Thursday, April 06, 2006
African American Studies Is Still Needed Today by Akindele Akinyemi
I find it interesting to see how many black conservatives denounce African American and Africana studies from academia. Many, like our good brother Thomas Sowell over at the Hoover Institution, feels that the study is outdated and blacks should put it to rest.
I am a Republican brother but on this issue I beg to differ.
African American Studies was my major at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI. To tell you the truth, my original major was History. What I did not like about the major was the fact that it was too slanted and did not have enough substance for me to grasp.
I then decided to major in African American Studies with a concentration in Geography. The courses in this study helped prepare me on a number of fronts. One was understanding how liberals think and operate. The other was hoiw liberals played the victim routine on campus. The third was how liberals would beat up on black conservatives.
I followed this liberal mindset for a number of years until I begin to dissect the lies and distortion on black conservatives or black Republicans. Then I begin to put the two together and see what was and still is going on in our community.
We need to support African American Studies and Africana studies in academia because black people in this country STILL lack the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going as a group of people. I find it appalling and disgusting when we have black people denouncing their OWN history and culture. No other race of people I have ever encountered (whether they were Mexican, Irish, Asian or European) have denounced their own history and culture like blacks do here in America.
America is a melting pot, however, you still see other races keeping their culture and history INTACT. We, especially black conservatives who is supposed to lead this fight on education and poverty, know better. Instead, we denounce Kwanzaa because it's a holiday from hell (like Jesse Lee Peterson would say). It's a holiday from hell to HIM because he is in disagreement with Ron Karega, the founder of Kwanzaa. I don't care for Karega myself but those principles are not even close to being liberal, they are conservative principles. We cannot continue to let a white conservative Christian to validate our history when Pat Robertson gives us 15 minutes on the 700 Club.
We have black conservatives denouncing African-Centered Education in schools. Again, and I have said it before, there is nothing liberal about creating a school with a philosophy that is based on something that was taken from you in the first place. Black Conservatives are quick to point out who was Black and Republican back in the day (and our children and young adults should know this information) but a large majority of us will not point out the psychological effects of slavery and how it has tricked down to the current psyche of blacks today.
For those like Star Parker, who is always showing how there is a correlation between welfare, cultural dependency and its links to slavery I thank her for her insight. Another young sister from Ann Arbor, MI, Lana Hampton at Black Conservative.net, has also made correlations between slave mentality and how we think today has affected our ability to do for ourselves as a people. Ms. Hampton gives one stunning example in her classic work "Are Blacks Wise To Shun The Republican Party?"
"As for the Democrats, they are, apparently, not in touch with their own constituents, as they continue to battle school vouchers. But, most polls show that 70% of blacks are in favor of vouchers. And why wouldn't that be the case? Anyone who has a choice between sending their child to an under-performing public school or to a good private school, would most likely choose the latter. The Democrats complain that this will hurt the public school system, but if those schools had been doing an acceptable job of educating our youth in the first place, we wouldn't be at this point. Is it not better to give at least some inner city children a chance to obtain a good education? Get them out of the public school system which has managed to routinely produce children who are lacking even in basic skills such as reading and writing."
She later points out the following:
"In the 40 years since the Democrats “took over” the inner-city, crime has escalated, out-of-wedlock births are out of control, there’s a 50% high school drop out rate for black males and there’s a widening gap between the black haves and have nots. And, where are the men? Twenty-five percent of black males are somewhere in the criminal justice system."
What Ms. Hampton is pointing out is how blacks still have a "dependent" mindstate on "massa". The Democrats is that "massa" and through their steath version of socialism they are keeping Black people in place with government programs, government cheese and perpetuating a culture of dependency so we can remain slaves forever to this party.
The BIG difference today is that white people are not doing the enslaving, we are doing it to ourselves.
Remeber Mary Lefkowitz? She was the scholar who denounced Afrocentricity in academia. I have read her book and it too has flaws in it. However, my black conservative friends have bought into the notion that our history (meaning African history) is a myth. If this is true then I guess the Bible that we read and acknowledge is a myth as well because large portions of the Bible is dealing with African people.
Dr. Lefkowitz is calling African history a "myth" and conservatives like Peterson and company are spinning this issue like clockwork.
Our history is NOT a myth. We come from a rich history of wealth, spiritual knowledge and prosperity. We should be teaching this to our children as we speak.
Black Nationalists must move out of the way as well. They are stuck in the 60s and 70s. They still feel the enemy is the white man when in fact the enemy is US in the community. Embracing such nonsense like socialism and communism have destroyed urban centers like Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Benton Harbor, Inkster, Ecorse and River Rouge. It is time for a change.
Africana and African American Studies is necessary to engage black liberals in FULL debate and discussion not mimicking your white brothers and sisters opinions from Townhall.com or JWS.com.
We should be teaching our children when they decide to major in African American Studies that they should view the course OBJECTIVELY and not SUBJECTIVELY. Can you imagine in Africana studies instead of always embracing socialist ideologies we go in and change that debate on embracing free enterprise? A free market for Africa? See where I'm going with this?
It is OUR responsibility to teach accurate history and critical thinking to our children and young adults NOT the government, grassroot movements or Jewish scholars.
We must do a better job in our community developing critical thinking skills for our children. Add that with re-establishing educational and moral values into our children's well being and we will evolve African American Studies and Africana Studies to another level.