Garveyism and Education
“The time has come for the Negro (African) to forget and cast behind him, his hero worship and adoration of other races and to start out immediately to create and emulate heroes of his own.” Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, 1925 African Fundamentalism
The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey born August 17th 1887, Jamaica, Caribbean is one of if not the greatest leader the African race has had in the last 150 years. Garveyism is Universal African Nationalism that has lead the fight for a place for African centricity, which is an intellectual category that allows us to view social and human reality from an African perspective or stand point. Through Garveyism African-centricity will be used to focus on the cultural and human quality of African thought and practice. African centricity will combat Euro centrism, which is, academic terrorism and an ideology and practice of domination/banditry that is based on the fundamental assumption that all relevance and value are centered in European culture alone.
1. Garveyism is first, based on the knowledge that African culture is not only worthy of study and teaching, but also critical to understanding society and the human experience given its key role in each. Second, Garveyism is a methodological orientation, that has proven the most effective and fruitful way of studying and understanding African people from their own perspective and then leading them. Third, Garveyism recognizes the diversity of perspectives and approaches within the African experiences and places itself at the head as the most successful ideology. Fourth, Garveyism recognizes Africa’s dynamic and diverse character and therefore promotes brotherly and sisterly cooperation. Fifth, it focuses on the continent of Africa’s greatness in people, natural resources and beauty to change the image of Africa, as well as the greatness in the African American past and present nationalist struggles and leaders. Sixth, Garveyism is parts of African culture and Afro-centric nation building. In essence Garveyism accepts the tremendous amount of historical and philosophical material that is invaluable to the growth of our race and is a “race first” approach used in the definition, defense and development of African interest.
2. There is a denial by racist historians of the status of Africans as major players in world history. This denial has created, within the African-American community, the need for the development of Africa and African American studies, principally for the protection of the psyches of African-American students. Our students are fed the lie “that, outside of becoming slaves, African people had made no serious contributions to humanity therefore, they are made to feel that they have no historical worth which is often reflected in students’ failure rates.
3. Garveyism is based on the principles of self-determination, confidence, pride and responsibility which will allow them to build a new world based on the principles of truth, justice, balance and order which is in our best interest. Garveyism education of African students from birth through college is fundamental to the continued survival and liberation of African people.
4. We overcome mentalcide, the genocide of the mind, by using Garveyism to reach our optimum state. A person in an optimum state is a person who has a viable and strong mental state of African consciousness and a sense of their collective Africaness, a high priority of self-knowledge, valuing African centered institutions, actively involved in building and rebuilding African institutions and maintains resolute posture of resisting any forms of anti-Africanism. When you see them their behavior consequences are positive affirmations for Pan-African Nationalist Nation building. Their goals, belief, discussion, debate, argument and purpose are to build an African Centered World order for African people.
5. We define the deficit as it relates to a lack of confidence or low self-esteem as a cultural deficit. Through Euro-centric education, they have extracted from us our cultural expression. Garveyism is a way we can revitalize our cultural infrastructure. We plan to look at rituals that are centered in our cultural reality. We will return to our own cultural traditions that were intelligently conceived. They feed an inner core of African and African American student’s psychic reality.
6. It’s going to take Garveyism to produce an African centered education movement that is critical in dismantling the kind of miss-education that defines the legitimate medium for dispensing information. Black Student Unions and African-American studies programs on college campuses must generated the leadership for Garveyism. The battle is for knowledge and information and the minds of the students.
7. Wherever we find ourselves we have to battle to create as much Garveyism breathing space as we can. We have to stretch the limits of whatever environments we are in until we create the space.
8. The objective has to be African nation building no matter where we are, which is the mega umbrella objective or coherent larger plan.
9. Once African people have confronted the issue of Garveyism we have to remain very serious if we plan to survive and save ourselves as African people. We cant slack off once we recognize what we are really up against.
10. Garveyism shows us that the serious nationalist in our community and our history, like the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey is the correct role models for African students and we must elevated him to his proper place of dignity and of esteem.
11. Garveyism allows us to hold up an Africans who projected under the constraint of his conditions some degree of optimization for our people. Then we are using him as a role models to teach lessons of excellence and empowerment.
12. The Euro-centric value system has in some psychological way intimidated us through miss-education into feeling that we are guilty about that African holocaust. In so doing, the best way we can handle our ancestor’s connection is to try to ignore or try to have this selective amnesia to act like they weren’t here and never existed. Garveyism teaches us that spiritually and historically they are our connection to Africa. They are the Africans we came from.
13. Euro-centric education is why we can easily get so confused about whether we are Africans or not and get into that debate because we don’t have that sense of continuity. Garveyism will bring us straight from the African continent through our ancestor of the African holocaust right into the present. We will no longer walk around here and either we don’t remember or we don’t feel any deficiency because we don’t remember. We will learn how to commemorate in a regular way with rituals.
14. Garveyism will expose students to rituals that allows Africans in the Diaspora to go back and spiritually re-enter that zone of the holocaust and re-experience the pain, the degradation, the insult, the barbarity on the psychological and spiritual dimension.
15. Through Garveyism we will understand how our people were overworked to complete exhaustion, maltreated worse than animals, fed unhealthy food rationed down to starvation levels, nocturnal lock-ups, and corporal punishments, such as beatings, torture and mutilations. We need to understand how we used our creative genius given us by the creator to build civilizations and make our distinct contributions to the history of the world. We need to re-enforce both our pain and prosperity into ourselves so that we can see through the eyes of our ancestors.
16. Through Garveyism we will vindicate our ancestors. We are their vindication. We have to relate culturally to our ancestors. We have to counter the erroneous concept of our permanent separation from our ancestors exhibited in the writings like those of E. Franklin Frazier that says, “But, the habits and customs as well as the hopes and fears that characterized the life of their forebears in Africa, nothing remains.” We are Black and beautiful Africans at home and abroad today and tomorrow.
Shaka Barak President of
The Marcus Garvey Institute