Chief v. Man U / Motorcycle Diaries South Africa

Hey Mr. Omari... Tell me where you been? I've been around the world but I'll be back again....

Like listening to an Al Green song. Hearing the words run smoothly into the mic.

A conversation with Neville Alexander. Talk about inspiring. A long time associate of Nelson Mandela, Alexander spent 10 years in prison side by side with Mandela. We listened to him speak for about 2 hours and I must say he was quite inspiring. He spoke about South Africa and why it’s significant in the discussion of race, identity, and human condition. His comparison to the US went something like this… SA is different from the US in that racism and apartheid have been dealt with in a different way. A way that is not possible in the US because in SA the black people are the majority, yet they have still been oppressed. However, in the US, the oppressed are NOT the majority. Something else that he touched on that I’ve heard before is the fact that race is not a biological world, but it is definitely a social construct/reality. And because of that we must rethink race and deal with it. We cannot simply ignore it. Something that Muneer, another comrade on the trip also pointed out in his blog is Alexander’s thoughts on the way one must think about his or her perspectives on life. Alexander says, ‘commit yourself to a set of values that you can see the world from.’ But you must be able to adapt within your paradigm as time goes by. You cannot become stuck in these values. He went on to speak about affirmative action in detail in South Africa and briefly touched on affirmative action in the US. If you are not familiar with him I encourage you to google his name, check out some articles and possibly look at some of his books.

Like listening to Donny Hathaway during finals week because I’m a bit stressed… Leading to sadness and sometimes anger, ALWAYS frustration.

Yesterday was a quite interesting day. We went to the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum for the last official workday. A sad day but a frustrating day more than anything. If you haven’t been able to google the Lwandle community and museum yet, I encourage you to do so. There is a rich history and a story to be told (I’m really plugging google today). I have shared some of my thoughts with you about our work there and some of my questions as well. Yesterday, some disturbing things came out in some of the talks we had with women who were former hostel occupants and the true story of their departure/removal from the hostels, including broken promises on what was to come after leaving the hostel life behind. More disturbing was who they blamed for the broken promises. I must say that it seems as though in the last three weeks we have discovered much about the politics of what is happening with this museum and still stand in the dark about the rest. This is not an accident. But, I will stop there, if you’re interested in more, we can talk when I get back.

Like listening to Dead Prez and getting excited from their words when they speak about Steve Biko (we ALL need to read about Biko).

Keizer Chiefs v. Manchester United. Talk about an experience of a lifetime… And it was an exhibition game. Man U didn’t even bring Christiano Ronaldo (the best soccer player in the world) but it was WILD! Where am I planning to be in 2010??? Definitely back in South Africa for the world cup. No need to buy tickets to the games, I’ll just go to the fan plaza and watch on the big screen. The largest sports stage in the world… futbol… world cup. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Signing off…

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