The War In Our Minds

Black Self-Consciousness

Are Black people created in the image and likeness of God? If the answer is yes, then let us consider the implications of “double consciousness”. “Double consciousness,” as defined by W. E. B. Du Bois, “is looking at one’s self through the eyes of other.” The other is America, i.e., white America and its contempt and pity for Black people.

White American culture is the source of modern day oppression. The oppression of Black people is justified in white culture because it is the history of the other, it the history of white supremacy. 

White American culture upholds that American is a place of true justice and freedom for all, although, inherent in this declaration is the silent oppression of Black people.

Oppression takes the form of racism, and racism takes the from of oppression; and it is present in all America’s institutions.

Racism is faith based; it affirms that the white race is glorious and pure, and that the black race is defective and depraved. The goal of racism is to deny justice, equality and freedom to Black people. 

White America strives for the loyalty of whites and Europeans, indoctrinating them into white America’s justification of white supremacy, and black inferiority. 

Black people who understand racism in America have had to  wrestle with their love for the country, considering who and what it stands for.

Even though Blacks fully oppose white Americans on issues of racism, in many other ways Blacks support and are a part of American institutions that historically oppressed them, and fostered doctrines of racism.

Beginning is the 1960s, amid protest of seeking an end to Jim Crow laws and social structures, emerged an articulate, fearless class of Black intellectuals. One might ask where are those voices today?

Reflecting on Black intellectuals, African Time (p.38): 

“The road of least resistance was taken by African American intellectuals in the late 1960s and early 2020s; an era characterized by assassinations of Black leaders, effective governmental counterintelligence operations, and the growing internal need to remove threats to national security through other means. When offered opportunities to teach students at predominantly white colleges and universities, the intellectually inclined Black activists opted to pursue the road of esteemed professor.

For Black people at historically white colleges and universities, this meant a life of posturing, talking, moving from one speaking engagement to another, watered down integration politics, and at the very least, an inability to carry out work that has meaningful, future-oriented implications for the Black race. The Afrocentric intelligentsia agreed in practice to neither understand nor change historical and contemporary issues and processes, but to militantly but also comfortably adjust to it.”

Double consciousness is present in the loyalties that Black people have to themselves, and the country they live in, i.e., America.

Black people, like all people view themselves from their own unique perspective, however, they also see themselves through the lenses of White America.

Du Bois says, “One ever feels his two-ness, — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, who’s dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”

Du Bois, concluded that, “From this double life every American Negro must live, as a Negro and as an American.”

In 1963, Du Bois became a citizen of Ghana. And on August 27, of the same year he died. He died on the night before the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King led a eulogy to Du Bois.

Putting aside the complexity of double consciousness for a moment, I believe that with the revelation of self-consciousness lies a treasure chest of power and resources. For self-consciousness affirms that Black people are created in the image and likeness of God. 

And the dominion granted to Black people over the earth, places them in control of their bodies, minds and souls; as well as the world in which they live.  

Black people can choose to be Black where ever they are, and to choose to be Black is to choose to be created in God’s image.  And being created in God’s image, Black people can create a new world, the framing of which lies within their hearts, minds, and souls.

Black Cultural Empowerment

Cultural awareness jumped out at me when I was a small child visiting the little town of Teague, Texas.  I recall traveling from Los Angeles, California with my family to that little country town, population of less than six thousand people.  

Their in Teague, Texas, while visiting my mothers, mother and Grandmother, i.e., three generations of Black women, culture came to life me.  

I was only their for a few days, and every morning, about 5:30, my grandmother woke me up and asked me to sit on the front porch with her while she sipped on coffee and shared stories of her past, which were testimonies that reflected on the presence of God, and the manifestations of His Spirit in her life.

Even today, our conversations are alive in my heat, mind and soul. Listening to her gave meaning to my life; it opened me up to love for God, love for family, neighbors, friends, home, town and country; it helped me understand the path I traveled in coming to life.

Her words resonated with survival techniques, and empowerment. Her words did more to impart a sense of wisdom and understanding about life, than did the lessons I was taught at school.

She did not have much, but what she gave me was more valuable that money and material prosperity. Spiritual consciousness, humility before God, obedience to God commandments, loyalty, faithfulness, respect, pride; she gave me these things to embed in my heart, mind and soul.

In our time together, I experienced transference, we were on mind and soul; no I, only us and El Shaddai. It was with here that I realized that human beings are more than flesh and bones. As our spirits enjoined we entered the realm of past, present, and future generations, exposing me to the essence of” God with us.”

As I learn more and more about Africa, I am drawn closer to my grandmother, my ancestors and the knowledge, power and ever present presence of Black people on earth. We have been here since the beginning.

 

Cultural Battle

Sitting their on the porch, my Grandmother told me a story about her Grandfather, my great, great Grandfather.  My Grandmother was born in 1903, and it was 1967 that we were sitting on the front porch talking. 

Her Grandfather, who was born before slavery ended in the United States, was a free man. He was able to earn some money and purchase some land their in Teague, Texas. 

He and his neighbors, got together and built a church. No sooner than it was built, White people got together and planed to burn it down.  She told the story of my Grandfather and their neighbors on top of the roof of the church, with guns fighting off White people who had  guns and torches trying to burn the church down.

In the aftermath, my Grandfather had to sleep with his gun and carry it everywhere he went.  Though he valued his life, he was know for his loyalty to God, family, neighbors, and community; all of which he would protect with his life.

Black culture is present in my brief reflection! 

Black culture psychologically, emotionally, and physically elevates Black people; it is the foundation of our confidence; it makes us a proud people.

Black culture is the language and substance of Black life; it proclaims that Black people are very special. It validates that Black people are the original people of the earth.

Black culture is embodied in our natural ability to make music, and create ways to dance and move to the music. Black culture communicates with Black people enabling them to experience joy, happiness, suffering, sadness and the struggle of other Black people who have lived, live and will live on earth.

Be On Guard

White people passed laws saying that Black people were not full human beings. Black people were exploited, and excluded from all things human because of their race.

White people created an American ethos that denied the existence of Black culture in America. Their intention in removing culture and value from the lives of Black people was to pit Blacks against themselves.

Whites supremacy advocates that Black people are biologically inferior, culturally inferior and socially deprived. As such, the American way of life cannot help Black people who are on a path of social annihilation and self genocide.

For Black people to believe that White people will abandon the oppressive structures they have built is pure madness. Here in America and the world over, White people intend to keep Black people powerless.  

Social institutions are designed to covertly manufacture shackles that marginalize and oppress Black people.

Horatio Alger was a novelist. He was born in 1832, during the days of slavery; he was White and wrote several novels for young white males.

A myth evolved from his novels: The myth asserts that individuals who are hard-working and who live exemplary, pious lives can always achieve and move up the economic and social ladder. 

At the root of this myth and its place in society is the notion that Black people are responsible for their failure in American. 

The irony of this myth is that it was written at a time when Black people worked sixteen hour days with no possibility of moving up the socioeconomic ladder.

To support their delusion, White people point to Hispanics, Asias and other immigrants to foster the narrative that hard work will allow you to move up the socioeconomic ladder.

However, the creation of minority grouping does not account for centuries of slavery and oppression Black people endured in America. Today, we hear more about LGBT rights than we do about the rights of Black people.

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, minority grouping is a tool in the hand of White people to mitigate and facilitate indifference toward the centuries of torture, murder, and inhuman treatment of Black people in America. 

Minority grouping, as well as, talk of multiculturalism, camouflages the atrocities Black people have suffered in America; and, covers up the debt that America, and other European nations owe exclusively to Black People.

Cultural Ambush

Integration has had the effect of changing the cover on the book, with no changes made to the book’s content. Black people can live in some neighborhoods with White people, go to some schools and socialize in some parts of American with White People.

Even so, American social, economic and cultural power is controlled by White people. Integration has painted over Black culture and history. Integration and its proffer of a color blind society is a deception.

Integration dismantled the Black baseball league, facilitated the gradual disappearance of Black owned businesses, removed roll models and mentorship from Black communities and more.

Integration as I have experienced it in American, ambushed Black culture; it is used to repress, oppress, divide and marginalize Black people. Integration makes Black people invisible and guards the lies white people tell themselves.

For example, while ignoring the debt owed to Black people, white people declare that America owes a debt to white men, because they built the country. Therefore white men are entitled to all of its fruits, i.e., financial resources, institutions and levers of power.

Shocking Conclusion

Harriet Jacobs, Incidents In the Life of a Slave Girl: “On one of these sale days, I saw a mother lead seven children to the auction-block. She knew that some of them would be taken from her; but they tool all. The children were sold to a slaver trader, and their mother was bought by a man in her own town. Before night here children were all far away. She begged the trader to tell her where he intended to take them; this he refused to do. How could he, when he knew he would sell them, one by one, wherever he could command the highest price? I met that mother in the street, and her wild, haggard face lives to-day in my mind. She wrong here hands in anguish, and exclaimed, “Gone! All gone! Why don’t God kill me? I had no words wherewith to comfort her. Instances of this kind are of daily, yea, of hourly occurrence.”

White men passed allowed them to use Black people as human capital. And so, capitalism began with enslaving black people, which allowed white men to grow and produce products without incurring labor cost, and without having to life a finger.

As the white man propagates capitalism all over the world, know that capitalism has no need for Black people. Capitalism has no need for any people who have been made obsolete for production, manufacturing and serving white people.

Speak with the few Jews who survived Nazi Germany, the Indians who survived genocide  here in America or the Indians who survived genocide in the Caribbean.

History is  replete with examples of the white mans tyranny; it has taught us that freedom is endangered for any people who passively have faith that white people will relent in their blood thirsty quest for wealth, power and control. 

Black people are facing an existential challenge; the challenge to take control of their own lives and future.

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

 

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