"Being Black for some people is a burden. For me it is an honor."
Today is the Sunrise day of Runoko Rashidi, the African American historian and scholar-activist. Here are Ten Powerful Quotes by him.
1. “What you do for yourself, in large measure, depends on what you think of yourself. So if you think that you have no worthy history, that you come from nothing, you will tend to act that out. But if you think that you come from greatness, you will aim for the stars.”
2. “Black man in America, you are racially profiled, the last hired and the first fired. You are discriminated against on every level. You have the highest unemployment rate and the highest rate of incarceration. You are the last one to receive justice in the judicial system. You are even, typically, the first one to get killed in the movies! Racism underlies your entire life, from cradle to grave. Now how can you tell me, honestly, when it comes to picking a mate, that you don’t believe in race, you don’t see color and you can’t help who you fall in love with and then call me a racist for pointing it out to you? Let’s be real here.”
3. “We cannot destroy white supremacy until we address the internal contradictions in ourselves and in our communities that allow white supremacy to continue to flourish.”
4. “Egypt is in Africa. It has always been there. I have been to Egypt 22 times and it has been in Africa every time. And the people who were responsible for Pharaonic Egypt were African people = Black people. In fact, the African name for Ancient Egypt is Kmt = The Black City or the Black Community. The relationship between Africa and Africans with Ancient Egypt is similar to that of Europe and Europeans to ancient Greece and Rome. Our discussions of Egypt should not imply that we are ignoring the rest of Africa. We are simply focusing on what is arguably the most spectacular part of Africa and a part of Africa that has been artificially detached from our Motherland.”
5. “There is no question that Africa is the Mother Continent. It is the birthplace of modern humanity. If we did not know it before, the genetic studies of the past thirty years have surely confirmed this. Of course, a lot of people, even Black people, find this impossible to accept. And I think the reason for this is our bias against Africa. We are taught, systematically, from the beginning, to be anti-African. And I have found this to be the case even in Africa. So many of us would prefer to think of ourselves as anything but an African. Even myself, as a youth, because my mother’s mother was Cherokee, I thought of myself as a Native American. Yes, even me. But as I grew and learned about Africa and studied Africa my pride in my African identity soared like an eagle. So, today, when I hear our people say that they are not African, I don’t get angry with them. I feel sorry for them and pray that one day they cease to be content with the food of chickens and see themselves as the mighty eagles that they truly are. We are African people. Get comfortable with it. And learn to love your African self.”
6. “I think sometimes that the seeds of white supremacy and Black self-hatred are so deeply planted within us that if all of the white people in the world were to vacate the planet today, Black people would still be in a mess. Sometimes I think that it is the enemy within that is the real killer.”
7. “For Black people to talk about building up the Black community, marrying other Black people, spending money in the Black community, educating the children in that community and supporting other Black people is neither racism or racist. It is collective self-preservation and good common sense.”
8. “Africans came to America, BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER enslavement. Don’t start our history at the end; start it at the beginning.”
9. “I have said it a lot of times and I say again right now. Africa is not named after Scipio Africanus. Scipio Africanus was the Roman general who engineered the defeat of Carthage, which was in the country we now know as Tunisia. The name Scipio Africanus means “conqueror of Africa.” That alone implies that the term Africa was in use before his time. We should stop repeating such a foolish and inaccurate and insulting comment. Whatever the name Africa means and wherever the word comes from, it was not named after a Roman general.”
10.“I just had a brother state on one of my Facebook pages that Black people have to forgive those that have wronged them. Funny, I never recall anyone saying that the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust have to forgive the Nazis. What am I missing here? Why are Black people encouraged to forgive their oppressors while others are not? Is our humanity less than others?”