Saturday, February 20, 2010

Afrakans in the United States of America History Month... A Cyber Libation 2

This is our second cyber libation honoring those who have made transition during the past decade. We felt it appropriate to give honorable mention to these beloved ancestors who have lived a life dedicated to the realization of Afrakalture. We give praise to Carter G. Woodson for deeming it necessary to have a time period set aside to do such.

Asa Hilliard made transition August 12, 2007. He was a professor with a comprehensive understanding of Afrakan Centered educational psychology. Dr. Hilliard was a founding member of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations and served as vice president. He served as an expert witness in court testimony on several federal cases regarding test validity and bias, and was the co-developer of an educational television series, Free Your Mind, Return to the Source: African Origins.

In the forward to his book SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind, Wade Nobles had this to say. “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.”

April 6, 2007 we had the pleasure of the company of Dr. Hilliard. We did again in June. His personality was warm and affable with an engaging and humorus personality. It was our honor to be able share in the wisdom of this esteemed Afrakan.

Baba Kwame Ishangi was one who communed with the ancestors. He reunited with them in the Gambia, West Afraka on October 22,2003. I remember the first time I saw him. I remember the first words I heard him speak. It was at a West Philadelphia YMCA decades ago. My aunt deferred her time to speak so that Baba could.

He stood majestically in full Afrakan regalia. He had presence, a strength that permeated each person in attendance. He asked the audience, "Do you know what this is? He was holding high above his head a sacred drum. Baba told us what culture meant that night. He concluded by saying "We are the oldest people on earth, it's time we act our age." Baba Ishangi like my uncle before him taught me something about the righteous indignation of being Afrakan and of being an Afrakan man. Reclaim your ancestral heritage. Use the wisdom of the past to ensure a better future were the words Baba Ishangi lived by.

For a comprehensive history of Baba Kwame Ishangi visit the following site.

Ishakumusa Barashango departed from us to another sphere on January 14 , 2004 in Philadelphia. He apparently succumbed to a heart attack during his morning walk. Barashango, who was elevated to a grand master scholar in 2000 while in Kemet and co-founder and creative director of the Fourth Dynasty Publishing Company in Silver Spring, Maryland, would have been 66 in April.

"I've known Dr. Barashango for more than a quarter of a century," said Dr. Jack Felder. "In fact, we talked for about two hours, two days before he made his transition. One thing he always stressed and that most impressed me was that we can never free our minds as long as we view God as a white man or as long as we keep worshiping white people's Holy-days (Holidays). He was a pillar of our community."

Dr. Barashango, affectionately known as Baba, received his bachelor of arts degree in religion from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. He studied for his master's degree at Northeastern Seminary in Takoma Park, Maryland. The New Afrikan University Network System of Washington, D.C. saluted him with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy Degree in 1979. Always a popular lecturer, Baba leaves behind a vast collection of taped speeches on such topics as "Ten Points on the Afrakan Centered Realities of Religious Thoughts and Practice," "The Role of Religion in Afrakan Historical Development," and "The Afrakan Origins of the Bible." "He was also a prolific author," said Minister Clemson Brown, who spoke at Dr. Barashango's funeral in Philadelphia on Saturday, Jan. 17. "I've known for some 20 years and he was completely dedicated to the physical, mental and spiritual liberation of our people. He dedicated his life to these causes."

Taken from an article written by RBG StreetScholar

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Afrakans in the United States of America History Month... A Cyber Libation

The name needed to be changed (this title maybe longer than most are use to however it is accurate) but Carter G. Woodson's vision need never come into question. There have been so many who made transition to the realm of the ancestors this past decade, I thought it most appropriate to give honorable mention to them, a cyber libation if you will.

Imari Abubakari Obadele, made transition Jan. 18, 2010. He was the president and founding member of the Republic of New Afraka and one of the head organizers for National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA). He was a college professor with a Ph.D. in political science and a writer who has published several books.

Imari Abubakari Obadele was quite simply a visionary. His contention to carve out an independent Afrakan republic by removing the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina from

the union was revolutionary. He and the Republic of New Afraka saw themselves fighting a war of national liberation. They had a government, a constitution and a uniformed militia, all that was missing was the land. He demanded American land as payback for the centuries of abuse Afrakans had suffered. He also demanded billions of dollars in reparations.

Imari Abubakari Obadele did not desire integration into white society. He argued that Afrakans should not have automatically been considered American citizens after their so called emancipation. His reason was simple, they were offered no choice in the matter. He posited a two very necessary queries. One what If they had chosen not to become the inferior members of a white society (the only possibility for them) or two chose to create their own country. In either case they would have to take land from the existing United States. His arguments are still helping Afrakans in America to redefine the concepts of nationality and citizenship.

Imari Abubakari Obadele was once asked about violence in the revolutionary underground, his response “We cannot tell somebody who is underground what to do,” he said. “If people feel that they must attack people who have been attacking and destroying and harming our people, then that is a decision they have to make.” Imari Abubakari Obadele's tireless efforts demonstrated an undying commitment to Afrakan empowerment.

Brother Calvin Robinson made his transition on October 24, 2009. He was a founding member of the Pan Afrakan Federation Organization and a life long member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and Afrakan Communities League. He along with his brother Dr. Ed Robinson and Redman Battle co authored what Dr. Molefi Asante (father of Afrocentricity) called "a foundational book." The Journey of the Songhai People is the kind of work that gives cultural, historic and political context in a palatable reader friendly format. Bro Calvin was also a Philadelphia radio personality with his long running show The Elders Speak.

Calvin Robinson humble beginnings did not detour his ambitions. He was devoted and successful husband, father and grandfather. His 36 years of employment were with the Afrakan owned Provident Home Life Insurance Company, he has been a member of the Afrakan Methodist Episcopal church since birth, and held the office of president of the Pan Afrakan Federation Organization. Calvin Robinson a stalwart example of an Afrakan in America working and living in the best interest of Afrakan people.

Ivan Van Sertima made a peaceful transition on May 25, 2009. It was decided to use this well written article by someone who was not only a peer but knew Bro. Van Sertima personally.The following biography was written by the esteemed Runoko Rashidi.“We have come to reclaim the house of history. We are dedicated to the revision of the role of the African in the world's great civilizations, the contribution of Africa to the achievement of man in the arts and sciences. We shall emphasize what Africa has given to the world, not what it has lost." --Ivan Van Sertima With absolute certainty it can stated that, due to his consistent and unrelenting scholarship over the past twenty-five years in the rewriting of African history and the reconstruction of the African's place in world history, particularly in the field of the African presence in ancient America, Ivan Van Sertima has cemented his position as one of our greatest living scholars. Indeed, during this turbulent and exciting period, he has been in the vanguard of those scholars fighting to place African history in a new light. Simply put, Van Sertima's clarion call has been: "We shall follow the trail of the African in Europe, in Asia, and in every corner of the New World, seeking to set the record straight. This is no romantic exploration of antiquities. It is a search for roots.

Ivan Van Sertima was born in Kitty Village, Guyana, South America on January 26, 1935. He was educated at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University where he graduated with honors. From 1957 to 1959, he served as a Press and Broadcasting Officer in the Guyana Information Services. During the decade of the 1960s, he broadcasted weekly from Britain to both Africa and the Caribbean. He came to the United States in 1970, where he completed his post graduate studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Dr. Van Sertima began his teaching career as an instructor at Rutgers in 1972, and he is now Professor of African studies in the Department of Africana Studies.Van Sertima is a literary critic, a linguist, and an anthropologist, and has made a name for himself in all three fields. As a linguist, he is the compiler of the Swahili Dictionary of Legal Terms, based on his field word in Tanzania, East Africa in 1967. As a literary critic, he is the author of Caribbean Writers, a collection of critical essays on the Caribbean novel. He is also the author of several major literary reviews published in Denmark, India, Britain, and the United States. He was recognized for his work in this field by being requested by the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy to nominate candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature from 1976 to 1980.The cornerstone of Dr. Van Sertima's legacy will probably be his authorship of They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America. According to Van Sertima:"The African presence in America before Columbus is of importance not only to African and American history, but to the history of world civilizations. The African presence is proven by stone heads, terra cottas, skeletons, artifacts, techniques and inscriptions, by oral traditions and documented history, by botanical, linguistic and cultural data."For more please visit the following link

Redman Battle, President General of the U.N.I.A.- A.C.L. died on the 30th day of December 2007. The following was taken from his eulogy.

Redman Battle was born in Sharpburg, North Carolina, February 25, 1920, the youngest of seven children born to James and Anne Battle. He was educated in Detroit, Michigan and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania public schools. Mr. Battle was also a strict vegetarian and herbalist who advised many on natural remedies and encouraged us to eat natural to maintain our health.

He worked tirelessly for the betterment of his people in several endeavors. Most notably Mr. Battle co-founded the Pan African Federation Organization (PAFO). He helped to develop and taught Black History classes. He co-wrote The Journey of the Songhai People which is used in classrooms today. He also developed the concept of the Profiles of African and African American History, which is a two-act play.

Mr. Battle joined the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) in 1982. On the local level he has served as President of Philadelphia’s Thomas W. Harvey Memorial Division 121. He was elected to the Parent Body as High Chancellor in 1992, and then as 2nd Assistant President General in 2000. He was elected President-General and Administrator in 2004 and served with distinction until his passing on December 30th.Mr. Battle served only 31⁄2 years as our leader, but his complete devotion to the UNIA -ACL was evident. He traveled extensively as our President-General, visiting Belize and Ghana. He also traveled to speaking engagements in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Durham, North Carolina. And he visited a Black-owned farm in Alabama, which was a model for Marcus Garvey’s program of African empowerment. And when he couldn’t travel he sent his Parent Body officers to visit our various divisions here in the USA and all over the world. He also sent his officers to Belize to secure the many acres of land generously willed to the UNIA’s African Redemption Fund by Sir Isaiah Morter.Mr. Battle will be sorely missed, he was great leader. He was wise and his counsel was sought by all of us at the UNIA-ACL.

For further reading go to

More Cyber Libation to come in the following weeks