So you want to sing?

So, sing! Any way you can.

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Anna Dell’Era and Yvonne Catterfield duet
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when you tire of answering questions

cause you know you’re being placed in a box

you don’t dare remove your shoes

cause there’s s hole in your sock

your mental health specialist is nodding

as you try to speak

he gets paid while you wait three-five years for invalid and unemployment benefit legal battle briefs

when is the last time you had fun with your life?

the last time you flew a kite

when is the last time

your belly hurt when you laughed?

when is the last time you hugged your cat?

life can throw some punches

but you have to hit back

even when you’re tired

get out of the sack.

take your dog for a walk

caw with the crows

if no one answers the phone

could mean they don’t want to be home.

lonely lonelinesses loan

incredible gifts

write, sing, dance, paint, scream

look in the mirror,

There is a queen.

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And, this is my America.

I saw the video concerning the confrontation between the Covington Students and the Elder Native American, Mr. Nathan Phillips on Twitter. I was saddened, angry, and felt I must respond. Last night, I viewed the uploaded video which included the Black Israelites, verbally addressing their agenda about the state of affairs of the world.  Within this video, I was able to view the truth of what my America has become.

A tree, roots embedded within the Earth…roots nourished on bloodshed of our forefathers and foremothers, fear, broken hearts, deceit, corruption, displacement, failed financial ventures, homelessness, poverty, disruption of plans, deceit, misunderstandings, racial injustice, oppression, privilege, guilt, ignorance, truth…Roots, from the same tree, evolving, tangled, continuing to adapt, attempting to live…and now, the tree’s branches extend to the sky… to the heavens, screaming….Help….. Within this chasm of controversy and chaos, the branches understand that each need the other….It is only possible to evolve with love….The courageous Native American, Mr. Nathan Phillips,  dissipates the impending doom. And this is my America.

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The Border Control Corps of Basel threw my passport on the ground!

(Article written by Lukas Hausendorf of 20 Minutes Basel)

Der Zwischenfall ereignete sich am Nachmittag des 7. März am Grenzübergang Basel-Huningue neben dem Novartis Campus. Meistens ist die Zollstation unbesetzt, nicht aber an diesem Tag. Anna Dell’Era, Afroamerikanerin und italienisch-amerikanische Doppelbürgerin, war auf dem Heimweg nach Kembs (F). Noch bevor sie die Grenze passierte sah sie den Wagen ihrer Tochter und hielt an. Die junge Frau war mit zwei dunkelhäutigen Kollegen unterwegs nach Basel. Zwei Grenzwächter unterzogen sie einer Kontrolle.
«Ich stieg aus und zückte mein Handy, um meinen Mann anzurufen», erzählt Dell’Era. Dann sei sie angeschnauzt worden: «Sie dürfen keine Fotos machen.» Tatsächlich verbietet Artikel 236 der Zollverordnung das Fotografieren oder Filmen des Personals der Zollverwaltung während der Ausübung seiner Tätigkeit. Dell’Era machte allerdings Foto- und Videoaufnahmen, um das Verhalten der Beamten zu dokumentieren. «Solche Situationen, in denen Respektlosigkeit und Rassismus offensichtlich sind, sind der Grund, weshalb Bürger das Handy zücken und dieses Verhalten dokumentierten», sagt die Sängerin und Tänzerin.

Wiederholt sei sie aufgefordert worden, ihr Handy auszuhändigen. Sie weigerte sich: «Ich kenne meine Rechte, ich gebe Ihnen mein Telefon nicht», erwiderte sie. Sie blieb auch bei dieser Haltung, als man ihr drohte, Pass und Führerschein nicht mehr zurückzugeben. Die Ausweise warf der Grenzwächter in der Folge auf den Boden. «Als ich ihn bat, die Dokumente aufzuheben, murmelte er nur etwas Unverständliches und tat dies nicht», so Dell’Era.

Zollverwaltung weist Vorwürfe zurück

«Dieses Verhalten war unkorrekt, respektlos und rassistisch», sagt Dell’Era. Sie beschwerte sich tags darauf schriftlich beim Basler Zollkreisdirektor und verlangte eine Entschuldigung. Unter anderem wirft sie der Behörde Racial Profiling vor. Abklärungen in der Sache seien eingeleitet worden, teilte ihr die Dienstchefin Aufgabenvollzug danach mit. Auf die Entschuldigung wartet sie aber auch zwei Wochen nach dem Vorfall noch immer. «Ich behalte mir zivilrechtliche Schritte vor», meint die Sängerin, die mittlerweile einen Anwalt eingeschaltet hat.

Die Zollverwaltung weist die Vorwürfe auf Anfrage von 20 Minuten zurück: Das Grenzwachtkorps mache kein Racial Profiling. Vielmehr würden Kontrollen «aufgrund von konkreten Fahndungen und Hinweisen, Risikoanalysen und der Erfahrung der Mitarbeitenden» gemacht, heisst es in einer Stellungnahme des EZV-Mediensprechers Walter Pavel. «Alles andere wäre nicht zielführend.»

«Schwarze werden systematisch kontrolliert»

Nachfragen bei Anlaufstellen und NGOs zeichnen ein anderes Bild. «Solche Fälle werden immer wieder an uns herangetragen», sagt Beat Gerber, Mediensprecher von Amnesty Schweiz. «Ethnic Profiling ist ein akutes Thema.» An den Schweizer Grenzen würden seit Monaten praktisch alle Personen schwarzer Hautfarbe oder mit einem nordafrikanischen Erscheinungsbild systematisch nach ihren Ausweisen gefragt, berichtet er.

Racial oder Ethnic Profiling ist eine völkerrechtlich verbotene Diskriminierung, weil Verdachtsmomente allein auf dem Erscheinungsbild einer Person, also ihrer Hautfarbe oder Herkunft beruhen.


The incident occurred on the afternoon of the 7th March at the border crossing Basel-Huningue next to the Novartis campus. Usually the customs station is unoccupied, but not on this day. Anna Dell’Era, an African-American and Italian-American citizen, was on her way home to Kembs (F). Before she crossed the border, she saw her daughter’s car and stopped. The young woman was traveling with two dark-skinned colleagues to Basel. Two border guards put them under control.  “I got out and grabbed my cell phone to call my husband,” says Dell’Era. The border policeman  said, “You can not take pictures.” Indeed, Article 236 of the Customs Ordinance prohibits the taking of photographs or filming by the staff of the Customs Administration during the course of its activities. Dell’Era, however, took photo and video recordings to document the behavior of the officials. “Such situations, in which disrespect and racism are obvious, are the reason why citizens grab their mobile phone and document this behavior,” says the singer and dancer. She had repeatedly been asked to hand over her cell phone. She refused, “I know my rights, I will not give you my phone,” she replied. She also remained by her conviction when she was threatened that her passport and driving license would not be returned. The border patrol officer then threw the documents on the ground. “When I asked him to pick up the documents, he murmured something incomprehensible and did not,” Dell’Era said. Border administration rejected accusations “This behavior was incorrect, disrespectful and racist,” says Dell’Era. She complained to the Basler Zollkreisdirektor in the afternoon via telephone and countless emails and asked for an excuse. Among other things, she raises the claim of  Racial Profiling. Clarifications on the matter have been initiated.   But she is still waiting for the apology two weeks after the incident. “I take correct civil law steps,” says the singer, who has now requested assistance from a lawyer. The Customs Administration rejected the allegations on request of 20 minutes newspaper.  The border guard corps do not exercise racial profiling, they claim.   On the contrary, checks are made “on the basis of concrete investigations and indications, risk analysis and the experience of the employees”.  According to an opinion of the media journalist Walter Pavel,  “Everything else would not be effective.” «Blacks are systematically controlled» Inquiries at contact points and NGOs draw a different picture. “Such cases are always brought back to us,” says Beat Gerber, media speaker of Amnesty Switzerland. “Ethnic profiling is an acute issue.” At the Swiss border, practically every person with black skin color or a North African appearance had been asking for their identity cards for months, he reports. Racial or Ethnic Profiling is a discrimination prohibited by international law because suspicious factors are based solely on the appearance of a person, ie, their skin color or origin.2670AB6EEA7C3A4DE35073AC0D0A6C55.jpg



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Posted in African American History, african american women, black history, black voices, Contemplation, france, indigenous women, International Travel, italy, kembs, mental health, racial discrimination, police harassment, womens' rights, black women in europe, switzerland, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

To My Only Child

My daughter's kitten

To my Only Child (c)

I remember when you were only a child,
I penned a poem to you
explained how life might sometimes be harsh
and cold, unfair and cruel
This poem on paper somehow disappeared
but my beautiful one
the truth of it remains
Now, a test of life sharpens your wings
as you fly over the game.
Understand that your Mama is not built to crawl
cower, stoop, shuffle, or run
The women in my life never did those things
And you and I are like them, Hun’,
God Almighty instills within us grace,
Holy Spirit surrounds us with peace
And Jesus teaches us with authority to speak
When injustice releases its stink
We are far more powerful when we step up
for what is right.
Mama Mill, Mama, Donna and many others
showed me how to fight!

So, don’t allow fear to make you afraid for me
I will never back down
In the morning, I still hear the birds sing
And navigate around this town.

wherever you go, wherever you roam,
Respect embraces you like a cloak
Wear it well,
Maybe it will rub off on some of these unenlightened folk…

I love you dear..

Good night
Your Mama is back. …..

Anna Greene Dell’Era (c)
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks–Read it!!

  • The book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, Dear Aunt Joan, Dear Aunt Joan gripped me from beginning to end. While reading it, I was in the midst of a cancer diagnosis and caught between two battling oncologists different perspectives concerning how my dormant illness should be treated(2006). My confirmed oncologist insisted on a “wait and see” approach, while the other felt I should undergo immediate treatment of R-CHOP(chemotherapy). Later, reading medical documentation, I zoomed in on the statement that I would eventually be placed in a study group. I questioned this placement in a study group, and my oncologist denied this fact.????? Fast forward. Over the years, I experienced pain in my spine, shoulder, and ribs, but continued my life. In the fifth year(2011), the pain increased and I knew I needed help. However, my oncologist felt I was exaggerating and would not take my cries for help seriously. Only after emailing him photos of perspiraton drenched pajamas and a copy of the email to the American Consulate in Strasbourg, France, did he confirm an appointment in his office. Thereafter, he quickly arranged a TEP-Scan, and results indicated that the once dormant cancer had transformed into an aggressive form. I then changed my oncologist. The new oncologist informed me that my type of illness is never treated only with rituximab, but with R-Chop. Shocked at the reality that I may have indeed been a guinea pig placed in a study group with the first oncologist, I had to shelve my anger in order to prepare for the urgent arduous chemotherapy and suggested autologous bone marrow transplant. Two operations were necessary for the extraction of cells from my bone marrow. I felt as if life was drained from me(both times). In this weakened and fragile state, a nurse then told me that the next phase of my journey consisted of an intensification of chemotherapy, a three week stay in an isolated section of the hospital, and thereafter, my cleansed bone marrow cells would be reintroduced into my body(autologous bone marrow transplant). My oncologist had not informed me of the specifics of this procedure. He explained that it was simply like a blood transfusion. Yeah, right! I was furious. I penned an email that he will never forget. I had zero trust in the medical field. I had an intense talk with God Almighty, and decided that I WOULD have a testimony. After the sixth chemo session, I stopped……everything! Against the wishes of my oncologist and his team, I decided against the bone marrow transplant. I went to South Italy, visited countless churches, was invited to sing gospel in Chiesa Madre(Mother Church) in Manduria, Italy….and prayed relentlessly. By the grace of God and additional alternative medicine of mistle (viscum), that I continue until today, I am in remission. But, I wonder? What has become of my extracted bone marrow? How is it being used? Since reading the book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I can’t help but wonder if my bone marrow is being used experimentally(normally, bone marrow is kept for ten years, I have been told???) But, kept, how? Untouched, or are samples leaked away for other purposes? Sisters, read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. If faced with a health challenge as I, do your research! Get more than two expert opinoins. Demand transparency in all phases of your treatment. Do not allow fear to shelve your instinct and intelligence. It is your body, your health, your life!!! Kudos to Oprah Winfrey for transitioning this piece of literature(that deserves the status required reading) to film .

Posted in African American History, african american women, black voices, cancer challenges, Contemplation, health, indigenous women, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

‘Tis beauty and power that they fear-To my Muslim Brothers and Sisters – Marrakech, Morocco


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