“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds…”
Robert Nestor Marley
“Until the Lions have their historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
Let me remind you, in case you have forgotten, we AFRICANS, WE ARE GREAT PEOPLE! We have a lot to offer. We possess unrivaled INTELLIGENCE, CREATIVITY, BEAUTY, CONFIDENCE, and STRENGTH. We have been through insurmountable challenges, yet we continue to SOAR! Unfortunately, slavery and colonization have left an abhorrent mark. Slavery and colonization have caused some Africans to doubt their capabilities and greatness; and driven some Africans to hang onto the teachings, values, and rules we inherited from our ex-slave and colonial masters. In the words of Bob Marley, we Africans/Blacks must “emancipate ourselves from mental slavery.” This “mental slavery” problem continues to wreak havoc in the minds and conduct of those still stuck in the colonial ways. Some Africans/Blacks lack awareness or consciousness that their thoughts, mannerisms, and actions are derived from their ex-colonial/slave masters.
I recall the nuns and teachers at my primary school, Christ the King International, treating the mixed-blood students a lot different from us dark-skinned children. When some of my mixed-blood class/schoolmates marched around the school with their long natural hair, I remember my Motown days, where the teachers and housemistresses made those of African/black ethnicity cut our hair short.
When are we going to appreciate all the beautiful things that the Almighty has bestowed upon us? When are we going to stop hiding under the guise of “we must obey the traditions and rules” while simultaneously adopting and practicing the rules imposed, and unfortunately accepted by us from our former slave/colonial masters? When are we going to change our narrative? When are we going to teach the world to embrace our values? When are we going to create our OWN rules?
Instead of adopting the ‘norms’ imposed on us from our colonial masters, let us embrace our OWN. Let us teach them to not only admire the differences in our skin color but to appreciate the way we wear our hair, clothes, body types, and even the way we speak. To do that, we have to hit the reset button and re-educate and remind ourselves that:
- It is okay, normal, and beautiful to have natural, short, dark curly hair; twisted hair; braided hair;
- We do not need to strut around sporting long processed hair because we want to look like our Caucasian colonial masters.
- Our thick full lips give us our unique exotic looks. Oh heck, we now have Caucasians injecting collagen or whatever gooey stuff to achieve OUR full-lip effect.
- Our curves: right from our hour-glass to coca cola shaped body types! Need I say more?
- Do we need pointed-tipped noses? No, we do not! We can breathe better.
- Wait for a second, what about our smooth, dark chocolate beautiful skin tone? We have children as young as 12 using chemicals and other bleaching creams to lighten their skin tone! The irony is, we have Caucasians spending $$$ on tan lotions, tanning salons to get a little bit of color in their pale skin tones.
The list of teachable Ghanaian/African attributes is endless. My dear friend and sister, Bishop Dr. Suzanne Nti, clearly states, “the perception of the white man about black hair is very subjective. I have lived my whole life with a white mother, and there was never a time when she was derogatory about my mixed race hair or any other black person’s hair. She loved our curly hair. As I said, perceptions about the black person’s hair and the ‘colonial view’ are very subjective and based on those in positions to demean the black person’s dress and hair. Sadly we have also demeaned our own such that our hair and African curves, and amazing shapes have been devalued and denigrated for European catwalk profiles and styles. Let us resurrect the black and beautiful images we posses.”
Folk, Let us change our NARRATIVE! Let us VALUE our own! Let us OWN, ACCEPT, and APPRECIATE what naturally belongs to us!
So folk, I’ve had James Brown’s “Say it loud! I’m Black and proud!” blaring in the background as I blog away. I am going to pause for a second to bust a few JB moves to this iconic song. Hopefully I will not dislocate my hips and ankle in the process.
Okaaaaaaaay, I am back! Wheeeeeeeeew! As3mp3 you’ve still got it!
Now let me go and devour my dinner of Cajun spiced grilled salmon, sitting daintily on a bed of arugula drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette, sliced raw red onions, with half-baked sweet potato, which keeps bellowing at me! As3mp3! As3mp3! As3mp3! Okay, before I respond to the growl in my belly, let me quickly and briefly mention the alarming rhetoric coming from some of these EDUCATORS. These EDUCATORS who keep harping on about rules have my concern radar up. I agree that regulations are necessary, but some rules are made to be revised, changed, or broken, or? Where will women and blacks be today if regulations remained the same? These ‘rules’ argument begs the question; who is EDUCATING these EDUCATORS? AND, we want to hear from the Ministry of Education; their silence is deafening! NEXT BLOG SOON COME!