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Still More Time to Explore
Published:
2/18/2015 3:49:00 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali


February is almost half gone, and I wonder how many "colored" folk have taken the time to study and learn as much as they can about the African-American experience in the first of this month. In case, you may forgotten, it's (still) Black "Our-Story" Month.

If you're of color, or are genuinely interested in the Black Experience, I trust that your response is and should be that you know that you still have the remainder of the month to elevate your Black conscious game. Yes, there's "Still More Time to Explore" our awesome legacy and to gain some more meaningful insight into our noble past.

This "Black 'Our-Story' Month" has seen me studying so many different things about the cultural struggles of the African sojourns in this neck of the geographic woods until I don't really know where to begin. It truly is and has been, thus far, an all engrossing, explorative experience, one which makes me feel even prouder to be a Black man and a brother of soul.

It's said that time is something that we should never allow to slip through our thoughts, minds and hands without self-checking ourselves as to why we've let it do so. That's why I say politely that it's "Still More Time to Explore" the learn the fascinating stories of the universal African Experience.

To that end, I'd like to share with you some inspirational quotations from the minds, thoughts and souls of some marvelous African-American thinkers and achievers whose words are powerful in their own rights. They add meaning to what struggling and being of African descent is all about in this country and, after all, it's "Still More Time to Explore" what learning more about the Black Experience is all about.

I sincerely hope that you understand the idealism reality of what being of color, without negative subjectivity, is in no uncertain terms, because the specter of hidden racism is always around.

So, with that being a known given, I relate to you the following spirited quotations with love, peace, unity and brotherhood. And they are:

"God is a means of liberation and not a means to control others." James Baldwin

"We can go on talking about racism and who treated whom badly, but what are you going to do about it? Are you going to wallow in that, or are you going to create your own agenda?" Judith Jamison

"The slavery of antebellum times has passed away, but there is a moral slavery existing in the South which will take a long time to pass away." Booker T. Washington

"It is the mind that makes the body." Sojourner Truth

"Remember that in a contest with oppression, the Almighty has no attribute which takes sides with oppressors." Frederick Douglass

"There will always be some curve balls in your life. Teach your children to thrive in adversity." Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

"In slave times the Negro was kept subservient and submissive by the frequency and severity of the scourging, but, with freedom, a new system of intimidation came in vogue; the Negro was not only whipped and scourged, he was killed." Ida B. Wells

"If you have achieved any level of success, then pour it into someone else. Success is not success without a successor." T.D. Jakes

"This fact of nature (skin color) offers no clue to the character or quality of the person underneath." Marian Anderson

"The color of the skin is in no way connected with the mind's strength or intellectual powers." Benjamin Banneker

"I still feel that a poet has a duty to words, and that words can do wonderful things, and it's too bad to just let them lie there without doing anything with and for them." Gwendolyn Brooks

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

"As long as Negroes are hemmed into racial blocs of prejudice and pressure, it will be necessary for them to bank together for economic betterment." Mary McLeod Bethune

"In hating Africa and in hating the Africans, we ended up hating ourselves without really realizing it." Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz

"Malcolm is gone and Martin is gone, and it is up to all is us to nourish the hope that they gave us." Lena Horne

"Music, dance, religion do not have artifacts as their end products, so they were saved. These non material aspects of African culture were impossible to eradicate. And these are the most important legacies of the African past, even the blues, jazz, and the adaptation of the Christian religion, all rely heavily on African culture." Amira Baraka

"America doesn't respect anything but money." Mme. C.J. Walker

"I'm not interested in a curriculum of inclusion. What we need is a curriculum of liberation." Dr. John Henrik Clarke

"Young people, do not compromise your principles for anyone. Don't let any college or institution turn you into a "Negro." Always remember who you are and give back to the community." Queen Mother Moore (Audley Moore)

These are just a few of some hard-hitting quotations from the mind-sets of some truly wonderful and accomplished soul folk of color. Their thoughts resonates deeply into my psyche and reflect much about the present day African-Americans' condition and state of being.

If you're of color, then don't be ashamed of your noble heritage and culture, because you have something to build on for the present and future. In closing my column for this week, I offer the words of a great Black man. His name was George Washington Carver, and he said, "In these strenuous times, we are likely to become morbid and look constantly upon the dark side of life, and spend entirely too much time considering and brooding over what we can't do, rather than what we can do, and instead of growing morose and despondent over opportunities that are shut out from us, let us rejoice at the many unexplored fields in which there is unlimited fame and fortune to the successful explorer."

For today and always, there's always "Still More Time to Explore" your regal stories and our potential greatness. The struggle remains a challenge for us, and that's, "As I See It. "
 

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