Back in June, I stopped in my friend Zana’s store “Spectacles” downtown Detroit. On this particular day, I noticed some Black Liberation patches in her display cabinet, which got me excited, so I purchased 3 just because.
I had no idea what I was going to do with them, I just knew that I wanted them. In the meantime, I just had them on my desk & looked at them all the time. They made me smile because I think they are so cool.
On a related note but not really, a few weeks ago, I finally got my 6 Barack Obama buttons that I ordered from his website. Just like the patches, I had no idea what I was going to do with all these buttons but I wanted them because they are cool. And just like with the patches, I poured the buttons onto my desk for the meantime.
One night while catching up on some online reading, I looked at my desk, then decided to pull out my camera & took the photo below (titled “Negroes for Obama”).
I really liked how the photo came out & tossed it up on Flickr & that was that.
Well, 2 weeks ago, Malcolm Quartey aka “Kwadwo Kwarte” one of my Flickr friends (from our brief photo commenting, I get the sense that this young brother is really cool & he has quite an interesting life and background), from Belgium responded to the image and we had the following dialogue:
Kwadwo “Hahaha, “Negroes for Obama”, funny. I really love those colors, the alternative rasta/black pride-colors… I can’t get these here in Belgium, but I wish I could…”
Bygbaby “Are they off limits or just not available?”
Kwadwo “Not available. I would not even know where to start searching for them. People here have no clue to black history. I mean, I don’t even think they realise black people in America are decendants from slaves. The black people here in Blegium are all African immigrants, or their children (like me). Some of them/us really know our history, and black history in general, such as that of the Afro-Americans, but that’s a minority. Now that I think about it, the only people I’ve ever seen wearing these colors were other Rastas, but real Rastas are also extremely rare here. I’ve only seen other genuine Rastas on sporadic occasions… Sad, isn’t it?”
Bygbaby “Well my friend, I have three patches & can gift you one with no problem. Send me a message with your address & I will post it.”
Kwadwo “Wow, thanks! I’d say “no thanks”, out of politeness, but I just can’t refuse this ; )) I’ll send you a message right now.??Blessed Love and Peace my brother!”
After a few more exchanges, the patch was making its way across the pond & I actually was really excited to send it. The excitement came from reaching out to another brother in the Diaspora half a world away, and it was cool to see someone as excited about the meaningful & colorful threads as I was. How could I not act !?!
Well Kwadwo got the patch last week he sent me this photos with him wearing it.
Although this cultural exchange was quite small in scale, it was big in heart I think for the both of us & I will never forget it.
Oh by the way, I stopped back into Specatcles yesterday & got another patch just in case.