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 and First Lady Michelle showed their care and concern for military veterans and their families by advocating for better treatment and appreciation for those who served their country. He initiated the Veterans Choice Act, legislation that gave former service members more options to seek care and gave the VA secretary more authority to fire underperforming staffers. He signed the legislation into law on August 7, 2014.
  • 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 RE-EXAMINATION 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.”

THE SOCIAL SYSTEM OF BLACKS

A STOLEN LEGACY

So much misinformation and just plain lies have been told about Africa and African descended peoples that its little wonder many of us don’t want to be associated with the land of our ancestors. Obviously, that’s a serious mistake as we struggle to find something good in us that will spur us to go beyond empty proclamations of pride and self-love, and work to bring about real change in our lives and our distressed communities.

This dearth of accurate information about the Mother Land (Amami) has been so off-putting that it has even caused some Black writers and historians to over compensate in the opposite direction, portraying the continent and its people as helpless and blameless in its own degradation and subjugation.

In truth, who can really blame them? I sometimes struggle myself to remain objective and civil as I daily watch the varied and assorted indignities heaped upon the heads of a community that has suffered like few others under the tiresome yoke of discrimination and oppression. I certainly understand the the frustration of my colleagues and I empathize with them in their quest to reclaim our lost legacy, but I try hard not to allow ethnocentrism to color my narrative.

In truth, we are not blameless for the rape and plunder of our home land and the degradation of our lives and culture. Far from it if truth be told, as you will learn if you read my chapter on slavery in my book “The Clan of Southern Man”.

The enslavement of my people is a very painful subject for me. Not only because it stunted the growth of a once proud and self-sufficient people, but because it left an ugly scar on our psyche that endures even today.

Reading my book “The Clan of Southern Man” will give you new insights into how our ancient ancestors lived long before Whites invaded the continent, but in this post I’ll try and offer you some idea of how our ancestors survived and thrived for thousands of years before Aryan patriarchy invaded and took over the continent.

HOW OUR ANCESTORS LIVED

What did our ancestors have that allowed them to successfully navigate the African macrocosm?

Of course, I’ve mentioned the African development of the clan, or extended family, as probably the single most important development in human history. Without learning to live and work cooperatively, with a clear cut division of labor and responsibilities between males and females, homo-sapiens could have easily died out like the other homo species that came and went over the millenniums.

Obviously, our ancestors must have had some means of mitigating disputes between groups and communities as war and territorial disputes have long been a feature of patriarchal systems world-wide for at least the last 3,000 years. How did these people maintained peace as the different clans migrated throughout a vast continent is a feat for the history books, and one that hold valuable lessons for us today.

Order between these various groups and communities was made all the more difficult by the constantly changing climate and the availability of natural resources... from food to water to safe habitation.

Changing climate and availability of resources caused displacement among our early ancestors, keeping them on the move, picking up and moving, seeking new places to put down roots and raise their families, and build their communities.

What was it that bonded them together as humans and ensured their survival?

EARLY SOCIAL ORDER

Two factors shaped the social order of these early groups: The traditions they brought with them and the principle of precedence. The traditions were closely guarded, nurtured, and passed down through the generations. It were these traditions and the principle of precedence, of being first to a land, that bestowed legitimate authority in African societies.

Simply put, precedence meant those there first had priority. Whether to share or not to share would be their choice. If the group there first chose not to share or integrate the wandering group into their society (in many cases they did), the other group had to move on and find their own niche.

As groups settled and resettled throughout the continent, they constantly sought to recreate the social order of the parent community they had left. Even though, variations inevitably arose during their efforts to define a physical space and identity for themselves in relation to the new land and the other groups already settled in the area.

Here, the lineage system that had long been a part of the African social order played a significant role in establishing peaceful relations.

The lineages each group had established were respected. These established lines of successions led to men who were considered chiefs, though they weren’t kings or rulers in the sense that they wielded total or absolute power over the people. They were natural born leaders selected by the people to represent the interest of the community and the people they led.

Of course, women had a large say in the promotion of these male leaders, and these leaders often led with the support and blessing of the females of the group… a feature of the early matriarchal system that would be passed down to later generations, and culminate in the awe inspiring civilizations of Nubia (black Africa).

Lineage had long been the most effective force for unity and stability in Africa and it eliminated the need for groups to be governed by any one individual, chief, or king.

The leaders of these groups or communities had status, but it was status earned because of their accumulation of knowledge and wisdom over the years. They had little authority to order or decree and served mainly as figureheads of tradition and continuity.

To counter the friction that was likely to arise if authority was vested solely in certain chiefs or kings, with power flowing vertically from the few at the top to the many at the bottom, a system emerged whereby power and authority were spread horizontally throughout the entire community, touching every lineage and family within the group.

THE AFRICAN AGE-GRADE SYSTEM

This system was the age-grade system: a social structure uniquely suited to the political and economic needs of African peoples.

The age-grade system divided all males into groups which separated them according to a range of ages. Those nearer in age were assigned to the same group. Each group was assigned a standard set of social and political obligations, which they performed with varying degrees of proficiency. Each was judged, promoted, or rewarded for how well he did within his own age-group.

Standouts among each group naturally were groomed as future leaders, but all members were encouraged to strive to be the best they could be and contribute to the community in ways they were best suited.

There was competition between the age-sets to see who was the fastest, the strongest, the smartest, the bravest. The objective was to build life skills and foster cooperation. The strong was encouraged to help the weak.

As individuals advanced in age and skills they moved into the next age-grade set where they were given different training and learned new duties and responsibilities.

The age-grade system perpetuated and sustained itself. Each boy’s early life was spent advancing from one age-grade set to the next until they were all completed and he became a young adult. Rituals and ceremonies accompanied each milestone for the young men, and families, and even associate from other villages were invited to witness their progress.

The system served the community perfectly because it sustained no permanent or hereditary rulers or office holders. The rites of passage through which each individual passed as they completed each age-set were timed to occur simultaneously among neighboring groups over a wide area. Each group gave the ceremonies its own distinctive flavor.

When the groups came together it was a time of much rejoicing and happiness. Parents and relatives looked on proudly as the boys steadily moved toward manhood. The ceremonies fostered camaraderie and unity between neighboring groups and were an opportunity for socialization. They presented an opportunity for the women and girls to meet and establish bonds of friendship and respect, and for village elders to converse, tell stories, commiserate, and even settle simmering disputes that may be occurring.

THE ROLE OF GIRLS

Girls, of course, had their own age-grade sets, though they weren’t as strict or all encompassing as the boys.

The duties and obligations of the girls were quite different from the boys. They were taught skills such as cooking, housekeeping, social etiquette, dispute mediation, and other skills that helped them become better mothers, wives, sisters, aunts, as well as any other role they aspired to assume.

Girls, like boys were also taught skills of survival such as how to avoid dangerous animals, recognize poisonous snakes, climb trees to escape predators, and recognize both dangerous and beneficial plants.

Females, during these times, were valued and respected as nurturers. They were valued for their ability to raise and nurture children, keep families together, and establish the social order that the group was to live by.

While women of today may find the roles played by their ancient grandmothers to not be enough for them today, those roles served the entire community well, and in my opinion was the most important element that allowed our ancient ancestors to survive and thrive.

The separation of the sexes had long been a feature of ancient African societies, which they felt was critical to fostering mutual respect between the genders. The aim was a more egalitarian society that valued and rewarded each gender for what they contributed to the whole, rather than the fulfillment of personal goals and objectives.

As long as each gender was appreciated and rewarded for what they contributed to the group, our ancestors were good to go. The competition and petty jealousies we witness between the sexes today wasn’t a feature of ancient African societies and is a rather “modern” manifestation of patriarchy.

The separation of the sexes was natural for people who respected Nature and the roles it assigned to the sexes. African people understood biology and the natural attraction between the sexes.

Delineation between the sexes kept down unnecessary distractions from one’s duties and obligations, and thwarted promiscuity, which might be natural if the sexes were allowed to commingle at will, especially at an early age.

In ancient African societies boys and girls were kept separate until they were old enough to realize and accept the responsibilities of sex and its consequences. They didn’t attend school together, participate in the same activities or events, or have the same duties and obligations to the community.

Suffice it to say, this system worked well for thousands of years, and allowed our ancient ancestors to survive and pass down their genes to us.

THE RACIAL THEORIES OF CHEIKH ANTA DIOP

FORGOTTEN VOICE OF AFRICAN HISTORY

One of the most influential black voices of the mid 20th century was the Senegalese scientist and historian Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop. His books, among them “Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology”, “The Cultural Unity of Negro Africa”, and “African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality”, stunned the white scientific world with their claim that ancient Egypt was a black civilization.

Though Dr. Diop presented a myriad of scientific, historical, and cultural data to back up his claims, he was pilloried, criticized, and harassed throughout his life, and has been virtually erased from the history books of scientific research.

But the good Doc was no lightweight or fly-by-night wannabe. The man was legit. His credentials were impressive.

Born in 1923 in the West African nation of Senegal, he received his Masters of Arts degree and his doctorate from the famed University of Paris. His method was multi-faceted and reflected his varied background as a Historian, Physicist, and Philosopher.

As a Senegalese, he had direct contact with the oral traditions and social structure of West Africa. During his study in Paris he gained an understanding of the Greco-Latin world and acquired a proficiency in such diverse disciplines as rationalism, dialectics, modern scientific techniques, and prehistoric Archaeology.

Dr. Diop has a theory that there is a global division of people into two basic kinds: The Southerners (Negro-Africans) and the Aryans (a category covering all Caucasians, including Semites, Mongoloids, and American Indians). He believes each group developed a cultural outlook based on its response to climate, with the main difference being that the Aryans developed in a harsher climate.

TWO LANDS: TWO OUTLOOKS

The development of the dark-skinned Negro-Africans on a continent in the southern hemisphere that was hot and tropical, while a parallel development of the light-skinned Aryans in the colder and harsher climes of Eurasia, set the table for the adoption of cultural outlooks diametrically opposed to each other.

Because of the Aryans development in harsher and more barren environments, they developed patriarchal systems (father rights) of socialization and government characterized by the suppression of women and a propensity for war.

Southerners, on the other hand, who for tens of thousands of years lived a hunting-gathering type of life where women were equal contributors, consequently developed matriarchal systems.

Women in ancient Africa were free and the people peaceful. Lineage was traced through the female line and women played an important role in the African social order.

Among Southerners, there is a live and let live approach to life, religious idealism, and no concept of sin and guilt. In matriarchal societies you find xenophilia (attraction to or curiosity of foreign things or people), the tale as a literary form with a moralizing end, the territorial-state, social collectivism, and optimism.

In the patriarchal societies of the Aryans, descent is traced through the father, and you find concepts of materialist religion, sin and guilt, xenophobia (fear or hatred of strangers), the tragic drama, the city-state, individualism, and pessimism.

Each group developed ways and affinities necessary for its survival in its particular environment.

Dr. Diop believes the history of humanity will remain confused if we fail to distinguish between the two early cradles in which Nature fashioned the culture, instincts, mores and habits of the two subdivisions.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF OPPOSING CULTURE

According to this theory, the abundance of natural resources in the southern hemisphere and the sedentary-agricultural character it produced in the Negro-Africans, engendered in them a gentle, idealistic, and peaceful nature, endowed with a spirit of justice and gaiety.

In societies like these we saw the development of music, dance, story telling, art, and ritual celebrations an initiations. Southerners, by nature, are jovial and loquacious.

Women, in those matriarchal societies, being the propagators and nurturers of children, were revered and respected. Their dual roles as nurturers and providers made them very important members of Negro-African societies.

In matriarchal societies children were considered gifts from Heaven, and women in their extended family roles as mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and grand mothers, were held in high regard.

THE SHAPING OF ARYAN MAN

By contrast, the ferocity of the climate in the northern regions, and the less than ideal material conditions, were to create in the Aryans the raw instincts needed for survival in such an unrewarding environment.

Here, Nature left no illusion of kindness. Man had to learn to obtain his bread by the sweat of his brow or the accuracy of his lance. He had to learn to rely only on himself and his own possibilities. He couldn’t afford to indulge in the luxury of believing in a beneficent God who would look out for him and bestow blessings on him for his piety; instead he would conjure up deities maleficent and cruel, spiteful and jealous, such as Yahweh, Zeus, among others.

In the unrewarding activity that the harsh physical environment imposed on the Aryans the accumulation of power and possessions became paramount. Private property and political power was passed down through the male line. Women, who were not equal or complementary members of these societies, didn’t hold the same kind of power or esteem enjoyed by their sisters in matriarchal societies.

In early patriarchal societies children were also considered the property of males and woman’s role in reproduction was downplayed or marginalized. Thus, males and females developed adversarial relationships. It was Man, the hunter, who was king, and not woman.

Also found in patriarchal societies is the concept of anthromorphism (ascribing human characteristics to things not human) and the secular spirit.

The cold, often brutal climate of the Northern hemisphere would cause the Aryans to love fire… even worship it. Fire, over the ages, has long been symbolic in Aryan rituals, from the flames and torches in Cathedrals, blood rituals, witchery, to the Olympic flame. This worship of fire may even explain the Aryan propensity for cremation of their dead.

THE SOUTHERN OUTLOOK

In stark contrast, Southerners developed a cultural outlook based on cooperation rather than competition. In one of its earliest, and most fertile cradles, the Nile Valley, stretching from the Great Lakes to the Delta, humans learned to live cooperatively. When the environment was less productive, they learned to split up or move rather than wage war.

The patriarchal way of life developed in those early cradles were passed down to all later Aryans people from the Semitic-Asians (Arabs and Jews) to the Greeks and Romans to the Oriental societies of China and Japan to modern Europeans.

The matriarchal way of life lasted for tens of thousands of years in Africa before it was finally supplanted by the patriarchal model that invaded Africa around 2,500 years ago. Since then patriarchy, and its subsequent suppression of women and propensity for strife, has been the order of the day.

And, as we can see, this model has been particularly harmful to the human species, sparking wars, invasions, genocide, oppression, slavery, and colonial activities that threaten to wipe out the entire species.