Africa still exists – Junius Williams reminds blacks

Africans in the Diaspora have been challenged to wake up to Africa, because the Mother continent still exists and there is no reason to lose contact with it. This assertion was made by Junius Williams Esq. Thursday February 6, at the month-long Newark Public Library Black History Month Celebrations, themed “Africa, Oh Africa”. This year’s celebration is dedicated to Nelson Mandela.
Speaking on “What happened to Mother Africa? Reclaiming Our African Roots” Junius Williams who was the keynote speaker for the evening’s event pointed out that amidst the multiculturalism of the U.S., the African Diaspora is the only group that has not been able to clearly and consistently re-define themselves as Africans.  How do we cut ourselves from the birthplace of the world’s civilization? he rhetorically asked. He remarked that many are those that are stigmatized at any reference to their African roots.  The phrase “I ain’t no African” is reflective among several black people, but “you are an African living in America” he emphasized. He said slavery not only took away the values, language, and culture of blacks in the Diaspora, it also took the best and strongest out of Africa.
Mr. Williams, who is a noted attorney, musician and educator, observed that black people everywhere are spiritually connected to Africa. In the U.S. for example, the blues, jazz, gospel, freedom songs, amongst others, were means to sacredly preserve the African Cultural Heritage.  At this point, the multi-talented Junius Williams belted out some freedom songs to the excitement of the crowd. He opined that the African experience has always been resistance to and against injustices in society. He urged Africans elsewhere to learn about themselves in order to be proud of their African roots and heritage.
Answering questions on the current situation in Africa, Junius Williams Esq. said that any look at Africa’s dire situation, must be done through the eyes of colonialism. He lamented that the institutions set up by the colonial masters, most of which still exist were not in the interest of Africans. Mr. Williams’ who is the Director of the Abbot Leadership Institute (ALI), Department of Urban Education, Rutgers Newark read from and later signed his new book “Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power” while the Seventh Principle Dance and Drum Ensemble performed.

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Posted by on Mar 2 2014. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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