ON BEING A RACE MAN OR WOMAN,AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY,AND “THE DESTRUCTION OF BLACK CIVILIZATION” BY BROTHER CHANCELLOR WILLIAMS WRITTEN BY BROTHER RUNOKO RASHIDI AT CWO.COM

by

From cwo.com

THE GLOBAL AFRICAN COMMUNITY

H I S T O R Y N O T E S

WORDS OF A RACE MAN:
AFRIKAN THEOLOGY, COSMOGONY AND PHILOSOPHY–AN INTRODUCTION

By RUNOKO RASHIDI

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The Afrikan people’s belief in a creator and theology makes them the most misunderstood people on the planet.
–Nana Ekow Butweiku I

The themes of Afrikan theology, Afrikan cosmogony and Afrikan philosophy in ancient and modern Afrika are the focus of the latest text by Nana Ekow Butweiku I–an Afrikan-centered scholar, traveller and activist currently residing in Bronx, New York. The author of 500 Years of European Behavior: Its Effect on Afrika and Afrikan People, Brother Nana is what might be called a “Race Man.” The term Race Man (a term not much in use today) applies to an Afrikan man totally dedicated and completely devoted to the uplift of his people (the Race). A Race Man places the interests of his people above all else. A Race Man embodies the words of that great nineteenth century champion of Afrika and the rights of Black people–Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden. In application to himself, Dr. Blyden emphatically stated that: “Let me forever be discarded by the Black race, and let me be condemned by the White, if I strive not with all my powers, if I put not forth all my energies to bring respect and dignity to the Negro race.” Nana Ekow Butweiku I embodies that tradition and fits into that mold. In Afrikan Theology, Cosmogony and Philosophy, Brother Nana speaks to us from the perspective of a Race Man. He addresses us as one of us; as an Afrikan elder speaking directly, without any intermediaries, to his Afrikan family.

Every Black person should visit Afrika at least once during their lifetime. It is a pilgrimage to our sacred motherland–the birthplace of humanity and the cradle of civilization–and one is never the same afterwards. In Afrikan Theology, Cosmogony and Philosophy, Nana Ekow Butweiku I serves as our guide on a soul-searching journey. In a no nonsense approach Brother Nana holds no punches and minces no words. It might be observed that the text is characterized by plain speaking and righteous anger. Nana clearly realizes the urgent plight of Afrikan people around the globe, and makes it clear to all who would listen that the struggle of Afrikan people, whether at home or abroad, is not merely one of countless other unconnected struggles, but a single desperate planetary conflict with many fronts and innumerable battles.

Afrikan Theology, Cosmogony and Philosophy introduces us to Afrika’s past and present conditions, its ancient and modern traditions. Much of the text is the direct result of extensive on-site research, with key sections consisting of first-hand interviews with several of Afrika’s most learned griots and elders, including Elder Apourali of the Dogon Nation of Mali. Apourali, it should be known, is one of the Dogon elders interviewed decades earlier by the French anthropologists Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen.

Out of necessity much of Afrikan Theology, Cosmogony and Philosophy is punctuated with the effects, the perils and the dangers of allowing others to perform the fundamental tasks of writing our history and interpreting Afrikan theology, cosmogony and philosophy for us. Brother Nana indicts the entire Caucasian sphere and speaks with scathing criticism and undisguised passion about the usurpation of Afrikan history and the desecration of Afrikan culture by flocks of human vultures from Europe. He notes that “The white race has used the Afrikan way of life to gain the confidence of the Afrikans, while at the same time they promote white superiority and black inferiority.”

Afrikan Theology, Cosmogony and Philosophy examines the works of many of the nineteenth and early twentieth European writers on Nile Valley civilizations, particularly George Rawlinson, Ernest Alfred Wallis Budge and James Henry Breasted, and their role in the partitioning of pharaonic Egypt from rest of the Afrikan continent. It is in large measure the body of publications of these writers that has formed much of the core of modern white supremacist ideology. Their historical works supplemented the accounts of European travelers to Afrika, such as Richard Francis Burton, Leo Frobenius and Robert Moffat. It should be no surprise then that Brother Nana condemns them so vehemently. As Brother Nana states in the chapter titled The Egotistical Paternalistic White Man: “One wonders how the egotistical attitude of a Newt Gingrich, United States Congressman, Speaker of the House, Senator Phil Gramm, or the paternalistic attitude of the liberal Rutgers University president Francis Lawrence developed. With a little research it is easy to see that Europeans developed these attitudes very early when they came in contact with Afrikans through lies they told themselves to inflate their egos. We are already familiar with early twentieth century European writers such as H.G. Wells, E.A. Wallis Budge, and James Henry Breasted and their assertion that the ancient Egyptians were somehow different from other Afrikans.”

Afrikan Theology, Cosmogony and Philosophy is an unapologetic and unbridled attempt to reclaim the religious, historical and cultural heritage of Afrikans for the Afrikans. The thirteen chapters of the work reflect years of intense study, in-depth observations and primary research about both Afrika and Afrikan people. Brother Nana journeys to Afrika frequently, not as a tourist, but as a seeker of the real Afrika. Via his travels and through his eyes he transports us to the Continent with him, making it come alive with a new vibrancy and an old dimension. With equal emphasis he stresses to us the importance of Afrikan people in seizing the initiative in the documentation, preservation and presentation of Afrikan history. He notes that: “White men have revised, and rewritten the bible time and time again. This was done in order to justify and meet their needs. Were they branded as revisionist? The difference here is that when their so-called philosophers and intellectuals made their revision it was from neo-reality to greater falsification, as opposed to Afrikan exposure of the truth from falsification to reality.”

Early in the Introduction we mentioned the great Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden. Let us now mention another Race Man–the late Dr. Chancellor James Williams. In his classic volume, The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race From 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D., Dr. Williams provided a set of guidelines for African-centered research specialists. As stated by Dr. Williams:

“In the `View from the Bridge’ and the final chapters, I make a more definite break from the `old line’ school of historians. To be objective and scientific, this school insists, the research scholar should do no more than present the comprehensive and fully documented results of his investigations. There should be no `subjective’ commentaries, no editorializing. Just present the factual data and leave the work to the readers to interpret or evaluate as they choose. This may not only be the correct viewpoint, but it is even beautiful for historians who represent the already arrived people who control the world. They can well afford the luxury of historical knowledge for knowledge’s sake–the great satisfaction that comes from just knowing how things came to be. But the Black historian, member of a race under perpetual siege and fighting an almost invisible war for survival, dare not follow in these footsteps of the master. Quite the contrary, after faithfully researching and piecing together the fragmented record of the race’s history, the task of critical analysis and interpretation should begin. What were our strengths in the past? In what respects were we most vulnerable? Where did we go wrong? And all this, like the study of history itself, must be for the express purpose of determining WHAT TO DO NOW. In short, the Black historian; if he is to serve his generation, must not hesitate to declare what he thinks the results of his studies mean. For even when our history shows us where we have been weak, it is also showing us how, through our own efforts, we can become strong again.”

Even before The Destruction of Black Civilization, in 1965 in Problems in African History, Dr. Williams wrote that: “Africans and persons of African descent must assume the primary responsibility and leadership in historical research….if we are to continue to leave practically all important historical research and writing concerning the black race to the white man, then we must be prepared to accept, uncomplainingly, the white man’s point of view.”

It is as though Dr. Williams spoke directly to Brother Nana and gave him a direct time-tested blueprint for the work that is to be done. According to Brother Nana, in the Preface to the text, “The research work that is required to set the record straight is long and difficult, but the tedious task must be done to undo hundreds of years of European distortions of the truth. It must be done if Afrikans are going to enter into the twenty-first century in their rightful position in world history. This book begins to address that task.”

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Return to the GLOBAL AFRICAN PRESENCE Home Page

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Copyright © 1998 Runoko Rashidi. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 06, 2001.
Webpage design: Kenneth Ritchards

One Response to “ON BEING A RACE MAN OR WOMAN,AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY,AND “THE DESTRUCTION OF BLACK CIVILIZATION” BY BROTHER CHANCELLOR WILLIAMS WRITTEN BY BROTHER RUNOKO RASHIDI AT CWO.COM”

  1. Darrell Davis Says:

    You need a catagory on this web site of
    ‘Blacks/Africa in Science, Engineering, & Mathematics
    (throughout the African Diaspora)

    Below is a list of links and books on the history of the subject.
    I hope this will be of help and more blacks need to get into this subject.
    E-mail me and tell me what do you think.

    http://www.math.buffalo.edu/mad/Ancient-Africa/index.html

    http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Bibliography/African_Origins_Math.html

    http://www.saxakali.com/COLOR_ASP/african.htm

    http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/science.html

    http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/runoko.html (MAIN PAGE)

    http://www.pps.k12.or.us/depts-c/mc-me/essays-5.php (main page)

    http://www.pps.k12.or.us/depts-c/mc-me/be-af-sc.pdf

    http://www.pps.k12.or.us/depts-c/mc-me/be-af-ma.pdf

    African Fractals
    http://www.rpi.edu/~eglash/eglash.dir/afractal/afractal.htm

    ————————————————————————-
    Dr. Finch is currently Director of Internation Health at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. He maintains an active lecture schedule and leads tours to Africa periodically. He was one of the organizers of the first-ever Senegalese Ndepp healing ceremony in America, “Coumba Lamba USA,” held on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, in August 1996.

    Book by Charles S. Finch III

    Star of Deep Beginnings: The Genesis of African
    Science and Technology

    The prototechnology of the modern world is traceable to
    iron ore mining 43,00 years ago in southern africa and to
    the emergence of protomathmatics from Africa’s Great
    Lakes region over 25,000 years ago. From these
    Paleolithic beginnings, science and technology underwent a
    steady development in Africa, and the remotest origins of
    formal mathematics, astronomy, engineering, architecture,
    navigation, and map-making can be found there.
    Moreover, in the cosmo-conception of the Dogon of Mali,
    there are distinct elements of knowledge that seem t ohave
    anticipated some of the most advanced concepts of
    modern physics. Outside the Nile Valley, 95% of the
    known archaeological sites in Africa have remained
    untouched by the spade. When the systematic work of
    archaeological recovery of Africa’s past begins in earnest,
    more astonishing facts about African science and
    technology are bound to coome to light.
    $22 US (Science, History) ISBN 0-9639444-3-2

    Echoes of The Darkland: Themes from the African Eden

    Echoes of the Darkland is the first original book by Dr. Charles S. Finch III in
    which the author attempts to trace the origin an evolution of humanity, its
    culture, myths, and religion in Africa in light of modern findings. Dr. Finch has
    been engaged in private research into African antiquities, comparitive myth and
    religion, and anthropology since 1971 and this book represents a kind of
    overview of that 20 year period of study. Such a study was neccessarily
    private because of the use of special data and the methods handling disparate
    materials demonstrated in this book are seldom, if ever, to be encountered in
    the ordinary academic setting.
    $20.00 US (History, Religion)

    African Background to Medical Science: Essays on African History,
    Science & Civilizations
    ISBN – 0907015638
    $20.00

    Afrikan Dieli Import Warehouse * 840 R.D. Abernathy Blvd, SW * Atlanta, Ga 30310 *
    404.753.8933

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