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10 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 7:19PM #1
Posts: 523

Some may wonder why I bother to post in this ghost town.  But, unlike the racism thread which is populated by a bunch of subconscious (and conscious) racists, there is at least a chance that here somebody who really wants and needs insight will find a thread through which we can have a descent conversation.  In any case, right now, I'd like to discuss the importance of accepting and embracing the whole self (flaws and all) now and again (if not regularlly).  Now, don't get me wrong, we are more than our bodies, culture, geography, society and history.  Much more.  But at this point in time they ARE a part of us.  Lindex pointed out on a couple of other threads here the importance of spirituality above all else (she specifically referenced Jesus although to me other forms are just as valid).  But in order to sustain productive spirituality it is important to get the details of our 'house'/temple/body together as well.  As most are aware, there has been a conspiricy in the US to denegrate anything and everything African as inferior.  Such a stance was necessary to construct a unified and 'superior' white identity.  Thus, unlike Asians or hispanics who are simply 'Other', blacks are considered 'Lower'. 

This historically prevalent opinion still lingers both consciously and subconsciously among members of American society.  It can be seen in media, movies, documentaries, etc.  It seeps into our consciousness in hair commercials and fashion magazines.  It is taught to us in history classes that refuse to teach about the African past because much of it wasn't literally 'written'.  This imposed hierarchy of importance sickens me.  Is it thus so wrong to want to educate myself about the truth of the African past?  To have faith, conviction, and finally confidence that blacks have always shown themselves to be intellectually profound and self sufficient.  Is it so wrong then to want to raise up those who in the past took on an African physical frame YET defied stereotypes of its inherent intellectual and social inferiority?  Is that 'reverse racism'?  Must it be lumped into the category of 'Afrocentricsm'/'Consciousness' with all of its grandstanding and listless arguing about the physical form/race of the Egyptians?  I think not.  Rather, this is a reasonable self embrace and psychological preservation.  It is protection of myself and my future children from the neglectful tradition that permeates this society with regards to all things African that are intellectually challenging and positive.  It is a natural quest for self esteem.  No more, no less. 

I would call it Whole-Self Affirming (WSA: pronounced WASA) above all else.  So many embrace the parts of 'themselves' that are socially celebrated.  In the case of black youth, these include music and sports.  But to embrace one's Whole-Self, is to embrace one's full humanity including (in this social context that degrades and defiles the African physical form) the intellectual and social achievements of those who 'look like you' on the African continent and beyond.  I see myself as WSA and am not ashamed. 

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10 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 7:30PM #2
Posts: 523
Traditions/people who 'looked like me' and who were intellectual (and/or socio-political) giants:

1) Meroe (written tradition)
2) The ancient Ghana's (Kings) of Mauritania
3) Mali
4) Songhai (written tradition)
5) Nok
6) The Swahili
7) Zimbabwe
8) The Khoisan
9) Axum (written tradition)
10) Early Kmtans
11) Harriet Tubman
12) Fredrick Douglass
13) WEB DuBois
14) Paul Robison
15) Martin Luther King Junior
16) Malcolm X
17) Benjamin Banneker
18) Sojourner Truth
19) Harriet Jacobs
20) Thurgood Marshall
21) George Washington Carver

ETC, Etc, etc.

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