By Hakim Abdul-Ali
These are some very trying times for every conscious soul in global creation as we know them to be thus far. So many recent unexplained, unimaginable things have happened and are still going on until many pessimistic folk are left speechless with nervous uncertainties.
All of this probably can and should be inevitably understood, especially, considering the state of some “hue-mans’ rather shaky spiritual outlooks about the God Alone phenomena which occurs from time-to-time with unannounced appearances. I offer that with respect to any and all so-called religious persuasions, traditions and perspectives with no disrespect intended.
Moving on, and during these calamitous times of rising death tolls and nationwide city quarantines galore existing in many parts of our nation and beyond, I realize that many folk are home bound with nothing to do but to prayerfully think about their states of affairs. And, for some others, I dear infer, this period is probably is no more than a wasted opportunity to worry excessively.
It’s all about personal choices, but I chose to read, be mindful of the Most High Alone’s wills and to reflect on many things that are around me in this down time. So, a few days ago I went to my book room and started reading and reflecting about “The Motherland” and how it has endured through the ages of survivals and struggles.
Being a conscious brother of color, I tend to do that quite a bit, regardless of the occasion, because being Afro-conscious makes me think of the ancestors of us all with humility and pride. With that understanding, I’m forever tied to not being left in the dark about who I am and who created me.
For today’s article, I’m going to bring some points to your mindsets about the significance of recognizing how important “The Motherland,” or Africa as it is commonly referred to, really is no matter what time of the year it is. I’ll attempt to highlight this importance by reflecting what some scholarly folk have had to say about Mother Africa itself and about our ancestors.
I begin with a quote from none other than one of great intellectual thinkers and activists, W.E.B. DuBois, who simply uttered, “The spell of Africa is upon me.” With that being said, you probably know why writing this article today, and no more will need to be said after you read.
Journalist T. Thomas Fortune, who was born in 1856 and died in 1928, said, “Bloodshed and usurpations, the rum jug and the Bible—these will be the program for the white race in Africa, for perhaps, a hundred years. But, in the course of time, the people will become educated not only in the cruel and grasping nature of the white man, but in the knowledge of their power, their priority ownership in the soil, and in the desperation which tyranny and greed never fail to breed for their own destruction.”
Now that was some powerful insight for Mr. Fortune’s mind from yesteryear and I wonder if you, and other folk of color today, can (and will) comprehend the implicit meaning behind his thoughts. Like I said, this is about reflecting, or deeply envisioning, on “The Motherland” with the sole purpose in learning as much as we can about it, including how it was exploited, then and now.
We must rely on our own scholars and ” our-storians” to tell the truth about us without colonial lies, myths and distortions. Scholar and critic Alain Locke, born in 1886 and died in 1954, said, “Africa is not only our mother, but in light of most recent science, (it) is beginning to appear (it) is the mother of civilization.”
One of the great intellectuals of all time was the great scholar and cultural artisan Paul Robeson, who was born in 1898 and he died in 1976. I remember that he proclaimed, “Africa is a dark continent not merely because its people are dark skinned or by reason of its extreme impenetrability, but because its history is lost.”
Hmm! Please digest that before we travel on, but also keep in mind that Mr. Robeson definitively said, “I learned that along with the towering achievements of the cultures of Ancient Greece and China there stood the culture of (Mother) Africa, unseen and denied by the looters of Africa’s material wealth.” That’s as real back then when Mr. Robeson said it as it is today as we witness now how China and the European West still are looting Africa’s material wealth at the expense of continued African exploitation.”
All of today’s indigenous Africans and all African descendant folk everywhere must realize what’s happening to and in “The Motherland” because it’s a necessary must to be in touch with the going ons concerning our ancestral birthplace. The late Judge William H. Hastie, who was born in 1904 and died in 1976, said, “With some of us, militancy against discrimination and racial indignity is a heritage from our forebears.”
Do you get that relevant point Judge Hastie made, or do you feel so remove from America’s covert racism and don’t realize, if you’re of color, that “Black Lives (Still) Matters” as the disunited “colored” masses of today’s world slowly and collectively seems to have forgotten and have evaporated through the lizard holes of modernity’s political irreverence? James Weldon Johnson said, “White America cannot save itself if it prevents us from being saved.”
Mr. Johnson, the gifted writer and activist, who was born in 1871 and died in 1938, clearly knew way back yonder that “Black Lives Mattered.” Think about that as you try to embrace that poet Poet Maya Angelou, born in 1928 and died in 2014, told us that “Your ancestors took the lash, the branding iron, humiliations, and oppression because they believed one day you would come along and flesh out the dream.”
Listen carefully and know that we’re all African people, even if a few brainwashed deniers and absent-minded thinkers among us refute this known scientific reality or try to blend into another “hue-manoid” concoction of their own making. I have to go back to Mr. Robeson once again when he poignantly declared, “I am a Negro with every drop of blood and every stir of my soul….I want to be more African.”
Being ashamed of your Afro-essence comes with the miseducated denials of ones original ethnic self, a symptom we see which is so prevalent in legions of the many today who are openly “trying to be someone who there are not souls.” The activist, author and entertainer Dick Gregory, who was born in 1932 and died in 2017, spoke about this excruciating dilemma when he said, “A man without the knowledge of himself and his heritage is like a tree without roots.”
One of my great spiritual teachers from New Jersey, the late Shaykh Dr. Heshaam Jaaber, the mentor of El-Hajj El- Mali Shabazz (née Malcolm X) once said to me decades ago that “acquiring knowledge of who the Creator (alone) is and is not is tantamount to not being enslaved by anyone or by any corrupt religious system propagating spiritual darkness.” Shaykh Jaaber, who died in 2007 at age 76, also told me that “No enslaver will, would or could enslave me, him or anyone else about the knowledge of one’s true self if we were diligent in seeking the truth. If we took those steps to educate our minds, there would no longer be a so-called master-slave scenario.”
I hope you got a little something from today’s message in challenging you to enhance your knowledge of self. Use this down time to further educate your mind, energize your soul and, most importantly, to thank the Creator Alone of everyone and everything that you’re alive, by His Alone’s mercy, to be able to read this and to seek further insight. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”