Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kofi leader of the Revolutionary War of Independence in Berbice February 23, 1763

On February 23, 1763 a group of Africans in the Dutch colony of Berbice, (modern day county in Guyana) South America seized their freedom after deciding that they had had enough of being treated inhumanely by the Dutch colonizers of the area. The Africans had been kidnapped from their homes and transported across the Atlantic under barbaric and horrific conditions in the holds of ships manned by white Christians who claimed to worship a God of love. When later these Africans were told of hell as imagined by Christian missionaries they could very well imagine that it would be comparable to their journey from Africa to the New World . Kofi, an Akan man born in Ghana is the recognized leader of what many consider the first Revolutionary War of Independence in the Americas, which was waged in the Dutch colony of Berbice, South America from February 1763 to March 1764.

To put the lie to the myth of the docile “house slave” Kofi is one of several enslaved Africans who led their people in their fight for freedom; Toussaint L’Overture who is one of the leaders of the Haitian Revolution was also a “house slave.” It is important to recognize that enslaved Africans had no choice in where they were forced to labour. So whether it was as a domestic worker or a field worker could not determine the feelings of an African towards their unfortunate state of captivity. It has been surmised that Kofi was captured from his home in Ghana as a child and taken to the Dutch colony of Berbice. This is not surprising since the Dutch had been involved in the European slave trade from Ghana since 1598 in competition with the Portuguese.

The documented business of enslavement of Africans by Europeans began in 1482 when the Portuguese built a “castle” on Ghana ’s central coast ostensibly to trade with the Africans for gold, ivory and spices. Now known simply as Elmina the building once carried the lofty title Castle São Jorge da Mina. Even though their supposed aim was to trade in gold, ivory and spices, in what today might be considered a crime of opportunity the Portuguese began what would become the scourge of the African continent.

While sailing along the coast of West Africa and happening upon an isolated group of Africans the Portuguese sailors under the leadership of Antão Gonçalves (sometimes spelled Antonio Gonsalves) and Nuno Tristão took the opportunity to kidnap these unfortunate people and transported them to Portugal where they were presented as gifts to the Portuguese monarch. In his 1996 published book The Negro in the Making of America African American historian Benjamin Quarles wrote: The modern traffic in African slaves began in the mid-fifteenth century, with Portugal taking the lead. In 1441 Prince Henry the Navigator sent one of his mariners, the youthful Antonio Gonsalves, to the West Coast to obtain a cargo of skins and oils. Landing near Cape Bojador , the young captain decided that he might please his sovereign by bringing him gifts. Taking possession of some gold dust and loading ten Africans on his cockleshell, Gonsalves made his way back to Lisbon . Henry was greatly pleased by the gold and the slaves, deeming the latter of sufficient importance to send to the Pope. In turn, the Pope conferred upon Henry the title to all lands to be discovered to the east of Cape Blanco , a point on the West Coast some 300 miles above the Senegal . Thus began a new era. In 1444 another unscrupulous Portuguese kidnapper Lançarote de Freitas on August 8, arrived in Lagos , Portugal with 235 captive Africans. The Portuguese cemented their position in Africa on January 19, 1482 with the arrival of 12 sailing vessels loaded with men and materials to build ElMina. In the 2010 published book The Progress of Maritime Discovery: From the Earliest Period to the Close of the Eighteenth Century by James Stanier Clarke it is made very plain that the Europeans were there to stay without asking “leave or licence” of the Africans. This chillingly enlightening quote from The Progress of Maritime Discovery is pertinent information about the mindset of the Portuguese who arrived determined to build their “castle” on African land: Early on the ensuing morning the Portuguese commodore landed with his followers, who had weapons concealed in case of resistance. The Portuguese were ready and willing to slaughter any African who objected to the occupation of their land. They came well prepared as information from The Progress of Maritime Discovery tells us that: The requisite materials from the stones of the foundation to the very tiles of the roof, were accordingly shipped on board a squadron consisting of ten caravellas, and two transports: which carried five hundred soldiers and one hundred workmen. By 1481 when the Portuguese monarch sent Diego d'Azambuja to build ElMina which would include a dungeon where Africans were imprisoned before being forced unto the slave ships, Africans were being regularly kidnapped and taken to Europe . The infamous “Door of no return” is worse than Dante’s Inferno in the minds of many Africans in the Diaspora when we think of the horrors the Europeans visited upon our ancestors. A powerful representation of this horrific crime against humanity is dramatized in the movie Sankofa named for the mythical bird flying forward while looking back, one of the Adinkra symbols.

In 1598 the Dutch began building forts along the West African coast in competition with the Portuguese. In 1637 they captured ElMina from the Portuguese. Members of other European tribes including the Danes, English, Spanish and Swedes became involved in the exploitation of Africa and Africans. It eventually became a free for all with the Europeans fighting each other for the opportunity to make their fortunes on the backs of Africans. The coerced, unpaid labour of enslaved Africans was used to enrich Europe, Europeans and their descendants and develop countries throughout the Caribbean, Central, North and South America and Europe . The canals, kokers, seawalls and other infrastructure that made Guyana habitable for Europeans during their colonization of the country were built by enslaved African labour. The Europeans forced the enslaved Africans to work with no consideration for their health and well being. Many of them were worked to death within five to seven years of their enslavement. With the inhumane working and living conditions coupled with the brutal punishments inflicted on them some Africans resisted by working slowly, breaking tools, destroying crops, even poisoning the white slaveholders, while others escaped into the forests. Those who were recaptured suffered horrible deaths or mutilation as punishment, meant as a deterrent to others who might have thought of escape. Some of the Berbice escapees managed to reach Suriname where they joined the Djukas (Suriname Maroons.)

On February 23, 1763 Kofi led the Berbice group of enslaved Africans in what would become a year long struggle that they almost won except that they trusted that the Dutch were engaging in talks that would lead to a negotiated settlement. The Dutch however were biding their time, waiting for military reinforcements while engaging in a meaningless negotiation process. The Africans with superior numbers could have effortlessly wiped out the Dutch but they trusted the manipulating, underhanded Europeans. When the reinforcements arrived, the Dutch struck, cruelly and mercilessly slaughtering the Africans. Kofi is said to have shot himself rather than fall into the hands of the men who he realised too late had no honour and did not consider him a human being. Kofi (his name Anglicized to Cuffy) is the National Hero of Guyana. His legacy has been immortalized in bronze with the 1763 Monument located in the Square of the Revolution in Georgetown, Guyana which depicts Kofi with his lieutenants Atta, Akara, Accabre and other Africans who held the county of Berbice as free African people for one year. The monument was unveiled by former Guyanese President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham on 23 May 1976. The monument designed by sculptor Philip Moore is 10.1 meters (33 feet) high and is built on a concrete plinth designed by Albert Rodrigues. On February 23 Guyanese celebrate with the Mashramani parade. Hopefully the celebrants do remember Kofi and the Berbice Revolution.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I hear how they planning for Carnival coming
I get information bout the situation
They say they go beat people
And they don’t care bout trouble
But tell them don’t worry with me
Is a different thing 1963
Because the road make to walk on Carnival Day
Constable I don’t want to talk but I got to say
Any steelband man only venture to break this band
Is a long funeral from the Royal Hospital

From the 1963 Carnival Road March The Road sung by Aldwyn “Lord Kitchener” Roberts

Lord Kitchener born Aldwyn Roberts on April 18, 1922 in Arima, Trinidad had returned to the island in 1963 after living in Britain for 14 years. He was one of the almost 500 Caribbean people who arrived in Tilbury, England on June 22, 1948 aboard the MV Empire Windrush. The British government had advertised for workers from its Caribbean colonies to address its labour shortage and even offered cheap fares as encouragement. Kitch as he was fondly called by his legion of fans, and the other passengers aboard the Windrush were the first in the wave of immigrants from the Caribbean to Britain. Jamaican poet the Honourable Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverly immortalized the wave of immigration in her popular poem Colonization in Reverse Even though the British government needed the Caribbean workers and there was work available, the white people in Britain were not happy to have large groups of Africans from their former Caribbean colonies in their midst. Kitch and his fellow Windrush passengers were treated to Britain’s special brand of racism Maybe that was his reason for returning to Trinidad after spending 14 years in Britain. Whatever his reason for leaving the “mother country” Kitch was back home in Trinidad for the 1963 Carnival and was obviously sending a message with “The Road” to any and all “steelband man” who would think of ruining his enjoyment of the day. Calypso which is the music of Trinidad and Tobago and inextricably linked to the island’s celebration of Carnival has been used to educate and make social commentary “oftentimes laced with humorous satire on current events” In 1963 popular calypsonian Dr. Francisco “the Mighty Sparrow” Slinger also commented on the “steelband man” citing the history of their “outcast” status. The lyrics of Sparrow’s calypso “Outcast” include:
Calypsonians really ketch hell for a long time
To associate yourself with them was a big crime
If your sister talked to a steelband man
The family want to break she hand
Put she out, lick out every teeth in she mouth
Pass you outcast!

In his 1972 published book The Trinidad Carnival Errol Hill wrote: The antecedents of the calypso were the praise songs and songs of derision of West African natives captured as slaves and brought to the West Indies. Dr. Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool in his 2001 published Rituals of Power & Rebellion: The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad & Tobago, 1763-1962 expands on this as he compares the calypsonians to the griots of Africa: The history of the griot tradition show that in West Africa, in all the areas from which the enslaved Africans in Trinidad were taken, griots as praise singers and storytellers can be found. Among the Africans enslaved in Trinidad, there were inevitably many praise singing griots whose main role it was to praise and deride their leaders in their homelands during official ceremonies and masquerades.

Trinidad and Tobago celebrated their 2012 Carnival on Monday February 20 and Tuesday February 21 with the accompanying steel band music, spectacular costumes, calypso and soca. In Rituals of Power & Rebellion Liverpool writes about the African influence and historical connection to Carnival: The Africans, native as well as creole born, as the most populous group on the island, applied their West African traditions, values and principles, which they brought to the island, to new events and experiences so that their traditions in Trinidad from 1783 to 1962 reveal continuity and change. They used their traditions and carnival practices, too to resist the attempts by the British colonial government and the elite to oppress and control them.

Toronto’s Caribana and London, England’s Notting Hill Carnival are both modelled on the Trinidad Carnival traditions. The history of the Carnival and the African cultural connection is not usually a part of the revelry. In Toronto for instance, although the Caribana parade is held at the same time as Emancipation Day, August 1st that connection is usually missing even though slavery in Canada was also abolished on August 1st. According to Liverpool, Carnival in Trinidad was at one time celebrated on Emancipation Day. He quotes from the records of a Dominican priest, Fr. Bernard Cothonay who wrote of his experiences of the Africans’ Carnival in Carenage, a village in West Trinidad. I told you that our Trinidad Blacks particularly those in Carenage are ex-slaves or sons of slaves. Following Emancipation which occurred on August 1st, 1838, they resolved to celebrate each year this day, a solemn festival for perpetual memory. This festival began at daybreak with high mass, loud music, blessed bread, a procession etc., and it continued for three days during which, in the course of festivities, there were nameless dances and orgies, remembrances of African life. Obviously this priest did not understand what the Africans were feeling as they celebrated their freedom from a life of being owned by other people where they and their children could be sold and where they were forced to work without pay. The Mighty Sparrow immortalized the life of enslaved Africans in his calypso Slave History is usually told from the point of view of the powerful and privileged and that is why African history being featured during this month remains relevant since we are usually relegated to the margins of European history. Liverpool argues that: History in the Caribbean has largely limited itself to politics, constitutions, economics and religion. In this regard, it has not changed much from traditional historiography, and English historians with their emphasis on wars, conquests, constitutional changes and the like. In the context of Caribbean history, the Carnival in Trinidad must be seen against the background of African enslavement and resistance, that took place in most Caribbean islands from around 1500 with the coming of the Europeans to the 1960s when some islands gained formal independence. It was a period characterized by violence against Caribbean peoples, who responded by political, socio-economic and cultural resistance.

During this month when we pay especial attention to our history we do not need to imitate anyone else’s idea of what makes history and how we celebrate/commemorate that history. In writing Rituals of Power & Rebellion Liverpool has obviously done meticulous research of his subject. As a cultural anthropologist, calypsonian and historian he is eminently qualified to address the culture and history of Trinidad’s Carnival. The Toronto Public Library (TPL) system has 3 copies of this book with only 2 available for borrowing the third is a reference only copy. What are you reading this month? What is your child learning about the history of African people in school especially during this month? If nothing is happening in your child’s school please have a discussion with the teachers and principal. The recognition of Black History Month, African History Month, African Liberation Month remains necessary and relevant. There are still two weeks remaining in February and the learning need not stop at the end of February.

Monday, February 13, 2012


How can a beret coloured blue erase, just like that the prejudices of conservative officers from Sweden , Canada or Britain ? How does a blue armband vaccinate against the racism and paternalism of people whose only vision of Africa is lion hunting, slave markets and colonial conquest; people for whom the history of civilization is built on the possession of colonies? Naturally they would understand the Belgians. They have the same past, the same history, the same lust for our wealth.

Patrice Lumumba quoted in The Assassination of Lumumba published in 1999 by Ludo De Witte

Patrice Lumumba was the first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) elected in 1960. The elections were held from May 11 to 25, 1960 and ratified on June 24 with an independence date set for June 30, 1960. The blue beret to which Lumumba referred in the above quote is the headgear of the United Nations’(UN) peacekeeping forces. The members of the UN peacekeeping forces are supposed to: “monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they may have signed.” Apparently Lumumba did not have much faith in the UN peacekeeping forces. It turns out he had good reason because they were of no use to him in his hour of need. Lumumba was assassinated a few months after becoming Prime Minister of the DRC in spite of UN peacekeeping presence.

His assassination was announced on February 13, 1961, almost one month after he and two Congolese colleagues Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okito were killed as a result of the machinations of a cabal serving American and Belgian interests. There has been speculation that Lumumba was murdered on January 17, 1961 after being kidnapped and brutalized by Belgian forces. For decades the myth that he had been killed by African villagers was spread by the Europeans who were the architects of his assassination and the few Africans who imagined that they were benefitting politically.

It is generally thought that Lumumba’s fate was sealed when he gave a speech on June 30, 1960 (Independence Day) which contradicted the Belgian monarch. Kris Hollington author of Wolves, Jackals and Foxes: the assassins that changed history (published 2007) writes: Sometimes it’s what a leader says in a single angry moment that seals their end. For the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, it was a case of angering just about everybody who had an interest in his country, so much so that it became an extraordinary race between the Americans, the English, the Belgians and the Congolese to see who would get to him first – until they realise that cooperation was the way forward. However with the recent unsealing of information that had been kept secret for decades, Lumumba was in danger of being assassinated even if he had not said a word on that fateful day. On January 21, 2011 while interviewing Adam Hochschild author of King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, on the popular American radio program Democracy Now, host Amy Goodman commented: Lumumba’s pan-Africanism and his vision of a united Congo gained him many enemies. Both Belgium and the United States actively sought to have him killed. The CIA ordered his assassination but could not complete the job. Instead, the United States and Belgium covertly funneled cash and aid to rival politicians who seized power and arrested Lumumba. On January 17, 1961, after being beaten and tortured, Lumumba was shot and killed. During that interview, Hochschild who is a professor, teaching at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism explained some of the circumstances surrounding the European lust for Lumumba’s destruction: For Belgium, as for the other major European colonial powers, like Britain and France, giving independence to an African colony was OK for them as long as it didn’t disturb existing business arrangements. As long as the European country could continue to own the mines, the factories, the plantations, well, OK, let them have their politics. But Lumumba spoke very loudly, very dramatically, saying Africa needs to be economically independent, as well. And it was a fiery speech on this subject that he gave at the actual independence ceremonies, June 30th, 1960, where he was replying to an extremely arrogant speech by King Baudouin of Belgium . It was a speech he gave on this subject that I think really began the process that ended two months later with the CIA, with White House approval, decreeing that he should be assassinated.

The declassification of American government’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents (2006) and the Belgian Commission report (2001) verified that those two nations were ultimately responsible for Lumumba’s assassination. In February 2002, the Belgian government released an official apology to the Congolese people and in a thousand page report admitted to a "moral responsibility" and "an irrefutable portion of responsibility in the events that led to the death of Lumumba." Although Belgium has only admitted to a moral responsibility and a portion of the responsibility in the events that led to the death of Lumumba, Ludo De Witte author of The Assassination of Lumumba (published 1999) says differently. Writing of the assassination of the democratically elected leader of the newly independent Congo , De Witte writes: “The whole operation took less than 15 minutes. Who was in charge of the execution? The known facts point to Commissioner Verscheure and Captain Gat. Frans Verscheure and Julien Gat were both Belgians policing in the Congo. Following the assassination there was an elaborate “cover up”; first with the exhumation of the bodies of the three men then the total destruction of the bodies when they were hacked to pieces by the Belgians then thrown into a barrel of sulphuric acid. Again the Belgians were front and centre, this time it was Police Commissioner Gerard Soete and his brother Michel Soete an engineer in the public works department who led the next phase to ensure that the bodies of Lumumba, Mpolo and Okito would: “disappear once and for all!” In The Assassination of Lumumba De Witte writes: Nothing was left of the three nationalist leaders; nowhere could their remains, even the most minute trace of them, be found. There were traces left, at least of Lumumba because the Belgians as part of their final barbaric, macabre act took parts of his body (index and little finger from his right hand as well as a few teeth from his upper jaw) as souvenirs.

A few weeks later on Friday, February 13, 1961 during a press conference held by Interior Minister Godefroid Munongo the world learned that the Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, Maurice Mpolo Minister of Youth and Joseph Okito former Vice-President of the Senate: “had fallen into the hands of bush villagers who had immediately killed them.”
Munongo displayed three death certificates signed by a Belgian doctor Guy Pieters.

Congo was independent but the Belgians and other Europeans were still in power having successfully dispatched the vocal opposition of Lumumba. As we approach February 13, 2012 fifty one years since the day the assassination of Lumumba was made public, the wealth of the Congo remains in the hands of Europeans and other non-Africans. Lumumba’s fate has been shared with many other African leaders who worked to liberate their people, both on the continent and in the Diaspora. We can name them, we know them. The question for us as African people remains the same as the Honourable Nesta Robert “Bob” Marley asked in his 1980 released Redemption Song (from the album Uprising): How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look? Visit for African Liberation Month programming Tuesdays 7:00 -7:30 p.m. and Thursdays 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. during February.

Monday, February 6, 2012


My people, my people! It is that time of year again when many of us do the rounds, attending activities and events to recognize African Liberation Month (sometimes labeled Black History Month, African Heritage Month or African History Month.) Call it what you will it is the one month of the year when some of us remember to celebrate that we are African, Black, Negro or whatever word we feel comfortable using to identity ourselves. This one month celebration/recognition of our history began in 1926 when African American historian Carter Godwin Woodson took the initiative to educate Americans about the history and achievements of Africans. Although you might hear someone grumble that “they” gave us the coldest month of the year, by now most of us know that the second week of February was chosen by Woodson in 1926 to honour Frederick Douglass who chose February 14 as his birthday. Douglass had to choose a birthday because like many enslaved Africans he had no written record of his date of birth. He did remember that his mother would refer to him as her “little Valentine” so he surmised he was born on February 14. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave Douglass’autobiography which was published in 1845 he wrote: I was born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough, and about twelve miles from Easton, in Talbot county, Maryland. I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it. By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs, and it is the wish of most masters within my knowledge to keep their slaves thus ignorant. I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell of his birthday. They seldom come nearer to it than planting-time, harvest- time, cherry-time, spring-time, or fall-time. A want of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness to me even during childhood. The white children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege. With such “radical and revolutionary thoughts” even as a young child it is not surprising that Douglass as a 16 year soundly thrashed a brutal slave holder (to whom he had been sent to be “broken”) and eventually made his escape to freedom.

During this month there are significant people and milestones we can commemorate/remember. Similar to the story of Douglass and many other enslaved Africans in the USA, in Canada there is also a history of resistance by enslaved Africans. Those enslaved Africans in Canada were also brutalized and their owners sought to get rid of them by selling them. The well known advertisement of the sale of Peggy Pompadour and her son Jupiter is a case in point. Peggy and her children were owned by Peter Russell (he replaced John Graves Simcoe in 1796 as the top politician in Ontario) and his sister Elizabeth. Russell placed an advertisement dated February 10, 1806 in an Upper Canada (Ontario) publication offering for sale Peggy Pompadour and her son Jupiter Elizabeth Russell wrote in her diary about her dissatisfaction with the Pompadours She thought that Peggy, her daughters and her son Jupiter were not subservient enough to match their role as enslaved people. This is documented in several books including The Freedom Seekers published 1981, We're rooted here and they can't pull us up: essays in African Canadian Women's History published 1994, The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Toronto published 2002 and The Hanging of Angelique: The untold story of Canadian slavery published 2006. In The Hanging of Angelique, the author Dr Afua Cooper writes about the experience of the enslaved Pompadour family: Peggy, the mother of three children Milly, Amy, and Jupiter, and the wife of a free black man named Pompadour, was a disobedient and recalcitrant slave who bucked the Russells’ authority by talking back to them and running away whenever she felt like it. Jupiter, her son, was also a runaway and “disobedient.” Cooper also notes that even though Peter Russell was a slave holder in Upper Canada: “He behaved like a typical American slaveholder: he separated families if he saw fit, he punished and imprisoned his slaves, and when they would not “obey” he sold them.”

Usually when slavery is mentioned in Canadian history it is usually about enslaved Africans fleeing slavery from the USA to freedom in Canada. Hardly a word about slavery as a Canadian institution from the 1600s until August 1, 1834 when it was abolished here. Although our history did not begin with slavery, the enslavement of our people is part of our history that cannot be ignored because the consequences are felt to this day. The fact that African Canadians are only 2.5 per cent of the Canadian population yet are approximately 20 % of the federal prison population bears testament to the legacy of slavery. Racial profiling is a legacy of slavery. According to the Colour of Poverty campaign their research has unearthed that: African-Canadian students in Toronto are four times more likely to be stopped and eight times more likely to be searched than white students in the same places. • In a large sample of Toronto youth who had no police records, more than 50 per cent of blacks had been searched by police in the previous two years, compared to only eight per cent of whites. • A study in Kingston showed that police were 3.7 times more likely to stop black people. • In Ontario, black suspects are 5.5 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured from police use of force than white suspects, and they are 10 times more likely to be shot by police.

The perceptions of Africans that were established during the days when our ancestors were enslaved are still in the minds of many of those who are in authority today. That is why we have seen a 52% increase in the incarceration rate of African Canadians since 2000 and yet there has been no outcry. Many of our youth are captured and held in the prison industrial complex with that experience beginning for some of them at the tender age of 12 years before they have an opportunity to live. Many of them are also failed by the education system where racial profiling is a reality. In spite of this, some manage to survive just as our ancestors found ways and means of surviving the brutality of chattel slavery. Statistics Canada under the heading The African Community in Canada has acknowledged: Those in the African community in Canada are somewhat more likely than the rest of the population to be university graduates. In 2001, 19% of African people aged 15 and over were university graduates, compared with 15% of those in the overall adult population. Yet the same study also found that: Canadians of African descent are generally more likely to be unemployed than those in the overall workforce. In 2001, 13.1% of African labour force participants were unemployed, compared with 7.4% of all labour force participants. Reading that study I was reminded of the infamous “ghetto dude” incident of 2007 summer when Evon Reid a young African Canadian University of Toronto Honours student was cavalierly dismissed when he applied for a position with the provincial government. His qualifications were not important; his race was the deciding factor. And just imagine this was happening in the midst of what remains of the British Empire (of which Canada is a member) commemorating the 200th anniversary (1807-2007) of the abolition of its slave trade.

However, in spite of the trials and tribulations here we are still standing as the Honourable Nesta Robert “Bob” Marley (whose birthday is celebrated on February 6) sang on his song Survival released in 1979 on the album also titled Survival: We’re the survivors, yes the Black survivors.