AN APPEAL TO AFRICANS ON THE CONTINENT AND IN THE DIASPORA
Let us make 2019 the year we clear the way for Black children to flourish.
1. We, the undersigned, appeal to our sisters and brothers around the world to join us in marking 2019 as the year in which we make a complete break with the lie of Black inferiority, so that by 2020, we as a people can begin to see ourselves in a whole new light. We call on Black people and organizations everywhere to put the issue of emancipation from this lie at the top of the global African agenda.
2. All around the world, there are powerful and beautiful signs of an African re-awakening. But Black lives will never be truly valued until we, the children of Africa, liberate ourselves from the lie.
3. August 2019 will mark the 400th anniversary of the first recorded forced arrival of Africans in the United States—in Virginia. This is the place on U.S. soil where Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virginia refined the lie of Black inferiority to defend the enslavement of African people.
4. That lie, first told in the 1400s by the Portuguese and then by other Europeans to justify enslaving Africans and exploiting Africa, asserts that Black people are less beautiful, less capable, less intelligent, less worthy, less valuable, even less human, than White people.
5. The lie persists, despite the many constitutional, legislative, judicial, and other measures aimed at promoting racial equality in the United States and around the world. It continues to adversely affect the way the world sees us and how we see ourselves. It accounts for glaring racial disparities in physical and mental health, education, economic opportunity, and nearly every other area of life. It is at the root of countless lost hopes, dreams, and lives across the Diaspora.
6. Therefore, in this the start of the fifth year of what the United Nations has designated the International Decade for People of African Descent, we declare that we are freeing ourselves and our children—once and for all– from the lie of Black inferiority, and its twin, the lie of White superiority, the root causes of the devaluing of Black lives. We pledge to Defy the Lie of Black inferiority and Embrace the Truth of Black humanity. We are joining together in a global campaign to challenge the lie and tell the truth about Africa and its people. We are sharing strategies to heal, and end, the trauma caused by centuries of anti-Black racism. We are equipping local leaders to be catalysts for creating a culture of emotional emancipation, healing, wellness, and empowerment in communities all across the Diaspora
7. Let us put an end to the lie. Let us clear the way for Black children everywhere to move beyond surviving to flourishing. Join us.
Signatories: Community Healing Network, New Haven, CT and The Association of Black Psychologists, Washington. D.C., leaders of the 2018-2020 Global Truth Campaign and Tour
- Enola G. Aird, Founder and President, Community Healing Network, Inc., New Haven, CT
- Dr. Martin Odei Ajei, Head (Chair), Department of Philosophy and Classics, University of Ghana
- The Honorable Karen Bass, (D.CA), United States House of Representatives, Chair, Congressional Black Caucus
Rev. Anthony Bennett, Senior Pastor, Mount Aery Baptist Church, Bridgeport, CT
- Dr. Ram Bhagat, Co-founder, Drums No Guns Foundation, Richmond, VA
- Caroline Grace Blackwell, Vice President, Equity and Justice, National Association of Independent Schools
- Stephen L. Carter, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Yale University
- Erik Clemons, CEO and President, ConnCAT, New Haven, CT
- Denyvetta Davis, Board of Directors, Community Healing Network
- Mireille Fanon Mendes France, Ex Chair, United Nations Experts on People of African Descent, Chair of the Frantz Fanon Foundation
- Dr. Cheryl Tawede Grills, Professor of Psychology, Loyola Marymount University; Past President, The Association of Black Psychologists; Leader, CHN Global Emotional Emancipation Circles Training Team, Los Angeles, CA
- Davy Hay, Pattigift Therapy CIC, Birmingham, UK
- Lorie Jackson, Board of Directors, Community Healing Network
- Theopia R. Jackson, Ph.D.; Chair, Clinical Psychology Degree Program, Saybrook University, 2017 – 2019 President-Elect, The Association of Black Psychologists, Inc
- Dr. Huberta Jackson-Lowman, Professor of Psychology, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL; President, The Association of Black Psychologists, Inc. (2017-2019)
- Ibram X. Kendi, Professor of History and International Relations, Founding Director of the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center, American University, and author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
- Mosi Kamau Kitwana, Board of Directors, Community Healing Network
- Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Chair, Southern Christian Leadership Conference
- The Reverend William Mathis, J.D., M.Div., Pastor-Springs of Life-Giving Water Church, CEO-WLM Ministries, Inc., and Director-Black Church Studies at Yale Divinity School, New Haven,CT
- Ramari Moukam, Pattigift Therapy CIC, Birmingham, UK
- Nkem Ndefo, MSN, CNM, RN, Founder and President, Lumos Transforms, Los Angeles, CA
- Omar Neal, Former Mayor, Tuskegee, Alabama; You Got the Power Community Policing Initiative
- Sheryl Carter Negash, Yale College Friend of Community Healing Network
- Dr. Wade W. Nobles, Co-Founder and Past President of the Association of Black Psychologists and Co-founder, Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family Life and Culture, Inc.
- Stephanie Robinson, Lecturer on Law and Faculty Dean, Winthrop House, Harvard College, Harvard University
- Daryl M. Rowe, Ph.D., Owner, Nubian Psychological Group,Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Pepperdine University
- Brian D. Smedley, Ph.D., Executive Director and Co-Founder, National Collaborative for Health Equity
- Jill M. Snyder, Secretary, Community Healing Network
- Diane Y. Turner, Chair, Board of Directors, Community Healing Network
- Derek Wilson, Ph.D. AC/BP LCPP, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology Prairie View A&M University, Past President, Houston Association of Black Psychologists
- Gail E. Wyatt, Ph.D. Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
- All Healers Mental Health Alliance, Baltimore, MD
- Black Administrators in Child Welfare, Bethesda, MD
- Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Washington. D.C.
- Black Psychiatrists of America, Washington, DC
- The Beloved Community, New Haven, CT
- Institute for the Black World 21st Century Black Family Summit, Baltimore MD
- Lumos Transforms, Los Angeles, CA
- Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
- National Conference of Black Lawyers, New York, NY
- New Haven Chapter of Girl Friends, Inc. New Haven, CT
- New Haven Branch of the NAACP, New Haven, CT
- Nubia Wellness and Healing, Stockport, United Kingdom
- Pattigift Therapy CIC, Birmingham, UK
- Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Chicago, IL
- Springs of Life-Giving Water Church, New Haven, CT
- WLM Ministries, Inc., New Haven, CT
7 Things You Can Do to Help Promote The Appeal to Africa and the Diaspora
- Take the Pledge to Defy the Lie of Black Inferiority and Embrace the Truth of Black Humanity.
- Become an advocate for “emancipation from the lie.”
- Share the Pledge with your family and friends, and urge them to take the Pledge as well.
- Share the Appeal to Africa and the Diaspora with your family and friends and all the Black organizations to which you belong.
- Host small group discussions about the Appeal with your family, friends, and neighbors, using Essential Reading for Community Healing as a resource.
- Ask each Black organization to which you belong (including faith communities, youth groups, and community-based organizations) to put the issue of emancipation from the lie at the top of its agenda. Organizations can begin by appointing study groups to explore the issue and make recommendations for action.
- Treat yourself and other people of African ancestry with extraordinary care, compassion, and kindness—because the most powerful way to Defy the Lie and Embrace the Truth is to be intentional about loving ourselves and each other.