African History vs. African American Culture.
(ThyBlackMan.com) Back in 2015 while on an African visit, John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State boldly said to the audience: “We have to do much more than just celebrate our history; we have to build the future.” Seems ironic that he would have to make such statements, but the truth is that our brothers and sisters in the motherland suffer from the same “disease” that afflicts African descendants in America. The large majority have locked themselves in the past, living off gas fumes from part glory and part resistance to change.
So, do Africans and their distant cousins share a common collective consciousness? According to western thought, collective conscious is defined as “the set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society.” That’s also the working definition of culture. We know for a fact that the answer is ‘no’ to that question. No matter how hard we try to appear African, somehow the form doesn’t fit. We don’t believe as Africans do, our ideas don’t compare, and moral attitudes are far apart.
But one fact stands out; Africans have their own culture on which to lean for guidance in daily life. African Americans do not. One group is autonomous, have untold resources, yet are overwhelmingly deprived. The other, American Blacks, form a sub-culture and depend on European Americans, have no natural resources of their own, but are prosperous, nonetheless. The irony makes your head hurt.
Observers around the world are quick to wonder why the two groups can’t work out a solution to their odd conundrum. Truth be told, there is no common ground from which to work. Italians, Irish, Germans, Koreans, Mexicans, and others can work together but for the ‘Black is Beautiful’ crowd, such cooperation doesn’t apply.
Many will disagree with me on this point, but until they provide proof that the affects of 400 years of separation can be reversed, I’ll keep saying what I always say. To wit: Africans in America will have to systematically establish practical foundations for a culture separate from the thinking of their former masters before a sustained, healthy identity can take shape. Jumping up and down, shouting, and marching won’t accomplish anything other than drawing attention to our deficiencies.
In our case, this old saying applies: Growth does not happen from the top down, but from the ground up. History can be a big help looking back, but can become a handicap when used ‘blue’ without ‘print’.
Staff Writer; Mu Octavis Taalib
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