The Wisdom of Mama Marimba Ani (Jegna, Warrior Scholar, Queen Mother, Living Ancestor)

“Can it be an accident that the only people who have built an entire culture based on the dominance of others are also the only ones who are caucasian?”

"Western society means chaos to the African spirit. In order for that spirit to thrive order must be restored....We must create an environment within which our Africanness can be healthy and productive, as it was meant to be."

"The healing work of Afrikan Spiritual Warfare must take place on the most
personal level. For Afrikans, the "personal" is "collective." As we do our
healing work we help to heal our people. As we heal ourselves we heal our
Ancestors. Spiritual Warfare is not only about fighting the enemy outside of us.
It is about using Spirit to do our personal work of healing, growth and
development. It is about "Doing Maat." Doing Maat is being honest with
ourselves, asking each day, "Am I all I ought to be?" (Fanon) and "Am I doing my
best work?" (Nana Clarke). Spirit demands work. Spiritual Warfare is not about
"religion." It is not escapist. There are no easy answers. It is not a comfort
zone. We must struggle to confront the hard questions, just as we struggle in
confrontation with the enemy. This is a transformational process. We must use
our connectedness with the life force (Ntu) and, most importantly, with each
other, as a source of courage with which to confront the truth of our actions,
our choices and our resulting behaviors. Personal growth comes only through the
struggle to be the best that we can be. Ultimately, it is we who must hold
ourselves accountable on a personal level. Ultimately, it is each of us who
creates the Community. If we do not do our personal work, we can also destroy
it. Ayi Kwei Armah talks about us "finding our larger self." The health of an
Afrikan person, the health of an Afrikan family and community, and the health of
the Afrikan World Nation, depends on our ability to move beyond the dictates of
"ego" (kalanitu), the inauthentic, defensive, smallest and undeveloped self.
Spiritual Warfare will give us the courage to look into the mirror of our
Maafa-wounded souls and to begin the healing work for which they are crying.
Until we engage ourselves in this work, we will not be effective
warriors/nation-builders. Spiritual Warfare involves the personal inner healing
work that prepares us to sustain productive relationships on which community is
built. Afrikan Spiritual Warfare will give us the courage to heal."

"It is the myth of scientific objectivity that allows Europeans to speak for all of us."

"[T]the way to honor the Bakulu (Ancestors) is to emulate them; that is, to do
what they did. In that way, we become our Ancestors and we strengthen them.
Since by calling on our Ancestors we will be held accountable for our subsequent
actions, we must be careful who we call and when we call them and why we call
them. We must call our To Vodun (Ancestors) because we are ready to do/be them
and to continue their work. We must be purposeful in our performance of
Spi-Ritual. We must be prepared to do our work."

"There is no national consciousness without awareness of cultural identity and
the political context. The Afrikan national consciousness exists when people of
Afrikan descent perceive themselves as representing one cultural, genetic,
historical, spiritual, political, ideological entity: the Afrikan World

"The recurrent theme of the 'mad scientist' in the European nightmare fantasy is
an expression of the fear and recognition that somehow it is the European asili
that produces such madness in every 'European.' The madness of this
characterization is not the emotional confusion of an overly sensitive human
being who refuses to accommodate to the inhumanity of contemporary life (quite
the opposite), nor is it a weakened or depressed individual. It is nothing
caused by ordinary human frailty. It is a culturally induced madness caused by
the very absence of humanity."

"A people's world-view effects and tends to determine their behavior. A
Universe understood totally in materialistic, rationalistic terms will
discourage spirituality. An ethos characterized by a will-to-power, by the need
to control, will derive pleasure from a technical order, from conflict (war),
from winning (destroying), and exploitation. Diasporic Africans are forced to
ask, and to answer the question, 'what happens when a people are forced to live
(survive) within a culture based on a world-view that is oppressive to their

"Our spirit is political."

"Only through continuity and linkage is it possible to tap the originating energy source...of African creative power."

"Ultimately validity is judged in terms of interest."

"Your culture is your immune system."

"Homosexuality is not associated with African civilization since African
cultural values place priority on female-male conjugal relationship as the basis
of the 'extended' family and for the procreation of children."

"To forget is to terminate."

"The European conception of and attitude toward those outside of the culture
together compromise one of the most significant and definitive characteristics
of European culture. It is the way in which the European treats those outside
of his culture, which is most indicative of the nature of the culture itself.
And to understand the nature of European imperialism we must understand the
cultural conceptions that provide the ideological support for this kind of
behavior; the belief-system that makes it possible and that reinforces it....It
is not enough, however, to document the phenomenon of European imperialism.
What is imperative is the attempt to offer an explanation that ethnologically
relates it to the culture that has produced it: To explain it in terms of the
ideological core of the culture, the asili. Eurocentric theorists and
historians list the atrocity stories as though they were merely pathological
acts of an otherwise healthy culture. And too often, the fact of European
imperialism is presented in the liberal tradition, as a destructive tendency in
European culture, that can be effectively counterbalanced by the 'humanitarian'
aspects of its ideology. ('All we have to do is get rid of the bad guys.')
The interpretation offered here leads to quite different conclusions. The
concept of asili helps us to demonstrate the way in which the
imperialistic-expansionist and exploitative drive is inherent and, therefore,
'natural' in the context of European culture: It is logically generated by the
asili of the culture. This activity and endeavor is not in any way peripheral
to the main thrust of the culture; it is not merely an aspect among many,
unrelated characteristics. It is, instead, a central theme in European behavior
with origins in the core of European ideology. White nationalism and
aggression, both cultural and economic, are endemic to European culture:
embedded in its ideological matrix. To reverse the tendency of which European
imperialism is a manifestation would be to radically change the basis, the
essential nature of the culture itself."

"We are a spiritual/emotional people. The expression of that spirit and those emotions is a necessity of existence."

"The 'idea of progress' is a fundamental aspect of the Western
philosophy of life, providing moral justification for the technical
order and giving direction to the strivings of individuals within
society....Conceptually, 'progressive' motion consumes all of the
past within it and 'progress' is not merely 'different from,' it is
more than....In this way, European culture, in the vernacular of
European cultural chauvinism, is made to be superior not only to what
precedes it -- as does its own past -- but also to
coexistent 'unprogressive' cultures. In other words, the idea of
progress provides a scale on which to weigh and by which to compare
people via their cultures (their group creations). The Western-
European ethos requires a self-image not merely of superiority but of
supremacy, and the idea of progress makes white people supreme among
human beings. It is superiority placed into the dimension of lineal
time, and then the logic of lineal time placed into a timeless
dimension. Without the idea and this conceptual sleight of hand,
cultures would merely be different; Western culture would merely be
intensely and obsessively rational. With the assumption of the idea
of progress, the West becomes 'better'....Technology provides the
model of 'efficiency,' a model which more perfectly than anything
imaginable concurs with the philosophy of change -- for, in the
European view, there is no end to efficiency either. No matter how
effectively a machine may perform its function, it can always be made
more effective and thereby a 'new' and 'better' machine. Progress
is, in this way, 'proven,' and Western-Euroeans can be said
to 'advance' as technology advances. It does not matter that there
is nothing toward which they advance. Their innovations all seem to
contribute to greater order in their society -- at least, to a
certain kind of order. The rationalization...of their culture gives
them the impression that they have organized their lives more
efficiently. This kind of organization is proof of progress, just as
their machines are. All of this taken together rmeans that they
are 'smart' and getting 'smarter,' the 'best' and getting 'better.'
To the Western self, progress is obviously more than an idea. When
technology dominates in this way, it is the inexorable drive for
power and control characterizing the European ethos that is ideally
complemented; but Europeans understand their nature to be the nature
of all people, and they project this attitude onto the world,
dominating it."

"A self that must be distinct in order to know becomes emotionally a
self that perceives value in terms of itself in isolation. This is
not the natural context for the creation of human value -- which is
normally created out of shared emotional commitment. The values of
the European individual are, therefore, necessarily material. They
are not true 'human' values. Such a self is alone, afraid,
defensive, and aggressive. Acquisitiveness, fanatical accumulation,
and mutual exploitation are merely the logical and rational
outgrowths of such a perception of reality. Because of the
conception of self -- the values of a European-
defined 'individuality' and 'freedom' -- that the culture generates,
the personality strives for a security not provided by his culture,
in an area from which it can never come. Material accumulation
becomes the tool of an assurance against the hostilities and attacks
of others. The individual becomes obsessed with the negative and
threatening possibilities of the future -- with accident and with
death. He lives in a culture diseased with thanatophobia and one
that provides him with insurances 'against' every kind of physical or
material possibility imaginable, yet knowing that no amount of
financial gain can redeem his soul....European culture, then, fails
in the primary function of a cultural construct, i.e., to provide the
human being with the emotional security brought by spiritual
communion. This sense of security, which the European fails to
achieve, in majority cultures is created out of the spirtuality of
human interrelatedness and a concept of shared human value; an arena
that transcends the material. European culture is a culture with a
nonspiritual ideological base. This essential and defining
characteristic has allowed it to become the most materially
successful culture, the most aggressively political culture, the most
scientifically rationaly culture, and the most psychopathological
culture the world has ever known."

"Liberatiion is a question of consciousness."

"We turn the tables by transforming 'subject' into 'object,' and in the
process we are ourselves transformed into victors rather than victims."

"To be truly liberated, African people must come to know the nature of
European thought and behavior in order to understand the effect that
Europe has had on our ability to think victoriously. We must be able
to separate our thought from European thought, so as to visualize a
future that is not dominated by Europe. This is demanded by an African-
centered view becaues we are Africans, and because the future towards
which Europe leads us is genocidal."

"The secret Europeans discovered early in their history is that culture
carries rules for thinking, and that if you could impose your culture
on your victims you could limit the creativity of their vision,
destroying their ability to act with will and intent and in their own
interest. The truth is that we are all 'intellectuals,' all potential

"When a force is used against the people who create it instead of in their interests, the enemy is successful."

"According to the Dogon people of Mali, in West Africa, Amma, the
Crator, ordained that all created beings should be living
manifestations of the fundamental universal principle of
complementarity or 'twinness.' This principle manifests itself as
the wholeness which is created when female and male pairs join in all
things. Such pairing establishes equilibrium, cooperation, balance,
and harmony. Amma therefore equipped each being with twin souls --
both female and male -- at birth. But one of these primordial
placentas the male soul did not wait for the full gestation period to
be born. This male being was known as Yurugu (Ogo), who arrogantly
wished to compete with Amma and to create a world better than that
which Amma had created. With his fragmented placenta he created
Earth; but it could only be imperfect, since he was incomplete, that
is, born prematurely, without his female twin-soul. Realizing that
he was flawed adn therefore deficient, Yurugu returned to Amma
seeking his complementary female self. But Amma had given his female
soul away. Yurugu forever incomplete, was doomed to perpetually
search for the completeness that could never be his. The Earth, he
had defiled in the act of self-creation, was now inhabited by single-
souled, impure and incomplete beings like himself. Yurugu's
descendants, all eternally deficient, originated in an incestuous
act, since he had procreated with his own placenta, the
representation of his mother."

"It is an inherent characteristic of the culture that it prepares
members of the culture to be able to act like friends toward those
they regard as enemies; to be able to convince others that they have
come to help when they, in fact, have come to destroy the others and
their culture. That some may 'believe' that they are actually doing
good only makes them more dangerous, for they have swallowed their
own rhetoric -- perhaps a convenient self-delusion. Hypocritical
behavior is sanctioned and rewarded by European culture. The
rhetorical ethic helps to sanction it. European culture cannot be
understood in terms of the dynamics of other cultures alone. It is a
culture that breeds hypocrisy -- in which hypocrisy is a supportive
theme -- a standard of behavior.”

To Be An Afrikan Woman is to:
- be life affirming
- be in partnership with an Afrikan man
- be a political organizer
- function as part of a collective
- exert influence
- speak for the Ancestors
- be an advocate for Afrika
- be a mother who does whatever is necessary to protect her child
- teach
- be a healer
- represent the continuity of Afrikan people
- represent the stability of the Afrikan family
- maintain and pass on Afrikan culture
- organize and direct the Afrikan market, enabling our people to
understand the spirit of economic exchange and distribution of our
- be a scientist of the sacred
- be an intellectual
- be Divine

"The phenomenon of cultural imperialism, if it is to be distinguished
from its strictly militaristic, political, and economic components, is
that which strikes the 'death blow' at a people's ability to resist
aggression. There has never been, in the history of the human race,
more expert dealers of that blow than Europeans. They alone have
realized the full strategic potential of destroying the ideological
life of a cultural entity."

"To be truly liberated, African people must come to know the nature of
European thought and behavior in order to understand the effect that
Europe has had on our ability to think victoriously. We must be able
to separate our thought from European thought, so as to visualize a
future that is not dominated by Europe. This is demanded by an African-
centered view because we are Africans, and because the future towards
which Europe leads us is genocidal."

"The capacity of one cultural group to commit acts of physical
brutality and destruction against another is proportionate to the place
of power (i.e., control over 'other') in its ideology and the degree to
which its image and conceptions of those outside the culture lack the
characteristics of 'humanness.' European culture has an enormous
capacity for the perpetuation of physical violence against other
cultures; it's integrity is neither threatened nor disrupted by such

"All people, all over the world, throughout history have shared in
common the fact that they belong to a culture of origin. That is a
universal reality. Another equally important universal reality is
that there are many, many different cultures in the world and each
of them is unique. The uniqueness of a culture is what gives
specialness to its members. The members of a culture are bonded
together by their shared culture, which gives them a sense of
collective identity.
"We are an Afrikan people," simply reveals that there are values,
traditions and a heritage that we share because we have a common
origin. The cultural process is naturally a ongoing, which allows
people to continuously affirm their connectedness through being
linked to their origins.
However, the continuity of our cultural identity has been
interrupted cruelly and unnaturally by the experience of slavery. We
as a people are still suffering from this crime because we have not
been allowed to find our way back to the sense of cultural identity
and continuity which would transform us into a unified and whole
people. We have not been able to function in the world with a
collective consciousness that naturally imparts a strong sense of
cultural roots.
The term "Maafa" (from the book, "Let The Circle Be Unbroken) is a
kiswahili word for "disaster" that we are now using to reclaim our
right to tell our own story. Maafa refers to the enslavement of our
people and to the sustained attempt to dehumanize us. Because the
Maafa has disconnected us from our cultural origins, we have
remained vulnerable in a social order that does not reflect our
cultural identity.
We are people of African ancestry living in denial of who we are. We
have lost our strength as a people. We are losing our children to
systems which miseducate them. Our families are disintegrating
before our eyes. Our numbers are growing in the statistics of drug
addiction and incarceration.
Responsible national Black organizations are seeking remedies to
these problems, but we are not speaking with one voice. We need to
work together as a family who supports its members and who is
responsible for their welfare. We must use the most valuable asset
that we have: That is the spirit of our people. It is that spirit
that connects us to our Afrikan roots.
Slowly, we are awakening to the need to claim our cultural legacy.
The term "Sankofa" from Akan tradition in Ghana, West Africa tells
us to return to the Source so that we can go forward with strength
and clarity. Culture is a powerful tool for inspiring human beings
and bringing them together in a concerted "family" action.
Our cultural roots are the most ancient in the world. The spiritual
concepts of our Ancestors gave birth to religious thought African
people believe in the oneness of the African family through sacred
time, which unites the past, the present and the future.
Our Ancestors live with us. They created the first civilizations
thousands of years ago and they suffered the pain of the Maafa. And
yet, they were able to endure the most disastrous and dehumanizing
circumstances ever perpetrated against a group of people, only
because of the power of the African spirit. They did not have the
freedom to affirm their cultural heritage. We now have that choice.
In the African view of life it is our responsibility to honor their
This is perhaps our moment of truth. We must come together as a
family. We must do all that we can do to uplift our people.
Otherwise, we are still denying who we are and bringing dishonor to
our "family name;" to our Ancestors.
The answer to our social dilemma is the resocialization of our
people into the cultural value-system that affirms our spiritual
being. Our Ancestors are calling us "home", back to our cultural
selves. We must begin the process of Sankofa."

"By what logic does anomaly become the norm?"

"The ultimate question of the survival of African culture will be
answered by our response to Euro-America. In its American form,
European culture is most efficiently seductive and destructive. The
nature of black resistance to that seduction will determine whether the
African spirit triumphs or crumbles. Undeneath its arrogant
offensiveness, Euro-America is deceptively subtle. It is in these
instances most politically and culturally destructive. Euro-
America is the frontline of the battleground, and we Africans here in
America are engaged daily in a life-and-death struggle for our

"Every world-view generates a set of metaphysical definitions and
can only be explained or understood using those definitions as
reference points. Gross distortions and misconceptions result when
alien metaphysical conceptions are injected into cross-cultural
analysis of a given world-view. The European and African world-
views are so different, in such crucial aspects, that explanations
of the African world-view that use European definitions are
blatantly absurd. (The implications, of course, have been
especially serious because of the political relationship of these
two cultures). The African world-view is characterized by Unity,
Harmony, spirituality, and organic interrelationship. The European
world-view is characterized by compartmentalization (isolation,
separation), control (power relationships), conflict (tension),
materialism, and mechanical relationship. As a result, traditional
African society is a microcosm of the natural cosmic environment, in
which people are actively and closely involved and with which they
identify; whereas western society is an unnatural technically
efficient order, set within an artificially materialized universe,
in which people experience painful alienation, both from the modes
in which they are forced to function (institutions) and each other."

"A myth is not a 'lie;' rather it is the highest statement of truth.
It is a truth that mobilizes and unifies; a truth that states the
ideals of a people. All ideologies are founded on myth. We must stop
accepting myths that do not work for us. We must retrieve and create
our own myths. We must turn our spirituality, our ethos, or
Africanness into a political tool. We must harness the energies that
lie dormant and diffused throughout Pan-Africa, and forge them into a
powerful political force for liberation and self-determination."

"It is the essential nature of western-European society that threatens
our existence -- not just its mechanism, not only its exploitative
nature, nor its white racism (anti-Africanism) alone. There is no
single aspect that accounts for its dangerousness."