An Overview of Black History

Compiled & Edited by Phillip True, Jr.

25. Can African People Save Themselves?

By John Henrik Clarke

The question can be answered in many ways, in both the negative and the positive. I have chosen to answer it in the positive, because I am an African person and I have hope for a commitment to every African on the face of the earth. My commitment to mankind comes through African people. If African people are to save themselves, they must first know themselves. They must first know where they have been and what they have been, where they are, and the significance of what they are.

By knowing this, they will get some idea of what they still must be. African people must stop being the market and the dumping ground for shoddy consumer goods of other people. We must, on an international basis, begin to produce the things we wear, the food we eat, the cars we drive, and then train our children to follow our footsteps and complete the mission. The mission will be to be a self-sustained and contained people. At least a third of the Africans in the world can be employed providing goods and services for other Africans.

Once we create an internal economic system, we can relate to any external economic system in the world. No African State can be truly independent when it does not produce the bread it eats nor the safety pin that holds a child's diaper together. No nation can call itself free and self-sustaining when it must order its toilet paper from another nation. Africans must begin to produce every item essential to their survival. Education must be geared to produce the large number of technically trained Africans needed for this task, and the trained must in turn produce other Africans to replace them. No African nation in the world should beg for the skills of another nation or people to sustain itself.

Africans can save themselves by having the will to do so until the job of self-protection and true independence has been achieved.

The salvation of Africa by African people will contribute to the peace and the salvation of the world. This salvation should be the mission of every African on the face of the earth. The completion of the mission and the benefits that will accrue from it will be the legacy that African people can leave for the whole world.

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