THE AFRICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo
Yizwa imathandazo yethu
Thina lusapho lwayo
E. Sontonga, 1897.
THE BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM
Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won.
James Weldon Johnson, 1900
African proverbs are a source of great wisdom. Many are centuries-old philosophies distilled into a short sentence or two. Their character and posture are as indicative of the African personality as any other aspects of our culture. Here are a few useful
"Look for me in the whirlwind or in the storm.
The greatest possession of man is character.
Intelligence rules the world, ignorance carries the burden.
Do not remove the kinks from your hair; remove them from your brain.
Up you mighty race, accomplish what you will!"
Marcus Panafrikanus Garvey
"To control a people you must control what they think about themselves and how they regard their history and culture. And when your conqueror makes you ashamed of your culture and history he needs no prison walls and chains to hold you."
John Hendrick Clark
"Your brain is your greatest weapon. Connect it to your heart and you can go anywhere.
You have to stand for something or you'll fall for everything.
The richness of Africa, culturally is vast!
Your color doesn't define your brain nor your soul. ..... The world is yours, embrace it."
"There are three things I was born with in this world, and there are three things I will have until the day I die - hope, determination and song.
Africa has her mysteries, and even a wise man cannot understand them. But a wise man respects them.
I do not sing politics. I merely sing the truth.
Your words should be constructive; bring people together, not pull them apart."
A race of people is like an individual man. Until we use our own talents, take pride in our own history, express our own culture, affirm our own selfhood, we can never fulfill ourselves.
"Our grandfathers had to run, run, run. My generation is out of breath. We ain't running no more.
The first need of a free people is to define their own terms.
There is a higher law than the law of government. That's the law of conscience.
If a white man wants to lynch me, that's his problem. If he's got the power to lynch me, that's my problem.
What we gonna start saying now is Black Power.
If your people are oppressed and you are not making a contribution to end their suffering; by your very act of inaction you are against your people. There is no middle ground.
Black is beautiful........Go home and tell your daughters they are beautiful."
"We prefer self government with danger over servitude with tranquility.
The best way to be an independent sovereign state is to be an independent sovereign state.
We face neither east nor west: we face forward.
Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind.
I am not African because I was born in Africa, but because Africa was born in me.
The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart."
"For a colonized people the most important value, because the most concrete, is the land: the land which will bring them bread and , above all, dignity.
When we revolt it's not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe.
Wealth is not the fruit of labor but the result of organized protected robbery.
Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.
A government or a party gets the people it deserves and sooner or later, a people get the government they deserve.
What matters is not to know the world but to change it.
The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.
The negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority, alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation."
"Africa can and will only advance through African integration, which can be realized through the Federal United States of Africa.
Ancient Egypt was a negro civilization. The history of Black Africa will remain suspended in air, and cannot be written correctly, until African historians dare to connect it with the history of Egypt.
When we say that the ancestors of Blacks were the first to invent mathematics, astronomy, the calendar, science in general, arts, religion, agriculture, social organization, medicine, writing, technique, architecture; ... we are merely expressing the plain unvarnished truth, that no one today can refute by arguments worthy of the name.
Humanity's moral conscience progresses slowly yet surely."
Cheika Anta Diop
"A wise person speaks carefully and with truth, for every word that passes between one's teeth is meant for something.
There are two things over which you have complete domination, authority and control - your mind and your mouth.
What could be more correct for any people than to see with their own eyes?
The person who strays away from the source is uprooted and is like dust blown about by the wind.
Your power is in your faith - keep it and pass it on to other bloods."
Molefi Kete Asante
"Some people try deliberately to exploit the colonial hangover for their own purpose; to serve an external force. To us, communism is as bad as imperialism.
When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the missionaries had the bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the bible.
Our children may learn about heroes of the past. Our task is to make ourselves architects of the future.
To all the dispossessed youth of Africa: for the perpetuation of communication with Ancestral Spirits through the fight for African freedom, and for the firm faith that the dead, the living and the unborn will unite to rebuild the destroyed shrines."
A HANDFUL OF GEMS
LINKS TO FURTHER INSPIRATION