How long it really took me to make peace with my very natural African hair, has really been most of my life time. How long it took me to realize I even had issues with my very natural African hair? Just as long, if not longer, but yeah. What does this have to do with anything, leave alone power? Everything.
Keep up! It is said that Man is a microcosm constantly reflecting the macrocosm and vice versa. How true this gets depends on how deep one is willing to look into the matter at hand. For every fruit and branch, is a root deeply embedded into the earth and the greatest plight of the Mankind has been the inability to self-love. To many this may not count much but to my African descent, the wholeness of my being is intricately tied into my self-view and perspectives.
I fail to understand anyone who thinks that the Pan African Movement is dead, surely they know that even a seed was once gloried as a fruit up high in the branch that had to fall, rot just so it could grow into a tree someday. Same here applies. Pan Africanism refers to the belief (and supporting lifestyle) that the plight of the African Man is one and as such oneness of the African Man is the way to beat it. Strongly so, I do believe this …
It can be argued that much of African movement toward development as a people has been hampered by themselves. This is coming from the perspective of a child born to child born to child born in the prime of colonialism. My ancestors may have missed the ships that sailed away our prime to slave away on farms but they never missed the shared fate of forced labour and degradations. Only they were slaves and prisoners on their own land. They had to fight tooth and nail, blood and bone, for our freedom. Ironically the freedom came not as the “right” to be African again but rather the highly conditioned “right” to try being westernised. Well, what a hoax…
May not seem as much, but whatever the case, I was born to parents who strongly believed in one way of being and doing things right. Should that typical African mother revert back to slander, shaming, guilt trips, manipulations and some downright ass whopping just to get her way, forgive her for that is how they were trained up. In a different article, I refer to the Millennial, Gen X and Gen Z amongst the African race as children of rape. How come? By this time all we had to show for our Africanism is our natural appearances, pained history, inherited shame and power struggle amidst the struggle to be more not so African.
This campaign begun centuries prior to our birth and manifested in my times as the dislike for melanin and our ever so naturally curly kinky hair and a mass migration outside one’s country of birth since no opportunities existed. Those who remained after this voluntary exodus, have fallen deep into impunity and downright disrespect for one’s country leave alone race. Patriotism soon got replaced by nepotism, tribalism and even uglier, corruption. That’s at the global level: on a personal level came the bleachers and whiteners; straightening kits and perms; weaves and wigs… anything but looking “too African”.
Freedom sought consorted with colonialism and what we have is neo-colonialism in the name of governance. Meanwhile, those shipped away are being cornered, harassed and hunted by those who shipped them away …as if their existence in their land of sojourn was of their own choosing. Really?
I celebrate Afro-fusion. To me, this represents a beckon of hope for the Melanined Man. Scratch that, the not-so-white Man. What better way to fight the shame of being African (or otherwise) other than by creating things of pride? Forget that the pure African culture has been erased, whatever little I have left is that which I must celebrate. This is a shout, mark you rather incongruous, of a warrior thought dead but still living. Not the last kicks of a dying horse but the horse that refuses to just die. Let the Dubois followers match within the confines of members of political leadership, the rest of us shall fight on the very streets by wearing whatever little we have left in pride.
This anti-war racism is not about the lack of racial discrimination but rather the abolishment of races altogether. Same applies for the gender war, it is not about the end of a weaker gender slogan but the abolishment of the need to divide ourselves based on gender. Based on gender, race, age, religion or chosen lifestyle and the growth in the understanding that we are all Man. Just in case you doubt this, remember we are born of the womb of a woman naked and we shall all die. How you fill the in between is a matter of free will and choice.
So no, the Pan African Movement is not dead but rather undergoing a rebirth …from a political wave carrying people to the people being the very wave itself. Every time I see that Ankara, that afro, those dreadlocks, that afro-beat and dance, that afro-fusionist yogi… every time I hear and see PRO-AFRICAN then I think the movement gets stronger. See, the best truth about Afro-fusionism, it fights the great supremacy attitude by making it okay and equitable to simply be what you are. It does not resist the White in white supremacy but rather the supremacy itself. White, yellow, red or black, stand with pride and in truth for whatever you believe in… just stand true and strong.