Never has a race of people come so far in so short of a time. In the early 1900’s, Sun Yat Sen, the father of Chinese nationalism predicted that enslaved Africans would be annihilated and destroyed in the same ruthless fashion of the native Americans. He threw in the towel for Black people because he assessed that we did not possess the cultural armor to fight back.
250 years of chattel slavery and 150-years of institutionalized racism failed to crush this mighty race.
Congress passed HR 1242 to commemorate the 400 years that mark the survival and resilience of the descendants of enslaved Africans. Never mind that the legislation only allotted $20,000 to be utilized for this nationwide effort, only five dollars per year of slavery.
1619 can be argued to be the real founding date of the United States. In August 1619, 20 Africans arrived at Point Comfort, near Jamestown Virginia. These twenty Africans were the first of twelve and one half million to follow in chains. Uncompensated slave labor was utilized to establish the foundations of this nation.
One should be mindful that Professor Van Sertima of Harvard has documented that Africans arrived in this hemisphere as traders and explorers long before Columbus arrived.
Can 1776 be the birthday of America when after the American revolution 4 million people were left in slavery?
Why bury ourselves in the past?
SANKOFA means that in order to go forward and improve the future, we must first acknowledge and learn our lessons from the past. Our ancestors departed Africa through the Door of No Return but evolved to possess a stronger genetic pool and a faith that would not shrink.
HR 1242 is an opportunity to devise and launch transformative activities that will further improve black well being and form a more perfect union. When the Black movement began to gain critical mass in the 1960’s, it was like a nuclear social bomb had exploded in America, Environmentalists, Peace and Justice, Women and Gender Equality, Animal Rights movements all gained inspiration and energy to insist on more and stronger democracy.
SANKOFA marks the arrival of another revival of Black progress that will only grow stronger over the next 400 years.
SANKFOFA is a burning spear that will lead to educational institutions that prepare for the new post-industrial economy, educational institutions that lead our people out of poverty. The medical engine in Houston Texas can absorb every Black child that finishes high school. Endless medical technologists, radiologists, RN s’ and nurse and physician assistant jobs abound. The chemical plants can absorb every Black child that aspires to be a welder or plant operator.
SANKOFA performs as an enzyme by entering into the interactions of sororities and fraternities, bike and horse riding clubs and barber beauty associations., poker and domino clubs, churches, mosques and social organizations. Going forward we seize the initiative and win the hearts and minds by respecting and adhering to the organizing principle of Unity without Uniformity. Unity without Uniformity is about working unity, not talking unity. All these organizations are called upon to sponsor a commemoration and use the energy released to launch game changing activities.
SANKOFA stresses RECLAIMING THE VOTE through voter education and voter registration. An unregistered non-voting adult black person will become as rare as a penguin and his family sunbathing in the July Texas sun.
SANKOFA succeeds when we understand that politics is about gaining and maintaining power for the good of all and not just CRONIES.
SANKOFA succeeds when we understand that religion is about the highest values that promote human life and development.
SANKOFA succeeds when we teach that LIFT EVERY VOICE and SING is the American national hymn.
SANKOFA succeeds when we shift our focus to family unity, cooperative economics for the sharing economy and building generational wealth over the next 400 years.
SANKOFA succeeds when Kaepernick and BLACK LIVES MATTER succeeds.
Le Bron James and Oprah Winfrey will do their job. The POTUS and Congress will do their job. The question is whether each of us will teach one, whether each of us will reach one.
LIVE GOOD, DREAM BIG, REACH HIGHER