Tags Runoko Rashidi
Tag: Runoko Rashidi
As we salute and celebrate the noble legacy of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, it is worth noting the influence of the Black Panthers on Black peoples and organizations around the world in places many of us might not be aware of. For example, in my early days of research and exploration, I found out about the Dalit Panthers of India and the Aboriginal Australian Black Panther Party.
It was in early Iraq where the largest African slave rebellions occurred. Here, well over a millennium ago, were gathered tens of thousands of East African slave laborers called Zanj. Conscious of their large numbers and oppressive working conditions, the Zanj rebelled, inflicting defeat after defeat upon the Arab armies sent to suppress their revolt.
Yosef Alfredo Antonio ben-Jochannan, known to the African world as “Dr. Ben,” believed that education belonged to any member of his race who wanted it. Perhaps it was because he believed that if his people knew their collective root, their ancient greatness, they would fight for their freedom and achieve it. Dr. Ben, one of the founding scholars and lecturers in what is now known as Africana Studies, died last week after a long illness. He was 96.
White people did not bring civilization to the Americas, nor did Black history begin with slavery. Runoko Rashidi is a world class historian. He will be making a historical tribute to Dr. Ivan Van Sertima and examining the early African presence in the Americas – before Columbus – in downtown Oakland at Geoffrey’s, 410 14th St., on Sunday, Oct. 14, from 1-4 p.m.
"We need a knowledge of self in order to counter the negative imagery and influences ... People who know their history are in a better position to defend themselves and advance their own interests than people who do not," says historian Runoko Rashidi, who discusses the strong Black influence on Europe.
I think I'm still in shock. Imagine, 200 years after chattel slavery was legally abolished in the United States, we have a Black man elected to this nation's highest office: Barack Hussein Obama, president elect, this nation's 44th president as of Jan. 20, 2009.