My respect for teachings of the late, great Dr. Frances Cress Welsing cannot be understated, and has been reiterated numerous times on this platform. She has introduced many empowering concepts to those who were tuned into her contributions that are never to be forgotten by those who refer to themselves as her intellectual and philosophical children, and I count myself among that number. Recently, her sister and a very inspirational, conscious educator and highly respected elder in her own right, Ms. Lorne Cress Love, made an appearance on the COWS (Context of White Supremacy) radio program to discuss, among other things, the life and times of Dr. Welsing. In this program, Ms. Love and the host Gus T. Renegade referenced a concept called the cosmic assignment that Dr. Welsing referred to in her legendary, game-changing text, The Isis Papers, as well as her many appearances on various radio and television programs and lectures. The cosmic assignment refers to the assignment that was given to her, perhaps by herself, perhaps by some other unknown, maybe unexplained spiritual inspiration, as someone who is very aware of the colossal problems for Black people under the system of racism/white supremacy, and someone who has a serious interest in studying this system in order affect change and produce justice for Black people, to each and every day spend the requisite time and energy doing their part toward finding solutions to THE world’s greatest problem.
Although my contributions to the empowerment and liberation of Black people pale badly in comparison to the gargantuan contributions of Dr. Welsing and others of that ilk, this term the cosmic assignment is a perfect description for how I describe my attempts to consistently make constructive use of time and energy studying, reading about, writing about, speaking about (with other victims), and taking any opportunity that I can find to work against racism/white supremacy. Being on your cosmic assignment means that you are entirely self-driven to do whatever work that you deem yourself qualified to do in service of liberation, regardless of how many or how few eyes are on you, how many people recognize your sincere efforts, or what challenges will be put in your path, or how many or few people who you encounter who even agree with you. It means to do this work for only the most noble of reasons, which is a sincere concern for Black people, a deep need for justice and liberation, and to correct the horrific wrongs that have been placed upon us. It means to do this work simply because this stance is just, righteous, and above all else, true. This is absolutely not about grabbing attention, which seems to be the main motivator for most human behavior seen today. It means that we are to operate from a place of selflessness, in the spirit of many great ancestors, including the aforementioned Dr. Welsing, but also people such as Dr. Amos Wilson, Dr. Ben, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Chancellor Williams, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Malcolm X, Dr. Khalid Muhammad and many others, who without a doubt had the intellect and skill in many fields to become extremely wealthy had they decided to switch up and “play the game”, but who decided to prioritize liberation and the general well-being of Black people before their own material gain.
There have been many people who place themselves in front of Black people as leaders in the past, as well as in the present day, who are ego and fame driven. Although they may receive a measure of “success” for a short time, history tends to not be very kind to these types. As the old saying goes, it all eventually comes out in the wash, and a person’s impure motivations when it concerns Black people always eventually become revealed in one way or another. Those who stay on their cosmic assignment and operate not from a place of ego, but from a place of sincerity will always be venerated, loved and highly respected and their names become more and more celebrated by those who are also on their cosmic assignment more and more as time passes. I and many others who attempt to be on our cosmic assignment, fighting the good fight, whether that fight is being fought in the classroom, in the courtrooms, in the political arena, in the boardrooms, in our own homes, on the internet or in the streets, do not wish for any fame, fortune, or notoriety for doing the work that we deem necessary in service of the liberation of Black people. Truth be told, many are aware that none of these things are forthcoming anyway. At most, we aim to be respected and understood by those who we are hoping to reach, and sometimes even that is not forthcoming. If anything is sure to be forthcoming when engaging with this work, it is either a range of negative reactions, from confusion to scorn, both from our enemies (from whom negative reactions are to be expected), and confused, mentacidal victims of white supremacy, some of whom may be good friends or relatives, who you care about and have strong feelings for, or perhaps in the worst case, no reaction at all.
But these things do not and will not stand in the way of someone who is on their cosmic assignment. We are directed to do this work by a higher authority, whatever you call him/her or it, and to do it fearlessly, dutifully and diligently. Although he did not use the term cosmic assignment, as this is a particular phrase that I’ve only heard Dr. Welsing use (although many others such as Dr. Kamau Kambon and Mr. Neely Fuller have spoken on similar concepts), educator and author Baba Mwalimu Baruti, who along with his wife/compliment Ena Yaa Baruti are two of the greatest examples of people on their cosmic assignment, said this:
“To me warriors seek challenges. They’re the ones who are courageous enough to do the work. They’re not the ones operating out of fear or ignorance, they’re not the ones who see the enemy at work, or see the enemy coming or can see this quote-unquote overwhelming threat against us and find a way to get around it or find a way to not have to deal with it and put on blinders. Warriors are the ones who as the Afrikan proverb says, and I’m paraphrasing, If a spear is getting ready to go into your chest, then you charge toward it…. that’s a warrior to me. When it comes to challenges, especially the most difficult challenges in our life, we’re the ones who have been self-selected, even though this is a part of our spirit. We have decided that we are going to take on the fight for Afrikan people. We have made that choice; we have decided that this is something that we have no choice but to do, because courage is the fruit of a decision made in the heart”.
Although I must state again for clarity that my contributions to Afrikan liberation pale and perhaps always will pale in comparison to everyone that I have named in this article, I have decided to give what I am qualified to give to Afrikan liberation, and stay on my cosmic assignment, regardless of whatever comes down the road, whether what is down the road is “good” or “bad”, or even if nothing at all is down the road. When the contributions of those who have been named in this article are considered, as well as the many challenges that they faced from enemies, other victims, or whatever else are factored in, staying on my own personal cosmic assignment in the service of eliminating white supremacy and producing justice for Black people is the very least that I can do.
Osei, 21st Century Race Man