African Femininity and Masculinity

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

“When you teach a boy, you teach a person; but when you teach a girl, you educate a nation.” — African Proverb

Physically a woman completes a man and a man completes a woman.  “As without so within:”  Spiritually a woman completes a man and a man completes a woman.  The Spiritually Incomplete Woman is Known as Feminine.  The Spiritually Incomplete Man is Known as Masculine.  Femininity and Masculinity complement one another.  African Femininity and Masculinity pertains to Roles in African Racial, National, Sexual and Familial Organization.  Individualism is the absence of Roles and thus the Dis-Organization or Mis-Organization of Race, Nation, Genders and Families.  The African Blood Siblings seeks to reacquaint African people with their Racial, National, Sexual and Familial Roles.  Following is an informational resource on indigenous African Gender concepts (which are different from Asian or European Gender Roles.)  It’s my hope that the resource encourages you to rise up and change your condition through the African Blood Siblings.  This article has been added to our other Educational Resources.  Subscribe, share, love.

African Femininity and Masculinity
By Onitaset Kumat

The most perfect embrace a human can experience is that between a woman and a man. It’s their genitalia alone which perfected itself to maximally thrill the two. They fit together like two halves. One receives the other, the two shaping into a fullness, an ecstatic completion. It’s for this women and men complement. And “as without so within,”hence Femininity and Masculinity, the spirits of Gender Roles, complement one another and no woman or man is complete without the other.

Yet in a society without Roles, also known as Individualistic, neither are Women necessarily Feminine nor Men necessarily Masculine and neither have a clear conception of Gender Roles. The African Blood Siblings enunciates often “Know Thyself; Be Thyself; Complete Thyself.” To become that completed whole, one must be that incomplete half. Yet to even be that incomplete half, one must know its description. John Edward Bruce addressed this confusion in the 19th Century,

“The man who will not fight for the protection of his wife and children is a coward and deserves to be ill treated. The man who takes his life in his hand and stands up for what he knows to be right will always command the respect of his enemy.”

Speaking of the African race, he described an oft-overlooked aspect of African Masculinity. When and if an African woman or child can not protect herself, an African man is roled toward her protection. In Occidental (Western) culture, Europeans put it upon themselves to be both assailant and protector of African women and children. Unfortunately, as the poem in “Maroon and Build For Self” reminds, “you go along with it.” This partly explains their unabated predation. African Men in rejecting a Gender Role allow for the harm of their Mothers, Sisters and Daughters. In “Blake or the Huts of America” (1859) Martin Delany, writing as a victim of assault, Ambrosina, and her Mother, shared the cultural effects of African Men refusing their Masculine role.

“One thing I do know, if our men do not decide on something in our favor, they will soon be called to look upon us in a state of concubinage; for such treatment as this will force every weak-minded woman to place herself under the care of those who are able to protect them from personal abuse. If they have no men of their associations who can, they must find those who will!–O, my God, the thought is enough to drive me distracted–I’ll destroy myself first!” said Ambrosina, startling every person present.

“You speak rationally, my child, regarding yourself, that is just what white men desire to do, drive colored women as a necessity to seek their protection that they may become the subjects of their lust. Do you die first before thinking of such a thing: and let what might come, before yielding to such degradation as that I would be one of the first to aid in laying the city in ashes!” replied the mother.

The mother touches on African Femininity when she expresses her desire first to lay the city to ashes than for her child to betray her Racial Role (another Role neglected in Individualism) through an Interracial Relationship. Yet it’s clear that a deficit of African Masculinity endangers that Racial Role. It also dooms the Race. In 1922 John Edward Bruce addressed this theme,

“The moment the men of any Race permit the cheapening of their women, the pollution of their women, their Race is doomed, for no Race deserves to rise in the scale of being which does not do reverence to or respect the honor and good name of its women. Even among the lower animals, the males will fight to the death to protect the females. The Negro Race can never hope to rise to any great eminence in the world when the spineless cowardice of its men permits the open degradation of its girls and young women by leprous and lecherous libertines of alien Races.”

It does not need to be shown how some African Men (like Musicians) in the Occidents and Orients (East) degrade and defame their own Women thus dooming their Race and permitting an abandonment of Racial Roles. Postings such as “The Allegory of the Three Salesman” and “The Effeminization of the Black Male” can suffice for a theoretical description. “A Solution for the Rape of our Women” is a more practical description in light of many. What needs to follow is a description of both Gender Roles and what truly adopting them appears to be. For this we first go to Marimba Ani, who in communicating Femininity had young women recite “We are Nbogboni;” Nbogboni is a term from the Sande Society in Africa. This affirmation honored past African Woman Warriors: “Yaa Asanetewaa, Nehanda, Nanny , Harriet and Fanny Lou;” female deities: “Neith, Aset, Het Heru, Asase Yaa, Yemoja, Oya and Osun;” and states, “with our men, we will build families for the future and, with them, we’ll produce Afrikan children so that our nation may grow and the ancestors may be reborn,” communicating how a Gender Role is part of a Racial Role.

In his age-grade segment, Chancellor Williams more practically delineates Gender Roles. In an African’s formative years, 6-12, the genders did several things alike, “story-telling, mental arithmetic, community songs and dances . . .,” yet importantly the boy differed in his “gathering sticks of wood for fuel, bringing water, tending the cattle, feeding the chicken” while his Sister was “looking after baby or younger ones, imitating mother at cooking and trying to learn how to sew and knit.” These are two halves of the same goal [Restoring the African Family] and both fit with Good Parenting. As we learn in “What is Parenting?:” “Good Parenting is the deliberate development of a Good Parent.” Williams continues to describe the four next age-grades, emphasizing the distinction between Gender Roles.

Cheikh Ante Diop’s research showed this home life in action:

The socially admitted division of labour reserves to the man the tasks involving risks, power, force, and endurance; if, as a result of a changed situation due to the intervention of some outside factor – cessation of a state of war, etc . . . the tasks of a man came to be whittled down, so much the worse for the woman; she would nonetheless continue to carry out the household duties and others reserved to her by society. For the man could not relieve her of this without losing prestige in the eyes of all. It is in fact unthinkable, for example, than an African should share a feminine task with his wife, such as cooking or washing clothes or rearing children, any European influence, of course, being disregarded. The dimunition of the tasks of the man comes from the suppression of national sovereignties which causes the disappearing of a large fraction of the tasks of responsibility. This dimunition can also be seasonal, as a function of cultivation and the harvests; in tropical countries, at two seasons of the year, during the long dry period, involuntary unemployment is frequent among men, whom the feeble economic activity of the country is unable to occupy. In the fields it is the husband who digs the land and the wife who sows. At the time of harvest, it is the husband who uproots the peanuts, for example, and the wife who gathers them. In reality, rural preoccupations are far from being so rigid, and it is not rare to find a woman doing certain tasks which are not very arduous, such as cultivating the soil. But it can certainly be confirmed that the position of the man in this work is superior to that of his wife. Most often she prepares the food and brings it to the fields, while her husband works. The European travellers who crossed Africa like meteors often brought back piteous, striking descriptions of the fate of these poor women, who were made to work by their husbands, while the latter rested in the shade. In contrast, the Europeans who have visited Africa and stayed there for a greater or lesser period of time, are not sorry for the African women: they find them very happy.

“Moreover this situation has been unchanged since ancient times: the couples to be seen on the African monuments of Egypt are united by a tenderness, a friendship, an intimate common life–the likes of which is not to be found in the Eurasian world of this period: Greece, Rome, Asia. This fact, in itself, would tend to prove that Ancient Egypt was not Semitic: in the Semitic tradition, the history of the world begins with the fall of man, his ruin being caused by a woman (the myth of Adam and Eve). In ancient Egypt and the remainder of Black Africa, in every age — except for some slight Arab influence — the isolation of women under the supervision of eunuchs, a practice so typically Eurasian, is absolutely unknown.”

It’s interesting to note how Diop’s description of the Gender Roles touched upon the decline of national sovereignty and thus a decline of Masculine Tasks. In last week’s Short Story “The Starting Point in the Making of a Race is the Home,” the protagonist, Alm Hiel, finds herself a part of Four Organizations (Race, Nation, Sisterhood, Family) hence following Four Roles (Racial, National, Sexual [Gender], Familial.) We understand that Gender Roles are Familial Roles, Delany showed they were also Racial Roles and now Diop shows us they are National Roles too. Our weak Familial Structure, Racial Structure and National Structure contribute to our weak Gender Structure and vise-versa.

Maroons, the only free Africans in the West, offer a visual glimpse of what Gendered Society looks like. As I describe there (for Suriname),

The video should be telling. It so far only revealed women and children in the village. This is the matriarchal system in full view.

. . .

Zimmern then details the Man’s Role in this Matriarchy. He explains how every couple of weeks, the men disappear into the forest with their rifles for days or even weeks at a time.

. . .

It becomes night. The hunters sleep in the open field of hammock. Some men sing. This is an exercise in fraternity. You notice that this Brotherhood that arises from this shared responsibility of providing for the village doesn’t foster animosity like our socialization in Tribal Occidentalism does. You can’t expect men who sleep safely in the open air beside one another will return home to fight. What about where you are? Where Brothers hurt Brothers and family feud is familiar? We need to fix our consciousness. Keep the ABS in mind.

The image of an actual African people in harmony is beautiful. I advise every reader to watch it. It shows the Gender Organization in full-view: Sisterhoods and Brotherhoods.

In “What is a Sibling?  Shouldn’t “Brother” and “Sister” have a meaning?” I explain Sisterhoods and Brotherhoods,

It was after I looked upon a forest, that I now understand what a family is. Each tree drops a seed, that every tree looks after, until that seed becomes a tree like its aunts and uncles.

Sobonfu Some described the practice thusly,

“The family in Africa is always extended. You would never refer to your cousin as “cousin,” because that would be an insult. So your cousins are your sisters and brothers. Your nieces are your children. Your uncles are your fathers. Your aunts are your mothers. Your sister’s husband is your husband, your brother’s wife is your wife.

Children are also encouraged to call other people outside the family mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers.”

And this is no Myth. Williams research showed him it in Africa. Diop’s, in Africa. The Maroons show it in their culture in the Americas. Even Delany saw it over a century ago:

And the enquiry naturally presents itself: How do the Africans of the present day compare in morals and social polity with those of ancient times? We answer, that those south of the “Sahara,” uncontaminated by influence of the coast, especially the Yarubas, are equal in susceptibility and moral integrity to the ancient Africans. Those people have all the finer elements of the highest civilization: virtue and matrimonial fidelity being the basis of female excellence and worth, and honor being held sacred among the men, their plighted word on their moral responsibility being a sufficiently binding obligation to ensure its fulfillment. Friendly, sociable and benevolent, they are universally the politest of people. Obscene, profane or blasphemous language is never heard among them, and quarreling and fighting are prohibited by law, and equally unknown. Men do the coarser and heavier work, and women the finer and lighter. The following stanza from the excellent work of that most worthy, learned native Christian gentleman, Agi, known to history as Right Rev. Samuel Crowther, D.D., Bishop of Niger, fully illustrates the relative position of the sexes among the laboring classes to each other:

When the day dawns, The trader takes his money, The spinner takes her spindle, The warrior takes his shield, The weaver takes his batten, The farmer wakes himself and his hoe, The hunter wakes with his fiddle and bow.

Here, of six vocations named in the stanza, there is but one the spinner assigned to woman, the identical calling in which none but woman among the most advanced of modern civilized nations are employed. We have italicized the word, her in the stanza before “spindle” to arrest the attention of the reader. There is not even here any vocation assigned to women at all in the field, as is customary in civilized countries among Christian nations.

Since 1878 militant women have been celebrated in St. Croix. Known as Contract Day, Africans celebrate the burning of Frederiksted Town, raising Queens Ellen Firebun, Bottom Belly, Queen Mathilde, Queen Agnes, Queen Mary and more. The re-enactments celebrate that conflagration.

Though it’s not for us to believe Femininity is without a National Role. In Ancient Ethiopia, when the Ethiopians ruled Egypt, it was the Royal Queen who managed Egypt’s affairs. And as described in “Maroon and Build For Self” innumerable women were military heroes. Since 1878 militant women have been celebrated in St. Croix. Known as Contract Day, Africans celebrate the burning of Frederiksted Town, raising Queens Ellen Firebun, Bottom Belly, Queen Mathilde, Queen Agnes, Queen Mary and more. The re-enactments celebrate that conflagration. During the Haitian Revolution, women were also in tow with our Liberation, many nobly dying inspiring the African Blood Siblings’ quartet

If we must die, let their flames burn in vain.
For even burning they’ll fear our breath.
Our ancestors burned but overcame.
Freedom consoles the soul, we fear no death.

And in times of peace, women have started incredible national projects. From the construction of great works in Ancient Times, to building roads in Classical Times; Gender Roles are not Limitations but different Spiritual leanings.

This is why it was said that Europeans did not need to capture African women. African women will protect and defend African men, risking her life as a man would for her.

” . . . It is not true that all women, and even children, were likewise marched in chains; this would have been unnecessary anyway because we had learned that these black women are so loyal to their men that they would follow them even into hell. Capture their men and you did not have to capture them. Yet many of these same women would seek death directly by attacking us and our armed guards. These, of course, were beaten and chained the same as the male slaves.

And let’s never forget Queen Ann Nzinga, a guiding Spirit of the African Blood Siblings endeavor, here described by the same author,

And while the Kongolese kings now harass us in their attempts to check the spread of the trade, the real danger is in the Angola region, the region of the Black Terror in the form of a death-defying Black queen, Ann Nzinga. Who ever heard of a woman general, leading her armies in person? The truth is that she is the greatest military strategist that ever confronted the armed forces of Portugal.

It’s apparent that there’s Femininity and Masculinity, a Female’s role and a complementary Male’s role; two incomplete roles for our Racial, National, Sexual and Familial Organization. They are not entirely separate. Instead they are Spiritual Dispositions that can overlap. And it is all oriented to Self-Protection. Protection of the Mother and her line: Matrilineality. This is an Ancient practice. We find this comment in Ancient KMT,

When you were born she (your mother) made herself really your slave; the most menial tasks did not dishearten her to the point of making her say: why do I need to do this? When you went to school for your lessons, she sat near your master, bringing every day the bread and the beer of the household. And now that you are grown up, that you are marrying and founding, in turn, a family, always remember the care your mother devoted to you, so that she has nothing for which she can reproach you and does not raise her arms to God in malediction, for God would answer her prayers.

Queen Shebah III, of Ancient Royal Lineage

Even Royalty protects it’s Maternal line. In Ancient KMT, Rulers’ Mothers were expected to be Royal. 3,000 years later, Nubia still preserves its Queen: Queen Shebah III.

When we put Femininity and Masculinity into the context of Matriarchy–Rule of the Mother–we better understand Gender Roles and why Ancient Monuments celebrated Women so thoroughly. We also see to what end we Organize ourselves under the African Blood Siblings by Age and Gender. We let Du Bois finishes this idea (1913),

Africa is distinctly the land of the Mother. In subtle and mysterious way, despite her curious history, her slavery, polygamy and toil, the spell of the African Mother pervades her land. Isis, the Mother, is still titular goddess in thot, if not in name, of the dark continent. This does not seem to be solely a survival of the historic matriarchate thru which all nations pass. It appears to be more than this; as if the black race in passing down the steps of human culture gave the world not only the Iron Age, the cultivation of the soil and the domestication of animals but also in peculiar emphasis the Mother-idea. Schneider writes: “No mother can love more tenderly and none is more tenderly loved than the Negro Mother”. Robin tells of the slave who bot his mother’s freedom instead of his own. Mungo Park writes:

“Everywhere in Africa I have noticed that no greater affront can be offered a Negro than insulting his mother. ‘Strike me,’ cried the Mandingo, ‘but revile not my mother.’ “

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