Ideology is no substitute for scientific literacy. This is especially so in relation to the confluence of ecological crises at hand, crises whose full apprehension and resolution will require critical study and engagement.
Deep thought (philosophy)
Armah, Ayi Kwei. 1973. Two Thousand Seasons. Popenguine, Senegal: PerAnkh.
Carruthers, Jacob H. 1984. Essays in Ancient Egyptian studies. Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press.
Carruthers, Jacob H. 1999. Intellectual Warfare. Chicago: Third World Press.
Carruthers, Jacob H. 1995. MDW NTR: Divine Speech. London: Karnak House.
Fu-Kiau, K. K. Bunseki. 2001. African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo: Principles of Life and Living. Broolyn, NY: Athelia Henrietta Press.
Gbadegesin, Segun. 1996. African Philosophy: Traditional Yoruba Philosophy and Contemporary African Realities. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
Gyekye, Kwame. 1995. African Philosophical Thought. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Kamalu, Chukwunyere. 1998. Person, Divinity, & Nature. London, England: Karnak House.
Karenga, Maulana. 1989. Selections from the Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt. Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press.
Karenga, Maulana. 1999. Odu Ifa: The Ethical Teachings. Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press.
Karenga, Maulana. 2004. Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study in Classical African Ethics. New York: Routledge.
Obenga, Theophile. 2004. African Philosophy: The Pharaonic Period: 2780-330 BC. Popenguine, Senegal: Per Ankh.
Du Bois, W.E.B. 1973. The Education of Black People: Ten Critiques, 1906-1960. edited by Herbert Aptheker. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Fu-Kiau, K. Kia Bunseki, and A.M. Lukondo-Wamba. 1988. Kindezi: The Kongo Art of Babysitting. Baltimore: Imprint Editions.
Hilliard, Asa G. 2002. African Power: Affirming African Indigenous Socialization in the Face of the Culture Wars. Gainesville, FL: Makare Publishing Company.
Okrah, Kwadwo A. 2003. Nyansapo (The Wisdom Knot): Toward an African Philosophy of Education. New York, NY: Routledge.
Shujaa, Mwalimu J. 2003. “The Widening Gap between Education and Schooling in the Post 9/11 Era.” Journal of Negro Education 72 (2):179-189.
Woodson, Carter G. 1990. The Mis-Education of the Negro. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.
Ani, Marimba. 2004. “To Be Afrikan: Toward the Healing, Rebirth and Reconstruction of Afrikan Civilization: Maat/Maafa/Sankofa.” In State of the Race, edited by Jemadari Kamara and Tony Menelik Van Der Meer, 137-165. Boston: Diaspora Press.
Armah, Ayi Kwei. 1978. The Healers. Popenguine, Senegal: Per Ankh.
Fu-Kiau, K. Kia Bunseki. 1991. Self-Healing Power and Therapy. Baltimore: Imprint Editions.
Maasi, Shaha Mfundishi. 2008. Essential Warrior: Living Beyond Doubt and Fear. Baltimore, MD: MD&H Publications, LLC.
Somé, Sobonfu E. 2003. Falling Out of Grace: Meditation on Loss, Healing and Wisdom. El Sobrante, CA: North Bay Books.
Carruthers, Jacob H. 1985. The Irritated Genie: An Essay on the Haitian Revolution. Chicago: The Kemetic Institute.
Carruthers, Jacob H. 2007. “Kush and Kemet: The Pillars of African Centered Thought.” In Contemporary Africana Theory, Thought and Action, edited by Clenora Hudson-Weems, 43-57. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.
Price, Richard. 1996. Maroon Societies: Rebel Slave Communities in the Americas. 3rd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and revolutionary struggle
Armah, Ayi Kwei. 2010. Remembering the Dismembered Continent. Popenguine, Senegal: Per Ankh.
Baruti, Mwalimu A. Bomani. 2006. Notes Toward Higher Ideals in Afrikan Intellectual Liberation. Atlanta: Akoben House.
Delany, Martin. 1993. The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States Politically Considered. Baltimore: Black Classic Press.
Garvey, Amy Jacques. 1986. The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey. Dover, MA: The Majority Press.
Karenga, Maulana. 1980. “Kawaida: An Introduction.” Kawaida Institute of Pan-African Studies, Los Angeles.
Martin, Tony. 1976. Race First: The Ideological and Organization Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Imporvement Association, The New Marcus Garvey Library. Dover, MA: The Majority Press.
Nkrumah, Kwame. 1963. Africa Must Unite. New York: Praeger Publisher.
Proverbs and stories
Bâ, A. Hampaté. 1988. Kaidara. Translated by Daniel Whitman. Washington, DC: Three Continents Press.
Opoku, Kofi Asare. 1997. Hearing and Keeping: Akan Proverbs. Pretoria, South Africa: Unisa Press.
Owomoyela, Oyekan. 2005. Yoruba Proverbs. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Kambon, Kobi Kazembe Kalongi. 1992. The African Personality in America: An African-Centered Framework. Tallahassee: Nubian Nation Publications.
Kambon, Kobi Kazembe Kalongi. 2003. Cultural Misorientation: The Greatest Threat to the Survival of the Black Race in the 21st Century. Tallahassee: Nubian Nation Publications.
Social, political, and economic organization
Fu-Kiau, K. K. Bunseki. 2007. Mbôngi: An African Traditional Political Institution. Atlanta, GA: Afrikan Djeli Publishers.
Adofo, Dalian and Verona Spence. 2017. Ancestral Voices: Spirit is Eternal. United Kingdom: Longbelly Entertainment.Amen, Rkhty. 2012. A Life Centered Life Living Maat.
Ani, Marimba. 1980. Let the Circle Be Unbroken: The Implications of African Spirituality in the Diaspora. New York: Nkonimfo.
Mbiti, John S. 1969. African Religions and Philosophy. London: Heinemann.
Weeks, James. 2019. Meditations Across the King’s River: African-Inspired Wisdom for Life’s Journey. Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press.
It should be noted that in the African worldview, though each individual has a their own destiny, such a path and its fulfillment becomes a communal obligation. This means that the community is charged with maximizing the development of its members. Since it is believed that one’s maximal development is best expressed by one’s discovery and fulfillment of their purpose, it is then the duty of the family and community to ensure this. This is why the Akan proverb states, “Woforo dua pa a na yepia wo,” that is, “It is when you climb a good tree that we push you.” Such wisdom is found throughout the African continent, including among the Kongo. As shown in the below excerpt.
“For the Bântu, in general, and the Kôngo, in particular, the coming of a child in the community is the rising of a new and unique ‘living sun’ into it. It is the responsibility of the community as a whole and of ndezi, in particular to help this ‘living sun’ to shine and grow in its earliest stage” (taken from K. Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau and A.M. Lukondo-Wamba’s Kindezi: The Kôngo Art of Babysitting).
Dr. Greg Carr’s lecture at the Carruthers Center was excellent. He raised a number of relevant points for thinking Africans who are determined to be free and not those looking to sneak back onto the planation.
He reminds us of Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s unwillingness to allow the work of reconstructing African history to be controlled by Whites through the instrument of finance. Fortunately for us, Woodson realized that too many Negroes forget their integrity when the gaudy baubles of white legitimization are waived before them.
We learned that although academically trained, Woodson would not be held down or held back by academic institutions–whether they were under the control of Whites or nominally controlled by (Eurocentric) Africans. Dr. Carr suggests that Woodson’s best works may have never come to fruition if he were forced to labor under the aegis of an academy whose myopia is only exceeded by its hubris and opportunism.
We also learned that Woodson’s method consisted of grassroots fundraising, as well as soliciting for resources from the masses of African people. Dr. Woodson, unlike many Black scholars who merely write about Black people, was one who wrote and learned from the masses of Black people.
Woodson sought to give African people a mirror, Dr. Carr would say, so that we could see ourselves and know at last who we are, and empowered by this knowledge could move into the future capable of deeds far beyond the narrow prescriptions of enemies.
Again, it was a dynamic lecture attended by many notable scholars, theologians, activist, educators, students, and so on. Asante sana to Dr. Conrad Worrill, the Black United Fund of Illinois, and the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies of NEIU for bringing us all together. Axé.
Confusion, once established, can be extremely difficult to unseat. This is especially so where skills of critical evaluation are lacking.
Click here to download the conference brochure: ASCAC MWR conference brochure
Central to the work of W.E.B. Du Bois and Carter G. Woodson was an on-going investigation of the context of terror visited upon Black bodies (Du Bos 2007a; Woodson 1990). For these scholars the assault upon African humanity was not merely a localized dilemma isolated to a marginal epoch of American history, rather it was a central process in the creation of America’s racialized social order, and beyond this, a key component in the modern global system wherein the humanity of African people was a secondary consideration to their utility as vehicles of or impediments to the acquisition of capital (Du Bois 2007b; Woodson 1990, 2004). Both Du Bois’s and Woodson’s work compels for us to look at the context of enslavement as a foundational moment in the erection of the contemporary power of the west. This process propelled the expansion and entrenchment of a domestic colonial project, in addition to fueling subsequent processes of conquest abroad. Within the domestic milieu, the political-economy of Black subordination via the system of state-sponsored racial subordination necessitated the implementation of an epistemic regime of terror (Du Bois 1978a, 1978b). This process has maintained a dual focus consisting of the oppression of Black bodies via instruments of coercive control, and the subjugation of Black minds via processes of mis-education (Du Bois 2002, Woodson 1990).
What must be asked is not whether this campaign has abated (it has not), but rather how a liberatory form of Black education might more effectively resist this assault? Du Bois and Woodson recognized that Black people, as ever, stand at the precipice, facing on one side a familiar tyranny and on the other a new world that exists just beyond the bounds of our knowing and the fruits of our unfettered social agency. As Du Bois queried in 1960, we must ask again, whither now and why (Du Bois 1973b)? Ultimately we must ponder to what extent has realization of liberation been obscured via the highly efficacious management of Black bodies and minds in the schools of America (Du Bois 1973a; Woodson 1933)?
“The present day Negro or ‘colored’ intellectual is no less a liar and a cunning thief than his illustrious teacher. His occidental collegiate training only fits him to be a rogue and vagabond, and a seeker after the easiest and best by following the line of least resistance. ”
–Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey
I agree that getting your doctorate can be a worthwhile endeavor, but for reasons that extend beyond those discussed by Jacques Berlinerblau in the article “You probably won’t get tenure. Get your Ph.D. anyway“. Get your doctorate if you find the process intellectually rewarding, are acquiring skills that you can leverage in the marketplace beyond the disappearing tenure-track (say in publishing, consulting, entrepreneurship, etc.), want to develop a body of specialized expertise in a field that you can then teach in various settings (secondary schools, community colleges, etc.), are open to teaching abroad (there are some great opportunities internationally and this problem isn’t necessarily universal), and can do so without going tens of thousands of dollars in debt. If none of these apply, it probably isn’t worth the time and stress to get the degree, as that will only compound the stress which accrues after being on the tepid job market for a few years.
We are living in the sunset of the academy that most of us wanted to work in. Yes, its sad, but the only thing to do is to accept the passing of this thing and adapt. I don’t want to overstate this, but there is a great opportunity here to reinvent the models of knowledge dissemination that have been variously supported and now aborted by the academy (think about what has been done to Africana studies or other fields focused on critical social discourse). Personally, I would love to work with others who are interested in forging ahead into this new frontier. There is much to be done.