The following blog is autobiographical. It is based on my experiences and observations as part of Afrika America. In this blog, I will be guilty of so many things people dislike: I will generalize, stereotype, criticize, and judge. The three communities or groups that will be discussed are not monolithic but diverse and with considerable overlapping. I have identified the groups as follows: the historical-political, the cultural-religious, and the wholistic health-self development communities. There are other communities that contribute to the totality of our people but I have selected these three for two reasons: first, I am a member of each; second, they are important because of the potential role they each can play in our restoration as a people. But they must become ONE community!
The Historical-Political Community
This was the first group I became a part of after separating from Negrohood or Negrodom, meaning the general Black population. In the late 70s-early 80s, I discovered Dr. Ben, then Dr. Clarke. Through Ben I became a Garveyite, Pan-Afrikanist, and developed an undying devotion to Afrikan women. I considered myself a Black Nationalist, eventually a Cultural Nationalist.
I soon found myself engaged in debates with other Black folks that were part of this group, many with a Marxist ideology. Some were textbook Marxists; others were hybrids, with some more nationalist than socialist, others more socialist than nationalist. (Black Marxists primarily located in the political component of this community.) Most Marxists, unlike nationalists, are unashamedly and blatantly devoted to Western thought and history. They have to be, because they have accepted the notion of universal societal development. They also have accepted class struggle as a foundation of societies, evolutionary theory, as it applies to species and society, dialectical materialism, and much, much more. In spite of their reliance on the Western paradigm, Black Marxists, nevertheless, have played a major role in politicizing our people. Often this has been at the expense of racial power, and more towards multi-racial class-based structures, yet, historically they have made important contribution to this community and its overall growth. Where would we be without Hubert Harrison, W.E.B DuBois, C. L. R. James, George Padmore, Paul Robeson, Kwame Nkrumah, Kwame Toure, and many others.
This community was born with the discovery of our history; a history we were told did not exist. Once we found out Kemet was an Afrikan society, and that they were the teachers of the Greeks, who were the foundation of Western civilization, we assumed everything the Greeks developed they borrowed from Kemet. We uncritically adopted the West's Eurocentric interpretation of Kemet, assuming it was a true reflection of Kemet, when it was a perversion, a distortion. It was Egypt--a Hellenistic creation—not Kemet. It was Diop's Two Cradle theory that helped us to understand that Afrikan had their own unique way of perceiving the world. (I have continued to explain these worldview differences in my book, Distorted Truths, offering an existential, epistemological, and ontological approach, while Diop used a historical and linguistic one.) Diop moved us in the right direction, and the concept of Afrocentricity, which also developed from this community, has moved us even further along our restorative path.
But given this community's historical development, coming from deconstructing Eurocentric thought to Afrocentricity, it is perhaps understandable why this community is the slowest in embracing traditional Afrikan spiritual practices. I say this because of what I see—many in this community are atheists, while most are still deeply connected to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. They clings to these traditions because the ideological basis for them, as well as Greek Philosophy, came from Afrika, Kemet in particular. But these systems were a bastardization of our system. Afrikan thought relies primarily on the intuitive-synthetical faculty, whereas Western thought is logical-analytical. Many of us have learned to see the logical-analytical as the only valid mode. (Afrikan thought also uses this latter mode, but it realizes that the former gives birth to the latter, and that it is actually the “Mother mode.”) Since Afrikan spiritual practices are intuitive-synthetical, involve trance states, and passionate behaviors, our Western trained minds cannot get a grip on them. Hence, we label the practices “spookism” and/or are just plain terrified by them, classifying them as demonic.