The title track of his final album from 1997. Recorded while paralyzed, listen to the words of one of OUR most politically conscious, inspirational singers of all time.
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By Elliot Booker — 3 years ago
By Ezrah Aharone
Nate Parker’s movie The Birth of a Nation has revived the question: What caused Nat Turner’s 1831 uprising? Turner, first of all, was not a deranged misfit who acted outside of a historical context of previous African freedom fighters. Throughout slavery’s duration, resistance was not only constant and fatal, but twofold. Africans equally resisted both slavery and Americanization.
Contrary to popular “feel good” versions of history, the “fight against slavery” should not be presumed as a “fight to become American.” For enslaved Africans like Turner, Americanization was the obstacle — not the vehicle — to the freedom they sought.
A largely overlooked factor that forged Africans into Americans was their inability to muster enough weapons to militarily free themselves from Americanization. Along with the 2nd Amendment which allowed Whites to bear arms, slavery was also backed by America’s military, which is why 800 soldiers deployed against Turner. Within this context of warfare (which fomented at least 313 recorded armed uprisings), there is provable evidence that Africans became Americans — not by virtue of winning the Civil War — but by virtue of prior military defeats.
CNN’s Town Halls won’t discuss this, but numerous captives were already soldiers in Africa beforehand, who like Turner, held deep monotheistic beliefs. Once in America, these battle-tested troops launched guerilla forms of warfare whenever possible, using whatever weapons possible, with clear theological convictions that fused spirituality with revolution. Naturally, after being forcibly uprooted 5,000 miles from long-lived kingdoms and cultures, they deemed Euro-Americans as new adversaries, and Americanization was certainly not their goal.
This explains why tens of thousands of Africans militarily fought with the British against America during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Plus, another 100,000 fled or died fleeing to join British forces. Conclusive stats are unknown, but from a sheer combat perspective, the Revolutionary War could be framed as the largest uprising of Africans who ever unified to militarily free themselves from Americanization . . . including Africans reportedly owned by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Despite being defeated, it is still necessary to credit legitimacy to such Africans, beyond distorted narratives that label Turner an “African American” even though men like him sought America’s military downfall. Olaudah Equiano (an Ibo, captured at age 11, who published the first surviving “slave account” in 1789: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano) wrote, “When you make men slaves, you compel them to live with you in a State of War.” Once freed in 1792, he bolted like lightning to England.
Haiti’s independence (1804) ignited further military motivations. On July 4th, 1804, instead of recognizing US independence, hundreds of Blacks in Philadelphia stormed Independence Hall to live Haitian independence vicariously. Flanked in military formations, they carried swords and attacked Whites for two days, chanting “we will show them [whites] St. Domingo [bloodshed like Haiti].”
So, by the dawn of his 1831 uprising, Turner was just one cog in a long continuum of such idealists. Other notable military operations involved: Fort Mose in Florida (1738-1763); the Stono Uprising in South Carolina (1739); the German Coast Uprising in Louisiana (1811); Negro Fort in Florida (1815); and David Walker’s Appeal (1828) advocated revolution and religion (even though Walker was more an assimilationist than sovereignist).
Men like Turner also equated themselves to other hemispheric freedom fighters (in nations like Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Columbia) who gained independence . . . including Euro-Americans. For example, before being hanged for their 1800 planned uprising, one of Gabriel Prosser’s soldiers retorted, “I have nothing more to offer than what General [George] Washington would have had to offer, had he been taken by the British and put to trial. I have adventured my life in endeavouring to obtain the liberty of my countrymen, and am a willing sacrifice in their cause.” In translation, he meant, “Bring it; I stand upon universal principles of freedom that — just like you — I will never compromise.”
Interestingly, in a “60 Minutes” interview, Nate Parker paralleled Nat Turner to George Washington in terms of their shared idealisms to “Birth a Nation.” From this perspective, whether you agree or disagree with Turner’s guerilla tactics, his comparative cause to end tyranny was no less honorable than America’s founders.
Tyranny, however, can be a very peculiar and subjective creature, since “one man’s tyranny can be another man’s liberty.” Hence, George Washington, who enslaved and tyrannized over 300 Africans is deified on Mt. Rushmore as a hero, while conversely, Nat Turner who fought against slavery’s tyranny is demonized as a savage. To this contradiction, James Baldwin once quipped, “In the US, violence and heroism have been made synonymous . . . except when it comes to Blacks.”
This article was culled in part from “The Sovereign Psyche: Systems of Chattel Freedom vs. Self-Authentic Freedom” by Ezrah Aharone, who is an adjunct associate professor of political science at Delaware State University. He is also a political and business consultant on African Affairs, as well as the author of “Sovereign Evolution and Pawned Sovereignty.” He can be reached at www.EzrahSpeaks.com.Post Views: 386
By Elliot Booker — 2 years ago
Today’s REVIVE show topic is entitled:
“Getting to the Root”
I need you all to be apart of the conversation!
It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832. This episode of REVIVE will be an open forum so all perspectives can be heard through great conversation.
This episode on REVIVE is entitled “Getting to the Root: A Discussion in Honor of World Youth Skills Day” This episode will focus on decision making, the importance of youth developing skills, and ways to build a more prosperous future! You don’t want to miss this episode!
Taylor Frome: Taylor Frome is founder and executive director of YOUTH EMPOWERMENT SERVICES AKA YESPhilly. YESPhilly is a Philadelphia based nonprofit with the mission of developing opportunities for Philly youth who drop out of our high schools. YESPhilly started in 2000, and have had several different types of programs, from community centers, to a GED program, to a Alternative High School—where students can finish their high school education and get a regular high school diploma. YESPhilly is different from other Alternative schools because the focus is on meeting students where they are, and helping them transition into higher education or employment. Before starting YESPhilly Ms. Frome had started the YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, which is still providing a combination of job training and high school education.
Rose McGee: Rose McGee is a “sweet potato pie philanthropist”, storyteller, educator, playwright, and entrepreneur. She is the creator of the Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Initiative, owner of Deep Roots Gourmet Desserts, and has a TEDx Talk on The Power of Pie. Two summers ago, she led her own community of Golden Valley in baking 56 Sweet Potato Comfort Pies and personally served them at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. where nine African Americans were killed. Her Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Approach has become a cornerstone during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend when Rose along with other volunteers bake sweet potato pies at Calvary Lutheran Church, then facilitate conversations around race and equity. Participants then take the pies and distribute them as gifts to individuals and organizations throughout the community as a symbol of concern and celebration. She is author of the book, Story Circle Stories, works for Minnesota Humanities Center, and resides in Golden Valley, Minnesota where she was recently selected as Citizen of The Year.
Mike Nelson: Mike Nelson aka Mike the Motivator is an Author, Minister, Motivational Speaker. A proud native of West Philadelphia Mike, travels the country providing student development to schools. Mike has reached close to 70 schools and 7,000+ students with his message of “making school the new cool” Mike, is the author of Yes, You Can: 7 Keys to student success. A book geared towards students that help keep students academically engaged. Mike is a graduate from Biblical Theological Seminary where he received his Masters degree with a concentration in Urban Studies.
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It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys the listening audience out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832 & follow on Twitter and Facebook @REVIVE_POC !
WE NEED YOU ALL TO BE APART OF THE CONVERSATION!!Post Views: 188
By Elliot Booker — 1 year ago
“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 03/18/2018 at 7:00 PM (EST) guest was Attorney, Organizer, Founder of Black Lawyers for Justice, Malik Zulu Shabazz. We were informed by our special guest on events ranging from the Black Men’s National Convention and 10,000 Black Men’s March, April 18-22 in Washington D.C, to the release of the upcoming “Book of Khallid”. It’s time for effective operational unity among Black Organizations for the welfare of our community, we’ll talked about this and other topics with our guest, Attorney ShabazPost Views: 258