This year I plan to celebrate Xmas a bit differently, by paying homage , and show gratitude ,to a few unsound heroes from my past.These are people who directly , and otherwise, dedicated their lives to the service of others. Often with little fanfare , or rewards, they persevered to the end ,in making an impact, for betterment of our planet. Some are now dead, and so cannot really acknowledge my paltry gesture, others ,are still here with us , and maybe ,I can be presumptuous enough to think, that they , or relatives , and friends , can see that their sacrifices, were not in vain, after reading this.
How many was blessed to have a Grandmother like mine? Great woman , for being a part of my life from 8 weeks , to her premature death at a mere 53 years,just as I turned 16, and needed her most.
Not having a mother and father in my life , took it’s toll, but the lessons learned at her side , were able to sustain , and therefore made me the being ,I am today, namely a caring humanist ,striving to prudently work, in the service of other , some deem less fortunate.
Before NGO’s or rather Civil Society, was in the lexicons , of media pundits, my Grand-mom , was in the trenches ,working in the cause of young women , by teaching them life skills to be self sufficient in arts and crafts , while using resources from the land, or fulling her religious obligations via her Church organization , for common good. She was a pragmatic neo spiritualist,ardent agriculturist,intellectually curious , resilient character , unwavering in the face of problems, and a thrifty, independent entrepreneur , with a healthy work ethic, all fine qualities , she passed on to me, and for that I say thanks.
How about four selfless , visionary ,Pan Afrikanist ,political Statesmen , of international repute? CLR James , and fearless, re known ,psychologically uplifting author , and liberal thinker ? He chronicled the exploits of Haitian anti European ,pro freedom , revolutionary classic , The Black Jacobins, that remained a model for fight by the masses against social oppressions.
He remained a teacher , and social activist , for global Afrikans, from the Caribbean , Europe , America, and the Virgin Continent, and became a huge influence on students such as fellow countryman ,Eric Eustace Williams ,the 1st PM of Trinidad and Tobago.
Eric at age 27, wrote his Doctoral Dissertation at Oxford England , that completely debunked the then historically popular Euro centric notion, touted by intellectual elites ,as to the faulty humanitarian, neo Christian ,benevolent explanations , as to why Afrikan slavery ended in the Caribbean.
This was entitled ,”The Economic Aspect of the West Indian Slave Trade and Slavery,” and due to it's content, was only published decades later in Britain.
It was blatant racism, experienced in Britain , including inability to acquire employment - even after topping his respective , white dominated classes -which prompted him ,to travel instead to the USA , and there taught at Howard, and help shape the impressionable mind of perhaps the greatest , unrecognized ,Afrikan Civil Right activist, America , and the world ever saw , in yet another fellow country man , Stokly Carmichael.
He Stokley ,at a steep price , and personal sacrifices ,help bring racial pride , amongst historically discriminated,ex slaves ,suffering the ugly vagaries genocidal,of a White American Jim Crow system , and in turn, help elevate , the rest of global Afrikans. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMelYYXMj1Y
Finally on this list is to me the greatest Afrikan leader of all time in Dr Julius Nyerere, an honest , visionary , integrationist politician.
Until Nelson Mandela decades later , he was not only the first President to leave office voluntarily ,but also the only one , to leave poorer ,than he entered. His legacy of peace, and Afrikan nationalism , and racial pride ,remain exemplary .
An ardent fan of China's Mao,it is felt that if his self serving, neo imperialistic ,fellow Afrikan leaders , had the courage to rebuff European intimidation , and instead adopt his more progressive, social ideas, then Asia , Europe , and North America,in 2011 , would have had, a strong Continental rival in Afrika, as far as global economic - com political superiority.
I am talking about a few former Professors of mine , from Queens College CUNY , that helped shape my perspective immensely, in environmental Politics ,in addition to imbalanced ,discriminatory, racial , economic ,and political power dynamics ,as played out in the Globe ,between Northern Industrial countries, led by Western Europe , and North America , and mainly resource ladened states ,of the Global South.
Thanks Judith Kimerling, a 2011 Albertson Medal Winner.
Great job Tito! http://clogic.eserver.org/4-2/monchinski.html
How can I ignore , what can best be described as two ardent neo Feminist ,with the humanist touch, in both Sociology , and Political Science? These two females,together proved to me , the merits of pragmatism ,solidarity politics , and practical intermarriage of ground level up approaches, interspersed with respectful top down policy approaches ,as the most effective mechanism, for trying to eliminate big Human Security problems ,such as for example ,terrorism, economic class inequities,and lack of political empowerment , that are connected to race, and gender Rights.
Much appreciated Alyson. http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=10322
Most Grateful ,Suzanne http://events.cuny.edu/eventDetail.asp?EventId=30069
Just today , I spoke with a young lady about a million miles away ,who is now dreading another boring Xmas. Hopefully ,my example , can help reinforce some of my thoughts to her , on the true essence of this season.
To reiterate , it's giving , sharing , appreciating , and being exemplars to others in need , while finding ways to still serve, beyond self,yes?
Luv Humanity , as it remains a beautiful life!