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African Holocaust | African Race | The appreciation or relevance of Africaness is located in the face of a multi-racial world and the primary function of defining African identity is first and foremost an exercise in political self-interest and African agency. The power of definition must remain with the majority and today African is a term used to super-umbrella all the indigenous ethnicities of the African continent and their modern-day descendents in the Diaspora





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

True freedom is not only the right to vote, but the right to self-define And the right to interrogate definitions imposed and formulate new ones which favor the subject in any given political climate

– '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



Language and African Agency

Alik Shahadah
'Alik Shahadah 12-2005 (updated 5/2012)

Holocaust     Holocaust
Sticks and stones will break my bones But words will never harm me Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust

Jump to : African vs. Black | Subsaharan Africa | Black African | Spirituality | Terrorism

Humans are the only beings with a unique power to communicate, and hold the ability of using communication to clarity, or obstruct reality. And therefore words play a critical role in articulating reality.
No word is innocent in the hands of power, yet every word is dangerous when applied to the oppressed.

Language in itself is an unstable vehicle, which in the hands of the modern sophist has the potential to mislead. It is naive to ignore the significance of linguistics and the utter need to engage this ignored discourse in Pan-African studies. And just like there is a body, which monitors and controls the English language we need such a dedicate discourse serving our linguistic interest. [1] While some words such as 'good' and 'bad' can be mapped across the global language spectrum, the ideological attachment to terms needs also to be mapped to favor the speaker, regardless of the language spoken.

The conquest of Africa was not only a physical process, it was also a re-definition of the African reality relative to the European world-view. Introducing paradigms from Europe which favored Europe; notions of identity based not on geography or ethnicity, but relative color. So even today terms such as "crimes against humanity", "genocide", "holocaust" used to articulate the African experience but made ineffective because they are still defined and controlled outside of African interest.

Right now a 60 year linguistic war is waged on forums and radios over if Israel ""occupied" or "controlled" the West Bank. You find prolix debates spanning thousands of pages just over these two words. Because language defines reality, as much as reality defines languages. Its high real estate, which makes huge differences for those who comprehend these matters. So how could a term like "black" people not need a heavy debate? When so much is attached to that color based term? Yet, for all the instances it is used, there is rarely any clarity of its meaning.



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To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization. Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Franz Fanon

There is no denying the billion dollar linguistic industry of the capitalist system; correct wording for marketing is a serious activity in fashioning consumer responses. Language is war, and that war begins with words, not bombs. Conquest is not only done down the barrel of a gun, but through language. In politics, the careful wording done to avoid liability, testifies to the delicate, yet critical significance of words. In the media arena, the neologism created to marry and casually associate Islam to terror, shows the power words have at sculpturing perception: Terrorism is a highly contested concept and It can be `flexibly constructed' to suit ideological, nationalist, propagandist and political objectives.

Holocaust     Holocaust
We have been fighting on a language chess board where all the linguistics pieces are white Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust 'Alik Shahadah

With its origins in revolutionary political violence, it is now the principle fear tactic by USA and her allies for shifting their foreign policy around the globe. [Fisk] Words, and words alone, can mask hell and make it seem like heaven; take the most horrendous human acts and make them seem benign. Even today we see money being thrown into standardize words for political and social objectives. There can be no denying that in the area of African reality, sociolinguistics requires a full discourse.

Ontology in analytic philosophy, concerns the determination the quality of "being." It is the inquiry into being in so much as it is being. Epistemology which follows now ask the question "how do i know what I know," the quality of knowing. But how can you even get to ontology or epistemology when you need words to describe yourself and to enquirer? So words then become important. But words are arbitrary sonic symbols that we invest a whole lot of meaning into. Then the quest to comprehend that entire process is prudent on the part of every language user. And because language is an extension of thought; a tool for thought. It is an arbitrary oral or written symbol representing (communicating) an idea inside one's mind. Then if the tool has poor reference or is flawed in how it describes "self" then even ontology is in question.

Every ethnic group in this country has a reference to some land base, some historical cultural base. African-Americans have hit that level of cultural maturity... To be called African-American has cultural integrity
Jesse Jackson

Foucault claimed that since man's view of reality is contingent on how they see reality, it followed, then, that the manner in which language describes that reality means that language does not reflect reality so much as language creates it. Chomsky states that those who controls terminology shape them in their own interest. Thus "people" as defined by the United States constitution were initially defined to protect liberated African Americans from being deprived of due process. However, that definition has done more for allowing corporations to inherent all the rights of a "person."

"Freedom" in South Africa, remained unclear, vague, and ultimately post-94, has revisited South Africa and now that very "freedom" is defined by right to destructive vices: A freedom that has no economic liberation, or social agency.

Holocaust     Holocaust
People say what's in a name? There's a whole lot in a name Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Malcolm X
Richard B Moore In his book Richard B. Moore expresses: "Human relations, cannot be peaceful, satisfactory, and happy until placed on the basis of mutual self-respect. The proper name for people, has thus become, in this period of crucial change and rapid reformation on a world scale, a vital factor in determining basic attitudes involving how, and even whether, people will continue to live together on this shrinking planet." Language is a factor in understanding the African Holocaust even in how demographics are understood. The highly contested number of people disrupted or lost to European slaving activities is partly locked in definitions.

The term "Slave trade" has the power to mitigate or mask the reality of the African Holocaust. So if we measure "slave trade" we get the European promoted number of 10 million arriving (notice the word arriving to further limit Western culpability). However, the minute we change to : "Not only was Transatlantic Slavery of demographic significance, in the aggregate population losses but also in the profound changes to settlement patterns, epidemiological exposure and reproductive and social development potential" an entirely new figure emerges. Maulana Karenga notes that "slave trade" is a deceptive term which linguistically neutralizes the cruelty, inhumanity and exploitation as just consensual business. European historians have generally been very skillful at using language to define reality so that African casualties by their hands are very low but the casualties by African or Arab hands are as high as possible.

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In speech are embedded, like fossils, the sum total of a people's values, attitudes, habits, aptitudes, in short a people's world view Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Ahmed Sheikh [2]

Unidirectional Words

Holocaust     Holocaust
This phrase — “Israel’s right to exist” — is thrown around in American politics with such abandon that you’d be forgiven for thinking that a state’s right to exist is a fundamental principle of international relations (IR) that those stubborn Palestinians just refuse to acknowledge Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Michael Luciano

Unidirectional words describe Israel's "right to exist" without drawing into question the Palestinians dual right to exist. In American politics "Right to exist" in the billion and one times it is used only, exclusively, unapologetically is only used for Israel. So Israel cannot use this phrase to defend its right to exist by denying other their human rights to also exist. [7] Only one point of view is shown, and it all starts in the war of words.

Words and terms are political weapons with subtle yet powerful inbuilt bombs. Take for example antisemitic and homophobia, they are both unidirectional; there can only be applied in one direction, to attack someone outside of their group. Unlike "Racism" which can be applied bi-directionally by the oppressed, but just as easily by the oppressor to describe the act of resisting oppression. Antisemitism cannot be used by the anyone other than the Jewish agenda. Homophobia could never be used by non-gays to describe gays. The ADL and AIPAC can use antisemitism, without fear of it being used against them in any conventional discourse. Words are crafted with this in mind to protect the authors of the words. In a flash, dropping antisemitism into a newspaper only brings up pictures that services the interest of pro-Jewish groups. Despite the volume of racism Africans face, they have no word which can communicate the uniqueness of that oppression like Jews and gays. Holocaust, genocide, Diaspora words traditionally only assigned to describe the Jewish experience. These words are vehemently guarded for unidirectional usage. As Mazuri says it is almost as if they had a copyright. But it proves the argument that words are serious "real estate."

Linguistic Laziness

However, as politics and culture change in our expanding world, rarely have linguistics shifted to accommodate. With the exceptions of a few neologism there is a linguistic laziness in coining new terms which speak to new realities. So words are handed down like family heirloom across the generations. But these old words function in a different political-cultural landscapes, thus blurring realities and distorting history. From the agrarian world to the digital revolution certain words have remained unchanged. [1] The so-called Arabs of the Sudan are in fact largely an Arabized African people, but as the reality of 1st language speakers left the ethnic boundaries of being Arab, the terminology did not move as fast to create new definitions for these "new Arabized people." A future scholar reviewing history would formulate confusing conclusions if they assume that terminologies are static across time.

Agency and Language

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Terminologies fly on the wings of agency Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust 'Alik Shahadah

All words and expressions are backed up by agency. The minute a word leaves some one's lips and hits someone else's ears the perception changes, and it might fail to communicate what the user intended. "I am religious" has radically different implications if Muslim to Muslim, Christian to Muslim, or religious person to atheists: Audience sensitive and perception is key. The power of Western politics often means their application of words such as "fundamentalist" overrides all local and standard definitions. Western agency not only has unilateral access to the international microphone, but also the power to make sure their meanings are normalized across diverse linguistic and geographical communities.

The power of Western agency means that they can construct words which speak exclusively to their reality. "Philosophy" came from the Greeks, there is no true parallel in African languages, does that mean "Africa never had philosophers?" We could spin it back and say "Europeans never had Ubuntu." Philosophy is just a word created in Greece to suit Greek paradigms. It is later applied to favorable civilizations, considered "advanced", with the exclusion of Africa, especially what is called 'Sub-Saharan Africa.' The seven climes (from Greek meaning "inclination") was a Greek-centric notion of dividing the Earth into zones in Classical Antiquity. The "norm" was the Mediterranean (Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc). The first clime (Sub-Sahara Africa) was of intense heat and did not permit civilization and out of this Greek model of civilization comes the modern world view of a sub-Saharan Africa, a direct descendant of Greek climes.

So Africa's development or role in intellectual progressiveness is hung on a word made, shaped and espoused by Europe. European behaviorism is good at putting value on dichotomizing abstract thought and explaining-away emotion, yet show no inner appreciation of spirit: Is music only valuable it if is discussed to death and written down? If a word controlled by European interest is hung over Africans as the mark of advancement and Africans are forced to response, would not the thousands of African proverbs not shed light on African's "love of wisdom" (i.e. philosophy)?

Speaking in a Queer Toungue "Language is a fundamental tool for shaping identity and community, including the expression (or repression) of sexual desire. Speaking in Queer Tongues investigates the tensions and adaptations that occur when processes of globalization bring one system of gay or lesbian language into contact with another. Western constructions of gay culture are now circulating widely beyond the boundaries of Western nations due to influences as diverse as Internet communication, global dissemination of entertainment and other media, increased travel and tourism, migration, displacement, and transnational citizenship. [5]

The increasing power of the gay lobby is another area which proves the case of the relationship between language and agency. In a few decades words have started to change form to accommodate the gay rights campaign: gay (use to mean happy)[3], marriage (use to mean man and woman), family (use to men husband and wife). [6] There is no stronger case of linguistic accommodation.[5]

How did 'bad' come to mean 'good'? Had this linguistic innovation happened in the outskirts of Calcutta it would never make sense anywhere but in that local community. Just like idiom which are colloquial metaphor—a term requiring some foundational knowledge, information, or experience, to use only within a culture, where conversational parties must possess common cultural references. [1] And the power of African-American music created and imposed "bad = good" as an urban shift in the wind of linguistic globalization.

False Dichotomy

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Not all words spoken were created equal: Some words come from a mind that has studied, from a body that has traveled a thousand miles, from eyes that have witnessed, from a tongue that has eloquence, from a heart that has passion and from a soul that has sincerity Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust 'Alik Shahadah

Language has always being a breeding ground for setting up false dichotomy. And by a systematic process of normalizing these views are accepted with out challenge: Assuming there are only two alternatives when in fact there are more. For example, assuming the classical Western dichotomy that by holding religious views it means you are unscientific; which is not a conflict for most outside of Europe's geopolitical walls. The very suggestion of a "Black African" implies, without even stating it, that there is also another color variant on African. Sub-Saharan Africa is another perfect example of this, where the illusion of "two" Africa's is made real only in language; but never in reality. Another example is Spirituality vs. Religion. (see section)

Language and Thought

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The limits of my language means the limits of my world Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Ludwig Wittgenstein

There can be no undermining how both philosophies of language influences thought and vice-versa. Thus language is a key aspect of culture and culture is key in determining ones language. The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis (aka Linguistic relativity) suggested that language limited the extent to which members of a "linguistic community" can think about certain subjects.

Holocaust     Holocaust
Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me (false statement) Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust

It is linguistic warfare to remove people's ability to even reference themselves and to describe their unique social reality. Semantic magic tricks make large problems vanish in thin air by shifting linguistics to offer a bandage to the oppressor conscious. The "black problem" vanishes once the word "Previously disadvantaged (South Africa)." It sooths the conscious of the European settlers and allows them to eat their dinner in peace without looking at the troubling word "African people." And beyond that it shapes perceptions and neutralizes the racist overtones in the society. And likewise you can vanish an entire Palestinian village with the right usage of words, causing their condition and humanity to evaporate by labeling them 'militants.' In opinion polls, most Americans supported the concept of a doctor helping a patient end a life with painless means, but that same support immediately dropped once it was described as "assisted suicide" [Grossman].

Holocaust     Holocaust
The interdependence of thought and speech makes it clear that languages are not so much a means of expressing truth that has already been established, but are a means of discovering truth that was previously unknown. Their diversity is a diversity not of sounds and signs but of ways of looking at the world Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Karl Kerenyi
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Speaking French means that one accepts, or is coerced into accepting, the collective consciousness of the French, which identifies blackness with evil and sin. In an attempt to escape the association of blackness with evil, the African man dons a white mask, or thinks of himself as a universal subject equally participating in a society that advocates an equality supposedly abstracted from personal appearance. Cultural values are internalized, or "epidermalized" into consciousness, creating a fundamental disjuncture between the African man's consciousness and his body. Under these conditions, the African man is necessarily alienated from himself Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Franz Fanon

The complicated dynamics behind word usage is solely rooted in a battle of self-interest. Many times Africans are trapped with popular anti-African sentiments such as “Africans enslaved other Africans,” “Egyptians weren't black,” etc. Trapped fighting battles from a strategic disadvantage because the terms and definitions employed serve solely in a Eurocentric reality that have been sculpted to destabilize the African historical foundation.

Technically speaking, the only difference between the prison complex and domestic slavery in Africa is linguistics - nothing else. If we speak of the African Holocaust then facts of so-called “Slavery by Africans” becomes redundant as the African Holocaust does not focus on systems of imprisonment, but moreover, the wholesale inhumane destruction visited upon African people. In addition, African Holocaust is not limited to the Transatlantic Slave Trade but the broader horror that also encompasses colonial rule and more over the legacies of those systems. But English has one word for slavery, despite absolutely different levels of 'slavery', one where someone is a member of a family and the other system where someone is chattel, but we have one word to describe these realities. When it suits the user we hear terms such as "corvee", "indentured labor" and "prison system."


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So an 'occupation' can become a 'dispute'. Thus a 'wall' becomes a 'fence' or a 'security barrier'. Thus Israeli colonization of Arab land contrary to all international law becomes 'settlements' or 'outposts' or 'Jewish neighborhoods Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Robert Fisk
There can be no political discussion of any issue in our world today without first establishing the wars of words.
Political rhetoric is designed to be deployed in the service of public policy.[1] So if 5 People protest in Iran it is an UPRISING!!, if 5000 People riot in the UK, it is civil disobedience. Language shapes perception, creating out of similar realities two completely different understandings.

Buy now Motherland

Reasonable doubt is a common tactic to thwart any opposition, words such as controversial and conspiracy theory give the reader, regardless of how solid the research is, that it cannot be absolutely trusted. Conspiracy theory is the highest level of reject of an argument without actually having to deal with the merits of the argument, it is an almost flawless tactic for curbing institutional analysis (Chomsky). Words hide all kinds of deception "co-belligerent terrorist" makes almost everyone a terrorist, "imminent threat" so diluted can be used and abused at will. [4]

West Non-West Interest
Freedom Fighter or Rebel Terrorist/ Militant
Collateral damage War crimes- killing innocents
Monarchy Dictator
Right To Exist Occupation
Development Aid (1) Bribery
Civil War Genocide (killing his own people)
Democracy Two party state
Self-determination Brainwashing
Patriot Act Totalitarianism
Freedom of press Propaganda
National security Human Rights violation
Fog of War Holocaust | Genocide |
Muslim allies Islamist
Right Wing conservative Terrorist Establishing Sharia
Riots , Opportunistic hooligans Uprising
Political Prisoner Terrorist
Combatants Evil Terrorist
Passionate Angry and Hateful
Established Fact Controversial
Academic Consensus Fringe theory
Mainstream opinion Conspiracy theory
Settlers Invaders
Intervention Invasion
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We want peace, total peace and nothing but peace, and even if we have to fight the bloodiest battle, we are going to get it Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Hitler

Language and American foreign policy is amazing liberal and shameless: from stopping "Ethnic Cleansing" in Kosovo, to saving the world against '"WMD's" from Saddam, to saving the people of Darfur from "Genocide", to putting a halt to Gaddafi "massacring civilians" in Libya. From Bush's "Axis of Evil" and "War on Terror" to Obama's "Network of Death" "Staying the course" all highlights the danger of rhetoric. It has an almost passive plea to the heart and the mind while masking the horrendous inequity and genocide of women and children. And in its seemingly benign personality it fails our critique even in the blatant face of human rights violations. Hitler too did this with words, this is why so many were lulled into immorality by the power of his command of the Germanic language. However, actions are more honest than language. This is why nature has an honesty which humans can only dream of achieving-- because we have the power to deceive, obfuscate, inveigle.


Holocaust     Holocaust
"White" depends for its stability on its negation, "black." Neither exists without the other, and both come into being at the moment of imperial conquest Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Franz Fanon

Black history is the history of enslavement; African history is the history of humanity. If there are no White people, could there be Black people? For over 100,000 years there were only native people of Africa on the planet, and since there were no "White" people there could not have been Black people, since everyone would have been "Black." This is even more profound when you realize African people are the only truly native people of the place they inhabit—everyone else is at some point a settler.

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In ancient times, Africans in general were called Ethiopian; in medieval times most Africans were called Moors; in modern times some Africans were called Negroes Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust John Jackson

And if all the "White people" vanished from the Earth, would the remaining "Black" people still be Black? So the older group must define itself relative to the European newcomers? Would it not make far more logical, historically, linguistically, and social to describe people by their land of origin. Negro = Negroid = Colored = Nigger = Black (all associated with color none are connected to a continent). Now compare this to Asiatic, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid (all are tied to land, all can be located on a map— but not so Negroid/Black). Black and White are therefore debunked as regressive incomplete terms for describing people.

Holocaust     Holocaust
There is nothing in "blackness" that logically implies any claim to anything of value, except bondage Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust 'Alik Shahadah

For all of recorded history we see in every conflict a central theme -- that of "land." So critical as humans need land to grow crops on, to source water from (see Golan Heights), they need a place to build cities and a place to harvest mineral wealth from. So attaching your identity to land makes sense: Attaching your identity to an abstract color, does not. Black and African are not interchangeable in any logical sense. African people claim an African origin and Africa as their Motherland. There is nothing in "blackness" that logically implies any claim to anything of value, except into bondage. All it tells the world is relative to the dominant race class these group of people are "black." And in Africa it is even worse, because language wise no majority defines themselves against a minority. i.e. Sudan (Northern Sudan) is still Sudan, but Southern Sudan has to insert "South" for clarity. Holocaust, on its own, is assigned to the Jews, who do not insert "Jews" before Holocaust, since they are the first to use the term in its modern context. How can the majority in South Africa need to identify themselves as "black" relative to a "white" when they are a overwhelming majority and hence "the norm"?

And what is even more revealing is that Dutch settlers in South Africa branded themselves as Afrikaners laying claim to the land they conquered. Signifying in that naming process they were the native European tribe of of Africa (per Zuma). And yet Natives in South Africa still refer to themselves, with glee, as blacks.

Black Negro Nigger (same nonnsense) It is amazing in our modern era that an entire nation of people, who are free to think and free to reflect-- the oldest nation on the planet, the parents to every other people are confined by a name that reflects only their supposed skin color -- and nothing else. Being "black people" is still today indelible fixed in Western lexicon (both African American and White),

despite all the evidence contradictory such color-based terminologies and the profound work of Malcolm X and especially Richard B. Moore to favor African over Black, which would give a humanist representation of marginalized people. And the perplexing thing is general contentment and seeming inability to see the obvious menace in the term. Only two groups remain on Earth adhering to color labels; the most exploited people in the history of humanity (Black people), and their apex oppressors (White people).

Holocaust     Holocaust
True freedom is not only the right to vote, but the right to self-define and the right to interrogate definitions imposed and formulate new ones, which favor the African in any given political climate Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust 'Alik Shahadah
No Negroland If linguistically we reject the term Sub-Saharan Africa then therefore there is no Sub-Saharan history or people; as distinct from North Africa. We then only have African people and a history of Africa.

We must realize these are still colonial classifications like Middle East which have nothing to do with historical Africa. We cannot discuss a history of Africa in these colonial boxes which only served to humiliate and take away from the continent. The terms create paradigms which limit, rather than expand, reality. If there are a black or Black people then where do "black" people come form? Since Asians come from Asia, Indians from India (all makes perfect logically sense).

Every ethnic group in this country has a reference to some land base, some historical cultural base. African-Americans have hit that level of cultural maturity... To be called African-American has cultural integrity
Jesse Jackson

So where do Black people come from? Blackia, Negroland or Blackistan, following the obvious naming convention. What is the capital city of the Black home world? Black City or Blackatropolis? So if Africans do not come from these fictitious places and we find that so-called Black people come from Africa (at some time in our recent history) then why not just call them Africans? At best the term is redundant. So what is the purpose of Blackness? Especially in a world where identity and land are exclusively interlinked for every other people: Jews of Israeli, Palestinians of Palestine, Indians of India, Zulu of Zululand, Masai of the Masai Mara.

Twenty-two million African-Americans - that's what we are - Africans who are in America
El Hajj Malik Shabazz

Blackness, is largely a Western or American exonym, in which all so-called Black cultures around the world are forced to fit into. As Americanism expanded so to did this notion of blackness, which is attached to the civil rights struggle and today to the urban cultures of the inner cities. However, It cannot be transplanted into ancient history to describe a people such as Ancient Ethiopia who had no cultural similarities to the modern African-Americans communities. Neither can "Blackness" be put in history to say the Ancient Egyptians were not Black because they did not share characteristics with a group of Africans Europeans chose to label as the archetypal Black population (black skin, thick lips and kinky hair). To do so creates connections and disconnections where there are none. So "Black culture" or "Blackness" cannot be imposed anywhere beyond the modern era. But we can say Cultures of Africa, in which Egypt and Ethiopia were part of that African world. Being African doesn't mean we all dance to the same music and worship the same tree. So outside of the suggestiveness of "black" and "negro" words are necessary in creating new paradigms or we will always get stuck hearing "Well the Egyptians were not Black" because of a language issue or some other technicality. Far less objections could be raised if we just stuck to "The Egyptians were Africans". Especially if we claim African as oppose to let it float.

The political question of contributions of modern day African people must be addressed and in this respect Ancient Egypt, Ancient Ethiopia were African civilizations, the same way Greece was an Ancient European civilization (it was located in modern Europe). But this argument is a political because we live in a racialized world which discredits a people's worth by notions of racial origin and assumes black skin is too inferior to construct civilization.

Loaded Words

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Power is the ability to define reality and to convince other people that it is their definition Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Wade Nobles
Within the walls of democracy there is a freedom of speech and justice component, within the boundaries of feminism there is a concept of equality, but this does not make either democracy, feminism or any 'ism' directly interchangeable with justice, freedom or human rights.

Africans must distinguish and apply their own concepts without casually borrowing pre-packaged terms which speak in favor of European interest. Because too often the terms used have other connotations and implication which come seeded in a linguistic nexus. Values of morality and perceptions of superiority embedded to favor things founded in Europe over things founded in Africa. To suggest that human rights must morph itself into the pro-homosexual left liberal confusion is taking away from the purity of other peoples inherent ability to self-determine and attach value to their own definitions. African centered human rights is articulated around community and life, thus when Europe speaks of promoting human rights some of these values actually are violations of African human rights. Therefore "Gay rights" linguistically looks like "Civil rights" and has been intentionally stealing sympathy solely on this bases. But regardless of the linguistic similarities, civil rights and gay rights are radically different in their moral and humanist foundations.

Holocaust     Holocaust
Someone once noted that we don't speak with language, but through it: it is transparent to us, and we don't even notice it. In our experience, our words do not represent concepts: they present them in a wholly transparent way. This is what I mean when I noted that native speakers do not normally speak in their language, but through it Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Bradd Shore, Culture In Mind: Cognition, Culture, & The Problem Of Meaning

Normative: Homophobia and the Politics

Normatively  is the usage of language to  suit one's rhetoric to the widest possible audience, without losing relevant information in the process .

In government and business jargon is used to encrypts morally suspect information in order to mitigate reactions to it: for example, the almost benign phrase "collateral damage" to refer to the manslaughter of innocents. Words such as "controversial" insert a air of question around a subject. So it is used strategically to create the "fringe factor" around any position which is unpleasant to the user, for example "Jewish involvement in slavery is 'controversial.'"

Linguistics today is used as a tool for politically maneuvering. We see words such as the misnomer antisemitic initially used against people who hate Jews now it is applied against people Jews hate. We see words like homophobia, a word that is a neologism created in the American sub-culture in 1969 and has no parallel in any African language or ideology; and hence alien to the African paradigm.

These are political terms used to stall any form of plural disagreement, creating a third rail. Collapsing racism, oppression, civil rights, bias and  homophobia is a tactic to give gravity to a neologism.

And this is equally true for "gay rights," It is a word used and abused but has no clear attachment to any set of true values. Do gay rights mean the right to be gay? And who should grant that right, in most countries no one is stopping what happens in private? Or does it mean the right to have children, a right denied by nature? Human rights already protect all human beings from persecution and abuse. It sets up the perfect straw man argument where any opposition to homosexuality or vague "gay rights" is used to imply an attitude of gross violence and deep hatred. The introduction of two equal terms, homosexual and heterosexual, for sexual preference is to normalize homosexuality as an equal reality. Just like the direction terms 'left and right', where 'left' or 'right' has no real social superiority.

All of this has to be stated to appreciate the power of language and thought and the power to alter human perception and expression. Now oppressing homosexuals is very separate from disagreeing with homosexuality, and oppression and disagreement should never be collapsed. Behavioral scientists William O'Donohue and Christine Caselles concluded that the usage of the term homophobia "as it is usually used, makes an illegitimately pejorative evaluation of certain open and debatable value positions. " The term, like antisemitic,  is used as an ad hominem argument against those who advocate values or positions of which the user does not approve. As far as homophobia goes the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, states, "Technically, however, the term actually denotes a person who has a phobia — or irrational fear — of homosexuality. Principled disagreement, therefore, cannot be labeled homophobia."


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Slaves and dogs are named by their masters. Free men name themselves. Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Richard B. Moore
Black is a construction, which articulates a recent social-political reality of people of color (pigmented people).

Black is not a racial family, an ethnic group or a super-ethnic group. Political blackness is thus not an identity but moreover a social-political consequence of a world which after colonialism and slavery existed in those color terms.

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"white" depends for its stability on its negation, "black." Neither exists without the other, and both come into being at the moment of imperial conquest Holocaust
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Holocaust Franz Fanon

In our modern era old identities split apart and reform along more self-determined line to recover what was lost after the impact of conquest and domination. We see The Gypsies are now to be called "Roma," and the reindeer-herding Lapps of Northern Scandinavia are the "Saami." Similarly, some now claim the Iroquois Indians should be called the "Haudenosaunee" and the Cherokee the "Tsalagi" [3]

Africans have gone from Negro (Spanish for Black) to Black (English for Negro) what has changed? Only the language. [6] An identity is generally geographical and ties the people to their native environment or their core doctrine (Jews of Judaism, Muslims of Islam, Chinese of China).
Non-African Black people
African people not fitting the European imposed "Black" archetype

Very few Africans are actually Black in color, so where is the foundation of a Black people or black people coming from? It is how Africans were seen relative to the European people. So relative to the pales skin of Europeans and White Arabs the most dominant thing about African was relative skin color. Hence the exonym Black in the eyes of the "other." It was not the land, not the African hair, but the relative color of a diverse skin pigment – that is rarely black in color. For Indians it is their land, for Chinese it is their land, for Jews it is their faith and a notion of Israel. Yet Condolezza Rice feels the best thing that describes her in American is blackness. And to some extent she is right, because there is nothing in her cultural, ethical, aesthetic, outlook that resembles the continent her ancestors came from. She has replaced Africa with America, and finally Africaness with dreams of the White ideal.

African and black are not interchangeable just as Dark continent and Africa are not. Self-determination allows a people to re-examine definitions and sculpt them to their reality. Black, like Negro is facing linguistic extinction, especially in academic circles, due to its poor foundation in speaking about the oldest and most diverse people on the planet. Notice today only two races go by color labels; The race with the most oppression and the ones inflicting that oppression. "I am black and proud" is a song, nothing else. It is the rhetoric necessary at the time to lift an oppressed people who only knew of themselves through the eyes of their oppressor. It has run its course and has expired.

Some have argued that African people chose "black" as an acceptable identity. The evidence is in all the books African-Americans write where the word "black" (lowercase) is used without care. But self-determination has a condition - full knowledge of self. And this is why we see the new Nig*er identity which by the same mass consensus process seems to be a valid new identity. And just like "black" it is again almost exclusively the world view of a minority African population living in America.


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Black tells you how you look without telling you who you are. A more proper word for our people, African, relates us to land, history and culture. Holocaust
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Holocaust John Henrik Clarke

In Mauritania, the Haratin account for as much as 40% of the Mauritanian population. They are sometimes referred to as "Black Moors", in contrast to Beidane. The Haratin are Arabic-speakers, and generally claim a Berber or Arab origin, which is contrasted against other African peoples in southern Mauritania (such as the Wolof and Fula people who have populations in Mauritania). The Haratine, consider themselves part of the Moorish community. But where it becomes problematic is because they are "darker" in color, they are assumed to be slaves brought from "black Africa." So powerful is the theory of "two" Africa's that reality is twisted to accommodate its validity. Every study is looking at Africa through the lens of "Black and White", "slave and master." It is therefore never considered that these "black" populations, like the Kanuri, who migrated South from North Africa, are native to the region. In a struggle to sustain colonial linguistics all forms of pseudo -anthropology is imposed on the African reality posing itself as mainstream studies. [5]


Brief History : During the displacement of the African Holocaust people were disconnected from culture, language and identity, they went from Fulani, Hausa, Igbo to a relative color, aptly describing their status in European society-- Black. Now stuck with this name, and with no agency, no conscious of self outside of the chains of the Holocaust, being black became a source of reactionary pride. (especially in the 60's). This happened also because the involuntary Diaspora had a deep self-hatred for their African connection, and would prefer to be a empty color than connected to their Motherland--that was the dept of the self hatred. And this produced reactionary love because they had to be something, and they could not be European, so in the psyche reaffirming a negative name was in some sense a statement of ownership--a statement of being. In reality it was a statement of displacement and self-hatred.

The word “Black” has no historical or cultural association, it was a name born when Africans were broken down in to transferable labor units and transported as chattel to the Americas. The re-labeling of the Mandika, Fulani, Igbo, Asante, into one bland color label- black, was part of the greater process of absolute removal of African identity; a color epithet that Europe believed to be the lowest color on Earth, thus reflecting the social designation of African people in European psyche. When Africans, out of their own agency refer to themselves they do so with internal paradigms and self-affirmation. No where in Africa did Africans see the obvious, the natural skin color they had, as the most distinctive characteristic in defining them:

Zulu - People of the sky

Khoi Khoi - King of men

Numunuu (Native Americans) - The people

Mediterranean -- " Our Sea"

Senegal - "Our land"

Navajo -"Diné" meaning “The People”

Han-in (Korean: 한인; Hanja: 韓人; literally "great people")

Bantu - "human" {note}

In this history of Swahili the people called themselves "people" no color attached. Attaching color is only done to refer to "the other." In Zulu Kingdom again we see no record of a self-reference to a "Black people" they called themselves "People of the Sky" until White people showed up and called them blacks. It is true the term Ethiopia in ancient times meant "burnt face" but the modern name Ethiopia is a name not a Greek word. And the critical thing is name verses descriptive terms. The same is true for Sudan.

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And We did certainly create man out of clay from an altered black mud Holocaust
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Holocaust Surat Al-Ĥijr | 15:26

The above verse is from the Muslim Qur'an, and while it is notable in the mention of the color of the mud from which Adam (the first human of the Abrahamic faiths) was created. But this does not prove that Africans are historically called black people. There has never been a dispute about the skin color of African people (a very wide range of colors including high yellow and jet black). So the above verse just confirms the first people were dark in color: but we knew this already.


There is an academic debate that the Ancient Egyptians called themselves Black based upon KMT (Kemet) which in some circles is translated as "Black people." Now at the end of the word KMT is an ideogram which can only mean physical place (the cross road sign above).


The ideogram indicates the context in which the word applies. An ideogram for humans would always be used to represent a word that applied to people. However Kemet can only mean Black Land since the ideogram indicates it is describing a built or non-human environment. They called themselves "remetch en Kemet", which means the "People of the Black Land." Where rmt means simple without any adjectives "the people," the same way the Numunuu means "the people."(the authentic people) And likewise Zulu means people of heaven.

Ancient Egypt is commonly referred to as 'km.t' , with the theorized reference to the black Nile Delta earth. The determinative O49 is used to designate the term for 'country, inhabited/cultivated land', called the niw.t (a political designate). It is a circle with a cross which represents a street, 'town intersection"(Gardiner 2005 (1957): 498)

But none of this discredits the founders of Kemet as being African people, just like the Fulani or the Amhara. "Black" in the North American context. The "social "construction of race in America does not rely on skin color. "African Americans," as even Asante notes, " constitute the most heterogeneous group in the United States biologically, but perhaps one of the most homogeneous socially." The issue is color is used against African interest, for example:

Statement: "The Ancient Egyptians were Black people",

Reply: "no there were brown in color, and not black as we know it"

Truth: They were African people and like many African people display skin colors from high yellow to deep black. Blackness is relative to Whiteness and a modern term. It is accurate to say the people of Egypt were an African civilization and were native to that region-- like the Ethiopians and the Nubian. It is absurd to have a civilization located in a continent but default and describe its builders by an identity that divorces them from their location. Clearly it is part of the take away in Eurocentric academia-- reassign civilization outside of African claim.

Asians do not say "The Great Wall of China was built by yellow people" the Indians do not say "The Taj Mahal was built by brown people". Actually even in European academia they rarely say "Greece was built by White people" its just not academic-- white is a lay term. They would say European. i.e. native people of Europe. People, in the case of Egypt, 100% knew the difference between Black and Brown, it is pretty certain if they wanted a color-based name for themselves they would have been more accurate.


Indians are from India , Chinese from China . There is no country called Blackia or Blackistan and a people must respectful be tied to geography as skin color is not the primary definitive identifier.. Hence, the ancestry-nationality model is more respectful and accurate: African-American, African-British, African-Arabian, African-Brazilian, and African-Caribbean. And if Black people has some validity as a political term it can not be limited in its application to people of African decent. Nostalgia is not an accurate place for African linguistic self-determination, and blackness is blatantly a cultural inheritance of oppressed people. The pattern of acceptance of a black identity globally walks hand in hand with European cultural oppression.

Black pride is reactionary pride, necessary then, Irrelevant now. As we blossom into a greater historical and cultural awareness of a Motherland a detachment with fictional attachments to slave names must be challenged, and we must end the romance with things that are a disservice to our identity today.

It is worth noting parts of African that are culturally intact such as in Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia, Nigeria and Niger have absolutely no fondness or linguistic presence of a "black identity."



New York Times | The term African-American has crept steadily into the nation's vocabulary since 1988, when the Rev. Jesse Jackson held a news conference to urge Americans to use it to refer to blacks. ''It puts us in our proper historical context,'' Mr. Jackson said then, adding in a recent interview that he still favored the term. ''Every ethnic group in this country has a reference to some land base, some historical cultural base. African-Americans have hit that level of cultural maturity.'' Since 1989, the number of blacks using the term has steadily increased, polls show. In a survey that year conducted by ABC and The Washington Post, 66 percent said they preferred the term black, 22 preferred African-American, 10 percent liked both terms and 2 percent had no opinion. In 2000, the Census Bureau for the first time allowed respondents to check a box that carried the heading African-American next to the term black. In 2003, a poll by the same news organizations found that 48 percent of blacks preferred the term African-American, 35 percent favored black and 17 percent liked both terms. (ref)


Oppressors do not like calling the real names of their victims. In cases of kidnapping the victim's family always humanizes the victim by saying their name. It creates a realization in the perpetrators mind that the person they have kidnapped also has a history, a life, a family, love and is therefore not is not disposable. Whites slavers were far happier in removing the humanity of Africans by re-classifying people as blacks. Not even "Black people", just blacks. It dehumanized the person to a mere color, which had no name, no history, no culture and most importantly no Motherland. To raid a village and kill women and children, you have to first remove the notion of them possession any humanity. Notice how Israel will always say "those people." Because to say "those Palestinians" gives Palestine a claim to the land called Palestine. South Africa also does not want to link Africans to land, hence the preferred identification with "blacks", void of history, agency, culture and land rights. And in the newly fabricated contrived rainbow, everyone became African-- thus everyone had claim.


Nobody on this planet puts a adjective on their identity, especially when they are a majority, except African people. Black Africa, Dark Continent, Heart of Darkness all articulate the colonial contempt for a continent and its people. But how does one arrive at the term “black Africans,” are there green Africans? Would you speak of “yellow Chinese,” or “brown Indians”? Even terms like "White Russian" are unused, despite Russia being a multi-ethnic nation. Because 80% white means the majority have no need for adding White to their Russian to qualify against a minority of "other" Russians. [3] Globally the term " Red Indian" is rejected as deeply pejorative yet "black African" is still used even in South Africa which is used to define the majority of the population against the minority so-called white-Africans. Black African is as ridiculous as "rock stone", rocks are stones so why double up two realities which are often the same?

There is an infinite an inexhaustible list of examples which show that no one with power wears and adjective on their identity, especially when equal or a majority. The peninsula of Korea is called Chosŏn Pando (조선반도; 朝鮮半島) in North Korea and Han Bando (한반도; 韓半島) in South Korea based on the respective names of the two countries. (wikipedia)They both use "Korea" as part of their official English names. In other words North Korea does not say they are North Korean, as far as they are concerned they are the KOREA. The South does not waste time defining itself as South Korea, again, as far as their national pride is concerned they are just Korea. Both countries have equal political and cultural agency. So how is it possible for a continent whose overwhelming demographic, political, cultural majority is African, need to refer to themselves as black + African? And with the split of N. Sudan and S. Sudan it would be shocking to see if N. Sudan adds the term "North" to its national rhetoric, to clarify itself from its new southern neighbor.

There is only one reason the term Black African exists and that is to deny nobility from African people. To explain away how Egypt could be nested in Africa but at the same time divorced from the majority of the African people. Therefore the argument "yes it is in Africa, but it is not Black African." It is almost like saying Greece was a European civilization, but not a White European civilization.

If 95% of Africans are “Black” (capital B, if it must be used) then the minority should bear the adjective--not the majority. It is disrespectful to describe Africans with a label based solely on a color, especially when it does not accurately reflect the physical appearance of most Africans. This is made even more offensive when the etymological root of that label (black) is derived from the word Negro, and is used in place of the word African as a racial or cultural identity. In reality we must ask ourselves what is the difference between "Negro" and "Black" save historical association, the words mean the same thing, so we have moved from being Black in Spanish (negro) to Black in English (black). It is strange that despite all the genetic research and advance human anthropology we are still clinging to primitive 18th century post-Darwin model of race, which sole aim was/is to segregate and de-culturalize and enslave.

The concept of a “black Africa ” is a Eurocentric term based upon their ignorant primitive regressive deductions. It is true Arabs and Greeks referred to Africans as "black" but this was not a racial label, and moreover Africans themselves did not self-apply these external labels. Like the Phoenician who were called the "red people," but no Phoenician would have referred to themselves in this way.


In a recent survey conducted by the African Holocaust society it was noted that young African children (approx 4-5 years old, the age of race consciousness) when told they were members of the "black race" reacted with great confusion because they were also being taught the names of colors. Most of them objected to being called black and said they were not black but rather brown. A repeated survey found that when they were told they were African they did not object to the logic (they were African because their ancestors were from the continent called Africa). Blackness is illogical and only exist by force conditioning of children. This case study is profound because it shows how logic and identify form before social concepts are enforced.


In the scramble for linguistic real estate, why would these descendants of European colonialist who devastated and exploited the continent want to be called African? And in terms of self-determination who introduced these concepts?

It would be very strange if a European, after 200 years in China or India, could be so powerful to alter the definition of Chinese just to be accommodated. Linguistic accommodation is only possible in Africa because of the prevailing injustice of a post-colonial dominance of European settlers. It is clear some European funded African politicians backed it, but where did it originate from? It is interesting to note Europeans (including white Arabs) constitute around 10 million people verses the 800 million plus Africans. Now this negligible minority by way of social influence has caused the majority to need to refer to themselves with the adjective of “black” to separate themselves from a serious minority group who want to be “white Africans.” Minorities of Europeans live in China, in India and in Arabia yet only in Africa has linguistic accommodation been given. Africans now must make room for those settlers who want to identify with the continent for capitalist reasons. Because once you identify with a continent then you have a legitimate claim to its resources. Thus the saying and the philosophy of Garvey “Africa for the Africans” becomes usurped. In South Africa the new trend of “Black Economic Empowerment” has seen the broadening, opening up of the borders of blackness so to speak. Indians are economically classified as ‘black’, and recently Chinese have been included in this definition. So again we see the relationship between linguistics and economic profit.

Despite claiming "African" in name they are very conscious of Whiteness when propagating the White dominant image on the broadcast mediums they control. Being White is clearly obvious when it comes to the dilemma of ownership which is still tipped in their favor. When all of these White South Africans rush home to Europe (when Africa gets a little sticky) do they encounter job discrimination experienced by fellow African South Africans or even 3rd and 4th generation African-British? They integrate seamlessly into the social environment created by White privilege. Seems like with the Indian "Africans", African is a jacket worn to suit an economic or political opportunity.

Race was not only defined in the 18th century, in Aksum and Kemet African peoples have always identified with degrees of racial inclusion and exclusion. The arrogance of Whiteness is to assume they are responsible for every single point of view that has ever existed on this planet. All the while South Africa remains White dominant and unchallenged by people who are the most vocal White Africans. Interestingly if you examine their lifestyle, you will find them to be the most racial conservative personalities. They date and marry women of their specific race, they socialize in White circles, they engage a distinctive non-African culture. And if they do have a few token "Black" friends they are often culturally compromised aberrations the continent can produce. The injustices of White dominance and the legacy of that dominance are smooth over by fictional fantasies of non-returning colonial tourist who still impose their reality as the norm for everyone else. Moreover, in dealing with these issues they always select broad base arguments and never deal with the core issue of African self-determination and agency.


In South Africa Africans have prior to apartheid were called simply African, Then in Apartheid they became Blacks and now in the racially sterilized post-apartheid environment they have moved from Blacks to an ethnic group called "previously disadvantage." Since the word African is being grabbed up by whites and black [sic] has been taken by Indians and now Chinese. The inescapable question that needs to be posed to the genius that went into constructing this awkward term is, what is "previous" about the disadvantage of the African majority in South Africa? According to every social-economic indicator the disadvantage is still a reality. It is linguistic warfare to remove people's ability to even reference themselves to describe their unique social reality. And if there is a "previously disadvantaged group" why then do you need social programs such as BEE to treat this problem? It makes no logical sense to treat a people as disadvantaged who are now previously disadvantaged.


Africa, unlike "black," is a name, not a adjective. You can get on a plane and visit it, you can find it on a Sat Nav, it has boundaries, governments, you can grow crops on it, and build a house on it. But some say, Africa was a foreign name given to us, if this is true, it was given to us by our contemporaries not our conquerors. However, the word has Berber Tunisian origins meaning " A sunny place" - Ifriqiya . Romans appropriated this word from which it is believed the modern word Africa came about the describe the entire continent. In addition, Africa is a unique name of a place and Africans are simply people who are native to that place. And over the course of history different names such as Habesha and Takruri were used to refer to African people of various regions, Ethiopia and West Africa respectively. Also the word Moor has been used across the centuries but as critics have established, the term "Moor" was used interchangeably with such other ambiguous terms such as "Ethiopian," "Negro," and even "Indian" to designate a figure from different parts or the whole of Africa (or beyond) who was either black or Muslim, neither, or both. [3]

In the case of an "original" 100% native word for Africa the problem is tied to identity, in this case the modern occurrence of a pan-African identity (lowercase 'p'). Therefore you cannot take a Zulu word and apply it to a broad continent and say it was "original" Zulu people did not have the knowledge of the continent width and breath to name it. So people of Ethiopia never saw people in say Namibia, they did not go and look them up. Enat Hager (Motherland) was defined exclusively within Ethiopian spheres of interest and knowledge. It was also exclusive of what they would have perceived as other. There was no great desire for them and other African nations to see a pan-African continent. All of these factors means there was no original pan-African name for the entire continent that we know of.

Many fail to see that “black” ultimately sets Africans outside of their connection to history and culture. Black does not connect us to Kemet, it only goes back 500 Years ago. Hence, “black” people are an “urban” people/culture and “urban” people's history is 5 minutes old. In addition, because it is a term placed on us, we have no bases for its control, and hence they are able to say; “Ancient Egyptians weren't black.” Black has no meaning; except the meaning they place on it, if and when they chose.

Ethiopia means "Burnt face" (Greek), but it has long since moved over from a "color" to a Nation -- Modern Ethiopia. Holocaust (Greek) means "burn down" that usage has long since expired, especially with the death of Classical Greek. All words have some origin, for example Moor, but today they have long crossed over from their original meaning to become names.


  • The name is usually connected with Phoenician afar, "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis has asserted that it stems from the Berber ifri (plural ifran) "cave", in reference to cave dwellers. The Latin suffix "-ica" can sometimes be used to denote a land (e.g., in Celtica from Celtae, as used by Julius Caesar). The later Muslim kingdom of Ifriqiya, modern-day Tunisia, also preserved a form of the name.
  • The 1st-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (Ant. 1.15) asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya.
  • Isidore of Seville in Etymologiae XIV.5.2. suggests the Latin aprica "sunny".
  • Leo Africanus (1488–1554) proposed the Greek aphrike (Αφρική), "without cold". Africanus suggested that the Greek phrike (φρίκη, "cold and horror"), combined with the privative prefix "a-", indicated a land free of cold and horror.
  • Massey, in 1881, states that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, "to turn toward the opening of the Ka." The Ka is the energetic double of every person and "opening of the Ka" refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, "the birthplace."
  • Michèle Fruyt, linking the Latin word with africus "south wind", which would be of Umbrian origin and mean originally "rainy wind".
  • Africa's name is derived from an ancient area in modern day Tunisia known as Ifriqiya or sunny place, in Tamazight.

Sub-Saharan Africa is a Colonial Vestige

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The committee also chose a continent-based approach, which considers Africa as a whole and abandons the usual dichotomy between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa Holocaust
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Holocaust UNESCO, Decolonizing History

Sub-Saharan Africa is a linguistic vestige of racist colonialism, nested in the notion of divide and rule, which articulates a perception based on European terms of homogeneity. The notion of some invisible border, which divides the North of African from the South, is rooted in racism, which in part assumes that sand is an obstacle for African language and culture. This band of sand hence confines Africans to the bottom of a European imposed location, which exists neither linguistically (Afro-Asiatic languages),

ethnically (Tuareg ), religiously (Islam), politically (African Union, Arab league, UNESCO), Economically (CEN-SAD) or physically (Sudan and Chad).The over emphasis on sand as a defining feature in African history is grossly misleading as cultures, trade, and languages do not stop when they meet geographic deserts. Thus Sub-Africa is another divisive vestige of colonial domination which balkanized Africa assigning everything below the "waist belt" of Africa as negative. [3] The real issue even anthropologist have is with atypical Ethiopia, which breaks every generalization used to wash out so-called sub-Saharan Africa: domestication, scripts, Christianity, etc.

Undue weight to put the entire discourse on Africa through a recent geographical term. And where else does this kind of geographical designations define so much of a peoples history and identity? (e.g. mountain ranges and deserts in China, America, Alps in Europe)


The seven climes (from Greek meaning "inclination") was a Greek-centric notion of dividing the Earth into zones in Classical Antiquity. The "norm" was the Mediterranean (Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc). The first clime (Sub-Sahara Africa) was of intense heat and did not permit civilization, the 7th clime (Northern Europe) also was incapable of producing civilization. We can see a direct relationship and evolution of the Eurocentric concept of Sub-Saharan Africa growing out of this early Greek idea, which even the Arabs subscribed to in their understanding of the "known" world.


In 2011 with the emergence of a New African country (Southern Sudan) the dilemma of classification showed the flaws of this system. Were they North Africa because of geography, or where they Sub-Saharan African due to their demographic (politically, and culturally)? Either way the UN designation swings proves the problem.

The Sahara is a broad desert belt, which encompasses countries like Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Mauritania, and hence are neither “sub” nor “North Africa.” In addition, many African communities historically have traveled freely across this European barrier set for Africans. Moreover millions of indigenous Africans are ethnic natives in Morocco, Libya, Algeria, and Egypt, so even ethnically North Africa is not a non-African territory and testimony to this is the rock art found in this region showing native Africans hunting there 10,000 years ago.

Linguistically Africa cannot be divided into North and South.

The Nile Valley ca. 5000-4500 BCE, where they intermingled with indigenous hunter-fisher-gatherer people already there (Hassan 1989; Wetterstorm 1993). Climatic cycles acted as a pump, alternately attracting African peoples onto the Sahara, then expelling them as the aridity returned (Keita 1990).

Maps below indicate that no definition actually fits a Sub-Saharan model of Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa ethnic Sub-Saharan Africa economic
Ethnically shared Economic communities Countries in both N&S


What happens when a language or a culture bumps into sand? What happens when a religion hits a desert belt, or a caravan of salt meets a sand dune? Still there is no denying that differences do not exist, especially after the moment of colonial conquest. One point is even more sharp difference exist in contrasting Ethiopia with Tanzania or South Africa. If difference is the principled motive, then Ethiopia has to be removed from this sub-box. Sub-Africa is an over generalization which omits much of the dynamic historical relationship between Africa and the world. Despite the generalization, Ethiopia has always had contact with North Africa and Arabia, they do not have to go via the Sahara for this contact with Arabia as it is only 22km away. Considering much of the seafaring history of the Arab world, the Swahili coast has always been a breeze. The Phoenicians traded with West Africa, but the notion of a Sub-Africa has this habit of explaining away much of the history of Africa. North Africa as a region did have more contact especially with the Roman conquest that would have made for radical difference in development compared to its Southern neighbors. And the most contrasting difference from that contact would be the European and Arab genes left by these conquest. However, no degree of Whites in South Africa alters the African reality of that region. And so to the Arabization of North Africa, while a serious consideration for unification, should not be given undue weight in the study of the African reality.


Mansa Musa famous Hajj traveled through North Africa in the 13th century so why assume Africans would be confined to this designation called sub-Saharan Africa? There is no ancient reference to a sub-Sahara Africa as distinctive entity from the North. To discuss the history of sub-Saharan Africa is projecting history in reverse by setting up borders that were no part of the African historical reality. Diop held that despite the Sahara, the genetic, physical and cultural elements of indigenous African peoples were both in place and always flowed in and out of Egypt, noting transmission routes via Nubia and the Sudan, and the earlier fertility of the Sahara. Given the constant movement of people over time, the fluctuations of climate over time (the Sahara was once fertile), and the substantial so-called representation of "sub Saharan" traits in the Nile Valley among people like the Badari. The entire region shows a basic unity based on both the Nile and Sahara, and cannot be arbitrarily diced up into per-assigned racial zones.

Sub-Saharan Africa religion
Islam doesn't conform to Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa sets-up the premises for the confiscation of any “civilization” which happen to occur in African territory.
These malicious definitions have been inherited by the victims of European imperialism and normalize into African language and reality. Sub-Saharan Africa is a racist byword for "primitive," a place, which has escaped advancement. Hence, we see statements like “no written languages exist in Sub-Saharan Africa.” “Ancient Egypt was not a Sub-Saharan African civilization.” Sub-Sahara serves as an exclusion, which moves, jumps and slides around to suit negative generalization and tired canard Europeans hold of Africa .


Politically Afro-Arabian leaders including Kwame Nkrumah, the founder president of Ghana; Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Sekou Toure, the founding father of post-colonial Guinea (Conakry) have refused to recognize the Sahara Desert as a divide, and insisted on visualizing it as a historic bridge.

Recent work in the field of Saharan studies and archaeology are beginning to question this paradigm, particularly with respect to historicizing the region. Prof. Ghislaine Lydon of UCLA argues that such distinctions are superficial and have been overplayed, stating that "very few scholars have ventured into the Sahara despite the overwhelming historical evidence pointing to the interactions, interdependencies and shared histories of neighboring African countries to the south". Also Okoth, P Godfrey, Department of History University of California, states Sub-Saharan Africa is symptomatic of the racist attitudes towards the former colonies. European travelers and geographers created the concept of "two Africa's," which was adopted wholesome by racist scholars in Euro-America. “The idea of "Sub-Saharan Africa," is, therefore, 'a myth or misleading. It cannot be accepted as it tantamount to the balkanization of Africa, thereby denying Africa its rightful role in contributing to world civilization. There is only one Africa; hence the need to decolonize such racist and derogatory terms.” Sub-Saharan Africa sets-up the premise for the confiscation of any “civilization” which happened to occur in African territory.


In Africa the regional economic blocks do not fall into the pattern of North and Southern Africa. COMESA is inclusive of Egypt, Sudan and even Angola. There is CEN-SAD. Thus the notion of a sub- Africa is invalid from an economical standpoint.


Language research suggests that this Saharan-Nilotic population became speakers of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Proto-Semitic and Semitic languages were spoken by Saharan people who crossed the Red Sea into Arabia and became ancestors of the Semitic speakers there, possibly around 7000 BC. Adding to this is the fact that the largest volume of semitic distinct language groups are to be found in Africa. As well as the largest language pool of Afro-Asiatic languages (Hausa, Amharic, Somali, Afar, Nubian, etc).

Africa cannot be banded linguistically into a category called Sub-Saharan Africa; as Hausa and Moroccan languages belong to the African-Asiatic linguistic family. Africa cannot be banded musically into a category called Sub-Saharan Africa; As Mali and North African music share many similarities. Nor can Africa be ethnically banned into a category called sub-Saharan Africa; the Tuareg are ethnically equally part of Niger as well as Algeria.  And then there is the seemingly obvious issue of the African native in these “Arab North African” lands. It is the absolutely denial that could call a blue sky red that is so dominate that the woods obstruct our view of the trees.

Millions of Africans live in Morocco and Algeria, they are not recent migrants, or illegal immigrants they are native people of this land, and they are actually the original people of these lands. History is clear that those “lighter-skinned” people are settlers that came with the Romans and the Greeks. Mixing has produced the people we see on television representing North Africa. Also in the 7th century, there was the expansion of the Arab forces into the region causing much Arab-Berber mixing.

Today these people are classified as Arab but some of them object to this classification calling themselves Berber. And clearly, Africa cannot be banded into this division based on religion. Islam is more prolific in so-called Sub-Saharan Africa than in all of North Africa, and North African Arabs share the African traditional Islam. All of these points compound the fact that the so-called Sub-Saharan division imagined by Africa's conquers is nothing less than absurd and utterly redundant; employed solely for the racist reduction of African historical greatness.

Europeans place an emphasis on written script, and subsequent definitions of “advance” and “primitive” are rooted in this pre-concept. It can be said however that most of the world has, historically an oral tradition. However, both formulas for preserving history can be found in Africa : oral and written. However, attempts to exclude Africa from civilization have hit upon an obstacle when the Ge'ez script exists in Ethiopia . To solve this apparent contradiction the argument moves to, “it was introduced from another people,” and the new claim "they were a half-Arab people." At no point in time can Africans be allowed to be seen to have fostered anything, which Europe labels as artifacts of civilization. So either the invisible borders comes into play and civilizations are assigned to North Africa (“non-Black”) or gifts given to Africans from external non-African sources via miscegenation and conquest.

It is said that natural barriers justify the separation of North and Southern Africa, but the Sahara is only one such barrier in Africa. Ethiopia is more "cut-off" from the rest of Africa due to its mountain ranges. There are barriers due to the impassible forest of central Africa. There are also the great Southern desert belts; interestingly enough Africans have been occupying these deserts from the beginning of human history. There is no climate change when we enter Libya, there is no religious change, and we can argue there is no profound cultural changes which would’t be witness moving from Ethiopia to Southern Sudan. Arabic is spoken in Djibouti just as in Sudan; all of these are South of the make-believe line. Somalia and Djibouti are part of the same political Islamic alignment (Arab League) just like many so-called Arab countries. Thus the legitimacy of Sub-Saharan Africa seems to be rooted in some more mischievous foundation.

Viewing culture from these limiting vantages-points poisons the flexibility and deeper appreciate of subtle complexities shared by these unique cultures. In a nutshell it is more obstructive, outside of science and rooted in extreme racist politics. There is more similarity between Mali culture and the culture of the nomadic Berber people than Bantu groups in the Congo . Amhara culture is radically different from say Ghana, and it can be argued to have a deeper relationship with Yemen (which it annexed in antiquity).

Halaqah Photobase: Three ethnic catagories as depicted by Ethiopian. Asiatic, Abasha and Nilotic people.

Three ethnic categories as depicted by Ethiopian artist. Asiatic, Habesha and Nilotic people.

So a black and white view of African culture only serves racist generalizations. Historians would like to point to the unilateral influence on African culture by non-African people, never is Africa seen to be the givers of cultural influence outside of its locality. This was extended to the extreme to say Nubians offered nothing to a supposed Caucasoid Egypt. This impossible assertion means that for thousands of years there was only a unilateral cultural and technological exchange. No culture in history shows a unilateral exchange, not even the "Great British Empire," which dietary culture has been completely altered in a mere 20 years by Asian and Caribbean immigration. There is also the notion of "other" suggested in Ancient Egyptian writings, which is now being used to suggest they were of a different race to the nubians. Lopsided scholarship will always try to work outside of established human behavior. When Ethiopian art depicts the people of Southern Sudan there is an artistic difference between how Ethiopians paint themselves and how they paint "other" Africans: This doesn’t mean Ethiopians are not African( see above fig.) as Ghanaians do the same thing when denoting images of "the other". Ethnic differences do not mean racial differences.

Feminism and Woman's Rights

What were African women fighting for before the 1950's, before Europeans coined a term to articulate their specific Eurocentric struggle within the cultural borders of European social-cultural milieu? What were women in Angola and Ethiopia and South Africa doing in the 15th century? What about in Ancient Egypt? To assume, by emotional attachment to the colonizers language, that feminism and woman's justice is the same is to assume that Jewish self-determination equals Zionism. We need to deconstruct feminism from its global linguistic imposition and evaluate its paradigms, contrasting them against communal cultures quest for gender harmony and justice.

In the African paradigm (sometimes mistakenly called African feminism) we see how male inclusion is central, how biological determination is factored in, and how spiritual components merge together. It's ethical root is on concepts such as Maat, not individualism.

Feminism rotates in the west and is exported to infect, and attach themselves to the broader Woman’s struggle for justice and equality in a male dominated world. However as a paradigm is diabolically anti-African anti-human neologism emerging out of the Eurocentric reactionary women’s movement in the 50’s. To collapse feminism and women’s rights is a fundamental linguistic flaw as the two concepts articulate completely different social realities. It is therefore inadequate to use the term feminism and apply this loaded word to the gender issues of Africa. The one commonality in all African cultures is the de-emphasis on individuality and the emphasis on community, the priority of family and creating new life. The feminist is in agreement with everything that breaks the family unit and inhibits procreation.  Therefore, the African woman should never seek to locate her liberation within the Eurocentric boundaries of feminism. Within the broader African philosophy, the higher focus is balance over “tick for tack” equality. The feminist equality implies “what men can do; women can do to” as distinct from the African question of “right and wrong.” "ownership of their sexuality, to flaunt immorality. "This shows the flawed paradigm which is found in many aspects of Eurocentrism, where objectives are disconnected from spiritual and biological harmony.


The forms of African women’s rights emerging in various parts of the continent do not grow out of individualism within the context of industrial societies, as did Western feminism. In the West, economic and social trends historically pushed women into more active roles in the economy, and Western feminism has focused on women’s struggle for control over reproduction and sexuality. However, African women have had a different experience. African debates do not focus on theoretical questions, the female body, or sexual identity. African feminism is distinctly heterosexual, supportive of motherhood, and focused on issues of “bread, butter, culture, and power.”[2]

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Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating Holocaust
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Holocaust Rebecca Walker

Women's rights responses to the injustice against women but seeks solutions within the cultural/biological context, thus it does not ignore or try to deny the biological design of women and men. Certain terms like "Equal rights" have floated around in popular culture for so long that they evade interrogation. Men and women share many roles but some roles have different gender priority, some are exclusive to women (child birth for example.) So if men do not give birth how can the "rights of the women" equally apply to men. Men have to go to war by default, women do not. And while women should have equal access to education, but not to war, not being held responsible for direct conflict. Because the woman gives birth to a nation and such a key to continuing civilization has no place being exposed to the ugliest side of human conflict. An African man does not need his African woman, mother, sister, wife coming home in a body bag in pieces. In the Islamic tradition women, the elderly and children cannot be targeted as a matter of human ethics. An in ancient African societies we see woman traditionally not being engaged in direct conflict, especially when able bodies men are available. While we can agree on commonalities in the struggle for empowering of women we have to also realize in a diverse ethnic-cultural world not every item relevant to women in the west can be transplanted into Africa, Asia or the Middle East.

A central theme in Africa idealism is the quest for harmony and justice. Justice trumps equality every time. And we need clarity on these issues to avoid liberal pitfalls. Both male and female live inside communities, not individual cells, and communities build nations-not individuals. The female energy creates a different world to the world men create. All of this violence we see is partly because of a gender imbalance (Coni and Ms.. Clinton you are excused from this example). There is a myth going around that women's rights /justice is a woman only affair. No that is feminism. Women have agency, but it is a man's problem as well, especially men are 1 out of 2 of the agents of female oppression. <See Feminism article>


Conspiracy theory is the highest level of reject of an argument without actually having to deal with the merits of the argument, it is an almost flawless tactic for curbing institutional analysis. (Chomsky)

The word controversial is often applied to any African opinion which is not supported by mainstream academia. The African origins of Ancient Egypt is "controversial" to suggest it is outside of established opinion and therefore untrustworthy. You can throw entire African studies on linguistics, history, slavery, down the toilet by liberally applying "controversial" to all and every text. However, despite very few people actually believing in evolution of monkey to man, it is rarely considered a theory nor ever referred to as controversial. Two Europeans with a opinion is established and solid academic work while one hundred African opinions is cute and controversial. Barely entertained to satisfy affirmative action quotas.

In law, politics, and academia words such as "Alleged" play a sophist role in whitewashing claims of oppression. it almost makes racism look like it subjectively lives inside of the minds of the victims. "It is alleged that African Americans suffer from institutional racism" -- creates reasonable doubt to the legitimacy of the claim: mitigatory language in, which to continue to deny oppression.

Ethnicity and Tribe

Africa is the second largest continent, divided into a collection of post-colonial “sovereign” nations populated with a variety of ethnic groups, not tribes. Fulani are more than 15 million strong that is not a tribe--that is a nation. The label tribe only seems to apply to non-European ethnic groups. And comes with a notion of backwardness and non-modern values.

Also ethnic when used as "exotic" is also incorrect because it normalizes European culture, placing all other cultures on the outside of this “standard human culture.” In this instances, ethnic, exist as some "exotic" trite sub-culture, for and only the entertainment destination of European cultural tourist.

And in more subtle ways language affects perception. The term ethnic is used by Africans inside of Africa to describe their nature features and cultures. How can an African be "ethnic" in a continent where Africaness is the norm? We also see people saying "cultural dress" ; the mental process is creating a "normal dress" and then a "cultural dress" and while it is 100% accurate, we need to examine how European culture is so normalized it forces everyone else's culture to be "Culture." (See Culture)

Nominal Faith and Syncretism

A re-emerging Eurocentric term, which is awkwardly re-asserted in history is that of the nominal Muslim in African history. Unless we are saying Islam itself is an absolute value which has degrees of purity set against some Saudi Arabian standard then it is impossible to discuss the spiritual purity of Islam as expressed by one culture against another. Because what does the term really mean? That someone prays 2 times a day and not 5? Or that they do not pray at all? The criterias of "being Muslim" are not some absolute set of values set by European and Afro-orientalist. The person the West calls "Muslim" might be an apostate or a Qadianis. [4]

People of Islamic heritage are generally called Muslims. Clearly some societies are more adherences to the doctrine of the faith; say Nigerian Muslims versus Islam in Turkey. Some claim African Muslims blended ancient African traditions into the “pure” Islamic they encountered coming from Arabia. Every single form of Traditional Islam absorbs aspects of its culture where ever it goes. So In Bangladesh we see the Barelwi flavor of Islam, bringing in aspects which are part of pre-Islamic Bengali spirituality, and again in North Africa and Saudi Arabia. The customs and cultures of Arabia inevitable get blended in with the so-called mainstream Islamic theology. So this pattern is not only true for Africa, nor is it unique to the Islamic faith (see religions of Brazil and Hati). Its not the place of history to hold up some litmus test to religions and weight them against some imaginary standard of purity. Because it supports the idea that everything the Saudi Arabian brand of Islam does is 100% and anything which varies from this is impure. Sonni Ali Ber may have been less religious in zeal than say Uthman Dan Fodio but both of them were members of the Islamic faith, and thus historically Islamic.

Syncretism is a term used to explain the mixing of elements of different religious beliefs. While it is an aspect of Africa it is not unique, not special and certainly not peculiar. It is a worldwide reality from India, to China to Brazil and even in North Africa and Arabia. And technically speaking It is also true for much of Western Christianity, which is plagued with so-called pagan rituals (Xmas, etc). But these phenomena when occurring in European religion are forms of orthodoxies. There is undue weight placed by academics and anthropologist on this phenomenon, and part of this has to do with issues in studying Africa and understanding African agency. Therefore what is Islam in Senegal is African Islam, not Islam with pagan habits. There must be a respect for African agency to create its own Islam and a respect for the native faiths to naturally be part of the shaping of the Africanization of Islam. The final product is still Islamic or Christian because there is no such thing as a pure religion, or there is no standard of Islam to measure all varients against --as anthropologist are trying to do.

Syncretism according to some definitions is only valid if the elements being mixed are in contradiction or serious compromise the integrity of the faith. In this instant the word in Arabic would be Bidah (innovation). For example if a Muslim worships Allah but also the tree God of Lake Hora in Debre Zerit Ethiopia ( Irreechaa holiday ). Attending the festival is no different to a European Christian celebrating Guy Fawkes.

European Anthropologist also have this habit of lumping and misunderstanding African customs. Because unlike the obsession with terms like "religion", "culture", "nation," Africans have a more fluid non-dichotomized worldview. Taking elements of culture into Christianity is not syncretism. The misidentification of every ritual in Africa as "religious" is due to poor understanding of distinctions between religion and culture.

Africa is seen to have fostered no orthodoxies of its own. Therefore any variation in Christianity, Judaism or Islam is seen as semi-orthodox. For example as oppose to treating African Judaism as a type of Judaism Israeli religious authorities demonized and tried to discount Ethiopian Jewish traditions. And in doing so try to reform them to match their version of Orthodox European Judaism. So for Ethiopians to be considered "Jewish" they had to become "European Jews" and lose millennia of unique Ethiopian Orthodox Judaism. The same is true for Islam. So as oppose accept the unique flavor of African Islam as 100% as Islamic as what is practised in Saudi Arabia, it is demonized as flavored with "paganism." Eurocentric anthropologist have always struggled to give validity to anything Africanized.

Ethiopian Christians find it taboo to mix with the Oromo rituals, Muslims in Sudan and Nigeria are very hard-line about what they call Bidah(innovation with other religious ideas). And it was Uthman Dan Fodio who waged a jihad against what he saw was contamination of Islam. The same thing happened in Saudi Arabia with the Wahabi movement.

In understanding Africa we must understand the dynamics of religion in living and historical Africa. Native African faiths are meet with challenges for their existence but to suggest it is unique to Africa invokes a kind of distortion of reality. It takes away from the validity of native systems as being influential in shaping African orthodoxies and it also tries to "tribalize" African indigenous belief. And since these beliefs are seen to be backward or primitive it is used to suggest a "tribalness" to any influence these faiths have.

Slave vs. enslaved

The notion that free Africans were slaves degrades the reality on-the-ground in Africa and makes the assumption that Africans in Africa were born into that condition; that their reality was always slavery. However, the term enslaved offers a more accurate reality, for it describes a condition placed upon Africans by their enslavers. Hence, captive Africans came across the Atlantic and were subsequently enslaved. Never were they slaves because this is not the natural condition of African people. Writers of history who are ignorant of this reality set-up a relationship between black and African, African and Slave and in this cocktail, Africa and all its contents becomes a completely negative entity which offers our imagination nothing more than images of Slaves, poverty and backwardness.

African Holocaust (Maafa)

Maafa is a Kiswahili term for "Disaster/Holocaust" or "Terrible Occurrence." Maafa or Holocaust is more inclusive and hence better describes the 500 hundred years of suffering of people of African descent through Slavery, Imperialism, Colonialism, Oppression, Invasions, and Exploitation. The Maafa is thus a area of study that looks at the collective experience of the cultural and physical Holocaust and the legacies of that Holocaust (holocaust). Thus the repairing of the Maafa by definition extends to encompass all areas of African life; culture, linguistics, religion, economics as all of these areas was impressed upon by the Maafa or African Holocaust. Holocaust is an English word (taken from Greek) it is not the property of anyone group, in the same way that pain, slavery, genocide and suffering is not exclusive to one group of people.

Tradition and Indigenous

Often, and mistakenly so, the terms traditional (classical) and indigenous are merged into one understanding as it relates to African culture and history. It is a fundamental mistake as it warps and limits a true understanding of Africa and its many complex international relationships thus restricting and confining African history and culture.


Traditions carry the notion of histories and legitimacy (Olupono). But it should be used with care because "traditional" human sacrifice was a reality of some cultures. As these words relate to religion, Islam becomes a traditional African religion, which exists in classical and contemporary Africa. It is often said by scholars and historians that Islam has been in Africa longer than it has been in any other part of the Middle East (bar Mecca in Saudi Arabia). Judaism and Abyssinian Christianity have also been in Africa for such a long period that in certain places (and this is key) there are traditional African religions. This does not mean that all forms of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are classical or traditional. And hence terms like traditional African Islam are fundamental in defining the African reality in classical African and contemporary history: Just as Christianity traditional to Rome is starkly distinctive from Christianity local to Ethiopia. Fundamental ingredients embody the essences of these religions in Africa, which makes them traditional, and this must be recognized in any constructive appreciation of African culture and history.




Indigenous can only be used to describe something fostered exclusively by a particular community. Because something is indigenous to Africa does not make it traditional or for that matter classical. Indigenous thus does not by default speak to a people’s legacy only to the fostering of that item irrespective of time.

Slave, vassalship and bond servants

The system of imprisonment found in Africa prior to European enslavement was not slavery, but vassalship or indentured servitude. Too often chattel slavery is married to the systems found in Africa , which then sets-up all kinds of nasty arguments rooted in mitigating the African Holocaust, alleviating European's responsibility, and putting Africans as the sole bearers of the sin.

If forms of Slavery are diverse, then one word for a complex multifaceted system is inadequate. If the Inuit people have more than 20, words for snow to articulate its variety, why then must we limit ourselves to one term in relation to slavery? Clearly Arab enslavement of Africans contrasted the European enslavement of Africans, and the non-free class within the Muslim Songhay Empire was different from captivity among the Oba or the Asante . Fundamentally, academia must advance and embrace new terminologies for these different realities. But when a dis-empowered people are forced to use the tools of their oppressors it is little wonder more voices don't see the anti-scholarship principle found in the abhorrent generalization of enslavement; a system so diverse that in one system you could be a king while in another you were little more than a domestic animal.

African Renaissance and Pre-Colonial/Post-Colonial

Pre-Colonial Africa: Since when does 7000 Years of recorded history orbit around the century of occupation of Europeans in Africa? Since when does the entire discussion of African history spin around 80 years of colonial rule? Pre-Colonial seems to take the place of saying "Africa pre-civilization." These terms like "Discovered by so-and so European" are a blatant rejection of African agency. Also Pre-Colonial Africa denies the fact that the history of Ethiopia and Liberia are not contained in any Pre or Post colonial African discourse. So the entire subject is another example of undue weight based on European worldwide: Africa relative to their contact with it. And why should Africans themselves as a proud people define their historical state relative to European conquest? Yes it was a journey interrupted but why hang all events prior to that event on it? Does the entire history of Ancient Egypt become "Pre-Colonial"? By adding a pre and post European encounter into every aspect of African history we make Europeans the masters of the universe and our world view.

Pre-Colonial Black Africa is a paradox, as they were no "Blacks" in any pre-Colonial Africa. The reality of a "Black people" is largely an construction of the "post-colonial world." We fully understand why African scholars of the past used the term. But we are in a new age of discovery and advancing their good work.

African Renaissance is a anachronisms, 1st because the Renaissance is a specific period (14th-17th century) in European history brought about by the cultural Islamic impact on Europe. So Europe had its “rebirth” in this period so to name something a. Africa had its "golden age" thousands of years ago in the Nile Valley. Renaissance almost says Africa is now experiencing this same revolution centuries after the rest of the world. The phrase was promoted by then President Thabo Mbeki, a typically western educated and influenced African leader. And when your entire center of knowledge is European it forces the mind in an attempt to feel valid to assert the African reality based and within the cultural context of Europe. So the most profound problem with the specific usage of the Renaissance is shows the framework of Africa as nothing more than a cultural orphan of Europe. Africa must exist and define itself in its own terms of reference and not be boxed into European concepts and constructs. Europe is not the gravity in the African historical reality so to articulate African history based upon Europe’s recent presence in the 45,000 years of recorded African human history is ridiculous.

3rd World

Third World If there is a third world then there must be a third world people and a third world system of management and governance. Third world is equivalent to second class citizen a person of an inferior standing in the community. The alternative concept of developing worlds is better but still articulates a need for non-European nations to "catch up" with some standard exemplified by the European world. And all those who fall below this benchmark are third world or developing. This is why GDP and development is measured from urbanization giving a natural inferiority to agriculture based industries.

Religion and Spirituality

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Religion is a bottle with a label on it, spirituality is the thing inside. Religion is simply the culture of spiritual belief Holocaust
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Holocaust Alik Shahadah

Historically, the words religious and spiritual  in European languages have been used synonymously to describe all the various aspects of religious life. Gradually, in Western societies the word spiritual came to be associated with the private realm of thought and experience while the word religious came to be connected with the public realm of membership in a religious institution with official denominational doctrines. The notion of a private "religion" is a nu-age reality brought into recent existence, it has no trans-historical roots in reality. It only exists as a European language debate, and a social science study.

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The God concept does not survive long outside of the bottle of religion; religion is an institutionalized mechanism which pass on the Godhead package from generation to generation Alik Shahadah Quote
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Spirituality describes the world of super natural interactions—forces outside of traditional science. Like "Power," it can be contained or expressed in a battery, a power plant, a fuel cell, or a nuclear reaction: It is the essence of energy. Religion is what holds, and defines, or makes "usable" spirituality in terms of functionality; It communicates between that realm and reality.

African spirituality cannot exist as an authentic African paradigm as a standalone construction; it does not float in free space without roots in a specific African culture. The sense of a spiritual connection does not (in Africa) stand outside of an organized religious belief. When people say they are just "spiritual" they are saying they have a belief in divinity, but have no culture; no rituals, no communal responsibility, no structure — how is that being African? It is African elements without the discipline or loyalty to social or cultural structures. For example in Palo, participation in a community of Paleros is critical to growing spiritually and within the religious hierarchy. But some try to take piecemeal elements; ancestors, burning oils, and other cherry picked aspects of African religions and amass them into a heap called African spirituality, as distinct from the religions these elements come from. Despite the good intentions of many of these neo-spritualist, this paradigm is an out crop of the trivializing and misunderstanding of things African; part of the legacy of Eurocentrism. It is a de facto new religion, without a name.

But it is only a semantic debate; for all intents and purposes, practical and theological,  they are the same thing. Because part of any paradigm shift is not to create things that do not actually exist in living Africa. All spiritual elements in Africa are expressed in structured ways, with defined deities, rituals, ceremonies, taboos and practices. Some don’t have actual names, and usually take on the name of the ethnic group; Maasai for the faith of the Maasai people, Kikuyu for the people and their faith.

In Amharic there is no category called religion and then another category called spirituality. This is a Western home-grown debate locked in a individualistic, self-centered and rebellious culture. In Amharic the two terms exist within the same paradigm, and there is no concept of one without the other. In Amharic ሀይማኖት (religion) መንፈስ (spirit) there is no way to construct "I have መንፈስ but not ሀይማኖት (religion)." The spirit is an essence, not a self-contained belief system which one declares allegiance to. It is tantamount to say my religion is "emotions" not Vodon. And this is not unique to Amharic, but Amharic is the best example because of the longstanding presents of both Christianity, ATR, and Islam in the region. Thus it eliminates confusion that the word “religion” is being used in some imposed fashion.

For Jesuit priest James Martin, the phrase also hints at something else—egotism:

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Being spiritual but not religious can lead to complacency and self-centeredness...If it's just you and God in your room, and a religious community makes no demands on you, why help the poor? Holocaust
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Holocaust James Martin

With the recent emergence of spirituality as a distinct concept from religion in both academic circles and common language, a tension has arisen between the two constructs.  One possible differentiation among the three constructs religion,religiosity, and spirituality, is to view religion as primarily a social phenomenon while understanding spirituality on an individual level: A personal faith for societies who thrive on forming self-identities away from the group collective-- an alien concept in Africa.

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Being privately spiritual but not religious just doesn't interest me. There is nothing challenging about having deep thoughts all by oneself. What is interesting is doing this work in community, where other people might call you on stuff, or heaven forbid, disagree with you. Where life with God gets rich and provocative is when you dig deeply into a tradition that you did not invent all for yourself. Holocaust
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The birthplace of this false dichotomy is exclusively Western and exclusively and only possible in individualistic societies. There is nothing in any part of Africa that is spiritual but divorced from institutionalized rituals which are transmitted in an organized fashion across the generations.  It is therefore telling that African people will adopt this “Spiritual” stance in some revolt against what they see as “White man religion” or “oppressive religion” when it stands against some of the most intrinsic African values of community.

Religion is the organization of spirituality into something that became the handmaiden of conquerors. Nearly all religions were brought to people and imposed on people by conquerors, and used as the framework to control their minds - John Henrick Clarke.

There are some fallacies in the John Clarke rhetoric: Religion is not exclusive to conquerors' the two are not caused by each other, or dependent upon each other. Clarke is speaking about an African-American experience in Christianity. Most religions in Africa are not imposed on anyone, by anyone. It also ignores and marginalizes the capacity of African people to also formulate religions. A blatant rejection of African agency and this habit of painting Africans as perceptual victims. It also stands in disagreement with the multitude of circumstances around the world where communities select religions they deem beneficial to their interest. (Christian Ethiopia, Islamic Rwanda, etc) It is also very strange to split religion from spirituality when you consider the largest religious structures in the world are found in Africa—the pyramids of Egypt and Sudan.

On the issue of "control their minds" we see another classic misunderstanding. There is no way you create anything other than a hunter gather society without systems of control. Human are a social group and have imprinting behaviorism (we live in dense societies by socialization which involves group control), that process of imprinting is done by attaching ourselves to group ritual, routine, shared belief, shared governance, leadership—that is how societies function—that is how city states and empires form, and stay formed. The suggestion of control is therefore moot, as no complex society functions without national control, national personalities which are ultimately guided consciously or unconsciously. The issue of control shows that religion is just one tool, it is not the only tool, and certainly not the most effective when dealing with plural populations who have other heavily institutionalized beliefs—like Europeans trying to conquer and colonize Muslims for example. Control therefore uses all systems, habits, traditions, cultures, polities available to exercise its interest. Religion in any configuration cannot be isolated and given some special weight, in an attempt to build a case for some uncontaminated "spirituality" which is exempt from being exploited.

Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals
Martin Luther King


Civilized World | Modernity

Europeans have been firm in holding up themselves as creators of civilization: That only when people left Africa did civilization come into existence. This is done by doing exactly what the Romans did before, by defining civilization to include their traits, habits, and defining everyone else's on the outside of those virtues: the Greeks did it with the Persians despite being at a lower level of social-technological development. Hence despite all the sophistication of some "barbarian" tribes, they were still barbaric in Romes eyes. Civilization defined by the conquer is suspect. US foreign policy, like Roman foreign policy, like all foreign policies in antiquity uses these terms to seperate them from the other. It has no other serious purpose but in foreign policy.

An on another paradigm civilization cannot be defined by the height of tall buildings, but only by the humanity between human beings. The word Civilized is often muddied with modernity. Modernity is a technological state not a status on humanity. Technological accomplishment have no connection to social development which constitutes civilized behavior. The Western world has redefined civilization to continuously point away from glorifying Africa in any respect. Even Africans have borrowed these mangled terms to define themselves. The civil conduct between people in the poorest regions of Ethiopia are far more civilized than the heartless inner cities of Europe and America. The way in which neighbors care and interact with each other, looking after each others children is African humanity. Families responsibility to collectively share economic burdens is humanity. Modernity only describes the technologies which one uses. And often because of the glaring lights of the Western cities of the dammed, Africans trade modernity for humanity and think they are making progress.

Semitic and Anti-Semitic

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Lying is done with words and also with silence Holocaust
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Holocaust Adrienne Rich

To be Semitic means to speak a Semitic language and in this regard all of Amhara, Gurage, Tigray (etc), all Arabs and all Hebrew Speakers. This means the largest linguistic group in Africa is a Semitic one. However, if Semitic means “mixed” then the majority Semitic people are Arabs. European Jews in neither of the above classifications are Semitic, because they are racially European, culturally European, and linguistically European. Terms for Jew" in the 1980 Jewish Almanac we read: "Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an Ancient Israelite a 'Jew' or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew." Modern facts show they are genetic Khazars who converted to Judaism.

One cannot be anti-Semitic against a non-Semitic European people. Thus anti-Semitic in its truth sense means to be anti-Arab, Anti-Ethiopian,  anti-Amhara, anti-native Jew, etc. Anti-Semitic is part of a collection of words used globally that are linguistically inaccurate (misnomer). But because of tradition these words continue to have narrow definitions. The discussion of what a word represents and what a word is meant to mean is very important, especially when it is used as a third rail.

And maybe in this we see the persistence of words like Ethiopia and Habesha, although the roots are inaccurate today they are simple words that are somewhat independent of their etymological origin.

Forget the worldwide rampant Islamophobia and demonization of Arabs... Human Rights and Labor, has "institutionalized the fight against global anti-Semitism", even though the US military and their allies have been destroying countries mostly populated by Muslims for over a decade. Or maybe is it precisely to support the war on Islam and the Arab World – a.k.a. "war on terrorism" – that the "war on global anti-Semitism" is being launched?
Alik Julie Lévesque [3]

The first sign of agency is the inherent power to define ones terms of reference. Specific words exist for racism against Jewish people and US congress monitors global antisemitism (Global Antisemitism Review Act) yet no such policies or terms exist for the greatest victims of racism. The ongoing African Holocaust is denied, ridiculed, mocked, and deemphasized daily without any global sympathy. How is it possible for 60 Million people to have so many terms which articulate their self-interest yet 1 billion Africans seem disabled in this capacity? For 500 years Africans have been on the receiving end of historical racism culminating in the final Great Holocaust of chattel enslavement in the Americas yet nothing exist in any language to speak directly to this ongoing Holocaust.

If you call an African a Nig... it is called racism

If you call an Semitic Arab a Sand.. N… it is called racism

If you call a Latino a Spi… it is called racism

If you call an Chinese a Gou… it is called racism

If you call a Jew a Kyk… it is a special kind of racism called Antisemitism.

Holocaust Denial, African or Jewish

Antisemitism flies off the tongue so loosely these days and is an betray of the victims of the Germany Nazi holocaust. Actors, anyone seeking attention talks about being victims of antisemitism. Even Paula Abdul (the Jewish dancer) and Mila Kunis (Black Swan) claim for publicity to being victim of antisemitism. Yet when Africans play the "race card" they are fashioned as having a "chip on their shoulder". What is the specific term in the English language for racism which 1 billion plus Africans live in the shadow of every day? Dogs, lynch mobs, hoses, apartheid, slavery, genocide, mustard gas, HIV experiments, Gene warfare (created by Israel and Apartheid South Africa) and yet no word exist to describe the peculiarity of this ongoing and unrelenting African oppression.

The blatant visibility of physically being African means there is virtually no shelter from global racism from China to Chile. Yet nothing exist in any language for this peculiar treatment of Africans and this is testimony to one thing—lack of agency. Where agency is the ability of a people to project their experience to the world.


Like its partner in politics—antisemitism—it is the political tool of curbing African dissent to racism. In other words when the African seeks solutions to the prevalent White racism he is accused of “reverse racism”. Again, it is linguistically nonsensical, an oxymoron, reversing racism is actually a good thing. It is devoid of functionality and exclusively political in construction and usage. Its application is void in defining any tangible discourse. How can someone be a reverse racist? It adds power to white ethnocentrism since they perpetuate power of racism and all we can do is reverse their own medicine on them. So it is Eurocentric. If an African has power and is being “racist” towards Arabs or Whites then he is a racist. So if ANC seek to redress the racist economic policies and are trying to create a level playing field it is not racism, because there is no notion of supremacy but a notion of justice and equality. It is the same as positive employment of women in fields, which are traditionally male, dominate. It seeks to redress a gender imbalance.



The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

The state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization

Alik Dictionary

This word terrorism has a very broad application. But the one common thread is it seems terrorism is always some act that is not in US foreign interest. But according to the above definitions then the entire history of America, UK, France, Germany and Israel [7] would be the biggest terrorist on the planet and their victims are the native peoples of the planet who live in fear and submission. [8] As the popular saying goes:


One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter

Alik Gerald Seymour

And while most find the act of terrorism morally reprehensible when it targets innocent non-combatants. This is the aspect which becomes reprehensible, the single act of targeting innocent civilians. Apart from this, terrorism is just another type of ugly and heinous warfare, which mankind seems not to be able to evolve out of. But the old canard of the random crazy terrorist is not a serious assessments— just a better way to continuing denying the merit and agent of certain grievances. Especially when those grievances are the results of US foreign policy and admitting that would make America liable. Terrorist, if anything, are not random, cowards, or illogical. A coward is someone who flies a nuclear bomb high in the sky and drops it on women and children at zero risk to himself. A coward gets 7 nations to attack one 3rd world country. A coward hides behind White House walls while sending the poor to Vietnam to die. Terrorist, just like the crying of a baby— creates a desired effect. And from a social perspective it is always a sign of a society which has failed to represent, or incorporate plurality and marginalize groups. (Robert Pape, Dying to Win (2005))[8] One thing we can agree on, unlike most politicians, is their are no insincere or fickle suicide bombers.

"The term terrorism means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience." - Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003, p. xii, US Department of State

"[T]he unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population… in furtherance of political or social objectives." - Terrorism 2002-2005, p. iv, FBI, US Department of Justice  

"The unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies. Terrorism is often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs and committed in the pursuit of goals that are usually political." - Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, (Amended in 2012), p. 317 

Clearly, keywords in these definitions like "ideological beliefs", "religious", "subnational", "violence", even "societies", can be amply twisted to include as much as exclude, subject to convenience, what counts as terrorism which, according to India's The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002, includes any "intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people". In mainstream definitions, the term "political" is used to distinguish terrorism from crime by an "abnormal" person - shootings by an individual for "personal" reason. However, defining "political" this way is problematic because in another definition of politics - everything is political or, as the feminist credo held: "the personal is political"~Irfan Ahmad

America is a psychopathic psychofrenic. They go around the world pissing people off and then get teary eyes and confused when the colonized kick back. Like when you see a child pulling at a dogs tail, the dog was cool and ignored it once then twice, but on the 3rd time you know what happens. Cry yes, but most children learn that pulling at dogs tails = you get bitten. America is still trying to figure out why it got bitten. And as oppose to learn, they keep repeating the behavior that keeps the cycle in place. The idea is alter your foreign policy. Alter your attitude to the Zionist state. (Mearsheimer & Walt (2008))


The US says it is promoting democracy and development in Africa, but military bases litter the continent and its intelligence activities undermine African sovereignty

Alik Press TV

Dying to Win "I have compiled a database of every suicide bombing and attack around the globe from 1980 through 2003—315 attacks in all.1 It includes every attack in which at least one terrorist killed himself or herself while attempting to kill others; it excludes attacks authorized by a national government, for example by North Korea against the South. This database is the first complete universe of suicide terrorist attacks worldwide. I have amassed and independently verified all the relevant information that could be found in English and other languages (for example, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, and Tamil) in print and on-line.

The information is drawn from suicide terrorist groups themselves, from the main organizations that collect such data in target countries, and from news media around the world. More than a "list of lists," this database probably represents the most comprehensive and reliable survey of suicide terrorist attacks that is now available. The data show that there is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, or any one of the world's religions. In fact, the leading instigators of suicide attacks are the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a Marxist-Leninist group whose members are from Hindu families but who are adamantly opposed to religion. This group committed 76 of the 315 incidents, more suicide attacks than Hamas. ~ Robert Pape

Jewish Lobby "Terrorism is not an organization or a movement or even an 'enemy' that one can declare war on; terrorism is simply the tactic of indiscriminately attacking enemy targets--especially civilians--in order to sow fear, undermine morale, and provoke counterproductive reactions from one's adversary. It is a tactic that many different groups sometimes employ, usually when they are much weaker than their adversaries and have no good option for fighting against superior military forces. Zionists [e.g., especially the members of Irgun (or 'Etzel') and Lehi (or the Stern Gang)] used terrorism when they were trying to drive the British out of Palestine and establish their own State...

...and the United States has backed a number of 'terrorist' organizations in the past (including the Nicaraguan contras and the UNITA guerillas in Angola). American presidents have also welcomed a number of former terrorists to the White House (including PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, who played key roles in the main Zionist terrorist organizations) which merely underscores the fact that terrorism is a tactic and not a unified movement." — John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.



No one has said that crime between African Americans isn’t a problem. The point is that Blackness has nothing to do with it. “Black-on-black crime” is a frame that presupposes Black criminality—that there’s something inherent to Blackness which makes intra-group crime more prevalent and more deadly

Alik Jamelle Bouie


We must not walk on the outside of our own history and thus a challenge to systems, which remove us from this noble place within human history need to be critically and objectively re-evaluated. To continuously fight an opponent who makes the weapon we fight them with, means victory will always escape us. This is why no matter how close we come--we lose. Unlike other groups, we fail to institutionalize and control concepts and definitions relevant to our reality. We only need to look at the current anti-Islamic campaign to see the role of language usage in a battle for supremacy and mind control. Today terrorist might as well mean Muslim. They employed a strategy which started by saying Muslim and terrorist, Islam and terrorist. These words always accompanied one another. Once the marriage had been established, either word; may it be Muslim or terrorist conjured up the other, thus Muslim implied terrorist and terrorist implied Muslim.

Until an African lingua franca is established we will always be seeking our reality within the linguistic boxes built for Europeans. This paradox of seeking a new African paradigm within Eurocentric constructions is questionable , but necessary.

The Western controlling powers have the single most powerful weapon at their disposal: mass media, they also have the military, the missionaries and the merchant to secure their worldview (4Ms of European agency). And thus concepts, precepts, ideas and ideologies can be communicated in the blink of an eye. Thus we must too find a way of communicating our new realities to our people and it must start with those in positions of mass interface with the public; writers, musicians, politicians, et al employing these terms. No one should deny the oppressed people of this planet the right to self-determine and use linguistics to navigate and explain their reality. This is a key part in our path to self-determination and must not be under-estimated or over-looked if freedom and destiny are to be ours.

There is no line drawn under words and the future of linguistics in articulating our reality, for our empowerment is a continuous journey. Its ultimate destination is when the African languages are completely used in our communicate. As African people, we must seek to redefine our reality, and part of this redefinition must begin with the terminologies we use to define ourselves and the terminologies others use to define us. The war of words is perhaps the greatest battle field of the 21st century and when we employ and integrate them into our conscious, we ultimately embark on a journey that has only one destination-- cultural emancipation.

Owen 'Alik Shahadah, is an African Cultural writer and a multi-award winning Filmmaker who documents African history and culture. For more info see www.owenshahadah.com


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Ahmed Sheikh, 1992, p.30).

A Caribbean steel-pan group called the gay crusaders had to change their name after a tour of California. Aparently, they were attracting the wrong clients.

Therefore, idioms are not considered part of the language, but part of the culture. As culture typically is localized, idioms often are useless beyond their local context. But language/expressions/terminologies fly on the wings of agency.

"War of Words" Language, politics and 9/11, 2002, Sandra Silberstein

The Story of the Moors in Spain. Stanley Lane-Poole, Arthur Gilman. "In ancient times, Africans in general were called Ethiopian; in medieval times most Africans were called Moors; in modern times some Africans were called Negroes." He goes on to state that "In the literature on Africa, Africans are commonly identified in two groups: one progressive and the other backward. The progressive people are called Hamites, Kushites, Moors, etc, and the backward are called Negroes. The word Negro comes from the Latin word Niger, which means black. "

Catherine Lowe Besteman, Unraveling Somalia: Race, Class, and the Legacy of Slavery, (University of Pennsylvania Press: 1999): "While upholding the perception of Somalis as distinct from and superior to the European construct of "black Africans", both British and Italian colonial administrators placed the Jubba valley population in the latter category"

Words like linguistics, ethnicity, Anthropology, sociology, evolution, archeology, history, indigenous, are all neutral words they might have negative connotations in the sense of how they have been used against a particular group of people. However, they have no inherent agenda. Anthropology simple means “Human discourse” hence the writings of the Ancient Egyptians about the Nubians would be a form of anthropology, since we are currently stuck using English it is a term of reference. All knowledge systems have historically been used to oppress people; so we cannot for historical reasons throw every word in English language in the bin. Knowledge because of its inherent nature has the possibility to enslave or liberate and it is on this bases that it is critical to study terminologies and in the contemporary moment and selectively apply them to a people’s self-determination.

Russian is translated into Russian as rossiyanin (россиянин, plural rossiyane), while the ethnic Russians are referred to as russkiye (sg. русский, russkiy)

It has been suggested, but not verified that : kiswahili: mtu: a person, a human kinyarwanda/kirundi: u-muntu: a person, a human kiswahili: watu: peoples, humans lingala: batu: peoples, humans

3. Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, ed., Pan Africanism: Politics, Economy and Social Change in the Twenty First Century, Pluto Press, London, 1996.

Okoth P Godfrey, Truman Administration and the Decolonization of Sub-Saharan Africa, Journal of Third World Studies. “In reference to Africa, whether advertently or inadvertently, Munene falls in the trap of the so-called concept of "Two Africas." Munene's usage of the term, "Sub-Saharan Africa" is symptomatic of the racist attitudes towards the former colonies. European travellers and geographers created the concept of "two Africas," which was adopted wholesome by racist scholars in Euro-America. It has, however, been established that Africa was not self-isolated by the Sahara. The Sahara came into existence when that part of the world dried up thereby forcing the inhabitants to migrate north and south. Additionally, the practice of Trans-Saharan trade established the pre-Saharan life and activities. The idea of "Sub-Saharan Africa," is, therefore, 'a myth or misleading. It cannot be accepted as it tantamount to the balkanization of Africa, thereby denying Africa its rightful role in contributing to world civilization. There is only one Africa; hence the need to decolonize such racist and derogatory terms.


What is a derogatory term? With what certainty can we say a word is offensive? Who gets to decide if it is offensive or not? A case study regarding an ethnic classification in Southern Africa highlights this issue: "The Term San is not without problems of its own. Some point to this Nana term's negative connotations, meaning "worthless" or "no account." And the term Bushman has its advocates among anthropologists and others. San leaders themselves are divided over the term Bushmen. At a recent meeting reported by Megan Biesele, one said he never wanted to hear the term used again in post-apartheid Namibia. Another argued that the term could be ennobled by the way in which they themselves now chose to use it. However, as Pan-San or Pan-Bushman political consciousness grows in southern Africa, we assume a general term will emerge. By the late 1990s, San had come into general use by the San people themselves. ( The Third Edition of The Dobe Ju/'hoansi by Richard B. Lee)

You cannot measure an African success with a European ruler
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