By Hakim Abdul-Ali
I had a very interesting rap with a dark complexioned local young person of color last week who told me that she was not Black at all. She initially claimed to be of no specific ethnic lineage whatsoever and that, quite frankly, floored me.
Unfortunately, that sentiment seems to be spreading among many of today’s so-called quasi-hip African-American populace. I’ve heard and witnessed this for quite a while, a fact that I’m written about often to my chagrin.
You see, as old as I am, I still find it quite bewitching that many Afrikan-descendant folk, and that includes all of aware genetic created “hue-mans,” openly deny who they are and where their legitimate genetic original origins come from. So, to that young lady, who I spoke with last week, this article is for you and for all of the other possible unconscious deniers of their true ethnicity and heritage.
Please know that no matter who you are and matter no where you live on planet earth as a created “hue-man” being, you are a descendant of the Motherland, the continent identified popularly in “his-storical” terms as Africa. Please don’t accept what I’m saying as fact, just go and research what the scholars of genetic science know and say about the origins of all of “hue-manity,” if you have problems believing that the Creator Alone created you, everyone and also everything in creation.
You must do this in order to realize the depth of subliminal and systematic miseducation that has been fostered upon the minds of the majority of colonized folk of color’s mindsets and brainwaves. It’s been said with clarity that “it’s terrible thing to lose one’s mind (and soul) and not even recognize that you did in the first place.”
For many Black men and women living in the Western world, especially those who reside in all of the Americas, knowing and being proud of their skin color and heritage has always been a formidable struggle to grasp, establish and exemplify with any sense of accountability. To “Know Thyself and (to) Be Proud” of they are has, and is, always a constant battle of mental wills and bodily endurances.
Acclaimed writer James Baldwin once said, “To be Black in America is to live in a constant state of rage.” I know this to be true, and that’s why I’m addressing what I am today because I believe that the soul, who I had the conversation with was (and is) in cognizant with the very reality that she is Black, even with the colored artificial hair on her head that she was wearing, which she kept running her fingers through while talking to me.
She also claimed be a Christian, and she then claimed to be an ethnically multi-something, or the other, to which I politely and most respectfully said, “So what. You’re still of Afrikan origin, no matter what you may be labeling or identifying yourself as, my young sister.” Of course, she took umbrage with the fact that I referred to as “sister.”
With no disrespect intended, I’d like to tell this ethnically unknown something, or the other, and other slightly confused folk of color, a little something, something. “You are all descendants of the original ‘hue-man’ creation and the Motherland is your ancestral birthplace, no matter how scattered you may be and are today.
Accepting this indubitable fact is to truly “Know Thyself and Be Proud” of who you are. The revered poet, Gwendolyn Brooks, related, “When I was a child, it did not not occur to me, even once, that the Black in which I was encased (I called it brown in those days) would be considered, one day, beautiful.”
Before I proceed any further, I sincerely want you, the young lady in question and others to realize that being who you are, and not being ashamed of same, comes with a price tag called gallantly prideful. A great scholar of today, Michael Eric Dyson, said, “You are no longer innocent, you are condemned to awareness.”
Being aware of knowing who you are and being gallantly proud of your creation as a “hue-man” being, created by God Alone, means that you wear that price tag called gallantly prideful with humility and dignity because “Black is Beautiful.” To my young Christian soul, I’ll verify that with something from your wry own holy book from the King James Version in Song of Solomon which declares, “I am Black but comely, Oh ye daughters of Jerusalem.”
The proof is the fact if you want to be whoever you are, or are not, today, you can and may, but you can’t, with any sound scientific authenticity deny where your, or any other, “hue-man” ancestry came from. It all derives from the Motherland, no matter how many lies, half-truths and falsified statements exist in the world’s colonized books of deceptions, and I trust we all recognize that in order to “Know Thyself and Be Proud.”
Today’s selected, elite-centric concepts of beauty and other anti-Afrikan forms of distorted, negative imagery has made many folk of color subliminally ashamed of their own hues, genders and ethnic origins. The truth is the light, and as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., uttered, “To be a Negro in America is to hope against hope.”
Understanding that thought from Dr. King’s mind requires that one must recognize the virulent hatred and bigotry still exists in the so-called land of the free and the home of the brave. Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hammer mirrored this when she said, “ I used to think that if I go North and tell people about the plight of Black folk in the state of Mississippi everything would be alright. But traveling around I found one thing for sure: it’s up-South and down-South, and it’s no different.”
You see, ethnic discrimination and intolerance are still clandestinely alive throughout the nation. So, if you hate the very skin that you were born in and try to “invent” some ethnic other or something else to make yourself be separate and apart from being identified as being Black, you’re in in trouble. Listen closely, “Know Thyself!”
Ozzie Davis, the late outstanding actor, “our-storian” and activist poignantly said, “I find, in being Black, a thing of beauty: a joy, a strength; a secret cup of gladness, a native land in neither time nor space, a native land in every Negro face! Be loyal to yourself: your skin; your hair; your lips, your Southern speech, your laughing kindness, are Negro kingdoms, vast as any other.” I believe that Mr. Davis said so much in the aforementioned statement until I don’t assume that it’s really necessary for me to say anymore concerning “Know Thyself and Be Proud.”
I trust that the young lady and other modern deniers of who they are read this article and, hopefully, are able to get something, or the other, meaningfully speaking, from it. “Know Thyself and Be Proud,” and for today, and always, that’s, “As I See It.”