Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan: A Bibliographic Introduction

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan: A Bibliographic Introduction

Article excerpt


"It must be remembered, however: a man without the knowledge of where he has been, knows not where he is, or where he is going. The African (Black man) refuses to be such a man any longer; if he ever was."

Yosef-ben-Jochannan (1970)

"If I had no definite political ideology, I am in fact, existing in limbo. Yet, on the other hand, if my political ideology isolates me from my fellow Africans to the point where I believe that mine and God's [anyone of the hundreds] are one; I am in face already a 'Living Dead'. For 'Ignorance is Contempt-able, even in the eyes of God and His Goddess' Ra-Isis"

Meet (affectingly called) "Dr. Ben", born Yosef Alfred Antoine ben-Jochannan, on December 31, 1918 in what is known as the "Falasha" Hebrew community in Gondar, Ethiopia to an Ethiopian father and Puerto Rican mother. Dr. Ben earned several degrees in such subjects as: architectural and civil engineering; cultural anthropology; and Moorish history from universities in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Spain. He is held in high regard as a professor, author, historian, and Egyptologist. He's served as Visiting Professor of History at the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; Adjunct Professor of History, at Shaw University in Raleigh, Carolina; and Adjunct Associate Professor of History at Malcom-King College in Harlem, New York, New York.

Over his more than fifty year writing career, Dr. Ben has published over forty-nine books and papers on his findings of the "ancient Nile Valley civilizations and their impact on Western cultures." He's appeared on weekly television shows such as the "Gil Noble's WABC-TV weekly public affairs series Like It Is." In addition, his scholarly research, lectures, and tours to Africa have amassed him a personal library that contains "more than 35,000 volumes, manuscripts and ancient scrolls". According to an article that appeared in the October 29, 2002 issue of the Nation of Islam's Final Call, Dr. Ben donated his "engineering books now, and upon his transition from this life" the Nation will receive the remaining library with this stipulation: "that the books will be used by Black people all over the world with any and all religions." According to Dr. Ben, "The Nation of Islam has the only guarantee that the books will be in the hands of Black people. I don't care how they pray. If they're Muslims, Christians, Jews or what, but that somebody who believes and is for Black people would continue to control those books."

When I began this project, I had no idea what to expect. I had no imagination about where this journey would take me. I knew that I have always had a love for Africa, its history, and its people. I had not heard of Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan before this project, but when I saw the titles that were to be annotated, I could not miss this opportunity to honor my elder who has given so much of his time, talent, and treasure to tell "my history, about my people, my Africa."

Dr. Ben writes with a passion and a fire that cannot be squelched. He sometimes used language that was raw, unadulterated, direct and to the point to describe the injustices, brutality, and ugliness that subjects like "trans-global slavery, distorted cultural truths, mis-education to noeducation, racial and social injustices etc." ignited among peoples of the African, African- American, Caribbean and the Pan-African Diaspora.

Over the years, some have characterized Dr. Ben's writings, research, speaking engagements, and teachings as "controversial and polarizing." However, he states in his book, African Origins of the Major "Western Religions": "if this work were to receive the endorsement of everyone, then it is certain that it has said nothing meaningful, by virtue of the subject matter alone." I believe that this quote is apropos for all of the titles in this selected annotated bibliography.

Because of the magnitude of original maps, drawings, photos and research that is included in each of Dr. …

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