Tuesday, December 7, 2010


John Henrik Clarke to Mary Lefkowitz in the Black Athena Debate, March, 1996:

“I think you have emphasized too much the word Black. We’ve made the same mistake. Black tells you how you look but it don’t tell you who you are. The proper name of people must always relate to land, history and culture.”

Inner Civilization* on the use of the word "black":

"The truth is, race or color should be important to us only when we need it to be. Our blackness should not be the most important characteristic we use to identify ourselves. It may serve as an initial element in our identification, but this is not the criteria we should use to strengthen ourselves as a people. We should consider ourselves "black" in comparison to "whites” and that is all. Think: whites only refer to themselves as whites in the context of black-white relations. The remainder of the time they are simply "normal" human beings conducting their affairs within the legacy of the universal human condition experienced by all humankind.
The focus on race, as we can see by our behavior today, does not necessarily strengthen our ties and obligations to each other as African Americans or as human beings. Kinship, tradition, a deep sense of community, culture, heritage, faith and determination---these are the elements that strengthen communities and give them texture.
Our skin color is important in the sense that it serves as a threshold on the path towards better understanding what our heritage is, where our homelands were, what our traditions and cultures are, and how our social ties and kinship should be structured. Quite unlike skin color, our culture and ties of kinship are aspects of our lives we have a choice in shaping; they are aspects that we can always improve upon. The way we choose to strengthen our culture, our spirits, and our family structure is up to our own determination and our own efforts. These are the elements of our existence that were lost upon our arrival in America. These are the essential factors of life that have concerned all people across the globe and throughout the ages. Dealing with these issues is what makes us human; it is what makes us know that we are really alive. Unfortunately these are the aspects of our life in America we have neglected the most. In other words we are humans being first and as healthy human beings it is critical that we maintain a significant connection with a common heritage, culture and structure of values."

*From the chapter Developing Black Thought.


Anonymous said...

"land...history...and culture!" dope.

Unknown said...

coach outlet
coach outlet clearance
micahel kors
canada goose jackets
true religion outlet
ugg boots outlet
coach outlet
asics outlet
gucci borse
michael kors outlet clearance
michael kors handbags
louis vuitton outlet
nike store uk
ugg outlet online
longchamp bag
ralph lauren outlet online
ugg outlet
nike air max
yeezy boost 350 black
christian louboutin sale
coach outlet
jimmy choo outlet store
coach outlet
armani exchange
toms shoes
nike huarache
fitflops shoes
christian louboutin shoes
kd 9 shoes
reebok outlet
coach outlet
nike free flyknit 4.0
christian louboutin shoes

Unknown said...

michael kors outlet
nike air max pas cher
coach outlet
ugg boots
ray ban sunglasses
adidas originals
nba jerseys
mlb jerseys
tommy hilfiger outlet
tiffany and co
coach factory outlet
coach bags
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban sunglasses
coach factory outlet
ray ban sunglasses
coach factory outlet
ugg boots paris
uggs outlet
basketball shoes
ray ban wayfarer
coach canada
uggs uk
dallas mavericks jerseys
toms wedges
toms wedges
louis vuitton outlet
nike outlet
louis vuitton outlet
ugg boots sale
rolex watches
cheap jordans
fitflop shoes
louis vuitton outlet
ralph lauren outlet
los angeles clippers jerseys
adidas yeezy
nike nfl jerseys
louis vuitton outlet

Unknown said...

red bottoms shoes
coach outlet
canada goose
canada goose jackets
coach outlet
michael kors bags
canada goose
nike free run black
ed hardy sale
adidas yeezy boost

raybanoutlet001 said...

packers jerseys
rolex replica
ray ban sunglasses
true religion jeans sale
coach outlet
ghd flat iron
nike tn
sac longchamp
ed hardy outlet
dolce and gabbana shoes

Unknown said...

adidas neo
falcons jersey
five finger shoes
yeezy boost 350
true religion jeans
michael kors uk
yeezy shoes
nike air max
nike huarache

5689 said...

jordan shoes
canadian goose
canada goose outlet
christian louboutin
michael kors outlet
ferragamo belt
champion clothing
coach factory outlet
converse trainer