Listen Siblings, I come in peace,
“The age-grade or age-set (also called “class”) was the specific organizational structure through which the society functioned.” — Dr. Chancellor Williams
The ABS has its own age-grade system:
a – 6-12, Children
b – 13- 19, Teenagers
c – 20-28, Young Adults
d – 29-40, Adults
e – 40+, Elders
(From “The Units of Organization“)
You belong to an age-grade. In age-grade “a,” as Dr. Chancellor Williams has written (see below), it’s important to instill that all Africans are your Siblings. Today, we do not go through this socialization. But the day comes when all of our people will remember this. For we will to restore our grandeur as Siblings in the outfit of the African Blood Siblings.
I thank you for sharing this newsletter.
Below is an excerpt from “Destruction of Black Civilization” by Dr. Chancellor Williams. It describes the separate communal responsibilities accorded each age-grade. We will once again practice such socialization. But to get there please record your age-grade and look to gain the contact of 20 people in your sex within your age-grade. Advise them to read and subscribe to ABS and advise them to join you in being active in making your local economic center a Prosperous, Independent African Community.
Get the 20 contacts from your local thoroughfare. Do not turn away anyone based on supposed ‘consciousness,’ for all of us want to be free, we are all Siblings and we work so that all of us live in Prosperous, Independent African Communities. With the 20 I can interview each. We’ll whittle the team to 13, a Unit of Organization. From there, we will build. Please apply to the African Blood Siblings when you start or write us. We will connect Prosperous, Independent African Communities from Lagos to Los Angelas, from Johannesburg to London, from New York to where you are. We will be Prosperous, Independent Proud-to-be Africans. Subscribe, share, love.
Here is the Excerpt from Chapter VI The African Constitution: Birth of Democracy
in “The Destruction of Black Civilizations”
by Dr. Chancellor Williams
Origin of African Democracy
The foregoing observations suggest that the Constitution of any people or nation, written or unwritten, derives from its customary rules of life; and that what we now call “democracy” was generally the earliest system among various peoples throughout the ancient world. What was a relatively new development was absolute monarchy.
. . .
The age-grade or age-set (also called “class”) was the specific organizational structure through which the society functioned.
Classification was determined by the period in which one was born. All persons born in the same year, or within a general but well-defined period before or after a given year, belonged in the same age-grade. Each grade covered a block of years: Age-grade one might include all children up to age twelve; grade two, from thirteen to eighteen; grade three, nineteen to twenty-eight; grade four, twenty-nine to forty; and grade five, forty and above. There was seniority within each grade according to age and intelligence. Intelligence and wisdom were supposed to match one’s age. Stated another way, the African philosophy that accorded so much deference to elders was based upon the assumption that, all other things being equal, those who were living in the world and experiencing life before others were born should know more than these others. This qualification is important because it was later applied in the election of chiefs and kings. Being an heir to the throne was not enough. One had to meet other qualifications or be passed over. Therefore, being older or the oldest in one’s group did not command the usual respect if one was lazy, a trouble-maker, or a fool.
The interlocking responsibilities of the various grades accounted for the smooth functioning of the chiefless states. Each grade had its own social, economic and political role. The children’s set covered the years of game and play. Around the ages of six and seven, however, general training and some little jobs began to be mingled with play. Primary education included story-telling, mental arithmetic, community songs and dances, learning the names of various birds and animals, the identification of poisonous snakes, local plants and trees, and how to run and climb swiftly when pursued by dangerous animals. Child training also included knowing and associating with members of one’s age-group as brothers and sisters, and to regard them as brothers and sisters until death and beyond. Little chores around the house became routine, such as gathering sticks of wood for fuel, bringing water, tending the cattle, feeding the chickens or, if a girl, looking after baby or younger ones, imitating mother at cooking and trying to learn how to sew and knit. The nearest thing to the boys’ political role in childhood was when he carried his father’s or uncle’s stool to village council meetings and listened to the interminable debates.
The next grade above childhood was teenage through age eighteen. (These periods, of course, varied in different societies). Now both training and responsibilities were stepped-up. Play time was either over or very much limned. Education and training became more complex and extensive. Upon their performance at this age level the youths’ entire future depended. He or she was marked for success or failure in this second age-set that began at age 13. The boy was now required to learn his extended family history and that of his society, the geography of the region, names of neighboring states and the nature of the relations with them, the handling of weapons, hunting as a skilled art, rapid calculation, clearing the bush for planting, the nature of soils and which kinds grew what best, military tactics, care and breeding of cattle, the division of labor between males and females, bartering tactics, rules of good manners at home and abroad, competitive sports, leadership examples for the childhood age group below and responsibilities to the age-group above. The apprenticeship system in which one became a skilled craftsman was one of the most important of the Second level age-set activities. This is another reason why this age-grade was the most crucial of all. At its end one went through the initiation rites for the exalted level of manhood. The girls age-grade periods differed from those of the boys. Introduction to womanhood, roles, for example, was earlier. They had the same intellectual training as the boys: history, geography, rapid calculation, poetry, music and dance. The training in child care, housekeeping, gardening, cooking, marketing, social relations with particular stress on good manners—these were some of the essentials in the age-grade education and training of young people at this level. Housekeeping, mentioned above, does not reveal the important kind Of training that came under that heading, for its most important training aim was “how to be a successful wife”— an everlastingly desirable wife. In many societies, this training, by older women away from the community, included the art of exciting sexual intercourse, position variations, cleanliness in the relationship and, in short, the do’s and don’t's in intimate relations. These early Black societies were in many ways far in advance of the modern.
The first two grades may be designated as A and B, the third as C, the fourth as D, and the final and highest as grade E. Grade C, ages 19 through 28, was the manhood and first-line-of-action group. Its members led in the hunting, community construction, preparing the fields for planting, forming the various industrial craft guilds (secret societies, each of which guarded the processes of its art), protecting the far-ranging grazing cattle, the upkeep of roads and paths between villages, policing areas when necessary, and forming the bulwark of the fighting force. The young women in grade C, were generally wives. They were responsible for the planting and care of the farms (the heavy work of bush clearing, etc., having been done by the men), the operations of the markets (hence the stress on mental arithmetic in their training), visiting and care of the sick and the aged, formation of women’s societies (the media for womens social, economic and indirect but very real political influence), and they were responsible for and in supreme control of all matters concerning the home. In those societies that had female fighting forces, the women’s armies were formed almost entirely form age-grade C.
In terms of constitutional rights and duties (the two were inseparable in early Africa), there was not much difference between age-group C and age-group D. Seniority was the significant difference, since D was from age 29 to 40. If otherwise qualified, members in this class upon reaching the age of 36 were eligible for election to the most highly honored body in the society, the Council of Elders—an honor and privilege specially reserved for those 40 years old and above, group E.
Read the whole of Chapter VI here: http://www.farcaribbean.org/index.php/2-uncategorised/2-the-african-constitution-birth-of-democracy
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