by Taki S. Raton
Noted historian, research specialist, writer and world traveler Runoka Rashidi will be the invited speaker at the Wisconsin African American Women’s Center (WAAWC) on Wednesday, February 6 at 7 p.m. Doors will open at the 3020 West Vliet address at 6:30 p.m.
With a focus on the African foundations of world civilizations, Dr. Rashidi is additionally among the ten cast members of “Hidden Colors 2”, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Hidden Colors 1” documentary about the untold history of people of African and aboriginal descent. Rashidi is particularly drawn to the African presence in Asia, Australia, and in the Pacific Islands, and has coordinated numerous historic educational group tours worldwide.
His knowledge and research findings are highly sought after for radio, television, and newspaper interviews. He has made presentations at upwards of 200 colleges, universities, secondary schools, libraries, bookstores, churches and community centers nationally and has spoken on the international circuit in invited lectureships in over 50 countries.
Rashidi is the author of “The Introduction to the Study of African Classical Civilizations” and he has edited, along with Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, “The African Presence in Early Asia” which is considered “the most comprehensive volume on the subject yet produced”. Dr. Rashidi also authored “The Global African Community: The African Presence in Asia, Australia and the South Pacific.” In December 2005 he released his first text in French, “A Thousand Year History of the African Presence in Asia.”
As an essayist and contributing writer, Rashidi’s articles have appeared in more than seventy-five publications. His historical essays have been featured in the “Journal of Civilizations Anthologies” covering the global African presence.
His “journal of African Civilizations” essay include: “African Goddess: Mothers of Civilization,” “Ancient and Modern Britons,” “The African Presence in Prehistoric America,” “A Tribute to Dr. Chancellor James Williams,” “Ramses the Great: The Life and Time of a Bold Black Egyptian King,” “The Moors in Antiquity,” “The Royal Ships of the Pharaohs,” and the “Nile Valley Presence in Asian Antiquity.”
Since 1986, he has worked actively with the Dalits (India’s Black untouchables). In 1987, he was a keynote speaker at the first All-India Dalts Writer’s Conference held in Hyderabad, India where he spoke on the “Global Unity of African People.” In 1998, he returned to India to lecture, study and sojourn with the Dalits and Adivasis (the indigenous people of India). In 1999, he led a group of seventeen African American to India and became the first ever non-Indian recipient of the prestigious Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Memorial Award. For twelve years, he served as United States representative of “Dalits Voice: The Voice of the Persecuted Nationalist Denied Human Rights” published fortnightly from Bangalore, India.
On December 5, 2002, Rashidi was granted an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by the Amen-Ra Theological Seminary in Los Angeles, California.
Rashidi believes that his main mission in life “is to help make Africans proud of themselves, to help change the way Africa is viewed in the world and to help reunite a family of people that has been separated far too long.”
The Runoko Rashidi February 6 presentation is sponsored by the WAAWC and the Black United Front, Milwaukee Chapter. The event is free and open to the public. For any additional information, please contact Bro. Oshi Adelabu at 324-5796 or the WAAWC at 933-1652.