Who We Are
African Americans Forming A New Tribal Existence
Inward Journey, African American Council , a community of men and women in transition, a community with a vision of self-determination and direct action. To be in community means to be in change. Change is an inevitable event in life. Some change is destructive and some is constructive. We pride ourselves on embracing constructive/healing change.
African Americans, we judge, suffer from a serious and deadly identity wound. Torn, as our ancestors were, from their homelands, communities, villages, and tribes; and forbidden to practice any tribal ventures for centuries, it is a miracle that we have a trace of sanity left.
Even in modern times, our identity was often chosen for us. We have gone through being called darkies, niggers, niggres, colored, Negroes, black, and African American. None of us have totally agreed on an identity. Hence, we suffer the disconnectedness any tribal peoples who were banished from their ancestral homelands would suffer.
Why is a name so important? Think of it like this. When you hear the name Zulu, Dogon, Dagara, Apache, or Sioux what images come to mind? The Zulu named themselves based on their collective cultural experiences and vision. A name for any peoples conveys Their Story, something Africans in America are critically lacking. Brothers and Sisters, what is the collective story and vision of Inward Journey? In the motherland, you have nations, communities, and villages, but at its core, you have The Tribe!
So what are we as members of Inward Journey to call ourselves? How will we choose to identify ourselves? What name can we offer to the world that is self-identifying and that captures our very intent and purpose of being?
Our proposition is simple, we, the sub-committee to redefine the concept of village, have created an acronym that encapsulates our very essence and being, The AAFANTE Tribe, meaning African Americans Forming A New Tribal Existence. The name is all-inclusive and descriptive while promoting our vision and, equally important, it describes a community in transition and action.
Unlike the ethnic tribes of old that were exclusive, by necessity, The AAFANTE is inclusive of all peoples of African descent; The Lost Tribes, displaced during the African Diaspora. We believe it to be an honorable name well deserving of the sisters and brothers that we hope will embrace it and own it. We think The Ancestors will be pleased!