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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectGuidance from an Elder
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=25013&mesg_id=25093
25093, Guidance from an Elder
Posted by Solarus, Wed Mar-07-01 07:17 AM

This is a response from our elder, Mwalimu Baruti (Professor Larry Crawford) upon a request for guidance on nationbuilding for which I am most humbly grateful.



Hotep Solarus,

Such deep questions so early in the morning. Nationbuilding knows no time does it? Two points in relation to the enormous question you have posed about Afrikan centered education (and I know that this discussion will continue because it must). There are a number of other contacts that you should make in relation to this question if you want to get to the contemporary experience of this developing institution. I don't remember if you were made aware that we have a full-time and afterschool Afrikan centered home school program currently housing ten students. Coming to the end of two years has taught a lot of lessons. But, anyway, back to your questions. Imhotep, which our daughter attended for nearly three years is not an Afrikan centered school. It is a black school with a tinge of Afrikan-American history infused into the curriculum, and even that is dependent on the whim of too many of the bougeoisie parents whose money controls the political direction of the school. Most of us Afrikan centered parents have left Imhotep in order to start our own full-time, part-time (including weekend)programs with a central Afrikan focus. This is not to negate or disparage some of the faculty there. But faculty are limited by the school's agenda and when the primary agenda is profit then Afrikan politics are automatically compromised. And that is not to say that profits cannot be great in an Afrikan centered setting. It is only to say that profits should remain secondary and the political, cultural, historical and spiritual center of the children should always be first. I would not consider studying Imhotep as a model. It has changed dramatically in the last five years. And it may, in reality, have never been what we imagined because we came there from an even less Afrikan centered setting.

I checked out some of the discussion on "okayplayer." Quite good and interesting discussion about nationbuilding. I am familiar with the work of all the artists you cited (my daughter keeps me "hip":-) However, in the context of nationbuilding, I absolutely side with John Henrik Clarke who said that Europeans should in no way be a part of family discussions. Asa's work is excellent but I would also suggest that you consider Kwame Agyei Akoto's Nationbuilding: Theory and Practice in Afrikan Centered Education and Kwame Agyei and Akua Nson Akoto's The Sankofa Movement: ReAfrikanization and the Reality of War (if not available at Mutano's Store they can be acquired at www.afrikandieli.com and are worth more than gold) as even more primary and practical handbooks for building Afrikan centered educational institutions. They have decades of experience and much, much honored respect among us Afrikan centered warrior scholars.

Developing the institutions that can independently provide Afikan centered education is a struggle that most of us are not prepared to face. But it must be done or our children will become European.

Peace and Madase, Mwalimu Baruti