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African Holocaust | African Race | The appreciation or relevance of Africaness is located in the face of a multi-racial world and the primary function of defining African identity is first and foremost an exercise in political self-interest and African agency. The power of definition must remain with the majority and today African is a term used to super-umbrella all the indigenous ethnicities of the African continent and their modern-day descendents in the Diaspora

 

     
     

     

 
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AFRICAN HOLOCAUST ARTICLES

Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter

African Proverb

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will

– Frederick Douglass

The most pathetic thing is for a slave who doesn't know that he is a slave

– Malcolm X

Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.

– Ancient Egypt

Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right.

– Dr. Martin L. King, Jr

What kind of world do we live in when the views of the oppressed are expressed at the convenience of their oppressors?

– Owen 'Alik Shahadah

We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us.

– Chester Higgins Jr.

Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.

– Harriet Tubman

If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.

African Proverb

If we do not stop oppression when it is a seed, it will be very hard to stop when it is a tree.

– ' Alik Shahadah

If the future doesn't come toward you, you have to go fetch it

Zulu Proverb

 

MUSIC AND DISCONNECTED SPIRITUALITY

Social value of Music

Anna Marano
Owen 'Alik Shahadah Edited by Eshe Asale
 

   
Many words do not fill a basket
 
Yoruba proverb


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Music is like a blank canvas which can equally reflect morality or immorality, love or pain. The problem with music is that it only reflects the state; spiritual or otherwise of the person performing it. To say that music is a culture is inaccurate as music is more a manifestation of culture and spirituality, thus music doesn't create spirituality and culture but moreover reinforces it because it is being expressed by the devote.

Music's only source of the instruction comes from the religious/cultural realm and thus is a tool which allows transmission of spirituality and not spirituality itself. And as with religion and most things, to appreciate it means to immerse oneself in it. The act of praying or the act of making music is an act to gain spirituality not an act of spirituality. Hence the person in the Mosque or the church is there solely for the purpose of engaging spirituality.

 

   
We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us
 
Chester Higgins, Jr.

Music in itself has no moral core and thus relies only on the musician engaging the art to impose a moral core which is informed from ones religion or culture. Music can engage large audiences and seem to unify people but key to this is the musician being first spiritually grounded and then purely transmitting their spirituality/culture through the musical medium to the audience.

In today's society music becomes the master, and is being used to service all forms of deviation from traditional culture. The illusion of music “connecting people” interestingly leaves no moral upliftment on the society because the quality within the music is not informed from a religious/cultural space but moreover an economic and pleasurable one. It is this pleasure which is gained from music that becomes the dominate driver for its creation. An analogy can be made to sexual intercourse, where the act between a man and woman is pleasurable to encourage the propagation of the species, and higher social relations between the participants, yet the purpose is sometimes sabotaged and all forms of deviancy employed which obtain the pleasure but pervert the intention behind the act--This is music today.

When we look at music in any ancient society, especially in the African sense, music always served a purpose. Music was never for the sake of entertainment or pointless pleasure. Music and all African arts served a social/religious role in the progression of human life. There were songs to celebrate birth, marriage and songs of mourning, songs of political unrest and songs of deliverance. The role of music within western society is more destructive as it has lost its role within human culture and in more cases acting as a surrogate for God. It is no wonder that when we look at the Islamic view and the pure Christian view of music it is treated at best with disdain. And over and over again the spiritual component is reiterated over the manifestation of spirituality. Thus in the Islamic tradition music is strictly governed so that the manifestation is not made to pollute the act of worship. Within popular Christian religious however we see a growing culture of pop-gospel more and more drifting from any form of spirituality and being carbon copies of the latest Britney Spears track, saved with the odd insertion of the name “JESUS.” People are rallied to this but the pleasure factor and worship becomes twisted and pleasure usurps the religious intention of the art.

In conclusion we must recognize the role of music within our cultural reality and observe it as a tool which reinforces our spiritual and cultural beliefs. Outside of this, music is a useless tool that is nothing more than a product; perverted and empty. The most beautiful period in African-American history was in the 60's when social and spiritual awareness blossomed into the music creating some of the greatest hits such artists like the Isley brothers, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder and even contemporary work by heavy metal group Living Color. These artists found their peak because they were engaging the traditional role of music, and thus first engaging the social dilemma and then expressing it via the music module. And it is this we need to reclaim.

 

 
   
You can not measure an African success with a European ruler
 
Owen ' Alik Shahadah

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