Black Consciousness for 'non-blacks'

2016-04-20 12:21

Black Consciousness for “non-blacks”

The teachings and ideals of Bantu Biko resonate now and forever. He is better known as the ‘father’ of the black consciousness movement. His message to the youth was clear and powerful, he said that black is beautiful and to be proud of your blackness.

Black consciousness is important in shedding away a sense of inferiority amongst black people, it’s there to teach us how to assert ourselves and be self-reliant as a race of people who have had to deal with oppression, intolerance and blatant cruelty because of racial bigotry.

Late former president Rolihlahla Mandela said that amongst some of Bikos strong qualities was his ability to confront reality, to grow and develop ideas and continually broaden his outlook. And that is why I think it is important that when at the whelm of discussing black consciousness that there is a need to perceive it mentally on what it is, what it isn’t and how misconception of the ideal can be harmful and now the importance of why it can and needs to be understood across board of races. I believe misconceiving the idea of black consciousness impedes our growth as a country.

Where race is concerned, where we tend to differ is in the enunciation of what it means to be black. It is still a known little fact that some people simply don’t know or don’t understand black people and the black culture. Just the other day, we had to debate what it means to celebrate that #blackgirlsrock, as though black people where faulting other races for celebrating themselves and all they do for the black community.

One should therefore not be alarmed if it proves very difficult to accept that “there is room for all of us at the rendezvous of essential blackness”. I promise you that, being pro black empowerment doesn’t mean being intransigent. Misconceiving the idea can be wrong for humanity, for national consciousness. The growth of empowered black people, black young people is changing the face of this country as we speak.

But, I personally don’t think it’s enough that black people have emancipated themselves from mental slavery, it is now important that other races postulate that a positive attitude of the mind and a way of life towards black people is necessary. Necessary blackness. It is important that those who feel superior to black people realize that it emanate from the idea of black consciousness. It is important that other races don’t regard black people and their consciousness as a part of something external.

I have noticed how in some way, how being aware and proud of my blackness can offend others. How it offends the black person who is unfortunately anti-black and other races who just don’t understand. There is no joy and liberation from having others uncomfortable with who I am as a black person. It cannot be that being black and consciously aware means being anti any other race. So what I’m trying to say is that, I would love to see black consciousness be understood and appreciated across all races and enjoy no perimeters as an ideal.

I’m probably saying something that has been said before but I’d like to express this because that’s just how I feel. The teachings of Biko, Anton Lembede and Sobukwe have helped me identify better with myself and other black people. I better understand the different lives of black people through knowing about the essence of being black and African. I feel so strongly about black consciousness and how it’s groomed me that I can’t stand the thought of my blackness not being understood and it offending anyone else. There isn’t much liberation in that. So I want to explore a way in which for lack of a better word, non-blacks understand the importance of black consciousness. So, I think in essence what I’m trying to say is that, what Bantu Biko means to me as a black person he can mean to you. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t.

You’ve got to be loyal to what this country stands for, and that’s equality and I think a part of it means to better understanding being black and respect being black. Realistically, you don’t have to like all black people, because unfortunately some people still need to bury the demon of structural and institutional racialism, but you will have to respect their struggle, story and victory as a black populace.

Pro black does not mean anti anything or anyone, it just means anti racial bigotry and supremacy. So please always know that and always stand for it, stand by it and stand some more.

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