“BLIND” video by Berlin band———– LETTERS FROM EDEN

Berlin Band Letters from Eden. Photo Used By Kind Permission. 2016

Letters from Eden. Photo Used By Kind Permission. 2016

The video of the week comes from Rodos Film Festival Selected – “BLIND” from Berlin, Germany based band Letter From Eden. It should be noted that this post is not only about the award winning video but also a recommendation to follow an amazing band. The song Blind displays a band that seems to continue to work on their craft while maintaining originality in a music world that seems to rely on systems as oppose to actually playing their instruments– *****5 STARS Highly recommended!! 

The video which was produced by AchtungLichtFilm Production who is also based in Berlin, is part of a Rococo trilogy which produced short films The Scent of Gentlemen and Rivals.

The company which was founded by Alexander Lony and Yann Grouhel in 2013 are also responsible for a number of short films and music videos.

The company have also gone on record stating: “ When the band invited us to their rehearsal room to hear some of the new songs (which of course all are great!), we immediately decided to shoot their music video.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AchtungLichtFilm/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ALF_Film

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0498412/?ref_=fn_al_co_1  

 

 

Hans Massaquoi; “Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany”

By:  Jerome Fitts
February 4th, 2015

To celebrate Black History Month, we, (WJ), are honored to feature individuals who are people of color, that set examples and standards for our society today. On February 4th, 2015 we are celebrating the life of Hans Massaquoi.

Hans Massaquoi (1926-2013)

Hans Massaquoi
(1926-2013)

Hans Massaquoi, a former managing editor of EBONY magazine (1957-1997) most noted for his award winning 1999 memoir; “Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany”. In the book Massaquoi, details his difficult, sometimes desperate life as a child and teen during a murderous time in modern history.(1) His book, has been recognized as the “sole” biography of the Nazi era from a black person viewpoint.

Hans Jurgen Massaquoi was born on January 19, 1926, in Hamburg, Germany and passed away on his birthday in 2013. He was the son of Al-Haj Massaquoi, an African business man from Liberia and Bertha Baetz, a German nurse.

His father (Al-Haj), who was the son of a Liberian consul general, left Germany because of the rise of the Nazi regime.

Hans Parents-

Hans Parents- Al-Haj Massaquoi and  Berthan Baetz

Unlike other German women at the time who were giving their “Brown Babies” up for adoption, his mother Bertha, decided to raise Hans in Germany alone instead of joining Hans father in Liberia.(2)

In his autobiography Hans mentions being taunted on a daily bases in regards to his colour stating his classmates would say ; “Neger, Neger, Schornsteinfeger!” (*Schornsteinfeger means chimney sweep in English)-Ed

It is highlighted in “In Destined to Witness”, that when Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in 1933 he was fascinated by the uniforms, “goose-stepping” marches and the military might of the Nazi soldiers. Massaquoi recalled the first time Hitler’s motorcade came to Hamburg, and the thrill that he experienced watching the new “Führer” roll past.(1)

“Like everyone around me, I cheered the man whose every waking hour was dedicated to the destruction of ‘inferior non-Aryan people’ like myself.”- Massaqoui

tumblr_mh2xdnHtTD1qcw9y0o1_250As a 7-year-old boy in Hamburg, Massaquoi noted that his proudest moment was when a baby sitter sewed a swastika on his sweater. He also stated that the disappointment he had because a teacher told him he couldn’t join Hitlers Youth.

“Of course I wanted to join. I was a kid and most of my friends were joining. They had cool uniforms and they did exciting things – camping, parades, playing drums,”- wrote Massaquoi.

During his teenage years Massaqoui and his mother lived in fear because of the Nazi elimination of all non Aryans. He mentions that although he was not deported himself, he credited this to being black. He felt because he was black he was more of a rarity than a threat.

“Unlike Jews, blacks were so few in numbers that they were relegated to low-priority status in the Nazis’ line-up for extermination,” Massaquoi said.

When Massaquoi’s mother lost her job because she had a black son, he boxed as well as played saxophone in a “Swing Jazzband” to support himself and his mother. It should be noted that at the time and yet still today (February 2015), Swing and Jazz music as well as any type of Urban Music is considered “Black Music” in Germany. Massaquoi, who dreamed of immigrating to America as he followed the careers of African American sports heroes Joe Louis and Jesse Owens, boxed to earn extra money but was forbidden by law to take on Aryan opponents in the ring.(1)


He also revealed the kindnesses of German neighbors and friends who helped him and his mother survive during these difficult months. At one point, Massaquoi even attempted to join the Germany Army after recognizing that he was the only young man left in his neighborhood who did not wear a uniform. “This Lieutenant Colonel bawled me out saying how dare I even presume to ask. So that did it for me. That was the real turning point. By then, I had got all the Nazi stuff out of my head, and it was the final insult.”- Massaquoi recounted.

In 1948, Massaquoi left Germany for Liberia and lived with his father. However, he became dissatisfied with the black-on-black racism and applied and received a student visa for America.

Hans arriving in America. *photo used by kind permission.2015

Hans arriving in America.
*photo used by kind permission.2015

While attending aviation mechanics school in Chicago, he received a draft notice to fight in the Korean War, despite having alien status. Massaquoi was stationed in the deep south of America ironically enough during the start of the Civil Rights movements.

After the Korean War, in which he was never deployed to fight in combat, he returned to Chicago to resume his studies. Massaquoi began working at Ebony Magazine in 1957 in as an associate editor. By 1967, ten years after working at the prestigious publication, Massaquoi was awarded the Managing Editors position. He held this position for another 30 years until his retirement in 1967.

Encouraged by the late Alex Haley (Roots), he penned the remarkable “adversity turned triumphed”, autobiography “Destined To Witness; Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany.” (3)

Qouting Hans Massaqoui Jr in loving memory of his late father; “Hans Massaquoi lived to become not just a footnote in history, but a figure of note.” (4)

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Hans Massaqoui, The WorthJourney not only celebrate your remarkable life, but we thank you for setting the example of creating and accomplishing your dreams.- J.Fitts

We encourage all of our readers to not only buy the book but read it!

 

Career: Played saxophone in jazz clubs in Hamburg, mid-1940s; British Military Government, Hamburg, Germany, interpreter, 1945-48; National Association of Educational Broadcasters, Urbana, IL, editor, 1956-57; Jet Magazine, Chicago, IL., associate editor, 1957-58; Ebony Magazine, Chicago, associate editor, 1958-64, assistant managing editor, 1964-67, managing editor, 1967-.

Awards: Overseas Press Club of America citation, 1975, for coverage of Heads of Government Conference in Kingston, Jamaica.

References:
(1) Retrieved on February 1st, 2015. By Jerome Fitts http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2873200048.html
(2) Retrieved on February 1st, 2015. By Jerome Fitts http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/20/germanys-brown-babies-still-searching-for-their-american-fathers
(3) Retrieved on February 1st, 2015.By Jerome Fitts. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/hans-massaquoi-who-grew-up-black-in-nazi-germany-dies-at-87/2013/01/23/3faaa5bc-64b1-11e2-b84d-21c7b65985ee_story.html
(4) Retrieved on February 1st, 2015. By Jerome Fitts http://www.npr.org/2013/01/26/170281062/ebony-editor-began-life-black-in-nazi-germany

Black History Month

Black History Month.

Black History Month February 2015.

To launch our ¨Event¨ page in February 2015, we realised it was a necessity and responsible to start with celebrating Black History Month!

We are all aware of this historical month and  we are proud to display the progress the world has made in regards to acknowledging those who sacrificed their lives for a better world.

However, we do feel responsible to also feature and highlight the inspirational stories from todays African communities.

We have decided to give our loyal readers a chance to honor and also acknowledge some of the individuals that were not recognized in the past. We are encouraging our readers to submit information and inspirational stories to our digital platforms. That information, which require to be supported facts, will be open for discussions and  responses from the public via our digital platform(s).

We are honored to have those digital panel discussions hosted by celebrated author, Tim Rice.

Mr. Tim Rice highly regarded book: The Missing Link

The Missing Link

The Missing Link

Available here:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Missing-Link-Simple-Living/dp/0990623408

Facilitating My Patience and Refueling My Fatigue- Greek Experience 2014

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When I landed in Rodos, Greece in February 2014 it was really quiet. I had several friends that lived on the island that had more or less begged me to come down to look at all of the business opportunities within the island. Those opportunities mentioned was anything from bars, beach bars, and fabric for clothing to restaurants, all of which would be an investment in the range of 10K- Euros.

I am familiar with Rodos, so I didn’t think it was something that was dodgy or unreal but what I wasn’t aware of was, the lack of common sense associated with business there. Everyone including the guy who is holding the American flag on the moon knows that Greece is suffering financially so I thought- “Why not?” Besides, the people on the island are beautiful, warm and friendly. I have known some for years.

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Flying within Europe to a holiday destinations in the winter takes just as much time as flying from Berlin to Sydney. The flights are limited and more than likely there are layovers. My trip took exactly 27 hours, which is only a mere 10 hours short of driving from Dublin to Rodos- That is excluding the ferries of course. .

Anyone that knows me and some of you do by now, know I am a chancer and getting the job done with real opportunities is my rush. So I thought, “Ok Beau, this year your really going to get a few peoples knickers in a twist and explore the Mediterranean during the winter”. So I took the bait from those individuals that pitched these unbelievable opportunities to me.

First step of opportunities that facilitate impatience:

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I got off the plane in Rodos after zero sleep but I felt as if I had slept the whole day. I was full of energy and I was excited to meet my friend of 5 years. Lets call him “P” (which is short for his first name).

“P” had stayed in touch with me during the year  when I was in either LA LA land, Dublin, Berlin and Miami, Florida. Each time we spoke, it was about these amazing opportunities on the island and the seasons predictions of tourist that are expected to come to the island.  Just like everyone else that were my Facebook friends from Greece, he constantly complained about the world renowned “Greek Crisis”. Some of them went to the extent of asking for a loan during the winter to tie them over and this was back in October. I found it strange since the  season had just finished and there should have been a few settlements from the previous season cash wise. I look at all problems as solvable and I was under the impression that “P” just needs my help and guidance.

So there I was sitting at the deserted airport in my leather jacket and a pair of shades on in Rodos, Greece in February- waiting on “P”. The first 20 minutes went by and I used my Irish cell phone to call him and ask him where was he. I had mailed him my flight schedule in Dublin and we had spoke on Skype for hours upon hours of a plan once I would arrive. So I could not understand why “P” was not at the gate waiting for me. There was not any passport control and the only company I had sitting there was the array of wild cats on the island.

After an hour and a half, I finally got through to “P” and his response was; “ I will be there in 20 minutes.” Again I got the rush for opportunities and overlapped the fatigue from the two days of traveling so I sat there patiently. – Opportunities facilitating patience.

He arrived and drove me around the island, which was completely deserted at this point. He showed me the deserted hotels, café and restaurants that looked as if there were never used. I thought, “finally my luck has changed and this is going to be a remarkable piece for The Worthwhile Journal for our next issue.”

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What I didn’t know was, the establishments that “P” was displaying was active. The owners had just left them as they were when the season ended and would refurbish things when the season drew near. Hmmm something none of us know about in regards to tourist destinations.. at least I didn’t.

Because of “P” age, 29, I thought that the Greek crisis was just the results of old traditions that couldn’t adjust to the modern world as we know it but b****t is b****t in any language or territory. And my sensory glands went on high alert. But as the opportunities created more space to facilitate my patience, I thought; “Maybe I was just being paranoid.”

You see, just like the rest of the world, I love the Greek islands. Its fresh, beautiful and there is a sense of purity. At least for anyone that goes there for a short period of time. This time around my intentions was to go deeper and deeper into what the people really thought of the crisis and what did they expect from the tourist that comes in. Plus I knew if I lived amongst the people of Greece, which I always held in high regards, then I would understand more.

I live in Dublin and I know the complaints around the E.U. in regards to which countries had to suffer because of another countries weakness. But I also knew which countries that didn’t complain about others because of the turn around abilities those countries that suffered would rebound from. I couldn’t understand why, with Greece being such a beautiful place, the people in the E.U had very little confidence in Greece rebounding from the crisis.

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When I was able to put things into perspective (Mid March), I realized the aforementioned. From my experience it is was;

“Show the beauty of the island with a natural false sense of hope, captivate them with a temporary story when you don’t know the language, the customs and the traditions, then suddenly the outsiders are more or less sticking their  hand in their pocket. By then its to late and you are now trying to sleep downing a half bottom of Ouzo! – Did it go that far?? Not quite but my patience at this point was kicking the shit out of my ego.

So I asked “P” after nearly a month of not seeing him; “bro where are you? I knew the only person to blame was myself. But in real time talk; there was still opportunities there to make up for the time wasted to show something to my better half of me being away so long.

I never heard from “P” again while I was on the island. –complete and utter b*ll****er- whatever- bullshitter. Although as an optimist, I am thinking this is an isolated case and I loved the island so lets see what else was around.

"P" bar

The apartment where I stay, overlooks the island and every morning I am looking across at Marimaris, Turkey. So its kind of hard to have a dope place in Rodos, a freezer full of food, a top notch gym, some sort of wireless service and pack up and leave. February and March in Dublin isnt a pleasant one. Its cold and rainy, but its home.

Everything that goes up has to come down at some point and that can include a country. Greece has its growing pains and I thought this was just an isolated case.

When I was invited to go to the island futbol match, I was shocked that there was a stadium on the island. I knew there was a basketball team but I wasn’t aware of the league level of futbol on the island. Naturally, I took to Google in search of where the stadium was and to research information on the team.

This would have been perfect for an article within The Worthwhile Journal and also some entertainment. So when the owner of the complex where I had been staying, invited me to the game and informed me that he was the newly appointed President of the club (Rodos FC), I leaped at the opportunity.

Diagoras

His words were; “ My friend come and see the club play and sure you could help bring us money to the club. We are going to take the Greek league by storm.”

Maybe my patience was starting to pay off when I looked at the Google search engine in complete disbelief.. What no web site?- No Rodos FC web site! But a futbol stadium that seats 3,000 people and there is only two professional teams on the island. Eh? By now my patience was on a channel of the Twilight Zone.

I have to pause here and explain. Rodos is and always will be a special place to me and by no means am I making fun or putting the island down. However, this is 2014 and a professional futbol team whose country is participating in the World Cup it is imperative to have some type of web presence.

Stadium excitement

The irony of it all is, I communicated with the president of this club via Facebook and he had more friends on his Facebook than the Futbol Club and neither were over 500 likes. But still there has to be a website for the club right?

So lets start this thing again. What Greek crisis if they are not panicking to respond to the situation or worse, not open enough to accept an open hand of help?- What Crisis?

I am forever saying “if you know better then you do better”. Well if someone informs you that the world is turning to a different page than you are, then you have to either catch up or do things differently because something is obviously wrong. Common sense would tell you if tourist are coming to the island with money and you want them to spend it, then you have to adjust to whatever is going on the outside. Something has to be wrong.

The Scenario;

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Rodos FC have just been promoted to the second division within their league. But they have zero web presence, very little social media  and do not know about the new brave world that exists outside of this remarkable island. They have a major threat of not selling tickets in a historic stadium that is owned by the island, which also owns the team. In other words FIFA, the governing body of futbol, would not be impressed.

Based on what you have read thus far (no web presence and/or social media structure), it seems as one would most likely agree, that this is a gold mine covered with hundreds of years of traditional volcanic ash. So I put together a structure submitted as a keynote presentation and pdf, as a student-marketing consultant, to help them bring in the main currency in sports- money!

I was thinking the whole time, how could I even think of business in such a beautiful place surrounded by remarkable people- I do love Rodos. But…

The problem identified was branding via the social media as well as a blend with respected traditional media to avoid anyone thinking there was a threat of occupation or invaders. Basically I set up their complete social presence, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr scheduled via Hootsuite. The website was created but stated “Under Construction” and was due to launched months before training camp.

Hootsuite was created to suit their convenience to post updates about the clubs developments, youth progress within the club and most of all selling tickets within their historic stadium.

Because the island is a major tourist destination, with a little over 2 million visitors each summer season, there was also a plan to implement social media traffic for the tourist that would arrive. We all know that the first thing anyone does when they come to paradise is “check-in” via social media sites. They want to show the world that they are there as well as share with those who are curious. The bottom line is instant promotion while utilizing instant gratification methods at its finest.

Empty Seats

But the point is, because I brokered a deal with the islands major Internet and phone network (Vod____e). We made sure that the tourist gets information on the club. That information displayed the team, the promotion of the team, and merchandise as well as the upcoming season schedule. Greece had qualified for the the World Cup so naturally I thought the island would be in full swing of Futbol. So why not make the local team jersey for sale as a souvenir or a rarity of support.

Rodos island has only 50K inhabitants and there are 2 million tourists expected during the season. We don’t have to do much adding and subtracting to recognize the revenue stream potential right? At the end of the day as so-called marketing experts, it’s a common sense deal. Merchandise is the number one finance provider for any sports organization anywhere.  This is all done via the wireless networks, which would be a classic case of a mutually beneficial situation.

In short;

The team would garner revenue based on the teams jerseys sold to tourist that could be put into the team as a revenue stream. More money buys better players and creates employment opportunities for a better structure such as a social media department. Mind you the economy is at a historic worst within the E.U. let alone the world.

The other holes within the rubber tire (wheels) that the marketing department would have to facilitate would be one simple method. It would be utilizing the social media utilities to bring in revenue with the natural resources that persist on this amazing island. Common sense makes money; money doesn’t make common sense-right?

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The patience level again;

The problem started with communicating with the president of the club. I called and called and no one was available. This was after nearly 200 hours of putting together a program, hounding my business partners in the States, making sure a social media plan was in place with LA Editions in Paris, France, and getting top recommendations from lecturers at Full Sail. What could possibly be the problem if there is a crisis and you’re being handed the solution.

At my highest level of enthusiasm I approached the president of the club and said, “Hey, lets omit my fee for (the web site I constructed, the social media patterns and engagement we have created that I was billed for 500 euros, the 2000 photos I have taken as well as a video interview, the graphics for the merchandise jerseys that will bring in instant revenue from the tourist sales) in exchange for rent for a mere 300 euros. Just omit my rent and let’s forget about the cheeseburger and let’s eat a steak!

I got no reply. Weeks went by and no response.

At this point it was easy to get a little paranoid as the summer season was starting and tourist was slowly coming in.

It’s really easy to have the patience in paradise but at the end of the day all good things come to an end. There has to be something in place that would validate the 4 months thus far. I could not believe that the facts were pointed out; with Full Sail approving the Keynote presentation yet there was no reaction.

To be quite frank, I didn’t know what to think. All I heard was give me give me and read how the E.U was late on responding to the Greek crisis. But the funny thing of it is the E.U (balanced by Germany) was extending their patience of loaning the Greek government more money and waiting for a return or a plan of returning the billions of euros that the E.U. had loaned.

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There are always two sides to a story. If my patience had grown thin, I can only imagine what the people of the E.U. were thinking. Then again I was one of them and experiencing some serious aggravation in the process. We are after all paying extra tax to accommodate the paradise islands and country of Greece. Yet the country are doing absolutely nothing to educate those who have little finance to build their economy and stop the take take, please help me system but with no return.

How could you help those who cant help themselves or doesn’t want to.

Was this because they thought the world owes them something because of these beautiful islands? Are they lazy- no. Are they friendly and warming?-Yes without question. Are they honest?- that is up to those who are visiting the cities in Greece and judging for themselves.

Please remember this is my experience and one that have been garnered over a mere 6 to 8 summers. But where is the common sense in not following through with business, when you are sitting around drinking Frepes and not doing anything about your crisis. Common Sense makes make right, money does not make common sense.

Overall I would advise anyone to go and have the Greek experience. My agenda was clear cut from the beginning and I am sure everyone’s experience wouldn’t be the same as mine.

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Departing Rodos at 5 am on a ferry to explore every island within Greece, it was very hard to hide my aggravation. Finally I was tired and fatigue had won the battle.

Next stop Macedonia to Pristina, Kosovo.