Note from BW of Brazil: The recent visit by King Oni of Ifé, leader of the Yoruba people in Nigeria, is being hailed as an important symbol of a rising New Black Globalization. With the UN declaring the 10-year period between 2015 and 2024 as the decade of African descendants, we are witnessing a new possibility of a global black nationalism with more communication, dialogue, exchange and understanding of the common experiences of Africa and its descendants. This was big news in a country such as Brazil where persons of visible African ancestry have long been taught to distance themselves from this connection, a brainwashing that has affected masses of black people throughout the world in varying degrees. It was particularly big news in Bahia, where the Yoruba people historically have an enormous influence on the state’s history and culture.
With more and more persons of African descent crossing borders and building relationships with “cousins” around the world as well as with “Mãe África” (Mother Africa), with modern technology, there is a new possibility of constructing a truly global community in order that Africa and its people may begin to deal with the world from a position of power instead of depending on the handouts and the influence of powerful forces that don’t have their interest at heart. The possibilities are endless, and the time is long overdue. May the African world from Brazil, to the United States, Colombia to Africa the Caribbean and other nations that are home to African descendants rise and unite! It is the only way to guarantee our very survival!
The New Black Globalization: Connections of diasporas and African countries
What do the King of Ifé’s visit to Brazil, MIPAD and UN International have in common?
This week, the King Oni to Ifé, leader of the Yoruba people in Nigeria, with its entourage of 150 people, in addition to the queen Diambi Kabatusuila, Congo landed in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The intent of the visit was the rapprochement of afrodescendentes do Brasil (African descendants of Brazil) to African countries for development and economic and cultural exchanges between the Yorubás and the comunidade negra (black community) in the country in the construction of a new civilizatory mark, where the union between black people of the whole world is in progress. In interviews with the King of Ifé brought messages of cooperation and identity beyond territorial limits: “The afrodescendentes need to know. We are not slaves. We were enslaved. The black Brazilians belong to lineages of kings, queens. We can speak different languages, but we are of the same family. We came to associate with you. Every day you must wake up, because you have to contribute greatly to this world,” said the King.
This movement, which should also be associated with the philosophy of Nacionalismo Preto (black nationalism) of the 19th century, is increasingly latent by the great representativeness in numbers of African descendants. Brazil has the second largest black population in the world, losing only to Nigeria. Increasingly the Brazilian population increases self-declares itself as pretos e pardos (blacks and browns), in recent years the number of afrodescendentes increased by 14% according to IBGE, demonstrating the rupture of a eugenic culture and the increasing pride in their African ancestry. “We need to transmit information of our ancestors to promote justice, equality and balance of the society,” said queen Diambi, of the Congo.
Another action that has mobilized Brazilians to the so-called “Nova” Globalização (“New” globalization) is the MIPAD – Most Influential People of African Descent in 2018 in its second edition, has been publishing a list of the 100 most influential African descendants in the world (under age 40). With the support of the UN International, in addition to a recognition of the MIPAD connects executives and personalities that cause global impact in their activities. This year the Brazilian appointed already disclosed are: Marcus Vinicius Marinho in the category of Policy and Governance; Lisiane Lemos, Paulo Rogério Nunes and Nina Silva, the latter chosen in the category of Entrepreneurship and Business due to the promotion of Black Money through initiatives such as Vale do Dendê – accelerating for afroempreendedores (Afro-entrepreneurs) and D’Black Bank – fintech of social business and financial services to the black ecosystem, respectively. The winners of the categories Media & Culture and Humanitarianism & religion have yet to be announced by the organization that promises to have even more Brazilians appointed by acknowledging the importance of Brazil to the dialog of black entities around the world.
In addition to the conference and awards ceremony which will take place in New York at the end of the month of September, other activities will be part of MIPAD 100 throughout the year, such as conferences in the United States and African countries. Nina Silva, founding partner of D’Black Bank comments that from the appointment the winners she has received invitations to speak with the other black executives outside the country: “From MIPAD I have had the opportunity to expand my work network with globally influential black entrepreneurs and professionals and I received the invitation to speak at the Ghana Tech Summit.” For Lisiane Lemos, also named in the 2018 class, “MIPAD besides acknowledging black agents of transformation aims to connect, give visibility and leverage business relations within and transcendent to the group. Expanding and recognizing in other people who also go through the same difficulties even being from other countries, because of the fact of being black is the possibility of strengthening groups in greater scope to generate our own opportunities.”
But what do the visit of King Oni of Ife, the Queen Diambi, the UN, the MIPAD and the Black Money have in common?
“Africans and African descendants from all over the world recognize that this is the time of black recovery and upliftment. The black population in Brazil consumes annually R$1.6 trillion. This generous value, usually, goes to companies that do not comply with our agendas and often do not see the economic potential of their clientes negros (black customers). Consuming internally makes us modify an entire economic logic: We contribute to a generation of employment and income, especially for those who are neglected in the labor market. And we encourage the growth of afroempreendedores.” says Rodrigo França, sociologist, actor and theater director.
The UN declared 2015 to 2024 the década dos Afrodescendentes no mundo (decade for people of African Descent) in the world, several associations have signed agreements for global and regional development in cooperation with the institution for projects that bring real transformation in the reality of the população negra (black population) and reduction of inequalities, however in Brazil these projects are concentrated in civil society without visibility in the media or governmental agreements.
The time for this realignment between the Diasporas and the African Continent could not be better, investments and cooperation agreements are coming closer to “emerging” countries that today are determinant economic powers, for example the Chinese expansionism which has made the world witness a dispute of axis of power that is causing an accelerated growth in African countries, such as: Ethiopia (+8.5%); Ivory Coast (+7.6%); Djibouti (+7%); Senegal (+6.8%), Tanzania (+6.5%), distancing themselves from the miserable legacy of European colonialism, says Alan Soares, founder of the movement Movimento Black Money.
For Nina Silva, a specialist in business management and technology, Brazil is late by expanding the connection of Afro-Brazilians and other blacks at the global level but with the digital transformation this “delay” can be recuperated: “We consume but are not included in the market, so let us be our own market. It is urgent to unify the socioeconomic relations between blacks with the intention of the real liberation of the structures of oppression and maintainers of the inequalities in the world,” she complements.