Sunday, February 26, 2017

SV: SV: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Emir Sanusi on Polygamy, Procreation, and Poverty

Truly, there were different stages of developments among the inhabitants of Africa pre-1500 and after just as there were different stages of developments among the people of Europe and Asia.

The marriage custom and process in Yoruba land, for instance pre-dated, year 1500 and the incursion of Islam and Christianity in Nigeria. Also the circumcision of a male-child on the eighth day of its birth had nothing to do with Islam. May I inform you that the three essential qualities which are inherent in the Yoruba word BÀBÁ (father) are love, support and protection. Thus, the Yoruba word Bàbá, from antiquity to date, refers to a male-parent, who partakes in the actual conception and nurturing of a child together with his/her mother in decent socially acceptable marital union. In practice, Bàbá shows tremendous love and care to his child and can go to any length to ensure the child's survival. Bàbá is someone that, having fathered his child, can stake his life, resources and anything important to make that child happy. In the agrarian Yorubaland, a man was never allowed to marry, if he could not show how big his cassava and yam farms are as evidence of his ability to maintain a wife and subsequent child(ren). The larger a man's farms are, the more wives he is (allowed) qualified to marry. Polygamy in Yorubaland preceded the emergence of Islamic religion. Before the advent of colonialism there was no word in Yoruba language for prostitute as every adult female was mated. Was there any threat of overpopulation in Yorubaland? The answer is no, because a mother had to wrap the child at her back and suckle it for three years during which the husband never touched her sexually. Child spacing of three years prevented overpopulation. However, enemies of facts and slaves to lies would regard the above facts as myth which is why Nigeria continues to export prosperity and importing poverty.

S.Kadiri
 




Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Ibrahim Abdullah <ibdullah@gmail.com>
Skickat: den 26 februari 2017 01:34
Till: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Ämne: Re: SV: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Emir Sanusi on Polygamy, Procreation, and Poverty
 
What Africa are you talking about? Before 1500 or after 1500?

Very unhelpful when you invoke Africa as if there is an Africa out there or there was one out there!

The societies in the continent were always at different stages of development--especially after 1000 a.d. Uneven development was the norm; not the exception. 

The mythic Africa you referenced never existed!
----

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 25, 2017, at 10:32 PM, Salimonu Kadiri <ogunlakaiye@hotmail.com> wrote:

Bubonic plague wiped out 33 per cent of European population in the 14th century and a century later Europe was overpopulated to the extent of exterminating the American, Australian and New Zealand aborigins and planting Europeans in those non-European territories. Yet, overpopulated Europe never practised polygamy. Thus polygamy has nothing to do with overpopulation. Family pattern in Europe of that time was not firmly established on a wife and a husband co-habiting as men challenged fellow men to duel on the right to copulate with available woman. The survivor of such duel was automatically embraced by the woman on whose duel was fought and after copulation and pregnancy, she was abandoned by the man who was out to look for another prey to copulate with.


In Africa, marriage between a man and woman was systematic and the practice of polygamy preceded the incursion of Islam in Africa. Marriage to more than one wife was not caused by a male's desire just to satisfy his sexual appetite but to procreate. In his racist tuned book titled : The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa, Lord Lugard could not help observing the following, "The custom, which seems fairly general among the negro tribes, of suckling a child for two or three years, during which a woman lives apart from her husband, tends to decrease population." The implication of what Lugard meant with 'during which a woman lives apart from her husband,' is that the man never had sexual intercourse for two or three years with the suckling mother. Polygamy, in reality, ensured that every female was mated. Even where a man was monogamous and the wife attained menopause, the wife would take initiative to get a wife that was still productive for the husband since she considered that continuous copulation of the husband with her at a menopause age constituted wasting of his sperm. In the culturally unpolluted Africa, sex was never considered a leisure time engagements but solely to procreate. There were no prostitutes in pre-colonial Africa. Sanusi probably fills his harem with 30 wives while advocating that other men should limit the number of their wives to one or two. What did he produce and sell in Nigeria to get the financial and economic power to marry more than a wife? He should love his neighbour as himself and in the absence of that, he should shut his mouth and keep a low profile.

S.Kadiri
 




Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Cornelius Hamelberg <corneliushamelberg@gmail.com>
Skickat: den 25 februari 2017 16:28
Till: USA Africa Dialogue Series
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Emir Sanusi on Polygamy, Procreation, and Poverty
 

As the late great Cardinal Rex Lawson put it : Nah so a see am o!

Some obvious problems in the way

Re- Population control by not having so many wives and siring so many children - China is a practical example of population control by state legislation.

Should it be only the rich who should be permitted to have many children?

From the point of view of the Divine injunction to fill the earth, we are to suppose that on that score, the Almighty is happy with the sleeping giant, Nigeria and Nigerians. Despite decimation by the slave trade, war, famine, poverty and disease,Wallaahu rau'oofun bil ibaad - by the grace of our merciful God, the human race will not be extinguished in Nigeria. On the whole the statistics for population increase in Nigeria is encouraging: In 1960 Nigeria's population was about 33 million souls and in 2017 the challenge will be exceeding 185 million mouths to feed, clothe, provide potable water and electricity, shelter, educate , employ, as useful citizens etc.

In this forum there's often the good wishes extended from one person to another with these words :

"May your tribe increase"

Since Nigeria practices some form of representative democracy and governments are elected through the ballot box, one man one vote, every citizen over the age of eighteen eligible to cast their ballot - this means that given the fact that ethnicity, regionalism and religion are important factors, there must therefore be a conscious will for ethnic and religious groups in all the regions to want to increase their populations and thereby their influence through the ballot box. To tell Muslims that they must abandon the sunnah of polygamy/ being allowed a maximum of four wives if they can afford them - "and those that their right hand possess" should be counter-productive should they believe that this is a smart move by non-Muslims to severely curtail their potential for political power, even dominance - as indeed would be the case if Palestinians were told to please start having fewer babies (for whatever reason)

The solution of course is the evolution of the various part/ mansions of the federation into the consciousness of being one indivisible nation, i.e. that we are all in the same boat.

There's the catholic church and their laws and teaching about abortion, contraception etc., but since Catholics don't practice polygamy which is a main focus in this discussion it's worthwhile knowing a little about

Islam on contraception .

Prophet Muhammad on coitus interruptus .

A well known hadith is Rasulullah salallahu alaihi wa salaam being asked about contraception and replying that those souls that are destined to be born will be born, no matter what.



On Saturday, 25 February 2017 01:10:41 UTC+1, ogunlakaiye wrote:

A bat cannot be classified purely as a bird or as a mouse just like Nigeria cannot be classified purely as a Republic or as a Monarchy. That there are monarchs in the Federal Republic of Nigeria is just a demonstration of the political insanity reigning in the country. Emir Sanusi, the monarch of Kano is not entitled to talk on polygamy, procreation and poverty either in his emirate or in Nigeria as whole. He cannot undo us and be our sympathiser at the same time.


As late Chinua Achebe observed in his, Ant Hills of Savanah, the colonial master met two twins in Nigeria, and made one a president and the other a shit carrier. Expanding further on his observation, I would add that the one that was made President had seen to it that the families from the generation of his twin brother remain shit carriers while the President's families are prosperous. All Nigerians, from the beginning, were poor or rich but now Nigerians are divided into impoverished masses and a few minority rich.


Tradition or culture in any society is a function of industrial and economic development. That is why tradition and culture change with industrial and economic development. Despite large numbers of Western educated Nigerians, the traditional and cultural belief in rearing children as insurance towards old age that typified agrararian society still exist today. The more children you have, it is believed that, at least, one will succeed economically to take care of the family, both near and extended. Emphasis on procreation is even more pronounced in Nigeria today because pensioners from states and federal government do not get their pensions when due.


Family Planning Council of Nigeria (FPCN) was formed in 1964 and during the military era, the name was changed to Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN). Donor agencies to PPFN are United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), European Union, Department For International Development (DFID) of the British Council and Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC). PPFN has 75 clinics spread over 36 states in Nigeria. Under the pretext of combating invented soaring maternal mortality, the PPFN aggressively conduct abortion, sterilization of women and operation of contraceptives into women. The new name for family planning in Nigeria, as in many third-world countries, is Reproductive Health Care.


In 1987, General Ibrahim Babangida's led federal government, through his Minster of Health, Professor Olikoye Ransom Kuti, and the United States Agencies for International Development (USAID), spent N228 million on Babagida's government population policy of one-woman-four-children. Through his Minister of Health, Professor Eyitan Lambo, President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced a new population policy of one-man-four children. Neither Babangida nor Obasanjo's government population policy was obeyed by the educated elites not to talk of illiterates that make up majority of the population of the country. Nigeria, at moment, is not suffering from overpopulation but unjust distribution of our collective patrimony. In the Northern part of Nigeria, particularly, the Governors are used to collecting revenue allocations from the Federal government, but instead of investing the funds on education and welfare of their people, they steal the entire federal allocations. Most of them travel to Mecca every week for Friday's prayer. When their people complain of poverty, they respond : Allah Ta Rago, meaning God is the defender of the poor. Not less than 17 former Governors from Northern Nigeria, have been arraigned and charged to court for plundering their states of billions of naira. In fact, 12 of these Governors are from Sharia ruled States but they are not being tried in Sharia courts where they would have had their hands amputated long time ago.


Kenneth wrote, "When we refuse an inoculation for our child, thinking we are protecting it, we endanger all children." I read through the article of Moses, to which Kenneth is responding, and I could not find anything relating to refusal to inoculate our child. Can you please help me solve the riddle, "we refuse an inoculation for our child?"

S. Kadiri   
 




Från: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> för Kenneth Harrow <har...@msu.edu>
Skickat: den 22 februari 2017 18:58
Till: usaafricadialogue
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Emir Sanusi on Polygamy, Procreation, and Poverty
 

It's very difficult for many people to see issues outside their own narrow cultural orbit.

It also takes a small amount of facts to determine how overpopulation impacts the larger community, the state, the continent, the world. We have a finite world, with far too many people in it, given our resources. We'll go own increasing demands for energy and food, demands on water, and  go on hearing meaningless responses, like, look how much land there is. that's like saying the earth is flat because it looks that way.

When we refuse an inoculation for our child, thinking we are protecting it, we endanger all children. We need to think in community terms on a planetary scale. Arguments in favor of ethnic or cultural exceptionalism only damage everyone.

Lastly, arguing to a muslim that they can't take more than one wife accords with the qur'an which states you can't marry more than one woman unless you can afford to pay all the necessary expenses. If people ignore that injunction, they violate a reasonable law, as if they are somehow exceptions.

 

If we think of ourselves as belonging to one large family, then we have to accept the demands of the whole family, not just our immediate family.

That means u.s. wealth and western wealth can't go just to our citizens; it also means what one member of the family decides to do impacts all of us.

Ken

 

 

Kenneth Harrow

Dept of English and Film Studies

Michigan State University

619 Red Cedar Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-803-8839

harrow@msu.edu

http://www.english.msu.edu/people/faculty/kenneth-harrow/

 

From: usaafricadialogue <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of "meoc...@gmail.com" <meoc...@gmail.com>
Reply-To: usaafricadialogue <usaafric...@googlegroups.com>
Date: Wednesday 22 February 2017 at 11:51
To: usaafricadialogue <USAAfric...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Emir Sanusi on Polygamy, Procreation, and Poverty

 

 

Emir Muhammadu Sanusi of Kano recently caused controversy by proposing a new Islamic family law to regulate polygamy, which he linked to unregulated procreation, poverty, juvenile delinquency, and terrorism.

In principle, I agree with the emir of Kano's pronouncement on polygamy, procreation, and poverty. However, there is need to proceed with caution on the legislative intervention he is proposing. I am not Muslim or Hausa so I may not be able to speak to the theological and cultural issue at stake. However, I do know that our societies in Africa are driven by patriarchy and notions of masculine pride and dignity. This culture tends to mediate how people see these things.

Like the emir, I used to display an unqualified intolerance for people who want to bring many children into this world despite lacking the means to care for them. I used to preach vehemently and somewhat haughtily against unbridled procreation among my own poor extended family. 

Then I decided to scold this stubborn member of the family, a primary school teacher who insisted, as he put it, on having as many children as God would give him, despite clearly not having the means to care for them. Several people in our family had spoken to him to no avail.

Because I was occasionally supporting him financially I felt that I had some leverage and sway with him and could convince him to see what every other person was seeing and drop his policy of unrestrained procreation. The first time I talked to him, he listened to my long speech and politely promised to look into the matter.

A couple of years and another child later, I decided to confront him again on the issue. Everyone felt that he would only listen to me. This time he was ready for me, fuming while listening to me. Because he is much older than me, I took his fuming to be a response to my tone and decided to persuade him rather than scold him for his choice. 

When my sermon was over, he cleared his throat and declared that he too had something to say to me. He said essentially that as a man, a man of our ethnic group, there are two things that one aspires to possess in abundance: wealth and children. These two possessions or at least one of them, he said, made one a man. He said he didn't have money and could never be wealthy, having become too old for wealth to happen to him. All he had left to demonstrate his masculinity in order not to be considered a failure in life was to have as many children as he could have and to be remembered for being blessed with children when he is gone. He said people like me who "have money" would not understand, since we already had the ability to possess the two gold standards of manly success. He said if he had money like me, my advice would make sense and he would not need to have many children.

Folks like him, he said, will have lived unremarkable, vain lives if they did not procreate liberally when they were on this earth. With my wealth (he saw me as wealthy) I was already guaranteed respect as a man, and regardless of how many children I have, I was assured of maximum cultural capital as a man, as well as a legacy. He then tried to appeal to my clan pride. He said I was a small boy, that I didn't know that our lineage had been depleted by untimely deaths and needed to be repopulated, and that I should appreciate and support his effort to assure the lineage of continuity and human capital in the future. Finally, he asked if I didn't think it was mean and selfish of me, a successful man assured of recognition and respect, to stop him from fulfilling his manly destiny the only way he could still do so. He was accusing me of trying to stop him from getting to where I was--a place of masculine accomplishment as defined by our culture. He was accusing me of trying to kick away the proverbial ladder that got me to the place of respect he imagined me to occupy. 

I was humbled. I piped down. He had successfully emotionally blackmailed me. He had turned the leverage I thought I had on him against me. I came into the conversation on the offensive. He had put me on the defensive. I now had to reassure him that I was not out to keep him from building a legacy of masculine accomplishment. Even though I still disagreed fundamentally with his rationalization of his unbridled procreation, he made sense from a purely cultural perspective, the most dominant frame of reference available to him.

We agreed to disagree on the issue, and I told him that he would see my point in the future and that I hoped that he would not regret shunning my advice.

Even though we parted on a note of disagreement, I came away with a better appreciation for where he was coming from, for his masculine anxieties, and for the unspoken patriarchal cultural pressures against which he was struggling, and which were unfortunately determining his procreation decision.

I knew that he was speaking from a well established cultural script. In my village in Benue state, a man considered successful in the old days would boast that he had money and he had many children, meaning that he was complete. I connected what he had said to this manly tradition of success and fulfilment.

I realized that as personal as this issue may seem, it is deeply interwoven with our society's notions of masculinity and masculine pride, and that unless the culture evolves persons operating solely within it may never be persuaded to act outside of its dictates.

 

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Canaries From Arabia(Poem) By Chidi Anthony Opara


(First published in Africanwriter.com in 2008)

Like a cuckold
Listening in resignation
To moans of pleasure
Of spouse laid
Onto bed of adultery,
We sit near chatterboxes
To listen to tales
Of infirmity
Of onye isi ala,
Custodian of our sovereignty.

Canaries from Arabia
Where medicine men
Mutilate organs of our nationhood
Sing different songs,
Confusion rain in torrents.

The flocks now roam
This expanse without shepherd,
Lions stalk
And sniff aroma of mutton.
Wolves
And hyenas assemble also
To partake
In the imminent feast.

(Poem presented as social service, all rights reserved) 


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USA Africa Dialogue Series - Black American Vernacular English Expressions You Should Know

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

Twitter: @farooqkperogi


In the spirit of America's Black History Month, which is observed every February, I have decided to share with my readers African-American English expressions that I've learned in the course of my stay in America. While many of the expressions are southernisms (i.e., the distinctive English usage of southern United States irrespective of race), several are unique to American blacks irrespective of the region of the United States they may be. Of course, for historical reasons, there are more blacks in southern United States than anywhere else in the country. That is why "Black English" and "Southern English" are often alike.

 

Somehow, most African-Americans that I have met here don't immediately realize that I am African until my accent betrays me. So some of them speak to me in Ebonics (as African-American Vernacular English is now called), which used to throw me off. Over the years, however, I have come to understand many of these phrases. I thought it would help relations between Africans on the continent and American blacks if I highlight some of the phrases.

 

1. "Finnin to." This expression is used to state a desire to do something, as in "I'm finnin to slap him," "He's finnin to eat some food," etc. The expression is a corruption of "I'm fixing to," which is a Southern United States expression that means exactly the same thing as "finnin to." I became familiar with "finnin to" when the sound bite of a rural, uneducated Mississippi black man by the name of Erick Hubbard went viral in April 2011. He was complaining about a devastating tornado that took away his burger. "I was finnin to eat my hamburger, it took it!" he said. I didn't think he was speaking English until someone broke it down for me.

 

2. "Bourgie" (pronounced boo-zhee). It is a corruption of the Marxist term "bourgeoisie." American blacks use the word to describe someone who has pretentious airs and taste, who is fake. It is also used to describe black people whose politeness, cultivated manners, and courtesy are considered contrived, excessive, not natural. "She bourgie" is a common putdown for girls that are considered pretentious. 

 

3. "Uncle Tom." This old expression for a servile black man who is excessively deferential to white people is still active in the idiolect of African Americans. The expression was particularly popular in the 1960s thanks largely to Malcolm X's constant demeaning references to Civil Rights leaders as Uncle Toms.

 

4. "Dip." It means to leave suddenly, as in "I gotta dip." 

 

5. "Ma Boo." It means "my boyfriend" or "my girlfriend" in Black English. It's a corruption of the French word beau (pronounced "bow"), which means boyfriend. 

 

6. "Booty" (pronounced something like boo-di). It is a Black American English word for a woman's buttocks. The word's Standard English meaning is, of course, loot or money/goods obtained illegally. When a woman is described as having "lotta booty," (that is, "a lot of booty") don't for a moment think she has lots of loot to share with you.

 

7. "Bootylicious." A woman with a lot of "booty" is called "bootylicious." It's a blend of "booty" and "delicious." The word was popularized, but by no means invented, by Destiny's Child (the music group that Beyoncé was a part of). One of the songs in the group's 2001 album is titled "bootylicious." The Oxford English Dictionary recognized "bootylicious" as a legitimate English word three years after its appearance in Destiny's Child album. It defines it as: "(of a woman) sexually attractive."

 

8. "Big ol'." It's the shortening of "big old," but it often sounds like "big-o." It's an adjectival phrase often used to modify just about any noun: "he is a big ol' idiot," "that's a big ol' car," "my big ol' dad," etc.  The nouns the phrase modifies may be neither big nor old. As I think about it, it seems to me that the phrase should more correctly be described as an intensifier, which is defined as a word or phrase that has no meaning except to heighten or deepen the meaning of the word or phrase it modifies. I should add that "big ol'" isn't an exclusively African-American expression; it's a southern American English expression, which now enjoys currency in other parts of the United States.

 

9. "Baad/baddest." In Black American English, "bad," or, more correctly, "baad," isn't the opposite of "good; it is, on the contrary, the superabundance of good. You should feel flattered, not offended, when a Black American says to you: "men, you baad." It means "you're really good." The comparative and superlative forms of "bad" aren't "worse" and "worst," as they are in Standard English; they are "badder" and "baddest." The "baddest guy" in town isn't the worst guy in town; he is the coolest, most fashionable, and most socially adept guy in town. "Badass" also means "brilliant; very good."

 

10. "My bad." This phrase is used to offer apologies for a wrongdoing. If someone hits a person in error, for instance, they would say something like: "Oops, my bad." It means: "I apologize; it was my mistake. Forgive me." Many etymologists say the phrase was initially restricted to Black American basketball players in the 1970s and the 1980s, but it's now part of general informal American English.

 

11. "Dry begging." In Black American English, this phrase means asking for something in a vague, circuitous way. For instance, instead of saying "I'm hungry. Could you kindly share that your food with me?" a dry beggar would say something like: "That food looks really good. I haven't eaten all day." We call this "fine bara" in Nigerian Pidgin English. (Bara is the Hausa word for begging.)

 

12. "Finger-lickin' good." The phrase is used of food to mean it's so good you would lick it with your fingers. It is actually not a uniquely Black American English expression; it was popularized by Kentucky Fried Chicken, an American fast-food chain, whose motto, until 2011, was "finger-lickin' good." I've included it in the list because I've heard the phrase mostly among African Americans here.

 

13. "We straight." In Black American English, "straight" can mean "all right." So "we straight" [we're straight] means "That's OK. No worries. We are all right." President Barack Obama brought this expression to national limelight in 2009 when he visited a black-owned restaurant in Washington, DC called Ben's Chili Bowl. After paying for his meal, a cashier, who is black, asked him if he wanted his change back. "Nah, we straight," Obama said. If the cashier were white, Obama would probably have said something like: "No, it's OK. You can keep it."

 

14. "Put your foot in it." In Black American English, this phrase is used to compliment excellent cooking. It means a meal is remarkably cooked. My first encounter with the phrase some years back wasn't pretty. I complimented the cooking of an African-American friend of mine. In response to my compliment, she said, "yeah, I put my foot in it." I immediately became nauseous. I was about to throw up when she told me it was just an expression. I thought she meant she literally put her foot in the food. I didn't realize it was a self-praise of her culinary exploits. 

 

It should be noted that the phrase has a completely different meaning in (old-fashioned) British English. It means to embarrass oneself by acceding to an agreement that places one in danger or at a disadvantage.


15. "Show me your guns." "Guns" is an American English slang term for upper-arm muscles or biceps, so "show me your guns" means "flex your muscles." It isn't a uniquely Black English expression, but it's popular among African Americans.

 

16. "Open a can of whoop ass." This expression is used humorously to say you will give somebody a good beating, as in "I'll open a can of whoop ass on you!" Like the previous expression, it isn't exclusively Black American, but it's very popular among speakers of Black American Vernacular English. Other written variations of the expression are, "open a can of whup ass" and "open a can of whoop-ass." "Whoop" is the alternative spelling of "whip" (i.e., to beat severely with a whip or rod) in informal American English.

 

17. "Oowee!" This is a uniquely Black American English exclamatory expression. It is used in moments of intense and excitatory passions. It's similar in many respects to the Nigerian Pidgin English exclamation "chei!"

 

 I became aware of the expression in Louisiana years ago when a respectable African-American actor almost yelled it on national television in a moment of unguarded excitation. My friend, who is African-American, told me the actor quickly suppressed the exclamation because mainstream America disdains it as ghetto grunt, ghetto being the economically depressed parts of cities where poor black people live. So he said it out loud for me. He claimed that every African American, irrespective of education and social status, says "oowee!" on their home grounds. That's clearly an exaggeration.

 

18. "Shawty " or "Shorty." The word originally meant young man, as in "Sup, shawty!" [What's up, man!] Over the years, however, rap musicians have changed the word's meaning to a young sexy woman. The Urban Dictionary, a user-generated online dictionary, says the word started life in Atlanta's Black community as a slang term for a short person before morphing into a term of endearment for just about anybody. Now, hip-hop music has appropriated it as a term for an attractive young lady.

 

 The etymology of "shawty" reminds me of the semantic evolution of the word "girl." When the word first appeared in the English language, it used to mean a young person of any gender. Now it means a young woman.

 

19. "Where you ats?" It means "where are you now?" I should quickly point out that this expression isn't common among older African Americans, many of whom actually find it unbearably irritating. A similar expression that cuts across the generational divide in the Black community is "who dat is?" which stands for "who is that?" Note that I am referring to informal Black vernacular English. Upper middle-class, "bourgie" blacks don't speak like that—unless they want to identify with black masses.

 

20. "What's good?" It's an alternative expression for "what's up?" "How are you?" "What's new?" "What's happening?" etc.

 

21. "God don't like ugly." This old African-American colloquialism is the non-standard form of "God doesn't like injustice." It is often said when a bad, morally depraved or ungrateful person gets poetic justice; when they, as it were, get their just deserts. If, for instance, someone takes advantage of other people's generosity and help to climb to the high end of the social scale and turns around to betray the people who helped him or refuses to pay the favor forward, but ends up crashing after what seemed like a perfect life, African Americans would say: "God don't like ugly!" It's an exclusively Black American homespun witticism that has endured several generations.

 

22. "Who dat?" It means "who is that?" Black American English, in common with West African Pidgin English, usually either dispenses with the verb to be (such as in the expression "who dat?" instead of "who is that?") or leaves it unconjugated (such as in the sentence "she be nice" instead of "she is nice").   

 

But the phrase "who dat" has a cultural significance in America that goes beyond its semantic properties. It is popularly associated with the New Orleans Saints, an American football team located in the southern US state of Louisiana. During games, fans of the team always chant: "Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?" [Who is that? Who is that? Who is it that says they will beat the Saints?] 

 

As the reader can see, there are interesting echoes of West African Pidgin English in the syntactic structure of this quintessentially Black American English mantra. As I promised in a previous article, I will someday compare Black American Vernacular English with West African Pidgin English based on my familiarity with both languages.

 

23. "Black don't crack." It literally means "black doesn't crack," but it's used in Black English to mean that the black skin is ageless, that black people don't look their age, especially when they're compared with members of other races. I heard the expression for the first time when I lived in Louisiana. A white American classmate of mine thought he and I were either age mates or that he was older than I was by a few years because of my youngish looks. When he discovered that I was 7 years older than he was, he exclaimed, "Damn, it's really true that black don't crack!"

 

I had no clue what in the world he meant, more so that the expression sounded ungrammatical to me. It was through my white friend that I learned that "black don't crack" is an African-American expression to indicate that the black skin doesn't crack, that is, doesn't wrinkle. I immediately noticed that "black" and "crack" rhyme.

 

24. "Skin folk." This is a Black English expression for members of one's race. It's modeled on the Standard English expression "kinfolk," which means members of one's nuclear and extended family. The phrase was popularized by Zora Neale Hurston, an African-American folklorist and author who once famously said "All my skinfolk ain't kinfolk." It is a witty and creative way to say "not all people who share the same racial identity as me are my family." In other words, there is more to friendship and affinity than mere racial similarity. African-Americans say this when they are betrayed by fellow blacks.

 

25. "True that." It means "that is true."

 

26. "She/he is good people." This means "she/he is a good person." This is one of the most puzzling expressions I've ever heard in the English language, and I heard it first African Americans. But, apparently, saying "he is good people" to convey the sense that someone is a nice, reliable person isn't exclusive to African American Vernacular English. It's also common in informal southern and Appalachian English.

 

The 2008 edition of The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English defines "good people" as "a person who can be trusted and counted on," and says the expression has been attested in American English since 1891.

 

So, "good people" isn't a plural noun in American regional English; it's a singular noun, and "is good people" is a fixed expression.


Related Articles:

Politics of Grammar Column


Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Journalism & Emerging Media
School of Communication & Media
Social Science Building 
Room 5092 MD 2207
402 Bartow Avenue
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, Georgia, USA 30144
Cell: (+1) 404-573-9697
Personal website: www.farooqkperogi.com
Twitter: @farooqkperog
Author of Glocal English: The Changing Face and Forms of Nigerian English in a Global World

"The nice thing about pessimism is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised." G. F. Will

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Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Press Release by the Archaeological Association of Nigeria (AAN)

Indeed very sad!

 

Kenneth Harrow

Dept of English and Film Studies

Michigan State University

619 Red Cedar Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-803-8839

harrow@msu.edu

http://www.english.msu.edu/people/faculty/kenneth-harrow/

 

From: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of "Emeagwali, Gloria (History)" <emeagwali@ccsu.edu>
Reply-To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: Saturday 25 February 2017 at 19:36
To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Press Release by the Archaeological Association of Nigeria (AAN)

 

This is really a sad moment for the academy. I do hope that this is resolved swiftly and peacefully,

and with no harm to the hostages.

 

 Professor Breunig's work on the  8000 -  year old Dufuna watercraft,

found in northeast Nigeria by  Mallam Yau,   in  the Lake Chad area,  immediately comes to mind.  

 

The  late Anas Ibrahim and Adamu Abdulrahim  deserve special appreciation  for trying

 to abort the kidnapping. We should all contribute to the fund established. Given the exchange rate, every contribution,

 will make a difference, no matter how small. 

 

 

 

 

Professor Gloria Emeagwali

Professor of History
 

 

 


From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Akin Ogundiran <ogundiran@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2017 1:57 PM
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Press Release by the Archaeological Association of Nigeria (AAN)

 

Press Release by the Archaeological Association of Nigeria (AAN)

 

We express our deep concerns about the latest development in Southern Kaduna where our colleagues Professor Peter Breunig and Mr. Johannes Behringer were kidnapped on February 22nd during their annual archaeological fieldwork in Janjela. We are aware that Police and other security personnel have swung into action to secure the release of these two men. We urge all those involved to use all the professional resources at their disposal for the safe return of our colleagues to their families.

 

We are saddened that two brave members of the Janjela community (Anas Ibrahim and Adamu Abdulrahim) who intervened to abort the kidnap of the two men lost their  lives in the process. We praise these heroes and other members of Janjela community for their efforts. 

 

This latest kidnapping event is part of the ongoing security problem in Nigeria. This is mostly fueled by the social and economic displacement of a large number of the young people many of whom are unemployed. Many parts of Northern Nigeria have also been infiltrated by trans-border militants fingered in kidnappings, robberies and sundry criminal activities. At the 8th World Archaeological Congress held in Kyoto, the Archaeological Association of Nigeria (AAN) representatives sponsored a resolution on the incessant violence by Boko Haram and other Armed Groups in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad. The Resolution highlighted the fact that ‘the violence had made archaeological work difficult and dangerous in many parts of these countries. This latest incident underscores the fears expressed in the resolution and the need for the Nigerian Government to secure the country against armed criminal gangs. While we praise the recent efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria in degrading Boko Haram’s criminal activities in northeast Nigeria, we urge the government to take more urgent steps in addressing the fundamental conditions in which criminal behavior and insecurity thrive. 

 

At this material time, we call upon the government to diligently work towards quick and safe release of Professor Peter Breunig and Mr. Johannes Behringer.

 

Professor Zacharys Anger Gundu.

President, AAN

24th February, 2017

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Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Emir Sanusi on Polygamy, Procreation, and Poverty

‎I quite agree with CH, it is shocking the way Ogbeni Kadiri addressed the Emir. That is not acceptable. We should tackle issues not personality, especially a royal institution at that. He should not have concluded with the rather offensive statement. I believe it should be retracted.  
 The issue at stake here is, of what use is a proven virility if it can not be sustained economically? What business has Ochonu's class teacher-uncle, or the Okada rider to do with harems  and forests of children if he is economically incapable of taking good care of them? You know as much as I do that many of those children end up on our streets as urchins, Alimajeris, and easy recruits for terrorism!
‎I suppose the thrust of Professor Ochonu's contribution is the tragic extent to which the practice of uncontrolled procreation is culturally rooted and, therefore, may be a difficult task to tackle in light of Emir Sanusi's proposed sponsored  bill at the State Assembly. But the point is, we cannot throw up our hands in total surrender and expect a miracle (the Nigerian way). The Emir's approach might just work, through an enforcement backed by law. I call it "the chloroquine treatment": a child that is suffering from malaria may naturally dislike any form of medication, especially, the  bitter  chloroquine tablets, or the painful injection. A good parent would rather force the medication administered on the child rather than lose him to a preventable death through malaria. Similarly, if some folks do not know what is good for them, the onus rests on the leaders to do something drastic about it. That way, our society is saved from the social menace. 
I think what we should address our mind to is how best to address the apparent social menace, religious or cultural sentiment apart. The Emir has hinted on the possibility of a bill to enforce responsible parenting, people may still come up with more realistic solutions,‎ not abuse, not insults.

Ademola O. Dasylva‎

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
From: Cornelius Hamelberg
Sent: Sunday, 26 February 2017 00:43
To: USA Africa Dialogue Series
Reply To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Emir Sanusi on Polygamy, Procreation, and Poverty

That is not the way to address the Emir Of Kano.

All he did was to make some serious suggestions as to how to help solve a problem that's surely looming over his country. You could disagree with him, but politely...

On Sunday, 26 February 2017 00:23:22 UTC+1, ogunlakaiye wrote:

Bubonic plague wiped out 33 per cent of European population in the 14th century and a century later Europe was overpopulated to the extent of exterminating the American, Australian and New Zealand aborigins and planting Europeans in those non-European territories. Yet, overpopulated Europe never practised polygamy. Thus polygamy has nothing to do with overpopulation. Family pattern in Europe of that time was not firmly established on a wife and a husband co-habiting as men challenged fellow men to duel on the right to copulate with available woman. The survivor of such duel was automatically embraced by the woman on whose duel was fought and after copulation and pregnancy, she was abandoned by the man who was out to look for another prey to copulate with.


In Africa, marriage between a man and woman was systematic and the practice of polygamy preceded the incursion of Islam in Africa. Marriage to more than one wife was not caused by a male's desire just to satisfy his sexual appetite but to procreate. In his racist tuned book titled : The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa, Lord Lugard could not help observing the following, "The custom, which seems fairly general among the negro tribes, of suckling a child for two or three years, during which a woman lives apart from her husband, tends to decrease population." The implication of what Lugard meant with 'during which a woman lives apart from her husband,' is that the man never had sexual intercourse for two or three years with the suckling mother. Polygamy, in reality, ensured that every female was mated. Even where a man was monogamous and the wife attained menopause, the wife would take initiative to get a wife that was still productive for the husband since she considered that continuous copulation of the husband with her at a menopause age constituted wasting of his sperm. In the culturally unpolluted Africa, sex was never considered a leisure time engagements but solely to procreate. There were no prostitutes in pre-colonial Africa. Sanusi probably fills his harem with 30 wives while advocating that other men should limit the number of their wives to one or two. What did he produce and sell in Nigeria to get the financial and economic power to marry more than a wife? He should love his neighbour as himself and in the absence of that, he should shut his mouth and keep a low profile.

S.Kadiri
 




Från: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> för Cornelius Hamelberg <cornelius...@gmail.com>
Skickat: den 25 februari 2017 16:28
Till: USA Africa Dialogue Series
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Emir Sanusi on Polygamy, Procreation, and Poverty
 

As the late great Cardinal Rex Lawson put it : Nah so a see am o!

Some obvious problems in the way

Re- Population control by not having so many wives and siring so many children - China is a practical example of population control by state legislation.

Should it be only the rich who should be permitted to have many children?

From the point of view of the Divine injunction to fill the earth, we are to suppose that on that score, the Almighty is happy with the sleeping giant, Nigeria and Nigerians. Despite decimation by the slave trade, war, famine, poverty and disease,Wallaahu rau'oofun bil ibaad - by the grace of our merciful God, the human race will not be extinguished in Nigeria. On the whole the statistics for population increase in Nigeria is encouraging: In 1960 Nigeria's population was about 33 million souls and in 2017 the challenge will be exceeding 185 million mouths to feed, clothe, provide potable water and electricity, shelter, educate , employ, as useful citizens etc.

In this forum there's often the good wishes extended from one person to another with these words :

"May your tribe increase"

Since Nigeria practices some form of representative democracy and governments are elected through the ballot box, one man one vote, every citizen over the age of eighteen eligible to cast their ballot - this means that given the fact that ethnicity, regionalism and religion are important factors, there must therefore be a conscious will for ethnic and religious groups in all the regions to want to increase their populations and thereby their influence through the ballot box. To tell Muslims that they must abandon the sunnah of polygamy/ being allowed a maximum of four wives if they can afford them - "and those that their right hand possess" should be counter-productive should they believe that this is a smart move by non-Muslims to severely curtail their potential for political power, even dominance - as indeed would be the case if Palestinians were told to please start having fewer babies (for whatever reason)

The solution of course is the evolution of the various part/ mansions of the federation into the consciousness of being one indivisible nation, i.e. that we are all in the same boat.

There's the catholic church and their laws and teaching about abortion, contraception etc., but since Catholics don't practice polygamy which is a main focus in this discussion it's worthwhile knowing a little about

Islam on contraception .

Prophet Muhammad on coitus interruptus .

A well known hadith is Rasulullah salallahu alaihi wa salaam being asked about contraception and replying that those souls that are destined to be born will be born, no matter what.



On Saturday, 25 February 2017 01:10:41 UTC+1, ogunlakaiye wrote:

A bat cannot be classified purely as a bird or as a mouse just like Nigeria cannot be classified purely as a Republic or as a Monarchy. That there are monarchs in the Federal Republic of Nigeria is just a demonstration of the political insanity reigning in the country. Emir Sanusi, the monarch of Kano is not entitled to talk on polygamy, procreation and poverty either in his emirate or in Nigeria as whole. He cannot undo us and be our sympathiser at the same time.


As late Chinua Achebe observed in his, Ant Hills of Savanah, the colonial master met two twins in Nigeria, and made one a president and the other a shit carrier. Expanding further on his observation, I would add that the one that was made President had seen to it that the families from the generation of his twin brother remain shit carriers while the President's families are prosperous. All Nigerians, from the beginning, were poor or rich but now Nigerians are divided into impoverished masses and a few minority rich.


Tradition or culture in any society is a function of industrial and economic development. That is why tradition and culture change with industrial and economic development. Despite large numbers of Western educated Nigerians, the traditional and cultural belief in rearing children as insurance towards old age that typified agrararian society still exist today. The more children you have, it is believed that, at least, one will succeed economically to take care of the family, both near and extended. Emphasis on procreation is even more pronounced in Nigeria today because pensioners from states and federal government do not get their pensions when due.


Family Planning Council of Nigeria (FPCN) was formed in 1964 and during the military era, the name was changed to Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN). Donor agencies to PPFN are United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), European Union, Department For International Development (DFID) of the British Council and Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC). PPFN has 75 clinics spread over 36 states in Nigeria. Under the pretext of combating invented soaring maternal mortality, the PPFN aggressively conduct abortion, sterilization of women and operation of contraceptives into women. The new name for family planning in Nigeria, as in many third-world countries, is Reproductive Health Care.


In 1987, General Ibrahim Babangida's led federal government, through his Minster of Health, Professor Olikoye Ransom Kuti, and the United States Agencies for International Development (USAID), spent N228 million on Babagida's government population policy of one-woman-four-children. Through his Minister of Health, Professor Eyitan Lambo, President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced a new population policy of one-man-four children. Neither Babangida nor Obasanjo's government population policy was obeyed by the educated elites not to talk of illiterates that make up majority of the population of the country. Nigeria, at moment, is not suffering from overpopulation but unjust distribution of our collective patrimony. In the Northern part of Nigeria, particularly, the Governors are used to collecting revenue allocations from the Federal government, but instead of investing the funds on education and welfare of their people, they steal the entire federal allocations. Most of them travel to Mecca every week for Friday's prayer. When their people complain of poverty, they respond : Allah Ta Rago, meaning God is the defender of the poor. Not less than 17 former Governors from Northern Nigeria, have been arraigned and charged to court for plundering their states of billions of naira. In fact, 12 of these Governors are from Sharia ruled States but they are not being tried in Sharia courts where they would have had their hands amputated long time ago.


Kenneth wrote, "When we refuse an inoculation for our child, thinking we are protecting it, we endanger all children." I read through the article of Moses, to which Kenneth is responding, and I could not find anything relating to refusal to inoculate our child. Can you please help me solve the riddle, "we refuse an inoculation for our child?"

S. Kadiri   
 




Från: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> för Kenneth Harrow <har...@msu.edu>
Skickat: den 22 februari 2017 18:58
Till: usaafricadialogue
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Emir Sanusi on Polygamy, Procreation, and Poverty
 

It's very difficult for many people to see issues outside their own narrow cultural orbit.

It also takes a small amount of facts to determine how overpopulation impacts the larger community, the state, the continent, the world. We have a finite world, with far too many people in it, given our resources. We'll go own increasing demands for energy and food, demands on water, and  go on hearing meaningless responses, like, look how much land there is. that's like saying the earth is flat because it looks that way.

When we refuse an inoculation for our child, thinking we are protecting it, we endanger all children. We need to think in community terms on a planetary scale. Arguments in favor of ethnic or cultural exceptionalism only damage everyone.

Lastly, arguing to a muslim that they can't take more than one wife accords with the qur'an which states you can't marry more than one woman unless you can afford to pay all the necessary expenses. If people ignore that injunction, they violate a reasonable law, as if they are somehow exceptions.

 

If we think of ourselves as belonging to one large family, then we have to accept the demands of the whole family, not just our immediate family.

That means u.s. wealth and western wealth can't go just to our citizens; it also means what one member of the family decides to do impacts all of us.

Ken

 

 

Kenneth Harrow

Dept of English and Film Studies

Michigan State University

619 Red Cedar Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-803-8839

harrow@msu.edu

http://www.english.msu.edu/people/faculty/kenneth-harrow/

 

From: usaafricadialogue <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of "meoc...@gmail.com" <meoc...@gmail.com>
Reply-To: usaafricadialogue <usaafric...@googlegroups.com>
Date: Wednesday 22 February 2017 at 11:51
To: usaafricadialogue <USAAfric...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Emir Sanusi on Polygamy, Procreation, and Poverty

 

 

Emir Muhammadu Sanusi of Kano recently caused controversy by proposing a new Islamic family law to regulate polygamy, which he linked to unregulated procreation, poverty, juvenile delinquency, and terrorism.

In principle, I agree with the emir of Kano's pronouncement on polygamy, procreation, and poverty. However, there is need to proceed with caution on the legislative intervention he is proposing. I am not Muslim or Hausa so I may not be able to speak to the theological and cultural issue at stake. However, I do know that our societies in Africa are driven by patriarchy and notions of masculine pride and dignity. This culture tends to mediate how people see these things.

Like the emir, I used to display an unqualified intolerance for people who want to bring many children into this world despite lacking the means to care for them. I used to preach vehemently and somewhat haughtily against unbridled procreation among my own poor extended family. 

Then I decided to scold this stubborn member of the family, a primary school teacher who insisted, as he put it, on having as many children as God would give him, despite clearly not having the means to care for them. Several people in our family had spoken to him to no avail.

Because I was occasionally supporting him financially I felt that I had some leverage and sway with him and could convince him to see what every other person was seeing and drop his policy of unrestrained procreation. The first time I talked to him, he listened to my long speech and politely promised to look into the matter.

A couple of years and another child later, I decided to confront him again on the issue. Everyone felt that he would only listen to me. This time he was ready for me, fuming while listening to me. Because he is much older than me, I took his fuming to be a response to my tone and decided to persuade him rather than scold him for his choice. 

When my sermon was over, he cleared his throat and declared that he too had something to say to me. He said essentially that as a man, a man of our ethnic group, there are two things that one aspires to possess in abundance: wealth and children. These two possessions or at least one of them, he said, made one a man. He said he didn't have money and could never be wealthy, having become too old for wealth to happen to him. All he had left to demonstrate his masculinity in order not to be considered a failure in life was to have as many children as he could have and to be remembered for being blessed with children when he is gone. He said people like me who "have money" would not understand, since we already had the ability to possess the two gold standards of manly success. He said if he had money like me, my advice would make sense and he would not need to have many children.

Folks like him, he said, will have lived unremarkable, vain lives if they did not procreate liberally when they were on this earth. With my wealth (he saw me as wealthy) I was already guaranteed respect as a man, and regardless of how many children I have, I was assured of maximum cultural capital as a man, as well as a legacy. He then tried to appeal to my clan pride. He said I was a small boy, that I didn't know that our lineage had been depleted by untimely deaths and needed to be repopulated, and that I should appreciate and support his effort to assure the lineage of continuity and human capital in the future. Finally, he asked if I didn't think it was mean and selfish of me, a successful man assured of recognition and respect, to stop him from fulfilling his manly destiny the only way he could still do so. He was accusing me of trying to stop him from getting to where I was--a place of masculine accomplishment as defined by our culture. He was accusing me of trying to kick away the proverbial ladder that got me to the place of respect he imagined me to occupy. 

I was humbled. I piped down. He had successfully emotionally blackmailed me. He had turned the leverage I thought I had on him against me. I came into the conversation on the offensive. He had put me on the defensive. I now had to reassure him that I was not out to keep him from building a legacy of masculine accomplishment. Even though I still disagreed fundamentally with his rationalization of his unbridled procreation, he made sense from a purely cultural perspective, the most dominant frame of reference available to him.

We agreed to disagree on the issue, and I told him that he would see my point in the future and that I hoped that he would not regret shunning my advice.

Even though we parted on a note of disagreement, I came away with a better appreciation for where he was coming from, for his masculine anxieties, and for the unspoken patriarchal cultural pressures against which he was struggling, and which were unfortunately determining his procreation decision.

I knew that he was speaking from a well established cultural script. In my village in Benue state, a man considered successful in the old days would boast that he had money and he had many children, meaning that he was complete. I connected what he had said to this manly tradition of success and fulfilment.

I realized that as personal as this issue may seem, it is deeply interwoven with our society's notions of masculinity and masculine pride, and that unless the culture evolves persons operating solely within it may never be persuaded to act outside of its dictates.

 

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