Archive for black Holland

Shaniqua Farrior – Antwerp…what is yet to come.

In a new series of articles, black women living outside of Europe share their views from the other side. In our third article, Shaniqua Farrior lays out her plan to move to Belgium and why. 

I have always been an adventurer. Often time taking on challenges that sometime seem  insurmountable. But, as all adventurers know, the journey will be filled with moments of euphoria, while other times it will be a discouraging struggle just to get to the next step. But we also know the reward of meeting the challenge with the strength and ferocity of a lion makes it all worth it.

Because, I’m never one to shy a from a challenge, I decided to accept the opportunity  to share  my goal to relocate to Antwerp, Belgium. What makes this goal rather different,  a bit intimidating and so worth it, is  I’m attempting to accomplish  this  as a young, black single mother of two.

For years I’d been entertaining the idea of permanently relocating to Europe but didn’t really know where. I know that I want to live in a lively city, that has a multicultural atmosphere and to dwell in a society that is forward thinking and value its inhabitants. I also know that I want to be surrounded by fashion, art and delicious food. As well as live in a  thriving community of progressive  entrepreneurs who are offering innovative goods to consumers.

Day after day I engross  myself in online research of  European countries that spark my interest. Visiting government websites gathering information on visas, work permit laws, permanent residency laws, marriage laws etc etc.; I scour websites and forums seeking information on job opportunities, housing, demographics, schools for my daughter and son, age appropriate activities that they may be interested in, the best neighborhoods,  race relations and articles on expatriation with children.

But online research can only provide so much.

From 2004 – 2006 I visited several countries on my list:

Although I’d  lived  in Denmark in the mid 90′s as a student attending the International People’s College, and then revisiting in ’06, the lovely fjord  just didn’t feel right for the long term, even though I have friends who are almost like family that still live there. Plus,  my ex fiancé still resides in Copenhagen and his family resides in Aarhus and the thought of dwelling in the same country and perhaps the same city and possibly running into him is just too emotionally taxing. Next!

Amsterdam reminded me a lot of New York, for obvious reasons. But the atmosphere of separatism, and racism was uncomfortably palpable; ESPECIALLY during the month of November, when St. Nicholas (Sinter Klaas in dutch)  the patron saint of  children and sailors, and his band of mischievous helpers in black face – think sambo – known as the Zweite Pete’s roll into town. I also had the double  misfortune of  being called the N-word, while strolling along the leidseplein on a Saturday night. One gentleman even asked for directions to Nigeria, before simulating punching me in the face. * Feel free to gasp here* . The upside…the Heineken was out of this world. But I was happy to leave and never come back.

France is beautiful but too expensive. However, it is a real asset to the industry i’m in. Germany is crazy fun. But I still felt there was a county and a city better suited for me.

ENCOUNTERING A SINJOREN….

Fast forward to 2007, while sitting in the Hong Kong Airport engrossed in the story of Cupcake Brown, a Tyler Perryesq book on steroids, a young…very young backpacker sat down next to me determined to strike up conversation. After resisting for about an hour I finally relented. Surprisingly his conversation was very engaging. We chatted  for hours ( our flights weren’t departing until the next morning) while gazing upon the neon lit skyline that Hong Kong is famous for.

We talked about my work as a massage therapist, my children, and life back in New York. He shared stories about his life in his beloved town of Antwerp, Belgium. He told me how much he loved his hometown. How nice the people are. How relaxed and friendly the atmosphere was and how I would fit right in. He talked about the opportunities available there and how it was the diamond capital of the world. Once he said that, I was intrigued.

Later that year my backpacker friend invited me to visit him for a few days in Antwerp. I accepted his offer and am so happy I did

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

The moment I arrived by train into the seaside city, I was greeted by the architectural wonders of the  Antwerpen Centraal railway station with its 144 ft dome constructed of steel and glass. The natural light that floods through, gives the station a very ethereal feel. I don’t know if it was the vitamin D from all the sunlight in the station, but a strange sensation of belonging and calm washed over me, that let me know that I had found what I was looking for. My feelings were confirmed every moment of the 10 days I spent there.

Traveling on public transportation, shopping in the local grocery stores with the backpacker. Discovering interesting boutiques along the Meir – the main shopping street in the heart of the city – and feeling like I blended in with the locals, gave me the confidence to know I wanted to write a chapter of my life there with my babies.

What also made the trip significant, was the fact that I created and facilitated the first infant massage seminar for expatriates. For 3 days I was able to visit homes of people who were in the position I want to be in. Many of them gave me great advice regarding raising my children there. Such as it is better to place the children in a local school versus a private school, this will ensure the children will be immersed in the dutch language. It was also said that patients will be a virtue when dealing with  the snail paced bureaucracy that is in charge of processing visas and reviewing permanent resident applications.

HAVE A PLAN

The expats that attended the infant massage seminar, stressed the importance of having multiple plans especially when traveling and moving overseas with children… I was advised to:

  •  Start the process at least one year or more

○       Learning the language

○       Gathering documents

○       Securing health insurance

○       Making sure finances are secure

○       Preparing the children for the move (which I heard is more difficult on teenagers)

○       Have an emergency fund just in case we have to fly back to the states on short notice. i.e death of a loved one. As well as life insurance.

○       Copies of all of our medical records, shot records, prescriptions ect.

Having  a few solid plans will give us the confidence in knowing we are prepared to face any obstacle.

So far we are just at the beginning stages of our relocation process. I am planning a 3 month stay next summer which will serve multiple purposes :

  1. I want my children to experience Antwerp and formulate their own opinion about it. As well as create a network of friends that will help familiarize them with the country.
  2. To explore neighborhoods that will best suit my small yet lively family.
  3. Visit schools both private and local to gain insight on how best to assimilate my children into the Belgian educational system. And if there will be any drawbacks that I can help to thwart.
  4. Networking with members of my profession who are veterans of the massage and skincare industry who will be asset  when  securing a work permit.
  5. To connect with other BWIE members in person who may give me better insight regarding black life in Europe.

In conclusion I want this article to serve as an inspiration to other single mothers that may have a desire to travel with their children, but felt afraid to do so. I know it seems impossible but through faith, perseverance and preparation there is nothing that can’t be accomplished.

Shaniqua Farrior Shaniqua Farrior   Antwerp...what is yet to come.

Shaniqua Farrior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaniqua Farrior is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Paramedical Skincare Therapist who is considered an expert in her field.  She holds a Degree in Liberal Arts from NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She is also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage, and an avid traveler, mother and world citizen. 

In our next article Destiny Gordon chronicles her destiny to live in Europe.

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7th Annual Summer School on BLACK EUROPE

Thank you for the reminder Angela Shaw. Every year I say I am going to take this course one summer. I have to ensure that it comes to pass.

BE 300x198 7th Annual Summer School on BLACK EUROPE

7th Annual Summer School on Black Europe
Interrogating Citizenship, Race and Ethnic Relations

Amsterdam, Netherlands – June 23 – July 4, 2014

The Summer School on Black Europe is an intensive two week course offered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The 7th annual Summer School on Black Europe will take place from June 23rd to July 4th, 2014 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) in collaboration with The Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues (Barcelona, Spain).*

The Summer School on Black Europe will be held at:

International Institute for Research and Education (IIRE)
Lombokstraat 40, 1094 AL Amsterdam, The Netherlands

APPLY HERE

The overall goal of this course is to examine the contemporary circumstances of the African Diaspora (and “other” immigrants of color) in Europe. We will focus on and discuss the origins of Black Europe and investigate the impact of these legacies on policies, social organizations and legislation today. This course will begin with a historical overview of the African Diaspora in Europe that traces the involvement of European nations in the colonization of the Americas. We will address the migration and settlement of Blacks in Europe, and examine immigration and citizenship laws that regulated their settlement. We will also look at anti-discrimination laws as they have arisen in various European countries. We compare the history of regulation and management of race and ethnic relations and the discourse surrounding the concept of Blackness and self-identification. Historically, social forces and social movements within Europe have given rise to policies to combat racism. We will trace the chain of events following social and civil conflicts that prompted these policies and analyze the legislative and intellectual discourse produced in the aftermath. In addition, we will explore notions of Blackness as official categorization; as a social construction employed by the dominant groups to indicate (non) belonging; as a Diaspora living within Europe; and as a contestation of the dominant (White) paradigm. In this way, we examine the social mobilization of Blacks to resist domination.

The above issues will be considered in light of the immediacy of contemporary global and European forces, including competing issues and discourses on Islamophobia, increased non-Black migration into and across Europe, and the debt crisis in the European Union.

This course will also seek to address the dimensions of race and ethnic relations that are unique to Europe; examining the ways in which conceptions of the “other” are institutionalized and reproduced; the rise of xenophobia in various EU countries; issues such as global racisms, everyday racism and epistemic racism; the legal definitions and discourse surrounding the conceptualized “other”; and examining the ways in which each country has dealt with issues of race and national identity. To this effect guest speakers for the 2013 program will be drawn from Germany, Italy and Portugal for case studies in those countries.

Affiliated Faculty Members include:

  • DR. MARTA ARAUJO, UNIVERSITY OF COIMBRA (PORTUGAL)
  • DR. PHILOMENA ESSED, ANTIOCH UNIVERSITY
  • DR. JEANETTE DAVIDSON, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
  • DR. DAVID THEO GOLDBERG, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA HUMANITIES RESEARCH INSTITUTE
  • DR. RAMON GROSFOGUEL, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
  • DR. DIENKE HONDIUS, VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT AMSTERDAM
  • DR. KWAME NIMAKO, UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
  • DR. STEPHEN SMALL, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
  • DR. MELISSA F. WEINER, COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS
  • DR. GLORIA WEKKER, UNIVERSITEIT VAN UTRECHT
  • DONNA DRIVER-ZWARTKRUIS, VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT

(More Faculty Info)

 

Tuition

The tuition for this course is € 1600 (or € 1300 without housing) .

Tuition includes housing, the opening reception, lunches on all class days, weekly get-togethers with faculty, a course reader, a public transportation pass, and travel costs and entrance to museums and exhibitions during excursions (excluding an optional excursion to Paris).

The Paris excursion includes participation in a workshop on Migration and Social Movements at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH) in Paris.

Tuition does not include travel to and from Amsterdam.

For more information over the Summer School, please email:
blackeurope [at] dialogoglobal.com

K. Nimako, Director
Email: obee [at] telfort.nl

Mano Delea, Project Manager
Email: mano.delea [at] gmail.com

Camilla Hawthorne, Coordinator North America
Email: camilla.hawthorne [at] Berkeley.edu

Giovanni Picker, Coordinator East/Central Europe & Russia
Email: giovanni.picker [at] gmail.com

APPLICATION

About the Center

logo dialogo global 7th Annual Summer School on BLACK EUROPE

DIÀLEG GLOBAL -

DIÀLEG GLOBAL (Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization promoting research, knowledge-making, education (through seminars, workshops, exhibits, round-tables discussions, publications and video-making) and public policy to invent and work towards non-competitive horizons of life, of socio-economic organization and international relations. Non-profit and non-governmental organizations emerge from within civil and political society to address issues that are not supported or attended to by government and corporations. Their function is crucial in building futures that are beyond the regulations of States or the needs of the Corporations. In order for civil and political society to become relevant actors in social transformation and pointing out the limits of corporate values and state regulation, it is necessary to create institutions of knowledge-making not at the service of the state or corporations, but to the benefit of the civil society.

For further inquiries and information, please send e-mail to blackeurope [at] dialogoglobal.com.
Find us also on Facebook!

During the Summer School, we will also be hosting the International Symposium on Black Europe 2014. The 2013 Symposium on Black Europe was titled, Inside Black Europe: Racial Configurations in the Post 9/11 Era (in Europe). Click here for information on the 2012 Symposium.

 

* Previous sessions of the Summer School on Black Europe were organized in Amsterdam, in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and NiNsee, the National Institute for the study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy.

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Documentary Natural Woman in Holland

 Documentary Natural Woman in Holland

 

 

 

 

 

Hi there! After a successful International Natural Hair Meetup day we are screening the documentary Natural Woman once again. Afterwards you get the chance to discuss online with filmmaker Cindy Hurst.

Documentary Natural Woman in Holland
Time: July 14, 2013 from 3pm to 5pm
Location: Podium Westerdok
Organized By: She Sells

 Documentary Natural Woman in Holland
Get tickets: http://www.yourticketprovider.nl/events/309-documentaire-natural-woman/

Event Description:

Natural Woman is a documentary that explores the psychological attitudes that occur when women decide to stop straightening their hair and wear it naturally

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Gisele in Amsterdam has been running She Sells for 8 years. Celebrate with her!

 Gisele in Amsterdam has been running She Sells for 8 years. Celebrate with her!

She Sells turned 8 on May 20th 2013. Therefore you’ll  receive a discount of 10% on hair products, cosmetics, jewelry and gifts in the online shop www.shesells.eu.

 

The discount is valid until May 25th.

Please use discount code Birthday when placing your order website.

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Sisay International launches new products for black hair care

keratineadv1.1 300x200 Sisay International launches new products for black hair care

Pure Keratin Therapy Mask – Restores visibly damaged without slack to make. Hair Ideal for smooth and shiny hair. Click on the product photo above for more information. And just who is the brains behind this hair business? The beautiful Janine in the Netherlands.

Janine 300x204 Sisay International launches new products for black hair care

Click on Janine’s photo above to learn her hair story and the inspiration behind her company. If you don’t read Dutch you’ll need to use an online translator, but since a picture is worth a thousand words, be sure to look at her photos that document her hair journey.

Visit Sisay International.

pixel Sisay International launches new products for black hair care

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