All of these people had a short and difficult experience with White Supremacy and European colonialist expansionism, yet because their basic culture was intact was able to rebound…yes with help, but rebounded none the less to turn around and join the chorus denouncing the African people and culture. But what about our culture? The most basic of cultural survival rests in the family unit. The fact that we born in the west can’t, don’t and refuse to associate ourselves as African; they fact that those born on the largest continent on the planet, cannot, won’t and refuse to associate us as African is indicative of the depth we have plummeted to the state of the knee-grow…a manufactured entity.
“The greatest weapon the oppressor
has is the mind of the oppressed”
As a younger man, I remember listening to lecture by an industrial psychologist named –I believe Henry Nichols- and his description of the African and European response to the birth of a child. The professor’s lecture was on how environment was responsible for forging the different socialization of Africans, Europeans and those called Latinos. He described how when the Caucasian man witnessing the birth of a child during the Ice age, he would often kick the woman and the child out of the cave, because he feared the power that the woman had to bring forth life. He was also mad because this was extra mouth and competition for the meagre food supply that was around. When the African woman gave birth it was a celebration of the continuation of life and the child was offered up to the heavens as one of the deities special deliveries. Picture the scene from roots at the birth of Kunta Kinte. And if the African man had the desire to kick his woman out of the house (not a Hut) she could far better survive in an African climate than in the freeze over in Europe. According to Nichols, the environment we were nurtured in impacts everything about us and how we see the universe. Our approach to time as being less rushed (black people time) as opposed to the European fixation on being on time, being a throw back to when time or planting season had to be observed tightly or else when the freeze comes it was sure death. In a European based Ice aged induced society, the masculine aggressive energy was paramount and took precedent over the feminine creative one. In fact this same mindset was carried down through the ages of Europe’s great thaw, her interaction with people from the Mediterranean and even more south. Europe’s masculine images of the gods as opposed to Africa’s duel feminine/masculine ones and the masculine narratives entailed in his-story as opposed to our story. The 1980’s movie quest for fire dealt on that very same masculine energy with a series of central sex/rape scenes, that was calmed down by the intervention of the African feminine energy.
European men have never recognised the worth of the feminine except as a breeder, a source of pleasure or a distraction between bouts of wars, conquest and homosexual activities with the energies he is more comfortable with and routinely is/was respectful of. Not to say that homosexuality was only situated in Europe, but of all the ethnic groups, Europe is the only one, that made homosexual lifestyle parallel to what Africans and other older nations considered the primary and life sustaining one…a man, woman and children. For in African lore, we achieve longevity and immortality through our progeny. Today Caucasians are primarily fixated on achieving longevity through DNA splicing, test tube babies and finding the elixir of life on some quixotic laboratory journey. Again European men have and continue to not recognise the feminine energy and worth of what is his natural compliment and because of this approaches women either in an aggressive, abusive and condescending manner, or treats her as if she was some delicate china dish set to be overly handled with care. Just the fact that in the sexist language of some men, calling a woman a dish is acceptable.
However, European women, raised in such a society and under this kind of tyranny figured she had to take on this masculine energy like a jacket you put on when leaving the house. During our Ma’afa those tasked with breaking us down and making us slaves, recognised the bounds of family, so first immediate families were separated and those remaining were bred and then moved down an assembly line in order to make us strangers to each other. During the time of this breaking down, America experienced its own tribal warfare. This prompted the women to want to do their part for the cause, but was told to shut up and go make a sandwich; women were too delicate for anything even nursing the sick. When Susan B Anthony started her temperance movement and was pushed to the side because of her feminine energy, she also became an abolitionist and sought the help of the most powerful African woman at the time… sister Harriet Tubman, who in turn told her to take a hike. Harriet Tubman new that the African woman’s freedom was tied into that of the African man’s freedom, and knew that neither of us could be happy without the total freedom of the other.
During reconstruction and Jim Crow, Tubman’s over standing of Americanism (rhymes’ with Nazism) was embraced by African men and women, who were free but not free. Who were citizens but were not. It was you and me babe against the world of anti-African hatred and physical violence. During that time and experiencing decades of beast-like and savage, rapes, murders and cold blooded destruction of our homes and business, we endured together because we had a common cause. This cause was perpetuating the culture of family and working to ensure that our survival if not for us, then for the children to come. In his 1962, memoirs, Negroes with Guns, Robert F Williams details the struggles that the African community in Monroe North Carolina endured, men and women together, in not only over resisting anti-African hatred but put the red necks on notice that shit was going down. His was a huge influence not only on SNCC and other younger “civil” rights groups, but also on Huey P Newton, which led to the forming of the Black Panther party. Throughout those times, the African women and men were together for a worthy cause. Along with fighting against oppression, we had time to create our own business, when we couldn’t find work with the Caucasian folks. Some of today’s women willingly lie or do so ignorantly when they say that African women were sitting at home while the men worked, which was bullshit, because while the man was working, either on his farm or whatever the Caucasian men would allow him, she the African woman, was teaching school, hiring out her service as a seamstress, ironing clothes, being a maid…anything to help out. This of course appears demeaning to modern women, as if your CEO of coca cola job could have been a reality back in the 1920’s, 30’s …hell the 80’s. Together those true leaders encouraged their children to get a higher education and marry a good man or woman, develop integrity, simple values based on the creator and always practiced “race first”, which inevitably included survival of an intact family. Yes! they encouraged the children to marry, not speed date, not get on plenty of phish or Black people meet, where you can sample some goodies with your unrealistic expectations.
What I am saying in a long winded way is that throughout all of the oppression and beat down we experienced from before the scramble for Africa up into the turbulence of the 1960’s, for the most part African men and women saw the world with one vision. Together we had a mutual goal and we had the culture of family to lean on and depend on. Up to that period there was a clear demarcation of roles. Men didn’t hide behind women’s skirt or fight for cosmetic space in the bathroom with his woman and women didn’t try to out masculine the man, trying to see if her penis or balls was bigger than his. And while there of course were exceptions, stumbles and some failures our respective roles were defined and due to that we existed symbiotically and intact during those difficult periods. The family prayed together, they eat dinner together; they went to church together and interacted with like entity. Alas, in this part of the world, the European man and his anti-nature culture was an irresistible distraction and eventually a forceful intrusion into our intact world. The so called counter culture—more like destructive culture of drugs, free and open sex attached itself to realistic causes like anti-Imperialist protest of America’s excursions into Asia, Africa and the home based civil rights movement. The resulting confusion of the sixties seemed to titillate our baser instinct and set off a series of selfish me first acts culminating in the American government, instead of dealing with his children, who were causing all this anti-establishment noise, decided to deal with us and our children. Cointelpro became more of a a household word. Legal lynching was resurrected after the murder of Martin Luther King and to bring down African liberation movement like the Black Panther party and of course integration was established as the beginning of the end to our culture of family.