Reason against absolutism

Any set of conceptual, paradigmatic, philosophical, theoretical, or ideological premises, even if supposedly liberatory in origin or intent, if grounded in absolutist premises which pose simplistic responses to complex quandaries, can potentially become instruments of oppression.

One should guard one’s mind accordingly.

An outward directed radicalism

Africans in the US are compelled to embrace everyone’s nationalism and liberatory struggle but our own. We are routinely presented with “radical” politics that seek to elevate some group of social actors, while within such configurations we are often fodder or our destiny an enigma.

Border patrol

Language is a carefully maintained border in the domain of social relations wherein power disparities exist between cultural groups. The languages of the colonized may be subject to marginalization, containment, or expungement. They serve as signifiers of inferiority or subordination.

Enlightenment

I was walking through the halls of the university and saw a flyer for a Yoga class with the tag line, “find inner peace”. For Africans, is it rational to seek inner peace without also disrupting the condition of isft that envelops us since the personal and social are entwined?

Jacob Carruthers stated that “The Niswt’s overall function, like that of Wosir, is the establishment of Maat in Tawi, i.e., to establish conditions where enlightenment will prevail over ignorance.”

I maintain that the establishment of Maat is also our charge. To establish Maat in the world is the true basis of enlightenment.
Referenced terms

isft is a Kemetic word that can be translated as wrong-doing or disorder.

niswt is the title of the ruler of Kemet. Pharaoh is a foreign term.

wosir is the divinity that the Greeks called Osiris.

tawi was the national name of Kemet. It referred to the united two lands. tawi literally translates as “two lands”.

Ideology

Many claim that ideology enables us to better see. This is only partially true. Ideology draws our attention to particular things or ideas in such a way that it also blinds. Thus one must resist the seduction of ideological myopia and its reduction of reality to absolutisms.

Q&A: Ancient Egypt in African history

A person posed the following question: Since most of our ancestry derives from West Africa, why does African history always focus on Ancient Egypt?
My response: I don’t think that African history only focuses on Egypt (Kemet), however the focus on Egypt among African Americans goes back to the 19th Century, wherein its grand legacy was seen as a means of redeeming the false notion that Africa was devoid of history and that Africans had never created a great civilization. If we were to survey the historiography of 19th and mid-20th Century African American intellectuals, we do see a significant focus on Egypt, but there were also a fair number of intellectuals writing about other, later civilizations; consider for instance Du Bois’s groundbreaking texts The Negro and Black Folks Then and Now, as well as Carter G. Woodson’s The African Background Outlined. All of these texts offer a fairly balanced treatment of Black history.

To be sure, there are critiques to be made of a “lop-sided” focus on Egypt, particularly if such a study does not alleviate our often impoverished knowledge of the rest of Africa. Many argue that as Diasporan Africans, we should be more acquainted with the history of West and Central Africa. I agree with this, but also add that it is important to understand African history as a continuum that spans from ancient Egypt and Nubia to the present day.