“I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.” Mother Harriet Tubman
“The True worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood.” Mother Mary McCloud Bethune
“We do not realize that the massive deaths of Black males constitute the genocide of Black people (as it takes Black males to make Black babies and ensure future Black generations).” ― Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors
From now on, I am dedicating all of my posts to Black African American females because a race can rise no higher than its’ women. Remember, a home is not built upon the ground, it is built upon a Woman.
As in all of my posts, UNDERLINED WORDS are links.
I thank all of my readers for patiently waiting for this post.
I recall a story about a new employee at a lumber company. This nineteen-year old robust Black African American man was eager to impress his new employer. The foreman paired him with a Black African American Elder, telling him that he was the best lumberjack he had ever hired.
This youngster looked at his Elder with a smug look, thinking to himself, “There is no way I’m going to let this “old” man out perform me. I have at least 80 lbs. of solid muscle on him.”
When the foreman left, his Elder tried to teach his youngster (I say “his youngster” because all children are ours) the art of cutting trees, but he would not have it, saying, “Old man, I know how to cut down trees so you best stay out of my way before you get hurt.”
With that, his Elder picked up his ax and began chopping down his first tree of the day. By the time his Elder finished cutting his first tree, his youngster had started on his third tree of the day,
filling feeling “full of himself.” His Elder left for about fifteen minutes and returned to chop his second tree of the day.
After each tree his Elder cut, he’d leave for about fifteen minutes, while his youngster was chopping down one tree after another. At the end of the day, tired and totally exhausted, his youngster saw an unbelievable site – his Elder barely had a sweat and he had chopped down nearly twice as many trees.
With both embarrassment and great humility, his youngster approached him and politely asked, “Sir, how is it that you chopped down nearly twice as many trees as I when you took about a fifteen- minute break after every tree? His Elder replied, “Son, I wasn’t taking breaks, I was sharpening my ax!”
So, I say to my readers, I’ve not been taking a break, “I have been sharpening my ax!”
When I visited ASCAC’s website, unfortunately, they omitted their history, or founding members. I did not let that deter me, because as I often say, anything that you want to know is just a keystroke away.
Therefore, I went to Wikipedia and learned of the origin of ASCAC. Once there, I learned who the original founders of ASCAC were. Wikipedia states the following: “The Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations was initially conceptualized and developed during the First Annual Ancient Egyptian Studies Conference in Los Angeles, California, on February 26, 1984, by venerated scholars:”
- John Henrik Clark
- Asa Grant Hilliard
- Leonard Jeffries
- Yosef Ben-Jochannan
- Maulana Karenga
- Jacob H. Carruthers
In preparing to attend this conference, I was filled with excitement that I was finally going to have the honor of sitting at the feet of one of my mentors, Baba Leonard Jeffries and absorb some of his knowledge and wisdom.
Although, I received a treasure-trove of knowledge and wisdom from Baba Leonard Jefferies, the conference as a whole left me feeling distraught, because as we Black African Americans have been doing for the past 50 years, Baba James Brown said it very succinctly, “Talking Loud and Saying Nothing.”
The salient theme of this conference was, “Building for Eternity,” yet, there was a noticeable absence of young people in attendance. The majority of those attending the 33rd Annual ASCAC conference were ASCAC members, and most of whom were over 40, with the average age appearing to be about 50 years old.
Although this conference was held on the campus of historical Morehouse College, it took place during Spring Break. The rational for having it during Spring Break was so that many of the presenters, who were college professors could attend, which I found difficult to swallow because I know for a certainty that college professors attend various conferences while classes are in session.
Another explanation for holding this conference during Spring Break was so that space would be available on the campus, which again, does not make sense, because workshops are held on college campuses throughout the year, while students are in classes.
The third reason for holding this conference during Spring Break was because Morehouse did not charge ASCAC any money. Again, this does not make sense because Morehouse College could allow ASCAC to hold their conference anytime of the year and not charge them a dime.
As far as ASCAC being given access to Morehouse College free of charge did not benefit those of us who attended, nor did it benefit the vendors at all, because ASCAC still charged the attendees and the vendors the usual fee, according to the many vendors I spoke with.
In fact, by holding this conference during the Spring Break, there were many losers, including the vendors. The vendors lost because of the small turnout and few if any was able to recoup the fee that ASCAC charged them, let alone the total cost of their being there.
What I find most disheartening about conferences of this type in general and ASCAC in particular is that we are not doing anything to elevate Black African Americans. For instance, there was a lot of fanfare and praise about what the Black African Americans did in protest of Donald Trump’s rally in Chicago.
However, what has protesting against Donald Trump doing to stop the so-called “Black-on Black” violence in Chi-Raq? For that matter, what has ASCAC done to quell the genocidal violence that is decimating our race throughout America?
Furthermore, Morehouse College is located in the heart of one of Atlanta’s Black African American neighborhoods, which as you might imagine, is a blighted area. For the time being that is, because gentrification has already begun just a few blocks away and rapidly encroaching upon the entire area.
ASCAC’s “Purpose” can be found on its website, which is as follows: “provides a body of knowledge that continuously contributes to the rescue, reconstruction, and restoration of African history and culture. Our purpose is to promote the study of African civilizations for the development of an African world view. Our aim is to build African centered study groups and strengthen existing institutions. Our goal is to provide excellence in all dimensions of our association. Our strategy is to use our accumulated knowledge for the liberation of African people wherever they may be. Our commitment is to the truth. Our achievements and accomplishments will provide the resources necessary for ASCAC to grow and be recognized as a world class African organization.”
Where in this purpose does it say anything about the elevation/resurrection of Black African Americans morally, socially, economically, educationally or spiritually? What does it matter if we have knowledge of our glorious history, if we cannot feed ourselves?
For many of us, our worldview is limited by the boundaries of our impoverished neighborhoods and our immediate concerns are how will we be able to pay our bills when we are either underemployed, or unemployed?
The only institutions that seem to be strengthened by organizations like ASCAC, are the institutions designed to maintain Black African American poverty, illiteracy and self-sufficiency.
What are the “achievements and accomplishments” of ASCAC that have contributed to the growth of Black Africans throughout the Diaspora, particular those of us in America?
What ASCAC as well as most Black African American organizations fail to realize is that Black Africans throughout the Diaspora is looking at us for guidance. This is proven by how quickly Black Africans throughout the Diaspora will imitate Black African Americans.
For instance, during my research, I watched a segment of “Doctors Without Borders” and there was a sister in an African country who have been suffering with cataracts in both eyes that had blinded her for more than ten years. However, although she was unable to see, she had red braided extensions on her head.
What are organizations like ASCAC doing to restore racial pride in Black Africans throughout the Diaspora?
Organizations such as ASCAC are doing an admirable job encouraging “Sankofa” which translates into “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” I for one am an avid student of our ancient as well as current history.
Because of this, I write my books as well as this blog. As Baba Booker T. Washington said in his “Atlanta Exposition Speech,” “Cast Down Your Buckets Where You Are.” If we want to bring about a change in our lives, we must become the change that we want to see happen.
“Black Lives Matter” will only matter when Black African American lives matter to us. Not until we stop raping, robbing and murdering one another, only then will we be able to stop others from doing these things to us.