What is Black Consciousness?
“Before even the British came into relations with our people, we were a developed people, having our own institutions, having our own ideas of government.” – J.E. Casely-Hayford, 1922 African (Gold Coast) Nationalist
“We must return to the laws that made us Africans great. These laws were embodied in a concept known as Maat. It was not a wonder that Heredotus (Herodotus) and before him Homer (i.e., ancient Greeks) described the Africans as the most beautiful, the favorite of the gods, the most just of men.” - Dr. Calvin R. Robinson, Dr. Edward W. Robinson and Redman Battle, authors of The Journey of the Songhai People
"BEFORE THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY MOST AFRICANS ON the continent had never seen a real white face." - Dr. Chancellor Williams
“Aiyyo put one in the air for the ancestors, y’know? Cause without them, there’d be no us, that’s real. There’s something on my mind.. everyday, all the time. It’s the legacy, y’know? Generations, of black people.” – Defari
Black Civilizations: Before the Storm
Africa, or Alkebu-lan, which means the “Land of the Spirit People,” or “Land of the God’s” is the native homeland of Black people (i.e., Africans). The Blacks were also among the earliest builders of a great civilization on planet earth, including the development of writing, sciences, engineering, medicine, architecture, religion, and the fine arts.
In Africa, before the 15th century, the predominant principle of social relations was that of family and kinship associated with communalism. Every member of an African society had his position defined in terms of relatives on his mother’s and father’s side of the family. Some African societies places greater importance on matrilineal ties and others on patrilineal ties. Those things were crucial to the daily existence of a member of an African society, because land (i.e., the major means of production) was owned by groups such as the family or clan, the head of which were parents and those yet to be born. In theory, this pattern was explained by saying that the residents in any community were all direct descendants of the first person who settled the land.
The ideology of how much the individual can contribute to the whole society and to vigorously pursue the extended family concept, thus making the acquiring of material wealth only to an end and not the end itself. This concept was an African initiative and acted as a safeguard for the preservation of the society. This African concept evolved because the environment of Africa was essential to the spirituality that African people became noted for. This is why Black children, during ancient and medieval times were the best behaved in the world. In these African societies, there were no need for jails, halfway houses, and youth detention centers, and this naturally included adults and children. In a true African society, every adult male and female were considered father and mother of every child.
The lineage ties and responsibilities and the age-grade of age-set system were the earliest institutions through which the African constitution functioned, and out of which “African Democracy” was born. It was a framework of kinsmen and alleged kinsmen, all of whom descended from the same ancestor or related ancestors. All might live in the same community or state, but they were often scattered far and near in separate and independent societies. The ancestor from whom they claimed descent was always “great” because of some outstanding deed or extraordinary achievements. Myths were born in this manner in Africa, and the later concepts of both royalty and divinely gained support from the same source.
Ooni (i.e., King) Oduduwa of the Ife Kingdom of Yorubaland.
“Of the human actors in this revolution, the greatest, according to all the traditions, was Oduduwa. So monumental was the role of this man that, probably even from as early as his own life-time, popular traditions and legends elevated him to the awesome pedestal of father of the Yoruba race and founder of the monarchical system which thenceforth became their typical system of government. His successors deified him, and subsequent generations transposed him all the way back to the very beginning of creation and crowned him as the first human to walk the earth, the progenitor of the Yoruba race.” – Dr. Stephen Adebanji Akintoye
The country of the Yoruba people. Yorubaland consisted of present-day Southwest Nigeria, a small part of Benin Republic, and still a smaller part of Togo Republic.
“It is impossible to describe here all the riches of the civilization of Ife.” – Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop
Nearly every kingdom in Yorubaland states in its traditions that its founder originated from the Ife Kingdom (i.e., “the source of the spreading." The Yoruba believe they are the first race of humans, and that all human life and civilization originated from Yorubaland. It is generally believed that the kingdom of Ife was so close to heaven that one could meet one’s departed ancestors in its streets; and that in some hidden shrine in Ife could be found the gate to heaven), and was a descendant of Ooni (i.e., King) Oduduwa, and that he migrated from Ife in the time of Oduduwa or close to it. Ife palace traditions have it that Oduduwa himself, on his deathbed, initiated the kingdom-founding movement by urging his family members to go out and establish kingdoms like Ife. This was how the country of Yorubaland was born.
The Ife people are the first Yoruba people, who are ancient, highly advanced artistically and creatively, highly spiritual, and agriculturalists. The history of the Ife Kingdom is from about 1000 AD to about 1900 AD, but the period from about 1000 AD to 1500 AD was during the reign of King Oduduwa. He was a mythical personage who was a great leader, a warrior and priest king. The period of King Oduduwa from 1000 AD to 1500 AD was a period of growing economic and political prosperity and power in the history of the Ife Kingdom. The Ife Kingdom became a source of inspiration for the major political changes in Yorubaland. In four centuries before the 15th century, kingdoms like Ife sprang up in most parts of the Yoruba forests.
The word “Ife” means “Love” when the Yoruba language is translated into English. David Hinderer, the first Christian (Western European) missionary to visit the Ife Kingdom in the 1850s was told, after he had finished preaching the Christian gospel to a large crowd at the Ife palace, that all religion originated from Ife, and that what he (David Hinderer) had preached was no more than one of the versions that had evolved later in a distant part of the world.
In 1886, British agents visiting the Yoruba interior were told by the Alaafin (i.e., Emperor) of Oyo that “the Ifes …were the fathers of all and all people came from Ife.” When Ife chiefs were camped outside the ruins of their kingdom with their people at the Isoya village, they stated the Ife people were “the fathers of all tribes,” and that if they continued to camp and unable to resettle their ancient kingdom of Ife, “the whole world would spoil, as they were the priests of the deities (i.e., Orishas) who ruled the world.”
Oranmiyan, one of the greatest, and one of the most enigmatic characters in the early history of Ife was also one of King Oduduwa’s youngest grandsons. Oranmiyan was probably the foremost warrior prince and adventurer that the Ife Kingdom ever produced. According to Yoruba traditions, after prolonged adventures that took him to the kingdom of Benin in the southeast of Yorubaland and to the Niger Valley in the northwest in Yorubaland, he returned to Ife, and was welcomed back by all as Akinlogun (i.e., hero in battle). As a warrior prince, Oranmiyan founded and ruled the Great Benin Kingdom, and he founded and ruled Oyo-Ile (i.e., Oyo Kingdom).
For example, traditions of the Edo (i.e., Great Benin), the southeastern neighbors of the Yoruba, gave an account of Prince Oranmiyan’s first exploits after leaving home, the kingdom of Ife. According to Edo traditions, the Edo people in Oranmiyan’s time were ruled by some ancient rulers known as the Ogiso (i.e., Ogiso Dynasty), under whom the Edo country (i.e., Great Benin) plunged into profound disorder. Some Edo leaders sent a messenger to the ruler of Ife (identified as Oduduwa, but more than likely to be one of Oduduwa’s successors, urging him to send help for the reorganization of the country). The king of Ife responded by sending Prince Oranmiyan.
On arrival, Oranmiyan was welcomed by some of the Edo leaders but resisted by others. He suppressed the resistance and established order and a strong monarchy in Great Benin, known as the Oba Dynasty. After some years, Oranmiyan decided to leave Great Benin, because he felt Great Benin should be ruled by an indigenous Edo prince. So, Oranmiyan installed his son Ewuare, who was born to him by one of his Edo wives. The young king Ewuare became the progenitor of the dynasty that led and developed Great Benin and made the kingdom the most powerful on the shores of West Africa.
Yoruba traditions confirm these Edo traditions and add that not long after returning to the Ife Kingdom as a hero, Oranmiyan set out again, this time northwards into the Oyo region of Yorubaland. Oranmiyan desired to be a founder of a kingdom that was purely his own, like many of his cousins had already done. He traversed the Oyo region before he found a suitable place to settle, in the northwestern borderlands of the Oyo region, just south of the Niger Valley. This was an area where small Oyo settlements existed interspersed with a scatter of other small African ethnic groups or tribes, like the Bariba and Nupe settlements. After Oranmiyan unified some of the settlements in the area, he established his kingdom, the kingdom of Oyo-Ile (i.e., Oyo Kingdom). Some years later, Oranmiyan returned to the Ife Kingdon, leaving his sons in charge to rule the Oyo Kingdom.
The Oyo Kingdom eventually became the Great Oyo Empire. By the middle of the 18th century, the Oyo Empire stood at the peak of its territorial greatness, its prosperity and wealth, its pride and glory. The capital of the empire, Oyo-Ile, had a population larger than that of any other in the African tropical forests, with a volume of commerce far beyond that of any other city in the forest interior of West Africa. The Alaafin’s (i.e., Emperor) Oyo Empire was the largest ever in the history of the tropical forests and grasslands of West Africa south of the Niger River.
The West African country of Mauritania is specifically where the Black-a-Moors originated, and they spread to the whole region of North Africa. These Black people were in possession of the great Kemite (i.e., Egyptian) knowledge and culture, and they spread it throughout portions of Asia, Asia Minor, Europe, and other parts of Africa. Dr. John G. Jackson, author of Introduction to African Civilization said, “While they (Blackamoors, Black-a-Moors) were occupying Spain in 700 AD, and they established schools, libraries, hospitals and other great science centers and much more.”
The Mixed Africans (i.e., Afro-Asians), and particularly the Arabs have always tried to take credit for the knowledge that lifted Europe (i.e., Spain) out of the European “Dark Ages.”
When talking about the destruction of North Africa, one must understand the change of that region’s population from Black (i.e., African) to an Arab and Berber population. The Mixed Africans, along with the Berbers, by the 17th century had changed North Africa from Black-a-Moors to simply the Moors.
Map of early North and West Africa, and invasions from Asia and Europe.
The Saharan Tragedy
During ancient times in Africa, the Sahara, which is a large wasteland during the modern era, was once green and there wasn’t a barrier between north and west Africans.
The region of the Sahara is far bigger than the United States of America, and was once a land of lakes, rivers, forests, green fields, farms, villages, towns, and cities. Wildlife was also abundant, because cattle grazed in meadows, and horse-drawn chariots sped over the highways. The Sahara was once a great land, that was a part of an even greater Black world.
Geologists, archaeologists, and other specialists have all advanced various theories to explain the great mystery of the transformation of the Sahara. Dr. Chancellor Williams, author of The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. To 2000 A.D. said, “Just how did the Albion Sea, a vast inland body of water as large as France, disappear in the Sahara? How many cities and towns lie buried under those mountains of sand and rocks?”
- “The Black Revival of Learning,” p. 247
“… The first, and perhaps the most important fact is that the general enslavement of Africans, proclaimed to the world as savages, began during the very same period and in the very West Africa in the center of which one of the great universities of the world and other colleges were located."
University Kingdoms of West Africa
Image I (Left): c. 1464-1591. The territorial extent of the Songhai Empire in c. 1500.
Image II (Right): Askia Muhammad Touré I (Askia the Great), emperor of the Songhai Empire and founder of the Askia Dynasty.
“Thus politically, but far more intellectually, was Songhay (Songhai) restored to its ancient position as a child of Egypt.” – Flora Shaw (Lady Lugard)
“Songhay’s (Songhai’s) greatness was due to something more than the remarkable expansion of its empire over a territory larger than the continent of Europe. That was great, but greater by far was the grand scale on which the revival of learning spread among the Blacks of West Africa―The Western Sudan, or ‘Land of the Blacks.' Three of the principal centers of learning were at Jenne, Gao, and Timbuktu.” – Dr. Chancellor Williams
The Songhai Empire flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries in the Western Sudan of West Africa, and included parts of the present-day countries of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Northern Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal, and The Gambia. The Songhai people were the nuclear group that was to build the greatest African empire in West Africa before the Transatlantic slave trade. The Songhai were one of those unique peoples who can be characterized as highly intelligent, industrious, and aggressively invincible as both traders and warriors.
The Askia Dynasty of the Songhai Empire began when Askia (i.e., Emperor) Muhammad Touré I (Askia the Great) ascended the throne in 1493, just one year after Christopher Columbus so-called discovered America in 1492. The country of Songhai was characterized by order and prosperity. For example, the vigor of commercial and scholarly activity in Songhai served as tribute to the skill and wisdom of Askia the Great. It has been said, in the Askia’s huge empire, travelers were safe in any part of his country as though they were in the emperor’s court. During Askia the Great’s reign, the kingdom of Timbuktu had a population of 100,000 people, filled to the top with gold and beautiful and dazzling Black women who dressed luxuriously because they were fond of jewels. The Black women of Timbuktu wore gold bands in their hair. Timbuktu was one of the most fabled and exotic kingdoms of the whole medieval world, and the Sudanese metropolis was celebrated for its liveliness and luxury.
The reason why Songhai was looked at as a child of Egypt was because of its exceptional educational system that was created by the Blacks of West Africa. For instance, the famous and legendary golden kingdom of Timbuktu was one of the greatest learning destinations of the Islamic world at the time. Under Songhai rule, the University of Sankoré drew students from all West Africa and scholars from different foreign countries (i.e., possibly from Europe and Asia). The University of Sankoré in Timbuktu housed the largest library in Africa since Egypt’s Great Library of Alexandria from c. 3rd century BCE-3rd century CE. The University of Sankoré included between 250,000 and 700,000 manuscripts, while the Library of Alexandria had between 40,000 and 400,000 manuscripts.
Ahmed Baba, the last Black President of the University of Sankoré was the greatest and most prolific African writer and scholar during the 16th century. He authored a comprehensive dictionary, 40 other works, and had a personal library of 1,600 books.
Ahmed Baba’s fame as a scholar-educator spread to distant lands. Amongst the Songhai, Ahmed Baba was “The Unique Pearl of his Time.”
The Songhai Empire fell from grace in 1591 when the country was invaded by the Moors of Morocco (Northwest Africa). The original Moors, like the original Egyptians (i.e., Kemites) were Black African people. As amalgamation became more and more widespread, only the Berbers, Arabs, and Coloureds (i.e., Mixed Africans: Afro-Asians) in Moroccan territories were called Moors, while the darkest and black skinned Africans were called “Black-a-Moors.”
The Songhai Empire was invaded and destroyed by the Moors and their hired European Mercenaries (i.e., British and Spanish) and not the indigenous Black-a-Moors, because it wouldn’t have made since for the Black-a-Moors to destroy their own books of learning, wisdom, and knowledge from the Songhai university kingdoms of Timbuktu, Jenne, Gao, Walata and others.
The Moors and their European mercenaries were armed with guns and cannons, and this weapon technology was unavailable to African armies during this time of the medieval period. The Songhai’s spears and bow and arrows for war had to give way to gunfire.The Songhai forces split up into small units to harass the enemy garrisons and outposts in surprise attacks. These attempts by the Songhai lasted over 70 years, but the Songhai of glorious memory was no more. The armies of Islam continued their triumphant march throughout Africa, destroying its basic institutions wherever they could go. The Songhai Empire lost the ability to totally control all its vast territory after fighting against the two-pronged attacks from the Moors in the north and Europeans from the west.
The complete fall of the Songhai Empire occurred when invaders reached the interior of the country, which wasn’t until the 19th century. By the time of the European colonial era in the 1800s, in West Africa, particularly the Songhai Empire, had been stripped of its natural resources and human population for slavery to the extent that this region looked like a barren wasteland.
The Songhai ruled West Africa for 129 years.
Gold and other treasures from Africa were stolen and scattered all over Europe and Asia. Some are in museums, some were destroyed, or thrown away. All of which were from the heartland of Black civilization. King Cambyses of Persia, as early of the 6th century BC, hauled away over $100 million of precious historical material from the ancient Kemite (i.e., ancient Egyptian) kingdom of Thebes alone. King Cambyses was only one of countless thousands of others who invaded the tomb repositories of Black history during the many periods of foreign invasions and rule in Africa. According to Dr. Chancellor Williams, the descendants of the grave robbers smugly declared, “The Blacks never had any worthwhile history; if so, where are their records?”
“Certainly, I knew from reading all about the ‘Rape of Africa,’ but to know the scale on which this was done one must see at least some of it in Europe with his own eyes―and be amazed. The museums in various cities of the European colonial powers are the repositories of much African history.”
– Dr. Chancellor Williams
The American History Association said the first period of African history is from the fall of the Roman Empire to 700 AD. The second period of African history is the period of the Arab invasions and Islamic civilization, which is 700 AD to the coming of the Europeans in 1500 AD. The European occupation of Africa was from 1500 AD to 1960 and is subdivided in 1880 to mark the period of European colonialism, and from the viewpoint of some Europeans, Blacks never had a civilization.
“Of all this West African cultural development our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete, jumbled up with the African slave trade … Nearly all this disappeared in the frantic effort to paint Negroes as apes fit only for slavery and then forget the whole discreditable episode, wipe it out of history, and emphasize the glory and philanthropy of Europe … Yet on the West Coast was perhaps the greatest attempt in human history before the twentieth century to build a culture based on peace and beauty, to establish a communism of industry and of distribution of goods and services according to human need. It was crucified by greed, and its very memory blasphemed by the modern historical method. There can be no doubt but that the level of culture among the masses of Negroes in West Africa in the fifteenth century was higher than that of northern Europe, by any standard of measurement – homes, clothes, artistic creation and appreciation, political organization and religious consistency.” – Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois
Although the Songhai Empire brutally fell from grace during the 16th century, the invaders, even with their superior weapon technology like guns and cannons, were still not strong enough to penetrate past the inner western and central African kingdoms and empires. Some African states were still moving and winning before European conquest and colonization of the African continent, like African ethnic groups or tribes such as the Yoruba, Igbo, Nupe, Borgu, and Jukun, who were developing powerful state structures.
“In a previous discussion, the Yoruba state of Oyo was merely listed as one of the outstanding representatives of African development up to the eve of European arrival in the fifteenth century. The remarkable fourteenth-and fifteenth-century artistic achievements of Oyo, of its parent state of Ife, and of the related state of Benin have been well studied, because of the preservation of ivory, terracotta, and bronze sculptures. It is clear that the earliest bronzes were the best and that there was a deterioration in execution and sensitivity from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century. However, politically, states such as Oyo and Benin did continue to prosper for a very long time after the arrival of Europeans on the West African coast.” – Dr. Walter Rodney, author of How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
Image I (Left): Benin (Nigeria). View of the Benin capital city during the once yearly procession of the Oba (i.e., King) and dignitaries. Originally published in Olfert Dapper, Description de I’Afrique, 1668.
Image II (Right): Edo Brass Plaque. Warrior and attendance, brass plaque, court of Benin, Edo culture, Nigeria, 16th-17th century, in Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
“Great Benin, where the King resides, is larger than Lisbon, all the streets run straight and as far as the eyes can see. The houses are large, especially that of the king, which is richly decorated and has Fine columns. The city is wealthy and industrious. It is so well governed that theft is unknown, and the people live in such Security that they have no door to their houses.” - Lourenco Pinto, Portuguese Captain of the 17th Century
The Kongolese (Congolese) of the Kongo Empire, which Europeans referred to the Kongo as the greatest state in West Africa when the Portuguese arrived at the mouth of the Great Congo River in 1488.
Image I (Left): Kongo (Democratic Republic of Congo). View of the Kongolese regional capital of Loango. Is this an example of urban planning? Originally published in Olfert Dapper, Description de l’Afrique, 1968.
Image II (Right): Kongo (Angola). The King of Kongo receiving European Ambassadors. This scene may represent an event that took place in 1642 when the Dutch arrived in Kongo. The King, however, was probably Garcia II and not Dom Alvaro. Originally published in Olfert Dapper, Description de I’ Afrique, 1668.
In West Africa, the Mossi, Hausa, and Asante retained their political identities down to the 18th and 19th centuries. The most powerful African state after the fall of the Songhai Empire in West Africa was the Kanem Bornu Empire, as it maintained the strength and leadership needed to preserve independence from the Moors and Europeans.
Kanem-Borno (Kanem Bornu, Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Libya). Borno knight wearing chainmail. Chainmail and/or body armour was worn by soldiers and royals in Nupe, Hausaland, Benin, and Songhai. Compare with page 432 (When We Ruled: The Ancient and Mediaeval History of Black Civilizations). Originally drawn by Major Dixon Denham and published in Major Dixon Denham et al, Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa (UK, John Murray, 1826, opposite p.64).
“The invaders raiding into the continent (Africa) from Asia and Europe formed the second centuries-long battlefronts against which the Blacks had to fight for survival. These wars spanned several thousand years, and in an earlier chapter (The Destruction of Black Civilization) I ‘wondered out loud’ ─how any people, weakened by perpetual hunger and disease, could possibly carry on wars of resistance to the white invaders for over 5,000 years. This they did─and this their descendants must know and remember with pride: That Black resistance to white domination covered over 5,000 years.”
– Dr. Chancellor Williams
The fall of the Songhai Empire opened the flood gates for the Transatlantic slave trade. The Pan African Federation Organization (PAFO) said that Africans of West Africa had built a great and beautiful civilization and had this civilization not been interrupted by a calculated sneak invasion, with aid of mercenaries, there is no telling how far world civilization might be advanced today.
PAFO believes the Songhai Empire was set up for the betrayal of the century. An important fact is that Black Muslims (i.e., the Songhai) were not spared from the destruction by non-Black Muslims (i.e., the Moors).
The Psychological and Physical Holocaust that Black People Suffered in Western (European) Civilization
“Narration describes the lives of lost tribes in the ghetto tryin’ to survive.” – Nas
“For whether in Asia, Europe, South America, the United States or the West Indies (Caribbean Islands), the story was the same: The essential links with their past were broken. All knowledge of former greatness was lost. Even their kinship and family relationships were destroyed along with their true names. They were not regarded as human beings. They became a race of outcasts hating themselves for being. The Caucasian triumph was complete.” – Dr. Chancellor Williams
“John Hawkins made three trips to West Africa in the 1560s, and stole Africans whom he sold to the Spanish in America. On returning to England after the first trip, his profit was so handsome that Queen Elizabeth I became interested in directly participating in his next venture; and she provided for that purpose a ship named the Jesus. Hawkins left with the Jesus to steal some more Africans, and he returned to England with such dividends that Queen Elizabeth made him a knight. Hawkins chose as his coat of arms the representation of an African in chains.” – Dr. Walter Rodney
Although slavery existed many centuries before the Transatlantic slave trade, in Europe, Asia, and Africa, but never in the history of the world had slavery broken every link between the captive and their own unique culture and smashed the very structure of their society. Through mass murder and dispersal of those deemed suitable for slavery, many African societies (i.e., the Songhai Empire) came to a complete end.
According to Dr. Anthony Browder, author of Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization: Exploding the Myths Vol. 1, “With the exception of the native Americans and the native Australians, no other people on Earth have had their continent snatched away by foreigners. Africans were the only people to have been enslaved and exported to other continents by the millions. These actions have depleted the human and natural resources of Africa, while simultaneously developing them in Europe and America. We are still experiencing the repercussions of the event.”
Various authorities of history agree upwards of 100 million Black people were taken out of Africa as prisoners-of-war (i.e., captured by the enemy and made to be slaves) from 1591 (the fall of the Songhai Empire) to 1858. On the authority of PAFO, prior to 1960, in their intensified search, they have not found in the slightest evidence that the indigenous Africans from the nations of ancient Ghana, Mali, and Songhai participated in the Transatlantic slave trade selling the Black Hebrews or any other Black person from the many African ethnic groups or tribes in West Africa to any European.
En mass, Black people were marched to the waiting slave ships to be taken to different nations that are now a part of Western (European) civilization, like the Caribbean Islands, North and South America, England, etc. The slave ship records show that on the slave ships were the African ethnic groups or tribes like the Songhai, Ghanaians, Yoruba, Igbo, Nupe, Benine, Borgu, Jukun, Kanem, Borni, and many, many more. Only the strongest, youngest, the healthiest, the most beautiful and the most intelligent were taken by force by the gun. The maimed, the sick, the elderly, the extremely nervous and the weak were left behind.
“Our fathers and mothers (i.e., ancestors) who were brought here (i.e., United Sates of America) like cattle are the present-day African American men and women. About ninety-three or so percent came from the Western Sudan, which included Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. Out of the one hundred or so million or more rooted up from our homeland, only about two million made it to these American shores. There were scores of different societies within the Songhai Empire. We spoke many different languages. As we arrived here, the extreme harsh treatment soon taught our fathers and mothers that whatever language differences or whatever else, that we could not survive unless we stuck together.” – Dr. Calvin R. Robinson, Dr. Edward W. Robinson and Redman Battle, authors of The Journey of the Songhai People
The Transatlantic slave trade era is considered a “physical holocaust” for the Blacks who were forcibly enslaved to build Western civilization. As a result, Black people living in Western civilization are still suffering a “psychological holocaust.”
According to PAFO, in a direct sense, all Black people whose ancestors were forcefully exiled to the many countries of Western (European) civilization are tied together by blood, physical suffering, and humiliation.
“And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them for four hundred years.”
- Bible, King James version: Genesis 15:13
The first slave ship arrived from Africa to North America in 1619, and 1619 to 2023 is 404 years. The creation and history of the so-called “Negro” began in the United States of America in 1619.
The Transatlantic slave trade was about living, lying, stealing, murdering, and dying. Life for Black people during these turbulent and unforgiving times was beyond stressful, because a Black man, who can step out of his hut for a breath of fresh air one day, and 10 months later end up at a Georgia plantation in the U.S. with bruises on his back and a brand on his chest. The slave trade was about a Black mother suffocating her own newborn children because she didn’t want them to grow up a slave under the harsh conditions of European rule and domination. The slave trade was about greedy Black kings who raided his own villages for slaves just to buy brandy. Only a savage chieftain would sell his own people (African ethnic group or tribe) to the Europeans for slavery.
Quite to the contrary, there were numerous Black chiefs who not only opposed slavery but fought against it to the death. Some of these Black chiefs were encircled and with their whole people (African ethnic group or tribe) and died fighting the enslaver to the very end. It eventually became to a point where the Blacks in inner West Africa felt intuitively that they were slowly being “hemmed in” from all directions. It is possible that many of these Blacks did “feel it,” without having any exact knowledge of being encircled. Although danger might be thousands of miles away, the Blacks still intuitively felt the European enslavers were approaching from the West African coast.
The slave trade was also about deserted villages, bleached bones on slave trails and people with no last names. The Black captives were slowed down by the trampling and stumbling over skeletons of Black people who were forced to walk the same slave trails before them. The stench of those Blacks who died was unbearable as their bodies were decaying and rotten.
Even though these times were apocalyptic for Black people, the Black family, and even the "Love" relationship between the Black man and woman was difficult for the European enslavers to break during medieval times. For instance, it was not true that all Black women, and even Black children, were marched to the coast in chains, because this was unnecessary, due to Black women being so loyal to their Black men, and they would follow them anywhere, even into hell (i.e., European slavery), which they did. There were those courageous Black women who attacked the European enslavers, and they were treated like the Black men who rebelled, beaten and chained.
For every 2 million Black people enslaved over 1 million died. Whole villages and kingdoms were also depopulated (i.e., the kingdom of Timbuktu had populations of 100,00 people), and the formally proud and free citizens marched to the West African coast in chains, collard and joined together by heavy poles. The aim of the Europeans enslavers was to provoke war between Black kingdoms, where they gave one Black kingdom guns while the other Black kingdom was helpless because they only had spears and shields for war.
This act of manipulation skyrocketed slaves from thousands to millions. Greed had severed the traditional ties of “brotherhood” among the Blacks, and gradual movement of the European invaders from the coastal areas inland became relatively easy. Blacks against Blacks with increasing suspicion and hatred towards one another may be traced to the Blacks’ own slave raids on each other. The Black chiefs who were inland resisted raids for slaves and the Black raiders were attacked.
On the authority of Dr. Anthony Browder, a minimum of 50 million Black people were displaced, and more than 80 million Black people died during the Transatlantic slave trade era from Africa. These figures don’t consider the millions of Africans who died before they were loaded onto the slave ships or the number of Black men, women, and children who were raped, beaten to death or lynched once they arrived in the so-called “New World.”
Dr. Anthony Browder also stated only a tiny percentage of the population in Africa were kings and queens and members of the holy royal family. Most of the population in any kingdom (99.9 %) were common folk, farmers, carpenters, healers, and others. They developed their individual skills, formed trade associations, and offered their services to the community. The king and queen in Africa served as models for the development of human potentiality and were often affiliated with the priesthood.
Many royal lineages were among the captives, including leaders like kings, queens, and chiefs, which, as Dr. Chancellor Williams has pointed out, should have been that way if any of the people of the African ethnic group or tribe were to be enslaved. According to African tradition, the people, and their leader (i.e., African king, queen, or chief) were all one in the same. This sense of “Oneness” applied only to members of that specific African ethnic group or tribe, and not Black people outside of it.
This is a tragic fact in Black history, because those Black people whose ancestors were forcibly exiled to the United States of America to be enslaved for hundreds of years, their descendants, (present-day African Americans) came from many different countries, societies, and regions of Africa who spoke different languages, but their “general cultural” was the same (about 93% of the ancestors of African Americans came from the Western Sudan in West Africa). During ancient and medieval times, the ancestors of African Americans were not “one people” because they were known by their specific African ethnic group or tribe like Songhai, Yoruba, Mandinka, Edo, etc. and not as “American Americans” as they are known as during the modern era.
Knowledge of race history is to that race, exactly as an individual’s memory is to that individual. For Black people, particularly African Americans, without memory of their African past, their individual lives are in an eternity of unconnected moments, totally dysfunctional and unlearned, and they cannot do even the simplest task, for every task requires some memory.
African Americans live in a full “Amnesiac” state. The masses of African Americans suffer from partial amnesia because of a certain deliberate program that wiped the slates of the memories of their magnificent African past prior to forced labor on the cotton fields in America. Two of the greatest benefits that can be derived from the knowledge of history is not the receiving of a better understanding of the present, but more importantly, that knowledge of history will provide the information with which to shape the future.
“African history is the cake and African American history is the icing. No matter how sweet the icing, if the cake is made by our detractors from decayed ingredients, the whole cake is defiled and will be thrown away. Thus, we must make the cake ourselves from the pure ingredients of Truth.” – Dr. Calvin R. Robinson, Dr. Edward W. Robinson and Redman Battle, authors of The Journey of the Songhai People
Mental power is the greatest personal achievement to attain. The African Diaspora learning the knowledge and truth about their ancient and medieval mothers and fathers (i.e., ancestors), leads to the development of mind and spirit, and this is the key needed to accomplish goals.
The Honorable Marcus Garvey once said:
“Not by power nor by might, but by my spirit saith the Lord of Hosts.”
PAFO also believes:
“We feel that the African, himself, must define that which he was actually responsible for―that was civilization itself. This is most important because the powers of western civilization have proclaimed themselves as the forebearers of that institution called civilization. In doing so have convinced most of today’s world that the African virtually made little or no significant contributions.” – Dr. Calvin R. Robinson, Dr. Edward W. Robinson and Redman Battle, authors of The Journey of the Songhai People
Black Consciousness: This is Intellectual Guerilla Warfare
Image I (Left): The Destruction of Black Civilization, by Dr. Chancellor Williams
Image II (Middle): How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, by Dr. Walter Rodney
Image III (Right): Claim No Easy Victories: The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral, by Firoze Manji and Bill Flecther Jr.
“Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, or failures. Claim no easy victories…” - Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Intellectual Revolutionary and Humanist Amílcar Cabral
“I never forget, in my mind it never leave these dreams, filled with days of slavery.” - Defari
Arthur Schomburg, the Sherlock Holmes of Black history, as he was called, said:
“History must restore what our captivity took away, for it is the social damage of our captivity that the present generation must repair, and offset.”
Dr. Walter Rodney of Guyana, South America, and Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Intellectual Revolutionary and Humanist Amílcar Cabral were martyred sons of Africa in the yet unfinished struggle to “truly” liberate Africa and African people (i.e., Continental and Diaspora), and all colonized people from foreign domination. Born in 1924, Cabral was 18 years older than Rodney, who was born in 1942. The assassination of these Black leaders in their prime was tragic and the consequences linger on.
Most of Cabral’s intellectual and activist work was done in the 1960s, and the bulk of Rodney’s work was done in the 1970s. Dr. Walter Rodney’s most important work, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, came out in 1972, just one year before Cabral was assassinated, and two years before Guinea-Bissau’s independence in 1974. The late 1960s through the early 1970s was a period where their work overlapped, intertwined, influenced each other, and was shaped by the local and global movements of which they were both integral parts.
Both Cabral and Rodney received Western (European)-oriented education. They could have become members of the local “petit bourgeoisie,” but they chose to refuse to accept the status quo. They both chose the complex path of leading their Black people towards freedom, and eventually they both paid the ultimate price with their lives. Both intellectual revolutionaries advocated intellectual leadership that was dedicated to the revolutionary aspirations and empowerment of their people. This style of leadership results from the commission of “class suicide.”
Both Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Intellectual Revolutionary and Humanist Amílcar Cabral and Dr. Walter Rodney advocated an intellectual leadership that dedicated to the revolutionary aspirations and empowerment of African people. This style of leadership, which Dr. Walter Rodney described as “guerilla intellectualism” or “intellectual guerilla warfare.” This style of leadership also results from the commission of “class suicide.” In the words of Dr. Rodney, such leadership must be “grounded” with the people. This “grounding” would educate Black intellectuals and prepare them to function as revolutionaries. Through “grounding” with the masses and learning from them, the “Black intellectual” or “guerilla intellectual” acquires understanding of the peoples’ needs, and thus is better able to lead the struggle.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the mission and the little people.” – African American Servant Leader and Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers
Intellectual Revolutionary and Humanist Amílcar Cabral and Dr. Rodney understood that scholarship can be used as a weapon, not to hurt anybody, but to expose the misconceptions and falsehoods that have been unfairly attached to Black people for hundreds of years, especially those Blacks living in Western (European) civilization. This “understanding,” provides surer knowledge, seeks to determine the strategies for focused change, and identifies the agencies of liberation. It was the theoretically and ideologically grounded analyses of social realities by Cabral and Dr. Rodney that contributed to the political, economic, and cultural struggles of Black people worldwide.
“The purpose [of his scholarship] has been to try and reach Africans who wish to explore further the nature of their exploitation;’ and that sure knowledge of African history is a ‘weapon’ in the struggle of the level of ideas’ engaged in by the ‘guerilla intellectual.” – Dr. Walter Rodney
Intellectual Revolutionary and Humanist Amílcar Cabral and Dr. Rodney exemplified this leadership typology in the context of African and broader neocolonial struggles. Dr. Rodney urged Black intellectuals to embrace the “first and major struggle,” that is, the struggle over ideas, by using their positions within the academy to challenge Eurocentric ideas. Also, the “bourgeois culture,” from what Dr. Rodney characterized as “Babylonian captivity” of bourgeois society.
During European (Portuguese) colonial rule in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, Cabral realized that revolutionary movements need to win over sections of the petit bourgeoisie, or the so-called “middle classes,” whose skills and knowledge could serve the movement so long as they were able to commit to class suicide. The Black “middle classes,” whether in Africa or elsewhere in the African Diaspora are torn between finding freedom from oppression through association with the forces of liberation and the attraction of the privilege, wealth, accumulation, and self-aggrandizement offered by the dominant group ruling the society they live in. History has repeatedly shown that this group is notoriously unreliable, and the story of post-independence Africa displayed numerous examples of betrayals and treachery.
One could only wonder what further contributions Dr. Walter Rodney and Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Intellectual Revolutionary and Humanist Amílcar Cabral would have made towards liberating the Black race so they could experience “true equality” on this planet if their lives had not been cut short by assassinations.
On the authority of Dr. Chancellor Williams, Black people are still hopelessly naïve if they do not yet understand that the whites never intend to include them in the doctrine of “human equality.” The white determination to keep Blacks in an inferior position is deep, dating back hundreds of years to the time when Blacks were enslaved people for white people. Blacks fighting to escape from the African race by way of “integration” will continue to meet everlasting and universal opposition from the whites. The Blacks drive to be with the whites is equaled by the white’s determination to prevent it. In fact, whites feel a deep sense of pride in seeing Black leaders clearly validating their own belief in “white superiority.”
The whites in their unquestionable “powerful position of strength” have no reason to do more than make token concessions from time to time, this quieting noisy “Black leaders,” but never changing the inferior situation of the Black masses. The whites still own and control the wealth of different parts of the world, and they developed technologies and world commerce that are all fully protected by governments, which are also under their control. This substantial amount of wealth some European countries have obtained were from centuries of successful conquests of other people’s resources, lands, countries, and continents, which in fact, has led whites to believe they are superior people, and the rightful rulers of the world.
Image I (Left): Ndongo (Angola), Ngola Ann Nzinga (ruled 1623-1663)
Image II (Right): *[Partial English translation]
“The Great King, Munhumutapa. Very powerful and rich in gold. Several kings are tributary to him. His territory comprises lower Ethiopia (Africa)….His empire is very large and has a cicuit of 2,400 miles. His court is at Zimboae (Great Zimbabwe). There are women in his guard…He has a great number of them in his army which give great help to men. He also has a great number of elephants. His subjects are black, brave and swift runners, and he has very fast horses. Idolators, sorcerers, and thieves are severely punished.”
The Black Unity Threat: Examples from Medieval Africa
Enter the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms…
The conquest of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms (present-day Angola, Southwest Africa) was ordered by the Portuguese in Lisbon in 1571 and began in 1575. The Portuguese, to their surprise, had to fight their longest and bloodiest war, almost foot by foot, before Angola was finally taken nearly a half century later. The Portuguese had not counted on being confronted by a Black queen who would turn out to be one of the bravest generals that ever commanded an army, the Unconquerable Queen Nzinga.
Queen Nzinga was the queen of the kingdom of Ndongo, but when she became empress of both Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms, she turned them into safe havens for all Black people, slaves or otherwise, who crossed the boundary of her realm regardless of African ethnic group or tribe affiliation. There was so much unity and patriotism amongst the Blacks in the southwest region of Africa because of Queen Nzinga’s masterful leadership abilities. For instance, the quiet and effective work of Queen Nzinga’s agents among the Black troops of Portugal was one of the glorious, yet unsung, pages in African history.
The Black troops of Portugal rebelled and were willing to work with the Black queen, taking with them much needed guns and ammunition which Queen Nzinga was unable to secure except by swiftly moving surprise attacks in Portuguese enemy units. Those Blacks who understood the coded “talking drum messages” spread the news that all guerilla attacks which occurred throughout the land were attacks that were personally directed by Queen Nzinga. Queen Nzinga’s armies were further strengthened by runaway Blacks who were enslaved, and she was raising a new liberation army, and her loyal chiefs and people were on standby and ready for war with the European invaders and enslavers. This Black queen’s aim was nothing less than destroying the Transatlantic slave trade.
The Portuguese were continually amazed by Queen Nzinga’s commanding leadership abilities, and this amazing display of “Black Unity” by the Africans of Southwest Africa that was under a woman’s leadership. The Portuguese quickly got the memo that “Black Unity” was “Black Power,” and this meant the Blacks would be an unconquerable people. The Portuguese were hell-bent on destroying the so-called “terrible Black Queen.” Queen Nzinga eventually dropped “Ann” from her name when she realized baptizing Black people into (Western) Christianity meant surrendering their bodies and souls to the white man and not to Christ.
Before Queen Nzinga peacefully transitioned to be with the ancestors in 1663, she renounced the Catholic religion many years before her death and banned missions from her country as missions of subversion. Queen Nzinga was one of the first Black people to see the European conquest of Africa, the Transatlantic slave trade, and the European church (Western Christianity) were all one in the same.
The Unconquerable Queen Nzinga waged war against the Portuguese invaders for 40 years, and the Portuguese couldn’t claim this region as a Portuguese possession or colony until Queen Nzinga died. Towards the end of the 17th century, the kingdom of Kongo, and the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms fell victim to European predator activities where “executions, treachery, robbery, and violence became the order of the day.”
“Africa had lost her greatest daughter, the slaves their greatest emancipator.”
– Dr. Chancellor Williams
Enter the Munhumutapa (Mutapa) Empire…
The Munhumutapa (Mutapa) Empire emerged around the 12th and 13th centuries in southern Africa. The Mutapa Empire included present-day Great Zimbabwe, which was the empire’s capital, Mozambique reaching the Indian Ocean, and reaching as far south as the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
During the year 1440, Mutota the Great came to power, and he knew even the most advanced African states, each standing independently and alone, were doomed unless unified as a single nation with a strong central government. Both the Arabs and Europeans had one thing in common, which was they knew the Blacks, and that their power over the Blacks and their continued ability to garner their endless wealth rested on keeping the Black race divided and continually fighting amongst themselves. It seemed like everybody knew except the Blacks themselves that “Black Unity” meant “Black Power,” and this power would destroy “white domination,” from the east and west.
Mutota the Great began to carry out his own “Grand Design,” which was a great plan that aimed at nothing less than uniting Black kingdoms into a vast empire. Mutota the Great moved with his plan and recruited and built strong, and well-trained armies, each under an able general. It is significant to point out that Mutota the Great’s leadership strategy included recruiting soldiers from the surrounding African states which were not yet part of the Mutapa Empire.
Another important move by Mutota the Great was to secure unity through the voluntary association of as many Black states as possible before any conquest by force was attempted. The usual African pattern of empire building was all states joining the imperial union were not only assured of autonomy but also special rights, such as membership in the “Great Council of the Empire,” a privilege denied to kingdoms that were forced to be conquered.
Mutota the Great died in 1450, and his “Great Design” for the Mutapa Empire was far from completion, but the objectives had been worked out in detailed specifications of a blueprint for expansion, unification, and development of a great empire composed of great African states. Mutota the Great’s son rather than his nephew was the successor to the throne of the Mutapa Empire. This was a happy circumstance for the Mutapa Empire because Mutota the Great’s son, Matope turned out to be a great statesman-king and general, like his late father. Emperor Matope was a popular young commander during his father’s reign. Above all, Changa and Togwa, two of Emperor Matope’s greatest generals, were his friends. The Mutapa armies were reorganized, strengthened by relentless training, and expanded.
“This display of both strength and unity among the Blacks puzzled the Arabs. This was something new, amazing,” Dr. Chancellor Williams said. “They had a long history of dealing with Blacks, and nothing was better known than the disunity, mutual suspicions and hostility of one group toward another. How was this spectacle of over thirty different tribal groups forming solid phalanxes of unity under black leaders to be explained? Moreover, the Arabs, who had always maintained their own black troops under Arab officers, were barred from joining the imperial forces by both Mutota and Matope. All this was seen as a very real threat to the powerful commercial position the Arabs had in all the hitherto independent states as well as the equally powerful political influence they enjoyed at the capitals of these states, not to mention their independent status on the coasts.”
Emperor Matope followed every detail of his father’s specifications, and he carried them out in full. A weary emperor, Matope was worn out by the task of unifying different Black kingdoms into his massive empire in South Africa. Emperor Matope retired for his final sleep, which was in 1480.
This is why “Black Unity” is considered a threat to Western (European) civilization, especially if the Blacks living in the United States of America unify. For instance, unity among Blacks has been prevented for many centuries, and Western civilization has perfected race control, sometimes through violence (i.e., the Black Wall Street massacre, Tulsa, OK). The white power structure of Western civilization is aware of the tremendous power of any well-organized group. But an organization of Blacks on a large scope that would represent Black America would be a threat and challenge not only to white domination of the Blacks in the U.S., but also foreign policies and practices that affect the lives of Black people worldwide.
The color line within the Black race has been a barrier that has been difficult for Blacks to overcome for many centuries. In ancient and medieval times in Africa, the Mixed Africans (i.e., Afro-Asians and Afro-Europeans) operated in both worlds, straddling the fence until they made a choice of what race of their bloodline, they wished to be loyal to, the African or European, Asian race. For example, Leo Africanus, when pressed in Rome to say whether he considered himself African or European, he replied that he shifted to whatever side it was expedient to be on from time to time.
“When Africans are on top, I am an African.” – Leo Africanus
There were many tribes or societies in Africa which were exclusively “Mulatto” (i.e., Mixed Afro-Asian or Afro-European). The mixed African clans or tribes made efforts to separate their identity from being considered a Black-African person. For example, many of the slave raids on Black states were spearheaded by Mixed Africans. They emphasized their so-called “ethnic difference” by always retaining thousands of Black people as slaves in their own service, while selling the others.
The fathers (I.e., Asian or European men) of their Mixed African offsprings drove their children as a wedge into the Black race, which not only kept it weak, but kept the Black race divided. By doing this, Asian or European fathers were able to maintain effective control of the Black race through their Mixed African children without being present during slave raids. This class of mixed blood Africans has been a threat for Black people because they are able to play both sides of their race to their advantage.
Of course, there were some Africans of mixed blood who saw themselves as African people in spirit and pride. It is these Mixed Africans who the Blacks looked at as a part of the worldwide Black family.
The state of Black people in Africa during the slave trade era was a state of perpetual fears, and fears of being hunted down and attacked, fears of betrayals and unknown followers within, fears of attacks by other Black people migrating who themselves were fleeing from danger, fears of hunger, overmounting disease and of the alarming number of deaths that could never become common no matter how often they occurred. The outcome from centuries of distrust was the Blacks becoming their own worst enemies, and becoming a helpless people while their ancient and medieval civilizations were being destroyed.
The only hope for Black people to receive true justice, equality, and liberation is unity. When Blacks in America liberate themselves, they will command respect of the world and will be a new kind of mass organization on a scale that has never been attempted before. This, of course will require a new kind of leadership, a leadership with a single purpose of helping the masses of Black people towards a better life. Until African Americans are clear in their minds about their real situation in the U.S., all talk about unity will be useless. But with a clear understanding of reality, specific studies and planning for a broad program for securing racial unity and progress can begin.
Of course, as Dr. Chancellor Williams has stated, no one would propose the whole African American group to be brought under a single umbrella of leadership. What is needed is an organized national conference that should develop a program designed to form hundreds of organizations into one vast national body of millions of Black people, with each society carrying on its own functions as before except in matters concerning the whole Black race, or organize by families and individuals, community by community and state by state.
Lastly, the simple truth is that Black people in the U.S. and elsewhere throughout the world are not and have never been separatists. Dr. Chancellor Williams believes, perhaps, this has been the Black race’s weakness. The Blacks have never really hated whites, and they don’t really hate whites during the modern era. What is taken for “hatred,” when applied to Blacks, is their reaction against being hated, rejected, and oppressed. So, when whites cry and scream, “racism in reverse!” They are saying, that “Only we whites may be racists! Only we whites may discriminate or segregate―but not you Blacks!”
All-white organizations that exclude Blacks is normal and proper from the white perspective (i.e., the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference, where 14 European nations decided to “Scramble for Africa,” and not one African person was at the conference).
PAFO has a saying, “In the spirit of our Fathers and Mothers (i.e., ancestors), protected by their blood, we shall give tongue to each of their wounds.”
This force and spirit from the ancestors of Black people is the reason why Blacks have had the ability to survive, despite many forces arrayed against them, along with the forces of negative religion, color racism, politics, negative education, physical brutality and psychological warfare against their minds, and the destruction of their ancient and medieval civilizations.
I Write What I Like, by Steve Biko
“There is a perception held by many people, even on the left, that imperialism made us enter history at the moment when it began its adventure in our countries…. We consider that when imperialism arrived in Guinea it made us leave history―our history…. The moment imperialism arrived and colonialism arrived, it made us leave our history and enter another history.” – Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Intellectual Revolutionary and Humanist Amílcar Cabral
“The whole aim of the ‘selfless revolutionary’ as defined by Steve (Biko) above, ‘the liberation not only of the oppressed but also of the oppressor.” – Aelred Stubbs C.R.
In the 1960s, the Black Consciousness Movement emerged, which was basically the intellectual side of the political Black Power Movement. Black Consciousness is in essence the realization by the Black man of the need to rally together with his brothers around the cause of their operation, the blackness of their skin, and to operate as a group to rid themselves of the shackles that bind them to perpetual servitude.
According to Steve Biko of South Africa, the founder of the Black Consciousness Movement. He said Blacks are out to completely transform the system and to make of it what they wish. Such a major undertaking can only be realized in an atmosphere where people are convinced of the truth inherent in their stand. Liberation, therefore, is a paramount importance in the concept of Black Consciousness, for Blacks cannot be conscious of themselves and yet remain in bondage. Blacks want to attain the envisioned self which is a free self.
“The great powers of the world may have done wonders in giving the world an industrial look, but the great gift still has to come from Africa―giving the world a more human face.” – Steve Biko, author of I Write What I Like
All talk about “Black Power” is empty until Blacks make “Black Power” a reality in the only way it can be done, and that is by building, step by step, a race organization so great that it will not only be the voice of a united people but will carry on efficiently an economic development program to assist their advance on all other fronts.
“Much success to you, even if you wish me the opposite. Sooner or later, we’ll all see who the prophet is.” – Nas
Like every great movement, this "Black Consciousness Movement" of “Black Liberation” will be initiated by just one individual. No great gathering or crowd starts this special movement sanctioned by God and the ancestors of the Blacks. In fact, when many people assemble, it is because someone has already begun the task at hand. This one person of the Black race has already thought matters through and resolved that a beginning must be made. He or she of the Black race is not the usual “leader” whose fiery words are aimed at their own race, which stirs up emotions, and that is all.
This one person is simply one who is dedicated with a sense of mission and seeking nothing more than an opportunity to serve their race (i.e., like Servant Leader Medgar Evers). They could organize because of their likable and magnetic personality, and they feel a deep feeling within their soul to serve their people, like the African kings, queens, and chiefs of ancient and medieval Africa for fought against slavery (i.e., Queen Nzinga of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms (Angola) of southwest Africa).
“I know I am going to live. God put me in this world for a purpose and that purpose is not yet ended.” – South African Anti-Apartheid Revolutionary Robert Sobokwe
The truth is, there are countless millions of Africa’s sons and daughters (Continental and Diaspora Africans) willing and ready to lead their fellow “Children of the Sun” (i.e., African or Black people) to peace and prosperity.
Blacks, a frustrated people send up a silent prayer, often heavy with tears:
“Please, O God! Send us a few real leaders―just a few, Lord!”
Dr. Chancellor Williams said within the Black race is a leader who is bold, daring, and will put forth an effort of unheard-of audacity. This form of leadership will be looked at by other races as “too unrealistic.” It is important that Blacks unify and face problems together as they arise due to the kind of obstacles they must overcome because as a race, no other people must deal with the deep-rooted oppression and racism that has lasted for hundreds of years, which is residue from slavery (i.e., Diaspora Africans) and colonization (i.e., Continental Africans).
Yet all this person must do is collaborate with five or six other like-minded people, which is of course small at first, but can grow and expand. Not one of whom needs to be a so-called “big name.” This small group of “Black Intellectuals” are born to perform "Intellectual Guerilla Warfare" that inspires others to not be ashamed of themselves and to be the best version of themselves.
“When you realize that you are more powerful than what you are told, you gain more confidence in your gifts.” – Jade Asikiwe, author of The Advanced Melanin Empath: In Depth Knowledge of Self to Protect and Guide Empathic Energy
These "Black Conscious Intellectuals" don’t force their views on anybody because they inspire just by being themselves and leading by example. This conscious and intellectual genius is imbedded in every single person of African descent. This genius intellectual ability among Blacks is just dormant.
“Negro peoples in particular to make a specific effort to revive and develop to the full these creative and spiritual powers which…are Nature’s pre-eminent gifts to the African.” – Dr. William Leo Hansberry
The tasks the Blacks now face during the modern era will test the genius of the race. Dr. Chancellor Williams also said the Blacks of the U.S. are in the best position to lead as an example for the rest of the worldwide Black nation. This movement would further change the course of history and inspire the Black youth and Black elders everywhere, with a new vision, a sense of direction, and the kind of outlook that gives meaning to study as the source of inventions and new discoveries. The challenge the Blacks of the U.S. must overcome is centuries of their own American version of tribalism and disunity. This will be their greatest challenge in this era of perpetual crisis.
“They will accept it if they have come to understand at last that equal rights and equal justice will never come from appeals to the mighty, and granted as an Act of Grace, but only from their own position of power and influence which develop from a united people engaged in great and vast undertakings of their own. If we fail to accept this challenge at this critical turning point in our history, we will have proved ourselves unworthy of having any descendants, and our very names should be forgotten by them―or cursed by the farthest generation.”
– Dr. Chancellor Williams
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