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More often during debates and exchange of ideas, afrocentric is the term used by Eurocentric’s to perpetuate the myth of the “superiority of the great white race over the inferior black race” hence my choice: AFROCENTRIC MY BLACK ASS as title for this post. Afrocentricity or afrocentrism is a cultural ideology worldwide that took roots in the United States dedicated to the history of Black people. It is an answer to the global racist attitudes of Eurocentrics about African people and their historic contribution to the edification of civilization. Afrocentrism can be seen as an African-American inspired ideology that manifest an affirmation of themselves in a Eurocentric-dominated society, in the same line as the French “negritude movement.” Negritude is a literary and ideological movement, developed by francophone Black intellectuals, writers and politicians in France in the 1930’s. The word negritude derives from the French word “Negre” which means literally “negro-ness.” Its advocates found solidarity, in a common Black identity as a rejection of French colonial racism.
Unfortunately as I have noticed, in debates on social network, Black scholars and intellectuals who through their works, try to give Black Africans what could be termed a "historical consciousness" are being considered in the negative sense as Afrocentric. A "historical consciousness" means: I am conscious of my past, I am aware of this and I have a conscience of the future. This is what we call the historical consciousness of the human conditions. If the affirmation of being conscious of one’s true history is being considered in the negative sense, I guess it is time to reconsider our vocabulary. Bob Marley sang:”how long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?” Marcus Garvey and Kwame Nkrumah were maligned as dictators, despite their idea of African Unity: unique monetary and defence system for all Africa in a continental federal setting, being primordial actuality for the survival of the African continent today as Fela Kuti too sang in his album titled Confusion.
Charlie Parker, in the film ‘BIRD’ was projected as a drugged-out drunken looser despite him being a musician’s musician to several jazz icons like Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Today his concepts and ideas are transcribed, studied, and analyzed, by a great deal of jazz students and are part of any player’s basic jazz vocabulary. Charlie Parker contributed a vast rhythmic vocabulary, to the modern jazz solo despite the negative image of him projected in the film ‘Bird’. Malcolm X was considered as the man who could start or stop a race riot, and called all sorts of names in the American press. What is most sad is that we have Blacks who consciously or otherwise perpetrates this crime against their people. As often underlined; the information I try to give on this page are given in the main, for the purpose of letting the student, researcher, teacher, and general reader know that much of what they have been taught as facts and the “inspired words of god” for example, are not necessarily so and in many cases they are complete distortions of the truth and/or down right lies. Such distortions and lies are specifically geared to perpetuate the myth of the “superiority of the great white race over the inferior black race”.
Scientific (that is Science Exact); and archaeological facts are abounding today pointing to Africa as the origin of civilization. Also the colloquium on the population of ancient Egypt and the decrypting of Meroe scripts for the production of a general history of Africa held in Cairo, Egypt from January 28–February 3rd, 1974 under the auspices of UNESCO is another proof that is being ignored by some Eurocentrists. As members of the international scientific committee at the Cairo colloquium, the interventions of Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop assisted by Théophile Obenga, were considered in the final report as meticulously prepared and invite the scientific community to re-write universal history of humanity granting Black Africa her primordial role that she has effectively assumed in the edification of civilization. Today to deny Africa’s role in the edification of civilization, is participating in genocide against a people that gave birth to what we know as civilization.
I am obliged to draw our attention to these issues because I had the opportunity to participate in the premier of an exposition last week, on the secret of the Maya civilization currently organized by the Quai Branly Museum in Paris scheduled from October 7, 2014 - February 8, 2015. This expo is a good example of what I term institutional genocide against Africa. For someone like me; opportune to have read the scholarly works of Dr. Ivan Van Setima on African Presence in the Americas and that of Dr. Runoko Rashidi on the same subject, my visit to the Quia Branly Museum where there was no mention of Egyptian civilization among the civilization preceding those of the Maya is to me an institutional genocide. Mentioned were those of the Phoenicians and Greek but nothing about the Egyptian civilization or the Indian empire.
For those not aware; there were not too many models of society before apart from Black Egypt of the Pharaohs era and India – this was long before the Greek and later Roman Empires. Remember that Christopher Columbus was heading-out in search of India, when he accidentally missed his direction and landed in the Americas - that is why today Native Americans are called Indians. When we talk about India here, we are not talking of the current inhabitants rather we are talking about the Indian Empire of the time of Egypt of the Black Pharaohs. What is left of the people from the Indian Empire reside today on a small island and their population remains about 1500 people pushed to a small Island by the Arabs. It was during the period of the people called Dravidians they started the concept of nonviolence in India because Buddha was an Egyptian Black priest who preached the notion of nonviolence to his followers. Have we stopped to ask ourselves why the majority of India and most Asian nations are predominantly Black? Look at all the many statues of Buddha you will notice that he had flat nose, curly, frizzy hair like Black Africans.
We are able to say today with all certainty that mankind was born in Africa – along the region that covers present-day Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Kenya all along to Tanzania right down to South Africa. Also, it is clear that any member of the human community born in that region (south of the equator) could not have survived without the pigmentation of skin. Scientifically speaking, it is known with all certainty that nature doesn’t create anything by chance. It is for that reason, that human born in a sub-equatorial region was given melanin to protect his or her skin hence the first-man had to be BLACK. At the time human anthropology had not quit evolve to the extent at which it is today, there were two theories confronting each other regarding the origin of man. The mono-genetic theory had its defenders who claim one source of origin for mankind. The idea is that man was born in one place and as he moved to other parts of the world, subjected to different atmospheric changes he became transformed.
The second is the poly-genetic theory, which contended that man was born in Africa like in other continents such as Asia and Europe. Defenders of this theory pointed to the physical differences in humans to justify their claim. On the surface it makes sense, looking at the different external characteristics of man. However under a close scrutiny, this theory falls apart if we remember that scientifically speaking nature does not create the same being twice. In the animal world through-out evolution of animals when it is created, it evolves either to become something else in the process of survival or disappears – but he is never created a second time. The defenders of poly-genetic origin of man based their “scientific” claims, on the Piltdown man - a fossil fabricated piece-by-piece in 1912 by an English geologist Charles Dawson who claimed he dug them in the fields at Sussex, England.
Like modern man, his fossil had a fore-head and eyes of man but his mandible is that of a monkey. From this fabrication developed the poly-genetic theory to establish the existence of “pre-sapiens man”. Many Western anthropologists, who defended this theory for many years, based their argument on the fossil of Piltdown man despite being aware that it was falsified. We know today that it was false because in1954, a British anthropologist Professor Oakley, working with the British museum tested the fossil and found it to be false. However the damage had already been done, for more than fifty years the scientific community was divided into two – one defending mono-genetic origin of man while the other defended poly-genetic theory using Piltdown man as their reference. No other continent in the world other than Africa so far, have been discovered the six series of Human fossils. Other fossils found outside Africa, have proved under scientific scrutiny to be of resent origin.
For example when we say the Americas is a new world, it is because the only human specimen (fossil) found in America is that of homo-sapiens sapiens. America was peopled through the Bering Strait at the end of the final glaciations; hence it can only have homo-sapiens sapiens. In Asia we have fossils of Homo erectus, the Neanderthal man, and Homo sapiens sapiens. Equally in Europe there are fossils of Homo erectus, the Neanderthal man, and Homo sapiens sapiens. So if one may ask; where did the curator at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, get their information from on the secret of the Maya civilization without mentioning the existence of Black African civilization that preceded any civilization existing?
In my humble opinion; one reason why Africans from the continent and those from the Diaspora, have not found a rallying point to motivate us into action is that we copy the vocabulary of others in our struggle to liberate our continent from the legacies of imperialism and colonialism. As often reiterated on this page, there are no reasons for us to copy words in the vocabularies of others - that’s one reason for our weakness. When the West use words like third-world, Dark Continent, to describe people of African origin and their continent, we take-up the relay and we use the same words. Same can be said when Eurocentrics use the word Afrocentric. The Blackman copies, if you say that he belongs to the Third World, Africans accept this description. Third World citizen; do you think a Chinese would keep silent when you consider him or her as a citizen from an emerging country? Do you think he/she is going to accept all that? Never! The Chinese does not know what you mean by those terms, and they would never accept to be addressed as such.
Words like: Co-development, partnerships, north-south dialogue, break or rupture, etc., all these words are designed to keep Africans chained to their former colonizers. Africa does not need words like rupture in view of what transpires at present on the continent, what we need is rather a radical change. If the objective of the word "break" or “rupture” is for Africans to take their destiny in their hands then I am for, I agree to use those words. If we continue to use words like those indicated above to motivate us into action, Europeans are going to laugh at us like they have been doing for centuries – “those are words from a well trained or broken slave.” They have been well trained to repeat our vocabulary. He speaks of his continent like we trained him to do, he see his continent like the Third World and those with vision for Africa inspired to do things for their people they call Afrocentric.
Have we stopped to think of words which they never use like Radical Change? Here is the word we need to apply so as to galvanize us into a positive action. The struggle should not be limited to concept only we equally apply it linguistically – hence the needs for words like Radical Change! Remember we need to manipulate the brain, the spirit, and the mentality of the African if we want to see positive changes on the continent - it is a psychological struggle. It is time for us as Black people to chose who our heroes are without allowing others to choose for us who we should look up to – hence my responds: AFROCENTRIC MY BLACK ASS. Instead of using words appropriated in the negative sense, by Eurocentric’s here is the word we need to apply so as to galvanize us into a positive action – HISTORIC CONSCIOUSNESS.
Topping the list of those who gave Africans "historical consciousness" is Dr. Cheick Anta Diop with his works on African Origin of civilization. Dr Diop is perhaps the greatest in terms of scholarship on African civilization in the 20th Century. Apart from Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois he was the only other man awarded the honour as one who has the greatest impact on Black thoughts in the 20th Century. He was a historian, an anthropologist, a Senegalese politician and a great physicist, privileged to have worked in one of the most advanced laboratories in France under the supervision of Frédéric Joliot-Curie who in turn was a close friend of Albert Einstein. At a time when only about a dozen people in the world could understand Einstein, Dr. Cheick Anta Diop had already translated his (Einstein’s) works in his native Wolof language. His European contemporaries; called him an “ingrate”, saying we taught him the scientific techniques and he turns round to use the knowledge taught him against us.” After his graduation with doctoral honors, he returned to his native Senegal and worked at the Fundamental Institute of Black Africa (IFAN).
Because of his scientific skills, Dr. Diop was able to accomplish many fits. He for example invented the chemical process, to test quantity of melanin in the skins of Black people who had died thousands of years ago. By this process he could prove without the slightest shadow of doubt in a scientific manner that the mummies that were excavated in Egypt belonged to Black people. Prior to his works, the scientific world was divided on the true identity of the mummies from the Egyptian Pharaohs – some claimed that they belong to Semites, Caucasians, or whatever but African. Thanks to Dr. Diop’s works, he was able to prove that the quantity of melanin present in the skins of the tested mummies could only come from a Black person. He was until his death in 1986, the President of the world Black Researchers Association.
The association has as objective; to assemble and highlight Africans and the Diaspora Africans from all related fields (history, anthropology, literature, political science, etc.) One important aspect of Cheikh Anta Diop’s work continued by Professor Theophile Obenga, is that he gave Africans a "historical consciousness" - an awareness of history. Thanks to archaeological excavations and the works of Africans the likes of Cheikh Anta Diop, the cultural, linguistic, and religious unity, of all Africa is no longer in doubt. As far back as 1948, he wrote a university theses titled: The federal state, the foundations of the federal state of Black Africa and published as a book with the same title in 1960.
Another notable Black African who gave Africans "historical consciousness" is Dr. Chancellor James Williams - author of "The Destruction of Black Civilization". He was an African American sociologist, historian and writer. He is noted for his work on African civilizations prior to encounters with Europeans, and in debates and lectures he shares his view of "Black self-destruction" and its causes, how for example as a young person in the school system during history class, young Black students are embarrassed to identify with Africa’s past history. How Africans are brainwashed with the history of Europeans as RICH and according to their books African origin, history, culture, heritage, home land, etc. started at slavery.
As often reiterated on this page, apart from Cheikh Anta Diop and Théophile Obenga, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, is also another personage that has contributed immensely towards African awareness in the last half of the 20th Century and beginning of the 21st Century. With his scholarly works on African Presence in the Americas and African Presence in Early Europe, Dr. Sertima puts in perspective the history of the role of the African in world culture. He considered recent archaeological and anthropological studies that present new evidence of little known contributions by African people to the advancement of European civilization. He detailed the physical and cultural presence of Africans in Europe. Other topics covered include: the debt owed to the Moors for the European Renaissance. Leo Africanus’ Geographical History of Africa as a source for Shakespeare’s vision of Othello, the Africoid Grimaldis in Europe, the black Moors and the origin of Greek philosophy, African popes and black Madonna’s.
The book with the same title is divided into six parts: The First Europeans, African Presence in the Ancient Mediterranean Isles and Mainland Greece, Africans in the European Religious Hierarchy, African Presence in Western Europe, African Presence in Northern Europe, and African Presence in Eastern Europe. Dr. Ivan Van Sertima’s, scholarly works on African Presence in the Americas and African Presence in Early Europe is continued by Dr. Runoko Rashidi a historian, and anthropologist with a major focus on the Global African Presence: that is, Africans outside of Africa before and after enslavement. He is the author of eighteen books, the most recent of which are Black Star: The African Presence in Early Europe, and African Star over Asia: The Black Presence in the East. His other works include the African Presence in Early Asia, was co-edited by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima. His two major forthcoming works are: The Ivan Van Sertima Papers: The Global African Presence and Everywhere We Are: The Global African Presence.
The list is long and due to space here I cannot name them all; of great Black African scholars who true their works and actions are making us aware as earlier stated, that much of what we have been taught as facts and the “inspired words of god” for example, are not necessarily so and in many cases they are complete distortions of the truth and/or down right lies. Such distortions and lies are specifically geared to perpetuate the myth of the “superiority of the great white race over the inferior black race”. As I have often stated here the work of a whole generation of scholars will go to waste, unless these works are channelled through African school curriculum and education system. We all agree that education is the key to make any difference but certainly, not the type of education existing in Africa today. Have we stopped to ask ourselves why there are such high drop-out rates in African schools? The answer is not far fetched; our school children have nothing to identify with, they have been taught to look-up to Europe and America for inspiration.
According to books available in the school curriculum: maths, history, reading, writing, etc were invented in Europe and the Western Hemisphere – leaving African children with an inferiority complex. We need to change our vocabulary NOW; there are no reasons for us to copy words in the vocabularies of others - that’s one reason for our weakness. It is important to introduce into our vocabulary words which they never use like Radical Change, the struggle should not be limited to concept only we equally apply it linguistically – hence the needs for words like Radical Change! Remember we need to manipulate the brain, the spirit, and the mentality of the Black African if we want to see positive changes on the continent - it is a psychological struggle.
Radio Shrine! Gan! Gan!
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