African History Isn’t A One Off, But A Continuation
Kwame P Aboagye
This month Africans in Britain will be celebrating thirty-one days of honouring our achievements.
But we ought to know that our history, whilst we should acknowledge it, doesn’t mean we just celebrate for one month in October every year, because history teaches us how to remember the facts and to never forget them.
Africans have been celebrating our history in Britain for twenty-five years; because we only assumed that we were enslaved, and apart from that we were seen as savages in the jungle and unfortunately we didn’t understand the real truths of our achievements as African people.
One of our great scholars, Baba John Henrik Clarke told us that history is like a clock that teaches the political and the cultural time of day amongst a people. It also teaches us where a people must go and where they must be and history is relationship like a mother to her child.
History teaches us that it is related to Africans and what we have set out to do as a people and as human beings and it doesn’t stop at all.
We know that there those who are using our history for their so-called multi-corporate programmes – our history isn’t designed in that way, never has and never will.
When it comes to the history of any human being on this earth, it isn’t only about those who left their survival on to them, but continue with what they left off for them to continue.
Africans should know or ought to know that our history is sacred amongst us and only for us. It shouldn’t used to so-called be integrated with non-Africans.
These so-called local British councils are using our history to integrate with Asians and Jews and there is evidence of them doing it.
African history isn’t a multi-coloured swap shop for anyone to take advantage in dogmatising our achievements. It doesn’t only represent or defy us, but it is only about us and defiantly so.
They come with worthlessness, such as William Wilberforce and Abraham Lincoln ended slavery and John Brown was also involved in ending slavery.
These and many more of their bogusness that they are insulting our faces, when did these devils ever abolish slavery?
When you mention Brother Nat Turner, Brother Gabriel Prosser, Brother Joseph Cinque, Brother Denmark Vesey and Brother Jean-Jacques Dessalines, these are the ones who fought with their souls – in order to fight with their sweat, tears and blood to free us from these wicked vipers. They might’ve been betrayed, but they sacrificed their souls in order to inspire our souls in freeing Africans.
Sister Nana (Nanny), Sister Harriet Tubman and Sister Sojourner Truth also, like our heroes, fought with their souls to free us, as well as sacrificing for us.
Brother Crispus Attucks organised a revolt against his oppressors, who were using him for cheap labour.
Brother David Walker, Brother Henry Highland Garnet, Brother Richard Allen, Brother Absalom Jones, Brother Martin Delany, Brother Henry McNeal Turner, Brother Edward Wilmot Blyden, Brother Sam Cornish and Brother John B. Russworm all encouraged Africans to return back to our original land.
Before we were unjustly captured, we knew about our great kingdoms such as Kemet, Cush, Timbuktu, Ghana, Songhay etc. The significances that our kingdoms have inspired us dearly and our heroes and sheroes who dedicated their lives in conquering their statuses, such as Brother Shaka, Brother Hannibal, Brother Tenkamein, Brother Imhotep, Brother Rameses, Sister Candace, Sister Yaa Asantewaa, Sister Nzingha, Sister Cleopatra, Sister Nefertiti, Sister Sheba, Sister Tiye and Sister Hatshepsut.
In Timbuktu, there was our place of studies which is Sankore, which taught maths and engineering.
The Honourable Marcus Garvey established his movement in uniting Africans globally and that’s the Universal Negro Improvement Association. It had branches in Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia and even in Australia.
It had programmes, such as a shipping company, the Black Star Line, a place of worship, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, it had the Black Cross Nurses, the Negro World journal, a land programme for Liberia, Liberty University similiar to Tuskegee Institute, a restaurant, a grocery, tailors and a millinery.
It also had a women’s programme, where our sisters fought for their issues, especially when it came equality. In the UNIA’s women’s programme were the Sister Amys, Ashwood and Jacques; Sister Henrietta Vinton-Davis and Queen Mother Moore.
The editor of the Negro World journal was Brother Timothy Thomas Fortune, and Brother Carter G. Woodson did his African history columns in the Negro World journal.
Ghana becoming the first ever African nation to gain our independence on the 6th of March 1957, after that it was Guinea gaining her independence in 1958, Sudan in 1959 and Nigeria, Mali and the Congo in 1960. While the rest of our other African nations had gained their independence, but Ghana was the first to gain our independence, fifty-five years ago.
Brother Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Brother Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Brother Ahmed Sekou Ture of Guinea and Brother Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria are our heroes who fought for our freedom in gaining our independence across our continent, and it was the same with Brother Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, thirty-two years ago. But before him, there was Brother Jomo Keynatta of Kenya and Brother Julius Nyerere of Tanzani,a who also led our African nations to gaining their independence too.
Brother Amilcar Cabral also fought in gaining the freedom amongst our brothers and sisters in Guinea Bissau.
Brother Steve Biko fought in the struggle, in the fighting for our freedom in South Africa, as well as installing self-pride amongst Africans too.
It was also the same with Brother Chris Hani.
Sister Winnie Mandela hasn’t given-up amongst our brothers and sisters in South Africa in not only fighting for our freedom, but she voices the rights of our young people in South Africa as well as campaigning for our women, while she was at the African National Congress movement and definitely Sister Winnie Mandela can make a fine President of her country.
Sister Constance Cummings-John has campaigned for the rights of our women as well as standing up against racial injustices against our men, and she and Brother I.T.A Wallace-Johnson campaigned for our young people in Sierra Leone too, and that was the West African Youth League movement. Brother I.T.A Wallace-Johnson was also a journalist, a trade unionist and a politician, apart from being a Pan-Africanist.
Brother Walter Rodney, apart from being a lecturer in teaching Africans our history justly, he stood up for our rights too, apart from standing up for our rights in Guyana, Canada and Jamaica. Brother Walter fought for the unity amongst Africans globally.
Twenty-nine years ago, Brother Maurice Bishop stood up for the respect and the dignity justly for our brothers and sisters in Grenada.
If we’d remember these things, then we wouldn’t be misguided at all.
The Harlem Renaissance, where Africans were involved in poetry, drama and music, as well as other arts in reclaiming their roots and realities, which they were exploited due to our ancestors being enslaved.
When it came to the poetry, the likes of Brother Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Brother Claude McKay, Brother Jean Toomer, Brother James Weldon Johnson, Brother J.A. Rogers, Brother Countee Cullen, Sister Jessie Fauset, Sister Zora Neale Hurston and Sister Gwen Brooks, showed their phenomenal talent all the way.
Before them, there was Sister Phyllis Wheatley who wrote her poetry about herself, as a woman, and in order to see our people being freed.
When it came to novels, the likes of Brother Ralph Ellison, Brother Langston Hughes and Brother James Baldwin, said it all.
Brother Jacob Lawrence was known for his articulated portraits in reflecting his cultural roots.
When it came to plays and dramas, there were Brother Paul Robeson who starred in Othello and Showboat, and Sister Dorothy Dandridge, who starred in Carmen Jones along with Brother Harry Belafonte.
Sister Billie Holiday was known as the Lady that sings the Blues and Sister Josephine Baker was renowned for singing and dancing and Sister Ella Fitzgerald doing her scats.
When it came to jazz, then it was Brother Charlie Parker, Brother Jelly Roll Morton, Brother Duke Ellington, Brother Louis Armstrong, Brother W.C. Handy, Brother Thelonious Monk and Brother John Coltrane and also Brother Dizzy Gillespie showed us the way with their smoothly jazzy tones.
It was forty-nine years ago when Brother Martin Luther King Junior did his speech in Washington, but still African people were facing unjustly attacks by racists, including the police when they unleashed their dogs to attack African people, beating us with their batons and water hosing our people, inhumanly and disgracefully as the world watched on.
Brother Martin Luther King felt that civil rights was the only thing that can freed Africans, while Brother Malcolm X opposed it entirely, because Brother Malcolm felt that the only way African people can gain our freedom is to separate in order to be in control within our system of affairs, socially, justly, culturally and economically.
Both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X fought for the freedom of Africans, but from a different prospectives.
Brother Martin Luther King was involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott involving Sister Rosa Parks, fifty-seven years ago, when Sister Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus, she might have been arrested, but Sister Rosa knew where she stood when it came to her rights as an African female and as a citizen.
Africans have suffered other injustices – when it came to our civil rights. They been discriminated as well as disregarded.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, nine young Africans were racially attacked and abused while they were entering their school. The two young Africans that were racially attacked where Sister Elizabeth Eckford and Sister Daisy Bates; they were escorted.
It was the same when Brother James Meredith was escorted while he was a student in Mississippi.
Africans were denied entering their college in Alabama, when the disgusting bigot George C. Wallace denied them entry.
Africans who were at F.W. Woolworth in South Carolina weren’t only racially abused, but they refused service.
Brother James Chaney, Brother Emmett Till and Brother Medgar Evers were both murdered in Mississippi.
Sister Fannie Lou Hamer of the Mississippi Democratic Freedom Party, courageously fought against these racial injustices happening in the state and to tell the congressional politicians in Washington at the Senate and the Houses of Representatives as well in the so-called White House, that our people cannot wait any longer for our voices and demands to be heard.
The Black Panther Party organised forty-six years ago, fought for the rights amongst Africans, such as in employment, education, health and to combat racist attacks by the police and to expose greed and corruption by these politicians in Washington.
Brother Huey Newton and Brother Bobby Seale were the co-founders of the Black Panther Party – they met as students in Los Angeles.
There were other members of the party, such as Brother Fred Hampton, Brother Leroy Eldridge Cleaver, Brother Bobby Hutton, Brother Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sister Kathleen Cleaver, Sister Elaine Brown, Sister Alfeni Shakur and Sister Assata Shakur.
Brother Kwame Ture and Brother H. Rap Brown were briefly with the Black Panther Party, as well as being co-founders of the Student Non-Violent Co-ordinating Committee.
They were either framed or murdered our brothers and sisters of the Black Panther Party, whether it was Brother Huey Newton, Brother Fred Hampton and Brother Bobby Hutton, and it was done by the FBI, the police and stooges who were working for these devils.
Brother Mumia Abu-Jamal is still unjustly incarcerated when he was accused thirty years ago of so-called murdering police officer Daniel Faulkner, when the policeman had threatened the brother of Brother Mumia Abu-Jamal and it was justly that Brother Mumia was defending his brother, then Brother Mumia was wounded and Faulkner, the police officer was killed.
Sister Assata Shakur was racially abused as well as sexually harassed by these demons, but she fled to Cuba and she organised the Black Liberation Army movement in Cuba.
In Britain, three Africans entered the Houses of Parliament twenty-five years ago and that’s Brother Bernie Grant, Labour M.P. for Tottenham, Brother Paul Boateng, Labour M.P. for Brent South and Sister Diane Abbott, Labour M.P. for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.
Africans have contributed when comes to science and inventions.
Brother Granville T. Woods invented the telegraphic railway line, he also invented the cordless phone, he built an apparatus to do with the amusement arcade and he invented the walkie-talkie.
Brother Lewis Latimer invented the electric light bulb. In London, Electric Avenue bears his name to do with the electric lights that brightens the streets of Brixton.
Brother Jan Matzenger invented a machine in order to produce shoes etc.
Brother Dan Hale Williams was notable for his open heart surgeries.
Brother Charles Drew was known for his blood donor banks in order to transfuse blood into other patients, and that included solders who fought in the World War.
Brother Elijah McCoy invented his lubricated oil system nicknamed “The Real McCoy”.
Brother William Purvis invented the writing pen.
Brother George Washington Carver invented more than three-hundred products from a sweet potato, soybean and nuts such as bleach, pomade, buttermilk, polish, dye, soap, shampoo, coffee, bread, cheese, peanut butter spread, rubber, ink and paint.
Brother George Washington Carver was also an lecturer at Tuskegee Institute.
Brother Ben Banneker had surveyed to design sites in Washington. He also invented the clock, and he taught algebra and astrology.
Brother Garrett A. Morgan engineered the traffic light system and invented the gas mask.
Brother Augustus Jackson invented ice creams.
Brother Andrew Beard engineered the spin wheel onto railway carriages.
Brother Fred Jones invented the fridge.
Brother Henry T. Sampson invented the Cellular car phones.
Brother George Caruthers invented a device camera for the Apollo 16 space shuttle.
Brother Ben Carson twenty-five years ago successfully separated Siamese twins.
Brother Otis Boykin, apart from inventing the pacemaker, also invented microcomputers.
Brother Phil Emegwali has continued inventing the microcomputers, especially using it for calculating fuel supplies, and so has Brother Mark Dean.
Brother Lonnie Johnson invented the toy water guns.
Brother John Lee Love invented the pencil sharpener.
Brother Percy Lavon Julian invented remedies from plants, such as the birth control pills and eye drops.
Sister Sarah Boone invented the ironing board.
Sister Mary Seacole nursed victims of the Crimea War.
Madame CJ Walker became a self-made millionaire when she invented her hair care products, such as shampoo, hair growth cream and scalp ointments. Madame CJ Walker also pioneered a range of skin care items, such as facial powders and toilet soaps.
Sister Sarah Goode invented the patient beds that were combined with a desk.
Sister Bessie Coleman obtained her licence to fly across the world.
Three Africans have travelled around space, Brother Ron McNair, Brother Guion Bluford and Sister Mae C. Jemison.
When it comes to sport, then it isn’t surprising that our brothers and sisters have gained their athletically status globally.
Brother Muhammad Ali, who had skill and soul to become the greatest athlete ever in the ring. Before him, there was Brother Jack Johnson, Brother Sugar Ray Robinson and Brother Joe Louis.
Brother Muhammad Ali wasn’t scared of speaking his mind. He fought for our rights as a people and inspired us too.
Brother Teofilo Stevenson won three gold medals for Cuba and his first was forty years ago. Brother Teofilo Stevenson remained an amateur instead of turning professional.
In Africa, there have been our courageous boxers who have won world titles such as Brother Dick Tiger of Nigeria; Brother David Kotey, Brother Azumah Nelson, Brother Ike Quartey and Brother Josh Clottey from Ghana.
Brother Jesse Owens wasn’t intimidated by Hitler when he came into his backyard and won four gold medals on track and field.
Brother Carl Lewis smashed Brother Jesse Owens’ record in winning nine gold medals in total and his first was in 1984 in Los Angeles and it ended in Atlanta in 1996.
Brother John Carlos and Brother Tommie Smith raised their fist in the air against the racial injustice that we are still experiencing, when they won gold and bronze in Mexico, forty-four years ago.
Brother Bob Beamon produced a memorable jump also in Mexico, but his record was smashed by Brother Mike Powell in Barcelona, twenty years ago.
Brother Michael Johnson and Brother Maurice Greene, despite rivalry, showed that they were undoubtedly the greatest sprinters ever.
Brother Daley Thompson produced his best ever display twenty-eight years ago in Los Angeles as a decathlete.
Brother Linford Christie showed his strength and courage as a sprinter and why not?
Brother Usain Bolt became the greatest sprinter of all-time when he won his gold medal back to back in London, this summer.
Sister Wilma Rudolph, despite suffering polio, became the greatest athlete of all-time by winning three gold medals in Rome in the early sixties.
Sister Wilma Rudolph had opened the doors to our other courageous sister athletes, such as Sister Florence Griffith-Joyner and her sister in law; Sister Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Sister Evelyn Ashford and Sister Gail Devers.
Sister Tessa Sanderson threw a powerful throw in her javelin event in Los Angeles, twenty-eight years ago and it was so emotional for her in winning gold.
Sister Althea Gibson won her Ladies Singles titles back to back fifty-five years ago and fifty-four years ago and her record was beaten by both Sister Venus and Sister Serena Williams.
Brother Arthur Ashe had to wait for thirty-seven years to gain the Men’s Singles title.
Brother Jackie Robinson smashed records for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but then Brother Hank Aaron smashed more records of runs too.
Brother Jules Erving, Brother Bill Russell, Brother Wilt Chamberlain and Brother Kareem Abdul-Jabbar showed why they ruled the courts in becoming the greatest ever athletes in basketball.
It was the same with Brother Willis Reed and Brother Oscar Robertson.
Brother Earvin Magic Johnson, Brother Michael Jordan, Brother Scott Pippin and Brother Shaquile O’Neal continued where our great basketball heroes left off, by winning honours after honours.
The Harlem Globetrotters with their outrageous skills and fun, inspired us dearly.
Sister Lisa Leslie and Sister Sheryl Swoopes won honours as athletes in basketball and showing that our sisters can mix it with our brothers.
Sister Dominique Dawes won gold as a gymnast in Atlanta, sixteen years ago.
Brother Learie Constantine, Brother Frank Worrell and Brother Gary Sobers showed that they weren’t intimidated of anyone when the West Indian Cricket Team defiantly took on the world with their stunningly devastating batting and fast bowling too.
Brother Michael Holding and Brother Malcolm Marshall showed why they were the greatest fast bowlers of their island.
Brother Viv Richards smashed runs after runs to become the greatest batsman of all-time.
Brother Brian Lara, who was criticised, didn’t allow his enemies to undermine him and showed that he never doubted himself as a batsman.
Brother Jim Brown, Brother Walter Payton and Brother O.J. Simpson scoring goals after goals as well as touchdowns in the National Football League matches.
Brother Arthur Wharton and Brother Walter Tull showed that they weren’t intimidated by the racial abuse they were encountering in becoming courageous footballers in British society.
Brother Arthur Wharton played for Preston while Brother Walter Tull played for Tottenham.
They opened the doors to Brother Clyde Best, Brother Cyrille Regis, Brother Viv Anderson, Brother Roger Palmer, Brother Howard Gayle, Brother David Rocastle, Brother John Barnes, Brother Ian Wright and Brother Mark Bright, and despite the racism they suffered unjustly, it didn’t discourage them in anyway whatsoever.
Brother Pele with his stunning skills and clinical scoring became the greatest footballer of all-time and he led Brazil to three World Cups and that’s 1958 when he scored clinically against Sweden, 1962 and 1970 when he scored against Italy.
Brother Didier Drogba scored in four F.A. Cups for Chelsea.
Brother Roger Mila, Brother Abedi Pele Ayew, Brother Tony Yeboah, Brother Sam Kuffour, Brother Dan Amokachi, Brother Rashidi Yekini, Brother Nwankwo Kanu and Brother Jay-Jay Okocha showed why they are greatest footballers from Africa and showed the world that Africans undoubtedly have enough quality on the pitch. African football players have won enough honours as well as committing themselves for the clubs they have been playing for across the world.
Brother Lewis Hamilton didn’t allow racial demons to discourage him, when he won the Formula One title four years ago.
Brother Ellery Hanley and Brother Martin Offiah showed their strength and power while playing in Rugby League.
When it comes to music, then you shouldn’t be surprised Africans singing songs to do with soul, gospel, reggae, Afrobeat, highlife and hip hop.
Brother Marvin Gaye, Brother James Brown, Brother Stevie Wonder, Brother Otis Redding, Brother Al Green and Brother Sam Cooke all came from the skies above to sing their soul classics to uplift and to touch us softly, sweetly and sufficiently.
It is the same with Sister Dionne Warwick, Sister Aretha Franklin, Sister Patti Labelle and Sister Whitney Houston by coming from our creator to inspire our souls sweetly and comfortably too.
Brother Michael Jackson and his brothers took the world by storm forty-three years ago and the Jackson Five were the greatest ever soul as well as pop group of all-time.
Brother Michael Jackson became a multi-millionaire thirty years ago when his Thriller single sold globally.
The Four Tops, the Temptations and the Detroit Spinners were dynamically classical too.
Sister Diana Ross, Sister Mary Wilson and Sister Florence Ballard were the Supremes and their stunning and beauty said it all and these sisters were so uplifting; Sister Jean Terrell and Sister Cindy Birdsong took over from Sister Diana Ross and Sister Florence Ballard.
Brother Isaac Hayes wrote songs for both Sam and Dave and Brother Rufus Thomas and his daughter; Sister Carla for Stax Records. He was notable for songs from Shaft, forty-one years ago.
Brother Barry White conducted as well as sung and played his piano for his Love Unlimited Orchestra.
Brother Teddy Pendergrass was singing his classics with the Bluenotes and then he went solo with his classics such as Turn off the Lights, thirty-three years ago and Love TKO, thirty-two years ago.
Brother Curtis Mayfield, Brother Fred Cash and Brother Jerry Butler were singing their soul and gospel classics with the Impressions such as People Get Ready, Amen, Woman’s Got Soul, Talking with my Baby, I’m so Proud and Choice of Colours. Brother Curtis Mayfield turned solo with his classic from Superfly, forty years ago.
Sister Mavis Staples and her family had classics such as Respect Yourself, forty-one years ago, I will take your There, forty years ago and Let’s Do Again, thirty-seven years ago.
Brother Donny Hathaway and Sister Roberta Flack were notable for their love songs including Where is the Love, forty years ago.
The Commodores were a funk group that graduated at Tuskegee Institute. Apart from funk, they sang soul, disco and R&B songs. The Commodores had classics such as Three Times a Lady, thirty-four years ago, Brick House, thirty-five years ago, Sail On, thirty-five years ago, Easy, thirty-five years ago, Still, thirty-three years ago, Just be close to You, thirty-six years ago, Machine Gun, thirty-eight years ago and their only R&B classic Nightshift, twenty-eight years ago. Brother Lionel Ritchie was their lead singer as well as playing the keys etc.
The GAP Band dedicated their funk classics to our people that were unjustly murdered when racists bombed their properties as well as their businesses in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They had classics such as Oops upside your Head, thirty-two years ago, Burn Rubber on Me, thirty-one years ago and You drop a Bomb on Me, thirty years ago.
Earth, Wind and Fire and Kool and the Gang also produced their classical funk hits all-round.
Sister Mahalia Jackson sang her Sweet Chariot during the March on Washington, forty-nine years ago.
Sister Marion Anderson sang her opera tones at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
Brother Robert Nesta Marley, Brother Peter McIntosh (Peter Tosh) and Brother Bunny Livingstone (Bunny Wailer) sang their reggae classics that were mainly for the freedom of Africans such as Exodus, Small Axe, Redemption Song and Africa United. They were inspired by Brother Marcus Garvey.
Brother Winston Rodney known as Burning Spear was also inspired by Brother Marcus Garvey and thirty-seven years ago he sung Old Marcus Garvey.
Brother Eddy Grant was formerly the drummer (guitarist, ed) of The Equals, and in 1982 and 1983 he had two classics and that’s I don’t want to Dance and Electric Avenue.
Musical Youth – five brothers from Birmingham Brother Dennis Seaton, Brother Junior and Brother Pat Waite and Brother Michael and Brother Kelvin Grant sang their classic No 1 hit in 1982, Pass the Ducthie.
The likes of Sister Donna Summer, Chic, Sister Cheryl Lynn, Brother Carl Carlton, the Sylvers and Sister Candi Staton were all known for their classic disco fevers.
As for R&B, Brother Keith Sweat, Debarge, Midnight Star, Atlantic Starr, Sister Gwen Guthrie, Boyz II Men and Shalamar brought so many of the classic music which is Rhythm and Blues.
Brother Fela Kuti was known as the greatest ever Afrobeat singer of all-time and it was in 1971 when he sang Zombie, his song to expose injustice and corruption by those who manipulate their victims.
Brother Hugh Masekela, Sister Miriam Makeba, Sister Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Sister Brenda Fassie and Brother Lucky Dube sang their songs to defeat the notorious Apartheid system in their brutalities against Africans in the South of our Motherland as well as gaining our freedom.
Osibisa are known for their Woyaya classic forty-one years ago from our comedy in Ghana Osofo Dadzie.
When it comes to conscious hip-hop, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five did just that thirty years ago with the Message looking at the struggles that people go through such as poverty, under-employment, drugs, prostitution and police brutality.
Brother Gary Byrd and his G.B. Experience inspired us to never allow us to forget our glorious past times and that was The Crown, twenty-nine years ago.
Arrested Development and Public Enemy rapped about our struggles in order to emancipate ourselves.
Brother Tupac Shakur also was notable with his rap songs to enable us to fight for our freedom against our struggles.
Brother KRS-1 taught our people to learn and to never be uneducated.
Brother Jim Kelly starred as Black Belt Jones thirty-eight years ago because when he starred in Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee, Brother Jim had to die first and it isn’t usual that Africans are erased early when it comes to the so-called multi-corporate movies from the Hollywood film industry.
Brother Ron O’Neal starred as Priest Youngblood in Superfly, forty years ago.
Brother Richard Roundtree starred as Shaft in the three movies produced by Brother Gordon Parks and the songs by Brother Isaac Hayes and the first was forty-one years ago.
Sister Tamara Dobson starred as Cleopatra Jones, thirty-nine years ago.
Sister Pam Grier starred as Coffy which also thirty-nine years ago, Foxy Brown, thirty-eight years ago and Jackie Brown, thirteen years ago.
Brother Sidney Poiter, Brother Harry Belafonte and Brother Bill Cosby starred in Uptown Saturday Night, thirty-eight years ago and Let’s do it Again, thirty-seven years ago.
Brother Alex Haley turned his novel, Roots into a mini series, thirty-five years ago.
Comedies to do with Africans weren’t showing anything positive about our people, such as Sanford and Son, forty years ago, Good Times, thirty-eight years ago, the Jeffersons, thirty-seven years ago, the Fosters, thirty-six years ago, No Problem, thirty years ago and Desmond’s twenty-three years ago.
Brother Bill Cosby, twenty-seven years ago showed the positive self-imagine of the African family that it is capable of doing things like anyone else – the Cosby Show showed us the way.
Africans are notable in the media such as Sister Oprah Winfrey who started as a news reporter, then she starred with Sister Whoopi Goldberg in the Color Purple, twenty-seven years ago and of course started her chat show.
Sister Oprah Winfrey has successfully built her own Girl’s Academy in South Africa to help our young sisters who have suffered vicious sexual abuses and helping to overcome their traumas by gaining a decent education.
Sister Oprah has also built her own strings of books and magazines as well as her HARPO production company.
Brother John Johnson established his Johnson Publishing Company that publishes Jet and Ebony to show the positive self-image of Africans. And now the Johnson Publishing Company has turned their business to do with fashion.
Sister Cicely Tyson thirty-nine years ago was portrayed in Ebony with her braided hair.
Brother Earl Graves, Brother Ken Chenault and Sister Sylvia Woods are entrepreneurs apart from financially, but successfully.
Brother Henry Bonsu, Brother Space Clottey, Brother Levi Roots and Brother Jak Buela-Dodd are also entrepreneurs successfully too.
Sister Trish Adudu who worked as an assistant producer to do with BBC’s Grandstand and Match of the Day as well as being a sports presenter for Channel Five; has her own debate programme to do with the issues concerning Africans across the globe, Real Talk.
Also, Sister Jacqui Harper, Sister Pam and Sister Jacqui Joseph, Sister Chrystal Rose, Sister Brenda Emmanus, Sister Michelle Brooks, Sister Gillian Joseph, Sister Angie Le Mar etc have both gained their journalistic status, whether on radio or on television,.
It is also the same with Brother Akintayo Adetokombo and his debate show Hotseat.
Sister Ida B. Wells-Barnett fought against racial injustice done onto African men in Memphis and she was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People.
Sister Mary McLeod Bethune established her organisation for our young women and that’s the Bethune-Cookman Institute for Girls as well as being an educational advisor to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Government.
Africans contribute to films and dramas as well as comedies, such as Brother Denzel Washington, Brother Wesley Snipes, Brother Bill Duke, Brother John Amos, Brother James Earl Jones, Brother Spike Lee who stars and directs, Brother Bill Nunn, Brother Laurence Fishburne, Brother Will Smith, Sister Angela Bassett, Sister Monique, Sister Rachel True, Sister Holly Robinson-Petee, Sister Karyn Parsons etc.
Africans in our Motherland have also contributed in films and dramas in our continent, such as Brother Van Vicker, Brother Des Elliott, Brother Jim Iyke, Brother Kwame Owusu Ansah, Brother Emeka Ike, Brother Saint Obi, Sister Vivian Dentaa Boateng, Sister Ama K. Abersee, Sister Omolola Eko, Sister Ini Edo, Sister Genevieve Nnaji, Sister Kate Henshaw-Nutal and Sister Stella Damusus.
Our great scholars such as Baba John Henrik Clarke, Baba Yosef ben-Jochannan, Baba Cheikh Anta Diop, Baba Chinwezu, Baba Ivan van Sertima, Baba Runoko Rashidi and Baba Tony Browder have inspired by teaching the realities of our glorious past times that enables continually.
Despite we having been brutalised and demonised, Africans are the original beings that contributed soulfully, justly and culturally across the world.
Brother George Washington Carver didn’t need anyone to encourage him to inspire himself to use sweet potatoes, soybeans and nuts to produce items whether it is foods, polishes, cosmetics etc.
Brother Ben Banneker didn’t need anyone to teach him how study the time of the hour, the moon and the stars and to design and build facilities in Washington D.C.
Brother Dan Hale Williams didn’t need anyone to help him carry out surgeries on the hearts of his patients.
Brother Elijah McCoy didn’t need anyone to energise his lubricated oil systems.
Brother William Purvis didn’t need anyone to help to invent the pen.
The Druids didn’t need anyone to build the sites of Stonehenge.
The Moors migrated to Spain and Portugal to build, to teach and to invest.
Brother Muhammad Ali undoubtedly proved that he’s the greatest ever athlete that the world has seen.
Madame CJ Walker started washing tub bowls before she became wealthy with her hair care products.
Sister Bessie Coleman didn’t need anyone to show her how to fly planes.
Sister Wilma Rudolph didn’t let polio put her off and showed that she was the greatest female athlete of all-time with three gold medals.
Sister Althea Gibson winning her Ladies Singles’ titles back to back and Sister Venus and Sister Serena smashed Sister Althea’s record.
Brother Malcolm and Brother Martin, despite differences in fighting for the unity and the liberation of Africans, they didn’t give up on us.
Brother Amiri Baraka and Brother Gil Scott-Heron inspired us with their poetries.
Sister Mary McLeod Bethune inspired our young women that they are academic as well as dignifying.
Sister Mae C. Jemison travelled around the planet earth as an astronaut.
African men and women have defiance and forever more then and now.
African history isn’t one off, but forever more and it doesn’t stop.
“A PEOPLE WITHOUT A KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR HISTORY, IS LIKE A TREE WITHOUT ROOTS” Brother Marcus Mosiah Garvey, 1887-1940.
I dedicate my article to the late Baba John Henrik Clarke, Baba Yosef ben-Jochannan and his assistant Baba Arthur Lewis, the late Baba George GM James, the late Baba Cheikh Anta Diop and his assistant Baba Theophile Obenga, the late Baba Ivan van Sertima, the late Baba James Williams (Chancellor Williams), the late Baba Djedi Jewethy, the late Nana Baffour Amankwatia II, Nana Kwaku Dukou Agyemang, Baba Chinwezu, Baba Anthony T. Browder, Baba James Smalls, Baba Runoko Rashidi, Brother Kimani Nehusi, Brother Robin Walker, Brother Kwasi Prah Junior, Brother Nani Kofi, Brother Mbandaka and his queen, Sister Kai, Brother Omowale Knaw and his queen, Sister Candace, Brother Olatunji Heru and his queen, Sister Anoa Popo, Brother Kwaku Khem and his queen, Sister Kinara, Elder Kofi Ali Abdul Yekin, Elder Gamba Kokayi, Elder Pepukayi Nkrumah, Brother Gorden Stewart and Brother Kojo Bonsu and their families in High Wycombe, Brother Kwame and his family in Hackney, Brother Omowale Rupert and his family, Brother Kwaku Bonsu and Brother Tetteh and the rest of the Galaxy family, Brother Kwaku of the Black Music Congress, Brother Kofi Klu, Brother Space Clottey and his queen, Sister Ruth and the rest of the Voice of Africa family, Brother Toyin Agetbu and the Ligali family, Brother Kevin Abrahams and his queen, Sister Afua, Brother Glen Watson and the Nubian Emperor and the rest of the Global Afrikan Congress family, Brother Kwame Osei in Ghana, Mama Frances Cress Welsing, Mama Adelaide Sanford, Mama Nzingha Assata, Mama Marimba Ani, Mama Pat Newton, Sister Jendayi Serwah, Sister Jen, Sister Njeri Liberman, Sister Fola Awofadeju, Sister Ekua Stanford-Xosei and to my darling soulful queen, Sister Elizabeth Denkyiraa.
Also, I would like to dedicate to our African businesses regionally, nationally and globally, Maarifa, Centreprise and Muatta Books in Hackney, Mama Afrika Kulcha Shap in Leyton, Nana Yaa African Grocers and Drumbeat both in Leyton, Peppers and Spice in Tottenham and Hackney, Zionly cultural centres in Peckham and Brixton, Snipps in Stratford, Each One, Teach One in Forest Gate, Kumasi Market in Tottenham and Peckham, Aunty J ready cooked meals and Uncle John’s Bakery in Tottenham.
This is a slightly amended version of the original written in 2012, which is posted here by Kwaku BBM
This edition was posted by Kwaku for TAOBQ (The African Or Black Question)
Click to read African History Month Discussion Paper 1
Click to read African History Month Discussion Paper 2
Click to read African History Month Discussion Paper 3
Click to read African History Month Discussion Paper 5.