Randall Robinson

Recent Articles

Black women: Reclaim your sacredness as containers for the spirit of our people

First of a three part column

In my last article, I highlighted culture as a resource for healing, building, and creating financial prosperity among African American people. The central message expressed was the importance of a return to an intellectual heritage and ancient self, which I see as the first step in moving toward community development. Randall Robinson opens his book The Debt: What America Owes Blacks with a revealing description of himself as having been born in 1941, but having his Black soul born eons ago on another continent “somewhere in the mists of prehistory.” He writes, “I am the new self and the ancient self, I need both to be whole, yet there is a war within and I feel a great wanting of spirit.”

In my work of establishing cultural wellness as a field of study and an approach to healing the African mind, I am lifting up the potentiality and power that cultureprovides to feed the wanting spirit. In Black America, as we reckon with and heal ourselves from generations of abuse, under development and benign neglect, we will be able to reverse the forces which have impeded our collective thriving. The 400 years (25 generations) of systematic enslavement will cease to have a hold on our development when we restore our consciousness of this ancient self. I realize that many may think that this is utopian thinking, but I am asking Black America to indulge in some serious utopia, because there is always a slender but precious hope that today’s utopia will become tomorrow’s society. In this article, I would like to build on the previous central message by lifting out and examining the role of Black women in our healing and rebuilding process. Continue Reading →

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Freeing the spirit involves reunion with the ancient self

There is no doubt that as a people we have come a long way in our struggle to overcome some of the most brutal experiences in the history of humankind; social movements as well as legal and political avenues have given us the means to overcome slavery, Jim Crow, and a host of other oppressive forces and atrocities. Yet, there is one struggle that appears to be ongoing, and that is the struggle to heal and build: specifically, to heal the pain stemming from disconnection from culture, loss of community, and separation from our intellectual heritage. Building on opinions expressed by some of our most well-known thinkers, activists and writers, in this article I will address community development from a cultural standpoint, because, as I have been taught by life, it is culture which provides the necessary foundation for a people to heal, work together and build. In my current role as a student of culture and life, I often call upon experiences I had as a child while living in the Mississippi Delta. It was while living in the Delta, an area considered one of the most destitute places in the United States, where I learned from an early age that Black people survived, maintained their integrity, and built economies using culture as the source. Continue Reading →

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