... at some point in our lives we have to be crazy, we have to lose control, step out our ordinary way of seeing, and learn that the world is not the way we think it is, that it isn't solid, structured, and forever... Extend your boundaries. Live on the edge for a while.
Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg, p. 164
The verb d d (djed) “to be stable,” “enduring”: Columns in the temple stand; that is, they are stable (djed). But standing is viewed as the result of a rising. The “standing” of the columns in a temple is not a static image, because the mind is always thinking of the firmness and stability of the columns as a process. Indeed, movement is conceived to be carried from the earth to the sky through columns. This means that humanity, by building civilization and spirituality on earth, must reach up to the world of Truth (maat) and eternity (djet). The “being” of a column as it stands (djed) in its stability (djedet) is, in fact, analogous to the cosmos itself. So, indeed, is the entire temple. The hardness of a column is a revealing reality because truth (maat) constitutes the real (maa) being of the column. – Théophile Obenga, “Ancient History of African Philosophy,” p. 38. In A Companion to African Philosophy, Edited by Kwasi Wiredu
  1. WE WANT FREEDOM
  2. WE WANT FULL EMPLOYMENT
  3. WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE CAPITALISTS OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY
  4. WE WANT HOUSING; WE WANT SHELTER, WHICH IS FIT FOR HUMAN BEINGS
  5. WE WANT AN EDUCATION WHICH TEACHES US OUR TRUE HISTORY AND OUR ROLE IN THE PRESENT DAY AMERICAN SOCIETY
  6. WE WANT ALL BLACK MEN TO BE EXEMPT FROM MILITARY SERVICE
  7. STOP THE MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE
  8. WE WANT ALL BLACK MEN IMMEDIATELY RELEASED FROM FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY JAILS AND PENITENTIARIES
  9. WHEN BLACK PEOPLE ARE BROUGHT TO TRIAL IN THIS COUNTRY WE WANT THEM TRIED IN A COURT OF LAW NOT OUT ON THE STREET
  10. WE WANT LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING

Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres consider how blacks’ own perceptions of their plight might lead to a new political movement. In The Miner’s Canary, Guinier and Torres argue that rather than internalize their social dysfunction as being their ‘own fault,’ many blacks have developed a critical perspective on ‘the system.’ Refusing to accept the mythology of the American Dream—‘that those who succeed or fail invariably do so according to their individual merit’—blacks ‘appreciate the necessity and efficacy of collective political struggle’… Guinier and Torres announce a bold agenda: ‘to use the experiences of people of color as the basis for fundamental social change that will benefit not only blacks and Hispanics but other disadvantaged social groups.’—James Forman Jr., The Washington Post

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on Justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override.


John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, p. 598

“What is crucial, here, is that if it hurt you. If it hurt you, that is not what is important. Everybody’s hurt. What is important (what bull whips you, what corrals you, what drives you, torments you), is that you must find some way of using this to connect you with everyone else alive because this is all you have to do it with. You must understand that your pain is trivial, except insofar as you use it to connect with other people’s pain, and insofar as you can do that with your pain, you can be released from it, and then hopefully it works the other way around too. Insofar as I can tell you what it is like to suffer, perhaps I can help you to suffer less.” – James Baldwin (@ around 10:23)

A Pledge for African People

We are African People! 

We will remember the humanity, glory and suffering of our ancestors and honor the struggles of our elders;

We will strive to bring new values and life to our people;

We will have peace and harmony among us;

We will be loving, sharing and creative;

We will work, study and listen so we may learn; learn so we may teach;

We will cultivate self-reliance;

We will struggle to resurrect and unify our homeland;

We will raise many children for our nation;

We will have discipline, patience, devotion, and courage;

We will live as models to provide direction for our people;

We will be free and self-determining.

We are an African People

Together we will Win! (Pamoja Tutashinda) Composed by Ron Daniels, 1970

Solving the problem of how to get there from here, of how to realize the ideal, requires an accurate delineation of the obstacles en route... the ideal of a world beyond race can be reached only by going through race, not by trying to get around race.
Charles Mills, "Dark Ontologies," Kant & Contemp. Social Issues, p. 159