RSS

Tag Archives: West Africa

American Gods, Meet Mr. Nancy…On a Slave Ship

New series on Starz – at least episode 2 looks to be a heck of a watch…

‘American Gods’ Delivers a Powerful Black Lives Matter Message

Actor Orlando Jones—aka Mr. Nancy—opens up about the rousing speech his character delivers aboard a slave ship in the second episode of Starz’s thrilling new series.

It begins on a slave ship, in the cramped, fire-lit hull where stolen men sit chained by the hundreds. One man, face beaded with sweat and desperation, cries out to African spider god Anansi, the trickster: “These strange men have tied my hands,” he quivers. “…Help me from this place and I will sing to you all my life.”

The god appears, anachronistically dapper in a fresh-pressed purple suit and fedora. He laughs. Anansi, or Mr. Nancy as he’s called in America—one of the old-world mythological gods competing for worship in the fantastical universe of Starz’s American Gods—agrees to help. But first, he tells a story.

“Once upon a time, a man got fucked,” he begins. “Now how is that for a story? ‘Cause that the story of black people in America.”

He grins impishly at the men’s blank expressions, then remembers: “Shit!” he says. “You all don’t know you black yet. You think you just people. Let me be the first to tell you that you are all black. The moment these Dutch motherfuckers set foot here and decided that they white and you all get to be black—and that’s the nice name they call you? Let me paint a picture of what’s waiting for you on the shore…”

He stalks the room cavalierly, describing the life that awaits his believers in America. “You all get to be slaves,” he says. “Split up, sold off and worked to death. The lucky ones get Sunday off to sleep, fuck and make more slaves, and all for what? For cotton. Indigo. For a fucking purple shirt.”

There is a silver lining, he says: “The tobacco your grandkids are gonna farm for free is gonna give a shitload of these white motherfuckers cancer.”

Abject terror starts to fill the room. Mr. Nancy sneers. “And I ain’t even started yet,” he says. “A hundred years later, you’re fucked. A hundred years after that? Fucked. A hundred years after you get free, you still getting fucked on the job and shot at by police.” He points his finger like a gun and pulls an invisible trigger. “You are staring down the barrel of 300 years of subjugation, racist bullshit, and heart disease.”

The man who prayed to Anansi begins heaving, furious. “Angry is good,” Mr. Nancy says, pleased. “Angry gets shit done.” He unveils a daring proposal for the men: exact revenge on their captors by burning the ship down, taking their own lives along with it.

Frantically, the men break free of their chains and set fire to the ship, trading their lives to watch their captors burn. A small, purple-hued spider, meanwhile, floats safely out to shore on a piece of driftwood.

And this, we learn, is the story of how the trickster Mr. Nancy came to America.

American Gods, Starz’s brutal, brilliant adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2001 fantasy novel, opens each episode with a vignette like Mr. Nancy’s, telling stories of the bloodshed and sacrifices made by immigrants from around the world when coming to America.

Of course, Mr. Nancy (played mesmerizingly by Sleepy Hollow star Orlando Jones) and the hundreds of thousands of Africans sold and transported to America over the course of 300 years were not immigrants. They were stolen; they did not come by choice. That’s an important distinction—one that swaths of America including public figures (ahem, Ben Carson) would still rather forget.

Mr. Nancy’s thundering speech, then, is an essential reminder: it paints a current-day portrait of slavery’s legacy for black America, explicitly linking it to everyday forms of oppression like poverty, racial profiling, and police brutality. It’s a call to remember the shameful parts of America’s past, and to understand their living impact today.

 The Video – 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Black History, BlackLivesMatter

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Senegal is Free of Ebola

The West African country of Senegal has managed to do something the US hasn’t despite all our vaunted medical facilities, science, and training…

Clear their country of Ebola.

Of course they are probably far to intelligent to have Faux News type conservatwits whimpering and wailing to the rafters getting in the way of the people who could contain the disease.

A view of the Capital City – Dakar

Senegal is free from Ebola, WHO says

The West African nation of Senegal is free of Ebola, the World Health Organization declared Friday, congratulating the country on the diligence that enabled it to repel the threat.

Senegal had only one case, a man who had entered the country by road from Guinea, where he’d had direct contact with an Ebola patient.

The government’s response included identifying and monitoring 74 close contacts made by the man for signs of infection.

It also introduced prompt testing of all suspected cases, increased surveillance at entry points to Senegal and nationwide public awareness campaigns, the WHO statement said.

The patient recovered from Ebola and tested negative for the virus on September 5, the statement said. He’s since returned to Guinea.

Since then, 42 days have passed — double the maximum known incubation period for the virus — without another case, allowing Senegal to be declared free of Ebola.

When the case was first detected, WHO treated it as a public health emergency it said, sending a team of epidemiologists to help local health officials and international partners such as Doctors Without Borders manage the situation.

“The most important lesson for the world at large is this: An immediate, broad-based, and well-coordinated response can stop the Ebola virus, carried into a country in an infected traveler, dead in its tracks,” WHO said.

WHO sounded a note of caution, however, given that Senegal shares a border with Guinea, a hotspot for the disease along with Sierra Leone and Liberia.

“While the outbreak is now officially over, Senegal’s geographical position makes the country vulnerable to additional imported cases of Ebola virus disease,” it said.

Wrestling is the National Sport of Senegal

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 17, 2014 in Africa

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: