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Text Box: Text Box: By Valerie Dixon
Black people bleaching blackness from our skin—”a dangerous state of mind”
Melanin, sometimes referred to as a chemical, is formed as part of the process of metabolizing an amino acid called tyrosine. In the skin, melanin is formed by cells called melanocytes. 
Certain medical conditions, such as albinism, are associated with the lack of melanin. Albinism is a condition marked by the absence of a normal amount of pigment in the body. Animals, humans, and even plants can have albinism.
Albinism exists in a number of variations. Depending on the type of albinism, the skin, hair, and eyes may all be affected. 
In fact, ocular albinism affects not only the color of the eyes, hair, and skin, but also results in poor vision. Additionally, some types of melanin deficiency are associated with increased mortality rates.
Melanin provides many benefits to human beings. One of the most recognized benefits involves ultraviolet rays of the sun. Melanin provides a natural protection against the harmful effects of these rays. 
However, it does not provide complete protection from the sun, and individuals with darker skin tones are still at risk from the sun's damaging rays.
Many people, of Afrikan heritage, in Afrika and her Diasporas, are using chemicals to scrub away natural melanin from their skin, in search of “beauty in brownness”. For them, ‘black’ is out and ‘brown’ in.
An industry of skin bleaching products has grown, fuelled by the ignorance and low self-esteem of “black” people, with a damaged state of mind, filled with self-hate and self-rejections.
Valerie Dixon, Self-Help News Caribbean Correspondent focuses on the “browning” debate in the Caribbean.
To read Valerie's article, click here 
Some contributions to this editorial came from WiseGreek
Relevant reading, article
by Tariq M. Sawandi, M.H., N.D.—
Those of us who have lost our identity need to rename ourselves. That is, when we recognise us. 
We often get glimpses of our self and, because we have not been in touch with our true self for centuries, we are not always able to recognise our true nature, which sometimes  appears to us as stranger. 
We sometimes seek validation and, ironically, we often go to the very same who stole our identity, seeking validations of our self, which makes us more confused. 
And, when our intuition identifies our true self, our first naming ceremonies must occur in our minds  – our consciousness and, if we succeed, the rest will flow - a renaissance of our consciousness.
Poem of the Month
“A Better Quality of Face”
By Ba Afrika

“We demand respect”

English Children and Young Peoples’ Street Rebellions Exposed Significant Social Fault Lines

Citizens using fire to make a powerful statement on London’s Street,        6 August 2011.

Text Box: Reflections...Reflections...Reflections...

We can have all the legislations in the world, but if there is no trust among citizens, everything falls apart. Our children are the mirrors of our wider society. This is an obvious statement.”      – Dr Vince Hines, Chairperson of Britain’s National Federation of Self-Help Partnerships.

For four days during 6-10 August 2011 British children and young people vented their anger on symbols of wealth and authority – local shops , stores and police vehicles.


Twenty First Century English cities and prestigious shops looted and burnt by England’s disaffected urban children and young people, the majority of whom  are  poor and   ‘the underclass’.

The rebellion was sparked by several incidents. The first was the reported shooting by the Metropolitan Police of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old black man, in Tottenham, North London on 4 August 2011. Mark died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Also, he took a police bullet to his arm.


Duggan was born and brought up on the Broadwater Farm social housing estate, which housed low and middle income local residents. His family stated publicly that Mark had no criminal record. Duggan was in a mini cab/taxi on the date of the shooting. The Police said that Duggan was under their surveillance.  Reason for the surveillance not known.


The Independent Police Complaint Commission(IPCC) representative announced that there was no evidence that Mark Duggan shot at the police, and that a loaded non-police weapon was found at  the seen of the fatal shooting.


On 6 August 2011 Mark Duggan family members and residents of the London Broadwater Farm Estate gathered and began to march peaceably to Tottenham Police station in North London. The marchers were demonstrating against the police fatal shooting of Mark Duggan in suspicious and inexplicable circumstances. A significant number of young people were part of the demonstrators.

Britain’s 60-year-old independent,  innovative and dynamic Self-Help Movement, prepared a Special Report – No. 02/2011, “ENGLAND’S DISAFFECTED URBAN POOR IN REVOLT. Fire and Looting: Their Weapons of Choice”, which was released on 29 August 2011 , jointly  by the Afrika and Diaspora Institute, in association with Self-Help News Collective and The National Federation of Self-Help Partnerships. 

While some of us may not agree with the methods used by the ‘English rioting children and young people in their call for help’,  it is recognised that our  work, focusing on community matters over the years, places us at a position to understand  frustrations  of the children and young people who took direct actions during 6-10 August.

We agree entirely with those who argue that no one is born a ‘criminal’ and our children and young people who “demonstrated gratuitous, criminal greed and wanton anti-social behaviour,”  like many bankers and societal high ranking individuals and institutions, are made by their environment.  

We take credit for our young people when they successfully competed and returned with trophies and medals – gold, silver and bronze, we must also take credit for those dysfunctional ones whom we failed to motivate to become ideal citizens. Logic demands this.

The Special Report made clear, radical, innovative and achievable recommendations to help to resolve some of our pressing societal  issues. Those of us who  are of good-will, presumably most of us, and have the best interests of our Nation and its liberal democratic principles at heart,  must work collectively and tirelessly to ensure that our poor and ‘underclass’ stop being poor and underclass; but start functioning like those of our majority children  and young people,  who brought us national and international pride, rather than embarrassments.

Knee-jerk guilt responses will not bring essential results, which we need to continue functioning as a civilised society. We need to face current realities and set about finding humane solutions. Our criminal justice system has demonstrated its failures. Warehousing more of our young people is too costly and unproductive.

We recognise that every balanced society needs fair and just policing. And so our Self-Help Movement supports any and all campaigns, the purpose of which is to ensure that British policing policy continues to be driven by citizens’ consents and which also protects the rights of minorities, whatever their colour, gender, nationality, faith, age, disability, sexual orientations, status and other differences.

After fifty years of Britain’s Equality laws, the issues of discrimination and inequalities are still with us. In fact, those issues were the ‘drivers’, which convinced the British Parliament to passing a number of  laws, commencing in 1965, 1968, 1971, 1976, 2000, 2008 and, the most recent, 2010, which brought about the Race Relations Board, Community Relations Commission, the Racial Equality Commission and, the latest of these,  the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

In light of fifty years of equality and anti-racist laws, evidence is still being produced, demonstrating that racism and discrimination remain barriers to minorities,. These barriers continue to be barnacles on the face of our civilised and liberal Nation.

“We can have all the legislations in the world, but if there is no trust among citizens, everything falls apart. Our children are the mirrors of our wider society. This is an obvious statement.” – Dr Vince Hines, Chairperson of Britain’s National Federation of Self-Help Partnerships.


“It must never be forgotten that Britain’s population is ageing and we need our young to be free, content, skilled and hard working, with a sense of belonging and purpose, in order to generate shared national wealth in a world of fierce competitions, and for social security of our elders and vulnerable in the future. Our children and young people are our assets and our future.  We cannot afford to waste them,” concluded Dr. Hines

We hope that the Report is useful, and  will help to give voice to voiceless, poor children and young people in our communities.

A copy of the report is available  for download here Alternatively, send an e-mail to feedback@ubol.com , with “request Special  Report 2/2011” in the subject line, and a free copy will be dispatched to you.

2 October 2011

Muammar Gaddafi

Will Jamaica’s Government begin to deliver the goods for the Nation’s First National Hero and World Icon?
By Devon Evans        Read here
Text Box: Marcus Mosiah Garvey