Frances Cress Welsing, Isis Ascendant: Teaching Self-Respect, Reasoning and Resistance.

Author:Karenga, Maulana N.
Position:In memoriam

Dr. Maulana N. Karenga is the founder of Kwanzaa, Professor and Chair of the Department of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach; and Executive Director of the African American Cultural Center (Us) in Los Angeles, California; the author of Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, The Message and Meaning of Kwanzaa: Bringing Good Into the World and Essays on Struggle: Position and Analysis; Kawaida and Questions of Life and Struggle; Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study in Classical African Ethics; Handbook of Black Studies (co-edited with Molefi Kete Asante); Introduction to Black Studies; Odu Ifa: The Ethical Teachings; Kawaida: A Communitarian African Philosophy; The Million Man March/Day of Absence: A Commemorative Anthology (co-edited with Haki R. Madhubuti); Selections From the Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt, and other publications. The following originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel, January 14, 2016, appearing here by permission.

The passing of Dr. Frances Cress Welsing (1935-2016) calls on us to pause and pay rightful homage to her--this accomplished and committed psychiatrist, activist-intellectual, author, way-opener and African woman of great weight and worth in the world. She audaciously and defiantly inserted herself in the annals of psychiatry and behavioral science and in the resistance discourse of Black people with her controversial and influential "The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy)". And she would, amidst continued consternation from some and increasing admiration from others, dare to extend and deepen discussion of this provocative theory in her major work The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors. She chose Isis as the divine, moral and social image and ideal for the title of her major work. We praise her, then, as Isis Ascendant, herself, molder and maker of men, women and children, restorer, protector and preserver of the people; she who "admires truth and justice and made justice stronger than gold and silver", as she states in her preface.

Through her writing and her professional practice, lectures, interviews and debates, she enriched and expanded our discussion, moving it beyond victim analysis and pioneering a bold initiative of psycho-analyzing the oppressor and his disorder and deficiencies. And she challenged us to think calmly and rationally, develop a deep self-respect and engage in serious and sustained...

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