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UPDATE 1-S.African rand gains fade as investors left on edge over Fed

UPDATE 1-S.African rand gains fade as investors left on edge over Fed

(Updates prices, adds stocks) JOHANNESBURG, Aug 22 (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand was flat on Thursday, as a boost from lower-than-expected local inflation was overshadowed by worries that further U.S. Federal Reserve easing might take longer than expected. At 1547 GMT, the rand was 0.07% lower at 15.2050, after firming compared to its overnight close in New York in early trading, while stocks also closed lower. Stock markets slipped worldwide on Thursday following the release of minutes from the Fed’s July meeting, which revealed a rift between members over its 0.25% rate cut in July. With a large number reluctant to loosen policy, markets were seen to have gone too far in pricing in expectations of deeper cuts. Economists are also divided over whether easing inflation will push the South African Reserve Bank to cut rates again at its September meeting, following a 25 basis point reduction in July. Headline consumer price inflation slowed to 4.0% year-on-year in July, according to data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday, the lowest since January and below a consensus forecast of 4.2%. Lower inflation against relatively high interest rates marginally supports the rand’s carry yield attraction, but gains based on such data tend to be quickly overtaken by other factors such as high levels of local credit risk and diminishing chances of lower U.S. benchmark rates. Stocks also declined. Johannesburg’s All-share index fell 0.82% to 54,188 points, while the Top-40 index fell 0.82% to 48,435 points. At the bottom of both was budget retailer Mr Price, which fell 13.70% to 156.44 rand – prices last seen almost two years ago – after sales came in worse than expected. “The slowdown in Mr Price was really led by a weak macro (economic) environment. In a challenging macro environment, you’ve got a lack of wage growth. It’s a lack of pricing power among the retailers,” said Ayan Ghosh, investments strategist at Avior Capital. Grocery chain SPAR was also down 5.44% to 173.43 rand alongside other retailers such as Shoprite, which fell 3.6% to 120.65 rand, its lowest in 8 years. Food and clothing retailer Woolworths slipped 3.27% to 51.75 rand. The yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond fell 0.5 basis points to 8.27%. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana, Emma Rumney and Onke Ngcuga; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

UPDATE 1-S.African rand gains fade as investors left on edge over Fed

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Reparations expert says it’s time to stop the tired narrative that Black people can’t manage money

Reparations expert says it’s time to stop the tired narrative that Black people can’t manage money

Conversations about reparations aren’t going away anytime soon. As people debate the merits of whether Black descendants of American slavery are entitled to special payment or support to offset the destructive socioeconomic impact of racism, there are many myths that still need to be busted to have a solid conversation about the best possible outcome. Duke University Economics Professor William ‘Sandy’ Darity, is one of many vocal supporters of reparations, leading the charge to make people look more intently at the data and empirical evidence around Black wealth in this country, rather than concluding a narrative based on assumptions. Take for example the idea that if Black people only saved more money instead of “buying Jordans” or name-brand clothing that depreciates with value, they could somehow close the whopping racial wealth gap (which is estimated to drop to $0 for Black families by the year 2053). READ MORE: Poll reveals most Americans oppose cash reparations for slavery “The core explanation for Black-white disparities in the United States particularly the wealth disparity is structural rather than being a consequence of dysfunctional behavior on the part of Black folks,” Darity tells theGrio . “A lot of people like the dysfunction argument. One reason is because it ultimately places the responsibility for the disadvantage on Black folks themselves. However, in doing so, it also suggests that if Black folks could only do the right things then the right things would happen to Black people,” he continues. “This is unrealistic and it’s not supported by any of the available evidence.” William ‘Sandy’ Darity (Duke University) Darity explains that in fact, Black and white savings rates are comparable for certain demographics, and in some sub-groups, Blacks have higher savings rates. As for the structural cause for the wealth gap, Darity points to reasons that go beyond slavery. The U.S. government’s denial of 40 acre land grants to newly freed Black people (known by many as “40 acres and a mule”), was the first incarnation of economic disparity. “Had that occurred we probably would not be needing to have this conversation today about reparations at all because we would have recenter the wealth position of Black Americans immediately upon emancipation,” Darity further explains. Segregationist policies like redlining (denying Black homeowners loans outside of certain neighborhoods) and restrictive covenants, ensured that the wealth gap persisted at the turn of each new decade. In fact, a new report from The Atlantic , entitled “ The Great Land Robbery, ” demonstrates how 1 million African-American families in the South lost millions of acres of farmland, due to racism. Many of these losses occurred in the 1950’s, long after slavery ended. And on August 22, we will pause to reflect on Black women’s Equal Pay Day, which, according to EqualPayDay.org , symbolizes the day a typical Black women must work into the year just to make what a typical white man would earn at the end of the previous year. According to the National Women’s Law Center, when both race and gender are taken into account, the wage gap between Black women and white men is the largest gap that exists and can cause Black women to lose nearly $870,000 in potential earnings. In some states, Black women make $0.97 for every dollar a White man with the same qualifications makes while in others it’s as low as $.50 with the same credentials. Segregationist policies ensured that the wealth gap persisted at the turn of each new decade. (Image by Robert-Owen-Wahl from Pixabay) These deficits, cemented by violence against economically prosperous Black communities, have been made to ensure Black economic success was overshadowed and undercut. Would Buying Black Help? Another myth Professor Darity addresses, is the idea that if Black people would only “ buy Black ” in their communities, they could also close the racial wealth gap. While Darity celebrates buying Black as an act of racial solidarity with definite positive benefit, he says it won’t scratch the surface of closing the actual gap. “ There’s 2.5 million Black-owned businesses. They take in somewhere between 150 to 200 billion dollars in revenues. Walmart takes them 500 billion dollars in revenues on a per piece on an annual basis for our business,” Darity explains. “I think people don’t fully understand the magnitude of this wealth disparity is such that we cannot alter it significantly just by simply altering Black behavior. “ So, can we do? Professor Darity says reparations are not only morally due to Black Americans, but could be useful in helping us get beyond the mere 3 percent of the nation’s wealth we currently own (Black Americans make up 13 percent of the overall U.S. population.) “If we had an appropriately designed program where the objective was to build Black assets so that the Black wealth position was comparable to our share of the national population, now that would be truly Earth shattering,” Darity tells theGrio . In a new report from the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke , Darity actually breaks down some of the Democratic candidates’ proposals for closing the wealth gap, and analyzes which potential POTUS offers the most effective repair. Reparations has become a 2020 campaign issue where candidates are being asked how they plan to alleviate the wage gap. ( Image by Karen Arnold from Pixabay) Of all the promises made, Sen. Cory Booker ‘s ‘baby bonds” proposal is Darity’s pick as the one with the greatest impact for Black America. It also happens to be an idea he helped develop. Whatever voters choose, Darity wants people to keep applying pressure for race-based policies that stimulate wealth-building for Black Americans. “I would like to urge folks who are disillusioned to recognize that this claim has not been met for more than 150 years,” says Darity. “So, let’s hang in there and keep on with the struggle.” Watch a clip from theGrio’s interview with Professor William Darity above, and find more for more Black wealth tips on our Living section.

Reparations expert says it’s time to stop the tired narrative that Black people can’t manage money

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Separate festivals honor African, African American heritage, culture

Separate festivals honor African, African American heritage, culture

Chalk artist Darrean Brown of Reynoldsburg creates a drawing of Langston Hughes at the 2018 African American Cultural Festival. [Eric Albrecht/Dispatch] Hide caption Columbus has long been home to African Americans who have contributed to the city’s rich tapestry. For decades, the neighborhood now known as the King-Lincoln District has buzzed with African American business owners, musicians and artists. And throughout the city, African immigrants are bringing their own cultures to Ohio’s capital. Through simple coincidence, central Ohioans can experience both at two festivals: the third annual African American Cultural Festival and the inaugural Columbus African Festival . The two free festivals offer guests distinct experiences: one of local African American history, and one of the cultures that immigrants have brought from overseas. Here is what to expect: African American Cultural Festival MAYME MOORE PARK, 240 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BOULEVARD Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday Contact: columbus.gov/aacf Taking place in the heart of the historic King-Lincoln District, the festival will showcase live music along with spoken-word and dance performances by black artists. This is the first year that the festival will have a two-day run. This gives visitors more time to enjoy live entertainment, art and jewelry merchants and workshops on topics ranging from urban gardening to genealogy tracing. “The mission is to bring the community together and celebrate the rich African American history that is in Columbus,” said Carla Williams-Scott, director of the Columbus Department of Neighborhoods, which presents the festival along with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. “It’s an opportunity for us to come together and celebrate each other.” An opening ceremony will kick off the festivities, followed by a slate of attractions that include a Friday evening tour of the neighborhood and a Saturday morning 5K run. The Urban Jazz Coalition and MojoFlo are just two of the musical acts scheduled to perform during the festival, and Amos Lynch Plaza will be transformed into a “cultural corner,” where art, poetry, music and fashion will be on display. Columbus African Festival INNIS PARK, 2995 INNIS ROAD Time: noon to 7 p.m. Saturday Contact: columbusafricanfestival.com From the northern areas of Morocco to the southern reaches of Mozambique, the continent of Africa is home to an array of cultures. Many of those ways of life are reflected in central Ohio, home to thousands of African immigrants. Saturday’s inaugural Columbus African Festival will showcase the diverse music, fashion and foods that are found in central Ohio. The festival is intended to unite immigrants while introducing their ways of life to the rest of the city. “It’s high time we showcase our culture,” said event co-founder and president Barth Shepkong, a native of Nigeria who came to the United States in 2003. Shepkong has lived in Columbus for five years with his wife, Gachomo, who also is from Nigeria. “It’s open to everyone regardless of race, regardless of religion — people who are interested in African culture,” Barth Shepkong said. The festival is a collaborative presentation between The African — a professional organization of which Shepkong is a part — and the African Professionals Network. Highlights include a range of Africentric musical performances, a fashion show, poetry readings and ethnic food. Small businesses owned by African immigrants will have the opportunity to advertise their goods and services to a potential new market, Shepkong said. The African Youth League, a student organization at Ohio State University, is helping with the planning and logistics of the festival. Some of the members will participate in the live performances, including president Akwi Anyangwe, who will showcase the traditional clothing of Cameroon, the homeland of her parents, during the fashion show. Anyangwe said her hope is that guests realize that African culture is not monolithic, that each country has something different to offer. “A lot of people do view Africa as one huge lump of land that shares the same culture, which is not true,” she said. “African culture is rich. It’s so authentic; it’s so powerful.”

Separate festivals honor African, African American heritage, culture

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Virginia marks pivotal moment when African slaves arrived

Virginia marks pivotal moment when African slaves arrived

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Four hundred years after American slavery and democratic self-rule were born almost simultaneously in what became the state of Virginia, ceremonies will mark the arrival of enslaved Africans in the mid-Atlantic colony and seek healing from the legacy of bondage that still haunts the nation. Yet the weekend ceremonies in Tidewater Virginia will unfold against the backdrop of rising white nationalism across the country, racist tweets by President Donald Trump, and a lingering scandal surrounding the state’s governor and a blackface photo. The commemoration will include Sunday’s “Healing Day” on the Chesapeake Bay where two ships traded men and women from what’s now Angola for food and supplies from English colonists in August 1619. A bell will ring for four minutes, while churches across the country are expected to join in. Virginia’s two U.S. senators and its governor will make remarks at a Saturday ceremony. And a family that traces its bloodline to those first Africans will hold a reflection at its cemetery on Friday. “This moment means everything to folks like myself who are African American and to the folks on the continent of Africa as well,” said Mary Elliott, curator of American slavery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. “But it should mean something to everybody, regardless of race,” she added, “because it is a moment that defined the nation — what became the nation.” Though little noted at the time, the arrival of the enslaved Africans in England’s first successful colony is now considered a pivotal moment in American history. Englishman John Rolfe documented the landing of the first ship, the White Lion, at what was then called Point Comfort. He wrote that leaders of the colony traded provisions to buy the slaves. From the White Lion and a second ship, English colonists took more than 30 Africans to properties along the James River, including Jamestown. By that time, more than 500,000 enslaved Africans had already crossed the Atlantic to European colonies, but the Africans in Virginia are widely considered the first in English-controlled North America. They came 12 years after the founding of Jamestown, England’s first permanent colony, and weeks after the first English-style legislature was convened there. Quentin Kidd, a political science professor at Christopher Newport University, said the commemoration’s timing “speaks to the very contradictions on race that have been part of this nation from its founding.” “We want to recognize this historic event,” Kidd said. “And at the same time, we have a president who spouts off racist things. And we have a governor who still has not satisfied everybody when it comes to the blackface scandal.” In February, a picture surfaced from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page showing a man in blackface next to someone in Ku Klux Klan clothing. Northam denies being in the photo. An investigation failed to determine whether he was or not. The Democrat will speak Saturday about “the atrocity of slavery” and “the racial inequities that continue to persist,” his press secretary, Alena Yarmosky, wrote in an email. The 1619 commemoration comes at a time of growing debate over American identity and mounting racial tension, from Washington to the site of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. It also follows recent racist tweets from Trump. One called on four Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their home countries, even though three were born in the U.S. Another tweet attacked Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, calling his majority-black Baltimore district a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” Yet Trump also signed into law the “400 Years of African-American History Commission Act,” requiring a panel to develop programs that acknowledge the Africans’ arrival and slavery’s impact. Among the commission’s members is Terry E. Brown, the first black superintendent of the Fort Monroe National Monument, a former U.S. military base in Hampton that is on the site of the Africans’ 1619 arrival. “For me, a great nation pays attention and remembers its history no matter how complex it is,” said Brown, who will launch the countdown for the bell ringing on Healing Day. Brown said the idea of Healing Day is for people from all walks of life “to talk, to laugh, to cry and in some small way to break the insidiousness of racism.” “I want the nation to walk away knowing that the contributions of Africans and African Americans in this country are so significant that they warrant an anniversary like this,” he said. Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Virginia marks pivotal moment when African slaves arrived

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Ramaphosa QandA: “This stimulus package has South African characteristics”

Ramaphosa QandA: “This stimulus package has South African characteristics”

His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa responding to the Debate on the State of the Nation Address at the Joint Sitting of Parliament in the National Assembly. President Ramaphosa delivered the State of the Nation Address on 07 February 2019 with a focus on economic development, job creation and enhancing the capacity of the state. Political parties had the opportunity, in a debate, to reinforce or critique the President’s overview of where the country is positioned at present and his vision for where South Africa should be headed. 14/02/2019, Elmond Jiyane, GCIS After a three-week hiatus, the National Assembly reconvened in Parliament to pose questions to President Cyril Ramaphosa , and one of the key components of the session involved the sluggish growth our economy has experienced and what the government has done, thus far, to redress it. Ramaphosa QandA: What’s the government doing about slow economic growth? A question posed by the ANC’s Judy Hermans read: “With reference to the poor performance of the South African economy, the continuing job losses driving unemployment to an 11-year high, the serious challenges facing critical state-owned enterprises, and in light of the fact that the most recent government interventions such as the removal of barriers to entry-level Government positions, the stimulus package and Presidential Jobs Summit do not seem to have an impact, what are the Government’s plans to; (a) effectively address the challenge of slow economic growth and (b) deal with rising unemployment rate?” Ramaphosa’s update on the stimulus package The president indicated that he is well aware of the fact that economic growth and job creation is the apex priority of this administration. Giving a brief review of the impact of the stimulus package since it had been instituted last year, Ramaphosa revealed that: the Department of Home Affairs has waivered visa requirements for specific countries, a pilot program that seeks to increase tourism and attract more highly-skilled labour; an e-visa system is on the verge of completion and will be launched to modernise the sluggish and highly frustrating system that is currently in place; an estimated R3.9-billion has been funnelled into the Land Bank to support black-owned commercial farmers; over 1 400 30-year leases have been finalised to increase the use of land for productive activities; three new industrial parks have been launched in the 2019 financial year, in Ekandustria, Garankuwa and Nkowankowa; more than 2 000 critical medical posts have been created; R600-million has been allocated to stimulate job creation and support rural and township entrepreneurs; and R600-million has been funnelled into the Medium Term Expenditure Framework to support clothing and textile sectors. Ramaphosa explained that the function of the stimulus package was unique to South Africa’s issues, and assured Parliament that it would take some time to see its impact, as it would certainly not be immediate. “Growing our economy requires hard work, commitment and close cooperation between all social partners. Are you playing your part?” he asked. The latest on South Africa’s investment drive The president noted that in his overseas travels, and during engagements with interested foreign investors, the general sentiment towards the country was positive. He indicated that in his recent visit to Tanzania, a deal was struck to increase bilateral relations. He also revealed that leading companies in China have stepped forward and struck a deal with the government to purchase goods worth R25-billion from South Africa. “When the African Continental Free Trade Area comes into effect on 1 July 2020 it will create a market of 1,2 billion people with a total economy worth $3 trillion. “We will host the 2nd South Africa Investment Conference from 5 to 7 November 2019, building on the 2018 conference where commitments of R300 billion were made by local and international companies in support of our R1.2 trillion investment drive,” he said. With an increase in investment, from R26.8-billion in 2017 to R70.7-billion in 2018, the president indicated that the trajectory of South Africa’s economy — although not visible at the moment — is on a positive rise. This, he concluded, did not suggest that the work in repairing the ills of the past was complete.

Ramaphosa QandA: “This stimulus package has South African characteristics”

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African online giant Jumia, part-owned by MTN, has admitted to fraudulent sales

African online giant Jumia, part-owned by MTN, has admitted to fraudulent sales

Jumia, which counts MTN as a shareholder, admitted that 4% of its sales in Nigeria for the first quarter were inflated. Sales agents inflated the sales to earn additional commission, and they have subsequently suspended, the company said. Jumia owns Zando in South Africa and was listed on the New York stock exchange earlier this year For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za . Africa’s largest online retailer Jumia, which counts MTN as a major shareholder , on Wednesday admitted to fraudulent sales figures. Jumia owns clothing seller Zando in South Africa, and operates in 14 African companies, with some four million customers across the continent. It has uncovered instances of improper orders placed and subsequently cancelled to inflate sales in Nigeria, Bloomberg reported . Marketwatch reported that sales agents inflated the sales to earn additional commission. Some 4% of first-quarter sales, or sales worth $17.5 million (roughly R265 million), are believed to have been inflated, Jumia said. Quartz Africa reported that online retailer claimed the fraudulent orders have had no impact on its financial statements, and that the employees involved have since been suspended pending a review. Jumia was listed on the New York stock exchange in April, at a price of $18.95 – it soon climbed to almost $47. Following the news of the fraudulent sales on Wednesday, it fell from $14.75 to $12.21. But by Thursday early trading it recovered to around $13.00. Jumia’s revenue grew to €39.2 million from €24.8 million in the second quarter of 2019, while losses grew substantially to €67.8 million from €42.3 million a year earlier.

African online giant Jumia, part-owned by MTN, has admitted to fraudulent sales

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The Future Is Not Female … It Is Intersectional, Say Women In Architecture

The Future Is Not Female … It Is Intersectional, Say Women In Architecture

Kate Otten Karuni Naidoo Dirk Meyer Nina Saunders Patrick Smith email On 15 August 2019, Women in Architecture, in partnership with the South African Institute Architects (SAIA KZN), hosted “The Future is not Female … It is Intersectional” workshop. The theme of “Intersectionality” followed on the heels of last year’s “Beyond the Binary”. Organisers defined this theme as: “The way in which people’s experiences are shaped by their race, class, gender and sexuality all at the same time. It is a way of understanding how multiple forms of inequality and disadvantage can compound themselves and create obstacles often not understood within conventional ways of thinking.” The event was hosted by leading brick maker, Corobrik, at its Head Office in Avoca, Durban. Dirk Meyer, chief executive of Corobrik, said his company was proud to have supported the KZN Women in Architecture workshop for four years. Even in a stressed construction sector, he said Corobrik would continue to empower its workforce, engage with professionals and develop new products. Introducing Corobrik’s new platinum facebrick, he noted: “We will proactively develop our market and carry on developing our product range so that it remains relevant to the architectural palette.” According to Karuni Naidoo, founder of the Women in Architecture workshop, “KZN continues to lead the way with robust and relevant discussions about feminism and women’s contributions to South Africa’s built environment. Through efforts of the SAIA Transformation Committee, the many and varied events around the country during women’s month this year indicate that the movement has taken hold around the country.” The theme of “Intersectionality” unfolded in a very vibrant, interactive and potentially contentious way. The guest speakers were asked dig deep into their personal and professional challenges within the field of architecture, with the collective objective of searching for the next step forward – especially when it came to breaking down the walls of entrenched mindsets which have come to establish themselves as the norm. While women in architecture have already had to work really hard while suffering gender injustice in, what still seems to be, a male dominated field, it is heartening and courageous that they are having conversations around other injustices (such as race, sexuality, class, disability and religion) and looking for ways in which the divisions already in place can be addressed meaningfully. The day’s programme unfolded with Amanda Lead and Nindya Bucktowar sharing their personal / professional architectural journeys: Amanda Lead of Lead Architects described “the spaces in between” as being the generative force for change and improvement. Fix the heart and the rest will follow. Asserting that women tended to be more fluid in what they did and therefore able to heal broken spaces and discover solutions to problems within built environments such as schools and campuses and places of worship, she noted that what set women apart was their ability to engage with people. Nindya Bucktowar, co-director of NT Design Studio which specialises in architectural, graphic and industrial design, called for a more inclusive approach to design. She observed: “You can live in a city and visit every place but you don’t know a city until you know the people.” She showcased the intricacies of her mind and handwork. The seamless movement between scales and modes of creative production spoke as much to the theme as to the greater freedoms seized by the younger and more digitally empowered. The journeys were followed by guest speakers, Kate Otten, Queen Mjwara and Pat Horn. Kate Otten, Vice President of SAIA and founder of Kate Otten Architects, declared that creating her own practice had been her survival strategy and brand of personal activism when it came to challenging inequality within the architectural profession. Two recent projects by Kate Otten Architects align beautifully with the notion of an “intersectionally responsive built environment” and dissolve the spatial and physical barriers that usually define the public / private interface – an antidote to what she refers to as “fear-based architecture”. Queen Mjwara, managing director of SADC Empower, shared her experience in property and asset management and shared her own challenges as a black woman when it came to fitting into a male dominated world. Admitting to a love hate relationship with architects, she challenged them to not work in silos but instead consult more widely with other property professionals to design spaces more suited to their uses. Queen ruffled some feathers with provocative comments about how architects do or do not serve their clients and further challenged us on the prevailing aesthetic of KZN architecture. “Where is KZN?” She made a strong and relevant case for women to move towards the future they wish for themselves, refraining from self-doubt, self-hate and fear. Socialist, feminist, trade unionist and founder of StreetNet International which advocates for street vendors globally, Pat Horn, added her voice to the call for architects to negotiate with the users of spaces from the planning stage. Noting that people had the right to representation and access to public space, she told her fellow panelists that more women leaders were needed. Pat reiterated the StreetNet slogan: “Nothing for us without us” in calling for inclusion of end users at the onset of projects. The panel discussion which followed included inputs from audience members and amongst the issues and themes which came to the fore, was that many talented women architects were shunning the commercial space because of gender discrimination that stretched from the meeting room to the site office. They also felt that it was no longer possible to add value to public sector projects such as schools and clinics with miniscule budgets. There was an urgent need to create platforms for discussion to re-educate a client body that not only included developers and contractors, but also those holding the purse strings in both the private and public sectors. Women needed to make their voices heard and ensure that they not only engaged with a wider range of professionals on each project but also with end users who may have completely different perceptions and needs. The morning session, directed by Mandisa Daki and facilitated by Pralini Naidoo, was followed by a clay workshop, co-ordinated by Karen Major and facilitated by four renowned KwaZulu-Natal ceramicists: Mary Slack, Jo-Anne Kuter, Lorraine Wilson and Trayci Tomkins. The women were divided into nine groups of approximately five to six women, each creating a facet of a larger installation, an artistic representation of an “Intersectional” city. The brief required the women to present their intuitive responses from the morning’s panel discussion to their group members. They had to unpack what each word or sketch represented and how these individual musings could be fused to become collaborative three dimensional expressions off an urban complex, landscape, a sculpture or a building. From this very abstract brief, the most incredible ceramic installations were sculpted. The installations will be exhibited to the public at the SAIA KZN Heritage House on the evening of the 5 th September 2019. Caption: Pictured at the Women in Architecture, in partnership with the South African Institute Architects (SAIA KZN) in Durban on 15 August 2019 are from left to right Kate Otten, Karuni Naidoo, Dirk Meyer, Nina Saunders and Patrick Smith

The Future Is Not Female … It Is Intersectional, Say Women In Architecture

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South African court bars display of apartheid-era flag as racist hate speech

South African court bars display of apartheid-era flag as racist hate speech

The apartheid-era South African national flag is flown by a supporter of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) in 2010 Credit: Siphiwe Sibeko/ REUTERS A Johannesburg court on Wednesday barred the unjustified display of South Africa’s apartheid-era national flag in a landmark ruling that Afrikaans groups said they would oppose. Judge Phineas Mojapelo said in Johannesburg that flying the old blue, white and orange flag for reasons other than educational, artistic, or other purposes in the national interest amounted to “hate speech” and “harassment”. “It demonstrates a clear intention to be hurtful, to be harmful and incite harm and it in fact promotes and propagates hatred against black people… it constitutes hate speech,” he said before making the ruling. Those who breach it may be punished with a fine or community service. The decision came after the Nelson Mandela Foundation Trust petitioned the court over the public display of the flag at a protest against the murders of white farmers in 2017. Sello Hatang, CEO of the Trust, welcomed the ruling as a “building block” for reconciliation. The organisation said it “affirms our rights not to suffer hate speech, our rights to dignity and to a meaningful freedom of speech.” AfriForum, a largely Afrikaans lobby group that organised the 2017 protest where the flag was displayed and which opposed the Trust’s petition, said it would study the text of the ruling before deciding on further action. Ernst Roets, a senior executive for the group, said: “Our concern with this case from the outset has been that a judgment in favour of the Nelson Mandela Foundation would not serve the intended purpose, as state regulation with regard to freedom of speech in most instances results in bigger problems.” The old flag of South Africa was flown from 1928 until it was replaced by the present design before the first post-Apartheid election in 1994. It consisted of three horizontal blue, white and orange stripes with three small flags of Great Britain, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal in the middle. Although it was adopted two decades before the National Party’s victory in the 1948 election that ushered in Apartheid, critics say it is just as indelibly linked to white nationalism as the Confederacy or the Nazi swastika, and should be treated as such. Afrikaans groups say the flag is a part of their national heritage. It is sometimes displayed by Right-wing groups and at rugby matches.

South African court bars display of apartheid-era flag as racist hate speech

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Virginia to mark pivotal moment when Africans arrived

NORFOLK, Va. — Four hundred years after American slavery and democratic self-rule were born almost simultaneously in what became the state of Virginia, ceremonies will mark the arrival of enslaved Africans in the mid-Atlantic colony and seek healing from the legacy of bondage that still haunts the nation. Yet the weekend ceremonies in Tidewater Virginia will unfold against the backdrop of rising white nationalism across the country, racist tweets by President Donald Trump, and a lingering scandal surrounding the state’s governor and a blackface photo. The commemoration will include Sunday’s “Healing Day” on the Chesapeake Bay where two ships traded men and women from what’s now Angola for food and supplies from English colonists in August 1619. A bell will ring for four minutes, while churches across the country are expected to join in. Virginia’s two U.S. senators and its governor will make remarks at a Saturday ceremony. And a family that traces its bloodline to those first Africans will hold a reflection at its cemetery on Friday. “This moment means everything to folks like myself who are African American and to the folks on the continent of Africa as well,” said Mary Elliott, curator of American slavery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. “But it should mean something to everybody, regardless of race,” she added, “because it is a moment that defined the nation — what became the nation.” Though little noted at the time, the arrival of the enslaved Africans in England’s first successful colony is now considered a pivotal moment in American history. Englishman John Rolfe documented the landing of the first ship, the White Lion, at what was then called Point Comfort. He wrote that leaders of the colony traded provisions to buy the slaves. From the White Lion and a second ship, English colonists took more than 30 Africans to properties along the James River, including Jamestown. By that time, more than 500,000 enslaved Africans had already crossed the Atlantic to European colonies, but the Africans in Virginia are widely considered the first in English-controlled North America. They came 12 years after the founding of Jamestown, England’s first permanent colony, and weeks after the first English-style legislature was convened there. Quentin Kidd, a political science professor at Christopher Newport University, said the commemoration’s timing “speaks to the very contradictions on race that have been part of this nation from its founding.” “We want to recognize this historic event,” Kidd said. “And at the same time, we have a president who spouts off racist things. And we have a governor who still has not satisfied everybody when it comes to the blackface scandal.” In February, a picture surfaced from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page showing a man in blackface next to someone in Ku Klux Klan clothing. Northam denies being in the photo. An investigation failed to determine whether he was or not. The Democrat will speak Saturday about “the atrocity of slavery” and “the racial inequities that continue to persist,” his press secretary, Alena Yarmosky, wrote in an email. The 1619 commemoration comes at a time of growing debate over American identity and mounting racial tension, from Washington to the site of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. It also follows recent racist tweets from Trump. One called on four Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their home countries, even though three were born in the U.S. Another tweet attacked Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, calling his majority-black Baltimore district a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” Yet Trump also signed into law the “400 Years of African-American History Commission Act,” requiring a panel to develop programs that acknowledge the Africans’ arrival and slavery’s impact. Among the commission’s members is Terry E. Brown, the first black superintendent of the Fort Monroe National Monument, a former U.S. military base in Hampton that is on the site of the Africans’ 1619 arrival. “For me, a great nation pays attention and remembers its history no matter how complex it is,” said Brown, who will launch the countdown for the bell ringing on Healing Day. Brown said the idea of Healing Day is for people from all walks of life “to talk, to laugh, to cry and in some small way to break the insidiousness of racism.” “I want the nation to walk away knowing that the contributions of Africans and African Americans in this country are so significant that they warrant an anniversary like this,” he said.

Virginia to mark pivotal moment when Africans arrived

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Tech-based HIV prevention program proves effective for rural African American families

Tech-based HIV prevention program proves effective for rural African American families

PAAS is an online game youths and their parents can do together to open conversation about safer sex practices in order to prevent HIV. Technology may be a viable option for reducing HIV risk in underserved families in rural communities, according to a new Vanderbilt report. Velma Murry (Vanderbilt) Researchers designed and evaluated the effectiveness of a technology-delivered HIV risk prevention program, Pathways for African American Success , to address the comparatively high HIV rates in rural African American communities. PAAS is designed specifically to increase informational access to such communities, which are less likely to have access to in-person HIV support and prevention programs found in larger cities. “Our findings suggest that the PAAS technology-delivered program is just as effective as an in-person, facilitator-led small group in dissuading HIV-related risk behaviors among rural African American youths,” said lead author Velma McBride Murry . “This fun, interactive program allows families to access sessions at their convenience and own pace, addressing a gap in eHealth digital programs.” Murry, who holds the Lois Autrey Betts Chair in Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development, collaborated with colleagues at Clemson University and Arizona State University on the study. They found that compared with families who met with a facilitator in person, those in the PAAS online group demonstrated significantly stronger parent-child communication, including improved discussion quality, clearly articulated norms and parental expectations about risk engagement. Participants also reported reduced intentions to engage in risky behaviors six months post-intervention. Technology-delivered programs for HIV prevention also are promising because they are more cost effective and less labor intensive than traditional small group-based preventive intervention programs. “This fun, interactive program allows families to access sessions at their convenience and own pace, addressing a gap in eHealth digital programs.” –Velma McBride Murry This research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health grant MH063043 and the Lois Autrey Betts Chair in Education and Human Development. Read “The Pathways for African American Success: Does Delivery Platform Matter in the Prevention of HIV Risk Vulnerability Among Youth?” in Journal of Adolescent Health. Additional authors: Heather Hensman Kettrey, Clemson University; Cady Berkel, Arizona State University; and Misha N. Inniss-Thompson, Vanderbilt University. Read the team’s related study, The Pathways for African American Success: Results of Three-Arm Randomized Trial to Test the Effects of Technology-Based Delivery for Rural African American Families ,” in Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

Tech-based HIV prevention program proves effective for rural African American families