Celebrating Dr. Ben-Jochannan: From Eternity to Eternity!
How to tribute Dr. Yosef Alfred Antonio ben-Jochannan, “Dr. Ben,” the giant; an icon, master teacher, scholar extraordinaire, nationalist and uncompromising gadfly in defense of Africa and her sons and daughters, is the challenge posed in this quest. Naturally, sugar, some spice and a little photographic nicety is a significant first step in the journey to celebrate the life and work of an individual not afraid to be a consistent iconoclast in extolling the meaning and significance of Egypt and the Nile Valley experience while challenging the distorted projection that falsely portray European origination of science, religion, art, architecture, culture, as the pillars that support human creativity and progress emerging from the mists of history to the illumination of high noon of man’s philosophic, spiritual and moral journey. Just as the Sphinx of Ghizeh has outlasted time, Dr. Ben has remained a timeless sentinel extolling the great gift of Africans who fired the human imagination to create the dynamics of intellectual thought processes that advanced the pageantry of the human experience; he has criticized gross misrepresentation of the historical record and as a corrective, cultivated a cadre of young minds committed to the proper reconstruction and foundation of Egypt in African history placing it on a pedestal as he has also placed the Black woman for whom he has shown great respect, love and affection.
Dr. Ben-Jochannan brought the light of knowledge through his scholarship, lectures and encouraged trips to Egypt enabling Africans to see and experience glory on the ancient tabula rasa their forebears had created as the first cause of human enlightenment. Beyond intellectual exercises, Dr. Ben was a great humanitarian and philanthropist who lived a long and exemplary life, and as a beacon and well-spring encouraged many to drink from his reservoir towards their own illumination. Unsung hero that he is, many African and African-American academic program and scholars owe him a huge debt enabling these cubs to create credible and defendable scholarship in the intellectual warfare unfolding over Egypt and its legacy. Whether in the writing of history, challenging mis-representation in Museum showcases and in the curriculum where young minds are constantly molded, the hand of Dr. Ben must be seen as a living memorial, a beacon, and his extraordinary scholarship must remain a fountain and guidepost, constantly showing the way and defining the parameters by which African people determine their future by creating revitalized generations of strong intellectual and moral warriors guided by the philosophic and spiritual principle of Ma’at.
From Abu Simbel to the Cairo Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, this Celebration of Dr. Ben-Jochannan seeks to cast some light on the path the old master has traveled, shown the way and guided untold numbers to take pride in the realization Africans can do anything others can and do it successfully because of the creativity Mother African has blest and endowed them with