Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by African_Prince, Jul 4, 2005.
African Prince, I join with you honoring these men who came here seeking a better life, and met death at the hands of persons known and unknown... May they rest eternally knowing that they did not die vainly or in obscurity...
I don't know how to explain how I feel. I will just say that God shall bless their hearts, and I pray that wherever they are, God is with them.
peace to the GODS...........
In Philadelphia, too
Taxi driving is an important niche occupation for many African immigrants in Philadelphia. It is also a dangerous job. On July 31, 2001, a Senegalese driver was murdered during a robbery. The tragic event galvanized not only the Senegalese community but also his fellow drivers. The Philadelphia Taxi Association organized a demonstration in August 2, 2001 attended by more than 1,000 drivers from many countries. Fellow African immigrant drivers express their sadness, frustrations and appeal to the City of Philadelphia for protection.
March 25, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: john kidane or kathryn wilson (909) 752-9767
DOCUMENTARY ON AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS
SHOWING AT PHILADELPHIA FILM FESTIVAL
'Stop Killing Taxi Drivers' Tells Moving Story of August 2001 Demonstration
(PHILADELPHIA, PA -- March 25, 2002) Philadelphia is home to over 50,000 African immigrants and a locally produced documentary, 'Stop Killing Taxi Drivers' tells a moving story of African taxi drivers pleading for protection in response to the murder of a fellow driver. 'Stop Killing Taxi Drivers,' produced by local filmmaker Filmon Mebrahtu with funding from Reel Voices, will be shown at the Festival of Independents, part of the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema. The documentary is part of a 1-hour collection of shorts entitled “Distant Cultures”, showing at 5 pm on April 10, 2002 at the International House, 3701 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.
'Stop Killing Taxi Drivers' is a 7-minute documentary that captures the drivers' sadness, frustration, and anger as they appeal to the City of Philadelphia for protection. A majority of the drivers work long hours to support their families here and in their home countries. Taxi driving is one of the most dangerous occupations, and Philadelphia is no exception. During the early hours of Tuesday July 31, 2001, Mamadou Gackou, a Senegalese immigrant driver, was shot dead in an apparent robbery. Two passengers in South Philadelphia killed Gackou from behind, at point blank range. Unfortunately, a majority of taxi homicides remain unsolved, and to this day, Gackou’s killers have not been arrested. On August 2nd, frustrated and feeling vulnerable to continued attacks, the Philadelphia Taxi Association organized a demonstration of over 1,000 cab drivers from many countries, united in conveying a single message: 'Stop Killing Taxi Drivers'.
One of the objectives of 'Stop Killing Taxi Drivers' is to raise awareness about taxi driver safety. An OSHA report on Taxi safety issued in 2000 recommends installing cameras in taxicabs to deter driver assaults. A cab company in Perth, Australia reported a 60% reduction in attacks on drivers within one year after introduction of cameras. In Houston, a man holding a gun, captured by Yellow Cab’s SnapShot Camera, was issued a prison sentence of 30 years for each robbery conviction. To-date, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has still not officially approved taxi cameras.
About the Filmmaker
Filmon Mebrahtu hails from the East African country of Eritrea and produces documentaries with one goal in mind: to capture the stories of immigrant communities and document their diverse cultural experiences. Too often, stories of these communities are told and retold by outsiders and their depiction is at the mercy of the content producers, whose goals and ambitions may be divergent from the immigrant communities themselves. The impact of their stories becomes more powerful if these communities participate in the creation of media, which is Mebrahtu's approach. 'Stop Killing Taxi Drivers' has been acquired by a Philadelphia Public TV Station WYBE for its Philadelphia Stories II series and is featured in an interactive exhibit at the Balch Institute of Ethnic Studies, “Extended Lives: The African Immigrant Experience in Philadelphia,” along with Mebrahtu's earlier works on African immigrant experiences in Philadelphia - “eritrea - it's where we're from,” “ana sudani ana,” and “African Worship Services.”
About Reel Voices
Reel Voices, Inc., is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and leverage the use of the creative arts to express and document diverse cultural experiences. Reel Voices has produced documentaries on African immigrants in Philadelphia and provides technical assistance to community organizations wishing to use video to express their indigenous experiences. Reel Voices also provides technical support for creating multimedia content, and offers low-cost video production and post-production workshops to community organizations.
The same problem exists among African immigrants in Columbus Ohio, Chicago, and Minneapolis.
This is a law enforcement problem and also a social problem.
There are too many guns on the streets of America and an unchecked culture of violence that is plaguing the black community and threatening to destroy it...or GET us destroyed by others.
I hate to be apologetic but I often times find myself apologizing to African victims of crimes that were perputrated by other black people not because I feel that I'm responsible....but just to let them know some of us care.
All of us aren't savage or cold hearted.
I'm sure many Africans could care less about the way I feel also, but it's the principle of the situation that forces me to constantly explain our people to African immigrants and why we do some of the things we do.
When I sit down to African immigrants and talk to them about slavery, poverty, the broken family, and how this government promotes violence through the media; most of them look at me like I'm just making excuses, smile, and keep going.
But a few of them understand and want to hear more.
We usually end up making friends and keeping in contact with eachother and that's my motivation.
Although I can understand and appreciate your intent, I caution people about apologizing for actions that aren't their own. This is especially true when dealing with people from other cultures. Black on Black crime is unfortunately a phenomenon which occurs worldwide (including Africa). It certainly is not unique to African Americans. Indeed crime and criminals exist in all societies. Despite this reality, African Americans have the stigma of being inherently criminal in nature. Making a mass apology, and explaining that slavery...poverty...broken families...and violence in the media negatively effects blacks in America actually furthers our image of being inherently criminal. It also creates the perception that these African cab drivers (or other African immigrants) were murdered because of who they were. In reality most were probably victims of crimes of opportunity (which many victims of crime are). Again this is not a stigma or assumption that we want to embrace knowingly or unknowingly.
I didn't wanna put my boy on blast, Pan, so thanks for steppin' up, and spankin' him fuh me - 'cause he sho needed it after that post!
Right on time with the wisdom, brother... Ralfa'il, with that stuff, man(smile!)
It hurts my heart to see any black people harmed or injured. If possible, I will (and do) lend my assistance, but I'm not apologizing for something I didn't do. To apologize means that you are at fault...that you accept responsibility. It a situation like this, it serves no purpose.
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