There is tremendous potential for client outreach of global proportion on our pages.  Join us as a sponsor.  

A review of the arts and literature .....More


Get all your Ghana news, publication and media links here!


Transforming Symbols of Black Nationalist Myths

 By Rudolph Lewis


The Germans have a word for it.  "Verharmlosung," the conversion of something radical or disturbing into a harmless symbol or idea. . . . there is no unified black psyche.—Wilson


Some of the tactics used by our leaders (black and white) can be indeed maddening. There are exceedingly few people who are thinking outside the historic racial box, if they are indeed thinking at all. The climate of the times encourages a continuing intellectual retreat. As a result, I am more frequently suffering bouts of depression.


Our enemies are on their toes like Muhammad Ali, dancing slipping punches, wearing us down, frustrating us; while we remain flat-footed, plodding along, their jabs blooding and closing our eyes, as we continue to rely on Joe Louis hero-worshipping body punches, as we continue to try to land Frazier like haymaker ideological hooks of yesteryear. We lack the intellectual flexibility to keep up with the agility and cleverness of our opponents.


Richard Wright was once asked about "black psychology" and he said he knew of no such animal. I like John Oliver Killens but he's a better novelist than a political thinker. He should have known, and I think that he did, deeply, that the racialism of America is not as simplistic as he made it in The Black Man's Burden.


Political rhetoric always over-simplifies. Only a little thought would lead us to conclude there is no such thing as a "white psyche" or a "black psyche." They are easy political constructs to score easy ideological points. Maybe those rhetorical constructs were okay for 60s militancy. Many back in those days mimicked Malcolm X. And we have too many doing that today without Malcolm’s footwork and his slipping blows.


Skin color is so deceptive. It really cannot tell you what is on the inside. Killens had faith in “Third World” alliances, as is suggested in the following statement:


"And now in the middle of the 20th century, I, the Negro, like my counterparts in Asia and Africa and South America and on the islands of the many seas, am refusing to be your 'nigger' any longer. . . . We refuse to look at ourselves through the eyes of white America."


As you can see such a statement is wholly dated. Such a “we” no longer exists. Indians of the East have gone one way. The Chinese, another. The Arabs still another. Each Third World sector makes its own separate deals with the West—at the expense of injustice everywhere. Killens might have stated a truth of a militant few in the 50s and 60s. To industrialize and modernize, Indians and Chinese, however, want oil and they care little if it is at the expense of the people of Darfur.


I just received a couple of essays from Africans that touch on this issue of "seeing." One was from a Kenyan sister, Betty Wamalwa Muragori. She writes: 


"Africans sell their past, sending it to the West without a thought.  Most Africans would never willingly spend money on an old mask or chair, chests, woven fabrics, crafted by their ancestors 100 years ago.  To them these are dirty things that will mess up their modern living rooms.  Even worse they are to be actively shunned because they remind Africans of their “primitive” past and are seen as probably a tribute to Africa’s religious past, which was really devil worshiping in disguise."


Then there are the lamentations of a Nigerian brother, Hakeem Babalola. He writes:


"Look at my sister. She’d rather die than leave her hair authentic. She prefers to look fake than hold her identity. She straightens her hair and washes her body with intoxicating chemical in order to tone her skin; to hide her identity."


The black consciousness (“black psyche”) movement of which Killens speaks in The Black Man's Burden did not take hold among the masses (in America, the Islands, or Africa). The West made it into a passing commercial fad. Here is how the German "Verharmlosung," becomes relevant in our times in contending with our enemies. Symbol making walks hand in hand with commerce, which bastardizes, fragments, and demeans all that which comes within its realm.


Yes, they have "co-opted" Gabriel Prosser, prompted by the intrigues of the NAACP. They try to make Gabriel a rebel like Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson. Governor Kaine says, "I recognize Gabriel Prosser for his courage and devotion to the fundamental Virginia values of freedom and equality." But those Virginia values reside in the defense of property, at all costs. Is that what Gabriel was about? Was he truly like Berkeley and Washington and Lee. Is that what his revolt was about? It seems indeed that is what the NAACP is about.


Our opponents may be indeed clever and flexible enough in their corporate mythmaking to accommodate Nat Turner, especially if we continue our colored non-critical hero worship. But I suspect Turner in the Southampton forest will not be so easily digested by corporate cannibalism and vulture capitalism.


Rudolph Lewis is founder and editor of ChickenBones: A Journal (




mporters of goods advised to enquire about duties before shipment

Accra, Sept. 14, Ghanadot/GNA – An official of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) has advised importers of goods to enquire about duties and taxes before shipping them.. .....More


President Kufuor Unhappy with Builsa Traditional Council

Sandema (U/E), Sept 14, Ghanadot/GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has expressed displeasure at the failure by elders of the Builsa Traditional Council to formally inform him of the death of the Paramount Chief of the Traditional Area, Naab Ayieta Azantilow..

Is NPP rushing President Kufuor out of office?

Feature, September 12, Ghanadot/GNA - In a cautious statement, Professor Al-Hassan Wayo Seini, NPP Former National Vice Chairman, said for a Party that had the incumbent President, the attitude of some of the aspirants and their supporters created the erroneous impression that President Kufuor was being rushed out of office.....

Stakeholders discuss draft bills to strengthen NBFIs

Accra, Sept. 12, Ghanadot/GNA – The Bank of Ghana (BOG) on Wednesday organized a stakeholders’ meeting to solicit views of financial sector operators on two proposed draft bills aimed at ensuring smooth operations of non-bank financial institutions and promote responsible credit practices.
..... More


  ABC, Australia
The EastAfrican, Kenya
African News Dimensions
Chicago Sun Times
The Economist
Reuters World - World News
All Africa Newswire
Google News
The Guardian, UK
Africa Daily
IRIN Africa
The UN News
Daily Telegraph, UK
Daily Nation, East Africa
BBC Africa News, UK
Legal Brief Africa
The Washington Post
Mail & Guardian, S. Africa
The Washington Times
Voice of America
New York Times
Vanguard, Nigeria
Christian Science Monitor
Yahoo/Agence France Presse
Ghanaian Paper
Market Place
Official Sites
Pan-African Page
Social Scene
    Currency Converter
Educational Opportunities
Job Opening
FYI is now
October 1, 2006

Remember to spell the D-O-T
before the dot com

Send This Page To A Friend:

The Profile Africa Media Group