When Kunta continued to stare at him dumbly, the Black one began jabbing his own chest. “Me Samson!” he exclaimed. “Samson!” He moved his jabbing finger again to Kunta. “You To-by! Toby. Massa say you name Toby!” …What in the name of Allah had happened to his life? …Was he still an Afrikan, or had he become a “nigger,” as the others called themselves? –Alex Haley, Roots

This is about a people living in amerikkka who variously call themselves “African-Americans,” “Blacks,” “Negroes,” and “Niggaz.” My people, brothas and sistas, many of whom suffer from an acute identity crisis. This is particularly so as it concerns our ultimate loyalties and commitments. Not having a clear sense of identity we are left with a cloudy sense of purpose. Without clear purpose, we have difficulty in finding our direction. Yet, as old wisdom suggests, if we don’t know where we want to go then any road can get us there – lost!

This series is about Afrikan people and our destiny. Stay with me as I make an attempt to bring clarity to our pursuit for identity, purpose and direction.
Original man and woman

In every country that one visits and where one is drawn into conversation about Afrika, the question is regularly asked by people who should know better: “But what has Afrika contributed to world progress?” These critics of Afrika forget that men of science today are, with few exceptions, satisfied that Afrika was the birthplace of man himself, and for many hundred centuries thereafter Afrika was in the forefront of all world progress. –Dr. Louis Leakey, 1961

The 12 million square mile continent known as AFRIKA is truly the home of the original man and woman. And the people known as AFRIKANS were the mothers and fathers of the entire human family. The evidence is steadily being unearthed from the Great lakes regions of East Afrika. So much so that not even the most “racist” of historians and scientists are willing, muchless capable, of challenging this now established fact.

There once was a group of historians and scientists known as the Polygenetic School. They used to promote the idea that human beings came from more than one genetic source. {Poly = more than one.} This idea is where the false concept of race came from. It is also where human beings began to be classified as Caucasians, Mongoloids and Negroids. In this way, humans were classified according to skin color, nose and lip size, hair texture, eye color, etc.
There are still people who promote this idea, but all scientific evidence goes against it. therefore, it can be said that, for all intents and purposes, the Polygenetic school is dead.

The prevailing ideas concerning the genetic origins of human beings is the Monogenetic School. These are those historians and scientists that promote a single genetic source for the human family. It just so happened that this source has its home in Afrika! And, as the late Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop pointed out, ‘There is no particular glory about the cradle of humanity being in Afrika, because it is just an accident. If the physical conditions of the planet had been otherwise, the origin of humanity would have been different.” (Cilivilization or Barbarism, 1981) [Insert “monogenetic vs. polygenetic” graphic here] While the human species is said to be 5.5 million years old, the first Homo Sapiens Sapiens (modern humans) evolved between 130,000 and 150,000 years ago. and these humans were a dark-skinned people for at least the next hundred thousand years, until human differentiation began in Europe around 22,000 years ago.
So, although afrika is the location of the original man and woman, the glory of Afrikan history isn’t based on this fact. Instead, the glory of Afrikan history derives from the fact that Afrikans established the foundation of world civilization: the advancement of art, religion, government, science, and technology as we know it today.
Afrika, for name’s sake!

To be called an Afrikan when I was growing up in Alabama was much worse than being called a “nigger.” And to be called a “black Afrikan” was a sign of extreme derision. –Andrew Billingsley, 1968

AFRIKA – the birthplace of all human beings and the MamaLand of Black People – is a name that many fear being accepted by Blacks, and is a name that many Blacks are ashamed to accept. Known by some and disbelieved by others, AFRIKA as a name holds vast potential power, particularly if embraced by the nearly billion Blacks around the world.

The term AFRIKA is surrounded with controversy among many Blacks. Many say that it is not the original name for the 12 million square mile continent. Others claim that the name came from a white man (Leo Johannes Africanus). While some others among us simply believe the false history pushed by racist scholars about AFRIKA being a wild jungle populated with cannibals and rock worshipping savages, and consequently shun the name.

But, what’s the truth about AFRIKA?
As far as AFRIKA being named after a white man, this is false. Leo Johannes Africanus, the reputed white man, was actually a Moor (Black Muslim) whose birth name was Al-Hassan ibn Muhammad al-Wizaz al-Fasi. This Black man was kidnapped and enslaved in Italy where he was Christianized and re-named “John the Afrikan.” (Remember they tried to make Kunta Kinte identify as Toby?) Johannes, of course, escaped from slavery and restored his birth name, and wrote a magnificent history of the Mali and Songhay empires in West Afrika. He was born in 1493 and died around 1552.
Ethiopian-born scholar Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan, in his book BLACK MAN OF THE NILE, says he found evidence that the ancient Ethiopians and Moors referred to the continent as Alkebulan. On the other hand, his close colleague Dr. John Henrik Clarke points out that AFRIKA was coined by the Roman conquerors of North Afrika, particularly the region of Carthage (Khart Haddas); the name is said to derive from “Afri,” the name of a small and obscure AFRIKAN tribe.

Finally, we have the testimony of the famed European Egyptologist, dr. Gerald Massey, who claims that the term AFRIKA can be traced to “Af-rui-ka,” which he says means “birthplace” in the language of the Egyptians (Kemites).
Arriving at the truth about AFRIKA aint easy. But one thing that is certain is that AFRIKA(N) aint the same as NIGGA. For all the negative attributes bestowed on the term AFRIKA, nearly all of them resulted from a falsified history of Black People and our MamaLand by white his-storians. Nigga, on the other hand, is a common synonym for Slave. Why? Because the first Niggaz were Slaves. Moreover, “Nigga” come from a European language with a European definition:
Nigga > Negro, the Spanish word for Black > Black in English means Death, evil, Unlucky, Dirty, Outcast, etc.
Those who know the truth about AFRIKA spell it with a “k.” Those who deride the term and associate it with historical lies spell it with a “c” (Afrikca). The term need not be abandoned, but embraced with an honest understanding of the Land, the History and the People. We are AFRIKA!
Strictly for my Niggaz

Power is the ability to define reality and have other people respond to your definition as if it were their own. — Dr. Wade Nobles

So, what up wit the word nigga?
It is probably best to start by pointing out that both NIGGA and NIGGER take root from the word NEGRO. Negro is the name that Europeans used to label and identify enslaved AFRIKANS.

In the European language of Spanish, Negro means “black.” However, when these slaveholding Europeans began to call us “Negroes,” they weren’t thinking about our color. They only called those Afrikans who they could make into slaves “Negroes.” Other Afrikans were identified by the names they called themselves. Free Afrikans were never called “Negroes.” Only slaves were called “Negroes.”

Clearly, evidence from all over the world shows that people, places and things are NAMED and or DEFINED by whoever is IN CONTROL. Before Europeans invaded and settled in the Western Hemisphere, the Native People were not called “Indians.” Before Afrikan People were enslaved in the West, We were not called “Negroes.” So, the question arises: Who name and define you…who is in control?
Or, a more appropriate question: Are you a NIGGA?

Since nigga comes from the word negro, and since negroes were slaves, a real nigga must be a real slave.
Again, niggaz were & are products of slavery. Niggaz were born on the plantation. And, from outward appearances, it seems that those who most boastfully consider themselves niggaz are also those who’s thought & practice harkens back to an old fashioned slave existence. (Read Naim Akbar’s Chains & Images of Psychological Slavery.)

Yet it remains to be said: Nigga is more than a word or an identity. Nigga is a mentality from slavery. A slave mentality. It is a state of mind that accepts oppression as a natural part of life. And it is impossible to embrace the term nigga & not likewise embrace the legacy of slavery.

As the poet Haki Madhubuti once stated, self-definition is the first step towards self-control.

Just a lil’ sumthin for all my niggaz!

[An OLDIE BUT GOODIE…to be continued…]