Azibo Interviews Dr. Regina Jennings on the Template for the Racially Normal Individual

By ya Azibo, Daudi Ajani | The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online), October 2014 | Go to article overview

Azibo Interviews Dr. Regina Jennings on the Template for the Racially Normal Individual


ya Azibo, Daudi Ajani, The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)


Regina Jennings, Ph.D. is author of Malcolm X and the Poetics of Haki Madhubuti (2006) and Race, Rage, and Roses (2004).

DAA: (Daudi Jambo Dr. Jennings. Asante sana (thank you very much) for answering a few questions. I know you to be an Africana Studies professor currently at California State University, a poet and a member of the original Black Panther Party. Your award winning texts, Malcolm X and the Poetics of Haki Madhubuti, Race, Rage, and Roses (your second poetry book), and your twenty-five or so peer-reviewed articles and essays come highly recommended. Your chapter on dysfunctional beginnings of racial identity entitled "From Nigger to Negro ..." documents how the African-U.S. were mentally de-Africanized. As such, your thoughts on the templet that the Azibo Nosology II presents to represent the mentally and behaviorally re- Africanized or racially normal individual are solicited.

RJ (Regina Jennings): Dr. Azibo I am pleased to talk to you about your very important work, the Nosology templet and I want to begin by telling you that I am still an Associate Professor in African-American and Ethnic Studies, still a poet, and as you rightfully point out, a former member of the original Black Panther Party for Self Defense in Oakland, California. Having lived through that exciting, deadly, and righteous part of Black American history, I know for a fact how important it is to raise children in an African-centered way in order to disrupt the entrenched White supremacy that dominates the psychology of Black people. The Nosology templet makes that exceeding significant direction very clear.

Because we as a people have not confronted the emotional trauma of being conquered, the hidden inferiority and the absorption of racist attitudes continue to disfigure how those of African descent think about themselves and their place in the world. For example, with the non- acknowledgement of authentic African history that posits African people as the primary creators of world civilization as well as the proliferation of n/Negro and Black subordination in mainstream history causes African-Americans to quietly feel inferior to Whites and other ethnicities. In mainstream America, with Malcolm X, for instance, being considered and taught as violent confuses the Black psyche to accept subordination instead of resistance as the proper or accepted manner of behavior. In just about every class where I have taught about Malcolm X normally my White students, and a few Blacks, initially call him a racist and a terrorist.

I have to remind them that Malcolm never killed anyone; nor did he participate in the building of ships; the sailing across an ocean to capture and enslave White people for centuries. I have to remind them of the multitude of Red Nations in America when the Spanish and English arrived with weaponry which they unhesitatingly used to murder the groups that had initially welcomed them.

DAA: What is your perception of this template? Does it appear to represent a bona fide recovery or re-Africanization that overcomes the identity losses that underlie the slavery imposed "negro and nigger" identities? Please briefly explain or describe the "negro and the nigger" identity.

RJ: If we, as the Nosology template clearly states, bring forward the lives of independent and courageous thinkers and doers such as Queen Nzingha, Marcus Garvey, Kwame Toure, and others, and pass their patterns of behavior onto the next generation, then we have a chance to contribute to a better future for all African people. Because of the courage of Malcolm X and his teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, X was able to take his message of Black independence and the importance of studying Black history and particularly Nile Valley Civilization to the masses of our people. Amos Wilson is right when he talks about the necessity to re-empower ourselves as is Marimba Ani who puts forward the almost unspeakable tragedies that have beset our people. …

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