An African Literary Family

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

“The key to all problems is the problem of consciousness.” — KMT Proverb

Have you ever turned on a Tyler Perry film and wondered what the complaints were about? Certainly, you saw Madea and thought, ‘Couldn’t Tyler find a female actress?’ but despite the cross-dressing, wasn’t it an excellent film with a Black cast? How do you know?

Tyler Perry is a very excellent writer. Most who say otherwise do not understand literature. But how he is excellent depends upon understanding how to value literature.

Literature is based off of characters. Think of your favorite TV Show, Radio Program, Film, Novel or Play and recognize in those “characters.” For instance, in Perry’s material, Madea is the Southern Matriarch; in “The Jeffersons,” Florence is the back-talking housekeeper; in “Family Matters,” Erkel is the fawning geek; in “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” the cast is largely boisterous and materialist (read the article on how they are actually crying), the list can go on indefinitely.

The thing with each of these characters is that they are borrowed from the European literary canon. None of them are from an African literary corpus. This is partly because the European training institutions do not respect the African literary tradition of Anansi the Spider or Br’er Rabbit, as reported on in the last post.

Of course we had respectable African authors. Martin Delany and Tyler Perry are two different sorts. But not until we create institutions to encourage our own Philosophy will we have a mastery over our literary canon rather than a mimicry of Europe’s or Asia’s. For this reason we are internationally creating African Blood Siblings Community Centers. Written inquiries are welcome.

Below is a new African Literary Family based on what needs to be heard to move forward–a family structure unlike our lived experiences but very much like our ancestor’s. It composes four people: an older man, a younger man, a younger woman and an older woman. Take age forty, for reasons of traditional age-grades detailed here, as the cut off. Write a monologue for the character suiting your age and sex. Share it here and perform it on social media sites. Only our own literary canon can benefit us. An excellent example of a dialogue can be read here.

This canon is based off of Traditional Africa and Marcus Garvey’s elaborate building plan. We can use it to progress toward Prosperous, Independent African Communities.   It’s another tool for saving the African Family or stopping the rape and destruction of our men, women and children.  Subscribe, share, love.

An African Literary Family
By Onitaset Kumat

The Cast

Hakani Matin: “I am returning from my children’s to my Sister’s home. My name is Hakani Matin and as my Sister’s Brother, I must protect her children, for she is my Mother’s line. I am especially protective of my oldest niece Alm Hiel for that same reason.

Three days of seven, I work in my niece’s city in Government. There I am concerned with the safety and justice of our people.

I’m very society-oriented and I often promote self-determination.

I am based off of Traditional Africa’s Maternal Uncle and Marcus Garvey’s Government:

1. Court House and Post Office.
2. Town Hall
a. Public Safety
1. Police Station
2. Fire Protection
3. Hospital”

Pathaza Adini: “When I see my wife, Alm Hiel, no matter my disposition, a rush of peace flourishes within me. Every part of my body feels like it will ascend and I no longer remember anything but her; for her talents, intelligence and beauty are unrivaled.

Like all men, I spend a lot of my time watching over my beloved Mother, my Sister and my nieces and nephews, but Alm Hiel is my life’s focus, my true complement, the love of my life.

Three days of seven, I work in my sister’s city in Community Interest and Entertainment. There I concern myself with the influences and self-love of our people.

I’m very identity-oriented and I promote spiritual sexual practices, like tantric sex.

I am based off of Traditional Africa’s view that man is a female’s appendage and Marcus Garvey’s Community Interest and Entertainment:

Community Interest and Entertainment
1. National Theatre
2. Churches (2)
3. Large Public Hall
4. Public Park”

Alm Hiel: “Sankofa is an adinkra symbol meaning “Return and Get it.” It’s sometimes shaped as a bird whose head is turned backwards stressing that to move forward, one must look backward. Or more particularly, “Progress is returning to what one was.”

This is a very “African” idea. In Occidental (Western) thought, “Progress is retreating from what once was.” Transformation from primeval, for them, is good, even if primeval had the most thriving planet. This conception is very dangerous as its the premise at the foundation of the destruction of our planet.

I am Alm Hiel. In following with African tradition, as a woman, I am the protagonist of this African narrative. I am my Mother’s Eldest daughter and I continue her Mother’s family line like the women before me.

Three days of seven, I work in Public Education. There I teach age-grade b–ages 13-19–what it means to be Prosperous, Independent Communal Africans. This is the foundation for our Prosperous, Independent African Community. We acknowledge that, with the right preparation, from thirteen forward, the African is a most able participant in society. At thirteen they undergo their rites of passage into adulthood and their initiation into their prepared field of work.

I am education-oriented and promote meaningful expression.

I am based off of Traditional Africa’s role of woman as educator and Marcus Garvey’s Public Education:

Public Education
1. Public Library
2. Public Schools (2)
3. Public High School (1)
4. Colleges of Arts and Sciences
5. Trade School and Engineering Works”

Rebibu Katsha: “Nothing can make a woman more happy than to give birth to a daughter, for nothing more honors her mother than a new woman to continue their line.

I am Rebibu Katsha, Mother of Alm Hiel. Our names differ because in our tradition names have meaning: “Hiel” and “Katsha” are two parts of one family line that alternate to signify generation.

Three days of seven, I work in Public Utilities. I’m mainly concerned about keeping our city in good repair. Especially as to facilitate the economic concerns like labour and production.

I am resource-oriented and promote resourcefulness to our people’s advantage.

I am based off of Traditional Africa’s economic sisterhoods and Marcus Garvey’s Public Utilities:

Public Utilities
1. Electric Light and Power Plant
2. Water Filtration Plant
3. Sewerage System and Sewage Disposal Plant
a. Transportation Facilities
1. Roads, Streets and Pavements
2. Wharf and Dock and Water Front Improvement
3. Railroad, 4-15 miles
b. Commissaries (2)
c. Dormitories (2)”

The Goal

We aim to popularize an African canon to provide both a template for aspiring artists, actors and writers, and a counterweight to the implicit usage of a European canon.  This provides a liberating alternative to the enslaving variety common amongst our literature.  When we the masses take it upon ourselves to appreciate our own accessible work, we encourage generations of Africans to see in themselves a positive creativity which can support a living, rather than the negative creativity which is the current destructive mainstay in our media.  It’s this foundation which makes “Minstrel Shows” seem like relics of the past rather than the “forced” circumstance of Africans in the West.  What we do today affects tomorrow; what we do every day affects every next day.  When we support the creation of a movement, motion is made.

The Task

Perform monologues of the above casts and encourage your friends and family to do the same.  This can change how we view and organize ourselves.  I will write out scripts, so continue to return to this page in case you want monologues or dialogues to perform and popularize.

Please ask any questions that come to mind

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