"We have this warped idea that we are Africans in the cultural sense and don't know what that means. We want to acknowledge the holocaust of enslavement on one hand and its effects, but at the same time we want to claim that we are still African in the cultural sense and don't know what that means. Conversations like this force you examine what you think you know about culture. Chiekh Anta Diop wasn't writing about there ever being a singular Black culture and state. He was writing and researching to demonstrate the similarities and the deep connection of Africa to BUILD a federated state of Africa and develop a continent wide language and culture. That's what Black Africa: An Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State was all about. Obviously there couldn't have been a single African culture or his work makes no sense what's so ever.
Dr. Amos Wilson stated: (Blueprint for Black Power Pg58) ?This coalescence of subcultural social units is usually organized and motivated by a mutually recognized leadership or governing establishment. This establishment usually fulfills its responsibilities through the creation, issuance and enforcement of policies. At this level of organization a culture may be defined as a political organization which exercises political power in its defense, economic and social interests as a whole, and in the interest of its subcultural group and individual members.?
....Dr. Maulana Karenga's 7 Criteria for Culture: history, mythology, creative motif, ethos, social organization, POLITICAL ORGANIZATION, and ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION.
....culture is essentially a political activity. As Dr. Wilson notes, "This coalescence of subcultural social units is usually organized and motivated by a mutually recognized leadership or governing establishment." All of this speaks to the fact that culture is organized by people: it is not a random accident. People put together a governing body to represent the people. If you do not have this body, how can you possibly have a culture? Who is the RECOGNIZED LEADERSHIP? How were they chosen?
Pay attention to Karenga's criteria, especially social, political and economic organization. How can you ORGANIZE without having a meeting or meetings and establishing a governing body? Does organization happen without people? This is the whole point of this aspect of the cultural debate. As Dr. Amos Wilson would say, "Ultimately culture is a conspiracy." To conspire means to organize, plan, have intent. If your people never sat down to organize and create the social conditions necessary to develop a certain type of human being in your community, to use your genius to gain, maintain and utilize power, you do not have a culture. Period. You are a loose population trying to find yourself with minor successes.
A culture has an organizing body that represents the people and sets policy within the community to shape behavior, attitudes and tastes. So the objective is to get people to understand the deeper aspects of culture, recognize you don't have one, so you can be motivated to create one like your ancestors did. As Marcus Garvey would say, "What humans have done, humans can do." I think he's right. Now this core extends to the African debate, because there NEVER, I repeat, NEVER was a continent wide political organization or state to claim that there was an AFRICAN culture in which to say we are Africans culture. Africa did not exist for "African" people. Africa is a concept create by Europeans, not by the people on the continent itself. There never was an "African" language in which to articulate, organize and categorize the universe we live in. That is an American, Pan-Africanist fantasy.
We can't move forward thinking we have something in which we do not. Build what you need, then move forward. I pointed out in the debate that without speaking an "African" language, you have no idea of what it means to be African. Your claim is only biological, not cultural. As Diop notes in Civilization or Barbarism, the cultural personality consist of three parts: Historical, Linguistic and Psychological. African-Americans in mass only can connect historically, on a biological basis. African-Americans do not speak an African language. We speak English. You cannot argue that AA's have the full Psychology of traditional African cultures because they don't speak the languages to know know the nuances. In the end, based on the cultural criteria articulated in the debate, we, as a collective are Americans with Africanisms. Until you recover the Linguistic and Psychic factors expressed by Diop, and you organize your cultural units as expressed by Karenga and Wilson, you DO NOT have a CULTURE, let alone an "African" one. Even this concept of Africa is problematic"