April 16, 2009
Over the past few months a small band of hoodlums has terrorized our street and communities, committing murder and spreading violence. Most of the people murdered in the St. Louis metropolitan area each year are black, part of a persistent pattern in which African Americans are disproportionately victimized by violent crime, usually perpetrated by black on black, and are more likely to be confronted with firearms.
Blacks are also more likely than any other group to be victims of serious violent crime, which is defined as murder, rape, sexual assault, robbery or aggravated assault.
This is a crisis that is devastating black teens and adults across our nation and guns play the major role in black homicide victimization. This crisis must be addressed. We are about to become the bloodiest community in the history of this state and it appears to me to be the most pressing problem confronting the St. Louis region today and the black community in particular. The scope of the challenge is immense. Was Malcolm X right? Do some Black people hate themselves?
It had been noted that some Black students often choose not to participate in gifted programs, and this choice contributes to their under representation in gifted education. This choice to not participate in gifted programs is often based on social or external influences, particularly negative peer pressures, as well as internal or psychological issues, namely racial identity status. Some studies indicate that fear, self-hatred and loneliness are fuelled by our mind and cause most of our miseries. The same mind, when made aware, can cure all these troubles. Are Afro-centric studies the key to solving some of these challenges?
Malcolm X once said “In hating Africa and in hating the Africans, we ended up hating ourselves, without even realizing it, because you can't hate the roots of a tree, and not hate the tree. You can't hate your origin and not end up hating yourself. You can't hate Africa and not hate yourself”.
As indicated by to Dr Jawanja Kunjufu, A new book recently published by local author and educator Fundi Sanyika Anwisye of the Frederick Douglas Institute, may hold the key to solving some of our troubles. Kunjufu writes “The African Personality: Lubrication for Liberation” has provided us an excellent blueprint for resolving conflict from an Afro-centric perspective. He has challenged all of us to go beyond superficial understanding of Afrocentricity and the Nguzo Saba. I believe Anwisye’s analysis that one of our greatest problems is not the external enemy but the one within”.
There are many faces of fear but the most terrible is violence. Most adolescent African American males demonstrate mastery of their environment, and are successful, both academically and socially, and this book was conceived and written in association with people committed to strive individually and collectively for peace and conflict resolution.
Anyise’s book is endorsed by some America’s and Africa’s best known scholars, and philosophers. The author thanks “our ancestors whose lesson is that we must, and can get along better with each other in order to survive, thrive and make a full return to righteous living and sovereignty”.
We understand the need to prevent deadly conflict. It is urgent and all parties, clergy and laymen, should condemn violence and the provocation to violence. Dr. Martin Luther King once said “Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now.”
We all must inform on and condemn those who seek to provoke violence on our streets and in our homes, and in our neighbors homes and in our communities. Let the violence cease.
I can be reached by fax at (314) 87-3369 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org