This article was written back in 2005 by Ezrah Aharone for a conference on Sovereignty and Black America. It was brought to my attention on my birthday by one of my mentorship students. He told me that he was simply searching for anything related to my name on Google and came across the article. While reading it, he said that it could have easily been written by me as it embodied my own views on Black America almost exactly.
The moniker “Black Sovereign” that I created in 1999, is similarly defined by the words of Ezrah Aharone and I was humbled to learn that my thoughts and philosophies on Black America mirrored others as well. He was right, the word “Sovereign” has never been applied to Black America and the is why I chose the name instead of “Black Huru” or “Black King”. I wanted something the embodied who I know myself to be… strong-willed, independent, unique, and self-aware.
ORIGINAL POST DATE: FEBRUARY 6, 2006
On February 18th a conference gathering of diverse Black people will assemble in Pittsburgh to engage a unique issue that is expanding today’s sociopolitical dialogue. That issue centers upon the Sovereign Rights of Africans in America. The conference is aptly titled, “Dependency or Sovereignty: Where Do We Go From Here?” The purpose is not to launch a sovereign movement for Black independence, but rather to promote awareness of what sovereignty is all about.
Sovereignty is the pinnacle of all political ideals. Sovereignty is the highest level of accountability and responsibility of a people. Sovereignty concerns Supreme Power and Absoluteness. 1) The Supreme Power of a government to control all people, activities, territory and resources within its borders. 2) The Absolute right of a people to govern themselves without foreign influence or interference’s. Sovereignty incubates as a consciousness and a philosophy that forms the basis of a people’s political and ideological Self-Identity.
Obviously, neither Black people nor any other minority group has Supreme Power or Absoluteness over America’s government or body politic. All minorities are under the sovereign jurisdiction of Euro-Americans. They defied the British to establish this country. They defined America’s political doctrine. They wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They control all major government institutions and the highest political posts of power. They determine allies and enemies. They declare war and decide terms of peace.
So it’s little wonder why the word “Sovereignty” is not part of Black America’s active political vocabulary, like the word “Integration”. This is no accident because freedom for us has been limited to “Civil Rights, Integration, and Citizenship”, whereas Euro-Americans on the other hand possess “Sovereignty, Independence, and Statehood”. With the supremacy of “Sovereignty, Independence, and Statehood” comes absolute federal authority to either legislate or repeal “Civil Rights, Integration, or Citizenship”.
Yes, Black America is free within the context that freedom is offered in America. But by no means are we a “sovereign people”. Any perceived sense of sovereignty we may have is simulated through our association with Euro-Americans. However, association should not be confused with sovereignty. People are either sovereign, or they are not. To occupy a psychological middle-ground like Black America constitutes the absence of sovereignty.
Over the last century, America has welcomed people of all of races, creeds, and colors to naturalize. America is a melting pot of ethnicities, but not a melting pot of sovereignty. The sovereignty of Euro-Americans is an exclusive, indivisible, non-transferable substance that will not be sliced into ethnic pieces to share with others. Unless defeated in war, they will never allow their sovereignty to be compromised or dissolved by non-Western Europeans. Particularly the descendants of the African people who they once intentionally enslaved.
Even though early Euro-Americans may have preferred a purely Anglo-Saxon nation, the sovereignty of 4 million newly-emancipated slaves would have devastated the economy. Absent our loyalty and labor America would not be the superpower known today. So in weighing their options from an economic standpoint, the prospects of our sovereignty proved just as impractical as America’s Anglo-purity. Their payoff however has been exponential. Euro-America’s greatest asset today is the unquestionable loyalty and labor of near-40 million Blacks now firmly under their sovereign authority.
Apart from wars and coups, the last situation any government would want to face inside its borders is to have 40 million discontented citizens (of another race) flirting with the ideal of sovereignty. This would menace the national and economic interests of any nation, regardless of its power. A government will therefore expend major efforts to avert such a disruptive occurrence. Since Euro-Americans broke away from British-rule, they know this reality from both ends.
Ordinarily, the desire for sovereignty is a natural inborn trait that’s known to become irrepressible. However Black America has oddly become well-adjusted to living under a government that we do not control. The fact that we never wrote a Declaration of Independence or a Constitution, or established a government is insignificant to the rank and file of mainstream Black leadership. The thought of exploring sovereignty presents them with a psychological conflict of interest that’s akin to political blasphemy.
Since our lives are attached to America in every way, it’s understandable that Blacks would be cautious about ideals that could be perceived as radical. But just for the sake of curiosity, suppose for a moment that a segment of Black America did decide to explore the feasibility of sovereignty. First of all, mainstream society would view this pursuit to be equally contentious as ridiculous. But when you objectively think about it, our troubled history and unresolved sociopolitical issues support a legitimate case for self-rule. And in terms of capabilities, we certainly do not lack the requisite intellectual, technical, or financial resources to be a sovereign people. We have more than ample human potential to establish a new and relevant presence in the world, with a political and ideological self-identity of our own. If we ever decided to do so!
There’s great strategic value to our awareness and open discussion of our “Sovereign Right” because, Euro-Americans know that by depriving us of sovereignty, they in essence contradict the fundamentals of their own political principles. This brings the government face to face with the very constitutional and philosophical ideals of democracy that it claims to espouse and wants to export throughout the world, yet it has selfishly dispossessed us of the same.
Undoubtedly, our sovereignty raises many questions to which there are no agreed answers at the moment. But these questions have less to do with feasibility, and more to do with the reality that the fate of Black America has historically revolved around an orbit that best benefits White America. So naturally, our sovereignty has never been seriously examined. Which is why the Pittsburgh Conference on Dependency or Sovereignty is so important and why similar gatherings are necessary nationwide.
Considering the totality of what Black America has endured historically, the conclusion to our sovereign fate should neither be influenced nor imposed by Euro-American expectations or dictates. All decisions related to our “Sovereign Rights to Exist” must strictly be based solely on our self-determination. Not based on our lack of vision to ponder such decisions or our lack of courage to espouse sovereign aspirations.
From the Pittsburgh Conference on Dependency or Sovereignty
Ezrah Aharone is a Scholar of Sovereign Studies and the author of “Pawned Sovereignty: Sharpened Black Perspectives on Americanization, Africa, War and Reparations”
He can be reached at EzrahAharone@juno.com .