Black History Event at FCI Otisville

Report and essay by Sundiata Acoli

After having the approved date for the first Black History Event at
FCI Otisville in 12 years moved from Feb. 10, 2011, to Feb. 17, to
Feb. 21 and finally to Feb. 24th, the frustrated 5 potential outside
guests regrettably but understandably ran into scheduling conflicts
which forced them to cancel their appearances. As a result the Black
History Event was done with prisoners only.

Akbar Pray opening remarks energized the audience. Raheem acted as
moderator and introduced the following events: A skit by Boo,
Al-Tariq, Shane, Jaws, T.I. and Tim in which the youngsters learned
the importance of Black History from the O.T.’s (Old Timers,) T.I.
then recited a inspiring poem:”God, Why Did You Make Me Black?,”
Shane and Jaws Jason did a sizzling conscious rap song and would
reappear several times during the later program to do other raps,
Sebastian Abu Williams did a great Call and Response poem: “Because
You Already Know,” Melvin did an impromptu introductory speech, Rauf
did 3 of his classic poems, the main one being “Uncle Sam’s Dope
Habit,” Joe Gerald held the audience spellbound with his story: “My
Life: Why I Became Interested in History,” Supreme Magnetic
enlightened all on the “History of Clarence 13X of the 5% Nation,”
Sundiata spoke on “Why Black and Afrikan History “(printed below,)
Black Warrior spoke on the “Life of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad”
and Righteous Born Everton closed the program out with and very
conscious and rousing oration on “The History of the Elders Passing
Knowledge Down to the Youth!”

Why Black and Afrikan History?
by Sundiata Acoli

There’s an Old Proverb that asks: “What happened to the people
of Sumer, for ancient records show that these people were Black.” And
the answer was: ” They lost their history, so they died.”

Is that just talk or can a people really die from losing their
history?- and how do they lose it? Well it usually happens when a
people have been invaded, conquered and subjugated in war…and we
all know that TRUTH is the first casualty in war …and
that history is always written by the victors who usually portray
themselves as noble, courageous and wise while slandering the
defeated as cowardly and stupid savages — or they simply write them
out of World History altogether. Those missing pages are a defeated
peoples’ lost history until they regain knowledge of it. Marcus
Garvey said: “A people without knowledge of their history, origin or
culture is like a tree without roots.”…and a tree without roots dies!

So the question is: Have we, Blacks in the u.s., lost our
history?…and could we die as a result? Afrika was invaded and
overthrown 2500 years ago from which it/we have yet to recover. Our
libraries at Alexandra, Egypt, in Afrika, were looted, books taken
back to the western world and Library burned to the ground. Our
history was rewritten to make our conquerors look noble and us look
like ignorant savages – and our real history was left out of World
History altogether. Thus we have lost our history ….so the other
question is:” Can we die from it?”

We’re told we’re free and equal yet we continue to be
discriminated against . Also we continue to be hit with every lethal
affliction in the book: AIDS, crack, abortions (now the #1 killer of
Blacks, i’m told,) gang warfare, police, prisons, death penalty,
obesity-diseases, Katrina, you name it…. and both you and i know
it’s only a matter of time before there is an outbreak of some new
affliction more deadly than the ones before… and that it will “just
happen to” kill more Blacks than anyone else. That’s just too many
coincidences; they look more like “campaigns” to me than
“coincidences”. And frankly there’s no guarantee that we can keep
surviving these deadly attacks, the next affliction may wipe us out
completely. So yes, it’s possible that Blacks in the u.s. could die
just as the people of Sumer did…unless we do something.

SANKOFA, and Old Afrikan Proverb, says” Go forward by going back
to fetch it.” Fetch what? Our lost Afrikan history!: our collective
memory, our mind! We use Our History, and History period, as a
starting point to go forward, to go where we still must go, to get
free and be whatever we choose to be.

Malcolm X said: “Of all our studies, history is best qualified to
reward our research.” It’s also best qualified to provide solutions
to our problems. Again Malcolm: “And when you see you’ve got
problems, all you have to do is examine the historic method used all
over the world by others who have problems similar to yours. Once you
see how they got theirs straight then you know how you can get yours

History is where a people go to learn, research or regain past
knowledge about themselves and the world, to find solutions to
problems in their lives, and go forward. That’s why we need History,
why we study History and how we use History.

If you would like to write Sundiata please send your letters to:

Sundiata Acoli (#39794-066)
P.O. Box 1000
FCI Otisville
Otisville, NY 10963-1000

Funds supporting his legal defense are always appreciated and can be sent to:

PO Box 766 Harlem Station
New York, New York 10027

Checks and money orders should be made out to The Sundiata Acoli
Freedom Campaign

2 Responses

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  2. […] Black History Event at FCI Otisville crossposted from Denver ABC […]

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