This was presented to Sen. Lorraine Berry for the Emancipation Forum hosted at the V.I. Legislature on July 2, on St. Croix.
July 22, 2005 – This statement is prepared on behalf of Per Ankh Inc. to share the concerns of our organization regarding Emancipation Day 2005. This statement is prepared to contribute some thought-provoking concerns of the present political, economic, social, and intellectual status of the people of the Virgin Islands.
To get straight to the point, I would simply say the following of our glorified ancestors: If our gallant leaders General Buddhoe and Admiral King were alive today they would be doing what our present gallant and revered leaders like Dr. Yosef Ben Jochanan, the late ancestor Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Baaba Heru Ankh Ra Semahj se Ptah, Dr. Marimba Ani, Dr. Francis Cress Welsing, Queen Afua and many others are presently doing: that is, educating Afrakans to liberate their minds and continue the struggle of liberation and the restoration of the Great Afrakan Rayce family and Nation. Please note the following statement by the Honorable Dr. John Henrik Clarke in his 1988 presentation entitled African Resistance & Colonial Domination: The Africans in the Americas:
"Throughout the Americas they had major revolts in the first half of the 19th century and the African people were not liberated nor given any freedom. The British emancipation of the West Indies was a fake and the emancipation of the Africans in the United States was also a fake, so there is no point in saying that the slaves outside of the United States were emancipated 35 years before those in the United States because none of them were really emancipated and they are still to some extent slaves. By emancipation, slavery was transformed, not eliminated.
"I am saying there is still something we have to fight against. Our brothers and sisters in South America and in the Caribbean and in the United States stood up against the slave system in this hemisphere while our African brothers and sisters were fighting a hundred year war against colonialism. The calibre of the men, the calibre of their courage and the calibre of their character stands well in the history of the world and in the history of struggle of any people at any time in history. If we have to change tomorrow, we are going to have to look back in order to look forward. We will have to look back with some courage, warm our hands on the revolutionary fires of those who came before us, and understand that we have within ourselves, nationally and internationally, the ability to regain what we have lost and to build a new humanity for ourselves, first and foremost, and for the whole world ultimately. To do this we must extend the concept of Pan-Africanism beyond its original base to a concept of a world union of all African people, the African in Africa, the African in the Caribbean, the African in South America, the African in the Pacific Islands and, especially the African throughout the world who has yet to realize that he is African too."
How can we be celebrating emancipation in the Virgin Islands when in fact the Virgin Islands is not emancipated or liberated land, territories or an independent sovereign nation of the Virgin Islands? How can we celebrate emancipation when, in fact, these islands and their inhabitants were bought by the government of the United States of America in 1917 for $25,000,000 U.S. dollars in gold from the kingdom of Denmark? The celebrating of Transfer Day every March 31, here in this unincorporated territory, is just the celebration of the passing of a great colonial plantation from one colonial power to the next with economic and political benefits going to the colonial powers, but none to the ascendants of the enslaved Afrakans. When are we going to celebrate the birth of the sovereign nation of the Virgin Islands of Afrakans?
How can we celebrate emancipation when we have not designed, engineered, crafted or written the civil and spiritual codes and systems of principles by which we can govern ourselves and determine our own destiny as a self-governing country and nation? Today the people of the Virgin Islands still do not have their own constitution or a vision and comprehensive plan for becoming a nation. Today the people of the Virgin Islands are mentally, socially, and economically enslaved to the new colonial master of the United States of America. We must remember that the United States was an institution built on the foundation of slavery and colonialism and the practice of genocide of non-Europeans. When the US. Constitution was written; Afrakans were still considered 3/5 humans. Today, if the people of the Virgin Islands desire to write a constitution or to determine their status, they believe that it has to be done with the blessings and the approval of the United States Congress and the president of the U.S. Today the law of the governing political instrument by which the territory is governed was written and re-written by the U.S. Congress. The United States is the master and owner of the Virgin Islands house.
How can the people of the Virgin Islands say we are emancipated when the social values, and the modern pseudo-culture, education and spirituality are based on the American/European/Judeo/Semitic world view that have misrepresented the truth and miss-educated Afrakans regarding our ancestral & ancient legacy for millenniums?
How can the people of the Virgin Islands say we are emancipated when they allow an international heavy industrial entity such as HOVENSA to pay just $.02 cents a barrel for oil production (since the 1960's) when a barrel of oil is selling for more or less $55.00 a barrel? How can we be emancipated when the U.S. government will not return our gasoline excise taxes that amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars per year?
How can the people of the Virgin Islands say that we are emancipated when we do not look back to our ancestral greatness (Sankofa) to find who we are and where we were so that we can know who we are and where we are so that we can know where we are going and how we are going to get there?
Here is reminder to our people who are more knowledgeable about the teachings of the Bible than their own past story. "The Bible story says that the children of Israel did not stay as honored guest or unwanted guests in the house of their slave masters of Egypt. No, they left to return to their Promised Land, even if they had to die trying to cross the desert." Yet, after the declaration of the emancipation of enslaved Afrakans, enslaved Afrakan ancestors did not return home to Afraka but to the plantations of their masters, which was a new, subtle and transformed form of enslavement. This transformed slavery is the mental slavery we are presently experiencing. If General Buddhoe and Admiral King were here today, this is the slavery they would be fighting against. They would be fighting to help us emancipate our minds, grow our own food, be more self-sufficient and build and reclaim our own homes, lands, estates, and nations.
I close by saying the words of an illustrious native son of our blessed Virgin IslandsDr. Yosef Ben Jochanan: "The time has come to return home, if not physically, then mentally. In another man's best house, I'm homeless; but in my worst home, I'm the sole owner." (Wisdom of the Craft of Amun Ra). If you plant slave mentalities you will reap slave mentalities; if you plant emancipated mentalities you will reap emancipated mentalities. There is an old Afrakan Crucian proverb that says: "Wen' enslaved Afrakans stole, dey stole to put food on de table for family. But, wen bookra (European slave-masters) tief' dey tief whole plantation."
Thanks and praises to The I Am That I Am and our Blessed Ancestors. A life of respectful thanks to those who keep the torches of Mental Emancipation lit with the hope of a better sunrise tomorrow. Hotep and Life, Health and Strength to all during this so-called Emanc
ipation and Independence weekend.
Editor's note: Neb KaRa, aka C. Christopher, is the executive director of Per Ankh (House of Life) Inc. a nonprofit and nongovernmental educational and spiritual fellowship organization committed to natural community development, sustainable agribusiness & agriculture, social welfare, holistic health awareness and preventative health care that is grounded in nature-centered living arts and sciences that support life, inspiration, freedom and education (LIFE). Neb KaRa has more than 30 years of academic training and professional experience in construction and project management, engineering and civil arts sciences, real estate and community development, martial arts and yoga, interdisciplinary arts and sciences that support natural wellness and physical health education initiatives, organic agricultural development and sacred living arts, and sciences that support heuristics while strengthening the body, mind, spirit, consciousness and soul.
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