WORDS OF WISDOM FROM THE ANCESTORS

BY DR. CONRAD W. WORRILL (April 8, 2000)

African people throughout the world are uniformly under the yoke of white supremacy. This has created tremendous problems for us as a people. There are solutions to these problems that we must be reminded of time and time again. These solutions have come from the wisdom of the ancestors and their deep thought.

Many of the solutions to the problems, and crisis of African people, have been set forth by our thinkers and activists of the nineteenth and twentieth–centuries. From time to time movements have unfolded that have picked up on the ideas of these thinkers and activists. When this has occurred serious challenges to breaking the yoke of white supremacy seemed within reach. However, due to internal and external manipulations of these movements they become short lived. For example, one of the most successful of these movements was the Garvey Movement of the 1920’s.

As African people face the twenty–first–century, it is imperative that we collectively find solutions to the many problems we face as a people. Many of these solutions are rooted in our historical efforts to dismantle white supremacy.

Let us briefly examine some of the ideas our leaders presented in the nineteenth and early twentieth–centuries that should be the foundation for establishing and finding solutions at this critical juncture in the history of African people.

Jean Jacques Dessalines, one of the leaders of the Haitian Revolution in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth—century said, "Never again shall a colonist, or European, set his foot upon this territory with the title of master or proprietor. This resolution shall henceforward form the basis of our constitution."

Henry Highland Garnet, a mid–nineteenth–century Black Nationalist thinker and organizer explained in the following statement that African people need "...a grand center of Negro nationality, from which shall flow the streams of commercial, intellectual, and political power which shall make colored people respected everywhere."

Martin Robeson Delany, the Harvard trained physician of the mid–nineteenth–century and leading Black Nationalist espoused; "We must act for ourselves— We are a nation within a nation; as the Poles in Russia, the Hungarians in Austria, the Welsh, Irish and Scotch in the British dominions. But we have been, by our oppressor, despoiled of our purity, and corrupted in our native characteristics, so that we have inherited their vices and but few of their virtues, leaving us really a broken people."

Edward Wilmot Blyden, a leading educator and Pan Africanist of the middle and late nineteenth–century said: "We need some African power, some great center of the race where our physical, pecuniary, and intellectual strength may be collected. We need some spot where such an influence may go forth in behalf of the race as shall be felt by the nations. We are now so scattered and divided that we can do nothing... So long as we remain thus divided, we may expect imposition... An African nationality is our great need... We must build up Negro States; we must establish and maintain the various institutions."

One of the greatest Pan Africanist and Black Nationalist leaders of the twentieth–century Marcus Mosiah Garvey succinctly stated, "...Africa for the Africans at home and abroad."

Another great Black Nationalist leader of the twentieth–century, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad challenged that "we must do for self."

Professor Joseph Harris in commenting on the work of William Leo Hansberry, one of our leading authorities on African History in the twentieth–century said, "Hansberry realized that the African students not only had to contend with life in this racist country, but that they also had the obligation to return to their countries with both the skills acquired at Howard and an Afrocentric perspective of their heritage."

And finally, the Afrocentric World Review, Vol I, No. I, Winter 1973, in its editorial commentary explained; "In this crucial world wide scramble for Africa, African minds and African bodies, we must proclaim in our own right African interest first... Blacks must cease becoming a vest pocket people for other national interests and world pursuits, and hasten to revive the age old traditional quest for a World African Center that will make us once again masters in our own house."

The Million Man March called by Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam on October 16, 1995 in Washington, D.C. was a part of the historical stream of Black leadership’s attempts to revive our movement of self–determination. The spirit of the Million Man March continues to be a beacon for setting in motion a new Black Movement.

Through the spirit of the Million Man March, we are collectively putting in place many programs and projects that can become permanent solutions to the problems African people face.

In the Mission Statement of the Million Man March, and others, we stated, "conscious of the critical juncture of history in which we live and the challenges it possess for us; ... that in the context of a real and principled brotherhood, those of us who have stood up, must challenge others to stand also; and that unless and until Black men stand up, Black men and women cannot stand together and accomplish the awesome tasks before us."

Let’s find solutions, let’s update solutions, and let’s implement solutions! This is our challenge for the Twenty–First–Century!

 

 
National Chairman
National Black United Front (NBUF)


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