TRADE, AID AND GENDER
By Nachi Aguboshim, (Nachi is an intern at youth desk of African Echo media group).
Knowledge is truly a gift, a gift that needs to be passed on from generation to generation, when referring to the knowledge of black history this importance is even greater, and this was defiantly the case when I attended 'Trade, Aid and Gender' a 100 Black Men production. Now this knowledge of black history, which at time isn't taught to black people, is vital when educating both the young and old generations on both the ordeals and triumphs of our ancestors.
With a strong urge to feed my brain and educate myself on black history, I went to South Bank University to watch 100 Black Men's production Trade, Aid and Gender. For those who don't know 100 Black men are an organisation of African-Caribbean men who look to develop the quality of life in their communities, by educating and informing the community about black history.
The production Trade, Aid and Gender looked to educate people, (through various videos) on the reasons why many African nations are poor and why European nations are so wealthy.
'Life & Debt' was a powerful video that established the economical problems Jamaica faces due to the influence of both the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank.
The video went into detail looking at the way America controls Jamaica's economy, not by direct ownership but by debt.
This debt meant that a country such as Jamaica with many natural commodities is being leeched by both America and Europe. With the influence of big companies acting like parasites, sucking the life out of Jamaica's farming trade as well as the trading barriers being Introduced, Jamaica's economy still remains undeveloped, and as a result so does the way of life in Jamaica, with basic schools and a poor infrastructure, the future looks grim.
'Profits of Doom' looked at the struggles in Ghana and the way that the lives of Ghanaian communities were desecrated due to resources like gold being mined and shipped out of Ghana.
The programme also consisted of the Odiri in Tanzania film, where storyteller Odiri Ighamre-Aiken used the visual art of story telling to both help bring out the creative side of children in Tanzania, as well as educate them on African History.
Along with the 'How to manage your money' session with Paul Lawrence and the 'How Britain benefited from colonialism' clips the education through film programme policy helped to inform and educate all involved.
It was so refreshing to see the black community both old and young generations unite to debate and ask questions about their history. One of the unique things about 100 black Men and their mission to educate the black community on its history is the hope that it offers for the future.
By instilling these key historical facts into the minds of both youths and adults is that it offers them knowledge, knowledge that they can pass on, as it was passed on to them. If we were living in an ideal word hopefully organisations like 100 Black Men wouldn't be needed. But, however until there are no social, cultural and racial divides, organisations like these are fundamental to enhancing the legacy of black history.
Amongst all the learning I did manage to catch up with 100 Black Men member, Paul Lawrence to ask him some much needed questions.
Just some background information for our readers, how did 100 Black Men come about?
It started in the US back in the 60's basically a group of black men got together, they considered that it would be appropriate for black men to take the lead in developing their community. Whether it was a myth or not it, but the idea was that they suggested that if 100 black men got together there would be no reason why they couldn't make good substantial change within their community. And that really is how the group came together.
So what was the inspiration behind Trade, Aid and Gender?
Well Trade, Aid and Gender that's just one of the films that we show, the idea behind the 100 is that we work on four premiers, we work on mentoring, we work on education, we work on health development and we work on economic development. So from the point of view of the film show that's part of our education mandate and we looked at the films that we were showing and we felt,
that yeah this is a good way to mix up the two. Not just to show something about education but certainly to show people something that is towards economic development.
So what do you feel is the importance to making our people aware of our history?
Well the old cliché, if you don't know your history you are doomed to repeat it and I think that people would agree that there are several parts of our history that we wouldn't like to repeat. So we feel that that history is important. Further as a mentoring organisation we also feel that it is very, very important that our young people see black people who have acted successfully all over our history, unfortunately that is hardly ever shown. So we feel it is important to take time out
and talk about black history.
Referring to our history, what do you feel Black History Month has done for the exposure of black history?
I think that black history month is very, very useful, we see it as a very important part of what is going on, what we're always eager to remind people in our programmes is that it is a shame we have to have one (Black History Month) in truth we shouldn't have to have one, black history, there shouldn't be a word as black history, what there should just be is history. It is because our history is excluded from mainstream history that is why we have something called black history. So having black history month is very, very important.
Can we look forward to any events in the future?
Yeah, the first thing to remember is that our black history month films aren’t just for black history month we show films all year round. If you're on our email you'll get that, or if people want to log onto our site you can get information for that and that's every single month we do that.
I usually like to leave the readers with something positive to think about, so this is when I usually like to ask the interviewee for a quote, that they would like to give
If you want to go back to a quote, which is often used in the 100 and one thing that we like to say as men: 'It doesn't matter what car I drive or the size of the house I live in, as long as I can say at the end of my life that I've changed the life of a child then I've been there for somebody' You can check the 100 Black Men website on: www.100mbol.org.uk in order to get all the latest news on their events and meetings. And please don't forget:
FEED YOUR MIND, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER