We can recover our lives. We can take care of ourselves, and we can be the people our ancestors wanted us to be. We believe the same as Marcus Garvey did; it is possible for Africans at home and in the diaspora to be whole, again.
What does it mean to be whole? Does it simply mean that we are a people whose mental culture reflects us? Does it mean that if we list the events, traditions and holidays in our mental culture, those events would form a mental cultural calendar that is all African? What is our vision of victory? After we have banished the enemy and lay down our shields and spears. What does community, society, pan-African places look like? Is it as Marcus Garvey said: Africa for Africans or is it the voice of the radicals in the Caribbean calling for one United Caribbean or is it our children looking around the world and seeing no place where their people are oppressed because of their Africanness? If we were not fighting racism, protesting again our oppression and begging the enemy for acceptance, how would we shape the world in our image? Would we say black is a mark of greatness and build our world on that foundation or would we borrow the oppressors’ traditions, add the word “black” and say that those are now our traditions or would we do as Edward Blyden suggested and reject any thing, any thought that our enemies may have had about us since the African Cultural Calendar’s year of the push and pull? How and where would we stand? Our mental culture must cause us to shape the world in our image. Our mental culture must be like Garvey’s was. He knew our history and therefore understood our potential. We were once great he said, and we can be great again. Our mental culture must include the names of our great ancestors, must reflect the way they shape time in their image and that is what the African Cultural Calendar does.
Our victory will make us a full people, but what will it take? What will it cost? Can we still build that vision even though so much has been lost? Can we still continue even though it has been almost a hundred afriyears since Garvey and over a hundred afriyears since Blyden? Is it enough just to teach our history? Is it enough just to look upon our great deeds in the pages of time? Which is it that counts: the preaching or the practicing, the remembering or the acting? This generation is freer than any generation since the diaspora began. Is this a time for accommodation, for compromise or is it a time to finish what our ancestors started? Is it appropriate to share the achievements of the ancestors with the enemy when victory has yet to be won? Should we continue to beg the enemy to reform or should we raise up in revolution? Our victory has to be built, constructed with our actions and because our ancestors, like Queen Mother Yaa, took to the battlefields, we still have our foundation. We still have a place to stand and to build upon.
Our victory has to be built upon our history. Remembering that we were once great is the starting point to construct our better tomorrow. That knowledge, those deeds have to be the foundation upon which we built. What will it take? What will it cost? What sacrifice do we need to make? Since the African Cultural Calendar’s year of the push and pull, we have sacrificed much, and the storm has yet to pass. The oppressors tried to make us believe that we do not have a history, but the African Cultural Calendar measures time by our historical achievements. The ancestors fought so that in this time, we can still remember our greatness and have a place to stand. We are not slaves, we are not the descendance of slaves, we are, what our ancestors told us we were: Africans. For us, the path ahead is easier than the road the ancestors have travelled. Victory could be ours; we can be whole again. We can be a great people, but only if we build on our own foundation. Let’s make this the time in the African Cultural Calendar, let’s make this the time in our mental culture when we chose to stand with the ancestors, when we chose to finish what they started, when we chose to do our part to make us a whole people again.
Standing on our foundation requires sacrifice. The last day of the year in the African Cultural Calendar, date Imani, is Haiti’s day. It is Haiti’s day because Haiti has shown us what it will take, what sacrifices will need to be made and what it might cost. It requires that we put who we are and being with each other above everything else. We will sacrifice the idea that our enemies will do for us what we won’t do for ourselves. We will replace it with the knowledge that we can build a world for us, we can look after ourselves, we can stand on our own feet. Somewhere along the path, somehow, our enemies have fed us the idea that we need to build a better world for everybody. That is not our responsibility, and it should not be our objective. The enemies have already shown us that the best world for them is a world where we are their property; where they are the masters, and we are their slaves. That is the world our ancestors tore down; let’s not re-build it. Let’s build a world for us, a world that stands on the foundation that the ancestors lay.
If you are one of us, we say to you, it is possible to be whole again, but it requires sacrifice and above all courage.