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I Have a Complaint

AfricaBy Earl O. Wheeler Jr.

I am an African/American. Every Black History Month celebration I attend starts our history with slavery. If we are African/Americans, why the hell don’t our history celebrations start with Africa?

That is a rhetorical question, the reason our Black History celebrations do not start with Africa is because most of us don’t know a damn thing about Africa. We don’t know Africa contains 20 percent of all land mass in the world. We don’t know that North and South America and all of Europe would fit inside of Africa and still have room.

If we buy a map of the world and look at the continent of Africa it will look small when we look at Europe, which lloks large. The reason for that is because Europe has been put, or mixed with Asia on the map that you just bought. (Check it out.)

We don’t know that there are no tigers in Africa; tigers are in Asia, India and Russia. We don’t know that South America has more jungle than Africa. We don’t know that there is no such thing as a witch doctor in Africa.

There are shamans, griots, medicine men and women; there are, however, no witch doctors and Tarzan does not live there. The author of the book Tarzan never even visited the continent of Africa.

So, please, Black folks, learn something about Africa before you call yourself an African/American. If you attend a Black History celebration tell them to at least mention Africa, the most beautiful continent in the world.

Visit the home of our ancestors you will be welcomed if you go as a visitor with all the warmth, courtesy and respect you would give as a visitor to anyone’s home or country. I tell all people visiting Africa, if you don’t like to be hugged, don’t go to Africa.

They call us the lost ones and it is a compliment. They say that (the old ones) the council of elders told them their sons, daughters, mothers and fathers were exiled to a foreign place a long time ago, but one day they would return. We are the ones exiled to that foreign place.

I wish I had the words to describe the celebration when I arrived in N’Gar village in the West African country of Senegal. I was told I had to hold all the babies in the village, one at a time. When I asked why, the chief of the village said in Wolof (and translated by his son): “A baby once held by a lost one is forever in good fortune.”

Why is there so much information about slavery available and so little on Africa? There actually is just as much information available on both; one is just harder to find than the other. And the racists are sending a veiled threat: We did it once and we can do it again. (You don’t believe me, check out your Michigan governor and his Emergency Manager Law.)

Black people, if you are going to celebrate Black History Month find out where your ancestors came from. If you are part Indian, or part Irish, remember you are biologically African, and culturally European. Nelson Mandela said of the Africans, and all people of African descent, “The blood that unites us is thicker than the water that divides us.”

 

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