Black History Culture : The Destruction of Black Civilization:Revisited

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Omowale Jabali, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    "Forgetting the names of ancient centers of importance was nothing compared to the tragedy of the blacks in forgetting-almost completely forgetting-the very art of writing which they themselves invented! This is one of the most tragic losses, to repeat, that was ever suffered by a whole people."

    Dr. Chancellor Williams
     
  2. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Dr. Williams...continued...


    "Just how and why this people discontinued the use of writing has been set forth rather clearly in some detail in foregoing pages. However, the matter is of such transcendent importance that I hope some black scholar will devote an entire book to detailing just this one episode in the long history of Africans. From long drawn-out situations and circumstances when writing was so needed as to be out of the question, to a general disuse for lack of need, to a general loss of the art itself--that is the story."

    Williams, p. 69.

    Published in 1971, The Destruction of Black Civilization was one of the first "Afrocentric" books that I read as an undergraduate student in the mid-1970s. As a youth I was exposed to a great deal of literature which my parents bought from the Aquarian Center in Los Angeles, which was veery instrumental in the Black Arts Movement and the founding of Kwanzaa. The Kawaidi organization, the Mafundi Institute and the Watts Writer's Workshops were some of the early groups who used to sell literature at the Center, which also specialized in Theosophical literature.

    The Center used to have available books written by numerous Black authors, some of who were professors at the state colleges and local universities and in 1977 when the Black Survival Union at CSUN organized a student boycoot against the CSU foundation because of it's investments in corporations doing business with apartheid south Africa, the Aquarian Center served as a place where students could still purchase the material we needed for our Pan African Studies courses.

    During this time period there was not much local debate concerning Afrocentrism vs Multi-culturalism. The Black Arts Movement was still moreso caught up in the Revolutionary Nationalist vs Marxism debate and when Amiri Baraka and Maulan Karenga adopted "Marxist" ideology, discussion heated as the issue of Afrocentrism came front and center.

    I remember thoroughly reading Chancellor Williams' Destruction of Black Civilization, along with DuBois' The World and Africa, along with several books by Dr Kwame Nkrumah and Frantz Fanon, and at the time Williams seemed kinda extremist in some of his conclusions and in retrospect this was the case to me because I had more of a so-called "revolutionary nationalist" standpoint, being more influenced by the Black panther Party than the "Black Maoists".

    However, the above quote sparked my interest in studying African language and writing systems, as well as my own interest in student publications and when I later transferred to UCLA I began a long period of working with the Black student paper, NOMMO.

    Perhaps this may explain at least part of the reason why I have a tendency to ask questions and argue so many points concerning place-names, and conflicting terminologies which are points that many find to be petty and trivial, but Dr. Williams emphasized the need to study and carefully examine the language that we use.

    Quite frankly, in all the years that I was an undergraduate and graduate student, which at various times encompassed a period from 1975 t0 2004, I never once remember any Black studies professor or author using the word "kemet" with any regularity, let alone using it to describe ALL of the area encompassing Egypt, Ethiopia, Kush, Meroe, Nubia, Punt, etc.

    And since most of this educational background preceeded the publication of the Metu Neter, much of what is stated is outside of my primary frame of references....Williams, Rogers, James, DuBois, Diop, Ben Jochanin, to be brief.

    It has been through re-visiting Dr. Williams that I will re-evaluate statements I have recently made in regards to Thebes and Memphis (het-ka-Ptha) even though I am reading different accounts between Diop and Williams.

    However, in my re-visiting, I still do not see where either ever refer to the entire territory in question as "kemet". In fact, I know for a fact from attending lectures by Dr. Ben that the term he used was "Al-Khebu-lan" and he basically spoke of the entire area of Afrika by that term as if it was one NATION.

    Williams, on the other hand, referred to the larger part of the Nile valley as ETHIOPIA, with CHEM being a division of ETHIOPIA, that is to say, Northern Ethiopia (see map p. 14).

    Williams also refers to Upper Egypt as Northern Ethiopia, but then draws a line at the first cataract and the land to the south is referred to as NUBIA, and Southern Ethiopia.

    Chem is the area which he also refers to as the "Theibald" and Wo Se.

    Furthermore, in reference to the LIBYANS, he does not refer to them as "white people" but as WESTERN ETHIOPIANS (p. 53).

    At no time in this discourse does Dr. Williams view ALL Black people as "kemetic" nor does he view all Kemites" (that is to say, "Egyptians") as Black. In fact he states, in the context of the 18th dynasty..,

    "The ethnic composition of Libya was about the same as that of early Egypt, with the exception that there were fewer Europeans and more Mongolians. Libya was once so nearly all black that to be called a Libyan meant black."

    p. 53.

    "So the Libyan dynasties during this period could have been predominantly white, black, Afro-Asian or a combination of all three, depending upon what faction was in ascendancy at the time."

    The point that I want to make here is that I find it rather dishonest for folks to refer as "kemetic" then to criticize me or anyone else for using specific reference to the works of E.A. Wallis Budge becaue it is Budge himself who these same scholars used his translations as a basis for using the word "kam-it" as a reference. In fact, the vaery same Black "nationalsits" who sparked the Black arts movement extensively studied and appropriated "Theosophy" (including the words of Edgar Cayce and Alice Bailey).

    Furthermore, Maulana Karenga, Molefe Asante, Asref Kwesi; I am vey familiar with most of their works because we were taught by the same Master at the Aquarian Center, Dr. Alfred Ligon, who was good friends with Dr. Ben. Dr. Williams, Helga Rogers and many other noted "Afrocentric" scholars. And Dr. ligon's wife Bernice was the ONLY person I knew outside of the church who always called me by my "spiritual" name Michael.

    In conclusion, I again quote Dr. Williams for those who shall read this and have cause to "rage"...

    "Self-destroying, uncontrolled emotional outbursts must be checked precisely and rational thinking and planning that the decade of the seventies demands if not only the blacks but civilization itself is to survive."

    This was Dr. Williams' exhortation to all of us 25 years ago....yet still we live on the brink of self-destruction and extermination...
     
  3. That Jones Boy

    That Jones Boy Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    good piece
     
  4. emanuel goodman

    emanuel goodman Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    very true


    This is a very true statement by dr williams now we have only a few to teach us how to write according to the ancient customs. however in my opininion this have been a product of english sweeping through the world. people are now learning to read and write english before there native tongues. in order to be successful in modern day society.
     
  5. ANUK_AUSAR

    ANUK_AUSAR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The point that I want to make here is that I find it rather dishonest for folks to refer as "kemetic" then to criticize me or anyone else for using specific reference to the works of E.A. Wallis Budge

    Can your person provide an example of anyone claiming "Kemetic" having done this?
     
  6. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think the point here is that we can still become "SCRIBES" and partake in the writing of Our Story, irrespective of language.
     
  7. abdurratln

    abdurratln Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Pardon my long absence. I am back. Happy to be here.

    We never "lost" the art of writing. This whole concept just goes to show how confused a person can become by reading too much Chancellor Williams.

    How could we have "lost" the art of writing when the oldest written form of any langauge still exists today in Africa, namely Egypt? Modern Arabic is used in Egypt. Indeed, Egypt is the largest Arab country in the world. There are very good reasons to think that Arabic derives from the Ancient Egyprian form of writing. So we see a continuous art of writing since the very being of human culture mainly in Egypt. Egyptians/Arabs are Africans. Period.

    Now, it may have been difficult to impossible to maintain writing in certain parts of Africa due to the non-availabilty of writing materials such as paper. But, I find it hard to believe that any intelligent people never used writing or "lost" writing. The white man may not know how it was done, but even the most "primitive" of peoples communicated by writing to some extent. Maybe it was nothing more than drwing figures in the sand. But, even monkeys have been proven to do that.

    To say that Afrficans "lost" writing is to imply that we are somehow inferior beings. When Europeans are illitarate, nobody claims that white folks "lost" writing.

    Read a better source of African history. Many are available.
     
  8. abdurratln

    abdurratln Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Study African History

    While we are on this subject, let me ask a question. This thread has been called "Destruction of Black Civilization Revisited". "Revisited"? My question is have you ever left this Chancellor William stuff in the first place? This book is at least 30-40 years old. Folks been reading reading it since it was first published. The tragedy of the whole thing is it seems that this is the only thing they know how to read.

    Maybe it is just that these readers do not know how to study African history in an intelligent and systematic way. When they are not quoting Chancellor Williams, they are quoting some stupid white boy or girl. Or, they just quote each other. The bottom line is they never seem to grow and to learn anything at all about Africa. They just go round and round in circles and never make any progress. To make matters worse, they try to silence anybody and everbody who dare ask questions or offer a more inteliigent line of thinking than their own.

    Africans, I am not here to complain and criticize. What I have done is twofold:

    1. I have offered a method of analysis that would help us to climb out of this insanity and actually make some progress in intellectual development. The method I have proposed is called the Scientific Method. For, the creativity challenged, it can also be called Historical Materialism, and in some instances, Dialectical Materialism

    • I have propsoed a new reading list. The Scientific Method requires us to go the primary sources of information when studying African history. This includes use of the Arabic langauge since much of African history is recorded in Arabic. Q ur'an and Al-Hadith are the best of these sources. But, these sources must also include Ibn Batuta and Ibn Khaldun and many other writers in the Arabic language. Beyond that, we must search for and seek out African (including Arab) writers and historians. A simple subject search at the local library will serve this purpose. Just go down the list and pick out the names of African writers. Be careful to avoid Jewish writers because most of these are polluted with zionism.

      At the Olin Library at W ashington University here in Saint Louis, I was able to find these samples to prove how easy this can be done: A Textbook of West African History, by Ola Abiola, Forced Migration: the Impact of the E xport Slave Trade3 on African Socities by J. E. Inikori, The Sufi Brotherhood in Sudan by Ali Saih, Pan-Africanism and its Detractyors: a Response to Harvard's Race Effacing by Opokyu Agyeman. This is just a sampling. It proves that other resources of information are available to those of us who are not too lazy to look for it.

    In addition to the above, we should also consider works by such writers as Chinua Achebe, and Ali Mazurui. These are creative type writings and political science. But, we can learn alot about African history by studying these brothers. One of the best sources is Al-Ahram Foundation which publishes a newpaper dating back to 1875.

    There is a great deal of work to do to advance this Struggle further. Most of my time is consumed trying to establish and maintain the political legacy of Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Toure. But, every time I get busy with one aspect of the Struggle, someone comes along and cause trouble in another aspect. But, do not take my absence from this discussion on African history or any other subject as sign of ignorance or of weakness. I understand African history very well, thank you. I just do not have time to keep chasing after the type of foolishness that is going on in this thread. Nevertheless, I have taken the time to point those of us who are sincere in the right direction and away from these Chancellor Williams cults. (This is the best that I can make of this: it is worshipping a stupid little old man who is probably dead: a stupid cult.) A much better source than Chancellor Williams is How Capitalism Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney. But, it up to each individual to actually go out there and do some serious study.
     
  9. pdiane

    pdiane Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    :getout: I have propsoed a new reading list. The Scientific Method requires us to go the primary sources of information when studying African history. This includes use of the Arabic langauge since much of African history is recorded in Arabic. Q ur'an and Al-Hadith are the best of these sources. But, these sources must also include Ibn Batuta and Ibn Khaldun and many other writers in the Arabic language. Beyond that, we must search for and seek out African (including Arab) writers and historians. A simple subject search at the local library will serve this purpose. Just go down the list and pick out the names of African writers. Be careful to avoid Jewish writers because most of these are polluted with zionism.

    Whew! I sure don't miss this guy. He was on some kind of islamic trip that made absolutely no sense. He had issues. God bless him. :dance3: :swim: :getout: Maybe he is swimming up stream somewhere else.
     
  10. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

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    ARABS ARE NOT<<AFRIKANS PERIOD!
    ARABS ARE AN ENEMEY TO AFRIKAN/BLACK/EBONITES PERIOD!
    AFRIKANS WILL NOT TRULY BE FREE UNTIL ARABS ARE DRIVEN OUT OR ENSLAVED PERIOD!
    EVIDENCE OF AFRIKANBLACK/EBONITE ORGINS OF EGYPT/KAM ARE EVIDENT IN PHYSICAL STATUES,WRITTINGS FROM DIFFERENT CULTURES AND RACES PREDATING ARAB INVASION PERIOD!
     
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