“It is not unity that we must seek but collective consciousness. ” -Dr. Molefe Kete Asante
Bashir Muhammad Ptah Akinyele, Community Contributor
The majority of people in America, and in the world, have not found a pathway to support today’s Black liberation struggles in the Afrikan world community. During the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Afrikan anti-colonialist movements in America, and in the world; many people in America, and in the world, sympathized and supported Black liberation struggles. However, with the co-optation and the destruction of the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Afrikan anti-Colonialist movements by the power structure in 1970s, many people in the America, and in the world, have abandoned Black people. With billions of people on the planet earth, most of them now are not interested in our fight for Black liberation. To this day we are still the most oppressed people on earth, but we Black folks are not receiving help from anyone. Although we as oppressed Black folk always find ways to support non-Black liberation struggles (i.e. Gay Rights, Immigrant Rights, Muslim rights, etc) in America and in the world. Many times non-Black oppressed people in America, and in the world, use us to fight for their own empowerment. But once they reach the goals for their agenda, they quickly forget about returning the support for our struggles for liberation. Unfortunately, there is no reciprocity for our Black liberation struggles from oppressed non-Black people in America and in the world. We as Black people are always left on our own. As Black people, we have a lot work to do to rebuild the Black liberation Movement and create safe places in America and in this world for Blackness despite the lack of support from non-Black people. The Creator, and our Afrikan ancestor are forcing us to become our own liberators. As some of us look to America, and the world, for help, we as Black people have the answers from within our own Afrikan world community. One of the ideological foundations for Black liberation is Dr. Molefe Kete Asante’s Afrocentricity.
Dr. Molefe Kete Asante is a Temple University Professor of Afrikan studies. He has authored several important books and scholarly articles on Afrocentricity. He created the world’s first Phd program in Afrikana studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His ideology on Afrikan centricity establishes a framework, with mother Afrika at the center, for a Black unified collective consciousness that transcends land, language, politics, neighborhood, gang, America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Caribbean country, capitalism, socialism, communism, Democratic Party, Republican Party, independent Party, rap music, ethnicity, political parties, local politics, regional politics, national politics, world politics, civic groups, community-based organizations, fraternities, sororities, and religions. He states, in his monumental book, Afrocentricity, “it is not unity that we must seek but collective consciousness. In Afrocentricity, is a remarkable surge of consciousness that transcends the current emphasis on unity; this is the next act in our drama. Consciousness is now closer than it has ever been.”
I know some of you are familiar with Dr. Asante’s scholarship. But there are many people, reading this commentary, not familiar with Dr. Asante’s important and crucial academic work for the liberation of Black people in America and in the world. His work centers on Afrikan centricity. It focuses on making Afrikan History, Afrikan culture, Afrikan languages, and Afrikan spirituality the center of Black people’s human references (i.e. science, mathematics, philosophy, language, faith, architecture, medicine, ethics, education, morals, norms, values, manhood, womanhood, parenting, fatherhood, motherhood, etc) to help us establish our own Afrikan world view. In other words, because most of our world view is centered on a euro ethnocentric view, we struggle with seeing the world, and world’s religions, from a Black perspective. In fact, some of our own people, and some of our own millennial brothers and sisters, are being used by the power structure to discredit anything equating itself to Afrikan centricity. For example, some Black youth parallel the Afrikan Kemetic (Egyptian) word Hotep with homophobia, reverse racism, and sexism. Some Black youth do not know that the word Hotep is the oldest word for peace in human history. Hotep is used as a greeting by Black people.
This is one of reasons why I picked Dr. Asante as teaching lesson. His writings on Afrikan centric thought and theoretical practices are some of the most revolutionary in the world. With Dr. Asante analysis, we can build an Afrikan centered world view strong enough in the 21st Century to overcome the domination of White supremacy and racism in America and in the world.
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With the help of the Creator, and our Afrikan Ancestors, I am going spend the next several years helping to fight hard for Black liberation.
One of the strategies I plan to help implement is Afrikan centric scholarship. I want to help intellectually expose the next generation of Black people to legitimate Afrikan centric writers, historians, and thinkers to help us fight for our own liberation.
Since the 2000s, another generation of Black people have been lost to White supremacy and the system of racism.
Our Black youth have not been able to raised up consistent Afrikan centric Black liberation movements to meet and address the current conditions our people. The is a consequence of oppression. The system of oppression keeps feeding us is more drugs, Black disunity, Black self-hatred, alcohol, reality television, sports, social media, rap music, thuggism, elected officials, and westernized religions. The system of oppression does this to keep us confused, misinformed, divided, oppressed, and exploited as a people.
However, there is only one respected national, and international, Afrikan centered Black Islamic organization still standing in the way of the complete oppression of Black people. That organization is the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. In America, from the 1930s to the 1970s, Al-Islam primarily under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, bursted on the scene to offer Black people a path to free ourselves from racial oppression in America. Masses of Black people embraced Al-Islam as taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The Nation of Islam grew to a mass movement for Islam and Afrikan centric Black consciousness. It’s members included famous Black Muslim leaders such as, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Clarence 13x, Imam Suraj Wahhaj, and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Unfortunately, the racist power structure became threatened by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. Racist Whites in America, and in the world, worked night and day to destroy the Nation of Islam and it’s Afrikan centered Black consciousness. After the departure of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1975, his son Wallance Muhammad, who would later change his name to Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, took over the reign of leadership. The son of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad moved the Nation of Islam into Sunni Al-Islam. In 1978, disagreeing with the direction of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan left Sunni Al-Islam to rebuild the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam.
This is not good Black folks. There should be a myriad of Afrikan centered Black community- based organizations independently fighting oppression in the millennium nationally and internationally. Unfortunately, this is not happening my people. We have a lot of work to do to rebuild the Black liberation Movement and to create safe places in this world for Blackness.
In conclusion, below this post is a list of books we should be reading from Dr. Asante to help us develop our own Afrikan centered ideological world view. A beginners introduction on the ideological pillar for Afrikan centricity starts with the book Afrocentricity. Then, one should move onto Dr. Asante’s additional writings, such as The Afrocentric Manifesto, Kemet (Egypt) Afrocentricity and Knowledge, The Egyptian (Kemetic) Philosophers: Ancient African Voices from Imhotep to Akhenaton, Revolutionary Pedagogy: Primer for Teachers of Black Children, and the Book of African Names.
-Bashir Muhammad Akinyele is a History Teacher, Black Studies Teacher, Community Actvist, Chairperson of Weequahic High School’s Black History Month Committee in Newark, NJ, commentary writer, and Co-Producer and Co-Host of the All Politics Are Local, the number #1 political Hip Hip radio show in America. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Spelling Afrika with a k is not a typo. Using the k in Afrika is the Kiswahili way of writing Africa. Kiswahili is a Pan -Afrikan language. It is spoken in many countries in Afrika. Kiswahili is the language used in Kwanzaa. The holiday of Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January