Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The concept of race was not existent in ancient times. Explorers travelled and met people different from them but they did not make a huge fuss about it. They used race to categorize people due to their physical and cultural differences. It was later that it was used to justify enslavement of “inferior” people and unfair treatment.
In a country like the United States, race becomes an issue in the sense that minority groups (African Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and Jews) have challenges in achieving certain things. That is why it was a big deal when Barack Obama became the President of the United States or when Ben Carson separated the Siamese twins or when Aretha won a Grammy.
To be honest, I think it is the same thing with Christian music or gospel music. From what I can see, it has been dominated by white people. Growing up, the gospel artists I knew were all white people; Don Moen, Bob Fitts, DC Talk and the Hillsong Music team. The only black people I knew were Kirk Franklin and Ron Kenoly. Sometimes, when my foreign peers are talking about legends in gospel music and they call Mahalia Jackson or The Clark Sisters, I am usually clueless because I did not grow up hearing them. It was in the late 90s that people like Out of Eden, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin or Israel Houghton became popular around here.
Looking at Christian music in America, I will say its white dominated. Why? They dominate the media, their videos cross over on a regular, they win all the awards and they tend to top the charts. Is it because of racism? Definitely not. So what is the problem?
I feel it is because it seems like the African Americans Christian artists put themselves in a box. First, most African American artists make music only they will enjoy. It is as if they are signing for the black community alone. If that is the case, they should expect to remain only relevant in the black community and not global. If we look at the few black artists that have succeeded in making a name for themselves (Kirk Franklin, CeCe Winans), we see them experimenting with other things. In his new album, Kirk had a rock song with Tobymac. With that song, he was able to cut through cultural boundaries and he did not go there alone but asked for help from someone skilled in that area.
I am not condemning the efforts of the black artists, as I love most of them. The thing is that from here (Nigeria) all I can see are the white people. They are doing what they do best and are representing Jesus in the process. I feel black people should not be scared to go out of the box that society as created for them. Winning BET or NAACP awards and being on the cover of Ebony or Essence Magazine is not where it should end. We should try our best to break cultural/social barriers and let people love us for what we have to offer.
Race is not the issue but we can say it is the cause. Racial stereotypes and discrimination brought us to the point where there are two worlds; the black world and the white world. Now, all these are very long gone (I think). We can put aside these differences and work together; Black, White, Latino and make universal music that will affect and bless the people who will listen to it.
Remember, Act 13:47 says “For so hath the Lord commanded us, [saying], I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth” (KJV). Our target is not people in our community but everyone everywhere.
By Harry Itie
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
my blogger account as I cannot seem to effectively post articles on
blogger anymore. I have no idea why but I hope blogger will fix the
How have you guys been? I know it has been a while and I do apologize
for that. I will try to blog often this new month. I miss Blogville
and the love in this place. I hope it is not fading though.
A few weeks back, I put up a blogpost that suggested I was going to
change my blog name to BaldBlackBoy. I got comments and they were
interesting. Some people said I was not going bald, some said they
loved the name while others were indifferent. I decided to leave the
blog name as it is. I buried the topic.
A few days back, I met someone and the first thing the person noticed
was that I was bald and he made it seem like I had some sort of
disease, asking how I coped with "baldness". You would have thought I
was living with cancer and I remembered my High School years.
I started balding at a pretty young age and my peers (guys in High
School) noticed that and they used it to tease me. I was not bullied
or anything (on the contrary, I was quite popular) but it really
affected my self-esteem. From that period, I decided to do everything
in my power to get my hair back. I started using hair growth creams to
try to get my hair to grow. I ignored the horrible smell the cream had
and used it anyways. I used this cream all through High School but my
hairline just kept receding.
I had built my self-esteem on how people saw me that even though some
of them joked about my baldness, it broke me and I kept wishing a
miracle would happen and I would have "normal" hairline like everyone
else. It was sad.
I entered the University and decided to take my Christianity
seriously. As my knowledge of God and who I was in Him begun to
increase, I realized that I had built my self-esteem on the wrong
things. I realized that it does not matter what the world sees me as,
what matters is how God sees me. I realized that God made me bald and
considered me a priceless work of art, display me in the forefront if
his gallery, looking at me every day and saying to himself "Look how
fine, Harry is". I became happy and began to focus on things that
actually matter. I also saved money because I stopped purchasing the
People still tease me but it does not move me. I blame society for
giving every one labels. Our difference is what makes us unique and
special in God's eyes. The difference is what makes him smile. I feel
bad when I talk to people who have receding hairlines and they say
things like "they are worried about how they will look" or "they hate
their hair" or "they are scared that they will be bald at a young
age". It is the reason why I decided to use @BaldBlackBoy as my new
twitter handle. I have a theory that by a person's tweets you know
them. With this name, I am saying this "I am bald. Deal with it!" Do
not meet me for the first time and comment about my hair. Know the
kind of person I am first. Anyways, I have saved you the trouble. I am
a Bald Black Boy
On to Yada. I am pleased to announce that Yada Magazine has a new
look. Go to our site, check it out, and please let us know what you
think about the website. Our site address is www.yadamag.com. In
addition, we have an exclusive interview with Montell Jordan. Yes. The
Grammy nominated Montell Jordan. The "This is how we do it" Montell
Jordan. Check it out here
and also let us know your comments as regards the interview. If you
have not downloaded our free compilation album, please do that here
http://bit.ly/mT9UjP. You can send your feedback and suggestions to
I hope you enjoyed my lengthy post. I will try and hola back as soon
as I can. Until then, this Bald Black Boy is signing out.
PS: Remember to follow me on Twitter. It is @BaldBlackBoy :)