Women of Substance





Happy Birthday America

By Fatou Jaw Manneh

(from maafanta archives)

Or do I simply say: Thank you America

236 yrs ago today to be exact

America gained Independence from Great Britain

A militia was started and headed by George Washing ton

A farmer from Virginia to stand up to the British tyranny

With dedication they fought and fought

Welders, farmers, barbers, bakers, cooks, merchants and lawyers

All use tactfulness, diplomacy but their Freedom a Must

Give me liberty or give me death cried out Patrick Henry from Virginia

Thomas Pain used his penmanship to sway the public conscience

Delivered Common Sense, a pamphlet that will change the way the rebellion was perceived

“Those who oppose tyranny and a tyrant, please stand forth”, he declared

They stayed the course, to fight for their freedom at whatever cost

John Adams a thoughtful Lawyer from Massachusetts

Defended the British soldiers after the Boston Massacre, a revolutionary himself,

But declared human rights is a must even for the enemy when they’re cornered

Happy Birthday America

America founding fathers are men with different temperament

In both their professional and personal lives

Came together with prudence to guide this huge nation

Of scattered colonies to an unpredictable future

They were called traitors after the declaration of Independence document

Penned and drafted by a lawyer and scholar Thomas Jefferson

A burden and document too radical for the times and for this young man

Still he labored for 2 days in the construction of every sentence

As  thoughtful words pour out of his head in a Philadelphia boarding house

An almost perfect memoranda that will help these great men

Guide this vast nation called America in unpredictable times into the future

But they are ready to be hanged together or make this new world together

Ordinary men with extra ordinary minds, bound by a common sense of purpose

To free their people and build a democratic country second to none

Men who see beyond tribe, egos and filling their pockets

A Frenchman called La –Fayette also came from afar to

Lend his military skills to the uncompromising Americans

Together they stuck even after the king of England dispatched

Twenty-five thousand soldiers, a hundred and thirty warships

And a barrage of guns shots from the British army unleashed on them

To crush the American Revolution

And yes they had to deal with the Benedict Arnolds within

The egoistic, the greedy and the vain, but united they stuck

Families got painful separations but sacrifice was made

As patriots were distinguished from Royalists

The king of Britain finally went MAD after he knew he cannot crush a people

Who are so dedicated for their freedom

Guess what is the icing on the cake?

George Washington after securing Independence

Became the first American president

Refused for America to become a monarchy

Refused all titles and settled on the simple name as Mr. President

Happy Birthday America

Of course certain policies I hate from this country which ironically is now the superpower

Its imperfections, sometimes arrogance and extreme swagger

But alas I have no choice but to marvel at your bravery,

Responsibility to your generation, dedication, and wisdom

As you carve out this now mighty superpower for mankind

Where every man and woman running away from despotism,

Nepotism and tyranny calls home. I salute you all the Founding fathers

Thank you America, Happy Birthday America and God bless America

Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.- Samuel Adams, America Founding Father

From maafanta archives

July 4th and what it means to me.

By Fatou Jaw manneh

I live in the United States of America and today is July 4th, a day in history when America gained independence from Great Britain. I love history. Wherever I travel, I first try to see or understand a history of a place be it city or country and nowhere can history be perplexing, astounding than that of the USA. With all these years in America, am still struggling to adapt, adopt or relate to holidays or celebrations or certain aspects of their culture. One thing for sure I indulge and appreciate freedom in the USA. Freedom from Mosquitoes, Freedom from Dust, Freedom from Oppression and of course freedom of speech.

Freedom from dust. Yes from dust. America started just like us, the developing world. They had dust, mosquitoes, swamps, trenches and the mighty British Empire hovering on their shoulders. Over taxation, trade supremacy, military might and unjust laws, unjust punishments they endure from the British.

Guess what; to cut the long story short, Military General George Washington formed a rag tag group of soldiers, all peasants; from barbers, welders, farmers. He brought them together with sheer force of will and character to stand up against the all powerful British rule and say enough is enough. In dilapidated New York, the rebel soldiers ready for war, sighting the enemy British fleets coming to their shores cannot but admire the power of British army descending on America. With not even good enough guns or weapons , George Washington stood up to the British army and it took seven years before the war with the British can officially come to an end for America to be recognized as a sovereign state for England and the rest of the world. The American public was thankful that he did not set himself up as a military dictator or king

Thomas Jefferson age 33 was the author of the document called the declaration of independence, argued and debated over by a 5 man committee and the public. All 56 men who signed the declaration of independence were admired as courageous hence signing and announcing independence from Great Britain was an act of treason punishable by death. It became the most admired and copied document in the history of America.

Sitting in an apartment watching all the fireworks and watching my favorite History channel I cannot but admire the tenacity, sacrifice and determination of an ill fitted and ill prepared determined men who decided tyranny must stop and they did everything they could so they can be free, make their own laws, govern themselves, become prosperous that they accommodate a lot of refugees from all over the world , myself included to live and work in the land of the free called the United States of America.

America after 234 years, of course with serious enslavements of black slaves, civil wars., America rose to become the most feared, developed and admired country in the world. And as a refugee I thank America.