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From Afro-America With Wisdom
11/5/2014 3:44:04 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

I was engaged in a beautiful dialogue recently with a truly positive ethnic soul sister. The conversation was nothing short of invigorating.

My reasoning behind that feeling is that it's not too often that I come in contact with some "hue-mans" who are really genuine, trustworthy and sincere in their speech and personas. You may or may not feel that way but, in my experiences, I don't come across too many really "real" folk in my worlds of experiences. I'm being real.

That being said, I must tell you how and why my dialogue with this beautiful soul sister left me where my head's at. The good vibes centered around simple truth and the sweet love for the wisdom that many outstanding African-Americans have dropped on us to relish and cherish forever.

It was a stimulating reality to have spoken to the sister who appreciated the intellectual thoughts of and from people of color. Like wisdom flowing in both of our mind-sets, my good conversationalist knew that to love and respect Black folks' wisdom is nothing to be ashamed of and we, as a culture, should learn to teach "our-selves" about life's realities without a second-class negativity.

The wisdom behind my riveting feeling after this engaging rap between me and the sister was that everything shared between us seemed to hit an accord of mutual agreement. Maybe, that's why I'm so elated in writing what 'm writing because it's about Afro-American wisdom and nothing else.

To ethically love who you are and to embrace the love of self is something that many "colored" folk, even today still suffer from. If you're aware of what I'm subliminally talking about from an ethnically pragmatic point of view, then I can continue on without further unnecessary explanation.

In the flow of what I was sensing from that conversation, I'd like to "drop" some pure wisdom from the minds and thoughts of many different Afro-Americans for your careful reflection and contemplation. This was also requested of me by the above referenced sister, who suggested that I possibly write a column detailing some of the the things I mentioned in our rap. I'm doing just that.

So, here is "From Afro-America With Wisdom," and I hope that you'll gain some unified spiritual astuteness from what I'm sharing with you at this moment. In the spirit of African-American unity I offer the following from some stellar minds:

"Africa is herself a mother. (She is) the mother of mankind."- Maya Angelou

"What we are seeing now is a freedom....The deep rumbling of discontent that we hear today is the thunder of the disinherited masses, rising from the dungeons of oppression to the bright hills of freedom."-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The highest test of the civilization of any race is its willingness to extend a helping helping hand to the less fortunate. A race like an individual, lifts itself up by lifting others up."-Booker T. Washington

"None of us is responsible for the complexion of his skin. This fact of nature offers no clue or quality of the person underneath."-Marian Anderson

"Man cannot live without some knowledge of the purpose of life. If he can find no purpose in life, he creates one in the inevitability of death.- Chester Himes

"When I thought of slavery, with its democratic whips, its republican chains, its evangelical bloodhounds, and its religious slaveholders---when I thought of all this paraphernalia of American democracy and religion behind me, I was encouraged to press forward, my heart was strengthened and I forgot that I was tired and hungry."-William Wells Brown

"No one can hate their source and survive."-Alice Walker

"The two basic challenges presently confronting Afro-Americans are self-image and self-determination. The former is the perennial human attempt to define who and what one is, the issue of self-identity. The latter is the political struggle to gain significant control over the major institutions that regulate people's lives. These challenges are abstractly distinguishable, yet concretely inseparable."-Dr. Cornel West

"I am a radical and I am going to stay one until my people get free to walk the earth."-Paul Robeson

"No man may make another free. Freedom was something internal. The outside signs were just signs and symbols of the man inside. All you could do was to give the opportunity for freedom and the man himself must make his own emancipation."- Zora Neale Hurston

"People mistake their limitations for high standards."-Jean Toomer

I'm going to leave you with those dynamic thoughts and profound jewels of wisdom from some of Afro-America's greatest thinkers, writers, activists and leaders. If you're of color, and you're not afraid to look at the condition of today's Black overall populace with honest realization, then you know that we have much work to still do in making the national African-American community-at-large a representable and worthwhile commodity.

I'll close with the quote that I left my respected conversationalist with and it came from the lips and mind-set of James Baldwin, and he said,"If you know whence you came from, there's no limit to where you can go." With sound Afro-American wisdom like that, I, hopefully, believe that I've made my point. Be united and be proud of your noble heritage. Stay strong in your culture and self.

That was the gist of my initial conversation with ever-wise sister of color. I trust you get my vibes. For today and always, that's, "As I See It."


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