FEATURE ESSAY

 

THE 21ST CENTURY AFRICAN RENAISSANCE

 

Paul L. Hamilton, 1993

 

 

 

“...A renaissance is not a new idea. Many leaders have urged a renewal for African people; therefore, I do not claim originality.

 

Our renaissance will be a rebirth - a renewal of energy, enthusiasm for life, leadership, and multidisciplinary achievements. This 21st Century African Renaissance will be anchored in a rediscovery of the universality of African people and their significant contributions to world cultures and civilizations throughout time.

 

In addition to building a positive self-knowledge, which generates an African-centred world view, this renaissance must be grounded in skills – skills that will enable African people to effectively master state-of-the-art technology in information and communications and master the multi-culture world of interdependence. Critical thing, mathematics, science, the arts, and problem-solving skills are essentials, not luxuries. Excellence must be the hallmark of all Africans, from the youth to the elders.

 

There is nothing inferior in African peoples’ inherent abilities. It is our socialization, education, and the environment that have been misprogrammed (mis-educated) toward failure and being dominated. With effective re-education based on a powerful vision of who we are and can be, Africans will be the renaissance people of the 21st Century.

 

Powerful visions cannot be built on an analysis of the negativity of present reality, or on the negative thoughts of influential people and institutions. Both are blinded by their limited paradigms and therefore cannot see the possibilities of our vision. Vision must be created out of what we want and need for ourselves.

 

Our new vision must raise us above current, negative thoughts and actions and over the barriers. We know from the Bible tradition, “When there is no vision, the people perish.”

 

 

 

This then is my vision for us:

 

 I see African people in the 21st Century as the leading force (as we once were) in a new world culture, which blends socioeconomic responsibilities, spiritual values, technology, and service. The African Renaissance will enable all people to live with respect and enjoy the fruition of the human potential for good. African people will have reclaimed and embodied their rightful place in world culture and history. We will be sought as foremost leaders, scholars and thinkers in the most important academic technical and social fields.

 

My prediction of a world-wide African Renaissance is not based on the 1980’s and 1990’s tragedies of drugs, gangs, low academic achievement, and low income. Nor in America is it based on the disappearance of the African-American male. Instead it is based on visions and possibilities inherent in a long powerful African history of survival against all odds. This history has taught us to thrive when opportunity is present and to be a major contributor in world civilizations...

 

 

 

African-centred Movement: Goals and Direction

 

One of the prerequisites for the new African Renaissance is for African people to tell their own stories from their own points of view. Although today’s African-centred movement has had many ancestors laying the groundwork, it remains in its infancy. A powerful start has been made in the complicated process of self-renewal.

 

The African-centred movement advocates that African people reclaim their lost classical history and culture and redefine who we are and who we will be. The entire Nile Valley, with emphasis on Kemet (Egypt)-the first nation and the longest continuous culture, and its descendants- is viewed as the beginning of a complete study of self and all humanity. The African-centred movement is not racist. It seeks the truth about all people and their relationship with African people.

 

African people must know their unique pace in today’s world. Self-renewal will be the basis for rebuilding African spiritual, philosophical, socio-economical, and educational institutions.

 

The African-centred movement demands that the traditional Eurocentric view of world history be re-examined and updated. World history must be more accurately portrayed and must include African peoples’ contributions and struggles.

 

 

 

Interdisciplinary Approach

 

Unlike traditional academic disciplines the African-centred movement often uses an interdisciplinary approach. Combining the findings of different branches of science (genetics, biology, physics, chemistry, and astronomy), with the traditional explorers of ancient civilizations (anthropologists, Egyptologists, and other social scientists), we can give the African-centred movement new views and conclusions. This has brought much criticism from traditionalist, both Black and White. They often want to guard their old cherished assumptions and methodologies, which are sometimes tainted by White Supremacy and Eurocentric thinking. Sometimes they are just limited in their paradigms of the possibilities of African people.’’

 

Hamilton, L. Paul, African Peoples’ Contributions to World Civilizations: SHATTERING THE MYTHS VOLUME 1; R.A. Renaissance Publications, Denver, Colorado. 1993. P. 8-11.

 

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 ARF EDITORIAL NOTE:If Euroanpeans studied Graeco-Roman classics, which took its roots from Egypt (Khemet) to spark the European Renaissance, then Afrikans need to study the true Afrikan 'classics (Khemetology) to ignite an Afrikan Renaissance. ARF emphatically affirms that the proper knowledge of our Ancestral Heritage will spark the 21sr Century Renaissnace. 

The idea for the Afrikan Renaissance Foundation was conceived on June 21, 2010 and 2 weeks before launching the website we discovered serendipitously this article by Hamilton, making us to know that the time for ARF Is Here Now!

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