Hello my beloved Melanated Gems, I am so happy to have you here, I really am. I wanted to talk to you all about culture. Culture is a beautiful thing, because of culture, we are here, we come together via culture. I am talking to Black people here, because our culture is so complex that it can be political and entertaining and revolutionary at the same time. Others come and steal it, and copyright it, but it’s never the same as the original. Anyway, the purpose of today’s post is to get a little deeper, I want to move into the diaspora, and away from the African continent really quickly.
Away? Not too far away. You see, I hear people all the time talking about Jamaican culture, and African American culture, and (insert African diaspora name here) culture. What I want to say is, it is all African. Cultures evolve right? People evolve, societies evolve, and everything is built on the last to grow. A custom that was replicated in Georgia by an enslaved African and passed down to the Geechee’s is still African, does ones’ lineage change just because they are in a different land? We’ve become to attached to the physical that we ignore the spiritual. There are traits that my mom says I have that my grandmother had, although I didn’t grow up with her. Yes, I knew her and spent time in summers with her, but in her elderly age. Listen to this… One day I was home, and I put lipstick on and got dressed up, my mom was like “where are you going?” I stated that I am not going anywhere, I just want to look good. She said “my mother used to do that, she would put on lipstick and we would say “ma where you going?”, and she’d reply, “nowhere, I just want to look good in my house””. I’m saying that, location does not change the origin, just because it’s replicated in a different place. When I see a Trinidad carnival like I wrote about in this blog post, although the carnival is happening in Trinidad, the concept came from enslaved Igbo Africans and is actually an Igbo Masquerade. Sure, the language being spoken is slightly different, but it’s the same dang ceremony. The one reason colonizers made you take on thier names is to make them your god and not identify with yourself. They want you to believe so bad that your culture is unique to their plot of land, but it’s African. What do colonizers have to do with this? They gave the names away. They replaced cultures and tribes with names of regions, then they took what was African and placed it in their British museums. What do I tell you all? Demonize then copy is the European way. What does this have to do with anything? becuase it’s the reason people are not identifying their traditions with Africa.
Everyone wants to claim that their culture is a fusion, a fusion of what may I ask? If you are in parts of the world where let’s say, Asia meets Africa, I understand, but land that we were brought on, we only had each other, we survived on our skills alone, nobody taught us anything, we were brought here for the exploitation of our abilities. Anything else we may have “adopted” is limited honestly, the Europeans have no claim to any culture. Yoga is Asian, and everything Europeans do that is popular is always credited to another culture. We have to face the facts here, we have survived and thrived with our cultures, and it became the dominant culture. Am I saying everywhere we are is African? No. I’m saying we bring Africa everywhere we go. The mother of all nations, is powerful. That is why all these comedians who highlight black culture are always relatable, no matter where the person is from, because a lot of black people have lived the same life culturally, even if different demographics and incomes, the culture has remained consistent. With social media, I have read a lot of comments and people from across the diaspora have related to a lot of videos that represent other parts of the diaspora where they are not from. Heck, I grew up with parents from 2 different parts of the diaspora, and I saw more similarities than differences, why I even started this blog.
The first car was based on the ideas that the person who created it had at the time. Now we have cars that speed up to 100mph as soon as you put your foot on the gas. Cars have AC now and cruise control, you get? With Africans, many of the lands we are on is forced via brutal enslavement by Europeans, I can imagine that, just like cars, all the customs we had have evolved over time. I often ask myself; if the enslaved Africans were the ones plotting the land, servicing and fixing everything, the labor work, then how is it that white people make claim to all these inventions? Well we know by now that many Africans were not given the right to own patents, the colonizers took claim of the inventions of Africans they “owned”. We know the traffic light, iron, and the “Jenny Coupler” that holds trains together were invented by enslaved Africans. Let’s face it, we were the ones that had to figure everything out because we were impacted by the work, we needed it to be easier for us. What you see now is a replication of slavery, the highest paid people are not doing any labor, they are just giving orders, while the lowest paid people are flipping burgers while being insulted. There is nothing new under the sun.
We must reclaim our Africanness and stop trying to attach it to every other culture. Colonizers intentionally wanted us to hate our cultures, so I notice people are not quick to give credit to Africa and instead try to find it in another culture. Everyone is Quick to say “I’m part native American” Instead of, “I’m 85% black”. Credit is always given elsewhere and I believe it’s us trying to latch on to something because Africa has been painted in such a negative light. Africa is exciting and everyone who goes, their lives are changed. You’ll fit right in because, that’s where your spirit is from!