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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Abeng Op-Ed: African Governments Should Honor Black History Month by Jah Rootsman

copyright 2019 Jah Rootsman

What an anomaly that governments in Africa have little or no appetite in honoring nor celebrating Black History Month, which is celebrated in February to honor the black men and women who inspired us, liberated us mentally, spiritually and physically from the yoke of colonial oppression. South Africa has a lot to be thankful for, to stalwarts like Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe, Albertina Sisulu, Mahatma Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, Fatima Meer, Oliver Tambo, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and countless others who sacrificed themselves for our freedom and independence in a thankless world.  They left legacies that need to be remembered and fulfilled and unfortunately it is up to conscious cultural groups like us, Rastafari, Kwanzaa and similar entities that are prepared to accept the responsibility and run with it. Regrettably, this reflects the puny minds of African political ‘so-called’ leaders, whose only interests are in self- aggrandizement, political propaganda and selfish agrarians. Their predominant agenda comprises a prevailing addiction to greed and self-enrichment. 

In Africa, #BlackHistoryMonth is supposed to generate a host and hive of cultural activities throughout the continent for the month to inspire communities and kids by edutaining them through music and other cultural and historical perspectives. Inculcating pride, confidence, honor and dignity in themselves as peoples of this great and majestic continent, ravaged and converted by colonials whose legacies have become the norm by which we Africans have shaped, defend and live out our lives today; lives which we call normal. The Bible is the most damaging contribution left by these nefarious colonialists and has usurped our own cultures.

"Africans are in bondage today because they approach spirituality through religion provided by foreign invaders and conquerors." ~ Emperor Haile Selassie I.

Sadly, in Africa, our children still do not have the slightest clue about the importance of #BlackHistoryMonth.  As Africans, it is embarrassing and disconcerting to watch the Diaspora keep the flame burning while we in Africa nonchalantly “carry on” with our lives, whereas our proud African legacies are being disregarded by the same people who see and call themselves ‘freedom fighters’ and struggle heroes’. Jamaica has even elevated this month (February), to “Reggae Month”. As Rastafari in particular, we thank you, our counterparts, for this extended auspicious honor.


Rastaman. South Africa

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