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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Black Africans in Britain: Integration or Segregation Amongst What or Who?

Commentary in response to a thread shared on TzECA yahoo mailing list titiled "Black Africans in Britain: Integration or Segregation":


Integration or Segregation amongst what? Or amongst who?

If the promotion is for so called "whites" and or "blacks" then this question or equation has failed even before it gets any serious consideration, as the equation is completely invalid, incorrect and misleading. Many years ago, this was created and designed to oppress people. The oppressor used various means to ridicule others using features and pride as endowed by the almighty creator, to imply theirs was superior.

This was then but the effects still creep up in modern states via media, social services, normal conversation - in other words it is deep in our thoughts to a point not many even consider it as an original sin that requires mending. They will ask or say - "it does not Botha me" and yet we as people spend more time and energy trying to answer the effects, the outcomes as opposed to deal with the source of all issues, the cause. Historical wrongs and cannot be mended by applying the same original sin.

My call to fellow Africans and people of the world, is to reject all these forms of stealth "politics of pigmentation" irrespective whether they are applied consciously or subconsciously, and refuse being given labels by the so called social scientists, unless they reflect the dignity and respect rightly and correctly deserved.

Personally, I have made a firm decision (and I live by it to the word) that I will not participate in any of the surveys that put people into boxes and make decisions based on what they so perceive to be "widely accepted" for example that one can be reffered as "black" or "white". Widely accepted does and should never qualify to cleanse the original sin.

Ask yourself, who are these people so called "Blacks"? If you agree there is a "Black" person, then there is a "white" person and I am yet to see either one. Even if one had existed, and if you defend the context used, a quick reflection into the original sin of how these were adopted will give answers to your conscious and only you can make that decision - not even the survey gurus who always prompt you with that choice - "Black" something or something "Black"!

I further ask myself, what is the problem you being referred as African or by your nationality? You don't hear or see "White English" in these surveys for example. Either way, as soon as you have the colour coding into the equation, you are buying into the idea conceptualized in the original sin - that there are "white" people who are associated with all things clean and white and there are "black" people who are associated with all things dirt, backward, disaster, sinful - mostly negative. There is no running away from this original sin. Remember that!

Perhaps I can once again share my views on what I have now come to refer as "Politics of Pigmentation" as posted at this blog:

http://udadisi.blogspot.com/2008/07/politics-of-pigmentation.html

In Scotland, in my view, this debate has taken a step up change and issues are getting addressed at the core. At least now the Scotland Census 2011 has a draft that is more likely to have an option which stops completely using the word 'Black'. For me this is a huge step forward. My ideal position is that neither Black nor White is used in these surveys as these have nothing to do with ethnicity and more to do with old power politics and historical wrongs.

I have no doubt whatsoever, that it will be the case of nonexistence of these two words in current context, with our offspring in future generations.

Today, we as people of the current 21st century have an opportunity to enhance and set the precedence and leadership on this important topic. It won't go away as truth never goes until it gets confirmed and reaffirmed. If we agree the connotations are not right, then correcting them is more appropriate than embracing them. Remove the original cause, and create a different cause for different effects.

I am from the school of thought that supports promoting the values as they are, than opting for "positive" or "affirmative" discrimination. Here, to me, it is using the same original sin to correct the wrongs. Instead of having a "labelled" movement, have the "values and behaviours" movement that the proposed or perceived "label" is aiming to promote. This enhances the inclusive positive message and embraces all human races. It helps to deal with the core issues themselves and avoids using the original sin to mend the wrongs brought to bear by the original sin in a first place.

As this thread from the University of Kent has ignited related concerns, I thought I must share my views once again.

I am aware of the good intentions, and it is those intentions that we need to embrace and remove the labelling as this will affirm the positive intentions and removing the link to the original sin.

To the good people and the good intentions, thanks for the efforts in getting us as people, to the ideal position where the people will be much happier and more peaceful with the beauty and marvellous diversified creation of our being and all our various businesses and communities shall prosper with abundance as we embrace the truth in what we say and what we do as people across the board.

Kind regards

Apollo Temu

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On 25 November 2010 04:12, Chambi Chachage <chambi78@yahoo.com> wrote:
_________

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 17:18:55 +0100
From: Jean Grisel
Subject: DIFFUSION PARIS DIDEROT - AFRIQUE
____________

SUPPLEMENT AFRIQUE
DE LA LISTE DE DIFFUSION DE L'UNIVERSITE PARIS DIDEROT - PARIS 7

Black Africans' In Britain: Integration Or Segregation

A new study shows that the ability of "Black Africans"' settling in the UK to integrate with society varies according to their national and ethnic background.

<http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/releases/2010/november/Black_Africans_in_Britain.aspx>

The study, by Dr Lavinia Mitton and Mr Peter Aspinall of the University of Kent, finds that 'Black Africans' in the UK are a diverse group with a wide range of experience and needs depending on country of birth, religion and native language. Understanding these distinctions between different Black Africans is the first step to providing better support, improving their quality of life and helping integration into society.

There are now 737,000 'Black Africans' in England and Wales (according to an estimate by the Office for National Statistics for 2007) and they are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups. Unlike some other ethnic groups, 'Black Africans' are predominantly migrants. Many encounter significant language difficulties together with financial and other problems when they settle in the UK. The Somalis and Congolese are the most disadvantaged and deprived communities amongst the 'Black African' group.

Using data from several existing social surveys, the study uncovered a number of factors that affect integration:

· Deprivation varies by home language, with pupils from Somali, Lingala and French-speaking homes having the highest levels of eligibility for free schools meals, while Igbo, Yoruba and Shona speakers live in financially better-off households. Moreover, as many as half of Somalis and Congolese live in the most deprived 20 per cent of local areas

· There is a commonly held assumption that 'Black Africans' do not face linguistic barriers but those who originate in countries such as Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo do face language difficulties in their education or in getting a job

· Employment, self-employment, unemployment and economic inactivity vary considerably by country of birth. The study found that Black Africans, especially Somalis, are paid less on average than white British people. Black Africans, especially those from southern Africa, are also heavily concentrated in the health and social care professions

· Pupils whose first language is English achieved the most passes at grades A* - C in their GCSEs, with those of Nigerian background achieving close to the national average, whereas pupils whose first language was Somali, French or Portuguese performed worst in education.

Dr Mitton found that Black Nigerians and Black Zimbabweans tend to speak English and fare relatively well, although they do have difficulty securing work at a level that is in line with their qualifications.
The study concludes that Somalis and Congolese need to be targeted with intensive support, including help with language skills, such as interpreting / translation and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) training, while the government needs to work with employers and trade unions to improve the occupational status of 'Black Africans'.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Mitton said: "The research should inform policy and practice and enable actions that are sensitive to the diverse needs of the Black African community. It will also help public services secure support for a future integration strategy and will be particularly useful to London boroughs, local authorities and Primary Care Trusts in areas with a high proportion of Black Africans."

For further information contact:

· Dr L Mitton (Tel: 01227 824409, email: l.mitton@kent.ac.uk)
ESRC Press Office:
· Danielle Moore (Tel: 01793 413122, email:
danielle.moore@esrc.ac.uk)
· Jeanine Woolley (Tel: 01793 413119, email: ·
jeanine.woolley@esrc.ac.uk)
· Out of office hours number, Tel: 07554 333336

Notes for editors

This release is based on the findings from the report 'Black Africans in Britain: Integration or segregation?' carried out by Dr Lavinia Mitton and Mr Peter Aspinall of the University of Kent.

Methodology: Examination of data from the government Labour Force Survey, and two government surveys which are restricted access - the 2001 Census micro-data (the CAMS) and the National Pupil Database.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total expenditure in 2009/10 was about £211 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/.

The ESRC confirms the quality of its funded research by evaluating research projects through a process of peer review. This research has been graded as good.

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