It may be presumptuous to post a Blog entitled the “All African (Self-Help) Bazaar” and there are those who may resent my giving such a sweeping concerns to the writings of one individual. But in my discussions with Africans, both of the Continent and of the Diaspora, it is clear that there are many concerns that seem to be common to a large number of us.
Quality of Life issues are predominant in the daily concerns of Africans. There is a strong interest among most Africans to improve the quality of our lives as a community and to secure for our community those things that we value. Whether those quality of life values involve: Improved health, wealth sharing, respect, power over our own lives, the acquisition of skills and enlightenment, the ability to express affection and to enjoy the affection bestowed by others or the ability to live a life of rectitude in accordance with our own beliefs; these are things we desire.
Traditionally, a Bazaar is the place where people come to commune and exchange what they have for what they need. At this online bazaar it is hoped that quality of life issues can be addressed by members of the African Family who have and resources to share with those in need, and who also seek the abilities and resources of others to help address their own needs.
We are a community (or Family) because most of us claim cultural histories, which (in part) record periods of economic exploitation – either through colonization or enslavement. And most of us give voice to the opinion that lasting effects of those processes of economic exploitation still negatively impact upon our ability to maximize those values by which we measure the quality of our lives. And most of us wish to maximize those values for ourselves and our immediate families – as well as for our African Family. If you need clarification on what I mean when I speak of the “African Family,” you may wish to read the footnote at the end of this article.
So, what specifically am I attempting with this blog?
I wish to try to bring together and provide information to those individuals who are working to improve the quality of life of all members of the African Family – whom I shall simply refer to as “Africans” in the future. There are groups that are seeking to provide assistance in some small (or large) way to Africans in need. There are individuals and groups who know specifically where needs exist and how best to address those needs. And there are those individuals and groups who are seeking the types of assistance that be be offered by visitors to this blog.
It will be my intention to post descriptions of projects being conducted by those who are engaged in the process of trying to assist Africans. I hope to post requests for assistance by those who are seeking assistance in their projects. I also hope to post notices from those individuals and groups who wish to offer resources or other contributions to the various efforts to help Africans.
It might be best at this point to explain by example what the All African Self Help Bazaar intends to do, and how it intends to function.
There are several groups who are engaged in collecting books for schools in different African nations. These efforts include not only identify the sources of the books, acquiring the books, preparing them for shipment, but also shipping them several thousand miles.
There are literally thousands of Africans in the United States alone who have access to used school text books. These individuals can provide information about where those books are, who to contact to try to acquire them books and also what groups or individuals locally might be willing to lend assistance to the acquisition and shipping of those books.
So, for an initial attempt to try to help ourselves, I would like to hear from those individuals and groups who are seeking books and assistance in collecting and delivering those books.
I would also like to hear from those individuals and groups who are in a position to provide information and assistance to those groups who are engaged in book projects.
It is not difficult. One merely needs to submit your comments to the blog by following the directions.
This blog is based upon the premise that individuals who care for the African community have a relationship to one another and a duty to love and care for one another as best we can. And this makes us a “Family.” But to acknowledge our African Family is not to disavow our Global Family of all humankind. But, as there are those who try to improve the world by seeking to assist cities or towns or religious groups, I choose to try to improve the world by seeking to assist my African Family through the use of this blog. There are other blogs that deal with assisting people in other ways, and I encourage all those who choose to do so, to seek out those blogs. If, however, you are interested in improving the quality of life for African people, I hope to be of some service through this blog.
It also needs to be said that anyone who identifies himself or herself as a member of the African Family would be considered to be such in my book.