Okay, so you use the internet? You’re a millennial with the use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the three pillars of social media? If you answered yes to those questions then you probably know about just how much this re-emergence of ‘pro-blackness’ is taking off. Better I call it a renaissance because the movement is nothing like it was in the times of our parents and their parents. It has been re-birthed on the foundation of 21st century ideologies.
Now, the reemergence of the movement with gusto isn’t a bad thing at all, in fact it is something to rejoice, I, in my life thus far , have never seen black people more universally proud of their skin and heritage or wanting to know more about it. It’s refreshing. It’s binding. It’s empowering. It’s something I hope transcends generations to come in a positive way.
HOWEVER, there are flip sides here. Oppressive, undesirable irritating flip sides. Flip sides that I’ve seen much too often this year. Let me briefly say this, what you may love, I may love. What you may, love I may hate. What you may believe, I may not and we should feel okay about that. These are the essentials of what I deem to be a cohesive pro-black movement. Open to all, discriminating to none, encouraging discussion, welcoming varying opinions. What people should ideally understand about the pro-black movements is that we shouldn’t be here envisioning goals of creating robots with the same ideologies and perspectives, the purpose is not to create or impose identities for and onto people. What this generation of pro-blackness needs to be doing is paving a pathway for the next generations; several path ways in fact! It needs to give them the tools, the platforms and the confidence to face adversity, to speak up and to show pride. It needs to teach tolerance, brake social barriers, give knowledge that leads to empowerment.
I could go on and on about this but for the love of my own sanity as well as yours, I will endeavour to tweak it into a list much more accessible to the human eye and brain.
- I AM NOT MY HAIR; MY HAIR IS NOT ME!
Listen up people, the length of your Afro is no measure of what is within! To think that how you style your hair is a testament to how pro black you are or a statement of self-love/hate is very wrong not to mention so not ideal! So what if you as a black woman or man, fully intact with your on sense of expression and independence want to rock the biggest afro or a bone sleek, kinky, or pixie weave in different colours. Sometimes I don’t like my uncooperative afro and I’m allowed to do that. Sometimes I hate the idea of wigs and weaves, I’m allowed to do that. Sometimes I could care less about my hair and guess what? I’m allowed to do that too!
2. Can we agree to disagree? Is that allowed these days?
Let’s be realistic for a second. So, you and I are not the same person, do not know the same people, grew up in different places, had a different upbringing and do not share a brain yet you seem to think that we absolutely must agree on everything?! We can’t really get so obtuse whenever our brothers and sisters do not agree with our opinions. Please, do not call me a coon or anything of the sort for not agreeing with you….. ever!
3. Sell me down the river you will not!
Okay this goes out to the people who supposedly care about black lives but don’t extend the love to black lives that share non-heterosexual orientations! Let’s keep it short and snappy; no one likes a hypocrite.
4. Let’s chat.
Whether it’s a tête-à-tête with your mates or an open discussion in the comments of an Instagram page, discussion should always be welcomed. To force someone in a corner of silence, to berate someone for having an opinion or to infer that certain people cannot join certain conversations isn’t the most ideal route of options. No race should feel uncomfortable discussing the issues caused by racism. It’s retrogressive, useless and ineffective. It’s like trying to find out what x + y-x equals without having the values f x and y (I’m not a mathematician but I’m sure you get the gist). Face it, the problems of racism will never go away without the cooperation of all races to some extents.
5. Nobody has the time or patience for an intellectual masturbator.
And by intellectual masturbator I do not mean someone who gets titillated by solving maths equations or coming across scientific happenstance. I mean those people who have the knowledge but don’t know what to do with it. Those that would rather hold that knowledge over your head than share that knowledge with you. If people actually shared important knowledge these days instead of brandishing it like a brand new toy that they have and you don’t then we wouldn’t be having this virtual conversation right now. Go forth and spread knowledge accompanied with wise and positive words. Knowledge is key so open minds and open doors. Don’t preach, teach! Don’t masturbate, educate!
Don’t lecture…. (Sorry, nothing sensible really rhymed with ‘lecture’).