The topic of this article concerns African Americans accepting and adopting an African perspective in life. The goal of this article will be to influence African Americans to accept a personal African perspective in life in terms of self-pride, and taking an active positive role in society. The goal must also at the same time avoid promoting race at the cost of others, which has been shown to be detrimental to human society.
Why is this important?
African Americans that do not identify with their African identity may suffer problems with conceptualizing African independence, African cultural views, and African history. The author has been told many times by others, speaking about their selves, “I’m Black, that’s all I need to know”. The problem with this mentality is that the question that must be answered is what is Black? No land or culture is tied to the color black. So unlike the word Africa, which immediately leads one to the continent of Africa and it’s people the word black must first be conceptualized to apply it in the correct context. The author puts forth the hypothesis that a lack of a positive African identity among African Americans can be related to many of the social problems affecting African Americans. In other words, African Americans are seeking social acceptance and normalcy in a culture that is designed by an oppressor’s culture, which leads to a negative self-image and frustration of seeking cultural acceptance in culture that is not designed to accept the African American. Accepting an African cultural perspective allows one access to a distinguishing culture, coming from the original cultures of Africa.
The author suggests that African Americans undertake self-education of African history and culture in its known entirety, which means reviewing perspectives of history and culture from other African Americans and Africans and African world views. One questions the value of looking for definition of self from the cultural view of the previous oppressor. No human culture in the past has looked to their previous slave masters for self-definition. A simple view of people’s from around Earth demonstrate this. One only has to view Native American culture, which is not defined by European culture. Why is this? Africans of South Africa do not look to the Europeans occupying South Africa for self-definition. Why is this? Study the cultures mentioned and the answer becomes obvious, once a people become free from oppression they do not look to the previous oppressors for self-definition.