Black People : One of my Professional Parents Speak

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  1. truetothecause

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    SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind / By Dr. Asa G. Hilliard, III
    Written by RBGStreetScholar on Jun-21-07 11:10pm (Images, links and text embellishment is mines)

    "SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind is a key. It is a roadmap. It is a call to destiny…. With SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind, Dr. Hilliard…helps us to comprehend why education is so critical to African liberation and advancement. Within his opening thoughts, Asa inextricably links the mind (spirit), with culture and education. He notes that to reawaken the African mind, one must ensure that the goal of education, and the socialization process must be to understand and live up to African cultural principles, values and virtues.” --Wade W. Nobles, Ph.D.
    (From the Foreword)


    By:Dr. Asa G. Hilliard, III, Foreword by Wade W. Nobles SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind. Revised Edition, September 1998

    Dr. Asa G. Hilliard, III is the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of
    Urban Education at Georgia State University. Dr. Hilliard is a noted educator, psychologist, and historian...
    Read Dr. Hilliard's Full Biography

    "To counter the MAAFA , Africans must go through a WHMY MSW, a Kemetic term which means the repetition of the birth, or a reawakening. The WHMY MSW is also a healing. But before any substantial healing can take place we Africans must 'begin at the beginning' and peruse the wisdom of our ancestors. Numerous African civilizations have left the legacy of a holistic socialization process built firmly on a spiritual foundation. In these paradigmatic African societies, spirituality could not be seaparated from education, science, politics, health, nature, culture or anything else present in the society. This holistic approach can be useful in healing African people today.

    We africans, however, have not viewed our problem holistically. After years of living under conditions of extreme oppression, we have settled for limited definitions of our problem. A classic example may be taken from the period of the civil rights movement. The evil and gross injustice of slavery and segregation violated the civil rights of African people and had to be addressed. However, the necessary task of fighting for civil rights was insufficient to allow for the healing of our people. Our healing requires a greater conceptual frame than that provided by civil rights.
    First, we must see ourselves as an African people, or we will be unable to develop this critical frame.

    Second, we must understand not only the role that white supremacy has played in our subjugation, but also the role that we ourselves have played by not practicing self-determination in our struggle to counter the MAAFA.

    To reawaken the African mind we must ensure that the goal of our educational and socialization processes is to understand and live up to the principle of MAAT.

    MAAT is a Kemetic term that represents the singular whole for the concepts of
    and harmony
    Ancient African socialization processes show us that communitiies can function and be productive when everyone, young and old, has a sense of purpose and value that contributes to the community's well being. The principle of MAAT provides one such approach that Africans can follow.

    To arrive at MAAT, however, requires SBA, another Kemetic term which refers to teachings, wisdom and study.

    Our Present Condition

    ....No matter where Africans are - on the continent or in the diaspora - our condition is the same. We are on the bottom and descending. The MAAFA continues to take its toll. We are unconscious, unorganized, unfocused, and lost from our purpose. Our strongest visible leadership is in hot pursuit of minimal narrow goals like, 'integration,' 'civil rights,' 'jobs,' 'voter registration,' etc. We seek minimal adjustment and temporary comfort by assimilating to whatever the political, economic and cultural order may be, even when that order is itself in chaos, or driven by values that are anti-African.... When we "dream," we often do not dream original dreams; we merely seek relief from pain. As a result, the dream does not encompass a meaningful plan or strategy which is connected to moblization.

    .....We do not know who we are, cannot explain how we got here, and have no sense of our destiny beyond mere survival. Most of us hope to hitch a ride on someone else's wagon with no thought whatsoever as to where that wagon may be going. We have no destination of our own. Ask our leadership, ask our women, men or children on the street what our agenda is. Ask them what plans Africans have and what we want to build for ourselves within the next five, ten, twenty-five, seventy-five or one-hundred years? We are so used to having others make long-term plans for us that the idea of our own five-year plan is petrifying to us. As the 20th century comes to a close, why do we remain in such a vulnerable and debased condition? Certainly, the conscious and confined oppression of our enemies is a factor, but several other factors have contributed to our present condition and prevent us from reaching our full potential as a people. We cannot advance because we have:
    No unified spiritual base that respects and compliments our different religions.
    No global view of ourselves as one people.
    No geopolitical view of our conditions as a people.
    No collective aim.
    No structures for socializing the masses of our children.
    No structure communicating these things to our masses.

    ..... To understand our present condition in the world, we must also understand genocide. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Genocide Convention in 1948 (Patterson, 1970). Article II of the Convention defines "genocide" as Any of the following acts comitted with intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such:
    A) Killing members of the group

    B) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

    C) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

    D) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

    E) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another (Patterson, p. xii).

    By this definition, African people are clearly victims of genocide. The genocidal practices of slavery, lynching, colonization, etc. are easy to identify, but the more recent institutionalized and covert forms of genocide produced by legal systems, educational systems, public health systems, etc., are difficult to distinguish. There is no public outcry over these latter forms of genocide for two primary reason:
    (1) active propaganda disseminated through the media keeps the masses of people ignorant of, and agents in, their own genocide;and

    (2) lack of media access slows those who are knowledgeable about genocidal practices from sharing that knowledge with and empowering others.

    Genocide, as defined above, is both physical and cultural. Both forms of genocide are visited on Africans. Physical genocide tends to be practiced most often by the so-called 'ultra right.' This largely involves well-known processes of segregation physical oppression that have historically led to the elimination of many Africans. Cultural genocide is practiced mainly by the left. Historically, it was referred to as "whitening," and was practiced most frequently in Latin American countries where it continues to be used today (Hilliard & Martin, 1995).

    Cultral genocide is in some ways, the ultimate vehicle for the elimination of a people because its goal, unlike that of the physical form of genocide, remains hidden.

    .....Both physical and cultural genocide of Africans involve decisions by non-African elites to dominate and destroy the African community (Hilliard & Martin). White policymakers, whether from the right or the left, liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Republicans, view the very existence of Africans as a problem.

    Thus only African themselves can wake up, prepare, and insure that Africans remain present and fully able to maintian a quality standard of life"

    SBA to SIA: Earning

    "Every member of the community should participate in SBA. SBA means
    teaching, learning, wisdom and study or collectively, deep thought. Deep thought is universal among Africans. Respect for deep thought is reflected in African languages and especially in terminology about words (i.e. Nommo in Bantu, "So" in Dogon, Cinni in Sonjay {kwame note: Songhai/Songhoi} A study of proverbs, metaphors, and stories in African societies shows that deep thought was the rule. SBA is thus, one way of naming African deep thought. It is both a noun and verb; it is deep thought and deep thinking. It is the word for teach and study with a slight change in 'determinative,' for clarification of meaning.

    In my opinion, the language of KMT (called Egypt by the Greeks) is the most beautiful in the world. It is alphabetic, and ideographic or symbolic at the same time. It is full of multiple meanings, simple and complex at the same time. It embodies the deepest of ]thoughts, using KMT and other African environments (i.e., plants, animals, people, tools, buildings, etc.), to convey deep thought. The language of KMT was called MDW NTR (divine speech) and one tried to produce MDW NFR (beautiful speech) {Carruthers, 1996}

    SBA is our best effort at transliterating the glyphs in international phonetic alphabetic terms. We do not know the correct pronunciation. By convention, the vowelless MDW NTR is supplied with vowels that we guess approximate the original Coptic (a mixture of later versions of MDW NTR and Greek) is as close as we can come to the ancient sounds.

    The term SBA first appears in Kemetic texts during the pyramid age (old Kingdom). It appears again in the Literacy Age (11th Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom). In that text from the tomb of an Intef Per Aa (Pharoah), SBA is precisely deep thought, which Greek students of African priests would call Sophia (b, p, or f as labials are spelled in Greek ph, so that SBA becomes SPHA

    An important element of SBA is SANKOFA the Akan word that means which becomes sophia (Obenga, 1992). go back and fetch it. We must know and understand our past in order to move forward. This does not mean that we should live blindly in the past, but it means that we must use the valuable wisdom that our ancestors left for us. Part of understanding what is happening to us in the MAAFA requires that we know where we came from. We can only learn where we came from if we practice SBA

    African Identity Through SANKOFA The concept of SANKOFA

    Study is a requirement for our redemption. Yet, every discipline that we study must locate itself firmly within the African tradition. This defines us as a people. While we must be aware of other traditions in order to appreciate the whole human story, we must be aware of how those traditions intersect with African traditions. It makes no sense for an African to begin an intellectual quest from someone else's standpoint.

    seems clear enough, but we cannot fully appreciate its value to Africans until we confront a fundamental question: "Whether to be African or not to be?" That is the fundamental question Everything else we do flows from this basic point. We are either African or we are nothing; whether we are on the continent or in the diaspora We cannot claim our heritage when it is expediant for us and ignore it when it is not. This only creates confusion.

    African Students. All African people must be students. In many ancient African schools, students would spend almost a lifetime in formal training or apprenticeships learning all facets of subjects. The purpose of education was not to speed through a four year program to get a job and "get paid" but rather to become a better person and to learn how to live in harmony with nature, utilizing whatever skill you have. Greater understanding was earned through SBA, the study of MDW NTR and NFR. MDW NTR means "the word of the divine," and MDW NFR means "good speech," or "the beautiful word." Jacob Carruthers (1995) has referred to the combination of MDW NTR and MDW NFR as "African deep thought." Without African deep thought the WHMY MSW or "reawakening" would be impossible.

    The healing process for people of African descent can only be initiated as a consequence of our engagement in deep thought. Our WHMY MSW requires deep thought about our cultural essence, our cosmology and metaphysics, our geopolitics, and our strategies for long-range development, among other things. We cannot evade our responsibility to study. We have a massive task before us. This time we must get it right.

    African Teachers What do African teachers owe African people? It is part of the reality of the times that our children will be taught, not only by Africans, but by others in formal and informal institutions (i.e., the schools, the media, etc.). Based on the past, we can expect leittle more than "schooling" from the larger societies of which we are a part - not education for our transformation.

    African teachers should, first and foremost, be on a quest to practice SBA.MDW NTR texts, the Geez and other Ethiopian texts, and the Meroitic script of Nubia/Sudan. We also have West African texts, as shown by Obenga (1995) and Niagoran-Bouah (1984; 1985). African teachers cannot ignore our awesome oral tradition, which has been given too little respect (Chinweizu, 1987). We will miss powerful sources of information and understanding if we accept the alien view that deep thought may be captured only in written form. The written text is one form of transmission, while oral communication is another. Deep thought can and must precede both.

    African teachers must study African education and socialization practices from the continent and diaspora. But, while doing this, we must remember that schooling, education and "socialization" are inadequate if we do not study African deep thought. Within African deep thought, the concepts of schooling, education and socialization were integrated into the larger process of human transformation - the process of becoming more like the divine. The process of transformation incorporated different conepts and approaches depending on the time and place.

    For example, traditional child-rearing practieces (Gerber, 1958, Pearce, 1977; Ainsworth, 1967) provide foundations and strategies that can be used on children today. As I suggest in Chapter 5, African traditional schools, sometimes referred to as "Bush Schools," also provide ideas for curricular development (Harley, 1960s; Warfield-Coppock, 1990). There is something dreadfully wrong with an education/socialization process that leaves us ignorant of our past, strangers to our people, apes of our oppressors, and creatures of habitual, shallow thought, and trivial values. Therefore, there must be an independent African effort to guarantee that our children and our communities develop the perspectives, purposes, skills and the knowledge to function in ways that enhance our survival and development. African teachers must understand African history, practices, spirituality and theories in education and socialization...

    By: Dr. Asa G. Hilliard, III, Foreword by Wade W. Nobles SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind. Revised Edition, September 1998

    And I agree with every word of it!!!