We can acknowledge that something unfavorable is happening within Black communities due to slavery & colonialism but it’s irresponsible to say that it must continue. It’s not part of our culture, we’re not “taking it back”. If it was beaten into us, we must rid ourselves of it. There’s so many things I can think of, namely, the “N” word, perming our hair, celebrating certain aspects of religions, and so much more. I am not here to condemn anybody, but say, consider why you’re doing what you’re doing. There are many things we do that were actually beaten into us, ex. many black women perm our hair (I stopped in 2009), because employers discriminate against our God given hair, that is a form of beating. However, after slavery, they implemented laws requiring us to cover our hair, because the presence of our hair invoked jealousy in the white women – I experience that today. A lot of us carry on narratives that were meant for evil and are trying to make it good, ex. “we have to straighten our hair to look professional”. It will never sound good to me to do something out of fear rather than a sense of pride. It will never sound good to call each other the “N” word, especially if we know better and we know the trauma that was attached to that word. We need to bring back words and practices that gave us a sense of pride. When I have friends, calling me a B word as a term of endearment is unacceptable, but people think it’s excessive if I refer to my fellow sisters as Queens? All because they say we are not all queens, well we’re not N words and B words either, so which would you prefer? I always say, why not just say the positive word, it can’t hurt at all.
Even rap music style was proverbially beaten into us. There was a time when rappers rapped about meaningful content, just as we’ve always used music for liberation purposes, then the white owned record labels started discouraging us from making those kinds of songs. They encouraged more of the mindlessness that creates the songs we have today. We can see in history where Black artists such as Billie Holiday who spoke up about issues in their music were even jailed. Again, as I teach about in my Decolonize Your Mind class; everything we do is demonized, stolen, copyrighted, and sold back to us as something else; so now we have eminem being hailed for being so thought provoking, when we have greats who have been doing that, but not promoted or discouraged, or punished. So we owe it to ourselves to uplift our own who are doing original things, and stop accepting things that were forced on us to do it their way. We owe it to ourselves to use our big voices to make influence with our culture, our way, and not listen to society beating a way into us. Authenticity translates way better than a copy.
Have you seen our ancient hairstyles and studied our traditions that I’ve written about extensively in this blog over the span of 10 years, take some time to read, such as this one. We have too many originals and we need to get back to the enjoyment of that.