20.05.2005 Diaspora News

Of Black Heroes And The Spiritual Onyame

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A 216-page book which takes a broader and deeper look at the traditional values and belief system of West African society has been launched in London.

The book, entitled “Black Heroes and the Spiritual Onyame, an insight into the Cosmological Worlds of Peoples of African Descent”, was launched by H.E Mr. Isaac Osei, Ghana High Commissioner to the UK.

It was written by Norman Barnett, a Jamaican, who has lived for many years in the UK and devoted his life to exploring ways in which black people can overcome their seemingly economic and cultural disadvantages in modern societies.

The book deals with the disconnection of the black people from the essence of their being and source of energy leading to a fundamental imbalance in the way black people view the world and how they perform in it.

It also delves into the lives of some black heroes whose deeds reflect consciously or subconsciously, their connection with the source of their spiritual power and the role they play in uplifting the collective and individual psyche of the black race in its quest for advancement.

In his preview, Dr. Aggrey Burke, a consultant psychiatrist said the book underscored the need for black people to find a way to help themselves by linking into the model of Onyame.

He added that African people whether in Africa or in the Diaspora should find a way of dealing with issues based on internalised and externalised emotions.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Barnett said the book provides a major platform for change based on a set of principles that are inherently African.

“It explains and explores how people of African descent have lost their way and have become disconnected from their source and, consequently, their present psychological and material imbalance,” he said.

Arguing that the book is not about race, Mr. Barnett said it connotes humanity's respect and recognition for each other and in particular the acknowledgment of Africa's contribution to the civilisation of the world.

Launching the book, Mr. Isaac Osei praised the author's contribution to the enhancement of data on the traditional beliefs of black people worldwide.

He hoped that the book would inspire other African intellectuals to write books on different aspects of life in order to benefit future generations.

In a message, Mr. Thomas A. Mensah, First President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and former Ghana High Commissioner to South Africa, said the “book has made a strong case that there is an essential unity of outlook and thought behind the religious and sociological institutions and practices of the people of African descent throughout the world.”

“For that reason the publication should be of interest not only to every person of African descent, but also to anyone who seriously wishes to understand the place and role of black people in the history and life of humanity in general,” he added.

Professor Fitzroy A. Griffiths III, a philosopher described the book “as a profound work of Africanism, spiritualism, culture and history.”

Palden Jenkins, a writer said the author has succeeded in delving into the inner conditions of the black race, in an empathetic and penetrating way and underscored the advancement of African spirituality.

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