Glossary

Activist

A person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.

African Centered Education Movement

During the early 1970s, scholars, parents, and educators began a campaign for schooling experiences that were culturally affirming for Black children. This community of concerned individuals vested their energy and support in schools that subscribed to a worldview and ideology of education that focused on enriching the holistic development of children. The product of these efforts is known as the African centered school movement.

African Civilizations

The ancient African civilizations that usually include Egypt, Carthage, Axum, Numidia, and Nubia, but may also be extended to the prehistoric Land of Punt and others: the Empire of Asanti, Kingdom of Kongo, Empire of Mali, Kingdom of Zimbabwe, Songhai Empire, the Empire of Ghana, Bono state and Kingdom of Benin.

African sovereignty

Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme legitimate authority over some polity. In international law, sovereignty is the exercise of power by a state. On African Sovereignty: “Our culture is the grounding of our historical self-consciousness. African culture is the unique expression of the African soul. It cultivates, nurtures and cares for the African soul as nothing else can! It makes us part of the global African family. It imparts to us the power of our ancestors. It has got to be the foundation of any educational system that we have! It is the basis of our sovereignty!!!” – Dr. Marimba Ani


“All Africans living outside the Continent must be dedicated to the cause. It cannot be left to Africans who live in Africa. This should be a world mission of African people wherever they are on the face of the earth.” – Dr. John Henrik Clarke “A people lacking sovereign consciousness become mirrors, puppets and parrots of whatever system under which they reside.” –Ezrah Aharone

Afrocentric

The centering and prioritizing of African history, culture, beliefs and or values. Including but not limited to how a person of African decent thinks, believes, behaves, dresses, names, organizes, and institution builds.

Agitate

To disrupt the norm

Alienate

To isolate a person or group

Apparatus

A system, organization, or complex structure

Attainable

Achievable

Black Liberation/ Freedom Movement

The overarching movement for the liberation of African people in North America which includes the Black Power Movement, Civil Rights Movments, and all movements and organizations advocating for Black people to be free.

Black Manhood

The condition if being a Black male in America and the world, navigating oppression while growing, learning, nurturing, building, and partnering with Black woman to rebuild Black community

Black Nationalist/ Nationalism

The spectrum of Black nationalism include the belief that all people of African descent around the world are a nation at its foundation and at its zenith the belief that people of African descent need a sovereign Black Nation state.

Black Liberation/ Freedom Movement

The overarching movement for the liberation of African people in North America which includes the Black Power Movement, Civil Rights Movments, and all movements and organizations advocating for Black people to be free.

Black political thought

The ideologies and political classifications of Black groups, leaders, and thinkers around how best to achieve freedom for African people. These ideologies include Black Nationalism, Pluralism (where groups of different ethnicities govern collectively each holding equitable power), Assimilation (the belief that adopting European beliefs and culture in order to become more accepted), and so many more.

Black Liberation/ Freedom Movement

The overarching movement for the liberation of African people in North America which includes the Black Power Movement, Civil Rights Movments, and all movements and organizations advocating for Black people to be free.

Brotherhood

An association, society, or community of people linked by a common interest, religion, or trade.

Cavalier

Showing a lack of proper concern; offhand.

Class/class system

The system of ordering a society in which people are divided into sets based on perceived social or economic status.

Classical African Civilizations

See African Civilizations

Collaborators

A person who cooperates with an enemy;

Complexity

The state or quality of being intricate or complicated.

Comrade

A fellow activist/organizer

Confederate Monument

Memorials, symbols, and statues erected to honor the confederacy which fought against the union to keep power and slavery in the southern United states.

Conscious Black person

A Black person who is aware of the oppression faced by African people and people of color and responding by learning, studying, or organizing to end this oppression

Contradictions

A combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.

Conviction

A firmly held belief or opinion.

Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO)

Is a series of covert and illegal projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic American political organizations. Particulary targeting the Black Power Movement, the Civil Rights Movement and other movements who aim has been to bring about greater societal equity.

Criminalization/Criminalize

The action of making someone seem criminal by making their activities illegal.

Critique

A detailed evaluation based on a particular criteria

Cultural confusion

Identifying with an alien culture as if it were your own. It is the iniablity to see yourself reflected in the rituals, routines, and traditions of the culture assigned to you as a birthrite.

Declaration

A formal or explicit statement or announcement.

Dehumanization

The process of depriving a person or group of positive human qualities.

Demonstrations

A public meeting, act, or march protesting against something or expressing views on a political issue.

Diabetic coma

A life-threatening diabetes complication that causes unconsciousness.

Discomfort

Make (someone) feel uneasy, anxious, or embarrassed.

Dismantle

To disconnect or break down

Disproportionate

Too large or too small in comparison with something else.

Disrupt

Too large or too small in comparison with something else.

Djembe Drums

Is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa.

Dogma

A principle or set of beliefs laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

Double Consciousness

Is the internal conflict experienced by colonized groups in an oppressive society. The term and the idea were first published in W. E. B. Du Bois’s autoethnographic work, The Souls of Black Folk in 1903, in which he described the African American experience of double consciousness, including his own.

Emphatically

To stress or put particular importance on something

Enlightenment

The act of receiving greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation.

Enslaved

The state of being forced to work as a “slave”. We use the word enslave instead of slave because slave speaks to a person's being and dehumanizes them.

Eurocentric

Focusing on European culture or history to the exclusion of a wider view of the world; implicitly regarding European culture as preeminent.

Gangster

A member of a gang

Garveyite

A believer in Garveyism an aspect of black nationalism that refers to the economic, racial and political policies of UNIA-ACL founder Marcus Garvey.

Genocide

The deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group

Grassroots organizing

Organizing ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization, etc.; the rank and file.

Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU)

A college or university that was originally founded to educate students of African American descent.

Hyper-masculinity

A term used to describe exaggeration of male stereotypical behaviour, emphasizing the sometimes oppressive use of physical strength, aggression and sexuality.

Ideological perspective

A body of ideas that reflects the beliefs and interests of a nation, political system, etc. and underlies political action.

Incarcerate

Imprison or confine.

Indomitable soul

A spirit that is impossible to subdue or defeat. Can inhabit a people, a movement, and or historical moment

Inextricably

In a way that is impossible to disentangle or separate.

Institution

A society or organization founded for a religious, educational, social, or similar purpose.

Institutional Racism

Also known as systemic racism, is a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues.

Jeopardy

Danger of loss, harm, or failure

Juneteenth

A holiday celebrated on 19 June to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, slaves were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.

Liberation

The act of liberating

Liberation Struggle

A movement seeking equal rights

Mass Incarceration

Refers to the unique way the U.S. has locked up a vast population in federal and state prisons, as well as local jails.

Messianic worship

Worship of a messiah or messias as a saviour or liberator of a group of people

Middle class

The middle class is a class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy. Its usage has often been vague whether defined in terms of occupation, income, education or social status.

Miseducation

To educate (someone) in a poor, improper, or harmful manner

Modern Day Abolitionist

A person who favors the abolition (or termination) of any law or practice deemed harmful to society and specifically fight against the prison industrical complex an the enslavement of those imprisoned.

Movement

A group or groups of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas.

New World Order

A new period of history evidencing dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power.

Omnipresent

Widely or constantly encountered; common or widespread.

One-dimensional caricature

One who lacks depth and who never seems to learn or grow.

Opportunists

A person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by consistent principles or plans.

Oppression

Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control.

Organizer

A person who arranges something (such as an event) especially by systematic planning and by coordinating the efforts of others

Pan Africanist/Pan-African

The idea that peoples of African descent have common interests and should be unified around liberating the continent of Africa for African people

Philosophical

Relating or devoted to the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.

Poignant

Painfully affecting the feelings : piercing: deeply affecting : touching.

Political

Relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politics.

Proclamation

A public or official announcement, especially one dealing with a matter of great importance.

Progressive

A group, person, or idea favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas

Protest

A statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something.

Public Lynching

Extrajudicial killing by a group. It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob. “Our country’s national crime is lynching. It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob. It represents the cool, calculating deliberation of intelligent people who openly avow that there is an “unwritten law” that justifies them in putting human beings to death without complaint under oath, without trial by jury, without opportunity to make defense, and without right of appeal” – Ida B. Wells

Purge

Remove (a group of people considered undesirable) from an organization or place in an abrupt or violent way.

Radical Political Discourse

Refers to the intent to transform or replace the fundamental principles of a society or political system, often through social change, structural change, revolution or radical reform.

Reawakening

Emerge or cause to emerge again; awaken again.

Rebellion

Opposition to one in authority or dominance.

Regurgitate

Repeat (information) without analyzing or comprehending it.

Religious Affiliation

Is a self–identified association of an institution with a religion, denomination, church, or faith.

Reparations

The compensation for the wrong done by the state. Reparations can take numerous forms, including individual monetary payments, settlements, scholarships, waiving of fees, and systemic initiatives to offset injustices, land-based compensation related to independence, apologies, and acknowledgments of the injustices, etc.

Resignations

The acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable.

Resistance

The refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument.

Resistance Movements

Is an organized effort by some portion of the civil population of a country to withstand the legally established government or an occupying power and to disrupt civil order and stability.

Revolutionary

Involving or causing a complete or dramatic change.

Rites

A social custom, practice, or conventional act.

Sabotage

Deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage.

Self hate

Internalization of the prejudices of an oppressive culture against an oppressed by members belonging to that oppressed group.

Self-determination

The process by which a person controls their own life.

Servant leadership

Is a leadership philosophy in which an individual interacts with others—either in a management or fellow employee capacity—with the aim of achieving authority rather than power. The authority figure intends to promote the well-being of those around him or her.

Sexual Orientation

A term used to refer to a person’s emotional, romantic, and sexual attraction to individuals of a particular gender (male or female).

Social Consciousness

A sense of responsibility or concern for the problems and injustices of society.

Socioeconomic

Relating to or concerned with the interaction of social and economic factors.

Solidarity

Unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.

Sovereignty

A self-governing state.

State-sanctioned

Means something that the government approves.

Status quo

Meaning the existing state of affairs, particularly with regard to social or political issues. In the sociological sense, it generally applies to maintaining existing social structure and/or values.

Subjugation

The action of bringing someone or something under domination or control.

Symposium

A conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject.

Systemic White Supremacy

The belief that white people constitute a superior race and should therefore dominate society embedded as normal practice within society

Talking drums

One of a set of West African drums, each having a different pitch, which are beaten to transmit a tonal language

Theoretical

Concerned with or involving the theory of a subject or area of study rather than its practical application.

Timbuktu

A city of central Mali near the Niger River northeast of Bamako. Founded in the 11th century by the Tuareg, it became a major trading center (primarily for gold and salt) and a center by the 14th century.

Transformative

Causing a marked change in someone or something.

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, was an unethical natural history study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the United States Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vigilantes

A member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.

Warship

A ship equipped with weapons and designed to take part in warfare at sea.

White Privilege

Inherent advantages possessed by a white person on the basis of their race in a society characterized by racial inequality and injustice.

White supremacy

The belief that white people constitute a superior race and should therefore dominate society, typically to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups.