Check out my Name, Frederick Monderson on U-tube - Give me some hits. Perhaps you can attend my June 8, 12th Memorial day Tribute to Dr. Ben.
On this page you will get info on Egypt and Egyptian History. As well as informative, recently published books on Egypt and the Great Kings and Queens.
Check out my Name, Frederick Monderson on U-tube - Give me some hits. Perhaps you can attend my June 8, 12th Memorial day Tribute to Dr. Ben.
Frederick Monderson - Hotep! My Brother Jack. May the Great Ones, Sonny Carson, Jitu Weusi, Dr, Ben-Jochannan, Prof. Clarke, El Hombe Brathe, and the many Brigades of Intellectual Warrions for Africa, welcome you into there blessed company. You have been a Stalwart in defense of Africa as you talked the talk, talked the walk, walked the talk and walked the walk, and so will surely be missed. God Bless your son Nova whom you taught so well and the many cubs you inspired remember, we must stand strong for the world is watching as we confront the Oppressor who is unrelenting in his efforts to deny the Humanity of African people but we will persevere because of the ground-work Elders such as yourself have laid down. God Bless you, Jack, I will always remember those special times we shared. Love you Always Man. Dr. Fred Monderson
BLACK AFRICAN WOMANISM
DR. FRED MONDERSON
This month, in celebration of Woman’s History, I give you the African woman, the Black woman, blest with beauty, charm and wit; a unique specimen encapsulated in many experiences from being worshipped as goddess and Queen Mother to enslaved household servant, revolutionary victim of racism, incarceration, forced to constantly cultivate the art of sexual politics having been “a victim of sex on demand” by the slave master, his son and the overseer. Excelling as an intellectual but more forcefully doubling as compassionate wife, mother, churchgoer to entrepreneur, professional, even musician and most important “too bless to stress.” Thus, its easily recognized, from time immemorial, whether Denk Nesh (Lucy), or Eve, particularly even the mythological Goddesses, Queens and just plain folks; today’s circumstances demand educational activism, political practitioner, insightfulness, yet, through it all, the African woman has demonstrated an illustrious history as pillar, symbol, motif and individual of profound spiritual substance. Whether wielding power, supporting husband, family or simply being loved and admired, she has earned iconic stature. Virtuous soul, champion standing as a magnificent work of art, woman manifesting virtue and pizazz. This god-ordained jewel given the Black man and the world is a prize to respect, appreciate, cherish and love. So much so, in praising the African woman, Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan in admonishing the Black man to love the Black woman whom he placed upon a high plateau, reminded, she has done what he can’t do. Given the obelisk is a small pyramid on a high base, this is where Dr. Ben placed the African Black woman.
His many historical and cultural works, his intellectual activism notwithstanding, this respectful and cherished adulation looms large in his claim to fame.
In as much as, Shu of “Shu and Tefnut” fame, who, in the mythology, Shu separated Geb the earth from the Sky Goddess Nuit, pregnant from their embrace to establish her body and legs as the “four pillars” supporting the constructed heavens; Dr. Ben-Jochannan went so far as to claim, “Heaven is between a black woman’s legs.” After all, the Goddess Nuit as depicted on the ceiling of a small Kiosk within its own Court in the Temple of Dendera, her image not only shines her rays on the temple, but she is shown giving birth to the sun in the morning. This powerful phenomenon then sails across her heavenly body to swallow it at evening-time. Having overcome the challenges of the nightly experience in the Underworld, the magical, mystical creation is repeated all over on the next morn. Thus, we see Creation in process with woman as dynamo in continuous rebirth of a wonderful experience.
Strange, yet still, Nuit, like the Goddess Nephthys, Isis’s companion and counterpart, the “hardest working woman in the Divinity business,” mirror the efforts of so many modern women, they get little or no credit for profound efforts, at home, in school, on the job, in the streets, wherever!
Fast forward to these modern times, Cherise Preville my grandmother was the first Pan-African Internationalist activist in our family, devoutly religious and who would have been 122 years on January 19, 2017. January 19 represents the holiest day in ancient Egypt, day of the birth of Osiris and also Melinda Melbourne’s birthday.
On March 6, 1957, my Mother Mitta Monderson, dressed in the flag of the new Ghanaian nation, advocated for and celebrated its Independence on “Ghana Day.” She too was a Pan-African Internationalist of note and a woman of deep and enduring religious conviction.
Locally in Brooklyn, in Crown Heights, Ruth Goring and her daughter Lois, as well as Elsie Richardson and Margaret Vinson did much for their Community but sadly, are not remembered in any meaningful way.
In Ancient Egypt, Goddesses played a crucial role in the drama of heavenly experience; queens sat in equality even exerting influence in matters of state, culture and religiosity; but more important in composition of the Triad of husband, wife and son. Here, woman demonstrated her indispensable function of not simply molding the destiny of her family but that of humanity to ensure its survivability in rapidly changing times.
In that profound Triadic experience, whether Ra, Rat and the Elder Horus - The Heliopolis Triad
Isis, Osiris and Horus - The Abydos Triad
Sekhmet, Ptah and Nefertum, later Imhotep Memphis Triad
Satet and Anquet, who supported Khnum at the Cataract - The Aswan/Cataract Triad
At Karnak - Mut, Amon and Khonsu - The Theban Triad molded the destiny of man
Among the Queens, high standards of morality, creative thinking in decision making influencing events and developments of their day; making their mark on the times, they have left images, monuments and expressions attesting to their never taking a back seat in life’s many challenges.
As all tis unfolded, we hear of:
Teti-Sheri - Queen, mother, wife to a great warrior
Aahotep - Queen, revolutionary, soldier; one who foiled a coup to save the throne for her progeny
Aahmes-Nefertari - Queen, Goddess with temple, ancestress, blazing a trail to influence generations
Hatshepsut - Queen, king, builder, woman wielding power, initiating profound cultural creativity
Tiye - wife in equality, mother, power behind the throne, diplomat, revolutionary
Nefertiti - wife, mother, partner in religious revolution, beautiful specimen as wife and mother.
Nefertari - wife, symbol with own temple, beloved buried with great pomp and splendor
These have all borne the mantle of African womanism with distinction and admirable excellence to be respected and emulated.
In Middle African history Arabic travelers reported the women of West Africa were free, friendly and generous, a sort of Dionysius mentality prevailed in their behaviors, lifestyles and surroundings. These same women were later marched through the Door of No Return to lay the foundation of Chattel Slavery in the New World of North and South America and the Caribbean. When Sonny Carson the Brooklyn activist repatriated his uncle, the “Runaway” Samuel Carson back to Ghana to open the Door of Return, he was buried alongside an enslaved African woman from Jamaica named Crystal, both now resting at Assin Manso.
Faced with challenges amidst tragedy, Queen Nginza fought Portuguese Slave dealers and equally the magnificent Yaa Asantewaa led Ghanaian soldiers against British colonial machinations to free her beloved land. There is something about the soil of Ghana producing the remarkable Yaa Asantewaa and the illustrious Kwame Nkrumah; the land where W.E.B. DuBois chose to be buried and where Leonard Jeffries and James Smalls extoll to such remarkable heights.
Bottom Belly and Queen Mary rode with the “Hill and Gully Riders” of Jamaica resisting colonial efforts, etching their names in Caribbean history as first rate revolutionaries.
Phyllis Wheatley - the Poet - demonstrated intellectual capabilities amidst the sorrowful experiences of Chattel slavery, where all around Slave farms and chattel coffles brought Black women to slave marts to be examined in public by lecherous businessmen professing Christian values and beliefs.
Sojourner Truth advocated against the cruelty of slavery and Harriet Tubman admirably ran her railroad, rescuing many to “Live free or die!
Constance Baker Motley championed African people in writing and actions amidst rampant American terrorism manifested after the long night of African captivity for she saw and challenged the lynching of black women alongside numerous similar instances meted out to Black men.
Mary McLeod Bethune as educator freed the African mind while Barbara Jordan sought redemption through political advocacy and Sybil Williams and Gertrude resolutely supported John H. Clarke and Yosef Ben-Jochannan as they spoke truth to power, uplifting the African and freeing his mind to be empowered to challenge the might of the oppressor.
Numsa stood resolutely in revolutionary fervor besides the deep thinking, little giant, Harlem’s Elombe Brathe who held high the symbol of Patrice Lumumba as Africa struggled to be free of the yoke of colonialism, imperialism and African exploitation.
What more can be said of Michele Obama, that quintessential crown jewel whose heritage chronicled the slave experience from the Deep South, the slave coffles that traveled from the plantation shack to the White House, yet such intellect and blessedness was demonstrated in magnanimity of spirit echoing in mother Emanuel forgiveness.
Thus, within the broader context in as much as history has rightly sought to place African women in a better light, we need to further give credence to conditions of African women in the work force whether in terms of job security, promotion, salary, victims of sexual harassment, qualifications for job security whether in government or the private sector, and in education, whether at the basic levels or college, even the higher levels particular post-graduate research opportunities.
Sustainable marriages, child rearing to create strong families oriented towards the future. Its many challenges and opportunities.
The role of Negro Organizations such as Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, The National Council of Negro Women deserve a salute for their indispensable efforts to save and empower God’s blessed children.
Similarly, that salute in recognition go out to People such as:
Fannie Lou Hamer - political champion demanding to be heard
Madame C.J. Walker - Entrepreneur who paved the way for Black women
Amy Jacques Garvey - Inspiration and pillar of support for her man and behind the Garvey movement
Edgar Merlie Evers - wife shocked in assassination and left to carry on a mantle of excellence, activism and symbol
Coretta Scott King - icon in her own right – Need I say more
Rosa Parks - tired, but tarried on, to ignite a movement to challenge a nation and be seen as a global icon
Betty Shabazz - Champion of a people, symbol and galvanizing force for nationalists and people of goodwill whose noble spirit ignites inspiration.
Viola Plummer - Revolutionary, long on the battle field, ready “To die for the people!”
Cherise Maloney - resolute Queen mother, activist, seer and Black woman extraordinaire.
Carmen - Loving mother, what can I say?
Winnie and Graca Mandela - Women of grace, courage and fortitude.
Pam Africa - Besmirched, yet carrying on as champion, symbol, until we are all free.
The “Four little Girls victim in an Alabama church bombing.
Laura Nelson and her son were lynched on the same day in Oklahoma in 1911.
Angela Davis and Assata Shakur - Modern revolutionary women who stood up to be counted.
Queen Mother Moore - Champion, symbol, icon.
Betty Dopson - Tenacious Revolutionary Warrior woman, visionary, activist, organization builder.
Adelaide Sanford - Queen mother, Intellectual giant and education icon who relished in being Beloved!
Michelle Obama - Embodiment of charm, grace, intellect, fashionista, standing by her man and never forgetting ancestral heritage, the world is her oyster.
Oprah Winfrey - woman for all seasons!
Finally, let us not forget, Frederick Douglass once said of Negro or Black women,
“If by the depths from which they have come, rather than the heights to which those blessed with centuries of opportunities have attained, Negro women need not hang their heads in shame.”
Thus we have that profound cadre of Black women of resolute and conscious determination; spiritual and philosophic vibrancy and humaneness; cultural and educational tenacity; intellectual fortitude and nobility of spirit; the quintessential dynamics engendering articulation of the highest standards and manifestation of African womanism, bolding looking to the future, educating a nation to meet whatever challenge comes.
All is well. Working on two new books on Ancient Egypt.
Getting ready to return to Egypt but will consider taking a group next summer. So, if interested, Contact My Travel Agent, Nostrand Travel, 718-756-5300.
I have just completed a six-part video on the Temple of Karnak which will be uploaded to U-Tube as soon as final editing of all will be completed.
Part 3 airs on "1001 Ways to cope with Stress," Optimum Channel 67, Tuesdays - 8:30 PM.
Today I am launching my Barack Obama Trilogy of Books entitled:
BARACK OBAMA-MASTER OF WASHINGTON, D.C.; OBAMA: MASTER AND COMMANDER; AND OBAMA: THE JOURNEY COMPLETED - NEVER PROMISED A ROSE GARDEN.
These books are available on Amazon.com. They represent an informal history of the Obama presidency in that they represent more than 200 published articles that chronicle the political and social challenges meted out to President Obama and essentially how he responded. But more important, how "The Sword of Obama" responded.
Want to know who were the principal adversaries of President Obama; What they said about this decent man; the nature of the "friendly" and "enemy fire;" a description of some of the principal character traits of Mr. Obama and much, much more especially a close-up of the architecture of Washington, D.C., and a view of the principal historic monuments. Then you need to be very familiar with this classic trilogy of more than 2100 pages of texts and photographs.
BLACK HISTORY POSTING II
Marcus Garvey and
Dr. Fred Monderson
Marcus Moziah Garvey, born August 17, 1887 and died in 1940, is numbered among the greatest Africans of the 19th and 20th Centuries for his daring, visionary character, organizational ability, charismatic personality, outspokenness and forward thinking as well as mobilization abilities that has shown the way to so many engaged in struggle to uplift African people worldwide. I’m reminded during the First Emancipation Day festivities in Ghana, West Africa, during August 1998, when President Jerry Rawlings celebrated the return of activist Sonny Carson’s great-great grand-uncle, Samuel Carson, he equally honored Marcus Garvey for his early insistence that Blacks in the Diaspora identify with and celebrate their African heritage and culture. One of Garvey’s famous lines is that he looked at the Black man, degraded, dehumanized and debased as Africa lay prostrate resulting from the slave trade and rampant European imperialism and colonialism, at the turn of the 20th Century. In response he said: “Black man, where are your men of big affairs?” Looking around, he could not find any. So he created organizations as The Universal Negro Improvement Association, The African Communities League, The Black Cross Nurses, Black Madonna and Child, and The Black Star Line, as well as the Red, Black and Green. Red is for the Blood Africans have shed, Black is for the color of the people and Green is for the land of their ancestors.
For combat he formed The African Legions, whose outfit Thompson described as: “arrayed in black uniform with red seams, red shoulder-straps, and a red band around the collar of the tunic, [who] will go forth to conquer Africa, even if it means as their leader says, walking knee-deep in blood and grime.” Garvey even made influential titles as the "Duke of the Nile," "Earl of the Congo," "The African Orthodox Church," and so much more. He made himself "Provisional President of Africa." Symbols, ethos, cultural motifs, institutions, organizations, military organs are all needed by a people seeking to prolong their existence, dignity and gain respect from others in a sometimes hostile world. Much of this Marcus Garvey insisted on as he laid the foundation for Black men and women to stride towards advancement, upliftment and progress. Garvey coined the phrase “Black is Beautiful.” He said Black people were a “a gifted race with a proud past and a great future.” He founded his own media to get his message to the people. "The Negro World" published his message on a weekly basis. He also had a daily newspaper called "The Negro Times." He targeted the Black masses worldwide but his philosophic, economic, cultural and motif messages were challenged and curtailed by the colonial apparatus that controlled Africans worldwide. In this regard, again BakpetuThompson wrote: “Garvey’s newspaper The Negro World was banned, and heavy penalties were imposed on people found reading or even possessing copies of it. The punishment in certain colonial territories for possessing The Negro World was five years imprisonment with hard labor. In Dahomey, formerly French West Africa, it was life imprisonment. The paper was also suppressed in Trinidad, British Guiana, Barbados in the West Indies, and all French, Italian, Portuguese, Belgian and some British colonies in Africa.”
Nevertheless, when we consider the state of the Black world in 1915 when Garvey came to America and where we are today, clearly he was a significant pillar and a driving dynamo that propelled our people along to achieve and face the many challenges still awaiting us in the 21st Century. No wonder, almost a century after his arrival in America people still practice his philosophy and identify with his goals and aspirations.
Interestingly enough, men of great ideas have disagreements but some of these leaders, even though they have a people’s well being in mind, can sometimes go over the edge and spew vile vituperation or even conspire against and sometimes murder their competitors, who seem to challenge them for leadership. In an age of Booker T. Washington, WEB DuBois and others, Marcus Garvey was looked upon as a foreigner, even though he is now considered a pillar in the foundation of Pan-Africanism. Just as DuBois challenged Washington, he challenged Garvey. In that era of Jim Crowism, lynchings, fear and intimidation of black people, one leader accused the other. DuBois accused Washington of serving the white man’s interests, saying only his own “Talented tenth” idea was most practicable. Garvey accused DuBois of being a “Traitor to the race” and a “white Man’s Nigger.” DuBois on the other hand, said Garvey was “insane” and “without a doubt, the most dangerous enemy of the Negro race in America, and the world. He is either a traitor or a lunatic.” How harsh could they be! Nevertheless, and strange enough they ended up, with the passage of time, seeing the wisdom, foresight and honest concern for African people, of those they once vilified. Thompson says Dubois would later confess: “Garvey was an extraordinary leader of men and regarded his movement as ‘one of the most interesting spiritual movements of the modern world.’ In another place, he had said of the Garvey movement: ‘Shorn of its bombastic exaggeration, the main lines of the Garvey plan are perfectly feasible. What he is trying to say and do is this: American Negroes can, by accumulating and ministering their own capital, organize industry, join the Black Centers of the South Atlantic by commercial enterprise and in this way ultimately redeem Africa as a fit and free home for Black men.’”
Naturally and sometimes, institutions, ideas, speeches and even memorabilia can be forgotten or perish, but the written word, can last forever for it freezes the individual’s thoughts in time and can be resurrected later to be used for the initial purpose intended. In this case, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey has captured the essence, ideas, philosophies and aspirations as well as insights of the man who brought great hope and enlightenment to so many people of African descent throughout Africa, America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and even Asia.
Here in these United States Marcus Garvey and his teachings in more ways than one influenced many a movement dating back to the first decades of the 20th Century. In his organizational building approach he held conventions in the late teens and early nineteen twenties. There were spectacular parades with pomp and great reverence. Harlem was lit up by the reverence and revelry associated with his movement. Some of the local separatist and nationalist groups and individuals Marcus Garvey influenced from that time included Roy Innis and Congress of Racial Equality; Elijah Mohammed and the Nation of Islam; Noble Drew Ali and many more. All drew inspiration and ideas from his economic, political, separatist, nationalist, cultural and historical as well as the idea of Pan-Africanism in which Garvey and his movement played a role. In Africa as well as the Caribbean and Middle and South America, Marcus Garvey equally influenced Nkrumah and a whole host of nationalists and independence seekers. In Ghana under Nkrumah the Ghana Shipping Line was formed to replace the Black Star Line and there was a Black Star Square in the capital. Even the Ghanaian flag with its colors of red, gold (yellow) and green, with a black star copied the similar colors of the Garvey Flag adopted by the UNIA.
In Tony Martin’s Preface to the Majority Press Centennial Edition of The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey he writes: “The history and contents of the book are a metaphor of the Black experience of the last five hundred years. Careful perusal of these pages reveals much more than the dreams and achievements and the trials and tribulations of the most successful Pan-African movement of all time. They reveal much also of the strengths and hopes, of the failures and frustrations besetting scattered Africa in its tedious meanderings out of the quagmire of slavery and subjugation.”
According to Martin, “The Black struggle in the western world, like all struggles of oppressed peoples everywhere, has produced leaders of exceptional ability and unswerving dedication to a cause. In these pages we see the singleness of purpose, the breath of vision, the belief in the righteousness of his work, the boldness born of conviction, that made Marcus Garvey both the most loved and the most feared and hated Black man of his time. Qualities like these in leaders from Toussaint L’Ouverture to Nat Turner to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X have always helped sustain this struggle when the need was greatest.” Even further, Martin continued, “The price of such leadership has always been too high. All of the names enumerated above suffered martyrdom. Marcus Garvey escaped the assassin’s bullet only to be jailed, deported, hounded and harassed.” He did affirm Leadership means everything – PAIN, BLOOD, DEATH!
Today the world knows Marcus Garvey, while the people who conspired against him for the most part have gone down in oblivion and the influence he wielded helped fan the whirlwind of African independence following World War II. The timelessness of his ideas still inspire young people, Pan Africanists and conscious thinking individuals who can gain from his experiences, trials, tribulations, triumphs, failures, betrayals and vision. Except for those who lived before his time, all great Black man who have imprinted on their time, unquestionably benefited from the ideas of Marcus Garvey.
A perusal of the Table of Contents of the book The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey shows how wide was the breadth of the man’s thinking, a man essentially self-taught at a time when education for Africans anywhere in the world was a hard won sacrifice. He wrote about “Propaganda, slavery, force, education, miscegenation, prejudice, radicalism, government, evolution and the result, poverty, power, universal suspicion, dissertation on man, race assimilation, Christianity, the function of man and traitors.”
Then there is “Present Day Civilization, Divine apportionment of earth, universal unrest in 1922, world disarmament, causes of wars, the fall of governments, great ideals know no nationality, purpose of creation, purity of race, man know thyself, a solution for world peace in 1922, god as a war lord, and the image of god.” Even further, “the slave trade, Negroes’ status under alien governments, the Negro as an industrial makeshift, lack of co-operation in the Negro race, white man’s solution for the Negro problem in America, the true solution of the Negro problem, white propaganda about Africa, the three stages of the Negro in contact with the white man, Booker T. Washington’s program, belief that race problem will adjust itself a fallacy, examples of white Christian control of Africa, the thought behind their deeds, similarity of persecution, shall the Negro be exterminated? Africa for the Africans, the future as I see it.” Finally, “Emancipation Speech, Christmas Message, Easter sermon, Convention speech and statement on arrest.” These words have been so piercing and influential they were instrumental in galvanizing Kwame Nkrumah as he chaired the 5th Pan African Conference in Manchester, England, after World War II and in his struggles to free Ghana and assist in decolonization in Africa.
In this country, Raymond Hall in Black Separatism in the United States (1978: 66) wrote offering a synopsis of Garvey and his movement. “Marcus Garvey was the UNIA’s sole architect. The movement’s values, in essence, reflected only slight differences from those of mainstream America. Lewis makes the point, however, that Garvey’s ideological creation is paradoxical. Garvey’s militant call for Black Nationalism might be too quickly called extremely radical, but its content and emphasis, all reflected ‘the conventional American world view.’ That is, in exhorting Blacks to be proud of their blackness and black historical achievements, ‘Garvey was merely turning the white American’s racial chauvinism on its head.’ His ideas of justice and world order were based on the nation-state concept, which most Americans would embrace. His economic philosophy, like Washington’s and most Americans’, was bourgeoisie. Finally, “except for its emphasis on the return to Africa, the only ‘radicalism’ in Garvey’s thought (was) his basic assumption that black men could and would manage their affairs in the same manner as did white men.”
Assessing some aspects of Garvey’s economic philosophy, Hall believed while Garvey influenced many, others also in turn influenced him. He wrote: “Clearly, Garvey proposed to bring to fruition Washington’s goal of ‘economic separatism’ in urban America. Washington had been concerned about economic separatism – or Black independence – in the rural South, and Garvey applied his philosophy to urban America, with the Back-to-Africa label as an added incentive. He knew that black people had already had large doses of economic self-determination from Washington and of Back-to-Africa from Bishop Turner, Blyden, and others; he therefore had to combine the two with dynamic variables. Perhaps he saw that it was necessary to augment economic independence and Back-to-Africa with race chauvinism, pride in one’s racial heritage, glorification of the African past, confidence in oneself, and other ego-bolstering tactics.”
Vincent Bakpetu Thompson in Africa and Unity: The Evolution of Pan-Africanism praises Garvey for the many slogans he coined in seeking African unity and progress. These included: “Africans for the Africans”, “Renaissance of the Black RACE”, “Ethiopia Awake”, “Look for me in the eye of the storm”, “Man love your brother”, “Up, you mighty race, you can accomplish what you will.” His “One God, One Destiny” sought to unite Africans and determine the road ahead. As a compliment to his “One destiny” belief Garvey declared: “Therefore, let justice be done to all mankind, realizing that if the strong oppress the weak, confusion and discontent will ever mark the path of man, but love, faith and charity toward all, the reign of peace and plenty will be heralded into the world and the generation of men shall be blessed.” Yet still, he did believe passionately: “No one knows when the hour of Africa’s redemption cometh. It is in the wind. It is coming. One day, like the storm it will be here. When that day comes all Africa will stand together. Any sane man, race or nation that desires freedom must first of all think in terms of blood. Why, even the Heavenly Father tells us that ‘without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins?” Then how in the name of God, with history before us, do we expect to redeem Africa without preparing ourselves – some of us to die.”
He continued: “Wake up Ethiopia! Let us work towards the one glorious end of a free, redeemed, and mighty nation. Let Africa be a bright star among the constellation of nations.” Even further, the declared objectives of Garvey’s Organization were stated thus: “To establish a universal confraternity among the race; to promote the spirit of pride and love; to reclaim the fallen; to administer to and assist the needy; to assist in the development of independent Negro nations and communities; to establish a central nation for the race, to establish commissaries or agencies in principal countries and cities of the world for the representation of all Negroes; to promote a conscientious spiritual worship among the native tribes of Africa; to establish universities, colleges, academies and schools for the racial education and culture of the people; to work for better conditions among Negroes everywhere.” Finally, Thompson summed up Garvey’s program with its four principles that are hallmarks of the Pan-African movement today: “first, the common destiny of all Africans and the need for continental unity as a prerequisite for dealing with the numerous problems; second, the ‘Negro or African Personality’; third, the repudiation of all foreign rule and control and the eradication of all its vestiges which are retarding the grown of African man; and, fourth, social change including cultural regeneration and reactivation of the world’s cultures.”
Clearly a visionary, Garvey hoped to create an African world state that mirrored the universalism of the Catholic Church. He argued that: “Our union must know no clime, boundary or nationality. Like the great Church of Rome, Negroes the world over must practice one faith, that of confidence in themselves, with One God, One Aim, One Destiny…the founding of a racial Empire whose only natural, spiritual and political limits shall be God and Africa at home and abroad.”
Certainly his influence has been immeasurable and his name became enshrined in motifs as schools, parks, and even streets today bear the name of this Pan-African and nationalist icon who helped get us here today. However, while we can give Garvey great grades for his efforts in mobilizing “400,00,000 Negroes” around the world we ought to pay some attention to the mistakes he made, trusting in others who betrayed him, meeting with the Ku Klux Klan, underestimating the power of Europeans who controlled those 400,000,000 Negroes through colonialism and the role of Ethiopia and Liberia as pawns in Global white supremacy, imperialism and power politics. His Black Star Line was an alligator that bled the UNIA, his return to Africa through the Liberia experiment was un- researched and betrayed, the “Negroes in America” who conspired and had him arrested are all causes of his failures. Nevertheless, no matter what happens, when the people believe in you, your ideas, vision or name never dies and this is why we celebrate and give Marcus Garvey such high marks today. On his arrest he remarked, “You have caged the lion but his cubs are running free out there!” This Black history Month, God Bless Marcus Garvey and his timeliness as his ideas, efforts and charisma helped Black people to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
New York, NY
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