And so is the death and destruction that comes with them. When you watch this video/documentary:

You will see that diamonds are anything but just beautiful gems to adorn your body with. Are black men and women in America that cold and heartless to love diamonds more than women, children and men who are butchered in the name of diamonds? Are black people in America so in love with bling-bling of diamond-encrusted teeth, heavy diamond necklaces, glaring diamond bracelets, watches and rings, that they give not a damn about the brutality that kills tens of thousands of lives in Africa over diamonds? That they care not what happens to families in Sierra Leone and Angola?

I’m asking these questions of all Americans, not just white, Latino, Native American, Arabs, Asians, and everyone else, but, especially of black Americans. For if we do not even care of what brings a diamond into our hands and how it got to us, and what the many black Africans in Africa suffer through to obtain this diamond, then if not we, who else will care? We black Americans have to stop and think of how our actions affect others thousands of miles away from us.

In the end, no one truly knows whether a diamond is “conflict free” or not.

But then again, this has not been much of a mystery to me. Knowing the history of DeBeers and their cruel, racist, vicious tactics to keep diamond miners from keeping back some of the diamonds for themselves, if caught, the overseers of the DeBeers Corporation (a Dutch colonial empire built off the blood of black Zimbabweans of the country formerly known as Rhodesia) would have the black miners hobbled to keep them from running away.

Hobbling involved chopping the ankles just so where the foot remained attached, but horribly crippled the man.

I have personally boycotted diamonds for more than 25 years because of the hateful apartheid racist practices of South Africa, and therefore, I would not buy ANY diamonds whatsoever. Nor gold.

To this day, I still do not buy diamonds or gold.

I have boycotted the buying of Granny Smith apples because the bulk of them were grown in South Africa, as my way of showing solidarity with the then-imprisoned African people of South Africa. Yes, I am only one person, but when I go to bed at night, I do not have the fear that at least with diamonds I am contributing to another black person’s suffering and degradation.

I can live without diamonds.

If eating meat in my sister’s presence offends her, then I will eat no meat.

I will not contribute mindlessly to the utter cruelty of mutilation that blood conflict diamonds bring. I will not be so selfish as to look at a diamond and not see beyond all its brilliance, the untold carnage it takes to bring that diamond to the jewelry seller.

Is there in existence the potential for any diamonds that come through DeBeers and Kimberly Diamond Mines industries to be “clean” enough to purchase from? To be clean enough to not be in any way a bloody conflict diamond?


Somewhere along the way, the diamond will have become “bloodied” before it reaches the hands of the lapidary, and ultimately ends up on the finger of a human.

Whether the diamond is mined by a young child or woman, brutally worked from sun-up to sundown, with a gun to their head; whether the diamond is carried, mule-like, by young teenage boys for a warlord, warlords whose whims can sway with the wind and if tested too much, will cut off the arms or legs of a child who doesn’t move fast enough to pack the diamonds for the next courier; whether the diamonds are fought over by opposing groups who want to corner the market in their part of the African continent, Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, etc., so that they can sell the diamonds like a mess of pottage to the highest bidder; whether the rival factions of neighboring villages fight and kill each other, destroying their villages because of a gem that grew from soft coal to a hardness strong enough to cut glass——-these are factors that must be taken into consideration before purchasing a diamond.

Is it worth that much to have a diamond?

Can people find it in themselves to ask is the life of a human more important, or is the owning of a diamond more important?

In the end the choice is ours to make.

A diamond.

Or a human life.

Which in the end will have the greatest value? Which in the end will we care the most for?

DeBeers’s slogan “A Diamond is Forever”, has held cachet over women (and men) for decades.

Isn’t it about time for another slogan:

“A Human Life is More Precious.”

I certainly think so. And it is a way of thinking whose time has long been overdue.







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13 responses to “DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

  1. byrdparker

    Great post . I came to your site from charcoalink’s blog roll.

    In my oppinion you cannot ask people not to wear diamonds . They don’t get it and they don’t care.. It’s Sad , it’s pathetic and it is true.

    Instead , the people of africa have to take control of the diamond market overthrow the DeBeers oppressors. It is Debeer’s who marketed diamonds as rare hard to come by jewels , but they aren’t., and if your really love your partner nothing says I love you like diamonds …. It is a great pr lie, one perpetuated by these oppressors.

    As of today , i am diamond free .. I never had a lot but i did have some , although mine supposedly came from the australian mines , who really knows, because i didn’t go to the mine to get them .

    Africa should take all the mines back , close them , and get the oppressors out . It is the oppressors and thier legions who harvest and market this product , who supply the celebrities , who influence the people . The average consumer is just a pawn , to them owning diamonds mean they have arrived…. This is africa’s choice and battle ..

  2. byrdparker

    i have put your video link , on some popular blog sites .

    another thought , “sierra leone should offer 5 days excursions package in the diamond mine , start off with a nice breakfast , and then travel to mine to dig for your own diamonds, and if u make it back to the hotel , you can have dinner and drinks and fall asleep in your lovely hotel room ..

  3. Ann

    brydparker, thanks for stopping by.
    I know that I will never get people to stop buying diamonds, but, for me not buying diamonds is one less conflict blood diamond in circulation.
    I agree that the African nations should take control of the diamond mines and kick out the leeches who have sucked Africa dry and decimated her. Africans controlling the mines and implementing policies where ALL of the native people benefit from the mining, cutting and selling of diamonds thereby keeping the money in each African nation, would be wonderful.
    But, then the African leaders would have to divest themselves of greed and selfishness. And the rebel faction would also have to agree to this, but, not much chance of that happening. Bloody rival factions would have to agree to work together instead of against each other, and the carnage has unfortunately left too much hate on both sides.
    “another thought , “sierra leone should offer 5 days excursions package in the diamond mine , start off with a nice breakfast , and then travel to mine to dig for your own diamonds, and if u make it back to the hotel , you can have dinner and drinks and fall asleep in your lovely hotel room ..”
    Yes, let’s have those diamond addicts who just fiend for a diamond so bad, go out, dig down to the lowest section of the mine, under extreme heat, with very little water, braving sudden mine shaft weakness, drill and dig their way to diamond deposits, THEN we’ll see if they still believe that a diamond is a girl’s best friend.
    I bet there will be less takers if mining their own diamonds was an option.
    Pretty soon, cubic zirconias would be a girl’s best friend.

  4. Amy

    Hi ann!
    Thanks for putting the link to the video – i vaguely knew about blood diamonds but i had no idea of the extent of the brutality associated with them! It’s so sad that such meaningless things could have such tragic consequences! And the fact that diamonds are so revered in our society – it’s disgusting! I mean – what is the big obsession with them?

    I almost cried when they told of how they lined up the workers and began cutting their limbs off -and how they would cut other limbs so they wouldn’t get away. I know i will never wear diamonds – your right – you just never know where they’ve been. Like the jeweller said in the video – he thinks there is a high chance he would have sold conflict diamonds before and just hadn’t known it!

    Great entry – i’ve tried to comment on your blog before but it never let me. I’m becoming very interested in the American Indian and Black experience in America so your blog is a great source of info for me 🙂

  5. Ann

    Amy, thanks so much for stopping by.

    Your comments are most welcomed.

  6. M

    I think it would be a lot better business for African countries to advertise a “Mine Your Own Diamond” sweethearts vacation. All the tourism would bring money in….people would get conflict free diamonds and all would be peaceful….of course the big companies would not want that to happen, but they could be involved too…there would be a fee obviously and for the same cost of a ring, you go on vacation, mine a diamond THEN, it could be shaped and put into a setting. Instead of children and other villagers mining, they should teach them to become jewelers at a fair wage. Then the tourist leaves with a diamond ring having had a great vacation. Everyone wins–what’s wrong with people??

  7. Allen Brengettey

    Diamond bracelets are great because ladies adore them. I always give my girlfriend some diamond bracelet during her birthday and also on our anniversary. .”*.

    Have a great day!

  8. taboohoohoo

    like most stone age primitives worldwide, africans tripped over vast stores of natural wealth until the arabs and then europeans arrived (they being the descendants of the african diaspora of 60K years ago – see the Natgeo/IBM DNA mapping project). “Natural” resources only become so when somebody discovers or creates a use for it. The middle easterners walked over and cursed the oil seeping from the ground for 1,000s of years (although as naphtha it ended up in alladin’s lamp) but it took a scot-american to discover how to recover it in volume as many others in america and europe discovered uses of it to better our lives. Don’t think oil bettered our lives? Read some history. The history of wood and coal burning in cities and the immense amounts of horse dung that covered the streets of all major cities before the advent of cars. Recall that even Obama’s half-brother regrets that whites have left kenya (2016 Movie). Only where whites have settled have black africans been dragged out of the stone age that they are more than comfortable sliding back into as soon as the whites are murdered and banished. Zimbabwe anybody? The only areas in africa that are making a comeback and improving standards of living (fewer kids dying of disease and thirst is one measure of that) are those that are again embracing doing business with the west. the white west. That rankles many, but it is what it is.

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  10. Jim

    If only the African rulers would get their heads and butts wired together to uplift their people. Take controll of the diamond mines and create wealth for their own.

    Sadly, this will never happen.

  11. La-La

    What is still sad is that diamonds are still being mined by the racist colonial white settler descendants who thieved all of southern Africa from the native blacks. When will the blacks wake up and nationalize the mines to help the south Africa economy?


    I love Diamond Jewelrybut don’t approve bloody diamond, wish this change some day.

  13. Hal

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that Africans should take control of the mines and use the proceeds to build their nation and uplift their people. It would go a long way to throw off the horrors left behind from so many centuries of colonialism. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for this great essay.

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