Never Forget Part 6
Africans in the Millennia
(Reprinted from December Our Time Press 1999 issue A Millennial Look at African America.)
After a long and successful period of mis-education, now there is a de-education. When someone is mis-educated, they are still useful to society, and can be productive in a number of capacities. When the person is
de-educated, it’s assumed that they will only be needed, if at all, in the most basic areas. This is what is taking place in our public school systems today. This is not to disparage the many dedicated and caring people in the school system, we mean the system itself; the class sizes, the number of uncertified teachers in African-American communities, the constant comparative lack of resources in Black communities.
There is a lot of interest in the immigration boom, but not much notice of the African-American economic support that makes it possible. Many of these immigrants. own the businesses in our communities that we could own ourselves. The grocery stores, newsstands, gasoline stations, food wholesaling, and all the other jobs and
services a community runs on. A bicycle ride through the Hasidic community in Williamsburg is very instructive. You’ll find commercial strips with no chain stores. Only small shops, owned and patronized by the Hasidem. No Gap, Burger King, Old Navy or Tommy. The young people coming out of school have been shielded from the material push of the corporate media. They are· not adorned with makeup and brand names.
No quarter waters, walk men, beepers or phones. These are people on a national mission of survival. They don’t have time for the foolishness of society, except to offer it for sale to others. These are lessons that African- Americans should pay close attention to.
Africans Worldwide, Trading Together
The African Continent is the natural trading partner of an Africans-in-America nation state-of-mind. Africans from the continent live in New York’s African-American and Caribbean communities. We enjoy each other’s cultures. We are family. Africans on the continent and in the Caribbean have commanding percentages of the world’s natural resources. African Americans are some of the most trained people on earth, reportedly earning upwards of $500 billion dollar a year. A new transatlantic black trade route, by sea and cyber, is the only way to provide the foundation to en sure the meaningful presence of African people when the coming millennium closes.
Instead of DeBeers, there should be an Olatunji/Johnson Mining Corp. with North American Headquarters on Fulton Street, in the African Diamond district. This is a Pan-Africanist future. It is a future that is not in the planning of the World Trade Organization. It is a future African people will have to work for themselves.
This is necessary not just for Africans, but for all the people of the world. Because the enemy is both white supremacy and capitalist pressures, with their potential voting power, African-Americans are uniquely positioned to politically temper the most inhumane aspects of U.S. foreign and national politics.
Into the Millennium
As Africans -in-the-Americas head into the millennium the question is will we revive that spirit embodied in the stone heads of San Venta? When asked about prospects in the Millennium, New York State Comptroller Carl McCall, in an interview to be published in our January 2000 issue, said “I think there’s three things we’ve got to move on. One is education, we have to focus on the educational system to make sure our children get a quality education to be prepared for the next millennium, where the requirements for getting a job and keeping a job are going to be tougher than you or I have ever experienced. We are entering an era of global competition and a technology revolution … We’ve got to make sure we have a first class education. The second thing is have to focus on the economy. We’ve got to become players, full participants in the economy. We do this by having our own businesses, having access to capital, by supporting our own businesses so that we have jobs and real financial power. The third thing we have to use is our political power, because it is political power that makes those other two things happen.
“People must register, they must vote, and they should support candidates not on the basis of what they look like, but on the basis of who’s going to deliver for the community. If we use our political power we can improve the educational system and we can become participants in the economy. So those are the three things I think we need to do to approach the next millennium.”
Civilizations rise and fall, leaving behind evidence of their passing. Other civilizations have left pyramids, obelisks, mask, and symbols of deities as signs of the human spirit. What will be the lasting signs of the civilization that has evolved here in North America? A look at American history sees a society founded in theft of land and theft of labor and the blood and death necessary to achieve both. Thus founded, the only thing it leaves behind for certain are chemicals and radiation that permeate the environment causing cancers for generations and radioactive sites that will remain dangerous for the next several hundred thousand years. But in that full expanse of time, what African-Americans do not want, is to leave behind any more of our blood on their hands.
In·1998 a United Nations Report, as reported in the New York Times, said that “AIDS is cutting the life expectancy in many African countries and will effectively reduce their populations within the next 10 years to 15 years.” As we look at the statistics for death, impoverishment and de-education in African communities at home and abroad, we cannot believe that somehow it’s just gonna be all right. We cannot put our faith in individual success stories and material things. Not while vast amounts of African potential is being destroyed daily by white supremacist/capitalist pressures.
There must be a racially conscious counter-force, or the race, over time, will simply fade away.
There are neighborhoods in Brooklyn now, where African and Hispanic Americans are being pushed out by those quiet beneficiaries of white supremacy; nice people, nice families, snug in their denial of, or satisfaction with, what is happening in the world around them.
How do we counteract a white supremacist consciousness? In his interview, Professor Clarke told us,
“We counteract it by getting closer to our children. By talking to them. Someone asked me the same question one time when I was out lecturing and I gave them a true answer and I still believe it. Break all the TV’s and bum all the bibles. Maybe you’ll get their attention.”
As for Black folks into the Millennium, Dr. Clarke said, “If Black people don’t unite and begin to support themselves, their communities and their families, they might as well begin to go out of business as a people. Nobody’s going to have any mercy. And nobody’s going to have any compunction about making slaves out of them.”
John Henrik Clarke, November 1996; Horace Campbell, May -July 1997; Dark Alliance, by Gary Webb; “The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.” by Al McCoy; The Weeksville Society, Weeksville Then & Now; They Came Before Columbus, African Presence in Early America‘ Ulrich Phillips, American Negro Slavery; United States Census,
General Population Statistics. I 790- 1990; The American Heritage History of American Business & Industry by Alex
Groner and the Editors of American Heritage and Business Week. 1972; (MAl) Friends of the Earth, (MAl) Third World Network, Joy Leary- June & July 1999, Dr. Amos Wilson August 1999; Black Reconstruction, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois;
Village Voice, World Trade War, Nov. 30, 1999 . *Dr. Amos Wilson excerpt is from “AFRIKAN CENTERED CONSCIOUSNESS VERSUS THE NEW WORLD ORDER‘ Garveyism in the Age of Globalism.” scheduled for
release December 15. 1999. For more information, call Afrikan World Infosystems 718./62–1830.)
(The Never Forget series is derived from articles which have appeared in Our Time Press and that were reprinted in the writing of the December 1999 issue A Millennial Look at African America.)
Parts 1-4 are available at www.ourtimeathome.com