national-geographic-map-of-cubaIt’s a brand new map of Cuba, the National Geographic Society’s first comprehensive rendering of the Caribbean nation since 1906.It’s a classic wall map, 3 feet by 2 feet, 24 miles to the inch. The island stretches like a bony finger across the azure sea.The map breaks cartographic news, which is not easy for a map to do anymore. Last year, Cuba created two new provinces on the western end of the island. Hello, Artemisa and Mayabeque.

Juan Jose Valdes is a cartographer in the maps division on the seventh floor of National Geographic’s headquarters on 17th Street NW. He is 57. It is almost exactly 50 years since his parents put him on a plane in August 1961, several months after the Bay of Pigs invasion. He grew up to be a cartographer and geographer — the Geographer, in fact, at National Geographic, charged with helping direct map policies and projects. Last year, during a brainstorming session, he said to his colleagues, How about a map of Cuba?

emp_selassieFor many Rastafarians and others around the world, July 16, the day the first constitution was implemented in Ethiopia by Emperor Haile Selassie I and his birthday July 23 are important days for honoring the great ruler. Once named one of the Top 25 Political Icons in history by Time Magazine, Emperor Haile Selassie I, who ruled Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, is still venerated as the Divine Incarnate by adherents of the Rastafari faith. Time Magazine even referred to him as King of Kings, Conquering Lion of Judah and Elect of God.

In addition to giving Ethiopia its first constitution, Emperor Selassie is also credited with convening the earliest meeting of the Organization of African Unity. For many years, he was the only black ruler and the only ruling monarch of an independent African state. Emperor Selassie was deposed by a military coup in 1974 and passed away on 27th of August 1975. The emperor’s cause of death to this day is still surrounded by controversy.


rihanna One of the best-selling artists of all time with more than 30 million records and 100 million singles sold, Rihanna has signed a multi-year deal with The Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) to exclusively promote her hometown island of Barbados as a tourist destination. The three-year partnership officially kicks off in Bridgetown, Barbados on August 5, 2011 with a full-length concert of her current "Loud" tour produced by the BTA and Roc Nation.

"Barbados is a place like no other and one of the reasons for this is the spirit and national pride of our people," said Rihanna. "I want each and every visitor to this beautiful island to experience what makes this destination different from all others and that is the spirit and warmth of my fellow Barbadians."

As an ambassador for the island of Barbados, over the next three years, Rihanna will exclusively promote the destination through advertising campaigns, promotional appearances and via her social media presence. In addition to her concert in Barbados this summer, Rihanna will promote travel to the island from Brazil during her appearance on tour in September.

"In the hearts of every Barbadian, Rihanna is known as the girl down the road, but to the world she has become a musical sensation and social phenomenon," said Barbados' Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Richard L. Sealy. "She is a great source of national pride to Barbados and we are thrilled to enter into this formal partnership to promote Barbados as a leading tourist destination."



Source: eTurboNews



The 2011-2012 Travel Green Guide is now available!

travelgreenguideStart the New Year off right: in adventurous travel of course, but let 2011 be your year for adventurous and conscious travel. That is, be aware of the impact on the environment as well as on the community to which you travel, and plan vacations with the utmost well being of these places and their people in mind. It takes a bit of planning and research to put together an eco-friendly vacation, but luckily there are resources that make the task so much easier than it would have been just a decade ago.

The International Ecotourism Society, better known as TIES, has just released its 2011-2012 Travel Green Guide. View online to browse through hundreds of TIES organization and professional members, download the guide and share with you friends and colleagues! You can also embed the Travel Green Guide in your blog, share the preview link on Facebook, or simply link to Ecotourism.org/Travel-Green-Guide to share this latest "who's who" in ecotourism and sustainable travel.

TIES’ mission is “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” As we are all travelers to the places of the African Diaspora, we know first-hand how beautiful yet fragile some of the places we visit can be. With responsible and sustainable travel, you can be sure the money you spend benefits the communities of these places. And you don’t have to reroute your whole vacation just to do it. The 2011-2012 Travel Green Guide lists hundreds of eco-friendly tour operators, hotels, and activities located in the African Diaspora places you already want to go, anyway: Kenya, Brazil, Costa Rica, various countries of South America and more. In addition, this guide also has a listing of universities, professionals, and organizations providing degrees, services, and other resources respectively within the ecotourism field.

You are already committed to traveling, so why not travel green? Thanks to resources like the Travel Green Guide, this is one New Year’s resolution we can all keep. Go to Ecotourism.org/Travel-Green-Guide for you free e-copy.

Six-male ensemble including Lamman Rucker to present story of Tuskegee Airman in Atlanta


The captivating untold story of the Tuskegee Airmen will be unveiled to Atlanta in the award winning play “Black Angels over Tuskegee” at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center beginning September 23rd through October 10th.  The play is being brought to Atlanta by director Herman LeVern Jones, founder of TheatreSouth Atlanta. An all-male African American ensemble of The Black Gents of Hollywood, including noted screen actor Lamman Rucker, “Black Angels over Tuskegee” will visit Atlanta for a preview stop prior to the launch of an upcoming 2011 Worldwide Tour.

200px-Kampala_Kasubi_TombsThe Ugandan government has made contributions and commitments to restore the Kasubi Tombs in Kampala, Uganda, after a fire that some believe was the result of arson almost completely destroyed many of the major buildings last March.  The circular site contained many structures, including the royal tombs of four Kabaka (kings) of Buganda built in the 19th Century for kings of the Buganda region.  Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, the tombs have been a major tourist attraction for the area ever since. The tombs have for many years drawn people from around the world and local visitors to learn about the rich cultural history of the kingdom or else pay their respect, almost in pilgrimage style.


harriet_tubmanTourists and history buffs will be able to see some rare, personal belongings of abolitionist Harriet Tubman when a museum of African-American history opens on the National Mall.  On Wednesday, historian Charles L. Blockson donated about 40 objects from Tubman's life to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum is slated to open near the Washington Monument in 2015. Once owned by the woman who led hundreds of slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad,





A couple of years ago, the vision to change the South African wine industry was conceived by two childhood best friends, Stephen Satterfield and PJ Bullock. Stephen, a sommelier and wine educator, and PJ, a graduate business student came up with the idea of how they could help uplift and educate people, while diminishing poverty and inequality through the celebration and appreciation of fine wine. From this idea emerged the International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW). An Atlanta-based organization with the mission of building sustainable communities through viticulture, ISAW advocates reducing poverty in Africa through the business of wine.



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