“We think that debt has to be seen from the standpoint of its origins. Debt’s origins come from colonialism’s origins. Those who lend us money are those who had colonized us before. They are those who used to manage our states and economies.
Colonizers are those who indebted Africa through their brothers and cousins who were the lenders. We had no connections with this debt. Therefore we cannot pay for it. Debt is neo-colonialism, in which colonizers transformed themselves into “technical assistants”. We should better say “technical assassins”.
They present us with financing, with financial backers. As if someone’s back could create development. We have been advised to go to these lenders. We have been proposed with nice financial set-ups. We have been indebted for fifty, sixty years and even more. That means we have been led to compromise our people for fifty years and more.
Under its current form, that is imperialism controlled, debt is a cleverly managed reconquest of Africa, aiming at subjugating its growth and development through foreign rules. Thus, each one of us becomes the financial slave, which is to say a true slave, of those who had been treacherous enough to put money in our countries with obligations for us to repay. We are told to repay, but it is not a moral issue. It is not about this so-called honour of repaying or not.
Mister President, we have been listening and applauding Norway’s prime minister when she spoke right here. She is European but she said that the whole debt cannot be repaid. Debt cannot be repaid, first because if we don’t repay, lenders will not die. That is fore sure. But if we repay, we are going to die.
That is also for sure.
Those who led us to indebting had gambled as if in a casino. As long as they had gains, there was no debate. But now that they suffer losses, they demand repayment. And we talk about crisis. No, Mr President, they played, they lost, that’s the rule of the game, and life goes on. We cannot repay because we don’t have any means to do so. We cannot pay because we are not responsible for this debt. We cannot repay but the others owe us what the greatest wealth could never repay, that is blood debt. Our blood had flowed.
We hear about the Marshall plan that rebuilt Europe’s economy. But we never hear about the African plan which allowed Europe to face Hitlerian hoardes when their economies and their stability were at stake.
Who saved Europe? Africa. One rarely mentions it, to such a point that we cannot be the accomplices of that thankless silence. If others cannot sing our praises, at least we must say that our fathers had been courageous and that our troops had saved Europe and set the world free from Nazism.
Debt is also the result of confrontation.
When we are told about economic crisis, nobody says that this crisis didn’t come about suddenly. The crisis had always been there but it got worse each time that popular masses become more and more conscious of their rights against exploiters.
We are in a crisis today because masses refuse wealth to be concentrated into a few individual’s hands.
We are in crisis because some people are saving huge sums of money on foreign bank accounts that would be enough to develop Africa. We are in a crisis because we are facing this private wealth that we cannot name.
Popular masses don’t want to live in ghettos and slums. We are in a crisis because everywhere people refuse to repeat the problems of Soweto and Johannesburg.
There is a struggle, and its amplification worry those with the financial power. Now we are asked to be accomplices for a balancing. A balance favouring those with the financial power. A balancing against popular masses.
No! We cannot be accomplices. No! We cannot go with those who suck our people’s blood and live on our people’s sweat. We cannot go with them in their murdering methods.
Mr President, we hear about clubs –club of Rome, club of Paris, club everywhere. We hear about Group of Five, Group of Seven, Group of Ten, and maybe Group of A Hundred. And what else? It is normal that we too have our own club and our own group. Let’s Addis Adeba becoming from now the center from which will come a new breath. A club of Addis Adeba.
It is our duty to create an Addis Adeba’s unified front against debt. That is the only way to assert that refusing to repay is not an aggressive move on our part, but a fraternal move to speak the truth.
Furthermore, popular masses of Europe are not opposed to popular masses of Africa. Those who want to exploit Africa are those who exploit Europe, too. We have a common enemy. So our club of Addis Adeba will have to explain to each and all that debt shall not be repaid. And by saying that, we are not against morals, dignity and keeping one’s word. We think we don’t have the same morality as others…
Herman Bell has been to the New York state parole board six times and has been denied each time. His next parole board appearance will be in early February 2016. Each time, the board – always made of up former law enforcement personnel and former prosecutors — reviews his very impressive record, the Bachelor’s and Master’s college degrees he has attained since being locked up, his job offers, his numerous letters of support from family, friends, and community members from many walks of life. They have before them evidence of all the ways Herman has helped so many people throughout the course of his confinement and is still leading a positive and progressive life despite being locked up now over four decades. And then they deny him parole based on their opinion that to release him would “deprecate” the serious nature of his charge of conviction. Is this rationale not, in effect, an illegal re-sentencing to life-without-the-possibility-of parole? When one goes to trial, there is a prosecutor, one’s defense attorney, a judge, and a jury. When one goes to the parole board, there is only the prosecution.
Here’s how you can help:
Herman has taken responsibility for his part in the Black Liberation Movement’s resistance to racist authority. He has paid a great price –42 years of imprisonment, thus far. He is going to the New York state parole board for the seventh time in February 2016 and deserves to be paroled, to come home to his family and community. 1 – Please write your letter to the parole board on professional letterhead. 2 – Please indicate how you know Herman, or if you don’t know him personally, how you know of him. Your letter should be addressed to: “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Parole Commissioner”. The subject line should be “Herman Bell, 79C-0262.” 3 – Please sign your letter and mail to Herman’s attorney: Robert J. Boyle, 277 Broadway, Suite 1501, New York, NY 10007.
Herman very much appreciates your efforts and your support.
in conclusion, the governmental policies and CONstitutional laws and legislation are merely tools to pacify New Afrikans and lull us into a state of illusionary contentment. The 15th amendment grants the vote via the imposed citizenship of the 14th amendment. Yet, all attempts to organize a plebiscite by New Afrikans to participate in an informed vote of self-determination, has been met with conspiracy, armed resistance and violence on behalf of the u.s. government and its various factions of its infrastructure. These amendments are mere pacifiers and like all pacifiers, they build gas and no nourishment will ever come from them. Therefore, the cons are amerikkka’s persistence to cremate the New Afrikan place of genius, persistence and resistance in history. The pros are the afterlife of New Afrikans who continue to rise like the phoenix from the ashes, unwilling to die the death of historical cremation which amerikkka has prepared for us. From the rebellion on the first slave ships, to the present day efforts of New Afrikans to BE a force in the struggle for independence; We will not merely shut up and disappear; We can not be bought off; We will not fear. If the “price of freedom is death,” in the words of Malcolm X, then We will pay it with commitment and devotion through New Afrikan Nation building: a viable alternative to racism, cultural imperialism and white supremacy in amerikkka. The New Afrikan Independence movement in its present day form: Provisional Government Republic of New Afrika. PGRNA
Country report Supplement 3/10/28 ADM Country: Republic of New Afrika (RNA) Population: (based on the population of the five states in the Black Belt South, outlined as the national territory of RNA): 6,194,077.45 total Black population 21,391,663 total population Louisiana – 4,287,195 total population 1,320,456.06 (30.8%) Black population Mississippi -2,614,294 total population 930,688.664 (35.6%) Black population Alabama – 4,135,543 total population 1,046,292.379 (25.3%) Black population Georgia – 6,751,404 total population 1,822,879.08 (27%) Black population S. Carolina -3,603,277 total population 1,073,761.646 Black population Land Size (based on the land size of the five states in the Black Belt South, outlined as the national territory of the RNA): 229,260 total square miles Louisiana – 43,566 sq. mi. Alabama – 50,750 sq. mi. Mississippi – 46,914 sq. mi.
Rev. Khandi Konte-Bey
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▼ 2010 (9) ▼ May (9) POLYGAMY: DISCUSSIONS,INTERVIEW AND COMMENTARIES e… t: Summary of PAN-AFRIKANISMSummary of Kwame Toure… AFRIKAN GENESIS: A CULTURAL ASILIbyRev. Khandi Kon… AFRIKAN FOLKLORE: the ASILI of BLACKNESSby Rev. Kh… Malcolm X Gallerysketch by mama khandiMalcolm X (1… Survival of the New Afrikan Independence Movementb… MUMIA ABU JAMAL BOOK SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS The Mental Maladjustment of the Afrikan Personalit… THE DEMYSTIFICATION OF THE PSYCHOPATHIC RACIAL BEH…
ACTIVIST ACHIEVEMENTS: Black Panther Party member from age 13; Garveyite at age 13; MOVE (Family Afrika Supporter); Community activist; co-founder of DEC (Determination & Empowerment Collective created to address the rights of food stamp recipients in the Montgomery Country area of Ohio); Pan Afrikanist Congress of Azania member; All Afrikan People’s Revolutionary Party member; conscious citizen of the Provisional Government Republic of New Afrika; Wachitaw citizen; delivered all my own children at home; immunized my own children; educated my own children; delivered hundreds of babies for sistas at home… certified herbalist and homeopath… mother of 14 children: 6 from my womb and 8 adopted… foster parent and mentor to hundreds of children… helped build four independent Afrikan schools; Save Our Land Community Patrol – organization developed to protect the community from police brutality; Garveyite; ideology: Afrikan centered cultural matrix and Pan-Afrikan Internationalist.
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by Rev. Khandi Konte-BeyRev. Khandi Paasewe
©Copyright Nov’ 27ADM ®Registered Washitaw/PGRNA
Outline Thesis: Discussion of New Afrikan Independence Movement Survival to
spite united states governmental policy & CONstitutional Impacts
I. Key terms
A. New Afrikan
D. informed choice
E. viable options
II. Author’s note
A. Definition of New Afrikan
B. declaration of war against Afrikans
C. brief analysis of colonial europeans founding fathers
D. Three Viable options plus one
E. Afrikan nation builders
All spellings of amerikkka, overstand vs. understand, “i” lower case, We in
capital, u.s.a., european, white, in lowercase, Black in upper case and the like
are purely intentional, as symbolic of the efforts of this author to purge from
the psychopathology which is in opposition to the Afrikan centered ethos of
which this author subscribes.
Survival of the New Afrikan Independence Movement
Thesis: Discussion of New Afrikan Independence Movement Survival to Spite
united states governmental policy & CONstitutional Impacts New Afrikans are
defined as a people linked by common experience, being captured by invaders of
the new world, sold into slavery, suffering dehumanizing treatment and were
denied basic human rights. Being denied our history, cultures, tradition and
languages, the common thread that binds community and family were broken. So
We could not build alliances on the basis of being identified as Ashanti or Hausa,
Zulu, Yoruba or Mandinka. Thus, We find a New Afrikan, with new common
bonds: Independence. New Afrikans set into full motion the revolutionary actions
necessary to fight amerikkkans for our own independence. The New Afrikan
Independence Movement grew out of a desperate need to respond to governmental
policy and CONstitutional laws of the united states.
The written declaration of war against the New Afrikan Independence Movement
in the form of Article one, paragraph one, section 9 (titled the legislative
articles/powers denied to congress), states, “…the migration of importation of
such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit,
shall not be prohibited by the congress prior to the year one thousand eight
hundred and eight…” (Burns; 1989:22C) What this means in plain english is, the
united states declares war on Afrikans in Afrika as well as New Afrikans. It
also meant the slave trade would continue another 20 years and “…the full
powers of the united states government would be used to protect all amerikkkans
engaging in the trade.” (Obadele; 1989:17) The united states, by law, supported
war in Afrika against Afrikans.
In brief analysis of some of the european colonial founding father’s writings,
We find some very interesting text, relating to New Afrikans. In the
CONstitution for example, article 4, section 2, paragraph 3, interstate
relations (in the portion some textbooks refer to as privileges & immunities),
it states, “…no person held to service or labour in one state, under the laws
thereof, escaping into another shall in consequence of any law or regulation
therein, be discharged from such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on
claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due.” (Burns; 1989:
22d) This article was certainly never for the benefit of New Afrikans. For
amerikkkans, article 4, section 2, paragraph 3 calls for no celebration of New
Afrikans who dared to seize independence by fighting for our freedom. For New
Afrikans, article 4, section 2, paragraph 3 represents a clear, unquestionable
declaration of war which still stands today. The authors of various text books
would have us think that the 13th amendment repeals this article. Such is not
the case. Article 4, section 2, paragraph 3 is clearly defined in Imari
Obadele’s book titled, The New International Law Regime and united states
Foreign Policy, where he states, “…article 4, section 2, paragraph 3 …
pledged the full force of the united states’ state structure — president,
governors, courts, militia, army, navy, sheriffs — to prevent the quest of
freedom of the brave New Afrikans and to return those to slavery who succeeded
in winning their strikes for freedom.” (Obadele; 1991:323) Clearly, the white
founding fathers (policy makers) and their documents, they co-authored, were
designed to have damaging affects on the New Afrikan Independence Movement.
Further, more obstacles to the New Afrikan Independence Movement include the
13th, 14th, & 15th amendments. Amendment 13 made a change in the law. New
Afrikans held as slaves were no longer slave or property. Slavery was dead but
the 13th amendment was merely declamatory of the fact that New Afrikans died
with honors in the civil war for the rights of freedom.
As for the 14th amendment, where it grants citizenship, it must be noted that,
that which is granted can be rescinded. In fact, it is, at best an offer, not a
grant. It is an option which We have and have never given up our rights to. The
CONstitution assumes a conqueror’s superiority when addressing New Afrikans in
legislation under the facade of offers and grants. Such is the case with the
united states and Turtle Islander (native amer. indian) nations like the
Cherokee, Creek, and Tuscarora in which the supreme kkkourt stated these
nations and others were not completely independent but “domestic and dependent
nations.” (Obadele; 1991:323) Thus, these amendments (even if well intended,
which is questionable) are in violation of New Afrikans’ rights. Freedom,
citizenship, the vote, which the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments attempt to
address, are rights, not grants or offers or acts of legislation; rights of choice of
New Afrikans; rights demonstrated by plebiscite which has yet to occur. New
Afrikans have the right to informed choice to follow the Strategies of Struggle.
Until We vote to either:
1. build an Independent Nation State,
2. Choose united states citizenship,
3. go back to Afrika,
4. go to some other country of our choosing (not Afrika or u.s.a.); live with
independent Turtle Islander nations,
any legislation constitutes an imposition of our right to self determination.
New Afrikans must consciously and freely choose. The key element here is the
right of free informed choice. It can not be emphasized enough that New Afrikans
had and still have four logical choices of political futures. Choices other than
united states citizenship find New Afrikans far less informed, since the other
options still remain less palatable to white amerikkkans.
Another example of the CONstitution assuming a conqueror’s superiority stance is
eloquently stated in Dr. Imari Obadele’s book, Foundations of a Black Nation,
“When the u.s. bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark… the u.s. never asked
the Black Virgin Islanders… to express their views on future status. u.s.
congress simply passed a law and made all Virgin Islanders u.s. citizens.”
(1975:22) This is yet another clear example of the denial of our rights to
self-determination. For those who celebrate Kwanzaa, the New Afrikan holiday
created by Dr. Ron Karenga, you will relate to the principle of Kujichagulia
(Self Determination). Defined, self determination means, man know thyself,
determine for yourself who you are, and accept no one else’s definition of you.
Kujichagulia is one of the laws of the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles) which
govern conscious New Afrikans’ lives and the holiday of Kwanzaa.
The New Afrikan Independence Movement is not a new concept. Available to New
Afrikans were what i refer to as the Three Viable Options, plus One. These
1. return to Afrika,
2. integrate into united states society,
3. build an independent Nation State or
plus one: escaped to Turtle Islander Nations.
History records a few instances where enslaved/captured Afrikans chose the
option of returning to Afrika. Such instances of resistance to enslavement
include the overtaking of the slave ship Little George in 1730, the overtaking
of the slave ship the William in 1732 and the slave ship Creole in 1841. The
Creole did not return to Afrikan but rather to the Bahamas to establish
themselves as free, independent and sovereign Afrikans. In 1820, 88 New Afrikans
arrived on the west coast in the state of Liberia. Their return to Afrika,
contributed to the building of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Hundreds of thousands
of New Afrikans believed this to be the only way to uplift a degraded people.
Among those who returned was David Coker, religious leader and schoolmaster of
Baltimore. Others who returned to Afrika include John Russwurm, college grad,
co-founder of the first New Afrikan newspaper; Alexander Crummell, minister and
scholar; Lott Carey, clergy, doctor, agriculturist; Ed W. Blyden, scholar; Henry
Garnet; and Dr. Martin Delaney who was a physician.
The next option of integration was chosen by such Afrikans as Osborne Perry
Anderson, who was a comrade of John Brown who led a force of white amerikkkans and New Afrikans on a successful attack on Harper’s Ferry (the
united states arsenal) in Virginia in 1859. Anderson’s hope was that their collective
would become a state of the united states. Instead, John Brown and others were
hung, Perry Anderson escaped and became a fugitive thereafter. Other
integrationists include Richard Allen, Frederick Douglas (who knew of John
Brown’s plan to attack Harper’s Ferry and was forced to flee to europe for fear of
united states prosecution of co-conspiracy), Harriet Tubman, David Walker,
Henry Highland Garnet, Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth.
The united states declared its independence in 1776. Its CONstitution went into
effect in 1789. In 1800, on October 7th, a mere dozen years after the
CONstitution was approved, General Gabriel Prosser and his secret army of over
1000 freedom fighters, armed with weapons and a careful, meticulous plan
marched towards Richmond, Virginia. Fierce thunderstorms washed out roads
and bridges, causing the revolt to be aborted. General Prosser and 22 others were
hung when their plans were discovered. General Prosser’s objective was not
merely to abolish slavery but also to establish an independent nation state. His
intentions are stated in his choice of target, the state capital. This objective
makes clear that his was a movement and not an individual or small group attack,
nor a blow in anger to kill evil slavemasters. Herein, Prophet Nat Turner
deserves honorable mention for his revolt which killed 60 whites. Abolishment of
slavery was his mission and less focused was he on New Afrikan Nation building.
As it relates to the Three Viable Options (or the Strategies of Struggle),
General Prosser was in the good company of fellow nation builders like General
Gracia. General Gracia established Gracia Real De Santa Teresa De Mose in
1739 to 1763. Then united states general andrew jackson uprooted and forced
General Gracia southward; exercising the plus one option, General Gracia
established the New Afrikan-Turtle Islander Seminole state in 1836-1842 in
Spanish Florida. General Gracia was later captured and murdered. Also,
following in the footsteps of General Gabriel Prosser was General Denmark
Vesey, in 1822, whose army numbered over 9,000. His elaborate plan centered on
total secrecy and taking Charleston. Due to special preparations by amerikkkans,
the attack was postponed. Rumors of revolt led to the arrests of Denmark, Peter
Poyas and 4 others. They died silently. The army of over 9,000 was never
discovered by the white amerikkkans.
New Afrikan freedom fighters all over the new world fought and built independent
nation states from Zumbi of Palmares Republic in Brazil; to General Kojo,
Accompong, Kofi, Johnny and Nana Acheampong (a female) in Jamaica; to
Toussaint L’Overture in Haiti. Other nation builders include Marin Delaney who
published various Black Nationalist newsletters; Rev. Tunis Campell, who built a
New Afrikan government on several islands including St. Catherine and Sapelo off
the coast of Georgia with a 275 man defense force (u.s. army forced him to give up
the islands); Henry Adams who appealed fruitlessly for land for his nation state
in Louisiana; and finally, Edward McCabe who sought to make Oklahoma his
national territory. Generals Prosser, Gracia, Vesey, Kojo and Rev. Campbell with
all the above mentioned nation builders along with those whose names escape the
history books, are prime examples of the support for and the practice of the
viable option (strategic goal) of independent nation-statehood.
The Plus One option, was not considered viable. Escape of New Afrikans to Turtle
Islander states was considered temporary. Though, temporary, many New
Afrikans resorted to finding safehaven in these communities. “The strategic goal
of escaping to the Indians and joining them was pursued by New Afrikans
individually and in groups, but arguably, this goal never became a national
strategic goal. It tended to be an expedient.” (Obadele; 1991:329) Textbooks in
amerikkka would have us think that New Afrikans escaping to Turtle Islander
nations was not necessary and that freedom fighters like Gabriel, Denmark, Tunis
and others, mentioned and not mentioned, were not worthy of note. When these
New Afrikan heroes and sheroes are briefly commented upon, it is mostly in a
unsuccessful or criminal context. But who are the real criminals? Are We to
believe that washington, adams, hamilton, madison and jefferson along with such
notables as roger sherman, robert livingston and ben franklin were lovers of
freedom? Was their love of freedom merely a part of a feel good curriculum? Who
were they really? Let’s look at a few of these men from our Afrikan centered
The first draft of the declaration of independence of 1775 reveals a compromise
on the part of jefferson resulting in the omission of the indictment against
slavery. “thomas jefferson never had a white woman by his side after his white
wife died in 1782 and for the next twenty years as he was ambassador to france,
secretary of state, and president of the united states, jefferson only had a
Black woman by his side” named “Sally Hemmings,” as stated in the most
capable words of Dr. Leonard Jefferies, (speech published in the Saturday, August 31,
27ADM  issue of the New York Amsterdam News Paper:32). None of the slaves of
jefferson were ever freed by him nor were the children of Sally Hemmings nor
It needs to be overstood that any New Afrikan who opposed the lovers of freedom
were taking a very principled stand. Benjamin Banneker for example, challenged
thomas jefferson’s beliefs of Afrikan inferiority. Banneker accomplished what
franklin could only take credit for. Banneker and franklin lived during the same
time period and were acquaintances. Both were scientists and creators of
almanacs. However, Banneker’s almanac was so accurate that it is still the basis
of almanacs of today, where franklin’s is not. Banneker was an inventor and
engineer. When Banneker City (washington dc) was in jeopardy of not being built
because the frenchman who had the plans left taking them with him, Banneker,
from memory, drafted the plans. Therefore, Benjamin Banneker represents more
than ben franklin (at least in the hears and minds of conscious New Afrikans).
The real criminals? Throughout history franklin has taken credit for the works
of Banneker. But isn’t that typical behavior of white amerikkka? Lewis Latimer’s
work was taken credit for, by thomas edison. Granville Wood’s work was taken
credit for by alexander graham bell. Woods was a New Afrikan who is quoted in
Dr. Jeffries’s speech, taking the principled stand of “i’m not going to be
bought off by a white man.” (Jeffries; 1991:32) Woods and his brother
established the Woods Electric Co. in Ohio. It also should be noted in the face
of text book omissions, that Woods took edison to kkkourt twice for stealing
his patents and Woods won the case. So, We have franklin and jefferson, for
example, with other white criminals who were claiming freedom for themselves,
while simultaneously trying to protect and preserve the system of slavery,
cultural imperialism and oppression of Afrikans globally.
The New Afrikan Independence Movement today is still being met with violent
opposition just as in the days of Tunis, Gabriel, Denmark and others. Those
seeking the option of building our own New Afrikan independent nation state,
like our New Afrikan ancestors, still sit, today, in u.s. jails, dead,
discredited, in exile or in the underground network. The fact is, neither the
state of Mississippi CONstitution, for example, nor the u.s. federal government
CONstitution provides any methods whereby New Afrikans may exercise our right
to build an independent nation, separating ourselves peacefully from the u.s.
Congressman Fauntleroy and Conyers have forwarded legal documents on behalf
of those seeking the option of an independent nation, placing proposals in the
hands of richard nixon. With the exception of violent attacks against New
Afrikans doing nation building work around the country, the u.s. chooses to
ignore any such proposals.
So, in conclusion, the
— By The African American Research Group, First published 2003 and reprinted, reflecting upon the recent article by Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic
Not many are certain exactly when, where or how the initial demand for reparations for African American descendants of slaves first surfaced; but we are fairly certain, that when one of its famous early advocates, Congressmen, Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania, proposed giving abandoned rebel lands to the newly emancipated slaves in 1865, he never imagined that some 135 years later, a very similar cry for reparations for African Americans would be growing in America.
By way of background, it is understood that in January 1865, General William Tecumseh Sherman, in gratitude to the newly freed slaves who assisted and marched across Georgia with his Army, held a meeting with some twenty odd ministers and leaders of Savannah’s black community to discuss the needs of the newly freed slaves. A few days after the meeting, General Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15. This Field Order granted each former slave family forty acres of seized rebel land outside Charleston. Sherman later directed the Army to assist the freedmen by loaning them mules. Some writers speculate that this may be the origin of the phrase “forty acres and a mule”. This is especially so since no written Army directive nor Congressional enactment mentioned the provision of “a mule”, along with land.
The land was subsequently divided by the military authorities into 40-acre plots and titles were issued to many freedmen. It has been written that by June 1965, some 40,000 freedmen had been allocated some 400,000 acres of land. General O.O. Howard (after whom Washington’s Howard University is named) and General Rufus Saxton later expanded this program to other conquered areas until Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, commanded Howard to rescind the order. Most of the land was eventually returned to its previous Confederate owners.
By the same token, near the very end of the Civil War in March 1865, Congress created the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen’s Bureau). The Freedmen’s Bureau was responsible for, among other things, “the supervision and management of all abandoned lands. . . the control of all subjects relating to refugees and Freedmen from rebel States.” Section 4 of the First Freedmen’s Bureau Act also provided that the Freedmen’s Bureau “shall have authority to set apart for use of loyal refugees and freedmen such tracts of land within the insurrectionary states as shall have been abandoned or to which the United States shall have acquired title by confiscation or sale, or otherwise; and to every male citizen, whether refugee or freedmen, as aforesaid there shall be assigned not more than 40 acres of such land.”
This later quoted language is the specific portion of the proposed Act, which was introduced by Congressmen Stevens; but never accepted by the Congress. By a vote of 126 to 36 this proposed language was rejected by an obviously substantial margin.
Since there has been so much confusion, as well as heated debate in the recent discussions concerning the subject of “reparations”, perhaps it would be helpful at the outset to begin this discussion to reflect on the definition of the word as defined in the following sources: Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and the Black’s Law Dictionary
Borrowing heavily on these definitions in the context of the current national debate, as well as in an effort to formulate our own thoughts and opinions regarding the issue of reparations for African Americans, we have taken the liberty of crafting our own working definition of the word. Accordingly, we believe, consistent with the above, that reparations can also be defined as follows:
Compensation to be paid to African Americans by Federal and State governments for Government sanctioned years of chattel slavery and mistreatment of African Americans.
There are a number of questions that appear to surface from this working definition. So, let us attempt to dissect its words and further explore their meaning.
I. Exactly what is meant by compensation? In many instances, this appears to be the initial thrust of inquiry. Just what is meant by “compensation” people ask? “Compensation” does not necessarily mean payment of cash or equivalents. Nor does it necessarily mean the giving of a Cadillac or “forty acres and a mule”. It could however mean any of those things; but in today’s environment and under today’s realities, it is our opinion that almost any compensation rendered would more appropriately be given to “standing” non-governmental institutions serving African Americans generally, rather than payments to individual African Americans. Moreover, the compensation could be in the form of grants, vouchers, land, preferences, “opportunities” or almost anything that would be considered of value to any nation in the Western World. The mechanics of how the compensation might be paid or rendered are beyond the scope of this report. However, this nation has already gained much experience with attempts to provide compensation to those wronged or “hurt” on a massive scale recall recent payments to Japanese-Americans who had been interned by the united States during World War II . In addition, a number of European nations have obtained even greater experience with reparations in recent years recall payments to Jews who had been interned by Germany during World War II. Thus, we can borrow from that experience as well.
II. Who is to receive the compensation? In this same regard, questions are often raised concerning how the African Americans (who are to receive compensation) will be fairly and accurately identified. Upon preliminary study, this question likewise does not appear to present insurmountable hurdles. With respect to the slavery time period, since, it is almost certain that there are no survivors who experienced “legal” slavery, we are advocating that compensation be paid to the descendants of slaves who implicitly suffered from the legacy of slavery’s deprivations. And, since we are not suggesting specific payments to specific individuals, we can in our view, legitimately approach this question from a group perspective.
Assuming we were even committed to analyzing how best to more fairly and accurately compensate specific African Americans for the wrongs committed upon their specific slave and other ancestors, we ask, how long would it take and what resources would have to be devoted to that effort? It would undoubtedly take more than a few lifetimes; and it is even more doubtful whether enough resources and expertise would be available in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, as noted, one reasonable approach would suggest that we tackle this problem by looking at available data on a massive or group scale. In other words, it would be too burdensome, if not impossible, to “track” specific African American slaves or their descendants on an individual basis, so let’s see if we can track African Americans in general. In addition, it would appear that one would use or apply the “best available” data rule in order to build some parameters for overcoming this hurdle.
In this regard, using a conservative approach, our national Government has conducted an official census of its free and slave inhabitants every ten years since 1790. Until 1870, most of the Censuses documented in detail the numbers of slaves, free persons of color, whites, etc. for each locality in the country throughout the entire period. Since, for example we are not suggesting compensation on an individual basis, it would not appear difficult to gather relevant information on the numbers of slaves held in bondage in each State, county and town throughout the census periods 1790 to 1860. Merely, a brief snapshot of the data would reveal the following for the three census years of 1790, 1820 and 1860.
It would obviously appear to be somewhat of a hurdle to determine how long each slave was held in bondage (assuming that were even necessary); however, fair assumptions, the existing records and other information could if necessary, fill many of the gaps even in that information. In any event, the task of determining how many and who might be entitled to compensation can be overcome. By virtue of 20th Century record keeping practices on both the State and Federal level, numerical population data pertaining to the post slavery mistreatment period should be even more accurate and readily available.
III. Who is to pay the compensation? The question of who will pay the compensation would appear to be a much easier one to resolve. Without much question, it was both the national government and the individual States who permitted, fostered, protected and in many respects, encouraged the institution of slavery and the parallel mistreatment of African Americans since the settling of the nation. Those who are not in denial are well acquainted with the official and well-documented record of the historical roles of the national and state governments in the perpetuation of the institution of slavery, as well as the parallel mistreatment of African Americans. Those who are not familiar should become familiar with some of the salient events in the historical record which are discussed below.
It is well documented that a number of State’s abolished slavery prior to 1865, as well as treated African Americans with varying degrees of humanity throughout our nation’s history; and there should be little difficulty in determining how to credit those States for their respective records.
IV. Why is the compensation to be paid? In summary and at the risk of repeating, the compensation is to be paid because African Americans have been damaged, hurt and/or wronged because: 1) our nation allowed the institution of slavery to exist for centuries; 2) our nation has permitted African Americans to be mistreated since the abolition of slavery to the present and 3) the nation has yet to fully atone or pay for the wrongs it committed.
As indicated above and indeed, throughout this article, compensation is not to be paid solely because someone is an African American or even because slavery and mistreatment were sanctioned by the various Governments; but rather, because of the damage and injury suffered by slaves and their descendants by the institution of slavery and its legacy.
Many people still have the audacity to question the fact of slavery, including its duration, as well as its effect upon those held in bondage. They particularly question slavery’s legacy and its continuing impact upon African Americans. There are many reasons for this but the most significant in our view, applicable to both Caucasians and African Americans, is ignorance. That is, ignorance of the history of this country and its various peoples. When this ignorance is coupled with denial and/or lack of “ownership”, one has a double hurdle to overcome.
For far too many, the television mini series “Roots” was no different than “Star Wars” or “The Godfather”. In short, it was still “make believe” to them. On the other hand, there currently exists an opportunity for the body politic to come to grips with the nation’s past and to fully atone for the wrongs it has indisputably inflicted upon African Americans.
V. For what time period is the compensation to be paid? In the first instance, the initial period would consist of that period of time between the introduction of the institution of African slavery into the various States and its subsequent abolition. The second period would consist of that period of slavery and the present. While there may remain some minor dispute concerning the beginnings of slavery in the United States, the overwhelming evidence indicates that it began around 1620.
Than is when approximately 20 Africans were carried to Jamestown, Virginia on a Dutch ship and sold to a Englishman who initially enslaved the Africans for a specific number of years. Subsequently, well into the nineteenth century, just about every nation on the European continent engaged in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, bringing Africans to the Caribbean and the Americas to work plantations under harsh conditions. Although various states abolished slavery earlier, this system of slavery existed in the United States until it was abolished after a civil war and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution in1865. Nonetheless and at the risk of generating rigorous opposition from both proponents, as well as opponent of reparations, one might recommend utilizing the seemingly late date of July 4, 1776. For us, that date best symbolizes the hypocrisy of this nation – the date this nation globally pronounced that “All men are created equal. . .”; while at the same time, acknowledging and implicitly condoning the institution of slavery, as well as the trans-Atlantic slave trade. While there is still some low decibel debate regarding exactly when slavery ceased or was abolished, since as a practical matter, it was terminated for the vast majority of most African Americans at various times and in various localities after the outbreak of the Civil War, one may recommend the very conservative approach of using April 1865- the date Confederate General, Robert E. Lee, surrendered the South to Union General, Ulysses S. Grant.
Commensurate with the official date of slavery’s termination, the newly freed African Americans were by and large treated as “second class” inferior beings in all manner of public and private life, with minor exceptions. Except for the very short, so labeled Reconstruction period (c. 1863 to 1877), African Americans were at best, used as cheap labor and largely treated as subordinate. In most Southern jurisdictions, most African Americans could not vote or hold office, lived in communities “reserved” exclusively for African Americans, received a small modicum of education in segregated and inferior schools, worked for barely subsistence wages for white persons who had formerly enslaved them and generally existed according to the wishes and dictates of a racist white society. In the North, where African Americans were considered less of a threat to whites and where white society had been historically more educated and tolerant, life for African Americans was considered substantially better by most objective measurements.
With respect to the time period of mistreatment of African Americans, it is a very easy and tempting proposition to identify the beginning date with the date that “official” slavery ended. This is so despite the fact that many would argue that while slavery was officially terminated, as a practical matter, it never really terminated for many; and at best, it merely evolved into mistreatment for most. Nonetheless, taking the conservative approach, one may identify the beginning of the mistreatment period as April 1865-when the War ended. Identifying the termination date of this period of mistreatment is a much more difficult proposition, as many would argued that the mistreatment period continues. This is particularly so they argue in the areas of housing, education, employment, credit, criminal justice, racial profiling, municipal services, voting, etc. Indeed, the list of grievance areas is almost endless. Hence, It would appear very arguable that almost any termination date for alleged mistreatment that is chosen short of the present, would be considered arbitrary. Notwithstanding, a termination date probably should be chosen, if for no other reason, to move the discussion forward. One therefore, may recommend utilizing the beginning of the 21st Century or January 2000 as a convenient termination date
VI. What specifically is meant by Government sanctioned chattel slavery and the mistreatment of African Americans? If one has never experienced or witnessed chattel slavery or mistreatment, it is almost impossible to describe the actual experience. But there are more than a few things we can offer in addition to what has already been said. Firstly, as already noted above, it is indisputable that the Federal Government, as well as many of the States, allowed, encouraged and nurtured chattel slavery within their specific borders for identifiable periods of time. Secondly, the facts of and duration of mistreatment are even more apparent because of advancements in education and technology, which prove and document the mistreatment. No doubt, many of our library bookshelves and media rooms are flooded with items and information that objectively illustrate both periods. Moreover, many of the existing statute books and libraries throughout the country are filled with documentation and other written evidence of the existence of slavery and its aftermath. We challenge anyone to tackle the first hand accounts of former slaves that are found in the now widely available “Slave Narratives”. As noted above, you can even view forms of mistreatment in many T.V. documentaries, movies or video’s even today. And yes, many of these ugly events in the nations history still occur. While the Federal Government’s role in mistreatment has clearly been much less, both in terms of duration and gravity; nonetheless, we believe the fact of Government sanctioning, as well as Governmental “approval” is beyond dispute.
VII. Ramifications of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Rarely does a discussion pertaining to reparation for African-Americans take place without evoking a debate concerning the ramifications of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and particularly, the mortality data regarding those Africans lost in transit. It was primarily through the trade in human and other cargo, which originated in Europe, thence to Africa and from Africa to North America that Africans arrived in America. Estimates of the numbers of Africans forcibly removed from Africa and actually delivered alive by slave traders to purchasers in America vary widely; and there appears to be no means of arriving with certainty at the totals. Notwithstanding, a number of estimates agree that approximately 11 million Africans departed from Africa and approximately 9.5 million of them arrived alive. In this regard, Harvard University’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research has embarked on a project which collected detailed information on some 27,227 transatlantic slave trading voyages that occurred between 1650 and 1867. It is understood that the collected data cover at least two-thirds of the slaving voyages that left African ports. It is also understood that the data contains among other things, basic demographic data regarding the African slaves’ mortality, age and gender.
Whether and how losses of life of Africans during shipment to America might be factored in to the reparations analysis apparently remains an open question. As the difficulty of resolving the question generally causes most to at least temporarily, put it aside, it should not be forgotten.
Exactly where the debate concerning reparations for African Americans will lead is somewhat unpredictable at this time. A number of the Nation’s most brilliant legal minds have suggested that a number of traditional avenues of relief should be pursued on behalf of African Americans. However, they have also suggested that in the final analysis, the matter can only be resolved through “the political process”. To that end, for the last several Congressional legislative sessions, Congressman, John Conyers, of Michigan has proposed legislation encouraging Congress to sponsor a formal study of the institution of slavery, its lingering effects on African Americans and whether some form of remedial relief might be appropriate. The Conyers legislation has never been passed out of committee. It has however, kept the issue alive, as well as encouraged several local governmental units around the country, including, the City of Chicago and the City of Evanston –both in Illinois, to pass ordinances also encouraging Congress to study the matter. There has even been local legislation in a few jurisdictions requiring companies to disclose details of decades old insurance and similar transactions involving slaves. In addition, a number of public interest type activities have been undertaken around the country aimed at heightening the public’s awareness, including, forums, rallies, marches, conferences, college teach-ins and the like.
Looking back, it seems a bit ironic that we could very well end the currently brooding debate over reparation exactly where Congressman, Thaddeus Stevens, appears to have commenced the debate some 137 years ago. Only time will tell.
Notes: The African American Research Group was an informal gathering of community members meeting at Shorefront whose goal was to research topics of interest and disseminate its findings. This article originally appeared in the printed Shorefront Journal, Vol 4, Number 3, Spring 2003.
Suggested Readings: Johnathan Birnbaum and Clarence Taylor, Civil Rights Since 1787 (New York University Press, 2000) W.E.B. DuBois, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade (Corner House Publishers, 1970); Eric Foner, Reconstruction (Harper and Rowe, 1988) John Hope Franklin, From Slavery to Freedom (Alfred A Knopf, 1970) Paul E. Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery (Cambridge University Press, 2000); Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade (Simon and Schuster, 1997) Randall Robinson, The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks (E.P. Dutton, 2000). “The Case for Reparations”, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, May 21, 2014
Discussion Paper For “Tear Down The Wall” Conference In Support Of P.P. And P.O.W.’s In The U.S., And Those Held In Cuba
If ever the time seemed right for reappraisal of American foreign policy that moment has now arrived. But with the sound and fury of blind patriotism ringing loudly, it is brutally clear that the “other side” may never be heard. At times such as this, we must find our collective voice and aggressively challenge the country’s attempt to force its potent brand of self-righteousness on the rest of the world.
No doubt, America feels her greatest contribution to world civilization will be the agency of globalization – a “New World Order” concept that dates back to Teddy Roosevelt’s League of Nations. This concept festered until the establishment of the United Nations, and now since September 11th., the call is at fever pitch.
But what about the “the other side” of September 11th.? The crisis could just as easily conjure up a second round of internments in concentration camps or as equally easy call forth violent retribution to any not affected with enough star-spangled patriotism. Such bold strokes are not unimaginable, but we must not fear. We must seize the moment and demand that this country acknowledge its wrongs even while it is in the midst of committing new ones. We must call for a RECONCILIATION TRIBUNAL because for too long America has punished the innocent and cannot be allowed to escape accountability, because “fanatics are no better than terrorists!”.
As long as no real decisions are reached over the defined terms of exactly what constitutes a terrorist act, this country will continue to be a breeding ground for right-wing fanatics who smuggle out of Congress a blood-based rhetoric that aims to destroy anything or anyone it cannot control. Never one to telegraph his punches, Bush is intent on fanning the flames and expanding the psychological occupation of the minds of the American public by increasing the pressure upon them to believe that everything that is not Eurocentric is dangerous.
Many public officials will maintain that this new terrorist agenda that the Bush government -both past and present- is pushing all over the globe is less a conventional war than it is a rounding up of all terrorism’s poster children; although it is a common White House refrain, it must be advocated that a domestic policy of a similar nature is a kissing cousin to the one being globally negotiated. And guess what? When Dubya chooses to clean out the terrorist infrastructure at home, the incursions will start inside the prisons! We’re such easy pickings, and since we are already under siege, and without International protections, we can be eliminated without any cautions having to be taken. Imagine how easy a task it would be for them to dispose of us, and at some undefined time the Oval Office will commit themselves to just such a search-and-destroy mission.
As a safeguard there is no choice but to push the issue of Political Prisoners, Prisoners of War, and Politicized Political Prisoners because it would be a grave mistake if we failed to comprehend this clear and present danger, and then refused to act.
What now follows is no emotional statement. Rather, it is the “P.O.W. Doctrine”, a stark creed of insistence that we deserve the international protections of the Geneva Convention. There is, as of now no time for social arguments or internal debates. We demand action, and our urgency is reinforced by George W. Bush’s push for world domination. Through him, we are acquainted with our own Axis of Evil.
Should International Law Be a Protection For The Status Of Politicized Political Prisoners In The Black Liberation Movement In America?
In order to acquaint you with the status of P.P.P’s, a definition is necessary, and it is our long-held belief that a P.P.P. is a prisoner whose initial arrest was for criminal, and personal objectives, whose state of mind at the time of his arrest was void of political consciousness and/or organizational commitment.
However, following his confinement, such an individual becomes exposed and predisposed to political refinement to such a degree that he is transformed into a loyalist to the struggle of the people. It must be noted here that the loyalty expoused by the prisoner is not the simple expression of sympathy, or the slightly more diplomatic inclusion into a cadre. His/her’s is a raw conversion as political as the system. This conversion is due to the exposure of the prisoner to the political, social, and religious repression by the State and the Government in the forms of racism, capitalism, and facism; Thus the prisoner becomes politicized/activated to his responsibility for atonement, rectification, and participation in the ongoing Struggle.
Needless to say, as retaliation for this life-altering conversion, the P.P.P. will become the preferred target of the Prison/Industrial Complex based on this newly evolved commitment of activism and revolutionary social change via the State and Government by virtue of his/her commitment and work as he/she transforms him/herself and others recruited into the Struggle cadre to effect change in the system. The P.P.P. is targeted by the prison state directly by the abusive power; Covertly, internally, as well as eternally by the government’s Cointelpro. [i.e., E1 Hajj Malik Shabazz, George Jackson, Ahmed Evans, etc.].
As result a result, the P.P.P finds him/herself in something of a quandary because he/she is a dissident cut adrift from any of the basic protections of International Law and, this is the typical atmosphere that spurs on the repressions of the Bureau of prisons, (“B.O.P.”), or State-sponsored machinery to use the full range of their immense powers to crush the P.P.P.
In many ways the P.P.P. suffered more than the Political Prisoner (“P.P.”), and the Prisoner of War (“P.O.W.”). Basically they exist without the possibility of protections of International Law, and generally they are not part of an external organizational base. And so, the government in its retaliation to these comrades for their actions and beliefs uses the prison system as its instrument to isolate them for their continuous success in shaping the minds, the wills, and the politics of the masses. Unless our movements create organizational bases for these comrades, an important ingredient in demanding international protection will be lost.
The criteria for establishing status to prisoners must be that prisoner’s relationship to a movement and/or organization on the National/International Theater. [i.e., Ruchel McGee, Akil A1-Junde, Hugo Pinel, Jatir, Zola Angola, etc.]
Now, after conveying that information, I think it would be best if I went to the question of precisely how this P.P.P. certification should occur. Routinely, there are two (2) levels where the certification would prove politically valid.
(1) The movement in general must establish a certification process, but more importantly there has to be, firstly, a critically objective assessment of the status of the certification to our Struggle. ( This is necessary to resolve and eliminate any internal disputes which could breed an atmosphere for Cointelpro.) (2) Upon the establishment of a certification process, our movement must conduct a world-wide search of conflicts to find the applicable parallel on an international level to support the recognition of the P.P.P.’s.
IN THIS PERIOD, IS THE PRISON/INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX -BY VIRTUE OF THE PRISON SYSTEM’S HISTORICAL ROLE IN REPRESSION -AN EXTENTION OF OUR STRUGGLE, AND IF SO, WHAT ARE THE INSTRUMENTS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW THAT PROTECT POLITICAL Sources indicate three(3) categories of International Law that will support the certification of P.P.P’s these being namely:
(1) The Geneva Convention (2) Protocol I (3) The Political Offense Exception.
Each of these international instruments of law deliver a statement central to the premise that P.P.P.’s can achieve protections under the crystal clear laws of them either singly or combined. It bolsters our contention that P.P.P ‘s due to their sincerely held political beliefs, can partner in the protection of international Law in the same way as P.O.W ‘s, and P.P. ‘s applying an evolved analysis and tactic.
Dr. Mutulu Sho-Nuff Bringing
it (Part 2 of 3)
(Continued from Pt. 1)
Accordingly, lets study these three instruments in brief. (A)Geneva Convention of 1949 defined the P.O.W. and their treatment during that time.
In 1977, additional protocols to the Geneva Convention were adopted to reflect the character of guerilla warfare practiced by national liberation movements. The Preamble to the Protocol I states: Reaffirming further that the provisions of the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, and of the protocol must be fully applied in all circumstances to all persons who are protected by those intruments, without any adverse distinctions based on the nature or origin of the armed conflict or on the causes expoused by or attributed to the Parties to the conflict.
A person who takes part in hostilities and falls into the power of the adverse Party shall be presumed to be a prisoner of war, and therefore shall be protected by the Third Convention, if he claims the status of prisoner of war, or if he claims such status by notification to the detaining power or to the Protecting Power. Should any doubt arise as to whether any such person is entitled to the status of prisoner of war, he shall continue to have such status and, therefore, be protected by the Third Convention and this Protocol until such time as his status has been determined by a competent tribunal.
If a person has fallen into the power of an adverse Party, is not held as a prisoner of war, and is to be tried by that Party for an offense arising out of the hostilities, he shall have the right to assert his entitlement to prisoner of war status before a judicial tribunal and to have that question adjudicated. Whenever possible under the applicable procedure, this adjudication shall occur before the trial for the offense. [i.e., domestic trial].
Protocol One The many internal armed conflicts since 1949 have highlighted the deficiency in common Article III and illustrated the need to develop new rules for regulating internal armed conflict. From 1974 to 1977, 124 states, 50 non-governmental organizations, and 11 national liberation movements participated in one or more of the four diplomatic conferences that produced the two PROTOCOLS added to the Geneva Convention on the 12th of August, 1949. Protocol I was intended to update the law of war regulating international armed conflict between states. PROTOCOL II was adopted to regulate internal armed conflicts. Both PROTOCOL I and II were accepted by the Executive Branch of the United States until the Reagan Administration.
On December 8, 1978, The General Assembly enacted Resolution 33/24, entitled Importance of the universal realization for the right of the peoples to self-determination and the speedy granting of independence to colonial countries and people for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights, wherein it states: “The General Assembly …reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial domination and foreign occupation by all means available, particularly armed struggle”. (Emphasis added*)
1. CAPTURED ANTI-COLONIAL FIGHTERS ARE ENTITLED TO THE POLITICAL STATURE OF ‘PRISONER OF WAR’ AND THE PROTECTIONS OF THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS. 2. The armed struggle of people against colonial and racist regimes are to be regarded as international armed conflicts in the sense of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and the legal status envisaged to apply to persons engages in armed struggle against colonial and alien domination and racist regimes. 3. The violation of the legal status of the combatants struggling against colonial and alien domination and racist regimes in the course of armed conflicts entails full responsibility in accordance with the norms of International Law.
Militia Members Organized Resistance
(A) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. (B) Member who professes allegiance to a government or authority not recognized by the detaining power. (C) Inhabitants of now-occupied territory who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces having at times to form themselves into regular armed units provide they carry arms opening and respect the laws and customs of war. How does this help the P.P.P. question? It’s where the combatant becomes aware and pledges allegiance to the cause of taking up arms against an invading force that distinquishably separates the P.P.P. from the non-combatants. (i.e., Ruchell, Attica Brothers.)
P.O.E.E. The Court in Quinn traced the history of the political offense exception and noted that it emanated from the belief that indiviuals have the right to resort to political activism for political change. The Court stated that “political crimes” have a greater legitimacy than common crimes internal to prison and external to activism.
According to the Quinn Court, there are two (2) distinct categories of political offenses: pure political offenses, and “relative political offenses”.
Pure political offense are aimed directly at the government and have none of the elements of ordinary crimes. These offenses which include treason, sedition, espionage, do not violate the rights of individuals. Because they are frequently specifically excluded from the list of extraditable crimes in a treaty, courts seldom deal with whether these offenses are extraditable, and it is generally agreed that they are not.
The definitional problems focus around the second category of political offenses — the relative political offenses. These include “otherwise common crimes commited in connection with a political act, “or common crimes… committed for political motives or in a political context. Quinn v. Robinson, supra, at 793-794.
Second, it is clear that throughout the history of New Afrikan presence in America, there have been consistent rebellions, uprisings and varying levels of violent political turmoil arising from New Afrikan resistance struggle across the American Empire (U.S.A.) . This is particularly true of the struggle of the 1960’s up to and through the period today. Urban rebellions, attacks on police, financial institutions, narcotics enterprises, and armed self-defense in the face of police attacks, and radical violence were common place during this period. As previously noted, the B.L.A. was credited with a number of armed attacks and the overground military formations of the New Afrikan Independence Movement (“N.A.I.M.”) involved in a number of acts of armed self-defense. During the period of the offenses alleged in my case (Brinks), Black urban rebellions occurred two or three times in Miami, one in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and inside Pontiac Prison in Michigan, and inside numerous other prisons. (Lucasville).
The Quinn case moreover points out that the an uprising group does not have to have political structure, and that a person not a member of a group might through parallel or supportive activities act in furtherance of an uprising. * Consequently, there is no need for a prisoner such as myself, Dr. Shakur, to testify with regard to membership in an uprising group like the B.L.A. in order for the political character of the charged acts to be established. For the P.P.P. to have to be a member of a party or organization his/her acts must further support the organizations goals.
Political offense exception developed within the extradition context as a standard for evaluating the acts charged in this certification.
The International tests that establish the political offense exception are used to distinquish common from political crimes.
In 1986 for example, in my case, U.S.A vs. Shakur et. al, and Marilyn Buck, in the 2nd. Circuit Southern District of New York, we presented a motion contending that the acts charged in the indictments are political acts which are not properly the subject of criminal prosecution. I contended that under applicable treaties and International Law that I was a Prisoner of War. One of the International Instruments that was relevant was the defining acts charged in the indictment as political and not R.I.C.O.. We profit the P.O.E.E. analysis as… (A) International Law applicable to Domestic Courts. (B) That P.O.E.E. provided International and Domestic standards upon which acts charged in the indictment could be determined to be political. (C) That it could provide a method upon which an individual can be determined to qualify for the protection of the various International Law instruments.
The court at that time, although asking the right questions came to the conclusion that juries could not determine violations or application of International Law with respect to Domestic charges; different than what happened in Seattle in 1998, involving Ground Zero-D59-Trident Nuclear Submarine Case.
The Trident Ground Zero D50 Nuclear Submarine Case was a demonstration against nuclear weapons, specifically Trident Submarine and nuclear war which the defendant deemed a violation of International Law and crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity. They believed that the Hague Convention of 1977 was the International Law that protected their rights. July 6,1996, the International Court of Justice deemed that the development and deployment was a violation of International Law. The Nuremburg Principals required individual and organized action of said proliferation and developement.These instruments are also considered in the P.O.E.E. analysis.
The Judge’s instructons went on to say that Congress alone has the ability to abrogate treaty law, and that where there is a conflict between a right granted or duty imposed by International Law or treaty, and a local, state, or federal law, the right granted or duty imposed by treaty or international law shall govern. Nuremburg in effect says that “silence is complicity”, therefore not only giving the right to engage in non-violent acts of dissent, but also the duty to engage in such acts.
These analogs are very much applicable to P.O.W.’s, P.P.P.’s and P.P.’s. P.O.E.E. standards IN THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE IN SOUTH AFRICA, CHAIRED by Desmond Tutu, which was formed to develope a method for creating amnesty in South Africa.
The task was to balance the latitude of an open-ended concept of amnesty with specific limiting criteria, so that while any conflict and everybody could come into the process,* it was not a blanket amnesty whithout standards. For this purpose, the act adopts the principal defining the concept of a political offense drafted by Carl Agage Norgard, a Danish national President of the Europrean Commission on Human rights, for use in the 1989 settlement in Namibia that foreshadowed events in South Africa. These principals require an examination of the: 1) motivation of offender; 2) circumstances; 3) nature of the political objective; 4) legal and factual nature of the offense; 5) object (state vs. private entity); and finally 6) relationship between the offense and the political objective, its directness or proportionality.
Clearly the same standards/criteria presented by the B.L.A. for the application of P.O.W.’s and P.P.’s in the United States by way of the P.O.E.E. analysis presented in 1986 in our case became the formula by which a great battle for justice and self-determination which took place in South Africa, in a search for resolution of that conflict, of the internal nature the P.O.E.E. analysis, used in the internal conflict between state and the people as a method of qualifying and certifying the distinction between political crimes and social crimes. These above examples should make our movement keenly aware that there are definitely instruments upon which to research for the qualifying of P.P.’s, P.O.W.’s, and P.P.P.’s in our movement, and should be applied internationally.
In re Doherty, 599 F.Supp. 270, 275 (S.D.N.Y. 1984) elaborated a more flexible standard for applying the political offense exception. It stated: The court rejects the notion that the political offense exception is limited to actual armed insurrections or more traditional and overt military hostilities. The lessons of recent history demonstrate that political struggles have been commenced and effectively carried out by armed guerillas long before they were able to mount armies in the field. It is not for the courts, in defining the parameters of the political offense exception, to regard as dispositive factors such as the likelihood that a politically dissident group will succeed, or the ability of that group to effect changes in government by means other than violence, although conceded such factors may at times be relevant in distinquishing between the common criminal and the political offender. Nor is the fact that violence is used in itself dispositive. (Instead the court must assess the nature of the act. the context in which it is committed, the status of the party committing the act, the nature of organization on whose behalf it is committed, and the particularized circumstance of the place where the act takes place.)
The political offense exception is not merely a narrowly specialized concept used in extradition and deportation proceedings, but rather incorporates a fundamental principle that a person should not face a criminal trial for offense that are essentially political.
Accepting the premise that the prisoner has been certified as part of a movement and the prison setting is part of the movement, that said prisoner responds to the oppression and functions in an organized group or aids the goals of that movement, we should argue that the above stated instruments are applicable to our P.O.W.’s, P.P.’s, and P.P.P.’s.
The argument of our movements responsibility to P.P.’s, and P.O.W.’s, or lack thereof binds the internal struggle of the proper recognition of P.P.P ‘s left unsupported by our organizations and movement, and while we struggle to make aware the existence of P.P.’s, and P.O.W.’s in the United States, we support that argument by way of International Laws and various Instruments in establishing (1) a criteria, and (2) satisfying the required principle internally, we must apply the same method for qualifying P.P.P.’s, and P.O.E.E ‘ s which require these standards in both categories.
An important step must also be made by our organizations and movements to (1) Officially include the United States prison system as a part of the battle field in our struggle such as what the Irish Republican Army (“I.R.A”) did in the early 70’s and 80’s. (2) We also must officially embrace the active P.P.P.’s into an organizational foundation that gives them and their work the proper recognition as provided and required under the International Instruments that best address our needs.
Essentially, the preceding information gives hard proof that P.P.P.’s can (and should) be certified under the same instruments that aid P.O.W.”s and P.P.’s, and given the unmistakable premise that prisons are a part of the government’s repressive regime against which the P.P.P. struggle, it should indeed be clear that the instruments of International Law are applicable. If by chance there is any lack of consensus about the government’s organized efforts to destroy prison struggles for human rights against genocide, I quote the following statement from Eric Holder, former Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton. The rhetoric (issued in response that the government ‘s pursuit of the death penalty in Zacarias Moussaoui’s case may be unconstitutional) states: “This is meant to send a signal to people who are in custody”. Holder stipulated further that “failure to cooperate is going to carry the ultimate sanction”, demonstrating the manipulation of law for poltical objectives.
This iron-fisted eagerness is not a last-minute threat to those in confinement as politically conscious prisoners have always been at risk, so this bad news is no “new” news, and if it must be spelled out, then I hazard to say that in prison, once a prisoner is politicized and draws his first wages he/she first struggles against the system -the prison administration- and there can never be a safe return to the sedentary existence of the mentally dead convict.
No matter how it is viewed, those were no transparently disguised acts of aggression meted out to Brothers George Jackson, Malcolm X, Ahmed Evans, Ruchel McGee, Akil Al-Junde, Hugo Pinel, Zola Angola, Shaka-Sankofa, Attica Bros., etc.. Those that the prison/industrial complex didn’t assassinate, they bottled up as best they could to stifle them into sensory deprivation, mind altering medications, i.e., G. Jiga Pratt, who served with honor.
Therefore, the obvious point must be made that the prison setting is a battleground, a part of the greater struggle for liberation. Who can argue that prisons are merely some lame government project funded to assist in rehabilitation? No, the prison system is the government’s booking agency and despite Capital Hill monologues, the joint is the ass-kicking road dog of the Justice Department, and for the record, the prison/industrial complex has more confirmed kills than C.I.A.
After dimissing all the permissiveness of the Due Process Clause, the P.P.P. has no foundation and can claim no retroactive application of International Law. They are defenseless. If it can be accepted that, historically, prisons are a legitimate arm of a repressive government, then why not consider the intensity of the P.P.P.’s plea for International protections? Because with notable exceptions, and often with a wink or a smile, the boot is forever ready to crush the neck of dissidents.
Overall the general sense of the P.P.P ‘s plight offers nothing to cheer about, and chances are the situation will not get any more endearing. But yet the P.P.P ‘s existential predicament remains. To what extent do we go to safeguard our comrades? Because as long as they remain “on the plantation”, they are jeopardized! Extraordinary measures, and a firm commitment must be taken in regards to the P.P.P. question. Not surprisingly, there is not much time.
Dr. Mutulu Defines Terrorism
(Conclusion)DEFINITION OF TERRORISM In applying the recognition of P.P.’s, P.O.W.’s by the use of the Geneva Convention, we accept that the argument of armed conflict is a part of the process of liberation. It is this point where all parties abide by the proper standards of war/conflict we must guard against, and never allow our actions to be labeled as terroristic.
That said, we must make clear what the international definition has been pre-September 11th, and how its been distorted by the United States as it is conceived in International Instruments pre-September 11th, and post-September 11th. brings on very important challenges in definition and evolution.
TERRORISM The following definitions establish the minimum criteria used by the F.B.I. to determine if criminal acts should be labeled as acts of terrorism, which is not the definition under International Treaties and Laws.
Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against civilian persons or property to intimidate or coerce the government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives. The F.B.I. defines two (2) categories of terrorism in the United States: International Terrorism which involves terrorist activity by groups or individuals who are foreign-based and/or are directed by countries or groups outside the United States or whose activities transcend national boundaries; and Domestic Terrorism which involves groups who are based and operate entirely whithin the United States and are directed at elements of our government or population without foreign direction. There are other examples of actions…
TERRORIST INCIDENT A terrorist incident is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. (Emphasis supplied).
Q. HAS THE UNITED STATES RAISED THE STATUS OF TERRORIST TO FREEDOM FIGHTER, OR HAS THE UNITED STATES LOWERED THE STATUS OF FREEDOM FIGHTER TO THE LEVEL OF TERRORIST? A. It is submitted that in the affairs of a nation state no rule must be better established than that its laws are clear. How else can acts of wrongdoing be authenticated? This principle is universally adhered to, but within this country the determination of whether one is a terrorist or a freedom fighter is not exercised under the appropriate jurisprudence of Law, but rather by the dictates of whatever public officer is doing the talking at the moment. Such double standards are not a new concept since sufficient proof exists that the authority to mandate who was a freedom fighter and who was a terrorist dates back to the Indian Wars in this country. Whenever the Indians won a battle, the battle was reported as either a slaughter or a massacre, the highest evidence available that the “red savages” were terrorists. Nowhere in the annals of documented American history were the indigenous peoples who struggled valiantly against an invading force who sought, with the force of arms, to subdue and oppress them, recognized as freedom fighters.
Without such a rule of thumb, the right to interpose or juxtapose the two has rested upon the inquiry that presented itself at the time: the side with the most white people were freedom fighters. * (The fluctuating application of varied definitions of law applicable to captured Al Qaeda, Taliban, Domestic, and Foreign Nationals as well as the politically expedient labeling of Palestinians are revealing.) It was by this decree that the Ku Klux Klan (“K.K.K.”) was never labeled as terrorists even though the acts they wreaked upon an unarmed, non-threatening black population were clearly acts of terrorism even when the acts they perpetrated were deemed to be such by the Klan themselves. The K.K.K. vocally stated that their aim was to terrorize blacks away from the voting polls.
Contrast this with, the fact that in 1964 the human rights workers and Freedom Riders who traveled south to register blacks in Mississippi to vote, actually viewed themselves as fighters for freedom, but were never considered as such. In fact, they were historically viewed as southern invaders, terrorists of a sort, that deserved to die as James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner did in Neshoba County, Mississippi.
This dilemma that gives rise to the truth that rightly or wrongly gives authority to individuals to name themselves no longer exists. You are either a terrorist or a freedom fighter at the discretion of the prevailing powers. Despite the terrorist definition as authored by the F.B.I., the maxim carries no real clout since there is no mandated prohibition that deters the government from inserting, at will, either the label “terrorist” or “freedom fighter” on the military intercourse as it sees fit. With no fixed boundary, the F.B.I.’s definition is simply a national ornament that can either elevate or violate the modus operandi of the principle of warfare and applicable law.
Can it be denied that the roots of terrorism made its first appearance in this country during the Civil War when Union Generals targeted the farms, homes, and factories of southern civilians? Yet President Lincoln hailed the murderers as freedom fighters. And from this point onward, the American government from the Executive Office, through all the Brass in the military, down to the Politicos and citizens have succeeded in providing verbal asylum to unjustifiable atrocities by proclaiming who wears the mantle of freedom fighter or who bears the stigma of being branded a terrorist.
It would be wholly inconsistent to brand a man/woman a terrorist if he/she straps on dynamite and detonates him/herself in a crowded cafe. Basically his/hers military role is no different than that of Sherman tank since the strategy and objective is the same.
At the moment, the P.P.P., is the prime question of the liberation movement, and in the end will be the legacy of those of us who are forward-thinking enough to grasp the complexity of the issues. I, personally, make it no great secret that the most important facet of the argument is the question of a remedy, and the legal travails of this challenge must be addressed as a two-tiered proposal consisting of both a short-term and a long-term goal.
In keeping with the short-term prospective, we should emphatically demand an immediate end to the repression, oppression, and isolation of the P.P.P.’s, P.P.’s, and P.O.W.’s. And while it may be unlikely, presently, I strongly support the long-term prospect of calling amnesty for all P.P.P’s that our movement has certified. This second-tier agenda may prove to be the only one to reverse the course of repression that is so deeply ingrained in the prison/industrial complex, which is credited with being the Bully of the Justice Department.
It has been rumored in some political quarters that P.P.P.’s represent the “alterlife” of the movement, and since they served no role or active function within a formal infrastructure, they are nothing more than sympathizers. I beg to differ, and contest this distinction vehemently. P.P.P.’s are more than mere “Buddies” of the revolution and, despite the fact that they had/have no intimate contract with an organization outside, their politicization inside the prison complex is no less extraordinary than the commitment of those of us who converted on the outside. Without a doubt, P.P.P.’s are a formidable resource, and should not be mislabeled as “revolutionary imposters”, or treated as second-hand members of the movement. They are legitimate as long as their loyalty is unquestionable, but with a record number of P.P.P.’s their status grows increasingly more unpredictable. A generation ago fewer P.P.P.’s were in for the long haul and were twice as likely to abandon the Struggle after release. Many of these viewed the Struggle as revolutionary Chic, and pursued it as a fad. Whereas modern day P.P.P’s seem less daunted by the challenges and usually maintain a very high level of commitment throughout all periods of their confinement and even after their release.
For P.O.W.’s and Political Prisoners, the Geneva Convention’s Protocol’s is the Holy Grail, and the tenets of this International Instrument must be accorded to P.P.P.’s or else we will fail to boost the yield of the movements future full harvest. What really matters is that we bring our best and brightest minds to the movement, and then we protect them with all the resources at our disposal.
As long as the government is allowed to merchandise the terms “terrorist”, and “freedom fighter”, it will generally lower the status of a Freedom Fighter to that of a terrorist since governments are invested with ready-made punishments to deal with terrorists who are deemed to be nothing more than a modern day version of the pirates, and highway robbers of old. At the same time, America will still enjoy the privileges of the artificial exchange of status that exists between the terrorist/freedom fighter dilemma. Note the fact that in 1979 Osama bin Laden was labeled a Mujahedeen ” Freedom Fighter” by the same government that now declares him a “cowardly terrorist”.
Our actions have clearly been in a retaliatory nature, expropriations are legitimate aspects of armed conflicts, defensive actions on the part of our forces, and fall clearly within the purview of justifiable armed actions, and under any standard, Pre and Post, the Geneva Accord of 1949 Protocol provides that it is the responsibility of every captured prisoner of war to make an attempt to escape. Every army around the world recognizes this basic principle. P.P.P.’s, P.P.’s and P.O.W.’s in their actions dedicated to the goals of the movement and Struggle are the requirements upon which standards of “International Law” require their recognition and protection.
Our movements is second to no other movements goal. We are not clear yet of what operational definition of the term terrorism signifies in the post 9-11 era. None of the agencies; F.B.I., Home Land Defense, State Department, the new emerging International Coalition, or even the United Nations have been definitive of their meaning. For example, co-architect of the International Coalition (U.S. and Britain) of the One World Order has tactically defined and labeled Prime Minister Robert Mugabe of Zimbawe as a terrorist and a terrorist state based on the actions of the veterans of war who fought against the terrorist of Rhodesia who have yet to turn over land where three(3) percent of the white population control seventy (70) percent of the land. It is a clear indication that the term terrorist being used is selectively racial and bias to us as a people.
Our movement must operate on the United Nations definition which would seem to be more objective and stable in its use.
It is my intention to provide the organization of “The Tear Down The Wall Conference” in Cuba with a working document that aides the disscussion for gathering support internationally for the release of P.P.’s, P.O.W.’s and certified P.P.P.’s in the United States. Its intention also to give our movement and international observers, an understanding of the standards we struggle with that should qualify an important aspect of our struggle, and should provide protection under “International Law” that we deem as important to the outcome of our Struggle.
It is also important to show, in my opinion, that we are not and won’t be paralyzed by the latest effort to Imperialize the planet by “One World Order”.
Our Struggle, and the struggle in the Middle East have clearly different objectives, and we use different tactics. We are not to dictate how they relieve their suffering.
We make a moral and spiritual evaluation so that we are guided in our acts based on our principles. We come to the conclusion that oppression and genocide, that we as a people, must be dealt with for the survival of our future, and the recognition of the sacrifices of our Ancestors and Martyrs.
CONCLUSION These issues are being presented obviously to further the discussion on the recognition of P.P.’s and P.O.W.’s in the United States. The question of P.P.P’s is very important. Clearly the debate within our movement [i.e., Black/New Afrikan Struggle] requires serious analysis and certification of all our comrades status and a clear definition of the next wave.
It is my opinion that in order for the P.P.P’s question to be answered we must fully understand why and how International Law requires our (P.P.’s and P.O.W.’s) certification. From this position we will be like the Formers of the Protocol of the 1970’s, who, of the National Liberation movement, were able to force the re-evaluation of the Geneva Accords to obtain recognition for ill-regular forces. We must forward the position that the prison system in America: (A) Has become a battlefield for human rights. (B) Is an enemy of self-determination. (C) As well as the cornerstone for genocide in the United States
Prisons are in fact a place of struggle where International Law must accept and set standards for the proper recognition for those who struggle in that theater and accept that P.P.P.’s are a part of our Forces integral to our movement and stategy.
THE LAST WORD! I conclude with an admonition not to overlook the threat presented by the World Trade Organization which is emerging as the world’s first global movement. Upon its inception in 1994, the interests of globalization has grown by leaps and bounds, but what has gone unnoticed is that the 134 nations that comprise the W.T.O. cannot exist without a global armed force and the recent 9-11-01 event has provided the global army the pretext needed to flex its military muscle. And now that the cuckoo has been sprung from the clock of the 21st. century imperialism, time will stand still as history is interrupted by militaristic coups and palace uprisings staged and engineered courtesy by those who sponsor globalization.
Without a doubt, once the world economy is globalized the gap between the haves and have-nots will widen and the expected collateral damage will be more violent incidents such as those of 9-11-01. This reality inescapable. A massive military of global proportions will invite so-called terrorist activities as powerless people will seek to dismantle this monstrosity by any means necessary, so it would be mindless to camouflage a terrorist act. By not being more demanding the people have collectively permitted secretive organizations like the World Bank (which are all dominated by the United States) to muster the strength to move beyond congressional oversight as well as checks and balances from any legislative body. We must not grant the government the power and/or ability to skirt the responsibility of explicity defining a terrorist!
The right to struggle against oppression is as natural as breathing. We must at all costs prepare a better place for the next generation. Provide for a better state of mental and physical circumstances we experience today.
Stiff Resistance, Dr. Mutulu Shakur
According to studies and research conducted by Clyde Winters, the Olmecs were Africans from the Mandinka region of West Africa. They used the Mende script to write and they spoke the Mende language, the same language spoken by Cinque in the movie ‘Amistad’.
The Mende script found on monuments at Monte Alban in Mexico, has been deciphered and it was found to be identical to the Mende script used in West Africa. Afterwards, the language was found to be the very same language spoken by the Mende of West Africa.
THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN OLMEC RELIGIONS AND WEST AFRICAN RELIGIONS
One of the most important connections made to show that the Olmecs were West Africans is the very strong similarities in race between the Olmecs and West Africans and the ancient Nubians. In fact, during a scientific conference held years ago, West African scientists identified Olmec artworkd and representations of Africoid peoples as West African.
The Africans also identified cultural traits such as ear plugs, scarification marks and keloid tatoos on the skin and face, cornrows, braids and tassels and even afro hairstyle as West African. Moreover, according to Ivan Van Sertima (African Presene in Early America), giant heads of stone to represent important people in Africa was being done in the present era as well as in ancient Egypt and Nubia.
The 22 or more collosal stone heads carved out of solid basalt rock has identifiable Black African in racial features as well as cultural traits like cornrow hairstyle, braids with beads and kinky hair as well as a type of war helmet identified as Nubian have been found carved in Colosal Olmec sculpture connecting them to West Africa and the Egypt/Sudan region.
Hundreds of clay and terracota busts, statuettes and figurines also show Black African racial?
and cultural traits. For example, scarification marks and keloid tatoos identical to those worn by West Africans and Sudanese Africans can be seen on some Olmec busts and terracota heads. Kinky hair, cornrows, braids are also represented (see African Presence in Early America, by Ivan Van Sertima; Transaction Publishers.
RELIGIOUS SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE AFRICAN-OLMECS AND WEST AFRICANS
The African-Olmecs also had religious practices identical to that of West Africans according to “A History of the African-Olmecs,” (published by 1stbooks Library, 2959 Vernal Pike, Bloomington, Indiana 47404 U.S.A ww.1stbooks.com ) Olmec religions included the use of shamen, the recognition of the Venus planet complex, the use of the ax as a prop in the worship of the Thunder God and the importance of children in their religion.
In the African religion of Shango, shamen are used. In fact, a statuette of an Oni or Priest-king of ancient Nigeria falls in line with the description of the Olmec Shamen given by early American archeologists in the Olmec region of Mexico.
In the Shango religion of Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Brazil and other parts of African-Americas, the very same religion as practiced by the Olmecs is still practiced. As for Africa, the Venus complex is studied by the Ono and Bambara, both accomplished seamen who usd to sail the once sea-covered Sahara and the Atlantic.
The Dogon of Mali specialize in the study of the Sirius star system and are experts in their accuracy and charting methods, without any telecopes. The use of the ax and its connection to the worship of the Thunder God was also connected to the Olmecs. Both the Olmecs of Mexico and West Africans practiced religions that included children playing a significant part.
There is overwhelming evidence in all areas that the first civilization in Mexico was influenced tremendously by Africans from West Africa and Nubia/Egypt. All cultural and racial connections show this importand and crucial fact.
The statue of an ancient Nigerian Oni or Priest-king dating back thousands of years shows him holding religious artefacts that have been found among Olmec priests who are holding identical artefacts in the very same manner.
A large stone statue of a Negroid character at the San Augustine Culture site in Colombia, South America, also show the same items in the hands of the statue (see African Civilizations of America “James Williamson,” website, community.webtv.net/paulnubiaempire)
Studies done by researchers such as Ivan Van Sertima (They Came Before Columbus), Alexander Von Wuthenau (Unexpected Faces in Ancient America), Runoko Rashidi and others have presented evidence that clearly show that the Olmecs were not Indians with “baby faces,” or Indians who looked like Blacks (although a few Olmecs did mix with the Native Americans). They were Africans no different from Africans found in the Mende regions of West Africa. Studies done by Clyde Winters show that the Olmecs used the Mende script, a writing system used among the Mandinkas and other Africans in West Africa. When the writings on Olmec monuments were translated, it was found that the language spoken by the Olmecs was Mende.
African Cultural Similarities
The Olmecs used an African practice that is very common in Africa and to some extent in Melanesia. That practice is body scarification and specifically facial scarification as practiced in West Africa. Many of the facial scars seen on the Olmec terracotta faces, such as “dot” keloids and “lined” patterns are identical to Africans such as the Dinka of Sudan and the Yoruba and others of West Africa. (Dinka scarification can be found in old copies of National Geographic. Olmec scarification can be found in the text by “Alexander Von Wuthenau, Unexpected Faces in Ancient America.” African hairstyles such as cornroes are found on many of the Olmec terracotta found in Mexico. Both kinky hair carved into one of the collosal stone heads of basalt, as well as the cornroed style wearing tassels (see African Presence in Early America, by Ivan Van Sertima; Transaction Publishers), have been found.
The “cornrow” factor clearly shows that these Blacks who were in Mexico in prehistoric times most likely came from the West Africa/South Sahara region, rather than Melanesia. It is in West Africa that cornroes are very common and have been since prehistoric times.
Documents in Cairo, Egypt, as well as Mandingo oral tradition reflect the sea voyages of the great Mali Empire from a later period. A year after sending an expeditionary fleet across the Atlantic, in 1311 King Abubakari II sailed west with a huge flotilla.
“Neither of the two Mandingo fleets came back to Mali to tell their story,” explained Van Sertima, “but around this same time evidence of contact between West Africans and Mexicans appears in strata in America in an overwhelming combination of artifacts and cultural parallels.”
They suggest that the Aztecs might have witnessed Abubakari’s landing and thought him to be the reincarnation of one of their gods. “A black-haired, black-bearded figure in white robes,” noted Van Sertima, “one of the representations of Quetzalcoatl, modeled on a dark-skinned outsider, appears in paintings in the valley of Mexico, while the Aztecs begin to worship a Negroid figure mistaken for their god Tezcatlipoca because he had the right ceremonial color.”
The pre-Columbian presence of Africans in the Americas is also reflected in linguistic similarities and other cultural parallels including rainmaking rituals, but these are just a few examples of many.
Afri (singular Afer) was a Latin name for the Carthaginians. Latin-speakers at first used afer as an adjective, meaning “of Carthage”, “of Africa”. As a substantive, it denoted a native of Africa, i.e., a Carthaginian. Afer, an individual of the Afri tribe after which the continent of Africa is probably named. Afer means “African,” one of the terms applied by the Romans to indicate a Black African. From this “Black” and “African” became synonymous terms.
This ethnonym (Afer) provided the source of the term Africa. The Romans referred to the region as Africa terra (land of the Afri), based on the stem Afr- with the adjective suffix -ic- (giving Africus, Africa, Africum in the nominative singular of the three Latin genders).
Following the defeat of Carthage in the Third Punic War, Rome set up the province of Africa Proconsularis. During the period of the Roman Empire, Afer came to be a cognomen for people from Africa. Proconsularis.Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (236–183 BC), also known as Scipio the African, Scipio Africanus-Major, Scipio Africanus the Elder, is best known for defeating Hannibal at the final battle at Zama, one of the feats that earned him the agnomen Africanus. The Latin name Africa came into Arabic after the Islamic conquest as Ifriqiya.
As Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of “Africa” expanded with their knowledge. According to Wikipedia on Africa:
Other etymological hypotheses have been postulated for the ancient name “Africa”: • The 1st-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (Ant. 1.15) asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya. • Isidore of Seville in Etymologiae XIV.5.2. suggests “Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning “sunny”. • Massey, in 1881, states that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning “to turn toward the opening of the Ka.” The Ka is the energetic double of every person and the “opening of the Ka” refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, “the birthplace.”
Yet another hypothesis was proposed by Michèle Fruyt, linking the Latin word with africus “south wind”, which would be of Umbrian origin and mean originally “rainy wind”.
“Ruins of Richmond & Petersburg railroad bridge from island in James River.” Richmond, Virginia, April 1865; Alexander Gardner, photographer. Shows group of five African American females (perhaps four women and a girl) and a boy on an island in the James River. Image Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. “Ruins of Richmond & Petersburg railroad bridge from island in James River,” Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-cwpb-00388, Call Number: LC-B815- 846
This very curious Civil War era photograph was taken in Richmond, Virginia. The city had been the Capitol of the Confederate States of America, but in April 1865, it was captured and occupied by Union troops. In the wake of the attack on the city, damage was done to its infrastructure. Some of the damage was done by evacuating Confederate military, to limit the use that the Union army could make of the place.
Alexander Gardner, one of the War’s famed photographers, took this photograph of several African American females and a European American boy near the ruins of the Richmond & Petersburg railroad bridge. The picture was taken at an island in the James River, which flows through the city. The face of the girl in the rear is clouded, probably from shaking her face while the photo was taken. The boy is wearing what appears tp be a soldier’s cap; might his presence represent the Union army’s presence?
The women might have been enslaved when Richmond fell to federal forces; here they were, in their first days of freedom, posing for a photograph in view of their city’s ruins. Don’t forget about us, they say silently to the camera, and to history. Soon after, they, the rest of the city, and the rest of the South, would go through the process of putting the pieces back together and reconstructing a new South.