Why It Doesn’t Matter If The Next Pope Is Black
With Pope Benedict XVI having officially quit on the 28th of February, there is a possibility that a ‘first’ black pope will become his successor.
If everyone looked a little further into the past, you’d actually find that if the next pope was a black pope, he wouldn’t be the first one.
According to the Liber Pontificalis (a record of names of popes since the first pope, St. Peter), there have been three black popes:
- St Victor (186 - 198)
- St Miltiades (311 - 314)
- St Gelasius (492 - 496)
There is a possibility that there have been many more black popes, particularly because of the Moorish presence in Europe.
The enthusiasm about a possible black pope
A lot of people seem hopeful and enthusiastic about the prospect of having a first black pope in 1500 years. The pope will be leader of the most powerful Church in the world. So while I understand people’s excitement, I really believe that we shouldn’t put too much value in the importance of having a black pope…
I genuinely believe that a black pope wouldn’t make a difference to people’s lives in the African Diaspora.
The pope would still put the Catholic Church’s agenda first, because remember, he is ‘leader’ of the Catholics, not of black people. The pope will solely focus on his job as the pope, not as a saviour for black people everywhere.
The other sad reality is that even when we have leadership positions and the potential to do great or good for ourselves, we don’t. A great example of this is Kofi Annan as former United Nations Secretary General, who didn’t do enough to prevent the Rwandan genocide.
Black leaders in any position, are always pressured to not solely improve their own communities in case of backlash, accusations of abusing their power to carry out their own agenda and not the one they’ve been assigned to or because of fear of no possible re-election.
A black pope is welcome, but we don’t need it as validation of our ability to become leaders.
12:50 pm • 2 March 2013 • 2 notes
Artists: Watermark Your Work.
Remember to always watermark your work. Know your value. Protect your work.
6:41 pm • 21 February 2013 • 2 notes
The Pokémon Blackface: Jynx
Originally called Rougela in the Japanese version of Pokémon, Jynx is a humanoid Pokémon which resembles a bulky woman.
Jynx are a psychic Pokémon which also have the ability to control ice and snow. Jynx mainly communicate through dance and walk in a dance-like fashion, wiggling their hips in a seductive manner.
Jynx wear a red gown (which cover its feet), have white arms and purple hands. Jynx also have a purple face, large pink lips, saucer-like eyes and long, straight blonde hair.
The colour of her face was changed to purple as her original black coloured face caused controversy.
Jynx’s original design.
Jynx’s new and current design.
How did Jynx’s design change?
Culture critic Carole Boston Weatherford described Jynx as a blackface character.
She wrote an article where she explained that Jynx negatively stereotyped African Americans. She wrote that:
The character Jynx, Pokémon #124, has decidedly human features [in contrast to most other characters]: jet-black skin, huge pink lips, gaping eyes, a straight blonde mane and a full figure, complete with cleavage and wiggly hips. Put another way, Jynx resembles an overweight drag queen incarnation of Little Black Sambo, a racist stereotype from a children’s book long ago purged from libraries.
Weatherford’s complaints did not go unnoticed. Jynx’s in-game sprites were given a purple skin colour in the American versions of the Pokémon Gold and Silver (released in 2000). By 2002, Nintendo redesigned Jynx, changing her skin colour from black to purple.
In the animated series of Pokémon, the change of skin colour occurred in 2005. In the mangas, Jynx appears dark gray rather than black, implying that Jynx are purple and not black.
Jynx’s appearance was also heavily criticised by Washington Post writer Mary C. Morton, IGN and GameDaily.
The defence for Jynx’s appearance
There are many explanations for Jynx’s appearance, these include:
- Jynx is based on a Nordic or Viking princess; legends say that the blistering cold turned a princess’ skin black
- Jynx has origins in Japanese spirits known as Yuki-onna and Yama Uba. Yuki-onna lack feet which is akin to Jynx’s feet being covered by her red dress. Yama Uba’s traits include a tattered red kimono, blonde hair, control over snow, dark-colored skin and large lips; traits which are evident in Jynx
- Jynx may be a parody of or paying homage to the Ganguro or Yamanba fashion trends
- The book Gaming Cultures and Place in Asia-Pacific claims that Jynx’s design draws upon the humour of heta-uma (good/bad) and that the design also oscillates between the poles of good and bad
Another possible origin for Jynx:
The original Jynx in Pokémon episode Holiday Hi-Jynx
Weatherford’s full letter and a detailed arguments for and against Jynx and her appearance can be found here.
3:09 pm • 10 February 2013 • 6 notes
Ten Inventions by Young Africans.
Africans do not get the recognition they deserve.
Listed below (this list is not a ranking) are ten individuals who are of African descent and their recent inventions or contributions;
Aged 11, Kenyan Richard Turere had enough of lions attacking his family’s cattle. He invented the Lion Light. He observed lions and found out that they are naturally afraid of people. He decided to take LED bulbs from broken flashlights and created an automated lighting system of five torch bulbs around the cattle stockade. The bulbs were wired to a box with switches and to an old car battery charged with a solar panel that operates his family’s television set. The light points outwards into the darkness. The lights flash in sequence, giving the impression that someone is walking around the stockade. No lion has attacked the house since.
Richard has installed the same Lion Lights for his neighbours.
When he was 14 years old, Tony Hansberry II of the United States, created a surgical technique for performing hysterectomy. This surgical technique can be used to reduce risk of complications and the duration of the hysterectomy procedure.
Tony was also honoured for his medical contributions to aiding in and strengthening the African American community.
Kelvin Doe aka DJ Focus is 16 and from Sierra Leone. He searches trash cans for broken electronic devices and uses them to create something himself. He’s made his own battery to power the light in people’s houses and he’s even made his own FM radio transmitter and a generator to power it. With his own radio station, he plays music and goes by the name ‘DJ Focus’.
Kelvin Macharia Kuria of Kenya, was 17 when he experimented mixing extracts from shrubs to keep ants out of his family’s home. The ants were killed and he invented a home-made insecticide known as Aloemexhot. He is still developing his insecticide and claims it is organic and does not contain any synthetic chemicals.
When he was 18, Morris Mbetsa of Kenya, invented an anti-theft device known as the Block and Track. It is an SMS-based vehicle security system that allows car owners to monitor their vehicle from a distance. The system enables car owners to lock their car doors or stop their car when it’s stolen… via text!
At age 21, Ludwick Marishane invented a ‘bath without water’ formula; DryBath, which is an anti germicidal skin lotion/gel. DryBath is used by people who either don’t want to have a bath or live in conditions where water availability is unpredictable.
Ludwick was also the first African to win the Global Student Entrepreneur Award for his invention.
26-year-old Verone Mankou of the Republic of Congo, invented the Way-C tablet; the first African iPad rival. The Way-C Tablet is affordable and available in Congo. With his invention, Mankou wants to bring Internet access to as many people as possible.
Verone has since also created a smartphone known as Elikia.
Aged 18, Joel Mwale suffered from dysentry. As he was recovering, he was thinking of an idea to make drinking water safe. After being released from hospital, he invested his life savings and build a borehole in his village. He and local volunteers and tradesmen, eventually found water. They put in pipes, infrastructure and a mechanical system to extract the water. Four years on, the project still provides clean water to about 500 households.
Joel also won the Azisha prize, an African award for innovation that comes with a $30,000 prize.
24-year-old Arthur Zang, a Cameroonian engineer, invented the Cardiopad. The Cardiopad is a portable, touch screen device that enables heart examinations such as the electrocardiogram to be performed at remote locations while results of the test, are transferred wirelessly to specialists who can interpret them.
Arthur Zang also became a finalist in the 2012 CPS Distinguished Award for the Sciences.
After nearly three years of development, 25 Students of Makerere University in Uganda, unveiled an electric car known as the Kiira EV. The Kiira can gain speed of 100km/h and cover 80km before it needs charging.
The Kiira EV team are currently working on an electrical bus.
For a list of African inventors and also updates on inventions, visit: Kumatoo. Special thanks to Positive Black Stories for giving positive black people a platform.
1:56 pm • 3 February 2013 • 62 notes
Hurricane Sandy: First World Problems vs Third World Problems
We are desensitised to any sort of devastation in an underdeveloped nation such as Haiti.
Our desensitisation doesn’t come as a surprise because many of us have heard about these atrocities in impoverished nations ever since we were born. We’ve learned to accept and expect it.
When disaster strikes impoverished nations in the form of a war, natural disasters and famine, our response is usually lackluster and exponentially more indifferent than our reaction towards disasters in the First World. Of course this isn’t the case for every single disaster, but it’s important to note that when there is a reaction, it tends to be temporary and whoever is affected by said disaster is then quickly forgotten.
Our desensitisation towards what happens elsewhere in the world, besides the Western world, is a problem. Why? Because at the moment, news stations find it absolutely vital to report that a number of cars have flooded in New York City… or that a tree has fallen over in the streets of Queens or that there’s an underground/subway tunnel filled with water in Manhattan.
These are all insignificant and trivial elements of Hurricane Sandy that do not really matter when you compare it to the devastation in the Third World. However, these insignificant and trivial elements are repeated over and over again on TV/internet/newspapers because it ‘never really happens here’.
Hey, at least it is guaranteed that whatever has exploded, burned down, collapsed or flooded on the East Coast, will be fixed as soon as possible. We can’t say the same about Haiti…
Compare the shut down of ‘the city that never sleeps’ to the 200k people made homeless in Haiti due to Sandy. Is it at all fair that barely any news outlet is reporting this? Shouldn’t this be front page news?
Is all of this attention on New York City because the ‘devastation’ in NYC (a total concrete jungle with Central Park as one of its only bits of artificial nature) is a reminder that we too are vulnerable to nature?
In the Metro newspaper today, there was a small article on news sites’ unavailability due to the power outage, resulting in a ‘US news blackout’. Metro newspaper conveniently blocked out any news of Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean in their newspaper today.
The Metro newspaper was also thoughtful enough to include a story of some British tourist/expat/journalist/whatever having to deal with the idea that even New York city is fragile and can succumb to nature no matter how unnatural NYC actually is.
It must have been a complete shock for Cheryl Latham to have encountered non-operational traffic lights, tap water, gas, electricity and even phone reception. This is a normal occurrence in many parts of the world where people can’t even get an antibiotic to deal with their bacterial infections.
The perspective of a New Yorker or some tourist in New York is quite irrelevant at this point as it just fills up newspaper pages with unnecessary First World Problems. Complaints such as ‘I’m losing phone signal’ or ‘the power is going to go off and we can’t use the internet no more’ are not newsworthy.
Westerners are privileged enough to be their own journalists through the use of Facebook and Twitter but there are many people around the world who aren’t. Shouldn’t the mainstream media be the voice for those who can’t speak?
The overkill on Hurricane Sandy vs the East Coast in British and US media (not to mention social networking sites) sadly sells. It’s ‘newsworthy’, slightly dramatic and also fear mongering. But we get it. We do get it. The East Coast endured some tragedies but they won’t have to deal with food shortage, dirty water, homelessness etc. This is something that Haiti has to deal with every single day.
8:06 pm • 31 October 2012 • 6 notes