The Importance Of Knowing Your History: Part 6

“When we get into social amnesia- into forgetting our history- we also forget or misinterpret the history and motives of others as well as our own motives. The way to know other people is to know one’s self. The way to learn of our own creation, how we came to be what we are, is getting to know ourselves. It is through getting to know the self intimately that we get to know the forces that shape us as a self. Therefore, knowing the self becomes a knowledge of the world. A deep study of Black History is the most profound way to learn about the psychology of Europeans and to understand the psychology that flows from their history.

If we don’t know ourselves, not only are we a puzzle to ourselves; other people are also a puzzle to us as well. We assume the wrong identity and identify ourselves with our enemies. If we don’t know who we are then we are whomever somebody tells us we are.” -From, “The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness” By: Amos N. Wilson

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The Importance Of Knowing Your History: Part 5

“As Russell Jacoby says in his book, ‘Social Amnesia’: “Exactly because the past is forgotten, it rues unchallenged. To be transcended it first must be remembered. Social amnesia is society’s repression of remembrance.’

Simply because we choose to forget a traumatic event, simply because we choose not to learn of a traumatic history and a history that may make us feel ashamed, does not mean that that history is not controlling our behavior. Simply because we don’t know our history, and may not have heard of it, does not mean that the history does not control our behavior.

One of the most profound things that we’ve learned in psychology is that the most powerful forces that shape human behavior are those factors that are consciously not remembered by human beings, that are unknown by the person, are those experiences the individual can swear he’s never had. That is one of the paradoxes of human behavior, that the very things that shape us and make us behave the way we do, see the world the way we see it and relate to people the way we relate to them, are those things that occurred in our lives at points we cannot remember or recall.

The personality is in part shaped in the womb itself; shaped by the genes, shaped in part by the birth process itself; shaped in the very first two year of life. Yet very few, if any of us, can remember in detail those first two years of life. Yet it is those very first two years that determine our behavior from ‘8 to 80.’ And so the idea that we don’t know, that we’re not aware of certain early experiences, doe not mean that we have escaped their effects. In fact it puts us more profoundly under the influence of these unknown forces…

Those people and parents who have escaped their own history as a result of trying to escape anxiety, fear, shame and so forth, may pass escapism onto their children as history. That history of escapism then becomes a part of their personality and they become vulnerable to addictions and all other kinds of terrible habits and orientations in the world. Why do we think we were robbed of our history if it was not to serve this purpose?

The individual who has amnesia suffers distortion of and blindness to reality. The individual who cuts himself off from his history is self-alienated. There’s a whole part of himself that’s completely shut off from his use. It’s as if there were two parts. One part is unknown, yet because it is unknown doesn’t mean that it is not effective. We have to devote energy to unknowing. We have to direct perception to unknowing. We have to say: ‘Let me turn my face so I cannot see; let me not think about it.’ So the struggle to not know itself becomes a creator of behavior and personality structure. So the idea that not knowing one’s history somehow permits one to escape it is a lie. In fact, it brings one under the domination of the more pernicious effects of that history and opens the personality up for self-alienation, self-destruction.

A person who is suffering from amnesia lives a life based on negation, not on affirmation, not on growth and development, but lives life in such a way as to deny life and reality and to deny parts of his own personality and himself. Life then becomes a negation and is used to maintain a negation instead of life as it should be lived- as affirmation, as growth, enhancement and development. And people who live their lives as a negation live the lives that we see ourselves living today- going deeper and deeper into hell and going deeper into self destruction as a people.

History is real; it brings real, tangible results. When we wish to negate it and not integrate it, when we wish to negate it and not affirm it, then it negates us in the end. The negation wins out. The Afrikan person who lives in social amnesia brought on by the projection of mythological Eurocentric history, lives a life that is unintegrated and misunderstood.” -From, “The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness” By: Amos N. Wilson

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The Importance Of Knowing Your History: Part 4

“Historiography may function as propaganda- propaganda being an effort to persuade people to a point of view on an issue. History can be used to intimidate. European achievements are inflated and the next thing we know, we are asking ourselves ‘How can we fight this great people?’ We’ve been frightened! They talk about the great discoveries they’ve made and we say to ourselves, ‘Hey, we’d better hang in with these people because if we lose them we’re going back to the Dark Ages.’ We think this way because they’ve destroyed our confidence, our capacity to think for ourselves and to believe that we are capable of creating a world as great or greater than the Eurocentric one that presently exists. In this way European historiography functions to maintain a social system, to ‘psychologize’ and create a personality orientation in its readers or hearers.” -From, “The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness” By: Amos N. Wilson

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The Importance Of Knowing Your History: Part 3

“If we don’t know our history, or if we’ve made our history unconscious and therefore placed it out of awareness, that unconscious history becomes a source of unconscious motivation, then why we behave the way we do becomes a puzzle. We’re confused by our own behavior. If we want to know why we behave the way we do then we must know our history: the unconscious must be made conscious.” -From, “The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness” By: Amos N. Wilson

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The 2008 not guilty verdict in the Sean Bell case evoked outrage, emotion, and debate. It is not an anomaly that the police officers involved in the Sean Bell slaying were acquitted of all charges on all counts in State Supreme Court. I could run out of ink printing the names of people who have been victimized by the inaptly named justice system.

The American justice system has been especially terroristic towards the African American community. Many community members can cite historic and personal accounts to prove this. Therefore, it would be foolhardy (at the least) to turn to a system that has methodically oppressed us, and request that they free us. We can only free ourselves through extreme discipline and intelligent planning.

As a community we have been too compliant with leaders who organize ineffective, delayed reactions. The only strategy that can save us in this last hour is one that calls for a collective code of conduct that will be conducive to improving the conditions of our community, and shifting the paradigm of how we are treated by outside entities. The first step of this code of conduct should be based on economics.

The old adage of “money talks,” still reigns true in the new millennium. Any political scientist worth his or her library card will tell you that: “Economic powerlessness equals political powerlessness,” and conversely “economic power equals political power.” This means that if we continue to allow our wealth to be extracted from our community, we will remain impotent.

The power of the collective “Black Dollar” is often discussed. However, that power has been left unchanneled. Today is the day to change that. A one-time boycott is not going to bring long-term change and respect to our community. Our community has launched boycotts before. Our success and ascension will be based on what we consistently do. For this reason, we should initiate “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS.”

BUY BLACK FRIDAYS is a small step towards our community acquiring power via controlling our economics. Every Friday, people who acknowledge the injustice and oppression that the African American community has been consistently subjected to should do one of the following:

Option #1: Spend $0 on Friday
Option #2: Spend no more than $10 on Friday
Option #3: Only Shop at Black Businesses on Friday
[PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE OPTIONS CAN & SHOULD BE EXERCISED ON A DAILY BASIS. However, we can all at the very least focus on Fridays. This way we can take a collective stand and build our collective discipline. Please remember that this is only Phase 1!].

To the people who are tempted to label “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS” as racist, I say this: In the big scheme of things, this is about right & wrong, justice & injustice. The African American community is a strong, proud community that has endured the brunt of America’s iron fist. We must stop the pounding. I feel that any fair-minded individual will concur, and join in.

ANY business that is privileged to enjoy the support of the African American community MUST return that support.

I thank you in advance for your effort and dedication.

-Elsie Law AKA Starface

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The Importance Of Knowing Your History: Part 2

“We have an issue here that I call the projection and image of history. History has been down-played in this society. History has a poor reputation; often it is looked upon by too many people as essentially a set of dates and events. People ask: ‘Why should I study these events; what does it have to do with today?’ It is as if they say, ‘OK, it may be used to explain how some things came about in today’s world, but probably we could live without it.’ Often history- among even many of our people- even so-called Black History itself, has been looked upon as irrelevant and unprofitable. The idea is, ‘Why study Black History; it’s not going to make me any money? It’s not going to get me a job; what can you do with it? You should get yourself a degree in computer science; get yourself a trade. I’m not interested in Black Power; I’m interested in Green Power.’ These statements express foolish concepts. When we hear them we recognize that the individual has not seen the connection between history, power and money. There is a direct connection between history and economics.

I often say in this regard that if there were not a direct relationship between history and money, a direct relationship between history and power, history and rulership, history and domination, then why is it that the European rewrote history? Why is it that the European wants to rewrite our history and distort it? Why is it that he doesn’t want to present it at all? Apparently the rewriting, the distortion and the stealing of our history must serve vital economic, political and social functions for the European, or else he would not bother and try so hard to keep our history away from us, and to distort it in our own minds. Let us meditate on these issues and I think we’ll come to realize that there is a direct relationship between history and economics, political and social development.

History is projected in this culture as being irrelevant, I don’t think by accident. Again, if it is made to look irrelevant, if it is made to look unprofitable, then making it appear so must serve some profitable purpose. When courses in college or university are apparently presented ‘non-politically,’ ‘objectively,’ ‘neutrally,’ they are actually presented in the most political way. We must understand that it is in the nature of this racist culture to hide its political agenda. Therefore, it presents so-called facts and information as if they have no political connections or implications.” -From, “The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness” By: Amos N. Wilson

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