this current stage of history in the Black Liberation Movement,
it is important that key concepts be revisited and re-discussed
in our continued efforts to seek clarity on certain ideas
that are fundamental to the white supremacy foundation of
there is the idea and concept of the “Maafa.” When we discuss
genocide against African People in America,
we must also discuss the Maafa, because it was this Maafa
that has historically created the on-going genocidal conditions
inflicted against African People in America.
we use the term “Maafa” we are talking about an African
term used to describe tremendous suffering, indescribable
atrocities, disaster, calamity, catastrophe, or injustice.
This term is used to refer to the protracted suffering of
African people and culture as a consequence of the Transatlantic
Slave Trade System. As the African Maafa researcher Michael
Scott explains - “No African was waiting as a slave to be
traded to the Europeans. In all regions of Africa,
from which Africans were transported, the African was involved
in a brutal war declared by the European aggressor, interested
in exploiting the human and natural resources of the richest
continent on the earth.”
Brother Scott reveals, “These Africans who became prisoners
of war were placed in detention camps and then transported
to the Americas to be enslaved by the benefactors of
their captors. No African began his or her ordeal as a slave.
Africans were reduced to slavery by conquest.”
is important for African People to understand and internalize
these brief historical facts. Just as the Jews, or any other
group of people in the world, internalize their holocaust,
and act on it, African People must come to the collective
reality of our Maafa and act on it also.
Brother Scott instructs us that, “Our foreparents were innocent
victims of these heinous system of forced labor. They were
never able to comprehend being seized in early morning attacks
on their villages by vicious raiding parties. They were
never able to understand why they were being sold by the
avaricious middle men. They could never fathom why they
were being marched in fetters and chains to the coast where
they were bartered for European merchandise especially rum
and guns. They could never appreciate ‘why they were being
warehoused in hell-like dungeons in Elmina or Goree.”
now that we have some insight into the idea and concept
of the Maafa, it should make it easier to understand the
idea and concept of genocide. In Olumenji’s book, White
Genocide, Black Obsolescence, The Question of Black Survival
In White America, he defines genocide
very succinctly. He says genocide is the “deliberate and
systematic destruction of Black people by white American
socio-economic and cultural forces.”
to Brother Olumenji, America has created an ideology that justifies
the annihilation of African people in this country. This
is the function of genocide by those who inflict it on a
mass of people. That is, they create a rationale for the
annihilation and then try to explain that it does not exist.
was the case in the CIA involvement in cocaine distribution
in Los Angeles in which the profits
were used to finance the CIA backed Contra army in Nicaragua.
This involvement of the CIA caused a proliferation of the
distribution and sale of crack cocaine across the African
Communities of America, causing serious devastation to our
communities. The United States Government tried to downplay
the CIA’s involvement in this incident by saying that this
is an isolated situation and in fact this is not true.
a result of the Maafa and the genocide against African People
we must step up the demand for Reparations as the National
Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America,
N’COBRA, is advocating as are many other African organizations
throughout the world.
simply means repair for injuries, harm and damages. As it
has been pointed out, over and over again, we were made
chattel and worked for more than three-hundred years without
pay or other compensation for the value of our labor. The
white man and white woman stole and criminally appropriated
the services and the value of three-hundred years of labor
and then passed it on through inheritance to their children.
This process helped create the United States of America and
this is fundamental to our demands for Reparations.
must continue to discuss these ideas in our efforts to dismantle
our mental shackles. Every race and every ethnic group in
the world protect their interests and African People should
and must do no less.
Columnist, Conrad W. Worrill, PhD, is the National Chairman Emeritus
of the National Black United Front (NBUF). Click
to contact Dr. Worrill.