ASCAC Response to the Current and Historical Assault on African Humanity
We, the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC), urge our brothers and sisters throughout the African world that we look deeper than re-socializing the world’s police forces. We must look into what Jacob Carruthers (maa kheru) one of the founders of ASCAC, called our “deep well” of African history, culture, and values for solutions to the national and global mess in which we find ourselves. The killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 by an officer with a knee on his neck in Minneapolis, MN on the heels of the unjust and still unresolved police killing of Breona Taylor in her own home in Louisville, KY on March 13, 2020 and the vigilante style video killing of Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020 by two racist white men who were not arrested until May all represent some of the more recent and widely publicized manifestations of the assault on African humanity. These recent events have sparked an international outcry, global solidarity, and a resistance movement that has forced a reckoning with global European oppression past and present. The humanity of African people has been under assault for over 500 years by the West through the use of law, theology, philosophy, biology, and political economics to frame African people as inferior in order to justify the slave trade, slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonialism. In the U.S., this assault is now most visibly demonstrated in state sanctioned violence and police brutality and the criminalization of Blackness fueling mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex.
At the height of the Black freedom struggle in the 1960’s, Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the movement was “exposing the evils that are deeply rooted in the whole structure of our society. It reveals systemic rather than superficial flaws and suggests that radical reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced.” The US has never seriously dealt with systemic racism and certainly has not considered a radical reconstruction of society; thus, over 50 years after the Black freedom struggle in the 1960’s, Black folk are fighting for redress of many of the same issues and concerns. Today, the ongoing freedom struggle in the form of the Black Lives Matter movement has had a wide-reaching, profound impact on society in raising awareness around rogue policing in Black communities and the unjust killing of Black people and put sustained pressure on local, state, and federal entities and officials to institute substantial policy changes to remedy these problems.
There is no person of African descent who has not been affected by the ongoing killing of Black people with impunity. Our families and communities struggle daily with disregard for Black life by police departments. We’ve cried, we’ve prayed, we’ve marched, we’ve petitioned for mercy and justice. Yet, despite all of this necessary resistance to our oppression, we have not fundamentally changed the underlying ideology and culture that makes the systemic oppression of Black folk a defining value and feature. Based on history, we can predict that our resistance will be met by retribution, retaliation, and ultimately a reunion by those in power to maintain our oppression.
In our collective resistance to oppression, it is necessary to distinguish what we are fighting against versus for what we are fighting. If, like King, we are ultimately fighting for the “radical reconstruction of the society,” we can not expect that the West, where a moral argument for change has never been effective, will ever serve as a standard for a reconstruction that results in a just society that respects the humanity of African people. Instead, we must turn to our strong sense of collective historical and cultural memory as we seek to liberate ourselves from oppression.
Tapping into the deep well of our African humanity provides us with blueprints and guides to envision and ultimately enact a more just society and world for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children. One of our revered ancestors, Dr. John Henrik Clarke (maa kheru) consistently warned us of the fact that “we have not spent enough energy reviving ourselves, our own customs, and our own culture.” This is the reason why the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC) was founded to provide a body of knowledge that continuously contributes to the rescue, reconstruction, and restoration of African history and culture. Our purpose is to promote the study of African civilizations for the development of an African worldview. Our strategy is to use our accumulated knowledge for the liberation of African people from political, cultural, and psychological oppression so that we can restore our confidence to utilize the fullness of our own humanity in time and space to envision a world that is more sustainable, spiritual, and humane.
African people have a long tradition of uncompromising, courageous resistance to European oppression in thought and action. We know that this moment is built upon many moments before it, known and unknown. The roles we each play and how we each contribute may vary but our focus on the liberation of African people remains the same. We will continue to mobilize, organize, and vote, but we will also continue to fight for a vision of freedom that transcends the ideologies of our oppressors. The range of voices that speak of African liberation all must come together and contribute to what Dr. Clarke referred to as the “African World Revolution.”
Please consult our web site for updates on various solutions to our current problems grounded in our vision of the future within the context of the long view of our past.
The National Board of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations
ASCAC provides a body of knowledge that continuously contributes to the rescue, reconstruction, and restoration of African history and culture. Our purpose is to promote the study of African civilizations for the development of an African world view. Our aim is to build African centered study groups and strengthen existing institutions. Our goal is to provide excellence in all dimensions of our association. Our strategy is to use our accumulated knowledge for the liberation of African people wherever they may be. Our commitment is to the truth. Our achievements and accomplishments will provide the resources necessary for ASCAC to grow and be recognized as a world class African organization.
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