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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Kujichagulia!

If I have said it once I have said it a million times - Black folk have got to do for self. We have to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves - that is the essence of the second principle of Kwanzaa: Kujichagulia (pronounced Koo-jee-choc-ah-LEE-ah).

If we have learned anything from the disaster that followed Hurricane Katrina it is the simple fact that we are on our own - the government doesn't really care about any of us and the private sector is only concerned about maintaining their profit margins. We have to be in a position to take care of our own in a tragedy and in every-day life - I am my brother's keeper. We have to walk in Umoja if we are to step up and embody Kujichagulia.

What does this look like? Ghana gives us a glimpse of where we can start. Obviously, we need to control the means of production such that we can build businesses whose entire supply-chain is fed by Africans throughout the diaspora. That is a long-term plan for which we must lay the groundwork now. We can begin by building ties between ourselves and other Africans throughout the diaspora, beginning in Ghana. Europeans used Triangle Trade to exchange textiles, rum, and slaves between Africa, North America, and Europe. I say we do something similar, only in reverse - siphoning off the best of North America and rebuilding the motherland, beginning in Ghana. Ghana is opening their doors to such an endeavor, and I say that we should unify behind that idea and facilitate the well-being of our grandchildren in their soon-to-be home - Africa.

China and India will be running the world in two generations, and the United States of America will be to them what the Soviet Union was to us. If we want to be truly independent - to truly define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves - then we will need to be somewhere other than America in the coming generations as Americans battle for ever fewer jobs and even more scarce resources. We would be prudent to build an ark now before it starts raining...

Kujichagulia.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 9:30 PM

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Why can't doing for self begin with the Gulf Coast?

About half of all African Americans live in the South, and there is an incrediblely large need there..

Posted by Blogger Quintus @ Wednesday, December 28, 2005 5:43:00 PM #
 

We don't yet own the means of production, we don't yet own enough corporations with the resources to rebuild a community, let alone an entire region. We need to amass capital and natural resources - right now we're just a bunch of consumers, cattle for the economic slaughter.

Posted by Blogger Athanasius @ Wednesday, December 28, 2005 10:35:00 PM #
 

I think setting aspirations set so high and pure ensures that most black folks won't act at all.

I don;t think we'll see black people amass more resources and economic power...with a strategy of delaying action until we have more resources and economic power.

Posted by Blogger Quintus @ Thursday, December 29, 2005 9:50:00 PM #
 

I'm not saying that we should delay action, I'm just saying that we don't yet have the means to do the job by ourselves. We must crawl before we walk before we run before we race before we win, but we do need to keep the long-term objectives in mind as we deal with the here-and-now.

Posted by Blogger Athanasius @ Thursday, December 29, 2005 9:56:00 PM #
 

I am a white male, just so you know the context of my comments. Rarely (this post would be an exception) do I spend much time time thinking about my race or identifying with being white. I realize that I have that luxury as being part of a majority. If asked, I would more readily identify myself as Irish-American. I think the same probably goes for most Italians, Jews, Germans, Hungarians, whatever. So, most of the time we whites simply identify with being a part of American society.

The successful blacks that I know strive to do the same. That's not to say that some collective cooperation among African Americans couldn't be helpful, but the real key concept is that to be a player in the game you have to join the team. Every immigrant culture that has come to our shores has had to trade in a large part of their identity to join the larger culture. That's just the way it is. If the white-American guy, the japanese-American guy and the pakistani-american guy show up to the meeting in suits and speaking proper English and the african-Amercan guy does the same, things are cool. If he shows up with an negative attitude, improper English, and a hip-hop strut he will be viewed as less than a serious player, to say the least. So would the japanese-American if he showed up in a kimono or the scot in a kilt.

Most African Americans are rather far removed from the culture of their forefathers. Honestly folks, that is a loss that simply cannot be recaptured. Better to embrace who you are, 10th generation Americans, than something you are not.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Wednesday, January 04, 2006 11:42:00 AM #
 

Two words - the second word is "Naw" and you can supply your own interjection. You see, the thing about "self-determination" is that it is determined by SELF - the opinions of others are, frankly, irrelevant. Potentially useful, perhaps, but ultimately nothing more than electrons on a cathode-ray tube.

We seek to do for self, but thanks anyways.

Posted by Blogger Athanasius @ Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:10:00 AM #
 
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