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I FEEL SOOO....AFRICAN Authentic art, accessories, and apparel from Africa to You!

Greetings to you all! We hope that you have had another safe and prosperous week. Welcome to this week’s newsletter as we cover the following topics:

  • ICONIC ANGELINA PRINT
  • WHO WERE THE MOORS?
  • EQUATORIAL GUINEA INDEPENDENCE
  • TRAVELING TO GHANA DURING COVID-19
  • SARS IN NIGERIA
  • BEST AFRICAN MOVIES ON NETFLIX
  • PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK
  • CONNECT WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
ANGELINA PRINT

The infamous Angelina print is based on a print on the 19th century Ethiopian noblewoman’s tunic. Commonly known as the Angelina print, this print is widely worn in West Africa countries of Nigeria, Togo, Benin, and Ghana. When the print's popularity peeked in the 1970s, the highlife song “Angelina” by Ghanaian artists Sweet Talks & A.B. Crentsil frequently played on the radio.

In 1967, Jason Benning coined the modern term "dashiki" and began to mass produce the dashiki-style shirt along with Milton Clarke, Howard Davis, and William Smith under their brand New Breed Clothing Ltd, based out of Harlem, NY. As a unisex garment, many men and women wear the dashiki during Black History Month, Kwanzaa, and other Afrocentric cultural events. Since the late 1960's, the dashiki shirt continues to be worn by African-Americans embracing their African heritage and promoting Black pride. The name dashiki comes from the word “danshiki” or "dan ciki" which means “shirt” in Yoruba and Hausa, respectively, languages spoken in West Africa, specifically Nigeria.

In recent years, the Angelina dashiki shirt has become part of essential street wear attire, thanks to celebrities increasingly being captured rocking the vibrant print.

For fashion in Africa, the introduction of SAPs meant that many luxury and local African print companies had to close. SAP’s are structural adjustment programs designed to counter the financial imbalance in developing nations. The measures removed tariffs, making imported Asian knock-offs cheaper to buy than the textiles made in Africa. But the influx of cheap Asian fabrics did provide a silver lining in that the inauthentic and lower quality prints became more accessible to everyone.

Accessibility often leads to ingenuity, as more people are able to experiment with fashion if they can afford the fabric. Since African clothing trends have always been influenced by women, African fashion flourished during this time period when more women could buy more fabric.

The quality of the Asian textiles has improved over time as the economies of West African countries have become more stable and more high-end merchandisers have begun carrying African-made cloth. In some areas, vendors take a hardline stance toward only selling authentically African fabrics an expression of national pride.

Regardless of where the cloth is sourced, the most important aspect of African prints has always been how African people use them to communicate. Women influence the fashion trends in Africa and worldwide by personalizing their dress with their tailors and expressing themselves through various embellishments and styles.

The prints are communicative too. Many fabrics have names like “You Leave, I Leave” or “Michelle Obama’s Handbag”—named by vendors to convey certain messages or represent a specific culture. The Ghanaian Independence Day Freedom Cloth depicts an outline of Ghana and a repeating portrait of Kwame Nkrumah, the leader of the independence movement and the country’s first prime minister. The cloth was created around 1957 when Ghana (at the time known as the Gold Coast) gained independence from Britain.

I Feel Sooo African does carry a few of the traditional Angelina print items including purses, jackets, face masks, handheld fans, skirts, and leggings.

MOORISH CHIEF

PORTRAIT OF A MOORISH WOMAN IN VENICE IN 1550

MOORISH SOLDIERS

MOORS WHO CIVILIZED EUROPE

MOORISH GENERAL

MOORISH GENERAL IN SHAKESPEARE’S OTHELLO

15 LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE MOORS

  • It was through Africa that the new knowledge of China, India, and Arabia reached Europe. The Moors brought the Compass from China into Europe.
  • The Spanish occupation by the Moors began in 711 AD when an African army, under their leader Tariq ibn-Ziyad, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from northern Africa and invaded the Iberian peninsula Andalus' (Spain under the Visigoths).
  • The Moors introduced new scientific techniques to Europe, such as an astrolabe, a device for measuring the position of the stars and planets. Scientific progress in Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Geography and Philosophy flourished in Moorish Spain.
  • The Moors introduced paper to Europe and Arabic numerals, which replaced the Roman system.
  • The Moors introduced many new crops including the orange, lemon, peach, apricot, fig, sugar cane, dates, ginger and pomegranate as well as saffron, cotton, silk and rice which remain some of Spain's main products today.
  • Historian Basil Davidson recognized and declared that there were no lands at that time (the eighth century) "more admired by its neighbours, or more comfortable to live in, than a rich African civilisation which took shape in Spain."
  • In the tenth and eleventh centuries, public libraries in Europe were non-existent, while Moorish Spain could boast of more than seventy, of which the one in Cordoba housed six hundred thousand manuscripts.
  • Over 4,000 Arabic words and Arabic-derived phrases have been absorbed into the Spanish language. Words beginning with "al," for example, are derived from Arabic. Words such as algebra, alcohol, chemistry, nadir, alkaline and cipher entered the language. Even words such as checkmate, influenza, typhoon, orange, and cable can be traced back to Arabic origins.
  • The Moors ruled and occupied Lisbon (named "Lashbuna" by the Moors) and the rest of the country until well into the twelfth century. They were finally defeated and driven out by the forces of King Alfonso Henriques. The scene of this battle was the Castelo de Sao Jorge or the Castle of St. George.
  • The Moorish rulers lived in extravagant palaces, while the monarchs of Germany, France, and England dwelt in big barns, with no windows and no chimneys, and with only a hole in the roof for the exit of smoke. One such Moorish palace 'Alhambra' (literally "the red one") in Granada is one of Spain's architectural masterpieces. Alhambra was the seat of Muslim rulers from the 13th century to the end of the 15th century. The Alhambra is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The most significant Moorish musician was known as Ziryab (the Blackbird) who arrived in Spain in 822 AD. The Moors introduced the earliest versions of several instruments, including the Lute or el oud, the guitar or kithara and the Lyre. Ziryab also changed the style of eating by breaking meals into separate courses beginning with soup and ending with desserts.
MOORISH MUSICIAN ZIRYAB
  • Education was universal in Moorish Spain and available to everyone, while in Christian Europe, ninety-nine percent of the population were illiterate, and even kings could neither read nor write. At that time, Europe had only two universities while the Moors had seventeen. These were located in Almeria, Cordoba, Granada, Juen, Malaga, Seville and Toledo.
  • At its height, Cordoba, the heart of Moorish territory in Spain, was the most modern city in Europe. The streets were well-paved with raised sidewalks for pedestrians. During the night, ten miles of streets were well illuminated by lamps. (This was hundreds of years before there was a paved street in Paris or a street lamp in London.) Cordoba had 900 public baths and it is reported that a poor Moor would go without bread rather than soap.
EQUATORIAL GUINEA INDEPENDENCE 🇬🇶

The colonial history of Equatorial Guinea dates back to 1471 when Portuguese explorers descended on the country. On their way to India, Portuguese explorers discovered the island of Bioko, and later colonized the islands of Fernando Poo and Annobon. They retained control of Equatorial Guinea until 1778, when the territory was ceded to Spain in exchange for land in South America. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1820, rebel forces took control of the colony. The mainland of Equatorial Guinea became a Spanish colony in 1900. With increasing nationalist sentiment and escalating pressure from the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, the journey to independence was underway. On October 12, 1968, Equatorial Guinea became an independent state with Francisco Macias Nguema as the first President.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA IN PICTURES
TRAVEL TO GHANA DURING COVID-19

Ghana’s borders have opened back up and multiple measures have been put in place to combat COVID-19. We have found some of our favorite Youtubers to see how they have traveled during this global pandemic.

WHAT IS SARS?

Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was a Nigerian Police Force unit created in late 1992 to deal with crimes associated with robbery, motor vehicle theft, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and firearms. It was part of the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Anthony Ogbizi.

SARS was controversial for its links to extrajudicial killings, extortion, torture, framing, blackmail, kidnapping, illegal organ trade, armed robbery, home invasions, rape of men and women, child arrests, the invasion of privacy, and polluting bodies of water by illegally disposing of human remains. After widespread protests in Nigeria and worldwide under the motto "End SARS", the unit was disbanded on October 11, 2020. The Inspector General of Police said that a new unit, the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), would replace the SARS. He said that SARS personnel would report to police headquarters for debriefing and examination. Within hours of the announcement, some Nigerians took to Twitter with the hashtag #EndSWAT, and demonstrations continued amid fears that police reform would not materialize.

On August 14, 2018, the Acting President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo ordered the immediate overhaul of the of the controversial police unit SARS following reports of human rights violations. The acting president ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to reform SARS and carry out an independent investigation after persistent complaints and reports concerning human rights violations. After the order, the IGP announced that the unit would be renamed the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a new head of the unit would be appointed, and the provision of human rights desk officers to check reports.

Efforts to ban the SARS unit increased in October 2020 after a SARS police officer shot a young Nigerian man in front of the Wetland Hotel in Ughelli, Delta State. Video of the incident started trending on social media, leading to nationwide protests within a few days. The protests quickly expanded from an online hashtag to widespread street protests in a matter of days. Popular Nigerian Twitter influencers Rinnu (@savvy_rinnu), FK (@fkabudu), Kelvin Odanz (@MrOdanz), Dr. Dipo Awojide (@OgbeniDipo), and several others quickly joined in raising awareness of the protests, further giving EndSARS protestors added weight and support.

MAP OF NIGERIA 🇳🇬

Within hours after these influencers drew media attention, Nigerian celebrities joined in. Notable ones such as music producer Don Jazzy; singers Runtown, Falz, Wizkid, and Davido; actress Sally Suleiman; comedians Mr Macaroni and Sydney Talker; and others used their influence to demand the Federal Government end SARS and implement police reforms across the country.

PROTESTS IN LAGOS
SARS DISBANDMENT
PEACEFUL FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
AFRICAN MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Credits:

Created with images by FirmBee - "facebook social media media" • Luke van Zyl - untitled image