By Hakim Abdul-Ali
By the time that you’ll read this, the yearly February Black History Month’s annual observances will be coming to its conclusion in the United States of America. To many aware folk of color that’s an inconsiderate slight because, to them, the universal recognition and study of all Afrikan folk’s cultural struggles and achievements are occasions which should last throughout the year.
I’m of this ilk also because to want to know as much as I can about Afrika and her descendants worldwide is what drives me to no end in order to discover more about myself and my legitimate heritage. That’s the real emphasis to me in studying about Black “Our-Story,” now and forever.
Being a brother of color, born in Black Harlem of New York City during the mid 1940s, has always made me sense that I have a cultural connect to something special. And, with my birth parents having been born in different parts of South Carolina before migrating north, I, again, know that I have a unique and given connection to the “our-storical” roots of a part of the Afrikan-American struggle and survival storylines.
This ubiquitous state of ethnic consciousness has been the underlying reason why I’m driven to learn, teach and write about the distinctive experience of being Black in America. And, other than seeking the knowledge of who the Creator Alone is and is not, this genetic sphere of research is what foremost captivates me with fervent inspirations to this very moment.
To that very end, I’m an unabashed researcher, enthused collector and a confrontational thinker about all things Afrikan in all of its many flavorings and placements. To me, the very word Afrika, or Africa, stimulates my academic interests and it reverberates loudly in my mindset with pride and strength.
Through the outwardly, countless millennium of “his-storical” lies of miseducation falsehoods and myths, I’ve come know the reasons why Afrikans have been labeled the way that they have been by all of the enslaving stewards from hell. Even knowing this still doesn’t ease the pains of all the tortuous and horrendous things that were done to my ancestors and all of the other ebony souls of the Motherland, who were captured, brutalized and enslaved.
Because of these insidious, sadistic, barbaric, savage and unspeakable racist actions of some “colored” folk of “hue-manity” towards others of the “hue-man” family, many ebony segments of “hue- mankind” have had to deal with bigoted discriminations, biases and prejudices galore in every sector of the earth for far too many numerous centuries to count.
That’s why I personally feel obliged and challenged to seek more knowledge of self and about my actual Afrikan heritage until the day that I die. So, it’s seemingly ridiculous, almost ludicrous, for me to only want to study about this inherited yearning for only twenty-eight designated days a year during one coldest climatic arenas of the Gregorian year.
To me, it just doesn’t make sense and, to some skeptical folk, my obsession may border on the extreme, while to others, it’s accepted as a very necessary fabric of my inherent stability and omnipresent awareness. The late heralded activist and former comedian Dick Gregory once said, “A man without the knowledge of himself and his heritage is like a tree without roots.”
Maybe, in many norms of reflections, Mr. Gregory’s rather simple, but ever-so-on point declaration describes me and the millions of other cognizant ethnic “colored” souls, who, unashamedly, know that to crave to want to know about one’s original roots is a badge of honor and not a disguised squatter’s sense of hidden shame. Did you hear what I just said and, I ask, “Do you know where I’m coming from?”
While you ponder that question, please know that the truth about where we all came from can no longer be hidden in the “his-storical” books of deception while (truly) calling yourself a seeker of veritable and bonafide truth. Anyone with any semblance of real intelligence knows that you cannot go to your enslaver, oppressor, intimidator, dictator or torturer to tell you anything factually about your original history, religion and actual culture.
No, it “ain’t” going to happen, and it never will be. The writer and activist James Baldwin boldly stated, “I brought to Shakespeare, Bach, Rembrandt, to the shores of of Paris, to the cathedral at Chartres, and to the Empire State Building, a special attitude. These were not really my creations, they did not contain my history; I might search in them in vain forever for any reflection of myself. I was an interloper; this was not my heritage.”
I hope that you (truly) understand what Mr. Baldwin said and what he was articulating about whose history is his and vice versa. Are you an interloper still today, even after the so-called passage of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863? Hmm! You may need to take a little longer to figure that one out.
Oh, by the way, and for your information, did you know that the word “interloper” means an individual who becomes involved in a place where they are not wanted or are considered to be not wanted. Did I hear you say “Teach!” because I think that in reality that sort of describes the current status of the mass majority of all “colored” folk in this land and beyond who are labeled by the census as Afrikan, Black, dark skinned or having a remote speck of African descendancy in their genetic blood lines.
“To each his own” is my personal philosophy in trying to understand the “deaf, dumb and the blind” interloper in today’s technological easily manipulated social media populace. There’s a new kind of interloping strategy existing out there in the cyber worlds leading folk of color away from concrete norms of “our-storical” reasonings and truthfulness.
Sadly, it’s troubling to see how so many 21st century “interloping” folk, who are still ignorant “as you know what” of self, are so easily led astray. Just look at the untold discordant bigotries, rampant political corruption, deviant sectarianism and one-sided injustices that are stacked against and are hurled towards folks of color that fluctuates in today’s image obsessed Babylon west. So ask yourself, “Are We Still Interlopers in This Country?” For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”