“It is the responsibility of every adult to know their history and culture, to preserve it and then pass it on to the next generation…” ~Anthony T. Browder
From The Browder File by Anthony T. Browder, is one of my top ten non-fiction books and is the first book I would recommend to someone starting out on the journey to know Black history. As Asa Hilliard stated in the introduction, “[Tony Browder] motivates us to establish the rebirth of our consciousness as a personal goal.” Hilliard also posed the question, “Why is it that Black people do not work together in unity?” He answered by stating that for Black people to move from DISINTEGRATION to REINTEGRATION, we must carefully considered ten things that account for our overall lack of a sense of unity and directions:
1. We let our names go.
2. We have surrendered our way of life (culture).
3. We have lost our appetite…so that, even when those among us recreate our culture and present it to us, we no longer have an appetite for it but have a greater appetite for the culture of people other than ourselves.
4. We have a general loss of memory. Few of us can tell the story of our people without beginning it with the Maafa (slavery).
5. We have created false memories. Not only are our memories of African people untruthful, but the memories we have of Europeans are also untruthful.
6. We lost our land. Any time you lose your mooring on the land, you lose your capacity to protect your possessions.
7. We have lost our independent production capacity. We have become consumers rather than producers. It is a shame that we don’t even produce something as simple as a “natural comb.” We have to purchase combs that are made as far away as Korea.
8. We have also independent control of ourselves. We have little or no control of our educational process, our economic situation, our communications, or our politics.
9. We have lost sensitivity. We have lost the ability to perceive when people are doing things to us which are detrimental.
10. We have lost our solidarity…our unity.
Hilliard ends his introduction with these words: “There is no amount of information alone which can correct all the problems that I’ve identified, but a large part of what we must do is to get our memories back…only then will other things be possible.” Read the excerpts below from From The Browder File, as a way of getting your memory back.
Here are 7 Things You Would Have Learned If You Read From The Browder File by Anthony T. Browder
1. The Creation of the Negro
Pick a name, any name — negro, colored, black or African American. Call a people by any name and they are still the same people, right? Wrong!
The name that you respond to determines the amount of your self worth. Similarly, the way a group of people collectively respond to a name can have devastating effects on their lives, particularly if they did not choose the name.
Asians come from Asia and have pride in the Asia race. Europeans come from Europe and have pride in European accomplishments. Negroes, I assume, come from Negroland – a mythical country with an uncertain past and an even more uncertain future…
The word “negro” is Spanish for black. The Spanish language comes from the Latin, which has its origins in Classical Greek. The word negro, in Greek, is derived from the root word necro, meaning dead. What was once referred to as a physical condition is now regarded as an appropriate state of mind for millions of Africans now residing in America. The negro – a race of dead people with a dead history and no hope for resurrection as long as they remained ignorant of their past. This is triple death — the death of the mind, body, and spirit of African people.
[However], the evolution of the negro from colored to black to African American represents a progression of self consciousness.
Photo credit: Painting by James Pate from the “Kin Killin Kin” Series.
2. Black is indeed Beautiful
Blacklist. Blackmarket. Have you ever wondered why most reference to the color black have a negative and demeaning connotation? The negative distortion of blackness even applies to the food we eat. Think about it the next time you eat a slice of devil’s food cake; it is black. It wasn’t always that way. The way we perceive blackness has changed dramatically over the past 6000 years. Many things which which were once positive are now presented as negative.
In ancient Egypt, the god of the earth was represented by black image of Ausar (Osiris), who was called the “Lord of the Perfect Black.” The original name for Egypt was Kemet, which literally meant The Black Land. The ancient Kemetians, referred to themselves as The Black People. They would also place black capstones on their pyramids and obelisks because they know of the inherent power of the color black as an absorber of both light and cosmic radiation.
Black has always been and will continue to be, a source of power and influence. Consider, the following:
1. Solar energy cells are black.
2. Dry cell batteries are powered by black chemicals.
3. Judges, priests, nuns and graduating students wear black robes.
4. Chauffeur-driven limousines are often black.
5. The large block of stone in Mecca called the Ka’bah is a black monolith of extreme importance to the Islamic community.
6. Shrines of the Black Madonna can be found throughout all of Europe.
Africans have been programmed to think that black is something to be ashamed of. To redirect our thinking we must recognise and believe that black represents life and power!
3. The First Hero
“Everybody’s searching for a hero. Everybody needs someone to look up to.”
A hero can be father, mother, sister, brother or anyone who can make a positive contribution to the life of another person. The origin of the hero is rooted in the African/Egyptian allegory of Heru (often referred to as Horus by the Greeks). Heru was the child of Auset (Isis) and Ausar (Osiris); he avenged the murder of his father, Ausar, who was killed by Heru’s evil uncle Set. Set was the symbol of evil and is the origin of the word Satan.
The battle between Heru and Set is the origin of the classic confrontation between the forces of good and evil (also regarded as light and darkness. Heru was symbolic of the rising sun (light). Set, on the other hand, was symbolic of the setting sun (the darkness), which is also the origin of the word “sunset”.
In the battle between good and evil (light and darkness), Heru emerged as the victor, when good triumphed over evil. Heru then became the prototype of the Hero.
Photo credit: Image of Heru retrieved from http://www.comicvine.com/heru-the-son-of-ausar/4005-73376/
4. MLK and Malcolm X
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of peace — but he was also a fighter. However, there has been some interesting distortion of his greatness:
- Dramatic portrayals of the life of King on film often show him as indecisive and totally dependent on Europeans for guidance.
- The constant referral to King as the dreamer (reduced to four words: “I have a dream.”) sends a subliminal message that he was someone who was not dealing with reality.
Dr. King had a brilliant mind with incredible insight…and prior to his death, King was shifting his posture from civil right to human rights. The image of the total man has been played down. We are currently presented with the image of someone who was less than the man that King was.
It would be ridiculous to thing that the same racist system which was responsible for King’s death would portray him as he really was, and give the nation a true hero to admire. It is not in their best interest.
Like King, Malcolm X was an important hero. Like King, Malcolm’s memory and his accomplishments have not been embraced with the same enthusiasm. Is this because the image of Malcolm is too powerful and too demanding to portray him as a role model?
Why would they portray an uncompromising individual when they can present someone whose image has become that of a weak, insecure dreamer?
Why provide strong, powerful image of a hero who can wake people up, when you can present the image of someone who will keep them asleep?”
Photo credit: “Martin Luther King Jr And Malcolm X” by Ylli Haruni
5. Melanin: “The Giver of Life.”
Melanin is the substance which is responsible for our very existence. It is the most important, the most complex, and the most perfect molecule in the human body. Melanin gives color to our skin, hair and eyes but is also found in our hearts, livers, nerves, muscles, intestines, and 12 locations in our brains. It is also found in our blood, our hormones and our cerebral spinal fluid. It has been found in the oceans, clouds, and stars, and it has even been discovered on the outer surface of Haley’s comet. Melanin has been found to be active in unearthed bones which were over a million years old.
In the bodies of African people, melanin is found in more sites and in greater concentrations than in any other race of people on earth. The more melanin there is in the skin, the darker it is and the less it ages from sunlight exposure.
Think about it…the sun is the life giver, but for people who lack melanin, the sun means death.
This black, light-absorbing molecule shows a definite relationship with spiritual awareness. Could this be the reason why Africans refer to each other as soul brother and soul sister, eat soul food and listen to soul music???
Research has shown that some 85 percent of people with high concentrations of melanin in their skin produce melatonin, while only 15 percent of people lacking melanin (principally Europeans) produce this spiritually induce substance. Melatonin can be described as a mentally or morally stimulating hormone produced by the pineal gland. The pineal gland is found to be calcified and nonfunctioning in people lacking substantial amounts of melanin.
Because of its magnetic properties, people with higher concentrations of melanin in their bodies are more in tune with nature.
Photo credit: Retrieved from http://sekhmetkamaat.tumblr.com/post/114698357690/the-power-of-melanin-women-african-melanin
6. Astrology and the USA
Astrology, one of the oldest science known to mankind, has played a major role in politics and has also been a key factor in making important political decisions.
The “Founding Fathers” not only practiced the “occult arts” but also planned specific dates to coincide with celestial events. The birthday of the United States, July 4, 1776, was timed to coincide with the astrological sign of Cancer and the number 13.
Africa is ruled by the sun sign Cancer. The U.S. was founded on African principals and built by [enslaved] African. July 4 follows 13 days after the sun entered the sign of Cancer during the summer solstice.
Thirteen is a number which has profound numerological significance. There are 13 colonies, and the number 13 is repeated 13 times on the Great Seal of the United States and the 13th amendment to the constitution freed the slaves.
Look on the back of a dollar bill.
Above the eagle are 13 stars known as the constellation, which signifies that the United States has taken its place among the nations of the world. On the eagle’s breast is the shield. The bar at the top of the shield represents Congress. The 13 stripes below the bar represent the 13 original colonies supporting the Congress. The eagle carries in its beak a ribbon that displays the Latin phrase “E pluribus unum,” which means “out of many, one.” This signifies that the 13 colonies have become one nation. (There are also 13 letters in the words, “E pluribus unum.”) In its right talon, the eagle grasps an olive branch bearing 13 leaves representing peace. The left talon holds 13 arrows symbolizing war.
On the left side of the dollar bill is a pyramid, comprised of 13 courses of stone which represent the 13 original colonies…and above the pyramid we see the “Eye of Horus.”
All the men involved in the creation of the Great Seal were practicing masons. The word mason, which means “child of the sun” is derived from the African terms “Sons and Daughters of Light” and “Children of the Sun.” The eagle of the Great Seal bears a striking resemblance to the African symbol of Horus (Heru), the hawk.
The use of this African symbol preceded the creation of the Great Seal by over 5000 years. Above the hawk is the sun, which is symbolic of power and knowledge. Horus, the hawk, is holding in both talons the “shen,” which is the African symbol of infinity and above the shen is the “ankh,” the African symbol of life. These combined images represent the belief in infinite life, not only in this world but the next. Contrast this ideology to that of the eagle which carries the symbols of war and peace.
All of these references to the number 13, and numerous others are no coincidence. In masonic, esoteric and metaphysical literature the number 13 is the number of transformation.
It is also no coincidence that presidential elections are held the first Tuesday, following the Monday, of the eleventh month of every leap year. Elections take place at this time because of the significance of the leap year and the numerological significance of Tuesday and the month of November…
7. Free Your Mind
The word consciousness is derived from the Latin words, “com” meaning “together” and “scire” meaning “to know.” Therefore, consciousness means that one is aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts and environment.
We are living in an era when many of the myths and misconceptions that have an integral part of our primary education are being exposed as blatant distortions of the truth. We all have been victims of a gross miseducation which has produced various levels of “mental slavery.”
The history of African people is one of the best-kept secret on planet earth. It was African people who were responsible for the creation of time by inventing the first calendar of 365 1/4 days. So everyday should be spent uncovering something about your history.
Did you know:
-The Step pyramid of Saqqara is the world’s first skyscraper?
-Most Kemetian masks, including Tutankhamun’s have cornrow, dreadlocks or extensions — all Black hairstyles.
-The image of Maat, a Black woman with outstretched hands and wings is the prototype of the angel found in the world’s major Western religions. A 15th century depiction of an angel (German) is the same as Maat, only European.
-The sphinx was the head and chest of a woman and the body of a lion. In Greece, this symbol was considered evil because women were considered evil.
-Africans came to America first and they came as merchants, not conquerors or slaves. They established trade with native people and provided them with knowledge of pyramid building and the construction of 15-ton stone carvings.
Free your minds and throw off the shackles of mental slavery and thereby increase your potential for human development.
Nb: Some of the information was taken from a lecture given by Anthony T. Browder.
Photo credit: By Marcos Solis: http://www.revolutionbydesign.net/ Retrieved from https://anikanailah.com/event/activism-across-the-african-disapora/
Also it’s where I learned about Dr. Frances Cress Welsing Cress theory, even when it wasn’t a book yet
Love this site!
Great Website, Good Information. Keep up the Good Work, Again Asante. Wendell.
What is it that would make a creature as fierce, majestic and powerful as a lion is, subject itself to the intimidation of a man a whip and a chair? The lion has been taught to forget what it is.” Iyanla Vanzant!
Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.”
– African Proverb
This was the first book in my awakening. Found it at an African kiosk in the mall in Augusta, GA (1992). I’ve been on a knowledge journey ever since.
I’m a black man interested in my black culture. I’ve read most of your work,very informative an imsightful