Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Kamla's Euro-centric grandmother concept

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
January 20, 2012

At the outset, it must be stated quite equivocally that no where in the in the annals/records of world history is it written that Africa is the Grandmother of human civilization.

In fact, Afri-centric historiography dictates that Africa is the Mother/cradle of all human civilizations, period. World history also validates that human life was born/originated in Mother Africa.

Furthermore, it is a universally accepted scientific fact that human beings can only have one Mother. In other words, a person has to be a Mother first before she becomes a grandmother. Motherhood is, therefore, the original; grandmother status is a derivative phenomenon.

Put another way, in the musical genre, there is only one original recording as in the master copy. The other recordings are mere derivatives of that original cut. Ipso facto, so to in the arena of anthropology and ancestral heritage. Human beings cannot have two Mothers. That just doesn't compute. And it is totally Euro-centric to say the least.

Africans were brought involuntarily and violently from Mother Africa to be enslaved on the plantations in disparate Caribbean countries. There was no Grandmother then and there is no Grandmother now. Africans have only one Mother.

Furthermore, these enslaved Africans did not come from Afro. They came from Africa; hence, their descendents in Trinidad and Tobago today are African-Trinbagonians, period. They are not Afro-Trinbagonians. That's a totally Euro- centric term/label. Time to get with the programme African-Trinbagonians!

Similarly, the indentured labourers came mostly voluntarily from Mother India. They did not come from Indo; hence, their descendents in Trinidad and Tobago today are Indian-Trinbagonians, period. They are not Indo-Trinbagonians. Time to get with the programme Indian-Trinbagonians!

Ergo, Africa and India are our Home, our Motherland. Trinidad and Tobago is our Destination. Africa and India are our respective Mothers. They are not our grandmothers. Africa and India gave ancestral birth to our forefathers. Let's be very clear about that historical fact.

And it is totally Euro-centric as it is ahistorical, divisive and dysfunctional to deduce/conclude otherwise.

As Cheikh Anta Diop confirms: " Universal knowledge runs from the Nile Valley (Egypt, Africa) toward the rest of the world, in particular Greece, which served as an intermediary. As a result, no thought, no ideology, (no human origin) is foreign to Africa which was the land of their birth."

The historical truism is that Africa is the Alpha as in the beginning (Mother) of human civilization and the Omega as in the end of human civilization. That's an undisputable fact. By way of elucidation, human life began in Mother Africa and it will end in Mother Africa.

The fact of the matter is that India is not "a grandmother country with a bond of a special kind of love." On the contrary, India is the Mother of all Mothers to Indian-Trinbagonians. The stark reality is that when it comes to Afri-centric analysis, familial ancestral sentimentality is not a factor. This is not a "feeling good" Euro-centric exercise.

As the erudite, Afri-centric, African- American scholar/educator Dr. Marimba Ani poignantly postulates: "You're not an African (Indian) because you're born in Africa (or in India). You're an African (an Indian) because Africa (India) is born in you. It's in your genes ... your DNA... your entire biological make up. Whether you like it or not, that's the way it is. However, if you were to embrace this truth with open arms... my, my, my ... what a wonderful thing (that would be for all Trinbagonians)".

The Truth Be Told: Afri-centric history not only records that Africa was the world's "first great Mother" but that Ancient Egypt was also "the light of the world."

In the final analysis, in the aftermath of the United Nations sponsorship of 2011 as the "International Year for People of African Descent", now is certainly not the time to fall into that European supremacist trap whose sole/primary mission/purpose is to deny African people of any sense of originality. Ergo, when it comes to a people's ancestral heritage, the concept/notion of "grandmother" tantamounts to nothing more than an overt Euro-centric misnomer.

Shem Hotep ( "I go in peace").

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies.

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