November 27, 2019 at 01:30 pm | SUCCESS STORY MILDRED EUROPA TAYLOR | Associate Editor FULL BIOCLOSE Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email November 27, 2019 at 01:30 pm | SUCCESS STORY Support Pan-African JournalismSUBSCRIBE FULL BIO MOST POPULAR RECENT ARTICLES FULL BIO Mildred Europa Taylor is a writer and content creator. She loves writing about health and women’s issues in Africa and the African diaspora. MOST POPULAR RECENT ARTICLES Ghana’s George Ntim named chairman of New York State’s tourism board Fighting off German soldiers single-handedly during WWI, meet the one-man army Henry Johnson The unsolved murder of South Africa’s pioneering investigative journalist under apartheid Drama as Ugandan man finds out his newlywed wife is a man 11.2kshares Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest WhatsApp Email Comment 11.2kshares Motheo Koitsiwe Motheo Koitsiwe developed his passion for indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) research, particularly indigenous astronomy, at a tender age after consuming a lot of stories about the moon and stars. “This passion was ignited by my late grandmother, Mmamodiagane Tladinyane, when she narrated stories, poems, riddles, songs of African night skies and cosmologies around the fireplace,” he said. After many years, these oral traditions of storytelling inspired by the cosmos would motivate him to investigate African indigenous astronomy of the Batswana in Botswana and South Africa. Support Pan-African JournalismSUBSCRIBE MORE ABOUT THIS Julia Collins, the first black woman to co-found $1bn company that uses robots to make pizza African soccer legend Samuel Eto’o enrolls at Harvard University after retirement from the game Public anger in Zimbabwe over a proposal to Universities to impose dress code for female students Self-driving cars more likely to hit black people than whites – study sparks racism fears Koitsiwe has so far received Africa’s first PhD in African indigenous astronomy from the North-West University (NWU), South Africa. He received his degree on October 17 at the campus in Mahikeng, the university announced. In centuries past, Africans had to rely on the natural world around them to keep track of the time, seasons and directions as there were no timekeeping devices like clocks and mobile phones. Africans largely made use of astronomy to structure their lives and keep themselves going. In rural South Africa where people depended on hunting, farming, and harvesting, celestial bodies basically told them when to “till the soil and when the growing season was about to end.” Koitsiwe’s work, which followed a case study approach in investigating the Batswana, revealed that they “use their indigenous knowledge of celestial bodies for agriculture, reproductive health, navigation, time calculation, calendar making, rainmaking and thanksgiving ceremonies, and for natural disaster management.” “Traditional songs, poems and indigenous games are also used as vehicles to transmit knowledge of celestial bodies to younger members of the community to preserve it for posterity,” the university wrote. Prof Mogomme Masoga, who co-supervised Koitsiwe’s doctoral studies, said his student’s thesis has originality and novelty, in other words, it is unique in astronomy. Koitsiwe, who also holds a BA degree in social sciences, as well as an honor’s and a master’s degree in IKS from the NWU, said he is honored to have completed his Ph.D. at the same university. At the moment, he plans to translate his thesis into Setswana “so that it not only reflects the aspirations of academia, but the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela and Batswana in general.” Since 2001, the NWU’s campus in Mahikeng has been the pioneer of IKS in South Africa after starting teaching, learning, and research in IKS that year. “It is the first higher institution of learning in the country to have a registered teaching, learning and research program in IKS, accredited by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA),” said Koitsiwe. Enter email address to receive updates from Face2face Africa
Alissa Zhu and Jimmie E. Gates, Mississippi Clarion LedgerPublished 10:46 p.m. CT Jan. 10, 2020 | Updated 4:01 p.m. CT Jan. 12, 2020 CLOSE 27 Photos PHOTOS: An inside look at Parchman in Mississippi, one of nation’s most … 1 of 27 Next Slide CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE Rap mogul Jay-Z and hip-hop artist Yo Gotti wrote a letter to two top Mississippi officials Thursday, protesting the conditions of Mississippi prisons and demanding change. The letter contained a threat — Jay-Z and Yo Gotti are ready to sue the state if prison conditions aren’t improved. An outbreak of deadly gang violence that left five dead in Mississippi prisons has brought the system’s long-running problems into sharp relief and under national scrutiny. Power out: Parchman among 2 Mississippi prisons that lost power in storms. Generators being used The letter, addressed to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall, mentions frequent prison lockdowns, violence, a staffing shortage and inmates who “are forced to live in squalor, with rats that crawl over them as they sleep on the floor, having been denied even a mattress for a cot.” Rap mogul Jay-Z, left, and hip-hop artist Yo Gotti, right, wrote a letter to two top Mississippi officials Thursday, protesting the conditions of Mississippi prisons and demanding change. The letter said the two are ready to sue the state if prison conditions aren’t improved. (Photo: AP file photos) In a statement, Yo Gotti called the conditions inside Mississippi prisons “absolutely inhumane and unconstitutional.” “To see this happen so close to my hometown of Memphis is truly devastating,” the rapper’s statement said. “That’s why we’re calling on Mississippi state leaders to take immediate action and rectify this issue. If they don’t right this wrong, we’re prepared to take legal action to provide relief for those that are incarcerated and their families.” A spokesperson for the governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Alex Spiro, a New York lawyer representing Roc Nation, Yo Gotti and Jay-Z’s company, signed the letter on behalf of Team Roc. He said he wrote the letter in collaboration with the celebrities. DIG DEEPER Mississippi’s troubled prisons ‘Shut down MDOC’: Here’s why advocates are calling for feds to investigate Parchman reopens notorious, long-closed Unit 32 after deadly violence Violence brews at Parchman: Lack of funding, not enough guards and decrepit conditions Inmates killed during Mississippi’s prison violence: Who are they? Parchman riot: ‘Gangs are at war.’ Fifth Mississippi prison death reported as violence continues Spiro told the Clarion Ledger Yo Gotti and Jay-Z have been involved with other social justice and civil rights cases in the past. They have been in touch with “folks on the ground and people within the prison system,” Spiro said. “We are exploring a variety of civil rights claims and constitutional claims that the prison system and the government is violating the Eighth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act,” he said. “I just think its troubling where you have people, predominantly African American, who are locked inside cages where they don’t have a voice to be heard and are essentially the forgotten,” Spiro said. “It strikes us that there has to be a spotlight on this, otherwise we might not even be scratching the surface of the horror going on inside these prisons.” Spiro said Jay-Z and Yo Gotti do not want to “remain idle spectators with something this inhumane.” “As the prison system continues to incarcerate more and more people, predominantly African American people down in Mississippi, the prison system becomes more crowded, more underfunded and more inhumane and you know what you see now is a system at its breaking point,” the attorney said. On Dec. 29, prisons statewide went on lockdown after an inmate was killed and two others were injured at South Mississippi Correctional Institution. In the following days, violence continued at prisons across the state, leaving four more dead and an unknown number of others injured. Get the Storm Watch newsletter in your inbox. Latest news updates during the emergency. Delivery: Varies Your Email Some inmates were transferred to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman’s Unit 32, a notorious maximum-security unit that had been closed for 10 years. There have been reports of broken plumbing, no electricity and mold in Unit 32. MDOC is also transferring some inmates at a prison in nearby Tallahatchie County, agreeing to pay a private prison company more than $2 million for a 90-day contract. The lockdown was lifted Friday for all prisons except the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, where much of the violence has taken place. Prisoner rights advocates are asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate MDOC, claiming that state leaders are “deliberately and systematically” subjecting inmates to risk of serious harm. Despite years of warnings from inside and outside MDOC, lawmakers have refused to implement reforms and better fund the prison system, advocates say. State Rep. Robert Johnson visited Parchman with other Democratic state lawmakers Friday morning. He said they saw broken toilets full of waste and leaking ceilings. He called the understaffing at the prison “a recipe for disaster.” “There’s no request or desire to make prison a country club, but there’s basic and requisite standards to exist as a human being. And I don’t think we’re meeting those — not for employees, not for inmates,” Johnson told the Clarion Ledger. Contact Alissa Zhu at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @AlissaZhu on Twitter.
Jason Williams 1 month ago 3 min read How To Read A Book A Week I’ve always been a reader, since I’ve started this blog my reading has increased exponentially. In order for me to have an infinite reservoir of things for me to write about I have to constantly learn new things, and what better way to learn new things than to read. It’s interesting to note that I earn a reasonable stream of income from this blog, which only exists because of all the things I’ve learned from reading so many books. Reading a book a week has been the root of my success. “Knowledge is power” sounds super cliche at this point but it is true nonetheless. It has empowered me to be consistently creative. When I really need to crunch in a bunch of reading material in a short period of time, I know how to do it. Not just going through the motions either, but actually comprehending what I’m reading as well. On average, I can read about a book a week. This is a huge increase from my previous one book a month. I want to share some advice that might help some of you increase your reading speed dramatically like I have. Why are you reading? This is probably the most important aspect of reading in my opinion. Without an overall goal or purpose you are essentially just going through the motions. Now, for somebody who just reads with no intention on ever using or remembering what they read then go right ahead. If you’re reading this I assume this is not you. So why are you reading? I’ve learned that people generally read for: pleasure homework general study/research or curiosity You need to figure where you are at. Reading for pleasure requires a different strategy then reading for general study/research. Reading out of curiosity is different than reading for pleasure. Know why you are reading. Making time to read. I hear people say “I don’t have time to read” all the time. Those same people spend HOURS a day watching TV. Those same people spend HOURS a day playing video games. Those same people spend HOURS a day on social media. If reading was important to you then no matter what, you would make time. Especially if you have HOURS of every day to spend doing other activities. You’d be surprised at how fast you can get through a book when you actually sit down to read it. In my experience, an hour to an hour and a half of reading every day could have you finishing a book by the end of the week (unless you are reading a giant dictionary). Taking notes. I only read non-fiction books these days. So most of what I read has tons of facts and information. I have trouble remembering key parts some times so I do two things. First, while I’m reading the book I always have a highlighter in my hand to mark anything I deem necessary to stand out. This helps quite a bit because the next time I open the book all of the main parts are already highlighted. Secondly, when I’m done with the book I write down a short summary of the book. Usually I do this with a list of key points or main ideas. This helps me ensure that I actually understand what I just read. Just do it. It’s not rocket science. The hardest part is picking up the damn book and getting started. If you want to read a book a week, then give it the same attention and energy you give your favorite Netflix series. Once you get past this giant hurdle in your mind by reading a few books at a high speed then it would start to become normal. You won’t have anxiety about reading a lot anymore. Hopefully, by using some of these tips you’ll be on your way to reading a book or more a week. PS – If you don’t find any of these tips useful then do what works best for you. As long as you get the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding out of what your reading then it doesn’t really matter how you do it. It’s all about the results.
Jason Williams 4 months ago 3 min read Fellas, if you’ve ever wondered,”Why doesn’t my woman treat me like a king?”, this article is for you. The answer is really simple, more then likely you want to be treated like a king without actually being a “King.” In other words, you want her to treat you like you are a financially independent, well respected, and established man yet you are obviously not. You are more then likely not in a position to meet all of her needs and if she’s expecting you to provide, this will take away any urge she has to treat you like royalty. She may love you, still want to be with you, but she won’t admire you until you have proven that you are who you say you are. At a certain point you may find yourself saying something like: “My woman doesn’t treat me like a King because I don’t treat myself like a King. I don’t have a kingdom. I don’t have the wealth or power typically associated with a King. I want credit and recognition for a title I haven’t earned. My woman is intelligent enough to see this and refuses to pretend that I am a king, when I am not. So with this understanding she has two choices. Either decide to help me grow into the King she thinks I will become or decide that I will never be anything more then I already am and stick around for companionship and blind loyalty, but not for adoration and admiration of my person.” So what is the solution? Well it’s obvious, become an alpha male. What is an alpha male and how do you become one? I would define an Alpha Male as: Any man with an unconquerable consciousness and a perpetual fearless disposition towards the world. That man is capable of producing anything he can imagine and protect it by any means necessary. The alpha male creates opportunities when none are present and does not require external direction or instruction. The alpha male is completely self-sustained and self sufficient. This is the type of man our women are looking for. If we carried ourselves as alpha males then we would manifest the fruits of such an influential persona. Our lives would reflect our alpha male status. Wealth would be acquired. Power would be acquired. Confidence would be acquired. Security would be acquired. It is at this point our women would have no choice but to treat us like Kings because we actually would be a King. Our women would have no problem catering to us if we first proved that we are capable of solving every problem that comes our way and that we are capable of protecting her from every danger that could possibly arise. Obviously there are major challenges to any man seeking true alpha male status in this world. It is much harder as a black man to gain complete ‘self-sufficiency’ under the system of global white supremacy. This however is not a reason to quit or avoid the battle. You have two choices, either lay down and die or stand up and be a champion. Your woman will never respect you if you quit or quiver in fear, of anything. She will love and adore you forever if you fearlessly fight for your space in the universe like your life depended on it, because it does. If you want your woman to treat you like a king, then become one.
Jason Williams 3 months ago 2 min read Oftentimes when people come into a ‘higher consciousness’ there is a natural disconnect from the materialistic society we live in. Luxury items and the guilty pleasures of the world seem less interesting or desirable everyday. This is not a bad thing, at all. The problem comes in when people choose to avoid money all together, and then try to hold some righteous frustration towards others whom ‘secured the bag’. Of course the United States monetary system is a scam, our cash is relatively ‘worthless’, and in a society aligned with the natural laws of the nature and the universe there is no need for money. However, we are not in a society aligned with nature and the laws of the universe. In order to exist comfortably, perhaps even thrive here, we need money. To be without it is to be absolutely and completely subjected to begging for resources, and permanently reliant on the goodwill of others to provide the basic requirements for human life. So if we have to exist within this melanated shell here in a 3 dimensional physical reality, should we do it begging or ballin’? I mean, if we are “gods” and a “chosen people” then why should we be satisfied living without an abundance of resources and opportunities? We are built for abundance, not poverty. If we are “woke”, that means we should be conscious of our own divine abilities to manifest abundance in this reality, unlike someone who is “sleep” that is still ignorant to who they are and what they can do. If you know so much about your great black history, your ancestors, your melanin magic, prove it then. Was the great black people you admire from ancient times “poor”? Or were they distinguished people of at least moderate wealth if not absolute royalty? It’s ok to fight the power, battle racism, attempt to dismantle the system of white supremacy, and all other injustices but being woke is not an excuse to be broke. In fact, being “woke” should give you a conscious and cognitive disposition over the rest of the “sleep” people. If you’re truly “woke”, your life would reflect the abundance of your mindset.
Jason Williams 1 month ago 5 min read There’s this narrative out there that most black men who claim to be “self employed” or “entrepreneurs” are either drug dealers or rappers. This is disrespectful on so many levels. Especially since it was the ingenuity and skillset of melanated minds that built the entire foundation of America, and ultimately the world. Cover Photo: “Silas Adekunle is a Nigerian inventor technology entrepreneur known for creating the world’s first intelligent gaming robot.” @silasadekunle If a black man told you he quit his job to be an entrepreneur would you automatically assume he was a drug dealer or a rapper? Be honest. The negative stereotypes of black men broadcasted openly and subliminally throughout the media creates a false narrative that assumes a black male, especially a young one, must be a drug dealer or a rapper if he claims to be a self employed (successful) entrepreneur. This article is not about bashing street pharmacists or rappers. It is about destroying an ideology that makes people assume that when a black man introduces himself as a successful black male entrepreneur he must be a drug dealer or rapper. Before we get started let me clear something up. There are in fact black men out there who are drug dealers or rappers that do use the title of “self employed” or “entrepreneur”. I’m not denying that. HOWEVER, there are MORE black men out there that are NOT drug dealers or rappers that claim the title of “self employed” or “entrepreneur”. So much so, to assume that a “self employed” black man is a drug dealer or a rapper demonstrates your “3/5’s of man” perception of the melanated masses. What about all the legitimate black business owners and entrepreneurs out there? Black Inventors? Black Barbers? Black Carpenters? Black Mechanics? Black YouTubers? Black Stock and Forex Traders? Black Authors? Black Fitness Instructors? Not to mention the fact “it was the ingenuity and skillset of melanated minds that built the entire foundation of America, and ultimately the world.” I mean the list goes on and on of others things you could assume a “self employed” black man could be. Why is “drug dealer” or “rapper” the assumed profession for a black man, especially a young black man that professes to be self employed? That’s a rhetorical question, I know the answer. You should too, especially if you understand the dynamics and nature of the system of white supremacy. A Personal Experience Recently I went to the grocery store to grab a few things for the house and ran into a former co-worker from my last job, an older overweight white woman. For my own personal reasons, I tried to avoid her recognizing me. And no not because she’s a white woman. Let’s just say I’m not a big fan of people whom I do not particularly care for using our brief and non-intentional encounter to pry into my personal life, as if they were my real friend that actually wanted to know “how I’m doing”. Anyways, she asks why she hasn’t seen me around work and I tell her that I quit over a month ago. So of course you know the next question, “so where do you work now?”. For the first time in my life I could finally respond with “I’m self-employed, my business can be ran from the comfort of my own home.” Which is true. For the past 2 years I’ve been working hard to develop this blog and my writing skills so that I can create multiple streams of income with my efforts – articles, books, etc. After all this time, I finally reached a point where it makes more financial sense for me to continue working on trudreadz.com and other things from home, as opposed to getting a 9 to 5 and working for someone else for less. This is a concept my former co-worker apparently couldn’t understand, perhaps that’s why she’s always been and always will be a “worker”. After I told her I’m self-employed she gave me that classic ‘white people smirk’. You know what I’m talking about. The smirk that says to me, “oh he must be a drug dealer because theirs nothing else a ni**er of his caliber can possibly do…”. I could tell by the way she looked at me she really thought the only way a black man like me could be self-employed is if I was a drug dealer or rapper. Honestly, it made me laugh to myself all the way to my car. Why? Because this white woman has no idea who I am. She has no idea how hard I work to gain financial independence. She has no idea how many articles I had to write, how much sleep I’ve lost and how much I’ve sacrificed to get to this point. She saw me go to work everyday with my laptop and books, never considering that I was using my resources so that any available second from “work related” activities could be spent working to create streams of income to replace my paycheck. That’s why I laughed. Not to sound arrogant but, I’m winning. Finally… All of my efforts of conscious development, consistent effort, and being true to my passion are manifesting a new life for me. At the end of the day, she’s losing. For the rest of her miserable life she will be a slave to her ignorance and morbid mediocrity. That “unsafe” and “unsecure” job will be the death of her. So rather than waste a molecule of energy seeking her validation by explaining to her exactly who I am or what I do, I’ll continue my mission as planned. One day, that lady will hear about me again and I hope my continued success becomes the common drama of her nightmares. Such is the ambitions of every black man striving for self-sufficiency, peace, and abundance within a system designed to exterminate the possibility of black excellence. Maybe next time when a black man says “I’m self-employed” or an “entrepreneur”, she and others like her will have a different assumption…