Sisters of the Yam

Although most of the issues brought to light here pertain to Africa(ns), this is a blog about culture and world issues.
Hopefully you see some interesting stuff and learn a thing or two.

Tornadoisland is my personal blog. It's not too serious

From a fandom and wondering what this politics blog is doing following you?
This is the reason why

astec:

a—fri—ca:

Sahara,  Niger by Basil Pao

I really don’t think we’re going to end racism by joking about it. Like i’m glad that the white liberals feel like they are less racist because they can joke about people who are more explicitly racist but that actually does nothing to help people of color

biomedicalephemera:

Facial clefts in the embryo and adult

Early in the development of the embryo, we’re basically just a tube, with a notochord (the precursor to our nervous system) and three layers of tissue. The branchial arches, neural crest, and somites join together as they develop to form the head and neck.

To become a creature with a face, this tube must close in a very specific way, and in mammals, the way that it comes together is very similar between the species. In fact, most mammals can end up developing very similar facial deformities.

In the human, there are 15 “clefts” (separations) that join together very early on in development. The primary regions of the face are completely brought together before the embryo is even the size of a penny (17 mm - about 2/3 of an inch). Most clefts are brought together before the fetus is 1 cm long - less than the diameter of a AAA battery.

Since most of the facial clefts are some of the earliest possible non-lethal deformities, the failure of one or more of them to fuse does not stop the development, unlike many other early congenital problems. For most serious deformities at this stage, the genes simply stop giving cogent signals to one another, and the female’s body self-aborts, as it is not evolutionarily advantageous to create a non-viable fetus.

———————————————————————

While all facial clefts have the potential to fail to fuse, the ones that most frequently result in viable fetuses are the clefts of the palate and the maxillary processes. These can occur bilaterally (on both sides), unilaterally (only on one side), and can involve part of the palate, only the palate, only the lip, or the complete palate and lip structure. The most common defect is an isolated unilateral cleft lip, formerly known as a "harelip" (though that term is often seen as derogatory these days).

Due to the fact that the face is the way most people identify one another, its importance in human culture can make any facial deformity a problem for the person who has it. While cleft lips have been fixed for as long as people have had stitches (at least 5000 years), fixing the bone clefts has been much more difficult and daunting. In 1827, John Peter Mettauer completed the first successful bone-flap transplant to fix a cleft palate, and reconstructive surgery has only improved since then.

While most facial cleft anomalies are now routinely fixed at a very young age in industrialized nations, there are many parts of the world where hospital access is limited, and cleft deformities are not easily repaired. The loss of nutrition that suckling difficulty in children with cleft palates have can have life-long consequences. And that’s assuming the infant survives.

Charitable organizations such as Operation Smile attempt to fill that gap - literally.

(via afro-dominicano)

cuntycuntycunty:

8 Accounts of Black People Being Used As Guinea Pigs

Gynecology Invented Through The Torture of Black Women

In the 19th century, the father of modern gynecology, J. Marion Sims, conducted his research experiments on enslaved Black women. Sims performed the invasive and torturous procedures without anesthesia. J. Marion Sims’ justification for choosing not to anesthetize his test subjects was that he did not believe Black women felt pain at all. In an 1857 lecture, he stated that it was “not painful enough to justify the trouble”.

The Tuskegee Experiment

The Tuskegee Institute and the Public Health Service began a study of the natural progression of syphilis involving 600 Black men (399 with syphilis, 201 uninfected) in 1932. The infected men involved in the study were never made aware of their condition upon diagnosis and believed they were being treated for “bad blood”. In exchange for their participation, the men received free medical examinations and burial insurance. They were never treated for the disease. These trials went on until 1972 when the study was exposed by The Associated Press. The remaining victims and their family members won a $10,000,000 reparations settlement which guaranteed them lifetime health coverage and burial insurance.

The Pellagra Incident
Pellagra is an ailment commonly caused by a lack of niacin (vitamin B-13) in the human diet. The symptoms include skin lesions, sunlight sensitivity, dementia and ends in death. At the turn of the twentieth century, millions of people in the United States died from this disease. Scientists claimed that the cause of the disease was a toxin found in corn. In 1915, the U.S. Surgeon General ordered government funded experiments on Black prisoners afflicted with pellagra. Poor diet and niacin deficiency was found to be the cause. However, these life-saving findings were not released to the public until 1935 because the majority of Pellagra-induced deaths affected Black communities.

The Ebb Cade Experiment

In 1945, African-American Ebb Cade, a 53-year-old truck driver, was secretly injected with plutonium, the substance used to make nuclear bombs. After breaking several of his bones in automotible accident, he was rushed to the emergency room. Unbeknownst to Ebb Cade, he was in the care of doctors that were also U.S. Atomic Agency employees. For six months, he was held in the hospital under the belief that they were treating his injuries. During that time, he was injected with more than 40 times the amount of plutonium an average person is exposed to in a lifetime. The doctors and researchers collected bone samples and extracted 15 teeth to monitor the effects of his exposure. Ebb Cade grew suspicious of his broken-bone treatments and escaped from the hospital. Unfortunately, Cade suffered from the brutal effects of intense radiation until he died from heart failure eight years later at the age of 61.

Weaponized Mosquito Experiment

In the early 1950′s, the United States government conducted an experiment to see if mosquitoes could be weaponized. The CIA and the U.S. military released nearly a half million mosquitoes carrying  yellow fever and dengue fever viruses into several Black communities in Florida. In the predominantly Black community of Avon Park, dozens of Black people became ill, eight dying as a result of this government-issued mosquito attack.

Infants Injected With Test Drugs In Los Angeles

In June 1990, more than 1500 six-month old Black and Hispanic babies in Los Angeles were given what seemed to be a standard measles vaccination. The parents were not told that this particular vaccine, Edmonston Zagreb measles vaccine (EZ), was still in its research phase and not approved by the FDA. The EZ vaccine already had a reputation in Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Haiti, triggering an increased death rate among infant girls, most not living past the age of two. The Center for Disease Control would later confess that the infants were injected with an experimental vaccination without their parent’s knowledge. Presently, it is believed that many of these families are still unaware that their babies were used as guinea pigs.

The Toxic Sludge Experiment of Baltimore and St. Louis

In the year 2000, Federally funded researchers from John Hopkins University, the EPA, HUD, The Kennedy Krieger Institute and Department of Agriculture spread sludge from a sewage treatment plant on the lawns of nine low-income families, and a vacant lot in Baltimore and East St. Louis.  The families and residents were told the sludge was safe and not informed about the toxic mixture of human and industrial waste the sludge contained. The research was conducted to see if the toxic waste absorbed into the water supply could effectively reduce lead levels in children.

Children Forcibly Vaccinated in Chad

In December 2012, at least 500 children in Gouro, Chad were forcibly given the MenAfriVac during school resulting in dangerous side effects including convulsions, and paralysis. Parents were not notified of any plans to vaccination their children at school and parental consent was never requested. The forced vaccinations were part of an aggressive healthcare initiative sponsored by several internationally revered organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

(via slowweaves)

Racism is so universal in this country, so widespread, and so deep-seated, that it is invisible because it’s so normal.

Shirley Chisholm  (via racismschool)

Whooomp!!!

(via iyaricorazon)

(via halfhardtorock)

anarcho-queer:

WikiLeaks: Obama Administration Pressured Haiti’s President To Lower Minimum Wage

A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour.

Contractors for Fruit of the Loom, Hanes and Levi’s worked in close concert with the US Embassy when they aggressively moved to block a minimum wage increase for Haitian assembly zone workers, the lowest-paid in the hemisphere, according to secret State Department cables.

It started when Haiti passed a law two years ago raising its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour. According to an embassy cable:

This infuriated American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss that pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. They said they would only fork over a seven-cent-an-hour increase, and they got the State Department involved. The U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies (the U.S. minimum wage, which itself is very low, works out to $58 a day).

Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers. If you paid each of them $2 a day more, it would cost their employers $50,000 per working day, or about $12.5 million a year … As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year.

Thanks to U.S. intervention, the minimum was raised only to 31 cents.

The revelation of US support for low wages in Haiti’s assembly zones was in a trove of 1,918 cables made available to the Haitian weekly newspaper Haïti Liberté by the transparency group WikiLeaks. As part of a collaboration with Haïti Liberté, The Nation is publishing English-language articles based on those cables.

This is so serious.

Poverty is not natural. It is man-made.

(via slowweaves)

True, the Black woman did the housework, the drudgery; true, she reared the children, often alone, but she did all of that while occupying a place on the job market, a place her mate could not get or which his pride would not let him accept. And she had nothing to fall back on: not maleness, not whiteness, not lady-hood, not anything. And out of the profound desolation of her reality, she may very well have invented herself.

Toni Morrison (via eibmorb)

She created herself.

(via howtobeterrell)

(via racialicious)

vanishingculturesproject:

Xikrin men and women gather in a house in the Amazon rainforest to have their bodies painted. The Xikrin are fighting against construction of the Belo Monte - the world’s third largest dam - being built a few miles away on the mighty Xingu River. 

(via astec)

nigerianheir:

5centsapound:

Andrew Putter: Native Work (Capetown, South Africa)

Gallery Statement:

This new installation comprises 21 black-and-white photographs of contemporary black Capetonians….

very important

(via browngurlwfro)

standwithpalestine:

Promises (2001) / Faris Odeh was shot to death by an Israeli soldier on November 9, 2000 in Gaza during the Second Intifada as he crouched down to pick up another stone.

(via browngurlwfro)

america-wakiewakie:

Black Panther Eddie Conway, free after 44 years, calls for release of all political prisoners | People’s World 

After serving nearly 44 years for a crime he did not commit, Marshall Eddie Conway finally walked out of the Maryland House of Corrections, March 4, a free man.

The former Black Panther Party leader called immediately for a struggle to free all political prisoners across the nation. Many, like himself, Conway charged, were victims of frame-ups orchestrated under the infamous FBI Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO).

Speaking on the Democracy NOW news program, Conway thanked the millions of people who worked tirelessly to win his freedom. There are, he added, “political prisoners all across the country now, from the Black Panther Party" who were "victims of the COINTELPRO operation." 

He added, “It undermined a lot of people. It painted a picture that caused people not to get fair trials …. It caused a lot of our members to get assassinated.”

Senate hearings in 1975 by Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, exposed COINTELPRO’s infiltration and dirty tricks as an FBI scheme to “perpetrate violence among Black groups and among other groups,” Conway added.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was among the targets of COINTELPRO secretly established by the FBI in the early 1950s with the Communist Party USA being its primary target.

Conway who has always pleaded innocent, was convicted during his 1970 trial almost solely on the basis of testimony by a jailhouse snitch. The weapon used to kill the police officer, Donald Sager, was never found.

Later it was revealed that a National Security Agency undercover agent set up the Baltimore branch of the Black Panther Party, Conway said. “I think some of the most active people in the organization were targeted, followed around by the COINTELPRO and opportunities were created with agent provocateurs or police agents …. incidents were created that ultimately led to them destroying like 25 of our 37 chapters in a period of 18 months.”

The president has pardoned some victims of this FBI wrecking operation, he said. But political prisoners, like Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier ”need to have the same kind of support … to help them get free,” he said.

(Read Full Text)

(via afro-dominicano)

theblackdalia:

israelfacts:

A Health Ministry inspector poured bleach over pots full of food in a Sudanese restaurant in Tel Aviv Sunday night.

The inspector, from the ministry’s district office for Tel Aviv, was participating in a raid by police and municipal inspectors on illegal businesses owned by African migrants. Altogether, the raid shut down 10 businesses in the city’s Neveh Sha’anan neighborhood, confiscating their equipment and welding the doors shut. The equipment was then loaded onto vans by other African migrants who had been hired as contract workers.

Many diners saw the inspector pouring bleach on the food, and one, asylum-seeker Aladin Abaker from Sudan’s Darfur region, posted photos of the incident on his Facebook page. He also described his feelings of humiliation.

“Everyone − except the destroyers − was in tears from the humiliation,” he wrote. “The waitress told us, ‘I’ve seen very harsh things in my life, like torture in Sinai, but this humiliated me more than what happened to me in Sinai.”

Abaker accused the inspector of “insensitivity to people and their culture, which sees food as a sacred thing that must be respected,” and said the raid was aimed at “embittering our lives so we’ll return to Africa ‘voluntarily.’”

Altogether, he said, more than 200 kilograms of meat, chicken and fish and over 500 prepared meals were destroyed.

The inspectors said they didn’t know where the meat came from and therefore feared for the diners’ health, Abaker wrote. “We told them: But this is the only place we’ve eaten all our meals for four years now, and none of us ever had stomach problems. Even whites eat here.”

The Health Ministry responded that inspectors had discovered “deplorable sanitary conditions, food stored under unsuitable conditions and temperatures, and food from unknown sources. In order to preserve the public’s health and that of the diners themselves, it was decided to destroy the food immediately. As part of the process of destroying the food, chemicals suitable to this purpose are used. It should be noted that this was a routine process of food destruction that is no different from other destructions of food/meat.”

Tel Aviv’s deputy city manager, Ruby Zelof, said the raids were carried out “to eradicate the undesirable phenomenon of businesses operating illegally, with sanitation and safety problems and illegal connections to electricity and water, and sales of alcoholic beverages without permits.”

Haaretz | Photo credit: Aladin Abaker

Israel is deporting Africans and also planning to put tens of thousands into detention camps.

Knesset Member Miri Regev — a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party — called the refugees “a cancer in our body” and Danny Danon — also a Likud Knesset Member — wrote on his Facebook page referring to the Africans as “infiltrators”. Interior Minister Eli Yishai said the African asylum seekers threaten “the Zionist dream,” adding, “Jobs will root them here.”

See also:

…………..

(via guerrillamamamedicine)

angrypeopleofcolorunited:

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!!

(via mysoulhasgrowndeep-liketherivers)

I am so grateful she exists in the world. But apart from my own personal love for her, I think her existence is very important. Because Lupita is there and occupying a place where she’s on her way to becoming a major movie star and looking the way she looks - she has very dark skin, natural hair, her hair looks exactly as it looks as it grows from her head - this is spectacular. And I think it’s fantastic for so many young woman out there in the world for whom beauty for so long has been defined as something they are not. Lupita is glorious.

(via ourafrica)