In psychology, black is the colour of power and control. Black depicts authority, sophistication and independence. Well, this is true with everything except for the black man. When it comes to the human race black is dirty, evil, embarrassing. That is why we are bleaching our skins. That is why we are trying to white wash our gene pool. It is about time we started seeing ourselves as black gold; rare, beautiful and valuable. We need to own this identity. Only then can Africa be great.
A Ghanaian man went on T.V and said he bleached his skin because he hates being black. The only positive thing about this is that he was brave enough to admit what most of us struggle with. It is sad that in Africa most black people live with all this self-hate. But we don’t talk about it because if we do we are deemed as angry, ignorant or living in the past.
We learn to Assimilate.
So, we are faced with two issues a) to stand up for ourselves or b) to assimilate. Most of us assimilate because it is easier; to act whiter, to forget about your language, to marry a white man so that your children will not face the same things you faced.
Otis says it is the survival instinct. For survival, he explains, humans band together in groups with the same characteristics. They use these characteristics to show superiority to people who lack it. It is what the white people did. In completely black societies we have aped the colourism by exalting lighter skinned individuals and laughing at the dark skinned ones. In truth, we assimilate to be less threatening to the superior race because we want to survive. Assimilation in our generation is subconscious. You find that you are more likely to marry a Moroccan bride than a south Sudanese woman. Yet you state it is because people we have no choice with who we fall in love with. In the same breath, we try to straighten our hair because good hair is not kinky and hard to comb. We assume that straight long hair is low maintenance and more beautiful so we buy Brazilian hair and hair straitening gadgets.
The issue is not about self-hatred it is about fitting in.
It is more complicated than that. We have been conditioned from a young age to think that fitting in is better than being different. It is because our forefathers were introduced to a white God and a black devil. The darker you were the closer to the devil you were viewed. But the devil was everything bad in the world so we strove to run away from his evilness. We marry lighter people for our children to be ‘clean’. Heck,we saw our fathers do it, their fathers before them did it. So we continue to propagate because it is easier than remaining emotionally strained or financially deprived. We are constantly making ourselves more acceptable to the white society. We bleach our skins to be whiter, adorn our head with weaves because our hairs cannot be straight enough and when that does not work we find a white man/woman to ensure that the next generation is better than us. Better, meaning whiter.
What we need to do is Adapt.
Anti-black behaviour will not stop if the world believes black is ugly. But we are not going to save the black race by diluting our gene pool. What we need is Adaptation. With Adaptation we will keep our unique individuality and still be able to survive in this world.
How do we do that?
We need to define who we are and come up with ways to thrive as a race. Remind your children that diversity is a good thing. Realise that learning to speak English through our noses will not make us less black. The English language is not and should not be a measure of intelligence. We should teach your kids that sheng is not all about poverty and crime (apparently that is what we think).
Identify the anti-black behaviours you have adopted and make a conscious effort to change. Try to end this vicious cycle passed down by our forefathers. Understand that Privilege does not mean you look down on people who are not like you. To judge people’s intelligence using only academics. You cannot call the person with a Jua kali shop ignorant because they went to a different school than you. Learn to grow each other instead of tearing each other down.
In conclusion, having mixed race children will not help the situation. Learning to speak English through our noses will not make us less black. We need to build self-confidence for our own self-preservation. We don’t need to validate our own existence. We simply need to cultivate emotional stability in such a way that we will view black as gold instead as coal. Finally, representation matters. Be a light for someone else to follow.
“Be as you wish to seem.” ~Socrates