The Rise and Rise of Black Consciousness: Santorri Chamley Traces the Roots of Black Consciousness Movements Which Are Growing from Strength to Strength, Spawning a Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry Ranging from Reggae Music, Afrocentric Book Publishing to African Heritage Tourism, Fashion and Beauty Products

By Chamley, Santorri | New African, February 2008 | Go to article overview

The Rise and Rise of Black Consciousness: Santorri Chamley Traces the Roots of Black Consciousness Movements Which Are Growing from Strength to Strength, Spawning a Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry Ranging from Reggae Music, Afrocentric Book Publishing to African Heritage Tourism, Fashion and Beauty Products


Chamley, Santorri, New African


When enslaved 18th century African-American preachers began praising Ethiopia's wondrous ancient civilisation, they could not have imagined that their fledgling ideology would inspire an intriguing array of influential black consciousness movements. As Ethiopia crosses into the new millennium, it continues to be revered as a symbol of black accomplishment and the "promised land" for uprooted Africans

Pan-Africanism, Rastafarianism, La Negritude, Black Power, Black Arts Movement and Afrocentrism are just some of the revolutionary cultural, spiritual and political offshoots of Ethiopianist philosophy. These seminal movements which have spread worldwide have spawned a multi-billion-dollar industry, ranging from roots reggae music and Afrocentric book publishing to African heritage tourism, fashion and beauty products.

Ethiopianists proudly assert and celebrate classical Africa's advanced but largely unacknowledged civilisations, which they believe influenced other classical civilisations, including Greece. They insist that Africa will rise again with the help of its scattered diaspora like the Jews have done for Israel. It is no wonder, therefore, that early black church leaders like Bishop Richard Allen of Philadelphia looked to Ethiopia for salvation. Having mastered the art of reading and writing (which was forbidden to slaves), they would have cherished Biblical texts mentioning Ethiopia (the Biblical name for the continent of Africa).

Ethiopia is noted 51 times in the Old Testament alone. Texts like Psalms 68:31, which states "princes shall come out of Egypt [founded and ruled by black people at the time]" and "Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands unto God", have become the most quoted in the United States.

By promoting black pride from the pulpit, pioneering Ethiopianists were using the ideology as a psychological tool to help their exploited brethren survive the inhumanity of slavery. They were also boldly challenging the racist propaganda of the day which promoted Africans as inferior to whites to justify Europe's highly profitable slave trade and colonial expansion.

Richard Allen, who was born into slavery in 1760, co-founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He spread his Ethiopianist message to both blacks and whites across the east coast of America.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Abyssinia

Like their modern-day counterparts, early Ethiopianists were celebrating Abyssinia's classical civilisations especially its long-lived Aksumite kingdom, a naval and trading power which ruled from around 400 BC to the 10th century AD.

Located in northern Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Aksumite kingdom stretched to Nubia, Yemen, the Red Sea coast and Southern Arabia, and monopolised the spice, incense and ivory trade which it exported all over the ancient world. It was minting its own currency by the 3rd century BC. In the 4th century, its king, Ezana, converted the kingdom to Christianity.

Ethiopianists claimed its intriguing historical figures as their kindred own--such as the mysterious Queen of Sheba, a woman of power who has cast her spell far and wide from the Bible, the Koran and Turkish paintings to Hollywood films and Afrocentric enterprise, although her exact origins are often disputed.

But, according to the Kebra Nagast or The Book of the Glory of Kings--the Ethiopian literary national epic composed between the 6th and 12th centuries AD--the Queen of Sheba was a beautiful Aksumite queen called Makeda. She went to Jerusalem to visit the great Jewish king, Solomon, who made her pregnant.

She gave birth to a son, Menelik I, and therefore divinely established Ethiopia's Solomonic dynasty. Menelik is said to have brought back the Jewish sacred Ark of the Covenant which contained the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God after visiting his father in Jerusalem.

Its transfer, according to believers, means the glory of Zion passed from the children of Israel to the Ethiopians.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Rise and Rise of Black Consciousness: Santorri Chamley Traces the Roots of Black Consciousness Movements Which Are Growing from Strength to Strength, Spawning a Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry Ranging from Reggae Music, Afrocentric Book Publishing to African Heritage Tourism, Fashion and Beauty Products
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.