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  • Friday, August 08, 2014 5:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Elders' Corner
    “He who drinks in the house of merchants; will be made to pay for it” Ancient Kemet
    By: Nana Joe Benton

    Though written over six thousand years ago, our ancestors must have been prescient. The notion of horse traders, capitalist or economic systems that exploit the weak, not pay fair wages and not care about the wealth or well being of the people was unknown to our ancestors. For that reason alone, the use of the Husia becomes of prime importance to constantly remind us of how our ancestors felt about us and all people and the manner in which they treated their fellow brothers and sisters.

    America is truly the house of the merchants. Everything from our news, to our socialization and the very culture is built around the notion of developing merchants. In addition to finding “news”, sports, weather, a business section and even horoscopes in newspapers, you never find a section on labor, which is the category for most of us. In our case, as African people we were kidnapped and brought here not as people, but as merchandize. When emancipation came, the formerly enslaved African had a choice, remain merchandize and tied to the merchant (Massa) or turn his back on the plantation, seek freedom and no longer drink in the house of the merchant. To this day, that critical decision has either plagued or elevated our people.

    After over two hundred years of enslavement, is it not strange that many of our people became legislators, teachers, preachers, doctors, nurses, land owners, college professors, business owners, land owners, farmers and administrators, while the merchants pointed to the less fortunate brothers and sisters who continued to drink their troughs, as unworthy beast who must be guided to work continually for the merchant class. You see, no merchant has servants and serfs in their homes except as servants and slaves.

    The Husia reminds us of what we must do, how we must behave toward each other and how we deal with the merchant classes, who may not act or look like us. We once built so great a civilization, that it has never been matched at any time in world history. It is our job and duty at KRST Temple to resurrect Maat, the Cardinal Virtues and look backward to understand how we move forward. It is our destiny to again to be great and to drink at the well of our ancestors to resurrect our culture.

    Humanity demands the resurrection of us, for we are the Creator’s greatest hope for humanity and in reality it is the Creator who created drink for all of us, not just merchants.

  • Saturday, July 26, 2014 12:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “The grasshopper that sleeps forgetfully wakes up in the mouth of a lizard” Igbo
    By: Joe Benton

    Many times as I ponder the object lessons of our ancient ancestors, I often go back and read the words of wisdom that comes from them. Too often we have played the role of the forgetful grasshopper in this society. We have slept, forgotten; Maat and our Cardinal Principles of righteous behavior and the lizards continue to devour us.

    KRST Temple, if nothing else, should be that place where the foolishness of common philosophy, the teachings of the ridiculous and beliefs systems which have lulled us to sleep, should be vanquished from the thinking and doing of our members. What right thinking person, who lives in the “Bible Belt and Buckle”, the south and Midwest for those who did not know, could adhere to a belief system that does not provide a means for us to rise from the bottom, yet dooms us to the tyranny of violence, both inside and outside of our community.

    Where is the “Prince of Peace” when we need him? Our lizards, believe that we are beast and only worthy of being devoured or if left to our own devices will devour ourselves. If it were not so, it would not be happening.

    What then will wake us up? The continual dialog of the Truth is our wake up call. Our people must know, that we are loveable and loving people. That is part of the Truth that KRST Temple must continually press. Based upon our history and culture, we should be the people that others copy. They should copy us for our fairness, righteousness and reciprocal living. We should exude love of ourselves; for a loving people do not kill himself or herself or others. They do not rob from others and especially those who look like self. No right thinking, loving people would want to do more than share their love and kindness and especially with those who truly love them in return.

    If I love myself and give that love away to others; and they love me in return, that is the way of reciprocity and lives up to the natural order of Maat. Then I will remember and will keep a watchful eye for the lizards that go against that order or win them over to my ways. Hotep

  • Saturday, July 19, 2014 9:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Arming Children for Academic Success
    By: Phila R. Robinson

    The last of the fireworks have come to an end and the temperatures are blazing hot but believe it or not summer vacation is coming quickly to a close. Teachers begin making preparations for the upcoming year and taking a look at how their school year will take shape. As parents we should be taking the same initiative. Waiting on someone else to prepare us for what’s to come is unacceptable. Our children deserve parents who take the time to prepare them for the school year. This preparation takes some thought and some doing. Even if you have not done this in the past, it is not too late to start.

    Arming our children to be successful this school year can begin with simply answering the question “Who am I?”. This question gives us the opportunity to talk with our children about our story. By answering this question we can tell them the “why” of Booker T. Washington and W.E. B. Dubois and a host of others. We can answer the question of why these men and many others were important. If our children begin to see how they fit into history through the achievements of our ancestors they will gain a deeper understanding in all of their academics.

    In addition, our children must be armed spiritually. When we teach our children that they are made in the image of God, we are empowering them. Realizing that God is a part of them and in every other living thing makes children look at the world differently. Now they see that harming a plant, an insect, or a fellow classmate is harming God. Imagine what a different world this would be if all children were taught to respect the God in each and every living thing. We would not experience school violence nor would we be afraid to send our children to school.

    Moreover, children that recognize the God in themselves and others have a different way of learning. As a young child, my grandparents would make us learn scriptures from the Bible. My grandmother always said to learn them “by heart”. I never really understood this until I was introduced to the creation story of my ancestors. In this particular reading God creates the world using his heart, mind, and tongue. Whatever we desire our children to learn we must first allow them to put it into their heart. Then that same thought is processed by the mind and finally the tongue speaks it into existence. I noticed that those children in the classroom who used this particular way of learning always out performed those who chose to do it some other way. This particular process is not foreign to us. In fact it is the way we were meant to learn. It is a natural way of doing things. Teaching our children to create as God did, arms them for success. Children who are taught this concept of creation tap into their creative side on a deeper level. They use the heart, mind, and tongue to observe the world around them.

    Because of the condition of the world around us, we cannot leave it up to chance when it comes to our children’s well being. If it means that we must turn off the TV and use that time to talk about our history I say do it. If it means that we must take a little time to go to the library to find meaningful books for our children to read I say do it. Even if we must encourage them to complete projects for the summer I say do it. Everything that we do must be focused on creating productive members of society. The only way to do this is to take the initiative. As a classroom teacher, I know how difficult it is to fulfill cultural, spiritual, and academic initiatives in a school year. Therefore, I will not leave that up to chance as a parent.  

  • Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thoughtsnack: About Racism
    by: Burnett Kwadwo Gallman

    Racism is a word that is often used but less often understood. Hence, this is a very brief attempt to offer an expanded view for those who may have not fully thought about it.

    First, the distinction between racism and prejudice should be considered. Prejudice is opinion while racism always has a power component, even if not always obvious. This power may be as small as making one feel badly about themselves and have “hurt feelings” or as large as life or death.

    Secondly, the systems of racism as they apply to people of Afrikan origin will be specifically discussed. It is recognized, however, that racism can and does adversely affect other races.

    There are many types, classifications and categories of racism. Most people think of overt, individual, in-your-face prejudice when they hear the word. Even though that type of racism is still common, it is important to understand the other, more insidiously subtle and potentially more destructive types of racism.

    Institutional racism is a little understood but highly destructive form of racism that is rarely recognized by its victims. It involves rules, customs, rights and even laws that give a disadvantage to Afrikan people by definition.

    Scientific racism is false science that tries to present racist ideology as scientific fact. It is always distorted and false. An example is using IQ tests to say that Afrikan people are not as intelligent as other races even though IQ tests are not just culturally biased but basically invalid.

    Unconscious racism is frequently well-meaning and ignores the distinctive history and experiences of Afrikan people. Saying things like, “I don’t see color” when even color-blind people see some colors.

    The type of racism that I feel is most damaging is Internalized racism. This is the (frequently unconscious) acceptance of one’s own group’s inferiority. Afrikan people affected by internalized racism are ashamed of their race and hate the things that make them Afrikan. They try to compensate in many ways. They may even become physically ill. Experimental Psychologist Dr. Na’im Akbar has described several mental disorders related to internalized racism:

    The Alien Self Disorder involves Afrikan people who reject their Afrikanity and blackness. These are the people who see their tightly curled hair as “kinky” and bad”. They see their lips and noses as objects of ridicule and their dark skin as a badge of shame. Depending on their financial status, they may get plastic surgery to sharpen their features so that they appear more “white”. They may bleach their skin. They may get light colored contact lenses just to lighten their eyes. Some may even get tattoos of symbols honoring other cultures rather than investing time and effort in exploring their own cultural symbols.

    The Anti-Self Disorder includes hostility towards anyone of Afrikan origin and frequently even themselves. This has been mentioned as a possible cause of the increased incidence of suicides among young people of Afrikan origin. People afflicted with this disorder identify with other races and cultures (whites, Asians, Arabs, etc). Good examples are found among some people who describe themselves as “black conservatives” and berate and belittle black people whenever they can. Another example is the Uncle Ruckus character from the cartoon Boondocks.

    It is imperative that Afrikan people be aware of these problems so that solutions can be found. We must be aware that there are occasionally uncomfortable explanations for what we do. Racism is prevalent in America and we should understand it.

  • Friday, July 04, 2014 12:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    From the Pastor's desk

    What does America's independence day mean to People of Afrikan Ancestry?
    By Baba Derrick Jackson

    This week all across the United States people will be celebrating America's independence from Great Britain. The question those of us of Afrikan Ancestry should be asking ourselves is "What does America's independence day mean to People of Afrikan Ancestry"?

    In 1852 Fredrick Douglas gave a speech entitled "What, To The Slave, Is The Fourth Of July". He admonished White Americans for desiring freedom for themeselves while at the same time having slavery as an American institution. He said, "New York has become as Virginia; and the power to hold, hunt and sell men, women and children as slaves remain no longer a mere state institution but is now an institution of the whole United States.".

    We as people of Afrikan Ancestry sometimes get so caught up in America's Independence that we forget that we were still enslaved when America obtained its Independence. For that reason alone the fourth of July cannot mean the same thing to us as it does for those who are the descendent of the people who once enslaved us. We must view this day through the eyes and lenses of our ancestors.

    It is important we begin to see that America's 4th of July celebration of freedom was not our day of freedom. This does not mean we should not celebrate the ideals and ideas of freedom, independence, and liberation. We should celebrate freedom from our own perspective and through the lenses of our historical experiences as oppose to someone else's.

    We must in our celebration come to know and understand the difference between Independence, freedom and liberty. Independence implies the ability to stand alone, without being sustained by anything else. Freedom implies an absence of restraints or compulsion. Liberty implies the power to choose among alternatives rather than merely being unrestrained.

    The fourth of July for us as people of Afrikan Ancestry should be a day to reflect on the freedom our Ancestors sought and gave their lives for. This should be a day of remembrance for those Ancestors who through their blood, sweat, and tears fought for our independence. This should be a time when we give thanks to those ancestors who understood that we must not only have freedom and independence, but we should also be liberated from the ideas and ideals of our enslavers and oppressors.

    To those of us who want to celebrate the 4th of July, let’s celebrate it in the name of our Ancestors. Celebrate it in the pouring of libation for those who fought for our freedom, independence, and liberation. Let our ancestors know that we have not forgotten them and their sacrifices.

    We must remember those who gave their life to our struggle and those who chose to live. If some of our ancestors had not chosen to live and to endure the incredible hardship of slavery and oppression none of us would be alive today.

    Our freedom began in 1865 with the end of the civil war. Our independence began with the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. Our liberation began in 1876 with the end of reconstruction when we as a people began to understand that we had to make different choices than the ones being offered by" Jim Crow".

    The question we must ask ourselves today is, are we any better off socio-economically than our enslaved ancestors? Yes, we have a President of Afrikan Ancestry, but are we any better off as a people. When we look at the socio-economic indicators showing where we were under the slaves codes we find we were at the bottom, and when we look at those same indicators today we still occupy that same position. The fact that we have not progressed is a testament to how far removed we are from the struggles of our Ancestors.

    To those of us who are still fighting for Afrikan liberation, God speed. To those of us who are still sucking on the breast milk of those who enslaved our ancestors it is time to wake-up and free yourself. Liberate yourself from the milk of dependence. Suck the breasts of freedom, and independence, and drink the milk of liberation from your Ancestors.

    Let us at this time reflect, remember and give thanks to our freedom fighters. Let us celebrate our heroes/sheroes for their sacrifices. Last but not least, let us have a conversation with our children about our struggles of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

    Aluta Continua

    Ase!!!

    Baba Derrick

    Douglas, Frederick (1852): What, to the Slave, is the fourth of July? found in the book Great Speeches By African Americans edited by James Daly (2006) Dover Publications, Inc.

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