Dr. Runoko Rashidi is a historian, research specialist, world traveller, writer, and public lecturer who has been educating people on the African foundations of world civilizations for 41 years; he was born and raised in South-Central Los Angeles in the year 1954. He developed a love for the black race at a very early age after reading the history of Marcus Garvey and listened to speeches from Malcolm X. His passion continued to grow after reading in libraries, studying, and keeping into memory dates and facts. All these became clear at the age of 18 after he read The Destruction of Black Civilization by Chancellor Williams. According to him, the book put him on his path as a historian. “At an early age, I realized that based on my background, personality and interests that history was a way that I could do that [study history]. For the last 41 years, I haven’t looked back.”

A peek at his educational background reveals he went to a public school in LA, joined a study group, and later moved to California State University at Northridge. He briefly studied anthropology and archaeology at U.C.L.A. taking a class here and there from time to time. It was in 1981 that he met his major scholarly influence: Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, who was the leading authority in the world on the African Presence in pre-Colonial America and the founder of the Journal of African Civilization. Dr. Rashidi is particularly drawn to the African presence in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.  In March 1999, he coordinated a historic tour to India called Looking at India through African Eyes.  In March 2000, he toured Viti Levu, Fiji, while in July 2000, he coordinated an educational tour to Aboriginal Australia titled Looking at Australia through African Eyes.

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Dr. Rashidi is the author of Introduction to the Study of African Classical Civilizations (published by Karnak House in London in 1993), the editor, along with Dr. Ivan Van Sertima of Rutgers University, of the African Presence in Early Asia, considered “the most comprehensive volume on the subject yet produced” (published by Transaction Press, and now in its third edition), and a major pamphlet titled the Global African Community: The African Presence in Asia, Australia and the South Pacific (published by the Institute of Independent Education in 1994).  In 1995, he completed editing Unchained African Voices, a collection of poetry and prose by Death Row inmates at California’s San Quentin maximum-security prison.

More about Dr. Runoko Rashidi

Dr. Rashidi believes it is the responsibility of Africans to document and tell our own history and not wait on the descendants of the slave-masters or colonizers to do it. Dr. Rashidi has dedicated his entire adult life to African people, also offering online courses on the global African presence and organizing tour groups to Spain, Morocco, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Some of his major projects include a travel book called People and Places that I Have Seen: Off the Beaten Path with Runoko Rashidi, and a video series titled African History for a New Generation. As a historian, anthropologist, essayist, researcher, editor, author (author and or editor of eighteen/18 books), activist and public lecturer, he is dedicated to the full disclosures of Afrikan foundations of world civilizations.

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Boukman’s Prayer

The god who created the
earth; who created the sun that gives us

light. The god who holds up the ocean; who makes the thunder roar. Our God

has ears to hear. You who are hidden in the clouds; who watch us from where

are. You see all that the white has made us suffer. The white man’s god

him to commit crimes. But the god within us wants to do good. Our god, who

so good, so just, He orders us to revenge our wrongs. It’s He who will

our arms and bring us the victory. It’s He who will assist us. We all

throw away the image of the white men’s god who is so pitiless. Listen to

voice for liberty that speaks in all our hearts.

Houngan Boukman Dutty


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