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Our terminology and names


Born and raised in America, without thinking about it or even realizing it, we have been speaking a European language all our lives. It seems natural because that is all we have known. Many grew up with the word Negro, describing a whole cultural group of people. The name of a people should be attached to a land and culture. We know that the Irish came from Ireland. The Australians came from Australia. Jamaicans came from Jamaica. These are common assumptions. There has yet to be discovered a Negroland. ‘Negro’ means black in Spanish and Portuguese, the first European explorers. This was their way of describing and degrading Afrikans.

In anthropology, the study of cultures, there are basically three human categories: Negroid, Mongoloid, and Caucasoid. Once scholars of Afrikan descent became conscious of the importance of terminology, it was concluded that people of Afrikan descent must define themselves. A people who conquers another will never empower them with names or terms that allow them to maintain their history and culture, which ultimately could result in a turning of the tables. Most conscious scholars no longer use a term like Negroid, but have changed it to Africoid; a term of substance, land and culture.

Probably the most socialized and conditioned aspect of Afrikan world peoples is the consistent use of European names, whether they are English, French, Spanish, Portuguese or German. It is so common that it has gone beyond the strata of beingbrainwashed. Remember the story of a slave being forced to enter the back door of public buildings for so long that after awhile, they were no longer forced. They would voluntarily walk into the back door. The same thing has happened with our names and the naming of our children.

Afrikan people were brought to America with their own names, which were tied to a proud history and culture. Living on plantations, slave masters gave his property (slaves were not considered human) new names to take them completely away from their culture, and assimilate them into a slave way of life. It also identified them to specific plantations.

The behavior of Afrikan people maintaining this slave tradition is so deeply imbedded in the psyche of people of Afrikan descent, we voluntarily, for generations, give our children European names,a practice started on plantations by slave owners; the beginning of cultural cerebraldamage. What is truly amazing, we are proud of these names and will defend them at all cost, representing one of the psychological victories of slavery.

Questions are always asked as to why Afrika is spelled with a ‘k’ instead of a ‘c’, as it is generally spelled in the West. Just for clarification, Afrika is a Greek name. Greeks and Romans used it in their map making and their literature, which became standard in the western world.

Originally, according to Dr. Yosefben-Jochannan (Dr. Ben), Kemetologist (Egyptologist), “Among the many names Alkebu-lan [‘mother of mankind’ or ‘garden of eden’] was called are the following: ‘Ethiopia, Corphye, Ortegia, Libya and Africa – the latest of all. Alkebulan is the oldest and the only one of indigenous origin.’” (Black Man of the Nile and His Family)
Afrika is spelled with a k because that is the way it is spelled in most indigenous Afrikan languages. For instance, Yoruba, one of the most spoken Afrikan languages in the world, does not even have a c in its alphabet.

When the British colonized parts of Afrika, they brought their linguistic habits with them, thus, spelling Afrika with a c. Since English is a colonial language, it is preferred spelling Afrika the way it is spelled on most of the continent, not following the European colonial tradition, although Germans spell Afrika with a k.

Unfortunately, there are many cultural habits we have embraced and maintain in our daily lives that have absolutely no relevance to our original and natural culture or collective personality. Some feel we are too far gone to consider other than what we have been trained all our lives. If it is important to know who you are and recover those things that are helpful for our identity today, it is only too late when you are six feet under.

– Dr. Kwaku’s Saturday morning youth class begins this Saturday, from 10 a.m. – noon, at 4343 Leimert Blvd.(Kaos Studios). Registration begins at 9 a.m. Limited seating.
See for details.