Achieving Mental Sovereignty through Decolonizing the Black Mind


“But what men these blacks are! How they fight and how they die! One has to make war against them to know their reckless courage in braving danger… I have seen a solid column, torn by grape-shot from four pieces of cannon, advance without making a retrograde step. The more they fell, the greater seemed to be the courage of the rest.”

-Randall Robinson quoting Lemonier-Delafosse in his “An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President.” (p11). Delafosse was speaking of the Haitian Revolutionaries, mostly recently captured Africans who had not yet forgotten their African ways. I like Robinson’s quote because it reminds us what formidable soldiers we are when we know who we are.

“The new tactic consists in trying to direct [the powerful decolonizing drive], channel it toward nonsocialistic forms, of the so-called Western type. If this goal were to be reached, the former colonial powers and the United States might stop worrying. Black Africa would be… South-Americanized. It would be made up of a proliferation of little dictator-ridden countries without organic ties one to another, ephemeral, afflicted with chronic weakness, governed by terror with the help of outsized police forces, but under economic domination by foreign countries, pulling strings through the mere presence of an embassy. This was the case in Guatemala, where a foreign business firm, the United Fruit Company (U.S), overthrew the local government and replaced it with another more amenable to the company’s aims, working in conjunction with the American embassy (and, as we now know, the CIA), thus proving the emptiness of the so-called independence of such a state.”

-Cheikh Anta Diop in “Black Africa: The Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State.” (p15). Originally written in 1960, this quote reminds us of the challenge we face, and rallies us to use our genius to defend ourselves.