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Racial Conditions   Adinkra Symbols









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rrepressible hopes for blacks percolated during the early part of the last century, despite all-too-recent memories of slavery and lives still full of harsh discrimination. The aspirations of blacks were lifted, in large part, by two generations of freedom and the beachhead that it provided into greater opportunity.

My father/namesake steeled his will and set out to optimize his talents in ways his parents couldn't even imagine.

He displayed the breadth, depth and accomplishments of a Renaissance Man, in a sometimes bitterly hostile world.

e had an artistic side that he was constantly cultivating. And, as serious as he was about pursuing his goals, he had a good sense of humor and frequently made fun of himself. He was a person of strong, yet, quiet faith, who lived his life based on well-developed beliefs. Site visitors are encouraged to liberally browse the site to get the full measure of the man.

he "History" section, by far the longest one, will detail his life. Occasionally, the History section will provide links to other sections to explore topics more fully. In the other sections, where I characterize my father's qualites and values, I will frequently link to the History section, providing examples from his life.

Certainly, he was influenced by the Harlem Renaissance in his early adulthood and was well aware of Renaissance Man qualities. I use the areas of classical Renaissance Man development—Art, Science, Religion and Philosophy—to classify his accomplishments and beliefs.

The "Art" section includes:

  1. Athleticism: photographs and commentary on the role sports and physical activities played in my father's life.
  2. Photography: time exposure and/or panoramic photographs my father took.
  3. Writing: a sampling of my father's poetry, and a story and speech he wrote.
  4. Cooking: commentary on the origin and development of my father's cooking skills and some of his favorite recipes.

The "Science" section includes a brief mention of my father's career as a physician, pursuing medical science.

The "Philosophy" and "Religion" sections include a distillation of my father's essential beliefs about the world.

For those site visitors who are unfamiliar with the harsh conditions that plagued black people at the time my father was growing up, I have included a section about the "Racial Conditions" of his era.

I have also used traditional African values to characterize my father.

He said that his maternal ancestors came from the Ashante Kingdom, whose descendants live in present-day Ghana. I have included some of the Adinkra symbols of the Ashante people, throughout various sections, to depict the African values which underpinned his experiences.

Adinkra symbols adorn both the ceremonial and everyday cloth of the Ashante and convey both traditional and—for the newer symbols—evolving, modern values of the culture. The individual symbols link to an index of Adinkra Symbols included in the site. If visitors wish to browse the index first, the symbols there link back to the places in the site where they are used to illustrate qualites or values.

I have used one of the most revered Adinkra symbols, "Aya," to symbolize what, for me, is my father's most outstanding quality.

The literal meaning of "Aya" is "fern." It is a hardy plant, which flourishes despite harsh and difficult terrain. It is a symbol of endurance, independence, defiance against difficulties, perseverance and resourcefulness.

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Home    History   Art   Science    Religion    Philosophy

Racial Conditions   Adinkra Symbols