What Next ?
“SANKOFA” Cultural Reclamation
You hearers, seers, imaginers, thinkers, remembers, you prophets called to communicate truths of the living way to a people fascinated unto death, you called to link memory with fore-listening, to join the uncountable seasons of our flowing to unknown tomorrows even more numerous, communicators doomed to pass on truths of our origins to a people rushing deathward, grown contemptuous in our ignorance of our source, prejudiced against our own survival, how shall your vocation’s utterance be heard?
—Ayi Kwei Armah , Two Thousand Seasons
“He who fails to plan plans to fail” I don’t know if this is an exact quote, but the message is sufficiently evident. This wise adage is a directive for individual ambitions primarily. And it works well for those who are progressively pursuing their dreams. In the context of the collective, the plan must be a selfless one formulated for the advancement of a group, community or a nation. It must be a plan necessarily designed by many minds and much wisdom. There are many things to consider, but the commonality must be mutual interest and cooperation. All peoples have a [BLACK]print or a plan for their collective progress and success. They have benefitted as a group by conforming to its tenets, its directions, and its advice.
We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.
Mary McLeod Bethune
We as Africans in America have a plan designed with us in mind but the themes are universal. It is called the Nguzo Saba and it is the results of our wise men who knew we needed a plan. Who knew we had the ingredients and provided us with a recipe. It is a simple recipe that requires us to simply be Africans with a deep and abiding respect for the history of our struggles and the wealth of our heritage, the things we have contributed to the dignity and the upliftment of the African. We have but to study and practice the Nguzo Saba in our daily lives and be proud and firm in whom we are to realize our individual and collective dreams.
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”
When it comes to education it requires discipline and a good support system. For example, if you’re serious about your education then you should associate with people and resources that are more likely to feed your intellectual prowess. Also, if you are serious about African progress as a group you “MUST” align yourself and engaged in the “African Ideal” known as the “Nguzo Saba”. This is an African term that is rooted in the African spirituals as well as the value systems. In addition, this term often conflict with popular trends and social indulgences. However, this concept fosters collective growth and progress among African people known as the term “One for all and all for one”.
“…there is indeed a great force in the world, a force spiritual and able to shape the physical universe, but that force is not something cut off, not something separate from ourselves. It is the energy in us, the strongest in our working, breathing, thinking together as one people; weakest when we are scattered, confused, broken into individual, unconnected fragments.” ― Ayi Kwei Armah
When practicing this idea, individuals should be aware that they represent the group and not themselves. In part, these terms also, speaks to the individuals abilities to executed things and do them in full consideration. By caring out the idea correctly, it will demonstrate a positive affect among the group progress. This cannot be overemphasized in view of our present dilemmas and in our communities. Furthermore, it should not be about “ME”, instead is should be “WE”. We must present ourselves to others with respect, empowerment, advocacy and discipline on a day-to-day basis. In addition, we should not forget “WHO WE ARE”, and where we are going. Most importantly we must adhere to the beauty and simplicity of “OUR PLAN”,” “THE NGUZO SABA”.
“There is a form of incomplete awakening that looks complete on the surface; it is blindness masquerading as sight. Now, when we awaken, we have healthy bodies inhabited by thinking minds. When many such people with able bodies and thinking minds are united by a shared goal, consciously chosen and embraced, the resulting interaction is powerful, purposeful and loving. That interaction of minds moving toward a shared goal is the closest thing I know to religious power.”
— Ayi Kwei Armah, Our Awakening