“We Are Afrikan People Wherever We Were Born No matter where we were born in the world. Afrikan (Black) People are historically and culturally linked. Our history, identity, and culture are rooted in the many thousands of years of development of Afrikan civilization on the Afrikan continent. This is a consequence of the ever forward movement and motion of the New Afrikan masses. It is from this historical march of our people (Afrikan [Black] People) that we derive our African culture, the sum total of material and spiritual values created by our people. It is this invincible weapon, Afrikan culture, that has always served to fight against all forms of oppression and exploitation, to move forward New Afrikan People and Afrikan civilization.”
Glossary of Terms
Aryans (Sanskrit) – Fair-skinned, nomadic, war-like people from southern Russia and Iran (Persia) who invaded much of Europe, southwest Asia and India, 2000-1500 BCE. In the 20th century, Adolf Hitler’s Nazis claimed descent from the ancient Aryans and embraced their passion for war and conquest. The White Arabs of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iran as well as Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morroco are the Semitic branch of the Aryan-Caucasian-European family (Rajshekar, 1987).
Deculturalization – Three-part process designed and perfected by Europeans that: (1) denigrates to alienate Blacks from their African cultural heritage, i.e., African languages, religions, customs, etc., (2) teaches them to value only the cultural orientations, i.e., languages, religions, customs, etc., of Europeans or Arabs, and (3) assimilates them into a European or Arab dominated social order as their faithful supporters and defenders. The public educational system, the Christian church and the mass media are the prime instruments of American deculturalization, And the Qur’an, the mosque, and Qur’anic school are the chief instruments of Arab deculturalization (Boateng, 1990; Spring, 1997).
European Colonization (1440 CE – Present) – 500-year-long competition among the Europeans (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, U.S. Americans, Germans, and Italians) to set up and maintain African bases of operations to better steal the human, minerals and biological wealth of the world’s richest continent for the development of European civilization. The Europeans have colonized successfully African land, institutions and minds.
Maafa (Swahili) – Term popularized by Marimba Ani to signify the 1300-year-long period (652 CE – Present) of African conquest, enslavement, domination, oppression, exploitation and genocide at the hands of Europeans and Arabs (Ani, 1994).
Goals of Mis-Education
Conceptual Incarceration (CI) – State of African intellectual imprisonment in European value and belief systems occasioned by ignorance of African and Native American philosophical, cultural and historical truths. CI is the goal of miseducation, the end result of deculturalization, and the major obstacle to innovative, creative and liberatory African thought and practice (Nobles, 1986).
Diseducation – Public school practice of arresting and undermining the intellectual development of African students resulting in “pervasive, persistent and disproportionate” academic under achievement. Diseducation is a strategy of deculturalization, the maafa and the source of the Black-White student achievement gap (Carruthers, 1994).
Education For All – Termed coined at a 1990 World Bank conference in Thailand to promote western-style primary education in Africa, which serves to “rob Africans of their indigenous knowledge and language” promoting what Dr. Birgit Brock-Utne calls the “recolonization of the African mind” (Brock-Utne, 2000)
Learned Indifference (LI) – Pervasive and debilitating African psychological state characterized by disinterest in issues, causes and organizations that promote the advancement of African people. LI is a function of conceptual incarceration and the end goal of deculturalizaton and miseducation (X, 1996).
Mentacide – Deliberate and systematic European-orchestrated process terminating in the destruction of the African mind with the ultimate objective the extirpation of African people. End goal of deculturalization, miseducation and the maafa (Wright, 1984).
Utengano (Swahili) – Deeply entrenched, intergenerational African American predisposition to accept disunity, division and disorder in the African community as normal. Utengano is an expression of learned indifference, an outgrowth of deculturalization, and a strategy of the maafa (Hotep, 2002).
Decolonization – Process of overthrowing and then removing the Europeancentric or Arabcentric value and belief systems (colonies) implanted in our minds by our public school mis-education, our Christian or Islamic indoctrination and mass media manipulation that keep us psychologically, emotionally, materially and spiritually tied to Europeans or Arabs as their victims or servants. To decolonize the African mind is to cleanse and liberate by re-Africanizing the African mind (Chinweizu, 1987).
Intellectual Disobedience – Twenty-first century corollary to Henry David Thoreau’s (1860) notion of civil disobedience that holds that African people have a moral imperative to resist all attempts by the European dominated educational hegemony to constrict, restrict or regulate the content of their education (Hotep, 2000).
Ma’at (Mdw Ntr) – Seven thousand-year-old Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) term for the divine law of truth, justice, order, harmony, balance, in short, righteousness. The restoration, maintenance and preservation of ma’at was considered the highest social ideal by the ancient Africans of the Nile River Valley civilizations. Today, it is the motive and goal of all conscious, African freedom fighters (Karenga, 1986;Hilliard, 1994; Carruthers, 1995; Ashby, 1996).
Re-Africanization – Intergenerational, family-based process of reclamation, revivification and reincorporation of African cultural knowledge and values as the prerequisite for establishing a 21st century African social order rooted in the traditional wisdom of African people (Akoto & Akoto, 2000).
Sankofa (Twi) – Akan concept, symbol and social practice adopted by late 20th century Pan African nationalist scholars and activists, which refers to the practice of learning from the past to build for the future. For African people, this means having the desire to not only to understand the worldview of our ancient African ancestors, but also the wisdom to adopt or adapt their social practices and philosophical beliefs when they will help us establish financially independent, emotionally wholesome and nurturing families and autonomous, sovereign, self-sufficient communities. Sankofa practice demands confronting the Maafa by respecting life, nature and the wisdom of our African ancestors, establishing viable extended families, supporting African centered institutions and organizations, and creating social and economic ties throughout the African World Community (Wase, 1998; Akoto & Akoto, 2000).