Monday, March 8, 2010

Now what?

I am sure everyone is aware, one way or the other, about the evil of what slavery has done to our society. I am also sure that the response about the issue, especially today, is that blacks should move on with their lives - after all, it happened long time ago. Well, I was one of those who thought the same way until I began to understand what such an experience does to your psyche. It is not enough to just say get over it - there is a missing portion of reality that no one has bothered to consider. The fact that most black Americans do not have a clear knowledge of what part of Africa they came from, and have a very warped view of Africa in general, plays a huge role in their ability to embrace it. The founding fathers did not go out of their way to preserve the Africans and their heritage. They brought them solely to build this new country and could not care less about them. That is why I feel blacks have not shown much interest in pursuing the truth of where their ancestors came from. What is shown on television about Africa in general by the media is so far from what life is like there. The perception is that Africa is some kind of dump where nothing good can be found, and yet Africa is most exploited of her great natural resources by all the so called civilized nations.

When I first arrived in the USA, I wanted so much to make friends with everyone - It didn't matter who they were. I especially wanted to form close relationships with the black Americans, but to my dismay, they actually were very critical of Africa. I asked them how they had come to such harsh conclusions, and of course the response was connected to what the media portrays to everyone. I am very proud of my African heritage - I will not even wish to have it any other way, but over time I can understand why they have such a negative view of Africa. When all you see on TV are kids with pot bellies and flies all around them, living in the most difficult conditions that seem hopeless, it will definitely turn anyone away. The truth is most countries have a segment of their population that experiences such hardship and marginalization and this is true for Africa too. Africa is still a developing country and to compare it to developed countries is ridiculous. If blacks in America will ignore the nonsense being sold to them and truly focus on what is true, I believe the effect of their past history will be put on the right perspective.

There is no greater teacher than the place where they came from, which is the Western parts of Africa. All the programs and mediocre curriculum that the school system teaches will never make a difference. It is imperative for blacks to go to Africa and truly experience the culture and heritage. This is what I know and believe will bridge the gap that has kept the black community from attaining great heights in America. The first time I ever knew about our President Barack Obama was when I saw a biography about him, before he had even run for the highest office in America. And in this biography, they had shown him visiting Kenya, his father's birth place. It was a very informative piece about him and I just knew that he would never be the same again after that visit to Kenya. In later months, I also came to find out that he was in the running to be the President and I said to myself - he is going to win. I just knew that the visit to Africa solidified his identity and the innate sense of self that made him know and feel that there was nothing he could not do. That is why blacks MUST make it a great priority to go visit Africa and learn the truth about their heritage. And if the government, as they claim, want to bridge the gap for blacks, they MUST encourage and make it possible for it to happen. The experience will be life changing - I guarantee it. So if we all say "now what?", the answer is let the blacks go to Africa and learn about who they truly are as a people.

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