Monday, July 2, 2012

In 2008 Europe's minorities saw Obama's election as example. Any progress in 2012?


In 2008 Europe debated over whether is was possible that a Black person could also be a President, or a Prime minister in a European country. But the deep economic crisis, the turmoil in the Arab world and the London riots seem to have overshadowed the debate. In the video (2008) the possibility of a Black Obama is discussed.

This year it’s election year in US and although the Black European President debate is dried up, the UK has now more Black Parliament members than ever before. And France is now the first country with a large black population to have Black cabinet members. Also worth to mention is that in Poland John Abraham Godson became Poland's first black member of Parliament.

The persons who appeared in the video (2008) now hold different positions. In 2008 Baroness Scotland of Asthal was the Attorney General, now she member of the House of Lords. Louis-Georges Tin was a spokesman for the CRAN, now he is the new chairman of the CRAN. George Pau-Langevin was a member of Parliament representing Paris, today she is a junior Minister for Educational success in the French Cabinet.

8 comments:

  1. Why did "John Godson" change his name when he was born with an African name?

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  2. Interesting question. "John Godson's" birth name is Chikama Onyekwere. He was born in Nigeria and his family immigrated to Poland.

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    1. It occurs to me that one of the reason that Chikama Onyekwere could have adopted the names "John" and "Godson" could be because of those English names' etymological meanings.

      The meaning of the name "John" = God is gracious, and/or "gift from God" and the meaning of "Godson" is obvious.

      Also, Chikama Onyekwere may have selected those English names because their etymological meanings might be similar to the meanings of his Nigerian names.

      I haven't been able to find the etymological meaning for "Onyekwere" but I wonder if the element "Onye" might have something to do with the Supreme God. That element "Onye" is similar to the name of the Ghanaian/Ivory Coast Akan Supreme Deity Onyame (Nyame). But that may not be relevant since (if) "Onyekwere is an Igbo or an Yoruba, or some other Nigerian ethnic group name.

      I had better luck searching online for the name "Chikama". http://www.onlinenigeria.com/nigeriannames/?page=47 gives this information & meaning for the name Chikaima: "Unisex; ibo; it is God we know"
      and this meaning for the name Chikanma:
      "Unisex; Igbo; God is the best".

      Of course, this is just a guess, and doesn't address the implied question "Why isn't Chikama Onyekwere using his biological names (or at least using those names as public persona)?

      In the USA, some African Americans-like me-changed our names (or, in most cases, at least our first name) to better reflect and celebrate our recognition of our African ancestry/heritage. But I think the opposite action ism't necessarily opposite.

      In my opinion, if a continental African man or woman gives himself or herself non-African name/s, in addition to his or her African birth names or as a replacement for his or her African birth name/s, that doesn't necessarily mean that he or she doesn't still honor his heritage. [Of course, if an African American or other Black people from the African Diaspora doesn't change his or her name, that doesn't mean that he or she doesn't honor or celebrate his or her African ancestry/heritage. But giving those names to oneself or one's children can symbolize that recognition.]

      Perhaps the reason why Chikama Onyekwere adopted English names for himself is that those names are easier for many Polish people to pronounce. I think it's interesting that he didn't choose Polish names (such as Iwan, Jan, Janusz, Janek, the Polish forms of the name John (which is an English form of a Latin form of a Hebrew male name). But I suspect that there are probably a number of people in Poland with English names, and I'm sure that English names -particularly "John" - are more widely used throughout the world than Polish names, so if a person decides to change his or her name, that factor might have also been part of the consideration.

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  3. @ Ms. Azizi Powell: Wow! Your knowledge, fervor and love for telling the global African and African-descended story is beyond admirable! I, for one, am honored to share this forum with you.

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    1. Thanks, John. I appreciate your compliment and I appreciate sharing this forum with you and other Afro-Europe posters & readers.

      With regard to my comments on this blog, I'm mindful of the fact that I'm not Afro-European. As such, I respectfully approach this blog as one who has come to learn, and not as one who has come to share what I think I already know. As you're aware, a number of my comments published here seek clarification because I know that I don't know much about Afro-Europeans, Europe, and Africa.

      But it just so happens that the subject of name origins & meanings is one that I've been interested in for quite some time.

      For instance, in the early 1970s I was honored to meet the esteemed Nigerian scholar Fela Sowande, when he was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. In part, as a result of that meeting, I'm fortunate to have a copy of what I believe is an unpublished manuscript that Dr. Sowande wrote in 1966. I took the liberty of posting one chapter from that book- a chapter on the origins & meanings of Yoruba names on this "page" of my 12 year old Cocojams cultural website:
      http://cocojams.com/content/yoruba-names-their-meanings-fela-sowande
      .

      That page includes a hyperlink to a second Cocojams "page" which focuses on "non-traditional" names.

      Also, as full disclosure, I reposted my above comment about Chikama Onyekwere's name as an update to this post on my pancocojams cultural blog: http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-i-got-my-african-name.html

      Thanks again!

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  4. I was in the US in 2008 when Obama won the election. I cried as a baby and my classmates from other countries couldn't understand why I was so emotionally, so I explained to them how meaningful it was for us Afro Brazilians.
    My country is the second black country in the world, the first black country outside Africa, we have here more than 100 million people who declare themselves as black and although this I don't see any possibility of have a black president here in a near future.
    Our people are still craw when the subject is policy, we have only one black senator, and he is the second in our all history, one black minister in the supreme court, one black minister in the government and she is the minister of racial equality, 43 congressmen, the city of Salvador which has 88% of black population has only 16 city councilmen and Sao Paulo the largest black city in the country with 12 million black people has only 3 black councilmen.
    Our media is almost 100% white, we don't our image anywhere so here to see Obama elected showed for a lot of black boys and girls that if a Black man could be the president of one of the most important country in the world, they also could believe in a better future.

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  5. Daniela, those people you talk about as being white aren't actually white. Have them come to America or Europe. See how they're treated. That's the funny part. They can be racists to blacks in Brazil, but "the West" doesn't like them either.

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  6. Greetings:
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    ReplyDelete

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