tv Black History CSPAN March 23, 2013 8:35pm-9:10pm EDT
ladies. and with the association we're offering a special edition of the book first ladies of the united states of america presenting a biography and portrait of each of them on the role of first ladies throughout history now available for the discounted price of $12.95 plus shipping at cspan.org/products. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979 brought to you as a public service by your television provider. -- xt we'll have remarked then actress on her work with victims of domestic violence and child abuse. then the human rights things
found in the writing of dr. seuss. >> the creator of the pan african holiday gave an address at florida a&m university. maulana karenga is the chair of african studies in long beach. he's writing a book on the fillty of mall come exks. his is 35 minutes. >> it's good news and certainly good news to be here. n behalf of my wife, my friend
co-worker and companion, all things good and beautiful, we say thank you dr. larry robber son interim president and brian luke public relations office of communication, mr. west student government president. and to all of those responsible for the invitation and opportunity to come and share ith you on this 2013 black history month and share an address and conversation with our history titled advancing holding human history culture ground in contemporary times. let's start by thanking the children for that beautiful performance.
[applause] . >> again, thank you for coming out to celebrate yourselves and to talk of the most ancient history of human kind. we're honored to be here at this historic black college or university and we appreciate very much to be among you always which and we say in our tradition among us you will always find your family in a peaceful place and we wish for you blessings without number and all good things without end. we bear witness as an african people that our beginning was great and good, social development if we dare struggle, speak true, do justice and walk in the way of risheseness. on this occasion, let us always pay honor to our an zest tors, those who walked for us, those
who gave their lives so we could live more meaningful ones. in honoring mall come exks we honor the best in ourselves. we honor those great ones who were so great when they stood up they were the mountains and when they laid down they were the rivers which we honor our mothers and father's gone now. hour sisters and brothers, our neighbors who didn't wear african clothes like me or the african language we can speak now because they were lifted during ensavement and still they taught us to be the best of what it means to be african and human by teaching to us speak truth, do justice, honor our elleders and an says tors, challenge our children. care for the vulnerable among
us, have a righteous relationship with the environment and always race up and praise the good. et us pay rightful homage to honor excellence and achievement, struggle and resilience. he taught us at the heart of our history is the constant all to reject the catechism of human possibilities taught to us every day. indeed he said, at this moment and always black people must begin to do the very things they have been taught they cannot do. standing strong in our history, for i us study well quote truth comes to us from
the path like fwoled washed down from the mountains. and so our history is a very important thing. i'd like to frame it and again by quoting from a sake credit text which says let's do things rejoice for surely humans have been chose on the bring good into the world and this is a fundamental mission and meaning . -- in human life. are then constantly obligated to increase good in the world and not let my good be lost. in this period of crisis, confrontation war and waste, suffering. there is no greater challenge nor any greater responsibility for us as an african people in honoring our history to constantly and eagerly strug
toll bring and increase and sustain good in the world. so as we come again this year to black history month, which is a great and enduring meaning we should pause and think deeply about the world around us and ask ourselves how do we as a person and people address the critical issues of our time. in a world how do we engage central commemoration and celebration so that it best serves its central cause for deeply reflective remembrance, reflection and steadfast recommitment to our high values and the personal and social practices that bring and sustain and increase good in the world? word, this is a special time which compels us to medicating on the meaning and awesome being obligation of being
african in the world. what does it mean to be the elleders of humanity? what does it mean to be the people who spoke the first truth and taught the world what was good and beautiful. they all came to study in the nile valley. what does it mean? our history is a struggle for transformation to ever high levels of human life and expanding human freedom, social justice and human flurishing. istory is a record of struggle . the truggle for human freedom, social justice and human flourishing stead at the heart of this world's struggle. within this critical
understanding we study and engage history as the people for several essential reasons. first, we struggle. we study history to learn its lessons. as mall come x said, of all our studies, history is best prepared to reward our research which second we study history to absorb its spirit of human possibility. humans have done, humans can do. third we study history in order to extract and emulate its models of human possibility. we are hairs and custodians of a great legacy with dignity and
determination. finally we study history in order to practice the morality of remembrance. there are two things we all should care about, never to forget where we came from and always praise the bridge that is carried us over. in the midst of our history, the most ancient of human histories there were three defining periods which offer lessons, models and possibility which are most instructive. although there are other period of similar instructiveness, these period are clearly inescapable in our development as a people. and it is from these that we find both indispenseable meaning and challenges in our history. the first period is a period of to ory from about 3900 bc
300 bc. it is here that we become the father's and mothers of human civilization introducing some of the basic dispalestinians of human knowledge. can we build pyramids of unsurpassed beauty. the first religious text, the oldest ethical text, the declarations of virtue and the oldest medical text. and these text i have done work n and put them into a text authority dative utterance of exceptional and divine insight. we have the mother of medicine and father of medicine. we do seasons, nathg math. the 24 month year and the 24 hour day. but the greatest legacy is our ethical legacy in which we thrive world the earliest
concept of dignity and divinity. the worth thiness. it is our claim to all rights. that your thinkness is defined by they basic characters. it is beyond all social, beyond race and class and gender and sexuality. beyond class or status or anything, any other major or minor social designation for the human being. second, it is equal in all. that is kings and convenience have no more than we. presidents and priests and pope have no more than the most average person in the world. and finally, nobody can take it away from us. this is the principle we have when we came here. even if we did not know it, we
felt it in our soul which we knew without knowing. that is what made harry truman stand up and say i need to be free. for a mother and father to prepare for freedom. that is what it meant when you crossed the line and would not go on and escape ourselves but turn back around. and wanted other people to share this beautiful thing called freedom. it is our place also where we teach the concept and judgment and justification after death. the essential alty of character and service. politics as an ethical vocation. to make the world more beautiful an beneficial than we inherited it. obligation to care for the vulnerable to give food to the hungry, water to the 30, clothes to the naked and a boat to those without one, a raft
for the drowning and a ladder for those trapped in the pit of despair which these lessons are clear black people. createtivity and social and moral excellence. it is suggested we who are the father's and mothers of civilization cannot in good faith plague the culture of the world which africa must mean excellence or it does not honor the name in history we know. [applause] a second period that gives us charge and challenge is the hol cost. hol cost i mean an act of genocide. that is not only against the people targeted but also against humidity itself which i want to call attention to using the word hol cost and enslave
ment rather than trade. we cannot call what happened to us slave trade. trade, that's like calling it business gone bad with collateral damage of tens of millions of people. we can't walk into a store, kill the owner, rape his wife and go out and said we were just trading. nobody would accept that in court. ow can we accept that? cultural lize genocide expresses itself in three ways. first, it's the destruction of human life, different ways of killing whole peoples burning them alive, burying them alive, skinning them alive and leaving them for brain dead in the
western hem fear. second the destruction of human culture. not just the destruction of houses they mention in movies. but the destruction of nations and cities and towns and great works of art, great works of literature, great works of music and the people's who made those. the destruction then of human possibility. lifting people out of their own history making them a footnote and forgotten kass alty. creating their social death and poising their relationship against people who haven't met them so when those people come and see them they call them names and see them in a whole different way. and the question is, what resilience, did we need to rise up from that? how is it that we've come this far as our speakers have said
before? where a society who once enslaved us now is led by one of us that came from us from the very society that ensaved us. that's a great achievement. we can't overrate it but we can't underrate it. i'll come back to that in a minute, okay. then of course, we understand that in this sense, as the destruction of human life, human culture and human possibility that this holocaust of enslavement stand alongside the holocaust native americans, the jewish, the ar meanian. all of them unique and destruction of human life, human culture and human possibility.
but one of the things about us as a people is that no matter how horrendous our holocaust was, it never sered into our consciousness have we extracted lessons and challenges of continuing and compelling importance. what are these lessons? they are first to remember compromising and witness to the holocaust and arrest ateffts to translate it. either in the movies as recently or in the media or in the academy. we must speak our own special culture truth. we must interpret our own history. our history is too important to leave in alien hands. we must hold our history sacred. for there is no history more holy, no people more sacred and
no narrative more worthy to be hold or taught than our own. [applause] second, we must remember and raise up and honor the name of hose who taught us unsurpassed dure ability and capacity for place making and struggle against evil, injustice and oppression. there is no more beautiful narrative. we must ask questions and seek answers to the fundamental issues of human kind. we look at it not as a reference isolated but as a rich source for telling us what we should do today. let me show you how. harry started out i didn't drop from the sky, i didn't grow
from the ground. they don't come from the sea. they come from inside us and the social conditions in which we live. mother and father wanted for us the best. how do we imagine freedom in an unfree situation? how do we do that? inside us is this dignity, this your thinkness that calls on us to be free. we are born in freedom. it is others who enslave us. we must struggle against all forms of enslavement in order o achieve and maintain our freed. . her father teaches her to walk in the woods, how to read the signs of the stars, how to read the months on the tree. and one day he tells her you move so well, we can't even hear you move. in fact, you move like an indian, native american. so i want to show you that process. she's getting ready. so she gets ready and she goes
across the line which listen to the beauty of this narrative. this is our history unfolding in front of us and relevant today as it was yesterday and as it will be tomorrow. she steps across the line to freedom and she says freedom feels so good. she says the sun was coming through the trees all gold and touching the leaves and i looked at my hand. and i thought to myself i must be in heaven. but she said almost immediately i became sad. why? because all the people i love were back there in a holocaust of enslavement in the plantation. and she declared from that day that she would spend the rest of her life freeing the people who were back there so they could share the goodness she felt. and in that moment people, she
redefines freedom from individual escape to the collective practice of self-determination in and for our community. [applause] we must remember to remember these names. frederick douglas, maria stewart, martin delaney, all of those people, too numerous to name. they have stories to inform us how we should walk in dignity in the world. there are african ways of walking in the world just like there are european. we must find ourselves jig booing with "django". we must hold oppression and
enslavers accountable by reparations. i don't mean money which i mean first of all public dialogue so people can stop denying what they did. so black people can know what it is. it is repair of a greeves injury and that injury is the holocaust of enslavement and the consequences of that even to segregation to now. second we need a public admission that is holocaust, not slave trade. an act of genocide. third we need public apology. don't be apologizing to me until i tell you what to apologize for. we define ourselves. people can't say what you want. have you to have a rule which
you call yourself free. so we have to have that. the next thing we need is public recognition, right. that means buildings of monuments and teaching in the school the horror and meaning of this holocaust not just to us but to this country and the world which then fifth is compensation. compensation could be not just money but it could be getting our land back. i like free education but we need to talk about this, right. we need to talk about how we can do that. and the final thing we learn om this is that we have to build preventive structures and processes so that this thing won't happen again. you think it won't happen again but so did the japanese think it wouldn't happen.
who would think that the japanese haven't done anything. how would they be in camps. look at what is happening to the muslims or under the patriot act. people just pushed away. who would think america would do that? the outsiders, no telling what they will do. we have been the moral and social vanguard of this country. we have struggled, at one with our allies, victories that not only benefited us but extended the realm of freedom in this country. we cannot remain silent when other people are suffering. [applause] we feel -- i will talk about his morning minute. we feel we might hurt our president. back to it and do
more with it. first, we have to continue the struggle against our form of slavery. psychological and chemical. against all forms of oppression. , sexism and all other things associated with white supremacy. black history offers us an abundance of lessons on struggle. what i call the reaffirmation. is aat i mean i'm a it time in which we reaffirm both our african roots and/or social justice tradition. .peaking truth to power struggling for the liberation of the oppressed. d that wethis [erop perio expanded freedom for ourselves. challenging the countries most backward and barbaric laws.
we also challenged the academy perception ofts education. they'll black studies departments and programs and open the way for emergence of other act neck -- ethnic studies. we demanded an education with linked campus and community. e also initiated [indiscernible] now appears as a dialogue of multiculturalism. we have to watch that multiculturalism, because if you allow other people to define it, it can come out against us. even though we are the ones who open its eyes and said to the aropeans, america is not white finished product, but an ongoing multicultural project. these people have the right and responsibility -- to make their own unique contribution to how
the society is reconceived and reconstructed. that is the essence of it areas we havennot do that, food, festival, and fashion. [applause] multiculturalism is intense and deep appreciation for diversity, which expresses itself first in respect for each people and culture as a unique and equally valid and valuable way of being human in the world. mutualid earlier am a respect for people's rights and responsibility to seek the truth and make their own unique contribution to how the society is conceived and reconstructed. it is a mutual commitment to the constant search for common universe.the it is a mutual commitment to the ethics of sharing the
responsibility for building the good world we all want. and deserve to live in. we lost and won with our allies, as i said earlier. struggles have reshaped the course and content of u.s. society. , south africa,d the philippians, south america, china, eastern europe, palestine and recently, the revolt in northern africa call the arab spring. the people struggling therefore liberation and peace. built on more vocabulary and vision and post our struggle as a model to emulate. our lessons and challenges are to continue the struggle [indiscernible] -- just a good multicultural society and a
better world. it is to expand the concept and practice of freedom and pose a new paradigm of how humans relate to each other. it is to start a new history of humankind. lead.that, we must we must reach inside ourselves and inc. new products -- think new thoughts. ,hink in a self-determined dignity affirming, life enhancing way. era, wein this current are confronted with an awesome challenge to continue, unfinished historic and ongoing struggles to constantly expand street realm of human freedom, social justice in the world. we can rightly be proud of having elected a black president and see it as a
historical achievement of our people in our struggle for freedom, justice and equity, the struggle continues. we cannot see it as an end in itself. nor can we be confused and think ,hat the election of one man the election of the man with the need for a rebuilding of a movement. -- for profound and radical change of society. and for bringing good in the world. we must reaffirm our role as a moral and social vanguard in this country. as martin luther king, malcolm x, harry a tuchman, frederick douglass and so many others have taught us, we must avoid the silence in the face of evil and injustice. a silence that would become a betrayer.
a betrayer of the best of our ethical social justice [indiscernible] into betrayer of the struggling people of the world. including our own. what is our position on the congo? what about the invasion of africa and libya? what about haiti and its oppression? we must speak truth to power if we really believe in our tradition. if we have a commitment to our own faith. we have to speak truth to power into the people. not supporters of injustice, but those who challenge it and struggle to end it. indeed, we must not become a convenient moral mass that establishes order. the corporate and political elite used to continue to plunder the world, simply because we have a black
president. from the earliest time in the sacred teachings and ancient egypt, we are taught that we are morally obligated to bear witness to truth and to set the scales of justice in their proper place among those who have no voice. .any people have no voice i remember when we had no voice. there we were, locked down and the holocaust. we had to stand up and speak. hadrs spoke for us, but we to speak with our own voice. had we speak? ar those among us, we have tendency now -- we don't even talk about the poor. malcolm talked about the poor. .artin luther king we never mention the port. -- the poor.
why do you think that is? everybody got some money? i think not. from our ancient teachings that you measure the moral quality of any society by how we treat its most vulnerable. [applause] of bearingsage witness, that message of bearing witness to truth. setting the scales of justice in their proper place, is as valid now as it ever was. the oppressed want freedom. the wronged in injured want justice. the people want power over their destiny and daily lives. and the world wants peace. what is our duty