Dr. Yosef A.A. ben-Jochannan (128599)
Credit: Contributed

After being bed-ridden and placed in a specialized care unit at the Bay Park Nursing Home for the past several weeks, legendary Kemetaphysician Dr. Yosef A. A. ben-Jochannan, aka “Dr. Ben,” transitioned on to the ancestral realm Thursday, March 19 at approximately 3:30 a.m. Those close to him said he had stopped eating and drinking several days earlier, as his metabolism slowed down.

While the news saddened many, some of his colleagues acknowledged that he physically lived for almost a full century, having celebrated the 97th anniversary of his birth this past Dec. 31, and made plans to celebrate his life in a most glamorous fashion.

“He was one of the last great race men of his era,” said Amsterdam News Editor Nayaba Arinde. “He was a master teacher who just wanted to share our amazing African history. He was a man of the people. He was always amongst us, educating and sharing. Sitting with him was a gift of tremendous proportions. He was loved, and he loved his people.”

Some people noted his immeasurable accomplishments that established him as a legendary figure in the eternal annals of Black history, whose impact has spanned several decades and who many contend will continue to be felt for many generations ahead. Jochannan is mostly recognized for proving that Black people are the indigenous inhabitants of Kemet (Egypt) and dispelling the myth that the fictitious place named “the Middle East” ever existed.

Much mention has been made of Jochannan’s cultural journey, from being a student of Arthur Schomburg in Puerto Rico as a teenager, to studying with Edward Wilmot Blyden in St. Croix, where he spent time as a youth, to participating with Pedro Albizu Campos during Puerto Rico’s independence quest in the 1950s, to suggesting African-centered reading material to Malcolm X in the early 1960s, to educating young teenaged Five Percenters at Harlem Prep during the late 1960s, to conducting his annual fact-finding tours to Kemet for more than four decades, to his many appearances on Gil Noble’s “Like It Is” television program.

“Of all our greats, Dr. Ben physically took tens of thousands of scholars, activists, students and associations to the Nile Valley to make the pages of his book more authentic,” shared colleague Brother Reggie Mabry. “We saw our own experiences of what he wrote … For that the Black world is indebted to this Black man of the Nile and his family.”

Many contend that Jochannan is one of the last of a dying breed who devoted countless hours to tirelessly doing research, reading books page by page. He now joins his partner, Dr. John Henrik Clarke. Be in peace, great one.

For going-home services information, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Yosef-Ben-Jochannan/204544862922249?sk=timeline.