Should Black Americans trust the Bible over African history? That was the subject of an intense five-hour-plus debate on April 5 debate between two cultural powerhouses, Malik Zulu Shabazz and Captain Tazaryach.
Malik Zulu Shabazz is an attorney who previously served as chairman of the New Black Panther Party. As of 2013, he has been the national president of Black Lawyers for Justice, an organization he co-founded in 1996 to advocate for victims of constitutional rights violations and other injustices specific to Black people.
Captain Tazaryach is part of the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) — a nonprofit organization based in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. The group is part of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which regards Black Americans as descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
The Twelve Tribes of Israel refer to the sons of the Jewish patriarch Jacob and they provide the tribal lineages of those who established the nation of Israel.
Here is Part 2 of the highlights from the debate. (Part 1 can be read here.)
When Malik Zulu Shabazz returned to the stage he continued his argument that African civilization preceded the Bible and thus offered true knowledge.
He doubled down on the argument for Africa.
“Let me get back to what I intend to prove here,” said Shabazz. “I intend to prove that we should trust Africa above the Bible. We should trust Africa because trusting in Africa is trusting in ourselves, trusting in our traditions, trusting in our morals, our values, our ways, our customs. It’s trusting in our people – all 2 billion of our people, not one small sect from one small religion.” (time code: 19:22)
He went on to say that proponents of the Bible or organized Western religions use the same arguments used by whites to colonize Africa.
“Religion is divisive. Religion makes us act like the white man. Many of their arguments today from the Bible and from their doctrine…are all the exact same arguments that the white slave master who came to Africa with the Bible used. The arguments they are using today are the exact same arguments used by the white crocodile missionaries who came to Africa.”
But, more importantly, Shabazz said, all religions originated in Africa. Their missions later got diluted.
“I will prove today that we must trust Africa because Africa is the mother of all civilization, and when you compare the contributions of Africa, when you compare all that Africa has given to the world, nothing compares to the greatness of African history,” he stressed. (time code: 20:46).
Shabazz went on to talk about Jesus.
“Jesus,” he said, “and we’re not talking about the blue-eyed, pale-skin, buttermilk complexion, white cracker Christ. We’re talking about Black Lord Savior and a Black master. He teaches us in the Book, ‘Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free in your own history written on the walls of the hieroglyphics or…in sacred writings.'”
He added, “Man must know that when you talk about the Bible and you limit yourself to the Bible, and you confine yourself to the Bible, you are limiting yourself to a small scope, even a pebble of the broad universality and awesomeness of African history. Now let’s see how divisive religion is and how it pits one brother against another, and it makes no sense whatsoever.” (time code: 22:25)
According to Shabazz, one of the main reasons not to trust the Bible is because of its authors.
“Religion will make you go against your mama. Religion will make you go against your cousin, your brother, and your grandmama all because of an interpretation in the book which has been given to us by the white man,” argued Shabazz. (time code: 24:02)
He continued his argument against the Bible.
“The ‘baby’ Bible will tell you that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman–that’s kindergarten religion. My sisters and brothers, Africa has thousands of years of history before the history the Bible tells us,” he said. (time code: 27:18)
According to Shabazz, the history of Africa predates the Bible, which says that man began about “6,000 years” ago. But, he added, the first homosapien is “3.5 million years old.” Since archaeologists have proved this, Shabaz said, how could Adam and Eve be the first?
Four species of human ancestors roamed earth 3 million years ago, according to one study of African fossils.
“Biblical history has given us a child’s history when it comes to the infinite history of the original Black man,” he stressed. “The 10 commandments came from Africa, so how can we not trust Africa?”
Shabazz moved on to the subject of slavery on the African continent — a subject Captain Tazaryach brought up during his introduction. Captain Tazaryach questioned why Black Americans should trust the history of Africa when there were Africans who sold off other Africans in the TransAtlantic slave trade.
But Shabazz shot back at this argument, saying, “They will tell you Africa is bad, Egypt is bad, Kemet is bad, because Egypt had slaves. They will tell you Egypt is bad because they enslaved other Africans. After all, Egypt enslaved African Jews. And they will tell you Africa is bad. They are teaching anti-African teaching,” he said.
Kemet is a name for ancient Egypt.
Shabazz went on to show an argument from a Jewish publication that claimed that there was never any evidence that the Jews were enslaved in Egypt. (time code: 37:11).
He added there is no archaeological evidence of Jews being enslaved in Egypt – “no pottery, no shred of evidence, Ramses was not drowned in the Red Sea, the Passover story was made up. There is no evidence,” Shabazz claimed.
Shabazz doubled down on his argument that civilization began in Africa, which preexisted the Bible.
“Africa is the origin of civilization…you must trust because if you compare the contributions of Africa to the contributions of the Israelites–ain’t no comparison,” he said. “No comparison. You’re talking about the greatest civilization ever known to man. Africa has some of the eight wonders of the world still standing. (Compare this) against a few piles of rubble (in Israel). There ain’t no comparison.” (time code: 39:22)
Shabazz also presented evidence that Egyptian hieroglyphs, the formal writing system used in ancient Egypt, preceded the Bible.
Africans were the original man and woman, he said. So we “must trust the original source, not some secondary source.”
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Captain Tazaryach then returned to the mic.
Black Americans should stop romanticizing Africa, Tazaryach said: “Go back to Africa? Where you going to go?”
Africa cannot be trusted today because there are still countries where people are enslaved, he said.
“We have African countries involved in the slave trade. When you terrorized my people, I would hate you too,” he said. “You had 40 to 50 African countries involved in the (trans-Atlantic) slave trade, so where are you going to return to? Also, how do you know they won’t enslave you today? There is slavery still in Africa today!” (time code: 54:00)
Captain Tazaryach also mentioned the tribal wars that still plague some African countries today.
“Africa is still fighting each other. They are not united,” he said, pointing out that the opposite could be said for Israel. He said there is unitt to be found in Israel.
“There is one language in Israel: Hebrew. In Africa, there are 2,000 native languages–this even further divides us.”
Captain Tazaryach strengthened his argument that there are too many divisions in Africa to trust any of them.
“If you have one culture and another culture, there is going to be conflict. There are over 3,000 ethnic groups in Africa, so who do Black people in America belong to?” he asked.
According to Captain Tazaryach, there is a permanent disconnect between Black Americans and Africans.
“Africans don’t want to connect with African Americans,” he said. “Malcolm X was not welcomed on a trip to Africa … Africans think they’re better than you then and now.” (time code: 1:00:41)
Captain Tazaryach went on to question why Africans never tried to aid Black Americans going through the civil rights struggle in the U.S. “We have a love for Africa, but where is the love for us?” he asked. “When is Africa going to love us back?”
Photo: Dr. Malik Zulu Shabazz, national chairman of the New Black Panther Party, center, and Rev. Hasim Inzinga, right, lead a protest about reparations for slavery in front of the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, Sept. 1, 2001. Security guard at left is unidentified. (AP Photo/Hillery Smith Garrison)