Concerning history, heritage and struggle: reaffirming and renewing our vanguard role.

Author:Karenga, Maulana N.

If we are to know ourselves rightly, honor our history, radically improve our present and forge a future worthy of the names African and human, then we must reaffirm and renew our moral and social vanguard role, and wage righteous and relentless resistance to evil and injustice everywhere. And put forth in plan and practice a new history and hope for our people and humankind. In the months of February and March, which we of Us have designated as Black History Month I (General Focus) and Black History Month II (Women Focus), our people have set aside time and space to celebrate ourselves "in history" and "as history." For we are producers and products of this sacred narrative, and the subject and center of this awesome record and struggle, the most ancient of human histories.

In this sacred narrative which we tell and teach as African history, we speak poetry and prophecy, talking of things to come and of things that are holy, that heal and lead to the health and wholeness of humanity and the well-being of the world. And we seek and speak truth, do and demand justice, and struggle constantly to have our lives unfold and flourish as a worthy and seamless whole. For in this sacred narrative, it is written in the Odu Ifa that "humans are divinely chosen to bring good into the world," and that we are to lift up the light that lasts and illuminates the way, and that expands the boundaries and increases the possibilities of being and daring good in the world.

Indeed, we assert in Kawaida philosophy, that we are chosen by both heaven and history to bring, increase and sustain good in the world. To say we are chosen by heaven and history to bring good in the world means we are to understand and assert ourselves as a moral and social vanguard. Indeed, we have been and must remain that moral and social vanguard whose work and struggle, moral vision and vocabulary have become a model and mirror of human struggle for liberation in the world. This is the meaning and central message of Dr. Martin Luther King's teaching that we must always struggle and work for ourselves, history and humanity in such a way that "when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say 'there lived a great people--a Black people--who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.' This is our challenge and our overwhelming responsibility." And this mission is reaffirmed and reinforced earlier in the insightful and...

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