TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Afrikan-Canadian Youth Activists; Rev. Jeremiah Wright in his own words

6 PM Mountain Time

All youth face difficulties in the transition from childhood to adulthood, but those difficulties are typically greater for youth who immigrate. In Edmonton, the increasingly large population of new Canadians from the Afrikan continent, especially from the Horn of Afrika, is finding that Canada contains within it much opportunity—for success, as well as for suffering.

On Monday, I spoke with two youth activists who are attempting to steer their peers towards productive, happy lives. Yannick Dako from Ivory Coast is 21 years old and is currently in an internship program with the YMCA. He’s also worked for Canadian Heritage and has been volunteering with Youth and Family Alliance of Alberta and Family First.

Amal Issa is a 19 year old Political Science student at the University of Alberta. Of Somali heritage, she currently volunteers at Edmonton’s new Africa Centre located ine former Wellington school, where she helps tutor young people in the African-Canadian community. She’s considering international development for her future.

Under the guidance of community worker Chantal Hitayezu of Rwanda, both youth are helping to organise a concert in June to raise money for scholarships and academic assistance for Afrikan students in Edmonton. We began by discussing obstacles facing Afrikan immigrant youth.

Reverend Jeremiah Wright

The striving of US Senator Barack Obama for his party’s presidential nomination seemed nearly unstoppable, until the recent controversy surrounding the remarks of Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright.

Obama’s handling of the matter, as seen through the lens of corporate press, has seemed to be a calculated distancing from his pastor. Obama’s own words about his pastor and his church, published March 18th in the New York Times, tell a somewhat different story, and read in part as follows:

“Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

“And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

“I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

Listen to the speech here.

Who is the man who has been employed as the latest weapon against the Obama candidacy?

Since 1972, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. has preached at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ. He’s been a Marine, a cardiopulmonary technician, and an academic, having received his doctorate in Theology from the United Theological Seminary. He has also been the recipient of eight honorary doctorates.

The phrase ‘Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian’ was coined by Rev. Wright’s predecessor, and shortly after Wright’s ministry began, the phrase became the church’s motto. Under Wright’s stewardship, the church has grown from 87 members to over 6,000, and has included Oprah Winfrey among its parishioners. Wright has lectured at universities and seminaries across the United States and internationally, and is the author of four books.

Let’s now hear a sermon by Rev. Wright delivered in 1990. The Reverend delivers an exegesis, or explanation of scripture, as mixed with comments about the modern world. Many thanks to UNDERCOVER BLACKMAN for the following three links:

AUDIO: The Audacity to Hope
By Rev.

Black clergy try to put Wright's comments in context
Supporters say he is part of a historical role in the black church

Obama’s Pastor Speaks Out against the NYT last year

Media Hold McCain, Obama to Different Standards

"...[McCain supporter] John Hagee, who has called Roman Catholicism a 'false cult system,' an 'apostate church' and a 'Great Whore.' Hagee has also stated (NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06) that the Quran mandates Muslims to kill Christians and Jews, and has blamed Hurricane Katrina on a New Orleans gay pride parade. So far this year, U.S. media have found Farrakhan's Obama endorsement much more interesting than Hagee's McCain endorsement: The Nexis file had 478 stories on Obama and Farrakhan, 123 on McCain and Hagee."


Let’s now open the gates to The Pan-Afrikanist’s Library, a semi-regular feature on The Terrordome in which I ask people from here and people from afar, jus’ folks and famous folks, about their favourite books by writers from any nation of the Afrikan Planet.

Tonight we’ll hear from Seith Mann, a television director who’s worked on such shows as The Wire, Shark, Friday Night Lights, Jericho, and Grey’s Anatomy. Seith Mann speaks of the fantasy-horror novel My Soul to Keep by Afrikan-American author Tananarive Due.


Ryan Oakley said…
That Obama speech actually turned me from being highly skeptical to liking the guy. I thought there was a lot of sense in what he said. It really surprised me.

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