If conditions were different, and you came to the conclusion Africa isn't relevant because you had a complete understanding of what has happened to Africa (and consequently you) politically, spiritually, materially, and ideologically, then I would have no comment. Unfortunately, that's not the case. What is happening is the Rockefellers, Rothchilds, Duponts, Kelloggs, Kochs, and other capitalist class families have used their propaganda wing - all private media outlets, the school system, the work sites, churches, etc. - to pound the message home to you that you don't need Africa. That you are a "Black person in America" who is fighting a struggle against "anti-Blackness." There's no question there always has been anti-Blackness in every facet of this society, but that is merely a manifestation of the problem, not the core of it. The core of the problem, as Kwame Nkrumah said "is in Africa, and until Africa is free, no African anywhere on the planet is free." This is truth because J.P. Morgan/Chase, BankAmerica, Wachovia, Barclays, Lloyds of London, Lehman Brothers, Brooks Brothers, Aetna, and many others made their initial profits from investing in the African slave trade. This is the fact that separates that slave trade from the dominant economic system of slavery that existed at its height some 6000 years ago (that the counter-revolutionaries, reactionaries, and capitalist propagandists keep trying to bring up and merge with the African slave trade to confuse the issue). The African slave trade fueled industrialization which brought on the dawn of capitalist development. In other words, capitalism, the current dominant economic system in the world, and it's partakers - those companies named above - forged their empire on the backs of exploiting Africa. All of the invaders, conquerors, students, explorers, whatever category you desire - from the Greek philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle to the Norsemen (Vikings) to the European colonialist - all of them wrote extensively about how advanced Africa was. They wrote about Mali and the intellectual wonders that existed in Timbuktu. They wrote about the Songhay society, Kemit, Nubia, etc. So, we have extensive evidence to substantiate that these people knew African people had developed culture and had advanced civilizations. Clearly, the issue was never about "anti-Blackness." That was simply a tool created to justify the exploitation and devastation reaped upon Africa. The only way to get Europeans (and Africans) to go along with the exploitation was to convince all that the Africans and Indigenous people's needed European colonialism. Need Manifest Destiny. To convince us all that we are better today because of the exploitation of Africa. This is the thinking that spawned anti-Blackness or a belief that we are biologically and intellectually inferior. Thus, the type of consciousness that would suggest an African who speaks out against Africa should "go back then." The backward thinking behind that comment is one based on an a-historical perspective. It's a thinking that suggests Europe's invasion into Africa was a developmental process for Africa and those of us living in the Western World today are "blessed" to benefit from the charity of the great European peoples and culture. This is the spirit that drives the looks we get whenever we venture into a gentrification cafe, coffee shop, etc. "You don't belong here. You are lucky to be here." The backward anti-Africa philosophy expresses itself with African people by our unwillingness to connect with Africa. For example, I was on a panel discussion recently where an elder African said he doesn't reference Africa because doing so "disrespects the elders in his family." This line of backward thinking is based in the thought process that Africa is something new and different and is therefore foreign and disconnected to our reality living here in the Western World. This idea is as far from the truth as we can possibly get. In fact, we would argue that the primary reason we face oppression is because of our connection to Africa (whether we are conscious of it or not) and the actual and practical culture as African people is our most potent weapon in fighting that oppression. It doesn't matter whether we know about our culture or not. We still use it to defend ourselves. Example. How many Africans face pressure for wearing their hair naturally? How many face pressure for speaking Africanized English? How many face pressure just for acting in ways that are uncomfortable to European society? These are all unconscious examples of African people asserting our humanity, which is expressed through our African culture. The natural hair is a reminder that we are not Europeans and that is why it's a threat because if we are not Europeans, we are not Americans (since capitalist ideology has made them one and the same), and if we are not Americans then we must be what we really are - Africans. Or, as Malcolm X said "if a cat has kittens in an oven, you don't call them biscuits!" Another way of looking at it is when Kwame Ture said "we are not African-Americans. We are Africans in America fighting against U.S. capitalism. Our existence in America isn't one of being American citizens...It's one of us asserting our African identity for 500+ years in resistance to European capitalist oppression and exploitation." Again, going back to Malcolm; "if you were Americans you wouldn't need legislation enforcing your right to be Americans."
But, let's go back the concept of "you don't like it, leave." In essence, the racist who says that to you has a point. You should go to Africa not for the backward reasons that ignorant fool is suggesting, but because doing so will answer quite a few questions you have and will consequently enrich your spirit. Truthfully, you don't have all that you need here. You don't most of what you need here. Again Malcolm; "you say you haven't left anything in Africa...Why you left your mind in Africa!" Now, we aren't suggesting that going to Africa is any type of magical experiment. Africa has been exploited and oppressed by multiple enemy forces for 500+ years. The continent is a highly complex place that requires a strong knowledge of the conditions in order to navigate through any area there today. Still, if you work hard enough to understand those conditions you will benefit from the rich experience returning home will provide to you. You will learn many things about why you and your family and friends do things the way you do. Answers you cannot ever possibly get by staying in the U.S. This knowledge will embolden you and arm you better to fight the anti-Blackness which is really about being anti-Africa. I've traveled to Africa several times since the early 90s. I changed my name through the so-called legal process to an African name in 1984. I've been involved in a strong study process to study Africa in the All African People's Revolutionary Party since 1984. I stay abreast of events in Africa. Consequently, its very difficult for anybody in this backward society to attack Africa in my presence and I'm very swift and aggressive about defending my mother because I understand that any attack against Africa is an attack against me. When people say ignorant things in my presence it gets very uncomfortable for them. The word gets around. Now, for the most part, it doesn't happen nearly as often to me as it does most Africans and the reasons are because I have developed a strong African consciousness that I force people to respect. It's difficult for them to wage attacks because I'm qualified to defend Africa which makes me qualified to defend myself. I have been able to educate/train my daughter on how to do the same and many other people who have committed to our work/study process. All of these abilities come from the study and the physical ability to go home. In a few short weeks, I'm going home again and ultimately, some years in the near future, my plan is to return home permanently. But, please don't dwell on that and come away from this thinking my central point is you have to move to Africa. Believe me, some of us, it would be so much better for Africa and the African world if we stay here. Some of us are so committed to the master's plantation that you don't have to convince me to agree you should stay put.
But, for those of you who want real answers to the chaos, start by joining an organization that has an organized study process where you can learn about your mother. And, at the same time you are doing that, get that passport. Stop thinking about it and do it. Then, start planning a trip to go home, African. Open an account at your local Credit Union that will take a minimum of $50.00 a month from your pay and add it to an account. By the end of the year you will have about half of what you need to buy a plane ticket. If you can't do $50.00, do what you can. Either way, before long you will have enough to buy your ticket. Whether it takes two years or five years, what difference does that make? The alternative is five years from now you will be sitting in America, so take control of your destiny and plan to go home! And when you go, don't go on a tour. Connect with your people on the ground who are doing real work to liberate Africa. Then, when you come back, if you come back, you will be a changed person. A changed person forever. An African. And once that consciousness spreads, we will begin to understand what real power looks like.