Author Archives: Samantha Tesner

The anti-racist philosophy of Malcolm X

Re-blogged from


In burning through the old forests of assimilationist ideas, Malcolm X paved the way for antiracist ideas. He paved the way for Black is beautiful then, and Black lives matter today, for being conscious then, for being woke today. He paved the antiracist way, extending the trail blazed by Zora Neale Hurston, Marcus Garvey, and other scorchers of assimilationist ideas.

Malcolm X is regularly positioned as the separatist or Black nationalist counterpoint to Black integrationists, or the self-defensive counterpoint to non-violence, or the radical counterpoint to liberals. But how often is Malcolm’s positioned as the antiracist counterpoint to Black assimilationists? How often do we put Malcolm’s antiracist philosophy on the walls of his legacy?

It is this legacy that should position him as one of the greatest exposers and challengers of assimilationist ideas in America history. Malcolm boldly challenged those assimilationist ideas in American minds that standardized White people, their bodies, their cultures, their philosophies—ideas that compelled Black assimilationists to strive to be like White people.

“Now you’re not satisfied unless you can talk like white folks, unless you can walk like white folks, unless you eat and sleep like white folks. You are a White-Black man. White on the inside and Black on the outside. You’re not this and you’re not that. And don’t nobody want you because you don’t want yourself,” Malcolm thundered in quite possibly his clearest attack on assimilationist ideas.

They won’t let you be White and you don’t want to be Black. You don’t want to be African and you can’t be an American. So you run around here like a nut on a log, sitting on the fence. You in bad shape.”

It was these assimilationist ideas in Black folk that Malcolm seemed to most despise, that he seemed to spend most of his time challenging, even in himself. In one of the more moving passages in his autobiography, he shares when his friend Shorty gave him his first conk (short for the hair straitening recipe known as congolene) in 1941 or 1942.

“We both were grinning and sweating,” Malcolm remembered. “And on top of my head was this thick, smooth sheen of shining red hair—real red—as straight as any white man’s.” Malcolm stood there, looking in the mirror, “lost in admiration of my hair now looking ‘white.’” He “vowed that I’d never again be without a conk, and I never was for many years.”

To be clear, assimilationist ideas were at play when and if Black men conked their hair to look like White men, even as those same conks signified “a culture of opposition among black, mostly male, youth” in the 1940s, as historian Robin D. G. Kelley essayed in “Riddle of the Zoot Suit.”

Malcolm X, at age 15, sporting a conk and a zoot suit.
Sidestepping the resistance of the conk, Malcolm was utterly harsh on his first conk, as he was utterly harsh on his own assimilationist ideas. He described it as my “first really big step toward self-degradation: when I endured all of that pain, literally burning my flesh to have it look like a white man’s hair. I had joined that multitude of Negro men and women in America who are brainwashed into believing that the black people are ‘inferior’—and white people ‘superior’—that they will even violate and mutilate their God-created bodies to try to look ‘pretty’ by white standards.”

Malcolm had joined the multitude of Black people who had consumed assimilationist ideas. But by the end of his life, he had profoundly urged the multitude of Black people to rid themselves of their assimilationist ideas.

If Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered for his

Reading full article on Author’so site at

The Bigot’z View of Black Livez Matter

Re-blogged from

Author:  Moorbey

Black Lives Matter is comprised of a group of people who are tired of Black people being brutalized and killed by police. They organize to protest this treatment by exercising their first amendment right; freedom of assembly. Anyone who has a problem with that is mentally twisted.

The name “Black Lives Matter,” does not exclude or detract from other lives, it simply refers to the Black people who are the victims of police killings. Common sense says that all lives matter, people of every race, but Black ones in particular are being targeted by police. Anyone who cannot deduce this logic is intellectually slow-witted.

Anytime someone – mainly of the white persuasion – interprets Black Lives Matter and their purpose as negative, threatening, or menacing, they are basically allowing their racism to shine through. In all honesty, they cannot understand why Black people will not simply stand there and take the abuse without complaining about it.

They use terms such as “noncompliant,” “rebellious,” or even “anti-American,” because Blacks have the audacity to speak out when they are innocently shot down in the streets, beaten by a cop, or arrested for no reason. They believe that all Blacks are guilty to some extent and deserve whatever sentences the police dolls out. Well kiss all our Black asses.

No one in their right mind is going to stand by for long and take the type of brutal treatment of their own people at the hands of deranged and psychopathological ingrates. All men have the God-given right to speak up about brutality and by the nature of human behavior, will do so every time. Anyone who disagrees with that is apparently not human.

White folks today are showing the same indifference… Read full post on author’s website

Blank Eyes: Lifting The Veil Off White Guilt


Re-blogged from APEIRON

Author: Danielle Alheit

“… the refusal of accountability.

I wanted to apologize, I did. But I am living on stolen land.
I wanted to apologize, I did. But no reparations have been paid.
I wanted to apologize but I imagined that all of my ancestors were standing behind me. Still, like the statues of Rhodes and Van Riebeeck, without remorse.
Whites, we live in a state of delusion. The delusions of individualism – that we do not belong to a collective, that we are not a people, we represent ourselves only, we are a-contextual beings. The delusions of capitalism – that it’s not an ill-disguised racial hierarchy and poverty is to be blamed on the poor and so the well-off, by virtue of being well-off, are deserving of being well-off. I think that, when we are faced with reality, when we are presented with the edge of our psychosis, we become hysterical.

Delusions of capitalism – the well-off, by virtue of being well-off, are deserving of being well-off.

White guilt is a kind of hysteria, isn’t it? It is not about self-reflection. It is the refusal of accountability. It is a frantic denial. It’s like an “Out, damn’d spot! Out, I say!” kind of hysteria.
It is not productive – we are not actually trying to be productive.
We are not trying to relinquish our privilege. But, perhaps there is some forgotten corner of our collective unconscious that cannot un-see the blood on our hands. And so, we make donations to charity, we go green, we…”read full post on authors website –Apeirononline


Re-blogged from APEIRON

Author: Zoya Pon

“…Poverty is the poor’s fault, and it is their responsibility.


– 5 points if you’ve ever said either

Black-led movements rely on the power and decibels that privilege puts behind words.

Poverty is a global issue, it is not just the individual/group’s issue. This is because poverty does not just affect the poor, it affects you and I. And I don’t mean that feeling of guilt or sadness that sometimes creeps through the cracks in your car window when you see a barely clothed homeless person in rain and tell him ‘no, you don’t have any change’. I mean (h) the effects of poverty ripple, and have repercussions.

A simple example is economically. The less people participating in the economy, the more those who earn an income have to pay to make up for the lack of taxpayers compared to the population. Low levels of employment mean a weak economy. Basic economics: the less spending, the less money coming in. This affects everything from infrastructure to government provided health services and service delivery.

-10 marks if you thought #FeesMustFall is only for the poor/if you think poverty is not your problem.

How do you solve unemployment? You educate. Because low levels of education equals low employment rates. But what happens when the already economically disadvantaged are forced to not only fight against the preset obstacles of poverty by working for less than R12 an hour, to put their kids through school (and um, survive) but now also have to ensure their kids can compete in an already struggling job market?

Well, fuck, they have to go to university, to be qualified for the jobs that white people love to (i) highlight how unqualified black people are to have.

-5 points if you’ve ever assumed a black person in a high position is not qualified enough to hold it

Guess what though…read full article on author’s site


Blank Eyes: Lifting The Veil Off White Guilt


“We’ve met many times before actually…Do you just not see black guys?”
“What???” I said and he had to repeat it over and over again. Maybe I didn’t want to hear him. But I kept hearing “Do you just see with Blank Eyes?”. I kept hearing both questions at the same time and I couldn’t figure out which one was real and which one was in my head. I had to turn to my friend for clarity. “Black guys” she said. And he continued, “Maybe guys like us don’t exist to you, maybe….”

And I thought, those two questions, they’re synonymous. My people must have blank eyes. Like, mass murderer blank, like sociopath blank. We have to have blank eyes to just not see someone’s existence, right?

I opened my mouth to explain myself, to apologize, to try and lighten the moment, anything – “no, no, I’m so terrible with…

View original post 511 more words

History of European Adventures in Africa is not African History


AUTHOR:  Tatenda Gwaambuka


lum1465385256049_aspR_1.700_w850_h500_e400Africa will write its own history, and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a history of glory and dignity” – Patrice Lumumba.
“History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington or the United Nations will teach, but that which they will teach in the countries emancipated from colonialism and its puppets. Africa will write its own history, and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a history of glory and dignity,” read the instructive words left by Patrice Lumumba for his wife, Pauline. It would be foolish to think such moving words were meant to simply remain a love-letter from a man about to meet his demise; these were a revelation for the greater continent. The major lesson to draw from Lumumba’s letter is that the history propagated by the West is not always accurate and yet it is written even now through propagandist Western news agencies. One Professor Wosene Yefru (University of Tennessee) conclusively said, “It’s not really our history from our point of view. It might be African history from a European point of view.”

The thousands of books written on African history by Europeans are increasingly becoming hard to accept as the accurate sources of African history. Generally, the philosophy behind the authoring of African history was articulated by a rather blunt Hugh Trevor-Roper, a British historian who said, “Perhaps in the future there will be some African history to teach. But at present there is none; only the history of Europeans in Africa. The rest is darkness…and darkness is not the subject of history.”

Such arrogance and absolute disregard for everything Africa was before the imperialist disturbance is what still dictates the formulation of history even now. The only thing that may have changed….Read full article

on Author’s site

PEARL BUCK on Black America

Re-blogged from one of the most informative blogs on the web:


Pearl Buck, a member of the NAACP who won a Nobel Prize for “The Good Earth” (1931), wrote an “Open Letter to the Colored People of America”, which appeared in Black newspapers across the US in early March 1942. Three months later she gave a commencement speech at Howard University. This was just months after Japan attacked the US at Pearl Harbour, bringing it into the Second World War.

She believed the war propaganda that the US was fighting for freedom and democracy.But she also understood that for Blacks, the US was hardly a democracy:

“Faulty as our democracy is, the United States must be the leader in this war for the right of peoples to be free – there is no other leader to whom we can look.”

She divided US Whites into three groups, listed here from smallest to largest:

  1. Those who have no racial prejudice and are on the side of Blacks in their fight for freedom and equality.
  2. Those who have strong racial prejudice and are against Blacks.
  3. Those in the middle. They suspect racial prejudice may be wrong, but do not know what to do about it.

Most Whites are in the middle. If Hitler and Japan win, the first group will be shot and the second one will be put in charge.

She sees Blacks as a nation within a nation, a subject people. They have suffered for hundreds of years. That has led some to be bitter, but has made most wiser and more mature in spirit than Whites. Because of their position in the democracy, Blacks have become its moral conscience. But they are weak. All their great leaders are in the past. She fears Blacks will withdraw behind the walls Whites have set up – instead of breaking them down and taking part in the US and the world as a whole.

Blacks need to break down those walls now more than ever: not just because it is the right thing to do, not just because it would make life better for them in the long run, but because it would be better for everyone, of all races, both in the US and across the world…Read full article on abagond


10 Arguments That Prove the Ancient Egyptians were Black

Re-blogged from Atlanta Black Star

“…Since some people continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence that indicates ancient Egypt was built, ruled, and populated by dark-skinned African people, Atlanta Blackstar will highlight 10 of the ways Diop proved the ancient Egyptians were Black.

Physical Anthropology Evidence
Based on his review of scientific literature, Diop concluded that most of the skeletons and skulls of the ancient Egyptians clearly indicate they were Negroid people with features very similar to those of modern Black Nubians and other people of the Upper Nile and East Africa. He called attention to studies that included examinations of skulls from the predynastic period (6000 B.C.) that showed a greater percentage of Black characteristics than any other type.
From this information, Diop reasoned that a Black race existed in Egypt at that time and did not migrate at a later stage as some previous theories had suggested.

Melanin Dosage Test
Diop invented a method for determining the level of melanin in the skin of human beings. Melanin is the chemical responsible for skin pigmentation and it is preserved for millions of years in the skins of fossil animals.
Diop conducted the melanin test on Egyptian mummies at the Museum of Man in Paris, and determined the levels found in the dermis and epidermis of a small sample would classify all ancient Egyptians as “unquestionably among the Black races.”

Osteological Evidence
According to Diop, osteological measurements (analysis of bones) are perhaps the least misleading of the criteria accepted in physical anthropology for classifying the races of men. A first study of this kind was completed by a German archeologist Karl Richard Lepsius at the end of the 19th century. The Lepsius canon, which distinguishes the bodily proportions of various racial groups, categories the “ideal Egyptian” as “short-armed and of Negroid or Negrito physical type.”

Evidence From Blood Types
Diop found that even after hundreds of years of intermixing with foreign invaders, the blood type of modern Egyptians is the “same group B as the populations of Western Africa on the Atlantic seaboard and not the A2 group characteristic of the white race prior to any crossbreeding.”

The Egyptians as …

Are “Open Carry” Laws Meant to Protect Whites Only?

It’s amazing how the NRA and its many ideological brethren clamor for “guns everywhere for everyone” until the person exercising his alleged “second amendment right” is not an Anglo American (i.e. white). Police officers quite regularly invoke the fear of Black men with guns to justify shooting unarmed Black men to death, even in places that have been declared “open carry” zones. The truth about “open carry” advocates is that for the most part they want open carry gun rights for whites only, mainly for the policing of Black bodies.

Re-blogged from

Again, this is how black people LEGALLY carrying guns are viewed, versus white people with guns. John Crawford was killed for it, and Clarence Daniels was tackled for it.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has asked vigilantes to please be careful about which gun owners they choose to attack after a black concealed carry permit holder was wrongly assaulted at a Florida Walmart.

According to the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office, 62-year-old Clarence Daniels was entering Walmart with his legally concealed firearm to buy coffee creamer on Tuesday when he was spotted by 43-year-old vigilante Michael Foster. Foster, who is white, had observed Daniels conceal the weapon under his coat before he came into the store. When Daniels crossed the threshold, Foster tackled him and placed him in a chokehold, Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Larry McKinnon explained.

“He’s got a gun!” Foster reportedly exclaimed. “I have a permit!” Daniels repeatedly … Read more

“Making Black History Month Relevant Part II”; written by Agyei Tyehimba

Re-blogged from an article written by Agyei Tyehimba from his blog  mytruesense

black history matters

“As Black History Month approaches,we face the typical avalanche of Black firsts, Black trivia facts, and a roll-call of all-too-familiar heroes and sheroes. Based on where you are in knowledge of self, these things have their place. I already wrote one article on the topic of using Black History Month (and all other months) much more fully than we currently do. This article constitutes the second part to that article.

As suggested in my first article, I hope BHM becomes a time when we do more analysis of our condition and focus on learning and applying those lessons on the ground rather than in strictly theoretical ways. Imagine with me how beneficial it would be if BHM involved:

1. re-examining our understanding of key people like Malcolm X, Dr. King and others whose work and significance are routinely oversimplified and misinterpreted.

2. Discussing the concept of self-determination for Black people and how to implement this concept responsibly. Far too many people (including those of color) STILL insist on telling us what issues to address, how to address them, and how to be more inclusive, without doing that same work in their own communities.

3. Exploring historical attempts to protect Black life (beyond proclamations that our lives matter) from state-sponsored AND self-inflicted brutality.

4. Developing our people’s capacity to identify and prioritize issues, articulate them effectively, and engage in effective activism, organizing and INSTITUTION–BUILDING (the work of SNCC and Ella Baker are good models). This would include offering valid critiques of traditional organization and activism models and possibly creating alternatives or modifications to already existing models.

5. Studying government efforts to disrupt, spy on and destroy our organizations/movements and developing ways to neutralize these efforts

6. Finding ways to involve class and gender along with racial analysis in ways that make our political ideology/organizing more accurate, effective, and inclusive.

7. Determining how, when, and with whom to form alliances and to do so in ways that don’t compromise or dismiss our own needs/interests as we strive to accommodate others.

8. Identifying and studying unsung and obscured Black people, plans, experiences and organizations that might offer direction and remedies to problems we face today

9. Exploring ways to develop non-exploiting financial literacy and wealth-generating institutions to empower our communities to be more self-sufficient

10. Creating curricula in conjunction with a network of schools and extracurricular programs that make our children culturally, academically, financially, politically and spiritually literate and competent

11. Deconstructing and expanding our view of “activism” in addition to our understanding of who our “enemies” are. While others dominate and exploit us in every way imaginable, some of us hold on to outdated and rigid ideas of what “real activism” is. Technology and emerging issues and new forms of domination require expanded and more diverse views of organizing and activism. We also cannot afford to see our enemies as simply “the white man,” as corporate power and repressive policies/actions transcend simplified notions of racial affiliation. Nor can we fool ourselves into thinking that activism only consists of the “boots-on-the-ground” variety.

In addition, our concept of booking speakers must radically change. Churches, community centers and colleges have meager funds in these days of austerity. In light of this, speakers must make their fees more reasonable. Groups should not exhaust all or the majority of their budget to hire one speaker.

Not just the fee, but the content of speeches must change as well. Students, activists and members of the larger community need specific information and skills more than ever. The old Black History Month speech template included references to our ancient greatness, calls for Black unity and activism, bold statements against the U.S. government, references to great ( and often male) Black leaders, and a focus on attacking white society while inspiring Black folks.

This template and formula are not sufficient today. Today’s speakers must help audiences understand how oppression works, provide specific tools/information in a relevant area of expertise, and provide materials we can reference once they depart for their next speech. Speakers should consult with the group hiring them to determine their specific needs, so they can provide relevant and useful information rather than generic, one-size-fits-all presentations. We must move forward, refine, and progress as a people, constantly working on improving and becoming more effective.


Agyei Tyehimba is an educator, activist and author from Harlem, N.Y. Agyei is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. In April of 2014, he released Truth for our Youth: A Self-Empowerment Book for Teens. Agyei has appeared on C-Span, NY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, “The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.”

Agyei earned his Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from Syracuse University, his Master’s Degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and his Master’s Degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at

mytruesense | January 29, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Tags: Agyei Tyehimba, Blac