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- ANCIENT AFRICA
- >>African Kingdoms>>Ptahhotep of Egypt
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- Malcolm on Revolution
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- Garvey Economics
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- Ethics of the Reparations
- Afrocentrism Pseudohistory?
- Marley Film Review
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- Black Panther Critique
- Jews and Slavery
- Gay Rights
- Failure Of African Leadership
- Capitalism or Socialism?
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Failure to Engage
- Libya Invasion
- Dubois: Souls of Black folk
- Slavery in America
- Amilcar Cabral
- Agency and Africa
- Mis-Education of the Child
- African Revolt
- The Flag of African Cinema
- The Politics of Liberation
- White Supremacy
- The Horrors of 500 Years
- Africa and the Rise of Islam
- Why Kwanzaa
- Ptahhotep Ancient Egypt
- Seen But Never Heard
- African Classical Music
- South Africa: 10 Years On
- Music and Dance in Religion
- White Abolition of Slavery
- A Threat to Black Studies
- Art of Revolution
- African Influence in Barbados
- Origins of Voodoo
- Black Out White Wash
- Ethiopian Slave Trade
- Darfur Report
Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter
– African Proverb
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will
– Frederick Douglass
The most pathetic thing is for a slave who doesn't know that he is a slave
– Malcolm X
Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.
– Ancient Egypt
All the great work of our ancestors can be destroyed by one generation who choses not to remember --but to forget
– 'Alik Shahadah
What kind of world do we live in when the views of the oppressed are expressed at the convenience of their oppressors?
– 'Alik Shahadah
We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us.
– Chester Higgins Jr.
Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.
– Harriet Tubman
If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.
– African Proverb
If we do not stop oppression when it is a seed, it will be very hard to stop when it is a tree.
– ' Alik Shahadah
If the future doesn't come toward you, you have to go fetch it
– Zulu Proverb
A revolution is only a revolution if it remains functional and relevant to the prevailing conditions of those it intends to revolutionize. Just like a weather forecast is relevant if it can predicts storms, or a clock only if it keeps accurate time.
Someone is a master of X, while another person is a master of Y, it is not unity or organization if the resources are unknown, and hence untapped. You do not go into battle without a cavalry, or throw stones at the enemy when someone else knows how to make arrows—but disorganization makes them unknown or unemployed in revolution. And this is just what we do when we organize and only include talkers, and showmen in our line up.
Two people meet up at a conference and are floored by how much they have in common, they talk for hours straight, one works in media one works with an educational project on the ground. 1 + 1 = 2 but they do not know how to add, and never meet again. Our people have a problem putting things together; of seeing opportunities and exploiting them. They know there is something they are suppose to be doing, but cannot get pass the blocks in their mind allowing them to bring these things to fruition.
Alexander fought to expand Greece, Saladin fought and conquered Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion fought and stole a nation, Washington fought and got all of America, Ho Chi Minh fought and got back his country from imperialism. We fight and get to use white people's toilets in America, and shop in their malls in South Africa(feeling cool about being their plantation managers--aka government). So While the Chinese, India et al, are practicing throwing things into Earth's Orbit (and getting better at it), and Arabs are making sand castles in the sea, we got our "intellectuals" planning another conference; Another sit down with the old talkers. The same conference every year for 30 years. This is the only thing they know to do as a response to the globalized world. If this was a race, while the Asian and the European are discussing who will cross the finish line first, the African has not yet heard the starting gun.
Applying the best traditions of efficiency to revolution, make revolution successful. Because the tool that builds nothing is no good to no one.
Hidden behind every great work of art, science, or ideology, is a work-ethos, which creates success. These policies, habits, or principles are equally critical to the things they produce, because without the correct formula no good idea, no great work will come into fruition: Making a great product usually means a great process. If our broader revolution is failing it is very likely that the methodologies, work ethos is critically flawed. We are very good, as a people, discussing ideology, but ideology alone is not even 1/2 the war if our ways of doing things is under developed.
Everyone was interested in joining revolution until they saw the commitment and work involved in real change. (They are committed in-between distractions). Because real work takes a detachment from ego. You cannot get an instant boast like when you post on a Facebook page. So spending months working on an article, or lobbying or starting up a business does not feed the ego like posting some trash and getting a quick response under the delusional rush of "being revolutionary." Today, there is no patience for the most basic process; it is all about instant gratification, which confirms someone's self-worth, more than the end result of that work. So as long as someone feels good—regardless of the change—that is what matters most.
They might agree on the need for new economic models and to flush out capitalism, but they cannot then see that starts with research, reading books, discussing, formatting references. No, they want to jump from nothing to a new system like God in Genesis. I mean they cannot even leave Facebook to email someone, but expect some great new world out of thin air. The old people use to say "If you cannot do small, well you certainly will not be able to do big". It is like if you cannot play a basic musical scale, how on Earth will you play Jimi Hendrix on a guitar? And as it relates to revolution if you still struggling with basic commitments, punctuality, replying to email, organizing the most basic aspects of your life, how on God's green Earth are you going to run a revolution?
Remember those old Kung Fu films? The bad people would do something terrible, then the hero would escape the rapine and go to the mountains and train for years—then return and deliver justice! We on the other hand, refuse to go to the mountains and train/educate ourselves in the ways of economy and trade, knowledge and technology. But we want to TALK about fighting an enemy with far greater power. An enemy that we do not even understand: Because when we fail to train ourselves the greatest enemy is within.
Imagine a man discussing fishing, but when you show him a boat and a fishing rod he does not recognize it, moreover he has no idea what to do with it. This is an analogue to the condition of the pseudo revolutionary. He knows the lyrics to all the songs, but has no real grasp of what they mean in the real world. He does not recognize the face of change when it falls and hits him on his head.
Real Revolution is hard, it is not sugar with honey on top. And people who live in fantasy universe struggle with real revolution because sometimes you have to make hard choices which do not seem "right" in a Peter Pan Pan-African planet. At the end of the day you have only so many resources and you have to utilize them for max effect. You have to use triage when deciding who and what is worth saving. You have to be cold to be kind, discplined and sure-footed. Idealism has little place in any battlezone, ideological or otherwise. If you not practical/rational with this liberation you will not get to 13 months let alone 13 years.
REVOLUTIONARY: Very few revolutionaries die old men in their beds, most of them have their blood running in the street, or nailed to a cross, hung, blown up with a drone, or poisoned. That seems to be the nature of revolution. And the term Revolutionary needs explaining. because traditionally we only use it for Malcolm and the like. But Jesus, like Muhammad, were all serious revolutionaries. Anwar al-Aulaqi, just as Che was a revolutionary (murdered by Uncle Sam). A revolution just means CHANGE. Iran had a revolution, India had a Revolution. and these revolutionaries like Allende in Chile may or may not share our values. But that is not how we define revolution--by agreeing with their cause. This is why revolution needs ethics because Hilter, like Lenin, caused a revolution (change) in Europe, but we will build no statues to those beast.
Two ways to stall a people's development potential and self-determination. Give 1/2 of them the likes of Lil Wayne, Hollywood, and Rihanna, and give the rest of them fake revolutionary methods. Even with a million years to evolve, both groups achieve next to no effect on the system of oppression. What seems "conscious" and hard-line is often yet another illusion to facilitate another mode of sleep in the system of oppression. Because if "revolution" is defined as moving the moon out of orbit, throwing stones at it will not ever have an effect—just like spending all day of Facebook posting Pan-African fatwas, memes and quotes will not change the social-economic fate of African people.
YOU STILL MARCHING ?
Marching use to be cool but how far is that going to take you in a globalized world with locking hands and Singing when the shoes on your feet are made in Brazil, the clothes on your back are made in China, the watch is made in Switzerland, and the song you singing Warner Brothers ™ own the melody and the lyrics, and Disney™ own the copyright for the film on your struggle.
Nat Turner did what he did to break the physical chains, King did what he did to give us the basic foundation of equality to build from, Malcolm, Garvey, Elijah etc gave us our future direction of self-relliance.
TYPES OF REVOLUTIONARIES
A Guide to types of revolutionaries:
They are so passionate about change they will always ask "But what can I do for change?" until you tell them where to sign up. And we need to seriously factor in this. The minute you start talking about REAL anything 90% of the people switch off. And we all know why because between a complaint and a course of action; the complaint is so much more colorful as a Tweet or a Facebook status. Between a nuanced complex understanding of what needs to be done, a fiery piece of tired rhetoric moves the heart more.
No one wants to claim being from the stone-age cannibal tribe of drunk layabouts. Everyone wants to be Ancient Egyptian or Ethiopian because they built something. Everyone wants to be descended from Moors of Spain, or Nubian kings and Queens. And likewise today when we see people rejecting African identity, it is usually because we have not made it attractive.
It is said that there was 0 chance of winning against the Roman army in a pitched battle. If you ever wanted to beat them you better have another plan, or forget about beating them and negotiate a peace. It is urgent on the part of Africans to realize which battles can be won, which have long been lost and which would result in only a Pyrrhic victory. A victorious pitch battle with Europeans and China in economics, politics, globalization, language, technology is never going to happen in this lifetime. We have 500 years of separation. Pure catch up! And as hard it is to swallow this; truth is better than false hope.
We are going to be speaking English for a very long time, trading in their terms, absorbing their political creations for a long time to come-- But all is not lost. The policy of Japan was to absorb what they did not have. There was no time for false pride in old ways, which had no hope of surviving globalization. There is no point bringing "tribal" political systems to push out democracy when these political systems have never in all their history run a modern state. No point discarding modern economics to revive (in totality) some pre-colonial economic model which worked on a hunter-gather society. Elements might be bridged but we cannot throw out for that sake of some ridiculous notion of authentic African vs the world. We must come to terms with those things which define us, are central to our identity, can be integrated and also with what cannot. Because unless you have greater technology, greater orgaization, greater experience than Europe every pitched battle will be a failure.
The support question is a sincerity test; it is a cull-de-sac, no U-turns, no traffic beyond this question. You can not evade it, or excuse it, because it only comes down to a "I did" or "I did not do". I supported what defends my African history or I did not. And because it forces hypocrites and talkers into a corner they get upset with the support question, they will squirm, slide, and squint to avoid being cornered. You see support is with something that is precious to you--not your liberal tongue and all the wonderful rhetoric, but your money or your actions (time, etc). Some have money and time, some only have time to give. Either way, there is a way all sincere Africans concerned with our upward movement can support the struggle for liberation.
THERE ARE NO KINGS TO SAVE US
See also: African Legends
If we, as continent and as a people, already had the best the world has ever seen Malcolm, Fanon, Du Bois, Garvey, Elijah, King, Nkrumah, Gaddafi, Nat Turner, Duse, Menelik II, S Truth, Selassie, on and on, and we have not woken up or moved beyond what we had in the 60's, who is coming to do that work today? As someone said "there are no more kings/queens to save us" And people do not understand the seriousness of this statement. Because some have a projection that it will take 20 years to "wake people up." This is a gross miscalculation if you understand holistically where African people are located in a globalized world--fatally unrealistic. So if these legends have come with their message and left and still, our continent is not ours, and still our minds are not ours, and still our history is not known. Then what force, other than God coming down, will wake the living dead?
Pan-Africanist? Is that what they call themselves. But when you go to them about Identity they never say "Sorry, I don't know, check out "African Race" oh no, they try it, and mess it up. When you ask them about KMT, they try to use ego to answer that also. Reparations, they know that to. At no stage do they have the honesty to be Pan-African and say, check out so and so for that information, they are better than me. So they did their website themselves because again, they are experts at that to. They tried to design their album cover and film their own film, design their own clothes and sew them, because they are experts at that also. Then the AU has a conference about media in Africa or education in Africa, they have never made a film in their life or even know the difference between Bluetooth and Blu Ray, but guess what, they got their name on the invite as an "Experts in Media." And the African world pays a terrible price for this nonsense.
THE BLACK MAN IS ON THE RISE
Growth can be measured. You can't say the Black man is on the rise and we are getting close to unity because if true there are several indicators that would start blinking. One key indicator is in the economic spaces. If we are getting closer to Pan-Africanism the intra-African trade light would be blinking right now (it isnt). If we are getting closer to owning the image of self. Halaqah Media would not be one of the few media houses owning their stuff. Ocacia would not be with Dupsie almost the only major companies selling African clothes. African Holocaust would not be one of a handful of sites discussing these issues, there would be 100 films like 500 Years Later in the last century to buy. Do you understand? There is nothing in this universe that walks tall and does not leave a trail. So success in whatever you are doing leaves a lot of evidence behind. Even a successful shower leaves footprints everywhere. Today we have people claiming that we should do x, y and z to gain success, yet they have left no wet footprints on the floor to suggest any success can come from their suggestions.
One thing which has caused a lot of heartache is the betrayed potential of African people. You can see Africans with everything between them to create great WORKS, but because of their stupidity, selfishness, egocentrism, myopic nature, and laziness, they have betrayed victory. You can look at empty land where they could have been all kinds of projects, business, community development, but nothing exist when everything existed between the people to create it--but they at every turn choose *key word* to betray their mission.
And on this note let us travel to China and Japan and see the conferences they are having! What do you think you will find? How to Get Rich from Africa in 2 weeks - Conference and while their conference is going on we are talking about 'What does it mean to be African in the 21st century" toggling with old tired debates long resolved by other groups.
Africans and other marginalize people better come to terms with reality if we want to go forward. Nations have created wonders. There was a time when some of us created great wonders that lived out our generations: Timbuktu, Axum, KMT, Nubia etc. Today all African claim this racial property, just as all Europeans claim Greece. But after that we lost our dominance in the world. And when that happens you end up on someone's plate. It actually is not personal, it is the tragic way of the world. When the Arabs lost their shine they too were conquered with the religion then gave to Turkey, with the religion they gave Persia. Knowing this in Technicolor tells you how to get out of this qadamire. Not knowing it means you fight Nukes with Rhetoric, F22 fighter jets with your middle finger, and nothing else.
FIGHT THE POWER
So you throw your fist in the air and scream FIGHT THE POWER. Fight the Power was an excellent motivational song by Public Enemy so fist in the air is symbolic of what we did in the 60's. If a fist is an empowering symbol of the struggle, then why since the 60's are all the indicators of "Black power" so low? So Now define the power? What about market economies, what do you know about globalization, and industrialization? Not a clue. So what power are you fighting? If you not sure how the world works, how democracies, a chain store, a supermarket, banking system, credit system, judicial systems, capitalist systems work how are you fighting them? Can you fight a flu if you have no idea how it is spread? Can land a plane if you never heard of a plane? So since BPP you still have people content with rhetoric and nothing else. You just deceiving yourself. And because of that, it will be the "Power" forever Fighting you and winning.
The "Power" makes Glock, Smith And Wesson, Ozzi, Beretta, F22, B1 Bomber, welding tourches, cell phones, pizza boxes, Rx lens for eyewear, electricity, Space Ships, McDonalds, Coca Cola, Wifi Routers, Facebook, YouTube, Universities, your job-- what do you make? So pull the plug out of the wall and see how dark the room just got. Well that is the power, now go and fight it.
IN THE 60's- Travelling without Moving
What happened to all those cool hippies that use to hang around us in the 60's and 70's smoking pot and listening to Jimi Hendrix and Brothers Johnson? They were down with us and calling us Brother and Dude. You see while we were spitting the rhetoric that defined the era, and dressing hipper than hip, and making cool statements like "The Revolution will not be televised" our "friends" understood at some stage they would commute this rebellion and return to "society." So they took out the cameras and filmed us; we innocently thought nothing of it. They took out the notebooks and made notes-- which became scripts for Blaxploitation and best selling books. So now when we wanted some stock footage of the "struggle," we had to go and ask all those White hippies. Well they not hippies anymore, they have huge companies in Silicon Valley, they run record companies that sign our desperate and poor artist for peanuts. The hire and fire our "radical" professors of Black studies. And if the revolution is to be televised we need to pay them royalties first. No wonder they had no probelm iconizing Black Panthers.
There is a way to think, that gives you an advantage over other ways of thinking. And that is critical thinking. You look at everything and ask critical questions. You assume nothing is a fact, especially so-called facts that have been sitting in the rain for the last 50 years. WHY becomes very popular, How Come. The other thing is being HOLISTIC, from A - Z thinking. So if we want to feed ourselves and not depend on Aid what must we do? (Next Step) Create wealth, own our continent. (How) build industry, (HOW) educate our people (How) mentally and otherwise to be able to do these things. (HOW) with good leadership. On and On. You do not just wish Africom to go away and poverty to flee but be stupid on the Wealth creation and need for internal trade.
A Time for Everything
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal.
Then there must be a time for Revolution.
It starts good, this idea of contributing to the work of this struggle. But then reality kicks in after the first few hours of starting what the day before looked so easy. You realize: "Oh no, this is an investment in time... Africa is not worth this kind of investment's have other things to do." Thinking out loud you say "It is better I return to Facebook and collect some "Likes" for my 'What we need to do is take back our economy and return to our culture.'" You see big noise, low investment. The saying goes but if you cant even do small, what about Big ?
It was so easy to talk about Ethiopians in refugee status in the Middle East, South Africa's White dominated economy, racism in the education on Facebook, but then the task of actually doing something about it in the REAL world had in no rush, no ego top-up. Because actually doing something is pretty darn boring project: Researching in silence, writing and fact checking, phoning, reading books, organizing events, structuring a think tank response, and no one to "Like" what you are doing.
What does that mean to you when someone says "Oh no, I am serious about xyz", Well ask this question to most people and they all say YES. But then there is a 99% drop out rate, 80% in the first week of class-- what happened to serious? (based upon a free filmmaker's module in South Africa). And it is across the board. But serious relative to what? If you never done anything you might be serious in your miniature fantasy universe. Are you serious like Spike Lee while filming Malcolm X, or serious like Muhammad Ali when training for Rumble in the Jungle? Or serious like Obama when he wanted to get in the White House? Or is it "serious" compared to your jobless neighbor across the road? Which serious are we discussing?
So because most will say they are serious and know what they want, there is no point listing to words--everyone thinks they are serious. How do you get the truth out of them? So let us ask the question again when you have to spend $5000 bucks or commit anything. In a flash the concept of any "serious" investment wakes up the reality section of their brain and they give you a "serious" answer when it puts a dent in their pocket. Serious is an action! not a casual statement.
Are you serious? Is the first question you have to really ask yourself. Not even are you talented, or capable, but are you serious. A Serious person can easily be defined, and must be defined if we want to move pass GO. A Serious person is someone who has an idea and can hold onto that idea for more than a few days, weeks or even years. They have goals and milestones to mark their progress towards those goals. So if you stop them on the street 2 years from now and said "what is up with that business you said you were starting?" They will say "We are using our garage and have 3 machines and 2 workers, but planning to upgrade next year". Beware of people who have BIG IDEAS, which vaporize in weeks.
Makes no different how noble and well articulated your your politics until this first question can be sorted out. Because if you call yourself conscious and are not serious, then consciousness is moot. If you are into Pan-Africanism and not serious, then your Pan-Africanism is moot. If you are into business development and your seriousness is non-existent, then your business development is moot. It is better you do the world a BIG favor and get some tape and run it around your mouth so we do not get anymore noise pollution.
Actually to show you how bad it is, are you even serious like Beyonce about her career as a Diva. Because even these entertainers have to be serious to get where they got. Serious is the people that climb K2, Serious are the people who invented the airplane, serious is the guy that walked from one side of America to the other side, serious is the person that compiled the history of African people and proved Ancient Egypt was a native African civilization. Serious people have serious work to show. Serious is not just a word that falls from your lips--It is an action word like running, and jumping.
There is a young brother sitting down in Africa dreaming of owning his own film production company. Every day he goes to Facebook and talks about his wonderful ideas. When asked what are you doing to get there; like making films, reading books, studying other people's work, training, he says "I am just hoping and praying". There is an old man in Africa dreaming of owning his own film production company...
What is your track record and link to community to undergo such an undertaking? Have you spent more than the time it took to create the Facebook page looking at what already exist? Then how is it Pan-Africanism?
It takes no commitment, no investment to create yet another Facebook illusionary distraction to compete for people's time; vying for fans and likes. Leave the "I-ego" out of it and consider joining a pre-existing established real organization, which does real-world work.
To seek solutions needs a viable platform, and so many exist. The strength of the struggle is in quality control and organized thoughts—not everyone rushing off and doing their own thing—without any peer review. And this instant quick revolution betrays a fatal personality flaw, the need for short term egotistical reward over real progressive change. It is easy, and hence attractive to people who can offer nothing more than their fantasies of feeling good for being the leader of an ant hill. Let us learn Pan-Africanism by following before we lead.
The Founding fathers of America attached themselves to the Roman democracy as a continuation of their legacy. Everyone does this, especially the Jews who claimed to be the Ancient Biblical Hebrews—yet are totally different people. Napoleon said he had Roman blood to embody the greatness of Rome. No shame in that. The only shame is when you attach yourself to legacy and do nothing else. So Ancient Egypt is ours when we decide to embody their greatness—not just putting a dark skin man with locks in Pharaonic dress on a Facebook page—And nothing else.
And even if was a blood relationship, as in Sudan and Southern Egypt what of it? You still have to embody what made them great if you are truly "of them." It is like being the child of Malcolm X or Bob Marley, so what? If you do not live in their legacy.
TOOL OR VICE : YOUTUBE
It really is about how you use what you have. Think about this story. "Stupid" YouTube that consumes hours of people's time, watching nonsense "baby genius on drums", "cat on skateboard", "chocolate rain", "Basement pseudo history talk shop on liberation" on and on. I know people who spend 5 hours constant on the thing. Now that very same "stupid" YouTube in the hands of someone oriented to liberation changes. It becomes, "How to DIY fix your plumbing", "How to build a retaining wall", "How to sew curtains", "how to eat healthy," "How to use Outlook 2013", "How to use a camera", "how to light a room like a pro", "How to ride a 600cc motorcycle ", in addition to being an educational resource for linguistics, marine biology, physics (black holes and quarks) etc. It goes back to the follow statement.
Historically a quote was extracted from a book, which gave a detail of the subject it covered. The quote was a summarization or a potent point extracted (this is key) from that extensive writing. You could go back to the quote in the book and find 2000 words explaining it. Today, with YouTube you get these orphan soundbites which now become quotes. People accessing African history are now building their understanding of Africa based on isolated quotes from videos and stand-alone statements.
African history is a rich history, but today it seems to be a strip down comdity which is repackaged as orphan and surface information floating around as consciousness. This fast food history classes modellled like Casey Kasem's American Top 40: "5 things that prove Ancient Egypt was black". (and the proof is via photos) There must be a need, somewhere, for this kind of simplistic lack of scholarship information. But here is what we know! The people who ingest that kind of information when you go back to them after 5 years and check where they are in their growth, understanding, and development you know what you find? Its head candy not conscious growth.
Creating wealth for self, will not happen by the click of a 'like button' but by having people who are sensitive, and integrated into an understanding of economics and its applications in community. It cannot be an theory paper by a professor of Morgan State, or the rhetoric of some revolutionary in a basement working part time for the state.
And some in our community have wealth, but without a conscious identity we are doomed to fail. Most of MJ (RIP) wealth is putting White kids through school and keeping Sony afloat. Most of the NBA ballers wealth is keeping White women in fur and pearls. For every ball Tiger puts in a hole, there is another hole in his pocket, leaking his money back to the White world.
While waiting for nationalization and reparations can we please use the time to get skills and educate ourselves to be commanders of our own world— free from the West, free from dependency? You see this is the problem with the lazy revolution: It grabs, snatches but never thinks.
MERIT: WHO IS WHO
In the 1998 film Sphere with Sam Jackson there was a secret crisis and they proceeded to address it by calling in a Mathematician, a psychologist , a physicist, etc. When Africans have conferences etc, to deal with issues in the community we do not call in people based on merit , or ability to contribute to the problem at hand-- no, we call in people based on personality and nostalgia. So a conference on business and trade or intellectual property or digital media has a motley crew of dashiki wearing "street educators" and the same Dr, So and so for the last 10 years. They are clearly not qualified to deal with those specifics but the "club/clique" mentality says it was something on Africa and they should be there. But what can you bring to the discussion? So for example merit to represent the issue of media is not by the person who has done profound work in media, it is by personal connection. And outside of that personal connection nothing else can be appreciated or moved on.
We as a community put to much value on diverse opinions. But if all these "diverse" opinions cannot get us owning even 50% of our own continent they what good is diverse opinions? If all these creative thinkers that we are supposed to accommodate for together cannot even name our group, or unite in any tangible way then where is the value in so-called diverse thought. Clearly if we really engaged diverse thought we would be seeking out those which can transform our society, not diverse because we like to accommodate all manner of nonsense. If I have a way of making a film that gets a film made and someone else has a way of making a film that has never made a film why are we sharing a space? If someone has never done any development work yet has all kinds of unrealistic ideas should they stand on the same platform of those who actually go out there and create development?
Diversity is suppose to allow us the broadest pool of contributions so if I have a heart condition we have a vascular surgeon, we have an anesthetist specialist, we have a cardiovascular specialist, we have a neurologist, we have a dietitian, and we have a post-opt specialist, and maybe even a love doctor just in the event it is non-medical. Missing form this list is the non-specialist causal personal point-of-view.
FREE is for SLAVES
Slaves and children like FREE. Nothing in this world is free; most over the age of 7 know that things cost money, and mommy and daddy have to go to work to pay for stuff. YouTube is not free. Facebook is not Free. But during slavery you thought the food was Free. We have this strange expectation that consciousness should be free. Especially when collective work (like this free site) suffers because every contributor, even for spell checking wants executive salaries.
This site you found this article on is not FREE, if people stop buying the products, you will see how "Not free it is " when they shut it down. And we, the conscious, do not have to do this work, there is no further obligation on us to do more; the burden is on you. Take that money you got for all that junk and spend on liberation. Do not ask that Asante, who gets 10% of the Amazon price, give his wisdom away for free. Do not ask for Karenga to speak without some form of remuneration, he did not get the wisdom for cheap. This writer did not make 500 Years Later for free; its my job, my trade, how I feed my family, how I pay my bills. It is that wealth that allows me to write this article without worrying about dinner. Independent wealth is also protection, it allows one to speak ones mind without fear of being fired on Monday morning. And still, like John Singleton, I could have done something far more profitable; if profit was my primary concern. But Burger King, Disney World, Cable TV, IPad, are worthy of our hard earned cash but the Pan-African economic web is not. It is certainly not the tradition of Marcus Garvey or Elijah Muhammad in their solution for rebuilding Africa.
But most of our leadership, (save NOI and Garvey) comes from academia – who are not wealth creators, but paid help/staff of European institutions. Most are victims of the dilemma of close-circuit thinking; ideologies poorly ventilated in the real and dynamic world. Can you imagine someone calling themselves a "master chef," but have only written papers on food, but never cooked anything? This is the dilemma of most academic Pan-Africanist. It is the theory of unity, without actually any unity. When reading their "solutions," Media comes up Zero, Agency comes up Zero, business comes up Zero. Trade comes up Zero, but idealism comes up in every other sentence.
Many African academics write all the pretty words on paper; "Africans need business" (very easy to type), "Africans need to control image of self" (very easy to say and write). Now walk up to them with an actual business or actual media idea and watch them look at you as puzzled as a sheep studying at a Nuclear power schematic. They would not know revolution if God came down and showed it to them—disconnected jokers. Reagan, to Clinton, to Obama have Harvard academics in their backyard everyday for tea and biscuits: Ask yourself who is Milton Friedman, who is Keynes? Who is Bernard Lewis. Then we start to understand the role of real academics in Western society. Ours are writing poems. Because If a book on economics cannot rebuild an economy, then it is just pretty poetry—fit for a poetry jam or wiping the Kool Aid off the floor. And we should be worried when our "top" academics are part-time showmen. Op Ed celebrities with flashy personalities, but next to Zero serious applicable content. Cheered on by Mr. White.
If you are a farmer, you see the world through the eyes of a farmer; every piece of land you drive pass you notice it in farming terms. If you are a fisherman, every time you pass the sea you look at it and wonder "I wonder if there is any good fish in there." Now business people think business, filmmakers think in film, academics masturbate in suspended world of academic theory. When the month comes to an end, they walk up a flight of stairs into the masters office and collect their check. The reality of the professional Black academic is therefore not realistically in tune with the importance of image of self, business ownership and the like. They know they are important but are generally only capable of dreaming of these things in theory, and therefore fail to appreciate them beyond rhetoric and paper appeal. Yes they play a very important role in our liberation, but we must understand the limits of their theory, and not put the entire revolution on the writings of academics.
A fair share of our good scholar's rage is spent fighting to keep their jobs. As well meaning as L Jeffries, Dr. Ben, Tony Martin, Asante, Clarke, et all are/were they are incapable of perceiving or implementing new economic paradigms, because most of them are economically dependent on European structures. And this is not so much their problem alone, because it is not their place to speak beyond their pay grade, and we need to learn these limits. None of them run a government or a business to be experts on these practical aspects. Just like engineers who build bridges are not expected to define culture, and write about the effects of slavery. So this caveat is necessary for the current generation of African Scholars, who entirely depend on the publishing houses of Europe, the TV stations that accommodate them, and the universities that tolerate them. And we have relaxed for so long that we forgot we were guest in our enemies' house. Being head of African studies is not a final destination, or the peak end gain for our people. These are inside oppertunities to allow a greater independent work to go on— not the final objective.
What happens when they decide to pull the plug? As they did with the UK African History departments: A whole lot of African scholars with mortgage arrears. And the same thing when the British decided African/Black arts was not worthy of further funding, and entire collapse of film, art, community culture based organizations occurred overnight. GONE! We failed to use the advantage in the funding years to create self-sufficiency. And like lambs to the slaughter we watched the funding coming down across the board, yet were shocked when "auterity" was on our doorstep.
The current old time leadership, and old time methodologies are also out-of-tune with community. Still thinking overhead projectors are revolutionary information delivery systems. They have no idea about the new world that is "liking" itself away on Youtube, Facebook and Wikipedia. Yet they continue to fail to engage the next generation who is techno savvy but lacking in direction. So this is why we see the same types of unchanging engagement: unattended academic conferences - no one reads that boring stuff. Pointless events with the same old faces from back in the day. Community sister [insert triple barrel African name] and community brother [insert Ancient Egyptian name].
Double conscious (Dubois) So they write an entire book cussing Europe, yet everything they write is for a White audience. All the paradigms of success and human relations are aping Europe. And nothing in their actual mind-set is located in Africa- only the rhetoric. How do they live? What is important to them? Getting praised by New York Times. I thought we were trying to come out of Babylon not go deeper into its cave.
Why do our leaders (in all areas) fail us? Because there is no consequences for failure. So a talks shop smooth talker can get up and shout out all kinds of beautiful rhetoric, after he gets his thunderous applause and steps down off the podium, what systems or institutions exist to hold that person accountable to those words? Where is the peer review or monitor that tracks these words into actions? Because they will publically say "we need image of self" (crowd cheers them) but if you go to them behind closed doors they have nothing do with independent cinema. They shout "unity now" but in private, outside of the flashing cameras, they are the ones that get up and walk out of unity. They say "Forget the church and the mosque, go back to the old ways", yet not one of them ever honors Ogoun or Rog or even the basics of principles of Maat. Africa this and Africa that, yet the only place they go in Africa is the grounds of the Hilton Hotel. And none of them actually plan to leave the suburbs of Atlanta for anywhere in Africa. Africa is a tourist stop over when then do shopping in Paris.
How can you have a Pan-African conference yet have no concept of creating a space for trade? As oppose to a TALK SHOP why not have a WORK SHOP, where people can gain real world skills?
Some people are special, they struggle organizing a basic meeting, showing up on time, or even sending a basic e-mail or keeping any form of promise they made. They can't even manage to buy conscious films or visit the Motherland. Yet these same people have the hottest rhetoric on the planet, they will tell you "we should do x, y and z, kick people out and take back Africa." But If you can't do small, how do you plan to do big?
No offence, but most of these poet, singing dancing revolutionaries will not be missed if abducted from planet Earth. Especially the child-minded musician, who is busy changing guitar strings, unaware the bombs have begun falling. It has to be said, because it is getting very worrying when solutions to economics, and poverty come in the form of a poem written on a toilet paper on the back of the bus: When racism is going to be ended with lyrics from a newly penned song. We love you— thanks for the inspiration — yes we need everyone, but we also do not need delusions.
Do not deny the people their trinkets and distractions for they may revolt. You can deny them any and everything else and not get a murmur, when you first control their priorities. It is easier to get our people to rally behind singers in trouble, actors (Snipes), Death row inmates (Troy), Drug dealers beaten by the police than any other good cause. Some claim they have independent thought and understood "the Matrix" yet they struggle to connect that theory with living reality. When the piper blows his tunes their resistance crumbs and they sip the Kool Aid. The media handpicks "worthy" and "unworthy" and throws it before the people. Another imprisoned rapper (to talk about), another dead artist (to cry for), another criminal on death row (to protest for). You cannot get a tear out of their eyes for the millions of Somalis in crisis, or a peep out of them for the issue of poor education; but they are vocal as gulls for trinket issues.
The new gladiators are these singers and dancers, actors and clowns put there to keep us skinning our teeth. Idols in people non-representative and selected for you. Now music and dance are part of our culture, but if everyone is singing who is going to design the microphones, if everyone is running who will fix the sprained ankle, if everyone is playing ball who will engineer the stadium?
Can't name one African king but know all the lyrics to Drakes new song. Ebony AOL says, "Rapper breaks-up with Singer , and it occupies all our Twitter and Facebook dialog. Now all people have this problem, but not all people celebrate clowns before prophets — most Jews know the difference between Ben Stiller and Ben Gurion.
Read and Grow or do not read and be enslaved by lack of complete conscious info. This is how they manipulate us with Mali, Zimbabwe, and Libya. They always said, "Hide it in the Books" it is so true, especially when those who say "we know" do not know. So there is no fear about spilling the beans on American foreign policy, right there hidden in plain view, but we do not read and we do not know.
If you have 1/2 info, bad info, how do you plan to fix the problems of our African world? It is more than someone being right and someone being wrong. It is about perspectives on factual info that we can come and debate and trash out to get to the truth (dialectics), but there is no dialectics if one persons source is YouTube and another persons source is Black Chat forum.
We are also not prepared to study and write. No problem, there are many Europeans who see the void and come and write the info, not only becoming authorities on Africa, but paying their mortgage and putting the next generation through university. Blame self first, we have the culture, we have the music but let them write and film it. So when you want to learn about the beauty of Wodabee African culture you need Carol Beckwith.
SOLUTIONS AND OPTIONS
While there might be many roads to Timbuktu, some—like flying—get you there faster than walking. Solutions are the same. But on some issues there is only ONE solution. For example, there is no alternative to punctuality: there is no "In Africa we don't care about time." There is also no other path to unity than love of self. And no concept of development than cuts out economics. So beware of anyone preaching alternatives to these things, like self-determination with cultural agency.
Progressive: So between a bad production system from Africa and a good production system from Japan we have to go with Japan. If Democracy is from Europe has more mechanisms in place for running a modern state, and we cannot yet answer the question of what does Africa have, in the interim—until that question is answered—-we will stick with democracy. Or anything that responses to our real-world needs for innovation, self-reliance, and development. But here is where it gets deep. We will not take anything without filtering it through our unique African sensibility and strip it down and make sure it services our Pan-African development—long term and short term.
There is a trend within our community of asking "But how do we fix…" but the person has NO interest in a fix. They ask but are not actually seeking answers, only the pleasure from always complaining. So you get the question "How do we change policy which empowers the average African?" If you say here is the answer they ignore you and keep asking the question. And the reason people do this is because as long as you have only questions, and no answers, you are not actually compelled to make any changes. The minute you have the answer to the question then how can you continue to justify sitting still?
THINK TANK OF YES MEN
We have a problem to solve in our pan-African world. There are tried and tested methods which go back to Adam on how to solve problems as a group. Hardly rocket science. But why are we still not reaping the benefits of the collective Pan-African mind? Well if you have a think tank made up of your cousin, your best mate, your tribe mate, a person who says yes to your every move then that is hardly a meritocracy and thus not a think tank. Try as you may, you will not be able to even change a light bulb with 200 yes men, cousins and tribesmen. But you will be able to get your ego massaged.
What would a Pan African victory look like? It seriously depends on who you ask, because if you ask someone deep inside the mental slave system they might say "Denzel gets cast to play King in The Mummy Returns 4". For some of us getting that reparations check so we could buy that new Lexus is the ultimate victory. Others may say victory will come when Nigeria host the next World Cup.
From within the slave matrix most cannot even dream of a victory, much less take 2 steps to achieve it. And this is one of the things that went wrong in South Africa, victory for many was Mandela as an icon, well he is gone now, and what about your victory? For many African Americans some thought (key word) that having a Dark skin guy in a White house was the panacea for all the woes of the "Black" world.
I WANT ...CONDITIONS OF REVOLUTION
I want my revolution, but I do not want to lose anything. I want to be healthy, but eat Chitterlings all day. I want the full pleasure of sex, but not the responsibility of marriage. I want all the freedoms afforded to me under this slave system, but I want all the perks of being fully liberated. I want my bank account to be full, but I do not want to work. I want to own my own house, but I do not want to pay the mortgage. I want to be African, but behave like a European. I want to be part of community, but behave like an individual. I respect the ancestors, unless I don't like what I am hearing. I want justice in the world unless it causes me to lose something.
TALK IS NOT AN ACTION
You can say what you want on your corners, on YouTube, or anywhere else, but nothing said matters if you have no power to make these things real. Pan-African challenges this powerlessness by fostering African agency. When African own and control land, resources, images of self; then all the other problems start to dissolve. And we cannot in one hand complain about the lack of positive images of African people and lament over the opportunist media houses like CNN if we refuse to go into our pockets and support the few independent films we do have. We either understand the power created via unity and process that go into unity or die in unmarked graves, forgotten to time.
The challenges are crystal clear, getting change-agents in positions to affect change.
Every one of us have problems in our life, we certainly have money issues, and family issues, things that impact our time and our commitment to struggle. BUT, why are some people on time and some people not? Why are some people action people and others not. Are we saying punctual committed people do not have the same life challenges? Some at every turn have an excuse for their failure, when others--regardless of the climate--deliver on their promises.
Some people just so shabby they still are so disorganized, yet they say they are conscious, well if you apply consciousness how come you cannot reflect and develop? So how does consciousness make someone so unprofessional and so selfish they cannot see their failures are impacting development? And the ones that do it the most are Excuse manufacturing plants, producing the highest output of any factory on the planet.
* My computer had a virus
* It was raining and I could not make it
* I was so busy (Busy or disorganized, they look the same until you examine the person involved).
Other communities uproar at injustice by protesting and marching, but they spend more time building their economic, political and social strength. Jews post-Hitler, made short-term, long-term and cross-generation plans to never be the victims of anyone. In media, in policy, they secured their interest, sometimes at the expense of other oppressed people. So if the BBC or anyone upsets their sensibility, unlike us who can only shout, they could threaten to close down BBC economically.
Much of our career as Africans has been spent fighting the symptoms of racism, the surface racism. We fight when Troy or Tookie is with the hangman. (too late) We protest when they drop the bombs on Libya. Power will only have a conversation with power. (Fredrick Douglas) These circus celebrities become TV revolutionaries that show up at every Black issue are a complete disservice to anything long term. But we like their pretty rhetoric and charismatic mannerisms so we keep sending them to fight our wars. And every time a problem comes up in the community we look at it with the innocents and naivety of a child, not as the oldest inhabitants of the planet. And just like a child our response is often superficial. So this is why the minute they flip the switch on another victim of the criminal injustice system, that is it for our work. What are the long term, cross-generation plans for absolute transformation of our reality? Are we happy to wait for the next victim, the next layoff, the racial insult?
We must not blame the likes of Obama for not having an Agenda for us. Strategically why would he waste his time when we don't have any power of organized influence. To repeat in plain English, the concerns of Blacks in America [sic] are not unified enough, organized enough to make it onto the political agenda table of either party: No unified self-serving agendas like the Jews. The Jews have Israel and pro-Jewish concerns, the gays have gay marriage. What unified ideology do African Americans have that causes the White House to shake if they do not support it? For example reparations for slavery should, by now, be such a powerful uniting concern that any president that does not speak to it, doesn't get the African American vote. Obama et al has an agenda for every other group except us— why? Because there is no point on having an agenda for a people who cant even agree on what to name themselves, no universal values, still content to support on the patina issue of Obama shares our skin color, no group agenda other than orphaned complaints of police and judicial injustice. What about core issues such as education, what about foreign policy in Africa?
If you look left you get hit by a bus, if you look right you get hit by a truck —no easy answers. Politics is dirty, it is not about who you like. We must set aside that and vote actual issues, vote strategy. And in absence of great issues we must vote to keep the worse wolf from coming to power. One argument in favor of voting is our ancestors were denied their right to vote, they died and suffer so now we can participate in this B.S Democracy. Yes democracy is a joke, but unless you come up with a better plan, we better go and support the candidate less likely to cause World War III.
The word "revolutionary" needs a serious review, It is being used loosely by people who do not realize revolutionary also means innovative, and progressive. A revolutionary new economic idea, usually means better, more advanced. how can it be revolutionary if it has no yield?
Escaping the gravity of ego, selfishness, and greed remains the greatest obstacle to African unity. Because ego blinds us to solutions not of our own personal authorship (I didn't come up with it so it is not valid). The personality of some Greatest Hits from the Pan-African 60's continues to voice solutions that have failed to materialise in 40 years – why then are they still leading the think tank? Egoist that do not know when to shut up and let a meritocracy rise. Because if we are seriously looking at solutions the first harbor is "Are you right for the job"? And if the answer is "no" then why is this person leading the project? A projects validity has to be centred around "merit" not "who." Makes no difference if you marched with Martin or got a photo with Malcolm. Can you do the job?
Beyond rhetoric what does "Unity" actually mean on the ground? Where are the structures that are being built to process unity? What is the purpose of this unity? Where is the work from this unity? Rhetoric is not work, rhetoric is only the argument and motivation for work.
Make no mistake, the reason for the ongoing demise of Africa is not because of the Arab Slave Trade, or the destructive European slave trade, or Colonialism. These are all symptoms of a greater dilemma; the inability of Africans to build constructive spheres of self-interest around common challenges. Our fates are intertwined and our destinies are inter-dependent on us realizing that. We are not the 60's generation that only could talk about Garvey. We are not the 30's generation that could only talk about Booker T. We are a generation with the gift of hindsight. We have Malcolm, Garvey, Dubois, Nkrumah, Biko as examples. It is time for hard love, Because if anyone still doesn't know the obvious we need to keep walking with those that get it. How is it possible to watch 500 years Later, Sankofa, Motherland, read Alex Haley, read Dubois, studied Fanon, Carter Woodson and still be DUMB to the our condition and our ailment ? How can working together be still treated as a luxury item? How is it possible to have read Garvey and still be handing over all your money to White people when you have a project? Can we really blame Arabs, Whites, Chinese, Turks, and everyone else for grabbing up the big fat opportunity lying on the Black road? We leave the door of opportunity wide open, so they come and collect.
To claim to know our condition yet continue to make excuses and reassign responsibility? To be quick to see the flaw in others yet only have excuses for our own failures. If you are complaining that Black people are not professional, or punctual, or committed then you must first 100% be sure that you are not part of the group you are complaining about. And if you have ZERO plan of being an aspect of change then have the respect to shut your trap.
When Jesus sat at the last supper he looked around and said; one of you will betray me. We can be 100% sure that someone within our unity group will be the agent that causes failure, while claiming to be part of the unity process. Now if we know that, then we must act in a way to protect unity by being pro-active. Therefore, it is just as important to know why things fall apart as it is to know how they come together. The story of failure and success are two halves in one whole.
The predictability of emotion means well placed moves will always control the outcome. This is how silly agendas are inserted into a community to cause false focus. Africans fight strange priorities (Wesley Snipes in jail, a thug beaten up by cops) at the expense of serious issues.
Excuses make us feel good, it makes sense to our brains, oh that is why my world is so screwed up, it is because of those monsters over there. So stay in bed longer, take a holiday from building something, smash all the mirrors in your house that reflect your own agency and accountability.
Walking was replaced by the horse, the horse was replaced by the car, the car was replaced by the plane, as the fastest way to get to Timbuktu. The script destroyed oral tradition, the car destroyed the donkey, and we must deal with that without the romance.
African values do not mean going back in a time machine. Just because our ancestors did x, y and z doesn't make these things desirable or practical. Running around top-less because the Khoisan do it, and Europeans forced clothing on them is just trivial and reactionary. Digging up some extinct village religion at the expense of critical work is not African-Centred - It is just bad farming. The progressive understanding of Africa in antiquity has to deal with the realities of villages, nomadic hunters and the city state. All of these consideration point to one conclusion, what works for the village doesn't hold together the city-state. (See article on culture)
KMT used technology, Ethiopia used technology. Technology is just a tool. If you put a nuclear reaction in the hands of a God loving person he creates clean sustainable energy. If you put that same technology in the hands of a devil he drops a bomb on women and children. And if you put that technology in the hands of some people they look at it with confusion, not knowing how to apply it to their reality. Regardless of what tools a damaged mind is given it will always use them to its detriment.
Liberation objectives means priorities are essential. No point challenging English as a world language when our generation has failed to secure ownership in our own continent. When we remove English without first nurturing a replacement, what good will that do? Or we fight to get African images on TV and then all the images are produced by Whites copying Hollywood. It would also be nice to replace democracies with African centred political governinig system. But just because Kemet had system X doesnt mean this system can be transplanted into our 21st century world. It might therefore be more appropriate to transplant the principles of Maat as a guide than copy cat everything they did just because it was African.
There was a time when we needed to only see the Pyramids at Giza, because we were so crushed by mental slavery and swamped with images of backwardness and savagery. But in our maturity we can consider a more diverse Africa, we can appreciate so-called pre-modern cultures and peoples. We can understand and take from some of their traditions. But there is only unproductive romance in saying "In Africa we ..." just to escape or critique modernity. Living in a mud hut (that the flood easily washes away) vs. a warm house, is not desirable. Fetching water from a river and dying of a water bourne parasite is avoidable. Spending all day hunting is a life not lived.
It is hilarious hearing some Afrocentrics talk about "Traditional this and that" after a one week stint in the Hilton hotel in Ghana. Try spending two weeks in Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region of Ethiopia with the Mursi or the Hamer people. This over romantized Africa is a developmental issue because very few could hang in this so-called "Traditional Africa" they always advocate when critiquing Abrahamic religions and Industrialization. Technology is what built Kemet, the same Kemet postered as 'Great African accomplishments.' So we need to quickly decide where we chose our African models from in absorbing our historical contributions. Because we cannot have our cake and eat it too. There is a ritual among the Hamer where the women are ritually beaten by men, they beg the men to beat them until blood is dripping down their backs; just like the Shiite Muslims. The Mursi women cut the bottom of their lip and insert a plate so those repulsed by FGM, need to witness some traditional African ritual scarification and lip stretching. In the Southern Sudan the Dinka women wash their babies in cow urine for medicinal purposes. So appreciate how the Northern people would view these people when we discuss "Black Arabs destroying African culture." The point here is to those romantics that talk about "In Africa before invaders", "In the Africa of our ancestors", "In the real Africa". All of these things also come with that package. And while we must not turn our noses up at these rituals, we should at least appreciate this is also a part of Africa that most of us do not have a stomach for.
How does the world work? Most do not know because we are educated to be disconnected, to know only our little part. So we end up thinking meat just materializes in supermarkets, petrol just lives in the ground under the petrol pump-not from war torn Middle East and Nigeria . That the clothes we wear are made without consequences to some "3rd world" nation. We think that films are made for free - so we watch them for free. We are divorced/dismissive from the economics needed to build an African car, yet we complain about lack of industry in Africa. So if we have opinions about the world in ignorance of these things then the outcome will enable our stagnation.
The current funding models of most Pan-African organizations are still about begging for donations on their poorly designed Pan-African websites. It is poor economics, tangible products are a trillion-million times better than donations. Where do the donations go? What do they build? Apart from the fact that PayPal gets 2%, where are the accounts of how these funds are going to be used? We know most of the funds go into running pointless conference and meetings in exotic locations; refining the art of looking important while creating nothing.
Now when you purchase a product you get something which you can use, the business gets something which keeps it running and expanding; We trade we build. This donation mentality is regressive and the fact that it is the primary way of funding speaks to a generation of Pan-Africanist who have expired in their usefulness in applying revolution in our modern era. Still if you contact them with tangible wealth generation ideas it is impossible for their minds to process it and utilize it outside of the old models of "throw a conference in a whiteman's hotel" and "make a call for donations."
HOW TO DESTORY AN ORGANIZATION
20 Ways to Destroy an Organization (From Ebukhosini Solutions )
Myopic vision is one of the greatest legacy of mental slavery. A short sighted person will always prefer quick rewards over long term investment. They will always take the fish over the fishing rod. They cannot see beyond a choice that doesn't immediately bear fruits. That lack of vision is something enslave people also share because a slave has no control over their future and so the consequences of slavery meant the enslaved African had to deal with the immediate concerns. There was no concept of planting to get a future harvest so slave economics and social dynamics revolved around immediate results.
Black people will always, if you ask them to help with revolution, tell you they have to get paid. Now if everyone is thinking like this how come Africans are the poorest racial group on the Earth? someone wants to "help" 2 min after starting to do research they come back "SO how much you gonna Pay me", Pay them to write their history down? Who is paying us?
When you are building up a film industry don't expect Spielberg type salaries. When you building an African car, don't expect BMW in 1 year. You cannot go from nothing to everything and expect to get paid within 5 sec of showing up. We need to look at economics in the ancient world, because understanding this explains how Egypt was able to build what it did, yet other people are still emerging out of the iron age in 2011.
If someone says I only have 20 minutes a week to help, and they give 20 minutes for 2 years that is help you can build something on. You can set your watch to it, you can depend on it, it can build something. Far better than the person who promises to bring the moon and delivers nothing but air.
CASE STUDY | A few post-graduates from film school needed experience. They had no problem paying the high tuition fees to learn nothing. Now I offer them an opportunity to study under me, obviously they have to work, and contribute to whatever I am doing at the time. Then one of them turns around and ask that I pay her transport to come to my studio so that she can learn from me for free. I must pay her to come and learn from me. Should she not be paying me, and freely assisting to get my knowledge? Africans have a totally destroyed mind.
Social factors influencing critical mass may involve the size and quality of the group, interrelatedness and level of communication in a society. Critical mass at a unconscious level in Pan-Africanism is the collective momentum which overcome social inertia to create the desired Pan-African ideals. In the event that Pan-Africanism as a priority becomes at a critical mass state then it will create changes in public consensus which can then bring about swift changes in political consensus. Where is the Pan-African struggle when we can only see our own work, what is happening at a birds-eye view and how do we measure this momentum to know if the movement is going forward, standing still or stagnating or going backward, or even evolving outside of the parameters of Pan-Africanism. In other words from Pan-Africanism to consumerism of satellite states of Western countries. And also the revolution should continue to spin forward once we take our foot off the gas, but we often find the minute we step back It comes to a halt. Often the personalities that start things are critical to continuation.
Social inertia is a term that applies the concept of inertia in psychology and sociology. It is used to describe the resistance to change presented by societies or social groups, usually due to habit and complacency. The escape velocity is the social momentum needed to overcome the pull of gravity, where gravity in the African world is the social traps that perpecuate mental slavery.
THE RUT: Some people are in a vicious and self-destructive rut. Total free fall. What has happened is reflexivity has totally failed. They complain about their life and their failure to achieve but have done nothing to smash the cycle. Escape velocity is ZERO. They have failed to challenge (beyond fake words) their dilemma—so it repeats. If you told them to switch on a light for the struggle they would somehow mess it up. 10 chances and they will get it wrong 11 times. They cannot Break FREE!
Two modes of thinking A. Relative truth, B. Political necessity.
Capitalism on a long enough time line will eat its own hand for profit, socialism ignores basic human ambition. So such debates are a trap which polarize and limit our solutions. So one person holds argument A and the other holds argument B and they fight for eternity. Dialectics says why doesn't someone make a list of the merits of A and the merits of B and take what is best. Look at the downside in an honest way to both positions and mix-mode. If socialism is best for setting up social services - use it. If a mixture of Capitalism is needed in industry - use it. If a mixture of privatization and state-ownership (as in Libya) works use it. Ethiopian airlines mix-modes the best of government ownership with the attitude of private ownership.
"I am busy that's why I did not return your call or do anything", Now you can say that for everything and no one could truly disprove it. There is a difference between busy and just plain disorganized. And while the two share many features, disorganized makes one run around in busy circles of unproductive. If we are too busy to communicate then we are busy failing. Just like the cold and the flu, busy and inefficient have many common symptoms and it is easy to confuse them.
If a website has a email address, it places a necessity on the site owners to service that email effectively. No point having it and replying to 10% of the incoming traffic. So if someone cannot handle basic email responses then they have already catastrophically introduced a bottleneck in work flow of meaningful revolution. If we cannot communicate ideas and solutions over to our community and we cannot cross-communicate (two way traffic) then we are at a impasse.
There are background activities; putting on your shoes, walking, replying to emails, posting things, answering the phone. And then there are activities that require full engagement; playing an instrument, designing a website. The abc background issues should always be 100% non-issues which should not have to be discussed. The greater the percentage of workflow which becomes background then the higher an individual's work output. The habit of being late, missing appointments, forgetfulness are issues which need to be identified and solved as they cause bottlenecks and break down the system. If communication is slow then everything else will be slow. Solutions exist for everything and almost everyone. The rise of the smartphones means that people can get into the habit of managing their lives as if they had a personal secretary, 3g internet, everything you could possible need to be efficient, but the only thing missing is the will. Very few people are that busy that they cannot optimize and enhance their time. And it is time management that is critical, because if you are who someone needs to send 20 reminders to get one task done, it burdens the entire system.
All of these components must be fluid and maintained regardless of if we are drilling for diamonds or building a mosque. The same standard that built the pyramids is the same standard we need to explore in all our activities.
synergy is the ability of a group to outperform or underperform even its individual member. One of the mechanisms of synergy maybe psychological which creates exponential effect on work output. One negative potential consequence of group cohesion is group think. Group think is a mode of thinking where a body of people lose their objectivity to appraise realistically the alternative courses of action. Each person acting as the other person's barrier to objectivity. This is very common problem at Pan-African gatherings. Especially when ego is added and the purpose for adding is not to contribute a truth but to let others hear your voice.
In convention thesis : 1 + 1 = 2
In positive synergy 1 + 1 = 10
In negative synergy 1 + 1 = 0
Human synergy relates to humans. For example, say person A alone is too short to reach an apple on a tree and person B is too short as well. Once person B sits on the shoulders of person A, they are more than tall enough to reach the apple. In this example, the product of their synergy would be one apple. Another case would be two politicians. If each is able to gather one million votes on their own, but together they were able to appeal to 2.5 million voters, their synergy would have produced 500,000 more votes than had they each worked independently.
It can be shown that most of the difference between people with good and bad output can be attributed to the methods or strategies they use to process challenges, less about the talent or resources of the person. A person with a good work ethos, even in absence of resources, will find a way. By developing appropriate strategies we automatically apply more organized and efficient ways of increasing our output.
It is said that when the White man arrived in Southern Africa the Africans had wealth trapped in the ground but did not have the knowledge to untapped this wealth. The people of Southern Africa owned the resources but not the knowledge to exploit them. True or false today we can see that this situation is still the ruling paradigm which governs resource management. And we know that the greatest resources of Africa is her people.
We have talent everywhere but have no idea how to exploit it for liberation. We invent language, dance, music, intellectual content yet have no idea how to hold on to it. So our creations end up profiting someone more than they profit us. Who profits most the most from "break dance", "jazz", the "urban dictionary"? Who creates media and clothing around urban culture? Not us.
We must start with identifying the talent we have in our communities. We see a young person, they are a talented designer. Their skills can either go to a White company, a prison or nowhere. How do we inject our wisdom into the blossoming flower to make sure these skills go into our development? How do we take talent and invest in it and then harvest it?
Unfortunately the best thing that usually happens for our talent is they go to a good "white university", they get a 1st class degree, then they get hired by a top "White firm". The wealth created may be localized in that individual but not the community; the primary benefactor is the "White company". This is why when we look at Western Development we forget our role in it. Because our contributions are made in someone else house. And the neglect of tapping and utilizing talent, and internal resources is squandering gold to the wind.
We will always hear people say "we want solutions" well here is a case study: Halaqah Media has a internship programme which offers filmmakers a complete A-Z unique experience in everything you could think of to do with film. The business side, the social responsibility side - everything. Each filmmaker or intern puts back by helping to create products such as Motherland and 500 Years Later. These interns then may go off and create their own projects and in turn train another set of people. So let's look at the economics and impact of this:
Company A trains 4 people. Those 4 people contribute to the social work company A is doing. That work creates wealth for company A. which gives it the ability to expand and create more work and hence more wealth and hence train 8 people next time. Those initial 4 people go off and each train 2 people each. So that means 8 new people are learning critical skills from the original 4. While a new 8 are being trained by company A. Now when company A gets a massive project, they can recall all their graduates to share in the bounty. If any of the graduates gets an opportunity, they can engage company A again and all share in the fruits. This example requires no further explanation. If you are having trouble with this, and still asking "But..." then hit backspace and leave this site.
Contrary to popular belief, Arabs, Chinese, Whites, and Indians actually love African people. Yes they do. Would you not love someone that makes you rich? Would you not love Africa if you know you can arrive from China a 2nd class peasant with $2 and a T-Shirt on your back and in 3 years of business in Africa have two mansions in China and put your children through University? Would you not love that race? You love them, but you do not respect them.
How can a politician talk about economic apartheid in SA and then give the gig for a cultural monument to a white Boer? "He was the best person for the job", well at our current rate in 4011 the White man will still be "the best person for the job."
And the most progressive of our leadership and scholars write 100s of pages on issues but they never make the economic link. They discuss economy but some how miss the main point in actual practise. Every year when we have conferences, White people get richer, every time we become more revolutionary we consume more White products and services. So in slave chains we make them rich, while trying to break the chains we make them rich, and outside of the chains we make them rich. If we lie down they sell us the bed, when we breath they sell us the air, if we run they sell us the shoes, and when we die they sell us the coffin. The African is outside of his economic process and a perpetual client of a European economy.
Now how could you understand development and make an African monument but with Korean hands? Would the symbolism and merit of the project not be better by using African skills to build an African monument? Is there a shortage of artist in Africa? Do Koreans use Africans to build their cultural monuments? It speaks to our stupidity, our dependency, our lack of genius, our lack of agency and this is why we are the fools of the world. And even if Wade had to have the statue, imagine what $28 million injected into the local arts to build such a monument would have done to stimulate the local arts industry.
The repeated tragedy of Africans is a failure to realize that freedom cannot be at the hands of Tarzan (the great white saviour of a child race). No point looking for agreement from liberal whites on this point. So much for an authentic debate on Africa when every so-called think tank they create is never suppose to be discuss - us without them.
If anyone gets an opportunity and only uses that opportunity for themselves ignoring the broader work and their colleagues, that person is outside of the graces and benefits of community. When we die we cannot take wealth with us, only our legacy survives the grave - nothing else. The soul in Ancient KMT was weighted and our good deeds, our good thought and our good intentions were weighted against a feather. A mind that has no consideration but for its own ego and short lived ambitions was cursed in Ancient Kemet. A soul that is only concerned with itself, especially at the expense of broader work is therefore outside of African humanity.
This individualism is preyed upon by Africa's detractors. So when the White man wants to stop revolution he just gives some of us a job as head of Black Studies or curator of some nice museum or head of some film festival. Or a book publishing deal to inflate our egos. You see for most of us that is the end target, mission accomplished. We might continue to make little murmurs but that is it. For peanuts and crumbs we acquiesce and celebrate the little light they give us for 3 seconds. They all have columns in popular white owned papers. They will tell you about xy and z. How terrible this problem is for our community. But if you go to them with a solution or an alternative see how the behave. They run and get uncomfortable like if you gave superman kryptonite for his b'day.
When it is sunny outside and Africans think they are doing well, they say "we do not need unity because everything is okay", When it is raining and everyone is suffering they say "We cannot bother with unity now because we got to take care of self." Rain or shine unity is the only way.
In defining success, we must define failure. In defining a destination means defining a route, in defining a product means defining a process. Despite the plethora of list of 'what is wrong with Africa and its people', the number one crisis is a people problem. Do not expect a paper factory to make cheese, the objectives cannot all be the same, but at least if it says it is a paper factory then put a demand on seeing paper coming out the other end. Some work with youth, some work in Universities, there is no need for everyone to work in the community, that is only one area—one path, it has no merit over someone digging in the ruins of Zimbabwe or in a lab chasing a cure for cancer or the man behind a camera recording dying languages. The street is not the new front line, it is a 1970's concept of revolution which utterly fails in a world that has radically changed. The tree of a banana plant produces bananas, the orange tree produces oranges; together we have a fruit basket. And revolution is the same, as long as our efforts bear tangible fruit and we have organized ways of integrating our fruit.
There are people who make a career out of attending conferences. Do they make tangible products – no. Do they run business that employee people – no. They usually work in White universities using paper as weapons. (and no one but their esteemed colleagues read these papers). So how can we gain solutions if these types of career conference seekers are the same voices over and over again? Recycling of "the Greatest hits of the Pan-African personalities of the 60's" we continue to produce the cycle of staleness which washes Pan-Africanism today. If you gave them a hammer they still would not know how to drive home a nail. They understand Africa from the window of the Hilton hotel and via an academic paper in an a/c conference.
History is littered with graves of organizations that resisted change and the ability to discern progress from procrastination. Constantly meeting to plan meetings, boycotting, shouting, conferences without agendas are failed strategies, which have done nothing for the growth of any super-state in history.
From 1960-2011 the best thing Black people can do is hold a conference. The most progressive act in the Pan-African arsenal is another talk shop. Why not have a business workshop on media usage (like online commerce, or business management, or sewing workshops)- Not interested: it is like we speaking Arabic to an Inuit.
Conferences are not objectives, conferences and meetings are processes to achieve a pre-defined objective. Building a school is an objective, making a film, writing a history book, planting an organic farm. If Africans got paid for resolutions we would be the richest nation on Earth. You see the problem with the Pan-Africanist community is the so-called public leaders are not the same people that run factories or build bridges – there is a disconnection there. But they love the sound of their voice so much they think that writing a book and running an economy is the same thing. Conferences seem to be a therapeutic activity because they have been doing it for so long. A social space where people come and pretend to be important, with repetitive papers and 1963 objectives. The conference professional has been writing abstract papers so long that he/she still thinks that discussing a problem is an action plan. They are not one and the same. Identifying the negative global image of Africa is the start, but the action plan is for example:
We rise out of the soup to post a comment on Facebook and sink back again into being part of the problem of inactivity. Many have this feel-good habit of making big revolutionary statements and then fading back into unaccountability. They are Kwame Sat - Sun, and Kevin Monday - Friday. Yet when the weekend revolutionary stint ends they are back at work in a suit for the White man.
Support means spend your money. Build actually means building something real. You can not help just by saying "But I have helped." Help is not just about dropping someone at the train station it is also about making sure they get home safe. The objective of the help must be the priority, not the process of helping. 1/2 efforts are like the boatman who takes you to the middle of a river and leaves you stranded.
The tragedy of the so-called Pan-African conscious community is that by hiding behind words like "grass roots" is an excuse to escape economic appraisal. But then why does every action require sourcing money from someone else's pocket? And there is no discussion of long-term plans which factor in sustainability free from future funding. Why is money constantly thrown into projects that yield no returns?
Would it not be better to throw a training seminar? Or a workshop on web design, or business ownership? And why mention economic transformation at a conference when there are zero models of how that material wealth will be created? The time and money could be used for a product market for people to bring their products and showcase them. We love conferences, we think revolution we think conference. Conferences are the start and end of revolutionary action for some. However, If we love conferences so much maybe someone should actually buy a conference hall, instead of making the Holiday Inn richer.
The mission is not to rally people around the convenience of black skin but the commonality of African cultural and moral values. Just because something has in "black" people does not give it merit. Beyond cute African names and quotes from Malcolm X, the work must be rooted in the values of Malcolm X and the best cultures of Africa. The word African is used to not only specify a geography but it is also a culture and an orientation. If Africaness is an open concept then it becomes meaningless. However, there can be no unity if one group wants to bring drugs into the neighborhood, or sell pornographic material under the banner of art and business.
Too often the statement "In Africa..." is followed by whatever exotic point of view that supports the users fancy. "In Africa, we did not keep time". "In Africa, we did not have copyright, In Africa we didn't’t have contracts." So we must relax on the generalizations that start "In Africa… (insert sweeping generalization)", "African religion is [insert another sweeping generalization]" without any qualification. It isn't that generalization are not critical in understanding Africa it is just they should never be used to hide bad research or race politics. Also care is needed because the first issue is which Africa? The second issue is Africa in antiquity does not snuggly transplant itself on our modern globalized reality. Third issue we can only weigh real models, which are in operation. Therefore, as euphoric as a world free from class, and a world free from debt hate and greed is, it does not become so just by John Lennon singing it. Pretty proverbs do not always apply in reality. Time was very important to the Ancient Egyptians, maybe this was not the case for the Bayaka of Bakongo. Documentation was very critical in Ancient Sudan, but not in the Zulu kingdom. Perception of time and attachment may vary but no person of Kemet failed to understand that two years to build a pyramid did not mean, "When I get it done, I get it done." If we are in a race the man who is best prepared using the best technology will win. Usage of time is a technology and no one in modernity can achieve or compete if they have no value for time.
What those communities in West Africa did and how they valued time worked for those times. It certainly is now different in our modern era. In other words we are not only harvesting crops and waiting for the rains in Joburg or Addis Ababa. We are flying planes, we are opening retail outlets, we have service delivery concerns, road works and hospitals that need time based management. So those old structures had to be commuted.
Standards of excellence are standards of excellence regardless of point of origin. The cultural or aesthetic attachment to that thing may be varied by foundational standards of good work; good research and professionalism are generally cross-cultural, cross-geography and cross-time. Don’t moan and complain that China is taking over Africa when Chinese get up on time and you don't.
Greater than Democracy is our liberation. We would like to get liberation with the ideals of democracy, but it is not always possible. If a damaged people are given democracy they use it to drown themselves. Self-determination on its own does not by default take us to liberation. It is only a process, if left unattended and consciousness is not poured in, it could self-determine you into neo-slavery.
WAITING FOR A MESSIAH
Let us be honest as a people, we are all waiting for something, aren't we? Like in Matthew 24:29-30, we have a Hollywood depiction of REVOLUTION. a cosmic event when change will come. It is this expectation, this waiting, this praying for change and not doing anything about it that makes our chains so damn tight and our future so bleak.
These events will herald the end of this age and the beginning of a new age in which both the heavens and the earth are cleansed and transformed by an immanent God. So until then just sit back, relax and enjoy the view, and God will take care of all the hard work.
You see we are talking to you, the people that are reading this work. We cannot talk to white supremacy. Therefore it is pointless to negotiate with white supremacy and request it be less racist. It is wasting time to discuss it as an academic phenomena in books. The only variable in the equation of exploitation then is Africans and the changes we are willing to make to make their ability to exploit us ineffective. It's as simple as that!
NAME CALLING WITH NO POWER
it makes no difference how many nasty names we have for White people, and how many insults we throw out on Facebook. Has it affected the NASDEC? The Dow Jones, The FTSE, but the resistence in the North of Mali at least they can affect change-stress out France and Co.— we cant. Hamas and Hezbollah can affect change and worry the occupation—we cant. North Korea can keep them up at night talking—we cant. Cuba, that tiny little island gave them hell, kicked apartheid back. Can we do that today?
What comes first, what comes second, and what comes third? These are discernment issues. When your house is burning you have a hierarchy of priorities which means the dirty dishes in the sink, drop below the imminent issue of the smoke and the flames.
If your electricity is out, which operating system your computer uses descended rapidly down the list of critical priorities. So we can agree electricity is a higher priority than a computer, and a computer is a higher priority consideration than the latest software version. Revolution is no different. A conference is not a film, renting is not owning. Making tangible products and creating viable services, which we use to carry on productive lives, is a priority. So do not pass over a product for a conference spouting vague notions of unity. If that unity does not build trade and solidify wealth generation then what good is it?
How much energy will you invest in fighting and disuniting over what language should be used as a Pan-African language (Swahili or Hausa), when all but Ethiopia depend on colonial languages to run their governments. It is like worrying about what dress to wear to the Oscars when you have never even made a film.
Music is an aspect of our culture, but if everyone is playing a guitar and no one is building planes and bridges and curing the sick, or teaching the youth nation building skills then we have no need for yet another Chuck Berry. We must be mature enough to understand reality in these terms because confusion at this level has caused catastrophic failure. We swing our hips and strum our instruments but that is it, someone else owns the venue, someone else owns the radio station, someone else owns the newspaper writing the review, someone else owns the train we used, the car we drive, the food we eat. And we in our immaturity think that jumping up and down and shaking our ass will bring real revolution, without prioritizing nation building issues. (p.s. the author is a businessman but also a Music producer)
The world rotates and every day we see a human rights issue, a dictatorship issue. Change in environment, change in GDP. But as the world spins and powers change there is one thing that doesn't change for Africans - Ownership. We mess around with dual governments, socialism, democracy, privatization, and reconciliation yet the lands still belong to the non-Africans. Skills still need to be flown in first class on airlines we do not own (except Ethiopian Airlines). We sing loud and clear but beyond that we own nothing of our art. We plant crops and harvest them and someone else repackage and takes the lion share. If A-Z is a process we barely own A while B-Z is owned by someone other than us.
With these new human rights we are a healthier and happier population to work on the White owned farms. With better democracies we can now decide if we let the Chinese or the Turks have access to our minerals. With greater education we are only becoming employees so we can spend more of our money on holidays in France.
A new campaign pops up on facebook to "Free Wesley Snipes", Is Wesley Snipes a political prisoner, or a prisoner of conscious? So should hardworking people use their group power to helping Brother Wesley Snipes reverse a conviction for tax evasion? We better consider the "Struggle(s)" we engage in. So many causes to worry about and we want to put our energy into Snipes tax issues. How is this a liberation objective for the benefit of a stronger African people? So we fight to get him out so he can make another Blade movie. This speaks to a failure to know what is important and what is not. It would be far better to use the time to make sure African filmmakers get access. Or that the African Union deals with the Diaspora, the list of higher priorities is endless. Change will happen, make no mistake about it, but as your parents tell you , you can change by listening or you can change by the lash.
It is very sad that all the forums are on fire, the Black stations are shouting when we see the New York times publishes some nonsense on "Blame Game" by Gates. However less of us celebrate and rally when our own people create great films like 500 Years Later and Motherland. That doesn't get the massive movement of concern. But all the so-called celebrity scholars who are silent on great work are vocal on reacting to what some white newspaper or book publisher pushes as serious print.
Zeal alone will not win a war. It is very boring to fight for "ingenious land rights" or something which will impact us across the generations. Far easier to boycott business than focus on creating business. Far easier to get all sweaty and bothered about some white cop beating up a drug dealer. Or some convicted murderer on Death Row. Emotion informs too much of our decision process.
No matter what you give a destroyed people they will use it as part of their destruction. If you pour in water, they will drown themselves, if you give them a rope they will hang themselves with it. If you give them the internet they will not empower themselves with knowledge, they would rather engage in more self-destructive habits.
A group of sick people can make sickness look normal and healthy people abnormal. This is one of our dilemmas because wearing African clothes in some African countries looks abnormal, marrying your African Queen in the UK is weird, buying a house as oppose to a flashy car in the ghetto is crazy. Saving money for your child's education as oppose to getting that new weave every two weeks is pointless. Spending $20,000 on another conference as oppose to building an institute is considered progressive. Normalized sickness. Nothing radical is actually being written about in this article, it would be strange if Jews or Japanese had to say as much - it would seem obvious to them. Yet to most Black people the entire tone would be considered unusual. Normal thinking for a the slave is abnormal.
Story: Have you ever looked at the cars the whites drive? You see the woman and her daughter in some basic little car with low running cost but clean and nippy. They drive up to a mortgage-free 7 bedroom house. Now the daughter wants an advanced education so the parents have something called 100% equity, so they re-finance the house and send their daughter off to the best university in the UK. She graduates and gets a good job and now she wants to get married. She and her fiancée's family get together and re-finance their properties and give the couple the deposit for their first home. The cycle repeats - wealth increases.
Someone said : "I don't want the burden of a mortgage" now which do you prefer? The burden of having some equity after 10 years of paying for the roof over your heard, or the burden of putting your landlord's kids through university?
Africans need a new way of planning which address immediate, short-term, long-term, life-time and cross-generational targets and strategies. if you need to bring in White specialist to fix an engineering problem how does it fit into the above plan? How do you plan to solve this problem on an cross-generational level, or will the same "white experts" solution be applied in 200 years' time?
Looking at the issues of Pan-Africanism we have far more challenges than appear on the surface. Technical issues and attendance issues as well as long term commitment issues are not limited experiences but global Pan-African realities. So in beating a path to unity means factoring in all these things; not only the obvious; "we don't unite". Most issues in our stagnation are tied to education in the broad sense of the word which includes systems of doing things, ability to utilize technology and being generally socialized in a modern working globalized world. Limited funds means limited technology, limited everything. So how does someone without a computer and no car, unite effectively with a CEO of a accounting firm? Socialization is overlooked but it might be even a greater issue than the economic barrier. Even the challenge of talking on Skype proves that people based Pan-Africanism is untested in reality and only an idealistic vision. After 40 plus years of African struggle you will not find much written on the practicality of actual people-based unity.
Our revolution may at some stages come to physical war but 90% of our uprising will happen in the African mind and be made real in the world by vectors such as ownership and cultural propagation. The sweet smell of a distant mass war is nothing but a mental trap to delay the work critical today. Far easier to say "When Revolution come", revolution is what we are doing right now. A process of intellectual transfer of the mental tools necessary to function in, and bring about a New African reality.
Some say they care about change and "what we need now is ..." (insert some demand which is placed on someone else doing it) if we care we would make sure all our homes are first filled with conscious media, healthy food and a marriage based moral environment. What another person should do for us is 2nd to what we must do @ home. And this is the challenge because if we do not have these conscious media, or history books by conscious scholars, then what we see at a national educational level is a mirror of our own homes.
But the world has changed, the battlefield has changed. Blood and guts have been replaced by markets and trade. The new enemy cannot be destroyed with a bomb or boycotting, especially when that enemy is globalization. And in Globalization we either swim or sink. But the clock is ticking and most nations have emerged with a stake on the forefront of global economics. But how is Africa going to step up when it is still (as in the days of colonization) only a producer of raw material; and raw material Africans barely control.
Farrakhan used the term "Pleasure Seekers" and we are realizing this explains how many of us make choices. There is a pattern of taking the easiest most myopic path to pleasure. So why spend time getting married just when you can get instant pleasure without it.? Why create a stable home to raise a child, when you can just have one from anyone and then dump the burden on your parents (South Africa). Why spend 5 years doing engineering when you can do a quick degree (if any degree)? Why stay in school when you can follow the easy path and sell drugs?
If you want anything good in life we all know it will come via stress and pain. To get that good education means long stressful nights of hard study. But our pattern in certain places is that of instant pleasure.
It started with a bang, but ended with a whimper. Where are all the people that said "Let us unite" 6 months after they agreed to do so? There is difference between talking Pan-Africanism and actually working together. The minute we try actually "working" you realize, in a flash, we have done nothing to prepare ourselves for unity. Commitment, focus, accountability are not taken care of with mere rhetoric, but with tangible work created in unity. In the Caribbean when they were struggling for a federation, someone said that in "unity math" 10 -1 = 0. It only takes one to destroy something but it takes two or more to agree. Just like a relationship; you and someone agree to be together, but it only takes one to break it apart.
A honey bee will scout around and when she finds a source of nectar the bee will sample it and immediately fly back to the nest and share the good news. In the long run social communities always fair better than individuals. the rewards of individuals are very short lived. Pan-Africanism is a form of community centred thinking, with basic concepts such as thinking of your comrade in all your opportunities. Every action must seek to services as many as possible. So if you are hiring, if you are buying, we must always consider first how can this action enhance our station as a people.
Pan-Africanism doesn’t automatically mean African conscious, African conscious does not always mean Afrocentric and Afrocentric doesn’t automatically mean Progressive. We blur these definitions and look to say Afrocentrism to unite Africa when it actually is primarily Pan-African in studying Africa and it's orientation but not always in objective. Some radical Afrocentrics have done absolutely nothing to build African unity (if anything they help to seed friction between them and religious people). And some Pan-Africanist have absolutely nothing to do with African consciousness (AU for example) it is just a way to unite a political post-colonial Africa. And this unity has more to do with aping Europe and creating a black version of the EU. Progressive implies forward thinking and looking at practical ways to unite African people like the work of Kwame Ture and the later work of Malcolm X.
Elite clubs exist in Eurocentric circles and even more so in Pan-African circles. Many of these so-called organizations only operate because they have deep funders/supporters in the "official" white world i.e. UNESCO, Amnesty some Third World funding agency in the US congress, that is it. It is just a snob club with very little bang for buck. The illusion of work is very different from actual work, and yes they do some things, but measure that work against their budgets. Why do you need all of that office space to do two things a week? Apart from the celebrity photos and flashing CEO with a C.V of eX- Oxfam and eX-World Bank, what is their sincerity to Africa? E-mail them and see.
Make no mistake 99% of the African conscious community have no idea what Pan-Africanism really means. This is why when we meet to unite all we do is end up talking about problems (Observations v Actions). It is "lets do something" when something is vague and undefined. Random and unplanned. So when real task are presented they are always treated as inadequate.
Pan-Africanism means you and me working together. So if there is no work there is also no unity and therefore no Pan-Africanism. When we work together, we grow together. Not only do we create work but we also create relationships and a defense boundary around our common interest. We seek unity and recourses from within that unity FIRST, before looking elsewhere for them. So if we have a concert we look for a African venue first, African bodyguards, African camera people - FIRST. Pan-Africanism is unique in the process of unity - work and the objective of unity is the same - work. We unite by working together, we unite to create unified works. This is the core of Pan-African unity. And the minute people see that Pan-Africanism puts a fatter turkey on the dinner table, the faster we will achieve practical and sustainable unity.
Vulgar individualism is so rampant that it is a disease that even though we all agree exist, fail to purge it from our reality. So when you say "Let us work together" you will get as a reply "soon, I am busy now." When you have a joint project be sure that if the other group has not created the initial idea, they will soon lose interest. You thought you had a friend until you needed them. You thought we had unity until there was demand on its services.
Africans need to find every excuse to work together because permanent interest realistically secure friendships. Slavery and Colonialism did something that we don't discuss; it fractured our relationships and our ability to harmonize in meaningful ways. It strained the male-female relationship and the trade relationships. We must repair this by any means. Distrust is a fostered condition exploited in slavery to disrupt African social systems, this on-going legacy inhabits every decision at every second of every day. Individualism is the poison in our outlook which kills every beautiful thought and moment a community can have. It is primitive, backwards and must be treated like a deadly plague. It sometimes seems the default state of the Black man is is anti-unity, anti-change. On the eve of victory we freeze and return to the safety of slavery. Regardless of what is written on some of these "about pages" on a website, 2% actually will return an e-mail when asked about the partnerships they have in their "about page." The failure of words to materialize has becomes so common it is not even challenged.
How is it possible to be content with crumbs from your own table? Unity is power, we hear it again and again, so why do African leaders feel powerless and TINA (there is no alternative)? How can an elephant feel powerless just because he is tied to a tree with a shoe-string? We have the power, we have the people, it is our land, it is our continent. But with all of this power we do not have the mind to appreciate unity and thus the elephant of Africa remains tied to a tree with a shoe-string. It is not the Elephants leg that is tied it is the elephants mind.
In our maturity we need to drop the sound bites and ear pleasing rhetoric and start practically understanding the world we are in. Only children speak without consequence and deeper reflection. Do not speak of support if you have not supported. Do not complain if you have not been involved in change. And stop starting a sentence with "What we need to do...” just go and do it . “Who” needs to be placed at the front of every “what.”
And then we wonder how come nothing is happening. It can’t, it is impossible if the wrong people hold these positions.
It is essential that independent system be set up to monitor and promote the right people to the right positions. Monitor their performance as a matter of public record. Anyone who slips should be publically accountable. If this can be implemented the results will be seen in a short space of time. The challenge is implementing such things and the will to implement them.
It is not important if we disagree, it is how we handle our disagreements that are critical. Opened ended critique is easy from the comfort of a remote armchair. This tendency of unconstructively challenging and issues has many voices jumping on “what we must do” with very few brave enough to follow through with tangible concrete solutions. You can insult the British education all day long, but unless you have a concrete alternative then what is the purpose? It is also deeply hypocritical to spit at the totality of Western civilization while basking in the technological world partly created by the same Western system. Sitting on an IKEA chair in Starbucks with a Mac, sipping on some non-fair trade coffee, browsing Facebook on a T-mobile wireless connection chatting about “down with Babylon” is at best ironic.
We are revolutionary until the lights of success blind our eyes and then we here less of "We" and more of "Me". And the commercial world seduces us into this step by step we start to fail the Martin Luther King question "Vanity ask the question is it popular". And this shapes our personality and out goes the struggle with the smell of so-called commercial success. But the minute we feel celebrated by the White world, we change. As oppose to use our positions to reinforce we use our positions to service vanity and a diluted struggle.
If everyone is a CEO of a one-man organization who is left to be employed? If everyone is right then who is setting Africa back? Many organizations are alpha male territory; structured around males with the most testosterone, who lead not on merit but on being the best shouter. Now organizations need strong leaders who are surrounded by strong people, who make harmonious contributions and as well posing challenges by being objective. Because these cliques are structured around, “agreement” and “comfort.” The frequency of personality aka ego clashes results in someone breaking off and forming yet another organization with a carbon copy agenda, inheriting blindly all the mistakes of their former group.
How many organizations do we need to write about African history and culture, when none have more than 4 pages of text? How many film companies do we need, when none are making conscious viable products? We need many film companies if they are all producing solid work. But to have film companies with only slogans and empty websites is wasting time. To have yet another African Holocaust website with only two pages of un-researched poorly formatted copy-pasted text. Why spend time building a new house, which does not even have a foundation when you can contribute to the completion of a house, which only needs a roof? Garvey said African-Americans who attempted to go into business, commercial or industrial, were at a disadvantage because they could not appreciate starting at a point and climbing up the ladder.
A massive event claiming to represent "Africa" in Nigeria just went down. They had spelling errors on the award, guest got left everywhere, no schedule, no point of contact, no welcome letter, the staff had bad attitudes, things didn't start or end on time, they served the food in the dark, they didn't properly booked hotels, they issued plane tickets 4 hours before people were going to fly. A MESS! But they claim it is because of funding. And while funding does present a challenge, it is not a unique challenge to Africans. And also you can use that excuse forever.
And part of the problem is also how people are hired for these positions. They have no clue what they are doing but yet the direct and manage under duress or ego. So they might be passionate about fashion or film, and that might make them a good promotor but it doesn't make them a great organizer. Or moreover the best person to handle the organization. Just because you had the genius to create an event doesn't mean you are the best person to run it.
But how much money do you need to spell things right? Or communicate via email? Or pre-plan? Time to inject professionalism into our struggle. And professionalism also includes servicing your e-mail so that e-mails are replied to. They disgraced the entire continent proving to the world that Africans cant do anything right. So comfortable with failing and having an excuse for failing that it informs the mind-set "it is okay to fail" so the self-expectation is failure and hence the mechanism for solving problems is lost because all problems are blamed on funding. The attitude is I am trying my best, but the best is no good if you create a mess. What do we measure these things against, what expectations should we place on these organizations in the face of both real and imagined limitations. Good leadership and strong management is most effectively realized by the ability of those planning to problem solve, regardless of resources.
If we understand anything about the system of African accreditation then we will know that if you are starting anything, then out of basic respect you contact and seek counsel with the elders or those peers in a more advance standing to guide, counsel and bless the work. If you are to be claiming easy victories, as Cabral said, we will fail. The authority of scholarship or any such claims must be reinforced by our peers if a standard is to be maintained. If you are a graphic designer or a filmmaker you must be recognized as these things by people who are established. How can one drop out of the sky and set-up an organization which represents African cultural traditions? How can one with no background or previous work claim titles which are yet to be proven? This is critical as a measure of quality control. And until you are verified in these positions we should not claim these things.
Leadership cannot be born out of duress When you accept the burden of leadership you accept the responsibility for victory or failure. Don’t start leading if you are not prepared to go down with the ship or plan to blame others for your failure.
Development must be defined beyond a nice new road for the Chinese to drive trucks between African mineral deposits and the loading dock at the port. Development must be more than a new McDonalds in some remote village south of nowhere. Yeah, new road, but I don't have a car... New Airport, but I have never been on a plane. New McDonald but I can't even buy bread.
We respond to globalization because it is here. Sticking our head in the sand or returning to the jungle will not repel it. Chances are these days when the jungle dwellers need a new spear head, they get it at K-Mart. We must engage and push our brands on the world. Globalization is a form of cultural warfare for global real estate. Jockeying for dominance at an international level, with a global standard. This is why in South African international airports you can find Japanese, Hawaiian, Indian, Thai, Texan, European, but try and get some Zulu food. Every culture is fighting for space except African culture. And the only international cuisines Africa has made some marks with is Ethiopian food. So in an entire continent, only Ethiopia has imposed back in the area of cuisine.
We have the frying pan, the oil, the onions, the eggs, the fire and the chef but they are telling us we still need them to help fry an egg - And we believe them. When it comes to planning and development do you really need 5 Africans to post a letter? Do they really need to take all day? With all the business schools and higher education it is amazing to see how some Africans go about organizing events. Why are they always disasters? You plan a conference and market it two days before it starts. Or you plan a film festival, market it, and then check your bank balance two weeks before the festival is about to start. If a filmmaker is going on a shoot he knows to check his gear, test his equipment and charge the batteries. He knows this because he has been doing it long enough. So why after 50 plus years of doing something are most of our projects poorly planned?
Regardless of what is published, all great nations achieve greatness by solidifying polities and empires around spiritual or political uniformity: Kemet did it, Songhai did it, and Aksum did it. Therefore, religious or ideological conformity has been at the backbone of greater human conglomerations. And even in Rome with its many gods and plural religious ideology there was political uniformity on the notion of “being Roman. “As is the case with the Pax-American national identity and culture of diverse groups of immigrants. The God concept does not survive long outside of the bottle of religion; religion is an institutionalized set of rituals which securely pass on the God concept from generation to generation. The paradigm shift demands a new center of gravity in revisiting these facts as they are inseparable from human sociological development.
It might not be right, but one thing we need to swallow is that all "advances" and "Civilization" is the product of imperialism. Take a look at Ethiopian history. Kmt in her brutal conquest of Nubia, and Nubia's conquest of Kemet? If our primary issue is with imperialism, then the only thing to celebrate is hunter-gatherer societies. There is a profit from imperialism which every society of technological sophistication has inherited, and we must deal with this.
Many of the philosophies manifesting in the Diaspora are claiming Africa origins but are inefficient at navigating the moral corridors of life. While there are academic ring-tones and sound bites, they fail to have systems, which address the human spiritual thirst. Their subjects are left wanting; floating spiritually disconnected to be ultimately annexed in the worst expressions of Eurocentric conduct or the primitive world of spookism.
It is almost immature to have a debate about cultural displacement in Africa with the rise of Islam if you do not identify the core value changes of each given society. Because the minute the debate switches to value formations which grow out of the ideology of Islam we find the entire discourse changes. Because are we saying given alms to the poor, was alien to Africa? Are we saying an egalitarian society is harmful to Africa? Circumcision, animal sacrifice? This value-first approach needs to be the new platform for debate because once we identify values then we quickly realize the names are immaterial in unifying the continent. As Karenga said we need to discuss the ethics of the religion and then we will see we all are generally on the same page.
Afrocentrism has never been able to answer the question, between Islam and Ancient KMT, and Ancient KMT and so-called native faiths, which had more in common? There is no escaping that Islam and Ancient Egypt had far more in common with each other than say the religions of Dahomey. Populous Afrocentricity has done it self a terrible crime because if the ethics of Islam are foreign then so to are those of KMT.
If our objective is at we state, Pan-African unity, how are we going to get there? How will we get if we are divided along the color line? How will we get there by letting borders divide us? And how will we get there by letting religion divide us? Those using religion to cause tension, or those using religion as a tension are one in the same. How can it be Pan-African if it is not tolerant of ethnic, religious, color, national differences among African people?
With a Middle Eastern religion, Europe went onto conquer the world, at what point in their history did they stop and cast out these religions lamenting the gods of old? At what stage in the greatness of China, past and present did Buddhism interrupt their glory? So why is Africa the only continent that cannot take these spiritual technologies and make them serve her interest?
There is not one major indigenous African faith that had an issue with slavery, not one African native religion had principles that denounced slavery. Dr. Clarke and especially C Williams neglected this in much of their contrast of what Islam and Christianity did to Africa. Therefore, the challenge which is posed to Islam and Christianity for having a tolerance for slavery is also true for the religions native to Africa. And more so because hard-wired to Islam was the default status of "free the slave". If these mainstream religions are mentally enslaving people why is there the same problems existing in countries that do not have the influence of these faiths? Does Benin have some superiority claim over Ethiopia? But if their argument is correct then we should see this. We should see more agency in Benin than in Islamic-Christian Ethiopia. Because if these religions as separate elements are enslaving people then how do you explain Ethiopia. In treating a prostate cancer it is usually a good idea not to cut out the bladder and leave the prostate. Mis- identifying religion is a waste of time; it is only convenient for people who do not want to waddle through the complexities of the African problem.
Now Islam did destroy some good aspects of West African culture but how do we weights this from the comfort of our current location in time? Islam has been used in some cases to impose Arab culture, but this is because Africa was lacking agency. Turkey held its own, so why don't we? And yes Christianity was the excuse used to drive a trade in Black skin. It was also the vector for mental slavery. None of this is in denial. No where in history do cultures stay static in a world in motion, change is part of the cycle of life. And just as in life, after the fire the rains come and bring life. The challenge is realistically salvaging from the ashes of history a clean place to start from.
In the northern parts of West Africa, human sacrifice had become rare as Islam became more established in these areas such as the Hausa States. There was a rise in general justice, education, nation building, health, etc. We must be careful judging good and bad with our modern eyes because we take for granted many moral norms were absent in the historical record. For example we all know you don't kill a man and take his wife, or steal someones's car if it is unattended. But in antiquity this would not have been considered a problem. The Afar of Ethiopia have no problem with any of the above, so clearly this African habit which is not unique to the Afar is a problem in modernity. Because our first location is truth, which harmonizes our lives verse leaves us at risk. In Islam there is a tradition of justice, in some ancient African systems in the belly of the Sudan if the rains do not come they killed the king. In other victims had to be ritually sacrificed to feed the lust of gods. Now these are some extreme examples but we must be realistic when we understand that the world we recognize as civil has a lot to do with the morals, which come from Islam and Christianity. And to finalize the most critical point both Islam and Christianity as well as Judaism are philosophical children of Ancient Kemet, an African civilizations. Now Kemet spiritual systems are physically dead and it is neither practical or wise to reprise them from the dust of the Nile Valley. What we do have in front of us is a continent which is either Christian or Islamic. Which path makes more sense to fix the dilemma of Africa? Convert everyone or Africanize these faiths?
WHAT IS GAINED?
While we scratch each others eyes out over someone's religion the Chinese does not care about your religion. He cares about profit and being Chinese. The Lebanese are Christian and Muslim but when it comes to business and they are business people. So yes we need to debate these things but ask how much energy will you invest in this debate? Does it increase business ownerships in the community; will it cause unity among African people? Will burning the churches increase trade output? Will closing all Mosques stop the Chinese from taking the minerals? Will outlawing the Bible decrease HIV pandemic? What change will it affect? Warfare is always been about risk verses reward. You do not take your army out of range of water for example, especially when your numbers are so thin and in poor health. So regardless of where we are located in this wasteful debate we can agree it is better to fight other battles.
Imagine how horribly dull the world would be if we were all the same, no beautiful Amharic (just English), no Swahili food (Just McDonalds), no Masai warriors, no Jazz, no Steel Pan music, no NOI, no Baptist, no Orisha. Diversity is a gift and a mercy. unity does not ever require conformity.
There was always the option of staying back and waiting for every single last African to "get it" and "catch up" with the train flying into a brand new future. While some must stay back to explain why being Africa is cool for the 1000th time and why we must not worship white for the 150th year running. We want to get to where we should be had KMT continued uninterrupted, if Timbuktu had continued uninterrupted, if Aksum had continued uninterrupted.
What really kills it is not the people that don't know, because you can always reach them and teach them. The real problem is the people who KNOW and don't ACT. The people who spit out statements like "Africa Unite" and then do nothing to work with others or worst foster divisions.
It was not only the material wealth of Kemet that forged pyramids against the endless African desert; it was the will of the people to tap into their spirit and produce something unprecedented in human history, an enduring statement of their religion and culture for all to see and marvel in. We must not rest of past laurels of antiquity but in the tradition of the past continue to forge forward the spirit of humanity to express itself in splendor for the benefit of all.
If aping Europe is all what we want to do, then know that Europe can do Europe better than we ever could. We need to have the confidence to be African and set a new African benchmark of genius and success. But we have an old generation of revolutionaries who are still locked in 1963. And they have done their part, and we thank them for their efforts. But they have taken as far as they can take us and It is time for a new generation of techno-conscious people to rise and fill the ranks of leadership. A generation sensitive to economics in the wind of globalization, to the tools of the 21st century. Building on the past work this is the only way forward.
The first place a victory occurs is in our minds, and then in our bodies. If African cinema were left in the capitalist hands of profiteering businesspersons it would never in a million years be defined. The language of liberation influences the politics of action. Burdening ourselves with loaded terms such as democracy and capitalism and struggling to decide models to govern our lives means that we are trapped in boxes that we did not define. History shows the mix-economy and the out of the boxes debate has contributed more to economic and social revolutions. Cuba, Iran, South Korea and Japan. The rise of education in Rwanda is another story linked to the visionary capacity at the leadership level.
Hope doesn't exist without individual change. Change makes hope possible. If we want to remain ignorant of self (history, culture, morals) and do not become nation builders then we steal our own hope. If we fail to instruct our children in honor and dignity then we are the thieves of hope. Be sincere as if Malcolm X was watching over every thoughts, create economies as if Garvey was waiting on us, and fight like if Askia's armies needed us. The last words of Kwame Ture were "Organize, Organize, Organize." honor him by doing just that.
Paradigm shift is not a cute phrase at the end of a speech; it is a tangible transformation of work ethic and processes. When the talented 10th among the African nation gather in close session, they must combine their collective central intelligence to formulate, brainstorm, and foster new models and new agendas to challenge the plethora of problems. Understanding each on teach one is central and inescapable in our liberation. A strong foundation a strong work ethic, consistency, dedication and professionalism make light work of heavy task. The future belongs to the bold that are brave and diligent enough to seek out a a new paradigm.
Davies (1981, pp. 14) Human sacrifice was common in West African states up to and during the 19th century. The Annual customs of Dahomey was the most notorious example, but sacrifices were carried out all along the West African coast and further inland. Sacrifices were particularly common after the death of a King or Queen, and there are many recorded cases of hundreds or even thousands of slaves being sacrificed at such events. Sacrifices were particularly common in Dahomey, in the Benin Empire, in what is now Ghana, and in the small independent states in what is now southern Nigeria. When a ruler in Dahomey died hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of prisoners would be slain. In one of these ceremonies in 1727, as many as 4,000 were reported killed. In addition Dahomey had an Annual Custom during which 500 prisoners were sacrificed
Europe’s march to dominance is due to its ability to integrate indigenous knowledge of people they meet or conquer. They use a process of assimilation and cultural ownership. Coupled with Europe’s unbroken history and habit of institutionalization and documentation means the last 1000 years have been the age of the Europeans.
Greece can be located as the homeland of European civilization, Greece itself learnt directly from Ancient African Egypt (Kemet). The Greek did not apologize or avoid this fact, however by the time of the Romans they gave credit to Greece and less credit to Kemet. This trend has increased with the publishing of Eurocentric pseudo-historians trying to divorce the influence of Kemet on Greece.
The term is most closely associated with the term economic globalization: the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, the spread of technology, and military presence. The term can also refer to the transnational circulation of ideas, languages, or popular culture through acculturation. An aspect of the world which has gone through the process can be said to be globalized.