Akoben: Restoring the Sound to be Heard Around the World
by M'Bwebe Aja Ishangi
“Building the community is our duty. It is a duty we must undertake to fulfill without excessive concern for the additional inconvenience, time or resources it requires."
— Kwame Agyei Akoto
Duende Natural's founding core comprises of two families who decided to visit the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica for the first time as a group in 2012.
Having been made aware of the early wave of interest in this area that has now morphed into a viral land crab of sorts, as the term and notion of living "Pura Vida" or the "Pure Life" have spilled into the minds (and pockets of gentrifying investors) of people in the United States, attention should be drawn to the fact that this is simply history repeating itself.
But rather than see the influx of ex-Pats flood Afro-Caribbean and indigenous lands as a bad thing, I see this as Akoben, or a "Call to Arms" for us Blackfolk to realize what's at stake. Akoben is a West Afrikan Adinkra symbol of vigilance and wariness serving as a horn used to sound a battle cry.
While here in America urban communities are being blacked-out through whitewash, it doesn't take a scientist to realize the prize gentrifiers are after is land. What we don't talk about is where do the displaced (Black)folk end up? In 3 years, where will Blackfolk be in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn? In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? In Detroit, Michigan? We only need to look at Harlem, New York and Washington, DC for this revelation. And if we do not answer the horn of Akoben, so will it be on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica!
The question you may now ask is, why invest in land and where? I would counter, what side of history do you want to be on this go around? A victim or part of a collective creating an intentional community.
This is a discussion we are happy to share with you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Become a member of BLM-REIC! — duendenatural.com/blm/join.html
• Come with us to Costa Rica this year!
See where we're going this year! We have a trip for you whether with family, solo, or with friends!
Additional Supportive Readings:
• Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice, by Jessica Gordon Nembhard
• Our Black Year, by Maggie Anderson
• What Happen: A Folk-History of Costa Rica's Talamanca Coast, by Paula Palmer
• The Unapologetic Quest to G.E.N.T.R.I.F.Y.: Ethnic Cleansing Through Economics — daghettotymz.com/current/gentrify/gentrify.html
• The Future of Our Past - Using Cooperatives to Survive and Compete in the Next Twenty Years
This 39-minute presentation looks at a series of core issues stemming from Emancipation as well as Integration that's led to the rise and fall of our collective loss of land economics and opportunity and how resuscitating the use of the Cooperatives can be a key factor in the next two decades.
>> Watch here
• Black Land Matters featured on the Laura Flanders show
Black Land Matters' co-founder, Mark Scott joined Weeksville Heritage Center's Tia Powell Harris on the Laura Flanders show on the historic relevance of using cooperatives as a tangible solution to addressing the disparities of POADUS' (People of African Descent in the United States) socio-economic opportunities.
>> Watch here