“It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.”
― John Guare
Last week we highlighted some interesting facts in the post black child,black future. Talking about how the global black community needs to realise who and what they represent in truth not in theory. In order to move from a distorted past, we need to map a way forward to a desired future. And this process starts now, with us. The black future is the black community’s responsibility and should be seen as such by all black people.
There are 3 mains things that I would like to bring up that I strongly believe will aid in securing a solid and fruitful black future. Impartial Education, Economic Emancipation and Self Awareness. These 3 things are fundamentally the backbone of any human being but are not fully realised in the black community.
Lets break it down further shall we.
While education is not a cure for all experiences with racism and discrimination, education can equip us with the tools to better understand, analyse and ultimately find solutions to the tragic incidents we are seeing too frequently in the black community. Including accurate and factual black history in all curriculum will be the first place to start as this will give a balance to history as a whole. These black studies classes must teach about theories such as the “critical race theory” and terms such as “institutional racism,” “white privilege” and “hegemony” to name a few. Exposure to these classes provides the black child with vocabulary and critical analytical tools to better understand challenges facing black people.
Many black people suffer from what Psychologist Claude Steele has referred to this as “academic dis-identification.”. A phenomenon where a student’s self-esteem is disconnected from how they perform in school. This is because their sense of pride and self-esteem increasingly comes from their popularity and athletic abilities rather than their intelligence. As early as primary school once definitions kick in, the system begins to marginalise black children.
If you look for the dictionary definition of the word ‘black’ you will see what I mean. And how it is then linked to everything that is demeaning and opposite to white. So at an early age the black child is conditioned to think less of themselves. Or to put more effort to prove they are not what the definition says they are. This is why the education system needs to be looked into and changed to allow for a fair and impartial education. An education which eliminates cognitive development problems among others. In this case, helping black children break intellectual barriers. Every government should see how they can implement this sort of curriculum that tells a fair story of all races.
The major problem today in the economic development of black people is the lack of an economic system that is based on sound cultural analysis. Cultural analysis is not about focusing on how Europeans mistreated us. It’s not about spending endless hours doing research on slavery, etc.
We have a lot of people doing all kinds of research on how white people mistreated us, and as a consequence getting all fired up because of these kinds of issues. Instead of doing that, look deep into the heart, soul and mentality of black people. Instead, look deeply into the character and the organisation of money within black communities, and then use that analysis to create a realistic economic system.
Many spend a lot of time reading Karl Marx and others, yet their analysis was based on the European culture, standards and position within the social-political and economic dominance hierarchy. You can look at any African society driven by Marxism, socialism, capitalism or any other kind of ism. It is poor compared to its Western counterparts. That helps you to recognise that the problem that we face is deeper than subscribing to doctrines of Karl Marx. Subscribing to European doctrines is not the solution to the black community’s problems. European theories are based on an analysis of European culture, and the economic recommendations therein are based on that analysis.
On top of that, we also have people amongst us that want to call these European theories scientific. They make it seem like these theories are universal, and are pretty much above “untouchable”. Yet when you look at it in Africa, and other places that have subscribed to it without being realistic about the social and economic position across the world, you can see that it has not benefited those nations or societies.
Why do some among us keep holding on to a philosophy that the Russians, and the Chinese have thrown aside? It’s quite surprising that the poorest nations of all are still holding onto these inapplicable theories. Sad, right?
This is NOT to say that Marxist ideas are not good. What I’m saying is let’s develop our own social and economic philosophy based on our own social and economic realities.
As you do this cultural analysis, you will find that your ideas are, sometimes, in parallel with those of Karl Marx. I’ve also found this in my own research. With that said, the origin is not Karl Marx but our own selves. That means that those ideas are our possessions. Therefore we don’t have to ask white Marxists or any other white group to interpret them for us. To end it off, where is black money? If you look at the collective earnings and resources of black people all over the globe, you’ll recognise that we are among the richest nations in the world. We trade with the rest of the world just like any other nation. We represent a tremendous amount of wealth.
You will find that the problem we have in the black community is not a problem of poverty, money and resources. What we lack is the correct utilisation and development of the wealth that we have. It is the allocation of money, not the lack of it. We have to start looking and thinking of the welfare of our people as our own responsibility. Not look to the West or East for help. We have to look within ourselves as a basis of wealth because we have the resources, collective income and more.
When Black people strongly identify with their cultural heritage, there is an increase in their self-esteem, self-efficacy, and academic motivation. This phenomenon is important to the academic and professional development of Black people collectively. Erikson (1968) defined the fundamental aspects of the life cycle of identity development in his psycho-social development theory. He argued that through each stage, the ego develops as individuals successfully resolve crises in each stage.
Erikson introduced eight psycho-social stages that individuals must master in order to successfully progress to the next stage. In each psycho-social stage, individuals will encounter crises. As they meet these crises and are able to successfully manage them, Erikson stated that individuals would be able to successfully emerge to the next stage. Carrying the accomplishment and virtue of success from mastering conflict in each stage, individuals would gradually develop a positive self-identity; whereas failing to master any given stage could result in a negative sense of self.
Essentially, this means that when faced with a significant task that will take a lot of consistent and focused work, we often simply don’t bother and stick to avoiding self-evaluation on this particular task.
Further, our level of self-awareness interacts with the likelihood of success in realigning ourselves and our standards to determine how we think about the outcome. When we are self-aware and believe there is a high chance of success, we are generally quick to attribute that success or failure to our efforts.
Conversely, when we are self-aware but believe there is a low chance of success, we tend to think that the outcome is more influenced by external factors than our efforts.
Interestingly, we also have some control over our standards, such that we may alter our standards if we find that we don’t measure up to them. And this is the place that black people need to reach in order to secure a black future. A place where we are not the subject of someone else’s environment but the product of our own making. In Africa we were Kings and Queens, creators, but now we are consumers. Our image is through a lens that never understood us from the start.
I believe the black future is possible, may take a while but it is very possible. We will have to work on educating the younger generation on who they really are and what they stand for. As always, stay safe and share with us your comments in the comments section. We would love to hear your thoughts, questions and opinions.