Monday, December 24, 2012
Dr. Nathan Hare on the Psycholinguistic Crisis of North American Africans
Marvin, ‘Tis true. Re: “Other worlds,” I used the sociological term “’otherworldly’ approach to Africa” in a statement in The Black Scholar, “Wherever We Are,” circa February, 1970) alleging that the black consciousness movement was starting to sacrifice its fight on the ground for otherworldly escapism, that we are Africans wherever we are, that America is like an octopus, you can cut off the tentacles but the greatest damage will be done in the heart of the octopus or in the white man’s rump.
I had mentioned the issue to Stokely Carmiachael in a conversation with him at the First Pan African Cultural Festival in Algiers in 1969. Stokely later circulated the notion in major media under the phrase “Wherever We Are” with the switch to the opposite suggestion that, on the contrary, cutting off the tentacles would be the most effective way of dealing with the octopus.
He had recently moved to Africa, but I hadn’t meant to step on his toes, I was talking about us still hanging on to the master here in America. Mrs. Shirley Graham DuBois later told me in San Francisco that she wished Stokely had not taken up Nkrumah’s movement, that Nkrumah was then a shell of himself and that we were not Africans but “children of Africa.” I’m afraid she was getting into semantics but she had a point in a very casual, and you could say, private remark.
History does suggest that the colonizers created a group and then named it "American Negro." Centuries later we still do not know what to call ourselves, African Americans, North American Africans, Africanas, Afrikans (mispelling or hip hop at best), or just Africans. Children or whatnot, we will never be psychologically whole as a people until we can feel comfortable calling ourselves Africans. To call Africans in America "Blacks" is like calling Asians in American "Yellows.”
It's okay to say where an African is from or in at the moment but you don't have to put it in the name any more than you do with an Asian. To do so may be an unconscious avoidance of the name, African or Asian. To spell it with a "k" gets into mystification and gobbledygook, especially when many will assume you don't know how to spell. Why not just put a "k" in Negro (Nekro) and be done in the first place?
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Dr. Nathan Hare and Marvin X are two of the Bay Area's foremost Revolutionary Black Nationalists. Dr. Hare is the father of Black Studies in America. Marvin X is one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement and considered the father of Muslim American literature. Dr. Hare and Marvin produced the Black Men's Conference in Oakland, 1980, under the direction of the Honorable John Douimbia, fifteen years before the Million Man March. John D had long called for a secular organization of Black Men. A former associate of Malcolm X, he told Malcolm X that we needed a secular organization. Malcolm followed his suggestion with the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Dr. Nathan Hare and Marvin continue their mental health work with Hare's Black Think Tank and Marvin X's Academy of da Corner and the Pan African Mental Health Peer Group based on Dr. M's manual How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, foreword by Dr. Nathan Hare.