Myths Afrikan-Americans “Black People” need to let go of

Because Afrika’s history has been thoroughly destroyed, forgotten, plagiarized, or claimed by those who have wrongfully oppressed her children, many of us today have little knowledge of the accomplishments and contributions Afrika has given the world.

In replace of this lack of knowledge, we’ve been fed a lie that our mother Alkebulan (Afrika) and all her children have no history. Of course, this wasn’t done without bloodshed.

For those of us in Amerikkka, we were force fed the lie after our ancestors had already been kidnapped and stripped of their cultural and spiritual identity. As for our brothers and sisters who remain on the continent, they suffer from centuries of colonization. Which is something we’re far too familiar with. Especially when it comes to how western colonization effects the Afrikan psyche.

Because of this, many of us suffer from what Malcolm X once described as an “Black Amnesia.”

Millions of us throughout the diaspora spend years trying to recover what has been stolen and hidden from us. The hunger for truth has left many of us scavenging at any piece of history that comes our way, eager to see if it speaks to us. Usually, I’d encourage everyone to educate themselves on the real history of Alkebulan (Afrika) and her children.

However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t stress the importance of coupling that hunger for the truth with academic integrity that honors cross-examining multiple historical documents that prove without a shadow of a doubt who we are.

Pro-tip

A few paragraphs ago, I said that continental Afrikans currently suffer from the horrors of colonization. It’s important to remember that the colonization of Afrika, including the infiltration of foreign ideas, happened long before the Europeans we usually think of got there.

Historically speaking, we know that the first “invaders” of Afrika, the Hyksos, took control of Kemet around 1675 BCE, almost a thousand years after the great pyramid building age of ancient Kemet. According to Afrikan-American sociologist, historian, and writer Chancellor Williams in his outstanding work, The Destruction of Black Civilization, the Hyksos weren’t conquering invaders. Instead, the Hyksos gained political control after years of migrating and settling in Lower Kemet. After the Hyksos comes the following “colonizers:”

Assyrians (664-663 BCE)
Persians (525 BCE)
Greeks (332 BCE)
Romans (30 BCE)
Arabians (639-646 AD)
Northern Europeans (1450 AD)

Anyway…

Since I firmly believe “Black” history should be studied every month, I figured I’d take some time dispelling some of the bullshit that might’ve been presented to you as facts last month.

Myth: The ‘Holy Bible’ is Black History

This might be the most “controversial” myth I’ll be speaking on in this piece. Before I jump into the weeds, let me first say that although the Holy Bible features some historical Afrikan figures and events that can be proven outside of its text itself, it is not “Black history,” nor or is it the history of so-called “Black” people.

Yes, the Holy Bible speaks about Afrikan Kings like Taharqa and gives him praise for his role in saving Jerusalem from the Assyrians (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9). Not to mention that much of the Old Testament & New Testament takes place in Afrika and some surrounding areas, and if biblical figures like Moses existed, he would’ve without a doubt been an Afrikan. Although these are all true when referring to the Holy Bible’s contents, we must face the reality that the Holy Bible in its totality is not a historically accurate document.

Not to mention that the Holy Bible we know today is not the same VERSION Christians used some thousand years ago…

As we look back into the history of the Holy Bible, or holy scriptures as written by God-inspired scribes, we seem to forget that all of the Bibles we use were the works of various writers, both men and women; but mostly men. And that all these works or books were compiled into what is today our various versions of “Holy bibles” or “Holly Scrolls.” We have also failed to realize that the Bibles we use today are results of a period of hundreds of revisions and translations that cover approximately 2,495 years-from ca. 700 B.C. (BCE) to 1973 A.D. (CE).

Yosef ben-Jochanman | A Chronology of the Bible (p. 6)

Some folks see the Bible as a manuscript of allegories that prepares the soul for life after death. Others see the Bible as God’s words and see no difference between biblical literature and world history.

For those who know me, you already know that I’m never one to tell someone what they should and should not believe. The keyword being, BELIEVE. Instead, I try to focus my energy on providing facts that allow people to make the most informed opinions they can which is why instead of “attacking” the validity of the Bible to make my point, I’ll be using the age of the Bible itself to get my point across.

So what’s my point? The Holy Bible couldn’t be “Black” history nor the history of so-called “Black people” mainly because “Black” history is much, much older than any version of the Bible. The same goes for any of the manuscripts that make up any version of the Holy Bible. I mean this in a literal sense and regards to mythological thought.

Literal Sense – “Black” people were here long before the Bible we know was physically constructed… It’s honestly that simple… Anthropologists date the oldest Homo sapiens remains (found in Afrika – Morocco) back some 315,000 years ago. The oldest manuscripts found in the Bible don’t even come close to some 3,000 years old. 315,000 years old vs. 3,000 years old. The math is simple.

Mythology – The Genesis Story we know today isn’t the first Genesis Story in world history. The oldest Genesis Story in world history actually belongs to the Afrikans of the Nile Valley, AKA so-called “Black people.”

According to the Holy Bible (regardless of what version you read), the universe came to be through various acts of God which is recorded in the Book of Genesis. The story told in Genesis can be no older than 700-500 BCE. Why 700-500 BCE? Because that is the supposed time-frame in which the Pentateuch or Torah (first five books of the Holy Bible) was completed and placed into circulation.

I should note that the common belief in regards to the original author of the Pentateuch is that Moses himself wrote most, if not all, of it, either directly or indirectly… In religious scholarly circles, it is believed that the Pentateuch was said to be the words of God passed on to Moses, who allegedly passed them on, word for word, to God-inspired scribes.

When examining ancient Afrikan mythology, one might run across the Shabaka Stone. The Shabaka Stone dates back to the 25th dynastic period of ancient Kemet (747 BCE), and according to scholars like Ashra Kwesi and Dr. Onyeka Nubia, was created by King Shabaka (705 BCE) to bring forth a “renaissance” to Kemet which, at the time, was beginning to collapse from within and turn its back on its mother (Ta-Seti). To create this document, King Shabaka compiled much older spiritual text that predated dynastic Kemet and placed it all into one document, “Bible,” which we now know today as the “Shabaka Stone.”

In regard to the “much older spiritual text…”

10,000 BCE – The Stellar Calendar was in use by the ancient Nile Valley Afrikans and other Afrikans of the Great lakes region. 4,000 BCE – The Book of the Coming Forth by Day and by Night was introduced in its revised state, also know today as The Book of the Dead (as translated from hieroglyph to English by Sir Ernest A. Wallis Budge, London , England, 1885 C.E.

Yosef ben-Jochanman | A Chronology of the Bible (p. 9)

The text includes two main divisions with a short introduction and an ending summary. The first division relates to the unification of Upper and Lower Kemet with, Ptah working through Heru to accomplish this unification. The other is a creation story or a “Genesis story,” the “Memphite Theology” or “Memphite Drama” that establishes Ptah as the creator of all things. In this creation story, just as the one found in any version of the “Holy Bible,” Ptah brings the universe into existence through spoken word.

So, on one hand we have the Genesis Story told in the Holy Bible (which being kind) dates back to 700 – 500 BCE, and on the other hand, we have the Shabaka Stone, which, as previously mentioned, is a compilation of much older texts, that dates back to pre-dynastic Kemet (4,000 BCE).

To say that the Bible is “Black history,” actively erases thousands and thousands of actual “Black” history. History that our ancestors recorded and dated. Not to mention the Holy Bible also gave wings to bullshit myths like “the curse of Ham,” which was largely used to justify my ancestors enslavement.

Myth: The Willie Lynch Letter

The Willie Lynch Letter was originally said to be a speech that was delivered by a man named Willie Lynch on the bank of the James River in the colony of Virginia in 1712. Lynch was said to be a British slave owner in the West Indies. He was invited to the colony of Virginia in 1712 to teach his methods to enslavers.

There is a widespread debate about whether or not Willie Lynch was a real person or some made-up character designed to help push a particular narrative. Many historians believe a lot of the verbiage and terminology used in the letter (skin color, age, and gender) are distinctly 20th-century in nature and make little to no sense in an 18th-century context.

Now, I have to be 💯, in the past I’ve presented the Willie Lynch Letter in its totality on this very blog (with a disclaimer briefly outlining the debate regarding the authenticity of the letter). During that time I shared the belief that the letter was indeed real. However, after further research, I must amend my position. Although the letter speaks to actual tactics and practices our oppressors have used to divide us and mentally enslave us, Willie Lynch wasn’t a real person 🙃

For those interested in reading more about this urban myth, check out the following piece; IN SEARCH OF ‘WILLIE’ LYNCH Sometimes the truth can be found in myth, fiction — even in a lie

For those interested in reading the real horrors our ancestors had to live through check out; 100 Years of Lynchings by Ralph Ginzburg.

Myth: We Sold Ourselves Into Slavery

For the longest, I’ve been told that instead of so-called white people kidnapping our ancestors and forcing them into slavery, it was actually our own people who sold us into slavery 🤦🏾‍♂️

To believe this means you’ll have to believe that during the Mafaa, our ancestors saw themselves and others on the motherland as a monolithic group, or as “Black people.” Or, in other words, they would’ve had to have seen life through the social constructs of “race,” which dates back to 18th century Amerikkka… Which of course, is impossible.

It is valid after reading parts of Philip Drake’s tell-all, “Revelations of a slave smuggler,” some, keyword SOME, Afrikan tribes worked with slave raiding Europeans and Arabian nations to kidnap and sell rival tribes. Partly to save themselves. Even though that may be the case, the fact remains that it’s foolish to believe that our ancestors saw themselves as “Black” people when the idea of “Black” people wasn’t created until the late 18th century.

I should also note that slavery in Afrika was utterly different from the slavery the West created. This isn’t to say I agree with the more Afrikan “tradition” of slavery because I don’t. However, it’s an important point to make when having this conversation. Not only did our ancestors not see themselves as a monolithic group, but they also had no idea chattel slavery was the slavery their rival brothers and sisters were destined for in the so-called “New World.”

This is just my speculation, but I firmly believe that if our ancestors had the gift of foresight, they would’ve never let the so-called “white man” on the continent in the first place. I also believe they would’ve never sold their rival brothers and sisters to such a disastrous fate.

To better understand how slavery differed in Afrika versus what was created in the West, we have to turn to one of my favorite books Precolonial Black Africa written by none other than the distinguished historian and Pan-Afrikanist political leader, Cheikh Anta Diop. For extra context, in the book’s first chapter, Diop does an analysis of the concept of caste by using the territory of Senegal as an example.

In Senegal, society is divided into slaves and freeman, the latter being gor, including both gér and ñéño. The gér comprise the nobles and all freemen with no manual profession other than agriculture, considered a sacred activity. The ñéño comprise all artisans: shoemakers, blacksmiths, etc. These are hereditary professions. The djam, or slaves, include the djam-bur, who are slaves of the king; the djam neg nday, slaves of the mother; and the djam neg bây, slaves of one’s father. The gér formed the superior caste.

But, and herein lay the real originality of the system, unlike the attitude of the nobles toward the bourgeoisie, the lords towards the serfs, or the Brahmans toward the other Indian castes, the gér could not materially exploit the lower caste without losing face in the eyes of others, as well as their own. On the contrary, they were obligated to assist lower caste members in every way possible: even if less wealthy, they had to “give” to man of lower caste if so requested. In exchange, the latter had to allow them social precedence.

Cheikh Anta Diop | Precolonial Black Africa (p. 1 – 2)

Myth: “The Black Aboriginal Movement” Black American’s Don’t Have any Afrikan Decent But Instead Are Actually the Aboriginals of America

I’ve seen this more and more as people become aware of the Afrikan presence throughout the world. I mentioned earlier that the hunger for truth has left many of us scavenging at any bit and piece of history that comes our way, eager to see if it speaks to us. I also mentioned the need to couple that hunger with academic integrity.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many of us mix that hunger for truth with poor academic integrity, leaving many of us claiming other people’s history fully as our own. I see this mistake happen the majority of the time with the history of the so-called Americas.

Although our ancestor’s influence was tremendous, we can’t overreach when reclaiming our history. Let’s quickly examine the Olmec civilization.

The Olmec head known as El Rey. From San Lorenzo. Date unknown. Anthropology Museum, Xalapa, Mexico. Reference: Runoko Rashidi “Uncovering The African Past: The Ivan Van Sertima Papers (p.262)
Braids at the back of the Tres Zapotes Olmec head. Date unknown. Tuxteco Regional Museum, Santiago Tuxtla, Mexico Reference: Runoko Rashidi “Uncovering The African Past: The Ivan Van Sertima Papers (p.264)

From the few pictures I presented above, one can clearly see the Afrikan influence throughout the Olmec civilization. However, after reading books by Afrikan scholars like Ivan Van Sertima, and Runoko Rashidi, one will come to know that the Olmec civilization, like many of the American civilizations to come later, is a multi-cultural civilization. It doesn’t belong to one single group of people.

So to claim that the Olmec civilization was a “Black” civilization is a reach too far. The Olmec civilization’s achievements primarily belong to the Natives of those lands who happily accepted the guidance of our ancestors, whose influence was global. It should also be noted that many of us can have genetic ties to the Natives of this land due to the contentious relationship both continents had with one another. This includes relationships before the Mafaa (Trans-Atlantic Slave trade).

We so-called “Black people” have a rich history that not only pre-dates chattel slavery but reaches all across this planet. Although our ancestors were everywhere, we must be careful not to overreach and do to others what has partially been done to us. That also means we need to respect all of our ancestors and not just the ones we feel comfortable claiming. A lot of the energy I see in the Black Aboriginal Movement seems to stem from a hatred of Afrika. Which of course, is a classic side-effect of self-hatred sponsored by the generational traumas of colonization and the effect internalized racism has on the psyche.

I’ll respect the aboriginal movement, if the movement properly respects Afrika, the mother of mankind.

“Many anthropologist believe that humans may have migrated out of [Afrika] in waves. More than a million years ago, humanity’s primitive ancestors, know as Homo erectus, walked out of [Afrika] to colonize Europe, the [so-called] Middle East and Asia. On that everyone agrees.

Then several hundred thousand later, some theorize, a second wave of more sophisticated tool-using humans migrated out of [Afrika] and overwhelmed those earlier ancestors. According to that theory, ‘modern humans are the descends solely from those especially sophisticated tool-users’.”

African Star Over Asia: The Black Presence in the East by Runoko Rashidi (p. 19) | Holts. op. cit.

I agree with both theories stated above. That an earlier, more “primitive” ancestor migrated out of Afrika before the Homo sapiens (us). Some years later, our ancestors (Homo sapiens) migrated out of Afrika and populated the world we know today. Or, as Dr. Clarke says, our ancestors got sophisticated enough to “take their show on the road,” and by doing so, introduced the first wave of consciousnesses to a world that was very much uncivilized.

This means that Afrika, as mentioned before, is the mother of all humanity, making any so-called aboriginals of this world Afrikan by ancestry.

“You can’t hate the roots of the tree without ending up hating the tree. You can’t hate your origin without ending up hating yourself. You can’t hate the land, your motherland, the place that you come from, and we can’t hate Africa without ending up hating ourselves.”

Malcolm X

Below are a few resources from my IG that shed more light on who the “original man” was as well as our history in the Americas.

Asa Grant Hilliard III | Afrika: Cradle of Humanity

Myth: Afrikan-Americans Have No Ancestral Claim to the Ancient Civilizations of the Nile Valley

A few months ago, I had a follower suggest that we shouldn’t claim the ancient Kemities (Egyptians) and Kushites as our ancestors even though they were “Black” primarily because they were located in Northeast Afrika. Whereas most of our ancestors were stolen from West and Northwest Afrika.

That’s when it hit me that not a lot of people know about the cultural migration patterns that came out of ancient Kemet and Nubia (Kush) as our ancestors realized all their knowledge would be in jeopardy of being destroyed with the onslaught of foreign invasions.

The same ancient knowledge and wisdom that made Kemet, and Kush what they were, was the same knowledge and wisdom that ended up throughout various Afrikan kingdoms and Nations. From the spiritual teachings found in the Yoruba to the astrolatry and spiritual concepts of the Dogon, or the matriarchal and kingship patterns found in the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai empires, the cultural unity throughout Afrika is crystal clear.

More information on the matter can be found on my IG. 😉

Myth: Afrikan-Americans “Black People” do not do for self. AKA Welfare Kings and Queens

This has to be the most dangerous myth we uphold on my list. To help prime the waters, check out this clip below to see how this myth is commonly applied in our community.

Although I commend the brother for doing work to help uplift our community, it’s harmful to give life to this idea that Afrikan-Americans don’t already “do for self.” Afrikan-Americans have been doing for themselves since the mf Mafaa. How the fuck do you think we made it this far?

If this brother were aware of his history, he would’ve known this. He would’ve known about the Maroons (Koromanti), who put their foot in their enslavers asses and established their own community. A community that would provide shelter for those who escaped the whip.

As much as this brother’s ignorance enrages me, I can’t hold him solely to blame. Mainly because of what has happened, not only to destroy gains towards “Black” liberation but also to cover up what was done.

There have been countless times when our ancestors have “provided for self” or “lifted themselves up by their own bootstraps,” only to be met with senseless violence and bloodshed. From Tunis Campbell’s Afrikan colony in Saint Catherines Island to Black Wall Street, to Marcus Garvey’s Pan-Afrikanism movement, to the NOI’s self-help programs, to even the Black Panther Parties universal breakfast program, whenever our people start to turn to themselves, this country makes it their goal to put an end to it by any means necessary.

Myth: “Crabs in a barrel” Mentality

I’m sure you all have heard of this phrase before, but in an effort to make sure we’re all on the same page and have a shared definition of things, let me quickly explain what the so-called “crabs in a barrel mentality” is.

Crab mentality, also known as crabs in a bucket (also barrel, basket, or pot) mentality, is a way of thinking best described by the phrase “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” The saying is derived from a pattern of behavior noted in crabs when trapped in a bucket. While anyone crab could easily escape, its efforts will be undermined by others, ensuring the group’s collective demise.

This so-called mentality is oftentimes projected onto the Black community, mainly in an attempt to blame the community itself for its shortcomings. This bullshit might also sound like, “other ethnic groups have come to America, and faced hardships are were able to make something for themselves… Why can’t Black people?” Again, this bullshit strategically overlooks what has been done and continues to be done to the Black community to keep it in its current state of despair.

It’s basically victim-blaming…

Instead of examining the crabs’ mentality in a hostile environment, how about we turn our attention to the mfs who put them outside of their natural environment in the first place.

Myth: “Reverse Racism

So-called “Black” people can’t be racist 🤷🏾‍♂️

I’ve said this before, but just so it’s clear, fuck Webster’s definition of what racist/racism is. Long gone are the days the oppressors can define our realities ✌🏾

How you should view racism | Racism = Prejudice + Social Power + Legal Authority

Racism/being a racist is more than just being prejudice or bigoted towards a specific group of people. Racism is a system of control where select privileges are granted to a select group of people at the expense of others. The only way so-called “Black” people can be “racist” is when we interact with one another. For more on that information, check out my Dismantling Internalized Racism series.

Myth: Race

You’ve heard me say this over a thousand times now, but just in case you’re new to the page…

You can’t dismantle an ideology you still cling to…

When we say things like, “it’s time to dismantle white supremacy,” or “it’s time to destroy racism,” I think it’s extremely important to understand exactly what it is we’re calling for.

The end of the myth known as race.

As long as we continue to use the word Black to define who we are as a people, we’ll never reclaim our true cultural identity. Yes, I’m aware that over the years we’ve changed the meaning behind the word Black to mean something powerful, and the strides people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Kwame Ture made to make that change happen.

However, just as informed as I am with that history, I’m also well informed of the history before the change. Like the words Negro and Nigga, Black was created to mentally remove us from our cultural and ancestral identity.

Regardless of how you feel about that history and what has been done to reverse that stigmatism, the legacy of the word Black remains with us. Well, at least it does as long as we continue to keep it alive… As long as we keep it alive, not only will white supremacy continue to spread, but we as a people will remain lost, forever in search of our true identity.

Here’s another way to look at it…

Who are you?

Through serious research I finally found out who I am, not a “Black man,” but a true Afrikan-American.

I know about the Mafaa and how many of my ancestors were stolen from the mainland and brought here as if they were cattle. I’m also hip to the fact that my ancestors came here way before the Europeans had enough courage to set sail across the Atlantic 🙃

I know about the great Mansa Abubakari II (recently mentioned above: “The Black Aboriginal Movement” Black American’s Don’t Have any Afrikan Decent But Instead Are Actually the Aboriginals of America) and his travels to the so-called “New World.” I know about my ancestors great influence on the Olmec civilization (also recently mentioned above). In other words, I’m hip to my ancestral claim to not just Afrika but the Americas as well. So when I say I’m Afrikan-American, that’s exactly what I mean. But the question is, who are you?

Are you a negro? “Negro,” when looking at its history and etymology, is the Spanish or Portuguese word for Black. In other words, if a mf calling you a Negro offends you, shouldn’t mfs calling you or referring to you as “Black” offend you as well?

So, at least from the standpoint of freeing our minds from the shackles of Eurocentric brainwashing, and European colonialism, we have to realize that these labels we cling so dearly to were created to dehumanize and detach us from our true roots.

Like the Grandmaster Teacher John H. Clarke said, a proper name for a people must always relate to land, history, and culture. Where on a map can you find “Negro land?” Or “Black land?”

Myth: Black Capitalism can Bring Black Liberation

Chattel enslaved Afrikans (my ancestors) were the capital that made Capitalism. That fact alone should let you know that we can’t use the laws and philosophies of Capitalism to obtain our liberation.

While most Capitalism theories set chattel slavery apart as something completely different because under chattel slavery, workers do not labor for a wage; new historical research reveals that for centuries, a single economic system encompassed both the plantation and the factory. In other words, the goods that were being produced by enslaved labor in the south were the same goods that gave the factors of the North their wealth. You can’t inseparate the two.

In other words, cotton would’ve never become “King” had it not been for chattel slavery. And if cotton never became King, Capitalism would’ve never survived.

This means cheap labor and the exploitation of so-called “lower-level workers” is fundamental for Capitalism’s survival. Our ancestors like Fred Hampton and Huey P. Newton understood this best, which is why social programs like the free breakfast program were core initiatives for the Black Panther Party. Our ancestors like Fred Hampton also understood that race was a myth used to divide and conquer the masses mainly by fooling poor and working-class whites into believing they and the elites shared a common ground.

That’s All Bruh

Well, there you have it. 10 myths that were more than likely shared last month as ‘facts.’ I hope this piece was informal, and shed some light on the real history of Afrika and her children. Also, S/O to you if you read through this entire piece. It’s been a minute since I sat down and wrote something this lengthy and informed.

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