We must honor black scholarship. Unfortunately, there is too great a segment of our population that is distrustful, disinterested, and dismissive of works produced by our black scholars. This is an indication that we have not totally freed ourselves from the psychological implications of post-slavery mental bondage. There still lingers sub-conscious feelings of inferiority and sub-humanness that affects our worldview and how we see ourselves in comparison to European intellect and mental astuteness.
John Charles Polanyi states “For scholarship – if it is to be scholarship – requires, in addition to liberty, that the truth take precedence over all sectarian interests, including self-interest. Many of our great scholars, some who have transitioned to be with the Ancestors, and many who are still living and working among us, have spent their entire lives, studying, researching, investigating, documenting and digging in the arid sands of the Motherland to uncover and present to us the truth about Our-story.
Great men and women, the likes of Cheik Anta Diop, W.E.B. Dubois, Ivan Van Sertima, Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan, Carter G. Woodson, Francis Cress Welsing, and a host of many more – a list too voluminous to mention everyone in this writing – have made invaluable contributions to our culture with intellectually superior, verifiable, objective, honest, truthful, factual, well documented, and accurate accounts of our history, sociology, psychology, and cultural consciousness.
Readers must be aware that all writings are not necessarily truthful or factual. We have long been fed with information that is biased, regurgitated untruths, and Euro-supremist agendas that are detrimental to our positive cultural self-image. Nnamdi Azikiwe states “Originality is the essence of true scholarship. Creativity is the soul of the true scholar.”
Too often we hear complaints that books by our black authors are too pricey and unaffordable. Ironically, dropping a thousand dollars on an Iphone or a couple hundred dollars on a pair of sneakers always seem reasonable. Martin Luther King stated “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Our precious scholars who have dedicated their life’s work for our education and freedom deserve better from us. It is to our individual and collective advantage to support their works and learn as they continue to teach and enlighten us.
These heroes of our culture have deposited the information that is necessary for us to break free from psychological enslavement and to embrace our glorious culture. They deserve our honor and respect. Nelson Mandela stated “ A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.
Written By: Lindell Leverett