Hotep (Peace)!!!

Take notes!!!!!!!!!!

Hip Hop artist Jay Electronica just debuted his new album called-A Written Testimony. The album’s music is inspire by Jay Electronica’s Black liberation Muslim teachers-the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Jay-Z is the guest emcee on many of the tracks on the album. On the track called Universal Soldier, Jay-Z spits one of the greatest bars in Hip Hop history. Jay-Z is quoted on Jay Electronica’s Universal Soldier track saying, “growing up he knew less about Chesimar all about Pablo Escobar.” This track is one of many socially conscious selections on the album. Chesimar is Assata Olugbala Shakur-the legendary Original Black Panther Party / Black Liberation Army freedom fighter. Escobar was Columbia’s Pablo Escobar-one of the world’s most notorious cocaine drug dealers from the 1970s and the 1980s. This line speaks to the generations of Black people intentionally miseducated on Afrikan History, spirituality, and culture.

Like Jay-Z, many of us Black folks, grew up in the post Civil Rights and Black Power era. The Civil Rights and the Black Power movements were missing in the Black community. With many Black leaders and Black organizations either coopted or violently repressed by US government, the Black liberation movement in the form of Civil Rights and Black Power was gone on a mass level. In the 1970s and 1980s, consequently Black people, particularly Black youth, had no pro-Black movements to gravitate to for Afrikan centered Black consciousness.

During this time, the streets, the drugs, the drug game, the gangs, the guns, American individualism, poverty pimping, clubbing, Pop music, House music, and Hip Hop became the new movements in the Black community. This was all by design from White hegemony.

With the Black liberation movement destroyed, White supremacy and the system of racism now had a free pass to continuously oppressed and miseducate our people on our own history, culture, and spirituality every day. However, by the late 1980s and 1990s, this will change. Afrikan centered Movements, like the Nation of Islam and Afrikan centricity, survived the onslaught of White domination to push forward organizing our people to challenge White oppression. But most importantly, the Nation of Islam and Afrikan centricity challenge our European centered consciousness to help us develop an Afrikan centered Black consciousness. These movements formed organically out of Black oppression. Therefore, they did not wait for the US government, a 501c3, the public school system, the charter school system, the private school system, or an elected official to give them permission to reeducate our people on the factual knowledge of Afrikan History, culture, and spirituality, especially on the history of the original Black man and Blackwoman, Afrika being the birthplace of humanity, the Afrikan origins of the world’s civilizations, and the Afrikan origins of western religions.

The Nation of Islam has been in existence for over 90 years. It draws its teachings from Al-Islam and Black nationalism. The Nation of Islam was founded on July 4, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan by Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. At the death of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1975, his seventh son, Warith Deen Mohammad (formerly name Wallace Muhammad) took over the leadership of the mighty Nation of Islam. In three years, the Nation of Islam, the largest Afrikan centered Black Islamic organization in the world was dismantled. There was no more Nation of Islam. It was replaced by Sunni Al-Islam. All of the Nation of Islam’s Mosques were closed for public meetings that were at one time used as a platform for organizing Muslims and Black people for liberation struggles. They were turned into a masjid (Arabic word for mosque) now just used for salaat (Arabic word for prayer). The Fruit of Islam (F.O.I) and Muslim Girls Training-General Civilization Class (MGT-GCC), the weekly military training of Muslims, Blackmen and Blackwomen,were abolished. Its’ Afrikan centered Black liberation theology on Al-Islam was replaced by a more moderate American, and some aspects Arabic centered theology. However, after three years,the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, who join the Nation of Islam under the most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X leadership, could not take the destruction of Nation of Islam moving forward. He left Imam Warth Deen Mohammad’s leadership. He believed that the fall of the Nation of Islam help set the Black community back deeper under the yoke of oppression in America. Therefore, he went on to rebuild the work of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam to fight against White domination and Black oppression. He reestablished the F.O.I and MGT-GCC for the training of Muslims,Blackmen, and Blackwomen to help empower Muslims, oppressed people, Blackmen, and Blackwomen.

Afrikan centricity is an Afrikan centered intellectual movement challenging White supremacist and racist notions about Afrika, Afrikan History, Afrikan culture, Afrikan spirituality, Black people, World History, Caribbean History, western religions, and American History. Some of Its leaders consists of the following scholars: Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, Dr. John Henrick Clarke, Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannan, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, Dr. Asa Hilliard, Professor Jacob Carruthers, Professor Ashra Kwesi, Tony Browder, Professor Dr. Runoko Rashidi, Professor James Smalls, Dr. Naim Akbar, Dr. Lenard Jeffries, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Dr. Marimba Ani, Dr. Charshee McIntyre, Dr. Amos Wilson, Dr. Maulana Karenga, and Dr. Molefe Kete Asante

Their efforts woke up many of us, including myself. I am now 51 years old. However, in my late teens and early twenties, the Nation of Islam and Afrikan centricity helped to shape my Afrikan centered world view. The same situation happened to many of us in Black neighborhoods in America. Some of us became respected leaders in the Black community, in the government, in the schools, in religions, and in Hip Hop. Unfortunately, by the start of the new millennium, many of us Afrikan centered Black folks began to turned away from Afrikan centered Black consciousness and the movement for Black liberation. This is why very few of us are not “doing it for the culture” anymore in the Black community.

Now, a whole new generation of today’s Black community, particularly Black youth, are again unfamiliar with their our Afrikan History, culture, and spirituality. Today’s Blackman and Blackwoman are not learning Afrikan centered Blackness on an independent mass level. As a consequence, today’s Black youth are very miseducated on the “the culture.” And what is equally disturbing is White hegemony is using our misinformed Black youth to get them to equate Afrikan centered Black consciousness, and anything pro-Black, with reverse racism. For example, Hotep, the Afrikan Kemetic (Egyptian) word for peace, and a word used as a greeting by Afrikan centered Black people, is being equated with homophobia, sexism, and anti-Whiteness. Hotep is the oldest written word for peace in human history. But if you are Afrikan centered, our youth will call you a Hotep. Calling a Afrikan centered Black person a Hotep is utterly disrespectful to the “the culture.”

In conclusion, movements like the Nation of Islam and Afrikan centricity are still important to the masses of Black people, especially Black youth today. These movements are still independently teaching the significance of Blackness despite the opposition of White supremacy and the system of racism. But most importantly, these movements are necessary because they are helping Black people develop an Afrikan centered world view needed for Black empowerment and Black liberation in the new millennium in America and in the world.

-Bashir Muhammad Akinyele is a History Teacher, Black Studies Teacher, Community Actvist, Chairperson of Weequahic High School’s Black History Month Committee in Newark, NJ, commentary writer, and Co-Producer and Co-Host of the All Politics Are Local, the number #1 political Hip Hip radio show in America.

Note: Spelling Afrika with a k is not a typo. Using the k in Afrika is the Kiswahili way of writing Africa. Kiswahili is a Pan -Afrikan language. It is spoken in many countries in Afrika. Kiswahili is the language used in Kwanzaa. The holiday of Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January