Ineye: Her Afro is a Crown of Knowledge and Unity

Ineye Komonibo & Friends

There she is, Ineye Komonibo (pronounces in-NAY-yay), a gorgeous carefree woman. She is standing on the far right in this image with two of her college roommates. All three women wear their hair out in huge afros, are dressed beautifully, and wear accomplishment on their shoulders with the same strength that they carry their black skin.

This image is floating in the virtual Twitter world with over 11 thousand likes and eight thousand retweets. Under it, the caption “the carefree black longhorn grads who ‘stole’ your admission #StayMadAbby.”

Thieves. How could these three women be thieves.

“I posted the picture [with that caption] because it was amazing to hear someone say that black students—not Latino, Asian, White—but that black students are not capable”

That someone, Abigail Fisher, the young woman who does not want race to be considered in college admissions, because her sub-par academics didn’t get her into the University of Texas over black students.

“It’s a form of psychological terrorism to tell black students that they are not enough.”

Terrorism. That’s a big word. Ineye is not shy to use it, because the way she sees it, the American education system is “fundamentally anti-black and black people constantly have to prove themselves.” Every single day when a person of color wakes up, they walk the streets in a society that “does damage to their psychy.”

Abigail Fisher is not an anomoly, she is a small part of a larger system that Ineye believes in anti-black.

Unfortunately, Ineye isn’t dreaming up an anti-black world, even U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia partakes in psychological terrorism. Justice Scalia speaks the same language as Abigail Fisher. In his eyes, black students are not ready for university education at a place like the University of Texas, which is where Ineye received her undergraduate degree in Public Relations with a minor in African American Studies, they belong in “lesser universities.” You’d think this U.S. Supreme Court Justice has enough knowledge to know that America has a pretty bitter history of giving black people lesser treatment, but here he is quoted in The Guardian backsliding.

Ineye doesn’t just have a say about the serious stuff going on in American news, like Affirmative Action, she also dabbles in social media sensations. Before we get into that, I’d like y’all to get to know Ms. Ineye Komonibo some more!

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The recent University of Texas at Austin graduate is 23 years old and from Houston. Ineye describes Houston as an international community with a strong Nigerian population. She herself is Nigerian, but in the last couple of years has adopted a black radical identity.

“I’m at a very interesting place in my life where my perspective about a lot of things turned out to be wrong. Anyone familiar with Nigerian culture knows that it is patriarchal. We are socialized from a young age to see the world in a specific way,” she goes to describe her upbringing as very conservative. However, a couple of years ago, Ineye experienced a shift.

“I realized that I was black. That as a woman, my gender is something that can hinder me in society. I realized that a lot of people are oppressed.”

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Ineye describes herself as the kind of person people get tired of, not because she’s always hyped up on sugar, but because she’s very conscious of oppression and her mind is constantly at work—she’s the kind of person who is “super aware.”

“I’m Nigerian, but I am a black feminist. I’m a Christian, but I believe everyone deserves rights. My parents, sometimes, I think they get tired of hearing me talk about race and sexism.”

Earlier, I mentioned that Ineye partakes in what some would call social media hype.

About two weeks ago, Ayesha Curry sent out this tweet:

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Since then, the social media world has been afire. Some women support her modesty, while others feel that she is shaming other women for choosing to show more skin. Men, for the most part, have praised Ayesha though their reason for uplifting her may indicate more implicit thoughts about a woman’s body, sexuality, and the male gaze than we think.

What does Ineye think. Well, here’s what she shared on Twitter.

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“I’m cool with Ayesha Curry. I think she’s awesome,” she goes on to discuss that Tia Mowry is among the list of woman who have shared sentiments about modesty being sexy. What struck a chord about Mrs. Curry’s popular tweet is how she phrased it. “There was a tone like ‘I like to do this for MY man and y’all other HOES could do whatever,’ That’s fine, you have a husband. But, as a woman, it is your job to support all women.”

Those comparing Ayesha Curry and the Kardashians aren’t on the same team as Ineye, because she’s about supporting all women in the skin and life that makes them happy. Really, Ineye feels that we all should be able to live freely.

“When I think of an ideal world, I think of a place where people are allowed to be different. A world where people are encouraged to exist in the way that they are. A situation where people can exist happily. Imagine a world where everybody acknowledges that we are all different, but decides to worry about other stuff, we would become a giant machine ready to change the world.”

Keep up with Ineye on Twitter as she works for change @eyekomology.

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Slavery: it happened, but it’s not over

Slavery. It’s been around since the dawn of day, a practice even found in the Bible. Worry not, I’m not going to sit here and preach fundamentalist Christianity to you because I’m far from a Bible thumper. But yes, slavery, “the practice of owning slaves,” (Google dictionary) wasn’t first discovered 400 years ago when white Europeans introduced it to the Americas.

As a practice to oppress and gain economic capital, slavery pervaded in the United States in the most foul way for 400 years. It is a fact that cannot be denied and should never be forgotten, so if you are one of those let’s forget slavery and hold hands type of people, one of my sponsors is selling a new pill–reality check. I don’t want to be hasty, I’m very much a hand-holder, cuddler, let’s allow the world to make love kind of person, but I also choose not to deny the ugly simply because it doesn’t benefit my agenda or privilege. However, as Cornel West, a famous man who I appreciate, notes in his book Race Matters, black America cannot remain victims of slavery, Jim Crow, and even present-day discrimination. I don’t highlight that theme from his book to preach a ‘let’s forget it happened’ gospel. I do so because we are not all victims of slavery simply because we are black. We are not victims because our ancestors were. Research shows that we can inherit socialized ways of thinking and being, so I understand how difficult it can be to escape especially when racism still exists today. However, those of us who survived our lineage of slaves are not slaves, we are not victims of slavery.

This is how Google defines victim, “a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.” Let’s break it down from there.

Did slavery harm, injure, and kill?

According to Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 12.5 million went through the Middle Passage. Those two words should ring a bell. In case they don’t, the Middle Passage was used to transport black human bodies from Africa the way we unethically raise and transport chickens today. These men, women, and children were chained and stuffed like beasts one top of the other. It is said that sharks loved to hang around the Middle Passage ships because dead bodies were at times thrown overboard while others chose to dump their living bodies off ship. It shouldn’t surprise you that of the 12.5 million, 10.7 million made it after the month and half long voyage. 10.7 million people–that’s an island worth of human lives.

Once in North America, South America, and the Caribbean these men, women, and children were held in captivity and forced to provide free labor to whites who profited from them. While enduring brutal work conditions, they were ravaged in other ways. Women, especially, were raped by their white captors and forced to breed, yes breed like animals. All slaves were subject to beatings and maltreatment by whites, young and old.

So were our ancestors harmed, injured, and killed during slavery–yes. Therefore, they were victims of slavery. Now, let’s flip the screen to present-day America but remember slavery wasn’t just an American phenomenon. Do black bodies in this country still encounter events and line of action in the way our ancestors did? As I ready to write these next few lines, I recognize that we live in a very complicated society, but my answer to that question is no.

Although, black bodies endure harm and injury in the United States, we are no longer victims of slavery though we still suffer the consequences. Are black people killed and oppressed, yes, but to call ourselves victims of slavery is an insult to the brutality that our ancestors endured. We cannot forget that it happened, but we must not allow it to continue to enslave our minds and that of our future children.

We cannot forget that slavery endured for 400 years in America, but we should not ignore that slavery is still happening. 36 million human beings are slaves across the globe today. Those still treated like worker beasts without human dignity are the modern-day victims of slavery, and in the same way we should not erase American slavery from the history books, we shouldn’t allow those 36 million to go unnoticed.