STORIES OF AWARENESS : READ BLACK HISTORY

Schooner’s Flight by Derek Walcott

Hello friends welcome to Day 11 of #WinterABC2022. Today in keeping in line with the stories of awareness theme, I talk about how black history can inform us of the present day and its struggles. You can find my previous #WinterABC2022 posts here.

One of the things I am grateful about when it comes to my American education is that it taught me to value my history and heritage. It did this in a way that made me come out of college yearning for more. I attended Alabama State University, a Historically Black College and University in Montgomery, Alabama also known the American Deep South and also the center of the Civil Rights Movement. It was an environment that made me aware of the deep impact of slavery and racism and how the fight for Civil Rights is still ongoing. One class I took in my freshman war, African American Humanities introduced me to black scholarship. I have talked about the impact this class has had on me before. Today, I wanted to touch on why Black history is important and key to the survival of this continent.

I wish my primary and secondary education had included Thomas Sankara, Amilcar Cabral, Wangari Maathai, and Malcolm X just to mention a few. Their contribution to Black liberation, freedom and knowledge far outweighs any colonization history that I was taught. I remember in my Social Studies class in primary school, we were taught about what the colonizers brought and made to see these as good things. Nobody explained how colonization negatively impacted our society. We were taught to see our way of life, inventions and cultures as less than. I believe that it is easier for Africans to recognize overt racism than covert racism. We can see racism for what it is when it is right in our face as compared to when its not. Racism has always been there in United States but it is now when we see visual evidence of George Floyd getting murdered when we think that America has a problem. I have been engaged in an ongoing discussion with a friend concerning American politics, racism and its impact on African Americans. He thinks does not see the correlation between slavery, segregations and the present day living conditions of African Americans. This made me realize that we need to talk more about systemic racism and how history dictates present day. This discussion of ours has inspired me to do a blog series in the near future on racism and its impact, so be on the lookout for that.

I find it highly disturbing and appalling that some Black people do not consider what is happening in Palestine as apartheid. And yet, something similar was going on in South Africa less than 30 years ago. We need to read more. When a foreign national can come into your country and insult your children and most likely get away with it. What does that tell you about the state of affairs? In our search for economic gain, we have forgotten our roots. We need to remember that we do not come from ordinary people and their struggle for our humanness was not in vain. We come from ancestors who fought with everything in their being to give us what we have.

There is nothing new under the sun. Our history ought to tell us how the world sees us and how we should move. Maybe perhaps, we are just negroes with a sound colonial education.

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