TED Conversations

Zhan Baraka-Love

President & CEO, Ujima Enterprises Incorporated

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Getting Africa off the margins in such discussions as this (African languages are not accepted on your lists!) Educating children of Africa

Getting Africa off the margins in such discussions as this (African languages are not accepted on your lists!) Educating children of African descent as to their true and extensive heritage. Expanding knowledge of African contributions in textbooks around the world. The root of global conflict is cultural hierarchy.

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  • Mar 9 2013: I hope the TED conversations do not all draw responses of "againstness" and criticism from narrow-minded and arrogant people--the privileged world has an over-supply conflict. I will try to give it some time with an open mind to see of this is a forum for understanding, or if I should continue to focus my energies on what is good and productive about this world.
  • Mar 9 2013: Sorry, but you are not my friend. Who are you to tell me who I am?!? You know nothing about me. I disagree and reject every warped opinion you posted. I will not reply to you again. My friends are people who do not set themselves up as a demi-god and assume they can decide who is or is not what ethnicity; also my friends do not hold a low opinion of Africa and negatively characterize her problems resulting from so many centuries of outside interference and exploitation. I have traveled and lived on the African continent in five different countries and have had an entirely different experience than the one you seem to have had. Perhaps your nose was too far up in the air to actually experience anything else. I hold an American passport, but my God-given Ethnicity places me among indigenous African people. More than that you need not know because you seem to be too opinionated to be a thinker. May The Creator touch your soul and open your mind.
  • Mar 4 2013: Sorry but you are not an African my friend, you are an american. Africa is in the early stages of it's development as are it's people. There are fewer resources in Africa, travel is more cumbersome, etc. Unfortunately Africa has not proven to be the optimal environment for human development, but rejoice! As you are not of Africa or it's environment but of the US and it's far more advanced environment where travel, trade and education are far more accessible! If you wish to improve Africa I would say first step is to introduce some type of widely held religion that discourages sex (one of the main positive functions of religion or at least it was before contraception) before marriage in order to combat the AIDS epidemic which is probably it's most dire problem at the moment until or unless a cure can be found.
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    Feb 22 2013: The "roots" of ALL people are….Africa….we are essentially all African, all humans anywhere else in the world are an invasive exotic species. There is only 1 race, the Human race, everything else used to describe our differences are just a cultural environmental backstory.
    • Mar 9 2013: There is much talk about the One-ness of humanity; we are all the same; we are more alike than different, etc. This has become a platitude in the face of an intentionally destructive force whose policies, behaviors, and actions of a small segment of the world's human population which has no intention of recognizing all humanity as one. The problem is a spiritual one--not a religious one (which becomes another venue for conflict); it requires recognition that spiritual growth is the responsibility of each of us. We are Spiritual Beings having an Earthly Experience--we come from Spirit to Earth and we return to Spirit when we leave earth. If we prefer a scientific view, some say, nothing is created or destroyed. There is One Life Force, but humans, and all of life, represent Its power to manifest in many shapes and forms. Our short coming is to fear and reject Creation's (Spirit, The Force, God..etc) many manifestations--we fear rather than embrace difference from mutually respectful intercultural communication. We cross boundaries, set up hierarchies, and operate from a "dominance" behavior paradigm and, full of ignorance, we deign to judge and characterize others rather than tending to our own spiritual growth to be a force for good in this world.
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    • Mar 9 2013: There is no taxpayer financing. And what if negative forces prevent people or disconnect people from their ethnic heritage, yet their DNA still identifies them as belonging to a particular ethnic group? There is much interest in genealogy throughout this country, Ancestry.com and other search groups are doing great business. People who are adopted generally want to know their roots; people looking for their family story of all ethnicities want to know their roots. Some have the luxury of being able to afford the searches, others rely on what public documents are available to them. Love of culture and love of money is a strangely false dichotomy. How about love of knowledge and truth? How about learning from the past to go forward with an informed future? We believe that ethnic differences are part of Creation and are here to enrich us all if we would only learn to respect the different contributions to the different manifestations of cultural worldviews. Maybe if we had had more respect for the First people of this land and learned from them, we would not be suffering the weather extremes that result from the way we handle the earth. A man dying in a sink-hole that opened in his house is as symbolic as the east coast disaster, and the air pollution in China of the uneasy relationship and disrespect humans have for the earth and for each other.