Dr. Georgina Falú: Preserving our ancestors’ legacies
AUTODIDACT 17 | 5/12/2016, midnight
An African proverb says,“When an old person dies, a library burns to the ground.”
Although this saying is very true, at least now a significant portion of memorabilia belonging to certain griots from our communities can be housed and put on public display for future generations to benefit from. In the recent past, Dr. Georgina Falú and her Falú Foundation have established nonprofit organizations for several notable African scholar warriors so that their lifelong efforts continue to make an impact.
“We really need to create consciousness throughout our communities, institutions, groups and families of the importance of preserving all materials relating to, not only of our great outstanding scholars but also of many other people in our families, some of the elders who have so much precious family history,” Falú advised. “Once they are gone, we don’t have any other way of accessing that information.”
The Afro-borinqueño embarked on her journey shortly after migrating from Puerto Rico and meeting kemetaphysician Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan in 1984, and he challenged her to seek her African heritage. She eventually traveled to the Motherland for the first time with “Dr. Ben,” as he is more affectionately known, and brought along her son.
“Most people have a very vague idea about our descendancy from Africa,” she noted. “The reality of the 150 million Blacks in Latin America, the least they acknowledge is that they descended from Africa, and that’s not a coincidence, it happened on purpose. The books, the courses in colleges and anything in literature, has eliminated any reference to the fact that we originated from Africa.”
Throughout the years, she devoted herself to acquiring a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Puerto Rico, a master’s in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley, a diploma from the Harvard Graduate School of Business, a master of arts degree and a doctorate in higher education finances and from Columbia University.
She took the knowledge she gained and gave it back to her community, launching her business in 1988.
“The main thrust has been to make new computer technology jobs, services, training and economic development opportunities available to the unemployed in this disadvantaged and underserved community,” reads the mission statement at falufoundationny.org.
With more than 35 years of experience as an educator at various institutions throughout Puerto Rico and the continental United States, including as an adjunct professor in CCNY’s Black Studies Department, she soon became a highly sought after lecturer who advocated for Afro-Latinos to seek their true origin.
“We don’t really know anything about our African heritage,” she indicated. “Everything we do should involve the process of preserving that information, because there is a denial all over the world not wanting to accept the contributions of the Africans and their descendants and we must continue the jobs these intellectual scholars did.”
The Falú Foundation shares empowering information for many aspiring entrepreneurs, and provides a spectrum of purposeful self-sufficient programs.
“The creation for jobs is not just a priority for Africa, it is a priority for Black communities where ever we are,” she stated. “Not only to create jobs, but to develop enterprises where we are the owners, we call the shots and make the decisions.”