I had intended this year to do some positive highlighting of the African contribution to the world as we know it today. There is so many it is mind boggling. I intended to post several articles specifically about these contributions to keep the ancestor memories alive and to remind both enemies and friends that we were here before them and will be here after they are gone, as we ain’t going anywhere. In the 28 or 29 days that White Supremacy allows us, as we continually trot out some of the same time worn water mark of African legacy and contribution to the world, we must over stand that growth is vital for life and as such we must not only grow with the ancient contribution, but recognize the ones current or those not so ancient
Incredulously here are three types of response to these 28 days the government allows us.
•(1) Why do you need “a black history month, and why can’t I have a “white History month?
•(2) How come they give us only 28 days to celebrate?
•(3) Who cares about slavery!
From the fact that Egypt was originally highly melenated to the Moors ruling the barbarians of Spain, to Ghana and Jibril Tahrik going up into the Indus Kush region to lay some smack down on the area now called the India, to Hannibal Baca and others, to name a few. We should remember that our story is a constantly evolving stream of consciousness and tremendous impact on the fabric of the total world view.
The first statement above at (1) is one of the most asinine and ignorant shit, I have heard put out by some backward ass people. It smacks of the idea that 2 or more Africans shouldn’t gather together or it would be an issue. It precedes racist statement that Africans are always seeking special favours and need to become a part of the (proper) society. (2) indicate how because of White Supremacy, we limit ourselves or regulate ourselves to the backdoor, like Dr Carter G Woodson said about the “mis- education of the negro”. Remember it only started out as Negro history week and had since evolved into African history month. Eventually the idea is to have 365 day 24/7 celebration of our cultural experiences as we view the world, and how we interact(ed) with the world.
With this blog I wanted to step outside of the box that we allow White Supremacy to keep us in, by celebrating specific figures, events and tales from the African Diaspora at least once a week.
The first two people I wish to profile are two that I have immense respect and love for. These two MEN, have shown what it means to be a solider for liberation of the African minds from European mental and spiritual prisons.
The conscious Rasta:
Keidi Obi Owadi the Conscious Rasta, who I think is a true revolutionary, culturally, physically and spiritually. This brother is multitalented, a musician and music producer, a techie, radio host, one of the foremost researchers on the CIA, the White Supremacy system and AIDS and a community builder extraordinaire.
Keidi Obi Owadu:
He was born in Columbus, Ohio, one of four brothers and a twin. He is the father of “three beautiful African princesses”, all of whom are seriously academic like their parents. He has resided in Southern California for 26 years and according to his biography, his personal obsessions include: vegan cooking, his extensive library, his love of gadgets and digital and computer technology, and searching for the world’s finest Ethiopian restaurants, travel, health research, global trade and development, as well as associating with people who are all about positive action.
From 1979-1996, he was a record producer and artist and had produced over 25 record albums for various artists. He is skilled on a number of musical instruments and production tools. The heights of his recording career saw him travel to Jamaica, France and Spain, as well As 46 U.S. states.
- From 1974-1978, the Conscious Rasta worked as a Cryogenics Technician in the field of reproductive technology. As a cryogenics technician he worked in an artificial reproduction sperm-freezing laboratory and to this day still publishes and lectures on reproductive health issues.
- He is the founder and CEOof Black Star Media Group, a multi-media company specializing in web design, streaming media, audio and video production, as well as a spectrum of media production and graphic design services. Founder of LIBRadio.com, an Internet radio station. He speaks fluent French and Spanish as well as a smattering of Japanese and Amharic (Ethiopia)
- From 1990-2007 the Conscious Rasta had authored 18 books, while simultaneously worked on the lecture circuit, I travelling throughout America Inc. and Canada lecturing from his Conscious Rasta Reports. He has appeared on major television shows as well as talk radio throughout the U.S. and Canada.
He is well versed and extensively published in such areas as culture, history, ethnicity & society, reproductive biology, health & nutrition, science & technology, as well as the practical application of information technologies. Within and outside the African American community, the name Conscious Rasta is a widely referenced source on the misinformation surrounding HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and reproductive issues. He was a member of the D.C.-based think tank Information Project for Africa for over a decade and was affiliated with the Afrikan Culture & Research Center Long Beach for over a dozen years. The founder of the 7 Th Millennium Academy of Consciousness, a youth advocacy organization. Currently he owns and operates the African Centered Internet radio talk station, LIBRadio.com along with the complimentary LIBtv.com web television. He is also a video producer and independent documenter.
The Conscious Rasta’s CULTURALLY CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATIONS is where one can go for interviews and lectures for and by African people first but all who seek of creditable knowledge. Click on to http://www.libradio.com/ or http://www.libtv.com/ and hear what the news is.
Then there is Ahati Kilindi IyI (“He who strikes with the powers of the deity”) , a true embodiment of the African Warrior and soldier. A man who invokes the martial spirit of Pianki, Ramsis 1 and 2, Tuthmose, Menes, Hanibal Baca and Tchaka the Zulu legend, yet is one of the most humble and wise person one can know.
With the rise of African consciousness in the late 1960s, Ahati attempted to re-connect with the African martial arts – or as he preferred, science- which led him to explore not only various fighting systems, but also dance, music, philosophy, and ethno-medicine. His work has generated much envy and jealousy but also a dedicated following. Starting out as a boxer, under his father tutelage as a young boy, he learned to enjoy the sweet science to his mother’s dismay, sneaking over to the recreation center and other places like that when she wasn’t watching.
Around 1965, he saw judo demonstrations and karate, aikido, and taekwondo demonstrations at the Michigan State Fairgrounds, and was fascinated by that. Wanting to learn what he just saw, he approached his father but realized his father wasn’t going to pay money for martial arts lessons. “You know how to box, and I taught you how to box.” The enterprising Ahati set out buy books and read Black Belt Magazine and things like that until the day he got the chance to train. His first instructor was a man who had learned in the Army. After training with Woods and other people in his Detroit neighbourhood, Ahati eventually got a chance to train in “a little bit of karate and a little bit of this and a little of that”.
By the time black consciousness was on the forefront of the American scene. It became a focus of identity on Africa: “Black is beautiful,” “Black Power,” and things like that. It embolden him to get more involved in the martial arts and learn Asian martial arts, eventually concluding that, “If all people around the world have martial arts, well, Africans must have martial arts, also.” Thus began his research and journey as much and as far as he could. He started asking African students about martial arts at Wayne State University, “Do you know anything about martial arts?” And they’d say no.
As Ahati put it, they were telling the truth, because there wasn’t anything called African martial arts, but the Africans did have their systems of warfare and fighting and wrestling, punching systems and systems of weaponry. Soon he began to discover things like that. So, once he developed the knowledge base of being able to ask in a proper way, he started getting responses. Several continental Africans in the neighbourhood guided him in several directions. One brother from Zulul Natal named Zukele who had a South African restaurant in Detroit called Fech, taught him Zulu stick fighting and martial art.
There was Mr. Kupalui who had an African shop in Detroit who would tell me about different things. And meeting the students and talking to people led me to other ways to do research into African martial arts. In the early ‘70s, he started to go to New York to do research at the Schomburg library. In New York, he researched the African martial arts, and started meeting people. One of the greatest influences was Baba Ishangi, the head of the Ishangi Family Dancers, who Kilindi met in the 70’s and basically followed him for several years. Baba Ishangi came to the forefront in African culture at the Guinea Pavilion at the 1965 World’s Fair in Queens, New York. He introduced Kilindi to other people such as Nana C.K. Ganyo, Dr. Hodari Mqulu, and others who were instrumental in developing his African sensibilities and understand of African arts.
Dr. Hodari Mqulu, an isangoma (healer/diviner) from South Africa who was instrumental in Kilindi Iyi’s training.
First training in Naboot in a America Inc. and later in Egypt where he continued to learn Naboot. He set up his base amongst some West African tribes, to try to understand the arts based in Senegal and Ghana and The Gambia. He also studied Nigerian martial arts under masters such as Baba Adeboye, the son of a paramount chief who learned things from warriors under his father from all the different Yoruba societies. Ahati Kilindi claimed not to stick really to system but sought to blend different systems from Africa and from different people, knowing there oneness. Utilizing the principles layed out buy Bruce Lee, he used what was relevant for him and threw away what wasn’t . They’ve just been dispersed, and there are certain areas that have preserved more than others.
[“I blend the arts of Africa rather than sticking to one particular mode such as the Akan, the Yoruba or Hausa, or the Mende. I blend them all together. I see them as one and that’s my own personal viewpoint as far as the martial arts of Africa.”]
Kilindi later developed the Ta-Merrian Institute, which a lot of people seem willingly to confuse with the name of the practice. Kilindi further explained the meaning behind the name of his school: “It’s not the name of any art or anything like that, there’s no martial art in Africa called Ta-Merrian martial arts. That’s the name of our building, and we gave it that name out of respect to the old empire — Ta-Merri. Ta-Merri actually means “the loving earth” or “that which sustains and protects us.” So the Ta-Merrian Institute or the Ta-Merrian Institute per Ansar; Ansar is “the house of resurrection.” So it’s actually the house of the resurrection of the knowledge of the ancestors.”
Ta-Merrian students training in Ghana during 2001 The institute deals with many different areas of African knowledge, Martial arts being only one of them. Of course seeing that this is an African creative venture, many people have taken the wrong view, with many ignorant trouble makers claiming there’s no such thing as Ta-Merrian martial arts. Ahati Kilindi believes many will eventually view Africa as something that is positive and that has given a positive contribution. Therefore his vision of where African martial arts is going is into the mainstream of the martial arts community, as soon as certain aspects becomes more viable.
People are seeing the same growing pains that the Asian martial arts had in the ‘50s when they were just coming out. He compared the journey of African Martial science to the journey of the Asian martial arts and how to teach it to Westerners. He explained how the curriculum of the martial arts world came out of judo, out of Jigoro Kano’s way of trying to put the thing together. And he used a lot of Western influences inside of doing that, because in martial arts, even when soldiers brought back karate and things like that from Japan and Okinawa after WWII, they didn’t have a way of teaching it either.
That’s why you have the jumping jacks and the pushups and the things like that for conditioning. That’s not how martial artists taught. Your lifestyle gives you strength and exercise. He also likened the struggle of bringing the African Martial Science to the West, in the same vane and with the type of problems Dan Inosanto encountered with the Filipino martial arts. Guru Dan, perhaps Bruce Lee’s most famous student inside the martial arts community had difficulties when he was first bringing out kali.
“When he’d try to promote it, people said, “Oh, he’s taken things from aikido and he’s taken things from this and he’s taken things from that and put it into kali to make it more viable.” And later you find out kali had all these things. It has the outward wrist press and all the type of things you see in other arts. Then he had problems with the Filipinos who were native-born Filipinos on the island because he was born in California. [They believed h]e didn’t really know anything because he didn’t live in the Philippines. He’d never been to the Philippines, and then he couldn’t even go to the Philippines, because if he goes to the Philippines those people there would try to challenge him and cut him up.”
Again according to Kilindi, African martial arts are just coming into that point, where the controversy of who’s legitimate and who’s not legitimate and what styles are real and what styles aren’t real has emerged. All these lineages and who’s this teacher and who’s that teacher and all these things come into play. He further went on to say that the worst part of any art in these times is when it is coming out in a society that no longer experience hand-to-hand combat martial. In the current society we live in, this is just the flavor of what things were in the olden days. And in the olden days, the proof was in the pudding. It wasn’t in the talking or the writing on the Internet. It was in what you can do, and that’s how it still is in Africa.
Just like in the old days of the true warriors Kilindi explains that “if I go to Africa and I say I’m a stick fighter, and they say, “Well, okay, get you a stick and let’s see. And when you stick fight with them, they say, ‘Okay, show us what you know and we’ll show you what we know’ It’s not a thing where you say,’ I’m a stick fighter,’ and they say, ‘Sit down and let’s have some coffee.’ We’re talking about street fighting. And you say you’re a wrestler or you say you’re a fighter. ‘All right, come on out and show us what you got.’ And if they like it, they say ‘Fine,’ and if they don’t like it they say, ‘Well, you ain’t that good.’ They don’t play and mince words and do this whole armchair warrior type of thing”.