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“African spirituality” emerging as a new pseudo denomination ultimately an extension of Eurocentric exoticifcation of Africa. We see the loose generalization...

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The Art of Revolution: A Critical Review of African Liberation

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  • The Art of Revolution: A Critical Review of African Liberation

    A Critical Review of African Liberation
    Real revolutions happen in quiet spaces, Tracy Chapman understood this in her 1988 lyrics; “Don’t you know they’re talking about a revolution; It sounds like a whisper.” The most powerful deals that have determined the path of human history have happened in the quietest non-dramatic spaces far away from populist view. One of our errors as a people, is that we always respond to the loudest bang —the biggest spectacle:

    Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy– Malcolm X

    And that bang has never been the root of our problems. We like “solutions” in little Tweets, in Facebook status updates, in one-liners, that excuse any accountability, but place the burden of change outside the reader’s ambit. But waiting for instant massive changes is like Venus waiting for the rains to return. Change is in increments, change is in planning, change is in the tangible, and real change is in the changes individuals make. Change is a collection of related actions, all necessary towards a final result, which impacts lives. Like a farmer in the field planting seeds today for a future harvest, using the experience of the past to know where to plant, and how to plant.

    Unity without hooks in reality doesn’t stick, and unity and victory will always require degrees of compromise. The hot mouth diatribes are pleasant to the ear, but what is that worth if not realistic? Our liberation will not come in a perfect gift wrapped package, and we must deal with that in discerning what is absolutely essential in a particular moment, and what is not (hierarchy of priorities and concerns). Liberation is not a calendar event in some distant future, it is a process produced only by good works.

    People wake up after 50 years of sleep, at 16:42 in the afternoon and realize our world has slipped away, and with shock on their faces ask —”What can we do?”! It is what we should have done; all those little cents necessary to make a single dollar; all those daily deposits in our piggy-bank. But we want 11th hour solutions to 500 year old problems, without actually putting in any consistent commitment. So until Katrina part II, or Trayvon part V, we are going back to sleep in a world WIDE AWAKE! Its like sheep in the slaughtering pen asking each other “What should we do now?”—5 minutes from death. What they should have done, was 2 years earlier made a run for it when they were out blissfully grazing.

    A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills–W. E. B. Du Bois

    A revolution is only a revolution if it remains functional and relevant to the prevailing conditions of those it intends to revolutionize. Just like a weather forecast is relevant if it can predicts storms, or a clock only if it keeps accurate time.

    The world is a dinner table of diminishing opportunities, but exploitation of these opportunities requires progressive thinking, and an investment in infrastructures. The threshold and standards of work, and the quality of our work ethic become critical in competing in this new world. And in our Pan-African space, unity ultimately means pooling resources and intelligence and taking advantage of every opportunity to advance the majority.

    Someone is a master of X, while another person is a master of Y, it is not unity or organization if the resources are unknown, and hence untapped. You do not go into battle without a cavalry, or throw stones at the enemy when someone else knows how to make arrows—but disorganization makes them unknown or unemployed in revolution. And this is just what we do when we organize and only include talkers, and showmen in our line up.

    Two people meet up at a conference and are floored by how much they have in common, they talk for hours straight, one works in media one works with an educational project on the ground. 1 + 1 = 2 but they do not know how to add, and never meet again. Our people have a problem putting things together; of seeing opportunities and exploiting them. They know there is something they are suppose to be doing, but cannot get pass the blocks in their mind allowing them to bring these things to fruition.

    The lips can do the work, but the body not able

    ​Alexander fought to expand Greece, Saladin fought and conquered Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion fought and stole a nation, Washington fought and got all of America, Ho Chi Minh fought and got back his country from imperialism. We fight and get to use white people’s toilets in America, and shop in their malls in South Africa (feeling cool about being their plantation managers–aka government). So While the Chinese, India et al, are practicing throwing things into Earth’s Orbit (and getting better at it), and Arabs are making sand castles in the sea, we got our “intellectuals” planning another conference; another sit down with the old talkers. The same conference every year for 30 years. This is the only thing they know to do as a response to the globalized world. If this was a race, while the Asian and the European are discussing who will cross the finish line first, the African has not yet heard the starting gun.

    Good ways of doing things are universal, and will always return profits regardless of whether you are selling heaven or hell. Marketing is marketing, time keeping is time keeping. Good organizing helps keep your house clean as much as it helped Tuthmosis III win at Battle of Megiddo: Applying the best traditions of efficiency to revolution, make revolution successful. Because the tool that builds nothing is no good to no one.

    Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will– Frederick Douglass

    Hidden behind every great work of art, science, or ideology, is a work-ethos, which creates success. These policies, habits, or principles are equally critical to the things they produce, because without the correct formula no good idea, no great work will come into fruition: Making a great product usually means a great process. If our broader revolution is failing it is very likely that the methodologies, work ethos is critically flawed. We are very good, as a people, discussing ideology, but ideology alone is not even 1/2 the war if our ways of doing things is under developed.

    Everyone was interested in joining revolution until they saw the commitment and work involved in real change. (They are committed in-between distractions). Because real work takes a detachment from ego. You cannot get an instant boast like when you post on a Facebook page. So spending months working on an article, or lobbying or starting up a business does not feed the ego like posting some trash and getting a quick response under the delusional rush of “being revolutionary.” Today, there is no patience for the most basic process; it is all about instant gratification, which confirms someone’s self-worth, more than the end result of that work. So as long as someone feels good—regardless of the change—that is what matters most.

    If the enemy has guns and you have spears – You have a chance. If they have nukes and you have rocks–You still have a chance. However, if they have unity and you have disunity–there is no hope!
    ​​​​​​ Click image for larger version  Name:	Gye-Nyame-Adinkra.jpg Views:	1 Size:	62.3 KB ID:	16906

    We own it, or we do not

    They might agree on the need for new economic models and to flush out capitalism, but they cannot then see that starts with research, reading books, discussing, formatting references. No, they want to jump from nothing to a new system like God in Genesis. I mean they cannot even leave Facebook to email someone, but expect some great new world out of thin air. The old people use to say “If you cannot do small, well you certainly will not be able to do big“. It is like if you cannot play a basic musical scale, how on Earth will you play Jimi Hendrix on a guitar? And as it relates to revolution if you still struggling with basic commitments, punctuality, replying to email, organizing the most basic aspects of your life, how on God’s green Earth are you going to run a revolution?

    How you look at the world (your paradigms of analysis) will determine the availability of solutions you have for navigating this world. It would be accurate to state if your outlook is severely flawed the available solutions that can be born from that outlook would also be limited. Many of us are stuck with very binary ideas, which do nothing but keep us on the outside of progres. And “progress” is a very clear and unconfusing: Either we make our own clothes, grow our own food, run our own industries– or we do not.


    We must discarded over intellectualizing these things where we make these eloquent but redundant truisms like “Capitalism is a vampire that is exploiting Africans” because that statement true or not, makes no difference if all you going to do is drop it every time the hard questions come up. Or “but our ancestors went through some unique hardships” yes we all know that already. Now what? We believe the people who have moved on to the now what are the progressive Africans seeking true liberation.

    Therapy only serves to offer us some superficial comfort for our terrible state. It rarely causes an awakening to action. So what good is hearing how “The Black man invented science, and mathematics” if none of us today are going out there and designing the African challenge to Android Nougat or iOS 11.0.3. You can click like 2 billion times on your favorite YouTube Afrocentric video, it will bring you not even 0.000000001% closer to owning a market share in this world or redressing the issues of capitalist exploitation and neo-liberal globalization.


    Are you really in the struggle for African liberation? If so you should be able to answer some of these questions:

    1. What organization are you working with ? (Ture said organized, so what org are you part of)?
    2. Who do we know that you know that can vouch for your track record?
    3. Can you take me to a web-page where I can get more information about the things you care so much about, your research –no not your personal Facebook page or someone else’s blog.
    4. Can you email your blueprints for victory? The objectives and the game plan?
    5. What are you currently supporting? Community projects, films (like this one), Business in the African community, building wells in Africa, educational programs etc. Adult literacy, teaching Swahili.

    The African struggle must be recovered from confused and self-centered jokers. And it is time we set up a process to separate the wheat from the chaff.


    The minute it actually comes down to walking and not talking anymore, the strongest talkers get wobbly knees and buckle under their own rhetoric
    • The Hobbyist- Revolution is a recreational activity, they are interested in it like an old man likes to fish to past the time. They have very low investment in anything, and outcome does not concern them beyond complaining. Because just having ideas in your head and no action leaves the world in its original state.–Unchanged.
    • The Career Revolutionary: It is a job they do, it pays the bills, they lecture about it because they fill that niche and have an audience which supports them. They might be artist who perform inside of African themes for a living. They care about struggle within vulgar self-interest. Victory actually puts them out of work.
    • The Social revolution: Revolution is a social event to re-affirm identity and make them feel included in something. It is like a football club or any other social group. The reward is not from fixing anything but the process and the social rewards of being part of a community
    • The Fake Revolutionary: Revolutionary is only a cover to boast ego, or some harmful desire. They are the lowest form because they destroy the revolution within.
    • The Real Revolution. Is interested in absolute objectives. Victory is of paramount importance. Results are high priority.

    We want to take the time to give thanks
    for this positive information
    By Alik Shahadah

    Last edited by AYAN; 01-18-2018, 12:30 PM.