The situation of Black people living in Africa, America and Europe is palpable and needs no telling that an absolute change is needed to make a lasting improvement in the lives of Black people.
The struggle against slavery is a 3 fold fight, but unfortunately, it seems only one part has been done away with, at least on paper. The two that are most critical for the Black person to achieve self actualization, have been relegated and it is no surprise the situation of Black people since the end of slavery, haven’t been any different from the slavery era.
Unknown to many people, slavery took 3 main forms.
1. Physical enslavement – This involved the slave trade as most people know it. The productization of humans, selling and buying into perpetual bondage to be used for labour.
2. Economic Enslavement – The looting of Africa’s economic and cultural wealth, minerals and other natural resources ensured that Africa started off from a disadvantaged point and obviously, the continent hasn’t been able to catch up to the rest of the world ever since. Again, slavery ensured that Africa’s most able youth and human capital were taken away to develop other continents and nations, so it was always going to be difficult to develop as quickly as other nations have. When slavery ended, Europe and the Americas, the black person became a pariah, so systems were put in place to oppress, discriminate and stifle the Black persons economic fortunes in those countries and same continues till today.
3. Mental Slavery – Not only did slavers enslave the African physically and Economically but they also made sure that the ordinary African was mentally conditioned to believe anything African is inferior.
Now for one to be completely free from all these forms of slavery, it will take more than social media hashtags and angry demonstrations. A concious and concerted effort must be made to escape the leash that’s stayed on our next for far too long.
1. Identity – A name is an essential part of a person’s identity. What is the meaning of Floyd? Why is an African named Floyd?. No disrespect to the Floyd family and any black person named Floyd but if as black people, we continue to bear the names of white slavers who enslaved our forebears and continue to met injustices on us, then we have made little progress at identifying ourselves post slavery. Bearing your slaver’s name is a sign you’re still under his bondage.
2. Religion – As dicey as religion is, it’s contribution in facilitating slavery on the African continent and in ensuring slaves became and remained docile cannot be overstated. One thing that is clear is that the various religions in this world are regional and imbibed with the identity of the particular people who originated it. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism etc are alien to Africans pre slavery era. The Christianization and Islamization of the black man corrupted the black identity, thereby contributing to the inferiority complex seen among African communities today. In Africa today, a large number of the African people see traditional African beliefs as evil and everyone practicing it is going to burn in hell. Don’t imagine how we came to believe these silly lies, it was all part of a well planned agenda to perpetuate a grave sin against Africans.
3. Return home – Even though we live in a globalized world, never has there been a time that the human race has been this divided. The black man has heard too often the statement “Go back to Africa”. While this is outrightly offensive, racist and discriminatory, in a sober reflection, it is indeed the duty of every black person to come back home, at least temporarily. This will afford them the opportunity to learn about their history and heritage first hand and create a connection to the motherland. Knowing Africans don’t live in trees and that infact, there are business and employment opportunities here and people are living a dignified life, free of the racism and discrimination seen out there, goes a long way to improve a black person’s confidence in self.
4. Start Black Businesses abroad and in Africa – Money they say, make the world go round. If Africans want to be economically free, it starts with an effort to control a significant share of the world’s businesses and wealth. The African has been largely an employee, living on measly paychecks, which has meant that the African community is always living on the edge because they don’t have the economic muscle to uplift their families and communities from the poverty that years of marginalization has plunged them into. Imagine if Black businesses owned the oil rigs in Angola, Nigeria, Ghana and the rest, or the gold mines in South Africa, Ghana and what have you, the proceeds would stay in Africa, instead of enriching already rich white businesses and countries. The African countries that own these resources have been short changed for far too long. Imagine also that Blacks owned some the world renowned and multibillion technology firms, then they would have more at their disposal to make a significant impact in the black communities, they would be become power brokers and finally have a hold on the system that’s stacked up against the black man.
5. Buy black – Businesses exist because of their customer’s money. When you buy from a black owned business, you empower a black person to be able to grow and expand his or her business. This in turn means more opportunities for black people and a wealthier black person who will have the means to contribute significantly to the community.
source: Joseph Naah-Yerreh | www.nsemwoha.com