American Teen Sensation or American Patriot?

Try to imagine a time when life was much more difficult, and kicking back in the recliner, watching TV, surrounded by all the comforts of home after a long day, was not even a fanciful notion. Rather, vigilance and invasion by a foreign entity of your town or home without notice was what was on the mind of freedom seeking people in this country. Even your own home was not a safe space.

Sixteen year old Sybil, another young American patriot would have been a strong voice for Liberty in organizations like Turning Point or the Tea Party today, but it was not to be her time.

What made her such an asset to the freedom and reform movement anyway? Well Sybil’s father was a ranking Colonel who, in a battle situation needed to muster reinforcements to counter an enemy attack while simultaneously planning his defense.

His troops were scattered over a 30-mile loop of country side and he had no mechanized transportation or radio to help facilitate contact. Left with no one to call upon for help, Sybil, the only capable person available to get out a desperate call for help, decided to respond to what she considered to be her call to duty.

Without hesitation, Sybil volunteered, in the middle of the night, and in the pouring rain, to get on her horse, `Star`, and ride, and ride she did! In her selfless act of courage, she rode for what seemed an eternity to notify as many as 400 troops who were ready to do battle to defend a lifestyle only dreamed of by true freedom seeking Americans.

Modern day Americans have no experience or even a vision of what it would be like to have a foreign influence coming to our shores to battle us, challenging our constitutional rights and freedoms. We live free in part because of the bravery of men and women like Sybil. None of us will ever know the kind of person Sybil was, or what passions she possessed inside that would allow her ride 30 miles, alone, and risk life and limb to warn others of an invading enemy.

She indeed did help to thwart Americans being slaughtered. This time on American soil where there was no safe space for anyone to hide. You see, Sybil Ludington`s time was during the time of another Tea Party and revolution, some 240 years ago.

In the night attack, the British did burn Danbury, Connecticut, an important supply depot for the Continental Army, but because of Sybil, many people were ready and escaped death.

Sybil`s gutsy ride, and the message she carried is not widely known, but on April 26, 1777, calling out, in the cold of night, with rain blowing in her face, `Muster at Ludington`s! ` was indeed significant. It was not at all unlike Paul Revere`s ride. Today, Sybil`s heroism is memorialized with only a poem written by American poet Berton Braley, commemorating her historic ride, and a bronze statue, that stands honoring her bravery and passion for freedom, in Carmel, New York.

Wax Prints – An Integral Part of African Society

Africa is known for many things; its natural resources, human resources, beautiful weather and many others. One of these many Africa is known for is its wax prints.

As you may already know we are people who love color and design and our wax prints are not left out.

Wax prints come in many vibrant colors and are worn on an everyday basis and on special occasions. It’s exciting to walk down the fabric bazar with beautiful colors hanging in the stalls. You can get stuck in the market for hours trying to decide which one to pick. Wax prints can be dressed up or dressed down depending on what the individual prefers.

Women normally wear it in 2 pieces; a blouse called a “kaba” and a long skirt called a “slit”. In the past women would have an extra piece of cloth about 1.5 to 2 yards worth of material called the “akatasuo” or “a covering” to wrap around their waist or draped over their shoulder. Traditional attire is slowly fading out as modern women prefer to wear tighter and smaller blouses that do not require the akatasuo. It’s also partly due to changing times and young people wanting to wear clothes more in Western Style.

Men wear their wax print as a wrap using 8 to 12 yards of fabric depending on how big and tall they are. This is seen a lot among older men for special occasions. The younger men wear shirts made with wax prints.

COLOR SIGNIFICANCE

Prints with white backgrounds and black/navy blue patterns are normally worn on special occasions or celebrations such as marriage ceremonies and naming ceremonies. These are also worn to the funerals of people who lived a long and full life or on the last day of the funeral where most of the time the family goes to a thanksgiving service or when a party is held to round off the funeral celebration.

Women who have just delivered are supposed to wear white in the Akan culture for at least 6 months depending on which family they belong to. Black, red, and brown are worn for mourning and sorrow. Red doubles as a color to show anger and sorrow, worn usually at the funeral of someone who dies young or whose death is considered unnatural or tragic. These prints are predominantly black, black and brown, brown and black or red and black and black and red.