As a people, no one should ever be more important to us than Our Ancestors. They are our heart and soul, our timeless wisdom, our divine connection, the very center of our existence. They reflect the enduring resilience of our past, offer us sanity in this godforsaken reality and possess the secrets essential to our unfolding sovereignty.
And, knowing that no nation/people has ever risen to power and stayed there without holding their own traditions sacred, attaining the sovereignty Our Ancestors offer necessarily means that we know, respect, protect and extend in time through every coming generation who we are as a direct reflection of them.
Therefore, Our Ancestors should never be overlooked or forgotten because, without them, we would not be. And, because we are them, it is only through knowing and experiencing their lives that who we are and what we must do to fully be human can be revealed.
That said, if we do not know them, we do not know ourselves. If we do not know of their lives, learning from the way they lived and lessons they have given us from the mistakes they have made, as well as the intellectual successes of their natural genius and the material wonders created out of it, then we will ignorantly fail ourselves and those who follow in our footsteps.
We have to know Our Ancestors in order to know ourselves. There is no other way to gain knowledge of self.
It is in this spirit that my book Kebuka!: Remembering the Middle Passage through the Eyes of Our Ancestors was written. And, it is in this same spirit that Akoben Institute’s Annual Lecture/Event was created and has been held over the twelve years.
Nonetheless, it is time to more righteously institutionalize this commemoration spiritually and socially. Through a PanAfrikan effort, we must formalize this memory of our capture and transport from home into a barbaric, dehumanizing, incomparable, unfathomable enslavement in the western hemisphere. It is time for us to make this lecture/event into an official International Day of Remembrance for those who experienced the unforgettable and unforgiveable horrors yurugu unleashed against Afrikan people during this portion of our Maafa (“Great Destruction”).
By now, we should be clear on the fact that we need no one else’s permission to do this. The opinions, arguments and interests of those who aspire to destroy us, as well as that of the confused among us who have been handpicked by them to serve as mindless instruments of their ongoing, progressive mentacidal, genocidal war against us, are irrelevant to our choice to uncompromisingly claim our ancestral heritage.
To this end, I am asking the entire frontline community, as well as all other serious-minded, willing Afrikans, to be a part of this International Day of Remembrance. Every year thus far this observance has occurred on the second (or middle) Saturday of November. To make this event accessible to more Warriors, we are permanently changing this to the third Saturday in November. This year it will be held on November 17th.
Furthermore, I am asking that our Warriors not only set the participatory standard but to also serve as frontline messengers. I humbly ask that you deliver the word to all Afrikans who are receptive to the idea of remembering who we are, and will always be, as a people.
The lecture/event commemorating and dramatizing this segment of ourstory will commence on November 17th at 5p.m. and conclude at 8p.m. However, we are asking that Warriors remain in a state of contemplative remembrance for the entire day.
Let us be clear though. This is not an effort to undermine any other similar Afrikan efforts at remembrance or to compete with them in any way. As far as I am concerned, there are not enough hours in the day, or days in the year, for us to adequately, deeply and constructively consider the significance of our Ancestors’ sacrifice for us and map out a sovereign future based on the lessons so many of us refuse to grasp. Also be clear that this is Our time, Our remembrance, and ONLY Afrikans should be present. If that is offensive to you then you are not ready to be Afrikan and this community gathering is not for you.
If you live here in Atlanta or are a reasonable distance from it, please put forth an earnest effort to come out and join us in honoring Our Ancestors. There is no cost to attend this gathering. All you need do is arrive. I would also very strongly suggest that, if humanly possible, you make the time to read, or reread, and meditate on the book Kebuka!: Remembering the Middle Passage through the Eyes of Our Ancestors before, during and/or after our International Day of Remembrance.
Abibifahodie, Mwalimu K. Bomani Baruti
Kebuka! Remembering The Middle Passage Through The Eyes of Our Ancestors
Mwalimu K. Bomani Baruti is the co-founder and co-director of Akoben Institute, an independent Afrikan centered full-time and after-school home schooling and tutorial program for middle and high schoolers. Bro. Baruti (fka Larry D. Crawford) served as Assistant Professor of Sociology at Morehouse College from 1991 to 2001. Committed to the students, he has served as the faculty advisor to numerous student organizations at Morehouse College, as well as other institutions in the Atlanta University Center. He received his graduate training at the University of Chicago and taught at Chicago State University as well. Recognized for his dedication to the community, he has been keynote speaker, guest lecturer and moderator for numerous forums, programs and activities in a number places around the country and world. His lecture topics have ranged from Afrikan manhood, male/female relationships, european sexual insanity, interracial coupling to the Middle Passage. Bro. Baruti lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife of 28 years, Yaa Mawusi Baruti, also co-founder and co-director of their homeschooling program.