I have been thinking about how to conceptualise an idea that I think most of you will be aware of, either consciously or subconsciously, but which I sense that a large proportion of the younger generations have not grasped. Now, I should make it clear that I think this lack of awareness is not the fault of the under 30s but is attributable to my generation’s failure to adequately teach them about how racism works, as well as the very skilled way in which Europeans continuously adapt and refine the way they express and operationalise the ideology of white supremacy.
I have previously written about why the idea of ‘Black Firsts’ seems to be so important to Afrikan people and long ago came to conclusion that it is because of the heartfelt, deepseated, aching desire of so many Afrikans to be/feel accepted by Europeans as their ‘equals’. The underlying thinking is that each ‘Black First’ proves to Europeans that we are capable of performing some task; or performing in some arena of life, as competently as Europeans and hence they should abandon their ideology of racial superiority. Of course this theory has been tested to destruction and proven to be utterly without merit, as the ultimate Black First, the election (twice) of Barack Obama proved.
The reason that Black Firsts don’t change they way Afrikans are viewed, no matter how talented the ‘Firstee’ is; or how conspicous their achievement, is because it is an idea that runs completely counter to the fundamental nature of racism. Racism is an irrational philosophy/ideology/religion, hence its operation is not impacted by evidence or rational arguments. Paradoxically, as well as being irrational racism is also rational in the sense that it is instrumental, which is to say that it helps Europeans to achieve their primary group goal; which is to exercise power and domination over groups they classify as nonwhite. Put these two things together and you can understand why Black Firsts never stood a chance as a tactic or strategy to defeat racism.
The above image, from an infamous Benetton advert, almost perfectly depicts the idea I am seeking to convey.
The easiest way to conceptualise halos and horns is to understand that viewed through the lens of the religion/philosophy/ideology called white supremacy; every Afrikan child is metaphorically born with a pair of horns and every European child is born with a halo above their head. In other words all Afrikans are born guilty until proven innocent and all Europeans are born innocent until proven guilty. The practical ramifications of this are that an Afrikan can make one slip in an otherwise blameless life and be condemned to unforgiveable, irredeemable guilt, whereas as European can live a life of exploitative abuse, and except in the most extreme cases, always have the possibility of redemption.
What this means is that the positive things you do can only help yourself whilst the negative things you do will damage other Afrikans. That is to say that your positive deeds and achievements are never generalised to the wider group by Europeans – except in areas of stereotypical Afrikan achievement such as sport and music – however your negative deeds or failures can be; and are, attributed to being part of a group that is designated as inferior.
I will illustrate the above with a real life story. I have changed some of the details to protect people’s identities.
Once upon a time there was an intelligent young Afrikan woman named Adeola who wanted to be a solicitor. She grew up in humble financial circumstances and went to a very poor school, however she overcame these barriers as well as the ubiquitous racism and graduated well from University. She then had the task of securing a contract with a firm of solicitors to undertake her articles and after a relatively short period she was successful in this task. As was her wont she worked hard and qualified as a solicitor. She had been made aware by her boss that she was the first Afrikan trainee solicitor that the firm had ever recruited and thus felt a bit of added pressure in the sense that she did not want to ‘let the side down’. Anyway her boss was very pleased with her performance and two years after she was recruited, and just as she was qualifying, the firm recruited Femi, another hard working young Afrikan. Adeola gave Femi the ‘don’t let the side down’ pep talk and sure enough Femi prospered and qualified without any hiccups. Adeola’s line manager was pleased with both her and Femi and the following year recruited Tunde, who was not quite so focused and methodical as his predecessors. Tunde was not terrible but he was definitely not good and one day, after he had made a bit of a cock up, Adeola’s line manager turned to her in exasperation and said “If I had recruited Tunde first I would never have recruited another black trainee solicitor”. She thought it was a compliment to Adeola, however Adeola had an epiphany; and started to understand the subtleties of how racism works. She saw that whilst the halo is not transferable the horns definitely are!
The above story took place some years ago and of course in 2017 no white manager would be as honest as the manager in the above scenario. However just because someone does not say something does not mean they are not thinking it or acting upon it.
The moral of this story; and this article, is that our achievements should be motivated by the desire to help ourselves, our families and our community. Trying to get Europeans, as a collective, to respect our humanity, intelligence etc. is a waste of time and psychological energy. The first respect is self-respect as an Afrikan and the ironic thing is that even those people who don’t like you will respect you if you have commitment and integrity. Remember, people can like you without respecting you whilst they can respect you without liking you and the latter is always preferable to the former, although in an ideal world most of us would choose to be both liked and respected. These are the things we need to teach our young people to prepare them for an anti-Afrikan world.
Article by Paul Ifayomi Grant
Most people think that wakefulness and consciousness are synonyms. That is to say, we think that to be awake, is also to be conscious. While it is most common for consciousness and wakefulness to occur simultaneously, in cognitive science however, these two terms have important distinctive definitions.
Consciousness is the state of being awake and aware, able to perceive, receive, and process stimuli and information from one’s environment. When you go to sleep, this is an altered state of consciousness, with limited, to no ability, to perceive, receive, and process stimuli and information from one’s environment. When Neuroscientists study the EEG brain waves of a sleeping person, they find that during a night’s sleep, a portion of the time is spent in the waking state, even though the person is not fully conscious. Parasomnia disorders such as “sleep walking” or “sleep talking” are examples of instances where a person is in a waking state, but not fully conscious. Daydreaming is another example of a mental state where a person is awake, but not conscious of their immediate surroundings. Conversely, Sleep paralysis is a condition where the mind is awake and conscious, but the body is not awake and unable to become active. What we can take away from all this is that
1. Consciousness and wakefulness commonly occur seemingly simultaneously
2. Consciousness also requires one to be awake
3. It is possible to be awake but not conscious
4. It is possible to be conscious and mentally awake but not physically awake and active
The preceding deliberation served as a primer for our discussion on the terms “Woke” vs “Conscious” as it relates to African American English Vernacular.
The term “Consciousness” in the Black community has a long and storied history throughout Africa and the African diaspora, stemming back to the early 1900s, and has to do with an awareness of one’s black identity, and nonconformity to mainstream social, political, economic, religious, and spiritual constructs. The UNIA, Moorish Science Temple, Nation of Islam, 5 Percenters, Hebrew Israelites, Ausar Auset Society, Black Panther Party, SCLC, and BLM, are all examples of black conscious movements in America.
The term, “Woke,” is an idiom that has surfaced in recent years, essentially referring to the same concepts, precepts, and principles as “conscious”, but with more of a focus on social, political, and economic awareness. In recent years, the term “conscious” has become associated more with a focus on historical, cultural, religious and spiritual awareness. The Activism of someone “Woke,” tends to be of a social, political, and economic nature, whereas, the activism of someone “Conscious,” tends to be of a historical, cultural, religious or spiritual nature. If we were to retrospectively apply the new definitions and connotations that the terms “Woke” and “Conscious” have taken on in recent years, to the aforementioned groups, then we could classify the UNIA, Black Panther Party, SCLC, and BLM as “Woke,” and the Nation of Islam, 5 Percenters, Hebrew Israelites, and Ausar Auset Society as “conscious”.
After a multitude of scandals erupting in the Black Conscious Community in recent years, and many Black people feeling critical of, or unserved, underserved, or unrepresented by the modern Black Conscious Community, in some regard, “Woke,” seems like a re-branding of “Conscious”. In 2017, the difference in the socio-economic disposition of Black People willing to label themselves as “Woke” versus “Conscious” can also be observed.
But if “Woke” has become used to refer to more social, political, and economic awareness, and “Conscious” has become used to refer to more historical, cultural, religious and spiritual awareness, then just like in cognitive science, it is most common to be simultaneously “woke” and “conscious”, that is to say, having simultaneous affiliation and interest in organizations concerned with both social, political, and economic issues as well as historical, cultural, religious and spiritual issues.
Also, just like the concept of Sleep walking and Sleep Talking in cognitive science, it is possible to be “Woke” but not “Conscious”, that is to say, have affiliation with, and interest in, organizations primarily concerned with social, political, and economic issues, and having no affiliation with, or interest in, organizations concerned with historical, cultural, religious and spiritual issues. These individuals are aware of the social injustices in the world, but have no knowledge of their historical past or traditional systems of spirituality.
And lastly, just like the concept of Sleep Paralysis in Cognitive Science, it is possible to be “Conscious” but not totally “woke”, that is to say, having interest in historical, cultural, religious, and spiritual issues, and having no interest in social, political, and economic issues. These individuals are fully aware of their historical past, have “knowledge of self”, and practice some form of traditional spirituality, but have no concern or activism in regards to the social, political, or economic injustices in the world.
Who knows what new terms will emerge in future vernacular, or what new areas of awareness may come to the forefront. In the foreseeable future, “Scientific Awareness” may become a movement of its own. Essentially, “Woke” and “Conscious” are mental states, and the ultimate goal is to become Active, with an expression of one’s awareness demonstrated through practical application.
Article by African Creation Energy
Who is black? What is an African? This is a question I have been thinking about the last few years. Mainly because I have seen many debates on YouTube,Twitter and Facebook on who is a black person. It’s a hot topic that just wont seem to go away. I think the fact that people are debating it must mean many of us are still very confused. Why is that? Why is the black collective so confused about our own identity? The video(above) is really good. I know for some it might seem offensive. But you can tell that the speaker has really analyzed this issue. It’s a very touchy subject that most black people want to run away from.
This picture(above) shows different African women around the world. And of course there are people of African descent in America,Canada and the United Kingdom. Some people say many of us are mixed raced people. Some say we come in different shades because of years of race mixing. I will address race mixing in part two of this series. I personally don’t think race mixing is good for the black collective. It seems to cause more confusion more than anything else. But I guess the real question is how is a black person defined? What do Africans look like? How are Africans classified?
Fellow blogger C.C. Saunders stated this about blackness:
“Blackness is not limited to a skin color, but it is a state of being, an incomparable experience prompted by skin color, facial features, body type and hair texture. Omitting any identifying attribute allots a significant privilege absent from the lifetime of any black person possessing these attributes in entirety. However, melanin, while a chief component of blackness, does not encompass the totality of blackness. To distinguish between black and melanated is essential to understanding blackness as a collective identity.”
Blogger Amos Magazine said this about African people:
“Prior to the enslavement of West and Central Africans, Africans had certain traits and certain biological markers that made them a separate distinct group. Africans prior to 1500 and prior to the infamous fictitious Willie Lynch Letter had traits. Africans prior to the invasion of Arabs, Berbers and other West Asian people had skin color from brown to dark brown. This is an African trait. Africans had one common hair texture. Yes, Europeans upon arriving in what today is called Rwanda did notice that many Africans were a lighter shade of Brown from other Africans. But they were not yellow or near white. They were simply a pecan brown color as compared to the dark chocolate color of the other group. They used these slight differences in order to pit one group against on another. Today, DNA* test (* because there are holes in this science) show that the Hutu and Tutsi were actually the same people and that Hutu and Tutsi were actually social status. Now Negros will use to in order to say mulattoes are Africans. ***(3star concepts mean this is something to pay special attention to) ***The Tutsi who were divided into people of a lighter hue of brown were not products of mixed raced sexual relationships. My opponents will purposely leave this out in order to compare a mulatto vs. an authentic African or an authentic disasporic Africans.”
Blogger Bhekizitha breaks it down from a biological standpoint:
“An African / Black person is clearly visually a “close” descendant of people from East Africa, a region comprised of countries now known as Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Their color variation ranges from bronze, dark reddish-brown, dark or nut brown, dark-chocolate color plus “peppercorn” hair.”
This video(above) is very interesting. I first saw this video about four years ago. It’s the author Supreme Understanding. He has authored books such as How to Hustle and Win,Knowledge of Self and Black God. I’ve read a few of his books. I must admit that he knows quite a bit about black history and African culture. But he’s not African…he’s an Indian man. Years ago I remember seeing him in a picture with his black wife. In this video he says that being black is color,culture and consciousness. So he’s saying it’s not just physical traits that make you black. So if a Mexican,Indian or Asian man listens to rap music,studies African culture and has a black wife…..that makes him black? So it’s just about having a black consciousness? This can create a problem in the long run.
This picture(above) is from Supreme Understanding’s website. It’s titled What is Black? Looking at the pictures you can see all these dark skinned people from India,China,Pacific Islands,Malaysia and Australia. But are these people really Africans? Or do they have racial admixture? Were the original inhabitants of Australia or India really Africans? And if so,what does it mean for black people today? I think black people really like to be all inclusive. We like hearing that our ancestors were all over the world and created civilizations. That’s very true to a large extent. And to many of us we have a dream of creating some type of racial utopia. A world in which all people who have some melanin are brothers and sisters. But this is not reality. There will always be racial and cultural divisions. Just because you have dark skinned people in India and Malaysia doesn’t mean they can relate to a black person in America. The culture of a dark skinned Aborigine in Australia is totally different than a black person living in Jamaica. I always promote black unity,black love and black power on this blog. But you can’t have any type of unity if you can’t even decide who is black and who is not black. How can you have any type of cohesiveness when there are no clear cut definitions on your identity? And this is why the video by Supreme is problematic. He believes that all “people of color” are fighting against a white power structure. Therefore we are all in this fight together. But my thinking is that why can’t we fight a racist society and still maintain our own unique racial identity. Why does everyone with a little bit of color have to be considered black? By making everyone black…no one is really black. Our unique blackness gets lost in the process. Chinese people don’t have this problem. They don’t accept just anyone who might have their physical traits. I’ve seen Hispanics with a yellowish skin tone but they are not seen as Chinese. I’ve seen people that were biracial(Black/Chinese) with slanted eyes. But just because they had slanted eyes,Chinese people still don’t see them as one of them. By doing this it helps them stay homogeneous. They are able to maintain their racial identity. And this is something black/African people must keep in mind when want to distinguish ourselves from other groups. By letting anyone claim “blackness” it devalues those that are black in the process.
We must be about the business of liberating the minds of Black
children. In order for that to occur, the minds of all Blacks who
interact with them must also be liberated. There is no other way.
It is relatively easy to educate Black children, even about their
Africanity. But, it is extremely difficult to reinforce the
education. Therefore, even sitting in the same classroom, white
children will be ‘educated’ and Black children will be ‘trained.’
The white child will be taught how to rule and the Black child
trained to be ruled. ‘Training’ is defined as teaching a group what
to think rather than how to think, making them dependent rather than
assisting in developing skills which could be used for independent
activity, rewarding behavior that operates against their group’s
interest, promoting individual rather than group achievement, and
instilling negative self-concepts and low self-esteem. The opposite
of the above mentacidal process (training) is education in which the
learning process becomes a liberating force.
Black independent schools are important not only for how they
teach but for what is taught. Their purpose of instilling within
Black children an ‘Afrikan Worldview’ is the most important activity
those children will ever experience. Black parents whose children
are not in independent schools should at a minimum expose them to a
well-structured supplemental Black educational program. Some of the
most dangerous Blacks in the world are many of those brothers and
sisters who finished graduate school ‘with honors’ and yet operate
against the interest of Blacks because of their eurocentric
orientation. The writer does not mean to imply that Blacks should
not attempt to achieve high levels of ‘training’ in white
institutions, but should be aware that it is not ‘education’ they
Racial differences have been noted in the rate of pineal calcification as seen in plain skull radiographs. In Caucasians, calcified pineal is visualized in about 50% of adult skull radiographs after the age of 40 years (Wurtman et al, 1964); other scholars argue that Caucasians, in general, may have rates of pineal gland calcification as high as 60-80% (King, 2001). Murphy (1968) reported a radiological pineal calcification rate of 2% from Uganda, while Daramola and Olowu (1972) in Lagos, Nigeria found a rate of 5%. Adeloye and Felson (1974) found that calcified pineal was twice as common in White Americans as in Blacks in the same city, strengthening a suspicion that there may be a true racial difference with respect to this apparatus. In India a frequency of 13.6% was found (Pande et al, 1984). Calcified pineal gland is a common finding in plain skull radiographs and its value in identifying the midline is still complementary to modern neuroradiological imaging.
There is a surprising rarity of calcified pineal gland on skull roentgenograms in West Africans. Adeloye and Odeku (1967) working from a hospital where an average of about 2,000 skull roentgenographic examinations were done every year, encountered less than 10 cases of roentgenologically visible calcified pineal gland in the Neurosurgery unit during a period of 10 years. In the tasks of daily life, calcification in the pineal gland affects our brain’s ability to function. Calcification of the pineal gland is shown to be closely related to defective sense of direction. In a tricentre prospective study of 750 patients lateral skull radiographs showed that 394 had calcified pineal glands. Sense of direction was assessed by subjective questioning and objective testing and the results noted on a scale of 0-10 (where 10 equals perfect sense of direction). The average score for the 394 patients with pineal gland calcification was 3.7 (range 0-8), whereas the 356 patients without pineal gland calcification had an average score of 7.6 (range 2-10). This difference was highly significant (p less than 0.01) (Bayliss et al, 1985). Also, the effects of disturbed sleep and memory are well documented.
The Pineal Gland looks like a miniature pine cone and is situated in the middle of the brain beneath the two brain halves, surrounded by the ventricles, under the roof of the corpus callosum (cross-beam connecting the 2 brain halves). This active organ has, together with the Pituitary Gland, the next highest blood circulation after the kidneys. The pineal gland is responsible for the production of melatonin, a hormone that is secreted in response to darkness, and is also the site in the brain where the highest levels of Serotonin can be found (Sun et al, 2001). In the pineal, 5-HT (Serotonin) concentration displays a remarkable diurnal pattern, with day levels much higher than night levels. Serotonin plays an important role in sleep, perception, memory, cardiovascular activity, respiratory activity, motor output, sensory and neuroendocrine function.
One study has shown a reciprocal relationship between the pineal and pituitary gland so that if the pineal is impaired, it affects the pituitary. This has a whole cascade of effects on the other glands and hormone production. The pituitary gland is an endocrine gland located at the base of the brain, and produces hormones, such as growth hormone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone and thyroid stimulating hormone.
Pineal indolamine (e.g. Melatonin/Serotonin) and peptide hormones influence immune functions. Melatonin, in particular, increases immune memory while T-dependent antigene immunization stimulates antibody production. According to Maestroni (1993), in an article published in the Journal of Pineal Research a tight physiological link between the pineal gland and the immune system is emerging that might reflect the evolutionary connection between self-recognition and reproduction. He goes further, mentioning that Pinealectomy or other experimental methods which inhibit melatonin synthesis and secretion induce a state of immunodepression which is counteracted by melatonin. In general, melatonin appears to have an immunoenhancing effect. An interesting observation is the apparent protection from autoimmune diseases in areas of West Africa and especially in places where malaria is a problem (Greenwood, 1968).
Scholars believe the reduction in melatonin with age may be contributory to aging and the onset of age-related diseases. This theory is based on the observation that melatonin is the most potent hydroxyl radical scavenger thus far discovered (Reiter, 1995). Prominent theories of aging attributes the rate of aging to accumulated free radical damage (Proctor, 1989; Reiter, 1995), and as Caucasians have higher rates of pineal calcification, which produces melatonin which is a vital free radical scavenger, some suspect that people of European descent may actually age faster than those from other continents.
Pineal gland calcification has also been implicated in the onset of Multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves. Neuroradiological research has shown the pineal gland to be involved in the pathophysiology of Multiple Sclerosis. In a 1991 study by Sandyk R, and Awerbuch G.I published in the “International Journal of Neuroscience”, it was shown that Pineal Calcification was found in 100 % of MS patients. The strikingly high prevalence of pineal calcification in Multiple sclerosis provides indirect support for an association between MS and abnormalities of the pineal gland (Sandyk and Awerbuch, 1991). Multiple Sclerosis tends to affect Caucasians disproportionately, and is nearly unheard of in Africa and is rare among African Americans. A high prevalence of pineal calcification has also been linked to bipolar disorder.