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Assessment for Blacks in Colombia
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Colombia Facts
Area: 1,138,910 sq. km.
Capital: Bogota
Total Population: 38,581,000 (source: unknown, est.)

Risk Assessment | Analytic Summary | References

Risk Assessment
Two factors increase the likelihood of future black protest in Colombia: (1) territorial concentration and (2) reaction to government culpability in war crimes committed against black Colombians. Two factors favor the containment of rebellion: (1) a recent history of democratic government and elections, (2) lack of serious armed conflicts in neighboring countries.

Despite a strong regional identity and significant grievances, particularly with respect to the government’s failure to prevent the civil war’s victimization of innocent people, black Colombians, lacking a history of significant mobilization and beleaguered by the ongoing civil

Assessment for Blacks in Colombia
View Group Chronology

Colombia Facts
Area: 1,138,910 sq. km.
Capital: Bogota
Total Population: 38,581,000 (source: unknown, est.)

Risk Assessment | Analytic Summary | References

Risk Assessment
Two factors increase the likelihood of future black protest in Colombia: (1) territorial concentration and (2) reaction to government culpability in war crimes committed against black Colombians. Two factors favor the containment of rebellion: (1) a recent history of democratic government and elections, (2) lack of serious armed conflicts in neighboring countries.

Despite a strong regional identity and significant grievances, particularly with respect to the government’s failure to prevent the civil war’s victimization of innocent people, black Colombians, lacking a history of significant mobilization and beleaguered by the ongoing civil war, are unlikely to engage in future protest at levels higher than verbal protest.


Analytic Summary
Colombia’s black population is concentrated in the Choco region along the Pacific Coast where they represent 95% of the population (GROUPCON = 3). Colombian blacks also inhabit urban centers and the Caribbean coastal region. They are distinguished by ethnocultural traits (ETHNOG = 1), religious traditions combining Catholicism with African customs (RELIG = 1), and polygamous family structures (CUSTOM = 1).

Black Colombians are the descendants of African slaves brought to Colombia in the 1700s to serve Spanish colonists, primarily as laborers (TRADITN = 1). The abolition of slavery in the years after 1850 coincided with the displacement of black laborers by an influx of non-blacks seeking employment in the mining, commerce, and timber industries then developing in black areas. Consequently, many blacks were forced to look for labor in urban centers such as Medellin and Bogota, where they work today primarily in domestic service and various low-skilled labor positions. Black labor continues to drive Colombia’s labor-intensive industries, notably the coffee plantations of Antioquia and the mines and trade services of the Choco. The long-held practice in Colombian society of blanqueamiento, or the dis-identification with blackness as expressed through the encouragement of race-mixing and the societal privileging of lighter skin, carries the legacy of discrimination and disadvantage Colombian blacks have endured since slavery (ATRISK1 = 1, ATRISK2 = 1).

Colombian blacks experience demographic stress in the form of deteriorating public health, migration to urban centers and abroad, and the dispossession of land by militant groups engaged in Colombia’s civil war (DEMSTR00 = 6) Discrimination and social exclusion limits access to the civil service and high office as well as general economic opportunity (ECDIS03 = 3, POLDIS03 = 3).

Black Colombians’ principal demands include: greater political rights in their own communities, greater participation in decision making at the central state level, equal civil rights and status, greater economic opportunities, and protection of land and jobs used for the advantage of other groups.

Colombian blacks are represented primarily by umbrella organizations (GOJPA03 = 1). The National Movement for the Human Rights of Black Communities in Colombia (Cimarron), which is modeled after the U.S. Black Panther and Nation of Islam movements, uses pamphlets and bulletins to mobilize smaller groups and organizations throughout the country. The Center for the Investigation and Development of Black Culture (CID), once funded by UNESCO, models its platform on the ideals of the U.S. civil rights movement. Annual seminars for black teachers and the publication of black literature are the organization’s primary activities. Among the smaller, more transient black Colombian organizations reported to be recently active are: Asociacion de Campesinos, Integral del Atrato, Asociacion Juvenil Nortecaucana, Equipo Misionero Medio, Fundacion Civica, Fundacion de Vida, Grupo de Mujeres, Hermanas Compania de Maria, Moviiento Investigativo Sinesio Mena, Organizacion de Barrios Populares, and Organizacion Regional Embera Wawnana. Though the concentration of blacks in the Choco region gives Colombian blacks a strong regional identity and there has been no reported intragroup conflict, the practice of blanqueamiento may have limited the extent to which black Colombians identify as a group. Black Colombians receive no direct support of significance from transnational actors.

Black mobilization since 1990 has included: Cimarron’s 1990 campaign to include reforms in the new constitution (PROT90 = 1), a 1992 petition to lobby for the implementation of property rights and cultural protections provisionally granted by the new constitution (PROT92 = 1), a 1994 protest outside the Colombian Institute of Anthropology calling for the fulfillment of legally-mandated studies of the black population (PROT94 = 3), a 1995 demonstration, organized by the Regional Indigenous Organization Embera Wounaan (OREWA), against the development of land on which black Colombians live and to include blacks in land demarcations in the Choco (PROT95 = 3). More recently black Colombians have voiced opposition to under-representation in the national census and to anti-narcotic fumigation of black regions (PROT00 = 1). The greatest adversary of the black population continues to be the bloody civil war waged by military, guerrilla, and paramilitary forces—all of which share responsibility for killings, disappearances, and land displacements in black communities (INTERCON00 = 1). More recently, in May 2002, during a fight for control of the Afro-Colombian fishing village of Bellavista (located on the Middle Atrato River in the municipality of Bojayá) FARC launched a bomb at AUC, which had holed up around the catholic church of St. Paul the Apostle. The bomb, made from a propane gas canister packed with explosives and shrapnel, hit the church instead, killing 119 (45 of whom were children) and injuring 108 of the 500 people who had taken refuge inside. The attack wiped out 10 percent of the village. Due to continued fighting in the area, more than 5,000 people fled the Bojayá region, the town of Bellavista, and the town across the Atrato River, Vigía del Fuerte. It took the Colombian army six days to reach the village, after fighting eight battles with the FARC or the ACCU in the jungle environment to regain control of the River.


Cordoba, Amir Smith. Vision Sociocultural del Negro en Colombia. Bogota. Centor para la Investigacion de la Cultura Negra en Colombia. 1986.

Espinosa, Manuel Jose Cepeda. Ethnic Minorities and Constitutional Reform in Colombia. Presented at the Woodrow Wilson Center Latin American Program. November 15, 1994.

Lexis-Nexis news reports. 2001-2003.

Solaun, Mauricio and Sidney Kronus. Discrimination Without Violence. New York. John Wiley and Sons. 1973.

U.S. Department of State. Colombia Human Rights Practices. March 1995. 2001-2003.

Wade, Peter. The Cultural Politics of Blackness in Colombia. XVIII LASA International Congress. March 1994.

Wade, Peter. Blackness and Race Mixture. Baltimore. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1993.


© 2004 • Minorities At Risk Project

Center for International
Development and
Conflict Management

0145 Tydings Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Chronology for Blacks in Colombia
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View Additional Chronology Information

Date(s) Item
1989 OREWA (the Regional Organization of Emberas and Waunanas) organized the First Meeting for the Unity and Defence of Indigenous and Black Communities. This meeting formed the joint organization, ACADESAN, the Peasant Association of San Juan River, for the purpose of protesting the development of the Pacific region.
Jul 1990 The First Meeting of Black Communities was held to organize and mobilize blacks to lobby for reforms in the new constitution. Black candidates also ran for election for the Constituent Assembly. One candidate was from the Liberal Party, one represented Cimarron, and one represented the guerrilla group, FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). None of these delegates were elected.
Dec 1990 The black group Cimarron lobbied the National Constituent Assembly for reforms in the new constitution for blacks.
Jul 1991 The organization and mobilization of blacks increased due to the Transitory Law, which had to be passed by 1993. Cimarron and church groups formed the Organization of Black Communities. This organization facilitated the coordination of local groups and programs to publicize the Article.
Jul 5, 1991 The new constitution was ratified by the Constituent Assembly. Transitory Article 55 was passed, but had to be implemented through the passage of a law which was subject to study by a government commission. This law would recognize the “collective property rights for black communities which have been occupying tierras baldias (public or state lands) in the rural riverine zones of the rivers of the Pacific Basin.” The law also established “mechanisms for the protection of the cultural identity and rights of these communities, and for the promotion of their economic and social development.” The law could also apply to other black regions of the country that met similar requirements.
Apr 1, 1992 The government formed a special commission to review Article 55.
Oct 18, 1992 500 people were left homeless and 20 injured due to an earthquake which hit one of the poorest regions of Colombia in the northwest, near Antioquia – inhabited by indigenous and black populations.
Nov 1992 Black organization delegates signed a petition to refuse to assist in the commission until the government fulfills its obligations to the black members. Negotiations were held between the government and black members to resume the study of the Article.
Aug 27, 1993 The President ratified Law 70. This law recognizes black communities as an ethnic group and defines the titling of collective land rights to whole black communities on the rivers of the Pacific region. The law gives land rights to communities, but excludes community control over natural resources, subsoils, National Park areas, zones of military importance, and urban areas. It also contains articles to improve education, training, and access to credit for blacks. Black representatives were appointed to the National Planning Council, regional planning boards, and a Consultative Commission to inform the government of the implementation of the law. Discrimination was outlawed against blacks and education must include cultural diversity. Two representative were also appointed positions in the National Constituent Assembly.
Dec 1993 The government initiated policies to employ black police officers in black community areas, such as the Choco, through scholarship and training programs.
Jan 1994 In the western town of Las Chinitas (inhabited by indigenous and black people) guerrilla groups attacked and killed 38 people in the streets.
1994 One black congresswoman and one congressman were elected to the National Constituent Assembly.
Apr 10, 1994 Blacks protested outside the Colombian Institute of Anthropology to develop research programs for the study of black populations in addition to indigenous populations. The new Law 70 states that research on black populations must be conducted.
Aug 1994 A government sponsored policy, called BioPacific, was formulated to improve the land rights and living situations of Afro-Colombians. The policy is aimed at preserving areas of land for black communities and for environmental protection.
May 13, 1995 OREWA lobbied the government and held a demonstration against the development of forest lands upon which black-Colombians live. OREWA, which represents blacks and indigenous people, has also lobbied to include blacks in the demarcation of lands in the forest area of the Choco.
May 15, 1995 Senator Piedad Corboda de Castro, a black female senator from Colombia, visited the U.S. to build ties between the black communities of both countries. She told the human rights conference members that black-Colombians were still marginalized in society. Aside from the human rights conference which she attended, she met with diplomats, international financial institutions, and African-American organizations.


© 2004 • Minorities At Risk Project

Center for International
Development and
Conflict Management

0145 Tydings Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Last Updated January 10, 2007






The right to practice polygamy is considered to be the next civil rights battle and many individuals and groups are working to have anti-polygamy laws struck down as unconstitutional.


In the U.S., pro-polygamy forces have many supporters — legally, academically and culturally:

Polygamy is supported in principle by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Libertarian Party.

In a 2004 commentary in USA Today, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said anti-polygamy laws are hypocritical and that Green’s 2001 bigamy conviction was “simply a matter of unequal treatment under the law.”

Georgia State University professor Patricia Dixon interviewed numerous polygamous families who live in three black (U.S.) communities: African Hebrew Israelite, Ausar Auset Society and African American Muslim. In her book, We Want for Our Sisters What We Want for Ourselves (2002), Ms. Dixon concluded that polygyny, in which one man co-partners with many women, can be quite advantageous for women when it’s practiced openly and with consent, The women in these communities would “really appreciate” having polygamy rights, “Not having a legal license [as a second or third wife] causes a lot of anxiety.”

“Polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle” has become the motto of a Christian group that believes in “freely consenting, adult, non-abusive, marriage-committed polygamy”. Mark Henkel, founder of website, has said: “There’s no doubt about it, we are next. Liberals and feminists have to be pro-polygamy because of their tolerance doctrine and belief in a woman’s right to choose, which certainly includes ‘the right to choose polygamy’. The goal… is to convince conservatives, especially Christians, that ‘consenting adult’ polygamy is biblical and valuable, both to society and to individual men and women. Opposition to polygamy will come crashing down … like a house of cards.”

“We’ve got some judicial activists all over the country, especially on the 9th Circuit [Court of Appeals], who would probably be ready, willing and able to include polygamy as a constitutional right,” says Jan LaRue, legal specialist at Concerned Women for America.

An estimated 30,000 to 80,000 families are living polygamously in the United States, including hundreds of Laotian Hmongs in Minnesota and thousands of fundamentalist Mormons in Arizona and Utah.

Individual citizens, who are starting to wonder why polygamy is a crime, ask the following kinds of questions?

o If consenting adults who prefer polygamy can do everything else a husband and wife can do—have sex, live together, buy property, and bring up children jointly — why should they be prohibited from legally committing themselves to the solemn duties that attach to marriage? How is society worse off if these informal relationships are formalized and pushed toward permanence?

o Why is it a crime for an upstanding, tax-paying legal U.S. citizen who chooses to legally marry one wife and they solemnize, in a religious ceremony only, a relationship with another consenting adult? All parties are adults capable of making this decision and willing to live with each other in this scenario freely. I thought the protection of religious choices and the privacy of intimate, personal relationships between consenting adults were upheld by the U.S. Constitution?

o Isn’t it funny that a married man can legally have a mistress, children out of wedlock and that, without the knowledge or consent of his legal wife, sleep with other women – or men for that matter – and the legal system looks the other way? Yet, a spiritual man who believes it’s wrong to have marital relations outside the sanctity of God’s holy ordinance, and without the permission or knowledge of his legal wife, is a criminal if he lives a polygamous lifestyle.


Polygamy was outlawed in the U.S. during Colonial days, when Mormon pioneers in Utah wished for Utah to become a state. When Mormon pioneers moved to areas of western Canada, the Government of Canada also created anti-polygamy legislation.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected polygamy in its 1879 decision in Reynolds v. United States, which said government can enforce anti-polygamy laws even if they run counter to people’s religious beliefs.

Utah’s Constitution outlaws polygamy “forever” and, in 2001, the state’s anti-polygamy laws were upheld when Thomas Green, a fundamentalist Mormon man with five wives, was sent to prison for bigamy and related crimes.

In recent years, the U.S. federal government and 40 states have passed Defense of Marriage Acts and/or constitutional amendments that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Source documents:

“Why is this a crime?” by Janie Miller The Salt Lake Tribune May 23, 2006

“The Marriage of Many” by Cheryl Wetzstein The Washington Times December 11, 2005

“Polygamy Is ‘Next Civil Rights Battle,’ Activists Say” by Randy Hall Staff Writer/Editor,, March 16, 2006



Polygamy and the Black Panther Party

Well actually I don’t know if they are in the Black Panther Party or the new Black Panther Party, but they are definitely pro-African. Now if you have never read a pro-African rhetoric it can kind of take you aback so just brace yourself and get into the meat of what they are saying. Her views on polygamy actually fall in line with my views on polygamy. As a utility it can be an awesome tool. If you have two earners working for what is necessary in Dunya and one at home fortifying the youth to become better Muslims then this is a model that would work.

I have different models that I class polygamy into and I haven’t fully formalized all of my definitions yet so bear with me however this one I would call a sister driven model of polygamy. Which honestly is the only one that I truly believe would work. I went over three of them in an earlier post. There are some other things that I want to study. City verses country, one house verses multiple homes. Family oriented verses, male oriented. How it exists in various ethnic groups. Arabs, Africans, Vietnamese. How it exists within various religions. Why some situations work and why some don’t. I think that it is a very interesting scholarly unit of study. This would make for a good book.

View Original Post posted by Muhammad @ 12:46
as salaam alaikum brother muhammad:

i’ll have to read this site more carefully at a later date, but i wanted to make comment that, overall, Africa is/Africans are very polygynous. It’s been going on quite extensively from the beginning until lately with the infiltration of christian evangelists putting polygyny in such a bad light (and the consequent rise in lesbianism). And the only thing it has done is drive men into having more than one woman on the sly…the men STILL do it, but now without the sanction of the community or state, and the women, and without any of the responsibility.

there are a couple of afrikan oriented based communities in america that practice polygyny, and it doesn’t seem to be an issue of discussion, from what i can tell. The women who join these groups embrace the concept and the men who practice it seem not to have all the fitna within the family dynamic. I guess that is so because it IS so upfront and accepted by the community ingeneral.

This is not the case within the ummah. God knows that many Muslim polygynous families have an awful time from their COMMUNITY members; sometimes it’s so bad that the marriage breaks up. There are no models for the men to emulate and women are notorious for pitying the first wife and hating the 2nd. There is rarely an elder woman for the first wife to go to for family affirming advise and support and help in adjusting through what most women these days have been brought up to believe about love and men…that there must be something wrong with them, that he must love the next one more or her less.

We’ve long forgotten that love is not like money; more you spend the less there is. Love is the exact opposite. It’s infinite, and can actually grow between the first and the husband when he marries the second. I know first marriages that have been saved by the addition of the second wife. Masha’Allah. I’ve seen it where the first and second wives (and more) become so cohesive that when they all end up divorced from the husband, they stay best friends. I’ve seen and experienced how polygyny can work, very well for all parties involved.

Lastly, my husband was talking to another polygynist brother we know and they were discussing how it is that brothers can envision a perfect society, but can’t maintain decent relationships. To put it another way, they were wondering how so many Muslim men can discuss in great detail how to solve the ummah’s problems but usually can’t create synergy and ‘manage’ more than one wife. I was wondering if it always comes down to the ineptness of the man?

# posted by Anonymous : 9/02/2007 09:18:00 PM
Thank you for commenting on my Blog I really appreciate yours and Imani’s views. It brings a new light to the subject and makes it a lot less dark. Unfortunately in the Muslim arena the subject is usually approached on the down low. So when it unfolds it comes as a low blow so the foundation is rocky from the start.

I asked a question on Safa’s blog and so far the running consensus is that the women can do without the lies and games that men play when trying to bring it about and keep things together. I think from all of the blogs that I read that lying is the number one cause of discomfort. Followed closely by disrespect and disregard.

You are correct in that there are no positive role models. There are usually the domineering ones, the deceptive ones and the cheating justifying ones and that is unfortunate because it is a complex lifestyle with a lot to offer if done correctly. The catfighting that takes place I’m not so in touch with cause it is usually out of my sight. You know sisters don’t come up to brothers and complain unless they are the Imam.

I agree that love is based on the God Principle that the more you give the more you can receive.

The ineptness of the man? Hmm I would more than likely say that is a possibility, but also a lot of it has to do with maturity, COMMUNICATION SKILLS, and experience. In my first go round with polygamy I was very inexperienced I did a lot of things wrong. There were lapses in communication, there was mismanagement. As I see it the husband has to be an excellent manager. He has to enforce the rules that the Family has stated are in stone. He has to be a steward of time and he must be as truthful as he possibly can be. I believe after this point Allah will work out the rest.
# posted by Muhammad : 9/04/2007 12:25:00 AM
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Black Hebrews:
Black Hebrews fight for citizenship in Israel
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——————————————————————————– • Item 1211 • Posted: Monday November 18, 2002


Exotic community founded by Chicago foundry worker
San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 15, 2002

Danielle Haas, Chronicle Foreign Service

Dimona, Israel — In Chicago, kindergarten teacher Samaheyah Bat-Yisrael says her life was “desolation.” But in this hardscrabble Negev desert town, she says she has found her “salvation.”

Resplendent in a blue African-style headdress, a flowing outfit to match and gold earrings, the beaming 44-year-old Samaheyah — whose Hebrew name means “She who will make God happy” — is adamant about never returning to the crime- and drug-ridden South Side where she grew up. “We were slaves there. Here I know I’m safe.”

Feeling safe may seem like an odd concept in conflict-riven Israel. It may seem especially odd in Dimona, a town of about 30,000 people created in 1955 to accommodate new immigrants that is now home to Israel’s only nuclear reactor. But for the 2,000-strong vegetarian and polygamous community of Black Hebrews, as they are widely known here, living in Israel is the fulfillment of a scriptural promise to create what they call the “Kingdom of Yah,” or God on earth.

Calling themselves the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, their origins are rooted in their charismatic leader, Ben Ammi Ben Israel. Ben Ammi, who was a foundry worker named Ben Carter in Chicago, had a vision in 1966 that his African ancestors were descended from one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel.

Since 30 disciples followed him to Israel in 1969, the community has established many celebrated professional gospel choirs and R&B singing troupes,

sent their Hebrew-speaking offspring to Israeli universities and even represented the country in the European-wide Eurovision Song Contest.

Last Jan. 17, their connection to Israel took a tragic turn when the first Black Hebrew born on Israeli soil was killed by a Palestinian gunman. Singer Aharon Ben-Yisrael Alis, 32, was gunned down as he performed at a bat mitzvah in Hadera.

But after 33 years of living and now dying alongside Israelis, the Black Hebrews are still fighting to achieve a crucial long-standing goal — full Israeli citizenship, giving them such rights as voting and serving in the army.

“Our identity is here in Israel. We are Hebrew Israelites, not Americans, and I think the Israeli government hasn’t known what to do with us,” said 44- year-old Yaffa Bat-Gavriel, who was known as Freda Waller when she arrived here in 1976. “We have been here through wars, during every crisis we have volunteered, and this is our home.”

Israeli authorities disagree.

They reject the claims that the Black Hebrews are authentic Jews, and have insisted in vain that they convert to Judaism so they can be recognized as full citizens. The native-born members are as stateless as their immigrant parents, and the grandchildren of the founders may not even be eligible for U. S. citizenship.

To be sure, the Black Hebrews share many aspects of Judaism, including observing the Sabbath and rites of circumcision, instructing their children in Hebrew, celebrating Jewish holidays and studying the Torah, the book of Jewish laws.

But most Israelis find some of their other practices to be odd, including polygamy, eating raw food for four weeks out of the year and fasting on the Sabbath. And the Black Hebrews have argued that they do not subscribe to any religion because “religions have only divided men.”

In Dimona, Black Hebrews greet fellow residents and visitors with a friendly “Shalom, brother” and “It is my divine pleasure to see you” in American-accented Hebrew that betrays their origins.

Discipline is strict, and the community is run by a hierarchy of “princes” and “ministers” who approve marriages and discourage outside unions. Members wear only natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, linen and silk, and dress “modestly.”

Women must also abide by the laws of purification regarding their menstrual cycle, and all members must adopt Hebrew names. Homosexuality, premarital sex, tobacco and alcohol are forbidden.

At the Achva school for Black Hebrew children, boys wear large, knitted white skullcaps while girls must don Islamic-style headdress. Students receive a curriculum infused with a curious blend of Israeli, Jewish and Black Hebrew culture. Photos of Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, and Zionist leader Theodore Herzl stare out from the playground walls, while inside there are photos of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon alongside Ben Ammi.

Bat-Gavriel denies the common accusation that they are a cult subservient to the whims of the 63-year-old Ben Ammi. “Just because you live by certain rules, it does not mean you are a cult,” she said.

On several occasions, Israeli authorities have tried to expel the group, which has fought back by enlisting the help of prominent African American politicians and going on hunger strikes.

In 1990, their efforts paid off when the Interior Ministry granted them working papers and temporary residency, a status that gives them insurance and social security benefits. In exchange, they promised not to invite new members and end polygamy.

Since then, natural growth has expanded the community to about 2,000 people.

Most families have an average of six to eight children, and 600 youngsters attend the Black Hebrew School across the road from the main compound divided by narrow paths and tidy gardens.

Living conditions are overcrowded and rudimentary — a situation exacerbated by a local unemployment rate of 10 percent, and the low wages earned by many of the men who work at nearby construction sites.

In the meantime, there are signs that the Israeli government may finally grant the Black Hebrews full citizenship.

In the past year, the community has won the right to volunteer for alternative national service that Israelis can perform in lieu of mandatory military service. There are also plans to relocate the community from their cramped bungalows to a spacious new farming settlement in the Negev.

Such gains have lead many Black Hebrews to believe their fight for recognition may be drawing to an end.

Black Hebrew beginnings

– The Black Hebrews believe they are descended from Israelites who were expelled from Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70 and then migrated for more than 1,000 years before reaching West Africa and later the United States as slaves.

According to the teachings of their leader, Ben Ammi Ben Israel, the cruel chapters of their history were part of God’s plan to lead them back to their homeland — Israel.

That belief sprang from a vision that Ben Ammi says he had in 1966 when he was a Chicago foundry worker named Ben Carter. In the dream, archangel Gabriel told him that many African Americans were descendants of the lost Israeli tribe of Judah.

Carter’s epiphany led him to gather 30 followers in 1967 and move to Liberia — a country founded by freed American slaves in 1847 — for a two- year “cleansing period” on the way to the Promised Land.

Upon arrival, Israeli authorities directed the newcomers to the remote desert town of Dimona while their claims of Jewish heritage were assessed.




Black Hebrews:
Israel grants ‘’Black Hebrews’’ permanent residency
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——————————————————————————– • Item 3836 • Posted: Wednesday July 30, 2003


Reuters, July 29, 2003
By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM, July 29 — Israel has granted permanent resident status to the ‘’Black Hebrews,’’ a group claiming descent from the Bible’s lost tribes, after a 34-year struggle for recognition, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Also known as the African Israelites, the sect was founded by 39 U.S.-born blacks in 1969. Its members previously had only temporary resident status in the Jewish state.

About 2,500 Black Hebrews based in the desolate desert town of Dimona will now be able to serve in Israel’s military and vote in municipal elections. Under Israeli law, permanent residents can usually apply for citizenship after five years.

‘’We have been in talks with the government for years, so the decision is a nice surprise,’’ sect spokeswoman Yaffa Bat-Gavriel said.

Under Israel’s ‘’law of return,’’ people considered Jews according to rabbinical codes are eligible for immediate citizenship. The law does not cover those born to illegal or temporary residents in Israel.

Practising a strict version of kibbutz-style collectivism and Old Testament ethics — including polygamy and veganism — the Black Hebrews are not recognised as Jews by Israel’s rabbinate.

The Black Hebrews believe they are descended from one of ancient Israel’s 10 lost tribes by way of Africa and the slave routes to America, an account most scholars dismiss as myth.

Several sect members were deported as illegal residents in the 1970s, but authorities avoided a large-scale crackdown, citing concern the Jewish state would be accused internationally of racial discrimination.

A government initiative in the 1990s to settle the Black Hebrews’ residency status lagged under interior ministers from ultra-Orthodox religious parties. But current Interior Minister Avraham Poraz of the secularist Shinui party has vowed to liberalise the country’s naturalisation policies.

The Black Hebrews strongly support Zionism. Their musicians entertained Israeli troops during the 1973 Middle East war and represented the country at the 1998 Eurovision song contest.

The sect’s demand for recognition was bolstered by public sympathy after a Palestinian militant shot dead a member who was singing at a bat mitzva — a Jewish girl’s coming-of-age ceremony — in the Israeli town of Hadera in January 2002.



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Miami Herald, The (FL)
December 6, 1991


PAMELA FERDINAND Herald Staff Writer

Alta Stevenson hustles from kitchen to counter to table and back again as she tends to patrons in a one-room vegetarian restaurant.

“Sometimes there’s a line at the door,” she says in English, smiling and slightly exasperated. “See how busy we are?” It is the exasperation of waitresses worldwide. Only Stevenson, 43, who came to Israel 15 years ago from Detroit, is not an average waitress. She is black. She says she is Jewish. And now her name is Cocavatiyah.

Cocavatiyah is one of some 2,000 members of the Original Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem — they’re called Black Hebrews — living in Israel. They say they are descended from one of the 12 lost tribes of Israel. They insist they have a right to live in the Jewish homeland under the law of return, which promises Israeli citizenship to any Jew who applies for it.

Israelis, however, have refused to recognize Black Hebrews as Jews. Controversies involving more than a dozen unrelated Black Hebrew groups in the United States have fueled Israeli distrust; the indictment of Yahweh Ben Yahweh, leader of the Nation of Yahweh in Miami, on murder conspiracy charges is among the sore points.

Now, after years of dispute, the Israeli government has agreed to give Black Hebrews a chance to legally live and work in Israel.

“I came here because when I was growing up, there was something missing — you know what I mean?” Cocavatiyah explains quietly. “Even when I went to church, there was something missing. . . . Then I learned about the Black Hebrews. . . . When I came here, I felt at peace.”

The Black Hebrew sect now living in Israel was founded in the 1960s by Ben Carter, a former Chicago bus driver and foundry worker. One account says Carter, now known as Ben Ami, heard a voice from heaven telling him he had been chosen to take his people to the Promised Land. His followers say they were disillusioned with the “second-class citizen” status of blacks in 1960s America.

In 1967, Ben Ami took a group of black Americans to Liberia, where they lived for nearly two years. They came from Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington. Their numbers grew, and in 1969 the Liberian government pressured them to leave. Some returned to the United States, but 39 followed Ben Ami to Israel.

In Israel, they were first detained at the airport and later granted permission to settle temporarily in an abandoned absorption center in the southern Negev desert town of Dimona. Many of the newcomers renounced their U.S. citizenship, then allowed their tourist visas to expire.

“As more and more people came, it caused some consternation,” recalls Zvenah Baht Israel, a community spokeswoman. “Israel has forever been in the state of asking ‘Who is a Jew?’ So, of course, if some black people show up, that just further complicates it.”

Relations were complicated, too, by Black Hebrew practices. Many are the same as other Jews: Sabbath, for instance, is observed from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. Worship services include traditional blessings of the Torah, a scroll containing the first five books of the Old Testament. Black Hebrews circumcise their sons; many speak Hebrew.

But other practices are decidedly unfamiliar — such as the community’s practice of polygamy. Black Hebrew males are allowed to marry up to seven women. Ben Ami has three wives.

The conflict between the immigrants and Israel escalated through the ’70s and ’80s. Israel’s rabbis refused to recognize the Black Hebrews as true Jews because they did not have Jewish mothers. The Black Hebrews refused a proposed Israeli compromise — conversion to Judaism — because they said they were Jews already.

(On the other hand, Ethiopian Jews, often referred to as “falashas” or “outsiders,” are recognized as true Jews by Israel’s Orthodox community. It is believed they were converted to Judaism thousands of years ago.)

As more Black Hebrews arrived and remained in Israel illegally, the government began refusing entry to some black American tourists on suspicion that they were members of the sect. About 40 individuals were deported in 1986.

“The question was that individuals had overstayed their visas or were working in Israel without a permit,” said Immanuel Ben Yehudah, the Black Hebrews’ Washington-based spokesman. “That was the official charge, but some of those individuals had lived and worked there for more than a dozen years.”

Last year, a compromise was reached. The Israelis now permit registered Black Hebrews to live and work in Israel for renewable periods of one year. The visas also entitle community members to education, social services and medical benefits. In turn, the Black Hebrews agreed to reinstate their U.S. citizenship.

“The situation is not simple and quite delicate,” said a spokesman with the Israeli consulate in Miami. “They are not Jewish according to the Jewish religion. That’s why they cannot immediately become Israeli citizens. We have nothing against them and are trying to help them now. I think there has been progress already.”

Over the past few years, the U.S. government has given more than $3 million to Black Hebrews in Israel, according to U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), chairman of the Europe and Middle East subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The funding has been used, in part, for housing and a school.

Hamilton calls the agreement an “uneasy but apparently durable compromise.” Nearly all of Dimona’s residents have been documented as U.S. citizens and have received visas, said Ben Yehudah. The travel embargo on visitors to the community also has been lifted.

Cocavatiyah, a former postal worker, says she is glad her community’s status is “normalizing.”

She has been working at the Eternity restaurant in Tel Aviv for five years. The cafe is simply decorated in yellow and white, with pictures of sandwiches from its creative menu on the wall.

The Black Hebrews are vegetarians, a practice that evolved as a form of preventive medicine, says Baht Israel.

“We didn’t always have access to medical facilities,” she says. “We had to look at alternatives. Four days a week, we don’t eat salt and four times a year for one week all adults eat raw vegetables. We fast on Shabbat completely.”

Cocavatiyah rotates responsibilities at the restaurant in Tel Aviv with five other women. When she is not scheduled to work, she returns to Dimona about 80 miles away to be with friends and family.

Dimona, a town in the Negev and in full view of an Israeli nuclear reactor, is now home to the majority of Black Hebrews. Other communities also inhabit the desert settlements of Arad and Mitzpe Ramon.

The landscape is arid and flat, an agoraphobic’s nightmare several hours’ bus ride from the bedouin markets of Beersheba and a short drive from the salty blue Dead Sea and the cliffs of Jordan.

Here, in a dark, cool sitting room, Baht Israel, 42, talks with a visitor about her life. She came to Israel in 1981 from Atlanta and her speech is peppered with expressions such as “you be praying,” and “shalom, sister.”

While the Black Hebrew dress code stresses modesty, much like that of Orthodox Jews, it resembles African tribal wear with flamboyant colors and geometric designs. Baht Israel wears a green and orange gown over an ivory turtleneck; American-style Docksider shoes peek out from underneath. Four fringes dangle from the corners of the garment, “symbolizing that African- Israelites are scattered to the four corners of the earth,” she says. Men dress simply in tunics with hand-crocheted caps, or kepote, but they tend to work in casual American-style dress.

Baht Israel says she sees a common thread running through her Baptist upbringing and her newfound faith.

“Although I wasn’t raised as a Hebrew Israelite, there were certain cultural similarities,” she says. “For example, when a woman is menstruating (in the Orthodox Jewish culture), she is separated from men. She doesn’t sleep with her husband or cook for the family. It is a time of spiritual renewal and her body is giving off toxins. When I was a child, in my household women were separated, too.”

Some of the community’s young men and women are too young to possess any American childhood memories. Shmooel Ben Israel, who did not want to give his former American name without permission from Ben Ami, is a 24-year-old construction worker who moved here with his mother 18 years ago from Washington. He plans to marry his first wife soon.

“At 19 or 20, we ‘come out’ into brotherhood or sisterhood and we can date with the permission of our parents,” he says. “People marry at all ages. Someone may have a wife or two in their 30s and want to marry again in their early 40s.”

Black Hebrew women say polygamy is liberating for them.

“A woman can do everything here but be a man, there are no limits,” says Baht Israel, who shares a husband and her child with his second wife and her two children. “We made the decision together about the other wife. If I’m separated because of menstrual activity, somebody has to care for him. Why not someone who’s a part of the family? This life style affords me time for self-development. I don’t have to be all things for everyone.

“My sister-wife is the sports person,” she explains. “When it’s time for basketball, she and him go to play and, shalom, shalom, I can go and read.”

Baht Israel says they worked out a system where each wife spends two weeks with their husband. The other wife, she says, “becomes a very dear friend and a family member at the same time.”

Economically, the Black Hebrews hope their changing status may be a windfall.

Community members earn money mainly by selling jewelry, working as domestics in Israeli homes or as construction workers. Now that many have work permits, they are hoping to capitalize on Israel’s growing construction needs.

Ten percent of each person’s earnings go into a central fund that provides food, medicine, education and housing. Currently, an average of four families share a household, says Baht Israel.

Administrative duties are divided according to rank. Brothers and Sisters are titles for the common members of the community. Above them are Crown Brothers and Crown Sisters, who run day-to-day operations, and then the Sahreem or Ministers, officials who run many of the group’s international outposts, according to Ben Yehudah.

Ben Ami remains the Israeli-based spiritual leader of the sect with his advisers, the Holy Council, also called the Princes or Apostles. They run a central office that handles economic affairs, negotiating work contracts for men who work in the outside community.

Foreigners who want to join the community must pay their own way to Israel, Baht Israel says.

“It has worked well both in hard times and in times when we were a little more prosperous,” she says. “We’re not millionaires. We get the menial jobs.”

Still, community members say life in Israel provides an escape from America’s crime-ridden society and what they believe is the oppression of blacks.

When asked if she misses her comfortable America, Baht Israel replies, “not really.”

“We were not self-determining,” she said. “It was always somebody else’s culture. Our struggle was to recapture our identity. We were denied access to our culture, and just look at the crime rates and life expectancy rates among American blacks. Finally, the thought came, could there be something else?

“We have developed a model for drug-free living, if nothing else,” she says. “People used to say, ‘What’s a black person going to do in Israel?’ But our longevity says something in itself.”

“Going back to the United States is our last thought,” says Ben Israel. “We have family there, but we came out here for a particular reason: to save the lives of our people.”



Pauline Bartolone, San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Clad in his Sunday sweatpants and a long blue Pakistani-style shirt, Ali, a 59-year old African American Muslim elder, popped in a DVD of “Big Love” – the HBO series about Mormon polygamists in Utah.

“Dude’s not handling this well at all,” he says as he watches Bill Paxton play an overburdened husband with three wives. “You know, I feel sorry for dude.”

Ali – who prefers to only use his first name – faces the challenges of polygamy every day. For 10 years, he’s been religiously married to two women, and lives with them under one roof in a working-class neighborhood of San Diego. Tuesday through Thursday he sleeps with his wife Hasanah on the first floor, then Saturday through Monday it’s upstairs with his second wife Asiila. That leaves his office, cluttered with photocopies of Quranic sayings and dusty pictures of relatives in hijab, as his only private room in the house.

“We get our time off, we got a sisterhood thing going on,” chuckles Asiila, 50, Ali’s wife of 15 years. She crosses her ankles underneath her overhead khimar, a black dress that covers her from head to toe. “To me, polygyny (polygamy) is for the woman. It’s really for the woman.”

This San Diego family’s life is part of a small but increasingly visible phenomenon of African American Muslims practicing polygamy, according to Debra Mubashir Majeed, associate professor and chairwoman of philosophy and religious studies at Beloit College in Wisconsin. For her research, she surveyed more than 400 Black Muslims and interviewed more than 15 polygamists.

“Most African American women who are into polygyny do so by choice,” says Majeed, adding that their reasons range from their interpretation of the Quran, to desire for independence, to needing a father for their children.

She says that a shortage of marriageable black Muslim men may be one reason polygamy is embraced.

“With the high number of African American men in prison, on drugs, out of work, or unavailable in some other way … the options are limited,” Majeed said.
-so the answer doesn’t include breaking the cycle of abuse and change?

African Americans are not the only Muslims who practice polygamy. Plural marriages exist in majority Muslim populations of Africa and the Persian Gulf states, and immigrants continue the practice in the United States. In May, the Times of London reported that as many as 1,000 Muslim men are living with multiple wives in the United Kingdom. There is no projected number of Islamic polygamous unions in the United States, but Majeed says the number of Muslim polygamists in the United States may be fewer than 1 percent of the Muslim population.

In a spring survey conducted by the Muslim magazine Azizah, 150 Muslims – mostly women of all lines of thought and ethnic backgrounds – were quizzed about their experiences with polygamy. Editor in chief Tayyibah Taylor said perspectives ranged from “it was the cat’s meow” to claims it was “tantamount to abuse.” The majority said success hinged on the seeking of spiritual enhancement by all involved, and the male’s ability to “handle” the situation. Taylor said polygamy among non-immigrant Muslims may be more visible because they are more outspoken about it.

Mohamed El Sheikh, executive director of the Islamic Jurisprudential Council of North America, said that many American converts to Islam, of all races and ethnicities, are already accustomed to having multiple sexual partners.
-Moral equivalency alert: apple and oranges, numbers of partners outside of marriage have no relation with numbers afterwards. Part of the marriage is the commitment to one and only one partner.

“After accepting Islam, some have continued this practice by giving the status of spouse to their sexual partners using the Islamic law,” El Sheikh said.
Most Muslims do not seek legal recognition or benefits in their plural unions, according to Majeed. She says that for many, “The religious importance will supersede the legal issue.” When polygamous Muslims do have legal unions, it typically involves the first wife.
-Once again we see Muslim’s hold Islamic law higher than man made law.

The daily practice of Islamic polygamy varies greatly. Most often, according to Majeed, the husband will take on two wives who live separately. The second wife may forgo financial support and a dowry. Other times, two wives may live together in one house and a third wife may come in and out of the situation.

Shiite Muslims even have a temporary marriage, or mutah, where a man may enter into a sexual union with more than one woman. The arrangement need not involve an imam and could last anywhere from one weekend to several years.
-any Muslim female who would agree to this is nothing more than a prostitute. You already know my opinion of Muslim men.

There is no consensus among Muslims about how polygamy should be carried out, although the Quran tells Muslim men that they may marry up to four wives only if he treats them equally and fairly. One passage implies that additional wives must be widows or orphans. Some religious scholars say the aya were written during wartime, and should be practiced only when there is a shortage of men.

Thirty-eight-year-old Azeez of upstate New York says the current shortage of eligible African American men justifies his plural Islamic marriage. The former Olympic wrestler converted to Islam 18 years ago and works as a technician.

“You have all these women out there,” he said, “and Allah has given a remedy to a situation.”

Azeez splits his week between two wives, who live half an hour away from each other. He fully supports his first wife, and is a father to his second wife’s son from another relationship. He says he didn’t consider taking on more than one wife, until he got a raise and the second wife agreed to help financially support herself.

“If it’s for you,” he said, “then Allah will make it easy for you.”

His 22-year-old first wife, who refers to herself as Miz Azeez, recently published diary-style writings about her marriage in “Polygynous Blessings: usings of a Muslim Wife.” Her love for Allah, she says, frees her from dependence on her husband.

“With passionate love, and the whole concept of love in American culture … They put (their husband) up to a status like Allah. Like this is their life source, like if that person leaves, they’re dead – that’s it, life can’t go on. I don’t have that type of love for my husband.”

Miz Azeez says sharing her husband brings her closer to him and to God. After a year and a half of living in polygamy, she says she would never live any other way.

It wasn’t as easy for one anonymous 53-year-old American Muslim woman in the Washington, D.C., area to share her husband. After they had five children together, he took on other women, a total of four on separate occasions. When the international entrepreneur married a woman in a Muslim country, the first wife found herself financially insecure and alone for months at a time.

“I was just not prepared to include another family in that struggle,” she said, about her decision to divorce her husband after 10 years of polygamy. “I felt forced to rise to the occasion, and I felt I as the current wife had some rights.”

Women have few protections when entering an Islamic polygamous relationship. The Quran says the husband must care for his wives equally, but there is no universal Islamic law or accountability mechanism to define or enforce that. Under some lines of thought, the husband need not notify the first wife that he is taking another, and he may even withhold a divorce.

For second wives not married under U.S. law, this can mean difficulty claiming financial support and legitimacy for their children, according to Kecia Ali, author of “Sexual Ethics and Islam” and assistant professor of Religion at Boston University.

“I don’t think polygamy should be romanticized as a solution to man shortage problems,” she said. “It is dangerous for women, in many contexts.”
The lack of state regulation of polygamy, especially in times of marital disputes, concerns El Sheikh of the Islamic Jurisprudential Council of North America. “The spouse and her children may not be entitled to many legal rights. This is against the principle of equality and thus polygamy is not practical in the United States.”

He adds that even the Quran states that men will never be able to do justice between wives “even if it is (their) ardent desire.”
Ali’s two wives in San Diego would disagree; they say their husband is a fair and just man, and they’ve figured out a family model that works for them.
Hasanah works full-time as a social worker and savors her alone time. Asiila takes care of her and Ali’s 10-year-old son, and “plays hostess.” Ali is the head of the household, spending most of his time writing about Islam and providing spiritual counseling.

“I helped him ship out and go get the sister,” jokes Hasanah, recounting how, 15 years ago, she wrote Asiila a nine-page letter asking her to join the family.

Nearby, Asiila pretends to complain. “You gave me six months with Ali when I first got here, but you won’t take them back.”
Ali, realizing he’s being picked on, responds with a joke that he is going to take on another wife.
“You have the computer,” says Asiila. “That’s wife No. 3.”

This story is one part of a larger “News 21″ reporting project at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. To see more stories on “God, Sex and Family,” go to Contact us at


«The African Family Structure (FROM

It would be a negligent oversight to examine the Afrikan family structure without making reference to polygyny (the practice of several women joining unto one man), which incidentally was first introduced into ancient societies by the Afrikan Woman. In the old days of Afrika’s glory the woman considered herself nothing without a man to defend her and a man was nothing without a woman and a family to defend. At this time polygyny was generally practiced throughout most of the world, a result of the Black Man’s cultural influence all around the globe. Polygyny or polygamy, as some call it, was adopted by Black Women to ensure every woman in the society having access to a man, whose primary role was protector, guide, provider and keeper of the realm.

As already stated, in these ancient Afrikan societies women were held in the highest honor and respect, the female entity was revered and oft-times worshipped as the Great Mother, Nourisher and Sustainer of life, the source of all terrestrial inspiration and the maintainer of revitalized life. This was the usual way of life in those wonderful days when the Black Man dominated the earth, widespread love, respect and affection was consistently demonstrated by the Black Man to the Black Woman. He delighted in adorning her with gold and silver often rhapsodizing to her in the most beautiful language (perhaps this is why sisters still love to hear a Black Man lay down some good “rap” even unto this day), the norm in ancient Black Society, where each gender clearly accepted and dignified their distinguished roles in the community with mutual affection and respect for one another. In those days of amorous joy Black Women delighted in dancing and singing praises to their men especially after they had returned from the battle (usually in defense of the homeland) or the hunt.

The family practices of the Black Man’s High Culture System began to deteriorate in certain parts of the world namely Europe and northern Asia when the Caucasian appeared on the scene. At first white Europeans with no real culture of their own, other than the insatiable love of warfare, tried to emulate the Afrikan in the practice of polygyny although there was no general change in his attitude regarding the treatment of the Caucasian woman. With the coming of syphilis and its wide-spread infections among the women of his race, which caused the largest percentage of the female population to die out like flies, the nomadic Caucasians leaving their bodies where they fell, the shortage in the already limited female population was intensified so the European shortly returned to monogamy, homosexuality and the wide-spread practice of polyandry – one woman, many men. In the European custom of polyandry one woman, be she mother, daughter, sister and in some cases a queen, became the wife of as many as ten or more men, included in this group might be her father, her son, her brother, her cousin, her uncle as well as her husband and on certain occasions, at the whim of the family head man she was made available for the pleasure of all the men in the community. The ancient Europeans said their rationale for doing this was an attempt to minimize the constant fighting and bloodletting of rivals over the limited amount of women available. It was out of this confusion that the patriarchal line of descent and the modern European system of monogamy was born. As a result of eventual European world domination many Black People and other peoples of color have been forced to adopt monogamy and in same cases rape and homosexuality as a cultural frame of reference. Subliminally this is one of the manifold reasons for the many traumatic Black Male-Female relationships in the United States and other parts of the world today. But in spite of this mental conditioning we as a people must join unto our own and through the proper light of understanding correctly put into practice those systems that will prosper and sustain us, insuring Our survival and longevity on the earth.

At this point a word of caution is in order. The above statements of historical fact – and it is an irrefutable fact that the practice of polygyny was the norm for Afrikans before the coming of the European – were not intended to denigrate or condemn those families where the Black Man and Woman mutually prefer a monogamous relationship, rather they have been cited to present the cultural roots, validity and obvious advantages of polygyny for Black families who wish to practice it today. Of course it must be clearly understood, especially by the brothers that this is not something you just up and jump into without careful thought and preparation, for there are great responsibilities involved. But those Black Men and Women who are serious and adequately prepare themselves through consultation, study and self discipline applying the practice of polygyny on the high spiritual plane of which it was originally developed will eventually become some of the most respected and powerful men and women in the world. It is believed by some Black Scholars who have carefully and painstakingly studied the societal structures of Afrikan People that the correct application of this system could be a mighty key factor in the economic, spiritual, mental and physical survival of Blacks wherever we are in the world today.

One of the main reasons why polygyny was developed and practiced by the ancients was to enhance the economic power of the family, community and nation. Wherein a brother might achieve moderately well in a basic monoganous structure, he could maximize his efforts a hundred fold with the right combination of sister-wives. Bear in mind this idea was first introduced into the community by the women of the society. The biblical story of Jacob, the reputed father of the Israelite nation, mentions his four wives and how the first two brought the latter two into the family. In this present Euro-centric dominated society which is adverse to our very nature, it is somewhat difficult for us to practice those traditions which are more in tuned with our cosmic vibrations. Therefore we must adopt the wisdom of the Kawaida doctrine which advises us to practice “tradition and reason” as we strive to create a new society a better condition and a better world. There is much truth in the old adage “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

As always it is imperative for us as a people to be constantly advancing in knowledge and understanding ever cultivating the habit of doing those things which contribute to our growth. Above all we must not allow ourselves to become stagnant or we will be like the sitting waters that provide a habitation and breeding ground for blood sucking mosquitoes which can be likened unto our natural enemy hovering overhead, ever ready to feed upon our spiritual being and suck out the life blood of our mind, buzzing about and laying the eggs of his degenerate society. Those brothers and sisters who may react to the above statements out of wild undiciplined emotion instead of the logic and scientific analysis of a sound mind which was originally created and given to you for the purpose of deductive reasoning, we advise; investigate and examine before you rush forward to condemn. Black People must be very certain that the concepts and decisions on the part of both male and female regarding the practice of polygyny are based on knowledge, wisdom, logic and understanding rather than negative emotional reaction. In light of this let not the white-mindedness that to some degree has infected all of us be a stumbling block to our progress as a race.

In raising this issue we are fully aware that humans tend to see into a concept that which appeals to their own personal desires, therefore we do strongly urge this subject be approached with the right mental and spiritual attitude. For it is our fervent prayer that we as a people may soon move from a position of weak powerlessness to our own proper position of power and strength on the Earth. Again we admonish those brothers and sisters who are desirous of practicing polygyny to study and investigate it well,being certain to properly prepare themselves mentally, physically and spiritually so as to avoid the emotional pain and suffering which is repercussive of incorrect and clandestine dealings. At all times the brother must be honest, fair, wise and strong in order for the sisters to feel confident and secure in the relationship. In light of the wide percentage gap between the Black Female and Black Male population, particularly in America, sisters should adopt a cooperative spirit, while seeking ways to remedy this situation. Every Black Woman who needs and wants one should have a Black man. Remember the survival of the race is at stake here, not our uncontrolled emotions.

As I review the great benefits of polygyny to our ancient societies I’m inclined, while at the same time considering our present position here in the western hemisphere, to propose that this way of life must be revived and redeveloped in this day but it must be done correctly and in harmony with good principles. There is much information and many living examples of this practice available to those who diligently seek it out. Again let us reaffirm that this subject was not presented to foment consternation or to cause brothers and sisters to throw up their defenses, “jump salty with each other” and become polarized into forming opposing camps but rather as a review and examination of a historical reality which has been a component of the Afrikan way of life from earliest times unto the present. We trust those few who may not be in agreement with us in this matter will not assume a hostile posture and discount all the other points of vital information in this book. And so with undying Black Love for all, ponder it will understand the true spirit in which it was set forth. Surely the Creator who revealed the divine light of understanding to our Ancestors in the past is the best knower and the best doer. Now let us consider some of the other sharply contrasting, irreconcilable distinctions which eternally exist between the Afrikan and the Caucasian.