation builders.

Mental Emancipation
Emancipate yourself.....This inaugural editorial is dedicated to the memory of the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley who immortalized in song a phrase that is an apt Slogan for our times. The complete line goes "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, for none but ourselves can free our minds." The days of physical slavery are long gone for the vast majority of people of Afrikan descent and for many, also gone are the days of open violent coercion and the threat of such. Not gone though are days when white supremacy creates ideas of Afrikan inferiority, enslaving Afrikans to debilitating self-loathing and White idolization producing crippling dependency and stagnation. How did this situation come about? Well, the Eurocentric canon that under-girds the entire pedagogical system of Western civilization is racist. It dates to a time when silencing the Afrikan narrative was a European intellectual project designed to justify theft of continents and of Afrikan bodies. Unfortunately, when we buried those institutions of physical slavery and colonization, mental bondage survived. Nascent Afrikan liberation movements such as Garveyism, Negritude, Afrikan personality and the Harlem Renaissance were strangled at birth and never delivered on their promise to free our minds.

The consequence is a state of affairs in this world that make our ancestors,who never begged nothing in the arts of civilization from no one, shudder in their tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Today, our daughter civilizations in India and China have set out to master the sciences and turn them to their own designs, while Afrikans are begging others to dig wells to bring them clean drinking water. Afrikans all over the world are demonstrating that they would rather Take orders from white people in Europe and America than people who look like them in their own countries. How often have we heard " France, America, England send your armies to stop us from fighting with ourselves?"
One dear friend of mine very recently returned from Ghana where she was nearly universally ill treated because she is of dark skin. In Togo, it was worse. She was physically attacked by a border guard for nothing more than being of dark skin and a woman. In both places her much fairer skin traveling companion was deferred to, assisted and constantly complemented on her beauty. Is it any wonder that two of the hottest selling products for men and women in many Afrikan countries on the continent and in the diaspora are hair straighteners and skin bleach? White supremacy and Black inferiority are in our peoples' heads and we Are heading for self-destruction. If we are to recover, we must now Emancipate ourselves from mental slavery. Jaku Konbit has risen to this challenge and one of our key organizational structures is an education committee prepared to engage in intellectual trench warfare to free Afrikan minds.

The first front in this effort is to reconstruct the Afrikan past. Many of our great thinkers have taken up this challenge and there is a commanding body of work already in place that gives triumphalist zeal to our members. The second front is to reconnect Afrikans to their past. This will require interpretation, as Dr. Chancellor Williams tells us; being the historical object we do not have the luxury of assuming that the facts alone speak for us. This column is intended to engage this challenge. On a regular basis you can expect to read a perspective rooted in the Afrikan worldview. We hope to keep it intelligent, informative and most important of all...liberating. Don Payne Asť

Jaku Konbit Inc. ©2003

Ken's Art