The Commercialization Of African Culture And Spirituality


6-african-gods-you-can-find-in-beyonces-lemonade-2-19163-1462114045-0_dblbigFor the past few thousand years an attempt to demoralize, erase, and sweep under the rug the presence of African culture has been in play. With the rise of Greco-Roman influence worldwide it gave them power to re-write history from it’s perspective. The Hellenistic period of ancient times was a tide turner. It gave people with no previous history beyond 8-10 thousand years an opportunity to caste it’s influence on the world.

In recent years the same system that tried to erase and change history is now watering down and demonizing historical views by controlling  things through the commercializing of African cultures. The 1st to face this problem of course is African Kmt whose history is well written by The Ancient Remetch that left millions of clues about its past. The past few years you have seen The Music Industry, Hollywood, and pseudo-scientific marketing strategies promote the glamor of African Kmt without promoting it’s true history from an African perspective. Today you’ll see hip-hop artist and rnb artist wearing Ankhs with crosses or tattoos of mAat, Ankhs, and King Tut. You even have Chinese, Arab, and Jewish companies selling all kind of Kmty materialized practices such as yoga, food, clothing, and even toys which has created a fad surrounding such a historic civilization that brought forth all we know today.

A few nights ago sister Beyoncé performed at the grammys one of her songs off her Lemonade album. It was not her song or performance that sparked a worldwide Internet frenzy it was her costume. Dressed as beautiful West African Yoruba Orisa Goddess her stylist nailed the essence of bringing forth a historical presence of a culture unlike Kmt that has not been disrespected or commercialized. In her attempt to raise awareness of our African ancestral practices and spiritual systems she by some instances exposed the ignorance in the African American communities and it’s religious followers of the Abrahamic faith. Some demonized her, others praised her, some in the conscious community who practice faithfully the West African spiritual system found it a bit disrespectful. Now, with all these different personalities and opinions one can see the grip racism white supremacy has on the views and opinions of African in America and abroad.

You can not blame the Ife community for feeling the way it does due to recent commercializations of Kmt. Playing with African spiritual systems have consequences one may never consider to take seriously. We can question if Beyoncé is genuine in her attempt to expose our brothers and sisters to our Ancestors,however one thing is for certain her influence on her followers is significant. This could have 2 outcomes  on our brothers and sisters: expose them to who they really are or start another commercialization of a African paradigm with a rich tradition in culture and spirituality.

Society has a problem targeting us as a people and our struggles. They make it easy to promote our history for its own personal gains while many of those who are not quite aware of their history see it equally from the perspective of the oppressor as entertainment, fiction, and culturally unacceptable. When you can control the initiative you can control the agenda,  and we as a people have grown accustomed to following suit ignoring the message and meaning behind our lives being their entertainment.

One way to combat any attempt of commercializing our culture is raising awareness and promoting our culture on a grand scale. Using idols such as a Beyoncé or the music and movie industries as a opportunity to teach not preach to our children using proper methodology to expose them to where they really come from and who our true African Gods and Goddesses are across the continent. We can no longer stay silent allowing fads to control the narrative using each trending topic as a teaching opportunity to encourage our people to get to know more about who they are, where they come from, and what they knew not believed before our lives changed at the hands of our oppressor. Remaining silent will allow those who have controlled the narrative for far to long to continue to commercialize our culture and demonize our spirituality and continuing to push their faith and beliefs on us for their economical control and spiritual gain.

 By:Ini-Herit Khalfani

February 14, 2017

Nashville, Tn

#Beyoncé #Grammys

Photos by: HouseOfSarah14 Storm. “The Dashiki Trend.”HouseOfSarah14. House of Sarah14, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. <;.

Pharoah Inc. “Fharaoh.” Fharaoh. Pharoah Inc, 8 Feb. 2016. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. <;.

Gistmaster . “How Beyoncé Channeled Yoruba Goddess Oshun During Her 2017 Grammy Performance.” Gistmaster. N.p., 14 Feb. 2017. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. <;.


Voices of Fire Presents an Interview with Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz- Where Do We Go From Here?

The first step in changing our circumstances is to identify the problem. In any process we have to first understand the issues, how to resolve our issues, and implement a plan of action.  Please join me on February 17, 2017, as I interview  Attorney Malik Shabazz on my Youtube Channel Voices of Fire Channel at 7 PM EST regarding his updated debate with Cornel West on various Topics including where do we go from here, Black Nationalism, and Law and Action.  Malik Zulu Shabazz is the National President of the Black Lawyers for Justice and Founding Member of the New Black Party. Mr. Malik Zulu Shabazz graduated from Howard University and Howard University School of Law and is one the most respected members of our community.  He is currently the national president of the Black Lawyers for  Justice who’s vision is to ” To build a network of conscious, committed and capable Black lawyers that possess both character and vigor to lead in the ever-present struggle for justice.” The  Black Lawyers Mandate is to “To establish and fight for Truth, Justice, Balance, Order and Reciprocity in the American legal system, society and the world at large” . The organization was  “Founded in 1966 by Malik Z. Shabazz, Esq., Founder and National President, Black Lawyers for Justice (BLFJ) has the culmination of vision, background, activism and expertise and is the go-to legal organization for superior litigation services from the best-experienced attorneys throughout the country. Black Lawyers for Justice exemplifies zealous advocacy, attorney activism, and dedicated work ethics and principles”. Black Lawyers for Justice is a nationwide network of the best legal minds in the country, fighting vigorously in and out of the courtrooms of America for their clients. We have over 50-years combined experience in all aspects of the law; particularly complex civil litigation. You can trust attorneys in our network to deliver superior legal services and diligently pursue justice on behalf of our clients.

As of you know, Malik will be Debating Dr. Cornell West a Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. His resume includes tenures at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has written over 20 books and has edited 1.

The debate will be held in Washington D. C on February 21, 2017 at the National Press Club. The Topic of Discussion is “Which Way Under President Trump-Resist, Revolt, Demonstrate, Separate or Should We Compromise and Start Begging”.  The Event will be live streamed Live streamed and tickets will be Eventbrite Under “Debate of The Decade”

Please Join Me on my Youtube Channel Voices of Fire. Please like, share, and Subscribe!

Nyah Amara

VOF Editor-Founder