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23512 Posts in 8727 Topics by 1358 Members Latest Member: - Aniva Most online today: 68 (July 03, 2005, 11:25:30 PM)
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| | |-+  Death and the King's Horseman
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Yann
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« on: May 10, 2004, 01:48:21 PM »

This is a quote from a play, Death and the King's Horseman, by Nigerian playwright, author, poet, Wole Soyinka:


"PRAISE SINGER:"In their time the great wars came and went, the little wars came and went; the white slavers came and went, they took away the heart of our race; they bore away the mind and muscle of our race. The city fell and was rebuilt, the city fell and our people trudged through mountain and forest to found a new home but- Elesin Oba do you hear me?

ELESIN: I hear your voice Olohun-iyo

PRAISE SINGER: Our world was never wrenched from its true course. There is only one home to the life of a river mussel; there is only one home to the life of a tortoise; there is only one shell to the soul of a man; there is only one world to the spirit of our race. If that world leaves its course and smashes on boulders of the great void, whose world will give us shelter?"

This reminds me of something; Our colonial history while cataclysmic and traumatic with far-reaching consequences that must be addressed, was an incident in African and indeed human history. Our culture and legacy is so much deeper and so much more ancient than that. This is a good play that illustrates that in a way I think. While it is ostensibly about a particular interaction between Yoruba society and Western colonial intervention, it focuses on the ritual of Yoruba life, the intersection of the world of the living and the dead. Most of the drama is in fact psychological and metaphysical and not material at all, like much of Soyinka's later work.

So many Diaspora Africans have been brainwashed. While they talk of racism and the evil of colonialism, psychologically they still really believe that the culture of Africans was inferior to that of Europeans. They still use European ideas of success to evaluate ancient Africa. Much is about measuring against Europe, and many cannot let go of Europe enough to just look at the rich diversity of ancient Africa together with the people's common values. They can get that it was horrible how they were treated, they can get that the injustice was built on racism, but they still cannot see past the years of cultural brainwashing to see the real magnificence of our African culture.

This is why the study of history is so important, not only the study of the colonial incident in an academic sense, but getting in touch with what is truly integral to African culture and spirituality. When we can see this and get to the heart of it then we can get a more expansive knowledge and understanding of WORLD HISTORY AND OUR COMMON ORIGINS. It is then that folks may be able to really see themselves as they are and as they could be and to really appreciate the wisdom of some of our ancestors. When we traverse history, experience some aspects of the culture, visit the literature, we get a heightened sense of that magnificence and can see clearly that this incident is certainly not the ‘death of the race’. As the Praise Singer says: “Our world was never wrenched from its true course”.





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Tyehimba
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2004, 08:06:43 AM »

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So many Diaspora Africans have been brainwashed. While they talk of racism and the evil of colonialism, psychologically they still really believe that the culture of Africans was inferior to that of Europeans. They still use European ideas of success to evaluate ancient Africa. Much is about measuring against Europe, and many cannot let go of Europe enough to just look at the rich diversity of ancient Africa together with the people's common values. They can get that it was horrible how they were treated, they can get that the injustice was built on racism, but they still cannot see past the years of cultural brainwashing to see the real magnificence of our African culture.


One of the factors that hinder persons is that they try to disconnect the past from the present. Any attempt to examine history in the mainstream is met with talk that we should  forget the past/stop dwelling in the past etc. This pattern in itself can be traced back to Colonial days where the slavemasters in 'breaking in' the African captives, to turn them into obedient machines tried physically and psychologically to disconnect them from their self ( i.e language, beliefs, values). This disconnection made control over the enslaved easier as they were less resistant once they had forgotten the past. This in essence, is no different to what is happening today.
~~

You Can't Hate the Tree and Not the Roots
by Malcolm X

You have to realize that up until about 1959, Africa was dominated by the colonial powers. And by the colonial powers of Europe having complete control over Africa, they projected the image of Africa negatively. They projected Africa always in a negative light—jungles, savages, cannibals, nothing civilized. And, naturally it was so negative, it was negative to you and me. And you and I began to hate it. We didn't want anybody to tell us anything about Africa, and much less call us an African. And in hating Africa and hating the Africans, we end up hating ourselves, without even realizing it.

Because you can't hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can't hate Africa and not hate yourself. You show me one of those people over here who has been thoroughly brainwashed, who has a negative attitude toward Africa and I'll show you one who has a negative attitude toward himself. You can't have a positive attitude toward yourself and a negative attitude toward Africa at the same time.. To the same degree your understanding of and your attitude toward Africa becomes positive, you'll find that your understanding of and your attitude toward yourself will also become positive.

Excerpted from his speech "The Last Message."
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Oshun_Auset
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2004, 04:21:14 PM »

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This is so true. Part of African people's ideological confusion everywhere is that we think the way it is now, is the way it always has been, and the way it always will be. This is false ideology that we have been indoctrinated with by the common enemy of mass African and human progression (the capitalist elite). This task is accomplished by their propoganda army. The only thing constant is change. They do not want us to live by this universal truth. I see so many people every day that are hopeless and think they can do nothing to change our current circumstances...which are only an incident in our history. We must connect ourselves back to our past, and back to each other globally to overcome this brainswashing....African history must guide African action...Good post.
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