Life or Debt Essay

Submitted By lindageter
Words: 1110
Pages: 5

Linda Geter
AFRAS 240
Dr Anta Merrick
October 23, 2007

A Great and Mighty Walk When looking at cultural and political times of today there is a need for the black cultural to be able to gauge and find the African presence on a geographical map. In our times we have been given a lot of confusing information that has not made much sense. As Malcolm X once said in A Great and Mighty Walk “We need to know what we aren’t and what we are”. “We are African”. There is a need for all African Americans to know and understand the history of Africa all the way back to the Nile Valley civilization. As John Henrik said, “People must realize where they must go and what they still must do” (A Great and Mighty Walk). Most importantly black America needs to know their identity and history as John Clarke put it, “To have a geographical connection to something” (A Great and Mighty Walk). Clarke grew up on a sharecropper farm. He came from and poor family that was culturally rich with discipline. This richness and discipline helped him to think wisely and conduct himself respectfully towards others. He spent time in Harlem and was active in the communist league. He always looked to find better conditions for living as a black American. Clarke felt that as a people we should always have something to say. Clarke said it is important for people to know everything about European and black history. Mr. Henrk felt there is a need to know why black history was erased. He saw black artists like Paul Roberson and intellects like W.E.B. Dubois use their talents to change society and, “live as life stood for” (A Great and Mighty Walk). Many people have been oppressors of the Africans. Countless people did not want Africans to be free and harbored preconceived notions about the African people in general. Both Russia and England decided long ago that the African people were to be slaves. They refused to acknowledge the Africans had established a way of living that was successful within their communities. Africans lived collectively during those times and did not worry about jails, homeless children, crimes or displacement of their seniors. The communal living created a sense of history for these Africans. We as black Americans need to ask why rulers removed the African from history. Clarke encourages black people to study European history and, “the inter relationship and to understand the political and the philosophical meaning of history” (A Great and Mighty Walk). Did African Americans lose their land, history, culture and geographical history? If Clarke were to answer that question he would say yes. In the Nile Valley, C 800 A.D. the land where time began, there was social order and organized societies. These societies set the standards of performance that was untouched by the rest of the world. The Nile Valley was the first historical highway that stretched 4000 miles into Africa. Scholars rejected ideas and thought the Ethopians were not the first to civilize the Nile Valley. Many thought this was a big psychological and political wrong. For many years C.Anta Diop’s documentation of the Nile Valley civilization was not published. The help of Kumbango and his research the true facts were finally heard. That still does not explain why people did not acknowledge Egypt as the oldest civilization of Africa. Egypt passed through 25 dynasties before Europe was born. Many were still unwilling to hear about African unity. Many had ideas of liberation and desire to free the Africans from dependence. Liberation could easily come about; if all African people of African decent were put together the total would be over 1 billion people. Clark thought one billion people could change the world. Unfortunately the wealth of Africa has always made it a reason for others to invade the continent. Records show the Europeans to be the first to destroy African history. These conquerors changed faces of saints, rulers and other…