On my journey now: the narrative and works of Dr. John Henrik Clarke, the knowledge revolutionary.

Author:Person-Lynn, Kwaku
Position:P. 83-107
 
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The Knowledge Revolutionary: Chapter 2

I'm still a Baptist preacher that never made it to the pulpit. An actor that never made it to the stage, but I'm doing the best I can to get the message of Afrikan liberation across. I realize there is no retirement from struggle.

Generally, my physical health is basically good right now, thanks to some proper dieting, some good advice and some people making sure that I have proper food to eat. My vision is practically gone. It's down to minimum. I've been legally blind for a number of years, which means that you cannot maneuver through situations effectively. When you're first classified legally blind, sometimes you can at least go to airports by yourself. You can identify the men's room from the ladies room, and you can look up on the signs and see what gate you're supposed to be at. I've passed that stage now. My eyes can no longer pick up letters. I've lost the capacity to read, and yet since my being legally blind, I've written four books, and revised a couple. I've done two small books, and traveled a great deal across the country almost six times. I've been on tour in Japan. I'm still active.

I would love to have my full 20/20 vision back, and the other facilities. I would like to do more in the struggle, and do more in research. The value of vision in research is editing, observation and analysis. That's a priceless tool. When you lose it, you have to do something to compensate for it as best you can. I just say to myself, "If you lose your eyesight, you increase your insight."

My mind is good, and I'm still functioning. I'm not teaching in the classroom sense, but I'm teaching in the general sense just the same. I think of myself basically as a classroom teacher. Of all the things I wanted to do in life, that's the one thing I did the most, and the longest. The one thing I was the most effective in. The thing I loved the most.

When my final contribution is tallied, I really think that my years as a classroom teacher, developer of curricula, study guides, and long before people started talking about a multi-ethnic curricula, I was doing this in the classroom. I didn't ask permission, or wanted to know whether the Board of Education agreed or not agreed. I just developed my teaching techniques, my study guides, book lists, additional information, closed my classroom door and taught.

I made demands on my students that they thought were unreasonable at first. But when they see me a little later, sometimes years later, with their own children, they thank me for being thorough and being demanding enough to let them know that a school is a place where you get an education for life. If you can't use it for life, it's a waste of time. There's really but one reason to educate a human being, and one reason alone. Everything else is a waste of time. That reason is to train the student to be a proper handler of power.

No matter what you learn, music is the controller of sound. Everything is a form of control of power. When you learn the difference between a red light and a green light, you're controlling yourself to the point of staying out of danger. We look at education as a tool to control power. As a teacher of history and social science, some of the things I looked at were protest movements, pre-colonial Afrika, and Afrika's reaction to the coming of conquerors. I have done my best to teach students how to think better of themselves through an understanding of the role people, Afrikan people in particular, but in general all people have played in that great parade, that sometimes looks like a charade called history.

In the process of teaching history, we sometimes lose some of our main proponents. We just lost a great thinker. The importance of Chancellor Williams and his work, in addition to being a senior scholar--he was one of those scholars that looked in the neglected corners of history and brought out things other scholars not only objected to, other scholars did not know or even cared to research. His last book, The Destruction of Black Civilization, uneven in its presentation, because it was supposed to be a two volume work, he wrote it while losing his eyesight, he crammed into one volume. That explains the unevenness of it.

I'd say that Chancellor Williams, more than any other of the black historians of this century in the United States, left us a blueprint for liberation and salvation, and the restoration of the best aspects of a people. The Destruction of Black Civilization, his best known book, is not his best book. He would admit this. His best book is The Rebirth of African Civilization. He wrote that while his health facility was intact. His eyesight was intact. That book itself is almost an academic architectural blueprint for what Afrikans will have to do to recover what slavery and colonialism took away. Both of his books are Pan Afrikan, because of his Pan Afrikan nationalism, something which we talk about without thoroughly understanding.

He decided that he would stop extensively quoting white writers. He was qualified to quote himself. He was just as much an authority, or more so, than the people he was quoting. We differed on this, because I think you can take white references and beat them over the head with it. You can take their own references and prove them wrong. I thought he should have mixed it up very extensively. But that's not the main point. It's the fact that for the first time you had a book which dealt with the impact of invaders on early Afrika, and how every invader of Afrika did it more harm than good.

Every new belief system or religion that was brought into Afrika, ultimately did Afrika more harm than good. We have to stop being dewy-eyed over all forms of organized religion, because the basis of western organized religion came from Afrikan belief systems anyway--the basis of Christianity, the basis of Islam, and the basis of Judaism.

There's a devastating chapter in Chancellor's book that deals with the impact of western Asia on Afrika. Afrika had enemies from western Asia well over two thousand years before Europe was an entity in the political life of the world. The enemy from western Asia that devastated Afrika to a great extent is still in Afrika, in the presence of the Arabs. The "white wannabes" are not too clear about what side they're on in this world struggle of all people to be sovereign and free on their own soil.

He had extreme interest in his chapter dealing with the southern Afrikan origins of the country the Greeks called Egypt. Read the second chapter in his book Destruction of Black Civilization called, "Egypt, Ethiopia's Oldest Daughter." What is this man talking about? The population that later peopled Egypt came from the South.

We have to make up our mind to ask the vital questions and to be in a military position to force the right answer. We must ask everyone, "What is your mission in my house? What is your loyalty to my house?" This is the responsibility of all the people who walk this earth. We are the only people that permit others to live among us for hundreds of years without declaring any loyalty to us. The Arab has never had any Afrikan loyalty. None of these western Asian people have ever had any Afrikan loyalty. Then finally, the 15th and the 16th century, with the coming of the Europeans, they had no Afrikan loyalty.

The house of Afrika in the world, is our mother home in the world, all of it. We should never concede North Afrika to an invader. We should look at Afrika, holistically. That all of it is not only our home, but all of it is our Holy Land. Long before the birth of Jerusalem, at Abydos, in the country the Greeks called Egypt, we produced the world's first spiritual Holy Land. We need to go back and restore our historical memory. We need to know what we did before outsiders interfered with us and disrupted the structure of our society to the detriment of our societies forever.

This is precisely what recently happened in Somalia. Afrikans can feed Afrikans. Africans can put Afrika's house in order. Afrikans had a structure imposed on them, in the illusion of that structure being a salvation. Therefore, there's no Afrikan structured states in Afrika. These are all imitation European states. The structure of the present day African nation-state is European. The Afrikan was at his best before this interference from western Asia, and subsequently Europe, beginning with the Greco-Roman period, then the slavery-colonial period in the 15th and the 16th century. Afrikans lived in territorial states, other than nation-states. States where there were several states within a territory, with different religions, different belief systems, different customs, and yet, coexisting side by side.

Afrikans never used the word democracy, yet they practiced it. They never used the word Christianity, yet they practiced it. We have to look back in order to look forward. We're not looking back far enough.

No one, with all the talk about Somalia, no one mentioned the fact that Somalia was once a part of greater Ethiopia, the greater Ethiopian Empire. So was Eritrea. Foreigners fragmented these countries. Invaders said, "I'll take this piece," cut it in half in some places, arbitrarily, with one culture group on that side of the border, with the other half on the other side of the border. Afrika has to put itself back together again. It's going to have to learn to relate to itself.

I suspect there was a hidden agenda in this whole Somalia affair. I assess it as part of a rationale to re-colonize Afrika. Once Afrika gained its independence, whites began to put Afrikans against Afrikans. There was no Muslim Afrikan conflict before independence, yet there were Muslims, and Afrikans not practicing Islam, living side by side. Why the conflict now? Someone wishes to use one against the other.

There are Afrikan Muslims and there are Arab Muslims. The Arab fundamentalist Muslims wish to deny the Afrikan...

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