Letter from Mbameza: Why Create an African After-School Program?

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

Not the greatest Master can go even one step for his disciple; in himself he must experience each stage of developing consciousness. Therefore he will know nothing for which he is not ripe. — African Proverb

I owe my wife for allowing me to understand the following letter. Like Mbameza, I see a utility in an after-school program if not a home schooling program; but unlike Mbameza or my wife, I saw little utility in making the material ‘digestible.’ I chalked it up to “Not the greatest Master can go even one step for his disciple” reading it as “I can’t” as opposed to how Mbameza explains it “If giving a steak, cut it up.” Mbameza does more than discuss his after-school program, he enlightens on African Pedagogy: “Mastication not (Intellectual) Masturbation.” It also helps that he is a donor to the African Blood Siblings! Please enjoy his letter.

Letter from Mbameza: Why Create an After-School Program?
Edited by Onitaset Kumat

To Onitaset Kumat,

I once heard a story about a toddler and a steak. Now, don’t misunderstand me, my wife, two sons and I are vegetarians and the boys were breastfed until they were three, but I heard this story and I want to share it with you. There was a toddler, maybe around two-years-old, who was given a steak. As any other toddler would, she walked over to the steak, tried to lift it, it fell and she licked her hand. Trying again, she dropped it and fell down herself. Trying again, she picked it up, took a bite, but it wasn’t large enough to be filling. Following all this effort, the toddler walked off to the kitchen area where she pulled at the fridge until someone gave her something more digestible. The moral was ‘you don’t give a toddler a steak,’ but deeper, ‘you give what can be digested’ or ‘mastication not masturbation,’ to put it bluntly. As to say, if giving a steak, cut it up. People cut up their own steaks after all. And they must chew it or they’ll choke. Even birds chew for their young!

Of course, I heard this story a long time ago, and it seemed fairly worthless to me, until I started raising my sons. These boys wouldn’t eat everything, but they would eat something. And as physically, so spiritually; these boys would not learn everything, or as you’d say ‘resonate’ with everything, but they will learn something (resonate with something)! Now I sent them to public school, I couldn’t afford otherwise, and when they came home, I’d ask them to read the Chancellor Williams, the Onitaset Kumat, the Marimba Ani and of course the Odwirafo Kwesi Na Rahem Ptah Akhan. You’re a great writer Onitaset, but, yeah, my children weren’t getting but a few writings. ‘Course when I think back to my youth, I recall the Disney films and the cartoons and the snacks.

Long story short, I began showing the kids children films for Africans by Africans. They really resonated with it. And whereas they didn’t digest everything, they digested a lot more than they would have otherwise. I showed them cartoons of the greats and the scholastic, even one with you based off of your story of how you spend a day. The kids feel invested in the lives of you, our ancestors and our warriors. And because they see images of scholarship, their scholarship also improved.

So, I connected with the school to show the cartoons to a class. That was my after-school program–although I intend to do it at home if my neighbors are willing to pay. But Black kids and White kids, though mostly Black kids, are watching pro-Black African cartoons about African nation building and spirituality dealing with warriors, ancestors and, of course, you! Not every kid is digesting the lessons, and not every kid is paying attention all the time, but they are watching these films and these films will stick with them. My wife also bakes pies for them, and, well, I make some money on the side selling pies, promoting some books–that are digestible–and the kids watch the films for free. It’s so far great. And no one is really as bored as they would be if they were watching documentaries.

I see, truly, the kids are curious. And from that, there’s little more that I could ask for. I’ll probably make the after-school program in my house, and maybe if I could do things again, start a home school for the neighbor’s kids, but for now this is what I’m doing and I’m creating a curiosity among African kids. I hope this letter meets you well.

Thank you for your work and the inspiration!

Play: Admiring the Waitress

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

“We wear the mask that grins and lies.” — Paul Laurence Dunbar

One can subscribe to one of three “Cultures:” an African, a European or an Asian culture. The African culture alone will bring Africans harmony. It is also the most foreign culture to African people in general. A phenomenon such as admiring a waitress has a cultural expression in African culture that differs from its cultural expression in European culture. This play distinguishes the two and the unhappiness it will cause.

Play: Admiring the Waitress
By Onitaset Kumat

Zala: Will I be invited to your wedding?
Katimo: Dear wife, I beg your pardon?
Zala: I see you ogling the waitress. I now only wonder whether you will invite me to the wedding.
Katimo: A man must know when to engage or disengage. Now is the time for the latter.
Zala: Why? I am just asking a question. Will I be invited?
Katimo: (aside) Alas I am weak. (to Zala) There will be no wedding for I am married to you.
Zala: Oh am I in your way?
Katimo: Why do you do this?
Zala: Do what? Ask questions?
Katimo: Can we just enjoy our dinner?
Zala: And the view, I’m sure?
Katimo: You will hurt me.
Zala: And you do not think I am hurt? I’m sitting with my so-called husband and every time the waitress comes by, he sits straight, follows her with his eyes, smiles from ear-to-ear and speaks with an awkward elation, I’m supposed to be fine and dandy about that?
Katimo: Let’s just eat.
Zala: No answer my question. Answer my question. Put down your fork and answer my question.
Katimo: What question?
Zala: You made me forget.
Katimo: As did I. All for the better. Do you want to get our food wrapped up?
Zala: You want me to call that pretty waitress over for you?
Katimo: We can wait. This is a restaurant. Someone will come.
Zala: So true. Here’s your ring. You can give it to her when she comes. That cheap thing spoiled my fingers anyway.
Katimo: You are so hurtful. As I recall, you picked out our rings.
Zala: My mistake.
Katimo: I am hurt.
Zala: As am I. You want me to sit here and be pleasant as you flirt with our waitress right under my nose.
Katimo: I have nothing to say.
Zala: Should I be her?
Katimo: What is the big problem?
Zala: Are you going to sit here and deny that you were looking at the waitress, that you were fixing your posture, that you were smiling, joking, laughing with our waitress?
Katimo: I do not remember the posture change, but of course I smiled, joked and laughed with the waitress.
Zala: I can’t deal with this. If you want a divorce, the office is open on Monday.
Katimo: So this is it?
Zala: You want to be with another woman. I won’t stop you.
Katimo: But I never said that.
Zala: Well, actually you did.
Katimo: Woe is me.
Zala: Yes, “woe” to you as you do me wrong. I do not understand men.
Katimo: You do not understand Africa.
Zala: How dare you?
Katimo: Degrees and complexion notwithstanding, you are the Western woman. Yes, I did look at the African Sister, yes I did smile, joke and laugh, and maybe I did fix my posture, yet in doing any of these things how am I any different from you, who admires the infant in the kente cloth, puts up posters of our ancestors or beholds a scholar and revels in the opportunity to sit at the scholar’s feet? You admire Africans who are young, who are old, who have passed on, yet when the African is your contemporary, you are unable to accept that I can admire him or her, nevermind that the young will age, the old were young and the ancestors once walked this earth as do you and I! Yes, I admire the waitress! She has the bearings of a Queen: Africa marks her jaw, her posture, and yes her butt! She is beautiful, regal and a Sister! Why should I be harassed for loving my continent? For loving my people? For loving myself? Can I not, one who was harshly removed from his continent, return in any capacity, even socially? Must I forever be bound by my oppression where within my marriage I am an enemy and outside of my marriage I am without friends?
Zala: I do not want you as an enemy and I want you to have friends. I just think you would prefer to be with another woman.
Katimo: Another Western response. The trouble is we are in the West, but we do not need to be of the West. You are of the West. In the West, Love is a commitment to one’s Lover. For the Westerner that union is more than any other. In Africa, Love is a commitment to Order. For us, Beauty is Divine and Ancestral and we are awed by its representations wherever and whenever. You show your African Love for the young, the scholastic, the ancestors and so forth; but to your contemporary and me, you show Western Love. Western Love will never resonate with an African, and as you brought up divorce, removed your ring, ruined our date through it, I will leave you to silence and concentration on this matter.
Zala: Where are you going?
Katimo: If the waitress were a young girl, you would hold her in high esteem. If she were an elder, you would fancy her striking! If she were a scholar, you would purchase her wares. If she were an ancestor, you would have a poster of her. But as she is your age, you hate that I give her the respect deserving of the Queen. You want the respect of a Queen all to yourself and you will do the deeds of a Westerner, who has never had a Queen, to achieve that respect. I go to pay this bill. I will wait outside until you are ready to show African Love.
Zala: Wait! I will come with you. I want to tell the waitress that she is a very beautiful Queen. And I wish to compliment the Chef!
Katimo: Now what do you mean by that? (smiling)
Zala: Oh Katimo! (they both laugh)

“The Radical Way” by Claude McKay

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

“The problem with Europeans and Asians is Europeans and Asians; the solution for Africans is Africans!” — Onitaset Kumat

“We have been lied to” is the understatement of our generation. We have not only been lied to, we have been lied to about us. We have no idea who we were. None. Least of all we African Nationalists. In 1929 Claude McKay wrote “The Radical Way.” A fool would say “he was ahead of his time;” the wise, “on time.” I give homage to him. This poem befits our classics. In the end it speaks bluntly to reality. In not excelling in the modern world we saved ourselves from Europeans and Asians, our perennial problems. Please enjoy this 1929 classic published in Banjo, Editions Rieder, Paris, 1929.

The Radical Way
by Claude McKay

A black man, despite his education,
is able to preserve the closest relations
with the rhythm of the primitive life of the earth
And may be his failure in the organization
Of the modern world
Was the true force that saved him
From the miserable thing
Commonly known as the Whites

The Combinatorics of Blackness

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

“The first concerning the ‘secrets’: all cognition comes from inside; we are therefore initiated only by ourselves, but the Master gives the keys.” — African Proverb

What does an all-Black Public School and a Plantation have in common? White Masters, White Teachings and Black Disciples! In every learning environment there are three components: The Master, the Teachings, and the Disciple. Each component has two varieties: Black (Order) or White (Disorder). Three components with two varieties each equate to eight different learning environments. Yet which learning environment is most frequent for African people in America? Black Masters and Black Teachings? No.

In the following article, I review the eight different learning environments, their frequencies and whether they are Black or White. What one learns is the Blackness or Whiteness of a learning environment depends not on its Disciples but on its Masters and Teachings, yet we call schools “Black” when their leadership and lessons are White. We need a better grasp of reality.

The Combinatorics of Blackness
By Onitaset Kumat

Black Master, Black Teachings, Black Disciples

Frequency: Uncommon
Rating: Black (Order)
Examples: African Initiation Camp
Comment: Though uncommon, this learning environment is the only Black Learning Environment for Black people. Every Black Person should Seek or Develop an institution with a Black Master, Black Teachings and Black Disciples. Absent of this, our people are immersed in White Learning Environments. Members of the African Blood Siblings create Meetings and Community Centers which provide Black Learning Environments to Black people. See here for a template of our Meetings.

Black Master, Black Teachings, White Disciples

Frequency: Very Rare
Rating: Black (Order)
Examples: Ancient African Public Universities
Comment: One of Aesop’s Fables, sometimes named “The Cat-Maiden,” relates the story of a Cat turned into a Maiden. Though she gave the appearance of a Maiden, at the sight of a mouse she pounced. The moral was Nature never changes. Whereas Ancient African Universities were Black Learning Environments for White people, the nature of Whites never changed. In Ancient Greece Imhotep was worshipped as a Black God. The Ancient Greeks also slaughtered our Ancient Ancestors. This learning environment should be avoided.  White people in Black Learning Environments began the Great Race War.

Black Master, White Teachings, Black Disciples

Frequency: Very Common
Rating: White (Disorder)
Examples: African-Run Religious Institutions
Comment: The Church, the Mosque, the Synagogue, the Public School katha wa katha are each White Learning Environments, the Black Pastor, Iman, Rabbi, or Teacher notwithstanding. In the West, this White Learning Environment is very common. White Teachings abound in Black Communities, particularly through so-called Religious and so-called Educational Institutions. These are there to produce disorder in our Communities.  For instance, kneeling before a White looking Man and calling him your “Divine” Master is a sure sign of a defeated Black Race.  In Africa the proverb “When the ax entered the forest, the trees said, “Look, the handle is one of us!”” can be used to reflect the religiously devout.

Black Master, White Teachings, White Disciples

Frequency: Very Rare
Rating: White (Disorder)
Examples: Ancient African Rulers in Europe
Comment: While Very Rare there were periods of time when Africans ruled in Europe or Asia or the Americas and instead of continuing our Ancient practices they did according to the locals. Whereas the Moors, some Ancient Roman Emperors or even some Renaissance leaders were African, these are examples of White Learning Environments given their White Teachings.

White Master, Black Teachings, Black Disciples

Frequency: Very Rare
Rating: White (Disorder)
Examples: European Rulers in Ancient Africa
Comment: European Rulers in Ancient Africa happened as well as African Rulers outside of Africa, and certainly some European Rulers did as the locals did. Yet notwithstanding, a White Master makes a White Learning Environment. Even surrounded with African Influence, these Europeans have their Nature which will be against ours.

White Master, Black Teachings, White Disciples

Frequency: Common
Rating: White (Disorder)
Examples: European Secret Societies
Comment: European Secret Societies are Common and utilize Black Teachings for their Order. Despite the Black Teachings, however, these are White Learning Environments, obviously corrupted by the Disorder of the European Masters.

White Master, White Teachings, Black Disciples

Frequency: Very Common
Rating: White (Disorder)
Examples: Public Schools in Predominately Black Areas
Comment: Public Schools whether with Black or White teachers are White Learning Environments. It’s more likely that the teacher will be White than Black however. Despite that the Teachings and the Masters are White, many of our people are convinced that this is a Black Learning Environment. For example, we refer to a Public School with a Predominately Black Population as a Black School. This is far, far from the truth. It’s a White School. If the Master and the Teachings are White, it’s one of the Whitest Schools one can have.  Similar White Learning Environments with White Masters, White Teachings and Black Disciples are Plantations and Prisons.  In modern lingo “Prison culture” is Black yet clearly the whole system is White.  We are confused.

White Master, White Teachings, White Disciples

Frequency: Very Common
Rating: White (Disorder)
Examples: Public Schools in Predominately White Areas
Comment: While very common, this is irrelevant to the Black experience. White Master, White Teachings, White Disciples, it’s White. It’s worth noting that the existence of this school was challenged by integrationists, welcoming the Disorder of Whites into Black Life. A sad struggle in our history that costs us Africa.

Single, Double or Triple Oppression of the African Woman?

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

“The best and shortest road towards knowledge of truth is Nature.” — African Proverb

If a domestic cat could go to a European or Asian school, she would be taught that her oppressions are triple: sex, class, race.  True.  A domestic cat is treated differently if she be female or if he be male.  True.  A domestic cat is treated differently depending on her Master’s (Employer’s) wealth or her lack of a direct Master.  True.  A domestic cat would be treated differently if she were not even a cat, but a dog or a turtle.  But in the end the domestic cat will only return to its natural order through other cats.  The educated fool-cat will reason that as a woman she suffers an oppression similar to the Race of her Master’s women and die trying to seek to communicate to those women her struggle and distancing herself from her Brother-cats.  The African man and woman do not need this Mis-Educated outlook.  We need to realize that our oppression is singular: Racial.  The following article elaborates further.

Single, Double or Triple Oppression of the African Woman?
By Onitaset Kumat

On the physiological level, there are dis-eases and there is Cancer.  An empowered immune system eradicates both, yet the two are not one and the same.  One is a mutant.  A systematic error.  An irredeemable flaw.  On the physical level, Cancer is the Occidental (European) and Oriental (Asian).  We, the Original (Africans), are the immune system.

It has been stated that the African Woman is twice-oppressed.  She is oppressed Racially and also Sexually.  Some may go so far as to say she is further oppressed Classically.  The idea being shared is that the African Woman is thrice-oppressed.  Depending on who is asked, the statement has its merits.  “Sexism” they would reason has a hold on African, Asian and European women.  “Classism” has a hold on the lower-classes.  “Racism” has a hold on Africans and Asians.  All said, the African woman must be afflicted by all three.  And if she be affected by all three, she can find alliances near anywhere and everywhere.  For sharing “Sexist” oppression she, Asian and European women share a “struggle?”  And sharing “Classist” oppression, she and the lower-classes share a “struggle.”  And sharing “Racist” oppression, she and “people of color” share a “struggle.”  This is far from the truth.

In the natural order, male and female share different roles as according to their natural roles.  This natural role is expressed in the natural habitat of the species.  Nothing in its natural state is oppressed.  Female lions, for instance, hunt for the food and care for the young near exclusively yet they are not oppressed; and Male lions, defend against hyena attacks near exclusively yet they are not oppressed either.  The natural order also has class differences or roles for each class yet no species is oppressed in its natural state.  In hyena societies, for instance, there is a “queen-mother” with more privileges than other females.  Neither the Queen-Mother nor her Sisters are oppressed.  What could oppress the Lion or Hyena is to live in an unnatural state, like Zoo Lions live.  But this unnatural state would be “Racial Oppression” and nothing more.  It would be Zoo Lions being forced into the race mores (which are sexual and classical) of a Race of Humans (usually Europeans and Asians.)  Much like domestic pets are racially oppressed and can not find any like struggle across racial boundaries with their oppressors (the female cat’s oppression is no different from the male’s.)

When we look upon the claim of Sexism or Classism among Europeans and Asians, we quickly see that in their natural state that is how they treat themselves and propagate.  Said differently, the Asian and European do not face “Sexist” oppression or “Classist” oppression.  What’s known as Patriarchy or Caste (Sexual and Classical Oppression respectively), for instance, has been their way of life from their inception; just as physiologically, Cancer does not harm itself but behaves a certain way and that way is its way.  Neither “Sexism” nor “Classism” are terms to use for the African or non-African’s condition, “Racism” is the only real oppression on African people, men or women.  For what’s known as “Sexism” and “Classism” are only cultural habits of European and Asian Races, much like what’s oppressing the Zoo Lion or the domestic feline is the cultural habits of European and Asian Races.  What’s more, the imposition of another Race’s culture on women equally harms men and imposing another Race’s culture on the lower-class equally harms the upper-class.  Cancer harms the whole system, like Europeans and Asians harm the whole Earth.

The African Woman faces a Single Oppression–Racial Warfare, sometimes called “Racism.”  And only African people are Oppressed today.  Therefore, to eradicate Racism by the African Man’s side will be the sole gesture which can return the African woman to the throne of Earthly Harmony.  For an African Woman to see an alliance outside of the African Man is for an Immune System to see an alliance with Cancer.  One Oppression: Racism.  One Partner for the African Man and Woman: Themselves.  We share two enemies: Europeans and Asians.  We have one goal: Abibifahodie (African Liberation)!  The day when the domestic cat chooses her Master over her brother or sister needs to be over.  It’s upon those under Racial Oppression to create their Armies to end it!  Men and Women of our Race join the African Blood Siblings today!