Noted psychiatrist and Chicago native Dr. Frances Cress Welsing was the keynote speaker Saturday at the pre-Kwanzaa celebration put on by radio station WVON. This marks the 14th year of this event, which is held at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive.
The two-day event is free and the vendors who participated have some of the most unusual and beautiful African items you can purchase. This family-friendly event featured performances by the students of The Betty Shabazz Charter School, Chocolate Chips Theatre Company, and others.
The screening of the documentary 500 Years Later, was outstanding and those interested can order this film from the website of the same name. Following the screening, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, author of the best-selling book, The Isis Papers (1991), delivered her speech on how the African-American community can take on and dismantle the race-based power system.
Dr. Welsing began by stating that we have a lot of work to do. "We all witnessed Katrina, New Orleans and the hurricane aftermath. If anyone had any doubt about how we are perceived as a people, I hope each and every one of you identified with those black people who were standing on that overpass and who have been really neglected since that time. There are still thousands of people without housing, without jobs, and parents who don't have their children, and children who don't have their parents.
"I say this is a lesson to all of us. If we are looking to other people to solve our problems, that example tells us we have to take full responsibility for making certain that we survive and that we go forward, I believe, as the creator intended us to when the creator made black people the first people on the planet?"and the mothers and fathers of everybody. Everybody came from us, and so we are the parent people, and we have a responsibility as parent people.
"I think we can really bring about revolutionary change in this area of the world and throughout the world if we go forward from this point with a scientific understanding of what racism/white supremacy is and why it exists as it does on this planet.
"This is something we need to correct and have it solve by 2006," she said. "Let's stop referring to ourselves as minorities. That's a critical deception. On this planet, one-tenth of the people have white skin and classify themselves as white. But nine-tenths, the overwhelming majority, are black, brown, red and yellow?"now don't forget that we are not minorities. We used to hear all the time (we don't hear it overtly) that black people are genetically inferior. So then I thought about what we are taught in science and medical school about genetics. The ability to produce these colors is a genetically dominant trait. That means black plus white equals what? Colors. Brown plus white equals color, red plus white equals color, yellow plus white equals color. That means that white is a genetic recessive trait. And so once I put this together, I said, 'Wow, I understand racism.' Most black people don't ask white people, 'Do you want your children to be colored?' I have asked white audiences. I'm polite and they're polite. What do they say? No, they don't want white to disappear."
The power equation, white over non-white, consists of economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex, and war. This, Dr. Welsing's states, makes it certain that white will not disappear.
Dr. Welsing practices psychiatry in Washington, D.C. She lectures at the Cress-Welsing Institute of Psychiatry and Social Research, where she talks about racism and its effects.
After Welsing's speech, a hand-carved African bench was given to her by president/owner of Afri-Ware, Nzingha Amma Nommo who arranged her appearance.