Exceptional… for what?

close up portrait of lion
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OK, I learned something about the Iranian people this week. They have the phrase “Death to…” They then tack on something. Like Death to high prices or Death to bad breath. For years I couldn’t figure out the phrase because it never seemed like we were getting the actual meaning of what they meant by it. Their corresponding actions rarely matched the rhetoric.

Folks the Iranian people are having a time of it. Bad leadership both political and religious have them with inadequate water, a bad economy, a poor currency and lack of tourism.
As a conservative, the hip shot response is why don’t they fix it themselves? Why don’t they just rise up and overthrow the system? This perspective rings as hollow now as “Death to”. Every culture has a series of phrases that while expressing frustration really is just communal whining and moaning meaning nothing.
I look at my own country. We are blatantly abusing the civil rights of minorities here through open season gun laws that benefit the majority but oppress the minority. We mass incarcerate people of color like cows at a slaughterhouse. We let people die in the street from hunger, homelessness, and mental illness of all kinds because of…”personal responsibility”.
And when people rise up in protest local, state, and national government is more than willing to put them down as violently as any other backward country.
How exceptional are we? I used to think we were exceptional; a shining castle on a hill. I don’t think so anymore. We seem to be just one of many dirty homes in the valley struggling to get by until the next election. Deep inside we all know nothing will change with the next regime but we hope and we pray something will change.
There are a lot of people that ask where is God in all of this? Why doesn’t God do something? And I think God does respond through ideas, feelings, inspiration, conviction. I just think that as people we cast these things aside or bastardize the concept for the monetary gains. It is not that God isn’t responding so much as we have turned a blind eye and ear to his voice. And that makes me very sad.
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Lost

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How did I get here?

I walked the path laid out before me as a child.

I played by all the rules that society told me to follow.

Wait until you see your pot of gold they proclaimed.

They lied.

There is no pot of gold waiting, just another turn.

Turns that wind through birth and death and marriage and divorce and…passion?

Slowly over time, I try to walk back but I just can’t remember how I got here.

Where am I?

What have I become?

What do I do now with what is left of my life?

I am lost.

Struggle

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I am chugging along and making progress when…

The history of our people catches up to me and…

I stop, struggling to find the will to move forward and achieve what should rightfully be mine?

Where I live the chairs are being rearranged.

Changed before my eyes like a flock of birds taking off for flight…

And the government tells me I am in a better place and tells me that the money is pouring in and that jobs are falling like manna from heaven to hide the…

Struggle

I long to be free, long to feel safe

Long for wealth that is continual, gently, ever so slowly given to others.

Am I never to get ahead?

Am I always to smile and nod like everything is alright to keep the powers at bay?

No.

Today I will don a skin cocoa brown around a broken soul.

I will struggle again.

Anger

nature summer yellow animal
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Ah, my friend.

The friend who pushes and prods to force out the emotions I choose to keep in.

The part of me that is forced to wear a smile because to not is threatening because of Black Skin.

The area of me that harbors the real me, protects the real me from harm.

How can I let go of you?

You have been more loyal to me than the country that everyday looks for the reason to…

Closer than the those who would rather that people of color just disappear like fog on a Monday morning.

Ah, anger, my friend.

Igbo Diet: Oha Soup

making oha soupRoughly 80% of Blacks brought over from Africa who came in through the Carolinas have ancestry going back to the Igbo in West Africa. This ethnic group currently resides in Nigeria. This group is very important to me because I have DNA linked to it. I have appended a recipe from this tribe courtesy of allnigerianfoods.com. Enjoy.

The Ingredients For Oha Soup

Serving (6×2)
Oha leaves (as required)
Cocoa yam (see the video below)(about 15 to 20 medium sizes)
2kg Meat of choice (chicken, assorted, beef, goat meat, turkey)
600g Dry fish or mangala
Maggi (seasoning) 2 to 4 cubes
Ground crayfish (1 cups)
A handful of Uziza leaves (optional)
1 big Stock fish head
Palm oil 200-250ml
3-4 tablespoons of ofor or achi (as alternative thickener)
Ogiri (local ingredients)
salt and pepper to taste

Whenever I am making soups with cocoa yam, I chose to buy a small quantity of ofor or achi to supplement insufficiency (just in case) maybe about 1 or 2 tablespoons

How To Prepare Oha (ora) Nigerian Soup

Time: About seventy minutes

Wash the cocoa yam with just water and start cooking, cook until it is soft (you can check with your fingers), then peel off the outer back and pound with a mortar and pestle, the normal traditional way. Grind crayfish and fresh pepper (I like to use fresh pepper for most Nigerian foods)

Pluck off the Uha leaves from the stem and slice with a kitchen knife, I like to shred the leaves with my fingers the exact way I learned from my mother (You will find how this is done from the video below, this method will ensure that the leaves are not shredded to tiny bits).

In case you want to slice with a kitchen knife just to ease up the process be sure not to slice into very tiny bits. See the uha soup image above

Parboil meat with the necessary ingredients, allow to cook for ten to fifteen minutes before adding the hot-water-washed dry fish and, (we use hot water to soak and wash dry fish/stock fish just to make sure the accompanying sand is washed off). Add the stock fish and cook until it is tender,

Add more water then add red oil (palm oil), ground crayfish, maggi, salt and pepper to taste. Stir and allow boiling. At this point it should give a good soupy taste (even though it would be watery)

Then add the pounded cocoa yam as you can find in the video below (at this point you can add the ground egusi if you choose to make oha soup with egusi, which is also a very tasty recipe. Remember I told you that either egusi, achi or cocoa yam can serve as the thickener for this popular Igbo soup).
Boiling oha soup
Also add the ogiri at this point.

Stir; allow to dissolve before adding the sliced uziza leaves then uha leave should follow after a minute. Stir and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes and you just made a very delicious oha soup (ofe ora).
making oha soup
Serve with eba, fufu or pounded yam.

Bread Dough Cake

From A Domestic Cookbook

  • One pint light bread dough
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • Dried fruit or Carraway seeds

Stir well place in well buttered baking pan. Let rise, and bake in moderate heat.

Older recipes are very tough to follow even if published as they lack the details of modern recipes.