Home > Uncategorized > IMPORTANT MESSAGE Written by RUNOKO RASHIDI


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:…Last Wednesday, because of “Scientology’s” concern with the information we would be sharing with our people, we had to CANCEL our “Are Black Folks Crazy?” Tell-All Town Hall meeting which was about Black folks and mental illness. In addition to our event panelists Dr. Diane Woods, Minister Tony Muhammad and State Assemblymember Mike Davis, special invited panelist Dr. Runoko Rashidi has written a special letter to all that would have attended…..Please read his powerful message here—–>>>>>


                                                                                by RUNOKO RASHIDI

 Dear Sisters and Brothers,

It is with deep regret that I am unable to be with you physically in Los Angeles today. I am in Atlanta, Georgia speaking at the 55th Convention of the great Marcus Mosiah Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. Indeed, I am the keynote speaker tonight and so I must confine my contribution to you to this short message.

It gives me great pleasure to pen a small note for this illustrious gathering of African people focusing on issues of mental health in our community. As an historian I am unwilling to separate the mental health of a people from their historical experiences.

I am of the belief, as the great scholar Dr. KwaDavid Whitaker argues, that “What people do for themselves depends on what they think of themselves. And what they think of themselves depends on what they know of themselves. And what they know of themselves depends on what they have been told.”

And what have African-Americans been told? We are told that we don’t have a history, that our history was a long time ago, or that our history is insignificant.

All people have history.

All history is a current event.

To suggest that our history is insignificant is, quite simply, a lie. But it is a very powerful lie. And it is a lie with profound consequences.

If people believe that they have a proud past, that sense of pride permeates all that they do.

If you think you never did anything of note, you are not likely to do anything of note.

I would argue that it is a lack of proper knowledge of self that impacts our community in a negative manner. It propels our actions, determines how we see ourselves and how others see us.

We must reclaim our past. And we cannot start with slavery. It has been said that if you think that your history begins with slavery, deep in your psyche you will develop the idea that the best that you can hope to be is a good slave.

Our history begins at the beginning, as the mothers and fathers of humanity and civilization. And when we do talk about slavery we must talk about resistance to slavery. Indeed, we do not come from slaves. We come from a proud people, captured and enslaved.

Black people have the greatest story that has barely been told.

It is time for us to tell that story. And only we can do that.

I wish you great success with your gathering sisters and    brothers, and I am confident that you will succeed in all our your endeavors.

In the words of Marcus Garvey, “Up! You mighty race. You can accomplish what you will!”

29 August 2012

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