Elder Atum Azzahir

Recent Articles

Through African American restoration we can heal past trauma

Africans are living with a memory that is laced with a brutally profound pain emerging from the time of our ancestors’ enslavement. Black people have been traumatized deeply as a people. The first traumatic experience is from being torn from our mother/homeland. The second traumatic experience is from a twisting of our nature through the tormenting process of enslavement. The detail of this brutality, which was leveled against the mind, body and spirit of Black men and women, is depicted with clarity in the recently released film 12 years a Slave. Continue Reading →

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Restoring the ‘Beloved Community’

Understanding how the African soul endured
Now that the African is in America, the experience of enslavement has resulted in broken families, homes, communities and culture. Losing community leaves the person carrying the intolerable burden of disintegration that manifests and exists across generations. In place of an active spirituality that gives coherence, growth and unity to people-hood, family and society, we are left with our spirits mangled, twisted and stagnant. The people, the family, and our society must transcend the immediate conditions and establish a vision by using what Dr. King expressed through the metaphor of “home,” which equals heaven on earth. Spirituality is inside of the African in America; now is the time to activate it and bring it back to the forefront of living. Continue Reading →

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Restoring the ‘Beloved Community’

How the enslaved African was stripped of his humanity

I want to take a moment to remember with our readers how and when the African was forcefully brought to the Americas; it happened during the 1400s. This time in our existence on earth is only a placeholder for some of the worst experiences African people have had with physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and structural violence. It is the direct result of the Africans’ forced shipment to the Americas to provide free labor and creative, innovative ideas and skills for building the United pStates of America as a “world power.”

Having gone through a most excruciatingly brutal and painful catharsis of suffering during the approximately 22 generations’ experience of “chattel slavery” leaves us without a land base, with scars, open wounds and a deep resounding FEAR. We are NOT!!! —I repeat; we are NOT!!! Continue Reading →

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Restoring the ‘Beloved Community

The power and wisdom of the African soul

First of a three-part column
How long ago the African came to earth is a different question than how long ago the African came to the shores of the Americas. The first question takes us to the following fact: Africa is known as the Cradle of Civilization. It is the birthplace of humankind and humanity. African people gave birth to the human family, and by extension, African culture is the eldest culture of elder cultures. Archeologists have provided evidence through examination of the oldest human remains found in Ethiopia. Continue Reading →

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What has been erased from the African identity?



“Erasure of identity is the stripping from a people, conscious awareness of their sense of cultural continuity.  Life beyond this time has taken us through a most excruciatingly brutal and painful catharsis of suffering that occupies our mind constantly.  Over the past 400 years, we have journeyed through a cold and blistering winter of the soul’.” 

— A. Azzahir


African people have a spiritual intuition that guides our knowledge, but we have been educated away from using it. This spiritual intuition guides how we know what we know. This deep intuition operates underneath the surface and is grounded in spirituality. The intense experience of having our language ripped apart from our thoughts and ways of communicating did great damage to the channels through which we deliver and produce knowledge and wisdom. The damage is extensive; however, it is very superficial. Continue Reading →

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Why Egypt?

“For us the return to Egypt in every domain is the necessary condition to reconcile African civilization with history, to build a body of modern human sciences and to be able to renew African culture…Egypt will play the same role in the rethinking and renewing of African culture that ancient Greece and Rome play in the culture of the West (including North America)”

— Cheikh Anta Diop


“Black Americans” occupy a unique position as a people in this country and, by extension, North America. I say unique because we are the only people who have gone through a deliberate process of erasure, an erasure that has stripped from our conscious awareness a collective sense of cultural continuity beyond our immediate experience in North America. The erasure has had a profound effect on the psyche of our people and continues to have a negative effect in many diverse ways. As a people, we experience great difficulty in coming together or coming to a consensus in order to act in the best interest of our collective selves. I believe that the collective paralysis we are witnessing today is tied to the perpetual process of erasure. Continue Reading →

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Ancient African knowledge holds key to trusting ourselves and others



The Black man/woman is the temple that absorbs the planetary influences of the cosmos. The Black man/woman is not a helpless creature in this drama of life, nor is he/she held helpless by circumstances around him or her. The planets are within man/woman; they may initiate reaction and inner impulses from within, but freedom from such planetary influences could be ours if we were masters of ourselves.  

An Elder of an ancient African spiritual tradition 

The lack of self-mastery for the Black man/woman is a phenomenon that affects every aspect of existence, one that has caused a disengaged state and a broken will to fully participate in life. However, this state was not produced in a vacuum, but instead begins with the African’s separation from his intellectual and spiritual heritage, his homeland, and a rootedness in culturally authentic concepts of community living. Continue Reading →

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America’s Black First Family symbolizes rise of African culture

Hotep (Be at peace, be at rest, be free)

In this the second in a three-part series, I want to share another core idea: “SIA” an ancient African teaching that I have had the great honor of having verified in travels to the elders in Africa and in the 20 years of study in the International Khepran Institute. In both classrooms, I was able to verify that this idea is preserved through the trials and the awful terror of our existence in this country. The “SIA” refers to the intelligence of the heart. Cerebral intelligence depends upon the senses, the recordings of observed facts, and the comparison of these facts and ideas of the mind. The first four senses — touch, taste, smell and sight — pass through the brain; the fifth sense, hearing, passes through the heart without speaking directly to the brain. Continue Reading →

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