Saying Farewell to Dr. Ben

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:

It's been said you never get out of this life alive.  But Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan might just be the exception to that rule, because he lives on through his work and so many of the lives he touch through his teachings, his sojourns to Egypt, his appearances on Like It Is with Gil Noble, and his many books on the history of Black people.

Some say he was an Egyptologist.  I think that's part of who he was.  He was much more than that - he was a philosopher, a behavior modification expert - for how could you behave badly after you learn that you come from kings and queens; he was wise teacher - because he made his information palatable and understandable to people at various educational levels.  He was a mesmerizer - because he could hold the attention of hundreds of  people who would listen intently for hours without saying a word while he unraveled the mysteries of Black history through Egypt and Africa.   And he must have been quite a lady's man, because he was married three times and had thirteen children - that doesn't happen unless you know how to treat a woman and have a love of family - your own, and the extended family of the Black African Diaspora.

In saying farewell to Dr. Ben, we also express our love and appreciation for his tireless energy and devotion  to introducing us to who we were, who we are, and who we could yet become if we but followed his advice and teachings.

There were many who did - who were privileged to sit at his feet and soak up the great banks of knowledge that poured forth from this great man of wisdom.  Dr. Ben, who was originally from Ethiopia, of Ethiopian and Puerto-Rican parentage brought with him such a wealth of wisdom, knowledge and understanding, that many eurocentric intellectuals who had been brainwashed and indoctrinated in the great schools of caucasian propaganda and philosophy could not believe what he was saying.  How could it be that the basic religions that they were all taught to revere originated in the Cradle of Africa; how could it be that the original Egyptians were BLACK? not eurowhite.  How was it that the original Jews were Black, not the eurocentric interlopers that we are so much more familiar with now.  How is it that the Pyramids, the Sphinx and all the other great monuments were constructed by Black hands, and not some creature from out of space as Daniken tried to convince them (remember that dumb commercial they used to run on TV in the 70's?)  What?

The fact that he went to Non-white universities and institutions of higher learning to obtain his degree caused them to look askance at this great brother of knowledge - but, try as they might, they could dispute, but could not disprove his information.

Dr. Ben literally carried Black people from the US to  tour Egypt twice a year on a sojourn to reacquaint them with who they were really were - for, though Hitler tried, he could not destroy the Black features and characteristics of the Sphinx, Anknaton, Pharoahs, Isis, Osiris, all the hieroglyphs, artwork, and evidence of our genius and ingenuity still remain for those of the modern day world to witness and rejoice.

The only thing running the ignorant, envious subconscious euro-minds was how did this little dark man with the thick accent become so smart; how did he learn so much; how dare he stand up to all of us who represent the bastions of whiteness to the nth degree???  Lefkowitz found out that Dr. Ben was neither intimidated nor impressed by him. 

All I know was what a pleasure it was to sit with this man and listen to him as he held forth on all the wonderful things we had wrought as a people.  It was a double pleasure when he and Dr. John Henrik Clarke got together.  It's like being in Black History Heaven.


Imagine this scenario:  You've now got Ivan Van Sertima, John Hope Franklin, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Cheikh Anta Diop, Franz Fanon, John Henrik Clarke, Dr. Yosef Ben-Jocannan, Frederick Douglass, Carter G. Woodson, Elombe Brath, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, W.E.B. DuBois, and Marcus Garvey all sitting around being interviewed by Gil Noble and Gus Henningberg!!! Wow - that would be a panel and a half.  Now, if we Black men and women and children could, by osmosis, soak up all that collective knowledge; integrate all that wealth of knowledge into our physical, spiritual, mental, emotional beings - if we could consolidate that information into a serious action plan for the education and redemption and empowerment of Black people, we would be heading up at least three states of our own, established or expanded the HBCUs, our children would be the new level of "wizkids" and we'd finally break the shackles off our brains with just the mental muscle power of higher Black thought.

Well, you can almost say that we've come to the end of an era - the passing of Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan marks the last of a long and blessed period of wise Black men who were sent here by our ancestors to be the beacon of truth in a mountain of lies.  And, fortunately for us, while Dr. Ben has made his transition to the ancestor angels, we still have one wonderful voice in the wilderness of Mis-education and deception, who is still carrying high the torch of truth - DR. CHARLES BLOCKSON, in Philadelphia - while in his 80s is still telling it like it is - the mantle, then has to be passed on to him.  His body of work is on display at Temple University at Pollett Walk - a man much inspired by the great men already mentioned, Dr. Blockson is as passionate about Black people knowing and honoring their history as Dr. Ben was - he would have been considered "a kid" by the pantheon of scholars just mentioned. 


Knowing that you can never know everything about Black history or Black people, I am in the process of re-reading and re-learning what I've learned from these great men - there has been so much that has been obscured by modernistic BS ersatz pseudo education - and one must go back for a deepening of principles - or one will find oneself walking around talking like some the Hollywierd melanites  (you used to call them Oreos) who've made it big and are now honorary "white."

Dr. Ben has certainly left a treasuretrove of books and videos to tap into so that if you didn't have the pleasure, you can most definitely avail yourself of those immediately if not sooner.  It would be wonderful to find that at least one of his thirteen children - if not all of them - are carrying forward their father's illustrious work.  What a wonderful tribute to him as a man and a scholar it would be. 

The last time I saw Dr. Ben was at Sylvia's Queen of Soul Food Restaurant in Harlem.  We was with a mutual friend, musical artist Onaje Alan Gumbs, who frequently went to visit him and take him out.  He love the restaurant, and the people there loved him and came over to wish him well on such a regular basis we finally had to request that he be allowed to eat in peace.  That was a measure of how well loved Dr. Ben was in our community. 

Many a forum held at the Harriet Tubman school had one leaving promising him or herself to go home and immediately look up that information; or with a resolve to never make a negative statement about Black people and our heritage again.  The level of clarity Dr. Ben left you with was kind of like the sun pouring in through heavy grey clouds. 

Dr. Ben educated people where ever he found them 7 years at Malcolm/King University in Harlem; 15 years at Cornell; and more than 60 years in Harlem in churches, schools, living rooms, as well as 50 years in Egypt.  But he was no dictator - or a fanatic - he gave you the information, gave you the proof, by you had the responsibility of inculcating it or not.  Some of us have done better than others; some never got it.  Some never heard it.  Some of us have forgotten it.  But it could never be said that he didn't share his wealth of knowledge freely with his brothers and sisters; he did not hoard it for monetary or some sort of elitist personal gain.  Knowledge not shared is useless.  And Dr. Ben loved his people too much to let them go through life ignorant.  


We are coming together next week, April 9th and 10th to bid Dr. Ben's spirit farewell - but we know he hasn't gone far from us because there is still so much more for us to learn, be, do, have.  He's given us some awesome resources to work with - coupled with our minds and intelligence, I know we're going to make him proud.  We can do great things!

Thank You Dr. Ben for all the love you showed us through your work; hopefully you felt it coming right back at you from us as well.

Stay Blessed &

Gloria Dulan-Wilson

The following are just some of the books by Dr. Ben for those of you who have never read him, or who wish to reread his work - this is via the www.raceandhistory.com website.


African Origins of Major "Western Religions"
by: Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan
publisher: Black Classic Press, released: 01 December, 1991
price: $24.95 (new), $23.29 (used)
Africa: Mother of Western Civilization (African-American Heritage Series)
by: Yosef Ben-Jochannan
publisher: Black Classic Press, released: 01 August, 1988
price: $34.95 (new), $14.95 (used)
Black Man of the Nile and His Family
by: Yosef Ben-Jochannan
publisher: Black Classic Press, released: 01 June, 1989
price: $24.95 (new), $14.50 (used)
Our Black Seminarians and Black Clergy Without a Black Theology
by: Yosef Ben-Jochannan, Dr. Yosef A.A. ben-Jochannan
publisher: Black Classic Press, released: 31 May, 1996
price: $14.95 (new)
The Myth of Exodus and Genesis and the Exclusion of Their African Origins
by: Yosef Ben-Jochannan
publisher: Black Classic Press, released: 01 December, 1996
price: $14.95 (new)
The Need for a Black Bible
by: Yosef Ben-Jochannan
publisher: Black Classic Press, released: 01 March, 1996
price: $16.95 (new)
Our Black Seminarians and Black Clergy Wit
by: Yosef Ben Jochannan
publisher: Black Classic Press
A Chronology of the Bible: Challenge to the Standard Version (B.C.P. Pamphlet)
by: Yosef Ben-Jochannan
publisher: Black Classic Press, released: 01 June, 1991
price: $4.00 (new)
From Afrikan Captives to Insane Slaves: The Need for Afrikan History in Solving the "Black" Mental Health Crisis in "America" and the World (Truth & Sanity Reprint Series)
by: Yosef Ben-Jochannan
publisher: Native Sun Publishers, Inc., released: 01 November, 1992
We the Black Jews: Witness to the "White Jewish Race" Myth/ Vols 1 and 2 in One
by: Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan
publisher: Black Classic Press, released: 01 January, 1993
price: $12.29 (used)



          Services for Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan are as follows:

The Wake & Viewing: Thursday, April 9th, 2015 between 4 and 8PM

" Dr. Ben" will lie in State at Abyssinian Baptist Church
132 W 138th St. (Bet. Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and Malcolm X Blvd.)
New York, NY 10030
(212) 862-7474

Funeral Service: Friday, April 10th, 2015 at 9:30AM-12:30PM
Abyssinian Baptist Church
132 W 138th St, New York, NY 10030
(212) 862-7474

Burial:  Friday, April 10th, 2015 at Ferncliff Cemetery
280 Secor Rd, Ardsley, NY 10530

April 10th Friday - 2:00 pm - Repast -
Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre,
2031 Fifth Avenue (between 125th & 126th Sts.)
Harlem, New York

Cards and donations should be sent to:

Ms. Ruth Johannes (Daughter of "Dr. Ben")
955 Walton Avenue - Suite 2G - Bronx, N.Y. 10452​


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