By: Ms Qui Vive
I can hardly believe as the part of the Gemini-half of 1/4th of JuneBug Talk, I finished a task to total completion...just as I can hardly believe the "Back to the Future" series is coming to a close!
We began dialoguging about slavery in America and how it has negatively affected ALL races - African Americans in particular. We learned, though there are many sub-consequences of slavery in America, the actual problem is 'mentacide.' We see that 'mentacide,' has created distortments, lack of acceptance, and confusion in the identity of the African American race as a whole and within individuals. We have discussed a lot of things...but what good is discussing a problem without presenting a solution??
There is no trick, no gimmick, no secret to turning the tide in African American perception and culture. The solution comes in three steps that work together...
1. Collective Mental Liberation
2. Knowledge of history - hence, knowledge of self
3. Pride for self - respect for others
To change the way WE think, it is not enough for a few, or even a region, of African Americans to strive towards collective mental liberation. What IS effective is that the majority of African Americans collectively free their minds. We can equate this to the structure of a house. A house has a foundation, a roof, walls, doors, and windows. Each of these components by themselves are nothing. A roof cannot be upright without walls to place it on; nor can walls cannot stand tall without a solid foundation...the same concept applies to us, without each member of the African American race working together, WE CANNOT STAND.
After making the decision to free our minds, the next step is to KNOW ourselves. As you can tell, I have much admiration for Marcus Garvey. One of the first quotes I learned from him is: "A people without knowledge of its past is like a tree with no roots." Simply statement - pure expression. How many trees have YOU seen with no roots? Likely, none. They don't exist because without having roots to dig into the earth and provide things of value to the tree, the tree would die. When we do not know our history, we cease to grow. When we cease to grow, we cease to exist.
Finally, when you know WHO you are, especially as an African American - with our rich history, beautiful ancestors, skillful inventors, talented writers, influential artists...oh, the list could go on - you can't help but have pride for yourself!! I know I do! And out of that positive self-image comes the respect for self, and also the respect you give to others.
The lesson is over...you've graduated...now, let the application begin!
"The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness."
- Marcus Garvey