This week we catch up with the creators of These Dam Blacks (TDB) - a movement of black people erupting in Johannesburg, and across South Africa to build conscious solidarity that translates into impact and empowerment! Silindile Nyathikazi shares her thoughts with the Watu Africa team.
Riveting pictures of the movement Ayabonga Cawe © 2017
who are you?
We are a collective of black people who know each other mostly by virtue of our connection with the City of Johannesburg. We know each other through similar interests and connected social circles.
Black gatherings have their own beauty, power and a kind of defiance in a world determined to alienate us from each other and ourselves.
What is these dam blacks?
We are a collective of black people who love being in the company of other blacks. We are a group of black people who have come together to build each other and with one another for the progression of the black nation. We are a group of black people who are woke to our political, economic and social dispossession and we choose to gather because we find comfort, upliftment and joy in us, blacks, being together. We also gather because we realise the power in ourselves as a network; so when we gather we talk and exchange about our interests and the work that we do in order to establish synergies. At our gatherings we also invite black people who make clothes, jewellery, wine, gin, food.etc to showcase their works, sell some items and even close some deals.
These Dam Blacks is a black gathering where we as blacks gather at Emmarentia Dam (and sometimes at Darlene's house when the weather is counter-revolutionary) for some scenic views of our stolen land where we dish out black love, warmth, heart and laughter.
Black gatherings have their own beauty, power and a kind of defiance in a world determined to alienate us from each other and ourselves. So we call blacks to come to a social gathering with a little twist. With chilled vibes, we connect with each other across different pursuits (hustle) to find crossovers between our lines of hustle and explore productive collaborations. We experiment with collective solutions to our collective structural problems to challenge individualized black exceptionalisms of first or only black to be this or that.
You will find emerging black business people, connecting them to a conscious customer base that is determined to rotate the rand within the black community. Explore ways to utilize our collective buying power nationally by starting small. We also welcome people in social development programmes such as education, health promotion, media, community safety, etc. to meet others and share with us on how we can join and bring our resources in finance, labour (compensated or voluntary), networks, etc. for solution-driven goals.
"We gather because we crave spaces where we can free, unpretentious, where we can love each other with no inhibitions. We gather also as an act of rebellion – in a world that demands us to ship up, to shape up, to conform to the status quo that we are unhappy with, we create this space because we would rather be part of creating a world that we’ve envisioned and that we shape."
Want to learn more? Tune in tomorrow for more exciting achievements by These Dam Blacks!
We are a multidisciplinary collective and welcome academic and non-academic views. Reach out to us on the Contact page to find out more about how you can be featured on our blog.