BLACK MEN: MAN UP!

A recent article I posted called on Black women to continue the tradition of our grandmothers.

The tradition of advocating for the family and putting the welfare of the community over self is central to the success of our struggles. The personal and cultural values those our Fore Mothers instilled in their daughters imbued them with the courage to stand up to the slave master and later march in the face of snarling dogs and hateful policemen.

This is a modest request I think, considering all our Fore Mothers have done for us. Considering all the sacrifices they made to help steer us through centuries of turmoil and strife here in America, how can we abandon the path they paved to our liberation?

With all the back and forth we hear and see these days about twitter wars and instagram battles between some of our Sisters, especially from some of the younger generation, I was worried some of them were starting to become too immersed in the trappings of personal aggrandizement, notoriety, and materialistic pursuits. As a community, we need our beautiful Sisters to send out messages that tend to uplift rather than degrade.

THE MEDIA MONSTER

Hardly a minute goes by when mass media isn’t bombarding us with messages that tell us it’s not our fault, to have it our way, to be an Army of one, or to just do it. Little regard is given to the welfare of others, or the consequences of shirking responsibility. By discouraging personal responsibility and encouraging individualism, mass media has turned us into unthinking automatons, making us afraid to unfollow the herd.

I understand that we live in a youth-oriented society. I also understand that when we live in a society where we are constantly fed the false notion of the natural superiority of youthfulness, fealty to the old ways can be considered quaint.

The cacophony of voices urging us to walk to the beat of our own drum has become so loud that the voices of our Elders can scarcely be heard. When that happens, we lose the moral authority that has undergirded our struggle for centuries.

But, let me remind you it was the wisdom of our Elders, or the “old ways” as some call it, that got us out of slavery and to where we are today. It was the old ways that made us who we are. That kept us strong and resolute through unimaginable horrors and atrocities.

Sometimes old school is the best school.

Egoism, selfishness, and personal vanity are not the building blocks of a successful life, much less a united community.

Let’s remember, that in our mad rush to be young and to stay young, we can’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

There’s nothing wrong with changing with the times. As long as we don’t lose ourselves in the process.

Tearing each other down, dissing each other, calling each other names, or allowing personal vendettas to get in the way of facing up to our own failures won’t do us any of us any good. If anything, it only reinforces the belief among our detractors that we’re not ready to govern ourselves.

A STOLEN LEGACY

In other articles, I explained how both Aryan and Arab invaders used this same excuse to rape and pillage the entire continent of Africa, and take the land, resources, and bodies of our ancestors for their own personal advancement.

This “not ready for prime time” argument has been used over and over again by racists and colonizers the world over. Not only was wealth and resources taken, but cultures. Names. Languages. Customs. Entire ways of life were destroyed.

The irony of bringing “civilization” to savages, while lying, cheating, stealing, and brutalizing indigenous people was lost on those men.

In my article I explained that some of the divisiveness between us go all the way back to slavery. Back to a time when it was in the best interest of slave owners, and other racists, to keep us divided and at each other’s throats. The ploy was to play up the differences between slaves, be they differences in skin color, hair texture, height, strength, gender, plantation size, etc. No difference was too small for them to exploit.

Over time, this type of pathology can become ingrained in a people, and last for generations.

A CALL FROM AN EX-WIFE

After the article was posted I got a call from an ex-wife who wanted to discuss the subject. Uh huh.

Apparently, my views had touched a nerve with her, and I certainly understood why, considering some of the pathologies of black male-black female relationships had played a part in our dissolution after twenty years together.

It should be noted that this ex and I have been divorced for twenty years, and for the first fifteen years after our divorce we never communicated with each other. This, though we still lived in the same city, and she maintained a casual relationship with one of my brothers and his wife.

About five years ago we we got back in contact with each other through another of my sisters, and have maintained a casual relationship since then.

No, this is not a feel-good story about two ships passing in the night, suddenly recognizing each other, dropping anchors, docking together again, and sailing away, happily ever after. Aside from the long separation, there could be no happy reconciliation because my ex had remarried. And though I have never remarried, I was in a relationship myself.

My sole purpose for reconnecting with her was this quaint notion that two people who’d loved and argued so hard for twenty years could still be friends. I should have known this was an impossibility, given the way we had parted, and the toxic brew our marriage had become at the end.

Of course, she blamed me, and I her, and it took us many contentious conversations before we were able to admit we had both played a role in our breakup.

This was especially hard for me to accept considering I had always tried to bring honesty to all my relationships, be they family, friends, or romantic.

WHEN KEEPING IT REAL GOES WRONG

Remember the old Dave Chapelle bit about when keeping it real can sometime go wrong? Well, I’ve learned a similar lesson over the years. Sometimes it’s just not in the best interest of all concerned to be perfectly honest.

When I think back over some of my past relationships, including an earlier wife before my recent ex, I have finally learned my lesson about putting honesty above the feelings of others. Over the years, when I left exes crying at the door, I always took solace in the fact I’d been honest about my abhorrence of being tied down.

I mean, I had places to go and people to see. It was my sole responsibility to save the world, educate my people, stamp out racism, save Africa, cure sickle cell, and learn ebonics… all before I was twenty.

If those women weren’t willing to be with a struggling writer who hated working for “da Man”, then they couldn’t say I didn’t warn them.

Today, I thank God for finally giving me clarity. And understanding.

I’ve learned that just because you’re willing to die for your art is no reason to put such a burden on others.

And though I can think of a thousand things some of my exes did to offend or “disrespect” me, I can finally take personal responsibility for my own failings. My own hardheadedness. My rigidity. My unwavering quest to change the world. To change people. To be true to myself.

After all, I’m a Taurus, and isn’t stubbornness (I prefer strong-willed) one of our defining characteristics? At least that’s what they tell me.

I had no idea that leaving could cause such lasting scars. I mean, doesn’t life go on?

MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS

Another thing I’ve learned about the female sex is that they love harder than us males. Females seem to express a more heartfelt love, unlike the more possessive type of love we males tend to feel.

This may be because we live in a male-dominated society where anything less than full blown machismo is considered weak . Or maybe it has something to do with chromosomes, or hormones, or some other physical or chemical thing. I don’t know.

I’m not a psychologist, but I do like to play one when I’m pointing out the faults of others.

When my ex called me to discuss my article I told her she had some valid points about the general sorryness of Black men, but again, just as we’d done for twenty years, we were talking past each other. I wasn’t understanding her and she wasn’t understanding me. Maybe because we’re all adept at trying to get our point across while tuning out others.

This, I feel is the gist of the problem between many Black males and females. We can’t feel each other’s pain. We can’t walk in the other’s shoes.

We’re afraid of losing ourselves by recognizing others. We feel that sympathizing with others delegitimizes our own pain and suffering.

We don’t realize that feeling the pain of others can sometimes ease our own pain. Make us less resentful.

Realizing we’re all flawed makes us more human.

Imperfection isn’t a character flaw. It’s a normal condition of the human makeup.

I am merely asking my Black Sisters to try and understand some of the unique burdens Black men carry from living in a male-dominated society where the Master of the house do not consider you an equal. Whose main goal is to keep you emasculated and thought of as not fit to be a father, a husband, or a leader.

Its sort of like living in your Father’s house and he hates your guts. Your manhood is not a consideration to him. You have no rights and privileges he is bound to respect.

When he says be back in the house by ten then you’d better be back by ten, or suffer the consequences. He’s the boss and you’re not. And, as my father used to say, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out”.

I have to be honest with you. I don’t know if my ex and I came to a new understanding. Or even a better one. But I do know we ended our conversation without bitterness or rancor.

Hopefully, we ended with a new found respect for each other.

SISTERS DOING WORK

Anyone who have followed my writing career or read my book “The Clan of Southern Man”, knows I have a deep and abiding respect for Black women.

My book is the only one to trace our history all the way back to the time of the African “Eve”, the ancient Black women that genetics have shown to be the progenitor of all humans living today.

This may not be a big deal to some, but it’s a big deal to me. To me, it’s a game changer. How can our detractors continue to say we’ve given the world nothing when they, themselves, carry the genes of a Black women.

I’ve tried to give this same respect to all the females in my life, whether family, friends, or personal relationships. No one who knows me can say I’m disrespectful to women, particularly my elders. I know what Black women go through. I know what they’ve been through.

I can feel their pain.

I just want Black women to understand we have pain too. Though we may be too proud or stubborn to admit it, the pain we feel is real.

Showing weakness or vulnerability just isn’t manly. Right?

In my book I take Black men to task for our sexism against our own women. I also call them to task for their lack of appreciation for the long time struggles and sacrifices of our precious Mothers and Sisters.

Not all Black men, mind you, but too many. Especially among the younger generation.

SOME THINGS BETTER LEFT UNSPOKEN?

I also take them to task for the obvious elephant in the room… their love of White women. Our attraction to a long time nemesis of the Black woman is a sore spot for many Black women, whether they’ll admit or not.

I am not condemning anyone for who they choose to be with. I truly believe love can be color blind. For me, it’s the qualities that a person possess, rather than the color of their skin that attracts me.

And, if those qualities are in a Black woman then I’m all in.

So, I’m calling on my Black Brothers to step up and recognize the hurt and pain we cause when we choose a woman of another race over our own. Especially when it comes after we’ve attained some measure of wealth and success. If you choose a woman and she sticks with you through thick and thin, through highs and lows, from the projects to the mansion, then you’ve got a good women, regardless of race or color.

My only intent is to make both sides understand the long and tortuous history of race relations, not only in America, but around the globe. Racism and discrimination against us go back millenniums, not centuries. Disrespect for our “race” did not start in America.

ALL WE NEED IS LOVE

The effort to sow division between us has a long and sorry history. Indignities and injustices have been heaped on us for a very long time. When you’re treated like an animal, over time you may react like an animal.

When you’re denied something while anything you have can be taken at will, you develop a deep sense of hatred. Of resentment. Of distrust.

You learn disrespect from being disrespected. You learn to lie from liars. You learn to deceive from being deceived.

As a race we are far from perfect. As individuals we have many faults and shortcomings. This makes us human. Not monsters. Not unworthy of love.

This is what I’m asking of us, males and females. A little more understanding. A little more love.

I don’t know of a deeper love than between two people who have suffered hardship and oppression and stayed together. Who knows how it feels to be disrespected, misused, and abused.

There is no better soulmate than someone who has your back even when you can’t stand on your own two feet. Who understand your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Who can empathize with you even in your darkest hours.

This is the potential of black love.

ARE BLACK WOMEN THE KEY TO BLACK SURVIVAL?

If we are to ever return to the culture of our ancient ancestors and regain our status in the world, Black women will have to play a vital role.

This culture of our ancient ancestors helped us survive the harsh and demanding African environment for thousands of years. This love of family and community, along with a gift for tool making and a belief in a higher power, gave them strength and courage they never knew they possessed.

It was this same cultural outlook inherited from our ancestors that imbued us with the grit and fortitude to survive the horrors of colonization and slavery during the ensuing years.

That part of our ancient culture is, of course, matriarchy, a female-centered ideology that characterized the earliest black civilizations on the African continent. For tens of thousands of years those societies, built around an equal role for females in the affairs of the community, proved their mettle by elevating the experiences of life to the highest level of any species on the earth.

A NEAR EXTINCTION

In my book “The Clan of Southern Man” I show how the matriarchal culture of our ancient ancestors led to the steady progress of humanity, and quite frankly, saved the human species.

According to Geneticists, the human species throughout the entire world, under the threat of climate change and other destructive forces, once dwindled to between 3,000-10,000 individuals. At its nadir, scientists believe there may have been as few as around 1,000 reproductive adults. One study says we may have hit as low as 40 breeding pairs.

This supposedly occurred around 70,000 years ago and almost led to the extinction of the human species. Now, nearly 8 billion people later, black people are still persevering, still struggling, still surviving.

I believe it was the matriarchal culture of our ancestors that saved us. Grouped in bands, or clans, it took all the skills and know-how of those ancient humans to survive and get us to our time.

Central to the survival of our ancient ancestors was the role of women and the part they played in the survival of our species. Without their complementary role of food gatherers, the bacon we men were able to bring home would not have been enough to keep us going.

Add to this, the role of mother and caretaker, and the contributions of ancient women were paramount to early human survival. The nurturing our women provided for the group made us strong and kept us together. I guess we can say it was matriarchy that saved us.

THE END OF AFRICAN MATRIARCHY

I also explain in my book how successive and unrelenting excursions and invasions into Africa from outsiders eventually brought about the destruction of matriarchy. This was a great loss not only for Africa, but the entire world. It was the undermining of matriarchy and the subsequent rise of patriarchy that led to the down fall of our Homeland, and caused us to devolve into the warring factions we are today.

This displacement happened gradually, and over many centuries, mainly because ancient African civilizations were too strong in their early iterations for foreigners to challenge, much less conquer. While the matriarchal culture of our ancestors was never about war, oppression, or territorial expansion, ancient Africans fought fiercely to protect their families and their homelands.

The outsiders first came in as settlers, herders, and merchants, using trade as the bait for peaceful acceptance into African societies. Later, those peaceful interactions turned into invasions and wars, and matriarchy began to wane.

Over time, matriarchy was supplanted by a patriarchal culture of war and greed.

If today, we cannot imagine a society where women have an equal and complementary role in the affairs of the society they live in, then we have been derelict in our study of the real history of black people, and humanity in general.

THE AFRICAN “EVE”

In my book I also took black women to task for seeming to reject the culture of our great-great-great grandmothers, going all the way back to the ancient black woman that genetic tracing has shown to be the ancestor of all humans living today.

This ancient ancestor has been termed the African “Eve” by those who really believe the first people on earth were white and lived in a Garden where, of course, no black people existed. I guess we were too busy working in the kitchen or raising Cain and Abel to rate a mention in the white folk’s story. I don’t know.

What I do know, is knowing that an ancient black woman is the progenitor of the surviving clans that gave birth to all humans living today is pretty amazing. And inspiring.

Talk about irony. This is like discovering that not only is God black, but Bo Derek did not invent cornrows. Wow!

All kidding aside, I did question why some black women today seem to have eschewed the culture of matriarchy to embrace the materialistic, self-gratifying culture of our oppressors. Any time you put materialism and self-gratification ahead of family and community, you’re going to have a problem (see human history starting around 3,000 years ago).

Anyone who knows me and have read any of my writings know I have a tremendous amount of respect for women. I especially have a lot of respect and admiration for black women. They have never gotten their just due for not only aiding us in our long running fight for equality and justice, but for the pivotal role they played in the survival of our species.

A lot of the blame for this omission, of course, has to go to Whites who have deliberately rewritten or distorted our history, but we can only blame ourselves for allowing it. If we believe all the bad things that have been said and written about us, then we deserve exactly what we’re getting.. systemic racism and oppression.

No one can make me believe my “race” never accomplished anything in the past when I see so many talented Black people today. Where did they come from? Who gave birth to the MLKs, the Nelson Mandelas, the Harriet Tubmans, the Rosa Parks, the Ida B. Wells, the Frederick Douglases, the Jomo Kenyattas, the Shirley Chisholms, the Denzel Washingtons, the Kareem Abdul Jabbars, the Thurgood Marshalls, the Barack and Michelle Obamas, etc., etc., etc.

Just asking.

THE NEW VERSUS THE OLD

In my chapter called “Black Women: Keep up the Good Work” I gave black women a lot of credit for helping to bring our “race” to our present position, but I also wondered if the priority of family and community was slipping a bit from the minds of some modern Black women, especially the younger ones.

Seems to me, many of our Black women today are more concerned with the superficiality of looks, weight, plumage, material possessions, beefs, tweets, and twitter followers than exploring and embracing the real reasons women were once considered the very salt of the earth, and not merely appendages of men.

By calling out some modern Black women, in no way am I excusing the boorish behavior of many Black men, whom I have taken to task for being too willing to adopt the sexism of our patriarchal culture, both now and in the distant past. While the adoption of the oppressor’s culture offer some perks to my brothers in regards to female subserviency, it’s a total sell-out of all the Black women who sacrificed so much to keep us alive and well over the centuries and millenniums.

I won’t put the entire blame for our predicament on either sex. It takes two to tangle, as they say. Considering the width and breadth of the innumerable Black men who have fought and died, sweated and bled, preached and taught to bring about our liberation, I cannot possibly dismiss their sacrifices because of the actions of some.

Sadly, all is not well today between Black men and women. Something has been lost. Much has been forgotten.

THE RACIST PLAYBOOK

Here in the U.S., we must acknowledge a damaging rift between Black males and Black females. This rift goes all the way back to slavery. It is continually exacerbated by the present Internal Colonization system we live under as outlined in my book.

Pitting oppressed people against each other is a time worn device used by racists and oppressors the world over.

Only by recognizing this ploy can we ever hope to erect a new relationship between black men and women that will serve ourselves, and our communities well. We have to recognize how these divisions came to be if we hope to come together to win some of the gains we’re still fighting and dying for.

Sowing dissension between black men and women was one of the cardinal rules for slave owners and the segregationists they spawned.

The sexual exploitation of black females during slavery, and the parallel denial of masculinity to black males, was made clear by plantation owner Willie Lynch’s 1712 screed instructing slave owners in the “art” of making good slaves. The key ingredient in Old Willie’s recipe for black subservience was division, division, division, in all matter of things, no matter how small or inconsequential.

According to Mr. Willie, no difference between the slaves were to be ignored. Instead they should be played up. The differences in sex, color, hair, size, strength, skills, even plantation size, were used to turn the slaves against each other.

The object, of course, was to create constant division, squabbling, and disagreement among the slaves, and thus keep them from organizing and uniting against their enslavement.

The slave playbook was especially intent on driving and keeping a wedge between Black women and their Black partners. This they did by having their way with the Black female slaves while making their precious “flowers” unavailable to Black men.

Denying Black males the right and ability to protect their wives, sisters, and mothers caused a gaping rift in the black family dynamics. It damaged the familial relationship between a struggling people who needed all the unity they could muster just to survive.

This, of course, had severe repercussions for the black male-black female relationship. It produced a distrust that still exist today.

When we consider the Black man’s dalliance with White women today, much to the chagrin of both Black women and White men, we should at least consider the origin of this dynamic.

Call it the “forbidden fruit” theory if you will.

Regardless, this is a conundrum we must honestly address if we want to improve the present condition between Black men and women. Only then can we begin to build vibrant and thriving communities that give priority to community over self… altruism over greed… faith over hope… spiritualism over materialism.

BLACK WOMEN: A CALL TO ARMS

In my opinion, it will have to be Black women who lead us in this fight. If our present day women don’t put the same importance on family and community as our great grandmothers did, how can we survive, much less thrive?

This is not to say, by any means, that Black women today do not care about family and community. Most do. What I’m questioning is if they realize how important family is in today’s helter-skelter world of every man and woman for themselves? In a world where selfishness and egoism seems to be the order of the day?

What good is it to gain material possessions if we lose our souls? What good are sparkling jewels if we have no self worth? What do we profit if we gain notoriety but lose our way? What good is a big house with no one to share it with? Who do we help when we’re rich in body but poor in spirit?

Can we take our riches to the grave with us?

If you read my book you will see how black women have always been in the forefront of forming and maintaining the black family. From ancient times to modern times. Even during slavery, black women were always there, keeping it real, and keeping us together.

In these perilous times we need the strength and wisdom of our mothers, sisters, and aunts even more.

Even during slavery black women found ways to protect and maintain their families. Some took whippings themselves rather that allow slave owners access to their daughters. Some begged, borrowed, and stole to get the extra food their families needed to survive the long and arduous days in the fields. Others risked their lives and limbs to prevent the lashing of an elderly slave or thwart the sexual advances of a slave owner.

And, when emancipation finally came, many of them crisscrossed the country looking for their children, or other family members, sold away during slavery.

Black women have always been the strongest and most resilient people on earth.

Black women, you need not be subservient to anyone. You need not bow down to man nor beast. The strength and perseverance of your foremothers are within you.

How else could they have survived the rape of their homeland? The cruelties and horrors of slavery? The discrimination and injustice heaped on them throughout history? And through it all still be on the front lines for justice and equality for their communities?

Now is not the time to quit or be less vigilant in uplifting and protecting our families and communities. Today, we need our precious black women more than ever.

As an ancient Egyptian scribe once wrote: “Your work will be its own reward. Help others and you will help yourself. Work to know Heaven and Heaven will surely know you.”


A BEDTIME STORY FOR BLACKS

Once upon a time many many years ago, in a land far far away, our ancient ancestors built great civilizations.

These ancient people lived in a far away place they called Amami, meaning the Mother Land.

These magnificent civilizations stretched many miles, starting in Ethiopia, stretching through the region known as the Sudan, and flowing through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea, some 2,250 miles away.

Truth be told, recent archeological digs and excavations in the region offer credible proof that the extent of ancient Anuian civilizations may have stretched even further, extending all the way to modern Somalia.

Somalia, once known as Punt, “Land of the Gods”, held a very special significance in ancient Egypt and throughout the ancient Black world. Known as a “land of plenty”, ancient Punt was famous in Egyptian lore for its abundance of natural resources, among them gold, wild animals, elephants, ivory, spices, precious woods, cosmetics, incense, aromatic gum, frankincense, incense trees, and much more.

Stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to Somalia, and possibly even including modern day Chad, ancient Amami was a thriving civilization linked through heritage and trade, and bonded through their spiritual beliefs and their matrilineal culture.

When Aryans (Western and Eastern Asians, and Europeans) first discovered the ancient civilizations of Blacks, they were already thousands of years old, and had already set the human species on the path of progress and enlightenment.

LIFE ALONG THE NILE RIVER

These ancient people called themselves Anu, meaning Man, a term at that time encompassing all living humans, males and females. Because of their matrilineal societies (female centered), females were valuable contributors to ancient black civilizations, and complementary members of Anuian societies.

The Anuians built their civilizations around the various waterways plentiful throughout ancient Amami. Accessible water was a crucial component to human survival and progress. It was near water where plentiful animals and plants could be found, both critical to the wellbeing of ancient civilizations. Where water was plentiful all live thrived. Where it was not, life withered and died.

Probably the most famous of these waterways was the famous Nile River, which they called Hapi, the “River of Life”.

The Nile River is the longest river in the world, stretching more than 4,000 miles. Flowing northward through northeastern Africa, it runs through or along the border of 11 other African countries, finally emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.

The Nile was a critical link in the development of ancient humans and provided them with a steady source of food and sustenance. The people of Amami came to depend on the life sustaining waters and built their lives around its ebb and flow. It nurtured not only their physical well being, but nourished their souls, giving rise to their spiritual and religious beliefs.

The Blacks who lived along the Nile were probably the first to practice agriculture, to irrigate the valley of the Nile, build dams, invent sciences, art, writing, the calendar. They knew how to use metals. Mine minerals. Make tools and weapons.

They developed the cosmogony and the philosophy that led to all early human religions.

Whether we call those people Anuians, Ethiopians, Sudanese, or Egyptians, they all had one thing in common… their dark skins.

Only much later in their development did the complexion of the Anuians gradually change, owing to the integration of ancient Egypt with foreigners from Asia, and later Europe.

THE MODERN DISTORTION OF HISTORY

There is no longer any reason for debate on this subject. Every scientific discipline, anthropology, archeology, paleontology, biology, anatomy, and most recently, genetics, prove conclusively that the first anatomically modern humans arose in Amami, and had dark skins.

This dark skin protected them from the penetrating rays of the sun and was a natural consequence of their birth in the tropics. Those Anuians who migrated from the continent into the colder climes of the north during earlier periods, gradually lost their dark pigmentation to adjust to the climate at higher latitudes.

Archeological evidence indicate early humans left the continent and migrated into Eurasia as long as 100,000 years ago. In fact, recent scientific exploration in the north-western desert of Saudi Arabia found evidence of human habitation dating back 120,000 years ago.

The research indicated there were once many water sources which allowed humans and animals to survive in what in now a very arid and desolate region. Some ancient tools were found that have been categorized as Acheulean, a stone tool industry which was similar to finds in Amami, especially in the famous Olduvai Gorge in modern day Tanzania.

Over the millenniums, the hospitable areas of Eurasia, just as in the Sahara, and other present deserts, became less welcoming to humans and animals, and the people may have fell on hard times. And while there is evidence that climate change played a major role in the drying up of many ancient paradises, there is also evidence that the spoiling hand of humans also played a part in their demise.

Sound familiar?

Those migrant Anuians, separated from their kinfolks for tens of thousands of years by the foreboding ice sheets that came to blanket much of Eurasia, developed cultural characteristic and affinities diametrically opposed to the Anuians who remained in Amami.

The beliefs, morals, and lifestyles they developed were so different from those they left behind that when they did return to the continent many millenniums later they returned as strangers.

No amount of retelling of history or denial of facts can disprove what scientists know about our origins. The truth is that although we may have developed into many “races” we are one specie, Homo Sapiens (‘wise human’).

Still, it’s hard for many, including some of our own, to believe that a “race” so oppressed and despised today could possibly have been the initiators of human civilization. Never in the history of humanity have there been such a massive and prolonged coverup.

Talk about paradise lost, this tale is more like Alice in Wonderland on steroids. Not only have we lost our innocence, but our history, our culture, and our way. Whether we can awaken from our slumber and get back to truth and reality still remains to be seen.

During the millenniums when our ancestors were the only people on earth they did not think of themselves as black. Color prejudice wasn’t to arrive in Amami for tens of thousands of years after humans first walked the earth.

Skin color was never an issue until foreigners, drawn to the continent like badgers to honey, descended on Amami, and eventually subjugated the very people who’d civilized them.

Owing to the ethnocentricity of Aryan writers, there is some dispute among scholars as to when those great civilizations began. Starting in Ethiopia and the Sudan, and culminating in Egypt, this cycle of civilization, the longest in human history, presumably lasted more than 10,000 years.

This is a reasonable compromise between the long chronology based on data provided by the Egyptian priests, Herodotus and Manetho, and the short chronology of modern scholars.

Herodotus, a Greek historian, called the Father of History, lived around the fifth century B.C.E. He has been credited as the first historian to collect materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent, and arrange them in a well constructed narrative.

Manetho, believed to have been an Egyptian priest who lived during the Hellenistic period in the early third century B.C.E., authored the “Aegyptiaca” (History of Egypt). It was a major chronological source for the reigns of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

Herodotus and Manetho placed the beginning of ancient Anuian civilization around 17,000 years before the Christian Era.

There is ample evidence to show this long chronology may still be too conservative if you understand that advanced civilizations necessarily need thousands of years of tradition and processes to come to fruition. Anuian civilizations were very old long before the civilization we call Egyptian sprang into life and awed the world.

Even modern scholars, who put the origin of Afro-centric civilizations around 5,000 years before the Christian Era, are obliged to admit the calendar had been invented in Egypt by 4245 BCE. Since the creation of an accurate calendar was based on thousands of years of direct observation of the Cosmos, Anuian civilizations had to be many millenniums old when the calendar was invented.

THE LOSS OF BLACK INDEPENDENCE

Ancient Egypt, which at first allowed foreigners to assimilate peacefully into its society, eventually saw their borders overrun by foreigners. Much inter-breeding took place and the power and culture of the Anuians gradually waned. Though sustaining migrations and invasions from Aryan tribes around the Mediterranean, Egypt did not lose its independence until much later in its history.

Invaded by the Persians in 525 B.C.E., a Semitic tribe from the region we now know as the Middle East, Egypt, and black Amami, would finally lose its independence.

After the Persians came the Macedonians under Alexander in 333 BCE. Then came the Romans under Julius Caesar (50 BCE), the Arabs in the seventh century, the Turks in the sixteenth century, the French under Napoleon, and finally the British in the nineteenth century.

The English invasion was the final nail in the coffin of black independence, a situation to last until well into the twentieth century. Ruined by successive invasions, Amami, the cradle of civilization, would no longer play a leading role in world affairs.

Nevertheless, ancient Egypt would long continue to serve as a beacon of light for the budding Asian and European civilizations, particularly Greece and Rome. Throughout antiquity it would remain the classic land where people from all over the world went on pilgrimages to drink from the fount of scientific, religious, and philosophical knowledge.

THE MAKING OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

Rather than being the heathens and savages portrayed by Aryan writers, our ancestors were the very initiators of human civilization. They were the creators of many of the elements of the Western civilization that Europe and America now flaunt as the best in the world.

Pythagorean mathematics, the theory of the four elements, Epicurean materialism (the practice of self-control, moderation, and honorable behavior), Platonic idealism, Judaism, Islam, and modern science are all rooted in Egyptian cosmogony.

The Egyptian redeemer-god, Osiris, who taught the Anuians love, civility, and cooperation, who sacrifices himself, dies, and is resurrected to save human-kind was the model for the later Christ.

Some of the people we now know as the Jews lived in Egypt for many years. Many of the patriarchal fathers mentioned in the Bible lived there and took many of their religious ideas from Anuian cosmogony.

Certain biblical passages are practically exact copies of ancient Egyptian religious texts.

The first book of moral and religious principles, called the Book of the Dead, was compiled thousands of years before the advent of Christianity.

A visitor to the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes (now Luxor), in the famous Valley of the Kings, can view the Moslem inferno in detail in the tomb of Seti I of the Nineteenth Dynasty, 1700 years before the Koran.

When Whites were leaving the northern hemisphere at the end of the last Ice Age (around 11,000 years ago), Blacks were already spread out over most of western Asia. The people we now call Semites (Jews and Arabs), were born from an admixture of Blacks and Aryans peoples in those areas.

All of North Africa was once occupied by dark skinned Africans before Arab invasions transformed the area. Using trade as an entry, the Arabs soon turned to raids and slavery to take over that part of the continent. Once their religion of Islam had been foisted on the people, often at the end of a sword, Blacks not only lost their lands, but their ancient religions.

During the successive invasions of Egypt many Anuians left the Nilotic area for other parts of the continent. Many went to areas where Aryans had not yet penetrated.

Some migrated to Western Africa, where many of our ancestors were stolen and shipped into slavery in Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Others trekked south to settle in the southern part of the continent, long before the Dutch and other Europeans invaded and took southern Africa as their own.

Because the ancient Anuians were born in Amami and were black, we have every right to claim them as our ancestors.

By failing to reconnect to our ancestral past we deny ourselves our true birthright… and limit our future potential.

T H E E N D

THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SLAVERY

THE LASTING EFFECTS OF SLAVERY

Why a story about slavery in 2020, 155 years after the “peculiar” institution was outlawed? Why dredge up a shameful and hurtful past most of us would like to forget?

Good question.

Well, here’s the answer. Because we’re not over it. Not even close.

Considering the spotlight that’s now being shone on systemic racism, I think this is a good time to remember the most traumatic part of our history in this country. With protests roiling our cities over racial injustice and police brutality, I believe it’s instructive for Black people, if no one else, to understand the real impact of slavery on our past and future.

If we cannot free ourselves from the trauma of this hurtful part of our past, we’re destined to continue to suffer from its wounds. Call it lingering-traumatic stress disorder (LTSD), if you will.

I believe it would do us good to learn the true nature of American slavery and how it continues to affect us today.

Despite the host of books written on the subject, I still don’t think the true story’s been told. So traumatic was this 200 year long torture of our physical and mental wellbeing, that as a community, we still find ourselves feeling the ghosts of patrollers and night riders haunting our collective psyche.

The end result of this nightmarish episode is continued divisiveness and mistrust among us. Our inability to unfetter the shackles of this shameful past hinders us in our quest to devise a coherent strategy for our future liberation.

THE MAKING OF SLAVERY IN AMERICA

We all understand that the main tragedy of American slavery was the harm done to those frightened and helpless individuals who were uprooted from their homes in Africa. Then, like cattle herded to slaughter, they were transported here in the cargo holds of dirty, stinking, and diseased infused ships.

Their destination? A strange and alien land.

Once in this strange and alien land, all connections to the homeland were severed, including family, customs, names, religion and beliefs.

During this era of slavery, rife in most areas of the world, the social and economic subjugation of indigenous peoples was a science. It was believed that in order to make a good slave (called buck breaking), not only did the will have to be broken, but so did all ties to the captive’s former life.

Because I truly believe one doesn’t become a slave unless he accepts being a slave, I will never refer to my ancestors in America as slaves. To me, they were captives, taken illegally from their homelands, and forced to endure a racist and morally illegitimate subjugation.

As familiar as we are with the economic benefits slavery brought to America, far less attention has been given to the devastation wreaked on the African continent.

Quite simply, the story of American slavery, and European slavery in general, is the wholesale rape and pillage of a continent, its people, its resources, and its future. American and European slavery was about the depopulation of a cultural and resource-rich area to bolster the economic fortunes of Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas.

Even Asia was to profit from the labor and resources of Africa (which I explain in greater detail in my book “The Clan of Southern Man”.

THE TRUE NATURE OF AMERICAN SLAVERY

The first misconception I want to clear up about American slavery is the untrue narrative that Blacks accepted slavery.

Some apologists, over the years, have even claimed the captives enjoyed their lot in life. Enjoyed being civilized by their enslavers. Enjoyed two meager meals and a pallet on the floor of a dilapidated shack. Enjoyed being raped, beaten, dehumanized, and worked to death. Enjoyed having their families split up, separated and sold, and in many instances, never to see them again.

I mean, what’s not to like, right?

According to my research, not only did the captives not enjoy slavery, they never accepted it. I was happy and proud to discover that rather than docilely serving as happy, watermelon-eating, gospel singing, servile victims of slavery, most of the captives constantly fought, agitated, and died to gain their freedom.

I was even more shocked to learn that many of the captives refused to even think of themselves as slaves. To them they were prisoners of war. Political and economic prisoners. An oppressed group, much like we think of ourselves today.

Most felt they’d been unjustly ripped from their home lands and enslaved. They felt strongly that God knew their enslavement was wrong, and would one day free them. This is why they never stopped fighting, rebelling, and pushing back against the system that oppressed them.

This belief in God, and their cause, was what gave them faith and strength in the face of unimaginable horrors. It was what kept them going.

SOME MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SLAVERY

Here are some other common misconceptions about American slavery:

One misconception was that slavery, in some ways, was humane. It was not! It was brutal, degrading, and dehumanizing. The only dispute about this is just how brutal it was.

It was brutal beyond belief. No way our modern minds can comprehend it. Just imagine being owned by your worst enemy in a place where it was legal to profit from your blood, sweat, and tears. Then, years later, after you’re broken and beaten, you’re discarded like a dirty dish rag. That was slavery in America.

Another common misconception was that slavery was a successful economic system. It was not. It mainly enriched a small group of rich, plantation owners, mostly in the south. It did not spread wealth and prosperity throughout the entire economy, leaving out many Whites as well.

In addition to creating a chasm between the haves and the have nots, American slavery was considered an unfair system because of its use of free labor. Many nations in Northwestern Europe, particularly Great Britain and the Netherlands, were practicing capitalism during the early years of American slavery.

Europe wasn’t happy to be competing with a budding power utilizing free labor as the engine of its economy. It wasn’t out of sympathy for the black captives, or their abhorrence to slavery, but because they felt the American system put them at a disadvantage.

Over the ensuing years some economic models have shown the slave system to be wildly inefficient and wasteful, both in blood and treasure. Slave labor was no substitute for roads, bridges, canals, railroads, steel mills and shipyards. Slavery and the parochial rent-seeking culture it promoted inhibited the growth of capitalism in the south.

No nation used the system of slavery to create wealth like the United States. A decline of profits eventually weakened the hunger for slave labor. Some economists believe the Industrial Revolution, particularly in Britain, hastened the end of slavery

Slavery apologists will have you believe that the captives did not resist slavery. Poppycock! They certainly did. In many and varied ways.

They staged work slow downs, faked illnesses, broke tools, killed livestock and work animals, stole, destroyed property, feigned ignorance, ran away, and even revolted.

The fear of the captives sneaking up to the Big House in the dead of night and killing them kept many slave owners up at night.

According to another false narrative, the north was against slavery. Not true. Many Northerners owned slaves. And while it was true they didn’t have as many big farms or plantations in the north, slavery was an accepted and well respected part of northern life and culture.

Many northern slaves were treated just as cruelly as their southern brothers and sisters, and even free Blacks received scant better treatment. Any attempts by free northern Blacks to compete equally with Whites were met with much resistance, and some had their homes and businesses burned and razed if they did too well.

THE UNHOLY ROLE OF WHITE WOMEN

One of the most overlooked and under reported elements of slavery was the role of White women in the horrid practice. For the most part, they’ve been thought of as benign participants, forced to go along with an evil system perpetuated by their fathers, husbands, and brothers. This is far from the actual role of White women in the perpetuation of slavery.

White women not only prospered from the institution, some of them lived in the lap of luxury because of it. According to many slave narratives, many of them relished their roles as slave mistresses. Especially when it came to disciplining and controlling captive women.

Just as it’s only recently coming to light how some White women sought to sideline Black women in the fight for female suffrage, it’s now coming out about how cruel many White women were to their black captives. In many instances, they were considered more cruel than the slave masters themselves. Many, personally, and in some cases gleefully, flogged any captive who displeased them.

White women often inherited captives from their husbands or fathers, and rarely freed them… even after they’d worked to pay for their freedom.

They also played favorites with the captives, rewarding those loyal to them and cruelly punishing those who were not. Some of them were known for their cruelties, overworking house captives, physically abusing them, denying them time to properly care for their own children, and wreaking vengeance on any female captive she thought her husband had an interest in.

Many times it was the white mistress who decided who would be separated and sold from their families. Suffice it to say, any “fair” skinned captive child was the first to go, along with the mother, if she could swing it.

For far too long White women have gotten a pass in America. Their past atrocities toward Blacks were unacknowledged or misrepresented by white men, who wanted to continue to perpetuate the stereotype of them as kindly, delicate flowers, as pure as the driven snow.

THE FIRST BLACKS IN AMERICA

Yet another misconception about American slavery was that Blacks were always slaves. Not true.

The first Africans who came to the colonies were not slaves, but indentured servants.

Indentured servitude, a system whereby a poor or captive individual served as a servant for a number of predetermined years before being freed, was a common practice throughout Europe. It was exported to the colonies of North America during the 17th century, and not only were incoming Africans indentured servants, but so were white Europeans.

This form of bondage, though little different from chattel slavery, at least offered the possibility of freedom. Over a period of time, as more Blacks were brought to the colonies, the terms of servitude became longer and harsher, finally culminating in the legalization of slavery for Blacks around the middle of the 17th century.

So, how could the first Blacks brought to the colonies have been slaves when slavery wasn’t even legal?

Nor was it needed during the formation of the early colonies since there were few settlers and even fewer large farms or plantations where slave labor might be needed. As time wore on and more settlers arrived and more commerce was established, particularly in the agricultural area, the need for mass labor became more acute.

White land owners, after having seen the failure of white indentured servitude, and indigenous labor (Native Americans), turned to black labor to fuel the largely agricultural economy.

I know it makes a better story to say Blacks arrived in America as slaves, but it’s just not true.

Truth be told, some of the first Blacks to arrive in the colonies, after serving out their terms as indentured servants, became free men and went on to become prosperous land owners. This, naturally, sparked a backlash that led to the legalization of slavery for Blacks in the colonies.

Sound familiar?

WHO WERE SLAVES IN AMERICA?

Another misconception about American slavery is that only Blacks were slaves. Again, not true.

What we need to understand about slavery, American or otherwise, is that it was a cold, cruel, and callous system. It ensnared many and spared few. This was especially true during the early years of slavery, which goes back thousands of years.

The first slaves were those mainly captured in war. Color of skin wasn’t a determinant of whether you could be enslaved. Over the millenniums, anyone could be enslaved, and were, Whites included.

Slavery knew no race, creed, or color. It was circumstance more than anything else that increased the chances of being made a slave before the time of European exploration and the discovery of the so-called “New World” (though I’m still at a loss to understand how you can discover something that’s already there).

During American slavery, anyone could be enslaved… Black, White, Native American, men, women, children. The colonies, and later America, operated on the one-drop rule. This meant that a single drop of “black” blood in your veins made you black, and therefore you were subject to being enslaved.

The “one-drop” rule meant that a white man, or woman, with a single black relative in his or her family tree could be classified as black and be enslaved in America. Some were.

Many slave owners enslaved their own children produced by Black women. The offspring of a White woman and a Black man, if it was spared, could be enslaved. The offspring of Black and Native Americans could be enslaved, sometimes by Native Americans themselves.

American slavery was a mish mash of informal, and sometimes incomprehensible, rules, beliefs, and prejudices. Some Native Americans owned black slaves. Even some free Blacks owned black slaves.

Slavery in America was confusing and contradictory. It touched on the lives of all Americans in some form or fashion. All of America was soiled and tainted by it.

SLAVERY AND THE CIVIL WAR

The last misconception about slavery I want to clear up is the belief by many Blacks that the Civil War was fought over slavery. This, too, is untrue.

In the beginning the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery, though it eventually became about slavery when president Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the captives.

Nor was the war fought over the dubious claim of states’ rights as proclaimed by many southerners. Though the ongoing Abolitionist Movement may have been on the minds of the seceding states, outlawing the vile practice wasn’t even on Lincoln’s mind when he declared war.

The Civil War started over the expansion of slavery, particularly in the unsettled western territories, which the South wanted and the North did not. Halting the expansion of slavery in the country was a slippery slope the South feared would eventually lead to the abolition of slavery.

The tug of war between the north and south for political and economic power had been ongoing for decades before the advent of the war. More slave states would help the south, and this was a proposition the north certainly didn’t want to see come to fruition.

During this time slavery was being outlawed all over the world, especially in Europe, and while Lincoln didn’t see slavery ending in America anytime soon, he, nonetheless, didn’t want to see the practice expanded. His main concern was to save the Union, not end slavery.

Truth be told, Lincoln was alright with black slavery. He thought Blacks were inferior to Whites, and had even proposed sending Blacks back to Africa to solve the racial problem.

Only after the North was getting its butt kicked by the well motivated South did Lincoln decide to add fuel to the fire by freeing the captives.

And, as we know, the rest is history. When Blacks were finally allowed to fight for their own freedom, the tables began to turn, and the south was soundly defeated.

THE LESSONS OF SLAVERY

Why is it so important for us to have an accurate depiction of slavery after so many years? As the old saying goes, the truth will set you free.

We need to be set free. Free from lies and misrepresentations about our history… and ourselves.

We need an accurate picture not only of who and what we are, but where we’ve been.

In order to finally throw off the shackles of a past that’s imprisoning and hindering us in our modern pursuit of happiness, we have to understand what we’ve gone through. Straight and unadulterated.

Most importantly, we need to understand we’re not the only ones to have been enslaved. We’re not the only ones who’ve suffered.

Many races, cultures, and groups have been enslaved over the millenniums. Many peoples have been oppressed and brutalized. Genocide against many groups have occurred in many parts of the world, from time immemorial. We are not alone in having cruelties and atrocities practiced against us.

Many groups have experienced dark days and lived to tell about it. Many have survived and recovered from it.

We must not continue to allow ourselves to be defined by past atrocities and indignities heaped on us.

We, ourselves, are not innocent of sin. We have committed atrocities against others. Some of us have committed atrocities against each other.

We have to free ourselves from a culture of grievance.

While we must never forget the past, we must not allow ourselves to remain prisoners of it.

FEAR OF PRAISING OBAMA

FOPO SYNDROME (FEAR OF PRAISING OBAMA)

It’s really sad that nearly four years after the end of America’s most historic presidency, we still seem to be afflicted with the chronic disease of FOPO (Fear of Praising Obama).

How sad.

Sad, because after the election of the nation’s first non-white president, and his historic two-term run, we still refuse to give the man his due.

What’s up with that?

I think you know, but play along anyway.

I can’t begin to tell you how much it rankles me (and that’s being kind) when I hear white news announcers, politicians, and even historians refuse to acknowledge what many Americans, black and white, know: Former President Barack Hussein Obama (no relation to Osama) was one of the best, if not the best, president to ever grace the White House.

Could it be that our current president compares so unfavorably with Mr. Obama that Whites are afraid to praise the former president? Do they fear raising the ire of someone known to have a fixation on his predecessor? Are they afraid of losing their “white” card?

You know how the old saying goes. If you’re black you have to be twice as good to get half the chance.

Can we just give Obama his due as one of the best?

What more proof do you need when poll after poll consistently rate Mr. Obama, not only as one of the best presidents in American history, but also one of the most admired men in the world. This second distinction is one he has enjoyed every year since his first year in office, and continues to enjoy today.

Throw in the fact his main squeeze, Michelle, is consistently rated as the most admired woman in the world, I’m at a loss why it’s so hard to admit the Brother indeed has it going on.

Though not considered an angry Black man, I still find it hard to control myself when I hear people in the media routinely offer only faint praise for the former Executive in Chief. At the same time they speak so glowingly about certain former white Presidents. Some of these same white men over the ensuing years have proven to be racist.

If I hear another word about the affable Gipper (Reagan) or the fire side chat of Roosevelt or the courage of Kennedy in facing down Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis, I just might throw up. No disrespect to any of these men (except maybe Reagan), but none of these men had the expectations of an entire race on their shoulders.

But, what really gets me is the failure of even some Blacks to understand how impactful and historic Mr. Obama’s ascendency was.

UNPRECEDENTED OPPOSITION

Why we’re so afraid to acknowledge what our first African-American president was able to accomplish is beyond me. Especially, in light of opposition from, hands down, no doubt about it, it’s a wrap, book it Dano, the most powerful group in the world… conservative white men.

The power of this cabal dominates not only American politics, but most of Europe as well. What Mr. Obama accomplished in his eight years in office in the face of this opposition isn’t only unprecedented, it’s a miracle. A miracle not of celestial making, but of intelligence, strength, faith, and yes, hope.

THE MEASURE OF A MAN

For those still afraid to call a spade a spade, and especially those who have the nerve to say Mr. Obama wasn’t a good president, let me remind you of a few things.

First of all, let’s start with the personal.

For a position many consider the most prestigious in the world, who can downplay the importance of good character in carrying out the duties of the office. Especially when it comes to trying to serve all the people of the nation, and not just those who voted for you.

On character Mr. Obama definitely gets an A plus. Even his critics can’t deny this.

Mr. Obama is well educated, a Harvard Law School graduate. He went on to become the first black president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review, the first in its 104-year history.

The man’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a best-selling book author, and an inspirational orator. He’s intelligent, thoughtful, considerate, humble, soft-spoken, and eloquent.

His first move after graduating law school wasn’t to get some high-paying, fancy-pants, lawyer job, but to become a community activist, working to help poor people attain better lives and livelihoods.

Mr. Obama is also a great husband and father. No sexual scandals of record. No drinking, carousing, or philandering (not that Michelle was going anyway). No sexist attitudes. In fact, Mr. Obama was a champion of Women’s Rights, including equal pay for equal work for women.

There were no political scandals during his eight years in office. This, despite his opposition publicly declaring opposing him as their main goal, and spending years, and many millions of dollars, trying to prove Mr. Obama was just as corrupt as any white president.

But, all to no avail. When Mr. Obama left office, not a single scandal had besmirched his pristine reputation as a man of honesty, integrity, and principles.

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Now, let us get into his historic accomplishments.

When Mr. Obama came into office he faced one of the biggest crises in American history; not only a great recession, but the eminent collapse of capitalism.

Capitalism, as we know, is the White man’s own vaunted economic system, instituted by himself on day one to make sure he stayed in economic control of the country.

Quite frankly, the brother inherited an economy in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

And if you’re too young to remember the Great Depression, just remember it was a time so perilous that even rich White people were shopping at Family Dollar. True story.

Some people admit the U.S. was in such dire straits that only President Lincoln faced a greater challenge upon entering office. Lincoln’s challenge, of course, was saving the Union.

While I won’t dispute this analysis, you’d have to be pretty dumb if you don’t realize what chaos the entire world would have been thrown into if capitalism went down the tubes.

Think about it. Where else except under capitalism can you be charged a dollar for a bag of hot Cheetos that half full of air?

But, just as Western civilization was about to come to an end here comes Mr. Obama to the rescue. A Black man. A Black man with little political experience. A Black man with no foreign policy experience. A Black man with a Muslim sounding name.

Talk about being set up for failure. Mr. Obama surely felt like Charlie Brown getting ready to kick the ball with the Republicans as Lucy. Good grief man!

And the rest is history.

THE NUMBERS GAME

When President Obama came into office the economy was losing jobs at an unprecedented rate: 818,000 in his first month alone, and 4.2 million more over the course of the year. Add to that 3.6 million jobs lost during the previous year (2008). The American economy was poised to tank and continue to lose jobs well into the future.

What actually happened?

After Mr. Obama got into office, his stewardship slowly, but steadily improved the economy. After avoiding a depression, and losing 4.2 million jobs during his first year, the economy showed consistent job gains over the next seven years, totaling a net gain of 11.6 million jobs. The unemployment rate subsequently dropped to below the historical norms throughout his tenure. By the time he left office the jobless rate was down to 4.7 percent… well below the historic norm of 5.6 percent.

Under Obama the inflation-adjusted incomes of Americans households reached the highest level ever recorded. Average weekly earnings for all workers were up 4.2 percent after adjustment for inflation. After-tax corporate profits also set records, as did stock prices. The S&P 500 index rose 166 percent.

REMEMBER THE TITAN

Saving the economy wasn’t the only way the Dark Knight saved our bacon.

How? Let us count the ways.

  • Every American president since Harry Truman (1945) had tried to reform the expensive, corrupt, and totally inadequate American health care system. With only juju beans, a uoija board, and both Houses of Congress, Mr. Obama conjured up the Affordable Care Act. This was accomplished in the face of unprecedented opposition from the Republicans and the Health Care lobby. Because of the ACA, the number of people lacking health insurance dropped by 15 million. The percentage of all U.S. residents who lacked health coverage dropped sharply, from 14.7 percent the year before he took office to 9.0 percent in his final year… the lowest on record. We can say what we want about the Affordable Care Act not going far enough, but considering the virulent opposition and their cacophony of lies and smears, criticism of the accomplishment is like saying Custer didn’t fight hard enough at the Alamo.
  • Remember the infamous auto crisis? The one where all those rich rappers and ballers were having their Bentleys and Lamborghinis repossessed? No, not that one. The one where the vaunted American Auto Industry was about to go belly up. That one. President Obama kept the vital industry from going bankrupt by issuing a bail-out loan. The bail-out not only saved the auto industry and thousands of middle-class jobs, but kept the economy from tanking. And, much to the chagrin of Republicans, the loan not only was paid back, but with interest.
  • President Obama was an outspoken supporter of Women’s Rights, and not just because Mrs. Obama kept a fold-a-way bed at the ready in the living room. President Obama had a tremendous respect for women and their historic struggles. During his term he enacted the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that reduced sex discrimination. He also hired many qualified women, many of them of color, famously making his rival, Hillary Clinton, his Secretary of State.
  • President Obama was an ardent supporter of clean energy and pushed many policies to decrease greenhouse gases and protect the environment. He pushed auto makers to produce more fuel efficient cars as well as increase gas mileage. Under Obama wind and solar power increased 269 percent. Coal production (dirty power) decreased 38 percent. Carbon emissions from burning fossil fuel dropped 11 percent. The increase in solar power was astonishing. The U.S. generated nearly 43 times more electricity from solar power in 2016 than in 2008. The President was also one of the leaders in getting the historic Paris Agreement on climate control passed.
  • President Obama constantly showed he cared about young people, whether it was about their well-being, their education, or their future as wage earners or parents. Mr. Obama revamped and expanded student loans and increased support for community colleges, making it easier for working-class Americans to get a higher education. He also pushed for tighter tobacco regulations aimed at the 1,000 Americans under the age of 18 who become smokers every day.
  • After greed and mismanagement by some large banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders, and large corporations led to the Great Recession of 2008, President Obama again rode to the rescue. After working with President Bush to push through an economic stimulus package (some called it a bail-out), he pushed through strict measures holding those big financial institutions to account, tightening lax regulations, and imposing policies and standards that made them more accountable to their customers and American citizens.
  • President Obama was also a champion of education. He instituted school reform legislation. During his first years he used stimulus money to keep teachers from being laid off and pushed states to reform education in ways that benefitted children for years to come. His “Race to the Top” program changed the narrative around education, and even challenged his own party to come out of their union-protection coma to hold teachers and principals more accountable for providing quality education to our nation’s children. Mr. Obama was especially interested in improving inner-city education for minority and low-income students.
  • Everyone knows what President Obama did for the young dreamers. He created DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to protect the children of adults who arrived in the country without documentation from being deported. Disproving his opposition’s charge of being soft on illegal immigration, under Mr. Obama’s presidency the flow of people caught crossing the U.S.- Mexico border illegally slowed markedly. While Obama did implement extremely tough border policies, he continued to push for a grand bargain with the Republicans that would include a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented Americans.
  • Though the President’s opposition constantly sought to cast him as weak and inexperienced when it came to foreign policy, this was far from the truth. In addition to working with our allies to strengthen long-standing and critical ties, President Obama restored the trust and admiration for America dampened by years of American invasions, wrong-headed trade policies, and political scandals. One of his first moves was to strengthen our relationship with NATO. He entered into the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership and the Iran Nuclear Arms deal, both of which bolstered international alliances to curb global dangers. His administration’s drone attacks and counterintelligence operations did major damage to the infrastructure of al Qaeda and ISIS. His administration also ended the use of torture and implemented other reforms that brought the nation under more honorable and acceptable rules of engagement. And who can forget the daring raid that killed the world’s number one terrorist, Osama Bin Laden? Bin Laden pulled off the most horrific act of terrorism ever launched against the U.S. An attack that not only knocked over our towering symbol of economic superiority, the Twin Towers, but launched us into a seemingly never-ending war in yet another foreign country.
  • Despite all this, some still question just how much the first Black president did for his own people. According to the record he did a lot. Forgetting for a moment how his racist opposition was determined to undermine any and everything he tried to to do to help African Americans, President Obama did speak out consistently against racism and injustice. Often those who were the first to criticize him for not speaking out more, became the last to defend him when he received blowback for his actions. Along with his Attorney General, Eric Holder, the President implemented ground breaking reforms that lessened some of the worse racial disparities in the criminal justice system. In addition, his Justice Department ended mandatory sentences on low-level offenders. Under Obama the murder rate dropped to the lowest level on record in 2014, then rose to finish at the same level as when he took office… dispelling the myth that crime ran rampant during his tenure. The percentage of Americans living with income below the official poverty level went down to 12.7 percent of the population during Obama’s last year in office (2016), a half-point drop compared to his first year in office (2008). According to Princeton University sociologist Paul Starr, the cumulative effects of his domestic programs diminished economic equality in the U.S.

A FEW MORE TIDBITS BEFORE I GO

  • Home values rebounded under President Obama, reaching a new high in his last year in office. Sales figures from the National Association of Realtors show the national median price of an existing, single-family home was $235,000 in 2016. This was $38,900 higher than in 2008, an increase of 19.8%.
  • According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2018, when asked which president has done the best job in their lifetimes, more Americans named Barack Obama than any other president. More than four-in-ten (44%) said Obama was the best or second best president of their lifetimes, compared to about a third who mentioned Bill Clinton (33%) or Ronald Reagan (32%) Note: this poll included White people. Another note: Barack Obama is a Black man.
  • During Obama’s presidency favorable perceptions of the United States more than doubled in Germany and confidence in the U.S. president in the United Kingdom rose from 16% for Bush in 2008 to 86% for Obama in 2009.
  • During his two campaigns Mr. Obama ran an operation that appealed to the most optimistic and hopeful among us, and showed that “hope and change” was possible even in a nation as racist as the United States. No president before or since has spread such a message. A message designed to unite rather than divide.
  • President Obama was one of the few presidents to bring people of opposing views into his cabinet and sphere of influence. He brought together a broad range of people… from African Americans to suburban educated white women to independents to young people to push for the American Dream for all.

The man simply did the damn thang!!

SOME INCONVENIENT TRUTHS ABOUT RACE IN AMERICA

INCONVENIENT TRUTH NO.1: WE ARE ALL PREJUDICED.

Both Black and White Americans need to wake up and smell the tear gas.

Our streets are exploding in rage over the continued existence of systemic racism!

Is protesting in the streets the right way to solve the problem?

I’m not sure, but what I do know is that first we need to admit that prejudice exist in all of us. Those who say they look at people and don’t see color aren’t being honest.

Most people don’t like to admit they are prejudiced in some way or the other. It’s understandable that we want to feel like we’re above such human frailties, but are we?

In my opinion, prejudice is natural. By natural, I mean common… innate… widespread… even understandable. Being prejudiced, in of itself, isn’t necessarily wrong.

Being prejudicial is how we make judgements about everything from who we associate with to who’s our friend, or enemy. It’s weighing the pros and cons and arriving at a logical conclusion that’s in our own best interest.

Prejudice is a legitimate form of discernment. But, it’s when we use that prejudice (or pre-judgement) to discriminate unfairly, or worse of all, oppress those we judge.

It’s quite natural for humans, or animals for that matter, to desire to be around those most like themselves. Nothing wrong with that. It’s how we form groups, alliances, communities, even “races”. These alliances help us to survive in the world jungle.

Naturally, we trust, or identify, most with those who more closely mirror our looks, our views, or our beliefs… whether those beliefs are right or wrong.

This is why that when given the chance, and without prompting, people who are most alike will associate with those most like themselves.

As I said, this in itself isn’t wrong, or unnatural. What is unnatural is to hate someone who doesn’t look or act like you simply because they don’t look or act like you. This is the hurtful impact of prejudice. When it turns into racism. Or sexism. Or xenophobia. Or homophobia.

Or any of the many isms that confine us and limit our potential as a specie.

All of us need to take a long hard look at ourselves and examine our own innate prejudices. If we do we’ll see that prejudice doesn’t have to turn into racism.

Prejudice isn’t confined to any one “race” or group. It’s innate in all of us.

We need to learn to distinguish between what I call racial favoritism, which is identifying with those like yourself, and racism, which is oppressing or discriminating against those unlike you. To me, the former is acceptable, but the latter is not.

We are all prejudiced in one way or another. It takes a special human being to learn to overcome his own prejudices when they harm or hurt others. If we truly want to get past the burden of race in America we need to understand our own prejudices, and learn to accept, even if not celebrate, the differences between us.

INCONVENIENT TRUTH NO.2: RACISM IS BIG BUSINESS.

Racism could possibly be America’s biggest industry. Seriously!

Careers have been launched, and ended, because of racism. If we could not rant and rave about racism many of us would have little motivation to get out of bed each morning.

How many times have you heard the phrase “we need to have a conversation about race”? Probably about a billion, right?

Just how many conversations about race do we need to have before we realize talking about race doesn’t do much to solve racial problems.

I mean, didn’t the Founding Fathers talk about race right before they left Blacks and women out of the Constitution?

Wasn’t the Civil War about race?

Wasn’t Frederic Douglas, Harriet Tubman, W.E.B. Dubois, Ida B. Wells, and thousands of others before our time, talking about race?

Didn’t Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Angela Davis, and Toni Morrison talk about race?

Didn’t Obama, Professor Gates, and the white cop who detained him in his own home, sit down and have a conversation about race?

How did that work out?

Truth be told, having a conversation about race is like talking about your sex life. Who’s going to be honest?

We continue to talk about racism instead of solving it because it’s big business.

Imagine the hit to the bottom line of the 1%ers if they couldn’t discriminate against minorities or poor people. If they couldn’t poison the environment in ways that disproportionally hurt black and brown people. If they couldn’t produce products or services that bring them billions in profits while leaving many minority communities struggling to deal with poverty and crime.

Can we even begin to imagine how many black leaders would be in the unemployment line if racism was suddenly eliminated?

Or how unprofitable the gun manufacturing industry would be if racial tensions weren’t constantly stoking the fires of fear and hate?

Imagine how much bottled water, canned goods, peanut butter and jelly, alarm systems, or under ground bunkers would go unsold if not for “the coming race war” that many Whites are preparing for?

What would American media, right wing, mainstream, or black, for that matter, have to talk about if not for the racial divide? How would they go a day without discussing race relations, playing the race card, or seeing racism or reverse racism behind every bush?

How many billions would not be doled out by our government if not for its effort at trying to remedy racial discrimination?

How many lawyers would go begging if not for racial discrimination claims being filed?

Get the point?

Racism is deeply ingrained in our beings, our psyche, our genes, and no amount of talking is going to eliminate it.

INCONVENIENT TRUTH NO. 3: MOST AMERICANS ARE SICK AND TIRED OF DEALING WITH RACE.

I know I am.

At a time when so many African Americans are earning enormous sums of money, especially in the areas of sports, entertainment, and business, many Whites are wondering why they don’t put more of their money where their mouths are and invest in their own communities.

Instead of talking about lack of opportunities in black communities, why not create some?

When the buying power of Black Americans is projected to be around $1.2 trillion this year (yes, that’s trillions, not billions), many Whites are sick of hearing Blacks cry wolf about income disparity and lack of opportunities.

This buying power wouldn’t only make American Blacks the richest nation on the African continent, but the 14th. richest on the entire planet.

Many White Americans are rightly asking, show us the lack of money.

Conversely, Blacks are sick and tired of Whites proclaiming the end of racism when unarmed black men and women are still be shot down in the streets by police; disproportionally jailed or imprisoned by an unfair justice system; or profiled, harassed, and reported for LWBing (Living While Black).

It’s hard to claim systemic racism doesn’t exist when African Americans lag behind Whites in almost every economic, educational, and social measure in the nation.

It’s hard as hell to get up off the ground and pull yourself up by your own boot straps when someone has their knee on your neck.

Blacks are rightly thinking, even Stevie Wonder can see something is wrong here.

INCONVENIENT TRUTH NO. 4: RACISM IN AMERICA IS BASED ON TWO ENDURING DYNAMICS.

Those two dynamics are White Exploitation and Black Dependency. One could not exist without the other.

The building blocks of systemic racism in America is white exploitation of black labor and resources. It’s based on the European model of colonization where most of Europe sought to take the lands, labor, and resources of Asia and Africa for their own, and continues today.

It doesn’t matter how many millions a Black man makes a White man will make even more.

A Black man may play on the team, but in most instances, a White man must own it.

For nearly 400 years Blacks have been dependent on Whites simply because they had to. There was this little thing called slavery, you know.

Even after slavery there was segregation, the KKK, chain gangs, voter suppression, and unequal wealth attainment and distribution.

Even when Blacks start their own enterprises, in most cases, they still have to depend of Whites for manufacturing, distribution, or marketing.

It’s a catch-22 type of situation. And, even though the situation is like being in a bad marriage that neither partner is ready to let go of, we have to find a way to break the vicious cycle.

Staying together for the sake of the kids may seem admirable, but in situations like this it’s the kids that suffer the most.

In this scenario the kids are our nation, and we’re all the worse for staying in this bad marriage.

Neither side is willing to give up the spoils it gets from this unholy alliance because it’s who we are. Who we have been for nearly 400 years.

In this cottage industry of righteous indignation and grievance, both sides like to be perceived as the victim.

But, truth be told, we’re all willing participants in this race war.

WHY CULTURAL AUTONOMY SHOULD BE OUR NEW GOAL

A PATH TO A NEW FUTURE

During our 400 years here in the United States of America, we, as Black people, have tried a multitude of strategies to free ourselves from the continued subjugation and exploitation of the dominant group. Considering where we are today, with continuing racial injustice, discrimination, and police brutality, isn’t it time to try new strategies?

Since the arrival of our ancestors to these shores, and their subsequent enslavement in the mid 1600s, we’ve tried a variety of ways to force White America to accept us for the human beings we are.

We have begged, pleaded, threatened, protested, marched, sat-in, boycotted, petitioned, sued, rioted, and even killed to force Whites to allow us to live out America’s purported creed of freedom, justice, and equality.

Have we succeeded?

Unless you’re willing to accept being a second class citizen and to settle for being allowed to realize only a portion of your hopes and dreams, I would say absolutely not. Unless you can be content with never really being able to realize your true potential and accomplish all the goals your talents qualify you for, I say no.

Has there been a fatal flaw to our past strategies? Have we pursued the wrong goals? The wrong priorities?

Are we trying to achieve the unattainable? I mean, can Blacks and Whites really be equal in America? Can we ever be accepted as equals when our ancestors were once slaves?

Is there a place anywhere in the world where former slaves became equal to their masters? Does some Utopia exist where a ruling group willingly gave equal power to its former subjects?

Well, not to my knowledge.

Yes, I do believe we have used the wrong strategies. Why? Because we have been unsuccessful in our quest to free ourselves from the yoke of white domination and systemic racism.

How much more time are we willing to waste?

THE FAILURE OF INTEGRATION

This is why I say unequivocably that we must change strategies. Our new strategy should be autonomy rather than integration or assimilation.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Integration with one’s oppressor has never worked. Never! It’s been tried many times before and at no time in history did the oppressor and the oppressed come together to live in peace and harmony… much less equality.

The most noteworthy example of failed integration occurred in ancient Egypt. It was a noble experiment but failed when the country was finally overrun and taken over by outsiders who had been accepted into the country as equals. Eventually, foreigners completely overran the country, and Egypt, and by extension Black Africa, lost its independence, never to be won again.

And while integration here in America has brought us some hard won gains, it hasn’t brought us what we desire most, justice and equality.

There have been numerous examples of segregated black communities thriving without white interference. Many of these communities were formed during the failed period of Reconstruction and continued even through the Jim Crow segregation period. During these times, and without white interference, Black American built thriving businesses, pursued distinguished professions, organized schools and colleges, built churches and fraternal organizations, and showed the kind of societies they could build if allowed freedom of expression, movement, and cultural autonomy.

While not Utopias by any means, these autonomous black communities were not rife with criminality and sexual and domestic abuse as many are today. There was a sense of pride and wellbeing in these communities that came from finally being allowed to do things for themselves, to work for themselves, to raise their families to their own dictates, to be free from racial violence, and to prove, if given the opportunity, they could succeed in America.

It was the advent of forced integration and our newly achieved ability to move into white schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods that destroyed many of those autonomous and successful black communities.

Add to this, the building of the U.S. national freeway system through the heart of many black neighborhoods in the mid twentieth century, the institution of a government welfare system that corralled poor blacks into economically depressed neighborhoods, and the violent push back against black prosperity by white racists, and you had a bitter concoction that poisoned black autonomy.

This is why its so important to be honest with ourselves about our desire for integration. Has living, working, and playing with Whites made us better people? Has abandoning our own neighborhoods improved the plight of the entire community? Are we happier and more fulfilled chasing the infamous “American Dream”, and dealing with all the negative energy that comes with it?

Or has our relentless pursuit of white acceptance merely compounded our slavery induced pathology of self-hate and inferiority?

Do we really believe we can only succeed by immersing ourselves in whiteness?

Why do we continue to beg for acceptance from those who steadfastly refuse to accept us? Is not the continued refusal of Whites to fully accept us as American citizens not enough to finally bring us to our senses, and force us to look within ourselves for answers to our problems?

Segregation in America today may not be as rigid as it was during the Jim Crow era, but it remains in the places where it matters most, in the hearts of many White Americans.

I’ve been saying this for more than 30 years now. Governments can’t legislate acceptance. They can’t legislate empathy. They can’t legislate respect or compassion. All these things have to come from the heart. They can’t be instilled through law or fiat.

You can’t understand another man’s journey unless you’ve walked in his shoes. Period!

Is this to say our fight for integration was wrong? No, of course not. We did what we thought was our best opportunity at the time. But this strategy was flawed from the start because it failed to take into consideration the centuries of hate, disrespect, and animosity between Blacks and Whites, not only here in America, but all over the world.

A LONG HISTORY OF RACIAL ANIMUS

Let it be known that this black-white animosity predates America. It has a long and inglorious history that spans many centuries.

The nature of the human-animal is to be around those most like themselves. This is natural and logical, and the best strategy for peace and progress in either human or animal societies.

This is especially true socially. While most human “races”, can adjust reasonably well to different political or economic systems, adjusting to the culture of others is far harder. And, as I explained in my essay titled “The Racial Theories of Cheikh Anta Diop”, there are no two culture as different and diverse as African and Aryan.

Like oil and water, these two diametrically opposed cultures just don’t mix.

Because a group’s culture, or social mores, go to the very heart of who they are, most “races” are slow to adapt to the culture of another.

Culture isn’t something we acquire over a short period of time. It’s inculcated in us from centuries, even millenniums, of trial and error. It’s ingrained in us through rituals, myths and lore. Passed down to us through our genes and the teachings of our Elders.

Cultural ties run deep, and well they should. It is the myriad of cultural differences that make us different as humans, and it has been these differences that has led to our progress as a specie.

While no “race” or group should be required to carry on the culture of its ancestors, conversely, no group should be forced to give up its own cultural identity. Or have it taken from them as Blacks in America have.

From our very first day in America we have been denied the right to practice our own culture. To be ourselves. To chart our own path to freedom and progress.

In the ensuing decades everything was denied us. Our freedom, our dignity, our religion. Our language, education, even our names. We were not even allowed to know our true history.

In order to survive we had to learn to assimilate, or at least pretend to assimilate. Any attempt to connect with our native customs or mores were harshly, and in many cases, violently put down.

We need to understand that Whites are just as eager as us to solve the racial problems that have haunted us for 400 years. It’s just that they have different ideas about how to solve the problem. Having failed at sending us back to Africa, intimidating us into accepting racial inequality, or keeping us separate through segregation, Whites, too, are ready to move on from this stalemate.

Both our burden is to find a way that satisfies the other. Therein, lies the rub.

BLACK AUTONOMY AS A NEW STRATEGY

This is why it’s time to try the strategy of autonomy.

This is why I propose a new strategy I call “Constructive Withdrawal”.

“Constructive Withdrawal” is simply the slow and gradual withdrawal from an alien culture by those who desire to practice the culture of their ancestors, as I’ve explained in other works and writings.

This voluntary withdrawal can’t come over night. It must be slowly and gradually instituted in a way that respects the laws and institutions that are fair and just. It will gain adherents through its own success.

Remember, not all Whites are our enemies, just as not all Blacks are our allies. No one should be forced to participate if they don’t want to.

IN CONTROL OF OUR OWN DESTINY

What I’m proposing is that we take control of our own communities and institutions. We must stop looking to Whites to free us and free ourselves. We must stop begging Whites to love and accept us and learn to love and accept ourselves. We must be willing to take control of our own lives and our own futures.

We must be in control of our own education and the education of our children. Why give ourselves and our children an education that ignores our history and our contributions to society? Why allow those unlike us to teach our children that they must assimilate white culture to succeed?

We must be prepared to create and fund our own businesses. Businesses that do not follow the failed capitalistic model of profits over people. Businesses that train, hire, promote and enrich our own. We must stop crying about being the last hired and the first fired and create opportunities for our own.

These opportunities must be more than just in the areas of athletics and entertainment, but also in the building of factories and facilities that produce goods and services for our own communities. Factories and plants that run on clean energy and protect the environment. Our riches and our wages must go to support our own institutions.

We must learn to think out side the box. We must stop blindly, or unimaginatively, adhering to the construct of the Western philosophy we’ve been taught to emulate. The same Western philosophy that enslaved and oppressed us, and for centuries sought to teach us we were inferior beings to Whites.

We must also learn to be guided by science and wisdom rather than the traditional dogma that rule our present lives and hinder us in our efforts to reach a higher spiritual plane.

We must preach to our people a religion that takes into consideration our own history and the history of our ancestors. That have our own heroes, icons, and prophets. That tell our own stories, myths, and beliefs. That pays homage to a God of our own choosing.

CONFRONTING BLACK-ON-BLACK CRIME

We must be willing to take some strong measures to eliminate black-on-black crimes in our communities. Mainly, by first admitting most criminals are merely deviants and not helpless products of their impoverished environments. We must admit that while environment can affect our young people negatively, it doesn’t have to. In many cases it is the presence of adversity and hardship that brings out the true greatness of an individual.

If environment was the only determinate of success or failure then there would be very few stories of people, of all races or groups, who overcame poverty or disadvantage to become successful human beings. We know our society is filled with such people. Let’s stop giving degenerates an excuse to rape, murder, and terrorize our communities.

Socially, we must understand that the White way isn’t the “only” way. Or even the “right” way. Can’t we decide for ourselves what is best for us? Can’t we learn how to do things “our” way? Can’t we determine for ourselves what constitutes success or failure?

Must we continue to need to be validated by Whites to feel worthy? To be fulfilled?

THE STRATEGY OF “CONSTRUCTIVE WITHDRAWAL”.

Make no mistake this new strategy won’t be any easier than past strategies. It will meet with opposition from some. The same ones who resent any amount of black progress. Any amount of black autonomy.

These are the same ones who sought to tear down any progress achieved when we did congregate in our own communities and attained success and prosperity.

But, I believe in these days and times, and knowing what we know now, these foes will be in the minority. This is no longer the 20th century. Lessons have been learned. Reality has been accepted. Allies have been garnered.

Who but the most racist or ignorant would deny any group the right to pursue their own happiness?

Finally, we must realize and accept all Black people do not desire autonomy from Whites. For some, white validation is all they desire. All they know. They don’t feel worthy without it.

We must let these people go because no one has the right to dictate to another what path he or she must take in life. The consequences of our actions must be our own reward… or punishment.

“Constructive Withdrawal” doesn’t mean we must hate Whites. Or even live, work, or play separately from them. It only means we will no longer be dependent on them. Or subservient to them. That if we do choose to associate it will be voluntary… and on equal terms.

When we show the world we are proud of who and what we are, and we can build thriving and prosperous communities of our own, even those who despise us will come around.

If not it will be their loss.

WHAT IS AFRICA TO ME?

BIRTH OF A SPECIES

It’s quite fashionable to belittle Africa as the Dark Continent. The implication, of course, is that Africa is the land of darkness. A place where nothing good ever happened. A place of little consequence to the world, past or present.

What a load of bunk!

Quiet as it’s been kept, Africa is the most beautiful and fascinating place in the world.

Not only was she the birthplace of humanity, but many of the arts, sciences, religious ideas, social structures, and even the tools humans first used were developed there. This assertion has been proven conclusively by research in the areas of archaeology, anthropology, geology, climatology, anatomy, linguistic, and genetics.

History may lie but science does not.

Those of us who find ourselves running away from the legacy of Africa do so out of ignorance of her true history and place in the world. This misconstruction of the Mother Land has been brought about because of over 500 years of biased European scholarship that was designed to justify and excuse centuries of slavery and colonialism wreaked on the continent.

GREAT “WHITE RACE” THEORY

Over the centuries many of the inventions and discoveries made in Africa have been claimed by others. Even many of the heroes of Africa have been made White, or near White.

“The Great White Race” theory, an ethnocentric distortion of history pushed by many Aryan scholars has long since been debunked. The false theory gave the White “race” credit for practically everything good in ancient times, including the building of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

I mean, how could dumb Blacks build such a magnificent civilization, right?

Even when “The Great White Race” theory no longer proved to be tenable in the face of scientific facts, some Aryan writers even went as far as to propose that the Great Pyramids of Giza had been built by aliens from outer space.

AFRICAN “EVE”

Recent research into the molecular structure of the DNA of modern humans show that the human line arose in Africa around 200,000 years ago. Scientists from the U.S. to Europe, to South Africa have concluded that all humans living today, regardless of race or color, descended from people of African ancestry.

The conclusion that every person living today carry the mitochondrial DNA of just one African woman who lived around 150,000 years stunned the world when it was announced several decades ago. Such an explosive finding upset the racial apple cart of racists the world over, and led to a world-wide cover up that would put even the most cunning criminal to shame.

SUPER CONTINENT

Be that as it may, Africa stands ready to take its place in the history of the world as the most important continent on the planet.

How is Africa important? Let me count the ways.

More languages are spoken in Africa than any other place on Earth, and all modern languages can be traced to languages spoken on the continent thousands of years ago.

While only the second largest continent, it contains a full 22 percent of the earth’s land surface. The Sahara Desert alone is as large as the continental United States. In fact, the U.S., China, India, and New Zealand could all fit within the African coast line, together with Europe from the Atlantic to Moscow and most of South America.

Although one of the largest continents on the planet, Africa is much less densely populated, with less that a quarter of the population of the other regions. There are more people living in India (with one-tenth of the land area) than in all of Africa.

Distances within the continent are so vast it boggles the imagination, 4,350 miles from the Cape of Good Hope in the south to Cairo in the north, and approximately the same distance again from Dakar in the west to the tip of the Horn of Africa in the east.

The famous Nile river is the world’s longest river, 4,160 miles from source to estuary. The Nile River is also the most famous river in the world, having given birth to the Nilotic civilizations of black Africans who built the first major civilizations along her life-giving banks.

Both the Congo and Niger River are more that 2,485 miles long and the Congo alone drains a basin covering 230 million square miles, which is larger than all of India (199 million square miles) On a world scale, only the Amazon basin is larger (438 million square miles).

While size is important in the overall scheme of things, the position a continent occupies on the globe is also vitally important in terms of the ecological potential it offers its inhabitants. Africa straddles the equator, and it was this unique position on the planet that allowed her to offer so much to the development of early human populations.

Antarctica, on the other hand, measures 10,563 million square miles, and offers little in the way of ecological assets for humans. Only Africa had in abundance all the ingredients, food, water, climate, and shelter, necessary for early man’s survival and development.

TIMELESS LAND

Africa is the oldest and most stable land mass on Earth, and the birth place of countless plants and animal species. Some of the largest dinosaurs to roam the Earth once lived in Africa. More herbs, bulbs, blossoms, and medicinal plants are found on the continent that any place else.

Ninety seven percent of Africa’s land mass has been in place and stable for more than 300 million years, most of it for more than 550 million years, and some of it for much as three and a half billion years…. all the way back to the beginning of life itself.

Africa has seen it all and has preserved the evidence for all to see.

The mountain building episodes and deep geological dislocations, which scar the landscapes of other continents, are less evident in Africa. Rock formed more than a million years ago still lies in the horizontal plane… undistorted. Many ancient types of sediment are hardly disturbed by the metamorphic process.

It was in some of this ancient sediment that the footprints of a 3 million year old Hominid (named Lucy) were discovered.

LAND OF DIAMONDS AND GOLD

Some of the world’s most precious metals reside in abundance in Africa. Rocks that solidified from one of the earliest cycles of eruption (3 billion years ago) tinged green by the chlorites they contained, and known therefore as greenstone, were the original repository of economically important metals… gold in particular.

Diamonds are another precious product of the ancient rocks of Africa. Greenstone belts and diamond formations have been found all over the world, but their presence is particularly evident in association with the craters of Africa. Simply, the oldest rocks bequeath the greatest wealth, and in this respect Africa stands head and shoulder above the rest.

South Africa is particularly blessed with valuable mineral wealth. Just over the northern rim of the Witwatersrand basin a huge single mass of rock lies beneath the present land surface. It is a geological feature unmatched anywhere else on Earth, and the repository of unparalleled riches: the Bushveld Igneous Complex. This mineral treasure trove stretches from South Africa through Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Zaire, making the African continent the richest in the world.

The vast mineral wealth of Africa, coupled with the many and varied species of flora and fauna, along with abundant lakes and streams, and a tropical climate (no winters), made Africa the perfect incubator for the birthplace of the human species… the original Garden of Eden.

It was all these riches, and more, that attracted foreigners to the continent. And like badgers seeking honey, they came to Africa to rape and pillage, setting the continent back a thousand years, and assuring she would lose her valued place in history.

BLACKS STILL COLONIZED IN AMERICA

A REEXAMINATION OF STRATEGY

If we are to truly take advantage of this moment when the world finally seems to be listening to our pleas for racial justice and the dismantling of systemic racism, we must take a hard look at our past and current efforts to achieve these goals.

We must first ask ourselves just how effective are our strategies?

Considering our long residence in America, and our vast contributions to building this nation, have our past strategies brought us the results we so desperately desire?

Has integration, voting , busing, Affirmative Action, set asides programs, sit-ins, boycotts, marches, speeches, protests, rioting, looting, and a host of other efforts over the last century brought us the results we desire?

No one is saying some of these strategies haven’t pushed the ball forward, they have. In my opinion, without these efforts we would be much farther away from our goals than we are today. In fact, we might still be in the Jim Crow era without them.

So, don’t think for a second I am bashing or discrediting any of our past strategies. They were right for the time and much sacrifice went into implementing them. Kudos to those brave souls who put their lives and livelihoods on the line so we could enjoy a better future. They deserve praise, not condemnation.

But considering the heavy burden systemic racism and white supremacy put on our very lives today, can’t we at least consider doing something different?

As the old saying goes, if you keep doing what you’ve been doing and getting the same result, when are you willing to change what you’re doing? Or something like that.

What I’m getting at, of course, is when will we decide to take a deep and critical look at our past and current strategies and make a pivot? Make corrections? Change course, if necessary?

Of course, these are deep and disturbing questions.

How do you get Black leaders who have staked their lives and reputations, not to mention their paychecks, on our present strategies to consider new strategies?

Far be it for me to suggest I know what’s best for an entire “race” but I would like to suggest some new parameters for our fight.

What I would like to suggest is some historical truths to the conversation. I always say if you’re really serious about achieving a result you have to start with the truth. If you don’t have the courage to deal with the truth then you’ll never be successful in achieving your goal.

WHAT IS SYSTEMIC RACISM?

As we look at systemic racism in America let’s start with a very basic truth: systemic racism is a system built, supported, and perpetuated not just by racist people, but racist institutions. Thus, systemic.

And while individual racism is harmful, it doesn’t nearly carry the weight or breadth of the harm done by the powerful institutions that prop up this insidious evil.

So, if we accept the truth that the best way to dismantle systemic racism isn’t to rail against individual racism, but to tear down the institutions that support it, let’s deal with yet another truth.

That truth is that if we hope to understand how systemic racism became so virulent and all-encompassing, we have to understand the history of colonization, not only on Africa, but practically the entire world.

Colonization has a long and inglorious history, going back thousands of years to the time of ancient Egypt. But when we think of colonization we think mainly of the time around the 14th and 15th centuries when greedy and power hungry Europeans got into their big ships and sailed all around the world to exploit the land, resources, and labor of indigenous people to enrich their own nations.

Their main targets being Asia, Africa and South America, these Europeans, funded mostly by monarchical governments, not only changed their fortunes, but the fortunes of the world. Those forays onto the lands of sovereign nations set into motion negative repercussions that still reverberate today.

Getting Americans, especially Black Americans, to understand how European colonization centuries ago still affect us today is extremely difficult. White Americans have written their history books and no amount of facts or dissenting information will be brooked.

In addition to leaving out the fact the United States’ Constitution was created by White men for White men, the history book writers also failed to mention a stealth institution called Internal Colonization that was initiated immediately after the abolition of slavery to disenfranchise, control, and intimidate the newly freed slaves.

Working in tandem with Jim Crow laws of the era, which were enacted mainly by racist American governments, the rich and powerful White men who ran the American economy were instituting the fore runner to the system that maintains systemic racism today.

INTERNAL COLONIZATION IN AMERICA

Probably, the best explanation for the negative effects of European colonization on Black America today is given by author and Sociologist Lerone Bennett, Jr. in his excellent book, “The Shaping of Black America”. In it he explains: “In America, as in the countries of Asia, Africa, and South America, Europeans created a colonial system that perpetuated the political, economic, and cultural exploitation of non-Europeans.

‘And although the system created in America has its own weight and density, it is clearly a variation of a universal theme of (European) domination and (non-European) subordination. In America, as elsewhere, the colonial system elaborated the same mechanisms to attain the same end: the exploitation of the labor power and resources of the colonized. And the American system of colonialism, like its counterparts in other areas, followed the traditional pattern, changing its skin at crucial junctures in order to protect its essential content. In America, then, as in the West Indies and in some African areas, the former phase of slavery was succeeded by another system, which reproduced the old relationships of dominance and subordination under new names and new formulae.”

In America, as in South Africa, and all other colonized areas of the continent, the order of the day was segregation. It was a legal system installed to keep the colonizers (protected class) from the colonized (exploited class), or as the Afrikaners put it, the “inferiors”.

The fact that these discriminatory practices were given the power of law only made them more potent, and served to unite the colonizers in making sure they were upheld and enforced. Just as the labor and resources of Black South Africans were being exploited for the benefit of the ruling party, interlopers to the land just as European Americans were to America, so were the labor and resources of Black Americans after manumission.

Starting immediately after the Civil War all the forces of white power, both North and South, coalesced to make sure the newly won freedom of Blacks would not compromise its economic system, which was, of course, weighted to keep Whites firmly in control economically, politically, and culturally.

A big part of the story of America after manumission, despite the false promise of Reconstruction, was the complete betrayal of the newly freed slaves by the Northern government, which basically stood by while the bitter South murdered, terrorized, and intimidated Blacks seeking the hard won gains they’d fought and died for.

Again, let us turn to Mr. Bennett, Jr. to enlighten us about the insidiousness of the Internal Colonization system in America. In “The Shaping of Black America” he writes: It is customary today to think of colonialism as an external-internal relationship between a metropolitan government and a transplanted or indigenous people beyond its own borders. But there can also be internal colonialism, a process by which an alien group subjugates and exploits an indigenous or transplanted group within the borders of a single country

‘The traditional definition of colonialism ignores this fact and emphasizes the inter-external relationship between a metropolis and a distant colony. But the decisive factor in colonialism isn’t geography, but the socio-political relationship between a colonial center and the indigenous or transplanted people forcibly brought within the orbit of the colonizers’ influence. For our purposes here this means that colonialism is the relationship of domination and violence established by the Europeans as a result of the slave trade and military conquest and extended by a process of mystification, administration, and coercion. Stated in somewhat different terms, colonialism is a mass relationship of economic exploitation based on inequality and contempt and perpetuated by force, cultural oppression, and the political ideology of racism”

THE CHANGING FACE OF SYSTEMIC RACISM

This is, of course, what we have in America today. Whether we accept this truth or not is up to us and the key to devising new and effective strategies for our liberation.

What we must understand is that although the visible forms of Internal Colonialism may change to fit the era and the situation, the results are the same… to exploit our labor and our resources to enrich others.

Despite any changes to its exterior, Mr. Bennett, Jr. believes all colonial systems share the same institutional roots: the quest for cheap land, cheap labor, and cheap resources.

They generally employ the same agents to carry out its mandates: the mandatory (discriminatory laws), the missionary (religion), the merchant (businesses), and the money lender (banks and financial institutions).

But whatever the demographic situation of Internal Colonization, or the ideologies and intentions of the colonizers, the system is characterized by five constants: political control, economic exploitation, cultural repression, racism, and force based on superior scientific technology.

Yes, I know. It’s extremely difficult to accept the fact that we, as a group, as a community, as a race, are still colonized in the 21st century, but it’s a truth we must accept if we are to move forward.

I will leave it to our leaders, many of whom I respect and admire, to fit the pieces together and devise new strategies to dismantle the Internal Colonization system, if indeed it can be done.

But, whatever our leaders decide, the one thing I do know is that we can no longer fight from a position of weakness. That has been our downfall in the past.

Hence forth we must fight as proud Black people, not beggars or wards of state. To do this we must start to regain our own heritage and culture.

If we are really serious about our liberation we must be willing to fund it ourselves. Otherwise, we’re just whistling in the dark, and wishing and praying for something that will never happen.

THE RELIGION OF BLACK FOLKS

WHAT IS RELIGION?

Nothing lends itself to more erroneous interpretations than the word religion.

By modern definition, the word religion is composed of the Latin prefix “re”, meaning “again” or “back”, plus “ligare”, meaning to tie, bind, or fasten, as well as the Indo-European root “leg”, meaning to collect. The Greek word for religion is “legein”, meaning logic.

Putting all this together we can deduce that the meaning of religion obviously means those beliefs and practices meant to tie people back to something they originally belonged to. To something they had originally been one in, and belonged to by natural connectivity.

A more recent definition is offered by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: (1) the service and worship of God or the supernatural. (2) commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance. (3) A personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.

Of course, intelligent people know that religion was a part of Africa and African traditions long before Aryans came along to misinterpret and defame it.

This, of course, after they’d stolen all they could understand from it, and built their own religious traditions and institutions from it.

Modern religion, especially in the West, confuses ancient traditions with myths, tales, worship, and “churches”, or bodies of the faithful grouped in the same religious faith and law.

ANCIENT AFRICAN RELIGION

This was not what ancient African religion was about.

Our ancient ancestors had a far different comprehension of religion. They saw religion as a total teaching-philosophical, theological, and mystical-that arises from a knowledge acquired through revelation.

They did not, however, give it the meaning of what “binds” the faithful to obligatory beliefs and worship, for such an interpretation not only limits the full scope of religion, but sets it up to be misinterpreted and abused.

In its principle, religion is the consciousness of the relationship between Man and his cause; a religion is a particular revelation of this relationship, conforming to a cosmic epoch experienced in human history.

There can be no true religion except that founded upon this knowledge, upon the consciousness of the laws of becoming (where Man came from and where he’s going). All such religions are inevitably identical in their foundations and can differ only in their means of expression.

Revelation is the momentary illumination that results from human spiritual intelligence coming in contact with universal spiritual intelligence, whatever name may be given to it. Theologies are based on this revelation.

DEBASEMENT OF AFRICAN RELIGION

According to Aryan sources there is no such thing as African religion. African spiritual beliefs are labeled as “mumbo jumbo”, “spirit worship”, or some other derogatory term which basically means senseless, or not understandable.

You would think that the people who first developed the concept of religion and spirituality through their reverence of natural forces, the sun, the moon, wind, rain, heat, cold, wetness, dryness, etc., would be the first to be consulted when the subject of religion is broached. But, not so. The misinterpretation of African traditions and practices came as the result of Aryan ignorance, and not from any lack of religious tradition by the longest lived peoples on the planet.

Contrary to popular belief, our ancestors did not wait in the dark for the Aryans to bring the light to them. Truth be told, they held the light the invaders were seeking when they left their lives and homes to come to Africa to loot and plunder.

So, if religion does indeed mean tying us back to something in which we were once once one, then what happened? If religion does mean a natural connection between people, then why are we so divided today? Why are there so many different religions?

The predisposition to religious belief is the most complex and powerful force in the human mind and in all probability is an ineradicable part of human nature.

Religion is at the very core of our being. We want to believe in a higher power. Need to believe in a higher power. I mean, who wants to be out in a cold, cruel world alone?

Religion is one of the universals of social behavior, taking recognizable form in every human society from hunting-gathering bands to socialist republics. Even Neanderthal man was thought to have some concept of religion, or the belief in spirits, or a higher power.

Throughout human history, according to anthropologist Anthony F.C. Wallace, humankind has produced on the order of 100 thousand religions.

Religion is what makes us human, and may be what separates us totally from animals.

THE ORIGIN OF RELIGION

Religious artifacts have been found in Africa that date back thousands of years. Cave drawings by ancient Africans during the Stone Age reveal that our ancestors were thinking in abstract terms concerning Nature and the Cosmos thousands of years before the Christian era, and even before the time of ancient Egypt. Is this not the origins of religion?

I believe it was the discovery of the alter-ego (the self out side oneself) that first led to the discovery of religion. The recognition of a transcendent self is necessary before one can seek a higher self.

Only by being aware of oneself can we seek a force outside our self. We can’t connect to or believe in a higher power until we realize our own power… Our own strengths, weaknesses, and limitations.

Man, supposedly created in the image of God, can probably be described as the alter-ego of God… a representative of God on Earth. If we can imagine God, can we imagine God not looking like us? Or us not looking like God?

I believe it was the discovery of his transcendent self that led ancient Man to imagine God. To imagine a power greater than himself. To seek a higher power than even Nature, which naturally controlled his life and well being. Nature could be beneficial or it could be cruel. It could give and it could take. It could punish or it could reward.

I believe that ancient humans wanted to believe that despite the unpredictability of Nature there was indeed an order to the Universe. To life. To death.

During their thousands of year of existence in Africa, and their daily interactions with the forces of Nature, our ancient ancestors discovered there was indeed a method to the madness of life. Every day the sun rose in the east and set in the west. After darkness always came light. After the dry season came the wet season. After famine came a time of plenty.

Soon, they began to see a rhythm to the Universe. To Nature. To life.

As ancient humans began to develop their religious and spiritual philosophies, they no doubt noticed the effect it had on the family, the clan, and the larger community. Their religious beliefs tied the people together. United them. Gave people common beliefs and aspirations.

THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF FAITH

Early religion probably alleviated some of the fear and anxiety from daily living. Of not knowing what tomorrow would bring. It gave the people hope and comfort, even in times of worry and despair.

Over time, I believe our ancestors came to believe a people could not progress without a unifying belief in a higher power.

Thus, God was born.

And though the people probably came to believe in a benevolent spirit to look out for them, they also knew such a belief had to be rooted not only in mysticism, but science as well. Man could say this and Man could say that, but if what he said failed to materialize, to actualize, the people would soon lose faith, and others would simply refuse to believe.

I also believe the origin of religion is deeply rooted in the origin of the family, humanity’s first social organization.

I believe this is why women played such a large role in early African religion. Many relics and artifacts have been found from the Stone Age that show females were an integral part of ancient religious practices. The representation of women in the religion of ancient Nubia (Ethiopia, the Sudan, and Egypt) is well known and illustrated.

Ancient African religion speaks of God as being androgynous, both male and female. They thought of God as being unknowable.

This is why you rarely see images of God in modern African religions, and none from ancient times. Indigenous Africans thought it to be presumptuous for puny Man to pretend to know omnipotent God.

One thing traditional African religions have in common is the notion of a creator God, who made the world, then withdrew, remaining detached from the affairs of Men.

HOW OUR ANCESTORS WORSHIPPED GOD

Prayers and sacrificial offerings directed toward secondary divinities, who are intermediates between the human and the sacred realms, was the best way to communicate with God.

These intermediates, who had lived just and righteous lives, and had gone onto that other life, became the conduit by which the living could communicate with a higher power. Through these intermediates they could hope to obtain the blessings of God, in hopes their lives and the lives of their loved ones could be protected.

In these early African religions, ritual functionaries included priests, elders, rain makers, diviners, and prophets. African rituals were aimed at maintaining a harmonious relationship with cosmic powers and natural forces. They then used myths and legends, derived from accumulated knowledge and wisdom, to explain their significance.

For those who say Black people have no religion obviously they don’t know the true history of the Mother Land. Africans are and have always been among the most religious peoples on Earth.

And so it falls to us, the modern descendants of a people who discovered God and religion, to find a way to understand the religion of our ancestors, and somehow connect to it.

Any religion that does no recognize us as human beings must be rejected. That does not recognize us as the originators of civilization. That does not see us as blessed rather than cursed people.

Any religion that does not reflect the history of our people should be rejected. Any religion that does nor present icons and intermediates that look like us must be rejected.

When we accept the religion of others we invariably reject ourselves.

An old Egyptian proverb may best sum up the African idea of God and religion. It goes: “We know that all comes from Heaven; it is Heaven we glorify when we say , “I have succeeded for I have done all according to God. But we don’t charge our sins to Heaven, and to repair the harm they do we count only on ourselves.”